Never underestimate the beauty of simple, honest acts. They can solidify two sinners as a legitimate supercouple, completely redeem a fallen diva, and bring friends back together. Find out more in this week's Two Scoops.
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I'm starting this off on a personal note. Don't worry, I'll attempt to be snarky and sarcastic shortly. But, the previous few weeks have been filled with hardships for me, the soapcentral.com family
, and the whole nation. It will take a long time for some of those wounds to heal. But there's something to be said for celebrating those small moments -- victories, if you will -- when we get lost in the laughter, disbelief, or nostalgia that entertainment and art can bring us. So thanks for indulging me week after week and sharing your soap fandom with me. There's an understated and often underappreciated joy in sharing (Dang! Mom was right!), and I sincerely thank you all for being kind to me and each other. Now, let's spread some more joy!
E.J. and SAMI
For all the swagger that E.J. has, his proposal at the Brady Pub was nothing flashy. But it was one of the best proposals since Monica and Chandler Bing. Why? Glad you asked.
It was all about the characters.
There was no stench of plot development, no blackmail, and no need for protection. They're simply happy and ready to commit to staying together. Oh, and there was more.
I swear, as Sami began to speak of how other men have only loved a part of her or who she was pretending to be at the time, I almost stood up right there in my living room and applauded. Make no mistake -- that ain't all on the fellas. Sami did a bang-up job of putting herself in crappy situations. But as a real Sami fan, that's what I love about her. And I root for her and E.J. because she doesn't feel the need to live up to an expectation around him.
Speaking of him, I usually roll my eyes to high heaven each time some boob says, "I've never loved anyone like I love you." But E.J. can actually pull it off. He came to the show as a playboy, and even during his marriages to the fabulous Nicole, he never forgot about Sami -- no matter how hard he tried. And she, ironically, was the one thing that kept him from following his father to the dark side.
So while their road won't be easy -- as Lucas was kind enough to point out within 17 seconds of their engagement -- it certainly won't be boring. And I hope that Sami and E.J. just shrug off the other comments like they did with Lucas last week.
BRADY and KRISTEN
I don't know about you, but I spent a good chunk of the week yelling, "OPEN THE ENVELOPE!!!" Seriously, I have no idea how Titan has ever turned a profit when a simple office task completely eluded its two senior executives for hours on end! Maybe it's time for Ciara to join the family business, since she seems to be ahead of the pack.
The only time I wasn't thinking about the envelope was during Kristen and Victor's scenes. Having two of my faves together was a treat. And that darn Eileen Davidson played her role so perfectly that I couldn't figure out if Kristen's feelings for Brady were real. And even if they are real, are they going to be strong enough to make her abandon her plan to use Brady to hurt John?
It wouldn't be the first time a DiMera switched. I remember when E.J. broke down and brought Sydney home because he just couldn't go through with hurting Sami any more. But I always thought of Kristen as being much harder than E.J. So many questions! More Kristen, please!
JOHN and MARLENA
It became pretty clear that John is going to take up Kristen on her offer to switch places with Brady. Or at least, he's going to lead Kristen to believe that's his intention. I guess that John's super-spy past does at least make him somewhat of a formidable opponent for Kristen's mind games. But there's still one huge problem here: Marlena.
Every time he acts like a shunned prima donna around her, I get irritated. Not because I don't think Marlena needs to grovel a bit. (No matter how much Kristen orchestrated, Marlena still chose to keep information about Brady from John.) But there isn't an ounce of scooper in me that believes that the show would split up John and Marlena, especially since there's still that issue of getting them remarried after John's divorce from Hope. So this whole spat is just a big waste of time.
Seriously, what else are they going to do? Pair Marlena back with Roman? Right. And Stefano's really going to die, too, huh?
RAFE and KATE
There's nothing wrong with the adult relationship that Rafe and Kate enjoyed. But let's not make it out to be something that it wasn't. These two have barely had any conversations clothed. So imagine my shock to see Kate, in tears
, engaging in a full-on self-hate tirade -- complete with calling herself a whore -- to get Rafe to forgive her. Taking my extreme dislike for anything Rafe out of it, Rafe and Kate just haven't been shown to be a relationship of substance that would cause Kate to behave that way.
Also, I could go the rest of my life without seeing Agent You Disappointed Me and Lady Lack of Confidence ever again. Please and thank you.
NICOLE and VARGAS
My issue with the relationship between Nicole and Vargas is that it's derailing Vargas from what I really need him to be doing. Nicole can whip up chemistry with anyone. But Vargas is the only one who seems to make Nick uncomfortable. So I'm going to politely ask Nicole to find someone else to flirt with over taxes.
However, if Vargas is going to be in a scene that doesn't involve Nick, I'd much rather those scenes reveal more about Vargas. We could start by giving him a full name and then move on to the reason he went to jail. This is especially crucial if he's going to be paired with Nicole, who with Vargas, is reduced to a least common denominator -- an ex-con lonely for some lovin'. While true, that's not exactly the best use of the beautifully layered Dame Walker.
NICK and VARGAS
I said that Vargas is the only one who seems to make Nick uncomfortable, but I may have to amend that from "uncomfortable" to "mildly annoyed." Vargas may have had the upper hand in prison, but now it seems like Nick is the one calling the shots as the brains behind their money laundering/gambling/whatever scheme. Yikes. I can't handle another storyline where Nick is the one calling the shots.
Also, was it me or did Vargas seem to show a glimmer of actual concern for Nick and the baby mess? What the what
? Vargas, buddy, bad guy up and take Nick down!
CHLOE and DANIEL
After the way Chloe behaved the last few weeks, I was ready to personally throw her over the Alex North Cliff of Terrible People. But then a funny thing happened. Seeing Chloe genuinely realize the harm she was willing to do to her son, which was the real tragedy here, I started to root for Chloe again.
Ironically, it was quite possibly the strongest I've ever seen her -- tears and all. Finally, she was done blaming other people (something that weak people are notorious for), and she was determined to be accountable for her mistakes as well as her own happiness. Yes, yes, and YES, Chloe!! I hope that those two months in treatment are a short and you're back in Salem sharing custody with Daniel soon!
Sorry to be the fun police, but what was with Caroline's fake-out about Wilson? Jokes about homophobia aren't too appropriate on a show where, you know, a main villain is taking a child away from her father because her father is gay. Surely they can find something else* to do with Peggy McCay.
*Oh, and creepy remarks to Cameron about his hot show isn't it either. (Sorry. If it was Victor saying that to Abigail, I'd have to call it out. I'm not one for gender double-standards.)
WILL, SONNY, BRIAN, and T
I loved every bite of the delicious scene! Having a solid guy like Sonny in his life and having Stefano as an impending ally really did wonders for Will. No surprise on either account.
Also, I'm thrilled that the show brought T back from the land of Horrible People Who Hate Others. I've always kind of found T charming, in that Joey Tribiani kind of way. It was a refreshing change to have someone ask Will how he feels about being a father, not a gay teen father, if that makes sense.
Finally, that Brian is an incorrigible little minx, huh? Not that I minded it one bit. While Sonny proclaimed his love for Will, I'm not sure we've see the end of the Bri-Guy. The last brunette, blue-eyed beauty rejected in favor of a blond Horton didn't get it the first time either.
Gabi was still sulking that her never-before-friend Kate dared to betray Gabi by sneaking in an agreement for shared custody.
Aside -- Yes, what Kate tried to do to Gabi was dishonest. But it was dishonest the same way that parents are dishonest when they blend up veggies and put them in kids' brownies. Arianna Grace needs a real custody agreement. And Gabi's flippant "I would never keep Will away from his daughter" wasn't cutting it. Furthermore, if Kate was really trying to hurt Gabi, the agreement wouldn't have been a completely fair 50/50 split. -- End of aside.
This whole scene was just a way for Gabi to find out that Rafe and Kate were having adult sleepovers. Gabi claimed to have sensed this because of her keen observation skills, then cautioned Rafe about getting involved with someone with such superior persuasion tactics. Yes, because if it's one thing that Gabi has proven, it's that she is whip smart and would never get involved with someone who could manipulate her. Speak on, oh wise Hernandi!
Brady genuinely believes that John and Marlena will come around. So, I liked him going up to Marlena to try to rebuild their relationship. You're still a clueless dreamer, Mr. Black, but at least you've got class!
I liked that they had a goodbye scene, but Chloe really owed Nicole an apology for those horrid comments about Nicole's fertility. Mamas of miracle babies should stick together.
The undisputed best part of the stripper storyline was Chad, his one-liners, and his banter with Abigail. I'm just waiting for Abigail to stop worrying about boring old Stripper Ken and pay more attention to the tall drink of water in front of her. Come on, Abs! He even has Austin-style spiky hair! You love that!
I like that Victor is honest with Maggie about Kristen. But, I don't like that Maggie kept trying to put the kibosh on Victor's need to protect Brady. Last time Maggie tried to get all holy with Victor, she ended up in a sarcophagus.
After Stefano tracked Sy down, Sy confessed to giving the picture to Victor. Sy then added, "I'm really, really sorry." Somehow, I don't see Stefano responding with a noogie and a bear hug.
As Nick begged Gabi not to let anything ruin their happiness, I realized that I buy Nick's homophobia a lot more than I buy his love for Gabi. Not only is their relationship still extremely new, but it's hard for me to believe that someone so fundamentally hateful can even experience genuine love.
For my money, Nadia's never been better than she was this go-round as Chloe. Sure, Chloe was a delusional loon, but darn it if Nadia Bjorlin didn't throw her all at this brief stint. I don't know what she's been doing since she's been gone from DAYS, but it's worked for her. I enjoyed her portrayal of a villainess. And the tearful performance she gave as Chloe faced her demons and then said goodbye to Parker made me surprisingly a little misty! My Ghoul Girl is all grown up!
I understand that the dude has magical powers, but last time I checked, Rafe's not pregnant with Will's baby. I didn't like how Sami and Kate both had to go kiss Rafe's ring for any perceived or actual harm that they did or may have done to Gabi. As much as the gal bothers me, this is Gabi's baby, and decisions about said baby need to run through her, not Rafe.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Victor: "I haven't chewed out a bureaucrat all week!"
it when my Ferrari gets towed.
Kate's necklace was amazeballs, but I wasn't sure about Abigail's Sweet Valley High letter jacket.
Technically, don't Nick and Lucas work together? Wonder what a run-in at the Mad World break room would be like.
Parker looked every bit the mini-Daniel in that zip-up cardigan. So cute!
When's the last time that Maggie stood in the DiMera living room?
Chloe was an absolute stunner in her jeans and a white button-up shirt! See, Chloe, you don't have to wear that dress tonight
When did Will learn the name of his daughter? Is the show whitewashing something wrong that Gabi did again? Nah, that can't be it.
Did you catch Casey Deidrick on Glee
The mullet picture needs to go away. He can't pull it off. He's John Black, not John McBain.
I'm honestly shocked that after what Rafe did to Austin, Kate is willing to give Rafe the time of day, much less anything else.
I wouldn't mind it one bit if Anne cheered up for a change. Has she met Roman?
Stefano may be the only guy who can look like a tough while wearing a burgundy shirt and red tie.
There's a good chance that having Parker in town will finally give Daniel a storyline that doesn't involve his bedroom. More stuff to celebrate!
And now, a message from @Tony_S_Days
about some casting news: "I was thrilled to learn that Chrishell Stause
has joined the cast of DAYS! Her endless talents were a highlight of the time I spent watching AMC, and I'm looking forward to her adventures (or misadventures) in Salem this summer. Although the character she will be playing has yet to be announced, and is rumored to be a new one, I'm still holding hopes that she may be bringing someone like Cassie Brady or Jeannie Donovan back to town. Either way, I'm just glad we scored Chrishell -- go Team DAYS!"
Just to bring this whole column full circle, let's do one more thing to spread some joy. My best friend introduced me to DAYS. So in honor of her birthday this week, I invite you all to participate in a tradition I like to call "Take a Friend to Salem Day." Have a friend over for a glass of wine and watch an episode. Turn on NBC in your break room at work. Tweet with your sister during DAYS. Share some laughs and bond over the wonderful ridiculata that is soaps.
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.