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 Two Scoops: July 21, 2008 columns
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Peter Reckell
Step into the light
For the Week of July 21, 2008
The fact that Bo is covering for Philip is very consistent with Bo's character. Yes, he's a tough-nosed detective, but he's always had a soft spot for his family.
Ahhh…the power is restored in our fair Salem! That means that this week a lot of secrets were brought into the light. I have to confess, the first three days this week had me so angry at some of my favorite characters that I sent an email to my partner-in-crime, Tony, with the subject line "Therapy Needed". My action proved two things. One, I really need to get out more. Two, Days must be doing something right that I can be still be surprised by the new storylines. Just so you know, Thursday and Friday episodes put me back in a good mood (for the most part) so I'm back on the Happy Days Train. Let's take a ride!

VICTOR, BO, and PHILLIP
Like Tony, I love me some Bo and Phillip bonding! I'm glad that these two had their scene at Victor's bedside. Not only does it remind us that Phillip does have a brother who isn't sleeping with his lady friend, but it sets up the huge cover-up. Bo gives Victor the tape recorder that "incriminates" Phillip. I know I'm going to get criticized for saying this (get your cyber tomatoes ready, fans) but I actually like the fact that Bo is covering up for Phillip. I like it because it is very consistent with Bo's character. Yes, he's a tough-nosed detective, but he's always had a soft spot for his family and blurs the picture when it comes to their guilt. I know it's not right, but it's Bo. The dude leads with his heart. Sometimes it gets him into trouble, but that's what I love about Bo in the first place.

Until now I thought that Ava would end up being the guilty party, but now I think the senior Kiriakis ordered the hit. Victor told Bo that Phillip didn't kill Paul. Hmmm…(que Spidey sense)…How does Victor know that Paul is dead and that Phillip is innocent? The only way is if Victor is actually the real killer! Since Kate plans to burn the tape that she already destroyed, Bo's testimony is the only remaining evidence to incriminate Phillip. My guess is that Bo will take his dad's advice and try to prove his brother's innocence. The problem is by doing so Bo will have to stumble upon Victor's guilt.

MORGAN
Young Miss Hollingsworth sure became a little bit of a wuss, huh? It's not that I don't enjoy the Phorgan scenes. At least this way they have some legitimate material to bond over if they do become a couple. But, since when did Morgan need her hand held through everything? She asked Phillip to go through her father's things with her, go to the post office with her to pick up the package her dad sent to her, and then asked Phillip to open the dang thing!

Here's my theory: it's all an act. Morgan has been playing Phillip all this time to find out what he knows about her father. If you notice, she tells Phillip to leave every time she talks to the police. Phillip knows just enough information to start making his guilty little head spin. I'm not questioning Morgan's grief over her father, but something about the way she's acting now just doesn't jive with the spicy Morgan that stood up to John Black DiMera.

I like the idea of these two falling for each other while "using" each other. It's very Mr. and Mrs. Smith. But, I totally suspect the writers to go the traditional route: Morgan falls for Phillip, her knight in shining armor, just before she learns that Phillip is a bad guy and just after Phillip realizes that he isn't just "spying" on Morgan, he's also falling for her. I'm ok with that too.

STEPHANIE
Unfortunately, one character I'm just not ok with is Stephanie. She spent the earlier half of the week sulking grieving over Max leaving town without her and the second half of the week stalking joining Max in Europe. Riddle me this: If your boyfriend lied to you, left the country without telling you, and valued your dad's opinion over your own, why the heck would you stay in that relationship? Answer: Because your name is Stephanie Johnson and you are a bad relationship-aholic.

Think about it. First, Jeremy abused her and got her involved in an international smuggling scheme. Now, Max lies to her and then leaves the country. Despite the coolness of Shelley Hennig, I am at my wit's end with the Stephanie. That girl is the most clueless, desperate, and self-deprecating character in Salem. She's almost painful to watch. Please get rid of Stax and give Stephanie something else to do! Stephanie was great when she interacted with her sorority sisters. I even liked her scenes with Anna during the internship. But, I can't STAND this version of Stephanie. I know that Morgan and Chelsea are busy, but those two need to set aside some time and sit Stephanie down for some ice cream and a serious talk about her decisions in the man department. Come to think of it, once Stephanie hears that Chelsea's man slept with her grandmother and Morgan's man may have ordered her father's death, Stephanie might just count her lucky stars that she dating her country-jumping uncle.

LUCAS
Hot dog! Bryan Dattilo is finally getting an awesome new storyline! Lucas agrees to go into maximum security prison to do "something" for the police. Naturally, I think we're supposed to believe that he's going to be an informant. Since the police are trying to find out what happened to Paul Hollingsworth, I would think that Lucas would be searching for thugs who worked for the DiMeras or Kiriakises. But, wouldn't it be interesting if Lucas ran into one Patrick Lockhart……just a thought.

SAMI and EJ
Whoa! It got ugly fast in Ejami land! I didn't see this storyline coming at all. EJ went out and got a court order that requires Sami to stay put in Casa de DiMera until there is a custody hearing over Johnny. Sami is less than thrilled that she had to cancel her recent travel plans. Ok technically, she didn't have a destination, but it doesn't matter now because she's stuck in the "haunted mansion" with the rest of the creeps.

No surprise, James Scott and Alison Sweeney were great in these scenes. By great, I mean they made me want to reach through my TV and strangle both Sami and EJ for being immature knuckleheads. This section could easily go into how many things Sami and EJ got wrong, but for the sake brevity, I'll stick with what points each character has right. (Coincidentally, that is the much shorter list).

First, let's take Sami. She is 100% right that she needs to move out of the mansion. Living with her adulterous stepfather, her feuding ex-husband, and a mad scientist who boast "brainwashing" and "face transplants" as some of his greatest hits, is not a good idea for the kiddies. I don't care if Sami was trying to run from EJ, she needs to move those kids out of there.

Now it's EJ's turn. EJ is completely right that Sami creates a world for herself and then expects everyone and everything to fall into place. Watching her scenes this week, where she waxed on and on about how great Lucas is, made me realize that Sami's opinions of Lucas and EJ are equally delusional. She thinks that EJ will damn her and that Lucas will save her. The truth of the matter is that EJ probably isn't as bad as Sami would like him to be and Lucas probably isn't as good. All this time I've been criticizing Lucas for being pompous when maybe the real problem is that Sami put Lucas up on a pedestal, which he never asked for in the first place.

JOHN
EJ approached John with the proposition to work together. I love everything about this idea!! For starters, Drake and John play off each other very well and, together, they embody the term "power". Then there's the bonus that it keeps EJ away from Nicole and John away from Ava- two pairings that greatly hinder the males' storylines. Finally, it digs into the true Stefano DiMera roots. After last summer's Galway saga, I'm not convinced that Santo was the evil one. I think that Stefano truly started the DiMera daemon dominance and this John and EJ pairing gets right to the crux of all the evil. I can't wait!!

For now, EJ has earned John's praise when EJ successfully bribed a judge to make John's drug charges go away. But EJ hasn't earned John's trust yet because….wait for it…John doesn't like the way EJ is treating Sami! Whodathunk that John would be defending Sami Brady? But it makes perfect sense. Sami is the only one who's advice to John servers no private agenda. Sure, she wants old John back with her mom, but she's not spoon feeding John rainbow fairy tales of how old John used to be the Patron Saint of Salem (cough!Marlena!). Sami's also not showering John's power ego with compliments about how his new found persona will soon rule the world (hi Ava!).

MARLENA
I still love Deirdre Hall, but I'm over feeling sorry for Marlena. This week, she went from compassionate victim to ego-maniac. Ok, "ego-maniac" is probably a little dramatic, but it seemed like every single thing Marlena did rubbed me the wrong way. First, she had to find out from Roman that Sami is having a laundry list of problems. In no particular order: 1. Lucas slept with Chloe. 2. Lucas is going to jail. 3. EJ slept with Nicole. 4. EJ is suing Sami for custody of Johnny. You'd think that after a city wide power outage Marlena might have thought to phone Sami and see if she was ok. Second, Marlena was all too quick to pull the "Do it for me" card with Roman when she decided that Lucas needs to be with Sami. (Don't even get me started on the fact that Roman gave in!) Third, who the hell does Marlena think she is promising Rolf immunity?!?!? She might have well just said, "I can control Roman's every decision faster than you can fire a kiln." I don't think that Marlena is a bad person, but I'm starting to see where Princess Belle learned how to polish a tiara!

NICOLE and TRENT
We still don't know what Trent has over Nicole, but apparently it's so bad that Nicole tells EJ that they won't be taking any more elevators rides. I'm glad that Nicole told Ava what Trent has over her, but I'm dying to know too!! Nicole tells Trent that Max has left town, but doesn't know where he's headed. I really, really, really hope that the writers don't miss the boat to have Nicole and Max join forces. I would LOVE to see those two together. On a side note, I think it's ironic that EJ doesn't like the way Trent treats people since EJ can treat people the very same way. Apparently, Trent doesn't know that one must have an English accent in order to pull off a "passive-aggressive-pompous-jerk" attitude. It's a common mistake. Happens to me all the time.

KATE
Speaking of mistakes, the writers fell asleep at the wheel with Kate. In The Biggest Rewrite I've seen in recent Days history, Kate and Daniel had a "relationship". Kate picked a drunken Daniel up one night at the Brady pub and took him home to "help him". Then, she apparently helped his brains out for at least a few more weeks. Oi Vey! This storyline makes me want to out drink Nicole. And no, not because it spells trouble for Dansea. No, not because it's a replay of Billie/Nick/Chelsea. No, not because there are plenty of other single men for Kate to sleep with. But, I'm seriously hurt by how dumb the writers must think I am that I would actually buy into The Rewrite.

Forget cougar, The Rewrite makes Kate a snake. I know that it takes two to tango and that Daniel deserves some blame too. But, he didn't owe Chelsea anything. It's not like he was….I don't know…Chelsea's closest relative and primary confidant! Why Kate would just spit on all of that trust rattles me to my soap-opera-loving core. Kate's one constant redeeming quality is that she loves her children. I just don't buy the fact that she would actively pursue someone that she knows her granddaughter has feelings for.
< br> The flashback to The Rewrite was another horrible choice by the writers. I remember that scene very well. (Granted, I mainly remember how dapper Shawn Christian looked in that camel colored blazer!) That was the scene where an enraged Kate came over to Daniel at the bar and admonished him for drinking when Chelsea could need him! So either we're supposed to believe that Kate pulled a 180 later in the night and decided to be the good doctor's friend (with benefits); OR, Kate and Dan ran into each other again- at the exact same pub, wearing the exact same clothes, and at the exact same level of intoxication/desperation. Insert eye roll here.

Finally, and most egregious of all, The Rewrite references an action that the viewers haven't witnessed. Soap opera culture is based on dramatic irony, meaning that the audience knows more than the characters do. So, to have something happen off screen seems very LAZY in the writing department. Not only did it happen off screen, but it happened off screen when both of the actors were on contract with the show and could have played out the storyline for us! I'm not opposed to Dansea having challenges and I know I have to overlook a lot of common sense to be a soap fan. But, this storyline is all kinds of disappointing.

ABE, LEXIE, and THEO
If there are other storylines with holes in them it's obviously because the writers are using all of their powers to write the heck out of the Carver's autism storyline. I love watching these scenes. James Carver and Renee Jones are rock stars. The subtleties that they each bring to this storyline break my heart and makes this, for me, the storyline to watch this summer.

Lexie tried to smile her way through her conversation with Caroline and act like nothing was wrong even though Theo wasn't responding to any of Caroline's questions. There's a sense of embarrassment that Lexie doesn't know how to deal with. I feel Lexie's discomfort when I watch the scenes and I just want to help her.

The same goes for Abe. He's trying to mask how hurt his pride is each time Theo behaves abnormally. Abe is a strong, just-the-facts character, yet he has to be so emotionally available and patient with his son. His professional and his private personas are bound to have a huge head-on collision. It's like I almost see the pain that Abe is going to encounter in the future.

Finally, the writing is wonderful. I really enjoy how the writers are having Abe and Lexie share the difficulties with Theo's autism in separate, one-on-one scenes with other characters. A few weeks ago it was Marlena. This week it was Lexie with Caroline and Abe with Hope. I much prefer this to a major revelation that happens and then all of a sudden all the characters "heard about that" later in the week. This storyline went from "suffering" from autism to "living" with autism- a distinction that will make this storyline stand out from the other PSA-type stories.

LOOSE ENDS:
EJ mentioned his mother and Edmund!!!!! WHOOHOO! Wait…..when did he get back in touch with Susan? I know. I bet he ran into her at Tony and Anna's wedding.

Chloe said that she couldn't sit around and drink all day with Nicole because Chloe's not living off a huge divorce settlement. Really? She isn't? Didn't she just divorce a Kiriakis man too? I know that Brady isn't near as loaded as Victor, but I'm pretty sure that Phillip made sure that Chloe was taken care of financially.

The mail clerk was Norma from Passions!!! I kept waiting for her to pull out a cleaver and run after Tabitha for killing her daddy. Harmony fans, unite!

Chloe talked to her mom again AND mentioned Joy and Craig. I'm so glad that the writers remember history.

Anyone else think that Joey will be 14 when Steve and Kayla finally bring him home from the hospital?

Rolf takes pottery classes and tango lessons! (Note: not at the same time)

Extra Scoops:

LINE of the WEEK:
Phillip's dismissal comment of Bo and Hope: "Officers"
Hope's correction of Phillip: "Detectives" HA! Hope doesn't let anyone insult her! Go Hope!

Honorable mention: Ava's reaction to EJ and Nicole's elevator ride: "Whoah. Maybe John and I need to get stuck in an elevator."

HOT:
Nicole and Chloe's cocktail hour. I want these two to be friends. I really do. I love how Nicole called Chloe out on pretending to be dead and Chloe just nodded and conceded "Touché, don't remind me."

NOT:
EJ's justification that Nicole's love for Pookie is proof that she could make a good mother. I can't decide on what is more ridiculous so you'll have to help me out:
a) EJ equating child care to owning a small dog
b) The fact that said proof of Nicole's parenting skills ended up in the hospital after being poisoned.

Dishonorable mention: Kate for saying that "she usually doesn't sleep around". THUMP! That was my jaw hitting the floor. Isn't Kate the same one woman who slept with Stefano for money just a few months ago? Before that, wasn't she sleeping with EJ in exchange for him trying to break up Sami and Lucas? Right. Kate's a real good girl! Got it.

Special Announcement:
I'd like to thank all of you who have been nice enough to send me feedback about this column. I love reading it- even if you disagree with me- because it gives me a chance to meet other great Days fans! Amy was nice enough to email me a while back and tell me about the great way that she shows her love for Days. She made this awesome "John Black" tank top that…well…you just have to see to believe! I absolutely love it and I'm so glad to see fans having fun with their soaps! So, head over to my blog to see Amy's creation and let me know what cool things you've done to show your love for your favorite show!

That's it, Days fans! A few parting questions to hold you over 'til Tony comes back next week: Does anyone else think that Steve and Kayla really need something else to do besides baby Stephanie and enable her woe-is-me attitude? Who will find out that Bo concealed evidence first- Hope or Abe? And are you enjoying the way the writers are handling the Carver's autism storyline? Click on the "email the Columnist" link below to send me your thoughts!

Happy Viewing!
Laurisa



Need more Two Scoops? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony for more ranting, raving, and all-out randomness

Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.
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