Knocking on heaven's door
For the Week of January 11, 2016
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DAYS Two Scoops: Knocking on heaven's door
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The week of January 11, 2016
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Nothing screams New Year's par-TAY like a fatal multicar pileup caused by a drunken former priest and a suspended cop who shot up Stefano. Who lived? Who died? And who will wish they had? Have a heart and read this week's Two Scoops to find out!

Confession! I was late submitting my column this week because I was busy trying to scrape my jaw off the floor after that epic Friday cliffhanger. Did Hope really -- I mean really -- shoot the hell out of Stefano!? It wasn't even one shot. It was like, bam! Bam! Bam! And wait for it -- bam again! I haven't seen someone take that many shots since I was in my early twenties, but those were different kind of shots and not the point...

So, will it turn out to be a dream on Monday, or is this the actual end of the sinister Stefano DiMera...again, again, again, well, times about ten "agains"? I'm kind of anxious while waiting to see what happens next. Though, no matter what I see, I'll forever hold onto the concept that the Phoenix always rises, right. Right?

Alas, if this is irrevocably it for Stefano, he surely went out with a bang. The showdown between Stefano and Hope was portrayed to perfection by Joseph Mascolo and Kristian Alfonso. These two acting giants brought their all. They captivated me for their episode-long confrontation. And when Stefano stood near the end of their mle, I cheered a little. It was one of those, "Snap! Stuff's getting real!" moments. And it did not disappoint. He raged, Hope raged, and then she went all Annie Oakley on his hourglass.

Surely Stefano has had a lot of enemies over the years who wanted to kill him, but if it actually turns out that Hope really did, well, I can't say I blame her-blame her. He did kind of *insert staggering list of crimes against her personally and her loved ones that he either pulled off himself or orchestrated here.* I'm still not sure how Hope can bounce back from cold-blooded murder, but I guess on a show that's redeemed baby-snatchers, con men, rapists, and other murderers, I shouldn't be that worried, perhaps.

Still, it's silly for me to discuss this too much more now because Stefano's body has barely hit the floor. We'll see the fallout beginning Monday and discuss next week. With that, let's all exclaim one more, "OMG! Hope shot Stefano!" and move on because we still have a little holiday fender bender to discuss...

I'll be frank. I'm a little disappointed in the writers. They dropped the ball in trying to totally traumatize us. I mean, sure, a fatal multicar pile up was bad, but I'm really shocked that at least one of the cars didn't crash through Salem's annual "Orphans take puppies for a walk" parade, continue careening through the front of Club TBD, taking out a few teens, keep going through the back of the bar, running over Rory who was getting high behind the joint, sailing through Horton Square after that, maybe mowing down Doug and Julie at a travel agency kiosk, Lucas and Adrienne getting all-night waffles, and J.J. and Gabi getting fro-yo, finally coming to a stop in the Brady Pub on top of Roman. Never mind, that would give Roman airtime. I digress...

At the very least, I'm surprised nouveau superstar psychic Caroline didn't see that one coming. She's special, y'all. Ugh. Again, I digress.

I'll be completely honest here, so please don't throw too many rotten cyber veggies my way. I'm not that broken up over Dr. Dan's death. He and his suspicious facial hair have been slowly being phased out for a while now. Shawn Christian's departure hasn't been the best-kept secret, especially that Dr. Dude was leaving in a tragic way. That totally softened the blow for me.

Plus, my love for Dr. Dan sort of plateaued a while back. I adored him when he first arrived in Salem as Victor's super surgeon godson and saved Bo. I'm alone in this -- I know I'm alone on an island waving this banner, so no nasty feedback is necessary -- but I was actually a -- okay, "the" -- Dr. Dan and Chelsea fan until that relationship was ruined by Grannygate. I enjoyed Dr. Dan's bromances and his love for Parker, Melanie, and Maggie, though the insta-family part of it all still doesn't sit well. "Dannifer: Round One" had its charms.

And, well, that's about it. Whereas I've always been (even before his time on DAYS) a Shawn Christian fan, I just feel the writers made one too many wrong turns with Dr. Dan for me to fully love the guy the same way he loved most of his patients. That's a shame.

Also a shame, let's tally the scorecard. Dr. Dan's dead. Eric's going to wish he was dead. And both "Dancole" and "Erole" fans have absolutely nothing to celebrate. Ever. Because if Eric being responsible for killing Dr. Dude wasn't enough to put a final nail in that coffin, I don't know what was. Boo. Just boo. Great drama, but boo.

Though, even though I'm throwing shade, I actually thought last week was amazingly produced, directed, and acted. All five episodes were solid. The way all of the crash victims were brought into the hospital, the phone calls about the accident, and slow motion created such a tense tone that it was hard not to get swept up into the drama.

Of course, all of the performances were just superbly heartbreaking! Nicole and Maggie's grief reminded me of why I liked Dr. Dan in the first place. My heart broke watching those who loved him grieve. He really did touch a lot of people, and I'm not just talking about ladies in hospital gowns.

Maggie's gut-wrenching grasp on how short their time was together was tear-inducing, and when she collapsed on the floor of his hospital room, I was crying right there with Red. Victor's support was the sweetest thing this side of Salem, especially considering he was in pain, too. Maggie and Victor really are magic.

And where I'll endlessly hate "Dancole," darn it if Ari Zucker's amazing performances didn't make me cry, too. I adore Nicole -- faults and all -- and I'm sad she's sad. However, I am happy that Ava's back, and now that Nicole's schedule has cleared up, they can totally hang out and have some mourning martinis. Maybe they can even invite Chloe. See, there's always a bit of a silver lining.

Another good-ish thing that came from the accident is that Fynn's heart grew three sizes that day. It was great to see him out of the ladies' man role and into some scrubs. He actually is a good doctor. And he's a good friend. He's compassionate, too. Who knew!? I may like him after all.

Okay. Finally. So. In the middle of all of this heavy drama, John -- hold up. I'm trying to suppress laughter -- offered to give Brady his heart. Soap gods love John Black. He tried. I adore him for his gesture. His, err, heart was in the right place, as it were, but, I'm sorry, I just couldn't. I laughed. Like, inappropriately a lot. I just couldn't get past the Soapdish of it all. Here's an excerpt of an exchange between Sally Field and Kevin Kline's characters' characters in case you've never seen this soap parody amazingness:

Celeste Talbert: [as Maggie] "I'm the donor. Take my brain."
Jeffrey Anderson: [as Dr. Randall] "I don't think you realize how serious this operation is. It's very serious. You will not have a brain when it is complete."
Celeste Talbert: [as Maggie] "I don't want my brain. I don't need it. Take the goddamn thing."

I'll let Kayla play this one out. She perfectly summed up John's heartfelt, but, well, I'll let Kayla speak for me. She said to John, "What you're saying is insane." High five, Sweetness.

LOOSE ENDS:
You know, I'm slightly going to miss Chadobot's crazy apocalyptic visions. They were kinda hysterical. And by "kinda" I mean I laughed each time. Sure, nothing's funny about explosions and burning people, but when you loop them in with kittens, a red and blue Spider-Man-like creepy crawly, a calm lake, and visions of Abigail and Belle on a soap, yeah, it's randomly funny. But I digress...

Applause to Kate Mansi! She rocked Abigail last week. I love this tougher, decisive side of Abs who knows what she wants and goes after it. Her love, Baby T, and some paternity test results snapped Chad back to his old self. And applause to Billy Flynn, too, for rocking this crazy arse plot!

So, ultimately, I'm happy it's moving on to the next phase. I didn't need for that to go on indefinitely. Plus, two great things are happening from it. Chad and Belle are kinda, sorta pals, and, more so, Chad's totally going to fake it to protect his loved ones and get a little comeuppance in the process. That means more Chad and Andre scenes? Yes, please.

I'd be eternally grateful if Philp, Philip's lion mane, and Belle remained solely friends this time around. I dig their banter and the comfortableness they have with each other based on their history, but I never enjoyed "Phelle." Plus, I caught a glimmer of dollar signs in Philip's eyes when Belle told him about the missing 500 million. She needs to do what Eric didn't do and "Just Say No."

Finally, the new Teen Scene Posse sneaked into Club TBD and had themselves a little post-party party. I'm not too proud to admit that I enjoy the chemistry between this gang. Well, not including Rory 2.0, or whoever that other guy is, who was completely fine, but that's not the point. The main five (Theo, Ciara, Chase, Claire, and Joe-Dawg) have a nice, comfortable thing going on with each other while still pulling off awkward, vulnerable teen feelings. Plus, it was simply nice to see people having a little fun last week, sans their chitchat about bullying, divorce, and dead parents. You know, sans that.

Extra Scoops
HOT
This is a three cheers and a hip hip hooray "HOT!"
Cheer One: Shawn Christian is not only a heluva good actor, but a total class act, too. Read his touching farewell to fans by clicking here! Major cyber hat tip to you, sir.
Cheer Two: Suzanne Rogers crushed my heart in her scenes. She shines so brightly. I just want to make Maggie lemon bars, give her a hug, and tell her everything will be okay.
Cheer Three: Whoomp! There she is. Ari Zucker's mega magnificent performances completely broke my heart, too. I hate to see Nicole suffering, but it's been a while since Ari's gotten that much meaty material to work with, and I'll take ever last drop. Nicole hasn't gotten a baby of her own to hold yet, but something tells me Ari will have her very own Emmy to cradle soon.
And a "Hip hip hooray": Simply put, Joseph Mascolo and Kristian Alfonso brought down the house! They rocked, they rolled, and the made it seem effortless. Cheers and hip hip hooray to them and all the cast last week!

NOT
Last week brought some awesome sauce to the table, no doubt, but I have a bitter aftertaste about some of these things...
Eric's character is about a puppy-kick or old lady purse snatch away from being totally destroyed. And unless Eric's redemption will be carried out on-screen, this is a waste of a great character and a great actor's talents.
Seriously? Maggie had to be the one to decide who got Dr. Dan's heart? I'm glad Kayla stepped in. Again, great performances, but a bit hard to swallow.
A wheelchair-bound Stefano let everyone go for the day? There's not one on-call nurse or security camera there to watch over him. No Miracle Alert? Really?
I'm thrilled that Melanie was kept in the loop, but did anyone else call Dr. Dude's other relatives? Sarah, Melissa, Nathan, etc. Just wondering.

LINE OF THE WEEK
Stefano (to Hope, regarding her periods of being brainwashed): "The one time in your life you were actually interesting!" #ouch

TRUE 'DAT LINE OF THE WEEK
Hope (to Stefano): "This will have a very different ending."
She wasn't kidding!

RANDOM THOUGHTS
Even in crisis, John can squeeze in a "That's a fact." #warmfuzzies

I get that Hope was bound and determined to do what she wanted to do, but couldn't Rafe have just arrested her? Sure it would be tough love, but I'm also sure threatening to "not play by the books" might be a reason to lock someone up who's already being investigated for a like crime.

Victor's "every night/every morning" speech to Maggie was just chocolate dipped and rolled in swooning. That's how it's done, gentleman. That's how it's done.

Of all the sad things that happened last week, Roman and Kayla's hug nearly got me the most.

I'm almost certain Greg Vaughan had the same drunk driving with heavy metal music playing scene in 1996's short-lived series Malibu Shores.

As adorable as happy Chad and Abigail are, it's a bit hard to settle into their happiness given DAYS' track record lately. I suspect they'll get about a week, maybe two, of giddy lovemaking until things blow up again.

Mar Mar's hair was looking lovely after the party! You know, before all the sadness, of course. Sadness is like humidity when it comes to hair.

Speaking of things I loved about Marlena, her prayer in the chapel was amazingly well done (both acted and written).

For a so-called compound, the DiMera Estate is pretty lax in security. Though that's not entirely breaking news.

Yeah! Paul showed up at the hospital. I would have gladly exchanged a Belle/Philip scene for a Belle/Paul scene, but at this point, I'll take what I can get.

Thank the Soap gods for Thomas! His tiny squeaks were ber cute. And we needed cute last week.

Though, J.J. and Gabi were all shades of cute together, too. Those two. Those two. Totally cute.

I wouldn't mind moving into Kayla's house. It's kind of fab.

Yeah, I'm not sure Caroline is the first person Maggie would want to see in the morning. One, awkward. Two, Maggie should have shaken her while screaming, "YOU didn't see this coming!?"

I adore that Ciara calls her friends a "posse" and she's so willing to go to bat to protect them. Bo would be so proud.

Did anyone else laugh when Parker -- who hasn't changed at all -- sprinted over to his friend exclaiming, "Davey, it's me!"

Basic Black should really come out with an "In Mourning" collection. It would be very popular. Then again, by the time it's produced, there might not be anyone left in Salem. At least the town's tombstone engravers and undertakers are happy. There's that.

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of January 11. As Laurisa volunteered to redecorate the secret room in the wine cellar, I'll be back next week with an all new Two Scoops! And, "That's a fact!"

As always, thanks for reading!
Tony

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