I have to start out this column by giving a major hat tip to the show runners and editors at DAYS. With the National Dog Show on Thursday and a big sports events on Friday, we had a short week in Salem. This year, it was even shorter, as Wednesday's episode was an actual Thanksgiving episode. So MonDAYS and TuesDAYS really had to count. And boy, did they ever.
Monday was a tour de force of acting from Camila Banus, Marci Miller, Billy Flynn, and Melissa Reeves.
There's a lot to unpack from Chad vs. Jen, but that's because Jennifer left a suitcase full of hypocrisy on her front stoop.
First, I'm pretty sure one (or maybe two??) days earlier, Jennifer was all on board with having Abigail committed. Just what did she think was going to happen to the baby if Abigail delivered her in Bayview? That baby would go right to Stefan, anyway. Granted, Abigail would have had a medical team around her to deliver the baby, but, wait…never mind. Abigail lives on a soap. I can't name the last baby delivered in a hospital.
Second, Jennifer's rant at Chad is exactly what's wrong with the concept of the character of Abigail. Even someone who was literally trying to save her life got slapped in the face for not doing it right. Yes, Jennifer is scared. Of course, she has every right to be. But she took it out on the wrong person.
Chad believes Abigail is sick again. Chad would rather see Abigail in a hospital than leave her to do something like fake her death and choose to let Thomas go without a mother. Whereas Jennifer enabled the bad behavior, Chad's actually making the stronger choice by trying to help.
Their argument is a little moot, though, because Gabi's playing both of them. Gabi showed up to tell Abigail the truth. It's rare that the "bad guy" gets to have a victory lap. But this was Gabi's. She waved the wig in Abigail's face and confessed to everything -- drugging Abigail, dressing her as Gabby, causing global warming -- everything. I hadn't realized until Gabi said it, but indeed, no one would believe Abigail saying Gabi confessed to her, since Dr. Laura played that card last time. Don't look now, but Gabi's kind of nailing this villain thing.
And Abigail is rightly ticked. I one thousand percent agree with Abigail that Gabi's target should have been Stefan. I, too, wish her whole revenge plot was centered around him and not Abigail. Abigail's the irritant. But Stefan was the whole illness.
I pause here to remind you all that the above happened in just one day! We had to get all of that anger out because on TuesDAYS, we said goodbye to Paul.
In what turned out to be a heartwarming scene, Paul explained he's off to California, where a clinic he turned down still had a spot for him.
Hang on! Paul was going to turn down a clinic spot because of Will? Wow. I mean, Will is swell and all. But we're talking about Paul regaining the ability to walk!
Anyway, the scene was delightful. Drake Hogestyn, Eric Martsolf, and Christopher Sean have such an easy chemistry with each other, it's easy to forget their characters came out of the "insta-family" machine. Brady checking if the therapist was single and then giving Paul a nod of encouragement was awesome.
Paul is right. He's leaving Salem a better man than when he arrived. (Which, let's be honest, was a pretty decent guy, since he saved Sonny's life on approximately his second day in town!) But this guy grew into an all-out hero without a hero complex. He's proud of who he is. He's proud of where he came from. And he's proud of where he's going. I can't help but cheer for this guy and hope we see him again!
And then, it was holiday time!
Thanksgiving over at Doug's place consisted of Julie demonstrating that she's a true jerk to people who work for her. Wait, I retract that. Will Horton just texted me to remind me that cousin Julie left him wandering the streets of Salem alone while she was throwing her party, so she's also a little cruddy to her family.
Anyway, the whole get-together was low-key and very nice. First, no one delivers a speech like Doug. I'll take him anytime I can get him. He's become one of the true hearts of the show!
Second, it was nice to see Val apologize to Abe. Love her as I do, I was on Abe's side in their argument. I'm all for Val taking a chief of staff job. But Val didn't even tell him she was looking for a job. I'm pretty sure you don't get offered a chief of staff job outside of Salem without applying for it. Still, they worked it out. I'm glad they did!
Over at Casa de Kiriakis, everyone was not loving Victor. Victor wasn't exactly wrong about how many times Will has broken Sonny's heart. But apparently, he hasn't been watching the show, because Wilson has been endgame since Chandler Massey came back. Someone needed to tell Victor to get with it.
Sarah was up for the task. This gal grows on me more and more. She wasn't having any of Victor's nonsense. She told him, too. He literally choked on his words. (And I believe he was visited by four ghosts during his health scare, which made him see the light to honor Thanksgiving in his heart and try to keep it all the year!)
Sarah saved him. (She's a doctor, y'all!) And he performed the most cherished of all Thanksgiving miracles -- bringing Charlie Brown, er…I me Sonny back home. Like I did, I'm sure Adrienne cried real tears when she learned the news!
LOOSE ENDS: The security desk at that hospital needs work. I recently went to visit my cousin's babies in the Newborn ICU. I had to give my driver's license, the name the babies were under (they weren't under their legal names), and get my photo taken for my pass. Then, once I got to the NICU, I had to check in at the desk, where a nurse called back to my cousin's room and asked him if I was cleared to come back.
It made me so happy to see Abe Skype with Brandon, Theo, and Celeste! Man, I love Abe's extended family. I wouldn't even mind Jett showing back up just so father Abraham gets to be in family mode more often.
Okay, I officially started work on my "I Heart Sarah" shirt when she jokingly replied, "I always do!" when Eric told her she got her way. I'm also willing to get behind these two as a pair. Much like the early days of Ericole, Eric gets to do something mysterious with Sarah. I think it's called...I hope I get this right...laughing? Is that what it is? It's been so long since Eric got to be light-hearted, I almost forgot what his face looks like when he smiles.
Ciara confronted Tripp about setting up Ben. Tripp turned back around and asked her if she lied to him about her feelings for Ben. I've never been a Tripp/Ciara fan, but I couldn't really put my finger on it until that moment. I liked seeing Tripp with a backbone. Granted I don't want the return of hold-someone-at-scalpel-point Tripp, but Tripp seemed to jump through hoops to please Ciara. I could do without that.
I am, however, bummed that Claire and Ben broke up as friends. I liked their unholy alliance.
HOT Part 1:
Christopher Sean is an underappreciated talent. I can't think that Paul was supposed to be a one-off character. He would follow along the long lines of Henry, Hottie McBlue Eyes, Rory, etc. But Christopher Sean infused Paul with such depth that the powers that be would have been foolish not to keep him around. By making him John Black's son, they ensured that he'll be part of DAYS history. Salem is better for having Paul and Christopher Sean there.
HOT Part 2:
I shouldn't be a Marci Miller fan. Not only did she play one of my more problematic characters, but she's a third recast who followed a fan-favorite actress who won an Emmy with the role. But she showed up, floppy hat and all, and won me over with her nuanced performances, flawless chemistry with just about any leading man (Marci made Dario tolerable!), and an endearing blend of strength and humor. The lovely Lady Miller will be missed. I can't wait to see what she does next.
There was a pair of lines this week that fell into the category of "I know what you meant, but...oh, girl...not cool."
First, there was Abigail. Gabi pointed out once again that she was ripped from her daughter, sent to prison, and beaten so badly she can't have kids anymore. Abigail responded, "Oh, you're just never going to let that go?" Now, granted, Abigail has a right to be steaming mad at Gabi. But, yeah, it's a little impractical to expect Gabi to be okay with everything that happened to her.
Second, there was Val. After Abe explained that he didn't want to do a long-distance relationship, Val retorted, "I should turn down a job just to you don't have to be alone?" Again, I know what she meant. But, oof, that's not the thing to say to a young widower whose only son is on the other side of the world. Yes, being alone is a truly difficult thing for Abe.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Brady: "I don't know, maybe I'm hard-wired to be in a relationship."
Maybe, Bradster? Ya think?
Julie may annoy me. But I do love that she has three bottles of wine for a party of six. I respect that, Jules.
Really, no joke when Sheila was told to scrub a glass?
Someone is going to live in Will and Paul's apartment, right? They didn't build that set for nothing.
Sheila saying "Duces" to Lani made my week.
I like Ciara with lighter eye makeup.
Somewhere, Dario's throwing his arms up and saying, "Are you kidding me? All I had to do was promise not to admit her to a mental hospital?!"
That's it for this week! I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving! I'll be back next week for the Wilson reunion and -- hopefully -- the reveal of Doug's carving secrets!
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