I love movies about southern women. You know the kind. The type of movies where the term "bless your heart" is really code for, "You have no clue, but I'm about to teach you a lesson you never saw coming." I felt myself becoming such a southern belle as I watched DAYS this week.
First, let's tackle things that are working. That list begins with the DiMera family. Aside from one scene that I'll tackle later, I love the 2018 DiMeras!
The actors are spectacular. It's really an embarrassment of riches to have Billy, Marci, Thaao, Lauren, Louise and Tyler get to share scenes. There isn't a weak link in the bunch. Their acting styles are complementary, without being overbearing. You can pretty much mix-and-match any of them and get a spectacular and still different outcome. I'm standing and applauding for the lot of them!
Next, the power struggle is very intriguing, especially with the revelation that Andre and Viv are partners in crime. Their scene was bombshell after bombshell, so help me check my notes:
1. Andre doesn't really like Abigail. She was just a way to get to Chad. This checks out as I always had problems believing Andre was cuddly enough for Abigail to be besties with him. Abigail hasn't always been the best judge of character (hi, Ben and Dario!), so this makes sense as a miss on her end as well.
2. Andre doesn't like Chad at all. He thinks Chad is the downfall of DiMera because Chad wants to be all "legit" and "legal" and just a general party pooper for evil overlords like Sir Andre. Again, this totally checks with Andre's long history on the show.
3. Andre does have actual feelings for Kate. I'll buy this as Kate has always been enticing for powerful (or power-seeking) men.
4. Andre was the hacker all along, or at least he was the one feeding information on Kate's deals. That makes sense as well, and it proves Kate and Chad aren't as dumb as they were looking.
5. Stefan is probably Vivian's son, but may or may not be Stefano's son since Andre oversaw the paternity test.
That last point is the one keeping me interested. Stefan's storyline is taking all of the learning from all the pitfalls from the disaster that was Deimos. First, Stefan arrived to the right family. Random DiMeras pop up all that time. Most of Stefano's kids didn't know they were DiMeras until they were adults.
Second, infighting in the DiMera family is a standard. Unlike Victor, who up until recently kept even his cuckoo family members protected under his wing, Stefano is not above shoving a kid out of the way here and there. The whole reason Andre has the face he does is because Tony wasn't cutting it for Stefano.
Finally, Stefan isn't saddled with some heavy backstory that we never saw. All we need to know about him is that he's a successful corporate shark. Everything else, we can learn about him while he's onscreen. Done. That's easy. There's not a single prison sentence for killing a doppelganger lover anywhere! Whew!
It's important Stefan be a bit of a mystery. He's the wild card here. If he sides with Chad and Abigail, DiMera Enterprises will be on a much different path than, say, if he decides Andre and Viv are both too much drama and sides with Kate. Tyler Christopher is masterfully playing Stefan a bit guarded now, so things are working well here. I have a feeling Ron has more twists planned.
Speaking of twists, we got the one that everyone and their baby daddy saw coming -- Lani is pregnant. Super. I had a theory that the baby would somehow help Theo's recovery. But, I didn't expect so many people to know about the baby and the paternity so fast!
Here's where my southern belle "bless her heart" stance kicks in. Lani went to tell Eli, but chickened out when she saw him with Gabi. I'm not sure how many dumb decisions I can take from this gal. She's reminding me of Chloe a few years back where she's not malicious, but her weakness is almost as dangerous. She misinterpreted the situation with Gabi and J.J., then went and had unprotected sex with a man who's in a relationship with someone else. That's to not say Eli should get a Mensa invite either. Dude should know to use protection too, as well as learn more about the J.J./Gabi situation. However, this isn't and either/or blame situation here. Both of them are wrong. Only now, Lani's the one in the position to make it wrong-er.
I'm a firm believer that Lani has a right to do with her body what she wants. Sure, I wish she'd tell Eli about the baby. I don't see any reason why he shouldn't know. He's not of any danger to Lani or the baby. But this is still Lani's call.
What isn't Lani's call is who actually is the baby's father. I'll have major problems with her if she decides to pass the baby off as J.J.'s. Not only is that a completely unfair to both J.J. and Eli, but it doesn't seem like something a woman who didn't know the identity of her own father until later in life would do. With J.J. being genuinely happy and supportive, it becomes a tough situation. But it still is a clear decision.
With all the delicious twists and turns happening at DiMera, the Kiriakis family looks, well, very lame. I'm not into Brady and Eve at all. It's a waste of good diva to have her falling for Brady's shenanigans. I've never been into the Sonny vs. Brady wanna-be-feud, as both guys are genuinely nice guys who have to be bent out of character for this thing to work.
Finally, there was that horribly off color scene where Brady put his hands around Vivian's throat and Eve seemed to enjoy it. I really, really hope there's a twist coming where Eve is playing Brady because the real Eve -- the mother of a woman strangled by a man -- would not be turned on by what Brady did.
Now for the run downs of Stefan's potential pairings because it's way too early for that, so why the heck not?
1. Abigail: Who else cringed, "EJ!"" when Chad asked Abs, "What other DiMera have you seen naked?" Obviously, I'm not looking forward to seeing Gabi go for the hat trick with Stefan. No thanks. Plus, his blatant display of misogyny later when he treated Abigail like a subordinate but Chad as an equal could not have been more apparent. What's the opposite of "ship"? Tank? Sounds about right. I want this potential pairing to tank.
2) Gabi - They chem tested him with Gabi, but that fell flatter than flat for me. Gabi came across a bit too Scrappy Doo next to Stefan -- a typical Hernandez family trait that has thus far eluded my favorite Hernandi. I'd like to keep it that way.
3) Chloe - Her test was last week and that's been, by far, the one with the most potential. She got a decade of experience over Abigail and Gabi. Plus she's world-travelled and successful in her own right -- all of which played much better against Stefan's persona.
4) Someone else - I can't shake the feeling Stefan might be here for Paul, which would be wonderful because…
Ooof. Sonny's doing a bang-up job of making sure the Paulson break up sticks. After his recent display of pompous asshattery, I'm certain Paul won't take this clown back. And good for Paul. I get that Sonny is desperate for Will to remember, but Sonny knows Paul better than to accuse him of seducing Will just to make Sonny miserable. That's just dirty pool, Jackson.
Will did the right thing. I'd argue that there is some middle ground between living together/trying to be married and breaking up completely. But Will needs some time to himself. And honestly, so does Sonny. He went right from being engaged to one man to being "married" to another.
Ugh. Sweet Valley High is driving me nuts. I'm tired of seeing Jen have scenes with Kayla and Hope about whether or not the cute boy "likes her like that". I'm rooting for Dr. Shaw. He's much better for Jen...and me.
I know the Safe sex secret needs to come out. But, I'm not invested in it, nor particularly looking forward to it. It already seems much ado about nothing. The show seems committed to Rope, so this is an exercise in futility. Plus, Rafe didn't cheat on Hope. And he didn't do something to intentionally hurt her. If anything, Hope has a bigger case against Rafe for allowing her messed-up kid to go along with the cover-up.
I'm so here for Steve getting a monocle. However, I'm not okay with Steve having a brain tumor or whatever else is happening. I need the Patchman to be okay, okay? I need him to suck up his pride and let Kayla order some tests so that he can stay around and keep having fun lunches with Anna and Roman. Please and thank you.
J.J. resigned from the force, which made total sense. It's probably best for his mental health recovery as well if he's not in a position to have to use his gun again while he's still in treatment for his last experience. Plus, I never really liked J.J. as a cop. I'm excited to see what he does next too!
Vivian, Kate and Andre are wretchedly fantastic together. Part of the reason I'm even humoring a lot of Stefan's nonsense is because it is a catalyst to get these three vets in a storyline together. Any one of the three of them could turn on the others. Heck, any two of the three of them could turn on the third. Anything goes here. And I hope it does!
I'm glad they replayed the scene at the top of this week because it gives me clearance to talk about it. Stop me if you've heard this one before. A woman goes to a room to meet with a man to get a job. She knocks, announces herself by name, and the man tells her to open the door. He's standing there naked.
Yeah...this scene was inappropriate and offensive. Stefan's obnoxious resistance to putting on a shirt and jeans didn't make him any more endearing. Granted, these scenes were taped 5 months ago and written well before that. And since then, the Weinstein scandal has thankfully made this troupe infamous for being the revolting move that it is. But, I have to wonder if given the chance, Ron wouldn't like to have this one back. He treated Theo's shooting with enough care to at least give representation to the sensitive social issues surrounding it.
But here, where Stefan literally went on in that scene to make Abigail grovel for her job back, it was all masked as some sort of seduction. The problem is, the difference between seduction and harassment is consent. Abigail gave no consent for Stefan to expose himself to her. What's worse, since he was a man in power who determined her employment, she had to brush it aside and show him the respect he didn't deserve to get not only her job back, but Chad's as well. I get that this is a normal soap move. But times change. Normal doesn't -- and shouldn't -- stay "normal" forever.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Kate: "To have a real marriage, you have to have absolute trust in a partner. At least that's what I've heard."
Exchange of the Week:
Andre: "We'll treat you like family!"
Gabi: "I'm not sure that's a selling point, considering your history."
I love the picture of Chad and Abigail on the DiMera mantle. It's a candid shot of Billy and Marci, not a head shot of the actors. The Kiriakis mansion could take a hint.
Awww! I forgot about Jason! How's he doing? I miss that guy!
Gabi's coat was super fun!
I would also totally wear Viv's brown ensemble.
Noah's grandmothers are Kate and Anna, which might make him the luckiest/unluckiest kid ever.
Victor's speech about not letting a break up ruin everything about your life should basically be played on repeat for everyone in the world.
Hmm...if Americans in boarding school develop accents, shouldn't J.J. have an accent too, Abs?
Hearing Victor say "players get played" was everything.
Why was Abigail the only one wearing a name badge? Kate, Chad, Stefan, Gabi, Andre, and Vivian all walked around without one on.
I'm floored with how fast Sonny can pack a suitcase of a European trip. That was impressive.
Confession: I had to remind myself Eve and Chloe were friends. But I'm glad they are!
I want a Viv and John scene.
I liked Chad going to John for help. More scenes with these two, please!
At least they spiced up the offices at DiMera! Gabi's office/workroom is quite delightful!
Kayla was wonderful to Lani. No shock, because Kayla is wonderful all around. Can we just get her a booth in the town square to hand out pep talks to people?
It's sad that Lani still has to pick between a career and family. Her statement that she's been studying for the sergeant exam and can't have a baby right now rang unfortunately true. Until family leave for both men and women is given more than just lip service, the norm will be that businesses see kids as a liability to their bottom line. All women know this.
I actually like JJ and Eli as friends. That was fun while it lasted.
Tony's urn looks a lot like a martini shaker. That is not a criticism.
What are your thoughts on Days of our Lives? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.