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Jay Kenneth Johnson
Six degrees of Paul Hollingsworth
by Tony
For the Week of July 28, 2008
Aside from Philip taking a bullet, a lot of other shocking things happened in Salem last week, and most of them revolved around one man -- Paul Hollingsworth.
Woah-ho-ho Days Fans! Cue the organist - we had an old fashioned Friday Cliffhanger on our hands! I haven't seen one like that since Kayla had feathered hair and Bo wore a Village People-esque biker jacket all the time. Seriously, I still can't believe what happened! A week's worth of episodes ended without "Going Green" talk! What a shocker! Wait, ere, no, that wasn't it - OH! Philip was shot!

Actually, aside from Dimples taking a bullet, a lot of other shocking things happened in Salem last week and most of them revolved around one man - Paul Hollingsworth! Tony confronted John about him, Bo confronted Philip about him, Kate confronted Philip about him and, boy oh boy, did Morgan confront John about him! But that wasn't all the confrontations we had folks - it was like a two for one sale! For ever Paul Hollingsworth Confrontation, you got another one free! Yes, I said free! Kayla finally confronted Steve about Ava, John "confronted" Ava three times, everyone confronted Bo about his odd behavior and Stephanie confronted her worst nightmare! Let's discuss!

Eddie's Got A Gun (The Suspicious & The Suspects)

I'll be honest, up until the last few moments of Friday's episode I'd started the painful process of writing off Morgan as a character I used to like. She was big time onboard the Needy Train heading towards Annoyingville for most of last week again. That is, I repeat, that is until she hopped off at the DiMera Mansion stop and let John have it with both barrels blazing! She certainly didn't need Philip's backup on that one! Welcome back spunky Morgan, we missed you!

Unfortunately, it was Cousin Eddie's barrels that were actually blazing and Philip stepped in to take one for the home team. Will dimples live or die? If he lives, will this draw him and Morgan closer together or will she find out the truth and add insult to his injury? How will Kate take the news!? Will she go after John? Ava? Eddie? Will she stop to get a manicure first? I'm dying to know what will happen next and, that folks, is what daytime's all about!

One of the awesome parts about this plot is that it's involving so many characters! Pretty much everyone has something to do with or knows something about the case. Even Tony crept out of the woodwork to give his take on things. Again, awesome! Not to mention the awesomeness that is Abe linking the clues together and finding out something's missing - I wonder what that could be Detective Bo? More on that later!

Now, in addition to the shot heard around the DiMera Mansion, this case is just a little old enigma rapped inside of a riddle tied up in a big mysterious bow. I'm still pretty stumped as to who killed Paul Hollingsworth. Perhaps, I should say - who made Paul Hollingsworth disappear. We never really did see a "dead" Paul we saw a body that appeared to be dead. But, this is Days after all, so either way he could still turn up breathing. So, has Paul been alive this entire time or is he the next member of the overpopulated Resurrection Club? I think he's alive. Here's my theory …

First, we didn't actually see his "murder" - we saw an unconscious body being pushed into the river. We actually saw Hope fall into a vat of acid years ago and she's back on the force now. That point should support part of my theory.

Next, who is dispensable enough to make the culprit? Whereas I enjoy seeing a criminal get what's coming to them, can Days afford another prison storyline or to write out a main character? Probably not, which continues to make me believe Paul is wondering around Salem somewhere. Perhaps he's keeping a low profile as he's working with the cops to nail the bad guy in exchange for immunity! That would be pretty cool and I know Roman would love any excuse to stick it to John, if he in fact turns out to be "the bad guy."

Let's actually take a detour and look at some of the potential culprits. Ava would be too easy of a scapegoat. Sure she could be doing it to "impress" John and she's leaving town soon, but I don't think so. I hope not at least as that would be a lame outcome. John and Philip both have the reasons and resources so its no wonder they're at the top of the list. Yet, I don't think its Philip as he's being made out to be TOO suspicious. He's guilty of threats, but I think he's smart enough to know what happens to pretty boys in prison and wouldn't play the murder card. That leads me to John.

This Tony suspects him as well as the other one - Tony DiMera that is. He paid his uncle a visit that seemed to rattle RoboJohn's cage a bit. It was cool to see the writers didn't forget that John asked Tony for help and it was also cool that Tony went after him. Normally I'd think making John the culprit would make the character too unredeemable, but the writers have a huge trump card - his amnesia! That could easily be an out for all his crimes. Well, an easier out at least. Moving on …

Finally, why do I think Paul's alive? Simply because I believe Salem's a lot more interesting with him in it. His presence has been one of the keys to the Black-DiMera Familia vs. Kiriakis Clan Turf War '08. Why not milk that cash cow as long as they can? He knows too much about John and Philip and this could play out for a while longer. And, ultimately, he's still dispensable. Let's just say, for example, he goes crazy from being blackmailed and takes aim at John or Philip then one of them, or someone else even, has to kill him in self defense. That could lead to a more secrets and lies, a trial perhaps and, hopefully, a big old plot payoff for the fans. So, thank you Mr. Paul Hollingsworth for mysteriously vanishing because, without you, this storyline wouldn't be possible!

What About Bo? (Bo and Company)

Heck, you know things are bad if Marlena took time out of her John obsessed life to notice something was wrong! Bo. Bo. Bo. You have some 'splainin' to do! From Dr. Dan to Chelsea to Caroline to Kayla to Hope herself, everyone tried to figure out what's eating Beauregarde Brady. I can't blame them for worrying about our beloved detective as he's on a collision course with chaos. Actually a collision course with Hope is more like it. When she finds out what he's been hiding her fancy face is going to turn all shades of red! I'm worried about this super couple as a super fight is bound to happen and that could just be the beginning of his problems.

Like Laurisa, I support Bo's choice. It was a very "Bo" thing to do, yet he's definitely not happy about it. I think he secretly wanted to make Philip feel as miserable as he does and I don't blame him. Thankfully, it only took a bunch of beer and a few shots with the Patch Man to make him feel a little better. Support is always good, but this cat is a long way from scratching itself out of the bag. I hope he got a rabies shot recently - he may need it.

A Hard Knock Life (Ava)

Aside from a rooftop romp (and a few other ones with John), things didn't look good for Ms. Vitali last week. Just ask E.J. who didn't sugarcoat the possibility that she could be up the river without a paddle. I know Tamara Braun's time in Salem is just about up, but I hope they usher her out of town with an open door policy. Ere, then again, if they kill her off she probably has a better chance of coming back.

Anyway, so E.J. gave her more than an earful about her rather grim situation. The Irish Government is after her, the Feds are pressuring for a "Sabotage and Murder" rap and haven't even touched the rest of the goods they have on her, and, the big ouch - one of her cousins sold her out for a plea bargain. In so many words, not good.

At first she thought about skipping bail and even asked John to come with her. Once he gave her the big negative she paced like a caged tiger and went to … Steve for help!? Say what!? I get her warped reasoning, God help me, but she might be asking for a little much. Steve being Steve said he would tell the truth, but that still doesn't mean Ava's going to like what she hears. I'm very interested in seeing what happens - will Ave get sent to the big house or end up fleeing to her big house in Tuscany?

Welcome Home … Ava? (Kayla, Steve and Sami)

I gotta hand it to Steve and Kayla, they think of everything. They baby proof their apartment, put a do not disturb sign on the door and then yell at each other in front of Joe! D'oh! Not one of their brightest moves, yet I can't blame Kayla for being a little miffed! It was about time she had it out with Steve about Ava. Of course, within record time, she forgave him, but I was glad Sweetness got it off her chest and I'm glad the writer's went back to it. In generally, they seem to be doing a lot of forgotten storyline housekeeping lately which is a very nice treat to loyal fans. It was also a nice treat to see Maggie and Caroline together! How chic did Mags look with her sunglasses!?

Let me get back on track, the catalyst to all of this was Ava showing up at the apartment building to look at Sami's old place. I might be in a minority here as I'm on Sami's side with this one. It was really a no win situation all around, but, in a pinch, she chose her mother's feelings over her aunt's. Not that she had much of a choice as John pretty much blackmailed her! What a robo-jerk! Regardless, that had to be a hard call for her to make and she tried to explain things to Auntie Kay, but had the door shut in her face. No cool. Marlena went in to do a little smoothing over, but I would have liked to have seen Sami and Kayla talk things out like adults. Sami needs all the maturity points she can get! However I did come up with a theory about Sami and we'll discuss that in the next section.

All In The Family (Marlena, Roman and Sami)

I second Laurisa's comments last week - the streak is over! I'm back to being officially annoyed with Marlena. Not helpful Doc that took time out to ask Bo if he was alright, that was nice. No, I'm annoyed with "One Track Mind Marlena." I really don't buy this "heavier workload" she insists she's taken on as she seems to have plenty of time to obsess over John. Perhaps I'm being insensitive to her plight, but when her plight includes pointless plotting and playing Roman that's where I draw the line. She's just sort of embarrassing herself now.

But, then again, Roman always lets her get away with it! Instead of "Hello," he should just greet her with, "Yes, Master, what can I do for you now?" He's like Doc's very own Dr. Rolf only he's a willing servant. Gee, I wonder why he has never really moved on!? I think Roman and Marlena should be the poster children for "Codependence Anonymous." However there is one thing that became obvious after their constant rounds of "Coddle Me" and that is Sami's genes.

Perhaps Ms. Samantha can actually blame her parents for the way she acts. First there's the wishy-washy act of juggling of two men. I wonder where she got that from? *Cough Marlena* Second, she can be a bit self absorbed at times, especially when dealing with juggling two men. *Cough Marlena* Third, she holds a certain someone *cough St. Lucas* on an undeserving pedal stool and argues that no one could live up to him. And I wonder where she gets the hero worshiping notion from? *Cough Roman* Finally, there's her inability to let go of past relationships. Hmm, I wonder, where could she have gotten that from? *Cough - both her parents* It kind of makes me feel a little bad for Sami and makes me wonder, did Stefano try to do her a favor by keeping her parents locked up for years? Ok, I need a cough drop with a vodka chaser so let's move on from talking about bad parents and talk about some good ones.

Child's Play (Abe and Lexie)

Amongst the annoying, read Kate/Dr. Dan and the long train ride to nowhere, Days continues to pump out on heck of a storyline in regards to the Carvers. Last week they explored yet another hardship that arose because of Theo's Autism - money woes. As it turns out, Theo's doctors suggested they enroll him in "Play Therapy" which could cost the Carvers anywhere between one and two thousand a month on top of their deductable! Holy cashola! Now, I doubt the Chief of Staff at University Hospital and the Salem P.D. Commissioner would have THAT much to worry about in the money department, but times are rough, even in Salem, and perhaps they too worry about things such as gas, bills and mortgages. Even if they don't, it's nice that the show is exploring all the angles associated with Theo's condition. A+ for that!

One part that really got me, I have to admit, is when Abe and Lexie discussed Theo's future. James Reynolds really knocked it out of the park with his portrayal as Abe tried to struggle with the possibility that Theo might not have the future he had hoped for. Aside from being socially relevant, it's nice to see this storyline is focusing on their struggles not only to do what's best for their son, but to do what's best for each other as well. See Higley, you can make an interesting plot for a couple without introducing a doctor loving granny. I'm just saying.

Somebody Cage the Cougar - Please! (Kate, Dr. Dan and Chelsea)

And speaking of that doctor loving granny, what can I really say about Kate at this point other than "ICKY!" Major, major icky! Higley needs a time out for writing this storyline … and she doesn't deserve dessert either. It's so been there, done that and didn't even find it fascinating enough to buy the t-shirt, so why oh why are we going up this road again? It's not doing any of the characters any favors or the viewers.

First, Kate is acting like a complete fool! When did she become so clingy and gushy? Does she think now that Morgan's got her spunk back there's a vacancy in Needy Land? That is not the Kate we all know and love to hate. Even when she was smitten with John and Roman she never really followed them around like a love struck teenager. Sure, she softened a bit, but Kate has melted into an infuriating puddle of blah and I'd barely recognize her last week if it wasn't for her scenes with Philip and Anna.

The straw that broke the cougars back, however, is when she spontaneously showed up on the rooftop to see Dr. Dan. From that point on, she couldn't make an argument good enough for me to believe she actually has Chelsea's best interest at heart. She was obviously coming on to him! Not that anyone could blame her entirely, hello rich hot doctor, but, come on Kate, it's your granddaughter's boyfriend! Let's just say at this point I'd rather see her meddle in her children's love lives - that's how much I'm loathing this storyline.

Second, Dr. Dan's knight armor is starting to lose its shine and that's sad as Salem needs all the heroes it can get (especially with a certain Phoenix returning soon). I agree with Laurisa, he doesn't owe Chelsea an alphabetized list of all the women he's been with, but Kate's not just another woman and sleeping with her, while trying to sort out his feelings for Chelsea, is not cool. Not cool at all. Also not cool is now their scenes are bittersweet instead of simply being sweet as we're left waiting for Kate's stiletto to fall and crush Chelsea. I love the entire "suspense factor" normally, but this is just so annoyingly eye rolling. Paging a new twist - you're wanted in Salem stat.

We finally come to Chelsea. She is unknowingly heading for the biggest fall since the Roman Empire. All the classic soap signs are there. She's blindly infatuated with her "Dream Man," loves her new job and is finally getting along with her family. Caroline is backing her relationship and Bo is showing slight signs of acceptance. Yep, she's happy which means time to drop the bomb! I just hope the fallout doesn't turn Swamp Baby back into a big baby and she handles things as best she can with her new and improved mature attitude. Oh, a guy can dream there's a silver lining to this very dark Days' cloud.

Le Petit Engine That Couldn't (Max and Stephanie)

And since we're on the topic of annoying plots, let's talk about Max and Stephanie's train ride. By moving so very slowly, this is quickly becoming the little storyline that couldn't hold my interest. It's stalled worse than the train last week. Have they been onboard the French Anti-Express for a week and a half now or has it really the ten years it feels like? I can't figure that out especially considering Stephanie teleported there in record time, days have gone by in Salem and Paris is less than five-hundred miles away from Marseille. Not a short jaunt, mind you, but several days' worth of travel? Not so much. I think the writers are just trying to show off the new train set and spiffy map graphics.

However, one thing is clear - I'm never taking a train in France! There're delays, constant stops and thieves a plenty! Très fou! I do have to hand it to Steph, though, as she was pretty dang impressive when she fought off Pepé Le Pickpocket! What a terrifying situation and she handled it so well. I also thought it was pretty smart of the writers to add in the little Ford flashback as it definitely helped heighten her terror and showed just how much she's been through and still came out on top. Three cheers for Stephanie! Now someone get that girl a croissant.

Now, back to Pepé, I'm not sure if that was a random act of burglary, a lame attempt to perk up the storyline or something more sinister. Maybe he's working for someone, I thought! Trent perhaps? Maybe, but I don't know if the Mean Dean actually has those kind of resources, yet I don't know of anyone else who cares that much about Max's mission. In any event, I hope the train, and this storyline, picks up speed as I'm desperately ready to get off at the next stop.

Extra Scoops

Hot & Not

Hot: This is a two part hot! First, Anna and Kate having drinks!? Hot! Those two could give catty lessons to the junior diva set any day of the week. If I didn't like them so much as enemies, they could make a pretty ferocious team! Also pretty hot was the way Chloe sauntered into the police station to say goodbye to Lucas! She reminded me of some vixen from a Film Noir flick. Take it in Mr. Roberts-Horton, that's the last woman you'll see in a while!

Not: It was a tossup - Nympho Granny or the endless train ride? I went with both! Higley has proved in other ways how well she can tell a story and I'm waiting for her to set the wheels in motion to revamp these ones. Great characters and great actors plus a lame storylines don't equal happy viewers or Scoopers.

Line of the Week:

"Well, look on the bright side. Only one of your children are in prison," Anna to Kate while discussing parenting woes.

Parting Thoughts …

So friends and Days fans, that's "Two Scoops" for the week of July 28th. If you're like me and can't wait to see what happens next, first, head over to The Scoops section to check out the latest sneak peaks and gossip then discuss it on the message boards! Fun and free - can't beat that combo! And, on a personal note, I'd like to send out birthday wishes to two very special Days loving ladies in my life - my Mom and Holly! I wish you both many more great ones to come and, "That's a fact."

As always, thanks for reading!
Tony

Need more Two Scoops? Laurisa and I are always up to something, so make sure to check out our soapcentral.com Blogs 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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