Playing with the Queen of Hearts knowing it ain't really smart
For the Week of October 14, 2019
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Gabi is the Queen of Hearts
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Gabi gave pause when her adversaries asked for Stefan's heart! She eventually relented, but it came with a price for Lani. Plus, Sarah and Xander kissed, Victor and Ben plotted, and Dr. Rolf poked Hope with a syringe of mystery! Let's put our hearts into it in this week's DAYS Two Scoops!

Oh. Oh! Pick me. Pick me! I know I'm not a doctor, and I don't even play one on TV. However, if Kayla doesn't snap at me, I'll let the doctors at Salem University Hospital know how they can save Julie and Stefan. Intrigued?

Well. It's easy, really. All they have to do is rub Oracular Child, Holly St. Jonas, on the injured, and she'll do the rest. It's *stage whisper and jazz hands up* magic. Look at Brady! It worked for him. He barely even has a scar now. And you're welcome, Hortons and DiMeras alike.

Or, of course, Eli could have just told Julie that he was reuniting with Gabi. She would have sprung out of her coma, and her bad ticker would have jumpstarted itself from the sheer need of having to say something about that. As even Doug admitted, Julie was a wee bit unrelenting toward all things Gabi. Yep. There's a lot there.

Alas! Nobody consulted me first. And now, this storyline has flatlined. Not even Dr. Rolf can resurrect it. He's busy with his own things, anyway, but I don't even think he wants to be in the middle of this. I'm not sure I want to be, either, Rolfie. Raise your hands if you're just as ready for this heart storyline to be transplanted to the "Done" file.

It's not that it's a bad storyline. It's a soap staple that certainly has its time and place. It's just that I'm rather exhausted from all the critical conditions as of late. I know it's cost effective to use the same sets, and I'm all about effectiveness, especially if that means more DAYS. There's that.

Still, in a landscape where Dr. Rolf can literally inject anyone with anything and cause miracles, it trivializes the suspense of these life-or-death scenarios. Don't get me wrong. The cast moves me with their portrayals. They're amazing. It's just -- do I think Julie will die? No. Not for a second. Did I think Marlena would die? No. Not for a second. Kate? Nope. Not even for that second. So. Yeah. What's the point? These tropes are starting to feel like easy placeholders between bigger plots. And I want bigger, better, maddening even, just not so much sad and predictable.

With that said, last week was, well, sad and predictable. There were also many aspects to it concerning Stefan and Julie's conditions. There were epic performances. There were some highs. And there were some really, really lows. Let's start with the facts...

Lani didn't maliciously shoot Stefan. She wasn't even aiming for him. She was attempting to defend herself from a gun-wielding Vivian, and Stefan Superman-ed his way in by flying in front of the bullet. He, unlike the Man of Steel, cannot deflect them, as it turns out.

I get why Lani feels remorse. I wouldn't want anyone's death on my conscience, either, but at the end of the day, I don't care if Lani feels bad. I'll sleep just fine. She has a support system. I'm not picking on Lani to be mean, I'm just not her biggest fan the majority of the time. I find the character hypocritical and infuriating.

So does Gabi. Like, she really hates Lani. Again, Lani didn't intend to kill Stefan, and she didn't want to kill anyone. But when it all boils down to it, Gabi is deep in the grief process and lashing out. Lani is an easy target. Lani has made herself an easy target. Gabi will sue you if you disagree.

Let me retract that. I don't think Gabi has started the true grief process yet. She's still in stunned mode. She hasn't even changed her clothes. While we watched a five-day stretch, it's still the same day-ish for Gabi. She's been told her husband was shot, that he won't recover as he's brain-dead, and then a flock of Hortons have been clamoring for his heart. That's a lot to process. I understand the urgency of Julie's loved ones, but I'm curious how they'd feel if the roles were reversed and Stefan needed Julie's heart. Hmm.

Now. There's a laundry list of questionable behavior that can be dissected and debated to pinpoint where someone stands on this storyline, but hardly any of the characters involved have moral high ground to stand on. Stefan wasn't a saint. I mean, he was a wig-obsessed rapey nasty-pants for most of 2018. Julie is far from perfect -- she literally had a heart attack (a real one, not a fake one like she'd played before) on the way to apologize for being racially insensitive to someone she relentlessly antagonized because she has loyalty to Nick, a family member who was a rather rapey nasty-pants in his own right and terrorized that said someone who Julie was going to apologize to. You'd need penicillin after discussing some of Lani's greatest hits. Eli might be the best of the bunch, but his nosebleeds on top of Mount Superior are hard to miss. And, well, Gabi. Yep. She's done wrong. Big time wrong. Gabi might not go out looking for fights just to be mean, but her retaliations are merciless and extreme. Very. Very. Extreme.

Right now, though, I feel, "What Gabs is going through is way harsh. She was also way harsh with others because of it." None of it has been fun or easy to watch. That certainly means it's caused a reaction, but I'm eager to move on from a sullen, "Oh, damn," to an O-M-G, jaw-hitting-the-floor, can't wait to talk to other DAYS pals, "Oh, damn!" again.

I also thought the juxtaposition of all the Hortons vs. Gabi was off. Gabi was a devastated island being invaded by self-serving vultures. They wanted something and were circumventing regular medical protocol to get it because they can. True, I think most of us would do anything for a loved one, but Julie's kin just needed to pump the brakes a little. I know. I know. Time was of the essence, but most of the scenes came across more demanding and "Jennifer tries to apologize to Abe on J.J.'s behalf for shooting Theo while Theo is still in surgery" cringy and less sincere. Eli certainly didn't make things better with his "This will help you heal" jargon. No, dude. Too soon. Way too soon. Only Doug -- thank the Soap Gods for Doug -- seemed genuine.

In fact, Doug wins almost everything in my book. He's been the heart of this storyline. His scenes with Gabi were genuine. He did seem sorry for her loss. You could tell he felt her pain. He said he wouldn't judge her. Well. Maybe he would eventually a little bit, but I can't blame the guy. He at least showed a little compassion, and I loved it later when he tried to school his brood on not judging and on Julie's unrelenting treatment of Gabi. Even through heartache, he remained classy. Gabi may want to take notes for later.

Gabi didn't really have anyone but Rafe to check in on her, and, by his second visit, he came with the same agenda. It would have been nice to see Kate wheel herself in to comfort Gabi, or perhaps Brady, who kind of set some wheels into motion and knows what it's like to love someone you didn't plan to. Maybe even a call from Mama Hernandez, if she was able to pick up the phone due to her ailments.

Ultimately, I think Victor unintentionally summed things up for this heart storyline with his critique of Brady's love life. He said, "We're way past wrong."

LOOSE ENDS:
Call me Sherlock and pass me a pipe because I believe I solved a grand mystery. I think Ron Carlivati has a doppelgänger or, at the very least, a split personality. He must. It would explain his fascination with look-alike storylines. More so, the man can craft an utterly beautiful scene like the one between Doug and Gabi and then -- oh, boy -- he can create such a cringe-worthy sight like the one between Gabi and Lani. Ron runs the gamut. There's no denying that. And there's no denying he's rather remarkable at it, as it gets people talking. Hat tip, Ron.

When Will and Sonny were speaking with Gabi, it would have been a peak time for them to bring up Julie's support of Nick. I don't remember Will and Gabi ever speaking of that. You'd think Will would have some opinion of Julie supporting Nick over him, but, as it turns out, not so much.

Oh, boy! Color me confused. Part of me loves that Dr. Rolf is trotting out Revenge by Wilhelm. He doesn't exactly like what Hope did to Stefano. Oh, Big Willy. Welcome to the club. It's crowded and still angry with Higley. Anyway. I can see him wanting to make Hope pay, but is taking us down with her the best option? A Halloween cameo from Princess Gina is one thing, but a possible prolonged storyline with the Big G again? Eek. I'm Magic 8-Balling this and replying, "Ask again later."

I'm all in for Sarah and Xander. They're charming and hilarious. I love that he basically has to take her comments on the chin. She's not wrong. He has been a creep. But then he grins. And -- *sigh* You can tell she is into him at least a little. Is he right to tell Eric she's pregnant? No. Not at all. That's her choice, but it will ensure she sticks around Salem. So, he kind of wins, if she never finds out. Not a good foundation, but Sarah has made more out of less. She married Rex just because Eric was unavailable. So...

Plus, I'm still sticking with the "no big deal" stance when it comes to Eric, Sarah, and the baby. Eric is a great stepdad. Nicole is a great stepmom. Eric and Sarah can be civil. It's really not as dramatic as it has to be. Oh, but there will be drama, nonetheless. What the heck? I'm in.

Will and Sonny's back and forth reactions during the scene where Brady told Victor about Kristen's pregnancy were hilarious! Talk about having the best seats in the house. They made my day, and Victor will continue to make my days, too, with his Snark-O-Meter fully charged like it has been. He's a hoot. Horrible at times, but a hoot nonetheless. I shouldn't wish Kristen on anybody (well, almost anybody), but she and Victor being roomies will at least be good for a few laughs. Sorry, Brady.

I'm enjoying the odd team-ups or potential ones as of late. There's Vivian and Eve. Kristen and Jordan!? Ben and Victor? Hmm. There's a lot of crazy there. Let's take a look...

I kind of cracked up when Vivian told Eve, "My dear, we are talking about my pain. Not yours." Ouch. But true. I know the Viv/Eve pairing was a prolonged group hug for One Life to Live fans eager to see a Strasser/DePaiva reunion, but it worked. Viv knows diabolical. Eve does, too. And Viv got to sneak out of Salem, having given Eve a pep talk to do all sorts of nasty things. Sounds about right. Though I liked it better when a triumphant Viv went to Bollywood. I always want more for Madame.

Kristen's optimistically curious response, "Did you!?" when Jordan said she was blamed for almost running Ciara over was enough for me to want to see more of these two. Jordan's rinse and repeat antics are a far cry from the level of conspiring Kristen can conduct, and I'd be up for a Sith Lord/apprentice relationship between the two. At the very least, their crazy chats would be colorful.

I know that what Ben is asking Victor to do is bad. I know that what Victor is willing to do is bad. But I kind of like the "Ben and Victor being on the same page" thingy. Vic may turn out to be his next Stefan. Who knows!

Extra Scoops

HOT
Whether you love or loathe Gabi, there is one certainty -- Camila Banus is brilliant! Her performances were moving. Gabi's entire "We had plans" speech was utterly heartbreaking and so well delivered. And with grief still bubbling under the surface, Camila could simultaneously switch on Gabi's sinister side in a second with ease. It's impressive. It's also so inspiring to have watched Camila grow from teen Gabi to full-blown leading lady. Yep. DAYS fans are lucky. Thank you and lots of love, Camila!

NOT
Jordan is becoming a bit redundant. By "bit," I mean seriously, I'm bored. If Ben won't agree to let Victor eliminate Jordan, call me, Vic. I'll give the okay.

LINE(S) OF THE WEEK
Will: "Well. That was fun."

Victor (to Brady): "Did you tell her in your 'big boy' voice so she knows you're serious?"

Dr. Rolf (to Kayla): "Don't you know it's dangerous to eavesdrop on an evil scientist when he's talking to himself?"

UNINTENTIONALLY FUNNY LINE OF THE WEEK
Eli (to Lani regarding Gabi's choice): "She said, 'hell no.'"

EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK
Kristen: "I have been advised to avoid stress."
Victor: "You ought to think about cutting back on the psychotic rampages. Just a thought."

RANDOM THOUGHTS
Kristen tried out "Andy" and "Jenny." I think the latter would only work if she patched up her friendship with Jennifer.

I may re-watch every Victor scene from last week just for another chuckle. His one-liners are legendary. And if you disagree, he'll tell you exactly what he thinks about that.

I like that Kayla continues to consult with Val. Now, can we see Val again, please?

I'll admit it. I cheered when Gabi threw it in Eli's face that she remembered him and Hope screaming at her. That scene never sat well with me. Well played, Gabs.

The sheer amount of adoration I have for Kassie DePaiva makes me happy Eve is staying in town. Though, with all due respect to Vivian, I hope something else keeps Eve in Salem other than revenge. We've traveled down that road and back again. Eve needs a new project.

When Jordan said, "Goodbye, Janice," to the nanny, I had to do a double take. I thought I heard, "Goodbye, Janet." That would have been more fun.

It's interesting that Fancy Face's voicemail says, "Hope Brady." Did she ever change it to Hernandez?

Is Julie the "ninja warrior" of the Horton family, Jennifer? Is she? Mid-Nick-Traumatizing-Him Will might not agree.

Brady gets fired and rehired faster than he falls in love. Well. Maybe.

How many Horton points did Jennifer lose by throwing away doughnuts!? That's a little sacrilege.

Jordan wants her old job back. I believe she believes that's a possibility. Oh, crazy. Keep on walkin'.

Are we sure Dr. Rolf didn't inject Kayla with anything? Dr. Sweetness has seemed a little bitter lately. I get it. I miss the Patch Man, too.

All this talk about "hearts" just makes me miss the Cheatin' Heart even more.

Jack knows what's what. He said Jennifer is, "Infuriating, but adorable." Yep. They've met.

I kind of live for Xander's impressions of Eric.

Hope and Jen scenes always make me happy. And while I'm glad Eli is part of the gang now, I'm not sure if I love him using "Cuz." That's sort of Jen and Hope's thingy. It's like when John calls multiple people "Partner." You only get one, John. You only get one.

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for October 14! As I'm off to hide my art collection in case Princess Gina returns, Laurisa will be back next week with an all new, heartfelt Two Scoops. And, "That's a fact!"

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