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The art of war
by Tony
For the Week of January 7, 2013
Kristen crafted a revenge masterpiece and then basked in the glory of her wicked work while watching John, Brady, and Marlena's lives explode around them. Plus, Sami remained stuck between two exes as Daniel got the shock of his life from one of his! It's time to kick off a new year with a new Two Scoops.
Happy Twenty-Thirteen, DAYS fan! I hope that everyone has recovered from the holiday hustle because life in Salem seems like it will be keeping us on our toes this year. We need to be in tiptop shape and stay focused. Heck, keeping up with Kristen's antics alone is reason enough to do a little extra cardio in case we need to run for cover from another bombshell she's dropped.

In fact, it's been a few weeks since the last regular Two Scoops because of the Sixth Annual Golden Doughnut and Alex North Memorial Awards, and a lot has happened since then. I can't cover it all without utterly destroying my word count, but let's face it, last week alone was wild enough to keep us gabbing for a while. So, pull up a chair and let's catch up!


KRISTEN, BRADY, JOHN, MARLENA, and COMPANY
Not since Nero fiddled while Rome burned, or the Joker guffawed as Gotham blew up around him has a baddie had so much fun gloating over their victory as did Kristen DiMera. And why wouldn't she? Not only did she tear apart the lives of her enemies, but she still managed to keep Brady around as a hunky door prize. Revenge, champagne, and a sexy, albeit clueless, stud!? Yep. It's good to be Kristen right now.

The same can't be said for John, Marlena, or Brady. Their lives pretty much suck right now. And that's just the way Kristen planned it -- well, that and with a little luck on her side. It was like a never-ending string of bombs being dropped that kept her enemies scrambling. First John found out about the affair, then he found out Kristen's motives, and then he found out Marlena set him up to discover said affair. Whoops!

But let's backtrack a second to the only part I didn't enjoy. That was seeing John and Brady get physical. I didn't mind their verbal altercations, but it was uncomfortable to watch them go at each other with fists a-blazing. Like, really uncomfortable.

At the root of things, John was doing what he was doing to protect Brady. It stung to see a son beating up his dad instead of trying to discuss the matter. So much for talking it out, I guess. I just hope hugging it out eventually works because I would miss Drake and Eric's enchanting father/son chemistry if things don't get patched up.

So, other than the fistfight, everything else was pretty spectacular, you know, in a devastating way. It wasn't a surprise that Kristen was out for revenge. And, oh, yeah, she got it. She got it good. In Kristen's mind, John had wronged her and basically destroyed her life. She wanted some comeuppance. Can you blame her? Well, yes, probably, but what fun would that be?

And speaking of fun, I can't remember the last time I've cheered on John with such vigor! For starters, I cracked up when he initially found Brady and Kristen together and then kept casually rambling about the invitation to spend New Year's Eve with him and Marlena. When he said, "What do you think of my idea?" I lost it.

Ultimately, Drake Hogestyn did an amazing job with the material. He played John's guilt and disgust perfectly while still managing to keep me in stitches with John's insults to Kristen. And I love the chemistry between Eileen Davidson and Drake. They were perfectly paired as sparring partners.

In fact, this storyline really is about John and Kristen's long, sordid history. It was nice to see John regain the focus rather than be cast as the wannabe peacekeeper for much longer. He's mad now. He's guilt-ridden. And he wants to protect his family. Giving Drake that material to run with was a great idea.

I also like what the storyline's giving Deidre Hall to play with. Marlena is a mess right now, but she's not playing the victim card. She's staying strong and taking the offensive. Sure, that might cause waves for Marlena and John, but Doc is proving she's one tough cookie and isn't going to be fooled twice. You go, Mar Mar!

Alas, poor Brady just looks like a fool these days, but that was to be expected. If you look at his track record, Brady simply has a blind spot for bad girls. I'm sure someday he'll wallow in his poor choice to stay with Kristen instead of listening to his family's advice, but in the meantime I'm going to enjoy the chaos his decision is creating. Besides, he's an adult. He has the right to sleep with anyone and doesn't need his family's approval. He may need a shrink, but that is beside the point.

Finally, I also love that this explosive reveal is bringing in characters from all directions. Hope is there for backup, which gives her something to do. E.J. is spinning and desperately wants to do damage control. Eric is trying the calm and collected approach to save his family. And Sami is off her leash and going full-out ballistic, which is amazing! I love that she's proving that, while she can mess with her family, outsiders should beware because she's not going to let them hurt her loved ones.

Yep, this storyline is a win/win all around right now. So, don't worry, Kristen. I'll take this one. Thank you, Marlena. Thank you for setting the wheels in motion for such a juicy, explosive reveal!


E.J., SAMI, RAFE, and NICOLE
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm having a hard time enjoying E.J. and Sami's charming whatever-it-is with Rafe and his King Kong-sized ego casting a shadow over the Land of EJami. The writers have legitimately tried Safe several times and have destroyed Sami's character in the process each time. We needed a break from that. We needed to see what magic Sami and E.J. can actually conjure up as a legit couple. Please stop me before I start singing "Do You Hear The People Sing?" from Les Misérables. Anywho, just as we're finally getting a bit of the old Sami and her bite back, the writers seem set on this old, destructive Safe pattern again. Can someone hand me a Tylenol Scotch? I have a headache.

Also, can someone please explain to me how Rafe can be fairly appealing around Nicole, but infuriating around Sami? I really want to know. In fact, I think Rafe and Nicole's friendship is fun. I like that they can be completely honest with each other and still have a few laughs in the process. It's actually peculiar that Rafe can be fully accepting of Nicole's wicked ways, yet he gives Sami stern looks of disapproval when she does something that doesn't follow Rafe's honor code of "Do what I say,not what I do, nope, just do what I say!" But I digress. DAYS needs more friendships, and I stand behind Rafe and Nicole, especially if it means the return of sassy, scheming Nicole. I think she's almost ready for one of her signature martinis again!

However, the Rafe/Sami/E.J. triangle is getting a little frustrating. By "a little," I mean a lot. I'm not that upset with Sami, per se, as she's a single gal trying to make up her mind between two swoon-worthy hunks. I mean, if you're going to have some sort of problem, I guess having to pick between two guys who are gaga for you is the best one to have. We should all be so lucky. Ultimately, yes, she needs to make up her mind, and it probably shouldn't be the guy who repeatedly scolds her like a child, but that's not my biggest problem.

What really burns me is that Rafe all of a sudden believes Sami is worthy of him again. Then again, it really is big of him to give her another chance. Ugh. I would love to know how much of his attraction is truly because he still loves Sami and how much of it stems from E.J.'s interest. Right now, it simply seems that Sami is one of Herr Hernandez's toys that he had tossed aside and only regained interest in when someone else began to play with it. After all, Rafe didn't seem too concerned about repairing his relationship with Sami when he had his tongue down her sister's throat, but now that she's trying to move on, it seems like she's catnip he can't resist. I'd gladly volunteer to follow Sami around with a spray bottle and spritz Rafe every time he pounces on her. Just saying.

Rafe confused me even more when he pulled the entire "she can come to me" approach. It was exhausting. Oh, yes, I'm so looking forward to them spending more time together as they plan Nick and Gabi's wedding. I repeat, "Ugh!"


NICK, GABI, SONNY, and WILL
I'm giving myself a late Christmas present this year. For this week only, I'm skipping this section. After all, I really don't have a lot to say about it that won't begin with "this storyline is a complete, idiotic mess" and end with "…control freak Nick is a creepy bigot with confusing reasons for doing what he's doing other than to stroke his own ego." So, happy holidays, me!


JENNIFER, DR. DAN, and CHLOE
The redo of this couple still isn't on the top of my Must-See list, but I'm slowly being reminded of some of the charm they had the first time around. Please note the "slowly," thankyouverymuch. Melissa and Shawn have great rom-com chemistry that is hard to hate, even though Jennifer has been less than likeable the past few months. Not even comments like Jack wouldn't want her and Abigail wearing black and grieving for him forever take the sting away that Ms. Horton-Deveraux didn't really grieve for him at all. But I digress. That gripe was so last year, and I need to move on.

However, I'm not sure how far Dr. Dan and Jennifer's relationship is going to go as the good, horny doc got a little knock on his door from a big, old ex-flame. Yep. The Chlomiester is back and looking as divalicious as ever! Am I excited about this? Eh. I'm not entirely sure yet. I think a lot of it will depend on which version of Chloe has returned. Is she going to be fab and fierce, or a broken-down prostitute? Stay tuned!


LOOSE ENDS
Holy Crapola. I'm nearly speechless. I mean, wow, wowza, and wowtastic! Kate mentioned Cassie and Rex. No, really. She did. I rewound it twice, and my ears weren't playing tricks on me. She mentioned them. Now, if someone mentions Tommy Horton Jr., I might just believe the apocalypse is still coming! Excuse me a minute while I mutter to myself. I'm still in shock Kate remembered the twins…

Um, and whoever decided to write more scenes for Kate, I only have one thing to say -- thank you! It was great seeing her back and prowling around Salem. Granted, I'd love it more if Kate had a storyline of her own, but I won't look a gift diva in the mouth.

Speaking of Kate, she and Adrienne made up. Well, they made up as much as those two are going to make up. I'm glad they did because it was a delicious little scene, but I'm also worried. When characters start playing nice, that usually means something bad is looming. I have a feeling that "something bad" will be Adrienne flipping out again when Will and Gabi's baby secret is exposed. Great! Score another point for that terrific storyline.

So, Chad and Abigail have a little something-something re-blooming between them. Hmm. Truth be told, they were kind of mediocre the first time around, but I like Casey and Kate's chemistry so I'm willing to give it another shot. I also think both of their characters have grown since the last time they tried to date, which should make them more interesting as a couple now. Besides, anything that aligns Abigail on Team Chad and Sonny is fine with me.

Hey, Jen! Don't worry. Your little non-slut, Abigail, is still a gold circle virgin. Um, raise your hand if that conversation made you feel uncomfortable. Never mind, I wouldn't be able to count that high. I'll just assume we all got skeeved and move on.

Oh, snap! I have to school my Maxine. Sorry to break the news, but E.J. is related to John and Brady. They're family. So he technically does have the right to ask about them. All is forgiven, though, girlfriend, and I'll meet you at the pub for makeup drinks later!


Extra Scoops


HOT:
Kristen may have been a bad girl last week, but Eileen Davidson, Drake Hogestyn, Deidre Hall, and Eric Martsolf were good. They were very good! Each of them shined and created powerful scenes that simply glued me to my screen as Kristen and Brady's affair bomb was dropped. More, please!

NOT:
Ugh. Nick. Gabi. Will at the moment. All a big pile of ugh. I want this storyline to fall off a cliff. I do. I want it to fall so deeply into the abyss that I'll only remember it if I have PTSD-like night terrors.


LINE OF THE WEEK:
Will (to Nick): "I resolve that if you ever call me 'Gay Boy' again, I'm going to have to beat the bigotry right out of you."

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Kate (to Will): "I just had the exquisite pleasure of meeting with your precious cousin, Nick, and I have to say I've had more fun in a dentist chair. [Pause] Yep. I have to say, I've had more fun in a dentist chair."

John (to Kristen): "Oh, Crazy K…"


EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK:
Kristen: "You drove me insane. I mean, around the bend and back again--"
John: "Back again!? I wouldn't be so sure about that."


RANDOM THOUGHTS:
She's had them on since the summer, but it's officially okay that Marlena's wearing gloves now. Way to be fashion-forward, Mar Mar!

Monday's episode was a little flashback heavy, wasn't it?

Um, it should be noted that John and Marlena are not married. I have a feeling that little nugget factoid will be important someday.

I'm kind of digging Nicole's retro fashion. As Austin Powers would say, "Groovy, baby!"

Be them short or long, I love me some E.J. and Chad scenes.

Sydney named her magical penguin "Rafe." Great. Now there're two of them running around Salem.

Will and Sonny talking to Nicole was just a little slice of fun.


RETRO RANDOM THOUGHTS: (12/17/12 - 12/28/12)
Since Laurisa and I were busy presenting end of the year awards the past several weeks, neither of us had time for a regular Two Scoop, but we did make a few random notes:

Where/how/when can we get one of those prized DiMera Corporation credit cards!?

We loved, loved, loved all the holiday celebrations in Salem this year!

As much as we rolled our eyes at Gabi and Daniel having Horton ornaments, we really can't bring ourselves to hate it. Tom and Alice (herself, not a blood Horton) were all about reaching out to others. We feel that Alice would be terribly upset with us if we were to get all "Horton elitist" on their extended friends and family Christmas.

Brrr! Jennifer must have been freezing in all those short-sleeved holiday dresses.

Merry Christmas to us! We loved that Maxine was at the Hortons' for the holidays.

Love that Abe and Theo spent Christmas day at the hospital!

Victor as Santa!? Oh, hell yes! That was hysterical and made our year. Please, oh please, let this happen again.

Hope and Ciara's matching pajamas were super cute.

Laurisa wonders if J.J. goes to the same ski resorts as Will used to.

We'd like to see more of the Kiriakis Big Fat Greek Christmas next year. The few scenes we did get were amazing.

Bummer! We wish they had done the ornaments on the Horton Town Square tree this year. It was a cool way to remember people who aren't on the show anymore.

Is it us, or is there something different about Cameron? Oh, wait! It's a recast. Well, thank goodness, as we were getting worried about Schuyler Yancey's health from working all those long hours as the most pivotal role on the show. I only hope Nathan Owens can cope with all the heavy lifting because those three scenes a month can be difficult for any actor. Good luck, Nate!


PARTING THOUGHTS:
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of January 6! I don't know about all of you, but I'm excited that the New Year has started with a bang. I only hope the excitement lasts, but with Kristen in town, I don't think I have to cross my fingers too tightly. In any event, Laurisa will be back next week to sort through the rubble and let us know just what the Chlomiester has been up to. And, "That's a fact!"

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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