That was a very Sweepsy week in Salem, eh!? Monday and Tuesday's episodes were especially well written, acted, and produced! Like, the first five minutes of Monday blew me away. Throughout the week, we also had some breakdowns, breakups, and breaking news. Though, let's start with the big revelation -- John's mysterious ISA mission. You might want to grab a drink for this one. Um, just not from John. Eek.
Well, okay then. That's why John was drugging Steve. Gotcha. It was a little convoluted. Here's the thing...
On one hand, I believe Steve understood why John did what he did. I almost do, too. Yes, Steve would rather die than have any of his loved ones be killed. John would, too. Roger that. But that other hand is oh-so-maddening.
Couldn't John have just looped Steve in on the deception!? I know the ISA is thorough, but I felt the show was trying a little too hard to pound into our heads that John literally had no other choice. Um, yes. Yes, he did...
If John and Billie were working together to get the dirt on Pamela and somehow managed to make that covert operation work, then John really, really could have told Steve. But he didn't. Not even a little hint. That was kind of weak sauce. Even if Steve knew and played along with the poisoning and they looped Kayla in to help with medical records (and you know, spare her oodles of pain), I'm sure others would be more understanding. Instead, John "did what he had to," but that was kind of a hard pill to swallow.
Also hard to swallow, Marlena was pretty fast to start crooning a chorus of "Stand by Your Man." Kudos to her for doing so, but damn, Doc, he didn't forget to tip Tripp at the café, he almost killed the guy's father. Oh. And your "My dear boy." And Paul. And Billie could have died, too. Yep. This one might take a minute to get past for some, Jarlena.
You know who was hit the hardest by John's betrayal? Eric. Eric was. He was weaving John and Patch matching friendship bracelets and now, well, his heart is broken. Thanks again, John.
Truthfully, I never bought John and Steve as besties anyways. Pals? Day-drinking buddies? Sure and sure. Though dead or not dead, the title of "Steve's Best Friend" has always been -- and will always be -- Bo. And that won't change. For me at least.
In addition to the lame reasoning, more so, not telling Steve, I felt most of this made the ISA look inept. Really, toward the end, I was laughing, especially at how long it took John to piece some things together. Like, given the fact we knew that Joey was being looked after when John exclaimed, "Oh, my God, she's talking about Tripp," did anyone else scream, "Well, duh!" at the TV and slap their forehead? Just checking. Nice ISAing, Agent Blackbird.
Side note: Um, did anyone check on Stephanie!? She once fell out of a sunroof, and she ended up in a morgue drawer another time. That gal doesn't always fare well. Maybe someone should look into that.
I think Lucas summed up Billie's involvement in this storyline rather well. He said, "Hey, Billie. Long time no see. Sorry you got shot and all." Yep. That's about it.
Oh. But John thanked Billie. That was nice. As was Kate's reaction to John. If you ask me, he's getting off way too easy. He also needs to work on his apology skills. The ones he made to Will and Paul were underwhelming given the circumstances. I'm kind of Team Kayla all the way on this one. If she holds a grudge, I won't blame her a bit.
Speaking of grudges, gee, Pamela, at least go down with some dignity. Grab your "World's Greatest Spy" coffee mug, a ream of paper, some pens, and maybe a three-hole punch and leave. Don't go around attempting to kill people. Not cool.
I know I'm not supposed to like Pamela Van Damme, but damn, Martha Hackett was great in the role! She created a perfect blend of authority, unnerving, and unbalanced. It's a shame Pam has gone to that great ISA outpost in the sky. Err, well. She probably went the other route, but anyway....
I wonder who will be appointed the new ISA director!? I suspect Billie would be a front runner or even Shane Donovan, though giving he job to someone like John and moving their home bases to Salem might add for an exciting mix. There would be lots of opportunities for more guest visits (Billie, Shane, etc.), and also, it could usher in some new villains -- or the return of some old, fun ones like Peter Blake, perhaps.
Things are heating up with Gabigail! I'm not going to lie, I have many reservations about this storyline as a whole, but Marci Miller is selling it. There's that. And if for no other reason, I like Gabigail because she is delivering some truth bombs, and she completely messes with Stefan. It was nice to see him taken down a peg or two. It was also -- let's go with -- nice that he appears to care about Abigail's well-being. Sort of. We'll see how that plays out. He knows something's wrong but still doesn't seem too upset by their lip-locks.
I can't believe that for as many times as Eve has walked in on Victor and Brady, she doesn't suspect they're plotting against her. That makes me believe she's playing him. Eve is many things, but she's not stupid.
I'm a little surprised by this, but I'm slowly coming around to Brady and Eve. I mean, they shined as sparring partners, and it was obvious that they were headed toward a relationship, but last week sold me some. Maybe rented me. I'm not sold-sold yet, but the charisma between Eric Martsolf and Kassie DePaiva is solid. They're effortless with one another. Brady and Eve's conversations were painfully (and playfully) real.
It was also nice to get a glimpse at the softer side of Eve and, more so, to see a bit of the old Brady again. I'm sending Maggie a "Thank You" card for ripping Brady to shreds. He needed that. And I cheered a bit when Eve told Brady to "Focus on what you do have." Eve is so right about that.
By the way, does anyone have Maggie's new address so I can send said card? Yep. There's trouble in paradise...
I remember the beginning of "Magic." Victor and Maggie were all shades of sweet together. And their "yin and yang" thingy has worked well for them. Until now. Maggie's gone and left him. I see both sides of this, really. Maggie wasn't wrong calling him out on his wrongdoings and wanting to spend more quality time with him. Victor wasn't wrong stating, "You knew what you were getting when you married me. I'm not Mickey Horton and never will be." Yep, neither is wrong, but them splitting up doesn't feel right.
Sure, Eric. Sure, you're over Nicole. While I suspect he wants to be, something tells me he's not. Okay. Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part, as Eric and Jennifer just don't do it for me. At all. Though Greg Vaughan's looks of love are about the swoon-worthiest things ever. Ever. So, I guess I get it, Jenny Bear. I really do, but I wouldn't delete Henry's number from your phone just yet.
During Sweeps Madness (like Jungle Madness -- only less sweaty and ragey), there were some charming family moments I really enjoyed. Steve and Tripp's reunion/openness with each other was touching. I chuckled and smiled at the scenes with Kate, Billie, Lucas, and Will. We even got a nice Will and Lucas one, too. Of course, I'm always a sucker for a Marlena and Will scene, too, and that one was very special.
You know what else was charming? Will and Paul. I enjoyed their banter with one another as well as the natural ease they share. I didn't expect to be liking their budding whatever it is as much as I am, but I am.
Oddly, though, Will might want to spend a little less time with Paul and a little more with Arianna Grace. He hasn't been shown (or mentioned) spending time with her in a while. You know, before the crypt thingy. And, while, sure, he has amnesia, he has reflected that Susan loved and cared for him (in her own Susan way). So, he does know what parenting looks like. Sort of. Less lies and buckteeth, but the heart of the point is there -- he needs to be an amnesiac dad, too, not just a sidekick.
While Rafe and Hope don't put the ram in my rama lama ding dong, they're not offensive and have their moments, like last week. I have to hand it to Detectives Fancy Face and Rafearoni and Cheese. They were super sweet to each other. Hope wanted to finally have a for-real camping trip on Smith Island, but it got rained out. Rafe made the best of it by setting up an elaborate campsite in the cabin. Like I said, it was super sweet. And it will be for a hot second next week, I'm sure, you know, until the Sami hits the fan.
Speaking of, Claire finally got what she wanted. She knows the secret Ciara and Tripp were hiding. I hope she's proud of herself. Someone has to be. I strongly suspect she'll be the one who spills the one-night stand beans. She just can't seem to help herself from butting in. Or dressing up like Mario, sans a matching red newsboy cap. I really wanted Ciara to be in bibs and a green shirt, but I digress.
Ciara and Tripp on the other hand had a fun-ish motorcycle ride and got takeout food a lot. They also had some deep conversations about family, and I was delighted that Ciara got to talk about Bo. And they talked about grilled cheese and nacho jokes. That's okay, too. I'm warming up to them, but Tripp acting as the father figure keeping his teenaged brats in line has to end first. Maybe then I'll be able to take Claire and Ciara seriously again. Maybe.
There's a Macy Gray lyric that goes, "Hot like hot wings with hot chocolate in hell." Yep, that pretty much sums up Marci Miller. She's crushing this Gabigail storyline. Sure, the jury's still deliberating the storyline itself, but Marci is certainly on a collision course with an Emmy (and a Golden Doughnut)!
Like his apologizes, John's secret assignment left a lot to be desired after all of that buildup. Great suspense in some parts, tough. There's that.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Eve (to Brady, after he declared his friendship for Jennifer): "Okay, well, now I think you're a bad person."
EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK
Will (tied up to a chair in the crypt): "You know, I get the feeling this kind of stuff happens a lot in Salem."
Paul: "It really is a great place to live, though."
Will: "Yeah, my grandfather held me at gunpoint, pistol-whipped me, knocked me unconscious, and then tied me up in a mausoleum, so, maybe now is not the best time for the hard sell on Salem."
Paul: "Fair enough."
At first, I thought, "Damn! That's one big mausoleum the DiMeras have." Then it dawned on me! Maybe they have a separate crypt for each death, so, about 13 or 14 are for Stefano with different dates, several for Andre, etc. That's my working theory.
The expression Marci Miller made at the beginning of Monday's episode as Gabigail awoke was everything.
Also, Marci was utterly brilliant during this exchange:
Stefan: "You're holding a piece of the murder weapon."
Gabigail: "No. You're holding it." #boom
I think Tripp and Paul should start their own firm. They were totally kickass last week! At the very least, Will needs to write a comic book about their adventures.
Well. I guess there go John and Marlena's plans for next New Year's Eve. Methinks they won't be celebrating with Steve and Kayla again.
Seriously. Still no Steve/Adrienne scene!? Not cool.
On the topic of missed potential, wouldn't Carrie have visited Billie? They're sisters-in-law and good friends.
I miss hearing Kristen call E.J. "Eej." Luckily, they're both alive! Someday they'll return. *sigh*
As Rafe plans his "happily ever after" with Hope, I have to ask -- what about Emily Hudson!? His first dead fiancée. That has to come back into play at some point, right?
Pamela was pretty badass when she boldly stated, "We don't get to walk away." I guess she was right.
I cracked up when Gabigail proclaimed, "We got ourselves a good, old-fashion Mexican standoff, but only one of us is Mexican." About that, Abs...
I liked that Hope asked Tripp how he was doing. Little showings of compassion like that are always nice. And often overlooked by writers gunning for a plot point.
One. I'm convinced Stefano has cameras installed in or around his portrait in the DiMera living room. Two. The Phoenix has to be loving this show. Gabigail's armoire is just like the one he used to get into in Marlena's bedroom once upon a possession ago. Somewhere out there, he's sipping Limoncello and comparing notes.
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of February 26! Some good news to end on? Sure! I finally found an outfit to wear to the wedding, but I'm wearing sneakers with it, despite the fashion faux pas. I want to be able to make a swift exit when the Sami secret hits the fan. And, "That's a fact!"
As always, thanks for reading!
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