I feel like a failure. Laurisa put me in charge of Salem for two weeks, and I've already broken her rules. She even wrote them down on special "From the desk of..." stationery. And that list was hung on the fridge along with twenty dollars for pizza and the neighbor's emergency contact information. To make matters worse, there were only six simple rules to follow.
1. Don't expose residents of Salem to bright lights
2. Don't let them get wet.
3. Never feed them after midnight.
4. Don't let Kate tie up Dr. Dan by herself, she makes lousy knots.
5. Don't let Chloe wake up.
6. Never let Rafe think too hard, it might hurt his head.
Alas, I failed. Dr. Dan's on the loose. Chloe's un-comatose. And Rafe figured out the baby swap! Yet even though the rules were broken, Salem was still one heck on an interesting place last week. Let's discuss...
DR. DAN, KATE & STEFANO
Nicole inspired me last week! So, after I swapped a few babies and made up a bunch of lame excuses, I took out a restraining order on Dr. Dan. He's an irritating, delusional egomaniac who's been bugging me for months, and that seemed like a surefire way to get him off my back. Therefore, he has to stay 100 feet away from my Scoops at all times. I even put Meredith and her skull-bashing fire poker on standby should he try to approach.
That leaves me to talk about another delusional egomaniac, Kate. She's one bat-guano-crazy murdering mama, isn't she? Yet, all things considered, I'm still on her side. She's been the most interesting part of this entire storyline. In fact, because she put Chloe in a coma, this plot became palatable. That means things have gone from nauseatingly horrible to palatable to interesting to, after last week, very interesting. That "very interesting" is brought to you by the involvement of one Mr. Stefano "My-Driver-Is-Bigger-Than-Victor's" DiMera!
He actually showed up at the perfect time, if you ask me. It seems like he and Kate have a scene together every six months or so, therefore I was reminded to change the batteries in my smoke detectors. Their scene also reminded me how much I love watching Lauren Koslow and Joseph Mascolo interact. They're brilliant! So, if I had to sit through nearly a year of "Danloe" crap to see Stefano and Kate team up, it's worth it (for the most part).
Of course, Stefano's help means Kate's making a deal with the devil. Or at least someone a little more devilish than she is. But somehow that makes everything much more exciting! And there's even some potential icing for that Devil's Food cake should these two remain teamed up for a while - a certain Ms. Thing is returning soon whom I'm sure will have something to say about Team Stefano and Kate! Oh, yes, more, please!
COMATOSE CHLOE & LUCAS
I tossed nearly ten bucks worth of quarters into a well. Each one of them had the same wish attached to it, "Don't let Chloe wake up, don't let Chloe wake up..." Sadly, my "well" turned out to be an open manhole and my wishes were washed away into the sewer system. Yep, Chloe's awake, and she's just as dopey and annoying as ever. Drats!
To make matters worse, the Chloemeister even seemed to bounce back from the brink in record time. Now, I know it's a soap. I've already looked past the fact her hair and makeup has been nearly perfect while she's been hospitalized. And I can look past the fact she doesn't seem to be experiencing lingering medical complications due to her near fatal poisoning and subsequent month-and-a-half-long coma. But - BUT if the writers are going to play the "She's Fine and Dandy" Card, then I can play the "Annoyed Two Scooper" card.
Here's one of my big problems with Chloe's actions. If she was alert enough to ask for Dr. Dan then she'd probably be alert enough not to act like such an insensitive skank towards Lucas. Her first words upon waking and seeing Lucas were, "Where's Daniel?" Ouch. But that's not all. She went on to ask Lucas, her husband, to help her find Dr. Dan, her lover. Seriously, Chloe!? I'd like to think she's still groggy from her coma, but, nope, I'm pretty sure she would've requested something that stupid beforehand.
However, I'm glad Chloe went coma-kaze by nose-diving directly into Lucas's wrath. Did she really think the entire "I never meant to hurt you" and "I was honoring my pact to God" excuses would fly!? She needs to be brought down a few pegs. Sure, one could argue a month-and-a-half-long coma was a harsh enough penalty for the crime, but until both Chloe and Dr. Duh actually admit they were wrong, my sympathy level for either of them will remain nonexistent. Therefore, by default, my support remains with Team Lucas...even if Lucas needs to wake up and smell Kate's schemes. Sorry Lucas, denial is never a good look on anyone. Wise up, kiddo!
LUCAS & MEL
Yet, I should confess, Lucas does make it hard to root for him sometimes. Ok, honestly, he makes it hard a lot of the time, but I digress. I'm still on his side, but the guy really is a self-righteous schmuck sometimes, isn't he? What was up with him berating Mel so harshly? Sure the guy's stressed. And he was probably taking that stress out on an easy target like Mel, Salem's resident scapegoat, but I thought it was utterly unfair. But at least Nathan stood up for her...wait...never mind.
To make matters worse, Lucas brought up Nick. Really!? Isn't this horse beyond dead at this point - can we stop beating it? Let me check one last time. Wasn't Nick addicted to prescription meds, which caused him to go off the deep end, become obsessed with Mel, stalk her, and eventually kidnapped her because she found out HE killed her father? And wasn't it Mel, you know, the victim, who stood up for Nick at the trial thus getting him a lighter sentence? Lucas, repeat after me, "Let it go."
But considering Lucas is dealing with Chloe, who has surely even tested her best buddy God's patience, I'll give Lucas a pass. I'll also give Mel a pat on the back for being gracious enough to let Lucas unload his frustrations without retaliating. She kept a stiff upper lip, let him vent, and then went back to work. What a trooper!
MEL & NATHAN
Hmm. I'm a little confused as to when Mel and Nathan "made up." The last time I saw them together, he was acting like a world-class, judgmental doody-head about her sex tape. The next thing I knew, bam! They're pals again. Which, I should confess, I'm fine with. It seems like when you take Stephanie and Philip out of the equation, Mel and Nathan are cute together. However, I was also glad to see Mel stand up for herself with her entire "What you see, is what you get" speech. You go, girl! Now, if only Nathan came make it through another week without flip-flopping personalities, we should be good.
ROMAN & ARIANNA
Like Laurisa, I'm totally stoked that Roman has a major-ish part in a storyline. I like the guy, so it simply makes me happy. And he sort of blackmailed Arianna into sticking with the case, didn't he!? Interesting! Sure, he felt a little bad about being the "bad cop," but I liked seeing that tough, confident side of Roman. It surely beats the emasculated Roman who was Marlena's Plan B.
I'm also intrigued by what he knows about Ari's past that's making her stress. Is she a former drug dealer helping him in exchange for exoneration? He does like to make deals - remember how he helped Lucas! Another theory - did Ari have something to do with Emily's death, and Roman knows this? Or did she break into Caroline's attic and steal Kimberly and Kayla's old clothes from the '80s, including the denim dress she was wearing last week, but Roman was too kind to bust her and proposed a deal? I'm not sure, but I'm curious.
I try. I really do try to find something I like about Rafe. But if I collected annoying people, he'd be the first on my list. He's like the Kanye West of Salem - even if his intentions are "well-meaning," he comes across as such an abrasive, arrogant buttinski that I forget about the good and simply focus on how irritatingly maddening he is.
An example? Rafe grabbing Nurse Sarah's arm! I literally said aloud, "Oh, no, he didn't!" Where does the man get off bulldozing through people like that? He's not an agent or a cop. He's simply a nosy has-been. Nurse Sarah is a nicer person than I am for returning his call after that. Actually, I kind of like Nurse Sarah more than Rafe, and that's sad considering we've been watching him for nearly a year, and she's been on like three or four times. Right, back on track - she did call him back. And between her call and Rafe and Ari both overhearing talks between Nicole and Brady, Rafe figured out the truth!
Now, even if it is Rafe who discovered it, I'm grateful. Heck, by simply having someone else know, it already breathed a little life back into things, again, even if that person is Rafe. Things are now like a ticking time bomb - when will they explode!? I don't know, but I do know we'll have to wait a little longer thanks to whack-job Meredith and her handy fire poker.
Well, perhaps I shouldn't call her a whack job. Nearly anyone who's watched Rafe for more than five minutes typically wants to hit him. She just did. So, I can't fault her in that, but I am semi-curious to see where this is going. Will we finally, and I do mean finally, get some answers about Emily and Rafe? Yah, I'm not sure I can be that optimistic, either.
BRADY, NICOLE, E.J. & WILL
There's something funny about E.J. and Brady puffing up their chests like animals preparing for combat. I'm not sure why I find them amusing, but I do. It could be the anticipation of E.J. possibly throwing another "stellar" punch like he did when he hit Rafe after Grace died. I hadn't seen a "kapow!" like that since I caught a rerun of Batman from the '60s. Moving on...
As an audience, we know E.J. and Nicole are heading for a big, bad baby-swapping blowout sooner or later. Therefore their arguments last week didn't really do much for me, aside from giving me time to run to the kitchen for a glass of water. The only thing interesting I picked up on was that E.J. perfectly explained his role in their marriage. No, he didn't say "I've been a chump." That might be a little too honest, but he did comment, "I feel as if I've spent the best part of my marriage to you listening to you explain." Well put, Elvis, you don't know how right you are!
Finally, there's E.J. and Will. Their pairing is a bit odd, but I like it. As much as they shouldn't have a bond, it actually seems like they do, and that intrigues me. More, please.
NICOLE & MIA
Oh, Nicole, you mean old arse! I kind of winced when she screamed at Mia. Sure, Nicole's scared and stressed and probably yelled at Mia because she was an easy target, yet she overdid it, in my humble opinion. Mia's not an innocent party, but she is a scared teenager. I guess I expected Nicole, of all people, to be a little more sympathetic to a young girl going through a hard time. Does that ring a bell, Misty Circle? But I'm probably the arse for expecting more from Nicole at this point.
More so, Nicole needs to relax. She taught her padawan well, and Mia covered things nicely. She told the truth, yet was vague enough to keep the details under wrap. Call me crazy, but that seems like a win/win.
Ali Sweeney and Ari Zuker are great together, yet do Sami and Nicole scenes really matter at this point? With this entire baby-swap train seemingly chugging into the station I'm not too invested in their "friendship" or any problems it may be having. Therefore if someone can just wake me when they start to square off about Nicole's lies, I'd appreciate it, thanks.
In the meantime, I have to wonder - who the holy heck thought it was a good idea to have Sami return to the convent!? Even Sami asked herself, "What am I doing hiding in a convent?" And she's right! What the heck is she doing there!? It wasn't that entertaining the first time around, and this time, it's just annoyingly painful to watch.
I think my biggest gripe is that it's removing Sami from Salem again. It's frustrating that there are characters she could be interacting with, yet we're not seeing heart-to-hearts with Caroline, coffee talk with Maggie, or even dead-baby bonding with Bo and Hope. Nope, none of that. Instead we're seeing her confide in Sister Who-Claires. I don't even remember her being one of the original nuns. I know Sister Theresa is "out of town," but what about Agnes? Nope, we're getting Rafe's biggest cheerleader instead. Heaven help us!
HOT & NOT
Hot: Mia confessing to Will, and his apology were both pretty classy! First, she decided to be open and honest(ish) with him because she likes and respects him, not because she was forced to. I'd say that's a great decision if you really want a future with someone. But, I'll be honest, I was holding my breath about Will's reaction. I expected a full-blown hissy fit. But that didn't happen. He excused himself to take some time to think, and then returned to Mia with an apology of his own. He even accepted the fact she has more to share, but didn't pressure her. A+, Young Will and Mia! I think they're Salem's most mature-acting couple. Bonus point - Mia also told Big Red about her little bundle! Well, Maggie, at least she's not a druggie!
Not: Chloe and consciousness + Sami and the convent = Ugh.
Line of the Week:
"Help you!? Help you find your boyfriend? I'm your husband, damn it. I'm the one you betrayed!" Lucas to Chloe. I can't believe Lucas's audacity not to help her. Right.
Line of the Weak:
"This is literally the only safe place to talk," Brady to Nicole while standing at the park's busiest intersection. Really, Brady? Sure, it beats Nicole talking to herself aloud in the middle of the DiMera living room, but I'd hardly call it the "only safe place to talk." Call me old-school, but how about at a parking garage in a car or, say, Cassie's room - no one's checked on her in years.
Nurse Sarah said to Rafe, "Dr. Baker was buying and selling babies - illegally." Now, is that opposed to the legal way to buy and sell babies? Just wondering.
There was something ironic about Chloe talking to Roman since he was pretty much the "Lucas" in the John/Marlena scenario.
Was E.J. wearing silk purple paisley pajamas? I know he was named for Elvis, but he looked more like Liberace.
Why does E.J. think it's normal for Nicole drive to a public park in the middle of the night when she has an entire estate, complete with gardens, to roam around should she feel the need to think?
Finally, why did Lexie have to call the police on her cell phone when there was a police guard at Chloe's door?
On a serious note - and, yes, I do actually make them once in a while - I wouldn't feel right ending this column without saying goodbye to the grandmother of all soaps, Guiding Light. It ended last Friday after an extraordinary, and inspirational, 72-year run. I know the residents of Springfield got their happy endings, but I think it's safe to say everyone Soapland is flying their flags at half-mast in this week. Hang in there GL fans, and you're always welcome in Salem.
So, friends and Days fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of September 21st! As Laurisa's on assignment and totally not disguised as Meredith and did not bash Rafe on the head and you can't prove it, I'll be back next week while she covers her tracks. Um, I meant to say while she finishes her "assignment." Yes, that's it! And, "That's a fact!"