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Burning down the house
For the Week of September 24, 2012
There's been some major reconstruction in Salem -- and we're not talking about the sets. The characters of Nicole, Daniel, Jennifer, and Adrienne have all been worked over. Are any other characters about to be gutted and flipped? The 'open during renovations' sign is up, so put on your hard hat and get ready for this week's Two Scoops.
My husband and I are hooked on this show called Flip Men. It's about these two guys who buy houses, gut them, and then resell them for profit. The trick is that the gut has to happen in a very short time -- usually less than a month. Hmm…

If Tomlin and Whitesell are not flip men, then I don't know who is. They have clearly done everything they can to gut and flip this house called DAYS. And to be honest, I'm not crazy about the new floor plan.

Make no mistake; with Kristen and Eric's return hovering just a few weeks away, I'm up for sticking with it. But it's not going to be easy. DAYS is a tough watch right now. Agendas are crystal clear. The mystery is missing. And worst of all, characters are being bent to suit the current storyline, rather than the current storyline advancing the characters.

But, maybe I'm being too harsh. Let's tour the house together. Then, let me know what you think!


JENNIFER, DANIEL, and NICOLE
I know I'm in the minority, but I actually like all three of these characters. Still, this storyline is a bit of a train wreck. I've got a list of head-scratching moments.

Let's start with the elephant in the picture frame. Jennifer is not portrayed as a grieving anything right now, much less grieving widow. Really, anything that Jennifer does right now that doesn't involve dealing with Jack's death looks stupid. And that's a shame because Jennifer was scary accurate with her accusations.

Nicole is flailing and willing to use anything to land Daniel and punish E.J. She pulled out Jack's memory like it was a purse going out of style. She photoshopped pictures Rafe. She spent waaaayyy too much time talking to herself.

And absolutely, yes, Nicole did try to seduce Daniel to get him on her side. Nicole still had her sights on Rafe at the time. In fact, it wasn't until a post-explosion hospital scene that Nicole rubbed her belly, crossed Rafe off her list, and made up her mind that Daniel should be baby daddy #3. Jennifer was right.

That isn't to make Nicole sound slutty. I think of her more in the Samantha Jones category when it comes to sleeping with men. Nicole's no stranger to using her feminine wiles when they'll serve her best. Just ask Victor. They cost him millions of dollars.

You know what else? That was a smart move! Dr. Dan hasn't met a lady he didn't like yet. The guy can be an utter bonehead in that department. Okay, the guy can be an utter bonehead most of the time. And, he's a grown man who is just as responsible for his stupid decision to go along with Nicole's plan.

Which brings me back to Jennifer. She needs to get out of that hospital, away from Daniel, and take over Jack's position as a professor of journalism at Salem U. She'd be honoring the profession that they both loved, which would make me feel like a part of Jack is being remembered. And, if she wanted to use her investigative skills to figure out what Nicole was hiding rather than just overhearing things in hospital waiting rooms, even better.


SONNY and WILL
For a soap couple, these two had a relatively easy time getting together. A few misunderstandings, a minor mom-meltdown, and these crazy kids are smooching outside the Brady Pub. Aww! Their kiss was incredibly sweet. Sonny's happiness was palpable, and I may or may not have done an inner happy dance for him.

By all accounts, Sonny should do wonders for Will's confidence. Not only is Sonny the hot guy who just walked up and kissed Will, but Sonny has done a great job so far of being Will's confidant. If played correctly, they could be very much like Bo and Hope where the level-headed brunet has a special touch in dealing with the slightly hot-headed Brady. That is, if Will can stop self-destructing long enough to let Sonny help. And that, my friends, is a big "if."


RAFE and SAMI
I believe it's the honorable Judge Judy who often says, "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining." That sums up my sentiments exactly about Sami's excuse to E.J. about focusing on her kids and career. Methinks she really wants to be free when Rafe decides to whistle for her.

And it's coming soon.

Rafe and Sami had multiple conversations where Rafe would push her away, and then she'd respond with something like, "Oh, didn't you hear? The show's been rebooted back to 2009! You know, the good times when I fall for you while you hide a child from E.J. It's perfect! Let's make out again."

Okay so maybe it didn't happen just like that. But Sami is back groveling for Rafe's love. And he's holding all of the cards. It's the perfect way to start a relationship!

In all seriousness, I think it would be brilliant if these two sat down and had an honest talk about what went wrong in their marriage. But that can't be a one-way dump on Sami street. Rafe's affair with Carrie has to be discussed. He must take responsibility for his half of the failed marriage.

I have no problem with Sami continuing to apologize for sleeping with E.J. She cheated. She was wrong. But I have to wonder how long Sami will let Rafe play that card. Will she still be so indebted to him that she'll forgive him when she learns that he had no problem keeping Johnny and Sydney from knowing their brother? Will she brush aside the picture she just saw of Nicole and Rafe together?


KATE
She only popped up a few times, but each time could have been the foreshadowing of new storylines. And that makes me happy!

...and RAFE
Rafe showed up and saved Sami from Kate's verbal jabs. Good thing! If there's one thing we know about Sami, it's that she shrivels up like a weak flower around Kate.

If anything, I hope this puts Rafe on Kate's radar. Once she hears that Rafe is keeping Stefano's grandson from him, I doubt she'll be too happy with the good cop.

...and BRADY
I absolutely adore the idea that Kate and Brady are working together. Kate, for all her faults, has been a savvy businesswoman and might even teach young Brady a thing or two.

In other news, I guess I missed when Sami did all these "devious things" that Brady and Kate keep saying. From what I saw, Sami went along with Madison's plan until it was too late, and then she put her head down and worked hard for Kate. Both companies are still around and thriving. Oh, I forgot. It's always Sami's fault. My bad.

... VICTOR, and MAGGIE
Kate and Victor might rival Sami and Lucas for my favorite ex-couple banter. Kate and Victor are quite charming together -- in that sinister way. And I was beyond pleasantly surprised with Maggie when she oh-so-politely told Kate to hit the road. Maggie's spunk is coming out a little more, and I'm crediting Victor for that. Well done!


CHAD
Chad is clearly being fitted for his crazy pants. This is not the guy who stayed calm while he and Mel were held hostage by those Internet guys. Good on Casey Deidrick for working overtime to sell this story. But it's still a little thin right now. Seeing your stalker talking to your girlfriend's stalker should panic anyone. While Chad's actions are clearly harmful, I just can't convince myself that they're unjustified.

I'm not mad at Chad for being mean to Gabi. Really, her grand punishment for accessory to kidnapping is that she no longer gets to be a teen model. Oh the injustice! And since he doesn't know Nick as anyone other than the guy who dangled Mel over a balcony, I have no problem with him being skeptical of Nick.

However, I do think that Chad needs to talk to Melanie about this and not E.J. After all, Melanie was the victim here, not Chad. She should decide what happens to Gabi and Nick. I'll be mad if she's robbed that chance before she leaves.

Oh, and he should definitely stop punching people in public. What was it with those DiMera boys last week?


BO and HOPE
In case you had any doubt, they don't sell subtle at the Tomlin & Whitesell-mart.

We know the story of Peter Reckell allegedly leaving DAYS over a proposed salary cut. We know that around the same time, Kristian Alfonso made a public declaration about how committed she was to the show. What we don't know is if Peter was insulted when he read that his character and Kristian's character would do the exact same things. If he was okay with it and laughed it off, then I'm cool. But watching those scenes made me very uncomfortable for Peter. I hope I'm wrong.

Back on-screen, with Bo busy making his Oprah Dream Board, I have to wonder if they're recasting him. I can't envision a situation where Bo would ever willingly leave Hope. So if he's just going to take another job in Salem, a recast has to be coming. Right? (Note -- I'm spoiler free. I welcome speculation, not facts. )


NICK
I don't know about the rest of you, but I remember everyone -- including his victims -- believing that Nick was under the influence of drugs and not truly responsible for his crimes. Yet to see the way almost every single person in town treats the guy today, you'd think he was Andre DiMera with a side of Vivian Alamain.

Rather than have Nick constantly apologize, I wish he's attend some therapy session with Brady, Lucas, Hope, and Maggie. The lot of them could talk about building a new life after doing some horrible things while under the influence.

But alas, Nick is left to hang his head in shame and take the punches (literally, in Chad's case) as the town leper. That is, from everyone except Gabi. She might be into this dude. That would be the smartest thing she's done in years. It could even make me stomach her.


MELANIE
First of all, Melanie's wedding dress is a zillion times better than her last one. Yeah!

Second, I was so glad when we finally got a real Melanie and Nick scene. I was tired of watching Melanie flip out each time Maggie, Daniel, Brady, Abigail, or Gabi suggest that they postpone the wedding. It wasn't because they were wrong. It was because I'd met my quota of Molly Burnett tears for a while.

It's clear that Melanie is not okay. She's spent too much of her life being controlled by violent men. Chad's behavior isn't helping. Nick's presence is hurting.

It does not look good for her to leave the show in a happy place, and that disappoints me. Out of respect for her beautiful relationship with Maggie, I would have wanted to see Melanie leave as someone who is put together, not broken.

Oh well, at least she'll leave with better taste in dresses.

LOOSE ENDS:
I'd like to believe that Lucas and Sami's fight was at best a sign that we're getting back to reality-check Lucas. But common sense tells me that Lucas' rant was just a way for Sami to think that Rafe might "like her like that." Boo. Lucas and Lumi fans deserve better.

I usually love me some Uncle Bo time, but I was a bit confused when he lectured Sami about being someone who flies off the cuff to defend what she thinks is right. First of all, has he met himself? Second, I'm fairly certain that he broke Hope out of jail and went on the run with her while they tried to solve a crime. And, if I'm not mistaken, they didn't shuffle Ciara with them on this journey.

Caroline forgot that she signed for a delivery order at the Pub. I hope this means that another Brady is on his/her way back home to help Caroline with the Pub. I nominate Chelsea.

I would like Abigail's "Deveraux investigation skills" to be put to use. She's got both Gabi and Nicole lying circles around her, and it's time for her to notice one of them. I don't care which one. She can sulk over Cameron later.

Lucas made Kate promise to leave Will and Allie out of any plans to destroy Sami. This should be easy, since Will is almost grown, and I'm fairly convinced that this "Allie" person doesn't exist in the seeing world.

E.J.'s grand plan is to demand a paternity test the second that Nicole's baby is born. Sounds a little too, I don't know, rational for a DiMera plan, no?


EXTRA SCOOPS

HOT:
Sami and Kate teaming up is always a welcome and unexpected treat. The fact that they were doing it over Will was even better. I loved seeing them admonishing Adrienne for using their mistakes against Will. Hear, hear, ladies!

And the best part about it was that it got Adrienne to come clean with and apologize to Sonny! Whew! I knew my lovely Adrienne was better than that. The woman who came to town waving a banner of acceptance and non-judgment seemed terribly out of place bad-mouthing Will. He can't do anything about his parents. He was...wait for it...born that way.

NOT:
I don't even know what to say about Gabi's craptastic assertion that Mel's kidnapping is really Chad's fault because Chad didn't point-blank tell Gabi that he's not interested. Riiiight. I mean, all Chad did was ask Gabi to take care of setting up flowers and candles all over his apartment so he and Melanie could have a perfect first time together. I mean, what girl wouldn't think that she still had a chance with that guy? I get that Gabi was probably just lashing out from frustration, but the fact that the show is actually having Chad believe her is totally bonkers.


LINE OF THE WEEK:
Justin: "I know that 'fine.' That's the Adrienne Johnson Kiriakis 'fine.' The one that comes right before the unspoken word, 'jackass.'" From joking with Sonny to politely reminding Adrienne to consider the whole story before making her assumptions, Justin was pretty much my MVP of the week.

Honorable mention:
Daniel (to Nicole about ending their romance): "I want this to be the last conversation we have about this. Understand?" You and me both, Daniel.


RANDOM THOUGHTS:
Chad and Mel's wedding is so not going to happen. She was considering silver-rimmed glassware! Everyone knows that gold is the standard issue in Salem.

Hey! That picture from the 2008 paper looks a heckuvalot like the picture that Chad took of Melanie with his phone a few months ago and gave to the police as a recent photo. Weird.

I realized that two of the most recent babies born in Salem (to two sworn enemies) have been named after Rafe. I mean, it took John Black over two decades to get a namesake, but good ol' Rafe gets two in four years. That sounds totally fair.

Why the holy heck isn't Nick living with Lucas? They're family. And Lucas desperately needs a storyline that doesn't involve him being Sami's third-string boyfriend.

Rafe and E.J.'s fight would have been so much cooler if they'd gotten into it Bridget Jones style. They could have pulled it off too!

I don't believe that Marlena ever went to a frat party in her life.

For the record, a dark room is where you develop film images. PhotoShop is where you edit digital images. Comparing the two is like saying that you learned food-plating techniques from cooking things over a campfire.

Melissa, Alex, Eric, Sarah! Yeah for namedropping!

Billie is Salem's photo bomber. I'm enjoying a perfectly nice scene and then suddenly BAM! Her face ruins a beautiful picture.

Just like with Roman, I wouldn't be taking relationship advice from Gabi either. She's pretty terrible at telling when people should and shouldn't be together.

Victor's, "Melanie wants to marry a DiMera? Has the girl lost her mind?" was not the wisest thing to say in front of Brady, who is also a DiMera. Ugh. Seriously writers.

Maggie really needs to get better about hiding the judgmental tone, but I guess that's the downside to being one of the most honest people in Salem.

With Ian's incarceration and Madison's death, who owns Ian's share in Common Grounds?

My sympathy goes out to the Y&R fans over all of the recent cast changes. As a DAYS fan, I know exactly how you feel!


IN MEMORIAM:
The passing of soap legend (and former Mickey #3) John Ingle is a great loss. But, I keep reading about how many people he taught before pursuing his own acting career and how much his costars always learned from him. It makes me smile for the days when teachers were our heroes. Cheers to you, sir.


ALI'S FIT TIPS
I'm about a third of the way through Alison Sweeney's 30 fit tips that appeared in September's Health Magazine. It's been such a fun process. Thanks to all of you who have followed along and laughed at me/with me along the way!

If you're not following along yet, there's plenty of room on the bandwagon! Check out my blog or follow me on Twitter -- @LaurisaDays. I've still got workout tips, recipes, and beauty advice to put to the test!


And with that, I'm off to see if tip #22 is all it's cracked up to be. Tony will be back next week to see if the flip men found a buyer for their house. Until then, click here to let me know your thoughts on a few things: Since when are Adrienne and Melanie buddies? How does Adrienne have dress designers at her disposal? Should a lawyer for Titan really be worried about doing things that aren't exactly legal? And, why does Nicole have a picture of a topless Rafe?

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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