PHEW! What a jam-packed couple of weeks it has been since I posted my last column! And since that was actually a Best/Worst of 2006 column - you better believe that I have a lot to say. I'm going to start with the 'Claire-custody-court-case' storyline as that seems to be the "main" issue on Days right now BUT do not let me forget to talk about Sami's upcoming 'Who's the Daddy' drama, Billie's descent in to the abyss and Steve's strange antics.
Love it or hate it; you can't deny that Victor setting up Belle and Shawn to lose custody of Claire is one of the most interesting things to happen on Days recently. Not only has the storyline encompassed a lot of different characters in Salem but it has also given the cast a chance to turn out some truly excellent performances. Yes, we all know that, in the "real world", Victor would not have a case and Claire would not be taken from Belle (who is the actual custodial parent. Not Shawn. So why is he being sued as well?). But this is not the real world, and I am willing to suspend my disbelief long enough to watch an interesting story unfold. Do I like it? No. I am squarely on the side of despising Victor again - which is what makes him so much more interesting to watch! I hate what he's doing to his own grandson and I hate that he's taking a child away from its mother - for no other reason than spite - BUT it has kept me absolutely glued to the screen. And that, I appreciate.
That being said - just because I am willing to suspend disbelief for the sake of some interesting story movement - that's not to say that there aren't days when I scream at the television in anger and frustration. I don't like that Beverly woman. Whatever her arrangement with Victor is monetarily; she has to know that what she's doing is wrong. Treating Belle and Shawn like the enemy and denying all of Claire's extended family (e.g. Grandparents) even the smallest visit with Claire is just cruel. That part really bothers me. Being a mother - I really sympathized with Belle when she cried that she couldn't stand the idea of Claire being given over to complete strangers. Speaking of Beverly the Bad Social Worker: why didn't Belle and Shawn (or their useless lawyer) tell the judge about how she investigated them without identifying herself? Or how about mentioning that the woman who "kidnapped" Claire is being investigated and that the police believe that she was paid to take Claire? And why is so much focus being put on Shawn? They aren't married or even living together and from what I know; Shawn isn't even Claire's legal father. Belle should be the only custodial parent of note here and therefore, the only one being 'sued' for custody of Claire. Why should Shawn's history (crashing his car, shacking up with wonder-hooker-Willow) factor in to whether Belle is a good mother? So, okay...we all know how far-fetched and unrealistic this storyline is and that you could drive a Mack truck through the many gaping holes. But yet - in spite of all that - I am willing to overlook it and just enjoy the story as it unfolds.
I think it's fair to say that whatever inroads Victor had made over the years to ingratiate himself in the people of Salem's lives have definitely been destroyed. By choosing to exact some sort of revenge on the part of his son Philip, Victor has chosen to go against Caroline, the love of his life; Bo, his often estranged son; Shawn, his grandson; 'Doodlebug Brady', his new granddaughter; John Black, his ex son-in-law and father of his other grandson (Brady); and Belle, namesake of his beloved daughter as well as half-sister to Brady. Come to think of it...Brady is bound to side with his sister against Victor as well. Monday's scenes of Victor at the pub were great and I loved how Caroline defended her own against Victor. First she BEGGED him not to go through with the custody case and when she saw that he would not back down...she attacked. I wish Hope could have been a tad more vocal though, she has been his daughter-in-law for many years...she should have thrown it in Victor's face that he was going to lose Bo and their whole family. I think that this storyline is going to be one heck of an interesting family power struggle and one that will have ripples for quite a while to come. The one thing that is missing so far though, is a heated showdown between Bo and Victor. I mean seriously! 'Bo' wouldn't be Bo if he didn't tear a strip off Victor for trying to take Claire away from her parents. I fully expect to see him get nose-to-nose with Victor when the court case ends because it's fairly obvious that Shawn and Belle will end up losing custody to Philip. Speaking of him; he made a dramatic appearance in court at the end of Friday's show. Personally speaking - I'm excited for Jay Kenneth Johnson to reveal his face on Monday and I can't wait to see how Belle and Shawn react to him.
Okay moving on to my next favourite storyline...there has been a ton of controversy amongst the viewers about the twist that Sami and EJ's story took when he forced her to sleep with him. The boards have been rife with debates over whether it was "rape" or not. Personally, I don't see where the argument is. He forced her and that means he raped her. She had no choice in the matter. It was "let EJ have his way" or "let Lucas die". In Sami's mind, there was no choice. End of story. But you know what? It's a soap opera and though TPTB sometimes handle sensitive storylines very badly; I'm willing to overlook it. Mostly because I know that, that one event will end up producing a whole new generation of interesting storylines. Of course I am referring to the obvious "who's the daddy" story that is coming up next for Sami, but I am also referring to the fact that yet another DiMera man has become obsessed with another Brady woman. I know that a lot of people are rolling their eyes and saying "ridiculous" but I like the idea. I may be in the minority here but I am totally looking forward to seeing what EJ will do when he discovers that Sami is pregnant (because it won't be long before she does). I will say one thing - and it's something that has been niggling at the back of my mind. I don't understand why Sami didn't tell Lucas the truth. There is no reason why she could not have. I think he would have completely understood that she was desperate to save his life and only slept with EJ because he forced her. Sami should know better. Past experience has proven to her that keeping a secret from Lucas is just a recipe for disaster. And I swear...when this comes out (and you know that it WILL) Lucas had better be understanding of the predicament that Sami was in. Oh he's going to be mad that she lied but I will literally FREAK out if Lucas is not immediately on Sami's side in recognition of the sacrifice that she made for him AND god forbid that Kate finds out what happened and uses it against Sami somehow. That is literally the worst thing that I could imagine happening in this storyline. Okay, that said, moving on.
Other than the icky-forced-sex factor - I'm with Melissa on this...EJ is one heck of a cool villain. Though the dialogue between him and Sami in the car was disgusting, degrading and diabolical (love those D words!) I didn't miss a single sentence. EJ had me absolutely riveted. Okay so fast-forward to this week where Sami is hanging out 24/7 in the hospital with Lucas (where is Will? Did anyone mention where he is? Why wouldn't he be visiting his dad in the Hospital?). I just LOVE the new and improved Sami Brady. I can't say enough about the recent change in behaviour. She has been gracious, humble, loving, patient and dare I say it? Nice. Yes indeed...this is a Sami Brady that one can really start to invest in. Not only are her parents and family proud of her, the whole town of Salem considers her to be a hero. And she is. Regardless of the fact that EJ actually lifted the beam off Lucas; Sami had to have sex with the creep and she dragged Lucas to the highway by herself. I've also been impressed at how well she has kept her cool around Mommy-dearest, that itself is a milestone event. And let's not forget how quickly she offered a solution to Billie's housing dilemma. Though brief, the interaction between Billie and Sami showed a lot of promise. They have a lot in common and could easily wind up being best pals. And hey, it would be nice if someone in Lucas's family liked Sami.
On to the upcoming and very transparent 'Who's the Daddy" storyline. We all know that Sami is going to end up pregnant. Lucas will think the baby is his because he doesn't know about Sami and EJ...but what will EJ think? I just hope that the new/improved Samantha Brady bites the bullet and tells Lucas the whole story. But...something tells me that she won't. Rumors are going around that Sami will end up having twins! That's right folks. But wait...there's more. Not only twins BUT twins from 2 different fathers. YES! You read that right; I said 2 different fathers!!! What a modern medical miracle! Don't be so quick to say "not possible'. Believe it or not - it IS possible. Twins run in Sami's family. Fraternal twins. Not to be graphic but...fraternal twins mean that 2 eggs were released from the ovaries and fertilized. She slept with both Lucas and EJ on the same day/night, which would make it totally conceivable that the 2 eggs could have been fertilized by the different men's sperm. Weird but true. And you know what? I am ALL for that! I think it would be a FANTASTIC twist for a Brady/DiMera baby to be produced. Imagine the storyline potential! Two feuding families fighting over one child??? Sami being pulled in 2 different directions, bound to differing loyalties. Would the children be inherently "good" (Lucas child) and "evil" (EJ child)? Would Sami treat them different? Would the DiMera baby even be allowed to stay with Sami? (one could imagine EJ and the DiMera clan stealing the baby). When would we find out? When would Sami find out? When would the children and families find out? Wow, and that is only from Sami's perspective. I can only imagine the literal TON of story potential that this would open up for the rest of the characters in Salem. I am getting a kick out of this idea and I think that after all the years of feuding and fighting, it would a phenomenal twist to have a child that forevermore ties the two families together. At least it is definitely not the same ole, same ole
I know that I'm probably in the minority here but I was not disgusted with the fact that Billie slept with Nick. In fact, I actually felt bad for her. She just can't seem to help herself from doing the most self-destructive things at times. From falling off the wagon and drinking a bottle (or two?) of wine to sleeping with a 22 year-old not once, but twice - it was all about punishing herself for being a loser in love once again. I'm not excusing it - I don't buy in to the victim's mentality - but I understand it. Now the flip-side of this story is...who cares what Billie's motives or mind-set was...the depressed older woman sleeping with the hot young guy is classic soap-opera storytelling! I've watched Soaps for over 20 years. Days, Y&R, GH, ATWT, Santa Barbara, B&B, AW, GL - I've watched them all at one point or another (let's just say that I'm a bit of a drama-queen) and let me tell you folks; these kind of juicy faux-pas used to happen alllll the time. You couldn't consider it serious soap-story-stuff if one character on the show wasn't sleeping with someone that they shouldn't have been. Yes, yes...times have changed and fans want their soaps to be more realistic and more responsible but every once in a while, it's nice to have some totally outlandish, morally repugnant, deliciously naughty event happen on our small screens. That's my 2 cents anyhow!
Good-bye Stephanie! This week we found out that Stephanie accepted a job with a different racing team that will take her out of Salem for the foreseeable future. I repeat my comment that the timing is odd...now that her father has regained his memory and her parents have reconciled for the first time in 16 years - she leaves town? Huh? Well; whatever I guess. And then Kayla and Hope started discussing whether Kayla will have another baby with Steve. Ummm...Stephanie is 18 years old! Even with the most generous estimates, that would put Kayla in her 40's. That's not to say that she couldn't have another child, but it does mean that the decision to have another child is not as simple as Hope was making it out to be. Okay...moving on to Steve's strange antics. It's clear that he's been brainwashed by someone. Brainwashed by Stefano to be another assassin? A pawn like John (I love that rhyme. John-Pawn. Pawn-John. LOL) IF that is the case - why did EJ tell John that Bo and Steve were the targets of the 'secret' assassin? To throw us off the trail? And why does John get agitated whenever Steve comes in to the room? Is he whispering "murderer" or "murder"? Like as in trying to warn him that someone is after him? It seems like the TPTB are trying to make it obvious that Steve's the killer and that makes me think that he is probably not. Well, assassin or not; something is setting Steve off. Every time he sees a devil or bright light - he trances out and starts breaking things. I guess we'll just have to wait and see where this is going but I am hoping that Sheffer et al come up with something just a bit more creative than Steve being by DiMera to be another assassin.
The Lockhart family and the mysterious skeleton. Who do the bones belong to? Who cares? Not moi. AS IF Bonnie would be able to steal the bones from the morgue. And why would they be THERE anyhow? Wouldn't they be in some evidence room or something? Sheesh! I'm beginning to hate this family with a passion that equals the Alex North character. When are they leaving town? Will this business with the skeleton help get the Lockharts out of town? If so...good! IF not...I go back to my original comment "Who cares".
Rumors are rampant that John will wake up as Mercenary John with no memory of his time in Salem, including no memory of Marlena. There are also hints that we may even find out who his father is and what started the whole DiMera feud in the first place. It sounds cool but I think that I may have had enough John/Marlena amnesia storylines to last me a lifetime. To be fair I'll wait to see if and how this plays out.
What Will Happen: