It was a short week last week, with only three episodes. But, since those three days happened to fall during Sweeps month, each episode pretty much counted for a week and a half's worth of episodes. Not to be outdone by the Halloween drama of the Mama Maggie reveal, Thanksgiving stepped up its game with an Ejami encounter for the ages, a great twist for Abigail, and a breakout performance by a young chap that I'm nominating for MVP. Let's dish about it all!
SAMI and E.J.
Does it come as a shock to anyone that Sami picks inappropriate times to have sex? Anyone? Good, didn't think so. Moving on.
I actually think that Sami had the right idea about going to see E.J. when Johnny was missing. E.J. was behind the Sydnapping and I was waiting for Sami to confront him about it. Plus, I can see how wanting to be around the father of your child would make you feel closer to said child. And, I can even see how it would be soothing to be around someone who isn't telling you that everything is going to be okay. Sometimes you just want to yell it out. But, I did not expect them to end up in bed...err...on the accent table and then the couch.
Can we talk about the artistry in this scene for a minute? I thought the way that it was shot was tremendous. And, I was shocked to see that James Scott and Alison Sweeney could turn their obvious chemistry into something so angry and revolting. They got ugly with their scene, in the best sense of the word "ugly." It was raw, heartbreaking, and from the looks on Sami and E.J.'s faces when it stopped, terribly haunting.
Truth be told, I loved this plot point. Nothing really ended up happening to Johnny, yet those few hours when he was missing set up so many great storylines. Rafe and Nicole are sure to find out, and I only think one of them will forgive their partner. Sami somehow thinks that she and E.J. can fix the situation, which can only mean that Sami has finally finished that time machine she's been working on during all those years of not having a job. And then there's young William.
I knew that all of the Rafe praising was going to come back to haunt Will, but I had no idea that the writers were going to make it crash and burn around Will like they did by having him walk in on Sami and E.J. having grief sex.
I felt that the writers were trying to draw a parallel to when Sami walked in on John and Marlena. It's a valiant effort, and I give them an "A" for effort. But Sami is hardly Marlena, and, more importantly, Will knows that. Will has seen Sami go through tons of men. Sami only saw Marlena with Roman. Will has been able to make a makeshift family out of all of his stepparents (including Nicole, Carrie, and Chloe on the Lucas side of things). Sami never adjusted to her parents being divorced until she was in her 30s. I feel the need to mention these facts because ever since the writers tarnished Alice's legacy, I just don't trust them with another nugget of DAYS history.
However, I trust Chandler Massey completely. I'm really trying to come up with enough superlatives to describe him. To do so, I might need to learn a second language, just so my word bank can grow. I loved watching Will rightly accuse Rafe of making excuses for Sami. I cheered when Will passive-aggressively confronted Sami about what he saw. Rather than read her the riot act for bumping uglies with E.J., Will went with the "where were you when your family needed you?" route and got Sami to actually admit that she was wrong. Will knows that his family is going to fall apart one way or another as soon as Rafe finds out what Sami did, and he didn't know whether to scream, cry, or a bit of both. Not many actors outside of Jonathan Jackson can do weepy anger well. But so far, Chandler is managing it beautifully.
MADISON, NICOLE, and BRADY
I learned three things last week from this trio. One, Nicole and Brady still have oodles of chemistry. Their banter was flawless, and for a few seconds I saw the Brady that I like, rather than the glorified frat boy that he is with Madison.
Second, Nicole and Madison have chemistry! I could not believe that the writers are letting these two be friends, but I can't applaud and encourage that decision enough. If Jennifer could be friends with both Carly and Hope, there's no reason that Madison can't be buds with Sami and Nicole!
Finally, Madison needs to have a crack. Sarah Brown is great at playing those women who just barely hold it together, thanks solely to a huge pair of lady nads. Right now, Madison doesn't seem to have enough edge for me. When you go out and get a powerhouse like Ms. Brown to play a role, you throw everything you can at her. Otherwise, you end up with a Tamara Braun/Taylor situation, and we all know how that turned out.
JENNIFER and JACK
Hot dog! Jack did it! He asked for help! Hurrah! And just to make it all the more perfect, Jennifer pointed out that Jack needs to get better for himself, not for anyone else. I am one happy scooper, especially if this means we can get past this horrific situation where viewers are supposed to enjoy Jennifer being the top prize in the, "Who's Trauma is Better?" game. That's not fair to anyone.
I think Jack is on the right track by taking the job as a journalism professor at Salem U. It shows that he's serious about changing, and that is the critical step in any kind of recovery. It also means that Jack will stay put, at least for 15-week semesters at a time. And it will give Jennifer a little bit of space to work out her own abandonment issues.
On a side note, it dawned on me last week that it has to be torture for Jack and Jennifer fans to watch Jennifer keep Jack at arm's length while Marlena falls over herself, deserting her own children, to support John through his trials. I don't know what Jack and Jen did to draw the short straw in the supercouple treatment, but the writers are certainly not treating all of the vets equally. I don't blame fans for being miffed about that.
ABIGAIL and AUSTIN
They bumped into each other and started catching up. It was a nice touch to show that they hadn't talked in a while, which was a good way to explain why Austin didn't ask Jennifer for a place to stay. Then, something funny happened. Little Miss Abigail seemed to be smitten with another tall, dark, handsome fella. I guess Austin did always have a knack for attracting the young ladies. Sami was all of 18 or so when she fell for him. And Kelly Kapowski was only 16! (Bonus points if you got that reference.)
I know this storyline is not age appropriate or comfortable, but rarely do I care about being appropriate or comfortable. You should see my shoe collection. I love this storyline, and I can't wait to see where it goes.
Now, before you throw things at me, I will say that I see nothing in the way of romantic chemistry between Abigail and Austin. But my faith in Kate Mansi's acting chops has tripled in the last few months, and I am looking forward to seeing her play this storyline. We've all had crushes on people that we weren't ready to admit were out of our league for one reason or another. Yet, it's an important life lesson to learn, and I can't wait to see what Kate does with the role.
Plus, Abigail has issues right now. Some could argue that they stem from her father. I would be one of those people. It makes sense for her to go looking for the approval of an authority-type figure. Say, a professor at Salem U! Yup, Austin is now Professor Reed, Business School -- Forensic Accounting Division. Who wants to bet that Abigail and Chad both end up in his class?
That would be great by me because I'm convinced that Chad and Abigail need to take a break. I don't know if I want him with Melanie or not, but I do know that Chabigail has stalled, and I'm ready for the next chapter.
HOPE and STEFANO
Hope went to visit Stefano and get info out of him, because Stefano is always forthcoming with information. He said that the clock was a corporate gift that his company must have sent out years ago. He also said that there was a price everyone paid to be human, which made me mad all over again, and I'd just reiterate what I already said in my blog about the whole "Alice had a dirty past" malarkey here.
But the big, epic fail about the whole scene was that the mystery baby's picture was sitting in plain sight, in a frame, on the DiMera bookshelf. I'm pretty sure that's what those in the "biz" call a clue! Hope "Super Detective" Brady sure didn't seem to pick up on it! Then again, if I had deep fried turkey waiting for me at home, I'd be a little preoccupied too.
JOHN and MARLENA
They prepared for John's sentencing, which gave Marlena ample opportunities to bat her eyes and gasp. Then, Carrie gave her argument at John's sentencing that if John got a shorter sentence, he could go back to work sooner and repay all of the money that was missing. I know this logic was applicable for me when I backed my dad's truck into the side of the house, but I'm not so sure it applies in cases of corporate embezzlement. I'm sure my dad was not at John's sentencing saying, "You're going to have to work to pay me back for the damage that you've caused."
Anyway, if there was any doubt, we got solid confirmation that Carrie is the worst lawyer in Salem as John was sentenced to double the sentence recommended by the prosecution -- 50 years. On the bright side, maybe Nick Fallon will be John's cellmate, as that dude is serving the longest 18-month sentence ever.
There really wasn't any reason for Jack to be such a butthead to Chad. I'll say it for the bazillionith time, as long as Lexie is around (or, in this case, in the same damn room) this whole "all DiMeras are jerks" argument needs to stop.
Sami couldn't conceal her guilt around Rafe. She went into rounds of "I don't deserve you" and when Rafe wasn't in the room any more to hear her, she broke a mirror. If that causes seven years of bad luck, it would actually be an improvement for Sami. The chick hasn't had it easy in, well, ever, so to know that she only has seven years left would be a deal that I'd advise her to take.
Maggie told Daniel and Melanie that they should be tested for MG, as it can be genetic. I'm hoping that's just a helpful PSA and not foreshadowing for Daniel. As much grief as I give him for being a "Super Doc," I have gotten used to seeing him in those scrubs, and I don't want that to go away.
Rafe admitted that it was a stupid idea to take the kids to the pub. Don't get me wrong; it's not Rafe's fault, and I'm glad Brady pointed that out. But, Rafe did need to realize that he didn't do the smartest thing by guilting Sami into doing something that she didn't feel 110% comfortable with when it came to her children. I was glad to see it.
This is the second holiday in a row that Salem celebrated! (*Does happy dance!*) Abe, Lexie, Jennifer, Jack, Austin, Abigail, Jennifer, and Chad all got together to fill food boxes at the pub. And, Daniel, Melanie, Maggie, and Victor got together to prep dinner at Maggie's house! Maggie taught Melanie how to make Alice's secret piecrust. Daniel thanked Maggie for making Lillian's famous cranberry sauce. And Victor Kiriakis upgraded from breaking bread to peeling potatoes! Of course, he did it in a full suit and tie. I'd expect nothing less.
I know there'll be a big Christmas episode, and we're usually pretty good with New Year's Eve. But, please, please, please continue this trend, writers! I
started a rumor heard that Chez Rouge has a great Valentine's Day special -- dinner and dancing! Also, I know that the Brady Pub will host a heck of a St. Patrick's Day celebration. Plus, don't forget the Super Bowl (airing on NBC) party that Bo and Hope are hosting -- beer and hot wings for everyone!
Did Nicole really need to drop the "I love you" on E.J. so soon? No. The answer is no. I was really enjoying watching Nicole make her own decisions when it came to Elvis, and then she had to go and reference herself as "his wife." And I really don't think she knows E.J. as well as she thinks she does if she honestly believes that there can be anything resembling a clean slate with the man. We've seen what happens when Nicole blindly trusts E.J. I think we can all agree that this situation seems Taylor made for a repeat outcome.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
The following exchange was classic Jack and Jennifer, equal parts charm and humor:
Jack: "If I was Miles Standish and you were Prudence Goodwater and our daughter was named Virtue, I'd make sure that she stays away from Hormonal Troublemaker"
Jennifer: "Hormono who?"
Jack: "Hormonal Troublemaker of the Troublemaker clan, they came over on the Mayflower with the rest of the Puritans. You know what I mean."
I loved that Johnny was drinking milk out of the Salem standard-issued gold-rimmed glassware.
Quotes from my husband:
"I think she needs a bigger dress. She seems to be spilling over the top" -- about Madison
"She's married to Ralphie, right?" -- about Sami and Rafe. I guess we've been watching too much A Christmas Story at my house this past weekend.
Nicole's high heel purple boots were fierce!
Seeing Brady with Johnny made me really want Brady to have a kid. Eric Martsolf was adorable.
Do we really lose 25% of our heat through our heads?
John finally did an exercise that I recognized! Sit-ups!
Hey Austin and Abigail, neither of you looked very good in that hat.
Johnny was missing for hours! Shouldn't they offer him more than just a cookie? The poor kid must have been starving!
Please tell me that DiMera staff will be back at work soon because that sofa needs a steam cleaning.
That's all for this shortened week of DAYS. I'll be back next week to recap the happenings of Salem while Tony is out finishing up his holiday shopping. The Horton Square is supposed to have 75% off. After that, Tony and I will be kicking off the fifth annual Golden Donuts and Alex North Memorial Awards for the best and worst in Salem for 2011 with a look back at the 2010 picks! Stay tuned to see who will be best dressed, has the worst love life, and will be voted most likely to succeed.
Have any nominations for this year's awards? Want to talk about this past week in Salem? I'd love to hear what you think so click here to share your thoughts with me!