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 Two Scoops: May 25, 2009 columns
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Joseph Mascolo
War and love
by Tony
For the Week of May 25, 2009
The Kiriakis vs. DiMera feud is hitting it out of the park! Any time that Joseph Mascolo and John Aniston share the screen is guaranteed gold, and they delivered some chillingly awesome scenes last week.
Last week made me rethink the slogan, "Make love, not war." Why? Because I found the Kiriakis vs. DiMera feud much more interesting than Rafe and Sami hitting the sheets. Actually, I found almost everything more interesting than Rafe and Sami, but more on that later. Last week might be better summed up by reversing the phrase "Actions speak louder than words." There wasn't a lot of action, but a lot of words were exchanged that kept me hanging on. I mean, I can't wait to see what happens next! Let's talk about it …

KIRIAKIS vs. DIMERA

This storyline is seriously hitting it out of the park! Each week I keep waiting for something to go wrong, but it just keeps getting better and better. But, honestly, any time Joseph Mascolo and John Aniston share the screen is guaranteed gold. And those two delivered some chillingly awesome scenes. Kudos to them!

Yet, both families had a rough week. For Team Kiriakis it began with Philip passed out on the floor and ended with Stefano gloating that Victor's lost the war. Whereas I do think Stefano was a bit premature, I think Team Kiriakis needs to pull it together. I've warned them about this before, but it looks like their internal turmoil could be their downfall … especially the strife between Philip and Brady. In fact, I have a feeling Philip is going to find out very soon that ignoring Brady is just pushing him towards doing what he thinks is best and what Brady thinks is best does not bode well for junior crime lords.

Yep, Brady went to Bo for help again! He even expressed his concerns that something happened to Stephanie. I'm impressed that Brady pieced that together - how very spy extraordinaire John Black of him!

All things considered, I'm glad Bo's on the case. It will add another dimension to things. Now, not only are we dealing with two shady, semi-villainous sides, there's a third involved and that third side is the police! Now my only wish is that Hope gets more involved too! Ok, that's not my only wish, but I'd have to find the luckiest of lucky stars to have my other one granted - Steve showing up with guns blazing ready to save his Sweetness Jr. Nope, that's not going to happen anytime soon. So, moving on …

After a little heart to heart, Victor agreed to let Phil make the swap. Steph for Stefano. Seems fair, only one snag - Owen's not ready to give Stephanie up (more on that in a minute)!

So, let me sum up why this storyline is great: We have Stephanie on a slab in the morgue being held captive by a loose cannon who's obsessed with her. Stefano is semi-lifeless in a van down by the river (sorry, couldn't pass that up). E.J. is royally screwed as he's lost his bargaining chip. Philip is royally screwed because of E.J.'s lost bargaining chip. And, because of Brady, the police could very well be on their way! Yep, I definitely can't wait to see what happens next!

STEPHANIE & OWEN

Kidnappings on soaps can be tricky. They can sometimes play out way too long and bore us to tears. However, some keep us on the edge of our seats. One reason for that is good acting. Example, last year's Ava and Hope. Of course, Hope is a seasoned victim and has been kidnapped more times than Bo's babbled through a lie, but I digress. It was interesting. Emmy nominated Tamara Braun was awesome and Kristian Alfonso simply rocked. So far, Stephanie and Owen, more so Shelley and Wes, are managing to keep things exciting.

For starters, as Laurisa pointed out last week, Owen's not your typical goon. He reminds me a bit of Lenny from Of Mice and Men. He sort of has that "I got to tend to the rabbits" vibe. And, although his goofiness is making it hard for me to remember he's an M.I.T. graduate, it's that combo of goofy, obsessed and downright creepy that's making him interesting.

For example, I know he's doing a bad thing, yet I almost feel a little sympathy for him as I'm not sure he realizes how bad of a thing he's really doing. The man has arms of steel, but brains of mush it seems. All in all, Owen's an enjoyable hot mess. In fact, I couldn't help but laugh when Stephanie asked to get off the body drawer and he decided that was a good time to explain what it was and how convenient it is to use to store bodies. Hysterical … in a really creepy way, of course.

Then there's Stephanie. I'm proud of her. She's fighting back and trying to play Owen's infatuation to her favor. You go girl! In the interest of full disclosure, she's probably handling being locked inside a body locker in a mortuary much better than I would. Just thinking of the situation she's in gives me the creeps not to mention the danger she's in with the DiMeras. That an entirely different level of creepiness. Yet, I was also glad Philip voiced his concerns to Victor over her mental well being. Steph was pretty messed up over seeing him shot for sure, but, after this, I think she'll need to see a whole boat load of shrinks.

Lastly, let's talk about Owen's dad for a second - soap vet Gordon Thomson! I really hope he makes more than a cameo. Honestly, I can't imagine they'd get an actor of his caliber for just one random scene. That would be like asking Aretha Franklin to hum Respect instead of belting it out. So, come, don't tease my soap loving heart, Higs.

In any event, Stephanie remained locked up and Owen got a little crazier with each passing day. In fact, not only is he crazier, but he's downright obsessed with her. His patting of her hair and covering up of her wound was all shades of uncomfortable. And now that it doesn't seem like he's willing to turn her over to E.J. things are sure to get a whole lot messier! Again, can't wait!

E.J. & SAMI

Although E.J. had his hands full with the feud he found time to go a round with Sami. Well, actually, she demanded the time whether he had it or not. It's always interesting when Sami and E.J. freak out on each other. This time it was about Johnny. Sami wanted him home with her. E.J. wanted him to stay put - he'd be safer with him.

However, the entire time they fought I thought of one thing - it's a shame Sami isn't more involved with the DiMera vs. Kiriakis war. Ok, that thought was probably prompted by the fact that Sami has basically only involved herself with Rafe since she's been back. I'm simply starved for her to have more interaction with other characters, but I'll let that go.

The fight resulted in a broken cell phone, Sami storming out, and E.J. fuming about how crazy she drives him. Nothing new there. However, what I thought was interesting about the outcome is that when E.J. pulled a new cell phone out it wasn't, I repeat, was not, the staple black/gray Salem model everyone else uses! I know, I know, I'm still in shock too!

RAFE & ARIANNA In theory Arianna showed up in Salem to give Rafe some roots. Sure, she did give Rafe some roots … some very bitchy roots! Now, I know she probably has her brother's "best interest" at heart and all that hoopla, but her "I hate Sami" streak is maddening.

It's one thing when Nicole bashes Sami. That makes perfect sense as they have a legitimate reason to hate each other. Ari and Sami? Not so much (not yet anyway). Ari doesn't even know her. Heck, both Rafe and Brady even pointed that out, yet her words still dripped with premature "Sami Hate." And, I'm not necessarily taking a "Pro-Sami" stance either because, in general, it's simply immature and annoying for her to act that way. If she acts like that all the time I'm beginning to realize why Rafe didn't talk to her for so long. And, really Arianna, would you want your bother to send you a dozen red roses? That's almost 2000's Academy Awards Angelina Jolie and her brother kissing creepy.

All in all, her comments are making it hard for me to totally get behind her otherwise interesting character. She has tons of potential … heck, I loved her interactions with Brady! But, if "Sami Hate" is what's going to prevail over actual storylines that make sense, I hope Rafe buys Ari a one way ticket back to Bitch Town. Ok, end rant … moving on …

Aside from driving me bonkers with Sami bashing, the actual point to those scenes were to build up the mystery of Rafe's past. Arianna warned him that Sami would destroy him as he's been burnt in the past. Max even heard that and was concerned, yet opted to keep his mouth shut. That's too bad as I'd like to see some more Sami and Max interaction.

However, the fact that Arianna is all, "Remember what happened before" is not helping Rafe's cause. It's making it worse as he's sounding more and more stalker-ish by the minute. As Laurisa pointed out, Rafe's been emitting a creepy vibe lately that's hard to ignore. I'm also beginning to think his horrible past experience might be partially his fault as he seems to leap before he looks. Rafe's rushed actions with Sami last week seem to back that up. I think the writers need to send Rafe out of town for a few weeks then take a long look at what they really want to accomplish with his character because right now I'm pretty confused and a bit annoyed verging on I don't care anymore. And, that's not a good combo of feelings to have over a leading lady's leading man.

RAFE & SAMI

So … Rafe and Sami finally hit the sheets in pure soap fashion. He scooped her up and carried her to the bedroom. He had flowers on hand. The candles were lit. Two glasses of champagne fizzed. And, when they got busy, the ballad started. However, if sex sells, I wasn't buying it. Simply put, they sent me on a one way trip to Yawnsville and even their honest conversations about their feelings for each other and insecurities didn't wake me up. Let's chalk it up to good intentions gone badly.

Sadly, I really want to be happy for Sami. I really do. I'd like to see her happy with a guy who understands her. Yet, that's the problem - the guy! Laurisa summed it up beautifully last week when she Scooped that we don't know enough about Rafe to really care. So true! Therefore to really cheer and get excited when a struggling couple actually makes it to the boudoir we have to care. I think I initially confused my caring for Sami with caring for "Safe" as a couple. My bad.

However, what happened after they did the deed made my "Not of the Week." For that vicious rant, simply scroll down!

SAMI, WILL, MIA & BRADY

It's not that shocking that Will and Sami had a fight. Nope, not at all. But, I am surprised that I sided with Will this time. Sami's decision to let Rafe adopt Grace was not the best laid plan. Will's a sharp tack so he also knew there's more to the story. Yet, I kind of feel bad for both him and Sami in that regards. Sure, she's lying. Sure, he knows she's lying and denying. Yet, this time she's doing things for Grace's best interest (well, sans the Rafe adoption thingy … ugh, simply ugh on that front).

I think, stress on think, that maybe he'll understand her reasoning this time … maybe. Young Will has been oddly rational lately. Perhaps that's been brought on by his crush on Mia, but I'll take that over pompous whiner any day of the week. In fact, I'll admit, I actually like Will and Mia together. It's nice to see him actually open up about his feelings to someone his own age. I think he needed a friend and she's certainly opened his eyes up to several issues his mind was closed to. She helped him realize the importance of adoption and accepting Grace as his sister. That was cool. So, right on Will.

However, I am a little concerned about his budding relationship with Mia. I mean, hello foreshadowing! He told Mia that he'd never be able to forgive a friend for lying to him. Poor gal, she's not catching any breaks.

Oddly enough, she didn't even catch a break with Brady. He didn't urge her to tell Will the truth about having a baby. He said she should honor her promise to Nicole. I was somewhat surprised by this. Brady is normally gung-ho for telling the truth. Would it have hurt if Mia told Will she had a baby and simply gave it up for adoption? Probably not, yet that would make things too simple and where's the fun in that?

BRADY & ARIANNA

Oh boy, where to begin with this one!? Here's the thing … one chance run in was fine, but Arianna and Brady having three in one week was a bit much for my taste. Yet, aside from the generous heaping of clichιs dumped upon them, I don't hate the idea of a possible Brady/Arianna pairing. In fact, I kind of like it!

As Brady noted, he does like the feisty gals. And, whereas I do hate Arianna's "Sami Hate" as I might have mentioned, other than that she's growing on me. Truth be told, I have a feeling Arianna vs. Nicole could end up being a cat fight for the ages. But, I'm jumping the gun. Let's focus on their flirtation …

Way over the top clichιd run-ins aside, they were pretty hot together. Their flirting ranged from cute and awkward to straight out innuendos. I have to admit it was nice to see Brady getting his flirt on. Like the DiMera/Kiriakis feud, I'm totally interested to see where this could be headed!

Extra Scoops


HOT & NOT

Hot: For reasons already discussed, I'd say the Kiriakis/DiMera feud is pretty dang hot! Friday's cliffhanger alone was enough to garner it a "Hot of the Week." More please!

Not: What in the name of all things holy in Soapland were the writers drinking when they decided Rafe should want to adopt Grace and Sami should say yes!? Ok, Stephanie and Philip getting engaged was rushing things, but Rafe wanting to "legally" adopt Grace is utter ridiculous. Sure, he's absolutely cute with her, no doubt about that, but I mean, really, this is beyond dumb for several reasons. The top few … they've only been on a few dates. He said he doesn't want to marry her yet, just raise a baby with her. Makes sense. Um, she hardly knows anything about him … at all. Protective mama bear Sami said YES to raising a child with a man she hardly knows. He has a habit of walking out when he doesn't get his way which makes me feel oh so confident that if he doesn't agree with Sami he'll pull out the "I'm leaving … and taking the baby with me" card. She doesn't know anything about him other than a few cryptic things she's overheard. Whoops, said that one. Not to mention the fact Grace doesn't even legally belong to Sami as she never filled out a legitimate birth certificate therefore Rafe's latest forgery of adoption papers would just be more hooey … kind of like the this storyline right now. I agree with Will, he does have a right to be concerned. If I were him, I'd work hard to emancipate myself from my parents. He'd probably have a better chance on his own or living with Caroline or Maggie.

Please note, while I don't condone writing under the influence for the writers of Days, I want a drink of whatever the writers were drinking - it had to be good to come up with that junk!

Also note this rant will most likely be making a reappearance come the Third Annual Alex North Memorial Awards in December.

Line of the Week:

"So when did you decide that you hated Sami - was it before you met her for the first time or after?" Rafe to Arianna. And, yes Rafe, we've been wondering that too!

Exchange of the Week::

Stephanie: "What happened?"
Owen: "Oh, you fell. You hit your head. Do you have a headache?"
Stephanie: "You were chasing me."
Owen: "Well, that's true … ya."

Randomness …

Brady told Arianna he's not "technically" related to Sami. They're step-siblings. Hmm, I know he messed up his brains on drugs, but Laurisa and I both think Brady needs to revisit his new family tree. He and Sami are cousins thanks to John being Colleen Brady's son … Colleen being Shawn Sr.'s sister … Shawn Sr. being Sami's grandfather as well as Brady's great-uncle. Get it Brady Black? Good!

Even with a conscience, Mel cracks me up! I hope that with Darrin leaving, Molly manages to stick around Salem for a long time to come. Something tells me watching her character continue to mature would be a fun ride.

Wow! Nicole didn't scheme for an entire week! I think that's a record! However, I did actually like her scenes with E.J. which makes me think Laurisa might get her wish of seeing them team up someday and taking on the world.

I think Philip has the same healing powers as the mutant Wolverine from Marvel Comics. The guy can take a bullet or be poisoned and bounce back in record time!

Parting Thoughts …

So friends and Days fans, that's "Two Scoops" for the week of May 25th. I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day! As I'll be tied for a while with another opera gig in Vancouver, a trip to see Billie, and fighting off the urge to illegally adopt a virtual stranger's baby, Laurisa will be Scooping up a storm for the next two consecutive weeks! I'll be back on June 15th with a new Two Scoops as well as some summer predictions, but, until then, I hope everyone gets their Days on and continues to celebrate their 13 Emmy Nomination! And, "That's a fact!"

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.
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