My parents often told me that it's not how you start, but how you finish a task that really counts. Well, they must have been talking about Days this week. Monday - Wednesday's shows were very uneventful, unless you counted the parts that irritated me. (I try not to.) But then, the heavens opened up and the soap gods smiled down on us! Thursday and Friday's shows were, dare I say, charming and exciting! At a time when the future of our beloved Days is somewhat shaky, we can't have too many good shows. Here's how it all happened:
I'm happy to report that my love affair with Eric Martsol's portrayal of Brady Black is still going strong. (Hey, in Hollywood, three weeks is a long relationship!) Brady stood up to John like no one really ever has. I believe he even used the words "robot like". The cool thing about the confrontation was that while John was condescending and aloof, Brady was passionate and intelligent. Why is that so important? Simple. Brady handled the situation exactly how oldJohn would have handled it. The writers are mirroring oldJohn in Brady.
I was a little surprised that NO ONE bothered to tell Brady that he was a DiMera before now. I'm also pretty shocked that no one bothered to follow up that news with, "But guess what! You're a Brady too!!" It would be clever for the writers to continue juxtaposing John and Brady by having Brady's first move be to call up Caroline for some chowder or even buddy up with Roman and Kayla for a while. NewJohn immediately threw himself into being a DiMera. Brady should throw himself into being a Brady.
Hopefully it will start with diner at Bo and Hope's house. Bo and Brady met to have a quick, and I mean quick, recap of the past year. Highlights included Bo's pancreas, Brady's addiction, Brady's divorce, Victor's reaction, and how EJ saved John's life but still can't be trusted. The main course was Nicole. Bo warned Brady that Nicole still hasn't changed. I don't think she has either, but the whole Trent Robbins stuff wasn't as black and white as Bo would like it to be. But, I could tell that Brady, perhaps still guided by the ideology of recovery, was genuinely concerned for Nicole. Bo was absolutely right about one thing. Fooling Victor and Trent may have been easy. But, if Nicole tries to pull one over on the DiMeras, she's toast. Rather than taking Bo's warning to stay away from Nicole, I think Brady will be more active than ever to get her away from EJ DiMera. Interestingly enough, Brady possesses a piece of information that might just do that. Hmmm….stay tuned.
STEVE and KAYLA
Yeah for screen time for Stayla! Steve, Kayla, and Joey met up with Stephanie in the park. Stephanie told them about Kate's cancer and how impressed she was with the way Philip is handling himself. First, I'm glad to see that at least one set of parents is willing to raise their own children. More importantly, I like that Steve and Kayla are starting to realize that Stephanie is developing feelings for Philip. Yes, Philip has cleaned up his ways since trying to cheat Belle and Shawn out of raising Claire. But, Philip is still Victor's son. And, Steve and Kayla have a history with Victor.
JOHN and MARLENA
John kept his promise and met with Dr. Taylor. The problem was that it wasn't Dr. Kenneth Taylor; it was Dr. Charlotte Taylor, Kenneth's daughter who is basically Marlena 2.0. Charlotte, or more accurately Sandra Robinson, is beau-ti-ful. I noticed her right away. So did John. To make the deal sweeter, Charlotte informed John that she's not going to pressure him into becoming someone else. Then, she told Marlena to back out of John's case. Two points for the new girl! John agrees to meet with her again.
Marlena is a little ticked at the whole situation, but I don't care. I'm basically ready to have rage blackouts at her attitude. First, if she wants to be all protective over John, how about not divorcing him in the first place? Second, she had no right to tell Brady about John's therapy after John asked her not to. Third, I thought that the reason Marlena brought in Dr. Taylor was because John had actual medical problems. Didn't Marlena and Kayla look at some brain scan that showed that John's brain was ready to explode? This therapy isn't about getting Marlena's husband back, it's about saving John's life.
But then a nice calm came over me. Marlena and Charlotte sat down and had a talk about how they both know that John is trying to play them against each other. I can't quite decide, but I think that the writers are toying with the idea of making Marlena and Charlotte friends. I urge the writers- GO WITH IT!! If played correctly, this Marlena/John/Charlotte triangle could actually be a great twist on the dreaded love triangle. Wouldn't it be interesting Mar and Char teamed up to "fool" John into getting help by playing along with his plot to make Marlena jealous? I would love it!
LUCAS and CHLOE
Lucas gave Chloe a box. Inside was an engagement ring. And if you look closely, tucked into the corner of the box underneath the padding you'll see a dried up pile of my hope for this couple. Any marriage proposal that starts out with, "These last few months have been amazing…" doesn't bode well for the success of the marriage. Ooofph. I can't help but think that the more appropriate next step in Luloe's relationship would have been for Lucas to take Chloe on a trip to Switzerland to spend some time with his other child, Will. I know that I always insist on meeting all of my boy toys' children before I accept their proposals, especially when our relationships exist in a world where space and time travel are so easy. The truth is that Bryan and Nadia actually do have a fun, playful chemistry. Oh well, at least they'll get to put it to use in Kate's storyline.
Kate's cancer has progressed to stage 4, which means that it is in her blood stream, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. She needs a bone marrow transplant. A long line of people got tested. And just to go the extra mile, Dr. Dan decided to look through the files of the whole gosh darn hospital database. Yah, he's dedicated like that! Ok, there are some plain old silly choices in this storyline that I should call out. First, Kate should not be laying her hospital bed wearing silk pajamas and full make-up. Second, Daniel's afore mentioned riffle of the hospital database shows a complete disregard for ethics or common decency.
But even given those eye rolling details, I still like this storyline. I appreciate how the writers continue to show that cancer affects the entire family. We saw Chelsea dealing with the frustration over not being able to help. We saw Kate have amazing scenes with Lucas and Philip where she asked that each of them be strong and support her decisions. Finally, the whole storyline is topped off with Lauren Koslow's wonderful acting. Normally I don't like it when characters spend all week crying. But with Kate, I totally understood her pain and struggle.
Surprisingly, I like the idea of Chloe being the match. The writers were very smart to bring up Chloe's cancer earlier in this storyline because it does remind us that Chloe actually has more character history than bed hopping between Kate's sons. It helps to round out the character a bit more. The questions remain about Chloe being physically able to donate and Super Dan's believability to make the transplant. But, I'm interested to watch.
The only thing I wish the writers would take into consideration is the gravity of the character of Kate Roberts. In my mind she's worked her way up to veteran status and Lauren Koslow has certainly become a fan favorite. I sincerely feel cheated when Kate has these grand emotional outbursts and Daniel is the only other one in the scene with her. The point in which Kate Roberts- woman extraordinaire- finally breaks down should be a show stopper. Yet, since she is paired with Daniel, a character that has little historical significance and even less fans, the scene seems cheapened. It's like using that bottle of red wine that you've been saving for years as a marinade for cheap bratwurst. I still appreciate it, but something is slightly out of place.
NICOLE and EJ
Oh boy. I think we all saw this one coming. Nicole is faking her pregnancy. She purchased a fake baby belly. She told EJ that they can't be intimate anymore until after the baby is born. She bribed Dr. Baker to tell EJ the baby was fine. And, she guilt tripped Brady into keeping her secret. Super.
Did I mention how much I HATE secret keeping storylines? Well, I do. They are the most frustrating storylines for viewers to watch. And unlike Kate's storyline, even Arianne Zucker's great acting can't fill in all of the holes that this storyline is leaving behind.
First, Nicole has no money. She had to give Victor back his settlement and was kicked out of the hotel for not paying her bill. The only place that she can possibly get money is from EJ. How the heck is he not going to notice the chuck of change she just gave to Dr. Baker?
Second, it was just yesterday (Salem time) that Nicole was in that little leopard print nightly with a belly that resembles my own when I have that extra cheese quesadilla. Now we're supposed to believe that she's ballooned to the size of that fake belly? Puh-leease.
Third, Nicole thinks that just because she can't carry a baby, she can't have a family. Nicole should talk to Max about how he became a "Brady". Or, she could talk to Philip about how Kate is his mother. Finally, maybe take a stroll over to Rolf's lab. I'm sure there's at least a file on Rex and Cassie.
Finally, Nicole threatened to cut EJ out of the baby's life completely. She declared that since they don't have any legal arrangement, EJ is only part of the baby's life because she is allowing it. Ummmm…yeeaah. I don't now if I'm more shocked that Nicole thinks that a biological father's rights are subjective to the biological mother's approval, or that EJ just sat there and let her think that.
That brings me to my biggest concern with this whole story. EJ's ambivalent stance on fathers' rights is only a precursor for what's to come. In order for Nicole to pull off this whole secret keeping scam she needs one thing: EJ must become a complete and utter moron. And LOOK! there he is, believing Nicole's bogus story about not wanting a specialist for her "miracle baby" and ready to blame her sudden switch in character on Brady Black. Grr… DiMeras are a lot of things but gullible isn't one of them.
Still, Arianne Zucker is doing an amazing job. The woman makes me cry with her, laugh with her, and want to throw on some chic maternity clothes and drink kiddie cocktails with her. If this miscarriage means that Nicole remembers her feisty, scheming, by-any-means-necessary side, I'm all for it. Nicole's been a little to weak lately and I like my Nicole spicy!
Much like Arianne Zucker, Molly Burnett has the capability to get an audience to invest in her character, despite the foolish schemes she tries to pull, because the actress is just so dang likable. Melanie is making an honest effort to change. She studied the information that Philip gave her and, thanks to some good advice from Maggie, decided to get tested to see if she would be a bone marrow match for Kate. This whole good deed thing is new for Melanie and I like watching her struggle with the idea of being nice.
What I don't like is that the writers are missing the most obvious point with Melanie. She is a teenager. She should not be clumped in with Chelsea and Stephanie. I realize that Chelsea and Steph are only a few years older than her, but Chelsea and Stephanie are in college and held down jobs and internships. Melanie just got out of boarding school and I'm not even sure if she has a high school diploma. Do you see where I'm going? And for the love of all things holy, stop trying to pair her with Philip! The viewers have spent too much time and energy watching Philip develop into a man to have him entertain the idea of playing footsie with a kid. It reminds me of the first time Sami went after Austin or the time when Chelsea went after Patrick Lockhart. It's just not entertaining.
SAMI and RAFE
The good news is that Sami and Rafe got out of that room! The bad news is that I'm actually starting to dislike Rafe. He's starting to look like a real jerk, and that's saying a lot considering that he's in scenes with the hyena-esque Sami Brady. Case in point: Rafe agreed to go with Sami to the church. While there, he prohibited her from talking with a nun, assaulted a random patron, and then ordered Sami to march out of the church. Is it just me or did anyone else expect the nun to stop Rafe from taking Sami? Sister Theresa doesn't know that Sami has been trying everyone's nerves for the last few weeks. All the sister knows is that a pregnant Sami has concerns over the baby's father. Then, the next day Sami shows up with a man who physically assaults an innocent person. Do you see where I'm going? Anyway, while at the church Sami and Rafe had a semi normal conversation. It all boils down to Sami doesn't want to be inconvenienced by being in the witness protection program and Rafe can't believe he had to give up his previous way-more-exciting-than-this assignment to babysit Sami. *Sigh* At least they had the same argument without the condescending and the screaming. They were in church and all.
The best part of Sami and Rafe's scenes was Hilda. She's back! She came in singing carols and bringing a Christmas tree. She also brought Sami new pictures of the twins (ummm…how did she get those?) and they bonded over being mothers. She was there to guard Sami while Rafe went to snoop at the DiMera mansion. Why? I don't know. I agree with Sami. There's not going to be a box of evidence gift wrapped under the Christmas tree. But, he wasn't scolding Sami and Sami wasn't sassing him, so I am happy for the break. And in the meantime, more Hilda, please!
This storyline was easily my favorite of the week. Stefano and EJ got involved in a diamond trafficking scheme that Oops! got them robbed and held at gun point by the Argentinean father/son super team, Juan and Ramon. I think it's a great storyline idea. I don't think the storyline is going to be about diamond trafficking. The diamonds are a very small part of it. I think it's going to be about the darker side of the DiMera empire. I say it's about time Stefano got back to his crime lord roots!! Not all soap stories need to be about death and love. Some great stories are about business. Plus, I really liked the change of pace.
Bo gave Max the box that Trent left in his will. Max still doesn't want it. Surprisingly, neither does Melanie. She says that she'll open it with Max, but she can't take it from him. Personally, I'm hoping there's a new storyline with a non-related love interest in the box. How about you?
Kate brought a picture of Lucas with her to the hospital and sat it on her night stand. I guess she could have just hung a sign that said, "In your face, Austin, Billie, Philip, Rex, and Cassie!" Just kidding. She'd never mention Rex and Cassie.
Do you remember a few weeks ago when Sami actually drank the pickle juice from the jar? On last Thursday's episode of Ellen, Alison Sweeney confessed that all that pickle eating/juice drinking is absolutely real! Her real life pregnancy makes her crave pickles so much that the crew at Days makes sure that there is a jar of pickles in her scenes.
Remember those play dates that EJ and Lucas promised Sami? The ones where Johnny and Ali could spend time together….what ever happened to those?
I don't like it when Stephanie wears all of her hair on one side of her head. I get a stiff neck trying to tilt my head to look at her.
Christmas tree decoration count has begun! The DiMera mansion has wreath on the front door, garland on the fireplace, and a nativity set out. Maggie has a cute red and silver tree in her kitchen. Sami has tree. Did you notice any others?
Maggie and Melanie! I am totally on board with a storyline where Maggie actually reaches out to help Melanie. There's almost a "My Fair Lady" feeling to there scenes. Melanie is quite rough. And, Maggie is so refined. Combine those together, sprinkle it with genuine forgiveness, top it all off with Suzanne Rodgers getting a good storyline and I'm hook! These two are a red hot combo. (Hehe. Get it? Red)
Nicole's secret keeping storyline. I'm tempted to pick it every week until EJ finds out because I despise these storylines so much. Sure, EJ came this close on several occasions to finding out the truth. But, he didn't. And I don't see EJ finding out about the miscarriage for a long time. You have time to get a snack. Actually, you have time to drive to the grocery store, in Canada, to get a snack. Wait…you probably have time to walk to the grocery store in Canada to get a snack and then crawl back to your living room and not miss the episode where EJ finds out that Nicole miscarried the baby.
LINE OF THE WEEK
EJ: "I'm in the middle of something."
Stefano: "Who isn't in the middle of something? I was in the middle of a sentence!"
On a parting note, Tony and I would like to extend a very heartfelt happy birthday wishes to Day's Francis Reid. She celebrates 94 years on December 9th! She's brought so many fans great years of wonderful memories playing Alice Horton. We hope she has a wonderful day!
And with that, I will leave you in the capable hands of my scooping partner Tony. He'll be back next week to see if EJ and Stefano can get out from under the business end of a gun. Then, three weeks from now is our 2nd Annual Best/Worst of Days! It's a two week celebration, featuring the "Golden Doughnuts" and the "Alex North Memorial Awards." Tony and I are the process of making our picks. We want them to be official, so please, please do not send us any bribes to pick your favorite/least favorite characters, unless said bribes contain chocolate, red wine, or ice cream. Those will probably work.
Need more Two Scoops? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony for more ranting, raving, and all-out randomness