Gone. Simply gone. Salem has lost a beautiful citizen. And I'm a little bit blue, DAYS fans. Stefano sent hunky hired-thug Marco into exile for accidentally shooting our beloved Big Red. Whereas he should pay dearly for hurting Maggie, I'm also selfish enough to be a little bummed that I won't get an occasional Steve Bruns fix. *sigh*
But the drums of war marched on, and many Salemites were left wondering, "What would Maggie do?" Nearly everyone tried to talk each other off the ledge of vengeance and restore peace to our little fictional hamlet. Plus, Carly and Quinn? What's up with that!? Let's discuss!
MAGGIE and COMPANY
Poor Big Red! Seeing her shot was one thing, but hearing her whimper simply tugged at my heartstrings. I don't like anyone messing with Aunt Mags. But as sad as it was, it turned out to be great drama for a random mid-summer week in Salem.
As it stood on Friday, Maggie was in a medically induced coma due to her gunshot wound. Dr. Dan decided that was the best way to keep her myasthenia gravis from resurfacing while she healed. Snaps to the writers for remembering her disease! Little touches like that are always welcomed.
However, while Maggie was down and out, nearly all of her loved ones tried to channel their inner Big Red and talk sense into each other. They know Maggie wouldn't want revenge. She would want peace. But I don't think Brady got the memo as he ordered Demetri to "Go!" which I have a feeling won't bode well for Chad.
All and all, this was good, standard soap life-and-death drama! There wasn't a lot of movement, but the acting was amazing. I also loved that it brought together so many cast members, and I especially enjoyed seeing the Horton gals support each other (and Melanie).
However, I will cry foul as I'm not really sure Hope and Jen are Maggie's only next of kin. I get that Melissa and Nathan are in Japan (um, okay), but what about Sarah Horton? You know, Maggie's other daughter. Hmm, I think some writer must have taken a "Child Erase Pill" by mistake. Those little pills are typically reserved for when Kate lists her children because they induce maddening effects on fans who have a little thing I like to call a memory.
That entire "[this storyline] brought together so many cast members" praise mentioned in the last section certainly rang true for Team Kiriakis. Of course Victor was front and center, but everyone else showed up, from Bo to Justin to Sonny and Adrienne. I'm a sucker for all of those characters, so I enjoyed the action.
The big shocker was that Victor actually agreed to play nice. Well, he made that decision thanks to Bo and Justin's coaxing. I think Maggie will be proud of him, but I'm not sure if she -- or Victor -- will feel the same way about Brady.
Now, I've been a supporter of Brady's badass attitude. His edginess trumps his sing-along days with Chloe by leaps and bounds. I even get his need for revenge. But -- big but -- Brady's going from determined to demented, and I'm not sure if that's a good look for him. Like the writers and the scarf flashback, it's too much, way too much. And let's face it, when Victor, Nicole, and E.J. think it's time to back off, it's time to back off there, Brady-Man.
On the flipside, anything that brings Brady and Nicole closer is not a bad thing in my book. I'm enjoying that they're tiptoeing around their feelings. And I also applaud the writers for the slow burn on this one. Brady's still hurting from Nicole's choices, and an instant reconciliation wouldn't feel right. I just hope the writers do the right thing and give Brady and Nicole fans some eventual relief once the dust settles. Cue fingers crossing, and go!
I'm not sure why, but when E.J. asked Nicole for help, I laughed. Actually, I pictured E.J. with a Prince Leia-esque cinnamon bun hairstyle, chanting, "This is our most desperate hour. Help me,
Obi-Wan Kenobi Nicole Walker. You're my only hope." Sorry, I should have prefaced that thought with "Nerd Alert: Proceed with Caution." Anyway!
Nicole being in the place to restore peace to the galaxy was a great twist. And it makes sense. She's both accepted and an outcast in each camp. At this point, her cards are on the table. Everyone knows where she stands, who she loves, and who she'll ultimately side with, and that makes it easy for them to use her as an ambassador.
Plus, with Maggie already shot, it would be redundant for Nicole to enter into the crosshairs, so I think she's safe to play matchmaker. Hmm, Nicole Walker helping without her own agenda. Who would have thunk it?
If it wasn't for my love of Tamara Braun, I would have written Taylor off a long time ago. Taylor is one of few characters who can go from asinine to semi-awesome in one beat. She can be infuriating by believing in E.J. -- to the point where even Honest Abe Carver wanted to shake her -- and then go to interesting by trying to help end the war. Had the writers crafted her return a little smarter, I think Taylor could have been full-fledged awesome instead of an occasional semi-awesome. But that's water under the bridge at this point.
Now, question time! Brady said Taylor had chosen Team Kiriakis when she decided to work for Titan. Ergo, she's in harm's way now. Okay, but didn't she start working for Titan before the war even started? And wasn't E.J. already in love with her by then? Therefore, wouldn't she be in the same place she was before the war even started? Hmm, I might need someone to explain that one to me.
There was a lot of inner conflict within Camp DiMera. Stefano yelled at E.J. E.J. yelled at Stefano. Lexie yelled at Stefano. Well, pretty much everyone yelled at Stefano at one point or another. When the dust settled a bit, it came down to E.J.'s continuing conflict, Stefano's continuing need for revenge, and Chad's continuing confusion about everything. And you know what? I like this. The acting was superb by all involved, and where the characters were emotionally made sense. I especially liked that E.J. and Chad had each other's backs. Yep, I'm in. More, please!
SAMI and RAFE
Whereas I respect the fact that a Rafe and Sami baby would be a treat for Safe fans, as Belle was for John and Marlena fans, the thought gives me the shivers, especially since it comes with a built-in "Who's the daddy?" storyline. You see, Sami had sex with both Rafe and Fafe lately. I'm sure the writers won't let that trump card go and simply let Rafe and Sami spawn. To make matters worse, Stefano made sure Rafe and Fafe had matching blood types and such. So, really, will there ever be an accurate DNA test result? I think the writers would be better off letting this one go for now and revisit the idea far, far...far...down the road.
RAFE, WILL, and GABI
Before I get into Will and Gabi, I first have to touch on Rafe and Will. I have no problem with Rafe looking after his sister's virtue. That's understandable, especially since he's lost one sister. I can see where he'd be overprotective.
But I saw red when Rafe told Will he doesn't know what love is. Really, Rafe!? Aside from the fact that Rafe knows Will enough to know that he's a
boring good kid, that comment coming from a man who left "the love of his life" time after time without explanation while he investigated crimes was downright jerky. Granted, those investigations were for Sami's benefit, but it would have kept her a little warmer at night if she knew why he kept leaving her instead of being left to wonder what she did wrong. Yep, sure, Rafe is an expert in all things love...and Nicole is the poster girl for sobriety.
With that rant out of the way, Will and Gabi made love for the first time. I think the writers wanted sweet and cute, but it was clunky, it was awkward, and it was, well, really awkward. He even told her he would never hurt her. Survey says: This relationship's going down fast. Oh, oh! And Will even "went there" and asked her about his performance. Excuse me for a moment while I go to my happy place.
Moral of the story, I'm more emotionally invested in my morning iced mocha than I am in these two. They're just kind of boring. The only good thing I can say is that they used a condom, so there's a reduced risk of them having a little bundle of boredom.
JENNIFER and DR. DAN
I know there are a whole slew of Jack and Jennifer fans out there chomping at the bit for his return to sweep Jennifer off her feet yet again. I even realize NBC is chomping at the bit to make that happen with all their snazzy little mid-commercial break flashbacks. But I'm happy Dr. Dan and Jennifer reconciled, for however long it will last.
Granted, few actors can match Matt Ashford and Melissa Reeves's zany brand of chemistry, but I think Melissa and Shawn have their own chemistry that is fun to watch, too. To me, Dr. Dan and Jennifer seem more balanced than Jack and Jennifer were the majority of the time. Unless Jack and Jen were working a story, it seemed like Jen was always suffering due to Jack's antics. With Dr. Dan, she seems to flourish as an equal partner in the relationship. I'm looking forward to Ashford's return, but I'm not entirely sure if I'm looking forward to what it does to Jennifer and Dr. Dan's relationship.
Girlfriend is about as tortured as an Alanis Morissette song. Due to her little pill addiction, Carly doesn't know what is up and what is down. However, she did discover that everyone knows about her addiction. And by everyone, I mean everyone -- her family, friends, coworkers, on-line gossip readers, and even the greater Salem area, due to Mel's teary-eyed plea for her mother's safe return. Dear Carly, you can bring in the wash because your dirty laundry has been aired for the world to see.
Hmm, I'm intrigued by Quinn. He's definitely one of my favorite new characters this year. Just when you think he'll zig, he zags. Case in point, he seems to have genuine feelings for Carly. Or does he? Either he's really sinister, or he really does care. Methinks it's the latter, and methinks he's trying to figure out those feelings while keeping both Mommy Viv and Carly at arm's length until he decides what to do with them. I like this. It's making things more interesting than simply watching him bully the Chlomeister, which is growing more tired by the second.
As much as Taylor annoys me, I love it when the Walker sisters storm into a room. They ooze a "don't mess with us" charm that I like. But I think that has to do with the combined awesomeness of Ari Zucker and Tamara Braun.
So, Sonny has started his job with D.A. Woods. Justin and Adrienne are worried, but Sonny assured them he knows what he's getting into. And I believe him. I also believe that he needs to start hanging with Johnny if he wants an intelligent conversation, as they seem to be the smartest two people in town these days.
Will and Gabi making love was hot! Okay, totally JK-ing on that one. They were kind of icky. The real "Hot" was Lexie's plea to Stefano to end the war. Many Salemites made strong cases, but Lexie drove the point home, especially when she said, "Father, all of your children are either miserable or dead." More so, Renée Jones did an amazing job with the material! After she was done, I believed in giving peace a chance.
Wow! Give Ro-Ro a little power and he becomes a douchebag. I get that the new commissioner is trying to clean up messes, but I'm still trying to figure out how Bo and Hope investigating Maggie's shooting is a conflict of interest, but Rafe investigating it is not. I think even Rafe was surprised with Roman's reasoning. I know Salem has a close-knit six degrees of separation, but Rafe, Stefano, and E.J. have a direct line to one another. Not to mention, Rafe has worked with Victor before to bring down the DiMeras! I think Roman needs to do a little homework before assigning cases next time, or before he scolds Bo and Hope like they're children.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Johnny (upon hearing Rafe and Sami talking about Stefano and E.J.): [unsurprised] "What did they do now, Rafe?"
EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK:
Kate: "There are some unfortunate things being said about Chad's father."
Abigail: "Isn't that what happens when you do unfortunate things?"
Is anyone starting to sense that Taylor is to Nicole as Carrie was to Sami? I.e., one saintly sister and one schemer sister who can't catch a break.
Chad is starting to wear black button downs. Could he be turning to the dark side, or is he finally taking Stefano's fashion advice? Hmm!
Speaking of fashion and the dark side, Kate has a bright blue streak in her hair and lime fingernails, and wore a shirt with blotches of bright magenta under a vest. Methinks girlfriend got into a catfight with the '80s and ended up covered in nostalgia.
If you've seen Carly don't forget to call 1-800-555-0198. There're free placebos for the first 100 callers!
Jay Ken-Doll Johnson is my first casting choice if Philip returns, but Jackson Davis (Phelps, the drug dealer), would have been an interesting recast if Johnson wasn't available. Anyone agree?
I couldn't help but chuckle at Rafe's "Seriously!?" remark when Will's condom fell out.
So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of August 15th. Laurisa will be back next week to referee the Kiriakis/DiMera family feud and help Carly stay clean. She's very Judge Judy meets Nancy Regan like that.
In the meantime, be sure to listen (or re-listen) to Soap Central Live's Days-a-palooza! That's right, it was an hour-long DAYS fest with Kristian Alfonso, Peter Reckell, Melissa Reeves, Kate Mansi, and Freddie Smith, as well as Patrick Muldoon, who's returning as Austin in September, and DAYS's newcomer Sarah Brown, who will be premiering as Madison James this fall! Yep, it was good. Really good. So, click here to listen to all the fun! And, "That's a fact!"
As always, thanks for reading!