Scary stories to tell in the dark

For the Week of March 7, 2016
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DAYS Two Scoops: Scary stories to tell in the dark
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In Salem, it was a dark and stormy night. Everywhere there was a fright! Stefano and Ava paid a ghostly call while nearly everyone celebrated that the Phoenix was gone once and for all. But danger still abounds, you will see, because crazy Benny is loony bin free! Grab a safety blanket when you make your swoop to read this week's eerie DAYS Two Scoops!

"Honk! Honk!" says the party bus because no one in Salem died last week! Can you believe it? I'm a bit shocked to be confessing this, but I actually enjoyed that last week was rather dark and gothic. I mean, who doesn't sometimes love a story that begins on a "dark and stormy night..."?

More so, celebrating Stefano's life on said "dark and stormy night" seemed rather appropriate. The gothicness was brilliantly showcased while Salem said goodbye to that sinister son-of-a-Phoenix. Loved Stefano and Chad's scenes. Loved the scenes at the pub. Loved the flashbacks. Simply, loved it.

For starters, it was fantastic to see Joseph Mascolo back for one more hurrah. The last time we saw Stefano, he was getting riddled with bullets thanks to Fancy Face. That look of amusement he had while goading her, which turned into his contorted final breath, was definitely haunting. Like, each time that flashback plays, I get chills and still can't believe Hope killed Stefano, but I digress...

Stefano certainly didn't deserve a "happily ever after." In fact, he didn't get one, and we'll get to that in a few. I simply enjoyed that Joseph got a triumphant exit for his years of hard work and dedication to the role while Stefano paid for his sins. It was a win/win for sure. Well, maybe a win/lose, depending on how you look at it.

Ultimately, the bad guy didn't win. Stefano said to Chad, "Do you think I get away from everything?" Then he pretty much stated he's paying for his sins in the afterlife. Sounds about right! Yet Joseph got that one last scene showcasing his brilliance, and that was worth celebrating.

And speaking of celebrations, Caroline invited some of Stefano's frequent targets over for a toast (or two) to commemorate that the Phoenix has finally fallen. You know, this was about right, too. A tear-laden memorial wouldn't have worked for Stefano. The only sad people there would have been Chad and Theo, so drinking and roaming down the murkier side of Memory Lane was the best course of action, sans those moments where Victor made everything awkward. Like, really, Vic, stop calling Kate a whore, or at least hush up while she slings insults mocking your greatest humiliating regrets. But I digress...

Abe, Roman -- no, really! Abe and Roman were there -- So, Abe, Roman, John, Marlena, Victor, Kate, and Hope all joined Caroline to send off Steffie and talk about how great John and Marlena's love is. You know, because that's exactly what poor Roman wanted to hear, I'm sure. Again, I digress....

I enjoyed the memories and flashbacks of their battles with Stefano with the ultimate message being that everyone there survived Stefano's reign. They're all stronger now. And better chess players. It's sad that's been the most positive, hopeful message on DAYS lately.

I also loved seeing Lexie again, too. Via flashback, that is. Seriously, I miss that lovely lady. It was a nice touch to add Abe there as a representative for Lexie and Theo. Abe's always so stoic that it's easy to forget how much he's suffered at the hands of Stefano (and Andre).

And -- AND! -- Victor brought up Peter Blake! No joke. When listing the slain children of Stefano, Victor said "and Peter, wherever the hell he is." Um, that gives me hope that sooner (please be sooner) or later, Peter may spring back up in Salem. I know DAYS has its fill of baddies right now, but Peter has enough history in town that he'd be welcomed back. Perhaps he'd also end the run of the "Handsome guest bad guy with sudden ties to Salem that Kate is going to sleep with" rinse and repeat routine.

Side note: the drinking and commiserating was one of those times I wish that Wayne Northrop was still in the role of Roman. Wayne-Roman and Stefano had some amazing scenes. I would have loved to have seen those flashbacks.

A nice balance to the talk of Stefano's "astounding cruelty," as Abe wisely put it, was the scenes the day before between Chad and Stefano. To see Stefano's softer side one last time with Chad was nice, too. Usually those kinds of Soft Steffie moments were reserved for Lexie, his grandkids, or if one of his children were hurt or killed, and he grieved, you know, before promising revenge. And, lemmejustsay, Billy Flynn's performance in those scenes are what Emmys are made of.

So, all and all, Stefano (more so Joseph) got a grand sendoff! It was great to not only see Stefano's softer-ish side with Chad, but to witness him merrily conducting Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" as a great final bow for the Phoenix. After years of magnificent performances with that booming voice and mischievous twinkle in his eyes, Joseph deserved that high note, and Stefano deserved, as Victor said, "[to] roast in hell." Checkmate!

LOOSE ENDS:
To begin with, kudos to you James Lastovic! His portrayal of Joey has been epic. I'm thoroughly impressed. With that, let's talk this storyline...

One, I'm going to throw some shade at Jade. I'm not feeling the character just yet. She seems like the lovechild of Paige and Bev. The Bev part I can live with, the other scares me a bit. But she's a blip on this storyline because...

The show stealer is that Ava is dead, Joey killed her, Steve and Kayla are covering it up, and Ava is now haunting Joey. You got all of that? You should. It's the second, maybe third, time this year a beloved Salemite turned into a vigilante, killed someone, and is getting help from loved ones to cover it up.

It's not that Ava didn't deserve comeuppance, but death via self-defense may have worked a bit better in this case. Our "good guys" have solid reasons to hate their enemies -- for reals -- but one killed a guy in a wheelchair and the other killed a gal in a hospital bed. Whatever happened to a good old duel at sunset? Anyway...

While I enjoy "gray characters," Salem is missing "black and white" ones, too. Sometimes we need the badass, mustache-twirling villains because it makes it better when our white-hat-wearing heroes save the day. Now, said white-hat-wearing heroes just kind of kill people, too. It's confusing.

What I'm not confused about is the countless ways I adore Ciara, Claire, and Theo. Vivian Jovanni, Olivia Rose Keegan, and Kyler Pettis are constantly wowing me with their performances. Of course Jonathon McClendon is absolutely crushing it, too, though there's not a lot of adorableness about Chase right now.

The most enjoyable part of the Teen Posse is the chemistry between the actors. There's a genuine adoration and familiarity amongst them. And right now, they're sharing that with Ciara. Confession, the Ciara and Claire scene totally made me misty. Okay, there might have been rolling tears involved. Vivian and Olivia just nailed it -- Ciara is completely gutted, and the horror and compassion from Claire -- we got spot on performances by these two young talents. I'm such a member of their fan clubs!


In breaking news, Victor told the real-real story behind Helena's death. They argued, she fell from a cliff and pinged her head against a rock like that Propeller Guy in Titanic. Ouch. Afterwards, Victor threatened Deimos, Deimos threatened Victor. I think we've got this scene on lock, writers. Let's click and move along to the next slide.

Poor Philip. He really, really wants Belle to be his one and only main squeeze, ya'll. I'd rally harder for him to get his wish, but it's kind of contradictory to mine. That is, while I like Philip and I like Belle, I don't have time for Phelle Part...which part is this again? I know we've muddled through "Phelle 2," limped through "Phelle 3-D," and suffered through "Phelle: The Revenge." At this point, they're just turning into an old Al Bundy "when in high school" story. #letitgo

Also in the race for "Saddest Guy Crushing on a Girl" is Eric. I don't hate-hate the idea of Eric and Jennifer, let's say, exploring things, but it's about as pointless as turning on a flashlight on a sunny day. We all know Eric's facing up to 14 years (and Greg Vaughan is leaving), so I'm not sure what my care level is supposed to be other than watching Eric tell his mommy about Jennifer and hope to save her soul, since he couldn't save his own. I guess the redemption angle is what they're going for here then?

I really hope I'm never hanging out with Chad and J.J. while my fly is accidentally down. Otherwise, I'll be walking around all day, showing the entire town my Kristen DiMera Underoos because those two chuckleheads don't want to warn me. Tell me if my fly's down and, for God's sake, tell Abigail that her clinically crazy ex has escaped the loony bin. Like, tell her right away. She gave birth in a cabin during a blizzard while a madman wielded a gun. I think she can handle it.

Though, as long as nobody dies or a good guy doesn't kill him in cold blood, I am looking forward to seeing Benny again. He was a hoot, you know, in a psycho way. He has little in the way of redeeming qualities, but the man rivals Victor for one-liners.

This pains me a little, but I'm not sure I'm sold on NuDario just yet. Not "NuDario," per se, but just why Dario is back in general. He's kind of doing his own thing in L.A. with little to no communication with his family, and I doubt he would have contacted them had familiar faces not shown up on his doorstep barstool. It will actually be a bit rich when he inevitably lays into Eduardo for abandonment considering he hasn't called Raferoni or Yo-Gabba-Gabi in over a year, didn't tell anyone he's stateside, and basically refers to Arianna-Grace as "that baby."

Granted, it seems like Dario is slowly lighting a flirty fire in Nicole's eyes, which, yes, please! I'll do anything to see her move on from grieving Dr. Dead, but I almost feel Jordi Vilasuso's endless talents and general dreaminess would have been better suited in another character like Andrew Donovan or even a Max Brady recast. Having Andrew and Nicole fall for each other, especially considering the wonky friendship she has with Theresa, might have been interesting. Though, again, Nicole might be peeking out of the grieving veil and that's okay with me because...

Oh, hell-to-the-no. Having Nicole choose wine over a martini is sacrilegious. It's a sorry day in Salem when I'd rather hang out with giddy, tipsy Mar Mar than Nicole. This girl needs more dirty martini and less tear-deluded wine. Just saying.

Extra Scoops
HOT
Stefano's sendoff was simply spectacular! From the characters gathering, the actors' performances, the flashbacks, Chad's scenes with his devilish daddy the day before, to ending with Stefano's unofficial theme music while he conducted. Yes. Please!

NOT
I don't hate Summer, though I don't love her, either. She's an intriguing-ish new character. And it's not her fault she's saddled to a clunker of a storyline starring Dr. Dead's memories trapped in his heart which was placed in Brady's body that...ugh...someone please hand mama her medicine in that Scotch glass. Anyway, I'm just doing a massive eye-roll that she could be another long-lost Maggie child. It's a bit redundant, not to mention that fact that Maggie has two other daughters already out there who haven't had real storylines since the late '80s/early '90s.

LINE OF THE WEEK
Chad (to Ghost Stefano): "You are the scariest son of a bitch I've ever met."

TRUE 'DAT LINE OF THE WEEK
John: "Ava's dead for sure? [Pause] What? That's a legitimate question around here."

RANDOM THOUGHTS
I adore soap logic. It was last call in L.A. You know, Los Angeles, California. Yes, the one on the West Coast of the United States. But -- but -- in Salem, you know, in the Midwest US, J.J. and Gabi were still at the club and drinking freely. I'm thinking either bars in Salem close super late, or L.A. bars shut down early. They're called time zones, writers. Check it out.

Though I loved the Lexie flashback, I'm a little sad we didn't see one of her in that infamous red dress.

Dario doesn't know how lucky he is that he called Rafe instead of Gabi on Monday. She was a bit busy at the time, well, getting a bit busy.

On that note, J.J. and Gabi are adorbs. They seem to live in this little vacuum, but I'm okay with that. They make me smile in a sea of Salem sadness.

I need to know if Summer was in my neck of the woods a few years ago. I'm still mourning a pair of Gucci sunglasses that mysteriously disappeared. Hmm...

Sure. Sure. Sure, Brady. Salem is full of good people. Let's just hope Summer has insurance and a Kevlar vest.

That Victor/Deimos scene eeked me out! I thought Deimos was going to lose a nipple. As it turned out, he still has a matching set and a soon-to-be scar on his chest. Though, methinks a man who's been in a Greek prison for 30 years has probably experienced worse.

Ha! I loved that Kate asked Marlena, "What was Stefano's obsession with you?" almost as much as I loved Marlena's sassy response.

Drunk John is kind of fun.

Hope's a cop again. Nope. No conflict of interests there. At all. Well...

I kind of just wish Hope would have joined John and Steve in their private eye firm. Less rules to break, more banter between good friends, and afternoon beer breaks. Think about it, Fancy Face.

You can totally tell that Claire is Victor's great-granddaughter. Sure, she has that adorable Zooey Deschanel awkward vibe about her, but girlfriend isn't afraid to detonate a truth bomb like her great gramps. It's the perfect combo!

I'm really hoping for the day I'll hear "D.J. Wear" without groaning. Spoiler Alert: I'll probably get my wish for a dinosaur granted first. He's going to be a raptor named Sugar. I've got it all planned.

Brady's hotel room had a replica of the green vase with the white handles that Hope had in her living room pre-fight with Aiden. I still want that.

Seriously, can we get a Steve and Adrienne scene up in here one of these days? I ordered off the menu about seven months ago.

Hope remembers that Claire is her granddaughter, right? Sometimes that seems like a simply cordial relationship. Then again, Hope isn't the Alice Horton kinda gram.

Someone may want to check a morgue drawer. I haven't seen Stephanie in a while.

Okay. So. Maggie may have had another child. Summer's last name is "Townsend." Is it too much to hope for that her father's name is Charlie and he runs a private investigator agency that employees three sassy angelic detectives?

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of March 7. I'm thrilled to report Bethany will be back next week to fulfill all of your Two Scooping needs, and at the end of the month, an exultant yet sleep-deprived Laurisa returns with three months of pent-up opinions on DAYS! You don't want to miss that, and, "That's a fact!"

As always, thanks for reading!
Tony

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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