It's official. The November Sweeps party bus has cruised out of Salem. Last week was a clear sign of that. Sure, some storylines moved, but most just seemed to align pieces for later use. In any event, it's a good time to sit down several Salemites for a talk. Some tough love if you will. We want them to be their best, but lately, things are a little shaky with some.
For starters, Kate's scandalous connection to Leo is out there, and so is Chad's knowledge of said scandal. I felt bad for Sonny. He was super hurt and mad. And Chad was super wrong, no doubt. I hope this was a reawakening for Chad. It seemed to be. He needs to get that old blue-eyed magic back so we can fully root for him again.
Still, I also hope Sonny and Chad patch things up quickly. The Chad/Sonny friendship is something solid I've always enjoyed. Billy Flynn and Freddie Smith's ease with one another is delightful. Okay, I'm selfish. I want that lightheartedness back. Maybe if I weave them friendship bracelets, it will magically mend things between them. Or I could just borrow Eric and Jennifer's bracelets. They certainly don't need them anymore.
Now, if Sonny's super mad at Chad, he is super-duper, tremendously infuriated with Kate. Will is, too. Yep. She did bad. She feels ashamed. She even said she needs to own it. I'm sure she will in that uniquely Kate way. It's like a mixed drink. Two ounces of guilt. Two ounces of humble pie. An ounce each of apology, regret (that she got caught), and excuses. Add ice. Cover and shake. Pour into a martini glass garnished with a bit of exasperation and throw it back while remarking, "What can you do?" followed by a shrug. Yep. A Kate-Got-Caught-Tini.
Though being caught won't stop Kate from scheming again. Like, the very next day. Oh, Kate. Never change. Just pick less green partners and better schemes next time -- schemes that don't hurt the innocent as much. Deal?
Meanwhile, Leo still wants the brass, err, wedding ring, or else he'll go public with all things bad for Sonny. Sorry, Mr. Jackson. He is for real. And, sure, Leo's a total scoundrel, but the man is hilarious. His casual approach to scheming and his zingers at Sonny and Will's expense are phenomenal. You can tell Greg Rikaart is having a ball with the material. Leo's just lounging, snacking, and swigging some Kiriakis hooch while waiting to become the next Mr. Sonny Kiriakis. Not a bad approach. He holds the cards (and photos) right now. Sorry, Wilson.
Across town, you know, the seedy, underbelly of Salem where you can rent hotel rooms by the hour, Hope and Ted tried to trap Ben. That didn't work out for them. At all. I'm shocked, too. Hope's been crushing it lately. Oh, wait. No. No, she hasn't.
Though I enjoyed Ben's non-reply to Hope asking him if he went on a date with Ciara. He said nothing. It spoke volumes. And while I get Hope's concerns all week long and twice on Saturdays, she needs to formulate a new way to express those fears. As is, she's veering on setting up permanent residence in Unlikeable Land.
At the very least, Hope should talk to Doug. He can teach a master's course on how forbidding your child to be with a certain person only pushes said child closer to their heart's desire. He even has a heart attack on his medical records to prove it. Listen to your dad, Hope. Go now. Don't wait.
Like Hope, I get Julie's concerns on Ciara and Ben's budding relationship. It's coming from a well-meaning, protective place. Though if my beloved yet headstrong granddaughter was going to date someone I disapprove of, I'd want to keep them close, not tell them there's no room at the inn. Forcing them out where one can't keep a watchful eye on them just seems like a fail in Busybody 101. Julie's better than that.
Speaking of Jules, when did she and Rafe become besties? He poured his heart out to her while she poured him tequila. That conversation was all shades of off-putting. Why on earth would Julie suggest that Hope is the type to pay someone back for cheating* by having an affair of her own? Have they met? That's not Hope. Granted, Hope hasn't been acting Hope-like for a while now, but Julie thinking that low of Hope was puzzling.
*I'm not even getting into the fact that Rafe didn't cheat. His romp with Sami was hella tacky, but, and I think this has been mentioned before, he and Hope were broken up at the time. This aspect of the storyline needs to die swiftly and not be resurrected by Dr. Rolf.
I could praise Tyler Christopher's performances all day, especially during last Monday's episode. He was remarkable. Oh, how I wish I could praise Stefan the same way. I just can't with that guy. At all.
Do they have "His and Hers" suites at Bayview? I'm asking for a friend. Still, Abby should have shut the door on Stefan when she walked out dressed as Gabby. That would have been amazing. I mean, dude is cray. Jennifer even reminded him, "How can you love Gabby!? She's not a real person!" Preach, Reverend Jenny Bear. Preach.
Conversely, does anyone else think that growing up, Stefan had a "girlfriend in Canada" that was possibly named Georgia Glass?
This is where the writers really lose me with Stefan. He's supposed to be the next big baddie, but he comes across as a weak twit who takes advantage of mentally ill women. That's not entertaining. It's creepy. It's pathetic. It's a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode or a "very special episode" of Punky Brewster...
"Gee, Henry, you're right! Taking advantage of mentally ill people is wrong."
"That's my girl. Now you get it, Punky."
[They hug. Fade to black. Insert "The More You Know" logo. And out.]
In the very least, let's hope Stefan doesn't see Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. He'll be obsessed with Cher's wigs. That won't end well for anyone, especially Abigail at the moment. A new look for Gabby? Maybe. Just maybe.
There's something delicious about knowing that eventually Abigail and Gabi will unknowingly give Stefan the old one-two punch. Abigail is posing as Gabby, which will surely ding his delusional heart when revealed. Then, Gabi will finish the job once he learns Charlotte isn't his. Oh, I can't wait for that moment. There are a lot of cringe-worthy aspects to this storyline, especially the collateral damage that will be done to characters who don't deserve it, but seeing Stefan decimated will be largely worth it. Then again, how hard would it be to destroy a guy who has an imaginary girlfriend?
As frustrating as Hope has been lately, I do get all weepy when she brings up Bo and Zack. She and Ted bonded a bit over loss. She told him about Zack, complete with a "He's with his father now." That one was like a gut-punch. Then, Ted told her that he lost a child, as well, about five years ago. Gilles Marini's delivery was beautiful, especially with his misty eyes when he said, "You never stop missing them." I may or may not have reached for a tissue.
Remember when Lucas had a daymare about a grown-up Allie becoming a drunk like him? Check out the Thursday, October 25, 2007, recap for that. Amazing foreshadowing, or just history set on repeating itself? Hmm.
But, wait. Hold up. You're telling me that Invisible Allie Horton is a hot mess? Who would have imagined!? She's so much of a mess that Lucas is leaving Salem to be with her in Italy. It seems Allie was allowed one glass of wine with dinner, and she took that as an invite to later snag that bottle and get blotto. This would all be so much more interesting to watch on-screen, yet something tells me Marlena is going to have her hands full with another blonde bombshell granddaughter soon enough. Like Claire, only drunker.
Oh, and Lucas broke up with Chloe. He doesn't want her to wait around for him. That's fair. Out of the blue, but fair. I hope they remain friends. They really worked better that way. Much, much better.
Chloe and Brady also work remarkably as friends. Friends with a small "f." Did anyone else do a double take when Brady told Chloe, "Hey, well, if he's dumb enough to let you go, you're better off without him." Um. Didn't Brady let Chloe go, too? He dumped her for a boatload of cocaine in Europe, I thought. Then again, dumb is as dumb does. Run, Chloemeister. Run! Relationship reruns are not working for you, girl. But I'm torn. More Nadia Bjorlin is never a bad thing. Ever.
Oh, and Brady and Eric got into another fight. That prompted Maggie to forbid Eric to raise Holly. Sarah still suggests that Eric is the guy for the job, though. I like her enthusiasm, but this whole lot is a tough sell. Maybe Holly would be better off hanging out with Tater Tot in L.A. Or Eric could just move into the Kiriakis mansion, and they could group-raise the little cutie. It takes a village and all, right?
The heating-up custody battle for Holly would also be a great time to bring a not-so-dead Fay Walker back into the fold. I could use a dose of the fabulous Valerie Wildman again! Plus, Abe may need a new main squeeze if Doctor Val can't pry herself away from DC. I love Shelia, but she's not the answer, as amusing as she is. Yep, "Fabe" it is. Make it happen, writers.
Trust me. Math and I are not best friends. I use my calculator all the time. One plus one? Hold, please. But for real, I feel there's some matrix-like timeslip or unsolvable equation regarding Sarah's timeline. She claims to have played with Eric and Sami as kids. Then, she told Maggie that Holly deserves better than a 30-year-old hand-me-down holiday dress. Um. I think Eric and Sami are over 30. Last week, at least.
Then there's the Rex affair timeline. Emily (the Bambino Formerly Known as Baby Bonnie *trademark*) was around the three-month mark last month. Three plus nine is...hold, please...twelve. Twelve months is a year. They met a year ago, according to one Sarah story. So, within a month, they met, they had problems so bad they took a break, and he got Mimi pregnant. And had a second affair. Maybe third? Who knows. That's a lot of brainpower needed for this soap math problem. Let's clean this up, writers. Okay?
While John and Marlena's night at the pub was -- we'll go with sweet -- am I the only one who thinks he asks a lot of Roman? Granted, I have an old-school Sami streak in me that seems to prevent me from fully accepting John as Marlena's soul mate (I also remember the Hall/Northrop magic). I accept my stubbornness. Still...
John's asked Roman to woo Hattie to help him remarry Doc. He's renting out the pub that Roman manages and whose family home is above. John's even asking him to make lovey-dovey playlists for him so he can romance Mar Mar. What's next? John will want Roman to rent a van, drive to Titan headquarters, and haul the conference room table back to the penthouse as an anniversary gift for Marlena? Really. Can't John ask his real best pal for help? Oh, that's right. He blinded him and now he's imprisoned. Yeah, John.
Also, does Marlena just live at the Brady Pub now? She closed it down and was there for breakfast with Eric the next day. I mean. I get it. Easy access to clam chowder, aged Irish whiskey, and Roman on call to do her bidding. There are worse places to crash.
Despite the slightly controversial former serial killer dating the daughter of a supercouple aspect, Robert Scott Wilson and Victoria Konefal are on fire as Ben and Ciara. Not only is there a natural chemistry between the actors, but the characters themselves are approaching things maturely. They know they have hurdles. They communicate honestly with one another. She's open that she doesn't like him working for Stefan. They're aware they're a new couple (or heading there). There shouldn't be, but there's a lot to like about CIN. More, please.
We must be approaching a full moon. Eli and Lani had a scene. This month, Lani decided it's time for them to be together. He's all cool with that. He's patient. I wish I were more like Eli in that regard. The pacing of this storyline is so slow that it's hard to invest in them as a couple. Too bad they didn't have crimes to solve that would have drawn them closer in an interesting way. Shelia's great, but she can't be the sole spark to ignite Eli and Lani. They need some sparkle themselves. As it is, I just forget they're still around until they randomly pop up, and I'm pretty sure they've been having the same conversation for months. That's a shame. Both actors are tremendous. We've seen what they can do. Let them do it again. But at least Eli's patient, remember. And at least Lani didn't make too many demands of him. Asking him to sleep on the floor is a totally reasonable courtship command. Totally.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Abe (to Shelia): "Nothing is crackin'."
EXCHANGE(S) OF THE WEEK
Kate: "You're getting rather diabolical."
Gabi: "High praise coming from you."
Julie: "If you lay one hand on my granddaughter, I'll terminate you myself."
Ben: "I believe it."
The Blue Swallow? Please. Hope is a Salem Inn kind of lady all the way. If she were to have an affair, it would be on high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.
Wait! If Sonny is Chad's best friend, does that mean T/Ted is still Will's best friend!? #bringbackT
Tripp "accidentally" broke Ciara's perfume. Cool. That was mature.
I love that Shelia has an organizational streak! I might have a slight reputation for being an organizational freak. Why do holiday ornaments need to be individually wrapped and sorted by color? Because they do.
I get that Sonny and Will are mad at Kate, but shunning her now might be a bad idea. They could use her special brand of deviousness with Leo. Or they could go to Victor. Or that. Please.
Chad said he's losing his soul. Dude. I've met Stefan. I get it.
It was warming that John and Marlena shared a meal with Abe. We should all take turns showing our support to Mayor Jackass. I'll take taco Tuesdays!
Speaking of John and Marlena dining, I loved their family dinner with Brady and Claire. I'll take more of that off the menu and less of Claire and Tripp, please. Can someone see if Roman can make that happen?
Ben's fortune cookie read, "Good things come to those who wait." The last time a serial killer uttered those lines was Hannibal Lecter. Eh, at least Ben's in good company.
'Xcuse me, Lani, but you need to pump the brakes on the bowling hate. If noting else, haven't you ever seen Grease 2? Hold on while I grab Laurisa and some friends to sing "We're Gonna Score Tonight."
Okay. Lani did win back a point by calling Shelia "Miss Baltimore Crabs." Even I can't stop that beat.
"Boy Scout" Rafe dragged Stefano's seemingly dead body all over Salem. I'm pretty sure he took a selfie with it. We might also want to pump the brakes on the "by the books" Rafe schtick, Salemites.
Okay. Now I want some mac and cheese. I'll even share with Chad.
Oh, boy! The last time Hope's lipstick was important to a storyline, things got freaky.
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for the week of December 10. As Laurisa is vacationing in Aremid, I'll be back next week to keep Salem thoroughly Two Scooped and get everyone pumped up for the 12th Annual Golden Doughnut Awards, which is only a few weeks away! And, "That's a fact!"
What are your thoughts on Days of our Lives? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.