For the Week of February 18, 2008
Chloe was never very interesting, but all it took was a minor brush with death to light a fire under this dull character.
Hello and welcome to Brady airlines. My name is Laurisa, and I will be your flight attendant today. Please direct your attention to the front of the aircraft, so that we may go over a few safety precautions. In case of emergency, your seat cushion may be used as a floatation device. Of course since we don't actually know where Salem is, we don't really know if we are going to be flying over water. Once we are airborne, we will be coming through the cabin with a cart of complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available only if you are John Black, or if there is any possibility that you will be piloting the aircraft later in the flight. Emergency exits are located at the front and rear of the plane and are marked by the illuminated "Scab writers must jump here" signs. In the rare event that we experience a change in pressure, oxygen masks will deploy from the compartment above you. Unfortunately, not all of them will work, but they give you quite a nice prop to utilize while delivering your lines. Please make sure that all seatbacks and tray tables are in their full, upright, and locked position. Additionally, please make sure that all common sense is stored safely under the seat in front of you. Our estimated flight time is five episodes, and we will be cruising at a speed just fast enough so the Salem PD can not locate us. Sit back, relax, and have a pleasant flight.
Most of this week dealt with the prolonged plane crash. The Brady Bunch- Bo, Hope, Shawn, Marlena, John, Steve, Kayla, the other Shawn, Belle, Claire, Phillip, and Chloe all boarded John's plane and headed back to the good ol' US of A. Things were fine until the power, controls, and heat all went out. I did not like watching these scenes. I felt the same way I did during the last hour of "Titanic", this past season of "24", and pretty much the entire length of "Reservoir Dogs." I was FREEZING, very impatient (I knew they weren't going to kill off everyone on the plane), and downright uncomfortable. So, for the sake of this article, I refuse to relive those feelings. I'm pushing aside the gasping for air and the shivering, and focusing on what storylines and performances were so necessary for the torturous air experience.
Passengers 1A and 1B- Bo and Hope:
Bo has cancer. If not for this flight, who knows how long that little reveal would drag out? Probably for weeks- especially since Salem U Hospital is about as fool-proof as the Salem PD. Test would have been run and then re-run. Hope would interrogate every single member of the Brady family because by then everyone would know the secret except for her. Thankfully, we're done with that. When we get back to Salem we're in for some great Brady/Fancy Face scenes where she'll need to take care of him. I'm hoping that we're in for some more Hope/Chelsea bonding over Bo's illness.
Passengers 1C and 1D- Phillip and Chloe:
This plane crash is the best thing that could have happened to Nadia Bjorlin. I love panic Chloe so much more than slimy seductress Chloe. I always knew that Nadia had it in her, but for some reason the character of Chloe always kind of lulled me to sleep. Maybe it's Nadia's soft voice, or the way that Chloe never looked people in the eye, or the fact that Chloe's always had super-stupid storylines (remember when she didn't want Brady to see her "ugly" face because of that scar? Sheesh!) But the character of Chloe was never very interesting. But low and behold, all it takes is a minor aviation brush with death to light a fire under this dull character. Nadia managed to deliver a performance that made me want to watch her. Chloe was scared and spastic, without coming across as a damsel in distress. The character of Chole needs this element. She's done mystery and pain her entire length on Days. Let her show some vulnerability, the way she did with Phillip on the plane. As much as I do not like the idea of a happy couple riding off together only to break up off screen (Brady/Chloe), I am getting on the Phoe train. I adore Jay Kenneth Johnson, and if the writers can continue to make Chloe more than a one dimensional character, I would love to see Phillip and Chloe get back together.
Passengers 2A and 2B- John and Marlena:
Remember your first date? I remember mine. We went to Stake n' Shake and then to a movie. But, Nu-John and Marlena are too cool for that. Nope. They spent their first date crashing an airplane. Sure John's Greg House/Lou Grant attitude seems a bit cold; but did anyone else laugh out loud when he responded, "Good to know" when Marlena said, "I love you!"? (Stay tuned for more great quotes from John) This crash was important for John and Marlena because John started to remember. He remembered how to fly a plane, and he referred to everyone as "his family".
Additionally, I can't blame John for being a little sad about the news of his "mudder" (mother). Even a non-programmed-John wouldn't be jumping for joy over the revelation of his family tree. Why is Marlena asking him to be happy? Great, John's a Brady. He gets an official seat at the Thanksgiving table and an all-you-can-eat pass for Caroline's chowder. Why has no one acknowledged that Colleen's little news bulletin makes John a DIMERA?!? Remember when Lexie found out who her father was? She was horrified. Even programmed-John knows how vile the DiMera family can be. Isn't it only right that he's stressed out about calling Stefano "brother"?
Passenger 2C and 2D: According to the seating chart in my head, I don't believe these seats were occupied.
Passengers 3A and 3B:
The great Frank Parker started off in seat 3B. He ended a wonderful 25 year run on Days as the Brady patriarch, Shawn Brady. I am truly honored to have gotten a chance to see a great actor have a great run on my favorite soap. I have heard rumors that Frank's health was not good, and his health was the reason for his exit from the show. I can only hope that the exit was Frank's choice and not another crazy move by the writers to cut budgets. Shawn's death scene was one of the more powerful on Days that I've seen for a while. The sadness was palpable as Mary Beth Evans and Kirsten Alfonso gave tragically amazing supporting performances while Frank Parker delivered his last lines. I'm very sad that we were deprived a scene between Shawn and Caroline, but the writers did send Shawn out a hero. The character remains the ultimate family man.
Passengers 3C and 3D:
Cute little Claire sat in these seats. This week, Claire did the best thing that she could for Days. She brought Belle and Shawn back together. In soaps, it's often children that solidify couples as a family. The exchange between Belle and Claire when Belle told Claire, "Your daddy can do anything" really hit home for me that Belle and Shawn belong together. Belle wants Claire to look at Shawn the same was that Belle looked at John. Claire must have magical powers because she managed to pull two misfit teens together enough to be good parents to an adorable little girl.
Passengers 4A and 4B- Steve and Kayla:
Steve saw the mystery woman again. It looks like she is the one who sabotaged the plane. Could it be that she is another one of Stefano's victims? Maybe someone who graduated from the same School of Brainwashing as Steve? I hope that it is not a former lover. I'm not really into seeing Steve and Kayla in a love triangle, especially when Kayla is pregnant. At least, I hope she is pregnant. I'm not a doctor, but I would think that passing out due to lack of oxygen can not be good for an unborn baby. It doesn't make any sense to have a long storyline where Kayla tries to have a baby only to end the story in tragedy. So many viewers are looking forward to Steve and Kayla having a little Patch-let (myself included) that I hope Kayla's baby is just fine.
Steve spent the latter half of the week with Captain John McGood-News trying to help save the plane. I don't know if it this was intentional, but pairing John and Steve in so many scenes was brilliant. Who better to deal with a DiMera brainwashed robot than, say, someone who has recently come out of his own brainwashing experience? Between Steve and Marlena, there just might be enough tough love to bring back the real John Black, I mean Brady, I mean DiMera, whatever.
Passengers 4C and 4D: Belle and Shawn:
They love each other. Were it not for the plane crash, Belle and Shawn might still be playing another round of "Divorce or No Divorce". It's pretty clear that when the dust settles, Belle and Shawn are going to give their marriage another chance. Maybe this time, they'll get it right.
Once again, Martha Madison acted her socks off. It was proof for the kazillionth time that Days is foolish to let her go. I hope that those Emmy voters (you know, the ones who only watch ABC) somehow got a chance to see Martha's performance when she said goodbye to Claire and Marlena. Heartbreaking!
As for Shawn, I thought it was a little strange how there was a mechanical problem with the plane, yet no one called the TRAINED MECHANIC that happened to be on board. I'm sure that cars are different from planes, but the fact that Steve said, "I'm not a mechanic" should have prompted Shawn D to jump up and exclaim, "I am! Ohh! Ohh! Pick me!"
And there ends Flight Brady. It has crashed somewhere between Ireland and Salem- on land. I have a feeling that there is some mystery island in the north Atlantic ocean because otherwise, they should be crashing somewhere along the US's east coast. I doubt that the Brady bunch is headed for a visit to Martha's Vineyard or a Red Sox's game.
Waiting at the terminal:
Abe, Lexie, Chelsea, Stephanie, Caroline, Max, and Roman all gathered at the police station to learn that there are problems with John's plane. There's not a lot that they can do, but worry, snap at each other, and assume the worst. Caroline had to step up and calm everyone down, a role that I hope Caroline gets to take more often. She is the senior Brady now. She's going to have to parallel the path of Alice Horton and keep the family ties strong among her children.
I am getting super sick of these three. I hate that too, because Alison Sweeney, James Scott, and Bryan Dattilo are three of my favorite actors on Days. But, this storyline needs to move along ASAP, and the key to all of that is Samantha.
Lucas is beyond hope, and I don't mean just because of the mustache. It's because 99% of what comes out of his mouth is a lie. Assume that he is covering for Will. Then every time that he says "I did it for you Sami. I shot EJ because I was so mad" is a lie because he didn't shoot EJ. Next, Lucas went on some rant about how he always does something stupid to "win Sami back". Excuse me? Did I hear that right? Lucas thinks that Sami is the one who always decides when they are together? I must have been watching the wrong show, because from what I remember, SAMI was the queen of the stupid stunts and LUCAS was always the one spouting, "There's never going to be a future for us, Sami, because you never change!" Now he's trying to play the "I messed up" card? That's a flat out lie. Finally, every time he warns Sami to stay away from EJ, it has less and less to do with EJ and more to do with the fact that Lucas doesn't want to loose the girl….again. Which brings me to my next point, Lucas needs to STOP playing second fiddle to every other dude in Salem. He lost Carrie to Austin. Kate had to pay Nicole, who really loved Eric, to marry Lucas. Then, he lost Sami to Austin/Franco/Brandon/Austin (again), and I just don't think that he can stand to see Sami with EJ. Does the rape have anything to do with it? Absolutely. But, something tells me that Lucas is getting a little tired of being the odd-man out. Personally, I can't blame him. But, I can admonish him for not admitting that.
Then there's EJ. He did NOT have a good week. First, he finally met his match in the cuteness department. Those babies who play Johnny and Ali are ADORABLE! They steal every scene that they are in. Second, he is under the misconception that one gets to be a father by default. Just because Lucas isn't around does not mean that EJ is the logical choice to step in and be a proxy father to Ali. I could make a list of those more suitable and appropriate for Ali to spend her time with. Oh look, I just happen to have it with me: Roman (Ali's grandfather), Bo (Ali's great-uncle), Steve (Ali's great-uncle), Phillip (Ali's Uncle), even Max or John (when he comes back) would be more suitable than EJ to be a male role-model to Ali. And, I'm not too keen on the idea of EJ spouting off that Lucas made the decision to throw it all away and now he's going to pay for it. What's the saying: "People who have raped Sami and shot John, should not throw stones."
So, that leaves Sami. She is the key to resolving this sloppy triangle. For the first time in possibly her entire time in Salem, Sami has to step out and make her character hinge on something other than a man. If she wants EJ to stop bonding with Ali, she needs to keep Ali away from EJ. Now that Sami, Ali, Johnny, and EJ are able to leave the safe house, Sami needs to assume the role of mom and not rely on EJ for help. If EJ and Sami are going to grow close again, it needs to be over something other than Johnny and Ali. I've seen way too many Dr. Phil episodes where people claim to stay together because of their kids, when in actuality; the people did not belong together in the first place. I've said before that Sami and EJ are very much alike. Both constantly try to please their parents. They both are guilty of rationalizing their own actions to themselves in attempt to justify all the pain that they cause to people who got in their way. If EJ is ever going to be redeemed, he's going to have to address these issues and see if Sami forgives him.
We got a great scene with Victor, Caroline, and Chelsea. This was obviously to remind viewers that Bo is Victor's son, thus Shawn and Belle are not related. But I thought the scene was a real treat. Chelsea has both Kiriakis and Brady genes in her, which may explain her feisty/stubborn side that I happen to love. I love that she bluntly asked her grandparents how Bo came along. And, I loved how both Caroline and Victor came right out and told her.
Max and Stephanie continue their flirting. But, Max stops as soon as he realizes that Steph has a lot to deal with before the two of them can be a "couple". He suggests that they take it slow. I agree. I suggest they take it very, very slow. Almost so slow that they forget they think they can be a couple.
The writer's strike is over!!! Whhooohoooo! Not only are my favorite primetime shows due to come back in a few weeks, but it looks as though Days may be hiring back Hogan and Co. Those sneaky little writers put a provision in their agreement that if any writers were fired during the strike, their positions immediately have to be replaced by other writers who were striking. That means that scabs and fi-core (financial core) writers can not retain their positions. I don't think that Dena Higley did a bad job by any means, but I feel like Hogan was just getting started and always deserved a fair shot at Salem. He's done some good, and some bad, but I don't feel like I can make a fair assessment of his work since he hasn't been with the show that long. (Bonus- Here's hoping that Martha and Brandon's "writing dictated" exit will be revoked when the new writers come back.)
Lucas's DVD for Ali. I'm not talking about the sentiment behind it. But, I am talking about the fact that the Salem jail apparently has a special production studio, complete with a Masterpiece Theater set where inmates can author their own DVDs and horrid looking facial hair mysteriously disappears. (insert eye-roll here)
Line of the Week
The following correspondence between John and Steve:
John: We'll dump the fuel.
Steve: Then, we'll crash?
Steve: Then, we'll die!!!
John: Well, hopefully not all of us.
So, that's it for this weeks flight. Did anyone else hear John call Steve "dead eye"? Please let me know because the Star Wars fan in me was sure she heard "jedi".
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