Happy Thanksgiving week, my fellow Days fans!! I hope you all have a fun week of family, food and festivities planned. I sure do! Before we get into this week's column, I want to provide you with a quick programming note: If you want to know my thoughts on the recent behind the scenes scuffles and shuffles, head over to my blog. The rest of this column will deal with the on-screen storyline material only. The shows that we saw last week were taped at least a month ago and it has nothing to do with what just happened a few days ago. So, it wouldn't be fair to try to compare the two. Make sense? Cool. Now, let's get our Days on…
MAYOR MARINO'S MURDER
Move over, Trent! There's another corpse in Salem and his mystery needs some solving too! The cool thing about murder storylines is that they can involve so many different characters. This one is going to involve some of the vets! John hired Steve (yes, STEVE!) to find the hit man that killed Mayor Marino. But, before Steve could meet with his "source", the hit man decided to visit Marlena to see if he could get information out of her about Sami's whereabouts. Luckily, John came just in time to save Marlena. I never get tired of seeing John save the day.
Kayla might even get in on the action too. Steve told her about the case. In true Kayla form, she gave Steve a scolding about being safe. Ummm…since when is any PI work safe? Did she think that Steve was going to be investigating dognapping and missing pies from little old ladies' houses? Anyway, they made up and Kayla actually helped Steve with the investigation. I like the idea of combining Steve's street smarts with Kayla's book smarts (she is a doctor, after all!) to solve a crime.
So that means that the Mayor's murder investigation involves John, Marlena, Steve, Kayla, Sami, Abe, Roman, Lexie, Tony, and Stefano. Yes, the storyline fairy has smiled upon some vets too. YEAH! Happy times.
EJ, NICOLE, and STEFANO
Ejole slept together this week. I'm apologizing in advance for the horrible string of puns to follow, but here goes. Their love seen was very anticlimactic. There was no build up- no romantic dinner, no heartfelt conversation about their pasts, heck, I would have even settled for a barn set on fire. But there was nothing. Don't worry, tough. It wasn't all bad. Nicole wore some super cute PJs. And I now have a complete list of sexual positions that cover a faux baby belly should my love scenes ever be taped for broadcast on NBC in HD. That alone saves me TONS of research time. Whew!
Since an EJ/Nicole pair does absolutely nothing to advance the #1 interesting thing about EJ's character, ie the fact that EJ is a DiMera, the writers had to find a round about way to get EJ back into the DiMera storyline. And, those sneaky writers did it with a wonderful actor who looks a lot like this great guy named Joe Mascolo who used to be on all the time playing Stefano DiMera. Anyway, Stefano told EJ to join the family business and contribute to the household or EJ can pack up his baby mama #2 and stop freeloading off the Phoenix. GO STEFANO! I've been waiting for this guy to take control of his house for months. Sure, Stefano's request to have EJ sign legal papers securing Stefano's visitation rights with the new baby is pretty ridiculous. But, I would have bought EJ's "I make my own decisions" speech a lot more if EJ wasn't a grown man still living with his father.
So, if I follow this storyline right, EJ chose to become the legal council for DiMera shipping rather than go out and rent his own apartment with his own money? Got it. Does this mean that EJ doesn't work for Mickey anymore? I'm surprised that EJ needed to stay in the DiMera mansion because up until now, he was quite possibly the most over employed attorney in all of Salem, USA. The guy represented everyone! But, now EJ is at Stefano's beck and call, even during the weekends that EJ planned romantic getaways with Nicole. While EJ flew to Argentina to uncover some family assets with Stefano, Nicole was left to sit all alone in her leopard print nighty and eat chocolate covered strawberries alone. (Also known as my usual Saturday night activities) Oh, and she started experiencing more stomach cramps. I think we all see where this is going. There's a reason that the writers didn't have EJ and Nicole find out the sex of the baby or start naming the baby yet.
It's like an interactive version of, "Brady Black: This is Your LIFE!" He met with Nicole. He questioned her involvement with EJ (that Brady's a smart one) and then asked for her help getting through to John. Nicole refused to help Brady get the old John back, but offered to set up a meet and greet with the new John. I hate to say it, but this is completely unfair on Nicole's part. She knows that the only reason John is who he is now is because Stefano scrambled his brain. It isn't a choice on John's part to be this way. Thus, the only reason Nicole can possibly have for keeping John 2.0 around is purely selfish. She doesn't want to loose her "buddy". I've got news for Nicole. If the only way she can make friends is if their memories are erased, then maybe the bigger problem is her and the way she treats people. To her credit, she did call John and ask him to give Brady a chance. But it was to no avail. John doesn't respond to emotional blackmail. Go figure.
I loved Ari's performance from the moment that Nicole saw Brady. Ari perfectly conveyed that while Nicole was thrilled to see Brady, it couldn't have come and a worse time because EJ is finally ready to pay some attention to her. It's kind of like when I go to a restaurant for a bowl of my favorite baked potato soup and I hear that their additional soup of the day is broccoli cheddar. Which one of my favorites do I choose? I'm frustrated that I can't have both.
The next day at the gym, Brady gave Nicole his cell phone number. This act bodes well for these two getting into some serious character development. And, if it happened to be together, well…..I wouldn't be disappointed.
Let's focus for a minute on the idea of Brady and Nicole, with no triangle added. There's a lot to explore with these two, the least of which is that she was the one who took the money and initiative to find out that Brady is safe, alive, and in rehab when his own wife didn't know where he was! If this chick searched the ends of the earth for the guy, you can't tell me there's not a bit of juicy history there for the writers to explore. Second, they're both at self-induced "starting over" points in their lives and that gives them a unique connection. Finally, since these two have seen each other at their respective ugliest, they can truly appreciate the changes that each other makes. I don't know if the writers are going to go this route, but Nicole and Brady have some built in storyline possibilities that I would like to watch.
I need some help because I did not understand the scene between Brady and EJ. EJ's passive aggressive pompous arse attitude basically amounts to the fact that he doesn't like other people playing with his toys. Brady seemed to take EJ's warning in stride. Brady is smart enough to know that EJ isn't sincere, but also savvy enough to wait until he had actual proof that EJ is a little slimy. (Quick note to the writers- Brady is technically a DiMera too. I know what you meant when you had Brady accuse EJ of being a "DiMera", but it looks like you didn't read Brady's soapcentral.com profile. Shame on you.)
I love the father-son chemistry between Drake and Eric! I didn't realize until I saw their scenes how critical it is that John interact with Brady. The thing is, since his return from the "dead", John has virtually no interaction with other men. Roman is too busy throwing hissy fits over Marlena. Bo acts like he doesn't know John. In fact, to date the most present male in John's life is Stefano. Yikes!
Wait. Never mind. Brady hasn't made his way to visit Grandpa Victor yet. Drat. He better hurry. While he's there, Brady should say hi to Uncle Philip. Just warn me so that I can be ready with a fire extinguisher in case my TiVo literally starts to smolder.
I just love what Eric Martsolf has done with the role of Brady Black. As you can see from the list above, Brady has to interact with a lot of characters and introduce all of them to the "new Brady". Very few plot devices give characters a legitimate "do over", but I think that rehab should do that. NuBrady is calmer, smarter, and, to be honest, a bit more insightful than the old Brady. I'm a big fan.
DANIEL and KATE
Someone call Ty Pennington and tell him to bring his team and his bull horn to Salem University Hospital right a-freakin'-way. Daniel is my #1 candidate for "Extreme Makeover: Character Edition" He's a mess. First Dr. Strangelove climbed in bed with Kate while she was having her chemo treatment. Then, he tells Chloe that he's having a hard time not being able to cure Kate's cancer with one chemo treatment. Huh? Sorry, I don't understand Daniel's plight at all. To paraphrase the scene, Daniel complained, "Look, I know I'm a super hero. But it's really hard on me that I only have lighting-fast speed and Xray vision. I really wanna to be able to make myself invisible too!" I completely agree with my scooping partner, Tony. Daniel's savior complex is wearing on my last nerve.
Then, there's Kate. Chelsea may have come down with a case of hero worship, but Kate's got a hero worship infestation. She actually had a dream that Daniel came up with a magic pill that could cure her cancer. I'm assuming in the dream that Dr. Dan also rode to the hospital on a unicorn after slaying a fire breathing dragon that guarded the gates of Narnia. Lots of people fight and beat cancer, but the battle is a serious topic. I don't appreciate the writers turning this battle into a love story for Kate and Daniel.
The only good scene that happened in the hospital was when Kate thanked Chloe for her support. I'm glad that Kate got over that pointless grudge against Chloe. And, she did it in true Kate fashion. Kate told Lucas that she might not be in love with Chloe, but if Chloe makes Lucas happy then Kate will support their relationship. Good for you, Katie!
This storyline made me wonder why every month isn't sweeps month. A lot of characters got in on the action. Nick packed up his muse, convinced her to flee the scene of the crime with him, and proposed that they get married as to avoid being forced to testify against each other. But Melanie soon remembered that Nick killed Trent, which Nick began to explain he did out of warped sense of devotion to Melanie. When she tried to escape from Nick's grasp, Melanie got herself thrown over the balcony of the hotel room. I tell ya, running away from psycho boys while wearing heels is so tough. Trust me.
Meanwhile, Bope went to talk to Nick and Melanie, but surprise, surprise, the dynamic duo was gone. Maggie tells Bo and Hope about Nick's pills. Then, she turned over a note that she found in the bathroom trash can. (Really, Nick?!? That's where you're going to discard evidence?) Chelsea identifies Nick's handwriting. Max confesses that he told Mel that Nick was in love with her and she was a bit defensive of the idea. So, you put all of these together and what do you get? Well, at first the Horton/Brady wonder team decided that Melanie must have forced Nick to run away with her. Thank goodness Max and Chelsea put the facts together CORRECTLY and came up with the theory that Nick might be using terror to keep Melanie's attention.
For added spice, the writers threw Stephanie and Philip into the mix. Stelip over heard a conversation between Nick and Melanie and figured out where they were hiding. Bope and Stelip tracked down Nick and Melanie just in time to save Melanie from falling off the balcony. Hope took Nick into custody and into the horrified arms of Aunt Maggie.
This whole storyline could have gone a bit campy if not acted well. It's waaay to easy to slip into the caricature role of "stalker" and "victim". But Molly and Blake did an amazing job. I actually feel compassion for both of Nick and Melanie. And, I would be remiss if I did not mention Suzanne Rogers's ahhmazing performance at the police station. Maggie was so scared for Nick and pleaded with Bo and Hope to give her some good news. But, there will be no good news. Nick will be punished. I'm looking forward to Nick seeing a lawyer and a doctor, to figure out what his sentence will be. And, I'm rooting for Nick!
The only thing I do NOT like how the writers tried to act like the situation with Willow was anything like the situation with Trent. It wasn't. They need to stop trying to draw a parallel between situations that are only superficially similar. Furthermore, all this talk about how Nick hasn't been the same since Willow is a big pile of stinky bull poo. These characters didn't seem to be worried about Nick when he was protecting Artemis and Demarquette. No one was mad at Nick for convincing Chelsea to tell the police about Ford Decker. I distinctly remember a party thrown in Nick's honor at Chez Rouge when he received his grant to continue his research. Get where I'm going? The time to capitalize on Nick's mental state after Willow died would have been right after Willow died, not a year later. The writers need to stick with the drug addiction and family medical history. This scooper will buy that theory.
STEPHANIE and PHILIP
Stephanie is starting to get her groove back. I'm so glad that she went after Nick even though Bo and Hope told her to stay home. She's Steve Johnson's daughter after all. There's no way I expect any Patch-man offspring to sit back and watch when a friend is in danger. Sorry, that's just not the Johnson way.
I'm also still relishing the Philip and Stephanie pairing. She's going to work at Titan. Whoo! I hope that the writers don't ignore the obvious storyline here. Since they asked (they really didn't), here's my suggestion: Make sure Titan has a rule about not dating your boss. Don't get me wrong, I want to see Stelip get together. But, if there is a rule that they can't date until she is done with her internship, then viewers actually have time to see these two build a friendship, learn about each other, and build up some romantic tension. Then, Philip can ask Stephanie out for a romantic dinner to celebrate the end of her internship. Ok, maybe the writers don't need to follow that plan exactly. All I'm asking is that the writers approach this love story with out the addition of a third party and/or a desperate drunken spin in a hot tub. Jay and Shelley have great chemistry and I hope the writers actually harness that to their advantage.
LUCAS and CHLOE
Despite the bad economy, Lucas was able to get a home loan! And, he's got his eye set on a huge house where, "You can have dogs, birds, varmints, and herds of buffalo." No, Lucas is not planning on building an arc. But, he is planning on moving into a new house and asking Chloe to marry him. I guess Lucas and EJ are drinking the same marriage Kool-aid.
I was a big fan of this couple at first. I bought the idea of them bonding while trying to help Philip and I loved when they were trapped in the hospital together. But, their storyline has gone stale. I appreciate the fact that Chloe told Lucas how lucky she was to have him. And, I agree with Lucas when he says that he's nice to her and all. But the problem is that the writers need to show us a little more of this couple being a couple and less of them talking about how they are a couple. Does that make sense?
SAMI and RAFE
Sami is still entrapped in a major swashbuckler of a drama! Frantic with anticipation of capturing the most vicious killer in Salem's recent history, Rafe is employing every ounce of FBI training that he's had to find a way for justice to come upon the men responsible for such a tragic slaying. But Sami's incarceration in that glorified tomb is causing a descent into absolute madness. She scrambled around the apartment, searching for some way to just see the sun again. OH GOD, RAFE, PLEASE JUST LET HER SEE THE SUN! One glimpse of the cosmic force that is the genesis of all life on earth might just bring her back from the depths of insanity! And low and behold, our by-the-books hero finally thawed a small corner of his heart and allowed Sami to glance out the window upon the world she was forced to leave behind. She was looking for a reprieve from the darkness. Yet she found more. She found God. For on the horizon of civilization that sadly continues to go on with out Sami Brady, she saw the steeple of a church. And it wasn't just a building. For a brief second, it was hope. Sami and Rafe could actually pause, take a break from their constant high-action drama, and revel in the sublime presence of silence. No doubt, it won't last. Next week I'm sure that neither Sami or Rafe will dare steal any more of these simple moments and dive right into the constant cycle of excitement that this storyline has delivered; for these two have only begun to scratch the surface of the exciting and wondrous quests that await a bully bodyguard and a pregnant woman fated in a room of adventure together! I can't WAIT!!!!
Sorry. I had to chug a gallon of Coka-Cola with a chaser of pure maple syrup to scoop this section. My buzz is starting to wear off…… Oh look at that….. Alison Sweeney is allowed to wear cute maternity clothes now. She looks pretty in blue.
ABE and LEXIE
Just as I was about to get mad at this storyline, it turned around and surprised me. Last week, Lexie was verging on becoming a whinny self-pity mess. That's not a good look for a character who always seems to get what she wants anyway. But this week Lexie decided to stop feeling sorry for herself and take control of her own happiness. She agreed to serve on the board for Abe's environmental task force and is planning on attending a support group for parents with autistic children. I know that a lot of people aren't into PSA storylines, but I really like this one. Maybe it's because I can always use a heaping lesson of perspective. I think everyone can. So, I say "Go on Dr. Carver! Prove yourself wrong and take back control of your life!"
Chelsea and Max shared some more scenes together. I don't have a problem with Chelsea and Max being friends. But that's IT! They should be NOTHING more. They are still members of the same family. They have the same last name, for crying out loud! They should not be romantically involved. Ever. Got it, writers? I mean it.
When the police arrested Caroline, they said that her prints were the only ones on the knife. Did I miss the part in the flashbacks where Nick wiped off the knife? Shouldn't Melanie AND Nick's prints be on the knife too??
The masked man called Marlena "Doc". We know the masked man isn't John. Who else calls Marlena "doc"? Hmmm….could Roman be the masked man? Wouldn't that be a twist! We know that Stefano was in the market for a new pawn. And, we saw Stefano warn Abe, "Trust me, you don't really want to know the truth." Maybe Sami imagined the killer's "face" because she subconsciously didn't want to recognize her own father! Let me know your thoughts in the feedback section...
Eric Martsolf's impression of EJ crack me up. James Scott's impression of Stefano is even funnier. Can someone get these two in a scene with Bryan Dattilo? Please.
I'd love for Marlena to get back to work. Smart feedbacker Jennifer pointed out that Chelsea could really benefit from an appointment with Marlena to discuss Kate. I agree! Come to think of it, Nick could use Marlena's help right now too.
Did anyone else notice that EJ's beard is back and he's dressing all in black?
A few weeks ago I asked you all to join me in giving Blake Beris a standing ovation. We'll it's been two weeks and I haven't sat down yet. In fact, the addition of Molly Burnett's amazing acting chops has me standing on top of my chair and clapping even louder. I'm about to start the wave (the baseball one, not the queen one). Who's with me?!
The Melanie hate has GOT to stop, especially when it comes from Stephanie and Chelsea. Chelsea sounds like a complete hypocrite blaming herself for Nick's troubles in one breath and then blaming Melanie in the next. Chelsea might have an excuse. Her interaction with Melanie has always been one-on-one confrontations. However, Stephanie looks like an absolute fool. She heard Melanie screaming on the phone and she SAW Melanie dangling from a balcony. I can't wait until these chickies find out about Nick's pain pill addiction and back away from the brooms that their currently riding. Then, they better apologize to Melanie and Max.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
John's response to Nicole when she tried to force the issue of John reconnecting with Brady: "It's a good thing you're having this baby because clearly you don't have a lot to do." Hehe. RoboJohn still cracks me up.
Three sweeps weeks down and one to go! What storylines would you be thankful for this year? Do you want to see Sami get out of that room? Are you excited to see Nicole take on Stefano for monopolizing EJ's time? And will Brady ever get his cute butt over to the Kiriakis mansion and have tea with Victor? Tony will be back next week to rehash it all with you. Until then, have a very happy Thanksgiving!
Need more Two Scoops? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony for more ranting, raving, and all-out randomness