Meanwhile, on screen, Sweeps started (literally) with a bang. There were a few non-bomb dealings that happened, but everything pretty much revolved around the safe house shenanigans. So far, I'm a big fan because it involved a sweeping majority of the cast. Whether they were in the explosion, grieving at the pub, or worrying about Stefano, virtually everyone was in on the action. Ian may be the only character not affected by the storyline, but that's probably a result of him not having any friends, which I'm sure he could rectify if he was about 90 percent less creepy.
SAFE HOUSE PART 1
Full disclosure -- I was looking forward to the fake death storyline right away. As soon as they emerged from the woods, I got a little giddy! This bunch might be the dream crime-fighting team this side of Andy and Barney.
We've got two ISA agents and a detective who are no strangers to creative interpretation of the law, when necessary. We've got another detective who isn't afraid to tell all of those cowboys to chillax on the testosterone and start thinking a bit smarter. There's a defense attorney (I know! I forgot Carrie was a lawyer too!) to help build a case. And, Marlena fills the role of criminal profiler/shrink who can offer that ever-so-interesting insight into a sociopath's mind. For as many problems as I have with these six characters in their personal lives, they're all at the top of their profession, and I'm looking forward to seeing them work together.
Even though I knew everyone was still alive, a few of the speakers got to me.
I'm a sucker for the Bobbsey Twin friendship between Jennifer and Hope. So when Jen confessed to not being strong enough to go on without Hope, I got a lump in my throat. That lump turn into full tears when Austin dropped right out of a romantic comedy and declared that he kept falling in love with Carrie over and over again throughout her life. Add in the fact that Austin mentioned Chelsea and Victor mentioned Shawn, and I'd say that this episode was very well done.
But then, Roman showed up and ordered everyone to get into the back of a beer truck...blindfolded. I kid you not. That happened. I'm certain that scene wasn't supposed to play out as comically as it did, but come on. He put them in the back of a beer truck, blindfolded! I half expected Roman to don a fake mustache and trucker hat while Burt Reynolds distracted the DiMera goons in his sports car.
SAFE HOUSE PART 2
Safe House: The Dance Remix appears to be a lot cooler than the original version. It's got a rad lavender color scheme and fancy windows with that diamond pattern -- classic castle fare, and I totally dig it. It's also much roomier, which is good because Sami and her big fat mouth had to fit in there at the same time.
That brings me to the elephant's outburst in the room -- Sami. I swear, that girl can't help but step in it. Make no mistake: Sami is the absolute last person in this history of mankind who should berate anyone for lying. And her trademark, rapid-fire hissy fit was just a little too predictable in this situation. It came across more juvenile than genuine.
However, that isn't to say that what Sami spouted off wasn't right on. If those words came out of Maggie's mouth (and, minus the Carrie/Rafe dig, they absolutely could have) people would be lining up behind her. In fact, there were pages of comments on the message boards criticizing the idea to lie. In this case, it stinks that the messenger is going to invalidate the whole message, but that's what's happening here. So, we'll have to focus on better things. Luckily, there's enough in this storyline to spare.
CARRIE and RAFE
Carrie and Rafe decided that they should go steady. But, they're going to wait to make it Facebook official until after they're done playing house. And, Marlena doesn't disapprove! I see nothing that can go wrong here! Sure, Carrie is stringing Austin along like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. But, it is pretty classic Carrie so I can't say that I'm surprised.
And despite that heavy stank of superiority that radiates from Carrie and Rafe, I can't help but like these two together. Carrie is the woman that Rafe always wanted Sami to be. And, Rafe is the man that Carrie likes right now. Truth be told, I can't remember Carrie having a love interest who hasn't tripped over himself to carry her train. But, there's something not-quite-so-cuddly about Rafe that could do Carrie some good.
By the way, Care Bear, I don't think it's going to blindside Austin when you tell him that you're moving on with Rafe. You kissed Rafe and admitted to having feelings for him. Austin may be dense, but I'm pretty sure that he watched the show. He's seen this coming.
I don't think that Stefano would ever kill Marlena and company. It's not because I think he's a swell guy. It's because Stefano takes way too much pleasure in torturing those who "wronged" him. I mean, the guy put Tony in a 20-year time-out on a secluded island. Besides, there's an obvious scapegoat here.
Agent Harmon confused "take care of them" with "kill them." It's an easy mistake, but I doubt that will save Harmon. The ISA wants to wring his neck. And, he's the cornerstone in any case against Stefano, which can't bode well for his life expectancy.
I can't quite decide if E.J. is serious about punishing Stefano or not. He certainly seemed to mean business in his mayoral speech. And, E.J. didn't take nicely to Stefano's declaration that only blood means family. And, he's not the only one.
So, E.J.'s an outsider. Blah, blah, blah, whatever. Look, I'm all for using this as a tool to give E.J. an excuse to explore his good side for a while. But at the end of the day, E.J. needs to be a DiMera. Heck at this point, I'd believe that he was Tony's son with one of those island gals. (Yes, I realize that still wouldn't make him a DiMera, but he'd be closer.)
I also have little desire to see Billie and E.J. work together because I don't know why E.J. needs her. E.J. is the mayor of Salem. Stefano is on the hook for six murders. If there was ever a time for E.J. to step out of the way and let things take care of themselves, now is the time. Besides, E.J. has much bigger things to worry about right now.
The Perault family gathered to hear Lexie's announcement that she had decided to forgo any kind of treatment and get a start on her bucket list. I appreciate that the writers had to hurry this one along, but I would have liked to see those conversations between Abe and Lexie. A doctor in the whole "quality of life" storyline would be interesting.
As a consolation prize, I want to see Lexie get to work on that bucket list. The alternative is just too, too sad to take in. James Reynolds and Renee Jones were spectacularly heartbreaking together. So, let's get Lexie up in that skydiving plane so that it can "crash" on one of Stefano's mysterious islands stocked with magic doctors that can cure anyone. Seriously. Let's do this.
As a side note, I have to give Schuyler Yancey a lot of credit. He's been on the show for such a short period of time that I had to look up his name to put it in this column. Yet, he's avoiding the over-the-top acting potholes and working some believable sibling chemistry with Renee Jones.
KATE and IAN
Ian sets up a private party, just like the kiss-off dinner that Stefano threw for her. Let me just say, I've never been broken up with over duck confit. Onion rings, yes. But not duck confit. I must be doing something wrong.
Anyway, Kate continues to praise Ian when it hits me. When did Kate become such an idiot? Kate (and Madison, for that matter) stupidly dubbed Sami as the bad guy in this situation, when really, Ian has been pulling all of the strings. Either Kate has really lost her touch, or she fell that much in love with Stefano that she can't see straight right now. I'm hoping for the latter.
I love Nicole. I really do. But she's losing it a bit. She needs to stop all of the tears over Rafe "Good Guy" Hernandez not returning her feelings, especially since gold-standard good guys like Brady Black and Eric Brady were all about her.
Also, seeing her worry about Stefano being a murderer is a little funny, since Nicole is one comatose Jan away from a murder conviction herself. Bottom line, Nicole is usually much more aggressive with her goals. Weepy Nicole does not work for me.
It's no coincidence that Salem's MVP is getting himself tied up in many storylines. I couldn't be happier. Chandler Massey oozes excellence.
Lucas brought Will to Sami's apartment, where Will demanded an apology from Sami for generally sucking at life. She served up a good one, naturally, because apologizing is pretty much what Sami does. I'm utterly unimpressed that Will thought making Sami grovel was some sort of humbling challenge. That's like marching up to Bobby Flay and demanding that he grill a burger for you.
I'm also scanning my brain for any memory of Will doing anything for Stefano. Sure, Will interned at DiMera Enterprises a few summers back and seemed to get along with the Phoenix. But, I don't remember them being partners in any sort of scheme that would be blackmail-worthy.
Not like, say, E.J. blackmailing Will with an attempted murder charge. Yup, Sami found out about that little secret and handled it surprisingly un-Sami-like. She didn't make it about her. There were no grand declarations about how that action caused her to go without Lucas and Will for months. Instead, she just flipped out about E.J. using Will. I know, I was as shocked as you were! Here's hoping we get more E.J., Sami, and Will scenes, because I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
The only things in my notes about Brady and Madison were: "John is the best man -- aww!" and "Cute necklace." I consider that a vast improvement over my usually insult-laced notes about this couple.
If Chad is going to work his way back into the DiMera pool, he might want to start off with something a little less risky than defending Stefano to Victor. How about taking Theo to the park or working out with E.J.? Those things sound much safer.
I'm more than a little disappointed that Billie didn't encourage her brother to scrape together some dignity when she heard that Carrie confessed to having feelings for another man. But, then again, Billie is used to being second -- or sometimes third -- on a guy's list, so maybe she just thought it was normal.
In related news, Daniel and Billie really need to stop going out for coffee.
Sami and E.J. had yet another conversation about what a bogus idea it would be for them to get together. Okay, sure. Keep talking about it all the time, guys. We believe you.
Patrick Muldoon blew me away last week. Austin had to feel grief, betrayal, and regret all at the same time. Patrick did an amazing job of lashing out in all three emotions. Austin may not always get it, but Patrick clearly knows what he's doing.
Really? There was a mention of a food fight, and we didn't get to see it? Boo.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
E.J.: "I think it's about time that you gave your relationship with your mother a fresh start, especially since your grandmother devoted her life to helping people heal."
Sami: "Um, I think I'd like to try that, Will, if you would."
Will: "Yeah, I'll think about it"
E.J.: "Good, now I'll go see if I can solve the crisis between North and South Korea."
I'm pretty sure that Kate is still wearing her wedding ring. Either that or a small, glacier-covered island is growing on her finger.
Note to self: check every new house/hotel room for a trap door -- just in case.
Why does the fire chief look so familiar?
Hey Lucas, how'd it feel to hear Sami crying about her husband just a few hours after you guys slept together? And yes, she used the word "husband." There was no "ex."
I think it's odd that Daniel and Marlena haven't talked that much since she's been back. There was a time when she was shrinking his head.
Sami's bowling shirt or Austin's flannel -- which memorial attire was less appealing?
I know she was totally bonkers, but Crazy Abigail would have appreciated construction paper hearts. I'm just saying.
John and Hope shouldn't be so stressed about a divorce in Alamainia taking two weeks. Sami and Rafe have been getting a divorce for at least 35.5 months.
Abe and Lexie really should have helped Austin with his scrapbook. They got their book done in under 20 minutes.
It took way too long for Doug, Julie, Maggie, and Victor to show up at the memorial. The mention of Shawn and Belle helped, but did not make up for it entirely.
Speaking of Shawn and Belle, how exactly are they quietly contacting the whole family from a boat sailing around the world? That doesn't bode too well for callbacks and messages. Oh wait, messages in bottles, of course!
Drats! Brady is a Cubs fan. That diminishes his hotness just a bit for me.
E.J. tells the truth like other people lie -- no eye contact, low voice.
That's it for this week in Sweeps. Tony will be back next week to get all of you to sign his petition to bring Eileen Davidson over to DAYS. In the meantime, here're a few last questions to ponder. Is there any chance in the world that the Bradys can pull off this lie? (Because, you know, it worked sooo well when they tried to trick Andre into thinking that Stefano was dead.) Can you think of what Will would have done for Stefano? Is Brady still drugged? And, where the heck were Sonny, Justin, and Adrienne at the memorial? Click here to share your thoughts with me.
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