The ratings for our beloved DAYS have been horrendous -- at best -- and all the talk about DAYS being next on the soap hit list makes me sad. So, on weeks like this -- when DAYS delivers so well -- it's hard for me to sum up my excitement. So, in most points in my life when I don't know what to do, I turn to my mother.
She's an English teacher. She's also a big DAYS fan. She sent me this email on Thursday:
Are you writing this week? If so, you better not leave watching the episodes until Friday night. I can't believe how much is happening...so many story lines are at critical points puts me in a daze; can't imagine what dénouement will follow! Yeah!!!! Julie is on tomorrow's show.
Yup, that pretty much sums it up. Here are the details:
BRADY AND NICOLE
If you thought Nicole was surprised when Brady told her that he loved her, you should have seen my face. I was shocked. Holy fast pace, Batman! But, I'll roll with it because I like where this revelation led. And, no, I don't just mean to Eric Martsolf's shirtless scene. (Pause for thanks to the soap gods...)
True, their bliss was short-lived. And to that end, I feel bad for Bricole fans. Nicole and Brady got a split second of happiness together before the writers yanked it away. Not to be picky, but it's crap like this that turns people away from soaps. The payoff has to be worth the wait.
But, being the eternal optimist that I am, I'm spinning this one in favor for Bricole. I'm here to argue that last week might be an indication of why Bricole could be a supercouple. It's clear that she's loving him the best way she can -- even if that's not the way any sane person would agree with. But more importantly, it's clear that he loves her, no matter how much he knows she plays him for a fool.
The latter point is where couples like Safe fail miserably. Love her or hate her, Brady's never indifferent to Nicole. He can't just logically walk out on her. Only a wave of rage can get him away from her, and once that wave crashes down in Crazy Town, I'm sure it will be up to Nicole to bring him back. (Good thing Nicole is familiar with the place. She got in on the first development down there and has made a fortune off renting out her condo when she's not sleeping in someone's Salem mansion.)
With the future of Arianna's character up in the air and no sign of Eric Brady returning to Salem, I'm willing to at least tailgate at the Bricole bandwagon. I'll make my corned beef dip, bring some jungle juice, and we'll see what happens. These two have mad passion and that's a good starting point for any couple.
E.J. and SAMI
She told him no. She actually told him no and explained it was because she still has feelings for Rafe. And, surprisingly, I'm okay with it.
Even though I think that Rafe is as exciting as a splinter between your two little toes, I applaud the writers for making this center around Sami and her feelings. As a Sami fan, I've spent too many years watching Sami chase men and it's nice to see her be chased for a change.
Besides, the marriage proposal was silly. They haven't even slept together again! Who do they think they are? Marriage proposals before sex? HA! Don't they know they live on a soap?
The Crazy Hope storyline was finally put to bed (hehe) last week. Her plan to kill Bo failed twice, and since she didn't even bother to drug Bo for her second murder attempt, he easily overpowered her and handcuffed her to a chair. Then, in the best common sense move ever, he got out a camera to tape Crazy Hope's ramblings about how much she hated men. Thank you, Bo Brady, for reading this column and learning that one should always have a camera and/or tape recorder on his person at all times.
Needless to say Kristian Alfonso and Peter Reckell were brilliant. And, the use of Carly as the source of spur-of-the-moment medical advice was well played. But, I'm getting a little nervous that the writers are going to chicken out on the actual resolution here.
I'm okay with Bo trying to assume the blame last week. He loves Hope and she's hurting. I can see how he would internalize the pain. But, I really hope that the writers don't expect me to buy that Bo was at any point responsible for Hope behaving like and irrational idiot. He wasn't.
Hope agrees with me too. At least, I think she does because she defended Bo and accepted all blame when anyone would question or try to defend her. I just hope she gets to the genesis of the matter -- Hope's inability to deal with stress -- once her non-trial is over. It's a stinking shame that Salem hasn't found a new psychiatrist since Marlena left town. We could use her right now.
Overall, the confession was well done. I'm a sucker for group scenes, so I liked that I got to see reaction shots from Bo, Roman, Baker, Nicole, and Brady when Hope confessed to the muggings. Part of me thought Nicole would take that minute to turn to Brady and immediately confess that she's blackmailing E.J. After all, "I blackmailed my ex" seems like small potatoes next to "I tried to kill my husband, twice". But, even my favorite flirtini was too shocked to move. That usually means it's good stuff.
RAFE and FAYE
Agent Buzzkill brought his particular flavor of charm to see Faye and prey upon the frail woman's need to protect her daughter. Oof. This was just a bad idea from the start.
You know how Wile E. Coyote looks at the end of each episode? He's still walking but he's got two black eyes, a bandaged right hand, and he's missing half the hair on his left side? That's pretty much what Faye's storylines have done to her. And, we all know that Rafe has the charm and patience of a pissed-off playground bully. So, obviously, these scenes were rough.
Nicole did send Faye a copy of the audio and a letter authenticating it. But, Faye didn't know the contents of either. She shredded/burned/destroyed the letter and broke the CD in half after reading the first two sentences of the letter. The bad news is that she gave them both to Rafe and even apologized (wahuh?!?!?) to him for not being able to help him further.
That wasn't the worst of it. I wanted to reach through my TV and smack Rafe for telling Faye that he would "do his best" to protect Nicole. Really, Rafe? When Stefano finally gets sick of Nicole swarming around his son and orders a hit on her, are you going to live with Nicole in a safe house for three months to keep her away from a hit man and then fight the hit man with your bare hands and Jack Bauer special-agent skills? Because that's your best. We've all seen it.
CARLY, MELANIE, DANIEL, and CHLOE
The big paternity test day finally arrived and St. Mary's was abuzz! As luck would have it, Daniel, Melanie, Carly, and Chloe were all there at the same time! Golly, whodathunkit?!? There were some close calls, but thankfully, Daniel didn't see Chloe and everything worked out. Well…almost.
First, Carly and Chloe are actually becoming believable friends. Crystal Chappell and Nadia Bjorlin work very well together and it does both of their characters' good to have a girlfriend. Barring the idea of a SORASed Joy appearing in Salem, I like the idea of Carly being baby Danloe/Phloe's Godmother.
Second, it's getting harder and harder for me to do the age-difference denial dance that the writers want me to do for Phelanie. Since, I literally watched Philip and Chloe grow up together, every time Chloe and Melanie share scenes (and it's CLEAR how much older Chloe is than Melanie), I'm reminded of how far apart Melanie and Philip are in age. The Phelanie relationship isn't working for me.
Finally, the one relationship that IS working for me is the Layton/Manning/Jonas family. I don't think I could adore them more if they were dipped in caramel and chocolate-coated. If they break up I will throw a Two Scoop size temper tantrum, the likes of which you haven't seen since the writers had Kate sleep with Daniel.
Sadly, the shenanigans at St. Mary's only served to eliminate any deniability that Carly may have had with regard to Chloe's affair. Furthermore, I don't think the "I didn't know it was with Philip" defense will do her much good either. Drat!
Stephanie's constant prattling about Melanie reached stratospheric levels of annoyance last week. So she found a picture of Nathan and Melanie together. Big deal! As Adrienne so wonderfully pointed out, Stephanie still has pictures of Philip. I bet she still has a picture of Max and probably even one of Jeremy lying around too! I completely agree with my partner, Tony. Adrienne is the only redeeming part of this storyline. I'm hereby ordering Stephanie to raise her hand before speaking and wait for Aunt Adrienne to call on her.
Vivian came over to tell Maggie, face-to-face, that Viv shares her man with no woman! Maggie promptly showed Vivian how the door works. I'm not a love triangle fan, but I do like this one. I like more that Victor knows which one he wants, and which one he unfortunately needs.
Crazy Brady. When he found that five million dollar deposit slip, I thought Brady was going to go through the roof. Everything that followed, from him telling her they'll never be together, to him dragging her lying butt down to the police station was pure, cathartic brilliance. I loved Brady telling Nicole she overdid it with the Baker recognition. I loved his speech about what makes a true whore. I loved how he thought his love could make her a better person and tortured himself because of that. At one point, Tony accurately described Brady as the King of Candyland. Thus, Tony and I join a slew of DAYS fans celebrating the fact that Brady finally gets to get a little dirty.
Also, not to bring up old Passions wounds, but Eric Martsolf has been waiting over a decade to play the guy who has a clue. Cheers to him getting that chance.
Damn. It really looks like Baker is going to take the fall for all the crimes in Salem. Not only did Roman recognize Baker from the security tapes at Murders"R"Us, but Baker's baby-swapping past is coming back to haunt him as well. It's a shame because I really enjoy Baker's comic relief. Since he obviously has no problem taking orders from women, do you think there's any chance Vivian will add him to her band of merry men? Vivian and Baker would be hilarious to watch.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Maggie (to Viv): "Smile, that's what friends do. You wouldn't know that since you don't have any."
Honorable mention: Baker (after being arrested and then punched in the face): "This is obviously not my day."
What's up with couples dressing in the same color palettes? Nicole and Brady wore plum and black. Bo and Carly had on royal blue. Victor and Maggie sported periwinkle and gray. Anyone else notice that?
Little Johnny is the worst wingman ever. E.J.'s never going to get anywhere with Sami with that little guy interrupting things!
LOVED how there was a pair of panties thrown across the lampshade after Nicole and Brady's romp.
Philip and Nathan are more believable as friends than Stephanie and Melanie ever were.
Note to self: do NOT let a nurse named Josie get anywhere near me. If she can't keep names straight, what's she going to do with shots?!? Yikes.
Cute nod to Nadia's heritage by having Carly say that the woman behind the curtain was from the Middle East. I'm not sure if the writers meant it that way, but I got a sly chuckle out of it.
I'm not sure when that opera is, but if it turns out that Chloe can't use those tickets, Tony and I would be glad to take them off her hands. We still have our formal attire that we never got to wear for Anna and Tony DiMera's wedding. (Yup, still grumbling about that…)
That's all for this edition, DAYS fans. Tony is busy rounding up Abe, Justin, and E.J. so they can finally find out who was behind the muggings, and more importantly, why they all had to get new credit cards. (Yes, D.A. Woods will probably have a say, too, but he's such a jerkface that I don't care that he had to wait on hold with Visa's customer service. Serves him right!) Tony will lead us all through more delicious Hope confessions next week. Until then, have a great weekend!