Ah, the holidays - the most wonderful time of the year! There's spending time with family and friends. Writing heartfelt cards. Mixing up sugary treats. Giving the ole credit cards a workout. Lacing your ex's drink with cocaine. Yes, there are tons of warm, fuzzy festivities that make this season all the merrier and it seemed that nearly everyone in Salem has caught the holiday bug too …
Sami and Hilda decorated. Stefano took E.J. on a little shopping trip. Oh! And Rafe went shopping too! Then, um, got stabbed ... but Sami did bake cookies … with some sort of laxative in them that made Hilda sick. Lucas dove into the icy river. Bo fell from a ladder. Dr. Dan nearly mistook the florescent lights in the exam for mistletoe. E.J. and Sami got into a huge fight. What was I talking about again? Right, holiday cheer.
Well, it may not have all been merry and bright in Salem last week, but things were pretty eventful nonetheless. There were good things, bad things and plain stupid things going on everywhere. So let's grab a hearty glass of eggnog, sit by the fire and talk some Days.
Black and Blue Diamonds (Stefano & E.J.)
I love Stefano! The guy's simply awesome … you know, in that evil crime lord kinda way. Not only did he trump the rival mob boss by bringing in backup, but he verbally slapped E.J. around for being a "princess." Whoops, I meant prince. Prince! My favorite line from the pier scenes, "Did I promise you a pleasant evening, Elvis, huh? Did I tell you that we were going to go out for a little ice cream and a movie?" Priceless!
The part I enjoyed the most about that mini-storyline is that it was vintage Stefano. He used to be such a badass! The guy wheeled and dealed in all sorts of shady underground crimes. Drugs, counterfeiting, murder, you name it, he did it. Then, over the years, his crimes became more outlandish … dare say cartoon-ish. No doubt, most of them were still entertaining, but it's nice to see him getting back to his roots and proving why he was such a meanie in the first place. Yet, props should be paid as he did show some good will towards man as he only had his enemies beaten to a pulp instead of killed. That was nice.
However, one thing did puzzle me - when did E.J. become such an antiviolence whiney baby? Not that anyone who's antiviolence is a whiney baby, in fact I'm antiviolence, but we're talking about E.J. here. E.J., the guy who shot John, attacked Sami and pulled off all sorts of other crimes. Kidney stealing anyone? So, whereas I give him points for compassion, I don't know if I can handle E.J. being watered down any more than he already has been. He's at his best when he's torn between good and evil, yet lately he just seems utterly confused about a lot of things. Not a good look on such a good looking guy.
Dealing with the Devil (The DiMera Familia)
Not so confusing was the little mind game Stefano tried to play with Lexie at the hospital. He was like an unstoppable force last week and even pulled out the entire, "Why worry - I own half of the hospital" line when confronted. The truth is, he does and Lexie should be worried. It seems Tony and E.J. know that too.
But, let's take a detour and talk about Tony for a second. Why was he interested in Stefano's business dealings all of the sudden? Wasn't he the one invested in putting a positive slant on the DiMera name? He claims that he's not jealous and only has his sibling's best interests at heart, but I'm still trying to rap my head around that one. Both Stefano and E.J. reminded him he was "frozen out" by choice yet he seemed a tad disappointed by the fact he wasn't in on the diamond deal. He almost seemed scorned … it was strange … he acted how a presumed dead identical cousin of his would act. Hmm ... Ok, back on track …
E.J. made some valid points when he asked Lexie if she really believed Stefano would simply slap the mayor on the wrist for threatening his family. This is the guy who locks people in a hospital and terrorizes them. Right, Stefano isn't some shrinking violet he's a mean old prickly cactus. Lexie should have known better and I have a bad feeling that things are going to get a lot worse for her. Yet what's bad for her usually makes a good storyline and, let's be honest, life in Salem so much more interesting when all the DiMeras are involved. More please!
I Just Called To Say … (E.J. & Sami)
Ok, raise your hand if you think E.J. is really over Sami. Anyone … anyone … anyone … ok, I thought so. Yes, the phone call was pretty lame. Sure he admitted to being in love with Nicole, but does anyone really believe we've heard the last of "Ejami?" Does anyone really believe he wouldn't drop Ms. Walker if Sami actually admitted her feelings for him? Anyone? I thought so. These two seem destined to live in love limbo for a long time to come … much longer than I'll be interested I fear.
Sami and The Safe House (Sami & Company)
Let's just say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree because just like Marlena is totally NOT jealous of Charlotte, Sami does NOT have feelings for E.J. Right. Got it. Checking that off the list. Although some of her ranting and raving about "Ecole" was downright hysterical and I do love my Sami Gene Brady, the girl has got to fess up about her feelings for him … and also about that baby thing too! Hope and Roman seem to know she still has the hots for him. Lucas picks up on it. Heck, even Rafe, who's known her for about ten minutes, can tell she's crazy about the guy. Actually, at this point, if she simply admitted to herself I'd be happy as it would ease the blow of the above mentioned love limbo for a long time to come.
On a much lighter note, I do enjoy Sami and Hilda! As a viewer, I think I've gone on the same emotional ride Sami's gone through …great we're stuck in a stupid room with characters we don't know … ok, we're still stuck in this dang room … I hate this dang room … well, yes, we're still stuck, yet it's not that bad … fine, we're cool as we're gonna get. Therefore Hilda and I are cool now too.
Actually, I think it would nice if Hilda stuck around even after Sami's sprung from the room. Ms. Brady needs a moral compass and comedic sidekick and those two work beautifully together. Besides, I would love to see Hilda around E.J. as I think she would call those two to the carpet faster than she bolts for the bathroom.
Speaking of moral compasses, "Colleen" called Sister Theresa and promised to visit her. Yep, it's looking more and more like she's going to give up Baby Ejami, Part Two. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't know if I'd buy Sami "Mama Bear" Brady giving up one of her children even if it was for their best interest. Heck, she couldn't even let Ali go to the Horton Cabin with Lucas for a night without showing up. So, for Sami to totally give a child up … hmm … I'll need more convincing. A lot more.
The Cable Guy (Rafe)
I have a confession to make. Well, it's more of a secret to share. And I don't know how this happened, but it did and now I don't know how to process it … ok, here it goes… I'm beginning to really like Rafe! Sure, I didn't really have anything against him, he was just sort of a cliché character stuck in an annoying storyline, but now I'm beginning to think he's an interesting guy. In fact, he was pretty funny while dealing with Nicole and proved how good of an agent he really is while on the case. He disabled the DiMera's security system, got some scoop, and even got home in time to make a big ole sandwich.
I think this big revelation came about when I stopped rolling my eyes long enough to notice the slow brewing chemistry between Galen Gering and Alison Sweeney. Whereas initially I was worried they'd be forced down our throats at warp speed, i.e. they fight and then fall in love over night, surprisingly, it seems like the writers are taking their time and easing us into possible things to come. A wise move. Galen and Ali, as well as Sami and Rafe, seem to be getting more comfortable with each other and letting their guard down a bit. Their jabs back and forth while eating were especially fun. The arguing, well that's par for the course when dealing with Sami, but he seems to be holding his own. All things considered, I'm pleasantly surprised how things are turning out as they're not as bad as I initially expected.
Shop 'Til You Drop! (Sami, Rafe & The Killer)
Sami the Sobber strikes again! With just a few quick boohoos she managed to coax Rafe into searching for this year's Holy Grail of toys, the Laughing Penguin. He agreed. Mind you, I don't think he's a pushover, I think he simply agreed just to shut her up and to get away from her for a while. Can't blame him. Anyway, Sami's corny line, "the FBI always gets their penguins" seems to be true. Rafe got it. Then Rafe got stabbed. Ouch!
Now, I'm hopeful that Rafe, my new BFF, will be ok, but I have to ask - is Marino's murderer the stupidest assassin in history or what? He just finished saying something like, "Show me the way to that Brady bitch" then he didn't even wait for Rafe to get home before attacking him! That didn't make sense to me. At all.
Dr. Jealousy to the Psych Ward, Stat! (Charlotte, Marlena & Kayla)
I've seen Marlena possessed, but seeing her so jealous was downright scary! Whereas she's usually poised and proper, Doc looked like she was ready to spit nails, especially after finding out she'd be sharing a reception area with the lovely Dr. Taylor. I was waiting for
Melanie Marlena to lock Charlotte up in a vault in her office. Of course, it wasn't really about the reception area, like all things in Blondie's life, it was about John.
Thankfully, Kayla showed up to save the day and my television as I was about to throw my remote out of sheer annoyance. As Laurisa wisely pointed out last week, Dr. Evans was being a tad hypocritical and needed to figure out what she wanted and Sweetness seemed to help her with that. They talked, they laughed, they cried and all was better in Marlena Land for the time being. However, if Mar Mar thinks she needs to talk to a shrink, I know where she can find one - oh, snap!
Back to Old John Black? (John & Brady)
RoboJohn never ceases to surprise me. Usually it's with his nasty nonchalant quips, but last week he opened up to his son and admitted he did in fact care! How's that for a shocker? I thoroughly enjoyed the father/son bonding time in the park. We all know he hearts Blondie, likes Sami and was into Ava as much as he possibly could be, but now Brady's on that list too. Way to go Brady! And way to go John - he decided to stick with therapy! I smell progress folks … finally!
Forgive & Forgotten (Brady)
Wow, I have to give Brady some props as he's taking this entire rehab forgiveness thingy and running with it. No, more than running, he's sprinting as fast as he can with rockets strapped to his feet. Try to lace his drink with cocaine? No problem - it's all good! Let's hug! He's either the most forgiving guy in town, his vengeful DiMera genes haven't kicked in yet, he's forgotten how nasty Nicole can be or he did actually fry his brains on drugs like they used to show in those commercials with the egg. Not sure.
What I am sure of, however, is that he's decided to keep Nicole's secret and also protect her from fraudulent baby mamas. I'm all for Brady the Hero, especially when he says things such as, "You're not only a two bit con, you're a really stupid two bit con," BUT Brady the Secret Keeper has disaster written all over it! Yet, like most things, there could be an upside to his decision and that would be taking the DiMera vs. Everyone Else in Salem Feud into the next generation. We've seen Stefano and John go rounds, now we could be gearing up for the sons get in the ring! E.J. vs. Brady anyone? My roommate's already offered to be the towel girl.
Speaking of Nicole, she was a bad, bad girl last week! Lucky for Brady, she seemed to grow a conscience at the last minute and slap the cocaine spiked drink from his hand. Nice save and by save I mean save of the character as I don't think Ms. Walker could have bounced back from that bad deed. Drugging former druggies is just a tad too much, way to reel it in writers.
In general, however, she's still pretending to be pregnant and after a little chat with Max she decided adoption was the way to go. Illegal adoption that is. Yep, this storyline is sinking deeper and deeper into dangerous territory. Laurisa made tons of great points last week as to why this plot is pretty silly and I agree with her. I think one of the biggest red flags is that it's making E.J. look like a fool. A bad guy at times, sure. A fool, not normally. Therefore it brings me back to my initial reaction to "Ecole" in general - this storyline isn't doing any favors for the characters, in fact, it's dragging them all down. Let's hope next year some truths will finally set them, and the viewers, free.
Puppy Love & Catty Obsession (Chelsea, Max & Melanie)
Yep, Max's sad story about Charlie the stuffed dog tugged at my frigid heartstrings. Even back in the day Trent was a mean, mean dean it seems, but to take a little kids best friend away from him? Cruel, man, just cruel. But Chelsea was there to support her Uncle Max. That was, um, nice. It would be nicer if they just stayed friends/relatives … hint, hint, writers. Just saying. Moving on …
Later in the week Max had to deal with Mel who came running to tell him all about Stephanie and Philip. Jealous much, Mel? Exactly! And Max agreed too. He shot down all of her attempts to make him feel bad and urged her, "Don't be evil you." Very funny Maxy! He even got her to admit that she kinda wants Philip … something I hope never, ever happens. I don't expect smooth sailing for any couple in Salem, but having Mel buzz around Stephanie and Philip isn't really that fun to watch. I like her, don't get me wrong, but she sort of looks like a child dressed up in her mom's clothes and oversized shoes when prancing around Dimples. But, there could be some reprieve, she's set to meet Nick and maybe he'll buy her love with some Go Green money.
Bedside Manners? (Lucas, Chloe, Dr. Dan and Kate)
Dr. Happy-Pants couldn't resist feeling up Chloe while examining her then we had to deal with the denial of it all. I think she should slap him with a sexual harassment lawsuit, but, then again, I'm just mean like that. This storyline does have some bright spots, but man, oh man I'm struggling to see them as the entire thing seems more about Dr. Dan's wondering eye than it does about … about … oh, ya, Kate's cancer. In fact, I feel really bad for her. Not only is she battling a potentially deadly disease (the cancer, not Daniel), but she's fighting a losing battle with a guy who hospital bed jumps. Boo! Major boo!
Shoot, That Ladder! (Bo & Hope)
Gee, I thought I had some bad luck this year, but compared to Bo I'm one big lucky charm. First he almost died from a rare pancreatic disease and his "Pop" perished in a plane crash. Next his wife gets kidnapped by a mad woman and he joins her in Casa de Hostage for a while. Then his biological father guilt trips him into compromising his morals to protect his half-brother. Finally, just as things are looking up, he falls down - hard! At the rate he came crashing down from the top of that ladder I'm surprised little cartoon bells and stars weren't circling his head! I mean ouch, serious ouch! I don't know the extent of his injuries are yet, but I know two things. One, Hope is gonna feel guilty and, two, if Dr. Dan is the one treating him, I hope he asks for Kayla or Lexie as I'm not sure even Bo is safe in a hospital gown around Dr. Date-A-Patient. Sure, he helped him before without incident, but Dr. Dan seems to be on a feeding frenzy lately. Not good.