Parents everywhere have been reporting that nothing good happens after 10:00 p.m. Well, consider this week in Salem a major win for that theory. "Last night" in Salem was a busy one. And this week, our fair Bradys and company dealt with the fallout of what was a very busy night.
DANIEL, CHLOE, PHILIP, and MELANIE
Surprisingly, the thing that helps me enjoy this storyline is the fact that there's really no innocent party here. Thus, I'm not waiting for the big reveal, but enjoying the character development (or counter-development) along the way.
Daniel is the closest to innocent, as he hasn't done anything stupid in the last 24 hours. But he'll enter the stratosphere of stupid if he is shocked that Chloe "I've cheated on every man I've ever had a relationship with" Lane added him to her list of mistakes.
Like Chloe before her, Melanie needs to stop laboring under the assumption that lusting after and kissing other men while married does not constitute cheating. I almost spit out my Crystal Light when Melanie proclaimed that she hadn't been physically unfaithful to Philip. Wahuh?!? Did she mentally kiss Nathan?
Still, at least what she did was out of real emotion. Melanie has genuine feelings for Nathan. And, she came clean with Philip and tried to do the right thing. So to me, she doesn't look as bad as Chloe and Philip.
Chloe and Philip had sex because they felt sorry for themselves. Now, they wish they'd just jumped into a carton of Ben and Jerry's like the rest of us. Philip's plan to repent involves imbibing massive amounts of scotch and walking around looking like he's trying to do long division in his head.
Chloe's a little more proactive. Her first plan to keep their tryst a secret was to meet in every stinking public place in Salem and talk about how they slept together. I'm positively shocked that this plan did not work!
Next, Chloe decided that her infidelity mustn't be the result of her inability to keep her clothes on; but instead she HAD to have been set up. Okay, so technically she was set up. And, no one is stupid enough to get tricked into cheating. Not even Chloe. But, this tangent is surprisingly comical. As I mentioned before, I like the slightly neurotic/paranoid Chloe.
CRAZY HOPE and DR. BAKER
Let's get this out of the way first. This whole crime spree is based on the idea that Baker and Hope never crossed paths when Baker was in Salem before. I don't buy that for a second. Baker worked at the hospital and even if he didn't run into her there, she works as a detective and has access to files. (You know, the ones she carried into the interrogation room with Nicole.) Surely, Baker's picture and info is in Nicole's case file. As Sydney's great aunt, I would have expected Hope to take a look at that case.
But I'm willing to roll with that premise because I love pretty much everything about this storyline. I love that Hope is investigating her own crime. I love that Stefano is out to get revenge for E.J., which means Hope/Stefano scenes -- or more accurately Kristian Alfonso/Joe Mascolo scenes. I love that Nicole and Arianna are bringing their catty brilliance to the mix. I can't wait to see who the next victim is. (On that note, Brady and/or Philip should institute a "buddy system" like we did on field trips just to make sure that nothing happens to either of them. They've got to be on the short list of targets.)
HOPE: ORIGINAL RECIPE
Playing dual roles isn't easy. But, Kristian Alfonso is actually managing to make me like Hope more and more now that she has an alter. Hope is applying some savvy detective work and it's fun to see her in charge of some aspect of her life again. I loved her comedy in the interrogation scene with Nicole.
It's also a party-appropriate occasion any time Susan Hayes stops by Salem. Juile's talk with Hope was wonderful. Ciara's life is drastically different and, no, Hope isn't the same as she used to be. Thank goodness someone finally pointed that out.
I am so glad that he's still on the trail to find Anna. It means that Rafe is going to leave the country and there's much less of a chance that Rafe will try to run Sami's life from umpteen time zones away. Rafe has zero, nada, none, no business telling her who she dates when he's the one who repeatedly walked away from her. To quote the great Beyoncé, if he liked it then he shoulda put a ring on it.
SAMI and E.J.
Moving into the mansion because the kids are having a hard time with the joint custody arrangement makes no sense at all. It seems like a drastic action for a pretty common problem, even for us real-life folks. I wish the writers would have gone with notion that Sami and her kids are actually safest when E.J. is in love with Sami. Sure, Stefano threw a little Phoenix fit, but then begrudgingly agreed to leave Samantha to Elvis.
As for the odd couple themselves, James Scott and Alison Sweeney are better this time around than they were during the first version of Ejami. They are nailing this uneasy, yet familiar chemistry between Sami and E.J. and that tricky little emotion called forgiveness. Their relationship has so many layers, which leads to a glorious cornucopia of storyline possibilities.
I'm sure Sami spoke for more than just a few fans when she called the Brady family out on their preach it but don't practice it mantra on forgiveness. Sami knows better than anyone how important it is to forgive people, and what people will do when they are forced into a corner.
NICOLE and ARIANNA
Rather than having the annoying holier-than-thou good girl vs. the bratty bad girl (see: Stephanie vs. Melanie), this pair is the lovable yet delusional bad girl vs. the reformed rebel. Nicole is wrong every way you slice her. Yet, I have to admire her dedication to her own fantasy. She's on the bus to hell, but at least she's driving it. I kinda dig that about her.
Arianna has just as much grit as Nicole, yet she's turned right where Nicole went left. Usually it's fellas like Philip, E.J., and Steve who get to sport the converted sinner look. But, this time, Arianna is getting that chance. Kudos to Lindsay Hartley for playing Arianna with the appropriate amount of fire.
Mia can't leave soon enough. She's trying to use her dead child to guilt Madeline into talking to Chad. Ugh. I hope she looks around, realizes that she's out of boys to kiss, and then leaves town.
Madeline, Kate, and Stefano obviously have a juicy secret that involves Kate doing something bad. This storyline has potential, but it needs to be given more attention than two or three scenes a week.
Vivian's schtick is getting old. I found myself pondering whom Gus should have an affair with (Stephanie? Chloe? Adrianne?) rather than paying attention to Auntie Viv. This situation needs to be fixed ASAP.
I chuckled when Sami was frantically fishing around in her giant purse for her phone. Been there, sister!
I like that Melanie switches between calling Daniel "dad" and "Daniel." It's a subtle touch in the writing but it's a good way of acknowledging that Melanie is still trying to figure out this whole family thing.
I think Chandler Massey does a great job of bringing some maturity to the role of Will. Sami and Will should have a different relationship than she does with the rest of her kids since she was a kid herself when she had Will. I'd like to see the writers explore that a little more.
We know that Philip has slow swimmers. We know that Chloe has a tiny chance of ever conceiving. However, the writing is on the soap wall for a "Who's the Daddy" storyline. So, TPTB need to be aware that terms like "miracle baby" and "medical impossibility" should be tossed around in great numbers to assure that the writers don't think viewers are stupid.
It's ironic that Sami had to yell for help on the pier -- a place where everyone and their uncle jogs, talks to priests, and runs into old enemies. Yet, not a soul was there when Sami needed someone.
I loved that Daniel not only refused to accept credit for Melanie's ability to be honest, but he put it squarely on the shoulders of the person who deserved it -- Maggie. The good doctor is winning points with me left and right.
Stephanie said that Nathan "is the one" even though she knows that he doesn't love her "like she loves him, but he's getting closer." Do I really need to elaborate anymore? Good. Let's all just roll our eyes together.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
The dialogue writers on DAYS are the best in the business. I know. I watch other soaps, and none comes as close to being as entertaining as DAYS. So, as a tribute to those writers (and my own inability to pick just one) I present to you the awesome lines of the week:
Viv: "Would you like a drink?"
Gus: "You know I don't drink."
Viv: "Well, it's never too late to start."
Sami: "E.J., it would help a lot if you just woke up right now."
Baker: "Yeah, the reports of my death were greatly exaggerated."
Baker: "Nicole DiMera is a TV reporter? That's like Paris Hilton being a life coach."
Julie: (to Hope) "Why do I get the eyebrow?"
Kate: (to Will about Mia) "She was two-timing you. She's dead to me. I already had the wake and the funeral."
Rafe: "I think the lady doth protest too much."
Sami: "I think the lady is sick of everyone butting into her life."
Nicole: "Shocking, a DiMera man has the Salem police force in his pocket."
Hope: "Nice to see that prison hasn't changed you, Nicole. You're still as sweet as ever. You can leave now."
Daniel: "Come on in, let's have a drink! Hmm…that's a strange way to celebrate that I no longer have double vision."
Carly: (to Daniel) "You have to rest, so I'm going to go across the hall now and if Vivian comes to kill me, I'll scream real loud."
That's all I have for this Scoop! Our fearless leader, Tony, will be here to guide us all through the first week of Sweeps next week. In the meantime, can you pick just one line of the week? Were you wondering how Nathan could get called back into the hospital after he'd been drinking? And, how excited do you think little Aaron and Griffin Kunitz (Johnny) are to have a line? In case you didn't know, Johnny "want[s] daddy!"