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Matt's Musings on Days of Our Lives, 2012

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December 28, 2012
Christmas came to Salem and not a Grinch was stirring. Well, maybe Kristen, who, when she wasn't having her stockings felt up with care, was plotting to ruin people's lives. She and Brady spent most of the week unwrapping each other and exchanging snowballs. He climbed out the window on Christmas morning when her little bros showed up to shower her with gifts. Although the whiff of wangdoodling hung in the air like rancid eggnog, they managed to ignore this for some classic DiMera togetherness. They all joined together around a warm laptop to watch the Stefano Christmas message. Maybe it was all the limoncello and panettone, but they all slowly emerged from their holiday funk. EJ ran off to try and push his little brother to start dating again. He was beaming at Abby so much that it looked like he wouldn't mind taking a crack at the cracked blond himself. Perhaps he really was turning over a new leaf because Elvis managed to go an entire week without molesting a scarf, in spite of the fact that they were everywhere.

Nicole missed Sydney and managed to get a gift to her thanks to Chadsworth. EJ even allowed little Syd to send ex-mummy Nicole a holiday message. That was quickly overshadowed by a new penguin making its way into the home of Sami Brady. Thanks to Rafe's extraordinary policing skill, he used all of his former contacts at the FBI to help track down yet another laughing penguin. This will finally put an end to the long and bloody feud between Syd and Johnny over the one penguin they had in their home. And so was resolved the most genuinely dramatic story at Casa da Sami over the past two years or so. With that out of the way, she could get back to not really deciding whether or not she wanted EJ or Rafe. The latter finally figured out that she liked being the monkey in the middle. Maybe it was the fact that she'd been wearing enough bright red lipstick to lead Santa through a blizzard, but Rafe finally decided that he was done with her. He gagged on being the back end of the Sami sandwich and thought he should have his bun toasted elsewhere. It was a Christmas miracle.

Victor got the holidays off to an early start by spiking the Kiriakis punchbowl with some absinthe. That's about the only thing that could explain having him dress up as Santa Claus and wandering around town. The reformed curmudgeon continued to slip into homily mode thanks to the endless diet of wholesome donuts that Maggie had been stuffing him with. Doug and Julie flew back to town to help hang the gargantuan balls from the tree while everyone basked in the family togetherness, aside from Allie, who looked strangely put-off by the whole thing. Now that she was the only one of her siblings without a laughing penguin, she was doomed to a life of tears. 

As the mistletoe was being taken down, Daniel suddenly began missing the son he scarcely mentions. Considering his usual eloquence, that may be a good thing. However, he may not have to miss not having a kid for much longer. If Jenn regresses much more, she will be behaving like a four year old soon. Abby is already the adult in that relationship. Without Jack around to mother, Jenn can't go any direction but back. So it's only fitting that aside from recycling her teenage years over the past few months, she's also recycling her lovers. She and the doctor got together for a date, which was quite literally a rehashing of several of their previous encounters. She asked him home to share some pie. He had to leave to operate before he could examine the latest set of scars he'd left under her pants. Meanwhile, Kristen finally got what she wanted for Christmas. She got Marlena's goat. The shrink was so fed up with the blond sticking it to her that she managed to send John to catch his son sticking it in Kristen.

Lines of the week:
Kate: The Hortons make the von Trapp family seem like the Beastie Boys.

Kate: People in Hell want ice water.

December 21, 2012
Christmas is on the way, even in Salem, a town where people are so naughty that they need three priests to keep up with the backlog of confessions. There was so much tinsel on the Horton Square tree that the gleam was bright enough for Daniel to tan under it. Now that he had his hands back in working order, he was running around like a horny teenage boy. His jolliness was so potentially worrisome that they called in the marines to watch the town square. They soon turned it into a Christmas dumping ground and EJ managed to scoop up all the gifts that random business associates had sent in for his children. While Sami kept EJ distracted with the hand-me-down leather chaps that she'd received from Babs, Kristen dropped by to steal a gift when she took a break from receiving what Brady had been giving her all week.

Half the town seemed to be preparing for the Horton Christmas. Everyone was asking everyone else to go and then noticing that they were already going since they're actually relatives. The only people who weren't quite so festive were Gabba and Felon, who were twitching like Brady going cold turkey. The only person to twitch more was Father Eric, whose bedhead was beginning to overwhelm the rest of his personality as he struggled to keep himself awake during his scenes.

Over at the hospital, Doug and Julie milled around the corridors after spending a little too long getting rosy cheeked at happy hour in the airport bar. They rummaged through their luggage for the red silk outfit he was supposed to slip on. Unfortunately, they only found hers, and though it did include a beard, it still wasn't child-friendly. Doug searched his giant bag for the gifts they dragged back to town. Hauling all of the remaining copies of their softcore porn novel across the globe had nearly done his back in. At the bottom of the little heap he discovered a series of letters which had been written to Santa Corday and magically wound up in his possession. Through our various secret contacts, Soap Opera Fan Blog managed to obtain a few of the letters. Here are some of the highlights of the letters sent which have been slightly censored for virgin ears.

Cornelia Cornshucker wrote, "Please send Rafe a few more facial expressions. Failing that, at least let him grow facial hair that will express his emotions." Documents from the hairdressing department have revealed that they already plan to begin shaving Rafe's thoughts into his hair.

Mathilda Marigold of Honeysuckle Road wrote in, "Plez teach Sinny how to talk. Wot's rong wit her? Don't she speke tha Engleesh? Is she brain deaf?" Just to answer that query: the producers have decided to replace Syd with a wind-up doll programmed with five different catch phrases. Whenever she is in a scene in the New Year, watch carefully for someone to pull her string.

Mona Kornpone wrote in to ask, "Can you please make Daniel less orange next year? His glow has started to give my mother seizures." Unfortunately, we already know that isn't likely to happen. Sources tell us that this is actually because the doctor is part of a long term story arc that will see him gradually turned into a talking carrot and will suffer from nightmares that he is being stalked by a giant bunny.

Gladys Goodie-Jeffreys sent in this: "When Sami and EJ start sleeping together, will he be wearing her robe like Lucas used to?" According to the wardrobe department, EJ will actually begin wearing her apron around the apartment and nothing else. They thought that this would be a good compliment to the assless chaps she's going to start wearing around Easter.

And Keeping It Real from Yodeling Valley wrote in to tell everyone, "You can snark all you want, but you need to move on. Guess what? EJ's too sexy and you just can't accept it. There's a reason why his pole is always at the center so don't be lame. Who is the puppet now?" And on that note, happy holidays.

Lines of the week:
Lucas: Talk about a ho-ho-ho moment.

Jenn: You got a lobotomy and didn't tell me!

Kristen: Merry Christmas bitch.

Chad: I'd say it's great to see you but we don't give a crap about each other.

Marlena: He's older than you are. He knows how not to make a baby.

December 14, 2012
The Hallmark moments came early this year. As Jenn squirmed on the mouse infested couch where Daniel used to bone the married Chloe, he whipped out a scalpel. Pretty soon, the cabin was decorated in Christmas red while Nicole turned green. The doctor got Jenn's rancid appendix out and carefully salted it for pickling before storing it in the emergency supplies cellar. Stoned Jenn began burbling that she loved him. That made him feel warm and fuzzy inside. She still felt a bit of a draft in her oozing gut cut. They sent her back to town. The doctor started to coo about how getting his fingers into her provided the miracle cure for his hands. It was so romantic. He stared at them so much that, for a moment, it was like he'd had Andrew's hands grafted onto his own by Rolf and they were possessed by the spirit of evil. Unfortunately, nothing that exciting had happened. They returned to Salem, amazed by the miracle cure. It didn't occur to anyone that Jenn's insides weren't full of magic, the only explanation that could possibly make this entire story make any sense. He and Jenn did some hand-holding. He was eager to dip in for some more magic. Instead, she told him that he reminded her of her grandfather and forgot all about her drug induced profession of love. He meandered away to hum emo songs from the 80s to himself. Meanwhile, Jenn went home and continued to hallucinate. She thought that she could see Daniel's face on the Wonder Bread she toasted. When the magic marmalade spelled out that she loved him, she knew what to do. She ran over to the hospital, where Kate had just been regaling him with tales of Parker.

But most of the week was taken up with other things. Sami steamrolled over any objections Nick and Gabi has to her wedding plans. She kept Caroline by her side to bark at them if they dared to kick up a fuss. In spite of the fact that she was being bossed around by her ex-sister-in-law/ex-boyfriend's mom, plus inflating with her gut bug, Gabba Gabba was still starting to show more backbone than even her sex scenes have implied that she has. She had to since Will was being a worry wart and Chad was on the offensive. Unlike brother EJ, who has an enormous pothole in his brain to store his rage in, Chadsworth's kept bubbling out of his eyes and ears until he let it dribble from his lips. He finally spilled into Sonny's lap about Gabba Gabba's nefarious past and her role in the Melnapping. That was enough to wake Sonny up to her dastardliness. He turned to his father to get confirmation. Justin confirmed by not confirming. Sonny decided to tell Will to cut the cord with that pregnant punk. Will refused. But the whole wedding situation was getting even more uncomfortable now that Hopeless and Rafe had waded into it. Since they couldn't keep their pregnancy dates straight, he had to cover by claiming they started knocking mops before they'd even touched dishrags. Rafe was furious about how soiled his sister seemed.

Meanwhile, Brady and Kristen continued to bone incessantly. He's had a lot more bottled up than just grief. He began shaving his face again to demonstrate how innocent and trusting he has become. What shaving the rest of his body means is anyone's guess. He decided to show her how much he cared with jewelry. To prove that he has his head up his ass with love, he accidentally left it out in the open at the Kiriakis compound. Although John's company is in the middle of collapsing thanks to labor problems, he still found time to act as a courier and deliver it to Kristen himself. John remained clueless. Marlena had somehow magically managed to keep her trap shut. Things were anti-climactic enough on this front that Kristen decided it would be best to keep her legs open a little longer.

Lines of the week:
Daniel: It's just the drugs talking.

Will: (to Abby) I'm sure you'll find a good guy some day. You're not forty.

Victor: I guess she left her tinfoil cap at the hotel.

Dr. Lewis: Happy slicing!

December 7, 2012
The people of Salem continue to make the impossible possible. Or close. This week, Countess Wilhelmina released their newest marketing motto: "If your pig can't fly, it can still look it." Since most of the town's women have now had their make-up tattooed to their faces, the cosmetics company has moved on to making products for pets. Business rivals were anxiously putting their final touches on the latest lipstick for pigs. EJ and Sami tried putting their heads together to outwit Kate. Unfortunately, the Oxford lawyer and the woman with no actual qualifications couldn't come up with anything. They had to rely on Johnny to do their homework for them. That's what they really mean when they are always bleating about how important the children are. But the most startling revelation of the week came when they learned that Sydney is actually a robot lobster. I'd always had my suspicions. After all, even Rafe and Eric were referring to Samanther this week as 'the bike', which is about the most sophisticated piece of machinery either of them can grasp. Her robot DNA managed to fuse with EJ's fishy and freakish DNA and an overexposure to lobster chowdah at the pub. This is why we almost never see the freakish child anymore. She's starting to grow her extra legs now.

And speaking of mixing DNA... After listening to Kristen repent her sins at the rectory, Brady followed her back to her place to encourage her to commit some more. He got his lad out and they played pickle until her bell started to ring. Meanwhile, after discovering that John was carrying lipstick, Marlena expected that he must have been playing piggie with Kristen, if not something a great deal kinkier. She plodded off to find out. Instead, she found Brady cleaning Kristen's carpets. The shrink was so shocked that it seemed to kick-start her brain again because she did the wise thing and clammed up about this particular event. Nonetheless, Marlena kept seeing a plot in all of this. No matter how much John screwed up his eyes, he still couldn't make much of one out. Kristen admitted to EJ that she was just randomly making things up as she went along and it didn't seem to make any difference. She'd realized that being in Salem made actually thinking about what you were doing pointless. You had to just let it happen. Kristen tried to push Marlena into bringing this cobbled together plot to a climax. Marlena refused. Things fizzled. No matter what position Kristen put Brady in, she couldn't get him to yell loud enough to make their affair public knowledge.

And speaking of making the impossible possible... Nicole moved into the nunnery this week. The sisters were surprised to see that she already had a nun's habit, and disturbed to notice that it was made of latex with a convenient flap on the backside. Nic covered by claiming she just wore it while it was raining out. Sami showed up to snark at her old enemy. Father Eric didn't appreciate her trying to mother him. She continued to moan. He reminded her that her catalogue of sins was as long as Nicole's and he still left out most of her last two years. They had a little sibling skirmish. She tried to make up for it by making pope jokes and moaned about how she couldn't live without a man and how helping other people wasn't for her. The most confusing moment of the week, however, was when EJ met up with Father Eric in the middle of the street, looked down smiling at his nether-regions and then the generic guitar cord of sexual suggestion rang out as crisply as a carol groaned by a drunken Santa on a street corner. Was Kristen hinting at something when she started referring to her brother as EEJ? Could this be foreshadowing of a variation of that time when he fell for Nicole's sister? Has Elvis finally moved on from his scarf fetish and onto dog collars? Is this what Eric has been having nightmares about?

And now for the news we've all been waiting for... Dr. Cowabunga's treatment failed. Apparently. Everyone is used to things being premature so I guess they couldn't wait around a few hours to figure it out. This must have been what the Mayans were on about. The doctor decided to act apocalyptic by heading out to the wilderness beyond Salem with nothing but medical supplies. This was all too much for Jenn. Apparently she's been watching the re-runs because she was making herself sick. She followed him out there. So did Nicole. Bickering erupted. It was so fierce that Jenn's appendix tried to come out of her guts. Back in town, the battle over Gabba Gabba's guts continued. Nick wanted to claim paternity. Will worried that this looked like it would just be a repeat of a past plot and he didn't want to torture the viewers with that. He was sure they wouldn't stand for it. I guess he hasn't been following the rest of the action in town.

Lines of the week:
Maggie: You can show yourself out.
Nicole: Through the doggy-door?

Jenn: What are you doing here?
Nicole: Helping Daniel.
Jenn: Off a cliff?

Nicole: I don't like being mean to you, but Daniel hates you so do yourself a favor and go.

November 30, 2012
The panic over Kristen continued to accelerate this week, finally reaching something close to the thrill level of a "Sweet Valley High" story. I was becoming a little concerned by Marlena's obsessive use of 'oh my gosh' in her sentences. So much so that I consulted Dr. Phineas Elias Delius Bulimius about whether this was symptomatic of some kind of mental disorder. The doctor said it seemed likely. Marlena's strangely polite way of constantly spewing overtly censored obscenities was starting to border on her turning into Ned Flanders. Little did she know what-the-diddly was starting to creep into Brady's brain. Brady was softening on Kristen. At least his head was, and not just because it had been pounded into mush. He caught Marlena breaking into Kristen's room so she could read her diary. Although the fact that a grown woman would act like the teenaged Sami was disturbing enough, the fact that Kristen's diary sounded like an Oprah self help book wasn't any less so. Maybe it was catching the two women pounding on each, but Brady's feelings for his former step mom were quickly moving into a different register. After the shrink slunk away, he tried massaging Kristen's sprained wrist. Looking in his eyes, she could guess why he wanted it to heal fast. She decided a little divine guidance was needed right away. She went to Father Tobias to unload about the temptation she was facing. Brady just happened to eavesdrop on this like it was a cellphone which was randomly dialed at the right moment. She admitted she had feelings for someone and ran away, sure to leave her room door wide open. Brady arrived moments later. Next week, something else gets opened wide.

Gabba went in to have an abortion. She didn't. This anti-climax was followed by another as Will kept trying to out himself as the father. Rafe wouldn't shut up so it never happened. Will tried to keep his gob shut about all of this and Nick's behest. Upset, Will went off to bone Sonny to relax and then avoided talking to him by playing video games. Things were kind of awkward since Sonny had to admit that he told Lucas that we was in love before he ever told William. Since he was used to learning things by accident, Will didn't mind.

After spending an afternoon with Sami at the abortion clinic, Rafe suddenly decided that they should give things another shot. It must be all of those sweaters she's been wearing. He's been feeling out in the cold. He went over to her office with a bushel of flowers he nabbed from the pet cemetery. He found Elvis there and his hopes wilted. He had a tantrum and there was more Samanther-related bickering. Marvin tells me that the last time he cared about who was hitting Sami's box she had a moustache. And so another Movemeber ends without a single Stan sighting... At least we had last Friday's reminder of handlebar Babs.

But seriously... C'mon boys, I know there are more women in Salem. I also know most of them are practically teenyboppers or you're related to them, but I've seen the others. If they aren't working at the hospital, they're at the town's three yearly parties. Rafe, I know most of them would be happy to taste your tamales. And Junior, I'm sure there's plenty of neck out there that would love for you to molest it. However, judging by EJ's scenes with Rafe, I doubt he'll bother as long as his rival is still sniffing around. Aside from his love for misery, Elvis' only other motive for taking an interest in Sami has always been revenge, first against the Bradys to impress his papa and now against Rafael. Marlena would call it, "grudge fiddlesticking." Junior took some time out from contemplating his fiddlestick this week to encourage his little brother to seek out the joys of revenge. Chadsworth insisted his brother was not his mentor. That didn't stop him from trying to cop his hairstyle. That's right. EmoChad is gone. Now he has the snake in the grass DiMera do. Meanwhile, Kate flew all the way to Europe to see Stefano and sign their divorce papers. He was terse and vulgar. She was vulgar and terse. Then she left him to suck the cream out of his cannoli all by himself. On a note completely irrelevant note, Dr. Orange tried getting back the use of his hands this week by undergoing radical treatment. He was reluctant at first, but after some relentless bawling from the women in his life, he agreed. That panned out about as well as Father Eric's suggestion that Nicole move into the convent.

Lines of the week:
Father Tobias: Would you like to hit the box?

Maggie: Why do you have to be a guinea pig?

Ciara: Are priests allowed to be handsome?

Nick. It wasn't because he knocked me out but because he knocked you up.

November 21, 2012
Salem, a town with as many priests as cops, a mugger in every bush and two headcases for every brain. Just in time for Thanksgiving, Kristen and Brady continued getting to know each other. To show how compassionate she was, she managed to make it through one of his lengthy gratuitous shirtless scenes, and observe that he pulls his pants on one leg at a time, without so much as tweaking his bronzed nipples. Marlena stormed in on the warpath, accusing Kristen of setting up her own mugging, not-so-randomly appearing in the most unlikely yet convenient places and of playing the victim. Apparently her dialogue was plagiarized from an angry blogger complaining about the show. She ranted until her eyes nearly burst out of her head. She had to keep them in by squinting, just as John has been doing for years since his brain was literally turned into mush.

Gabba continued to gag on the news she was knocked up. William was agog. After Nick served her a puke inducing breakfast, he remained clueless. Will showed up to talk options and Gabba obviously had no idea what she wanted. But her relationship with reality was even looser than that chastity belt Rafe gave her for Christmas. After all, she mysteriously decided that Sami was the world's most trustworthy person and let her in on her pregnancy. Sami, of course, vowed to keep it a secret and broke the vow a few hours later. But hey, it wasn't a marriage vow. She can usually wait a few weeks or months to break those. Rafe discovered that his baby sister had been mixing baby batter and he was not a proud big brother. He wanted to rip Nick limb from limb so Sami had to calm him down with the magic of her soft cardigan sweater. Sami proceeded to break the news to Nick that he was going to be a father. He barely reacted. He's probably still in shock about the fact that he'd been released from prison into a world without Ding Dongs. Meanwhile, Gabba and Will were stuck with the quandary of how to pay for her abortion. He managed to convince his father and his lover to pay for his 'school project'. When asked what it was, he explained that he and Gabba had entered a science fair to try and prove that grief sex leads to super potency.

Nic unloaded on Father Eric about her unsavoury life. To add some more flavor, they recalled their glamor shoot on the beach. He explained that taking photos of porn stars wasn't helping to save the world so he went to Colorado. There was nothing to do there so he went to Africa where he was inspired by the Christians there. All of this talk of missionary positions wasn't enthralling to Nicole. He stared at her blue suede shoes until she decided to leave and run over to Jenn's to try and make amends.

During this brief week, there were also a few more random moments. Half of the town's adulteresses got together to discuss, "The Scarlet Letter." It was announced that Caroline would be speeding back to town thanks to her brain going into overdrive on the back of Babs' bike. And Theo told his father that he still talks to his mother every night. "That's great," Abe said, before coughing into his sweater, "At least you don't have to talk to her mother every night."

Lines of the week:
Will: It was not easy being the big mistake of two stupid teenagers.

Marlena: Crawl back under your rock you conniving bitch!

November 16, 2012
Kristen continued to burn Marlena's grits. The shrink refused to shrink from this. Instead, she overreacted and got so paranoid that simply talking to John was making his face convulse. She found Kristen sleeping on John in the cabin where they'd been stuck all night with nothing but hibernating raccoons and Chloe's old collection of canned beans. Kristen sauntered out. Marlena mooned. John looked pie faced. The event soon spread to Brady. He was alarmed to see that his father had started wearing turtlenecks again and his hair was poofier than usual. Clearly, there was something seriously askew, even if John refused to see it. Brady decided to step into John's job on the church board. He and Kristen bicker-flirted some more. She tried the DiMera grope on him (that's a slap for normal people). She ran into the night and straight into some of the small town's fairly large population of muggers. Brady swanned in to the rescue and wound up with his head tenderized. She called the cops, apparently unaware that their star detective is a former mugger who also cracked his skull. His head has now suffered so much trauma that he, John and EJ could start their own support group.

Nicole recovered in her hospital bed. It was quicker than usual this time. She's spent so much time there that the cot has her groove in it. That added bit of comfort speeds up the healing time. Jenn showed up. They bickered. Jenn still decided not to send her to jail, although there's a cot there with Nic's groove in it too. She wandered town aimlessly. She pondered going to see Saint Taylor, but she abruptly changed her mind when she discovered a slightly more believable holy person. Eric Brady had returned to town. Now he was a priest. Nicole had always assumed there must have been some reason why she recorded "The Thornbirds" over her copies of old Misty Circle videos. Although his family offered him all of the usual anti-Nicole lines, the priest was still sympathetic. She needed plenty of sympathy after EJ taunted her about her dead babies. Apparently, his head trauma occasionally lets him forget they were his too. Or maybe he was distracted by thoughts of Abigail. The pair shared a strange and random conversation immediately following her admission to Gabba Gabba that her virginity is still intact. Considering the DiMera's penchant for swapping women, Abby could be in with a shot at the man with the superfluous hole in his head.

Will finally made it into bed with Sonny after the latter admitted that asking him over to open up his boxes really was the convoluted sexual overture it sounded like. The event was so huge that Sonny's apartment actually expanded for the occasion. As far as I could tell, William came out on top. Then they had the ceremonial post-coitus potato chips. They were the no-name variety to stick with the rest of the products used in the event. Where's that KY sponsorship when you need it? But before they could have another dip, Gabba showed up at his door, as panicked as a puritan on a porn set. In spite of all of Sonny's worldly wisdom, he had never filled his boyfriend in on the curse that befalls nearly all gay couples on Daytime. No matter what combination of genitals you're using, by some miracle, a woman always winds up pregnant. (Someone should explain this to Nicole in case she wants to try for another miracle child.) Will tried to gulp but seemed to have something in his throat. "We're pregnant," he gasped.

Lines of the week:

Sami: Birth control, it's not foolproof.

John: I thought we agreed to disagree.
Marlena: I didn't agree to that.

Sami: A priest collar isn't going to stop her... Chastity belts? She's conquered them all.

Novemer 10, 2012
With Kristen's return, things in Salem have become so congealed that Kate has resorted to turning to Marlena for help. As soon as Katarina received her divorce papers, she ran off to see the headshrinker. "She's evil!" spewed out the former vessel of Satan. Marlena wanted to run away. After noticing that she'd mistaken the couch covering for a dress and was wearing it around town, John started to think that she might need a little break too. He thought he could use one for himself. Business was actually picking up and without Brady or a staff, it seemed like the perfect time to drop out of things. The fact that Kristen had joined the church board was making him feel a little worried as well. Luckily, Hope had a way out for John and Marlena. Since Babs was out of town, she asked her other husband to fix the boiler in that cabin which no one normally uses. John went out there alone and soon discovered Kristen had 'coincidentally' also decided to go there. Like him, she'd been gripped by a passion to put in storm windows. He was so outraged that he began performing all of his emotions like he was competing in the world's strangest version of charades. They remembered doing it on the dirt floor while blasting their Milli Vanilli mix tape. That was the happiest moment of her life and practically the only thing he could recall other than the past five minutes. When she started to shiver, he had to wonder if she actually had emotions. Kristen wanted him to forgive her. John wasn't sure he was ready for the 'f' word. Marlena loomed on the horizon.

Nicole was eager to finally get out of Salem, but all of the people who hated her were reluctant to let her take the saintly doctor with her. Victor attempted to buy Nicole off. She'd been bought off so many times that she could probably afford to buy up most of Salem. How else do you think she pays to live in a hospital? She said 'no'. Vic got desperate and urged Brady to march down her 'foxhole' to show her his version of 'paradise'. Meanwhile, Nicole fantasized that she and the doctor could have their own amphibious mer-children. While all of this conjured a rather strange image of what female genitalia around town must be like, it did finally explain why the women wrap themselves up in a separate sheet when they are having sex. Anyway, Nic didn't go to Hawaii. This also meant that Daniel couldn't return to his small practice there, where he'd worked side by side with Tom Horton Jr. for years. (TJ, you may recall, left for the island more than thirty years ago after unwittingly falling for his own sister and then marrying a sex fiend named Kitty). Daniel confronted Nicole with the evidence that he'd collected about her dead baby. She denied it. A small crowd gathered and he confronted her again and again. She still blamed Jenn and then ran off. Everyone chased her to the steps of doom. With no novelty cake below, a fall could prove deadly. When she attempted the leap, Rafe and Dr. Dan managed to grab her. At the hospital, everyone took a little blame or threw a little blame. EJ decided not to press charges since Daniel had helped Johnny, but he was still furious.

In the midst of the seemingly endless gush of misery that saturated the week, Gabba Gabba and Nick spent most of their time rolling in the sheets and cooing about their love. They took a break so she could help Will with his premature ejection from his latest relationship. With the help of recovering homophobe, Tad, WilSon got a little mouth to mouth to put them back on track.

And now I'd like to take a moment to be serious. While watching members of the cast on "The Jeff Probst Show" this week, I couldn't help but notice that Galen Gering (Rafe) and James Scott (EJ) had better chemistry when they were joking with each other than either of them ever have had with the women on the show. Dear Ken Corday, please do the right thing and authorize a RafaEJ pairing. If you can't do that, can you at least send your writers off to peruse the other topics on the talk show circuit for some fresh story ideas. I just spent five minutes doing it and here's my first pitch. Can John and Marlena begin constructing the biggest home in America to keep Kristen at bay, only to result in the shrink losing her arms to a flesh eating virus that comes through a tainted well because the house is built on a haunted graveyard? Then she gets some artificial limbs from Rolf, who has been serving as Charlie Sheen's personal physician. Rolf and Marlena soon discover the house is next door to a refuge for crazy cat women who spent their childhoods in freezers before being rescued by a cult and raised by bigamists. If you want more, I know where to get it. Pretty please Ken, with cherries on top?

Lines of the week:
Victor: Nicole wouldn't know what love is if Cupid bit her in the ass.

Maggie: Nicole hasn't been pushed around since she was in a baby carriage.

Marlena: She wants me to turn into a paranoid shrew. I won't give her what she wants.

Sami: Something squirrelly is going on here with Nicole.

Kate: I'd don't know whether I should laugh or be terrified.

November 2, 2012
Babs left Salem this week with his Ma. Everyone lined up to say goodbye. Roman showed his usual depth by promising to make sure he blows Hope's driveway while his little brother is away. Kayla promised to make sure that clams everywhere still fear the Bradys and Caroline's many employees assured her that they could keep the place running. Fancy Face handed Babs a CD of dirt on the DiMeras. Unfortunately, she actually burned him a copy of John's old brain by accident. Armed with that and a map to California drawn by Ciara, Babs puttered away in search of the giant glittering puddle on the edge of the page. They sped off, the dried chowder flaking off his goatee as they motorcycled across the country. They had an arduous journey ahead of them. Her mysterious disease already seemed to be spreading. I think I caught it telepathically just from watching. Now I can't remember most of what happened five minutes ago, all of the characters congeal into an indifferent mass and I feel exhausted and hungover after the one hour a day I spend in Salem.

Nicole was in a hurry to get out of Salem. Who can blame her? She's been haunted by the twosie of doom all week. Every time she turned her back it seemed to magically appear, mostly thanks to some nurse who was too cheap to actually buy baby clothes for her nephew. The nurses really don't get paid well. No wonder Maxine is always scowling. Anyway, it kept reappearing just over the horizon to the sounds of ominous music, like it was the star of the world's most low rent "Jaws" ripoff. I guess this is the logical extension of Elvis having an obsessive affair with someone based largely on their neckwear and lack of personality. Elvis was furious to learn that she had dropped the charges against Jenn and assumed that she and her 'holistic hippy' Daniel had some kind of plot up their ponchos. After he unleashed his battery of blinks, she decided it was better to go sooner rather than later. Even her continual hallucinations seemed to be agreeing with her. However, her big orange friend would have a little more difficulty. Daniel had to face the other women who loved him. This week we learned that not only does the fact that he's so talented with his hands in people's guts help win them over, he'd been magically altered into a demi-saint thanks to his DNA. Maggie explained that she used to think he was a 'predatory jerk' but now that they know he has her genes swimming around in him, he's metamorphosed into 'a dear'. The saintly doctor wouldn't listen to anyone and pushed ahead in his plans to leave for Hawaii with a woman he doesn't love. That's just how much he hates EJ. Before he could pull his surfboards out of storage, he stumbled on the twosie of doom and it got his spidey sense tingling.

While Kristen's return has not amounted to much so far, it has proved that Marlena is a few shrimps short of a cocktail. The former dame of Satan was coming apart at the seams after only a few days of her old enemy being back. John kept urging her to be cool but her face was becoming so creased with worry wrinkles that it resembled a highway after an earthquake. Since he has nothing else to do, Brady paid Kristen a visit and ordered her to stay away from his family. Wearing only a towel, she got suggestive. He called her names. This led to her slapping him. For a DiMera, that counts as sex.

And speaking of sex... Nick explained to Gabba Gabba that he was not cool with Wilson because his church told him not to be. While in prison, he'd learned that he needed to be a good person and live according to a code. No one in the Horton family had ever told him the difference between right and wrong. This baffling confession impressed Gabba enough to leap into bed with him. Will wasn't faring so well. Lucas unofficially decided to be Captain Bringdown for Halloween. He stepped in to be this week's Willie-wilter. After doing a weird homage to Alice Horton by wearing Groucho masks, Will and Sonny were rolling around in bed together. I thought we would finally be able to settle the office bet about which of them is a top, but the payoff is going to have to wait. Lucas intruded, sent Will off to see his Grandma and then lectured Sonny for being a user. When William heard about this, he was not impressed. His father hinted that it wasn't just the ancient bathhouses that Sonny was visiting in Europe. Flustered, Will confronted Sonny with this, which rapidly led to Sonny dumping him.

Lines of the week:
Jenn: This is stupid!

Caroline: I'll love you even if I call you Claire or something.

Rafe: Talk about stupid.

Jenn: She wouldn't spit toothpaste out of her mouth if she thought there was something in it for her.

October 26, 2012
Tortured by erotic dreams of Kristen, John tried to keep himself awake. This led to him quaffing pints of coffee and levitating in mid-air behind his desk, staring into space with a look so cockeyed that the distinction between sleep and wakefulness began to evaporate. His nightmare finally filtered into reality when Kristen showed up. He wasn't happy to see her. Marlena was even more unhappy. Kristen had raided her plans for beach blanket bingo in the Salem sex park with John. Marlena tracked her ancient nemesis across town with a look so sour that it made the city's supply of whip cream curdle. But that was only the beginning of the swath of destruction that Kristen would cut through the little burg as the week plodded on.

Kristen broke the news to Sami that she'd nearly bankrupted CW. Those few times that we've actually seen Samanther staring at a computer screen with a frustrated expression were just when her virtual grief sex in Sim City was being interrupted. Kristen showed her the spread sheets to prove the company was tanking. Sami had to admit that she still hadn't made her way through Sydney's copy of "Elmo Knows The Multiplication Tables." Kirsten's first act as the new CEO was to send Sami to get Elvis' signature. She was determined to do what no escort company in town was willing to do and actually send women to visit him in his office. EJ was starting to think that having a sister was a good thing. It didn't occur to him at all that having a woman who looks like his mother meddling in his sex life is extraordinarily creepy. The new DiMera mode of evil seems to be playing matchmaker. Does this mean the next generation of the family will resort to internet advice columns to do their dirty work? I hear cloning is even easier in cyberspace.

Chadsworth started to hate life so much that he began wearing a soothing morning mist coloured cardigan just to make it bearable. His hair simmered down. As he wafted through town, he learned the news that his brother's baby met with the same fate as his scarcely mentioned mother (and his own dead child). Chad dropped in on EJ's office/liquor cabinet to shrug his condolences. He later ran into his sister for the first time. They were affable with each other. She puttered off to annoy Marlena some more. Sami and her mom got busy cursing the other blond. Brady soon joined in. Sami finally took a break to run over to the pub to complain. Babs tipped her off that he and Ma Brady were shipping out because she had dementia. Samanther worried. Babs assured her that, no matter what, her grandma was always happy to be her babysitter.

Sami's son continued to be less miserable this week. Apparently Tad is getting some leg now so he's okay with Will mingling his with another man's. Will was happy about that. Sonny jokingly suggested they run off to Idaho to get married. Things heated up for them when they visited the walk-in closet that Sonny lives in. Revealing more of his evolving self-awareness, William confessed that he wanted to be Elton John when he was little but Ma Brady discouraged him from being so flamey. He dressed up as one of the chaps from 'N Sync instead. The lads put on Groucho Marx costumes. That turned them on so much that they began shooting silly string all over each other.

A different transformation happened across town. Jenn magically returned to being a weepy, innocuous Hummel figurine. She couldn't stand the thought of going to prison. Last time she was there she almost wound up as the creamy filling in an all girl sandwich. However, it was her more vital organs that ended up being played with. Daniel, of course, rescued her, shoved his fist into her chest and stapled her back together before reviving her. And so was born another touching romance in Salem that probably should have been left on the operating table. Demonstrating how deep the spirit of Halloween runs in him, Daniel admitted it would be hard for him to take up with a former porn star rather than a needy Frankenstein's monster in love with a corpse. But, saint that he is, he agreed to give it a go as long as Nicole would let Jenn off the hook. Since Nicole's capacity to imagine a better life for herself has been eroded down to abject mediocrity, she agreed to the doctor's offer. Scrunching up her eyes, and trying to hold in her mind the image of them living in a tiki shack. She could call herself Annette and he'd be Frankie and they'd have banjos and raise lemurs.

Lines of the week:
John: Your life sucks right now.

Kristen: Being back in Salem feels like getting a root canal in instalments.

Lucas: (to Sami) What standard of perfection are you holding Rafe to? It sure isn't your own.

EJ: Are you some sort of genie?

October 19, 2012
It was another exhausting week in Salem. Nicole had to be sedated to get through it. Unfortunately for her, the drugs aren't as powerful as actually watching "DOOL" so she kept wavering back into consciousness. Cousin Marvin hurled projectiles at me to keep me awake at my desk. I'm starting to know how John feels when he says there's a third of his life he'd rather not remember. No wonder it was so hard for Stefano to convince Kristen to leave behind the European leg of DiMera Enterprises' scarf manufacturing division. All of her years in the harem had taught her the many exotic uses that could be made of scarves, things which EJ could only dream of. She flew back into town. John's ESP started kicking in and he had flashback after flashback of her. As usual, they were mostly sex flashbacks. He kept assuring Doc that nothing in his head mattered. Pretty soon, Kristen was out of his dreams and into his town. She spent five minutes catching up on everything that's happened in town in the last few years. Even that seemed excessively slow paced. By the end of the week, he stalked Marlena down to make-out point where the shrink had set up a picnic spot. Apparently, she and Sami share notes on where to have sex in public. Now I think I need therapy.

Sonny and William went rock climbing. The Kiriakis offered to take him to the Himalayas so he could get on top of his favorite peak. Will said he'd only go if he could stay on the bottom and Sonny offered to feed him his salty hot butter tea. Witnessing this kind of convoluted sexual innuendo was off-putting for Nick. After all, he'd just spent a few years in jail where the only way to avoid watching graphic gay sex was to stare at the stars. That turned out to be useful since he used what he'd learned to wow Gabi. Then again, she fell in love with Chadsworth's personality (or hair) so she couldn't have been that hard to impress.

Romance was not so smooth for the other Hernandez. Sami managed not to get in Nic's face when Rafe ran off to see the baby. It's a good thing too since the baby was dead. Rafe moped home and broke the news. Sami thought this was the perfect occasion to break in his sofa in her favorite way. Using his ESP for miserable sexual encounters, EJ arrived before they could. He was fresh from the hospital where he'd managed to bully a drugged-up woman who'd just had a stillborn child to confess it was his while he recorded her weeping for posterity. EJ ranted. Sami went into denial. EJ ranted. Sami accepted. Rafe didn't go into denial. Sami ranted. Rafe tried to talk his way out of it. Sami wasn't accepting. And so ends the latest Safe reunion. What really burned her grits was that Rafe might actually be a bigger hypocrite than she is and he deprived her of her favorite thing in the world: grief sex. Even by not doing her he outdid her.

Everyone was so worried about Caroline that they failed to notice that Babs had turned into a zombie. He stuttered, stammered and tottered around town, horrified about his Ma. Hope was horrified too. She went to work and tried not to talk about it. Maggie showed up and they talked about it. Meanwhile, Babs and Kayla hovered over their Ma like a pair of vultures. Half the time she looked at them like that's what they were, the rest she was getting giddy as a schoolgirl. Victor dropped in so they could hop down memory lane. That exhausted her and he went home to his secret room. There he keeps the mustaches he clips off after he has finished his most recent affair. He took out the Caroline box and pondered the fur still marked with the traces of their love. And traces of love still lingered between Daniel and Jenn as she realized he was about the only person who didn't think she was a baby killer.

Lines of the week:

John: Dude, you could do a hell of a lot better than this guy.

Sami: I love us.

Bo: Yeah, eh, uh, tssyyyiiuuu...

Bo: Even the dark is scared of Caroline Brady.

October 12, 2012
Fall is here and things are getting dark in Salem fast. But autumn is a strange season. The vegetation seems to get greener and Daniel becomes slightly less orange. Nicole's nose turned pink as she lost another baby. No explanation for how this happened could be given. My guess is the baby was just horrified to come out after having to spend months watching his mother's fantasies of life with a half-naked orange doctor in a purple apartment stapled from floor to ceiling in faux fur. Hearing the screeching voices of her fellow Salemites probably wasn't too welcoming either. Leading up to Nic's trip down yet another of the town's stairways of doom, Jenn ranted about Nicole. Daniel tried to calm her. That got tiring so he called in Brady to take over. Jenn ranted about Nicole to him. He tried to calm her down. That got tiring and he walked off to find someone else to help. Jenn ranted about Nicole when no one was there. Her Hummel figurines began to stuff doilies in their ears and buried themselves in potpourri. She ranted so much it literally looked like she was going to have a cow. The Horton house shook. This eventually led to Jenn railing at Nicole and the latter falling to the ground with no cake in sight to cushion her landing. Billie was conveniently there to witness her own dead baby story being recycled. Roman, working faster than the SPD ever had, managed to arrest Jenn by the end of the episode.

No less disturbing was the romantic portion of the week. Sami and Rafe had two dates. One was sort of unofficial and she just kept asking him to level with her about Nic's baby. But the square jawed man wouldn't level. They were both too easily distracted by the thought of his jaw intercepting with her curves to notice that much. They picnicked, back where she had seen the infamous flying clams and yodelling snails of Salem. Then they arranged for their date at Caffeinated and gorged themselves on babbling about her cleavage and slapping some meat into some white bread. If all of those images weren't sweet enough, John and Marlena arrived to inhale each other.

Over in Europe, Stefano managed to track down the beloved daughter he almost never mentions. He tried convincing Kristen that sending her back to town was the only way to salvage their broken family.  It was unclear whether he'd bought her freedom from bondage for this task. He was also sure to point out that, if she wanted to go after John and Marlena again, the only way to get anything done these days is with a flight of stairs. Luckily for them, they both knew a DiMera stair car dealership would soon be opening on the outskirts of the sinking town.

And speaking of sinking fast... Caroline continued confusing Bo with Shawn and jumbling up people like they'd actually lived each other's lives. Every few minutes she was having a flashback and reliving old plots like they still made sense in the present. After smashing a lot of chowder bowls, she looked down at the shards and had to admit that things were worse than she'd imagined. Babs forced his Ma to face up to the fact that she'd lost all grip with reality. He took her to see Kayla. All three of them had a pretty good idea of what was wrong with her. After examining her various bodily fluids, Kay finally confirmed the worst. It looked like Ma Brady was suffering from the mysterious affliction that normally only attacks writers of "DOOL." Pretty soon, she'd be using slang from the '80s, dressing everything in pink and purple, telling children that rape is romantic, shoving people down stairways, swapping babies and conducting lengthy, repetitive conversations while staring awkwardly at people's distracting hair.

Lines of the week:
Nicole: Why is this always happening to me?

Kate: Gay people kiss too.

Caroline: Shouldn't you be out buying a wooden leg and a parrot?

Rafe: I want a freakin' sandwich... to go.

October 5, 2012
It continued to sink in for Babs that being a cop in Salem sucked. You had to obey the law (once and awhile) and that was more than anyone else did. He started to think that ignoring the law might be the best way to stop crime. While all of the women in his life, from his Ma to Billie, told him that being a cop was a waste of his time, bro Roman opined that he was the Blue Ribbon edition of the force. But the city needed to make budget cuts. Considering that they have no mayor, and when they did, he had a staff of one, the people of Salem must have the lowest taxes in the world. I'm more concerned about the fact that half the city just fell into a sink hole when the sewer blew up and no one's mentioned repairing it. Add to that the fact that the hospital kept losing electricity all week and it's starting to sound like the place resembles a war zone more than a quaint little town in the middle of a weird garden maze. They must all be drinking severely contaminated water and huffing natural gas just to breathe. This explains a lot of their behavior.

Sami panted for Rafe. He had to tell her that it wouldn't work. Elvis swanned in and let her sniff his pheromone soaked lapels. She jumped from thinking that Rafe was the answer to her prayers to insisting that EJ was as reformed as she likes to claim whenever no other man is interested in her. EJ did his best to act concerned. Apparently he's been having lessons as he swooped, stooped, cocked his head and offered endless variations on a smirk to show how beguiling he was. He managed to stop short of using jazz hands in his conversations, but only narrowly. His scheme to use his brother to blackmail the Hernandez clan and get Sami back quickly collapsed thanks to Nick managing to outsmart everyone else. Then again, he only had his head kicked in, not half his brain blown out. He blackmailed Chad into clearing Gabi since he could have gone to the cops over the beating. Elvis was furious to lose his hold on Sami. His whole body attempted to blink wildly at Chad, who was so freaked out that he grew a week's worth of stubble during their verbal brawl.

Like most young people in town, Abby tried mothering her mom, who continued to act like an adolescent on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Yes, Jenn has been diagnosed with the rarely mentioned disorder Soap Opera Rapidly Regressing Syndrome (SORRS). She tore into Nicole in public, calling her every insult she could come up with without consulting the urban dictionary. That played straight into Nic's hands. It made Jenn look looney and being homeless again meant that Nic could move in with Dr. Permatan. He kept asking Jenn to stay out of his life. She kept agreeing and then arguing with him about it. They went back and forth so much that all he could do was shake his head. He shook his head so much I nodded off. Cousin Marvin had to wake me up just as Jenn was blabbing to Nicole about being a cream puff. "Since when did that happen?" I asked Marvin. "Who filled her with cream?" he asked back. Stressed out by living in a world full of orange doctors, ranting cream puffs and hospitals with scant electricity, Nic went to her doctor's appointment for a bit of deja vu. A randomly appointed doctor, who will be leaving the country the moment after the appointment ends, was called in to tell Nicole that her baby died. Will this finally push her totally over the edge? How far can someone who would call their kid Danny Rafael and buy them a pumpkin sack and Santa costume go? On the less disturbing side of things this week, Gabba Gabba became slightly less annoying and started to cuddle up to Nick for rescuing her. And after dumping the girl he claimed to be smitten with a couple of days ago, Cameron has already moved on with another woman.

Lines of the week:
Sami: It's already worse.

Jenn: I never thought you were a complete idiot!

Jenn: I am not the cream puff you think I am... that makes you a stupid bitch!

Nick: How I feel about you is above and beyond.

September 28, 2012
The last days of Mel wound down this week. After leaving Europe and a promising career as premiere party girl behind to stumble through a bloody wedding, a failed marriage, a few stalkings, abductions and discovering that she was part of a family of habitually homewrecking, drug-addled, science genius skanks with saint's complexes, she'd finally had enough of Salem. Waking up early one morning and discovering that she was nearly at the point of darning doilies with Maggie, it seemed like a life anywhere else was likely the better option.

Mel and Nick buried the hatchet, but he still wound up a bloody mess. Chadsworth caught him stuffing the scarf she'd left behind in his pocket and this triggered his inner DiMera impulses. Chad put the boot in until Nick's head turned black and blue and began inflating like Sami's arse. Luckily they weren't near any stairs, or a rocky beach, or Fallon would have fallen to his death. Mel was supremely disturbed to hear of all of this and dumped her fiance like a sack of mouldy clams in the kitchen of the Brady pub. At least, that's the excuse she used. If stuffing a scarf in a pocket represents an overwhelming sexual gesture, you can imagine what Mel and Chad's intimate life must have been like. Or perhaps you can't imagine. I'm not sure I can figure it out. The closest thing I can come up with is that DiMera men like to imagine women have detachable penises that are so elastic they can stretch them around their necks. Or maybe they just watch a lot of tentacle porn.

Romance wasn't running too smoothly for other Salemites. Sami continued to long for a return to the bosom of Rafe. Although he was clearly panting for her bosoms himself, and taunting Junior about it, he was still having a hard time. This was made even more difficult when Gabba Gabba broke the news to her bro that she was the brains behind the stupidity of the Mel abduction story. The cop immediately set things in motion to keep her out of jail since she had a passion for confession. Meanwhile, just to remind Samanther of what she would be missing, EJ sniffed her ears and blew up her nose. He called one of his father's old goons to get rid of Rafe and schemed until Chadsworth showed up to spill the beans about Gabba to him. The wheels began turning in Elvis' skull. He decided to use this as leverage to get Samanther back and gave Rafe an ultimatum.

Will's love life was going a little better. He finally had a date with Sonny, which consisted of hanging out with him at work and discussing inventory. Lucas was grossed out when he saw Will and Sonny kissing. The fact that the two lads could make an episode of "Dobie Gillis" look racy was lost on him. He even went to Sami and Adrienne to complain about it. As long as no one gives him the link to Will's private tumblr/blog, Lucas shouldn't explode in a fit and can continue funnelling his frustration into the time he spends doing his hair each day. He bumped into Adrienne and suggested they stop their kids from doing "y'know." She accused him of being a bigot. Will conveniently overheard the conversation and followed suit. If he keeps on like this, Mr. Roberts er uh Horton won't have anyone but Kate to talk to.

Other things noticed this week: for some reason I never caught on to this before, but there is a restaurant right next to the pub and it says 'Finest in Dining' in a mural on its wall. No one ever eats there. Caroline began mixing her children's names up, foreshadowing her 'mental decline', whatever that amounts to for a Brady. Meanwhile, Babs kept repeating that being in the SPD was a useless waste of time and no one, including Roman and Hope, would disagree with him. And the fact that the square is surrounded by an enormous garden hedge was finally revealed. Judging by Sami's statement that Rafe "... was leading me down the garden path and then turned onto the highway," we managed to figure out that the town is actually situated within the middle of an ornate garden maze, which would explain why we've never actually seen a road anywhere.

Lines of the week:
Nicole: (to Rafe) I've never seen anyone go so long without blinking.

Kate: (of Sami) She is incapable of genuine adult love.

Chad: He had your scarf... I mean, he had your scarf!

EJ: If it's children first, job second, what does that make Rafe? A child or a job?

Sami: Rafe was leading me down the garden path and then turned onto the highway

September 21, 2012
Roman told baby brother Babs that the Salem PD had to make further cutbacks. Since it was becoming impossible for them to claim that they did a better job policing the place than its random vigilantes and angry hobos, the government was further curtailing their funding. Hope decided she would live with the cut and sell the jewelry she lifted from perps to make ends meet. Babs was less sure that this was the life for him. Maybe it was the fact that the chowdah wasn't tasting as fresh as usual, but as Babs was reading his copy of "Sailing Digest" and recalling all the gay old times he'd had on the poop deck with his mullet flowing in the breeze, he couldn't help but wonder what else life had to offer. Hope got him to make a list of all the other things he wanted to be as a child, like a baseball player, a sailor, a cowboy, a police man, an Indian, a fireman, or one of the Village People. All of that sounded like it wouldn't suck as much as being in Salem. He and Hope discussed how none of their plots seemed to go anywhere. They just kept repeating themselves like nothing had ever happened and nothing they ever did made any difference. But perhaps no one was more confused by work this week than Justin. People keep calling him to represent them, even EJ, who already has a vast network of DiMera lawyers on the payroll. What makes even less sense is that Justin is just a corporate lawyer and, considering he only has one suit and lives with his uncle, apparently not a very successful one.

And now the other randomly recycled material... Kate and Sami got back to threatening each other. Kate had started a scandal on the interwebs over CW's use of slave labor. Sami seemed totally clueless. For reasons as random as Rafe's choice to start wearing an undershirt in public, Kate was cowed by the cop's threats that this could come back to bite her 'in the ass'. Obviously a prospect much worse than 'on the ass'. Kate had other things to worry about, like her grandson's lack of ass. Poor William once again nearly botched his date with Sonny thanks to Adrienne pointing out what Will has been repeating for years: that his parents are freaks who screwed him up. Kate and Sami teamed up to lecture Adrienne for daring to utter anything remotely true in Salem. Will moped to Marlena who clobbered him with everything she could remember from her self help guide, "To Hell And Back: A Guide To Loving All Of Your Personalities." Sonny finally ran in and took William out for a snog.

Across town, the lies kept flowing. Mel and Chad were lying so passionately to themselves, each other and everyone else that they couldn't even sleep at night. They had bags so deep under their eyes that Santa could have stored a decade worth of gifts there. Everyone worried. Victor came out of wherever he spends his time hiding and couldn't believe how stupid the whole thing was. He threatened to have 'the twit' Chadsworth taken care of. Something about Mel getting married makes people's trigger fingers itch. This week, Chad finally proved that he was ready to be a real DiMera by purchasing his first scarf. We all know that Stefano is currently at the DiMera Cashmere Company warehouse rolling around in a heap of scarves and pashminas. Mel finally decided to face Nick herself. They had a completely anti-climactic scene of forgiveness and then she ran off, leaving her little scarf behind. Chadsworth caught the felon with it and kicked the chowdah out of him.

And the infamous Salem sexagon continued to spiral out of control this week as Nicole, Rafe, Sami, Elvis, Daniel and Jenn endlessly recriminated, threatened and pounded on each other. Jenn railed at doctor Dan for jeopardizing his career to help Nicole. She did it over and over because he kept his eyes closed most of the time. Jenn must have assumed that meant he couldn't hear her. Cousin Marvin and I have a running debate about whether he closes his eyes to block out the person he's talking to, or if he's just trying to remember what they look like naked. We'll never know. Down in the square, EJ took a page from Lucas' playbook and sucker punched Rafe. Unfortunately for him, the former Fed beat him into the bushes. Sami assumed this was all about her and spent two episodes convincing Rafe that they needed to talk. Nicole chucked a hammer into that plan by photoshopping a picture of herself and Rafe in bed and then 'accidentally' exposing Sami to it. It was unclear if Sami was more horrified at seeing him in bed with another woman or the fact that it looked like it came from a dating site for swingers.

Lines of the week:
Lucas: I don't give a flying euphemism what you do to Sami.

Rafe: (about kissing Sami) It was stupid.

Mel: I'm okay, okay? I'm okay! Okay?

Nicole: I just want to make sure we're on the same page.
Abby: I don't even think we're in the same book.

Will: Even when I was little, I couldn't color between the lines.

Marlena: It may sound trite, but that's because it's true.

Hope: (to Bo) When did you become so boring?

Lucas: (to Sami) Your abandonment issues are beyond legendary sweetheart.

September 14, 2012
With Kayla heading back to the hospital, the pub had plenty of job openings. Gabbah and now Nick have joined the staff. Caroline offered him the job out of pity since no one else would hire him. Surprisingly, he didn't bother asking the SPD, the usual choice for drug addled ex-cons. It doesn't matter though. Either way, you spend all your time in the pub. Gabbah was still hating herself for what happened. That was the only thing that could explain her new hairstyle. But no matter how much she may have hated herself, there was only so much of Chadsworth threatening her with the unicorn-like dagger of hair he'd moulded on his head that she could take. Things snapped when Mel asked her to be in the wedding party. Chad ordered Gabbah not to go anywhere near the event and she threatened to expose him. He started to panic even more than normal. Her family was already panicking. Considering how much of this feels like it was recycled from the weakest parts of her story with Philip, they were right to worry.

On the more positive side of relationships, Will and Sonny continued to fumble toward something resembling an elementary school romance. From the way they were acting, I wonder if they still have the same cowboy patterned drapes in their bedrooms. Will worried that Sonny was swooning for Brian. Marlena should have craned her neck in to tell him that threesomes are okay. They can even be good for a relationship. If more people in Salem followed that advice, there would be a lot less grief.

Of course, Will isn't the only person who should be following that advice. Just look at his dad. But Lucas seems to be learning his lesson. He is slowly becoming a "DOOL" viewer. He's not entirely sure why he's there, but he can't turn away from the ongoing Daysaster that surrounds him. He had a chat with Rafe, advising him to steer clear of the sink hole that Sami's life tends to be. Rafe found it hard to listen. Maybe it was Sami's inflatable rear but he couldn't keep himself from being sucked back into her orbit. Rafe told Sami she shouldn't be with anyone. She was offended that he suggested she couldn't live without a man. Then she was even more offended that he wouldn't suggest a man she could live with. They kept arguing. He reminded her of the Sydnapping. She said that didn't matter anymore because it was a couple of years ago. Apparently Rafe didn't get the memo that after a maximum of two years (or whenever they get new writers), everything begins again like history never happened. However, he could tell she had doubts about Elvis because she was wearing her leather potato bag as a purse. It was filled with cab numbers, mace, a gun, some electrolytes, a flare pistol and her special disguise. Perhaps it was because she was dressed like a piece of Bazooka Joe, but he spontaneously pulled her into his mouth. Once he realized that a relationship with Sami was the only joke included, he ran away. She pulled out her glitter purse, which is so small it can barely contain birth control. EJ showed up for their date. She cancelled. He assumed Rafe was to blame and stalked off to find him.

Trying to get into Sami's knickers was keeping EJ distracted from the Nicole situation. The baby continued sucking all of the nutrients out of Nic's brain. That was the only thing that could explain her choice to name the unfortunate whelp 'Daniel R-r-r-rafael Hernandez.' Even Rafe thought that was probably the dumbest thing she could do. The brilliant surgeon, however, was very touched. She hoped he'd return the favor. And just as he was doing that, Jenn walked in. She was having a crappy week all around. Earlier, Brady sat in the square waiting for his grief support group. No one showed up but Jenn. He pulled out his big pretzel and asked her to take a bite. She obliged, explaining that she only eats out the middle. She used to leave the shell for Jack. No wonder the guy kept running off. I guess it was supposed to be ironic since, in the end, Jack was left a gooey middle with no shell. But the thing that seemed to disturb Jenn the most was Abby admitting that she's still a virgin. Jenn didn't know how to process that. Abby was one of the few women in the last two decades of Salem history to get past the age of twenty without becoming knocked up, skanky, raped or a rapist. (She almost did the last thing on the list to Austin.) Apparently all of those Hummel figurines she was surrounded by when she was growing up really did their magic.

Lines of the week:
EJ: Dull dull dull.

Jenn: I'm not an ancient country bumpkin. I know what I'm talking about.

Nicole: Daniel R-r-r-rafael Hernandez.

Sami: You think I'm a pathetic, needy, co-dependent fool?

Sami: It has to be different this time. No shooting each other, no cloning anything, no kidnapping.

September 7
Lucas has decided that as long as he's stuck in Salem after flushing away the life he built for himself abroad, he might as well be a useful tool. He seems to have appointed himself the agony aunt for all of the other men who go down Sami's 'one way street' as he called it. Apparently inheriting his mother's talent for vivid descriptions, he warned Elvis that men who get 'sucked in there' don't come back the same. EJ assured him that there was no sucking going on. This warning did make its way into the surviving half of EJ's brain, however. But it wasn't until Johnny constructed some kind of deformed phallus out of Lego and pointed it at the window that things really clicked for Elvis. That was precisely the kind of demented sign that he needed to plan his next move in getting Samanther back, even if it would only be, as Lucas warned, until Thanksgiving. After all, scarf season starts after the holiday and then he wouldn't want to be pinned down. Demonstrating what a caring father he was, he abruptly announced that Nicole's child must not be his and he'd leave it to Rafe to raise. Sami was flummoxed. For some reason, he was sure that his apparent indifference to children was now a turn on. This demonstrates that Post Sami Disorder results in people turning into inflatable asses.

When Elvis was not confusing Sami, she was being confused by her own feelings. She was mugged in the square and fell on top of Rafe. They panted into each other's mouths. Nothing says romance in Salem like getting mugged. Luckily she didn't land on EJ or she'd be pregnant. They continued to replay their memories of the safe house. He was obviously suffering the after effects of being sucked down Sami's one way street. This fact was further demonstrated when Rafe stormed in and accused her of firing his sister as a form of petty revenge. He admitted he was acting like a 'giant ass'. She confirmed that he was acting exactly like she does. Meanwhile, Nicole must have had an unseen run-in with Lucas because when she had an argument with Rafe, she almost asked herself about Sami's 'magical' realm before stopping herself and backing away. Nicole was suffering some kind of weird mental problem as well, perhaps as a result of she and Sami sharing their germs through EJ.

Questionable choices continued. Jenn asked Nicole to come and live with her at Horton House, home of the state's largest collection of Hummel figurines and needlepoint homilies. Cursed by her traumatic past, Nicole immediately began imagining what the porn parody version of this set-up would be. She turned her brain off and did her best to settle in as Jenn ushered her around the joint. Instantly feeling surrounded by a strange void, she began stuffing herself with popped corn to keep her gut 'bug' happy. Abby was a little baffled to walk in and find her there. I was more baffled by the fact that she won't stop talking to herself and the baby. Perhaps it was all the Hummel figurines, but she couldn't stop having corny fantasies about domestic bliss with Dr. Dan in their own little palace which she'd decorated in purple to go with his orange skin. She spent most of the week stalking around the hospital to the point that she's one step away from yammering the word 'fate' and turning into Salem's answer to Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald.

And in news actually related to some kind of plot: the brouhaha around Nick finally came to a head and it was no laughing matter. After being badgered by her father and boyfriend, Mel agreed to write a letter to the parole board to keep Nick out of sight. Considering how close she seemed to live to the prison, it's hard to imagine she hasn't seen him in the exercise yard. Nonetheless, half way through the hearing, she walked from her room and into the proceedings in a few seconds flat. After witnessing Jessica and Maggie moaning about Nick, and noticing that his hair had almost as much body and life as her grandma's, she had a change of heart and supported his parole. He was released. Mel tried reminding everyone that she used to be a scum bag but no one was willing to sit through all of the flashbacks to prove it. Chad was confused and angry. The front of his hair stood up to prove it and he rained threats down on Gabba Gabba when she wanted to return to modelling. Turning to Mel, he decided to prove how caring he could be. A different part of him stood up to prove it. She was still miserable. He ran off to threaten Nick, who didn't even know who he was or seem to care. With that out of the way, he dropped on his knee and popped the question to Mel. She was shocked. Just to relay her mental distress, or the general impact that Post Sami Disorder was having on the community, most of the week's episodes were spliced together with so many flashbacks and fantasies they felt like Oliver Stone's attempts to edit films like they were acid trips.

Lines of the week:
Sami: I feel like Lindsay Lohan. They're trying to make an example out of me.

Chad: No freaking way!

Nicole: Do-gooders always screw everything up!

Lucas: (to EJ) I'm an idiot, but no more than you.

Will: (to Sami) That's what happens when you don't check in at work for two months.

Chad: He's still a jerk, isn't he?
Sonny: He was born that way.

August 31, 2012
In the wake of the great Daysaster of 2012 that sucked half the town into a hole, people recovered from the deaths of loved ones and a dead relationship got a jolt back to something resembling life. Sami's brain was flooded with thoughts of three of the men who have shared duties looking after her fun tunnel recently. If she were a DiMera, no doubt she could have cloned bits of them together into some kind of Frankenstein's monster just in time for Halloween. Instead, we'll just have to watch her stumble around grunting while the show offers cheap remakes of her past romances. Sami was obviously completely disoriented by all of this. Just to drive this point home, she started dressing like it was St. Patrick's Day.

Things were looking up for Lucas. His brain is actually back in the 'on' position since his libido was turned off by news of Sami running off with Elvis. Lucas used to have a hard enough time deciding whether he should be known as Roberts or Horton, now he doesn't know if he should be called 'dumb ass' or 'sap.' Either way, he's decided (once and for all) that he's done with Sami (for real this time) and will never make this mistake again (this season). Meanwhile, Rafe received a promotion at Salem PD, insuring that he'll have even less work to do. Without Carrie's cleavage to contemplate in his spare time, he kept thinking of his past with Sami. This was only buttressed by the fact that he found the skanky (scarf/hanky) Sami carelessly dropped on the ground in the magically refurbished Horton Square.

Elvis managed to get bail thanks to his brother, Lord Chaddington. All charges were also dropped against William, thanks to Roman and Rafe's 'deliberate' systematic incompetence. EJ instantly grabbed the first bundle of flowers he could find and ran to Samanther's. After a photo op with his children, they were sent away with Caroline so that he and Sami could discuss how they always put the kiddies first. Seeing that she didn't have a skanky around her neck, he began licking it furiously until she made him back off. After she put a damper on the dampening, he ran off to see young William so that they could discuss their relationship. Will, still confused by Sonny and Brian's cream-based flirting (little bit of Jarlena there) and his own mistaken rendezvous down Gabi's dark alley, had to get his feelings for EJ straight. Since they were both free from penalty, their unspoken fantasies of an "Oz" style romance had been crushed by the cruel hands of fate.

The news came down that Nick Fallon was facing early parole. Cousin Marvin was furious that he didn't receive a letter from the parole board. He still hasn't forgiven Nick for killing off one of the only remotely interesting new characters introduced in the past decade. TPTB decided that, with Salem already a disaster, releasing a convicted killer couldn't do any harm. Nick wasn't sure that he could handle normal society again. After all, he's a decent guy who was convicted of a crime and Salem society is mostly populated by scum bags who are never convicted of anything (and that's just the cops). He was hounded by Julie, Maggie and Hope. The latter even dragged his mom into the mix to beg him to seek release when he was having second thoughts. Even Mel was having second thoughts about the whole thing. Chad and Maggie worried that she seemed upset in a way that even Midol couldn't cure. Since she couldn't make up her mind about how she felt, Brady and Chad tried to do it for her.

And Nicole continued to putter around town in her psychedelic preggo-wear talking to her inflated gut like it was the Great Gazoo. She apologized to Abe and Jenn for screwing them over. Abe didn't mind forgiving her. He didn't have the energy to care about this storyline anymore. Jenn, however, decided to act saintly now that she's gone mad with mourning. After Daniel's appallingly stupid plan to get Nic to move in with Victor was thrown onto the Salem trash heap, Jenn swooped in and declared that she could come and live with her at the Horton Dounut Factory.

Lines of the week:
Sami: My kids are the most important thing in the world to me and I have to do what's best for them.

Nicole: (to Daniel) I feel less used by you than any other man.

Kate: (to John) Shouldn't you be out fighting evil?

Nicole: I'm not a serene pregnant lady.

August 24, 2012
EJ came to with nothing but a pair of Sami's grannie panties on his face. He screamed until Ian whipped them off. Elvis was confused. Ian was drunk. Magically, this led to some of the most clear and coherent dialogue in months. Since Elvis has spent the last week speaking to Sami, his brain wasn't able to process it. Finally, Ian pulled back the curtain like a ghoulish Guy Smiley to reveal he had Stefano, alive and wheezing. He was supposed to be a zombie but the costume store only had Hannibal Lecter masks left over. Ian proceeded to offer a detailed critique of how stupid recent plots had been and how stupid EJ and Stefano are. He'd been pulling a DiMera style plot on them for months and they barely noticed he'd been stealing their old scripts. It was revealed that EJ really is a DiMera and the Alice letter a fake. It also revealed that Ian was tied to Santo and believed himself his rightful heir. While Stefano nodded off, EJ finally broke out of his usual sleepwalking and beat Ian up. Stefano was proud that Junior could beat up an inebriated sexagenarian. That just proved what an authentic DiMera he was. Elvis wasn't interested in a family reunion and left them to the cops.

Over at the safe house, Rafe startled Sami. He was more startled to see her in a cocktail dress. Bickering erupted until Coolio ran in to stop it. As he wrestled with Rafe and tried to gut him with a butter knife, Sami grabbed a gun and squeezed off a shot. Coolio was injured so Rafe bound and gagged him before sitting down to gab with Sami. She whined about how the handcuffs hurt her wrists and started blaming the Daysaster and the Mayan apocalypse on Carrie. He finally told her that she left town. Sami started blaming herself for everything before getting whimsical about the days when he nearly died for a penguin. Elvis finally interrupted and was dismayed to see that Sami had marks on her wrists. He licked his lips, hoping it was something kinky. However, Rafe did not pull out a scarf from an unexpected hiding place. Instead, he just began bickering with him as usual. EJ managed to explain what had happened with Ian and the Stefano doppelganger. Somewhere, RoboRafe was turning in his grave. Sami went home to think about EJ and Rafe as she fondled tea bags. Meanwhile, Kate took the news that Stefano was alive the hardest of all. He made no secret that he wanted nothing to do with her. She was sure to tell her children that she would go down on her knees to make him come back to her. This vivid description helped to explain why they kept her out of the marketing department at CW.

Sonny "King of the Gays" Kiriakis was so relieved that William was not killed or maimed by the great Daystaster of 2012 that he gave him a peck. That freaked Will out because he's usually the one throwing his lips around some guy when he's not expecting it. He made it clear to Sonny that there was no benefit to being his friend. Sonny was getting an inkling of what it means when Will claims he does everything 'half-assed', especially being gay. It didn't help that Little Lord Taddington was back in the mix. Apparently he'd been studying Advanced Doucebaggery at Salem U. (I believe they offer a Masters in it) and started goading the gents when he wasn't spending his time hanging around the toilet stalls. Brian couldn't understand how Sonny was so obsessed with Will. He should have pointed out that taking a boy's virginity isn't nearly as exciting as it sounds, especially one who is only willing to put half his ass into it. Sonny was unperturbed until he had another run-in with Tad, who pummelled him.

Will was disappointed in himself for acting like his mother. Just to prove it, he and Gabba Gabba had grief sex. Since the pub booths were in use, they had to use her old bed. This instantly confirmed to him that he was 'completely gay' and he wasn't shy about telling her that. It wasn't much of a surprise to her. The fact that he was calling out Elvis' name probably tipped her off. And the trauma continued for Mel this week. Julie broke the news to her that Nick is now up for parole.

Lines of the week:
EJ: If I hadn't fled jurisdiction, you Muppets would have charged me with murder.

Rafe: Another double? Can't you be a little more original?

Stefano: He is not a DiMera! He is a bastard.

Ian: Tada!

Will: Everything I do is half-assed. 

Will:  I wasn't think straight... Well, I was thinking straight but I'm gay.

Kate: I would go down on my knees to make him forgive me.
Lucas: Enough with the visual already.

Lucas: Why is it that only the people you don't like come back from the dead?

August 17, 2012
In its first non-chowdah related gas explosion, Salem had as many stiffs lying around as a Misty Circle movie. Well, maybe not that many... Trapped in one of the town's infamous elevators, Abby was left to horrifically contemplate the inevitable destruction or debauchery. What followed was as unfortunate as her taste in bright blue parachute-pantsuits. Jack leaped in to save her. Although she was dressed like a genie, she couldn't grant any wishes. Being on "DOOL" for so long allowed Jack to smell his demise in the air so he took his chance to say his goodbyes before shoving her out to plummet to his death. As he fell, all of his past deaths passed before his eyes. Sadly, he didn't land like a cat. All that was left was a plastic wallet with a thirty year old photo in it and his old wedding band.

Over at the DiMera warehouse, Samanther hung on Elvis' fingers as she dangled in mid-air. Although she's always full of hot air, she only had enough to keep her floating for one episode. They took the opportunity to argue about who should be left to look after the children. Luckily for them, Will arrived just in time to offer to babysit. He helped his mom to safety and she quickly ran off with Elvis, refusing to leave his side. Strangely enough, after she'd admitted that she could barely look after the children, he agreed to let her look after him. They went to stay at a DiMera safe house. Somewhere out there, laughing penguins began to shudder. After she told EJ how much she wanted to save him, she decided to try using him as a human shield the second someone burst in with a gun. It was only Coolio, the friendly DiMera henchman. He went off to wake up his wife to cook them dinner and then stole clothes from her closet for them. Seeing Sami dressed up like Blossom on a bad day seemed to arouse EJ's adolescent fantasies. Or it would have if he'd ever actually been a teenager. He thought that she looked amazing, dressed like an eight year old in flowery leggings. He could hardly stop himself from molesting her. They made out until his computer began to beep. He ran off to follow a tip that could clear his name. However, it was a trap and he quickly had his head clobbered.

Back in Salem, Nicole was trapped in what appeared to be a fort constructed by Syd and Johnny before they left. Dr. Orange yelled at her until Babs spontaneously noticed that she was trapped in front of a door and might have walked through it. In spite of this, and in spite of Babs noticing the door was wide open, both the doctor and the cops remained convinced that she was somewhere in the wreckage and continued to search. Eventually exhausted by the futility of this, they went out for some air and noticed Nic stumbling around as green as a guest at one of Kate's dinner parties. After pumping her full of meds to prevent her water breaking on his penny loafers, the doctor passed her off to some paramedics. Sadly, Nicole had never felt so loved in her life. She hinted at this to Father Matt. However, Daniel continued to demonstrate that he doesn't understand women by interpreting all of this as a sign that she didn't really want him.

Back in the ballroom, Madi died in Ian's arms as she mumbled Brady's name. This broke Ian's heart. He was so distraught that his Scottish accent kept coming out. Conveniently, Kate was there to hear him tell the dead woman how much he loved her and how he was only using Kate to get to the DiMera fortune. Katherina was outraged. She stalked Ian straight across town to rail at him. Without any food to poison, all she could do was throw drinks in his face. When that failed, she slapped the smirk off. He picked it up off the floor and used it to pummel into her head the fact that he'd killed Stefano. Just to let her know how serious he was, he called her 'lady' so many times that it almost opened a vortex for them to step back in time to happier days.

Meanwhile, being trapped in a confined space with Melanie and close to death was actually making Brady seem happier and better adjusted than he has in years. They tried to joke around but it wasn't laughing gas that was slowly killing their brains. After some mouth to mouth action, they basically dug themselves out, reuniting with Gabba and Chaddington before heading above ground. Everyone was basically fine. Gabba was distraught though and confessed things to Chad, who wasn't following her line of thought at all. As soon as he stepped away to do the laundry, Andrew was wheeled in.

Lines of the week:
Sami: Cable TV? How does this work anyway?
EJ: I think all you have to do is press the red button on top.

Ian: If you think I'm capable of killing, you better watch your step, lady!

Brady: Was your tongue just in my mouth?

Sami: Let me go. It would be okay for the kids.

August  3, 2012: "This isn't really happening."
For the past week, little teasers have been leaking out about the enormous changes that will hit "DOOL" when it returns for Daysaster week after the Olympics. Soap Opera Fan Blog attended a select screening of the first episode of the explosive week and was able to smuggle out this recap.

*** Please note: this is not a real recap. It is intended solely for humorous purposes. Enjoy the rest of the Olympics and come back for the real spoilers next week. ***

In spite of EJ's election promises, Salem continues to be sucked into the sewer as half the town sinks during the great Daysaster of 2012. Explosions leave everyone rattled. Doug and Julie suddenly remember why they never stick around for long while, across town, Billie realizes why she doesn't bother getting involved in any of the plots. There's so much electricity pulsing through the air that it might almost be enough to revive Roman's love life. Victor does his best to control the situation with the power of cursing while Maggie loses her balance when her hair shoots up like the bride of Frankenstein's. They hide out under a table with Doug and Julie. She sings them torch songs and Doug recalls his old adventures in the tunnel in rhyming couplets.

A wave of chowdah flies across the ballroom, sending Abe and Kayla into a pile-up in the corner in the closest thing to sex either of them have had in years. The substance also covers Cam as he slips and slides across the floor while Abby remains trapped in the elevator of doom. The gooey white fluid reminds him of how much he has come to care for Abba. He flashes back through their torrid summer romance of box socials, sack races and all night marathons of Curious George. By the miracle of love, she is thinking exactly the same thoughts. However, all of the slow motion flashes of his grin are interrupted by the nagging fact that she is about to die in a putrid pink outfit. The elevator creaks and it's about to tumble. Somewhere Chloe shudders.

And speaking of things falling... Sami plummets straight at Lucas as she falls from the landing after her dad nearly pops a cap in her. The stress is so great that it's caused her ass to inflate like a life preserver. After bouncing off of Lucas' head, she ricochets around the room before deflating on top of a crate of DiMera brand artichoke dip. Seeing how gracefully her posterior can buzz through the air reminds Elvis of his profound connection with her. Even more importantly, the artichoke dip reminds him that it was one of Santo's favorite ways to seduce wayward young women with bad accents. He suddenly realizes that he is still the spitting image of his non-grandfather. While Lucas and Roman are lecturing Sami, Elvis remains transfixed and realizes he must have been cloned from Santo's DNA. But how?

Deep down in the gassy underbelly of Salem, Mel is perplexed when Andrew is talking to Gabi in a way that is too familiar for a stalker. "Yo Gabba Gabba, what's up with that?" Mel asks her frenemy. Before she can answer, Brady lunges at them while Chad leaps on Andrew to pummel him. More Styrofoam and papier mache rocks tumble down from above. That's what happens when everything relies on mob construction. Trapped under the wreckage, Brady begins to dig his way out by going down. Going by the level of geographic knowledge common to Salemites, he's sure that he can reach Beijing or Toronto if he can get down a few more feet. Unfortunately, it's so dark he can't see what he's doing and doesn't notice he's on top of Mel. She doesn't even know which direction she's facing so she tries digging up and the two of them go nowhere.

Back up in the ballroom, John and Marlena are trapped under the dessert table. They are panicking so much that their eyebrows are leaping back and forth across their faces. She gasps and burbles until he tries sucking the terror out of her mouth. When that fails, he fills her mouth with the strawberries on the floor and licks whipped cream off her face as she pats his head and he groans, "Doc!" Across the room, Nicole thinks she's about to go into labor thanks to all of the stress. On opposite sides of the building, both Rafe and Daniel suddenly think that they've developed a case of sympathetic pregnancy when they notice they are standing in pools of water and start feeling cramps. They guess something must be wrong with Nicole. As they frantically search, Kate is busy searching for Ian, who has managed to corner Madison in the green room where he finally reveals that he is actually an android.

July 27, 2012
Carrie and Austin said their sad farewells fast. They didn't want to waste any more time in Salem when they could be watching championship speed walking at the Olympics. He tried calling his siblings but none of them could be bothered to return his calls. Lucas was busy folding Sami's panties and Billie was busy doing whatever it is she does. Only his mother agreed to meet with him and sob about his hasty departure. It was the only way he could save his marriage. The only people Carrie said goodbye to were her father and Rafe. Roman was used to people leaving him so he had a speech prepared. Rafe was a little more lost for words but clung to whatever cliches he could find. To make things worse, she showed him a memo from the new writers suggesting he give her sister another shot. He gagged on that.

As Carrie and Austin left town, things were starting to ramp up. Ominous clouds were building. This was made clear by a scene in which Jack talked about how happy he was, a sure sign of impending doom for someone. Across town, Elvis was arrested for impersonating a DiMera and killing his non-father. The cops were giddy to get him in cuffs. Elvis John complained that they weren't as snug as the Hello Kitty brand fuzzy cuffs that Nicole used to use on him. He went down to the cells to wait as Sami and William worked on his case. Sonny was getting annoyed by how much Will was pining after Elvis. He was starting to realize that he may have to do more than wear plaid to get William's attention. Before Sonny could slip into the DiMera scarf closet to find something more comfortable, Will ran off to see Elvis and tell him that he considered him 'more than just a boss'. Later, after Sami and Lucas tossed bananas at each other until she fell out of the tree, she snuck over to the station to reveal that she had the revealing footage of him being framed. He gave her a peck. EJamis palpitated. While the cops led him off to spread and get deloused for his cell, she was mugged and the flashdrive of the footage clearing him was stolen. She put up CW for collateral to get him out anyway. He thought he was doomed. Things got worse when the cops were tipped off that he was about to skip the country. Sami thought that sounded like a terrific idea. For some reason, he agreed that leaping on the jet that had been mysteriously prepared by whoever had been framing him sounded wise. After saying goodbye to his children, he prepared to go. The departure hit a snag when Roman and his men arrived after following Will there. For mysterious reasons, Lucas was there too. Sami decided to use herself as a human shield to protect the man she once used for target practice. Before the cops could fire, an explosion hit.

Apparently, Brady finished rehab in record time. At least that's what I thought until I remembered that an afternoon in Salem is equivalent to several months in any other part of the world. That trip, in itself, should have been enough to sober him up. He and Madi instantly did the stupidest thing possible and rubbed it in Ian's face, telling him all of their plans. Rehab can put you back on the wagon but they can't give you those brain cells back. Across town, Victor was wishing that Daniel would be using his brain cells a little more than other parts of his body. Somehow, the Kiriakis mansion became the set for a sitcom called "Victor Knows Best." Dr. Dan didn't appreciate having a lecture about his sex life in the middle of his daughter's kidnapping crises. Maggie didn't like it either.

Meanwhile, Mel continued to suck in the gas in the tunnels under town. She managed to make Andrew reveal his face to her. Unfortunately, that didn't bring out the better part of his personality. She grabbed his phone and called Chad, who went down to the tunnels with Brady. Gabba Gabba had to think fast. Unfortunately, she may be one of the few people in town who actually thinks slower than the Salem PD. Gabi ran down on her own to warn her partner in crime. He didn't take it well. The place started to shake and explode. Back up above, Babs and Hapless stuffed their faces at the gala until the rumblings hit. She had to explain they weren't coming from him. Abby wound up trapped in an elevator that started rocking. Normally in Salem, that could only mean one thing, but with the show's new direction, it means something slightly less traumatic.

Lines of the week:

EJ: That's okay. You never know when Brady incompetence will kick in.

Sami: I don't know why anybody does anything anymore.

Victor: Fruit flies have longer relationships than you, Nicole.
Nicole: Well, I never took biology.
Victor: That's a shame because you're so good at it.

July 20, 2012
Although things in Salem have always been gassy, it is only lately that we've come to appreciate the full extent of their noxious stench. Mel remained trapped in the cavernous underworld of the tiny city. The bootlegger tunnels/escape routes/sewer system has been the site of numerous captives and corpses over the years. Lexie died from the gases under the town and Max and Mimi stumbled upon skeletons there. It was only a matter of time before Mel would be dragged into the pit, like most former internet celebrities. Her captor did his best to keep her comfortable. Andrew shocked her by revealing that he actually listens to her endless moaning. He even snuck away to buy her a teddy bear to keep her company. That didn't quell her bellowing and the ceiling couldn't handle it anymore. It began dumping itself on them in a bid to end the noise.

Up above, Chad continued running around as wrought up as a well-groomed emo rocker. Although his hair was no longer telegraphing his feelings, Daniel's continued to frazzle uncontrollably. Nicole did her best to calm him by swaying her tropical muumuu before his eyes and encouraging him to think of surfing. Even that wasn't enough to calm him. He was so upset he was turning from orange to white, like a Creamsicle left out in the summer sun. Babs and Hapless were busy actually doing police work. He knocked things over with his battering ram and wondered if he needed to call in the catapult. She got busy chasing down leads from all of the paperwork which Andrew had stupidly left lying around. Although Gabba-Gabba's fingerprints were all over things, no one but Abigail managed to have the slightest clue about what that could imply. Gabba-Gabba did her best to hide her panic by adding so much extra body to her hair that it nearly hid her face.

Meanwhile, facing the prospect of life in prison seemed to make EJ as horny as a trip to the scarf factory outlet store. The pressure seemed to be driving him utterly insane. He began regressing to an earlier period in his life in an attempt to cope. Luckily for him, all of the scripts from that time were still lying around. He and Samanther began re-enacting earlier moments from their relationship in an endless series of bedroom eye glances occasionally interrupted by the plot. It was kind of like watching a reunion of The Monkees for a PBS telethon. Over at the station, the Salem PD continued to sit on their carefully gloved hands and wait for news. Luckily for them, Lucas was as snoopy as the mother of a teenage girl and went through his son's backpack to discover the infamous letter. Lucas tipped off John and Marlena, who were ecstatic about it and then brought it to the cops. Rafe was so excited he could barely smirk. It was the easiest remedy to the blues that he and Roman were feeling thanks to Carrie's declaration that she was leaving Salem for somewhere they can actually make decent chocolate and keep time. It wasn't long before the cops trundled into their car and sped over to Casa DiMera to arrest Elvis, the DiMera impersonator. That news left Sami's mouth hanging so open it almost counted as a lewd gesture.

And the battle of the eyebrows heated up this week as John and Ian had their first face off. Madi had called John to inform him that Brady was back in rehab. It appeared that Ian wasn't just keen to upset the apple cart; he was also pushing people off the wagon. This was even starting to irk Kate, no matter how many times he put kiss-kiss in his texts to her. She was starting to think that he imagined she'd just fallen off the turnip truck. That's how they met of course, back when she was running a brothel to service itinerant turnip farmers and McAllister had his own turnip plantation. It was there that he taught her all that she knows about cosmetics by letting her experiment on the pigs he kept out back. It looked like Ian's enemy list was about to expand even further. Sami had remembered that Salem hadn't quite left its extreme witch hunting ways in the past. Her father had ordered that the entire town be kept under perpetual surveillance. This meant that there was a camera on every street and darkened alleyway, leaving her the chance to spot a shadowy figure fishing EJ's gloves out of the local dumpster.

Lines of the week:
Lucas: Shut up and kiss me!

Austin: This is a great kinda scary.

Carrie: I'm in a box but I don't think I built it.

John: I love the smell of good news in the morning. It smells like victory.

John: Junior isn't junior after all.

Sami: (to EJ) We are the opposite of good.

EJ: Let the salvation begin.

Andrew: You can stay here with Mr. Bear.

July 13, 2012
Now that Sami has become used to seeing Lucas wearing her dainties and delicates again, they decided it was time to have a serious relationship talk. Lucas whipped out a bracelet which Alice had left for Sami. He wasn't going to bother giving it to her, but now that they're sleeping together, he thought he had to reward her with something. If they manage to keep hooking up every few years like they have been, eventually he'll have to give her Alice's false teeth. (They still have the stains from all the donut grease.) Sami was touched in the way that only she could be. Lucas rushed over to the townhouse where John was using his teeth to trim Marlena's toenails. Lucas told them how worried he was about the situation with Will. Once again, John swore that he would remove the DiMeras from his family's lives. (Stopping short of himself, obviously). He vowed to take control of Bro Stefano's empire. John's eyes lit up. Just imagine what all that money could do? He would change DiMera from doing whatever the hell it does now into being a giant strawberry and whipped cream conglomerate. They could open strawberry and whipped cream shops on every street corner in the world. Nowhere would be safe from him expressing his love for Doc in the most medically questionable way possible.

Across town, Will was so drunk on his minimal amount of power that he seemed to hiccup through every sentence. However, his cunning plan to save Elvis was not going as planned. After a verbal spanking from William, EJ had agreed to take the polygraph. Things started badly when they asked him if he was Stefano's son and they went down after that. It didn't help that a mysterious gloved figure had already bribed the test administrator to brand Junior a liar. Failing the test made the unDiMera livid, and when EJ gets angry, he gets violent... or horny, it's the same thing for him. He went to see Sami so that they could spray each other with hate. Perhaps it was the fact that he could still smell Lucas on her lips, but he found that nearly irresistible. Remembering that he is so fertile that even the bacteria in his mouth can get a woman pregnant, she leaped away at the last minute. She then stacked up a load of fertilizer about how important her kids were. He made her promise to look out for them if he went to the big house. (Aside from Will of course, since they would be bunkmates). Lucas walked in on this close moment and wasted no time waxing nostalgic about the time he spent sharing showers and a can in the clink. The three of them bickered about who loved who and who was the most caring parent. As usual, the kids were at the babysitter's so they couldn't ask them for their opinions. Eventually, EJ left and Sami and Lucas started inhaling each other.

Meanwhile, Brady made it clear that he hadn't been inhaling anything. He cornered Madi at the mansion to explain that he'd flushed his coke down the toilet. He hoped their relationship hadn't gone with it. She had a hard time being optimistic. She's used to being with a man who controls everything, not one who can't control much of anything.

And the Salem PD had a busy week... When they weren't searching EJ's apartment to discover pre-packaged and obviously placed evidence, they had a slightly more difficult task. Daniel had been torn away from his endless ball play with Nicole by Chaddington. The hair model was confident that his lady love had gone missing. Bope were recruited to search. From finding her passport, they guessed Mel couldn't have gone far. Apparently, the rest of the world has decided to make it difficult for Salemites to visit. The feeling seems to be mutual. Although Babs reminded Mel's family that, in reality, most abductions and other crimes are things that family and friends do to each other, in Salem they are more often done by random outsiders. As the show continued to rely on scapegoating the mentally ill, we could sense that Andrew was moving further to the dark side by the fact that he was wearing pink. Mel couldn't handle the sense of impending doom he projected when he forced her to listen to his Rush playlist. Gabi's paranoia forced her to darn her own clothes from green doilies. Pretty soon she was begging madcap Andy to let Mel go free. He wasn't about to let that happen. Proving that he'd lost all touch with reality, he admitted that he'd become smitten with his captive and soon vanished with her.

Lines of the week:
Sami: Obviously Iím not capable of committing the perfect murder. Iíve tried.

Andrew: When a girl likes a guy, they like them, they don't try to escape from them.

John: He'll be just another guy with a funny name.

Marlena: Stinks.
John: Yeah, stinks.

Sami: I'm not a prize!

July 6, 2012
Now that Will has been publicly outted to become Salem's most high profile gay man, his friends in the community were expecting him to be a little more open about it. But that's not Will's style. He got an earful about it from one of his club friends, but Sonny was there to stand up for Will, make puppy dog eyes at him and say how much he wanted 'to be there' for him. William had more on his mind than his sex life though. Or did he? He was more interested in what EJ was hiding in his drawers. After opening one up to find out, he spent most of the week trying to push Elvis into a corner and let him have it. Discovering that EJ is not a DiMera was pay dirt for Will. Unfortunately, he did the stupidest thing he could and put the evidence in a safe that half the town has the combination to. The fact remains that, aside from a letter from Alice, Will had no proof of anything and, aside from his own testimony, EJ had nothing to put William away for putting one in him. They were at a standstill anyway. William just wanted to be his right hand. I don't think I need to explain why. Elvis still doubted that Will really knew him at all. Knowing him was exactly what Will wanted. But if Will really wanted to get into EJ's head and heart, he probably should have picked up a few scarves. In the end, he cowed Elvis into caving to at least one of his suggestions. EJ agreed to take a polygraph.

Non-DiMera related criminality continued around town. Mel made another lame attempt to escape from the clutches of her captor and failed. It was hard to believe that the scrappy lass who was once known as Premier Party Girl, and who used to fleece and pound on men left and right, was reduced to this. That's what loving a DiMera seems to do to people though. Andrew thought it was hilarious that Gabba-Gabba has been living at Chadsworth's for weeks and can't even get him to roll over on her at night. She hadn't even managed to 'accidentally' drop a towel or secretly break the AC so they would have to lay around, half naked and glistening. Apparently the Gabster was not raised watching soap operas. Realizing this, Andrew started having major misgivings. Being sleazy in Salem is one thing, being stupid in Salem is something else, but being both at the same time is a recipe for disaster. The fact that most of their conversations take place next to a stairway, which is the "DOOL" equivalent of the Grim Reaper, wasn't boding well either.

And staying in the vein of the sleazy... Nicole and Daniel did their best not to name what they had together. This could have been because the Misty Circle flick she was in with the same plot was titled, "Open Wide: The Knocked Up Nympho And Dr. Luv." She was shocked he stayed the night with her when he had a perfectly good vibrating bed at home. He couldn't have shied away from the chance of waking up with her. His one positive memory of Chloe was holding her hair while she had morning sickness. He was annoyed, however, when he realized that she seemed to have feelings for Rafe. Since he'd already been in one supremely unsexy threesome, he wasn't about to get into another. Nicole managed to prove how much she cared about him by claiming that she can't swallow when he's around and then drooled on his breakfast.

In a similar vein, Rafe and Carrie gorped at each other with so much wide eyed longing that they could have turned into Hummel figurines. And to think, it's been nearly a year since he fell in love with her sweaty cleavage in their office, and now the only chance he'll get to see it again is if he walks in on her breastfeeding another man's child. She did her best to fight off her softcore porn fantasies but it wasn't working. Even being in bed with Austin was barely enough to turn her off. Across town, Cameron got a job running the life support wing his sister spent her career filling up. This thrilled Abigail so much that she floated up to him rather than using the foot stool she usually carries around under her skirt. Kayla did her best to encourage her niece to nab the doctor. After all, she's a doctor so she knows what a great catch they are. In a few decades, maybe Cameron will have worked his way up to slinging chowder at the Brady Pub too.

Lines of the week:
Will: (to EJ) We've taken our relationship to the next level. I own you now.

EJ: (to Will) You obviously know something of the ins-and-outs of doing things.

Sami: Who is the father? My husband or yours?

Carrie: I don't live like you. I don't have to look at the calendar to figure it out.

June 29, 2012
The week opened with Nicole opening up to Daniel. She was waiting on his desk to show him the downward pointing arrow she'd painted on her baby bump. "Now this is why I got into medicine!" he exclaimed. After he showed her what his shaky hands can do, she popped off to bustle around town. She managed to get it into her head that, since the Salem PD was as impotent as ever, she had to take matters into her own hands. She went straight to EJ's lair and pretended to faint. After lecturing Nicole about how she could never be trusted, Elvis bought her convenient swooning without a second thought and then swanned off to hunt down her food fix. She took the time to hunt for clues and found a bunch of bullets. Meanwhile, Rafe and pregnant Carrie sat on his desk. Smooth customer that he is, he'd heard through the grapevine that it was the best place to seduce a pregnant woman. They resisted their urges. The fact that the hotel potpourri she was chewing on hardly masked the scent of morning sickness no doubt helped.

Meanwhile, Will was out of the closet and eager to climb back in. At least, he was eager to get into EJ's closet. He was sure that he could find some skeletons in there. Little did he know that he was more likely to find a collection of scarves and some surprising DNA. Although William nearly got his hands on EJ's paternity papers, Elvis snatched them away before he could read them. Will drifted around town. He was harangued by his parents about getting back into bed with EJ. They thought he needed protection. Sami knows a thing or two about what happens when you fail in that department. When she tried confronting Elvis, however, he merely threatened to give Will her job. After all, William is about as qualified to do it as she is. Astoundingly, this shut her up. She went back to playing house with Lucas. Apparently, most of his clothes haven't been shipped over because he was wearing hers. At the rate he's going, he can soon join Carrie in her muumuu shopping sprees.

Over at Titan, Madi was shocked when she caught Brady drinking a bathtub full of protein shakes after his morning jog. She'd been wanting to talk about this for days. He'd been leaving strangely scented trails of eggy whiteness around the halls and had a crusty blob forming around his mouth every night as he snored. When she found him doing push-ups on the salad bar at Chez Rouge she decided it was time to confront him. To his horror, his drug test revealed that he was stoned. First came denial, but it didn't last. Brady had been sober so long that it took him weeks of being stoned to notice that he was actually high. And then came anger. He lashed out at Ian, kicked his furniture, drew moustaches all over pictures of him and blew enough raspberries during their 'conversation' that Abby and Cam could have been picking them up for months.

Down at the station, Agent Spencer had only been around for five minutes but he'd already noticed that for nearly twenty years, everything in Salem seems to be running on recycled scripts. He worried that Roman and Rafe couldn't be objective. Roman insisted they could be as long as it didn't involve Marlena. Nicole showed up with the bullets. The cops were sure they must mean something. "EJ doesn't shoot blanks," Nic reminded them. Blank stares. She went off on a date with Daniel. He tried to impress her with his yodeling. She was amazed he was tolerable while she was sober. Over at Chez Rouge, Lexi's friends and family drank to remember her. They recalled her past as a vigilante, but avoided her affairs with half the men in Abe's family. Only Sami was willing to point out, to EJ, that the only woman in Salem who was a better liar and blackmailer than her was the dearly departed Dr. Carver.

Lines of the week:
Spencer: Stefano's death is history repeating itself.

Daniel: I like it crazy

Brady: We'll be sad today. Sad day. Then fun weekend. Crazy!

June 22, 2012
It was a solemn week in Salem. After what felt like an eternity, Lexi finally passed away. It was in the flower garden Abe had been tending in their yard. She was amazed to see the five by five swamp back there looking so good. They talked about old times and, before he could open the picnic basket, she was worm food. Her ghost quickly started running around, condemned for an eternity to be wrapped in a cardigan. Apparently Isabella got one of the last flowing white robes they have on the other side. Lexi's demise unleashed a festival of cuddling. Abe hugged EJ, he hugged Theo, he hugged Cameron, he hugged Celeste, he hugged John and Marlena, he hugged Bo and Hope, he even received a hug from his deceased wife. Meanwhile, Chad received hugs from Abby and Gabi while Will received hugs from Sami, Lucas, John, Marlena, Sonny and Neil. That wasn't related to Lexi dying however. It was because Neil finally came forward to give William an alibi. Roman was startled and worried but the rest of the family already had their "I'm proud of my gay grandson, son, cousin or co-worker" bumper stickers ready to go. Sonny assured Will that it was all no big deal. It seemed like no big deal. Amidst all of this innocuousness, Elvis took a break from grieving for a few minutes to get excited when Agent Spencer showed up. He was glad to finally find a man in town who wasn't 'impotent'. Unfortunately, this was short-lived. After Rafe, quite crudely, shuffled the snuff photos of Stefano around for Junior to see, his mood became sour again.

Sourness was the mood elsewhere as well. Kate took Carrie out shopping for muumuus and urged her to get a house before she plumped up to the size of her hotel room. As a sign of generosity, she also gave her a threat. Kate handed her a dagger and said she would go medieval on her ass if she started bed hopping. In a bewildering move, Carrie told her enemy to keep the weapon. She probably should have suggested she use it to finally cut the cord to her son and let him loose.

At Titan, Brady's loose lips were causing gossip. Madison realized that he had fallen off the wagon when he imagined that her top kept asking him to connect the polka-dots to reveal what animal was hidden in their pattern. He decided to get a drug test to prove he wasn't stoned. Ian did his best to look shocked and concerned. Brady ran off to find Daniel to administer the test and then they jogged over to see Victor and Maggie. They were in the middle of getting back together. She had just refused his latest advances. When he threw his hands up and refused to fight for her, she was impressed. When he explained that he would never fight for the people he cared about, she was won over. After all, people are people, not whatever it is he ships in his boats now (male beauty products and porn or something). Before Maggie could run upstairs to see if her hair would still fit through the bedroom doorway, the doctor and the druggie arrived. She offered Brady a pep talk about his protein shakes while Daniel yakked with Victor about Nicole. "Brady may be falling off the wagon, but you'd have to fall off a turnip truck to get down with her," Victor advised the doctor. That wasn't enough for Daniel though. Although he confronted Nicole for manipulating him, he couldn't get over their chemistry. It was so hot his hair was perming itself as he gawked at her. They challenge each other about who the bigger pervert was until it became overwhelming. Unfortunately for him, he was called off to deal with his other patients.

His daughter's week was no less exciting. Mel sensed someone was on her tail and, carefully avoiding any staircases, led them halfway across town and into the skeeziest alleyway in all of Salem in a bid to keep herself safe. Andrew quickly found her there and she was soon dumped into the deluxe cell he had installed in his basement. Cozier than a DiMera cell, it featured a comfortable duvet and thoughtfully soundproofed walls so she wouldn't be forced to listen to her captor play Guitar Hero all day. Soap Opera Fan Blog received a stage side confession that these cells keep re-appearing because the writers for the show arae locked into similar cells by Corday on a daily basis. Their plan to change the show's tagline to, "Like the chalk marks on the cell wall, so are the days of our lives," was shot down. Mel was also nearly shot down when she attempted to escape. However, Gabi was happy to have her out of the picture. While she was getting grabby with Chadsworth, Abby was charming Cameron with her ability to pull berries out of the dirt. Maybe it was all of her bending over that finally did it, but he decided that he wanted to stick it out in Salem.

Lines of the week:
Marlena: Oh gosh! There are no words.

Rafe: My gut is doing fine. It led me to you didn't it?

Nicole: If you knew what qualified as my idea of sex, your head would explode.

June 15, 2012
It was not the most pleasant week for Elvis WhateverHisLastNameIsNow. As he whistled the funeral march on the way to Casa DiMera, he was disturbed to find Rafe inside. The cop barred his entrance. EJ fumed and then simply wandered in the back door. Apparently Rafe had been distracted by EJ's infamous scarf room so it was easy for Elvis to grab his paternity papers and skulk off. He had urgent business to take care of. Will had been arrested and was facing a lifetime of being locked up with buff and horny men with only one shower between them all. That must not have been too far from Elvis' mind when he swanned in to bail him out, insisting that it was not by any means out of the goodness of his heart. William had mixed feelings about this, but looked at him with puppy dog eyes and wondered if this meant that he would be working under him again. His parents weren't worrying about that. They were worrying about everything else. Mostly about the fact that they had no idea what was going on. That led to Will blaming his mom for what was going on and his mom blaming her mom and Marlena being 'the voice of reason' which, in Salem, means staying silent.

The memorial came. Chad was so distraught he didn't even wear a tie. EJ didn't even wear black and sported one of the psychedelic sea foam ties that they sell at the crawfish depot. But Lexi arrived in black and looking like death warmed over. Lexi's brain death had started catching up to her. Either that or she'd just run out of her Mary Kay. Sami dropped in and wanted to hammer a nail into Stefano to see if he was really gone. Johnny wept to his father that he now had no one left to play chess with. Chadsworth's hair wilted and Mel did her best to keep it from dragging his head to the floor. And while the DiMeras and ex-DiMera said heartfelt goodbyes to their father, Kate and Nicole showed up in black to argue about who the town's biggest slut was. Kate sobbed about how much she loved her dead billionaire husband. He almost came back from the dead to ask her why she didn't dye her streak black to prove it. She tried to bury herself in work. Madi attempted to treat her compassionately. Kate didn't return the favor when it came to Brady. She was still miffed that he'd been running around as wasted as a poet on payday. While she suspected that he'd been overdosing on her special Midol brownies, the truth was that Ian was peppering Brady's morning cup o'whipped walrus phlegm with some kind of mysterious dope.

All of the other murder suspects got on with their lives. They were cleared of having gun powder residue, but that didn't stop Marlena from sounding a little too sure that Will was not the guilty party. He wasn't helping matters much, however. Young William insisted on returning to the scene of the crime to see his boss. EJ repeated once again that William was now his bitch and will be at his beck and call. Will tried biting his tongue but was having a hard time keeping it together as EJ sat before him, smiling and stroking his pants.

The grief for the father he hardly knew or had anything to do with overwhelmed Chaddington. Mel tried to ease his pain by saying that her scumbag father was murdered too. That didn't help. Livid, even his hair became threatening as he lurched around. Mel, who has apparently been shopping at Salem's boutique for pregnant women in mourning, "A Muumuu 4 Boohoo," ran off as fast as she could with the wind pushing against her. By sticking close to the walls and holding on, she managed not to be blown away only to be nabbed by Andrew, the stalker-for-hire. Like a lot of young men in Salem, his basement apartment is easily convertible into a DiMera style cell that can work wonders for the would-be kidnapper. Meanwhile, Gabi tried to cheer Chad up by taking him to Mandalay for a helping of Rat salad. At least it beat the Rock Lobster bisque they serve at the pub.

And romantic anxiety continued to percolate in Salem. Babs and Hapless visited Mar-Mar for a conversation that was so incoherent that being exposed to it could push anyone over the edge. After she finally confirmed that she didn't let the pawn get his hands on her queen, he breathed a sigh of relief. When Hopalong came back to Babs after Carly, she got a new mattress. For Babs to be comfortable again, he'd probably have to stick with a Real Doll clone of her. Meanwhile, Victor told Maggs he and Stefano had been through many of the same things, like running massive criminal operations, losing children and marrying Kate. She wasn't interested. He told her that he'd been unmanly and started groveling. She still wasn't interested. And Kayla kept bursting into tears until Abe guessed something was wrong. She explained that she'd left Steve. Life with her had become so boring that he'd gone back to the ISA so he could face death every day. Kay finally realized that she didn't want to live like that anymore.

Lines of the week:
Kayla: Should I leave you alone?
Abe: I'm going to be alone soon enough.

Will: So, you gonna get me off?
EJ: William, I took care of your bail. It's not up to me to get you off.
Will: I can't do your dirty work if I'm in jail.

Lexi: Forget all this biology nonsense.

Kate: I loved you, you son of a bitch.

Abe: I know you're upset and it's not from cutting onions. What's wrong?

June 7, 2012
Stefano was shot. No one was shocked. The shot went straight through his favorite chair in a room that was constructed just so he could be shot in it. The hole going in was about the size of a Brady brain. The other side was leaking across the room like an oil spill. Roman prevented the SPD from bringing in their Wet Banana to slide around the scene. He immediately started questioning all of his friends since they had all threatened to spill the blood that was staining his shoes.

More than half a dozen people touched the gun. Before you could say 'Agatha Christie', the Governor called Roman to announce that he would be sending in his own agents to investigate. Now that Stefano is dead, he's not in his pocket anymore so, for some reason, he's worried about conflict of interest. In a move that would only make sense to someone who has been on the SPD for decades, Roman re-instated Rafe and put him in charge of investigating the man who abducted, cloned and tried to kill him. That didn't stop him from doing the preliminary questioning himself, even though it was almost entirely of his own family. To keep things kosher, he employed a shadow to make sure he was dotting all of his 'i's. Considering that I don't believe we've ever seen Roman actually write a sentence, that was probably a good idea. She came from the Salem Police Academy, or SPA, which, thanks to budget cut-backs was a joint program with the spa in town. In the morning you hit people with batons. In the afternoon you massage their wounds. Meanwhile, Kate nursed her wounds. She was distraught over losing her husband and didn't shy away from sobbing that she still loved him.

Babs and Hapless snuck around the station to get the lowdown and then leaked the details of the investigation to their friends. All of their eyes did so much shifting that they could have been a moving company. Babs and Hapless lied through their teeth but no one bought it. They even lied to each other, but they've been doing that for decades. Married couples call that communication. Marlena instantly chucked her clothes into a bag for goodwill, although, if she had any goodwill, she wouldn't be fobbing her fashion sense off on Salem's needy. Roman caught the four of them conspiring. Even he couldn't believe how stupid they were acting. John insisted he didn't shoot Stefano. "And then I ate a croissant," he added.

The news of death spread across the gutter and over to Samanther. She paid condolences to EJ that were so half-assed they could make a Happy Meal roll its eyes. Sami worried about her job. He assured her it was safe. He must have been too overcome with grief to have noticed that the fashion leader was wearing a bizarre new outfit from her Toucan Sam collection. She ran off to see her son. He was having a bit of a tiff with Sonny after admitting that he sort of used him to do Stefano's bidding. Will made it worse by trying to use Sonny to get in his mom's face. Roman showed up to get in his grandson's face. Will tried pulling a Sami and attempted to babble his way out of it. That failed because she was babbling too. They were dragged down to the station and it was soon revealed that young William had gunpowder residue all over his hands. Compared to the other residues you normally find on the hands of Salemites, that sounded almost wholesome.

And speaking of residues... apparently none of EJ's made its way into Nicole. At least that's what the paternity test said. Everyone saw through this instantly, but proof and truth have a strange relationship in Salem. Of course, Dr. Dan was the one who swapped the tests. Nicole was so grateful that she cuddled him in a way that promised other kinds of swapping. And Gabi continued hatching her stalker plan. Unfortunately, it wasn't clear to her whether this plot was a chicken or a goose egg. The egg in question, Andrew, didn't seem sure what he was supposed to be either. However, demonstrating that he's quicker than most of the young people in Salem, he rapidly guessed that this whole thing was a sham to win the attentions of Chadsworth Chaddington Woods DiMera. He dropped a rat into her salad. Gabs Gabber Gabba Gabba was shocked. Mel wasn't. She's been to Chez Rouge. They just grill the rat first. In spite of his grief-stricken red eyes and the volume of product in his hair, Chad still managed to drag himself over to Rafe and tip him off. His first instinct was to send her to a convent but, knowing the story of Santo and Colleen, he quickly quashed that plan.

Lines of the week:
John: There was something I needed to do. Uh... nothing much.

Chad: He's Stefano DiMera! I don't understand why anyone would do this!

Kate: He's been dead and undead so many times that I can hardly count.

June 1, 2012
Abby was shocked to hear Cameron making plans with another woman. Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly as interesting as it sounded. He was just checking on a patient. They wandered around and probably talked about something. It was like watching tumbleweed. Eventually they blew into the Coffee Bean where Jack and Jenn were celebrating their anniversary/engagement. They ate a muffin instead of a cake, finally proving that the city of Salem really is on some kind of muffin diet, leaving them fluffy and tanned on top with nothing but a stump underneath. They went off on their merry way until he received a text warning him that EJ was planning to run for governor. They were determined not to let someone with a name like Elvis take over the state. Meanwhile, Abby worried that Gabba-Gabba might be faking her stalker routine. Thinking faster than her friends (it only took about a month for her come up with it), she hired a dude to pretend to be her stalker.

Meanwhile life continued for former stalking victim Austin Reed. Over the moon with excitement, he was sure to make Rafe feel like an ass by smearing the fact that he's plumped up Carrie with the fruit of his loins in his face. Rafe and Carrie assumed this meant they could never be together. Apparently they didn't take the time to ask any of the children in town if that's how these things actually work out. Austin asked Nicole to help him shop for maternity clothes. He picked out a muumuu and bought himself a matching Hawaiian shirt. "Call me Toucan," he said. "Two cans of what?" she asked. Realizing his wife would soon look like a house, he decided to buy her a giant dollhouse to get her mind off of it. It was nearly the same size as their hotel room. He thought it felt just like being in Switzerland again. And speaking of familiar things... Dr. Dan did his best to give pouty Nicole a pep talk. Even if he's had nothing but her urine samples to get his hands on, he still couldn't manage to keep his lips off of her.

Around town, things were far more grim than even Nicole could make them sound. One by one, people continued to pile into Lexi and Abe's living room. She was getting a little bummed out by all the last meals her guests were leaving behind. Abe didn't mind. He was stealing them right off her plate. Starving her seemed to be the only way she might start looking ill. EJ arrived without so much as a zucchini muffin and broke the news to Lexi that she's not his sister, not even his sister from another mister. He could have come from a turkey baster for all he knows. My bet is that his material was part of an experiment Rolf was doing very late and lonely in the lab one night. Later, in spite of weighing himself down with cheesecake, Abe couldn't help flying off the handle when Stefano showed up. He loudly attacked him for causing Lexi's illness. She heard all about it. Everyone was crushed.

Meanwhile, Sami continued chasing Will around so they could finish their talk. She ended up cornering him in the DiMera lounge. He didn't want to do it there. "Why not? I do it here all the time. Everyone does," she said, which quickly turned to them discussing her romp with EJ. It was hard not to since they were standing on the stains it left on the carpet. Will admitted he was the one who tipped off Rafe. Claiming that the screams from the mansion were just the local banshee could only convince him for so long. Taking a page from the Brady playbook, Will blamed Stefano for it. When William ran into Elvis, he accidentally told him the same thing. EJ blamed Stefano for ruining his marriage. Generous soul that he is, he dumped some blame on Will too and then took away his penthouse. Does this mean that Will will have to hit the streets looking for men instead of waiting for them to come to him while he lays around flipping through Craigslist and watching "iCarly" re-runs? Livid, Will ran off to get a gun in the sketchy part of town. Like porn and PBR, guns in Salem come in little brown bags.

Everyone had their guns out this week. Mirroring the march to Lexi's for last suppers, one by one the people of Salem marched over to Casa DiMera and threatened to shoot Stefano. He was so bored that, even when EJ shot the flower pot beside him, he didn't blink. (Proof that EJ really can't be his son). Marlena dropped in to do a PSA about bullying while all of her friends came in to bully an unarmed man. Finally, Hope stared at a drawing by her daughter for what felt like a long time. She loaded up her pistol and ran into the night, either to kill Stefano or Ciara's art teacher. When she showed up, she was furious that he nearly cost her the opportunity to attend a prom. "Whatever," he groaned. She couldn't shoot him. Abe couldn't shoot him. Bo couldn't shoot him. John couldn't shoot him. Will couldn't shoot him. Kate couldn't shoot him. "You don't think I'm being punished enough? I can't even get killed off this show?" Stefano complained. Finally, someone snuck in and shot him in the back.

Lines of the week:
Hope: Don't focus on what, focus on now.

Jack: This state can't afford a governor named 'Elvis'.

Sami: The Library of Congress has a whole wing dedicated to the mistakes I've made.

May 25, 2012
It was a frigid week in Salem (well, maybe not for Carrie). Eggnog was on the menu at the Coffee Bean. Hot soup was being ladled out at the Mandalay and everyone was wearing cardigans. After torturing Stefano with Babs' Russian accent, they dragged him down to the station to throw him into the immaculately clean and surprisingly empty cells at the Salem PD. Everyone was congratulating themselves and gorging on the most anonymous cookies they could find since no manufacturer was willing to have their name associated with the SPD. But the fiesta of revenge was interrupted when the CIA arrived and announced that Stefano was the greatest patriot in the history of New England. He was granted so much immunity that John couldn't even try to wage a staring contest with him. What really hurt was the fact that, even in his spare time, Stefano managed to help put away more criminals and save more lives than the SPD and ISA ever have. Stefano's daughter showed up to faint so this event could feel dramatic. He finally left with a smirk so he could plan his family tea party. The cops all furrowed their brows. After talking about how much they've missed their daughter, Babs and Hopalong dumped her and dived into the Salem Inn for anniversary lily gilding. They recalled his hedgehog days and then they made the badger growl. John and Marlena got busy with a different kind of pistol packing. He bought a gun in a lunchbag from the local neighbourhood arms dealer. Vows of revenge began to percolate all over town.

Over at the pub, Carrie kept trying to gag on the latest confection Kayla had whipped up. She tried to hide her feelings from Austin and kept running off to powder her cronk. From the urine soaked pregnancy test she left in her purse, he managed to realize that he'd impregnated her. He was ecstatic. Rafe and Nicole arrived just in time to hear about it. Later, they arrived at the hospital just in time to hear about it again. And even later, they walked into Daniel's office just in time to have it confirmed. Austin continued to prove that he reads women about as well as he reads Mandarin as he remained clueless about how non-ecstatic his wife was.

Across town, Sami kept failing to speak to her son. She listened to Lucas dole out advice and then they made stew. It was probably the most productive week she'd ever had without getting pregnant or committing a crime. Then she sat at the pub where Kate showed up to dole out more advice than insults. Advice was big this week. Will kept offering some to Gabi. Most of it sounded something like 'get a life'. The Gabster continued wanting to break up Chaddington and his Melly. He was taking advantage of retirement from his two week modelling career to grow his hair and contemplate his sister's demise. Mel was spending her time trying on Maggie's old leisure wear. Although Mel seemed to have aged a decade or so, she was still clueless about what to. Gabba-Gabba and young William sent her off in different directions, but she still floated off to Chad. He'd gone to Casa DiMera for what may be one of the final DiMera family gatherings. They even had a photographer take pictures. But the rift in the family grew deeper. After a flirtatious lunch with Elvis, William let it slip that Stefano had ordered him to tell Rafe about the leather stretching EJ had done with Sami.

Other relationships entered dangerous waters this week. Maggie caught Victor spouting off to Henderson about stealing eggs. You'd have thought he'd know better but being a goody-two-shoes seems to have had an adverse affect on Victor's brain. Maggie bullied him into confessing everything. Without his usual string of insults, it was hard for him to put together articulate sentences. He did manage to tell her that he didn't see what the big deal was and pointed out that, without him, she wouldn't have even had a son. Before he could suggest that they celebrate it by heading over to the Coffee Bean for some eggnog, she stomped away.

Lines of the week:
Will: (to Gabi) Wow! No rainbow flag for you.

CIA dude: As far as the Federal government is concerned, Stefano is pure as the driven snow.

Nicole: Please tell me that was a crappy joke.

Mel: I'm not sure I can share bread-sticks with Stefano.

Sami: You're about as sensitive as sandpaper.

May 18, 2012
Austin sat at the coffee house. He was so high on caffeine that he didn't even need a chair to prop up at the coffee bar. He begged Roman to take him to the safe house, horrified that his wife would be making love with Rafael's chin before he had the chance to show her his magical scrapbook. If he'd had time, he would have had "Austin hearts Care-bear" tattooed on his forehead but Salem U. didn't pay him enough to afford it. They rushed over as Carrie was doing her best not to let Rafe molest her pyjamas past the point of no return. He used all the lines worthy of cheez whiz he could to turn them off, but it took Austin's presence to finally put out her prairie fire. She wanted to tell him the truth immediately. Apparently she still hasn't adjusted her clock to the way things work in Salem. And speaking of clocks. It turns out that her biological one was going off. No matter how much of a snooze this might have been, it appears that the last time she and Austin were turning butter it managed to magically turn into dough.

Elvis decided that while Stefano might not be his father anymore, he wasn't about to say goodbye to all the DiMera perks. He put Stefano on notice. Stefano managed to sigh through all of his ex-son's chess euphemisms until he left. The mayor meandered around town for the rest of the week. Now that Babs, Hope, John and Rafe are supposedly dead, everything in town was running smoothly and they hardly needed any government. Elvis took advantage of this utopian period in Salem history to go and see Nicole. He managed to get into her room by promising her a talking chocolate muffin. Aficionados will realize, of course, that the whole scene was a reference to EJ's favorite series of Misty Circle movies: "My Muffin Can Talk," "Splitting My Muffin," "I'll Take A Dozen" and "Chocolate In My Muffin." Nicole wasn't impressed and chucked the muffin into the hall. He followed and kicked it along the street and over to the square. He wasn't alone for long.

After Gabi did her best to convince a skeptical Will that someone would actually want to stalk her, he had another brouhaha with his parents. The usual insults flew through the air like fireflies on a summer evening. Eventually, Will told his parents that he was gay. His mom ran away as fast as her legs could carry her. She took so many deep breaths that her ass started inflating again and she had to wedge herself into a chair in the square so she wouldn't be carried away by the breeze. Elvis offered her his muffin. She moaned about her problems. Of course, he already knew that young William was gay. How could he not considering the way his eyes light up when they're together? He doled out some parenting advice. It was obvious enough that even Samanther should have gotten the point. She still missed it and ran home to screw things up even more. For once, EJ and Lucas were both shaking their heads about her simultaneously.

Also shaking their heads simultaneously: Madison, Kate and Nicole. Although they were okay with Brady walking around glistening and flexing his bronzed chest and meaty muscles (even Ian seemed okay with it), they were not so pleased when he crashed their meeting with a magazine editor. Thanks to Ian roofying his morning protein sludge, Brady showed up acting like Crispin Glover on steroids. But this bewildering activity was nothing compared to Victor's slip up. He's spent so long floating in wedded bliss that his brain seems to have sunk to parts unknown. He randomly began speaking to Henderson about stealing Maggie's eggs while she had her hearing aid turned on.

Meanwhile, Babs and Hopalong were at ISA HQ, attempting to follow up a lead she'd discovered about the gold in Stefano's egg. For once, Hope's vast knowledge of jewelry was actually useful. But it wasn't long before they were cowering as Agent Harpoon arrived to sink their ship. He walked out with the infamous coin of mystery and brought it to Stefano. He said it was like taking candy from a baby, only babies in Salem are better at hiding things. John and the others decided to move fast to find another way to take down their enemy. Always masters of disguise, they went to see an arms dealer while pretending to be Mr. Greene, Mr. O'Toole, his wife Charity and Mr. Garcia. The dealer saw through this. For reasons that only Mr. Greene might understand, he agreed to do the deal anyway and they arrested him by pulling out the weapons he just sold them. Stefano quickly heard that the arms deal he'd been planning had gone awry. He was really miffed that there was another crime syndicate even more incompetent than his. Just to outdo them, he ran over to the warehouse where the foursome had donned hoods and Babs was speaking through the vocoder he bought back in the 80s when he was trying to start his ELO tribute band. Obviously things had taken their toll on Stefano because he walked right into their trap and incriminated himself. They arrested him.

Lines of the week:
Stefano: I owe you nothing.

Austin: I'm counting the minutes until the insanity is over-with.

Marlena: I don't even know what we're talking about and I already hate it.

EJ: (to Sami) Darling, if poor mothering made children gay, all of Kate's children would be waving rainbow flags.

Will: (to Sami) Stop being a victim and grow up!

May 11, 2012
Ciara and Caroline were out of town with Tommy Bear for the annual teddy bear picnic. That takes place far enough outside of town that they didn't notice the little mushroom cloud that popped up outside of Salem. The explosion came just as Rafe confessed everything to Carrie and she admitted that she was still utterly smitten with his smirking face. With any chance at disarming the bomb gone, they started rolling up the carpets to soften the blast. Conveniently, this revealed a bomb shelter right underneath the safe house floor. Could that have been why it was chosen as a safe house in the first place? Who knows? The ISA certainly seemed pretty clueless. Luckily for the safe housers, the Salem Fire Department is about as competent as the police because they couldn't find the massive concrete structure hidden a foot under the ground even when they were standing on. That gave them the perfect opportunity to fake their deaths and get one over on Stefano.

Everyone seemed shocked that Stefano would actually kill someone. It was as though this had never been in the cards in the previous decades. In Salem, people are usually only killed by stairs. For a person to actually do it boggles the mind. Even more mind-boggling was how disappointed everyone seemed that Stefano was tired of playing this endless, pointless game. It was like he'd kicked their tiddlywinks into the sewer. Grief spread over the citizens of the town. The pub closed, causing a chowder drought. Addicts camped out in the alleys shivering as they hallucinated bowls floating through the air. The Salem PD had to put up barricades by the harbor to stop the desperate from leaping in to search for clams. The miserable family members sleepwalked through the streets and over to the pub. Billie had to drag Austin out of his room. He was so distraught, all he could do was sit around in his underwear on the pile of paper hearts he'd cut out for Carrie. What crushed him the most was the fact that he'd never be able to give his wife the heartfelt scrapbook he'd had his sister make for her.

Over at the pub, the wake commenced as the bar was covered with publicity head shots for their fans. Victor and Maggie came out of hibernation so he could vow vengeance for the death of Babs. Chad peeled Mel off his lap so his emo hair could pay its respects. Will didn't know what to do so he overturned a table. Sami kept worrying about whether or not her grief was actually believable. Apparently CW doesn't make a mascara for that. Lu paced, trying to stop her from starting fights. That only lasted so long. Finally, after the driest Irish wake in history, the family was loaded into a beer truck and driven to parts unknown. They soon found themselves confronted with all of the people they'd thought were dead. They were relieved in the way that you are when you discover you didn't accidentally shrink a shirt in the dryer. After all, it's not like they hadn't gone through grieving for all of these people before. This time, they didn't go to an exotic island, just a crummy B&B. That's the economy. Sami was furious that they'd been put through the malarkey. She then got furious with Will for shooting EJ and then going to work for him. After all, she only shot him and then had sex with him and went to work for his father. She demanded he quit his job. Will refused, saying that he loved being with Elvis, even if he kept catching him half-dressed with his mother.

Meanwhile, Elvis was furious that Stefano would actually order people killed, unlike all those other times he'd ordered John killed or his organs stolen, or tried to kill Philip and so on and so forth. Stefano didn't seem sure about how to handle all of this. He was furious and went into his back room to mope. And continuing with the fury, Carrie and Rafe furiously wanted to get into each other's pants but managed to control themselves because thoughts of Austin were making her queasy.

Lines of the week:
John: I still say we should bring back hanging traitors in a public square.

Will: Are you kidding me? First Dad and then EJ? Oh my God who is next?

Will: She can't help being the slut that she is.

Will: I see you put away your pitchfork and the fire pit.

Austin: I was going to give her the scrapbook!

Maggie: Victor, please, no bloodshed today.
Victor: Fine, I'll do it tomorrow.

Stefano: Classic Brady reaction.

EJ: To be loved by you seems to be a death sentence.

May 4, 2012
John, Marlena, Bo and Hope were herded to the abandoned steak house outside of town. As John wandered around trying to sniff out the mesquite, Carrie brought them all the frozen dinners they could handle. Still recovering from his coma, Babs sat on a mountain of them to ease his backside, still chapped from all that flashing he did last week in his hospital gown. The men instantly went stir crazy. There was no TV. It was just like a couples therapy camp. The mood rapidly changed when they noticed the place had been rigged to blow. They managed to stop Roman from walking in and blowing them into bite sized bits. He called in Shane, who wasn't much help. Faced with imminent death, things got a bit maudlin. Maybe it was being lumbered into a safe house again, but Rafe finally got his gumption up and told Carrie that he never knocked boots, or anything else, with Misty Circle. It was so romantic. "This is almost like when I fell for your sister," he managed to stop himself from saying. They chucked everything into a pile to make a blast wall. They even had the DiMera couch passed down through the gaping chimney no one bothered to climb out of in spite of the fact that they'd passed walkie-talkies through it. Eventually, the clock ran down. It looked like Stefano had hired a competent goon for once.

Back in Salem, the Lumi lovefest continued as the two iron haired, aging teenyboppers quickly got to work trying to save the company of the man they've spent years decrying as Satan incarnate. Sami didn't have any problems working with 'the devil'. After all, he and Nurse Honeycutt treated her pretty well when they abducted her. Lucas just does whatever happens. He'd already forgotten the fiancee who dumped him. Even though she was 'the one', he grieved her loss about as much as you would a scoop of ice cream that falls off the cone. It was only a matter of breaking a sweat before he would be mixing fluid with Samantha again. Lucas pondered before reunifying their loins: does he really love her, or is he just a masochist? Of course, Lu, the answer is that you love her because you are a masochist. Not that he'd listen to anyone yelling this at their televisions, he was too busy trying to see if their parts still fit together after her recent spate of hip widening. She was given all the relevant instructions of how to treat him thanks to the tattoos he received while he was in prison. Unfortunately for his mother, she walked in as they slithered out for air. While she might have been grateful that they hadn't been using the couch, she wasn't pleased that they were conducting their hairy clam bake with all the doors in the apartment wide open. The hallway was so full of people who had walked by and been traumatized that it looked like a battlefield.

Kate stumbled off and had to face other problems. Like working with Madison. They decided they hated Sami enough to work together. Lucky for them, there are plenty of people in town who feel their pain. But both women seemed more concerned about what Ian's intentions were. He wrinkled up his forehead so much that they couldn't tell what was going on in there. He drugged Brady to make him snap and planted a fake hack attack on Mad World. This kept everyone confused. He seemed mildly amused.

And misery continued in DiMera land. Lexi finally broke the news to Chadsworth that she was going to spend the summer dying. He was broken up about it but agreed to do all he could to help. Elvis had other things on his mind. He finally discovered the infamous letter from Alice which exposed the fact that he is not Stefano's real son. Stefano admitted that he found the whole thing hard to admit. After all, EJ looked exactly like his father. This only hinted at the other big secret which is yet to be revealed- Colleen wasn't actually a Brady. She was actually Arnold Finnegar's (RoboRafe) grandma (he was raised by a bunch of nuns after all). EJ said it shouldn't matter. Tony wasn't his biological son either. Stefano claimed that was different because he raised him. That's why things turned out so badly between them. Of course, neither of them mentioned Benjy or all of the dead daughters who never get remembered. They all made it to the scrap heap of history and not the family scrapbook.

Lines of the week:
Kate: Oh my God! My eyes actually hurt!

Sami: You're the first person in the history of the DiMera family to be kicked out on a morals charge.

April 27
Poor Lexi. One of the few people in Salem with half a brain and it's killing itself. It was a sad, sad, sad week. In the wake of news of Lexi's impending doom, everything started to feel like a wake, and not the Irish kind either. While Lexi's brain was dying, she wasn't the only loss the DiMeras were suffering. Stefano and Elvis proved once again that their greatest love scenes are with each other. As Tony observed many years ago, the only person EJ is truly capable of loving is Stefano. All the women he's been with have just means to procuring heirs to impress his father, sort of like really expensive jewelry. But without a papa, what will become of Junior, the baby who got too big too fast? It was all breaking poor Stefano's heart. As he dealt with losing two children, EJ was left clueless about what he had done to make Stefano turn on him.

But it wasn't all emo for the DiMeras. It was finally revealed that Super Mario, I mean Santo DiMera, is the one who set this mysterious battle for the egg in motion, all of those years ago. After his final battle with the Easter Bunny, he commanded Stefano to hunt down the egg at all costs. John, Hope, Marlena and Babs all considered relenting on their battle against the bearded one in light of his daughter's decline, but he wasn't giving up the fight. He kept demanding the coin from the egg be returned and sent his personal plastic surgeon out to threaten to give Marlena a Billie face if they wouldn't comply.

Meanwhile, the youngest DiMera, Lord Chadsworth Chaddington, and Mel rolled over in bed one day. By the next day he explained that he'd planned a trip for them to the windy city. They immediately went to the pub and told Gabi, who didn't take it well. She took it so badly that she took the head off a doll and claimed she was being stalked. Abby, who knows plenty about stalking, offered to keep her safe. Gabba-Gabba was not satisfied so Mel (who knows something about being stalked) volunteered Chad (who knows something about being mobbed by desperate skanks) to be her personal bodyguard. Gabba-Gabba obviously remembered what happened when her brother was stuck looking after some freak in a cramped apartment and assumed lightning would strike twice. On a side note, Soap Opera Fan Blog finally got a hold of one of the love letters that Abby wrote to Austin while she was stalking him:

"'A' is for awesome, because that is what you are.
'U' is for understanding, because I know you will take anything a woman does to you.
'S' is for sexy, because you sound like a morbidly obese drag queen imitating Kathleen Turner on helium.
'T' is for your tacky flirt lines, which reassure a girl that you're too uncreative to be a liar.
'I' is for inebriated, because that's how I'll always take advantage of you.
'N' is for never which is when I'll finally give up on you."

The doll wasn't the only thing losing its head. Kate and Madison both had fits when Ian offered Kate a Co-CEO position at Mad World. He wanted to watch them wrestle for power. Most of the other men around seemed to like that idea too. Barbara Ficklebottom didn't. She wrote in with this to say: "This is not 100 percent okay! What is it? You think I don't know what you're doing. You writers need to get a grip and leave it alone. You kill all the good girls or make them crazy. But what's with this Madison? I don't like her and she's a skank. Is Brady on drugs again or what? You need to set things right but Kate needs to go down for once. Make her leave with that creep Ian!"

Meanwhile, Rafe continued trying to tell Carrie the truth. Since she's a Brady and he's a bit slow, he couldn't get a word in edgewise. Even when she used the power of eavesdropping to listen to him talking to other people, she still couldn't stumble on the truth. In spite of the fact that EJ being the father was perhaps the worst kept secret in town, Salem's only professional PI still couldn't figure it out. What she could figure out is that when she's in bed with Austin, she keeps imagining Rafe's head on top of his body. As she got to work make herself a little photoshop album, Nicole was also dreaming of the soothing tones of Rafe. He's almost like having a white noise machine that can do your grocery shopping and move furniture. Across town, Sami and Lucas seemed to be settling on each other once again no matter whose stomach it upsets.

Lines of the week:
Kate: If you're so bored, rent a clown.

Nicole: (to Sami) Congratulations bitch!

Abby: Was Johnny trying to do brain surgery on Allie's doll again?

April 20, 2012
Never one to be outdone, Stefano decided to give Kate a dumping to remember. After calling in a bomb threat to empty Horton Square, he filled her full of snails and cream. While that was settling in her stomach, the sense of doom started to grow as fast as the impending indigestion. He confronted the former hooker for being a 'puttana'. He even spat at her. To add the biggest insult, he gave her company over to Sami to ruin. She was so furious she nearly burst out of her tight fitting jacket. Once she flounced back to Casa DiMera, she discovered that Harold and Mary had already sent all of her things to the Salvation Army. Elvis arrived and worried about being disowned. He didn't realize he was being owned. He'd already heard about Kate's fall from power from Samanther, whose ego had become as big as her inflatable ass. Seeing that spectacle didn't stop him from gloating to Kate, but he had a tantrum when his father flatly refused to explain why he was no longer treating him like a son. Little did Elvis know that it was precisely because he wasn't his son. Feeling rejected, he blundered over to Sami and offered to help her run CW. She rejected him too. He might be the father of some of her children and the man who gave her a place to live, but Stefano, the man she detests even more than EJ, has just promised her a small fortune, so everything else goes out the window. Meanwhile, Ian introduced the latest possible "DOOL" spinoff sitcom. He offered his wife a divorce and then decided to bring Kate to work at Mad World with Madison.

There were plenty of other people in town gagging on things this week. After recently demonstrating her horrible judgement, Abby spent this week showing how bad she is at everything else, like walking, talking and chewing. If only she'd been raised by a cow instead of Jack and Jenn... She rammed into Cameron and his chowdah tray and they were instantly covered in a thick, gelatinous white goo. "How is that for obvious sexual tension?" Cousin Marvin asked me. It seems more like what happens at the end of sexual tension. Unfortunately, it didn't end there. The bickering duo was pulled into a double date with Chadsworth and Mel. They watched a movie in the park that sounded like it pasted together from Lumi's cheesiest scenes. Abby started choking on popcorn. Cameron pumped her from behind until she let out a pop. This was embarrassing for her and she ran off. Mel cornered her and pointed out that at least she wasn't in a Depends commercial.

Chad and Mel had problems of their own. Apparently the exclusive new body spray that CW designed for him was working because he was being swarmed by skanks, hos and hoochies. It was like watching the sea gulls in the alley behind the pub. Although Mel made short shrift of the shifty shegoats, she had a bigger problem. Gabi still had her shifty eyes set on having a chowder bowl full of Chad herself. She wanted to rope Will into helping her. He refused and then broke the news that he was gay. She didn't seem that surprised. The last guy she had a crush on was gay too. Gabi started to worry that she was spreading it every time she wanted to spread her legs. Believe me Gabs, if there were girls who could spread gayness, almost every gay man would have one around.

There were some other shockers this week. Nicole likes sprinkles on her ice cream and EJ drinks herbal tea as a hangover cure. More curiously, Rafe revealed the real reason he wanted to help with Nicole's kid: he wanted an excuse to hang out in the children's section of the library without getting embarrassed. He still hasn't finished the Captain Underpants series and has been dying of suspense. Carrie had her own fantasies about getting in his underpants and then started panting until she remembered she was in bed with Austin. She went outside to pant alone. She and Rafe had another conversation about how they never tell each other anything. And over at the hospital, Hope jumped up and down on Babs, serenading him with songs of their unreleased album, "Musk And Mullets: A Hope, Faith And Miracles Collection." He grunted his eyes open and Daniel brought him out of the coma. Babs started running the corridors, threatening Stefano. He managed to chase him off by threatening to give him the moon angle of his revealing hospital gown.

Lines of the week:
Stefano: This is our last supper!

Lexi: (to Abe) Can I get you some pom-poms?

Austin: (to Rafe) Wow man that is a man-sized bowl of ice cream you've got there. I never thought of you as the sprinkles type.

Mel: I've seen you say 'thank you' to an automatic door.

April 13, 2012

HoJo discovered a coded coin in the mysterious Keebler egg of gaudiness at the B&B in Alamainia. Realizing that Stefano wanted it for the code, they tried to crack it but had no luck so replaced it with a fake and ran off to the airport. Stefano soon discovered their ruse. Although he was furious that it didn't contain the customary action figure, the fact that there was no secret code is what really burned his grits. He gritted his teeth and uttered threats. His goons weren't fast enough though and Agent Spencer managed to smuggle HoJo out of town. John got back just in the nick of time. Marlena had become so lost without him she couldn't tell the difference between speaking to him in person and leaving a message on his answering machine. She wasn't happy that he was working in Intelligence again. The doctor reminded him that Intelligence had never done either of them any good. Meanwhile, Hope jumped onto Babs until his hands started twitching.

The Alamainia caper hasn't done wonders for Stefano's marriage either. Kate was left all on her lonesome to get emo. Gentleman that he is, Ian offered Kate his shoulder to cry on before she laid her head on his lap. After he made her cry out a blue streak in his bed, she immediately began having second thoughts. Or at least one: she made a terrible mistake. She was sure that Stefano would be out for blood and ran off. He came back the next day in his riding clothes. Kate, apparently, hadn't spent her night having the same fantasies he had. Decked out in enough brown velvet for a village of Muppets, she cried and told him to run away. It was too late though. Stefano had set things in motion to catch her in a honey trap. She failed his test, but what should he have expected? Someone with a sweet tooth should never marry a diabetic.

Romance wasn't all bad in Salem. Chad did the ultimate in romantic gestures: asked his friend to pimp out his room for his xxx throwdown with Premiere Party Girl. Gabi found this gag inducing but, being a Hernandez and, therefore, a glutton for punishment, she went ahead and did it anyway. Maybe she should have tried telling Chadsworth fibs about how Mel treated Dario? Instead, she ran off to tear up pictures while Chad took Mel on the magical tour of his private hair gel manufacturing plant. After she gave it the safety inspection, he gave her a pink robe she could wrap around him. If that wasn't enough of a lewd joke, she plopped out some Chinese take-out and asked him if he wished to open up her box.

Billie snuck around Casa DiMera looking for dirt. It turned out that she wasn't as sleek and smooth as her bosses at Depends would have you believe. EJ caught her clunking around and was soon shoving his hands through the mess she left behind. Elvis was chilled to the bone to discover that his father had stolen the money that he'd stolen from his Uncle John. Nicole showed up to make things worse. After sending him mixed signals by wearing a scarf in his presence, she accidentally spurted out that Stefano had also attempted to steal the election... and gave it to Abe (which begs the question of whether or not that's how perpetually incompetent son-in-law Abe got elected last time). EJ was totally baffled about how anyone could do that to their own flesh and blood, which should be enough to remind everyone that he hasn't been a DiMera for long. After telling her about the trauma of being SORAS'd, he begged her to come back to him. She ran away instead. Perhaps when he tried to kiss her, she could still smell Sami's breath in his mouth. The previous evening, EJ had yanked Samanther in for a tonsil exam just to prove that he finds her repulsive. It's sort of the adult version of when little boys hit the girls they like and say they're gross. Sami wanted to talk to him about his Pete the Plumber routine. He'd dropped by her pad the previous evening and offered to fix her drains. She let him use Rafe's big wrench but all he'd ended up doing was getting the drain to squirt all over him. Sami later did her best to repress this memory by stuffing her face with smores while Lucas threw a phony camping trip for the kids.

Lines of the week:
Rafe: What am I, Sami?

Hope: So much for the friendly skies.

John: Better than a toaster.

April 6, 2012
The latest adventures of EJ's magical sperm hit a bit of a roadblock this week. Rafe stepped up to claim that his guys outswam EJ's. Elvis refused to believe it and dragged them to the hospital for tests. It was too early for Nicole to get a paternity test. Surprisingly, EJ didn't force them to have the VD tests he'd suggested a few weeks ago. He stormed off to tell Sami all the gossip while Rafe was left with Nicole so they could pretend that they weren't recycling a script they've both read before. Sami took the news surprisingly well. She unloaded on Carrie like she was a landfill. Carrie was crushed, particularly about Rafe knocking up Nicole. He avoided telling her everything. Austin showed up to say he wanted them to get their own gingerbread house and fill it with children. She was so dazed and confused that this almost sounded like a good idea. Meanwhile, Sami begged Lucas not to run back to his life and stay mired in the past with her. He was reluctant to remain in the chowder pit with her but things quickly happened to change his mind. EJ gave her a place to live. Lu and Samanther soon discovered that not only was EJ her landlord, he was also her neighbor. Just to prove it, he put on a soothing cardigan sweater and gave them a tour of his own village full of puppets he'd had made from some of his favorite scarves.

Gina and her Prawn continued to swim around the toilet bowl known as Alamainia. She managed to find Willy Wonka under a rock sporting his special sash for tart tasting. The princess offered to take Willy upstairs so they could gorge on some fish eggs. It wasn't long before he was knocked out, John rolled out from under the bed and they sportingly nabbed his jewels before running away. She tried to lure John into a different kind of sport in the shower. His one cell mind was distracted though after randomly finding a Deidre Evans headshot left behind by the "DOOL" convention that hit hotel Alamainia last week. The picture meant something to him. He squinted, and that was enough to block Gina's naked body from sight. Because John has so little left of his brain, the hypnosis soon wore off, much as it does with chickens. He proceeded to try and de-zombify Gina by shoving Marlena's fan club card in her face. She attempted to run but kept falling over her carbuncles. Eventually he got it through to her that she was married to someone named Babs. If that wasn't enough of a comedown, he also smashed the dreams of the little girl who lives in her head by making it clear that she wasn't a princess either.

Back in Salem, Kate was having her hopes dashed. Not only was she banned from seeking revenge on Sami, she suspected that her husband was still obsessed with Marlena. Little did she know that Stefano had set up a whole ruse to test her loyalty while he was out of town. She failed. Ian hobbled over to listen to her mope about her marriage and it wasn't long before she was taking his stick out for a walk. Meanwhile, young William kept telling his grandma that he was gay to the point that it nearly verged on song and Gabi continued to channel her dark side as she plotted to tear Chad and Mel apart.

Lexi and Abe, reunited once again and raised glasses to their marriage. Immediately after that, she was hit by another headache and blacked out. To make things worse, her mother showed up uninvited to proclaim that doom was on the way. The three of them went to the hospital and a rush was put on tests for her. The battery of tests were magically done in minutes thanks to a spell cast by Celeste using some of Lexi's hair and Abe's old eyes. It turned out that Lexi had an inoperable brain tumor. Crowding her brain even more, it turned out that she also had a half-brother who dropped into her life just in time for the irony to start kicking in.

Lines of the week:
Sami: What? Me shooting him in the head is just a bump in the road to true love?

John: Do you remember anything about the last ten years?

Austin: It's like Switzerland in Salem.

March 30
Will was getting it from all sides this week and not in the fun way. He had to face his two grandmas wanting to rap with him about his sex life. In spite of Will claiming he was unsure, Marlena reminded him that he likes to play Lady Gaga for her. That made his sexuality about as clear as Sonny's "Brokeback Mountain" curtains. She also said that he's hardly the only gay member of the DiMera and Brady families. Does she know something we don't? Meanwhile, Kate claimed that she'd always known, but can she answer the real burning question: Is Will a top or a bottom?

Things in Alamainia got even more disturbing. After HoJo were pulled out of the B&B district, they were dropped into some kind of weird reality TV version of Stefano's home shopping network. He needed them to get a special object for him. It got even weirder as the whole thing took on a gaudy Easter theme and he commanded them to get back the giant golden egg he'd had them swipe from Willy Wonka. Cousin Marvin called me to say this was his favorite story. I was flummoxed until he explained that he likes to imagine that John is really GOB Bluth from "Arrested Development." Although that freshened things up a little, even Stefano sensed that we'd seen all of this before. Just to drive the point home, he only appeared on video most of the week. These were actually left over recordings from a few years ago that have been recycled while Stefano was at his bunny farm in New Zealand. After much harrumphing, HoJo were hypnotized and rapidly leaped back to their alternative personalities. Not that I'd complain. If someone wanted to make me feel twenty years younger, I wouldn't be that upset about it. As soon as Stefano confirmed they were under his spell, he set them loose to retrieve his egg. HoJo (or Princess Pain, I guess we'll call them, now that they are the pawn and Gina) got as excited as a pair of horny teenagers.

Back in Salem, it turned out that Billie is still working for the ISA and looking for dirt on Stefano. She moved into the mansion, began snooping and taking photos. With illegal acts like these, it's no surprise that she used to work for the Salem PD. Billie should watch herself at Casa DiMera. She might stumble into Elvis' secret scarf room. Even walking in there could be enough to get someone pregnant. Before that could happen, she easily stumbled onto an arms deal Stefano left sitting in his locked desk after she cracked it open with a butter knife. It was right on top of his orders from the Cadbury bunny.

Luckily for Billie, Elvis was out of the house most of the week. He was busy fuming about Nicole supposedly having a squeeze and a squirt with Rafe, the human thermometer. Once Nicole explained that she was filing for divorce and ignored EJ's begging and pleading to come back to him, he burst. He spilled the news to Sami. She started lashing out and accused Rafe of having two women behind her back. Carrie didn't believe it but did have a few second thoughts. Of course, she did know Rafe well enough to know that he couldn't be this interesting. Meanwhile, Sami was so distraught about the whole thing that she had her hair done and then started wearing scarves to frame her cleavage. The power of the scarf took over her and she talked to EJ about how great their 'hate sex' was. They agreed that sex was only good when it was completely self-centred. So basically, EJami sex is like mutual masturbation without the mutuality. Strangely, they didn't bring up the really shocking part of the whole mess, which is how mister magic sperm didn't impregnate her this time. Or am I speaking too soon? He moved her into his building and decided to move in next to her. Does this mean he'll grow back his molester moustache and start feeling up young William in the hallways like he did five or six years ago? Lucas might get in the way of all of that. He was worried that his ex had moved beyond the threshold of stupidity. Considering how high the Brady's set that mark, it's pretty frightening. He wanted to actually leave town and get back to his life but she begged him to stick around and babysit. Meanwhile, demonstrating even more stupidity, Rafe and Nicole publicly debated about her pregnancy, which allowed Elvis to walk by and overhear them.

Nicole wasn't the only one slipping up. The Gabster continued to suffer from the madness that strikes all women in Salem at one point or another. After Gabi planted one of her earrings in Chad's bed for Mel to find, the plan went off like clockwork. Mel freaked out on him when her bra was snagged on another woman's ear candy. She stormed out before they could consummate their relationship. Chad was disappointed, left on his lonesome with nothing but Mel's sex tape with Philip and his Misty Circle collection... oh, and Gabi, whose presence is marginally closer to interacting with a real human being. Eventually, Gabi fudged an explanation that let Chad off the hook, but she wasn't getting off so easily.

Lines of the week:
Will: Feelings suck, Grandma.

Billie: Don't you think this is deja vu all over again?

EJ: How nauseatingly romantic!

Sami: (to EJ) Either we're the most disgusting people on the planet, or we're crazy.

John: Is that Rolf's brother?

Kate: Is that everyone's favorite guttersnipe, Samantha Brady?

Nicole: I feel like a sitting duck who is about to lay an egg.

Gabi: (to Mel) He loves you more than all the sex we could be having, and trust me, that is a lot.

March 23
It was a week of things coming out. Sami's betrayal came out, Abby's lies came out, Stefano's secret plan came out, Rafe's white knight complex came out, Nicole's meals kept coming out and Will just about came out. Even Caroline came out of the romper room to take a break from babysitting to pray for Bo to come out of his coma.

Sami was stuck with the job of trying to find the mole at CW. Lucas decided to give her a helping hand. It wasn't long before she was confessing to him. He wasn't surprised. He'd read this script before. She probably started wishing that the company manufactured a more effective form of vanishing cream because it wasn't long before her head was stuck in a noose. After tipping off Billie that she was going to take Sami apart one sweater set at a time, Kate let Sami fall over her own tongue as she attempted to avoid her confession. Kate finally got bored enough to confront her.

Rafe 'the human thermometer' was busy looking after Nicole and her pukapalooza at the hotel. When she took breaks from the bowl, they really plumbed the depths as they discussed their lack of luck in the love department. Since she was woozy, he decided to stay by her side. After they recycled some dialogue from the Safehouse days, he performed the compulsory shirtless scene only to have Elvis barge in. He was outraged, mostly about the state of Rafe's bulging torso, and began doling out medical advice. After EJ talked to his wife in the colourful language that was once reserved for Victor, Rafe punched him in the jaw. EJ then told Rafe that he should be checked out because he didn't know where Nicole had been. The problem was that everyone knew where Nicole had been. It certainly didn't stop EJ, Brady or Lucas from diving in. Moving out from that little circle, Caroline and the kids are likely the only ones who aren't carrying half a dozen STDs. Considering that both Rafe and EJ went with Sami after Arnold had been there, who knows what is currently swimming around the bacterial frap known as the Salem gene pool. There's a reason they spend so much time at the hospital.

And speaking of sharing bacteria... Billie started ogling Daniel this week. She tried stopping herself, but, for some reason, seeing him bend over in front of her made her want to start doing things with her fists. They boxed and she punched him in the gut after she recalled his habit of doing less than sanitary things with his patients, including those she's related to. Kate showed up and ordered him to stay away from her grown daughter. Later, Billie met Ian and told her mom she thought he was a hottie. That got Kate's knickers in a twist so she barked at him to stay away from her daughter. He confessed that, without his glasses on, he could scarcely tell that Billie was her daughter. Kate went back to work to take out her aggression on Sami. She finally confronted her for being the mole and threatened to take her kids away. Sami was so flummoxed all she could do was go back to the loft and tell Rafe over and over again that he loves her and would never be able to stop. He told her to get a lawyer because he was finished with her. Since Carrie and EJ are lawyers, here's hoping they pick Justin.

The most amazing thing of the week was that Stefano actually managed to hide a competent thug to do his bidding. HoJo were knocked out and then dumped into the run of the mill DiMera prison. That shouldn't have been a surprise. Everyone knows that DiMera Enterprises was built from selling modular prison cells to super villains and small time dictators around the world. John felt right at home. Hope was desperate. Using a discounted closed circuit video system he bought from Crane Industries years ago, Stefano threatened them and then Marlena. There was much squinting.

Back in Salem, Jack and Jenn were not happy to learn that Austin had been donating a different kind of bone marrow to their daughter. After listening to her parents berate Austin, something snapped and Abby finally broke the news that she'd told the first big lie of her life. Everyone was shocked. Carrie didn't know what to believe. Austin was dumbfounded. Not only had he lost his wife for having sex with another woman, he couldn't even claim that he had bedded Salem U's own Lolita. The most disturbing thing about all of this has been that we've had to watch a story about a married couple having affairs but the only people we've seen them have sex with has been each other. The lack of any real sexual tension in this plot was partially made up for by Lucas walking in on Sonny and Will wrestling around over free coffee. He got the distinct impression that Sonny was more interested in freeing willie. He told his son he'd better be careful or he might wind up 'a second class' citizen. Will wasn't exactly overwhelmed by this sensitive paternal advice. Kate cornered him and assured him that she's always known about his secret.

Lines of the week:
EJ: I want you to see me as a friend, as man's best friend.
Kate: You mean a dog?

Kate: (to EJ) DiMeras don't sulk.

Billie: (to Daniel) I know your MO. You feel someone's glands, take their liver out and... all of a sudden, Dr. Dan is in love!

Kate: Buy yourself a blow up doll, spray it with cheap perfume and it will be just like Nicole never left.

Nicole: Sami rocks at being pregnant. That's one of her only talents.

Nicole: (to Rafe) What are you? A human thermometer?

Lucas: You slept with my niece? Dude! What's the matter with you?

Kate: (to Sami) All that proves is that you're about as loyal a mother as you are an employee.

March 16

The games in Alamainia continued as Hope went into a desperate tizzy after learning that Babs was kicking at death's door. They couldn't get their passports back so they decided to go rogue. She and John slipped on the trademark jewel thief disguises they were smart enough to pack and easily broke into the court house with no more than some Hubba Bubba and a toothpick. Stefano caught them in the act. Since he knows more about their brains than they ever will, that came as no surprise. He admitted that he was just doing all of this because it was 'fun', sort of. This story is the super villain version of shuffleboard.

Back in Salem, Babs' brain activity momentarily wavered and nearly killed him. Lexi got him back on the straight and narrow, but it didn't look good for him. Billie kept pleading with him to stay alive. Dr. Dan kept avoiding her. She pulled herself away from the soothing sound of Bo's slow brain waves to settle into her new office at CW, which just happened to be Sami's office. When Samantha returned, she was not happy about this. The only positive thing she could do was point out that, much like Kate's other child Philip, the face mangling accident which happened to Billie made her look more like her old self again. As Sami pulled an all-nighter cursing her two bosses, they went off to babysit her kids. Kate filled her daughter in on Sami being the mole and her plans to tear her apart.

For his first act as mayor, Elvis invited Roman and Abraham over to Casa DiMera. Since he and Abe were both wearing pink shirts, they thought they might finally be on the same page. He offered to bend the law and get him a pardon if he'd leave Lexi alone. Abe didn't like his brother-in-law meddling in his marriage. The conversation didn't get any more civil. EJ pointed out that crime had actually sharply risen since Roman took over as commissioner. Roman didn't have an excuse for that, but he did plenty of scowling. They left as Elvis sucked a cigar before joining up with young William. They yakked about business until Lucas tumbled in to try and get his son out of his deal with Elvis. Will refused. Lucas pulled the father card but lost the gamble. Will still wanted his fast car, his penthouse and couldn't totally turn his back on EJ. Elvis smiled at this and teasingly licked his finger. The sexual tension only got worse as Lucas accused his son of getting into bed with the DiMeras and Will said that's exactly what he wanted.

Outside of town, leaping in and out of bed was on everyone's minds. Abby raided the Carrie and Austin nostalgia sex party and threw herself into his arms. As she moped on the towelled torso of Salem's biggest sucker, his wife walked in and plotzed. Austin tried to explain himself. Since he was actually clueless and was interpreting reality through the imagination of a crazed young lady, that didn't help matters. Carrie ran off, running into Rafe to cry on his sweatered chest and admit that she loved him. Lucky for Austin, he walked in just as she said this. He decided that they obviously have nothing more to say to each other. After spending ten minutes explaining that, he left and Rafe admitted he had feelings for Care Bear too, but he thought she should give her marriage another shot anyway. Coming to Salem may ruin a marriage, but it can also keep a dead one artificially alive for years on end.

And speaking of keeping relationships going past their prime... Marlena advised Brady to try and get through to Madison again. He tried and failed then went to the pub to drown his sorrows. Daniel joined him and used the word 'dude' as many times as he could to try and convince him to move on with his life. Unfortunately, this only reminded Brady of bonding with Madison over "The Big Lebowski." Meanwhile, she was railing at Ian all week for ruining her life. They argued about which of them was acting like the biggest schoolgirl. She should have reminded McCallister that he's the one with a closet full of kilts. He commanded her to do what he said or he'd make sure Brady was turned into a prison bottom boy. Just to prove that she really was acting like a big schoolgirl, she took out her teddy bear to mope.

Lines of the week:
Brady: Here's the deal: You're scared; he's strong. I understand that, but I'm strong too. And I'm not scared and the two of us together are strong enough to take that guy down.

Madison: Who is acting like a little jealous schoolgirl now?

Sami: Now I have new sympathy for sardines.

Mel: There's an old saying: If you married a man who cheated on his wife, you married a man who cheated on his wife.

Abe: You can dress yourself up in fancy suits, but you're garbage!

EJ: Is that from 'Father Knows Best' or 'The Waltons'?

March 9
Lucas returned to town to discover that things had hardly changed in all of the time he'd been away. He was happy to drop everything in his life to travel across the world to join Sami's legion of babysitters. Although Caroline had been run off her feet so hard that she was half dead and Kayla had to be called in from saving lives in Africa to sling chowder to Salemites, and although Rafe was recruited to help out in spite of his wife cheating on him, that still wasn't enough. Apparently, Sami didn't save up any of the money from her five figure espionage job to pay for a little bit of babysitting from Salem's many unemployed teenagers. Instead, they were all left to play beer pong, pornographic versions of Scrabble and work for the town's retired pimp.

Lucas wasn't the only one with a sense of deja vu. That seemed to be what everyone was suffering from. Everyone was regressing. Sami was back to dressing like a teenager. EJ and Nicole were back to her running away from him and hiding a pregnancy. Dr. Dan had taken Dr. Baker's place in that story and, as the week went on, Rafe showed up to take Brady's place. Jenn was left out of the loop because Daniel declared he was no longer interested in her. All that fresh air managed to cure him of his love for her. Meanwhile, even though Jack was now fuel of the fumes of Salem, he still wasn't interested in biting her ankles and Jenn was left to commemorate the anniversary for the dead Tom and Alice with Maggie. As footage of Tom and Alice was being recycled, across the world in Alamainia, there was a bit of a break from flashbacks to the humpty-hopping years of HoJo, but that didn't mean that they took a break from recycling dialogue. Even Stefano pointed it out. Things were getting so overwhelming that President Obama was actually called in to try and put a stop to it all. But that was only a stop gap measure that only provided a moment of breathing space before it was back to the same.

Little did Hope know that Babs had his brain bashed in. He hadn't been that close to death's door since his wife left him there that last time she adopted a different personality. In Salem, Daniel worried that any new brain activity might completely do Babs in. Meanwhile, Brady was starting to feel like Madison might have an alternative personality because she dumped him again, insisting that she was still in love with Ian. It was at times like that that he really missed his days hanging out with drugged out opera singers and Eurotrash at Bayreuth. But some trash from the past blew in and Billie sailed into town to take the place as Kate's co-CEO.

The saga of Aubifail continued in the chalet nestled in the slopes of Green Mountain. Abby had convinced Mel to go up there with her without explaining that it was to stalk Austin. Carrie remained mostly clueless, Mel nauseated and Austin looked like a man trying to put out a burning building by peeing on it. The deja vu was really ratcheted up when Carrie discovered Austin in a compromising position with another blond woman. While it wasn't her sister raping him this time, it still hurt. If they keep going back in time like this, does it mean that eventually Sami will turn back into Stan and Abigail will become Abel? Then they could have a torrid affair that would result in the most mind-boggling and incomprehensible 'who is your daddy' plot in "Days" history. No matter, their love spawn would inevitably be stolen by Nicole as she had another mental breakdown and, judging by relationship patterns in Salem, wound up married to Stefano. All the while, EJ, Rafe and Daniel would be left to raise Nicole's other baby in a strange take off on "Three Men And A Baby."

Lines of the week:
Lucas: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Kate: Are you going to let this little bitch get her hooks into you again?

Stefano: If Marlena blows her nose in Salem, am I responsible?

March 2
The impossible became possible once again in Salem this week. The latest flood of Elvis' magical sperm made its way into Nicole impregnable eggs and a fresh DiMera heir began to sprout from the fertilizer. Nicole passed out just as Dr. Cowabunga returned to town. The sea salt in his surfer hair revived her and she found herself in the hospital, awoken to news that there was a baby in her barren belly. She cried. Unwitting Elvis came to apologize again for bonking Sami, explaining that they were so upset that merely letting the tears flow wasn't enough. Nicole sent him away and cried some more. Dr. Dan felt bad for her so she guilted him into being her private doctor and keeping her baby secret. He probably should have given Dr. Dick Baker a call before agreeing to that.

Mayor-elect Elvis wandered the streets, unnoticed by his public. Perhaps it was because he'd gone back to wearing pastel pink, unlike the hot pink and aubergine ensemble he'd promised to wear after winning. He ran into Sami. She was trying to balance herself in a puddle of tears. She'd been so waylaid by this over the past week that she'd begin wearing cleats to keep herself from slipping. Everyone could sense her mental imbalance. She was so out of it that she was wearing the 50s teenybopper outfit she'd worn on Halloween like it was her everyday clothing. Will agreed to talk to her in public, thankful that she hadn't gone with her original plan to dress up as Smurfette for Halloween.

Speaking of Smurfette, Abby proved this week that her fight for Gargamel, er, I mean, Austin, is far from over. She tracked his vacation plans with Carrie and looped Mel into going up to the ski lodge to crash the carnal get together. They arrived a little late for that. Carrie and Austin had already become reacquainted again. Apparently taking some hints from EJ and Taylor's sexcapades, this involved a lot of scarf work and, far more daring, a snorkeling set. I'll leave to your imagination what she was doing with the snorkel while he wore the eye goggles. Back in Salem, Gabi ogled Chad and decided to stop being the nice girl. She asked him if she could practice her massaging technique on him. Since that worked so well, next week she will tell him she needs to rehearse a scene in a play so they can practice kissing.

We finally got the first glimpse of Alamainia. Judging by previous descriptions of it, it sounded like Pottsylvania, the home of Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale from "Rocky & Bullwinkle." However, it seems more like it's the world's most dangerous collection of B&Bs. The perennially mentally unstable duo of HoJo was trapped in a single suite. Nearly catching Hope re-robed seemed to traumatize John to the point that memories of his alternative personality started to overcrowd his brain. He dug up his old ISA uniform from years gone by and tried to keep his eyes closed for most of the rest of the week. While they waited to talk to his fellow ISA agents, Stefano showed up to taunt them and then John's contact showed up dead. This was either Stefano's work, or room service's really bad idea of a joke.

Madison made another play for Brady. To prove how earnest she was about them, she lied her way into setting up a meeting with him under a pseudonym. That didn't help make her case. The fact that she explained their profound connection was essentially based on their love of "The Big Lebowski" didn't do a lot either. While knowing how to make a White Russian was enough to get either of them into bed, it didn't seem to be enough for a lasting relationship. Or did it? She also demonstrated what makes her such a brilliant business strategist. She told Ian how much she was smitten with another man who could give her all she wanted and expected this to win him over into granting her a divorce. Next to hiring Sami, this ranked among the high water mark for her decision making. He instantly shot that down and declared the he owned her before heading off to see his 'Katie' and explained that his wife had been screwing her over using Sami as the screw to do it. Meanwhile, Brady couldn't tear himself away from Madi for long and decided to fight for her. And Lucas returned to town to smirk up a storm.

Line of the week:

Marlena: For years, Will has been the parent in this relationship... maybe now you can be the parent he deserves.

February 24

I fell asleep for the first three days of the week. At least I thought I did because I could barely recall them, but then I noticed that I magically managed to write recaps of them. Unless, of course, that was another of Stefano's tricks. I tried squinting and arching my eyebrows to convince myself of this. However, my dog, Martha Mustard, did recall watching and filled me in. It went something like, "Grrr-grr-arrr, ruff, ruh-roh, sniff-sniff, marmupumph, hmm, grr, ruff, yawn." I've been watching "Days" long enough that this all seemed perfectly sensible to me. I could even imagine it quite clearly. Lexi left Abe the way she normally leaves her pliers in her patients. He was left unemployed after an election recount. Without even looking at any evidence, the cops instantly promised there was no way he could be found guilty of corruption.

Meanwhile, the fuss caused by Ian continued. He didn't have to use his walking stick this week; he just furrowed his eyebrows and handed out cookies in a bid to make everyone submit. It seemed to work. While Brady went off to mope, Victor rapidly caved into putty in Maggie's hands and they became a cuddle pile on the Kiriakis couch. But as much as he miffed Brady, Ian got Kate's knickers in even more of a twist. When he wasn't putting the feeling back into Kate's lips, he was making her jaw drop. Madison swiped Quinn's business out from under Kate and then revealed that she was actually Ian's wife. Kate tried to get her back by rubbing the fact that she'd spent lots of time under Ian in Madi's face, but it didn't come to much.

Across town, while Stefano wisely ducked out of Salem, the blame game continued as relationships withered. Since there was plenty of blame to go around, it wasn't much of a competition. Rafe discovered that he actually had the short end of this, however, when he accidentally eavesdropped on Will telling Sonny about EJami throwing the sausage in the magic kingdom. After he confronted Sami for betraying him on the DiMera sofa (and bringing its germs back into their marriage bed) she threw his tongue tango with Carrie at him. Even Rafe wouldn't accept this and stormed over to Casa DiMera where Elvis was busy promising Nicole that they could live a fairytale life now that he was the mayor of Salem (apparently the job comes with a castle, but the dungeon isn't as swanky as the Dimera's). She said yes until Rafe ran in to ruin the mood with Samanther trailing after him. Rafe spilled the beans. This gave Nicole indigestion. Elvis finally came up with the most original excuse he ever had: Sex with Sami didn't count because it was an 'out of body experience'. While even the former porn star had never heard that creative euphemism before, it still didn't fly. John and Hope did fly, however. After she ate all of the candy in the airport sweet shop, they finally boarded a plane for Alamainia. This story had her so excited that, even plumped full of a garbage bag full of gummies, her legs still fell asleep and she tripped on John's pantcuffs. Babs probably should be more worried if Fancyface is already walking into John's pants.

It wasn't just the truth coming out either this week. Amid all of the chaos, Will finally managed to inch toward figuring out one thing: If you meet a cute boy, luring him toward the bathroom probably is not a bad idea. Unfortunately, young William lost his moxie before he could lose anything else and ran to the penthouse to cry to his grandmother. To her credit, Marlena actually managed to be helpful.

Lines of the week:
Marlena: It's about time you grew up.

Sami: What did I do to deserve this?
Will: I think I've got a list somewhere.

Will: Oh, she was crying out, but it wasn't from pain.

February 17
It turned out that even kissing babies wasn't enough to get Elvis elected. Abraham was crowned the mayor of Salem once again, but the glory was short-lived. While Stefano was crowing to his son that he should have let him fix the election and calling him a 'lapdog for the Brady's and, whatever they're called, the Hortons', news was spreading that Abe's victory lap wouldn't last. It turned out that there was some mysterious vote tampering and this alerted the authorities to spring into a recount. Since the elementary school students they use to do all the counting had all gone home for the day, it will have to wait until next week.

In the midst of all of the bustle around town, Babs distracted himself from his wife spinning into the fog of memory by actually showing up at the station to do some random police work. This basically consisted of threatening some dude when they had no evidence on him. Roman wasn't paying much attention to baby brother Babs because he was busy telling young William that Salem is full of gay-bashing bigots. Will stumbled home to pack the last of his things before he can begin his life as a swinging bachelor in the bustling hub of Horton Square. His first act as a free man was to listen to Rafe bellyache about how much he hurt Sami. There's only so much male to male blubbering Will can handle though.

There was plenty more blubbering elsewhere. Sami showed how fit she was keeping by pounding on her sister's face and then pummelling her eardrums with yelps of displeasure. The sisters started airing so much dirty laundry that it blacked out the sun. As the darkness spread over the city, Abby moaned to Mel about the man she loves, finally explaining it was Austin. Then she moaned to clueless Carrie about it when she ran into her on the street. Austin stood by and nervously listened, doing up all twenty of the zippers on his leather jacket so that Abby wouldn't get the wrong idea. And speaking of giving people ideas, Ian paid Kate a visit and gave her some not too subtle reminders of the trysts they used to share. She tried to resist him, the power exuded by muscles aggressively wrinkly his brow was overwhelming. The blue streak snuck away from her husband to meet Ian and suck on his lip.

Ian was having a busy week all around. After Brady left Madison alone with her husband, Ian took the time to really creep her out. All he had to do was furrow his brow and whisper and she was cringing like someone watching a Jarlena whip cream sex tape. Don't think I'm pulling that out of thin air either. My cousin, Melvin Orangulip, who works for a company whose name I cannot mention, told me that there are already orders for them floating around. Apparently, one of the old warehouses down by the pier in Salem is full of these tapes that they've been making. Like many legitimate businesses that go belly up, Basic Black has decided to start producing porn. And why not? It worked for Victor. Showing his usual insight and acumen, John's business plan argued that there is a really hunger among the starving people of Salem to see this kind of niche material. Babs and Hope actually think this is a good plan and wanted in on it. That's why they all planned to run off to Alamainia together under the smoke screen of getting a divorce. This was consistent with Babs and Hope's usual plans to paw their way out of the poor house. The latest of these, we learned this week, involved getting Ciara to start her own earthworm plantation. But back to Ian... Not only did he manage to woo Kate, he also managed to snatch up the CEO position at Titan. Brady was really miffed that the man whose wife he'd been sleeping with just picked up the job he'd left. Maybe it was the irony. Not that anyone had time to laugh about it. Brady attempted to lash out at the guy, only to be kicked to the floor and, in a further irony, threatened with a tippling stick.

Lines of the week:
Hope: I don't know if I can leave Ciara alone with all the earthworms.

Victor: When I saw that walking stick I knew that something was off.

Carrie: (to Abby) Tell me about this idiot.

Ian: I never thought you'd ever need a sugar daddy.

Brady: I don't know anything anymore!

Lexi: I don't know who you are anymore!

February 10
With some additional prodding from Babs and some additional plodding of the plot, Hope finally opened the letter of doom to discover that she and beardo were not legally married. This was slightly confusing since it was one of her alternative personalities who was actually married to someone else. Not only that, but the other personality was married to one of John's other personalities. Even for fictional characters, being married to people who don't exist is hard to handle. Being bigamists didn't bother the cops much. What really bothered them was that Stefano must be up to something big. However, he seemed so bored by the whole thing that it was hard to believe. But considering how repetitive this plot has been, it's easy to imagine it's all been intended to put someone in a trance, or at least asleep. The foursome bundled themselves up and went over to Casa DiMera where Stefano and Kate treated them to all the sarcasm they could muster on empty stomachs. John squinted like he was standing in the desert, but it was just the glare from Kate's jewels. After he swiped a cigar from his old stash, he left with everyone else. Stefano was left alone to gag about the whole thing and pluck hairs from his beard while the other were condemned to take a trip to Alamania. It seemed that only a marriage between alternative personalities could actually count for more than the paper it was printed on. They might have to spend two weeks of one their anti-marital vacation, which could last who knows how long on-screen. By the time Babs and Hope return to Salem, Ciara could be getting her first quickie annulment from Theo.

This was hardly the only mess in town. The hullabaloo spilled out from the Cafe scandal. Sami and Austin caught their spouses tying tongues but were far from tongue tied about giving them a lashing for it. Following a verbal brawl with his beloved, Austin got as plastered as a pirate on payday while Samanther's eyelashes turned to tongs she used to whip Rafe until he whimpered out a million apologies. Even more difficult for him was discovering that Hallmark doesn't make an apology card for making out with your wife's sister. He was forced to write it himself with one of Johnny's crayons after his wife gave him the boot for gagging after her bootiful sister. He returned the following days to get his batteries - the last memento of RoboRafe - before Will nearly spilled the beans to him. Sami did her best to cover and bickered with her son. Rafe slouched away and young William continued to issue insults at his mother with a speed usually reserved for the divorces issued in Salem.

Meanwhile, Austin got so angry about his wife's canoodling that he ran to the nearest potato farm, dug some out of the frozen ground and squeezed them so hard that they distilled into moonshine. He drank this and stumbled over to his office. Abby tried to be there for him but he didn't know where he was. She kissed him. He kissed her back and fell over. Demonstrating just how much he really lusts after her, he fell asleep before she could even unbuckle her bra. The abster was totally clueless that this was not a good sign. No wonder her dad thinks she'd make such a great journalist. The next day, he woke up assuming they'd done the deed. He let him keep thinking that, but he rapidly tried to forget it by running off to his wife and promising to make things work.

And Brady decided to take things to the next level with the lady in his life. Or up a few levels I guess. Madison had all the qualities he looks for in a woman: she can wear more sequins than will fit on a grandmother's Christmas sweater, ride a segue without killing anyone, likes sex in the office, makes a sound like a wheezing condiment dispenser when she kisses, enjoys cleaning his nipples and has discovered that she cares about him a little more than money. Unfortunately for him, he also discovered she had a slightly less desirable quality... she's already married.

Lines of the week:

Sami: Were you playing princess again?

Sami: Carrie is a slut and you are a traitor!

John: Our marriage is good and strong... it's just not legal.

Austin: You were here for me?

Austin: I just want us to be us again.

February 3
It was a big week in Salem. So big that half the week seemed like it was being played on delay just to let things end right. Babs and Hope returned to the bank with Stefano to open the mystery box. Hope had to think about it some more. Stefano left to get a manicure. When he came back, she still needed to think about it. He left to see a man about a boat. He came back and she still had to think about it some more. He went to see a man about a dog and taught the dog how to sing. He came back and she'd made up her mind. He told her she better be sure. She said she was and then needed more time to think about that. He left to have a nap. He napped for so long he could use his beard as a blanket. After he woke up and had a trim and then went back. Babs was sparking the hairs on her head together to get the fire back behind her eyes. She changed her mind again. Stefano left to have all the grey hairs this has given him a little dye. When he got back, she was still thinking. By the time the hairs had turned grey again, she finally agreed to open the box. They put their keys in. The envelopes came out. He said they could still go back. She had to think about that for awhile.

Abby continued to pine for Austin. She finally filled her parents in on her new job modeling for MadWorld. Jenn didn't like this one bit. She must have seen the modeling that Gabi had been doing and realized it was a slippery slope from that to the kind of modeling that Nicole used to do. At least that's how it works in Salem. She was on a slippery slope herself since she and Abe had stolen the debate questions and planted false ones for EJ. This let them win the debate by a landslide. Elvis and Nicole were shocked. After all, it's not like he doesn't know how to lie when he's put on the spot. He was doing that all week. Over at MadWorld, deceits started to unravel. After a chat with Brady, Madison decided to pull the plug on their plan to sabotage Kate. Madi was wearing some curtains and Sami was wearing a rug. Apparently they were taking the whole undercover thing too literally and assumed they needed to look like office furnishings. The thought of dumping this ruse was too much for Sami. She decided to dump Madi instead and quit her job, vowing to stay with Kate and get her revenge on MadWorld.

The rest of Sami's week wasn't going swimmingly either. Austin and Sami walked in on Rafe and Carrie having what appeared to be some kind of extremely kinky date. They were dressed up in princess gear, surrounded by pink balloons and dancing all over the pub. "This kind of thing puts EJ's scarf fetish to shame," she must have been thinking to herself. Austin was deeply hurt. She never agreed to play princess with him when he asked, or dress up in any of the other outfits he'd brought home. Her refusal to let them bump uglies while dressed as SpongeBob and Patrick was the real unspoken source of most of their marital friction. While the spouses attempted to explain themselves, Samanther really started erupting when William called to tell her that Syd was having a tea party with daddy-mommy EJole. The week proceeded with scene after scene after scene of Will tensing up and getting ready to blow his mom apart. After having a few moments bordering on Hallmark movies with Sonny and getting a new apartment from EJ so he could live 'a cosmopolitan lifestyle' full of 'adult activities' and 'a very busy social card', young William could finally get out of the clutches of his mother. He angrily confronted her for being a 'whore' who was even worse than Marlena. You could actually see Sami's head imploding as she realized that she had become everything she hates. She tried making excuses. The Casa DiMera couch obviously has some kind of sex hex on it. That's why whoever sits there winds up underneath EJ and that's also why most guests opt for a chair instead. This is why Celeste is coming back, by the way: to finally end the curse that no amount of Febreeze can lift. But Sami's week was about to get even worse...

Carrie and Rafe started to realize that their business was in jeopardy. He wanted to keep trying, reminding her that the Salem PD already assigned them most of their workload. They both knew that it could take months or years before the cops gave them any resources or information to actually follow up and do something. He couldn't bear the thought of not coming to the office to play tiddlywinks with her all day. Between that and the wet blouse she was always sporting thanks to their faulty coffee maker, that was the highlight of his day. Besides, it has been years since he spent much time with a woman who didn't cry and throw tantrums on a daily basis and he was getting used to it. Eventually, they started to kiss like a pair of hungry cockatoos fighting over a nut and Sami, of course, walked in on them.

Lines of the week:

EJ: (of Will) I can see myself in him.

Carrie: You're hurting my feelings.

Austin: I just feel so embarrassed.
John: It's called 'marriage'.

Nicole: (to Rafe) Did Sami let you dress yourself this morning?

Hope: Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla.

Bo: We need to get this over with today and then you can go back to playing chess with yourself, or whatever you call it.

Jack: (to Abby) I forbid anyone to see you as a grown woman.

Will: You're a whore Mom.

Will: (to Sami) Why do I always feel like I'm the adult in this relationship?

January 27
Everyone continued to grieve over the end of Dr. Daniel's organ fondling. He opted to leave town and recover the sense he'd lost by living there for so long. His loved ones gathered to say so long to him. His goatee was already sprouting, pointing him to the waves. His daughter lamented so much she thought of throwing herself on a pyre. The closest thing Salem had was the random flame at the centre of the square. Children were roasting clams and marshmallows at it when she moped by so she went to work instead. It was there that she was coerced by Quinn and Madison to make up with Abigail. MadWorld wanted them to be friends again so they could exploit it in an ad campaign. Madison's weird business ideas were taking the whole town off guard. Victor was having a perfectly nice morning eating Maggie's muffins when she showed up to declare that she would not be taking the CEO position at Titan. This confused the Kiriakis men, who assumed that something else must be up. Brady then plowed off to work with his pop and soon got his dander up. The Blacks attempted to prove which of them was the bigger jackass. It was stiff competition but ended up as limp as Philip when he could remember that he only had one leg.

Babs and Hope used more underhanded tricks to force Stefano to expose himself. Although they usually just do that to arrest the town's perverts, Daniel had already left so they decided to use it for something more lucrative. Stefano was so bored he didn't put up a fight and offered to open the secret box of mystery. However, even Stefano's shrug proved overwhelming to the police and they backed out at the last minute. The next day, they changed their mind again. Stefano continued to groan and complain about how bored he was with this. But he did admit that there were two secrets in the box and distanced himself from taking any blame for the fallout.

Kate and Sami teamed up to guilt Chadsworth into going along with the whole modeling thing. Gabi was thrilled, especially since this would mean she could stand around with her bottom lip on his nipple again. Chad had some pants painted on and Gabi's face was dressed up to look like the Halloween mask version of Chloe before they were paraded before the cameras. Sami was stunned that they looked so good. She called Madi to worry, but she had more to worry about. Samantha confessed to Rafe that she and Madison were in cahoots to take Countess W down from the inside, a trick she'd learned from Grandma Caroline's cooking. Rafe hated it and fixated on her betrayal of his trust. In all fairness, he may have only been doing this to avoid looking at the coiffure that Samantha was sporting. He moped off to work. His partner, Carrie, just narrowly avoided sex with Austin. In spite of the fact that her inflating ass could barely let her through the doorway, Carrie still escaped from Austin's panting to gets pantsless so she could go and make goo goo eyes at Rafael. Their fairytale romance accelerated when the performers who were supposed to be at Syd's birthday called to cancel. This left Carrie and Rafe donning a lot of blue, frilly duds and learning how to waltz. Kayla, who has been making ends meet by working as an Ellen Degeneres impersonator, dropped by to laugh at them. Meanwhile, Austin pulled himself to work where Abby arrived to fantasize about him. The spell was momentarily broken when he began reminiscing about changing her diapers.

As the week ran down, the parties heated up. Elvis decided to throw a special shindig for Syd. He recruited young William to smuggle her over while Sami was out of town. The event was so momentous that EJ changed into a blue shirt and decorated the sex den with pink balloons. Although he was already making plans for how to recycle those later, he still found time to lewdly hold a cigar between his lips for Will, annoy his sister and then catch Abraham when he tried to switch out the debate questions.

Lines of the week:

Daniel: Ai ai ai... I've got too many painful memories here.

Stefano: Let's get this over with.

January  20
This week, we learned the true meaning of the town's slogan, "Salem: where our dream is your nightmare, but you're sure to sleep through it all." Proving that he really hasn't been around long, Quinn offered to listen to moaning Mel. He acted as her emotional snotrag, which is a step up from being the Salem douchebag. Pretty soon, she had plenty more emotion to blow. Daniel decided that he was going back to the beach to resume his career as a surfer for the sake of his sanity. Nothing could be better for a middle-aged man who has strokes in his sleep than a death defying sport. Besides, he heard Annette was available again since Frankie ran off with Hasselhoff. As loud as she cried, Mel could still not understand why everyone kept walking away from her. When Chad offered to stand by her side, she wiped her nose on his jacket and pushed him away.

Young Chadsworth got it from all sides this week. His papa wanted into his life and offered him all the coffee beans he could handle. Chad still refused. It didn't help that the great room in Casa DiMera smells like the kind of grinding that isn't done with coffee beans. Kate offered to make him into a modeling star. She and Sami tricked him into doing some free modeling with Gabi at the spa. Sami pointed out that they were oozing sex. "I think CW has a cream for that," Kate said. Of course it does. That's the same cream Mary uses to disinfect the infamous Casa DiMera coochie couch. Elvis kept pulling Nicole onto it to distract her from her suspicions about Will. There's only so much of him to keep her mouth and googling fingers busy for so long, however, and she soon dug up some info on young William. The poor boy had spent most of the week being treated to Marlena's compassion. Since her mouth can no longer open as wide as Sami's, it all comes out like groaning instead of screaming. Her heartfelt wheezing was driving him around the bend. Lucky for him that EJ gave him a sports car. But he didn't move fast enough to stop Nicole from cornering him. Misty Circle told him there was something she needed him to do for her. Her gaydar must have gone off when he didn't react like Chad did a year or so ago when he assumed that very statement was intended to be a challenge to his manual dexterity and saliva production.

The Carver campaign continued to feel the burn of DiMera sabotage. Jenn was so furious that she got into a street brawl with Nicole. Before they could re-enact the infamous gelato wrestling scene from "Misty Circle's Battle Asses: Tender Tushes Edition," some men pulled them apart. Abe plotted how to get ahead. Since he couldn't convince Vince Offer to be his spokesman, he had to ask Babs and Hope to arrest some criminals for once so that at least he could look tough on crime. Lucky for them, Roman had just given the cops a big dossier and some cash to do just that. Bope decided to instantly go out and buy some people to do their work for them. After all, they couldn't rely on anyone at the Salem PD for help and they were too busy sitting around contemplating the mystery key and debating about Alice to actually do what they are paid for. Rafe and Carrie were the lucky recipients of their generosity, leaving Hope time to keep obsessing, contemplate a random job offer from Madison and Bab to convince her that leading a criminal task force, doesn't mean they can commit crimes themselves.

John was so excited by his new business with Brady -- which sounds identical to the old business -- that he couldn't even bring himself to pour his Hollandaise sauce all over Marlena's eggs. Instead, he gave her an anonymous box of cereal to munch on and some milk with a picture of Ciara on the carton. Yet again there was no product placement. My cousin Marvin offered to let them use his pickled goat tongue marmalade and a slice of vinegar pie but the producers turned their noses up. Could it be that all of the other advertisers got an advanced glimpse of Gargamel tongue boxing with the Abster and were scared off? I was so terrified that I actually hid under my desk. But while Abs dreamed of Austin, one of Sami's dreams was coming true. It was finally revealed that she and Madison have been in cahoots to bring CW down from the inside with a string of terrible marketing ideas which were inspired by something they saw on Daytime TV.

Lines of the week:
Nicole: For a brilliant surgeon, you sure are an idiot.

Will: You had two kids with him. I just get him his coffee.

Lexi: You really are just a man in an expensive empty suit.

Sami: You've been telling me to get a job since I was 16 and now I have one.

Nicole: I didn't start this. Little Miss Muffet did.

Abe: This will be the end of chuckling.

January 13
Friends are hard to find in Salem, unlike relatives or people to take to chowderfest. This week was mostly about what happens when you lose the best friend you were supposed to have forever, or at least what feels like forever. And unlike spouses or lovers, actually breaking up or betraying a friend in Salem means something other than the fact that it will just repeat itself over and over again.

Chadsworth and Mel continued to control their throbbing desires for the sake of Abigail. This meant no PDAs. Considering that Mel's most famous PDA was her sex tape with Philly K., this left Chaddington totally boned. His hair drooped. Abby still rained insults on their parade and told Mel that she could never come and play with her anymore. Mel frowned so hard it spread to her forehead. Abby ran off to fill a snot rag with grief. Marlena was crawling the halls looking for people to counsel and cornered her. She got her to open up on her shrink's special kleenexes. If she keeps treating people for free like this, she'll never be able to afford real whipped cream for John again. Once she'd dropped a few pounds through her nose, she sniffed around Austin, carried his books to school, taught him how to use the Interwebs and then bought them two grocery bags full of grilled cheese. Meanwhile, after hearing of Daniel's infirmity, Jack nearly gave Jenn a stroke when he decided to drop out of the competition for her affections. Since both men had dropped out, this left her to argue with herself about who deserved her more. She tried talking to Hope about it. The detective made her eat a plate of cookies as therapy.

On their own, Bope got so sappy that you could have boiled them and made them into a topping for the fish pancakes at the pub. "Fancy Face, you are my destiny," Babs cooed, but the cuddling hit a sour note when they began bickering again. Although he was willing to spend fifty minutes a week working on their marriage (it meant just that much to him), he was still reluctant to support her obsession with Alice's secret. Obviously if her Gran had hidden a clue that they were never supposed to find and they found it, she must have wanted them to find it, the detective reasoned. Babs couldn't argue with that or with the "Remember I'm only a couple of pills away from a psychopath" look that kept filling her face when she insisted on plowing ahead.

Rafe and Carrie decided to call their new firm "Cafe Whodunit" in the hopes that it would confuse Salem's donut crowd enough to come through their doors. Their operation as a lost and found continued this week as they took on such scintillating cases as investigating mysterious smells at the Salem hotel, tracking down where I left my toothbrush, looking for lost buttons, looking into claims by students who said that their dog ate their homework and so on. However, after briefly puzzling over why Samantha wasn't having a conniption about them working together, they spent even less time thinking about how to cool down in their E-Z Bake office. Rather than open a window or door, they started stripping off their clothes. Rafe sucked on his pen, recalling that this was all eerily like that fantasy letter he wrote to Penthouse Forum when he was a teenager. He gorped as she continued fondling her breasts, contemplating if she should just dump them onto the photocopier so he could take a copy home to frame by his bed. Too impoverished to go to the spa, they spent most of the afternoon sweatily bending over in awkward positions and melting ice all over their bodies. Her cleavage heaved so much that the wind it exhaled ruffled his eyebrows.

Across town, Sami demonstrated her icy intelligence to Kate with her latest business ideas. Katherina was so impressed she thought Samanther was the genius in the company. Considering Sami's only competition is Chris, that's not much of an achievement. Slightly higher on the achievement scale, Nicole admitted to Brady and Madison that she was okay with them being together. Victor had just asked Madi to be the new CEO of Titan since Brady had jumped ship. Apparently being married to Maggie has turned his brain into the cheese curds she sells at Chez Rouge. The redhead has been giving him all sorts of brilliant business advice, like suggesting that he appoint Babs as CEO. Madison was conflicted about taking Brady's job but that didn't stop her from trying to goose him at the spa.

And Elvis revealed that his first act as mayor would be to legalize slavery. To show that he's paving the way for the city's bright future, he got his own slave: young William. Strangely, within a few hours of his enslavement, Will actually seemed to have perked up more than he has in months. Anything beats the kind of freedom he received from his mother. After getting Will to steal Abe's big jobs proposal, he managed to fondle his neck whenever possible and buy him a car. Sami showed up and caught them together as they were discussing whose garage it would be parked in.

Lines of the week:

EJ: That hurts my feelings.

Abby: How did you two keep your hands off each other long enough to stab me in the back?

Victor: I'm keeping it real.

Bo: (to Hope) You're a dog with a bone.

Mel: I'm not a selfish bitch, Abigail.
Abby: Then you're a lying slut!

January 6
Since seeking pill therapy didn't work out so well for Hope last time, she and Babs went in for talk therapy this time. Babs broke down and let out all of the emotions he'd been bottling up for five years like he was a dinghy with a leak. In a couple of seconds, he was empty again. Marlena ended the hour right on the dot, thankful that her Botox had made it impossible for her to register anything remotely approximating an unprofessional emotion. Meanwhile, John, Salem's unwilling organ donor, was bankrupting himself to pay back the people his nephew ripped off. Brady offered to go into business with him. Madison didn't like it. A few minutes later she did. Across town, Stefano complained about Harold's dress sense. John squinted. Marlena was horny. Rafe and Carrie were hired to find a cat but it beat him up so he went home to cook dinner and make out with Sami who was acting happy as a clam at high tide. Will nearly puked at the sight of the spectacle and went back to his grandma for more therapy.

At some point in the past few months, Daniel had a stroke in his sleep. It was so mild that he didn't notice. This storyline was apparently inspired by the new writing strategy of the show which aims to put us all in a state of sleep flirting with death. When the big news about Dr. Wandering Hands finally broke, it was played so undramatically that Daniel's tan actually seemed to pale. Somewhere, an organ player was so distressed by this lack of soap opera style drama that he wrote to me to complain about how the dulling down of the genre is putting people like him out of work.

Dear sir or madam,

I am but a lowly organ tinkler who once made a grand living from highlighting the emotions of Daytime's glitzy stars. But, oh, how the times have changed! It was bad enough when the synthesizer players took over and drowned everything with leftover tracks from Dr. Who  not that I could complain about this too much since we were in the same union -- but this scene with Dr. Dan was dull as a box of dirt. They didn't even let him grunt.

Yours regretfully,
Phineas Z. Barnsweller
Here's some more from my mailbag:

"My Shih Tsu Lady Fluffernutters lost her chain the other day and I noticed Marlena wearing it during Friday's episode. Could you please send it back to me or do I have to call the Salem PD?" wrote one concerned viewer who asked that her name not be included. Strangely, another email by a Mr. Yo Phat-Mama dealt with a similar issue. He claimed that Marlena had been copying his style and demanded that she stop. I've been informed that the article of clothing in question is actually part of MadWorld's GhettoFabulous collection and was inspired by a skater boyfriend that Madison had in the 80s. Another source informed me that all of the women in Marlena's family wear chains around their waists whenever possible. This is done to control the inflating ass syndrome that they suffer from but is usually hidden by distracting clothes.

The biggest mystery to appear this week was the figure who appeared on the Safe fridge. The kids painted pictures of the whole family. Will is clearly recognizable, but next to him was a mysterious multicolored bird. Even before Babs and Hope could assume this was yet another secret involving Alice, a viewer calling herself Mariah Hairey wrote in to suggest several meanings for the mysterious bird. She related it to a voodoo ritual and suggested that this could mean Celeste has been psychically communicating with her grand-nieces and nephews. This bird image would then supposedly have supernatural powers, like Stefano's phoenix, and could be used to ward off evil. She also suggested that Johnny may have seen the mythical phoenix at Casa DiMera but mistook it for a chicken and ate it, gaining magical powers. What's your theory?

And a psychic sent a letter in with information about the coming year. It was about fifty pages long and full of expletives and strange recipes involving plants I hope you don't have in your house so I'll just give you the gist of it. In the weeks to come, it will be revealed that EJ is not Stefano's son after all. He is actually one of the original Cabbage Patch kids. It turns out that Shawn Brady Senior and Alice had been trying to do some clam farming. Since neither of them knew much about biology or agriculture, they attempted to cross fertilize cauliflower with whatever bodily fluids they could get their hands on. This explains both EJ's inhuman fertilizing powers and the fact that Johnny looks like a giant cauliflower. Susan, believing that baby EJ was a talking vegetable, smuggled him out of the country after discovering that Stefano had learned of the operation and wanted to assimilate it to his bio-engineering business with Rolf.

Anyway, before any of that can happen, Will showed up at Casa DiMera, unable to cope with his mom pretending she isn't evil incarnate. Distraught and not firing on all cylinders, he immediately tried to blackmail Elvis for money to leave town. As Marvin always says, "When you're up to your ass in alligators, it's too late to try figuring out how to drain the swamp."

Lines of the week:

EJ: Why would you hire Samanther? She only has one skill and you can't use it to sell clothes.

More Musings: 
Matt's Musings on Days of Our Lives from 2011
Matt's Musings on Days of Our Lives from 2010
Matt's Musings on Days of Our Lives from 2009
Matt's Musings on Days of Our Lives from 2008


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