Do you smell that? It smells like…dogs, no….horses, no…..elephants! That's it! I smell elephants in the room. There are elephants in the sorority house, elephants at Chez Rouge, and elephants in the Brady pub. But wait, there are elephants leaving EJ's apartment and Stefano's house. It must be a hard job to shuffle all those elephants. The ones in the room hold storylines up. But it's amazing how much space there is for a storyline to move when all those elephants are out of the way.
Elephant in the room #1: There's a DEAD body in the basement.
Nick tried to arrange a romantic evening alone with Chelsea. You have to give my boy Nick credit for trying. But, Chelsea is understandably distracted when she learns that Billie is at the sorority house asking questions. Chelsea kicks it into girlfriend mode later when Nick offers to fix the hot water heater…in the basement. Her solution? Chelsea distracts him with a new beaker set! Wait, no. She distracted him with some lovin'. (eeewwwwww……there is a dead body in the basement!)
Max might be a little brain dead himself. First, he tries to have a heart-to-heart with Nick about Chelsea. Just what the heck does Max know about how to have a successful relationship with Chelsea? Sorry, Max. Most people don't hire a tutor who failed the class. Furthermore, shouldn't Max know that Chelsea is a little…shall we say…preoccupied, with almost being raped and all, that she might not be ready to share affection with somebody? Or, he's figured her out, ' she's just nervous about exams'. That's almost the same thing. Second, he turns down a romantic evening with Morgan. (Again, I have to point out that there is a DEAD BODY in the basement. Normally, that doesn't scream romance but these sorority girls seem to manage.) I'm not mad at him for turning down Morgan's bubble bath offer if he knows that he doesn't have feelings for Morgan. What does make me mad is that he turns down a relationship with Morgan for Stephanie when… Elephant in the room #2: You guys are RELATED
A quick FYI to the writers: Shelley Henning can act. She knocked it out of the park when she confessed the rape to Cordy. Why, or why then, in the next scene do the writters have her acting like a spoiled brat? It made the whole scene seem very disjointed to me, and I think that it ruined one of the great acting breakthroughs that we've seen in a while. Then, to make matters worse, they threw her in a scene with Max. The only thing I hate worse than the idea of Max and Stephanie dating is the fact that neither they (nor anyone else for that matter) acknowledge the fact that the two are related. As a viewer, I feel aced out of a good love story. A huge part of falling in love with someone is learning about their past and meeting their family. With Max and Stephanie, we're just going to skip that part and go right to the….nothing. There's no where for this couple to go. I think that Stephanie has a lot more potential as a character without Max. Another little side elephant- Max and Stephanie are both participants in a crime. Wouldn't it be advisable for them to keep QUIET about the crime that they committed when in a public place like Chez Rouge??? Just wondering.
Elephant in the room #3: He's a GROWN MAN
I hate it when I end up on Belle's side, but darnit if Hope isn't driving me to it. Cheating on Shawn was wrong. But last time I checked, Belle cheated on Shawn, not on Hope. Belle does NOT have to answer to Hope. I'm glad that Belle told Hope to mind her own business. Furthermore, Hope is acting like Shawn couldn't find his own arm if she wasn't there to constantly point it out. Shawn is a father, been through two marriages, and a divorce. Those are the type of things that qualify you as a grown up. Of course, if Belle wants get rid of Hope, Belle should just tell Shawn the truth and deal with the consequences. But in the meantime, Hope needs to get that beautiful nose of hers out of her son's business.
Elephant in the room #4: She's doing you a FAVOR
Will someone tell me why Shawn was trying to talk Chloe out of dating Philip? I know that Shawn was trying to help out his friend (See: "Friends don't let friends date Kiriakises"). But, has he taken a look at Chloe lately? Something tells me that Chloe can handle herself. And, if Chloe is willing to distract Philip, Shawn should be paying for their first date, not campaigning to keep Philip single.
Now, onto the outward parade of elephants, the ones who left the room thus spawning huge forward progression for our beloved Salemites:
Elephant leaving the room #1: Sami and EJ are MARRIED. Thank you for your time, Mr. Elephant, you may now return to your jungle.
You know, before this week I would have thought that Sami and EJ's marriage license was written in some sort of language that no one could read, with Sami living and sleeping with Lucas while EJ just sat across the hall practicing his paralysis poses. I'm not in favor of this silly marriage, but you had to think that EJ would put his foot down eventually. Well, it happened this week. Additionally, all three plus the Salem PD know that Lucas and his gun were at the church. But, what's the most amazing is that I LOVED Lucas, Sami, and EJ this week.
First, Lucas stopped screaming at Sami and started taking charge. I forget how good an actor Bryan Datilo can be when he does not have to constantly repeat the same self-righteous dialogue. Lucas met with Kate (which makes me realize that Lucas really needs some friends) to confess that he was the third shooter on the grassy knoll and then
scheme discuss Lucas's plans for the holidays. Kate suggests that Lucas sneak on board one of the Kiriakis cargo ships and go to Switzerland. Those Kiriakis boys must have big time cash to be able to build a cargo ship that hits a landlocked country! Maybe it's kind of like those DUCK bus/boat things that give you a tour of Boston. Anyway, Lucas reluctantly gets "on board" and Kate says she'll have the arrangements made before Christmas. It never ceases to amaze me how Kate can whip things together in a pinch. You'd never know that she was an ex-hooker who is currently working for an asset frozen company being investigated by the government.
Lucas begins making personal arrangements to leave. He asks Billie to be Ali's godmother with a great speech about how Billie is the perfect role model. Good for him! He's absolutely right. Billie's been through so many troubles (some self-inflicted) but has managed to pull her life together with her reputation in tact. For the sake of this great scene, I'm going to assume that Lucas and Sami talked about this sometime off screen and Sami knows all about this decision. Billie agrees and promises to always look after Ali. She also realizes that she's promising more than just your average church service and cake appearance. Billie's no dummy. She knows that Lucas is in trouble and planning something. I just hope that she figures it out in time to follow Lucas. I'm dying for Billie to have an on-the-run adventure storyline.
Then there was Sami. She finally wised up to the fact marrying EJ isn't worth the empty promise to end the vendetta. She told EJ that she's leaving this marriage. Something tells me that Sami won't actually make it to divorceville right away, but for my money, the Sami/EJ spat is much more interesting than those god-awful cat fights between Sami and Kate. I'd much rather see Sami square off with EJ. No one plays vindictive threats better than Alison and James.
Finally, EJ realized that he might have been lied to. Did he really think that Sami had feelings for him? Yes, unfortunately the answer was yes. Come on EJ! Even that James Bond charm can't make Sami (or any of the rest of us) forget that you raped her. At best, Sami can relate to you. She's done her fair share of crimes (yes, including committing rape) and part of her empathizes with you. But love? No way. He'd be much better off appealing to her "I'd do anything for my family" side than holding onto Sami's deathbed promises.
Elephant leaving the room #2: Steph needs to talk about the rape. Hot dog! Another elephant gets to go home for Christmas.
If the rumors are true and Mathew Florida is going to reprise his role as Ford Deker later in the year, I sincerely hope that it is part of the therapy storyline. Cordy asking Stephanie to go therapy with her was one of the best parts of the week. Many of you may not know this, but I am a fully licensed soap-psychiatrist. It is my professional opinion that Stephanie has "daddy issues". The evidence: Her father was ripped from her at a young age. She was raised with no real father figure. Her only known romantic encounters have been with an abusive boyfriend, a rapist, and her own uncle. If I've ever seen a character that needs to be single for a while, get herself together, and then wait for the right guy to come along, it's Stephanie. I would like her to start seeing Marlena three times a week. If Marlena is not available, then she should see Dr. Bob Hartley or that lady from the Sopranos. Some TV doc has to be available.
Elephant leaving the room #3: Philip is VICTOR'S son And another elephant is saved!
We've been dancing around this one for a little while. Philip has an affinity for beautiful suits. He works at Titan. He pronounces his last name "Kee-di-a-kis." But, this week we actually saw Victor Jr. emerge. Kate and Philip have a meeting with the ADA. The ADA offers Kate a plea bargain- they'll drop the felony charge and she'll plead guilty making terrorist threats- max jail sentence 18 months. But, we all know that Kate can't go to jail! Just where is she supposed to get black nail polish if she's behind bars? Nope. Philip produces some emails that his lawyers intercepted between Roman and Marlena. Apparently all the charges against Marlena have been dropped and the media will find out about it if Kate doesn't get the same deal, and then some. Philip wants the charges reduced to a misdemeanour if Kate agrees to wear a wire around the DiMeras. I have to hand it to Philip. You'd almost forget that he's the same rich baby who crawled into daddy's pocket to get Belle back. The ADA was pretty much over a barrel once Philip dangled Stefano in front of them. To her credit (and my complete surprise), Kate says that she's not stupid enough to wear a wire around the DiMeras. But, Philip sweet talks Kate and the ADA into agreeing to the deal.
Elephant leaving the room #4: There's a NOT-SO-DEAD body in the basement. No elephant needed!
Not only did we hear about "the patient" but we actually got to see him, well, his feet anyway. If you ask me, those weren't John Black's feet. Or Andre's. Those are the two obvious choices. Personally, I'm hoping for John!
Not only can Stefano build a John Black 2.0, but he can also hold a small South American country by the throat. Alessandro, the president of "Fakenezula", a prominent South American mining country, is apparently indebted to the DiMeras to the tune of what-ever-they-want. Stefano orders Alessandro to dig up some dirt on a certain woman who is re-emerging to wreak havoc on the house of DiMera. My easy guess is that it's Colleen. My hopeful guess is that it's Colleen's daughter, a.k.a Stefano's half-sister. I think there is a spot for her because Marlena found a picture in John's things that is of someone- a mother and her child. Marlena thinks that the child in the picture looks like John, but she does not think the woman is Daphnie DiMera. Could it be that Colleen is John's mother? I hope not. The timeline is a little screwy because it would mean that John is only 10-ish years younger than big Shawn. I think that a better storyline would be if Colleen was John's grandmother. The woman in the picture could be Colleen and Santo's daughter, who ended up becoming John's mother. Stefano still remains the 7th son of 7 sons, but he has a bastard half-sister who his dad always loved more than him- because this sister was from Colleen. This of course would make John both a Brady and a DiMera and would explain why this woman is out to get Stefano. It might be a long shot, but that's my guess for now.
Hot and Not
Bo and Billie. Both characters are in tough positions since they both have to investigate their loved ones for crimes that, truth be told, neither really considers a crime. But I have to give them credit for following through on everything. I'd hate to see Stefano and Daddy Decker team up on Bo and Billie.
Marlena. I did a double take when Marlena was lecturing Sami about leading on two men. In this case, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Actually, the apple came down and hit Marlena right smack-dap on the top of her head. In all fairness, Marlena was batting her eyes at Roman a little too much to qualify her as an expert on model relationship behavior. John's clothes aren't even out of the penthouse and Marlena is canoodling up to Roman. Slow down there, Doc!
Line of the Week
Belle to Hope, "I've got two words for you: Patrick Lockhart" (And another elephant is free to return home)
Parting Thoughts ….
There's been some severe concern over whether or not Lucas is leaving the show. Here's what I gather: Bryan Dattilo is not leaving the show. His contract was renewed for two more years. He's just taking a little vacation. Soap actors do it all the time. Remember last year around this time when EJ went hiding in Mexico? Yeah, it's the same thing. Bryan is a very talented and hard working actor. I am sure he's looking forward to spending time off with his family. He'll be back quicker than you can scold, "This stupid marriage is not going to end the vendetta against your family, Sami!"
Looking forward, how do you think Shawn's surprise party will go? Any guesses on how long it takes Belle to call Brady and ask him about the divorce? And, did Sami and Belle's hair make anyone else want to dust off their copies of "Thriller", "She's So Unusual", or "Purple Rain"? Gotta love those 80's hair-do's!
Finally, just a reminder that next week starts Tony and my two weeks of "Best and Worst" articles. Hopefully you'll agree with our choices. It's be a great year on Days, and it's always fun to look back and see how far we've come!
Have a wonderful, very merry holiday season!