Happy Inauguration Week everyone! It almost seems poetic that big changes are happening in real life as well as in good ole Salem, U.S.A. Change itself can be great, yet downright scary. But, I'm trying to look at things with a positive attitude - sure, some sand is running out of the hour glass which is sad, but the upper section is completely full with new grains that are sure to keep us entertained for years to come. And, no, that wasn't the wine talking, I'm just generally excited to see what will happen after last week!
In general, it was a pretty bittersweet one as I'm sure this week will be too, but let's rip off the band aide and get last week's bitter out of the way first. Hilda died. Nick was sent to the big house. Chloe cheated on Lucas. Crazy Charlotte lied to John thus dashing his hopes for regaining his memory. All in all, a lot of sad stuff happened.
The silver lining? The sweet part! Nick's sentence was light so he could potentially return sooner than later. Marlena and Brady were rock stars! Both Kayla and Tony made appearances! The writers actually remembered Stefano proposed to Kate! And, the sweetest of sweetest real life news - Alison Sweeney gave birth to a healthy baby girl! Congratulation to her and her growing family! Now, since we're pumped up on the good news, let's talk about Days!
What's Up, Doc!? (Marlena, John, Charlotte & Company)
Riddle me this - why are most of the psychiatrists in Salem more messed up than their patients!? Dr. Laura Horton was pretty screwed up there for a while. Then there's everyone's favorite feel good shrink, Dr. Alex North. Now, we have Dr. Charlotte Taylor. Yet, aside from the whiplash I got from the fast pace of what's going on with "Jarlena," the twists made things interesting!
First, it put Marlena in a place we all like her - she was strong, fearless, independent and downright ballsy! It actually was the ultimate role reversal between her and John - she's saving the day! Like "Old John" normally did, Mar Mar got to be play super sleuth and track down Charlotte's former employer in Minneapolis to get the dirt. Then, like "Old John" would do, she went right to the "bad girl" and had it out with her! Actually, they fought so hard they got sent to the principal's office! I mean, Chief of Staff's office. Unfortunately, they never made it there as Char squirmed out if it, but she didn't have a chance to relax as she realized someone had snooped in her office! That someone …
That someone is reason number two, Brady! I'm so glad the writers are making him an intricate part of John's recovery and giving him a break from sinking further in the "Ejole" quicksand. His sly spy tactics reminded me of someone else … someone who would do anything for his family … someone who bends the rules if it means helping the greater good … yep, he reminded me of "Old John!" Awesome!
Number three, Dr. Sweetness Johnson is now involved! Hallelujah! My attention always increases when my "Vet Radar" goes off … it detects those rare blips on the screen when characters over thirty show up. I kid, I kid. Anyway, Sweetness, Jr. is took charge in the vain of her feisty mother and cracked some heads (sans Caroline's baseball bat). Again, awesome! More please!
Finally, there's Charlotte! I'll reiterate, it's horribly rushed, but I do like her decent into madness. But, that leaves a lot of questions - what caused it? Is she simply obsessed with John? Is she trying to destroy Marlena and John's merely a *sly grin* pawn? I don't buy that she's simply irritated because Marlena neglected to keep in touch with her dad, Kenneth. If Blondie's neglect was a motive most of her children and friends would have tried to seek revenge at some point or another. Sorry, Mar Mar, I call it like I see it. So, what are Charlotte's motives? I'm not entirely sure, but I came up with a few scenarios so make sure to check them out on my blog by clicking here!
Death Became Her (Hilda & Mr. Killer)
I have this knack of falling for characters that leave. Just last year Billie and Adrianne, among others, broke my heart. This year it's Hilda (I'm still in denial about the others)! Why, oh why, did she have to go? And what a gruesome ending - down and out in a pool of blood with a baby bootie nearby. It was a chilling end to a cool character!
I was also a little disappointed she didn't kick Mr. Killer's butt because, really, I would've placed my money on "Hilda the Hun" in a fight. So sad, yet if she would be sprinkled with the magical resurrection water that seems to be abundant in Salem I wouldn't be irritated. In any case, I wish Diane Delano all the best! We'll miss her crazy antics around Salem!
Nun of Your Business (Sami & The Safe House Swingers)
Sometimes I worry about Sami's intelligence. Other times, I really worry about Sami's intelligence. Last week, I really, really worried about it. In on of her brightest of brightest moves she once again snuck out of the safe house … you know, where it's safe. Yep, she went to the convent yet again. One hope I have is that once Sami learns about Hilda's heartbreaking fate she'll grow up and stay put. Nah, that's too logical.
Ok, I'll pretend I get the sneaking out part and focus on what "Colleen" and Sister Theresa talked about which ended up being pretty much nothing. They basically had the longest non-conversation ever as Sami couldn't open up so Sister T had to play twenty questions, which grew tiring after only two. I feel you're pain, Ms. Nun. Anyway, my question is this - why doesn't Sami just tell her about being in the program? Aren't nuns like doctors and priests, AKA sworn to confidentiality? I have a feeling if Sister Theresa found out the truth, she'd get out her infamous nun ruler and smack some sense into Sami Gene "Colleen". She needs it.
In other Safe House news, Rafe, the man assigned to protect Sami, remained passed out from an infection all week. But, he did wake up right after Sami returned and smiled as he trusted her. Those feelings should last until the cell phone Sister Theresa gave her rings. Whoops.
The Suspicious & The Stupid (Nicole, Mia, Tony & E.J.)
Two weeks ago Nicole screamed at Brady for his lack of support … when she should've been screaming at E.J. Last week she confessed the entire truth about her baby scheme to Mia … when she should've confessed to E.J. Here's a spoiler, next week she's going to yell at Mary the Maid for calling out Sami's name during foreplay … when she should be yelling at E.J. Ok, I can't back up that last part, but everything is still pretty absurd in Fake Pregnancy Land.
Ironically, it seemed to be Mia, the new comer, who summed up everything perfectly when she called the entire situation sketchy. Just a tad, Mia, just a tad. She also made another good point - if Nicole is so afraid of E.J, why shouldn't she be as well? Of course, Nicole schmoozed her way out of question that by crying and pleading some more. Crisis averted, sort of.
On an upside, I laughed so hard when Nicole explained to Mia that Stefano was "one of the sweetest, funniest old goofs you'll ever meet." Yep, that pretty much sums up the Phoenix. Kinda. However, it gives me hope is that Mia is finally privy to Nicole's ruse. So far, Mia seems on the up and up … well as on the up and up as you can be when selling your baby on the Black Market … therefore I'm hopeful she'll do the right wrong thing and back away as soon as the baby is born - which looks like it could be soon as she started having cramps at the end of Friday's show! Yikes!
Another upside, Tony entered the picture last week - twice! Thaao's always a welcomed addition to any storyline! During his first conversation with Nicole he warned her to wise up as Stefano is full speed ahead at taking control of E.J.'s reigns. Ironically, she was a little happy that Elvis J is preoccupied as it gives her the chance to play house a little longer. Interestingly enough, Tony seems to know something is up!
Later in the week, he told E.J. just that! And E.J. totally listened to his big semi-brother's advice! Oh, wait, no he didn't. He gave the "Nicole is great" speech and even praised her for volunteering at the Youth Center. The Youth Center, E.J.? Really? Wake up! Yep, that hurt my head and, like Lucas with Chloe, E.J. is cruising toward a big, rude awakening.
It's My Party, I Can Sleep With Who I Want To (Chloe & Company)
Ah … another fun shindig at the Kiriakis estate. I feel bad for Chelsea and Max as they were the sole ambassadors of reality and realized things were pretty awkward and lame. That is so not a fun position to be in during a party. Then again, it really wasn't much of a party as most of the action happened before and after. Let's discuss.
Part One, The Pre-Party: Kate basically kept running in and out of the room the entire time. Chloe and Dr. Dan spent most of the evening upstairs making out while her fiancé Lucas scratched his head and bought her lame stories for being so late. Max and Chelsea showed up and stood awkwardly chatting while watching their watches. Stephanie and Philip made out then she worried how it would affect Max. Did I miss anything? Ok, I do have to give props to Philip as his method of talking to Max about football then telling Steph they spoke about her was pretty funny. And, yep, guys would do that, sorry ladies.
Part Two, The Party: I'm still a bit puzzled about all the "Fantasy Football" chitchat as I've never really noticed the Kiriakis Clan being that into tossing the ole pigskin around, be it real or fantasy. But, it was cool to see them talking about things people I know actually talk about. Therefore, I won't throw a flag, but to me, the highlight was Victor's arrival!
The guy was hysterical … in a mean, grumpy sarcastic way that is. Actually, he started to rattle cages before he even got in the door when he uninvited E.J. and Nicole. Hilarious! Then he bashed Chloe, commenting he bet's her dress won't be white. After that he moved onto Lucas after Mr. Horton said that Chloe is the most honest person he knows. Victor's reply, "How many people do you know, Lucas?" Brilliant! To top it all off, he had a little smack down with Dr. Dan. I'll scold Victor for being a little biased when it comes to Chloe, but, then again, so it Dr. Dan. Touché!
Elsewhere at the party, Stephanie and Chelsea got into a little awkward exchange with tons of hidden meanings. Chelsea commented that Steph still had her purse, Stephanie retorted with "those are my earrings." Translation for Stephanie's actions: Stay away from my ex so I can pretend he's still crushed that we broke up. Translation for Chelsea's actions: I'm totally not into your ex in "that" way … we're just friends, ok? My translation: Rrriiiggghhhttt. These two pretty gals are headed down an ugly road.
Finally there were two toasts! Appropriately enough, Lucas made to his blushing bride to be … and by "blushing bride to be" I mean she was still red in the face from her make out session with Dr. Dan. His toast was short, sweet and will soon come back to slap him in the face. The second double edged toast came from Dr. Feel Good himself. Unfortunately, no one seemed to pick up on his innuendos as half the party didn't care what he had to say and the other half just didn't get it. Right on.
Part Three, The Post-Party: After the festivities, everyone quickly went their own ways. Max and Chelsea headed to the pub which brings me to point out that when she's right, she's right! I totally agree with Laurisa's thoughts about these two - the writers have some history, and a branch of the family tree, to re-explore before I can jump aboard the "Chax" Bandwagon. But, dang it, Darin and Rachel did make me crack a smile last week. Those two have undeniable chemistry that causes me to continually remind myself that both of their last names are Brady. Let me reiterate, both of their last names are Brady. Hmm, don't know why I can't get past that?
On the other hand, Stephanie & Philip still give me the warm fuzzies. They went to Titan after the party where she nagged him about working so hard. His comeback, we shouldn't work together! Say what!? But, he just meant she should have another intern advisor. Whew!
But, as much as I like these two, something seemed a little off between them last week. I couldn't pinpoint the source of my feelings, but it left me wondering whether or not these two will get a chance at legitimate couplehood. Philip seemed a little too impressed by Mel towards the end of the week and Stephanie's jealousy of Max and Chelsea might end up being a big red flag it seems. My advice, tread lightly Sweetness, Jr. because once your attention is averted, Mel is sure to swoop in! I doubt she'll listen to me.
Then of course there was the post-post party, or what I'd like to point out as the first new day Salem has seen in weeks. What happened? Dr. Dan and Chloe happened.
Oddly enough, I've finally figured out what Dr. Dan reminds me of - he's like the super cheesy host of an infomercial! That's right folks, for only $19.99, Dr. Dan will come to your hospital bedside and profess his love! For that low price you get not one, but TWO "I love you" speeches, TWO "I can't live without you" speeches, and, count them, TWO lists of excuses as to why being with him is a great idea! Talk about a great deal, but, wait! There's more! The first ten callers who are engaged or already married will get a free gift! What normally costs over $40.00, you'll get for free! That gift? Dr. Dan will give you the, "I've never felt this way about anyone before" speech absolutely free! Free! Did I mention it's free!? Combined, that's an over $60.00 purchase all for the low price of $19.99 … plus shipping, handling and the penicillin you'll need to purchase after he leaves. Call now!
Ok, sorry about the rant. What was I saying? Yes, Dr. Dan gave Chloe the list of reasons why they should be together. She agreed. Then, they did it while some type of power ballad duet thingy/porno type music played that made me giggle. Poor Lucas, pretty much sums up my feelings in one note.
Going to the Chapel? (Stefano & Kate)
Holy cow! I'm utterly shocked that the writers revisited Stefano's proposal to Kate. I thought that was as dead in the water as Cassie and Rex, but, lo and behold, they went there. Kudos to them for bringing back what could be a great storyline!
With the compliments out of the way, I found those scenes a bit maddening for one reason. The gripe I have is that Stefano praised Kate up and down. She's wonderful. Always makes him smile. Blah, blah, blah, but all that I kept thinking was - why the heck didn't he visit her when she was suffering from cancer!? Forget that it wasn't shown, it wasn't even slyly mentioned that he showed up to lend his support or express his admiration. That was a little weak at best and would so not make me swoon to accept someone's proposal. No wonder she wasn't "ready to commit."
There's also the "Dr. Dan Factor." Stefano knows all about him! Actually, this aspect I like and wish it would have been explored at the time. If anyone could've put Dr. Feel Good in his place it would be Stefano. Whereas I think they missed the boat with that part, the entire Stefano and Kate cruise could be interesting if they don't forget about it for another six plus months!
The Family Guy (Stefano & E.J.)
Elvis J had a busy week thanks to his dear old dad. Stefano kept him hopping from project to project so the Phoenix could make a "profound change" and focus on his family. I suspect that focus means obsessively meddling, but that's just my guess. Anyway, he basically ignored E.J.'s question about Tony's involvement in the family and said that he would wait for Lexie to see the light and return to him. With two down that pretty much means all of his "focus" will be on E.J. What a lucky guy!
Deal or No Deal? (E.J. & Melanie)
In other DiMera business news, E.J. told Stefano about a great new project that would restore the family name as well as make them another fortune! The big guy was intrigued so E.J. went to have a little chat with everyone's favorite mini-diva, Melanie. I have to admit, pairing up those two was interesting. Mel seemed enticed by
E.J. the deal, but decided to remain loyal to Philip Titan. Something tells me this could be the beginning of a great storyline. The DiMera and Kiriakis families are in. You know the Brady's will jump in there sooner or later. Maggie's already in the ring as Mel's Jiminy Cricket. And Max is sure to show up as Nick sent him a copy of the Alternative Fuel project. Hmm. Interesting. Very interesting.
Dark Hour, Bright Future (Nick)
Court is officially adjourned for Nick Fallon. But, before I make my final sentence about Nick's, um, sentencing, I have two sidebars I'd like to get out of the way first. And, by sidebars I mean complaints.
Sidebar One: Didn't Nick fire Mickey's firm because his uncle/lawyer wouldn't help him sign over the rights to Alternative Fuel to Melanie? I'm still scratching my head about that one, but I did come up with two theories. One, perhaps Mickey wouldn't do it out of principle so he handed it off to E.J. to ensure it was all done properly. Two, perhaps once Nick's head cleared a little he rehired Mickey's firm and, since Mickey was conveniently in Chicago, E.J. had to handle the case. Sure I'm nitpicking, but if nothing else a faux-flashback would have been nice or, in the very least, some lame explanation.
Sidebar Two: Nick's actual sentence might only last eighteen months to five years? Huh? That's great, cool, peachy keen for him, but it was a little funny that he could be out in as little as eighteen months for murder while Lucas was sentenced to ten years for attempted murder. Not to mention Morgan is doing a two year internship therefore Nick could conceivably be back before her. Again, huh!? Then again, Judge Fitzpatrick was on the case and we all know E.J. has her in his pocket. Maybe Mickey knew what he was doing after all!
With that out of the way, I can't praise those courtroom scenes enough! From Blake to Rachel to Suzanne to Molly, everyone was at their acting best. Mel summed it up perfectly during her plea for a shorter sentence for Nick, "Everyone who knows him will lose so much [if he's gone forever]." Well said Mel!
It was also a nice nod that Blake and Rachel shared in Nick's final bow. Their goodbyes were very touching and epitomized what Nick was - a nice guy. With his own uncertain future staring him in the face, his last thoughts were of Chelsea's happiness. Despite what they have done to each other over the years, that was very classy and truly loyal to Nick's character.
Like his character, Blake also seems to be a truly classy guy and will be missed by the tons of fans his underdog character won over. On behalf of Laurisa, we both wish Blake the best and brightest future! Everyone can now raise their cyber glasses in a final toast to Blake - thank you for your entertaining stay in Salem and we look forward to seeing you again!