With all apologizes to Kermit, it seems to me that it's hardest being red. Rainbow Brite had to tangle with the Star Stealer. Annie had to deal with that mean ol' Ms. Hannigan. And, don't even get me started on poor Ariel being forced to sell her voice just to get a date.
Just as things were starting to look up for our ginger-mopped heroine, she found herself right in the middle of a family feud, and not the fun "survey says" kind. Nope, this feud got her shot. And it just so happens to be a feud involving a good chunk of characters. So, let's list the people who were seeing red this week.
Victor and Maggie met for a romantic date. Maggie started to apologize and gave him a speech about being scared. As soon as he suggested that they leave Salem together (ahem! on vacation, thankyouverymuch), Maggie flipped out. Just as I was about to throw my remote at the TV because I'd seen this scene a few too many times before, things changed. Maggie and Victor decided to forgo their individual rooms and spend the night together in the fantasy suit. Maggie even womaned up and asked Victor to "come in for breakfast" after dinner. Go on, Maggie!
Of course, it was all to set up so that there was drama when Maggie got shot. Because, surely, unless she was sleeping with Victor, no one would care that Maggie flippin' Horton got shot. But, more on that later.
EJ, BRADY, NICOLE, TAYLOR, VICTOR, and STEFANO
If the events existed in a vacuum, Brady should absolutely pay. His crime was cold, calculated, and brutal. However, getting away with it might be some of that "soap justice" that I referred to in my last column. The DiMeras slide on pretty much everything, but then again, no one seems to pay for committing crimes against them. (Hi, Marlena!) Karma? Perhaps. But whatever it is, the Brady vs. E.J. feud is holding up to be a solid and entertaining battle.
First, it involved the Walker sisters. Nicole was fabulous as always. And, I'm happy to say that when Taylor wasn't starry-eyed over E.J., she was quite enjoyable. E.J. and Taylor's fight on the pier was crazy powerful. I almost wished that the show would have just brought Tamara Braun back as Ava Vitali. Then she could have had that power-chick thing going right from the start, and her character would have still had the Nicole connection.
Furthermore, Nicole may proclaim that she loves Brady, but it's clear that she has some complicated feeling left for E.J. And while Taylor may still like to think of E.J. as her true love, she seemed a little more than interested in Brady's flirtation. A lesser quad of actors might make this situation seem, well, icky. But these four actors have managed to craft each relationship with a unique quality that makes each pair strong enough to stand on its own.
Second, the fire that I saw in Stefano's eyes when he realized that Brady had attacked E.J. actually scared me. That's the Stefano that we've been missing! The Phoenix is back! As much as I love her, I hope Stefano is pleased with himself that Maggie got shot. Brady almost took someone important from Stefano. Not only is Maggie important to Victor, but she's important to Brady, as they've bonded over their addiction. She actually seems like a perfect target -- Stefano-wise, of course.
Furthermore, Chad and Sonny were an interesting addition. They both love their families, yet that love is not blind. I'd like to see the writers explore a camaraderie between these two (similar to the Lexie/Hope bond), where they both know that their families are at war, yet still have a mutual respect for each other.
Finally, let's not forget the fact that Brady is a biological DiMera. Uncle Stefano has shown favor for a nephew (Andre) who out-soldiered his son (Tony). With E.J.'s stance to turn good and Brady's admitted love for drama, what does that mean for the future of the families?
QUINN and VIVIAN
When I was in college, I worked at a sports bar. (That's how I know that Dennis Eckersley was such a dominant closer that he won both the Cy Young and MYP awards in '92. Viv and I are cool like that!) Anyway, there was this regular customer. I knew he was into cage fighting, and he frequently spoke of weapons and shooting ranges. He would take it upon himself to police mouthy patrons, or worse, losers who didn't tip. Thus, he became someone that I wanted to like me, but only from arm's distance. (Interestingly, one's arm is a little shorter than the width of an average bar. Go ahead, try it.)
It seemed that this was how Quinn treated Vivian. No doubt, Vivian is a valuable ally. But she's not exactly someone that you trust with all your dirty laundry. So, Quinn volunteered the information about Kate as a diversion from questions about the mystery bachelorette in his hotel room. That was very smart. He got the benefit of Vivian's help, made her feel like they were getting closer, while still buying himself some time to figure out what to do with Carly.
I know that DAYS is pushing for viewers to watch now in preparation for the changes that are coming this fall. With all due respect, I'd argue that the reason to watch now is Crystal Chappell. She is the original recipe awesome sauce. Her performances are single-handedly making me believe this storyline.
I don't have a big problem with Carly turning to drugs, because she's always been on the brink of some kind of breakdown. (See: Losing it and stabbing her husband.) The string of nightmares proved that it's not just this silly Daniel crush that caused her to crack. Melanie, Vivian, and Lawrence all made appearances. I expect Bo and Hope should come walking though her subconscious soon.
They'll have time, since apparently there's no reason for police to search for Carly, which I don't understand at all. I don't care that she called in to the hospital to take a few days off. She confessed to stealing the drugs from the hospital! As long as she's on the loose, isn't that case still open? Shouldn't there be a warrant out for her arrest?
SONNY, GABI, T, and KINSEY
With the exception of one character, I thought the teen scene was kind of a mess last week.
T continued his walk down meathead lane by proclaiming that he's going to find friends who don't call him a homophobic idiot. I suggest the best way to find such people is, in fact, to stop acting like a homophobic idiot.
Kinsey was apparently so impressed with Will and Gabi's kiss that she decided to hook up with T, despite his current schmuck-a-dilly behavior. And, the 18 year-old sure looked at that bottle of champagne like she hadn't driven drunk into a tree just a few years ago.
Sonny's going to work for the D.A. in the name of the Kiriakis family. The idea sounds promising -- a Kiriakis infiltrating the legal system. But I think Sonny is too "nice" to pull this off. It's not that Sonny is a weak character by any means. It's just that I have a feeling he might try to give the grouchy D.A. a Buddy-the-Elf style hug to remind him that smiling is everyone's favorite!
That leaves the bright spot as Gabi! I know! I was just as surprised. Yet she finally found her missing fire this week. All of her siblings are at least part hothead. Yet, Gabi always seemed pretty passive and easy-going. Not this week. She flat-out told Sonny that T needed to stop being such a jerk. Then again, having a guy's great-grandma walk in on you when you're making out with him might put any gal on edge just a bit.
Allow me to try to clear up some confusion that several of you have been so kind to email me about. Chloe was 100 percent blackmailed into hooking for Quinn...the first time. Subsequently, she went to Quinn and asked for money to put a deposit on an apartment. She knew, fully well, how she would have to pay Quinn back. Thus, Chloe has chosen this profession. And if every Dateline that explored the topic is any indication, it seems pretty familiar to hear a prostitute say, "This is what I have to do to get by right now." To which we all scream at our TVs, "No, it isn't!!"
I think this storyline is repulsive and disrespectful to a tenured DAYS character. Chloe (and Nadia Bjorlin) deserve much better. It would have been more fun to have Chloe get a bunch of lowly part-time jobs and watch her actually work to make ends meet, like the rest of us do when we need money! What if while collecting trash at the hospital, she learned that Carly was the one stealing the drugs? Or, wouldn't it be possible for her to overhear a not-so-legitimate business deal between Quinn and E.J. while she was bussing tables at Chez Rouge? But alas, we're left with Chloe thinking that the only way to make money in Salem is to be a hooker.
That brings me to the worst part of this storyline -- for some reason, Kate sees something wrong with that. I understand why Kate hates Chloe, but Kate condemning Chloe for being a prostitute is literally the pot calling the kettle a whore.
As much as I don't like Abigail, I appreciated that she sincerely apologized to Melanie. I'm over seeing Melanie in catfights with other girls.
Kate and Gus vs. Vivian and Quinn could be very, very interesting. I really hope that Gus does take some sort of revenge, because sulking is not a good look for a grown manservant.
Sami and Rafe had a typical night at home without the kids. He came home and saw her talking to a penguin. They made out. (Rafe and Sami, not Sami and the penguin.) He stopped to fix a train. She called him a hero. They had sex. They ate popcorn. They had sex again. That's swell and all, but like we learned last week with Kate and Nicole's martini breakfast, if we're going to have filler, can it at least be with characters that we don't get to see paired up very often? How about Adrienne and Lexie get together to watch their favorite TV show? (The Biggest Looser, naturally *wink*)
Jennifer and Daniel dropped the "L" bomb on each other. Later on during the commercial break, DAYS showed a clip of Jack and Jennifer's wedding. Everyone and their embryo mother knows that Jack is coming back to get Jennifer. With a perfectly believable reason for Jen and Daniel to split, why insist on going forward with this love triangle? Not even me, one of the biggest Danifer fans, thinks that Daniel has a leg to stand on.
Bo and Hope started investigating a string of attacks on prostitutes. Since they didn't close the case in the sixty "Minute to Win It" second time limit, Roman took them off the case. No wonder the Salem P.D. never solves anything. No worries, Bo and Hope (and Rafe) are willing to work on their own time to solve the Call-Girl Caper.
At first I thought Chloe and Kinsey's friendship was cute. But, Kins is getting a little too "single white female" for me. Tell me she's not going to go meet Chloe's clients for her. That's just crazy weird.
Think this week was a little Sami-light? You'd be correct. But Alison Sweeney's magic was all over this week as she made her directorial debut with Monday's show! I'm pretty certain that she's the hardest working woman in Hollywood.
Rafe gave Mel and Dario some lip service about department rules rather than jump at the opportunity to help Carly. That makes sense. It's not like he owes her his life for fishing his unconscious body out of the river and nursing him back to health without asking any questions. It's much more appropriate of Rafe to wait until Roman damages Rafe's ego by saddling him with desk duty to break the rules and go after a case about hookers. Stay classy, Rafe!
LINE OF THE WEEK
Gabi: (rejecting Sonny's offer to go to a baseball game): "I'd rather watch Grease 2 twice" For those of you who are not a self-respecting child of the 80's like I am, I'd like to introduce you to the Rebecca Black "Friday" of my generation: Grease 2. It's so infamous that even make-believe characters know its power!
Has anyone else noticed that one of the contestants on Fox's Masterchef bears a striking resemblance to Leanne Hunley? Or, am I the only entertainment junkie who watches way too much TV?
I ask again, why is 18-year-old Gabi behind a bar? More importantly, where is hunky Pete the bartender?
Marco and Dmitri are very dreamy hit men. I hope the feud continues just to keep them around.
If there's beer to be had, Chad is drinking it.
E.J. called Melanie "Mrs. Obstruction of Justice," because if there's one thing that E.J. hates, it's someone who interferes with the law!
Has anyone told Adrienne and Justin that Carly is missing? I would think that they would want to know. Surely they've seen the picture.
Be sure to check out Soap Central Live this week! Dan interviewed some up-and-comers named Deidre Hall, Drake Hogestyn, and Molly Burnett. I really think these kids are going somewhere. You should check them out.
That's all for now, Scoopers. Tony will be back next week to see how our dear Maggie fares. In the meantime, I ask you: didn't you just love that Jennifer called all of her old reporting contacts to find Carly? Are E.J. and Nicole still legally married? And, since Quinn knew where to find Vivian, do you think he has leads on Nicholas too?
Let me know your answers, as well as any thought on the show, by clicking here to email your thoughts to me!