I think … I think … I've got it! As I was watching Days last week I wasn't quite sure what to make of the tempo. It seemed slower than the last few weeks, yet there was a lot of twists and turns which meant I couldn't actually call it slow. Yet, it wasn't fast. It was sort of in the middle. A Waltz? No, not entirely. A Samba? Not exactly. I got it! It's a new dance craze I recently read about called the "The Salem Shuffle." It doesn't have a consistent beat, but you get really good dancers to perform it and make it up as you go along. So now that I've kinda figured out the dance steps, I want everyone to get up, put on their tap shoes, and a bandana perhaps, so we can boogie together. I'll set the pace with my trusty accordion. Ready, ok … 5, 6, 7, 8 …
Right turn …
Jazz Hands Up
And left turn for the big finish … I said jazz hands up people …
Good work everyone! Except for you in the back, those turns could've been a bit smoother. Now, let's cool down from our workout and talk Days. There were cat fights, gun fights, fist fights, verbal fights and … boy, there were a lot of fights! There was also a lot of laughs! So, let's discuss.
Bye, Bye Blondie (Marlena and John)
So Don't-Call-Me-Doc decided to hightail it out of Salem to do a little soul searching. I'm sure this is just a convenient excuse to cover up a little vacation time for Deidre Hall, but I totally support her decision. Marlena has stoically gone from grieving to angry to rejoicing to being utterly confused within a very short time. That just screams, "Calgon take me away!" A+ to her for taking some much needed time to herself.
The actual scenes between John and Marlena at Chez Rouge were amazing. Really, from the writing to the acting, everyone deserves a round of applause. It was a great showcase of how just a simple conversation can be so enthralling. I felt like I was watching an exciting tennis match as my head kept bouncing back and forth while thinking, "Good point Marlena! Oh, oh! Good point John!" It's been such a bittersweet ride for her since his return yet I can't wait to see what happens when she gets back! One thing is for sure, she better be rested because she just might have her hands full with Nicole. Feisty, "I've Finally Got My Backbone Back" Evans vs. Mrs. Hellcat Kiriakis might just be worth waiting for!
There Are Worse Things She Could Do (Nicole and Chloe)
I'm not going to say the claws were back out last week because, honey, they've never been retracted between these two! After spending the better part of the night at the Austrian Consulate, Chloe was just a little miffed by the time she got home. Yep, she went right for Nicole's juggler! If it wasn't for Philip playing the "dad"/mediator role these two would have tore the Kiriakis Mansion apart while slamming and scratching each other!
I have to give it to my girl Nicole as she never fails at cracking me up! First she tried to play innocent and deny her involvement, but then, after a little prodding from "Phloe," she casually admitted making the call. Say what you will about her, but she did love Brady and I totally support the comment she made to Chloe, "You faked your death because of your own vanity." Ouch! Direct hit!
I don't really want to beat a dead horse as I've made my stance of sitting back and watching them go at it pretty clear, but I did enjoy their scenes! With that said, I tend to agree with Laurisa - I'm kinda over Chloe too. Paraphrasing my better Scooping half, Mrs. Black's easily out classed, out bitched and out witted by nearly everyone she goes up against. The writer's need to revamp this wannabe vamp or send her back to Austria until they can make her a little more interesting.
Let's Misbehave (Nicole, John and Philip)
What was interesting is Philip's little proposition to Nicole. Spy on John? What the heck, she basically responded. I don't think Victor will be overly happy about this, but something tells me his father isn't the only person Phil should be worrying about. I suspect he might be trying to play Nicole and, if that's the case, he's going to be in for a rude awakening as she's not one to be fooled and let someone get away with it. I actually don't think John is fooled by the plan either judging from his reactions and his comments to Paul Hollingsworth. This will be fun to watch!
Now, I honestly don't think Nicole is a real threat to the sanctity of John and Marlena so I just took those scenes for face value and that value provoked a lot of laugher. I suspected that putting "RoboJohn" and Nicole together would be a lot of fun, but I never assumed she and Philip would be so entertaining together. They really cracked up! I don't think I'd be overly eager to embrace them as a couple if that's an idea the writers are toying around with, but they definitely have the similar "love/hate," umm, "hate/hate" chemistry that she does with Alison Sweeney (Sami). More of that would be great! "Philcole," not so much.
Suddenly Sami (Sami, E.J. and John)
Speaking of Sami, I'm enjoying her merciless side peeking out! Granted, and again I agree with Laurisa, I don't want to see her revert back to an all out "Scheme-A-Holic," but I did like the way she put her foot down with E.J. Did he really, really think she would agree to stomping out of the DiMera Mansion with infant twins in the middle of the night? Something's up with him. I think he may have the same crazy disease as Ava. First he takes Nicole's case despite Sami's feelings and then he tries to boss her around? Right! Sami doesn't play that game. If he really wants to make a go at their "marriage" he needs to step back and start playing the part of the pacifist, because Sami wears the pants in their faux-family whether he wants to admit it or not. Not to mention the fact she could have him deported if she wanted to! Tread lightly, Mr. Sami Brady.
Lawyer Fun E.J. also tried to challenge Uncle John this week. Ok, John was a little off base by trying to tell him whose case he can and can't take, but he does have major trust issues so I don't blame him. Then they kinda made up and shared in a little brainwashed uncle/pouty nephew bonding time. John thinks E.J. may have Sami right where he wants her by his representation of Nicole - by bringing out her green eyed monster Mr. Jealousy she may realize she has feelings for him. This might work, but, oh boy! This could get ugly! Nicole is like chum to Sami's shark like instincts. Sure, he might score some points with her initially, but he definitely risks being ripped apart in the process.
Aside from "Aggressive Sami" peeking out, you know what else I enjoyed while visiting the House of DiMera? John and her bonding! It was nice to see these to making some strides. With Marlena gone, she definitely needs an ally right now. Well, that might become a little rough considering Nicole is soon to show up on her doorstep, but I have a feeling John knows what he's doing with her, even if E.J. doesn't. Besides, I don't think The Black Attack would risk ruining things with Marlena therefore it's a safe bet that Sami will be ok. I hope so because Sami hating John has long since ran its course.
The Sickest Kid in Town (Chelsea)
In other hoping news, Little Miss Thang tried to convince Dr. Dan and Grammy Kate that she was fit as a fiddle, but that tune went horrible off key when she passed out. Luckily, the good doctor swooped in to save the day - again! For a busy, world renowned doctor, he seems to have a lot of down time. Anyway, it's still unclear what's exactly wrong with her, but it's safe to assume it's something resulting from her surgery. Kate thinks so and definitely let Dr. D know so! Funny enough, he didn't back down to her and stood up for himself! Point/Counter Point! I'm not thrilled with the idea a potential Kate/Dr. Dan pairing, but it's rare to see someone who's not afraid of the Big Bad Manicured Wolf!
There's No Cure Like Trespassing (Bo and Kayla)
Bo and Kayla, the Donnie and Marie Osmond of vigilante crime fighting, begged and pleaded and ended up being released from the hospital last week much to Lexie's chagrin. Good grief! I'm not going to get into the "Stupidity Factor" in all of this - you know, woman with high risk pregnancy and man who just recovered from major, major surgery deciding it was a better idea to charge the fortress themselves rather than call in the reinforcements, a.k.a their big brother Roman. Really, I get that they're overwhelmingly distraught about their spouses, but Roman and/or Abe would have helped. Umm, Abe already kept it under the official police radar for both Steve and Bo when asked, so why wouldn't he do it again? I'm just saying.
BUT, on the other hand, I did enjoy the scenes between the Brady siblings. When they had to call mom to pick them up I totally cracked up! I say get Caroline more involved - she's one tough cookie! I could see her smacking Ava, grabbing the gun from Angelo and saving the day. But, that's not gonna happen. However, you know what really saved these scenes for me? When Bo admitted he was in pain! For the first time, I was happy that he winced and she cramped - it proved to me the writers are paying attention to detail. Having known where this was heading, I had my guns drawn ready to discuss how stupid it was that they're both better all of the sudden, but I don't have to do that which makes me very, very happy!
Another highlight of their little adventure was Kayla's Brady Oomph coming out in full force. Although she displays it sometimes, lately she's came off as a little too dowdy and wishy-washy. Not so much last week! When the inept guard asked her if she knew she was trespassing and she sarcastically quipped, "Well, let me see … I just scaled a wall instead of coming in the front door, so … you tell me," I was totally cheering for her! And when she charged at Ava proclaiming I'm his wife, seriously, wow! She didn't say much during the story Ava and Steve were telling, but I can't wait to hear what she thinks about everything. Something tells me she's not going to back down again as she's one ticked off mama bear!
The Point of No Return (Crazy A and the Captives)
After last week a nightmare laden Hope dashed ahead in the race for the coveted "MAC" Award. Oh, that means "Most Abducted Character" Award. Yep, she's definitely in the lead. She was shot while being held hostage, that's like a "Daily Double" of abduction! Take that stupid Marlena locked in a stupid tower with stupid Roman! Now, if Hope gets knocked unconscious in a burning building while trying to escape she'll complete the "Trifecta" of soap kidnappings! Go for the gold Fancy Face, go for the gold!
Ironically, I thought Kayla's constant cramping would be the death of the viewers via boredom, but as it turned out they nearly killed Hope. Fortunately, she survived, but was it just me or did everyone else hear a collective "hand slapping forehead" sound when Kayla put down the gun? Not one of Sweetness' better moves. As a general rule of thumb, never give an unbalanced person access to a weapon as it never turns out to be a good scenario. Moving on …
The drama continued to unfold at the Vitali Compound and I'm not entirely sure what to think about all of it. This storyline is being saved by good acting. I'll give it that. I can't pick out anyone who isn't kicking some acting butt with it. Kristian Alfonso has blown me away from day one of her involvement as has Tamara Braun. I don't want to sound redundant, but she really knocks my socks off! She's successfully managed to bring to life a character which could have been very one dimensional and turn her into a crazy, psycho bitch you almost feel bad for at times. Not an easy feat. Adding Mary Beth Evans, Stephen Nichols and Peter Reckell to the mix makes all of this into the Daytime Acting Olympics. That's a good thing.
Now, let me talk about the parts I'm having a hard time grasping. I really only found use for about 5% of the flashbacks they bombarded us with last week. One or two I can handle, but they literally had a flashback within a flashback! Ok, I got the point of those particular ones, yet the other two hundred over the week sort of just diminished the importance of the ones that actually benefited the storyline. Oh, and since I'm ranting about flashbacks already I should say they sort of ruined a part of the storyline for me. Not the entire thing, just a part … let me explain.
When Steve and Ava ("Stava" for short) were telling their love story, more specifically about the day of their non-wedding, I was almost entirely drawn in. Aside from the great acting, it was a good, heartbreaking story - perfect for soaps. Ava was just a semi-normal girl back then ready to marry the love of her life. Steve was a lost guy who found a woman that made him feel safe amongst the scariness of his brainwashed life. He had hesitations, but was abducted before he could confront Ava about them. A great twist! Sort of, what bothered me about all of this the writers should have used a little "Flashback Caution" earlier on when telling this story.
Let's just say I'm not a prude and, trust me, I think sex is an important part of an adult relationship, but that's all we've seen Ava and Steve do in the flashbacks we've been presented with up until the point of their almost nuptials. Sex on the beach, sex in a cheap hotel room, sex in her room while hiding from her daddy - we get it - they "enjoyed" each other. Nothing wrong with that at all. The part that irked me is that those flashbacks were only peppered with actual storytelling dialogue. That is what partially ruined some of the validity of their love story as it made it appear simply sexual in nature. Again, if two adults want to have that type of relationship with each other, go for it, but don't make it out into a great love story and, to a point, that's what Stava's came across like to me. Maybe I'm wrong. I mean it's obvious that Steve has/had feelings for her and it's more than obvious that she has strong feelings for him, but there's just something missing that shouldn't be after this long. According to the previews on NBC.com, the conclusion of the "Obsession" storyline is set for next week - let's hope the payoff is a big one and we can take the winnings and fly to the tropics for a much needed Vitali vacation!
Hot and Not
Hot: Kayla taking the reins while storming the Vitali Compound was pretty hot! She shushed Bo, stepped out and demanded to see Ava! You go girl!
Not: One word - flashbacks! Where all of them completely necessary? At some point they were so long I thought I was watching an episode from the day before! I'd rather see pointless Tony and Anna filler than things that happened the day before over and over and over again. Call me crazy.
Line, err, Exchange of the Week:
Philip: [We're going] to breakfast. I'd rather not talk here.
Nicole: Oh, fine! I'm starving … and I'm kinda thirsty if you know what I mean.
Philip: Even in the morning?
Nicole: Especially in the morning! Now I just need to decide if I'm in a Mimosa mood or Bloody Mary mood.
A Friendly Reminder …
"Take Your Friend to Salem Day" is in full swing! So make sure to invite a friend, co-worker, loved one or even a complete stranger to watch Days with you! Laurisa and I have a mission - to make non-"Days-A-Holics" as unhealthily obsessed as we are! For more information on "… Salem Day" be sure to check out Laurisa's or my SoapCentral.com Blogs!
Parting Thoughts …
So friends and Days fans, that's "Two Scoops" for the week of April 14th. I was glad to see Morgan and Philip get a little screen time together - hopefully love will be in the air for these two! I also hope everyone goes a little green this week to celebrate Earth Day! Plant a tree, recycle a bit more than normal, carpool or you could reduce energy by inviting some friends to watch Days with you (one TV on is better than two)! Wow, talk about shameless self promotion! And, as "Conservative" John Black used to say, "That's a fact."
As always, thanks for reading!
Need more Two Scoops? Laurisa and I are always up to something, so make sure to check out our Soap Central Blogs for more ranting, raving and all-out randomness!