Welcome to the first official week-o-sweeps! Normally this ratings bonanza happens in February. But, when the TV gods announced that the whole digital switch thing was going to happen in the middle of February, the soap opera peeps decided to move sweeps to March. It makes sense since soaps are mainly on basic broadcast channels that one can still get with TV bunny ears, some tin foil, and a properly placed fork (that is, until June when the real switch will happen- make sure you're not left behind!). So, back in Salem that leaves us with a lot of storylines to dig into. Like Tony, I was thrilled to see Alison Sweeney, Dylan Patton, and for arguments sake, Kate Roberts make their Salem debuts last week. This week, with all the chess pieces in play, characters got smacked in the face with some harsh truths. We'll see how each reacts as the month goes on.
Mercifully, Nicole and EJ didn't share many scenes this week. I guess Donna Reed called and demanded her storylines back for a while. Instead, we got to see Nicole's comedy shine and I couldn't be happier!
Nicole Mary went to the convent to see Sister Theresa. Actually, she went to see Mia's baby. I don't know if it's intentional or not, but Arianne Zuker can't help but be comical. Her "Oh…is that a baby?" line made me giggle because it was delivered with such blatant fakeness. Plus, the idea of Nicole in a church is funny. I don't think she's ever been there before- unless she heard that they give out free wine. I almost bought Nicole's concern for baby Grace. That is, until I realized that she was using an alias, lying to a nun, and holding a baby that she tossed aside because it wasn't the right flavor for her. Nicole wanted to know why Sami told Lucas that the baby died. Really? Nicole can't figure out that perhaps Sami did that so that no one would find out about the baby? It seems pretty obvious to me.
The next day, Nicole and Chloe went shopping together for wedding dresses; a move which I found totally ironic since the last time Nicole sported a wedding gown was when she showed up in one to Chloe and Brady's wedding! (You know, just in case Brady changed his mind and opted to dump Chloe, Nicole would be ready take her place!) Nicole stuck Chloe in the ugliest bridesmaid gown ever. I don't blame her one bit. If Nadia Bjorlin was standing next to me, I'd do my best to make her look like Shrek too. As payback, Chloe chose a bridesmaid gown for Nicole direct from the 50% off rack at Forever 21. The funniest thing about this scene was Nicole and Chloe cackling about what a phony, classless loser Sami is. Did you get that? The woman who stole a baby to keep her man and the woman who is marrying a man purely out of guilt are passing judgment on Sami. Riiiight. Still, I like these two together. Giving out advice to Chloe is a refreshing change of pace for Nicole.
At the end of the week, Sami asked Nicole to use her persuasive powers to reel in EJ. I laughed out loud when Nicole got all indignant at Sami for suggesting that Nicole use Sydney to keep EJ. I mean, how DARE Sami suggest that Nicole use a helpless baby to trick EJ. Nicole is soooo above doing anything like that. Ultimately, Nicole did as she was told and went home and asked EJ why he cares who Sami kisses. I think it's funny that Sami inadvertently put Nicole up to doing the one thing that everyone else warned Nicole would drive EJ right back to Sami. But, I'm not too worried about Nicole. She's got some good things going for her….
Nicole told Brady that they can't be friends anymore because EJ said so. Brady responded with a string of logical arguments, the main being that EJ isn't in love with the real Nicole but a false incarnation of EJ's dream fem-bot that Nicole plays to the hills each time EJ looks her way. Kudos to Brady for not taunting her with a whoopisssshh! noise complete with the whip arm motion. But the fall out of this conversation came a few days later when Brady said that he knows what it's like to be in love with someone that you can't have. And there you have it- Brady is in love with Nicole. And, the Nicole fan in me thinks she's an absolute fool if she cuts him out of her life. Not only is he her moral compass, and quite possibly the best looking Jiminey Cricket ever, but he actually gives Nicole a chance at being truly happy because he's known her at her worse and still accepts her. In a town where so many people walk around with a chip on their shoulder, it's such a refreshing change to have a character like Brady who makes an honest effort not to judge people.
We didn't get a lot of action this week on the fuels project, but here's what I can piece together: Remember that formula that Melanie jotted down from memory? Well, EJ ripped it up and gave it to Nicole when she started threatening not to marry him if he went to battle with the Titan. Nicole promptly took it to Philip. And just like that, the fuels project was back with Team Kiriakis!
Or is it…..Like my partner Tony, I'm happy by all the little twists and turns in this storyline. EJ and Stefano are still moving forward with this war. In fact, EJ told Stefano that "Philip took the bait." I'm not sure what that means, but I'm pretty sure that it has to do with the computer error that Philip and Stephanie found on Friday while trying to access the Titan database. Then there's my favorite spit-fire loser, Melanie. Like all of her other schemes, this one is going to blow up in her face too. EJ told Mel that DiMera isn't going forward with the project- a teeny little detail that EJ snuck into the contract that Melanie forgot to read before she signed. You think that someone with a photographic memory would have an easy time scanning a document. Anyway, Mel needs to give back the money that EJ gave to her because that rule is in the contract too. And just for good measure, EJ called Melanie out on trying to use him as a way to get revenge on Philip. So, Mel went running back to Philip and tried to give him the project that she stole from him a few weeks ago. Philip was glad to have the project, but just might sue Melanie for breach of contract. HA! Melanie does have to learn some how! Still, I know that Melanie will find some way to get involved again. I'd love it if Max made a call to his brother, Frankie, to see if he can help Melanie out. After all, Max did make that little promise to Nick that the project wouldn't fall into bad hands.
LUCAS and CHLOE
I'm wondering why Lucas is so adamant about moving forward with the wedding. Chloe didn't just call off the engagement, she dumped Lucas all together. So, while I can see him taking her back, I am a bit confused as to why he would start sprinting towards the altar with her- at least not without exploring the option of couples counseling or perhaps a homing device for Chloe.
I am glad to hear that Lucas is accepting full responsibility for his drinking. I was going to go nuts if Sami or Chloe became scapegoats again. But to Lucas's credit, he owns up to his mistakes. And, I forgot how much I like watching the dad side of Lucas. Everything that annoys me about how Lucas treats Sami, works so much better when Lucas is dealing with a teenage boy. Plus, you can tell that Bryan Dattilo is a dad in real life because he just shines when his paternal instinct has to kick in. I want to see more, please!
I think that Dylan Patton is doing a fine job with the role of Will. He's a cute kid and holds his own in the acting department with Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo. However, he certainly has a long, tough rode ahead of him. In my opinion, the character of Will Roberts has been horribly written for years. He's embodied the worst qualities of Sami and Lucas- her immature attitude and his sense of entitlement- with no redeeming qualities at all. As far as soap opera parents go, Will could do a heck of a lot worse than Sami and Lucas. Finally, NuWill seems to be putting a lot of that behind him. He shared a whole scene with Sami and Lucas and didn't inappropriately smart off to either of them! I really hope that this time around, Will develops into a character of his own- not just Sami and Lucas's bratty kid. I hope that Will gets to spend time with his Grandpa Roman. Roman knows how to deal with Sami and Lucas better than anyone.
Daniel spent the week being just as drunk as Lucas was last week- with no extra explosion added. After brushing off Chelsea's offer to help, Daniel turned to….Brady??? I don't know about this one, writers. Brady is a swell guy but I found his conversation with Daniel entirely uncomfortable to watch. Sure, they can bond over the fact that they are both in love with women they can't have. But, they can also bond over the fact that they both know what it's like to sleep with Chloe. Ewww.
EJ, SAMI and RAFE
Talk about a scene that just kept delivering the goods! From the second EJ (and Nigel the penguin) showed up at Sami's door I couldn't take my eyes off my TV. This was one of those scenes where SO MUCH had to be conveyed in such a brief conversation, that it could only be carried out by heavy weights like James Scott and Alison Sweeney (and Galen Gering, but more on him later). Sami thanked EJ for taking such good care of Johnny. It might be just me, but I could see the guilt in Sami when she was talking about Johnny and Sydney. And, it made me furious with her for not letting EJ be Grace's father too! That is, until EJ gave a speech about how he's going to let his children make their own decision on what they want to be when they grow up. Normally, I would be totally on his side. But, when one of the very real possibilities is that his child grows up to be a psycho, brain-washing crime lord, I have a problem with EJ hiding behind an "I'll unconditionally support my kid" excuse. In the end, I fear that Sami may be right. No matter how great of a father EJ is, he's just not ready to stand up to Stefano.
Then, the topic switched to Nicole. As much as Sami claims to hate her, she sure does talk about her a lot! I'm glad EJ pointed out that this has more to do with the bad blood between Sami and Nicole than how Nicole will actually be as a step-mom. The fact is that Sami is hella jealous of Nicole because Nicole has all of EJ- including that part of EJ that Sami will always love. Yep. Sami said the "L" word to EJ about EJ. It's about time. The thing that absolutely drove me nuts about the Ejamicus mess was that Sami never admitted her feelings about EJ. But, she seems to be learning from that because….
Rafe is back! He showed up at Sami's door, while EJ was there, of course. Sami was thrilled to see him- a feeling that EJ hardly shared. Rafe and EJ immediately butted heads. I don't know if it is Galen himself or the character of Rafe, but this rehash of the Lucas vs. EJ battles of '06 is so much better this time around. Rafe reminded EJ that Rafe was there to pick up the pieces the night that EJ called Sami to tell her that he was going to marry Nicole. Nice move, Agent H! But his best move by far was the sweet kiss that he gave to Sami as he was leaving.
EJ saw every spark of chemistry between Sami and Rafe. First he tried to run Sami's life indirectly by going to Roman to file a complaint against Rafe for unprofessional conduct. When that didn't work, he tried the direct approach and actually ordered Sami to stay away from Rafe. EJ tried to point out that Sami knows nothing about Rafe- who is he or what his family is like. It's a valid point in theory, but I hardly think that EJ is the right person to be championing a character evaluation based on one's family. He would do himself a favor to remember that he was conceived when his mafia father tricked his mother into thinking she was having sex with Elvis Presley. Anyway, I thought that the Safe kiss would be the surprise of the week, but came in second to Sami admitting that she has feelings for Rafe. Whoa! Sami is actually being honest about her feelings?!?! What's next? Is Mickey going to actually appear on screen? Who knows? But one thing for sure is that EJ is way more jealous of Rafe than he was ready to be. Perhaps EJ should have a talk with Chloe about marrying someone more out of ideals than out of love.
MAX, CHELSEA, BO and HOPE
Max and Chelsea went on possibly the cutest date ever. At first I was a little concerned that they were basically having the same date that Philip and Steph had a few weeks ago (alone at the Cheatin' Heart), but by the time they got to the park, I was hooked. While I would have liked if they talked about the fact that they are members of the same family, at least they talked about the fact that they had tried this romance before and it didn't work out. Points to Chelsea for calling herself a "giant cup of crazy" and realizing that most of the reason it didn't work before was all her. After these two recapped the past, they decided to do the next best thing and hop into bed together.
The only problem? Said bed was under Bo Brady's roof. Bo justifiably hit the fan when he saw Max coming downstairs the next morning. If that wasn't enough, Chelsea came bouncing downstairs after Max in her super-shorty robe. The scene was funny. Not even Hope's magic eyebrow could keep Bo from going ballistic. And, I don't blame him. Chelsea could at least have gone to the sorority house or something. Sheesh! Thank God for Hope. Just when Bo was about to tear into Max, Hope reminded Bo that "at least it wasn't a biker with long hair". Well played, Fancy Face! Hope went off to apologize to Max. And, Bo headed upstairs to apologize to Chelsea. Bo realized that he might be overcompensating for all the dad years he missed out on. He is. But, Chelsea living at home really wasn't helping. She needed to move out. She's a grown woman with her own life (not to mention one of the few women who actually has a real job) and she needs to be living on her own. It's time to move the next gen of 20-somethings into those loft apartments that Belle, Philip, Shawn, and Mimi used to rent.
Thanks to a very large man named Peter, Stefano knows that Nicole went to the Convent of the Holy Cross. Now, he wants to know why. This spells bad, bad news for Sami Gene. I know we're supposed to think that Stefano will go after Nicole, but I don't buy it. Once Stefano realizes that Sami is hiding a grandchild from him, Sami is dead meat.
Maggie told off Chloe- again. While I never get tired of a character being called out on their actions, I'm a little sore at Mags for not just coming forward with the truth. Eventually Mags, it's going to be speak-up or shut-up time.
Hope told Daniel that he was chosen as one of Salem's "Most Eligible Bachelors". NO KIDDING!! He's certainly done a great job of campaigning for that title over the last year. (*wink*)
Bo told Hope about his vision. Good for him. Turns out you can teach Bo new tricks. And, for her part, Hope reassured him that the visions would not happen. Bo still doesn't know who the man in the vision is, but we know that he wears a clunky ring and a watch with a black band. Any guesses? I'm toying between Rafe and Daniel. Any guesses?
Stefano asked Kate out to dinner again. If they do actually have a date, that would make it TWO dates for this pair! As far as Salem romances go, that's like a silver anniversary.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: First Nicole, then Carrie, now Chloe- Will certainly has the best looking step-mothers in the history of Days.
I think it's fair to say that the writers are going with the belief that Lucas was truly the one who shot EJ. I always wondered if it was Will (and Lucas covered up for him), but Will wouldn't joke about shooting EJ if he had already done it before. More so, Lucas wouldn't have reacted with such shock if Lucas knew that Will had previously made good on such a threat.
How long is it going to be before Nicole runs into Rafe and recognizes him as the "cable repair man" who came to the mansion?
Does anyone really believe that the only copy of this gazillion dollar formula was the one that Melanie wrote down on a yellow legal tablet? I know Nicole said it's the only one, but I don't believe her. Stefano and EJ have to have another copy, right?
Congrats to the actors and actresses who received Emmy Pre-Nominations for Days! You can read more about them and their potential competition in the soapcentral.com news section! HOT
Everything having to do with Kate- her hair, her alliance with Victor, her almost relationship with Stefano and the way she deals with problems. Look, I'm not saying that Chloe is the devil. I realize that she's hardly the first person in Salem to cheat. But Kate's eerily nice way of telling Chloe that she's always going to be honest with her is textbook Diva. And when Kate told Chloe that Daniel was a tiger in the bedroom, I about spit out my drink. Kate's the only person who could use lunch at the Brady Pub as a torture device.
If Stephanie is going to act like such a self-righteous twit, she doesn't deserve my boy Philip. I realize that the writers need to drum up some drama to keep the Philip/Stephanie/Melanie triangle going. And, I totally agree with Steph being mad at Philip for kissing Melanie. But, the idea that Steph suddenly realizes that Philip has a mean streak is laughable. As Tony already pointed out, did Stephanie have her head buried in the sand during the whole Claire custody situation? And remember the scene where Philip told Melanie (RIGHT in front of Steph) that he'd rather stick his hand in a garbage disposal than sleep with Melanie? Where was Steph The Savior on that one? I guess it's ok for Philip to be mean to Melanie when it benefits Stephanie. But, if Steph really doesn't stand to gain anything, it's a dastardly move. To top it all off, I don't think Philip was out of line at all! Melanie broke a contract and in the business world, if you don't hold up your end of the contract, you get sued. It's not like Philip planned to drug Melanie and then when she accidentally died, he hid her body from the cops or anything. Now, that would be something that a mean person would do.
LINE OF THE WEEK
The best delivered line of the week was Max's response to Chelsea's claim that there are movies about friends who ruin their relationship by dating: "Those are terrible movies written by terrible people who have no friends."
The best written line of the week was Philip's evaluation of Melanie: "I'm not about to be bested by Smurfette"
I'd like to end on a personal note. This past Sunday, my grandma passed away. It wasn't unexpected as she had been battling Alzheimer's for the last 10 years. A few years ago, when she became completely care dependent, Grandma started music therapy. They played themes from her favorite TV shows. One of them was "Days of Our Lives". I have no way of knowing if it helped or not, but when I would go to visit her, I'd leave the TV on NBC so that she could still watch Days. I hope she continues to watch, now.