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 Two Scoops: November 10, 2008 columns
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Blake Berris
Focus on the positive(ly creepy)
For the Week of November 10, 2008
The change in Nick's character ushers in a whole new world of possibilities to explain his past and set up for his juicy future.
I hate to break it to you my little Flirtinis, but we've been punked. That's right. Someone has played a horribly nasty joke on all of us. This week was a lesson in how to do bad filler. Most every storyline pretty much followed the same pattern: Minor Plot Revelation + TONS of Wretched Filler= First Week of November Sweeps. Not even my sugar high from all that delicious Halloween candy could raise my spirits about most of the storylines. Note: I said "most." There was one HUGE exception to the filler rule. One very soapy storyline started in a quiet house, tucked off a main highway. Being the good soap addict that I am, I watched all of it- good and bad. So, let's get started!

SAMI and RAFE
They actually had a staring contest this week. These two are boring me to tears. Stay tuned next week when Sami and Rafe spar in rousing matches of "I know you are, but what am I?" and then play the quiet game. I really want to like Rafe but I just don't. Maybe it's because I still can't stop looking at him and thinking about Luis since Galen Gering is pretty much playing the exact same role (just slightly smarter). Maybe it's because Galen and Alison Sweeney have about as much chemistry as me and a pair of size 0 jeans- no matter how much you try to force us together, it just ain't happening.

I also feel like the writers are trying to change Sami to fit with Rafe. He keeps calling her a spoiled brat. When I hear the word "spoiled" I think of characters like Belle, Philip, EJ or Stephanie; characters born into a privileged life and never really suffer consequences for their actions. Then there are characters like Sami, Chelsea, Nicole or Kate who will forever carry around the stigma of being trouble makers because they spearheaded their own schemes. There's an element of weakness inherent in someone that is spoiled, and I would never call any of the latter characters weak. A hand full of other four letter words come to mind, but "weak" is not on the list.

Sami did find out that Nicole was arrested for Trent's murder. I hope that this means Sami will try to escape again. Sami and Rafe need to get out of that room. Remember the Vitali compound storyline? We got sick of seeing the same characters in the same room and that was with Tamara Braun and Kristian Alfonso!

NICOLE and EJ
Finally we're at a point with this relationship that makes sense. Neither EJ nor Nicole trust each other. And, they shouldn't. EJ started doubting Nicole last week and that spilled over to this week when he didn't exactly do a great job keeping Nicole out of jail. Seriously, I don't know what kind of DiMera he thinks he is if he can't even bother to pay off the right judge. Sheesh!

It only took Nicole a few painful whining scenes for her to realize that maybe EJ is a little bit more into being a dad than being her savior. Nicole accused EJ of conspiring with Stefano to set her up for Trent's murder. I'm sure she'll back peddle first thing Monday, but for a split second I was cheering, "YEAH! " Nicole actually realized that having a DiMera baby isn't all picket fences and animal print nurseries. She's been hard to watch in recent weeks, but this scene was the one scene that finally made sense. Nicole would have to be an idiot not to realize that the DiMera mansion is mysteriously absent of any of the women who bore Stefano's kids.

Finally, after some horribly painful filler with Nicole in the hospital infirmary, Nicole decided that it was time to talk about what really happened with Trent. She did fight with him. She even brought a gun with the intent to kill him. But, she just couldn't do it. Luckily, she remembered a tall male being in the shadows when she left. I'm not sure how confessing that you had a weapon and wanted to kill someone is a good defense, but it worked for Caroline, so why not Nicole? She needs to get out of that jail soon anyway. I can't stand any more scenes with her inmates.

NICK
For those of you who missed it, get over to YouTube or NBC.com right now. There's stuff happening with Nick that you have to see to believe. The crux of it is that Nick is going a little Fatal Attraction on us. Here's what we know:
  • He's been the one sending Melanie the notes.
  • Nick says he's in love with Melanie and using said notes and phone calls to keep her in Salem where he can watch her sleep and listen to her scream. (Not kidding)
  • He's still popping pills. Luckily, he's using water this time.
  • His alternative fuel prototype stands to make like a catrillion dollars once his proposal is fine tuned. He is willing to give Melanie Trent's share of the dough so she can build her own Scrooge McDuck money bin to swim in.
I am positively enthralled with this storyline. I love the new Nick. This change in his character ushers in a whole new world of possibilities to explain Nick's past and set up for his juicy future.

I really like the idea of one of the smartest people in Salem being a villain. Sure, EJ and Stefano are great villains because they can charm their way with a lot of people. But, I wouldn't ever say that they are "clever". Nick, however, is both clever and charming. In fact, he's down right calculatingly genius. I don't see Nick making a false step because he's too smart to make mistakes. (And waaay smarter than anyone who is trying to catch him.) Plus he can seamlessly change from creepy Nick to nice Nick in a split second. I'm going out on a limb here and say that the emphasis is on the word "split."

I don't read spoilers so this is all speculation, but it's highly possible that Nick is a split personality. Nick's mother, Jessica, suffered from a split personality disorder. Not the kind that our writers seem to suffer from regularly, but the kind that caused her to harass and terrorize her own mother. Then, there are the pills. I assume that they are some sort of pain pills from when he was shot, because I don't know what HMO would cover Sybil: The drug for triggering split personalities, "For when you just want to get away". Finally, from Chelsea to Kate, to China Lee to Willow, Nick's been used and abused more than the cliché "used and abused." Thus, I completely buy into the idea that he's tired of being walked on by girls and for once, someone is going to make sure that he's in charge of a girl. Enter Nick's split personality: the just as smart, but not nearly as willing to be dumped, Creepy Nick. I hope that the show gives this Creepy Nick a name.

MELANIE
Melanie is a good choice as the um, victim in this story. Hmm…"victim" isn't the right word for our Mel, is it? She's pretty capable of taking care of herself. But there's a part of me that wants to see her saved and a part of me that wants to see her damned. I guess that just means that I want to see more of this storyline, and that's always a good thing.

The bad news is that she's so not into Nick. She gave him the oldest speech in the book. It went something like this, "I really don't want to complicate a wonderful friendship so I think it's better if we just stay friends." Of course, she changed her tone as soon as she heard about Nick's potential bazillion dollars he could get from his alternative fuel source.

Part of me hopes that Melanie does come around and fall for Nick. If she doesn't, I worry about Melanie staying in Salem. Whether you like Melanie's attitude or not, we all can agree that Molly Burnett is a great actress. A soap can never have too many of those.

CHELSEA
Chelsea invited herself to Nick's house (and subsequently to Nick's mail) to talk to him about something. It didn't matter what it was because the real reason she was there was to talk about Melanie. Lucky for Chelsea, Melanie was already there! Chelsea overheard Melanie throw herself at Nick's money and didn't like it one bit. But, Nick kicked Chelsea out before she could explain the finer points of gold digging.

I get that she's jealous of Melanie. But, I don't get her over protective concern for Nick for two reasons. First, she did the exact same thing to Nick before they dated. She used Nick for his laptop, computer skills, etc. when it served her purpose. Nick didn't blow up and die from that. Second, who is she to warn Nick about Melanie and then go solicit other people to do the same? Remember when everyone tried to tell her to stay away from Daniel? Just like they were wrong then, Chelsea is wrong now. You have to let people make their own mistakes. You can speak up once and warn, but after that you have to back off.

The problem is (and I'm sure that many Chelsea haters are going to be livid about this) Chelsea is going to be proven 100% right in the end. It looks more and more like Melanie is just using Nick and with Philip believing it now too, more people are going to dust off their torches and sharpen their pitchforks to come after Melanie. No doubt, Chelsea will be leading the way.

The one thing I did like about Chelsea this week was her conversation with Philip. Rachel Melvin is such a great actress that she can even make filler interesting. I just hope that Chelsea is just as concerned about Philip as she is about Nick.

PHILIP
Please get this dude away from Melanie- fantasy wise or real life wise. What the heck was up with Philip's fantasy about Melanie? It was horribly disturbing. Almost as equally disturbing as when Philip told Melanie that he sees a little bit of himself in her. What part would that be? Philip isn't anything like Melanie. They guy's lived a privileged life. And while his military service and loosing Claire couldn't have been easy, he's never been exploited the way Melanie has. Aghhh…I feel like some one is trying to force me into those jeans again…..STOP!

On the plus side, Philip worried about Kate again this week. It was a positive sign that Kate's cancer storyline isn't going to be dropped as soon as she's told her family and started treatment. I love Philip's talk with Kate. I never really thought about it, but Philip does owe a lot to her. She fought to make sure that Philip had everything he's ever wanted in his life and I'm glad to see that her effort isn't lost on Philip.

STEPHANIE
Don't look know, but I am really liking Stephanie. First, the move to dress up and accidentally run into her ex was great. Go 'head. Act like you've never done that before. Drunk Stephanie is very funny. Oh, and she loves, loves, loves to help. She had a few slurred words and one poignant revelation- she's sick and tired of talking about Melanie. So true! I hope that she continues this pattern, shuts up about Melanie and concentrates a little more on Philip. While Chelsea was busy yelling at Max for not cutting Stephanie off, Philip was actually nice enough to give her a ride home from The Cheatin' Heart.

Stephanie and Philip's second scene was short, but it was great again! They met in the gym the next day. Don't worry. Philip called her out on being able to work out after the night she had before. They flirted a little, but both professed that they are happy being single, and Philip mentioned that there were internship opportunities for her at Titan. I don't know if it's the relief of Stax being over, but I think that Jay and Shelley have great chemistry. There's a sparkle in Stephanie's eye and spunk in her tone, the likes of which I haven't seen since Stephanie had red hair and raced cars.

MAX
I was surprised to see that he still works (wait? Wasn't he like the dude in charge?) at The Cheatin' Heart, but a change of pace was nice. I like Max behind a bar. Darrin plays Max with a slight know-it-all attitude, so it works to have the character in a role of an amateur psychologist. His first patient was Stephanie. She put on her best aren't-you-sad-you-broke-up-with-me dress and sashayed up to the bar for a Flirtini and a little unsolicited advice for her uncle. She reminded him that her life is none of his business anymore but dug right into his by telling him that he should go back to school.

Max doesn't agree to go back to school but he does agree to work with his second patient, Nick on the alternative fuel project. I like this! Max will be way too busy running the pub, working at the Cheatin' Heart, and saving the world from global warming to even thing about going after another niece. Just to be sure, I put a lock on Ciara's room.

ABE, and the SALEM PD
Abe is the new mayor! Some of you may be wondering how this happened and why everyone was so concerned. I mean, his opponent is dead so how can Abe not win? Lucky for you all, I happen to live in the great state of Missouri and we had an election in 2000 where the dead guy did win. Here is your history lesson for the day. It will save you from being one of those foolish people who roll their eyes at the idea of someone winning an election posthumously.

But, the good news is that Honest Abe won the race and is headed to city hall. I'm excited to see what happens when Abe takes office. He sounds like he's willing to go down if it means Stefano goes down with him. Abe's always been one to follow the book, as is Roman, but somehow I think that the two of them are ready to enforce a little less law and a little more order.

Bo is the new Commissioner, a position that he would not have attained if Abe had not been elected mayor and Hope had not insisted that Bo dress like an accountant. (He was mad about having to wear that tie, huh?) I'm nervous about this move. I like it when Bo bends the rules and I don't know how much bending he'll be doing as the boss. But again, he'll probably be leaving that to Roman and Abe.

My only problem with this whole storyline is that Lexie feels responsible for Mayor Marino's death. The way I see it, if Mayor Marino chose to get in bed with Stefano, a known crime lord, then Marino is responsible for what ever happens to him- good or bad. Marino's associate with Stefano has nothing to do with Lexie. I think it's somewhat admirable that she feels bad for his wife and kids, she didn't make Mayor Marino hook up with Stefano.

LOOSE ENDS:
Daniel, the guy who went to see Marlena because he was so intent on fighting off his attraction to Chelsea because she was a patient, is now totally fine with falling for Kate, who is an actual cancer patient. What ever.

Chloe talks to Daniel about how she has no friends thus she wants him to acquire her taste. I guess these two do have a connection since they are the only characters in Salem not related to anyone else, but their scene seemed like a real stretch for me. (hehe. Get it? "Stretch." They were in the gym! Wocka, wocka, wocka!)

Did Stefano really order the mayor's death? Until this week, I really didn't think he did. Stefano's been way to smart to have someone killed on his front porch. But when Abe and Roman questioned Stefano, I started to wonder. Maybe Stefano thinks that he can get further with Abe than with Marino.

Lauren Koslow is knocking my socks off. Something about seeing Kate be genuinely scared really got to me. I hope that she has more scenes with her family and less scenes with Daniel.

Happy Birthday, Melanie! For those of you keeping score, she turned 18 on November 7, 2008.

Extra Scoops

RANDOM THOUGHTS:

Why is Nicole the only one in neon orange? All the other ladies are in blue.

Why is Chloe's hair backcombed for the GYM?!?! That's what I get for complimenting her style last week.

We still don't know who Melanie's mother is. Do we care? Nicole is a possibility. But, what if it was Billie? Since we're rewriting history anyway, let's think big! Maybe the reason Philip sees a little bit of himself in Melanie is because she's his niece. That would make her Chelsea's half sister too…….

How did Rafe NOT feel Sami's baby bump when he wrapped his arms around her waist? I can feel that her belly from my living room!

HOT
Pardon me for just a minute while I stand up and applaud the awesome acting chops of our own Blake Berris. I suggest you join me. (Clap, clap, clap!! Bravo. Brava. Encore. Encore. Encore!!) I am hands down in LOVE with his work. I know that Nick is a "good guy" and I appreciate that. But, very few "good guys" can be interesting for a long period of time. I couldn't take my eyes of him this week. And for most of the creepy time, Blake didn't even have any lines of dialog! He has me sleeping with the lights on with just a few tingling stares.

NOT. AT ALL. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT.
Where the holy you-know-what are Steve, Kayla, John, Marlena, and Anna? Abe Carver was just elected mayor and I would think that Steve, Kayla and Marlena would be there to support him. John and Anna would at least show up for the free food and booze. Come on writers! I realize that actors take vacations and they are well deserved. But for the love of all things soapy, don't write a major plot event that would otherwise involve the whole town to be in one place when actors are gone.

If Days isn't going to utilize all of the characters on their canvas, then they need to write faster, tighter storylines. The problem with this week was that with all of the actors gone, characters had to go all Sybil on us and the result is very unbelievable storylines. We're supposed to believe that Philip is cool as a cucumber with Stephanie and Chelsea but then that same day flies off the handle at Daniel. Chelsea goes from being logical and sensitive with Philip to being irrational and hysterical with Nick. Max goes from defending Melanie with Stephanie to warning Nick to stay away from Melanie. Daniel is sitting at Kate's bedside, and then runs to feel up Chloe at the gym. There's too much back and forth and the result is way too much filler.

LINE OF THE WEEK
Tony, upon seeing Stefano's joyous mood: "Well…aren't we in a chipper mood?! Did you run over one of the Bradys on the way home?"

PARTY TIME!
Whip up some doughnuts, chowder, and Flirtinis. It's time to celebrate Days! Did you know that this month marks the 43rd year that Days of Our Lives has been on TV? As much as I criticize TPTB from time to time, they must be doing something right to keep me interested in the show. Just in case you're a little discouraged after this week (and for the most part, it was a little slow) my ever-faithful Two Scoops partner and I are here to help you out! Be sure to check out Tony's blog this week when he posts "43 Reason Why to Watch Days", his tribute to why Days is still one of our favorite guilty pleasures!

There you have it soap fans! Overall, I thought that this week could probably have been combined with last week. The writers could easily have thrown out some of the filler and had creepy Nick emerge on Halloween week! Any suggestions for creepy Nick's official soap name? It should be some what similar to "Nick" but imply a jerky/sinister side…. "Dick"? Let me know your suggestions!

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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