Sweeps month is sort of like a relay race. All four weeks runners have to be good, but the third leg is usually the slowest. It's steady, makes sure no ground is lost and sets up for the fourth and final runner to bring it on home. That's what this week was like. I wouldn't say it was thrilling, but these events kept the show moving and hopefully set up for a great finish next week. And, since Days is now dripping with Emmy nominations (GO DAYS!!) I really don't have that much to complain about! So, pour yourself a celebratory drink and let's toast to the third week of sweeps.
WILL and MIA
Days hasn't done an actual teen storyline in a while and I think the show has been missing that balance. I'm talking about an actual teen storyline- with real teenagers who go to high school and have real teenage problems. None of this early 20's egg switch/hooker smuggling/campus raping stuff. We haven't had an actual teen scene since Chloe was Ghoul Girl. That is…until now. Will and Mia really entertain me and I love this storyline. It's got so much potential. It blends a new character done right with a veteran character full of history. And, it's managing to pull in some stellar supporting characters. Allow me to gush a bit more:
Despite the fact that Harvard isn't awaiting Mia's application, I still like her. She has a back story that really interests me. Who are her parents? Why did Nicole feel a sudden connection to Mia? Who is Grace's father? Furthermore, since I got to witness the fallout from her back story, I'm invested in her character. I'm so happy for her that she's around Grace because I think Mia got completely duped into giving up her baby. Nicole burps more manipulation power than Mia could ever muster. Since Mia lacks the ability to string together a proper scheme (which is another thing I actually like about the gal), she agreed to let Will come with her to an AA meeting. The only problem is that Mia isn't actually an addict. Oh, that and the meeting is at Maggie's house and Brady is there. When Brady sees Mia, he demands to know what she was abusing when she was pregnant. He says Nicole deserves to know. Riiiight. Because it would just be a complete injustice if Mia dared to be dishonest with Nicole.
Then there's Will. I'll never be able to accept his rude 'tude with Sami and Lucas, but when he stays away from his misfit parents the kid is made of win. Will is the #1 best person ever to be paired with Mia and I only hope that Mia eventually confides in him that she had a baby. Why? Because Master William is a product of teen pregnancy himself and who better to give insight to a teen mother than a guy who's got firsthand knowledge of the other side of the story?
Finally, if Will and Mia get romantically involved, it will be interesting to see how these two approach a sexual relationship. A decade ago, Belle and Shawn went the purity ring route, which is certainly still a reliable method of birth control. But, a lot changes in a decade. Something tells me that more viewers can relate to the teens who have made mistakes and now have to learn from them rather than teens who just decide not to make any mistakes ever. Will and Mia provide endless interesting storyline possibilities and I can't wait to see which ones the writers choose.
NICOLE and DR. BAKER
For two people who claim that they never want to see each other again, these two sure seem to pow-wow a lot? I found their storyline pretty infuriating this week, with the repetitive dialogue and the ironic meetings about how they can't be seen together. Thank goodness for the comedic magic that Arianne Zuker and John Callahan ooze. Otherwise, my fast forward finger probably would have been a twitchin'. But other than the present annoyance, we did learn a few things about Nic and Dick:
First, Dr. Baker (who Nicole now calls "Dick"- which is short for his first name "Richard"- no other reason to call him Dick) wrote a letter to be opened in the event of his death which supposedly outlines all the reasons that Nicole had to kill him. Baker does have good reason to be concerned. Nicole attempted to kill at least two other men. If she's capable of handing a newborn baby over to her sworn enemy, I doubt she's changed that much.
Second, Nicole has never, ever heard of such a thing as privileged conversation between a husband and wife because she spilled the whole hill of beans to Baker about EJ and Stefano ordering the hits on Philip. HELLO! Nicole just incriminated her husband in two crimes! Maybe, maybe a lawyer could argue that Nicole/Baker's conversations are protected under that patient/doctor thing. But, seriously, Nicole needs to keep her trap shut about the recent criminal dealings of her own husband.
Third, Baker is "leaving town" for good. He still owes money to a bookie named Bobbie and as soon as Baker has the 15K Nicole offered, the good doctor is going to pay his debt and "leave Salem" and "never come back". Have I "properly made my point"? I hope so.
SAMI and RAFE
I'm glad that the writers gave Sami a brief moment of self awareness by having her say that she knows a gal with four kids and two ex-husbands isn't exactly what most single guys are looking for in a date. I've never been a single guy, but I'd say she's probably right on that one. And, I'd feel sorry for Rafe if I actually cared. But that's the beauty of being so over a character- which is where I am with Rafe- I don't really care if he gets hurt. I think it's real swell that he had an actual job for a while. And it's super cool that Rafe is part ninja and can defend Baker's honor down at the docks. But, I've been waiting for so long for Rafe to get interesting that I'm kind of indifferent to the character now. All I know about his cryptic back story is that he spent some time at/in an orphanage and he has a big-time bitchy sister. That's it. The guy's been on screen for six months and that's all we know. At least let him have a dead wife who died on a beach in his arms or something!
In addition to the utter lack of info on Rafe, but I am really skeptical of the guy. I mean, he beat up two thugs on the docks in Salem to protect a doctor that might be able to hurt Sami. Who does that? Bo would do that for Hope. Steve would do that for Kayla. Both old and new Johns would do that for Marlena. But, isn't it a bit too early for Rafe to be in "anything for you" land? The last time a guy behaved this fanatically about a girl that he's in a very early relationship with, that dude ended up addicted to pain pills and murdering someone in a cemetery. (But on the bring side, he did receive an Emmy nomination for it! WOOT! Go on with your awesome self, Blake Berris! Ok sorry….more on that later.) All I'm saying is that Rafe just doesn't appeal to me. I have no real reason to get invested in him to begin with and now that he's giving me the strange obsessed vibe, I am not sure I ever will. The writers need to do SOMETHING with Rafe's character before they waste all of Galen Gering's amazing talent.
STEPHANIE and PHILIP
A completely agree with Tony's sentiments last week. Having Stelip get engaged was a very unnatural course of action for a couple that has so much natural chemistry and potential. Personally, I would have loved to see Stelip move into her apartment together and try to make an honest go of it- sans billionaire dad and staff. Look, I believe that these kids really do love each other. And, unlike EJ/Nicole, these two are actually with each other for the right reasons. I truly think that their marriage could work. And because they have a real shot, I'm a little baffled as to why the writers thought that the only way for Victor and Philip to care about Stephanie's kidnapping is if she was taken with Philip's ring on her finger. Call me crazy but I think that Philip would care if his girlfriend was taken, and surely the fact that Stephanie is Caroline's granddaughter and Bo's niece is enough to get Victor's attention. Why the rush engagement?
Instead, Stephanie soon-to-be-Kiriakis will surely regret the day she met Owen the gardener. Yup, the highly touted Wes Ramsey finally got to have some full facial material. I've never seen the guy before, but Tony has been telling me how great of a casting "get" Wes is for Days so I was anxious to watch him in action. So far, I'm a fan. For starters, Wes Ramsey just looks like a bad guy. Maybe it's the pony tail, the pout, or the scruffy goatee, but he just looks like someone that I'd rather not mess with. Second, he pleasantly surprised me when he didn't play the typical hired goon that we see too much of on Days these days. Instead, Wes gave Owen a little bit of a comedy. I know I wasn't supposed to, but I laughed a little bit when Owen was freaking out about Philip drinking the poison instead of Stephanie. And I laughed a lot when Owen suggested that EJ might have to "order a different flower". I'm interested to see why Owen is so devoted to Mr. DiMera and what will happen next.
I'm also interested to see what drug Philip actually took because that drug combined with heaping amounts of coffee turned him into a manic crab-ass. One minute he's discussing how many kids he wants with Stephanie and the next minute he's telling Melanie that she belongs in an ash tray with her bracelet….or something like that. Jay Johnson can be downright scary when he plays Philip with a temper. I'd like to see the writers tap into crazy Philip a little more- sparingly of course- but when used in proper dosage it can be quite effective.
I think that EJ is infinitely more interesting when he's away from Nicole, so please don't mistake what I'm about to say. BUT, I was very disappointed that Nicole was so busy with her own baby swapping agenda that she only had time for two scenes with EJ. Why? Because the type of storyline that EJ was given this week was exactly the stuff that made EJ and Nicole an excellent idea on paper.
With Victor keeping Stefano locked in a room, dangling at the cusp of a diabetic coma, EJ was forced to make a tough decision- sign over all of DiMera Enterprises to Victor or let Stefano die. There's no question that Victor can clearly outplay, outlast, and out-villain EJ. So, that means that EJ was going to need back up. Lexie isn't about to come to her dad's rescue. Johnny is too young. So, that leaves Nicole. She's gone up against Victor before. And, if I'm not mistaken, the last time she and EJ teamed up to take on Victor, they won! So, imagine my surprise when EJ actually told Nicole what was happening with Stefano and all she responded with was a smile and a "you can do it, honey!" and then scampered off to talk to Baker again. Do the writers not realize what a huge help a scheming mastermind like Nicole can be to EJ? We know that EJ isn't capable of orchestrating much more than an immigration scam without Stefano pulling the strings. So, why can't Nicole be a proxy Stefano for the week? Oh that's right. She couldn't because the writers had a better idea: flashbacks of Stefano and EJ playing chess. The flashback lead EJ to vandalize Stefano's portrait and get involved with Owen the gardener/reluctant hit man. Of course! Why let Nicole and EJ have a chance to be the bad (in a good way) couple that fans wanted them to be, when you can have EJ talk to himself in an empty room for a few days? Makes sense to me!
BO and HOPE
Bo had another vision. This time it was of Ciara's beloved Tommy Bear being abandoned in the park. When Tommy Bear actually did go missing, Bo thought he knew where it was. As corny as it sounds, I know plenty of parents that would gladly accept the super power of knowing where their kids put stuff. Instead, Tommy Bear was just tucked away with Ali's toys. We know that Bo's visions actually do come true, so I think there will be a time in the not-so-distant future when Ciara does go missing. As much as I hope I'm wrong, I wouldn't be surprised if someone remembers that Ciara is a Kiriakis. We know the writers remember. Victor hasn't seen Ciara in months, yet this week he had a scene with her- complete with her calling him "Grandpa Victor" and Hope protesting that Ciara must not see her grandfather in handcuffs. I have a sneaking suspicion that Uncle Max offering to take her to the zoo is the least of Ciara's worries.
Max warned Melanie to stay away from the Kiriakis/DiMera feud. He reminded me, with Tony dead, where is that copy of the fuels project?
Kate went to London to help Billie and Chelsea. Billie has a secondary infection, which is serious enough to keep Chelsea in London for a long time, but not to serious that Kate can't come back soon.
Lucas stood up for Chloe against Kate. I don't know how long they'll last, but the Luloe pairing has done wonders for Lucas. I enjoy him so much more now that he is standing up for his gal. Too bad she doesn't deserve him…..
If I were Stefano, I'd leave explicit instructions to all my hired help that they are not to work for my children unless I specifically say so. What's the luck that Owen ran into the one and only Stefano spawn that would actually agree with what Stefano is doing?
I realized that if Chelsea marries Max and Stephanie marries Philip, Chelsea and Stephanie will become each others' aunts. (And yes, Chelsea will become her own aunt. Gross.)
Did is seem odd that Stephanie was walking around in her negligee in front of Owen, Melanie, and Henderson?
I know I've said it before, but Johnny is the cutest kid ever.
The make-up team did an amazing job of making Stefano look sick.
Everything about Caroline's appearance at the mansion was perfect. I love how Victor turns into a school boy with a crush when she's around. I love how Philip vowed to make Caroline like him. And, I especially liked how Caroline tried to talk some sense into Stephanie. The writers drew the obvious parallel between Stephanie and Caroline both being in love with Kiriakis men. But, I was so glad that the writers went the extra step and had Caroline be justifiably concerned that Philip has much more life experience than Stephanie. It's not that Caroline thought Philip was bad, it's that she's worried that Stephanie may miss out on part of life by getting married so young. I totally agree with Caroline. Yet, as much as I agree with her, the cherry on top of the whole scene was when Caroline backed down and conceded that this decision was Stephanie's to make.
Daniel. The guy is such a piece of work that it's almost funny. I swear, he walks through life like one of his frat brothers dared him to go say/do the most inappropriate things at all times. I think Daniel was trying to tell Chloe not to put up with Kate's disapproval. But he got his argument all wrong. The problem isn't that Kate knows about Chloe and Daniel's fling. The problem isn't that Kate babies Lucas so much that it's verging on obsessive. The problem isn't that Kate's hell bent on making Chloe's life miserable. The problem is that Chloe stripped down to nothing but Lucas's engagement ring, jumped in the sack with Daniel, and continues to lie about it to this day. If Daniel really wants Chloe to be free from Kate's sneer, then he needs to convince Chloe to tell Lucas the truth and take her chances. But instead, this ego-maniac would rather insist that Chloe threw her life away by marrying Lucas. I choked on my ice tea when Daniel deduced that Chloe's marriage is a sacrifice. Apparently in Daniel land, when a woman stops sleeping with him it is a "sacrifice". In reality, most marriages hinge on the fact that each person agrees NOT to sleep with other people. Go figure.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Dr. Baker (to Nicole): "No, crazy lady, NO!"
I recognize the frustration in Dr. Baker's voice. It's the same one I take with the dog when she insists that eating grass is a good idea.
Move over ABC soaps, you've got some competition- Emmy style! Allow me to gloat a little bit to those simple minded snobs who turned up their noses at all thing Days- writing off the show as nothing more than a silly little hobby that NBC had between Today and Rachel Ray. Yes, my beloved Days was nominated for a whopping 13 Daytime Emmy nominations!! Five nominations came for our talented acting. The behind the scenes crew garnered an additional six. The directing staff received a much deserved nod. And just to prove that Days is here, and MEANS IT, the show was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. So, to all you fools who thought that last year's nominations were just a fluke, I stick my tongue out at all of you! The rest of you die hard Days fans, it's time to parrr-taaahy!! Here's the list of Days' Emmy nominations:
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR
Peter Reckell (Bo Brady, DAYS)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Tamara Braun (Ava Vitali, DAYS)
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTOR
Darin Brooks (Max Brady, DAYS)
Blake Berris (Nick Fallon, DAYS)
*That's right! TWO of our fellas were so awesome that the academy couldn't pick just one.
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTRESS
Rachel Melvin (Chelsea Brady, DAYS)
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES DIRECTING TEAM
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION/SET DECORATION/SCENIC DESIGN FOR A DRAMA SERIES
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CASTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN LIGHTING DIRECTION FOR A DRAMA SERIES
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP FOR A DRAMA SERIES
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC DIRECTION AND COMPOSITION FOR A DRAMA SERIES
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN LIVE & DIRECT TO TAPE SOUND MIXING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
You can read more about the Emmys at soapcentral.com's News Section. I'd also like to send out a specific congrats to Days alums Kirsten Storms (ex-Belle) and Julie Pinson (ex-Billie) who also nabbed nominations for their talented acting. Nice work, ladies!
And with that, I'm off to toast the Days family on a job well done. Let's hope that this good news provides some momentum for May Sweeps and our Emmy Nominated drama series (damn, that sounds good!) finishes out the month strong. Tony will be back next week to see if Steph makes it out of that morgue, EJ comes clean with Sami, and if Brady gets the truth out of Mia. Until then, have a great Memorial Day weekend! Cheers!