John and Marlena set a gold standard for super couples, and this past week, they bid farewell to Salem.
I wish I could tell you that this week was wonderful. I wish I could tell you that this week was full of reminiscing and happy walks down memory lane. I wish I could tell you that we got to see a beloved super couple ride off into the sunset together in a way truly befitting their huge history with the show. But, I can't. None of that happened. What I can tell you is that storylines are moving along, and as any avid soap watcher will tell you, progress is always a good thing. The proverbial "other shoes" dropped faster than Chloe's morals and EJ's IQ. As we gear up for sweeps, a bunch of storylines are up in the air. While I know that Hope was talking about Charlotte when she pleaded, "Don't let the crazy lady win", Fancy Face's sentiments reflect my own apprehension with certain powers that be that might have had something to do with the writing on Days this week. So, everyone grab a buddy and a carpet square and let's talk about what made us scared this week. I'll go first…..
JOHN and MARLENA
After Brady brought her the tape of John's session, Marlena vowed- with a spirit that I hadn't seen since Marlena went all "Queen of the Night" on Stefano - to take care of Dr. Charlotte Taylor. And Brady- with a spirit that I have seen many times in one John Black- went right to his dad and showed him the tape. It all cumulated in a confrontation at Marlena's penthouse. Charlotte tried to attack Marlena with a syringe of muscle relaxers but stuck John instead. Kayla and Marlena combined to stabilize John, but he is temporarily paralyzed from the neck down. Marlena and John have a quick wedding ceremony before flying off to Switzerland where there is a hospital that can help John.
I think we all need a deep breath before we get into this. I'll wait……. Ok, here goes:
I do appreciate the tough spot that the writers were in with this one. I really do. I don't think anyone ever expected Drake and Deirdre to be forced off the show. I know I didn't! BUT even given that huge curve ball, this whole exit storyline is a hot mess and quite frankly, might just drive me to drink like it's Saturday night at the DiMera mansion.
First, Charlotte had no motive. Oh Wait….that's right… Charlotte said that she thought her dad loved Marlena more and resented Marlena for it. Oh good grief. Not only is it maddening to watch a grown, professional woman whine about not getting daddy's attention, but in order for this theory of emotional neglect to even fly, viewers should have at least heard Marlena mention Dr. Kenneth before a few weeks ago. If this dude was so into Marlena that he turned his own daughter crazy, you'd have thought Marlena would have Kenneth's book lying around the penthouse or something. I'm sure Steve and Kayla could have found that book helpful a few years ago.
Second, John and Marlena's last moments on the show should have been spent with friends and family- not in a hospital bed. The beauty of John and Marlena was that they managed to integrate themselves into a community and families that were not their own. So, to have them leave as basically the outsiders that they were when they arrived, is hardly respectful of the great progress these characters have taken. I guess Brady was the proxy for the presence and/or any mention of Belle, Sami, Eric, Rex, Cassie, Johnny, Ali, Claire, and Will. And, I assume that Kayla and Roman were the representatives for Bo, Hope, Steve, Abe, Lexie, Tony, Anna, Maggie, Mickey, Caroline, Victor, and Kate.
But I do see one huge, bright, shinning light. The note that John and Marlena left leaves me with hope that they might return some day. They may be gone, but their storyline isn't over! I don't want to start any rumors, but the door is wide open for them to return. Yes, I know the reports and I read the message boards. But those of us who know and love the genre of daytime, know that there's absolutely no way to ever say "never" in the wonderful world of soaps.
And, should the soap gods smile upon us and bring the Blacks back to Salem, there's plenty of storyline to dive into. Mainly, the fact that John hasn't gotten any opportunity to explore his Brady roots. I don't so much mean the past as I do the future. I think it would be nice if he was around for Stephanie and Chelsea, among some of the other "kids". Drake has such a cool charm that I would like to see what advice Cousin John would give them.
For now, Mr. and Mrs. John Black DiMera are off to Switzerland to get John some help for his shocked nervous system. They ending may not have been what I would have picked, but I don't really dwell on shoulda-coulda-woulda. The fact is that John and Marlena set a gold standard for super couples. I hope all would-be super couples paid attention and took good notes. They've been front and center for pretty much their entire run on the show and collected fans of all ages. The reason for their appeal is a combination of the chemistry that Drake Hogestyn and Deirdre Hall have on-screen and the humility that they show off-screen. From fan events to charity balls, both stars embrace their fans and I love that about these two. I always feel blessed when two great actors get to spend some time on my favorite soap. And yes, as frustrating as it may be, I'm a soap fan and I can't help but be hooked.
And to look at the bright side, this week could be worse for John and Marlena. They could have been Chloe….
Chloe started out the week by shipping Ali off to Julie and planning a trip for Lucas and her to Vancouver. (I guess I missed when Chloe got parental rights to Ali.) After Chloe convinced Lucas to head up north, she rushed off to give Ali her blanket. And who should she run into on the way? Why, Dr. Dan and his heaving libido, of course! She tells him that she's leaving town and runs home to Lucas, just in time to hear him talking about Sami. Frustrated that she thinks her relationship with Lucas may be in trouble because of a phone call
(riiiiiight), she runs to Nicole and blabbers about Sami's pregnancy. Then, she rubbed Nicole's nose in the fact that EJ is the father. Finally, she went to Daniel's apartment to break up with him again. Funny thing though, she ended up sleeping with him instead. That, my dear Chloe, is what we call "mixed signals". To end the whole week, Chloe and Daniel tell each other that they luuuvvv each other. Ain't that just the sweetest little thing you ever heard? Nope. Me either.
I guess I'll begin at the begging with my lists of grievances for this gal. To think that Sami is trying to get her hooks into Lucas right now is just laughable. I'm just sooooo sure that Sami convinced the entire Salem PD (including her own father), the media, and a federal organization to go along with this witness protection plan, just so Sami could set up this elaborate plot to take away one
of the men that Chloe is sleeping with right now. That's how I always land a man!
But, you'll never catch me accusing Chloe of being smart. I'll even reluctantly cut her a break on letting the news about the pregnancy slip. I guess I can see how she would be mad at Lucas for cancelling the trip. Really- what does Lucas think he's going to be able to do? It's not like his phone won't work in Vancouver. Plus she's probably consumed with her own guilt right now and wanted to lash out at someone.
Yet, my sympathy for Ms. Lane ends there. I thought it was pretty spiteful for Chloe to openly offer the information about EJ being the father. And then, in the most egregious act of the entire week, Chloe told Nicole where Sami was hiding. She did so while standing in the MIDDLE OF THE DIMERA MANSION, a.ka. the scene of the flippin' crime that Sami is in witness protection for seeing! Daniel really must have boinked her brains out. Literally. Chloe has no brain left at all.
This was all a means to an end of course. Someone else was bound to find out that Sami was pregnant and Nicole is the obvious choice. She's the only one who is guaranteed to keep the secret and therefore keep this storyline going. But Chloe is not the one who should have blabbed. She would have been better off staying locked in Daniel's apartment cheating on Lucas. At least that way she wasn't interfering with a federal investigation.
Oh yeah, and Chloe told Daniel that she loves him because he's such a caring person. She knows this because of all those dates and conversations they've had, time they spent with each other's friends and family, afternoons looking through and laughing at old pictures, and supporting each other through trying situations. What's that? Oh, that's right. Daniel and Chloe haven't done any of that. I've got longer history with some of the food in my fridge right now than do Daniel and Chloe.
Daniel went by to Lucas's isolated home to confess that he was having an affair with Lucas's fiancé. Did I mention that Lucas has already physically attacked Daniel before? What the heck was Daniel thinking? Actually, wait. I take that back. Daniel is a miracle doctor after all. I, for one, would like to see him try to reattach his own face after Lucas is done with him.
I'm going to go ahead and lay down my double standard hand and point out that if Daniel was a woman, we'd all be screaming about how pathetic it is to be sleeping with someone who won't even publically commit to you. Yes, Daniel is "the other woman" in this case. So, same advice goes to him: Have an ounce of self-control and self-respect not to get involved with someone who is in a committed relationship with someone else. Daniel might not technically be the one who is cheating. But he's still having an affair. That makes him a bad guy. Something tells me that if Daniel had been a genuine decent gentleman, and not constantly tempting Chloe with his deep breathing exercises, this affair never would have happened.
SAMI and RAFE
Sami cries a lot. Rafe yells a lot. I don't like it. Luckily, the Incredible Hulk and Chicken Little actually got something else to do this week. There was some silly stuff that happened at the beginning of the week- Rafe yelling at Sami for endangering herself by sneaking out of the loft where she was perfectly safe with her passed out guard; then after properly scolding her for going to the church, he took her to the church himself- but that's pretty much par for the course for this storyline. Thankfully it didn't last long.
Rafe got to play awesome-super-agent when he ran into the hit man back at the safe house. I really like it when we get to see Rafe doing some actual investigative work. I love the action and I really, love the battle of wits that could play out between the two. Sure, the hit man could just shoot Rafe, but Rafe is the hit man's last connection to Sami. Without Rafe, the hit man is back to square one.
Meanwhile, back at the Convent of the Holy Cross, I was very surprised that Sami came completely clean- real name and all- with Sister Theresa. For storyline purposes, Sami had to tell someone else that she was in the program and hiding the pregnancy. While the conversation isn't legally protected like a priest, I think a nun being a pretty safe choice. In fact, I am glad that it finally gave Sami a chance to explain that she's not afraid of EJ. He's a good father and loves Johnny. But she is afraid of Stefano and terrified for Johnny's future. She feels so overwhelmed because she's been defeated each time she tried to keep Stefano out of Johnny's life that she feels she has no choice but to keep Stefano out of this baby's life from the beginning. Surprisingly, I get it. There's no gray area here. It's not like the baby can be a "little bit" DiMera. And, it's not like Stefano can be a "little bit" Stefano. (hehe!)
Ok, before you Sami-haters start sticking pins in my voo-doo doll, I have some hate for Sami too. What in the world was Sami thinking TELLING LUCAS WHERE SHE IS?!?!? I get that she was scared and wanted to talk to someone. But what part of telling a private citizen where she was hiding even smells like a good idea? None! Sami might as well have taken an ad out during the nightly news complete with Google Earth footage of the church and downloadable Mapquest directions for everyone! What a moron! And, she paid for it too! Nicole found out where Sami was hiding and right now Nicole is way more dangerous than that hit man.
I'm worried about Nicole. I've always loved her. Even when I love to hate her I can't help but admire her chutzpa. But holy martinis, Batman! What are the writers doing to my Nicole? She's not even entertaining anymore. And more importantly, what were the writers thinking when they had Nicole fantasize about beating a pregnant woman to death in a church with a statue of the Virgin Mary? Maybe it's just me, but I found that scene in very poor taste on so many levels.
Nicole is digging her hole deeper and deeper. She basically has no choice at this point, and that's a shame. This week Nicole flung around accusations that E.J. is being a typical "DiMera man" and putting Nicole on a leash because EJ is doing such "outrageously irrational" things as offering to drive his fiancé where ever she wants to go and wanting to be present when his child is born. RED ALERT!! While it might be conceivable that EJ could forgive Nicole for the fake pregnancy (I could make an argument that she was doing it to keep EJ happy), I have a hard time seeing EJ justifying Nicole's ease at using his last name against him. After all, supporting the fact that EJ is a DiMera is the main difference between Nicole and Sami.
But Nicole is bound and determined to give EJ a baby. And like we pretty much guessed, it's looking like it will be Sami's baby. After over hearing Sami say that she was looking for a place to give birth, Nicole (a.k.a. "Mary") told Sister Theresa that she too is pregnant and in need of a secret place to deliver her baby where her parents won't find her. Luckily, Nicole has Dr. Baker's business card in her purse which I can only assume will make it to Sister Theresa's desk soon. On a side note, did anyone else think it was weird that the writers had "Mary" seek advice from a nun because she couldn't go to her devout Catholic parents? Since, you know, I'm sure a NUN isn't that devout of a Catholic or anything.
Kate says that she regrets how things ended with Daniel. I don't know if that meant how
things ended or if
things ended. Either way, she's S.O.L. since Daniel has already taken another luvaaahhh.
Bo tells Hope that he misses being a detective. I do too. I liked it when Bo bent the rules. But, I don't think that resigning a few weeks after you get the job is the best way to say, "Thanks for taking a chance on me, Abe!"
EJ went to Italy to
miss the birth of his fake baby
take care of some super important DiMera family business.
Mia went into false labor this week. She's due next week, as is Sami- which is remarkable since EJ and Sami slept together about 6 weeks before EJ and Nicole did. It also makes me wonder what a health insurance executive's job would be like in Salem. Talk about cause for denying claims.
I saw Roman!!!
Why do Chloe and Daniel have to do get "acquainted" on the floor each time? There is at least one perfectly good bedroom about ten steps away.
I'm actually a little glad that Sami isn't acting like her pregnancy is all roses and rainbows. Unplanned pregnancies are, by definition, mistakes. I'm glad that the writers are actually showing the stress that Sami is under about raising the child. Too bad she's going about it the right way. She should probably talk to Abe. He's the only one who can somewhat relate to what she's going through.
If Lucas really wants Kate to butt out of his love life, how about he stop talking to her about it? Hmm? I thought it was odd that he told Kate not to start in about Sami but then quickly asked Kate's advice about the fight he just had with Chloe.
I was talking to my sister this week and she brought up a good point: How is Nicole going to explain not being able to breast feed? If any of you are former Passions fans like us, you'd remember that Beth stole Sheridan's baby and then kidnapped Sheridan and forced her to breast feed the baby since Beth didn't produce any milk. I'm sure that Nicole will just use formula, and yes, I know that there are women who do not breast feed. But, I got a good laugh thinking about what kind of prosthesis Nicole will have to drum up to pull off this one!
Joseph Mascolo's part in Drake and Deirdre's goodbye. Look, there was no real reason for Stefano to be upset about John's attack. There's no love loss between John and Stefano. The whole silly situation was just an excuse to get Joseph and Deirdre in a scene together. But in this case, that's ok with me. We too often forget how much Stefano loved Marlena (in his own Stefano way) and that a large part of her charter is because of him. Then, I thought the salute between Stefano and John was less between the characters and perhaps really between Joseph and Drake. I don't know why- maybe it's because Joseph went through the same lame lay off just last year- but for a second I felt like we got a glimpse behind the scenes between two acting heavy weights. I only hope that we get more of Stefano in the future. All of the vets from that generation have some heavy weight to carry now that John and Marlena are gone.
It's painfully obvious that certain powers that be have their favorite characters/actresses to focus on. Right now, the actress de jour is Nadia Bjorlin, and that means the character with the most-est is Chloe Lane. Nadia is great, but I am not a Chloe fan. I haven't seen her appeal since the stupid scar storyline a few years ago. And right now I'm out of patience for Ms. Lane. She is an absolute mess of a character. From cheating on Lucas, to blabbering to Nicole, to blaming Lucas for taking a phone call, to telling Daniel that she loves him, Chloe struck out with me all week. If she's going to be a dirty little schemer, great! But, I don't like how I'm expected to feel any compassion for the girl. This is exactly how Belle got such a bad rep. Fans don't usually feel sorry for women who claim to love two men. Chloe can't be caught up in the moment/consumed with frustration every single second of the week. Fans aren't going to keep giving her a free pass.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Flashback John: "They can take a human being and they can do a lot of things to him. But they can't take away his love."
Sure it's covered in Velveeta, but lines like these secretly make me love soaps. What can I say? I'm a fan.
And there you have it! This was a rough week for me and I can't wait to hear what you all thought of it. The good thing is that we get a fresh new shot on Monday. And even in the darkest moments, Days has proved resilient. How else can you explain that as of January 21, 2009 Days is 11,000 episodes old? That's right! 11,000 episodes and counting. It's quite a feat for a daytime soap. Here's to another 11,000 more!
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.