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 Two Scoops: August 22, 2011 columns
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Tamara Braun
The theme from Jeopardy!
For the Week of August 22, 2011
Taylor is a judgmental jerk, and she's starting to develop a very warped sense of reality. She'll fit right in with Bo, Hope, and Rafe at the Salem Police Department.
Answer: The tiny trivia bits from dropped storylines that dorky soap fanboys can use to impress their peers. Question: What can we take away from DAYS last week?

Don't get me wrong, I sort of live for this kind of stuff. It's why I'm quick to remind people that Nicole had a one-night stand with Roman or that Melanie has a photographic memory. But it's so obvious that the storylines we have right now are going to be moot in a matter of days, that it's hard to stay focused for any other reason than to pick up on those cool trivia bits.

It's all because somewhere around Thursday's episode, the new writers made their full debut. And by "full debut" I mean they actually got behind the wheel and tried to GPS us out of the storyline ghetto where Sami is a whiny Stepford wife and Caroline switches paternity tests. A noble task, no doubt. But, it's certainly not been easy. So, let's take a look at the super new trivia bits that we can take with us from these last few weeks until DAYS 2.0 premieres.


QUINN
Trivia bit: Quinn has informants in the Salem P.D.


So, all this time Vivian has been insisting that Quinn's father was the reason that she was estranged from Quinn for so many years. I'd argue that since she proved to be the type of mother who will slap her son across the face for not letting a woman kill herself, she might have had a tiny bit to do with their strained relationship. Just a hunch.

I'm not exactly sure when the writers decided to keep Quinn around, but they have been doing some fast rewriting to establish him as a layered character. Sure, he's still a pimp who owns a drug ring. But, he's got a heart! He looked into the face of addiction, and it scared him straight. Well, straight enough that he returned Carly to her family. Not straight enough that he actually sold his drug ring or stop pimping out women. Though, he is using his police informant to check on the safety of his women. So, there's that.

Speaking of pimping out women, Taylor knows that Quinn is a pimp because they share some history together. Taylor's been off-screen long enough that it's believable that she might have been a prostitute in Australia. Heck, at this point Taylor could decide that she's a televangelist alien from Jupiter, and I wouldn't be surprised.


CARLY
Trivia bit: The name of the best treatment center in Salem is "Salem Oaks."


Carly finally agreed to go home. I'm only partly convinced it was because of the drugs. I think a good chunk of it was because she didn't want to go any more days wearing clothes from the Carlton Banks Collection. I can't say that I blame her.

But Carly appeared at the pub and into the arms of her loved ones. Luckily, those loved ones were well connected to the health field in Salem and got her a bed in the best rehab facility. So, Melanie helped Carly pack up her things, give a big bear hug to Maxine, and head to rehab. There, she proceeded to detox from the pills that Vivian slipped Carly as Carly was leaving the hospital and to not realize that Nicholas was sitting by her side.

Yes, Nicholas was there in his full reversed SORASed glory. You'd almost never believe that Nicholas and Kate had an affair some ten years ago. Anyway, Nicholas was there because Melanie emailed him. Unlike Nathan and Melissa in Japan, Nicholas must be able to have contact with the Salem world. I really hope that Nicholas gets to interact with other people during his stay in Salem. Mainly, I'd like him to meet his half-sister, Melanie.

Once again, Crystal Chappell's performance was the highlight of the week. It might be the highlight of my entire TV week. She takes Carly to such a raw place that I don't know if I want to look away, or jump through my TV and hug her. It's things like this that make me still wonder why on earth the executives showed a talent like this the door.


HOPE
Trivia bit: Justin volunteers at a women's shelter


There's still a psycho going around town attacking prostitutes. Bo, Hope, and Rafe really care. But Roman does not. So, that means that the investigation must take place behind Roman's back, and the trio of crime fighters is all too willing to do so.

Maybe it was just me, but it seemed strange how Justin just appeared in the alley, claimed he was doing pro-bono work across the street, and warned Hope about whom she may be up against. I'm hoping that Justin knows this because he represents some scrupulous characters, not because he likes to cut hookers.


CHLOE
Trivia bit: Kinsey tried to take on one of Chloe's clients


I'm not sure if Kinsey did it for the money or to impress Chloe. But Kinsey went to meet one of Chloe's clients. Despite how many times I reminded myself that Kinsey is 18, I just did not feel comfortable watching that scene. It should say something that I actually felt better when Chloe showed up and satisfied the john so that Kinsey could escape. Gross.


SAMI and RAFE
Trivia bit: Rafe's favorite dip is creamy artichoke dip


It's been my greatest concern that the new writers won't remember the history of certain characters and just write for John, Marlena, and the rest with no regard for who the viewers know these characters to be. I didn't realize that I needed to extend that wish to newer storylines on the show.

I don't have a problem with Sami and Rafe talking about having a baby. It seemed like a normal thing for couple to do. However, when Sami offered to name their baby Arianna, my stomach turned. The last time Sami saw Arianna alive, Sami threw Arianna through the living room table in an attempt to keep Arianna from telling anyone that Sami had shot E.J. in the head while he was passed out. Sami does not get to play like she and Arianna were besties now that Sami has Rafe's attention all to herself.

I can't think of anything I'd like to see on the show less than a Safe baby. It would be a total plot point that, right now, would serve no purpose at all. Sami is not in a love triangle, nor is she a candidate for an unlikely miracle baby. Rafe has not gone through a great loss, or been told that the child he was raising wasn't his. And, they certainly don't need to solidify their relationship. I don't see this couple breaking up any time soon. So, here's hoping that this test is a false positive and a good storyline is coming from it.


SONNY and COMPANY
Trivia bit: Sonny is some kind of a pool shark.


I like that everyone, sans T, is friendly with each other. Something tells me that can't last long. It's a soap, after all, and no one can be happy all the time. Eventually they have to run into conflict. Take Will for example. Forgive me for being crude, but I have yet to hear of any 18-year-old boy who is worried that people will hear news that he has biblical knowledge of his significant other. Most dudes would take a full-page announcement out in the local paper if they could get away with it.

But for now, everyone is happy, and that means this storyline is full of good filler. I loved watching Sonny and Chad talk about the trials of having a last name with baggage. I loved watching Chad put his arm around Sonny and threaten to pound the political incorrectness out of T. Finally, he found a way to put his DiMera genes to use for the greater good.


CHAD
Trivia bit: Chad got shot in the arm, but it was a clean shot. (Note to self: Resist making Monty Python "It's only a flesh wound" joke here.)


Casey Deidrick was pretty great all week. The scenes right after he was shot were great. I always want his scenes with James Scott to last longer. They both "go there" with their emotions, and I feel like I need time to catch up.

However, I'm not quite sure about Chad's whole "leaving the family" thing. It's not like moving out is going to make Chad less of a DiMera. If someone wanted to hurt Stefano, going after Chad would be a way to do it. But I understand why Chad would want to protect Abigail from stray bullets.

Furthermore, I understand why Chad is into Abigail. He's had a rough life and been searching for a place where he feels safe. However, I have no idea why Abigail is into Chad. (Awesome "V" stomach muscles aside.) All she does is nag him to leave his family and then when he finally does, she nags him about regretting his decision.


E.J.
Trivia bit: E.J. really didn't know that Stefano ordered a hit on Victor


Ah, that E.J. is quite the charmer. He told the lie that all us women want to hear, "I pushed you away because you deserve better than me!" It ranks right up there with, "I broke up with you because I'm scared by how much I love you." Ladies, none of these reasons are ever true. Ever. Besides, this "I'm too bad for you" is the same argument that we had to watch Maggie and Victor have for moths. I didn't find it entertaining then.

What I do find entertaining is that E.J. has shades of gray. I like that he was outraged with Stefano for ordering the hit on Victor, yet not mad enough to take Chad up on the offer to leave the family. The conflict in E.J. is interesting to watch, no matter how it may appear.


MAGGIE
Trivia bit: Melissa and Nathan spent some time in Japan


As Maggie lay there in between life and death, Hope had the unenviable job of signing the papers to allow Lexie to pull the life support. And I had the unenviable job of watching this malarkey.

Maggie was in a medically induced coma, so I'm not sure why her DNR was even brought up. Maggie has two daughters and a grandson who should have been in line before Hope to make the decision, despite the fact that there was an ocean between them for a while. And, no one was there to say goodbye to Maggie except for Hope and Victor.

It was so obvious that Maggie wasn't going anywhere that I just couldn't get into these scenes. Not even Maggie's "I love you, Victor" on her first new breath could move me to the slightest of tears. And I'm one who blubbers like a baby each time I see a YouTube clip of a dog greeting his owner coming home from Afghanistan.


BRADY
Trivia bit: Brady ordered a hit on E.J.


Brady may not be Michael Corleone, but he's pretty close to becoming Michael "Sonny" Corinthos. He's making a habit out of ordering hits from the comfort of his own living room while downing a glass of brandy. I'm not particularly fond of the change. Brady got too careless too fast. I can see why he snapped when he found out that Viv had moved Isabella's remains to a pet cemetery. But he needs more motivation to be angry right now -- other than the type he finds at the bottom of his glass.

However, anyone who got screen time declared that Nicole was the one motivating Brady. Even mild-mannered Justin appeared to announce that Nicole led Brady around by the nose, a sentiment I couldn't disagree with more. Sure, there was a time when that was true. But, that time was about two years ago when Nicole somehow managed to convince Brady to keep quiet while she faked a pregnancy and passed off another kid as E.J.'s. Now, Brady has the upper hand.

For proof, look no further than the fact that Brady hasn't taken Nicole back into his bed yet. Brady is falling face first into bad decisions lately, yet he's rejected Nicole's offers. Nicole is the queen of bad decisions, and as long as Brady resists her, he's still got room to fall.


NICOLE and TAYLOR
Trivia take-away: Taylor worked as an administrative assistant for the Salem P.D.


Taylor finally decided that Brady was the genesis of all things bad, so she up and quit Titan -- a very smart thing to do in this economy. But she wasn't done there. She also decided that Nicole was the sole reason for the feud and laid into Nicole for whispering sweet nothings in Brady's ear like, "Please start shooting anyone over 6'4"…"

I'm so glad that Nicole followed Taylor to the Cheatin' Heart to give the lesser of two Walkers a metaphorical punch in the throat. Taylor is a judgmental jerk, and she's starting to develop a very warped sense of reality. She'll fit right in with Bo, Hope, and Rafe at the Salem P.D. (Okay, that one may have been a bit over the line. Bo's usually not that bad.) Though, Ms. Braun should be given a 10 for all of the flip-flopping she had to portray each time Taylor proclaims that Brady, E.J., Brady, E.J., Nicole, Brady is the bad guy.


LOOSE ENDS
I usually love Jennifer, but Lexie had every right to take Jennifer to task for using hospital resources to create the video, featuring a nurse in her hospital scrubs, sitting in the hospital, begging one of the top doctors on staff to come back from a drug binge.

Melanie's attitude towards Victor is redonk since she knows that Brady started this whole thing. I get that she's mad at Victor, but her apology was a little too late for me.

I'm so over Vivian that I don't know what to do. She has the same scene with Carly where Viv slithers up behind Carly and threatens Carly with a smile and a musical "hello." Carly rolls her eyes at Vivian and then walks away. Rinse and repeat.

Jennifer and Daniel are back on, full-fledged into picnics that require Jennifer's favorite sundress. You know a woman means business when she pulls out The Dress. (Also see -- The Heels, Those Earrings, or That Bra)


HOT
Between Austin, Lucas, and Philip, Kate has mastered the art of the guilt trip. Young men always seemed to do as she pleased, or at least humored her long enough for her to make her point. But, her DiMera stepsons aren't having any of it. And, I love it! First Chad openly mocked Kate's declaration that his love would stop Stefano from doing business the way Stefano has been doing it for decades. Then, E.J. actually laughed in her face when she told E.J. to break up Chad and Abigail. I love Kate to bits, but it's about time that she got taken down a few pegs.

NOT
When Bo found out that Carly came back from her drug binge and agreed to enter rehab, his response went something like this, "Oh yeah? Huh. Hey Hope, I was thinking that we need to refinance the house. Do you think we can afford a $1400/month payment?" Really? That's all the reaction that Bo can muster? Carly helped Bo and Hope crack the case of body organ trafficking that got Hope released from jail, yet Carly's health is just a footnote in their day. I dunno. It seemed disrespectful.


LINE OF THE WEEK
Chad: "I didn't do anything I didn't want to do today...except get shot." Thanks for clarifying, Chadsworth!


RANDOM THOUGHTS
Jen's pink pants were not cool at all.

I like that they gave Chad a black sling to go with his Johnny Cash ensemble. Too bad he only wore it for about 15 minutes.

I did like the fact that Kate told Abigail, "I know your family." The writers have been teasing the Kate/Horton relationship a couple of times and that history does have some merit.

Can Judi Evans' hair get any more awesome?

Hope remarked that Chloe's attire was very dressed-up for a music lesson. Umm…obviously Hope doesn't see Chloe on a regular basis. Chloe basically lives in a cocktail dress and heels. Don't get me wrong. If I looked like her, I'd do the same thing.

And with that, I'm off to do my P90X workout in hopes that I can fit into my skinny jeans. I'll leave you all to await Tony's take on DAYS trivia extravaganza next week. Will anyone ever tell Will and Allie that their Aunt Maggie is in the hospital? Do you think Cody Longo could be Jason Cook's long-lost little brother? And, what was in the envelope that Victor was going to give to Stefano?

Let me know your answers, as well as any thought on the show, by clicking here to email your thoughts to me!

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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