On my very first official column as a Two Scooper, I had to cover the week when Andre DiMera's never-before-heard-of cellmate ran down and killed John Black with a car. It was shocking because it seemed totally unnecessary to kill off a major character solely for a plot point.
Well, here we are, eight years later, and I have the same feeling. To quote the Rev. Sefani, this sh*t is bananas. I mean, killing off Will Horton? Why? Whaaat? Huh?
Yes, I understand that there are a lot of reasons for a soap character to die. An actor could be leaving the show or at the end of a limited-run contract (See: James Scott or Blake Berris). New writers could have taken over and need to weed out peripheral characters (See: Serena Mason, Paige Larson, Madison James). Or, the iconic actor could have passed away (See: the great Francis Reed). But, shocking deaths for the sake of shock is not something DAYS is built to do. This isn't Game of Thrones.
Let me back up. I've been a big fan of the Necktie Killer storyline up to this point. It got rid of completely unnecessary characters and gave Billy Flynn's shoulders a much-needed rest from carrying the Ben/Abigail/Chad triangle all on his own.
But now that we know Ben is the murderer, his actions have to make sense, considering the characters involved. And Ben killing Will just didn't make sense. The multi-generational legacy character's fatal mistake was that he was waiting for one of those ridiculous service-call time windows that cable companies like to give out to torture the America public.
Much as he annoyed me, Will Horton has been driving storyline since he was a fetus. His death had to mean something. But alas, this move feels contrived. Was Ben going to be any less of a bad guy for killing two people instead of three? Of course not. Years from now, we'll have to scramble for the reason for this death. Ben Weston will be the answer to a trivia question. But Will Horton is an ornament on the Horton tree.
That's it. Everything is ruined. Cancel Christmas. I just can't take it.
Plus, Will wasn't ready to die! That whole voicemail he left for Sonny, when he apologized for everything without once using the word "Paul," was a wonderful start! It does not, however, suddenly wrap up the months of conflict and turmoil that Will put
me Sonny through! It's not a good practice to expect audiences to be satisfied by a last-minute one-sided conversation as a resolution to a storyline.
So while there were some great pieces falling into place -- like Robert Scott Wilson's excellent work, or the fact that I found it truly suspenseful seeing whether Ben may be a split personality -- all that went onto some water skis and over a shark when Will died.
This move further baffles me because we've got snails lapping us in other storylines.
Bo's been back for six weeks now. First, we watched Bo get tortured. Then, we watched Steve watch footage of Bo being tortured. Bo has yet to share a meaningful scene with a single character we know. And, I was actually thrilled to see flashbacks because it meant that Bo got to speak in complete sentences, not grunt and break out of his restraints like he's Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith.
Please move it along, fellas!
Get him home to Caroline so we can stop this vigil by her bedside. Much as I love that it's given some previously ignored characters (Hi, Kayla and Roman!) some screen time, this storyline needs to end. We've looped around to watching these same people stare at the same woman in bed again and again for weeks now. Caroline is much more interesting when she's seeing ghosts and slinging tough-love advice at her brat pack of kids. So, let's give her the miracle cure for her mystery disease and get on with the show.
Loose Ends Maybe I'm just starved for a couple to root for, but I do not mind the idea of Gabi and J.J. one little bit. Gabi has no story. J.J. has no age group. She's still a little na´ve. He's too precocious for his own good. They just might balance each other out! Let's give this one a try!
If they don't make it, then Chad and Andre are my next favorite couple. They are great together. I'm pretty sure Billy Flynn sneaked in an adorable impression of Thaao Penghlis' accent. Though I have to play the B.S. card on Andre saying they've been watching Clyde since he came back to Salem. If so, Clyde would have had to pay for his part in E.J.'s death by now.
I had to chuckle at Kayla's insinuation that Victor wouldn't give his family member an experimental drug. Right, he only gave his son a face transplant.
There's a lot of "not telling you for your own good" going around. I do not like it. Victor didn't tell Hope about Bo being dead. Rafe isn't telling Gabi that her dad is in town. And no one will tell me where Theresa got that cute black dress she wore for the funeral.
Thank goodness J.J. finally told Roman everything. And I loved that J.J. pulled one over on Clyde. It's about time someone got the better of him! Way to go, mini-Steve!
Was anyone going to call Max, Frankie, or Kimberly? Shouldn't they get a say in what happens to their mother as well?
Either Steve has an evil twin, or he got back to Salem in record time. All this time they've been calling it the "Titan jet." I think it's really a "time-traveling DeLorean."
Just in case we needed one more reason to be sure that Aiden is bad news, he's gone and put my Chadsworth in even more danger. I'm looking forward to Bope reuniting, but I have to say, I would have much rather seen a Bo/Hope/Aiden triangle where both men compete for her and she makes her own decision, rather than having the decision made for her before the characters even share a single scene. Hope's a strong lady. She could have handled it!
Wahoo! Justin apologized for being such a jerk face to Rafe! I like this Justin so much better. Now, if we can just get Adrienne to stop breaking up with him, the world will be a little happier!
I really do like Brady and Theresa. I bought her whole explanation for trying to fit in and being mean to people first. I think Brady did too. There's a hint of a modern My Fair Lady thing going on with them, and I find it charming.
Maybe the new writers didn't get the memo, but the fiftieth anniversary is supposed to be a celebration. And it's getting hard to find those moments of happiness. I can't remember if we got one before the torture scenes or after the family matriarch lay dying in a hospital bed. Then again, I think one happened right around the time of the murder. Nope, on second thought, it was probably right when Steve thought his best friend died.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Chad: "My father knows the underground tunnels of Salem like the back of his hand. He has his own passageways into them. I'm like Phantom of the Opera down there!"
It's nice of Caroline to get real PJs instead of an itchy hospital nightgown. Did Abigail lose a bet to have to put on that sweater?
I finally agree with Clyde. Having the bride's parents pay for the whole wedding is extremely old-fashioned.
Ben calls him "Chad DiMera" a lot. Considering how many times they've exchanged fists to the face, you'd think they'd be on a first-name basis by now.
Andre's basically the real-life version of the Joker. So, his wardrobe is on point.
Are all suspects questioned and then left alone in the room with pictures from the investigation?
On the bright side, Alison Sweeney is coming back, and it's been way too long since we got to see a gifted soap actress play out a mother grieving the death of her child. Oh wait...
I've never heard Miranda Rights with, "Other charges may and will follow." That was nifty.
Clyde's lawyer looked an awful lot like Marlena. Quick, Roman! Go get her!
Now that I know one of the walls opens up to reveal a secret passageway, I'm softening my stance on the DiMera study.
Wait, you're telling me that Abigail got dehydrated like Gabi did? But I thought that only happened when Sami yells at people! I do not understand.
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