As I sit down to write this week's column, I'm still completely shocked by the tragic event that took place in Connecticut on Friday. My heart breaks for that community and those families. Personally, I come from a family of all teachers, (I'm the black sheep -- go figure), and I've seen first-hand the lengths that teachers will go through to make classrooms a special place for kids to learn and grow. To think that such a hopeful place would be tarnished in such a way is virtually impossible to imagine. I hope that as the next few weeks pass, the community will find strength with each other.
DAYS was preempted on Friday due to the news coverage. Everything is pushed back a day, so tune in this week, and you won't miss anything. Okay, it's a soap; so tune in a month from now, and you'll probably not miss anything.
But as silly and insignificant as it is, hopefully soaps can provide anyone going through difficult times with an escape -- just for an hour -- into the fictional world of baby secrets, love triangles, miracle cures, and scheming sisters. We call it Salem. And, here's what happened last week.
SAMI, E.J., and RAFE
Has Sami ever been single this long? I mean, it's approaching darn near three weeks by now! Since that obviously wouldn't fly in Salem, Hope chimed in that Sami really needed to pick Rafe because E.J. has an agenda. E.J. with an agenda? Surely you jest, Fancy Face.
Here's the thing -- E.J. absolutely has an agenda. It's to get Sami to fall in love with him. And, you know what? Rafe has the exact same agenda! E.J. is using his company. Rafe is using his sister. Yes, yes, both things could benefit from Sami's attention, but the real motivation here is love. And as far as agendas go, is there anything better? I really can't be mad at either dude for that, and I wish the rest of the town would get off the bash E.J. bus and aboard the love train.
This choice comes down to which version of Sami you like better. Personally, I think last week showed that Sami with Rafe will be more of the bumbling airhead who constantly puts herself down. (See: "Me and my big, fat mouth") I'm not a fan of that Sami at all. I want my Sami with an overcompensation and slight entitlement complex, à la Kate, Nicole, and Victor. And, she has that spunk with E.J. But, time will tell which version of Sami these writers like.
GABI and NICK
For the record, no one asked Sami to swoop in and plan Nick and Gabi's wedding. However, if someone was going to plan my wedding in Salem, I'd totally pick Sami. She's had 27 of them, and they've all been pretty spectacular. Lumi's green wedding was one of my faves!
Anyway, back in holy matrimony land, Nick and Gabi went full speed ahead with their plans. The scene between just Nick and Gabi was pretty adorable. I liked the slight nod to Nick's geek side when he gave Gabi the carbon necklace and told her how it was the building block for everything on earth. And, call me a sucker, but I let out a little smile when he proclaimed, "I didn't think that necklace was much until I saw it on you."
Other than that, both of them leave me scratching my head. I'm trying to see where Gabi's coming from. She's never had any legitimate male attention, and now here's this mysterious older guy who's willing to defend her, marry her, and raise another man's baby with her. But, I'd be more likely to cut her some slack if she didn't just get out of a situation where her own lie spiraled catastrophically out of control. She's obviously learned nothing from the Andrew situation.
And I still have no idea why Nick is such an a-hole all of a sudden. He actually warned Will not to make trouble for them. See, there's a way to be a gracious winner, and there's a way to be a complete douchecanoe. Nick's got one of those down pat.
Together, they seem to create this monster jerk of a character with a severe case of misplaced decency. Those two hardly batted an eye while accepting favors from Caroline and Sami. You'd almost forget that Gabi and Nick firmly believed that "the right thing to do" was rip a Brady right out of the family tree. Not cool, kids.
Will's no stranger to keeping a major secret. I'm just surprised that he's so willing to do it again. His logic is pretty flawed. Heck, even Johnny realized that just giving Santa the heads-up on where to drop off Christmas presents would take care of one part of growing up in two households. And Will really shouldn't be using Sami and Lucas as the standard for unmarried parents.
Lost in all of this is the point that Will has zero idea what Gabi did to Chad and Melanie. He knows that something went on, but Gabi's not offering up any details to her best friend. I'm accrediting Will's acceptance of her silence to his good heart and trusting nature. But he's not a pushover. Let's make sure he stays that way, okay, writers?
Justin showed up (yeah!) to remind Chad that he was in violation of the agreement (boo!). I'll be honest; I was hoping that this agreement would just go the same way as Cassie Brady and Rex where we could just forget it even existed. It sounds like Chad and Nick made a contract to mutually break the law. That doesn't sound like it would be legally binding anywhere.
And I really didn't dig the fact that my beloved Justin straight-up told Chad that people would believe Gabi over Chad because of who their respective families are. What happened to "innocent until proven guilty" or "everyone deserves a defense," Counselor Kiriakis?
Anyway, frustrated with how "mean" Sonny was to her now that he knows part of the truth, Gabi went straight to Chad and tried to strong-arm him with said agreement. I love that he reminded her that going to prison is a two-way street. Someone with as big a secret as Gabi's keeping really shouldn't be doing so much threatening and hair-flipping.
I feel it necessary to remind us all that John Black used to make a living as a top-ranked spy for an international intelligence organization. Seriously, people used to give him piles of money to find out secrets that no one else on the planet could uncover. He was basically James Bond meets Inspector Gadget.
It's important that you all realize that so that you can properly sympathize with my astounding outrage that John actually thought that Brady bought a bracelet for Kristen as a thank-you gift for playing nice with Marlena. And then, to solidify his position as the village idiot, John asked Brady to keep an eye on Kristen. Oh, John. Forget Kristen's plan to harm you. You might just die of embarrassment when you see how this plays out.
BRADY and KRISTEN
I have to admit, the "Hope this makes your wrist feel better" line was pretty pimp. And this Brady/Kristen pairing is doing wonders for Brady. He was so excited to give her the bracelet (um, that's not a euphemism) that he showed up at her door like a giddy teenager. I know that I should be more irritated with Brady for being such a dunce, but I'm not. I actually find it refreshing that he's doing something purely for his own benefit. Brady's been the town hero for a bit too long.
Plus, when the truth comes out, there will be an army of people lining up to protect Brady. This line includes, but isn't limited to, Victor, John, Marlena, Maggie, Sami, and Nicole. Not too weak of a team. That is, assuming that Kristen hasn't legitimately fallen for the Greek prince at that point. She hardly hated the time that she spent with Brady.
I'm so glad that the Daniel/Nicole/Jennifer triangle is over. Scratch that. I'm so glad that my Nicole is free from this triangle! I had a little bit of a hard time with Nicole's tear-filled confession that she went to the cabin to see "the greatest man" she's ever known. Not only was it a bit heavy-handed, but Daniel never told Nicole that he loved her. He was always up-front about his feelings for Jennifer. This should not be news to Nicole.
But Nicole's breakdown in Eric's office was pretty spectacular. I know I shouldn't be amazed when Arianne Zucker can do that kind of gut-churning pain, but I'm always so impressed. No wonder Eric broke down and hugged Nicole. For the first time, words just wouldn't have been enough.
DANIEL and JENNIFER
True love cured his hands! They used the words "Christmas Miracle" to describe it! White doves and angel choirs can now begin covering the heavens!
Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself. Truth be told, I'm so glad that this silly little hand tremor plot is over. Good riddance. Now we can tackle Danifer 2.0: Now with More Sparkle!
I get this relationship from the Daniel side. He hasn't loved anyone but Jennifer for the better part of the past two years, and he's never pretended otherwise. His actions have always shown that he had her best interest at heart. (No pun intended.)
However, as we've well established, Jennifer needs some work. I'm not sure if she's ready for Daniel, or any relationship for that matter. It's obvious that Abigail is way more mature than her mother at this point. My heart went out to Abigail when she exclaimed that she can't lose another parent. So, I'd rather see them have a storyline for a while, then Jennifer can think about the fellas.
Marlena spent two different scenes where she talked a lot about how she can't tell John something. It made me wonder if Marlena has any girlfriends. (She was not invited to the book club, remember.) It's about time for Marlena to go confide in someone like Kayla. Not only did Kayla support Marlena through the John brainwashing of '08, but Kayla can specifically relate to having a crazy lady target your husband. (Moment of silence for both RoboJohn and Ava!)
Sami seemed to realize that Will was slightly uncomfortable about Nick and Gabi's wedding plans. Here's hoping that she puts half the effort into digging into that problem that she does into picking centerpieces.
The softer version of Caroline was downright delightful. I like that last week she led with her heart rather than her attitude. And I got her very obvious parallel between Victor/herself/Shawn and E.J./Sami/Rafe. It does make sense, since Rafe's kept his nose fairly clean and Shawn was an all-around stand-up guy. But, that was an unmistaken punch in the gut to Lumi fans. And, just because I understood it didn't mean that I liked it.
Chad asked Abigail out because he looked around and realized she was the only available bachelorette in his age bracket. Well, something like that. I like both actors, so I'm willing to give this one a shot. Though, between Gabi and Kristen, Chad would have had enough storyline to hold him over for a while before
recycling an old introducing a new love interest.
In case you missed it, Rafe is not overly fond of his sister marrying Nick. I'm not sure if he'd be overly fond of his sister marrying anybody, but I'd much rather see him remain calm and use his detective skills rather than roll his eyes and grunt every time someone mentions Nick's name.