Family matters and growing pains

For the Week of October 17, 2022
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Can Brady outsmart Kristen? Will Rex crack the orchid code? And is Wendy the smartest of them all? Let's discuss it all in this edition of Two Scoops!

The show did a masterful job of clearing the path for Chad to move on. So, I'm all in for seeing Chad back in leading-man mode. And, as much as I enjoy the banter between Stephanie and Chad, I was very relieved when Chad put the brakes on them having a drunken hookup. That's not the direction I want for Chadsworth. And it's a crazy bad look for Stephanie "Boundaries in the Workplace" Johnson.

That doesn't mean I liked any moment of Alex scolding Stephanie. He came across as a whiny, entitled, privileged-o-saurus when he showed up at Stephanie's door to challenge the degree to which Stephanie told him no. (And she clearly told him no -- multiple times.) However, he wasn't exactly off base. Stephanie might have different standards for others than she does for herself. Still, this is a clear case of the right message, delivered by the absolute wrong person.

You know who the right person would have been? Paulina! I love that Stephanie is working for Paulina. The Lady Price knows a thing or two about power dynamics, gender expectations, and how to carry your fabulous self with grace at all times. Stephanie needs to get out her pen to record chapter and verse from the Book of Paulina.

I'm hoping the campaign and the Chanel scandal will make all of this possible! We know Chanel did something in college. Paulina knew about it and thought it was handled. I'll need a bit of geography clarification, but I thought Chanel went to college in Europe with Allie. As we know from the Charlie Dale storyline, the Salem P.D. doesn't have jurisdiction over crimes committed across the pond. So, this "crime" has to sit more on the reputation side -- something that Paulina worries will ruin Chanel's life/business/relationship more than her freedom. I can't wait to find out what it is!

Speaking of things that make me happy, Wendy Shin is in Salem, folks! I loved her on Beyond Salem. You know the soap trope of damsels in distress? Invert that, and you've got Wendy. This week, she had to endure Li saying she can't get handouts, and honestly, I'm surprised he could get that silver spoon out of his mouth long enough to admonish Wendy.

She's an excellent addition to the DiMera web and a fantastic move for Johnny because...ooof. Our kid needs a lot of help.

We picked up where we left last week with Ava, E.J., and Johnny. After E.J. confronted Ava with proof of the fake marriage license, Scrappy Doo...err...Johnny went after E.J. for being such a meanie to innocent ol' Ava. Ava said nothing at first but then admitted she wasn't married to Jake. E.J.'s proof was right. But, she explained, it was all Gabi's idea, and Ava just did what she was told...because Ava is a wallflower who does whatever is commanded. Oh, and she said E.J. deserved it because he was pushy at the hospital. So, see, she had to lie.

Ava left town temporarily. Again, she told the manchild he can't come with her. Somehow, this warrants the "if it's the last thing I do" revenge promise from Johnny. I'm disappointed but not shocked that Johnny forgave Ava instantly. Why work on mending things with your dad when you can take the side of the pretty stranger you met a few weeks ago?

I joke because this storyline is a little confusing. Johnny's grandmother and step-grandmother are dying, potentially leaving behind both of the men he's named for. Yet he's spending his time trying to sleep with Ava and scold E.J. Furthermore, the antidote that could save these women is within his family grasp!

Is every other DiMera so busy playing musical CEO chairs that no one but Kristen realizes they've been funding a second lab for Dr. Rolf? The cops searched his lab and found nothing, yet someone somewhere was drawing up that antidote. That means there's a second location. If I know the DiMeras, that lab probably comes with at least two bedrooms, a wine cellar, and an infinity pool. The DiMeras don't do anything on the cheap. 221017 Days 2

Alas, Marlena, Kayla, and Kate continue to stay home from school sick. I do enjoy that the near-death storylines mean Deidre Hall, Mary Beth Evans, and Lauren Koslow get to wear pajamas to work for a while. I'm sure that wardrobe is much more comfortable than heels. Also, I adore that Kate refused to stay in the hospital and opted for silk jammies and earrings. High fever, schmigh fever. This woman has standards! I love it!

I also love all the guests and mentions we get when people are dying. Rex, Brady, Belle, Eric, Stephanie, Joey, and Tripp (!!) all made appearances to visit our fever sisters. Lucas called to talk to Kate. And Eric was the big winner this week, getting phone calls with Sami and Billie -- mentioning Austin, Cassie, and Sydney! I swear, I thought the latter two were trapped in that vortex of missing soap characters. Good to know they're safe!

And our precious fever sisters will soon be safe, too, because former sister of the church Kristen DiMera is ready to step up and do the right thing. Kidding. She's not.

Remember the scene from Aladdin where Jafar turns into the actual snake and licks Jasmine's face? That's what I feel like every time Kristen is around Brady. Her stalking of him is so intense, it makes Alex look like Sir Galahad. Anyway, in exchange for the antidote, Kristen wants Brady to break up with Chloe, move in with Kristen, and pretend in front of their young daughter that they're a family again. First, Brady better hope this cures Marlena because I see Rachel needing a lot of therapy in the future. Second, where exactly are they going to move? Brady still lives with Jarlena. Kristen lives in Jakes's old apartment. If this means a new set, I could get behind this plot point!

Also, traditional storytelling would have us believe Brady is going to Harry-and-the-Hendersons Chloe, which is to be so intentionally fake mean to her that she'll leave and never look back. But I'm hoping the conversation earlier in the week where Chloe suggested breaking up and Brady shut that down means they'll have another plan. As Brady pointed out, breaking up would mean 1) Kristen wins, and 2) that's not the example Rachel needs. Brady was smart enough to demand the first dose begin to work before starting this ruse. So, here's hoping he'll figure something out so this storyline can zag.

Loose Ends

Let's talk about the threesome. First, doing the math with how far DAYS tapes ahead, this scene would have been cleared to air on network NBC. So, I don't think anyone can tag this as a Peacock move just for shock on streaming NBC.

Second, I'll take watching consenting adults in bed together over women being raped (which soaps portray way more often) any day of the week. I really appreciated Alex getting and verifying consent. If nothing else, this proves that somewhere in his blockhead, he knows what consent is. Wonders never cease.

Third, I do hope that the point of the scene was to just be provocative. I'll have a hard time if Chanel, Allie, or both end up pregnant. This was clearly a planned act, and safety is part of the planning. Plus, if it was provocative, we can leave it in the past, which is where I'd rather leave most of my thoughts of Allie and Alex. Why my precious Chanel is burdened with either of those two dolts is beyond me.

Finally, now that the threesome is out of the way, can we get down to seeing that road trip to the Wisconsin Dells? Waterslides sound delightful.

Wow. Li and E.J. wasted little time dropping Gabi and Stefan, respectively, in the business sense. I can't imagine either Gabi or Stefan will take that well for long. With Li playing his last card and telling E.J. he funded Project Stefan, I wonder how much is left in the Li tank. (Shin bin?)

That Johnson family moment was delightful! My favorite thing about this family is that they can't order "a" pizza. Everyone needs their own, meaning anything less than five pies isn't a true meal for this clan.

It was nice to see Sarah and Rex have put the past behind them. I hope she gets to help out in the lab, investigating a cure. Sarah would jump at the chance to make sure Kristen doesn't win again.

Extra Scoops

HOT
Roman and Kate got married!! I've always been a fan of these two. I loved their first relationship decades ago. I love their connection. I love that he never scolded her from scheming and kind of lets her be her. I love that she does want to protect his heart and will come clean with him when she messes up. I love the Sami connection of it all -- where Sami's sometimes nemesis marries her all-time dad. It's great for these characters and fun for the show.

NOT:
I couldn't tell. Did Nicole spend three or four whole seconds listening to Chloe's predicament with Rachel -- a small child dealing with real, difficult emotions -- before changing the subject to Nicole's self-created drama where she can't pick which boy she really likes?

LINE OF THE WEEK:

Wendy: "I'm Wendy Shin. Who the hell are you?"

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Apparently, Stephanie is so good at her job that she can get a press release out while passed out drunk.

Chanel's orange dress was amazing.

The shades are open at Stayla's place. I don't think we've ever seen that before. I liked it!

What did the people of Alaska do to the writers? They sure seem to be down on that state in general. I hear it can be quite lovely.

We need a new set. Can we give up Jake's apartment? Brady and Kristen are going to need a house.

I didn't remember her name was "Katherine Elizabeth." That's a lot of royal going on there!

I loved Rolf calling out Kristen on behalf of Stefano! Yes, clearly, the big fella would not approve of Kristen letting Marlena suffer.

E.J. can stop it with the "Ava may never come back" nonsense. That's Tamara Braun we're talking about, thankyouverymuch.

I know Stephanie said Steve was spending all of his time at the hospital, but it still made me nervous when Steph and Chad hit the couch. I'm not sure betting Steve won't walk in is a good idea.

I like how the show remembers Rex was Rolf's protégé. He may be street dumb, but Rex has always been book smart -- able to hack into computers and understand complicated medical theories.

That's all for this week. Tony will be back after he's done putting out his stack of "Paulina for Mayor" signs. He volunteers for her campaign every other Wednesday. Sloan better not try anything while he's out on patrol!
Laurisa

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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