Every now and then, when a primetime TV season ends, Laurisa and I play "Show Swap!" Basically, we urge the other to watch a series the other had not previously tuned in to. More than a few years back, I recommended Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, and she encouraged me to binge watch Scandal on Netflix to catch up before the fall premiere. I did. I did hard. I instantly fell in love with Olivia Pope.
Without delving too much into Scandal, Olivia was a powerhouse player in D.C. Lady gets stuff done. She was a fixer, a cleaner up of, well, scandalous messes, and an all-out badass. She had swagger. When she walked into a problem and uttered her catch phrase, "What did you do!?" you knew things were about to get juicy. What does all this have to do with DAYS Two Scoops? Well, we need Olivia Pope in Salem. Pronto. Let's take a look at some of the messes she could clean up...
Gabi's revenge storyline. This one's filthy. If Gabs were solely out to harm Stefan, I would be all over it. I'd be running around Horton Town Square with a giant flag with Gabi's picture on it. That likeness of her would be made of sequins, of course. At the end of each lap, I'd gulp down one of those pink margarita/martini thingies -- a pinktini? Gabitini? Anyway -- I'd totally swig down that festive cocktail and then carry on with the chant, "Go Gabi! Go Gabi! Get the freak!" But I can't. Unfortunately, her desire for revenge at all costs is a bit too much for me to cheer on, and I'm just as worried about Gabi's future as I am those she's targeting. Well, not Stefan -- he can roast -- but the others.
That's not to say Gabi shouldn't be furious with Stefan. She should. I can't blame her for being furious with Abigail, either. Still, there are times when Abigail annoyingly gets labeled "Poor Abby," and she doesn't deserve the sympathy. Sometimes Abs certainly makes her own messes. Then there are times like these where it really is "Poor Abby." She didn't seek out a mental breakdown. She didn't ask to be raped. She's just as much of a victim as Gabi is here. Stefan is solely to blame for the problems they've both experienced. He's the one who took advantage of a mentally ill woman.
At the very least, Gabi could have mic-dropped her BFF card at Abigail's feet and declared, "I can't with you." Then focused her revenge on Stefan. While I get that Gabi's destroyed, that path would have been much better than, say, Gabi shaming Abigail into not having an abortion. Those scenes were maddening. Abs believes she's carrying her rapist's baby. For Gabi to even attempt to dictate Abigail's personal decisions was gross. I hope that Gabi was trying to convince her out of compassion, knowing that it's truly Chad's baby, but I think this is a case where I could hope in one hand and dooty in the other and see which one fills up first. Yep. The entire situation is just crappy. I'm not a fan.
A more watchable storyline would be Gabi, Chad, and Abigail teaming up to take Stefan down. They could hire a "Gabby" look-alike to torture him. She could appear across the park then scurry off. Maybe she could do a little lurking outside the mansion. Oh, oh! She could Say Anything him and show up with a boombox outside his window, blaring Stefan and Gabby's song. They could totally have him chasing ghosts until he loses it enough that he'll be placed in Ben's old room at Shady Hills. That would certainly convince the board he's unfit to run DiMera Enterprises. Win! But, no.
If they really wanted to be narsty, the trio could let Stefan think he's the baby's father until he's vulnerable enough to sign over DiMera, or get his confession on tape. Then go all Maury Povich on him with a, "Boom! You are not the father, Stefan!" Sure, that's mean, but they could break him that way, too. But, no.
At the very least, Gabi could ask Kate for help. They've been down that scheming road, err, river before. There's a bond there. Kate would certainly craft something sinister more skillfully than Gabi. Which, points -- Gabi is doing well for herself so far as to delivery maximum carnage, yet there's this improvising vibe that's hard not to notice. Gabi's a justifiably pissed-off person but green when it comes to revenge. Call in the expert, Gabs, because you can't un-detonate the nuke you just dropped, and you're probably going to be blown apart, too. The winner? No one. But...
I got a fix. You know what would patch up all the problems between Abigail and Gabi? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone know the answer? Eric does. *wink* It's friendship bracelets! They're not just for the middle-aged set. Twenty-somethings can wear them, too. So, maybe if Gabi gives Abigail a homemade friendship bracelet instead of a homewrecking revenge plot, these two could work things out and have a hearty belly laugh together over a pink Gabitini. Maybe?
Across town, we've got more trouble, folks. Right here in Salem City. Trouble with a capital "T," and that rhymes with "E," and that stands for Eve! Yep. She stepped in it. Honestly, while I adore both Eric Martsolf and Kassie DePaiva, I'm indifferent about Brady and Eve together. My adoration of Kassie makes me hold onto hope that once everything is exposed, Eve will still have or get a storyline to stick around for, but right now, Eve is boxed into a corner. Even Chloe broke out the "I'm not mad, I'm disappointed" card. Yep, me, too, Chloemeister. Me, too.
Though Eve might want to apologize sooner rather than later because Jenny Bear is on the case. Someone messed with her cub. She's not happy. She's even remembering to use her investigative journalism roots to track down the culprit. And I kind of like it. Melissa Reeves and Kassie are amazing sparring partners, and Super Sleuth Jennifer is much better than Jennifer-Lite.
When all things are said and done, Theresa's return and exit was well crafted. It created a lot of drama, exploded a lot of truth bombs, brought Deimos' murder back into play, and ended in a place that brushed the bad off several rusty characters (well, except for Eve. She totally got the shaft). Plus, newcomer Ted got his moment in the spotlight to prove he's kind of awesome. Some more highlights...
J.J.! He's become a great guy. Like, really. I couldn't adore him more at the moment if I tried. He was a great friend to someone who had none, a genuine gentleman -- and he had a stockpile of yummy chocolate cereal. Seriously. The guy is made of win.
Still, I think we lost out on a potentially great J.J. and Theresa pairing, but I'm okay with that -- for now.
As much as I began to want "Jeresa," I'm glad J.J. and Theresa didn't move quickly into something romantic. It would have been too much given the quick turnaround of her return and exit as well as what she's been through. Oh, but the foundation was certainly there! Jen Lilley and Casey Moss have amazing chemistry. It's very natural. It was very captivating. Even their looks said so much without either character uttering a word. Should Theresa come back in a healthier place, I'll totally buy them a box of that cereal, light a few candles for them, and take Tate to the duck pond. Okay. I will call Emma from outside of J.J.'s apartment and wait for her to pick up Tate so she can bring him to the duck pond.
Theresa's return ended in a "there are more important things in life" somber tone, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing (although it was a sad thing). If Ted's courtroom showing knocked many Salemites off their self-righteous pedestals, Kimberly's leukemia returning humbled the entire lot of them. Relationships were remembered as concern for Kimberly consumed those closest to her. Yep. They remembered to be adults.
Because of that diagnosis, Theresa is going to L.A. to be at her mother's side. I get that. Brady did, too. His decision to let Tate go was a great step into restoring him into a character I want to care about again. Bad Brady never really floated my boat. So, yeah, it was all a bit messy in the beginning, and I'm concerned for Kimberly, but there's now some hope for better things for several characters, and that's not a bad thing. Well, except for Eve. And Victor. They're a little hopeless at the moment, but you can't count either of them out for too long. There's that.
I'm thoroughly enjoying Kate and Ted! I like that he's legit into Kate and went to bat for her against Stefan. It's also nice to see Kate smitten with someone who's just as smitten with her. She's not simply the "welcome wagon" this time, and he doesn't want anything from her other than her fierce self (that we know if, of course). They could end up being a steamy, powerful duo. Though I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I fear that the more smitten I become with Kate and Ted becoming smitten with each other, the more likely it will end in disaster. My fear -- Stefan, realizing Kate is happy, will kill Ted to hurt her and avenge Vivian's not-really-dead death. Though "death" in Salem means nothing these days. There's that nugget.
Speaking of intense couples, how about Ciara and Ben!? He's stuck in the blue holding pen, being browbeaten by Commissioner Frowny Face and Detective Huffy Pants while she's hobbling around Salem. Okay. I entirely get Hope and Rafe's concerns. They love Ciara. They're worried about her. That's valid. It's just that their shtick with Ben isn't exactly making them the supposed good guys to cheer for.
For his phone call, Ben called Ciara. There's something brilliant about the way Robert Scott Wilson's Ben says "Ciara." It's dripping with emotions. You can tell the guy's nuts about her. Err. He likes her.
It was kind of ironic that Claire basically told Ciara she needs a good guy. Um. In this case, it was the good guy who hurt her. As Selina Kyle said in Batman Returns, "It's the so-called 'normal' guys who always let you down. Sickos never scare me. Least they're committed." Word, Catwoman.
Snap! Will got an I Know What You Did Last Summer type letter! Well, an "I know what you and Sonny did" letter. Maybe I got my wish, and Leo isn't so dead, after all. If not Leo, who else could have sent it? Vivian? Henderson? Maggie? Paul, perhaps!? Hmm. Paul. Perhaps? Maybe he's sick of the heartache these two have caused him. Maybe he's done playing second fiddle and is writing his own tune. Maybe not, though. Paul is a good man. Or is he!? I don't know, but I'm in. More, please.
Without a doubt, the performances from James Reynolds, Sal Stowers, Vanessa Williams, and Lamon Archey were downright heartbreaking as Abe, Lani, Val, and Eli dealt with saying a final goodbye to baby David Abraham. I was moved. Abe and Lani especially made me mist up. Though, as much as I was moved, I was a little confused. Why wasn't Julie there!? I've met Julie. She would be there. Also, was he buried in the town square, or did they migrate there after to place the roses near the plaque? Maybe this storyline should have been given a wee bit more time to wrap up properly instead of a confusing rushed ending.
Has Jen Lilley been designated a National Treasure yet!? She should be. She really should be.
There was a lot of "NOT" to chose from last week. So as to not be repetitive on the Gabi, Eve, or Stefan fronts, I'm going with Claire and Ciara's scene. While Ciara and Ben breathed exciting new life into the characters, in just one scene at the loft, I felt the sudden return of Ciara vs. Claire fatigue. Until these two can become besties again, I think it's best to keep them separated until they can have an adult conversation.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Chloe: "[sighs] Eve, ugh. I have to say -- I'm really disappointed in you."
EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK
Stefan: "I've been living my own personal hell, too."
Gabi: "Really? Is that because you lost your imaginary girlfriend?"
Stefan: "She was the only real thing in my life."
Gabi: "She was a glitch in Abigail's brain."
Ted "irritated the hell" out of Stefan. As if I needed another reason to love Ted. #betteroffTed
I nearly spit out my drink when Jennifer said, "With all this drama with J.J., I've learned to reserve judgment. I'm not going to jump to any conclusions about anything." And then she accused Eve of things. You tried, Jenny Bear. You tried.
I liked Hope's blazer/blouse combo!
Love. Just love:
Will: "You look great!"
Kate: "I know."
Damn! That judge was not messing around. J.J. got the entire "Jack Patrick Deveraux," which never means you're not in trouble.
Kate told Chad, "I'm not that loveable." I disagree. Though most of Salem and generally sane people would.
Is it just me, or has it been a minute since the last Jennifer and Adrienne scene?
I adore that Roman calls his niece "Jeannie Theresa."
I'm not trying to pick on Abs as she's trying to recover and own her mistakes, but is the truth the most important thing to her? Is it? She makes it hard to tell sometimes.
No wonder Kayla giggles like a schoolgirl around Steve. He's adorable. It was a little swoon-worthy when he said, "I feel a kiss coming on."
Since Gabi used to live above the Brady Pub, I wish she had given the "switching paternity results" nod to Caroline instead of Clyde. Or even Sami. They partnered up before, too.
A phrase that needs to be retired is "I swear on my child's life." That has been overplayed lately. If I were Tater Tot, Ari G, or any other Salem youth, I'd totally give my parent the stink eye and say, "Don't bring me into this mess."
Um. Yeah. If I were Ciara, I'd never sit on that couch again. Ever. Evvveeerrr.
Sarcasm: It was nice of John to be so supportive of Brady during the custody hearing.
Non-sarcasm: It was nice of John to be so supportive of Steve and offer to pitch in funds to further the bionic eye research if needed...
...though it would have been nicer if John had used these resources earlier. Now there's options, John Black? Gah.
Remember when Abigail's original recipe best friend forever was Chelsea Brady? Yeah. Abigail may want to reach out and say hello. She needs new friends. Or old ones in this case.
I could have watched an entire episode of Kate and Will sitting on a bench, talking. One, it's better than the Gabi's revenge storyline. Two, I adore that relationship. Lauren Koslow and Chandler Massey have a natural ease with one another.
About five minutes into Wednesday's episode, while Eve and Chloe were chatting at Doug's Place, I swear I saw Robert Kelker-Kelly (a.k.a. Bo Brady 2) in the background. At least I think it was him. It probably wasn't. But it looked like him. And now I miss Bo even more. Boo.
Speaking of boo, it makes me sad to see Steve in a hospital bed. I'm glad he had family and friends (and John *eye roll*) there to lift his spirits. Chin up, Patch Man!
Hearing Jennifer snap, "Brady will not get away with this!" unintentionally made me chuckle. It was so cute, even though it wasn't supposed to be. Maybe Jen and Sonny can practice intimidation together, then giggle about it afterwards.
Um, just who are J.J.'s horny upstairs neighbors!? It would be hilarious if it were Don Craig and Hattie Adams. Jed Allan, who played Don, had a great delivery, and I could totally see Don and Hattie running into J.J. outside of the complex, and Don would say, "Oh. I thought you were Marlena. Nevertheless, we'll pick up where we left off, I just have to mail this letter first."
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for the week of July 23. Laurisa will be back next week to fix all of Salem's problems, or at least call those wacky Salemites out on them! And, "That's a fact!"
As always, thanks for reading!
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