If I'm being honest, math and I are not best friends. Sure, I can do the basics, but when letters become involved, I heed the sage advice of Kenny Rogers. I know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, I know when to walk away, and I know when to run for my calculator app. Ms. Norbury would be so disappointed in me, and I'll never be a Mathlete, but at least I can sit in the cafeteria with the kids who skip calculous to watch soaps in the A.V. room. You know, the best bunch at North Shore High School.
With that, if my calculations are correct -- and they may not be -- if the explosive "CIN" wedding cliffhanger was to coincide with the beginning of the Olympics back in July around the 23rd and the end of the games were scheduled to be August 9, 2020, then last week should have been the one DAYS returned. Since things were postponed, we're about three weeks into the big revelations of what happened to Ben and the rest of our beloved Salemites. Heck, based on that schedule, next week's episodes would usher us into September, but we're still in early mid-August, watching what should happen in three weeks. See, math-ing is, like, so hard.
So, you might be wondering, "What the hell is he talking about?" I can actually answer that question. Mostly! As we're far ahead of the DAYS timeline due to the Olympics rescheduling, that makes us three weeks or so into the "return from the break" storylines and, well, three weeks into storylines can be rather, well, not as exciting as the first few.
Of course, that doesn't mean what we're watching is not-exciting, just maybe a little soap superfluous. The first week wowed us, the second week "back" informed us, and now it's sort of, "We get it!" That doesn't negate the fact that some of the performances have been downright watershed moments to watch -- and I'd never not watch DAYS -- but let's look at some rinse-and-repeat scenes we need to move on from and some suggestions on B-side storylines we'd rather see play out...
First and foremost, Robert Scott Wilson is, well, killing it right now. His performance is what Emmys are made of. Michael Teh's Vincent is also spectacular in the sinisterly spooky kind of way! That calm, cool, and in-control way Vinnie is torturing Ben is downright chilling. Too chilling? It's a bit extra, if you ask me, but making us uneasy is exactly what it's supposed to do. So, in that regard, well done, Team DAYS!
With that, I'm going with the fortune cookie here. That is, "True love always triumphs." Foreshadow much? Raise your hand if you don't believe that right before Ciara's last breath could be drawn by Ben's hands, she'll get through to him with a plea of how strong their love is, and he'll turn his strangle-ly attentions toward Eve or Vinnie. I don't need shocked, probed, or a mannequin with a tablet head to convince me of that. It's all incredibly acted and produced, but how long will these "Ben's hands near Ciara's neck" scenes last? Asking for a friend.
That leads me to another question! Ever since *whispers* Resurrection by Wilhelm has casually come into play and now Essence by Rolf is a thing, has DAYS dealt the death blow to high stakes life-or-death storylines? Hmm...
For me, it's turned such storylines into more of a guessing game instead of me excessively stressing about the fate of certain Salemites. "Will they survive!?" is now "How will they survive?" or "How will they bounce back from the great soap beyond in a few *insert timeline*?" Or, I just casually remark things such as, "They'll be fine!" then go back to texting Laurisa about the show and enjoying a Scotch.
Ron lays great groundwork for the actors to pick up and shine with, but sometimes, with greatness comes great responsibility, and maybe moderation of such greatness should be considered from time to time. There is sometimes too much of a great thing, and, at times, not enough of other things that could be great like...
Kate Roberts, for example! I'm honestly not sure what's brewing between her and Abe, but it feels like Abe and Sheila 2.0 in a sense. That entire "A good guy who's a little uptight works with a sassy assistant who doesn't follow the rules, which puts them at odds, but a friendship is forming nonetheless" type scenario. It's starting to feel, and stop me if you heard this already, repetitious.
Don't get me wrong. I adore Abe, and I worship Kate, but do I love the idea of something starting off the clock between them? I'm not sure yet. They're both attractive and dynamic, but it seems, again, repetitious for them both. Abe has done the dating(-ish) a saucy siren out of his comfort zone. Kate has done the dating (and marrying) a "good guy" who champions her to be better, but at the end of the day, Kate's gonna be Kate. At this point, I don't mind if they work together and form a legit friendship, but, unless they can both be their fabulous selves, it's probably best the buck stops there.
Plus, I feel like Kate's being Dirty Dancing-ed. She's in a corner, and unless that corner is a corner office, she needs to move on to bigger and better. She's not an assistant. She's a downright boss in all the senses of the word. She's gone head to head with every big gun in Salem, and you know what? Kate's still standing, unlike most others who've tried to bring her down, thankyouverymuch.
Kate's certainly fierce enough to compete, and if she strikes now, the iron is hot enough for her to win the business battle. I mean, really, behind the scenes, DiMera Enterprises is basically a hot mess reality show at the moment, and I'm not even sure what's happening in the light blue offices at Titan. And while Kate at DiMera and Kate at Titan have been done (not yet to death, maybe just on life support), I think it's time for the Lady Roberts to create her own upstart and crush the big two. So, maybe, just maybe, Kate's using her time in the mayor's office to secure some kind of business venture for herself. Maybe?
If that's the case, Kate may need some allies. There are some Salem staples who should fit the bill, but perhaps Kate's former assistant Chris (Ross Matthews!) could cameo as an investor, since she set him up for success years ago, and he wants to return the financial favor. In addition, maybe Gabi's former short-lived tech savvy sidekick, umm, also named Chris, could invent an app that Kate could catapult to success and make bank for them both. There's a ton of potential, and Kate coming out on top sounds more fun than rinse and repeat for her and Abe both. Then, if two Salem power players who are allowed to be themselves want to be together, I'll think about waving the "Kabe" or "Abate" banners.
Speaking of the "hot mess reality show"-esque goings-on at the DiMera Mansion as Chad and Gabi vie for DiMera Enterprises, well, yep, it's a hot mess. The situation, that is. One should not confuse the general hot messiness of it all with hot mess Gwen. That's meant as a compliment, especially as Billy Flynn and Camila Banus going head to head as Chad and Gabi in a snarky business battle of the bitter yet brief exes is keeping me in stitches. Sure, it's super campy, but they're both such super actors, I'm just enjoying the showing of their comedic chops. Eventually, there will be more serious blood drawn, so for now, a few laughs are good for the soul.
Okay, the entire situation is absurd and makes DiMera Enterprises look disorganized and immature. The board is basically having a blast making Chad and Gabi compete and jump through hoops. Sloppy Gwen's binge-drinking and punking Jake with jabs out of "Scheming for Beginners" that even Ari Grace could spot a mile away, and that li'l gal already knows about bribery and bouts in the big house. Up your game, Gwen. Jake's just being Jake, which is kind of charming, and he's really the one winning any points. That brings it back to Chad and Gabi, who are too crazed with control and vengeance to see that, in addition to ultimate power, they both want the same thing -- a successful family company. Yep. A bunch of hot messes, but they're our hot messes, and I'll watch the hell out of the witty repartee between them all.
Also, does anyone want to volunteer to tell Gabi that it was largely Vivian and Andre who secured DiMera Enterprises for Stefan? At least, that's how I remembered it going down because, you know, I watched the show back then. I also remember Sami outmaneuvering him in like two seconds. That was magnificent to watch! So, while I admire Yo Gabba Gabi's commitment to her deceased wig-lovin' hubby's legacy, during his time in Salem, he didn't actually come across "Corporate Shark!" She's just reaping the rewards of his pedigree. Fight on, Gabs, just go forth with facts not fiction.
Still, the big bang from this all could be Sami! She's a DiMera bride and badder than all the rest. More so, she's back in town and could use a splashier storyline. E.J.'s also out there, maybe or maybe not bandaged up like a big marshmallow, but, perhaps, ready to rumble again. So, if you want to talk DiMeras who could take the cake, well, these two seasoned schemers could take the entire lot to the cleaners and not even break a sweat while they invite Tony and Anna back to the mansion for tea served by Chad, Gabi, Gwen, and Jake. Now that would be a dramatic DiMera family reunion!
Ha! Sonny couldn't hold in that smile while Will apologized. That made me know they'll ultimately be okay. If they can survive Hollywood Will, death, Susan Banks, Paul, Leo, and Adrienne's death all the while not knocking over one of Maggie's figurines and being murdered because of that, they'll be fine -- plus a puppy, but fine.
Victoria Konefal wins for facial expressions this week! She was hilariously delightful when Ciara found Hope and Rafe together. In fact, I get Ciara's exuberance to see "Rope" reunite. Not only is she sky high on love at the moment, but she loves the guy, too. He even walked her down the aisle. She just wants them to be happy. I wish I could say the same, but I'm more in line with Hope. Let them focus on being cops for now, though I will say their "elephant in the room" and "cop, man, guy" chitchat was charming.
Oh, boy! Okay. Baby boy Brady-Horton is so cute, but the rest of the Allie storyline is like the baby when it was carried out of the room with a loaded diaper. That is, kind of messy. And it struck me last week. Keep in mind this has nothing to do with Lindsay Arnold, who is amazing in the role, but maybe she should have been cast as Sydney, not Allie. It would just make more sense, given the history between Nicole and Sami, that Syd would be pitting them against one another.
Okay. Let me rephrase that. I know Sami is irritating Allie, causing Allie to retaliate, but you know what I mean. Maybe not "pitting," but causing them to interact. Any which way you slice it, I'm far away from waving a Team Allie flag, as she just dropped a baby bomb on her family, and, while she's far from ready to raise a baby, she's far from stupid. She knows what she did. So, my sympathy level for her is not exactly high right now. I need to get boba tea with Claire, and she can explain to me why Allie's someone she wants to spend more time with.
The winning shot from the baby storyline last week was Sami asking Belle to be her lawyer. A thousand times yes! Anything that keeps 'Tink and Sami in Salem, I am all for.
This would be a really good time for Adrienne to tell Justin, Sonny, Steve, and Jack she's pretending to be Bonnie. You know, maybe some big-time goons (the Philly mob, Ava Vitali, or even El Noodle's cartel, etc.) were after Adrienne, who was writing an exposé on them, and she asked Bonnie to swap places with her to make up for all the turmoil loony Lockhart caused. Bonnie died, but Adrienne had to stay away until now or was brainwashed and is just remembering. Think Val's storyline in the last season of Knots Landing, okay. That's it, right!? That has to be. Maybe? Probably not. Drats! We're stuck with Bonnie.
I'll give Bonnie two things. Fired-up Justin is great to watch, and he's generally the best. Otherwise, I have zero interest in seeing the Big Bon Bon around my dimpled buddy. Like, she needs to go. Now. Maybe she's just a sacrificial lamb for Brainwashed Ben? Maybe. I don't know, but if we can keep Judi Evans and get rid of Bons, I'm good.
I do like the Statler and Waldorf-like reactions from Jack and Jen as they navigate life in the DiMera mansion. I also enjoy their times spilling tea. They're the best gossips (and journalists) in Salem. However, I want more for them than babysitting and commentating on the drama. They need some of their own. Perhaps they could break the story of a brainwashed Adrienne believing she's Bonnie and the ominous outlaw who did it!
This is a long, three-part love fest, so hold onto your Claires!
One, Olivia Rose Keegan -- I adore you and wish you nothing but the best as you continue to light up the world with your talents! You will be missed in Salem, but I'm looking forward to your next venture.
Two. Welcome, Isabel Durant! She's the new Claire, and I can't wait to see what she does with the role. Only warm welcomes here, so come on in and have fun!
Three, no matter which actor amazed in the role, Claire cleaned up last week from the start with Marlena to the end with Eve...
First, she told a proud Marlena she's sticking around! Yes, Mar. Yes! That is super swell! Big-time bonus points -- Shawn and Belle believe staying in Salem for a while would help their family heal and grow. That's even sweller! In fact, you may even have heard me hoot and holler from that exciting declaration. And I know you're excited to get in on the hugging, John Black, but I get to go first, as I've never blinded my best friend. Claire Bear, 'Tink, and Shawn-D, get in here for a group hug!
Next, Claire had some screentime with Allie. This all felt like a nice next gen handoff to Allie's storyline. She's been barking with the big dogs for so long, we're now going to see her interact with characters her own age. Sure, she's "leaving." I doubt for that long, as they claimed that if Allie was staying, they'd not only be family, but also close friends. Oh, I think this is major foreshadowing. And something tells me that suggested "closeness" is about to blow up.
Next, Claire came upon Eve, and she did. Not. Back. Down. She told Eve she was an enabler and said, "I was nuts, and you cheered me on!" Like Grammy Mar, I was proud that she called Eve on her bull, but Claire also showed compassion when encouraging Eve to get help like Claire had. Claire said she gave a damn about Eve. I believe that, just as I believe part of Eve cares, maybe cared, but probably still cares for Claire. Get the help, Eve! Instead, she smacked and pushed Claire, but Claire sprang back like a champ.
Finally, Claire told everyone, well, Ciara and Ben so far, that she saw Eve. Whew! I think this confirms that she is still working toward change. She also got appreciation, an apology, and a hug from Ben. That was big of him, though was it Ben-Ben or Brainwashed-Ben? That I don't know. Either way, Claire won last week! Let's celebrate with FroYo!
I know there are many deeper issues causing Gabi to lash out at Jake for, well, being Jake and not Stefan, but if we're talking redundancy today, we have a winner! Maybe not winner. You know what I mean. Gabi's been extra the last year or so, running at a constant twelve on a scale that stops at ten. That's generally worked for the character's trajectory. Now, seeing her degrade Jake just kind of makes her look like she's officially lost everything, even ties to a young Gabi who came from West Salem, which is so on the other side of the tracks, Salem proper put the "West" in front of it to further distance itself.
I ultimately see what they're tying to do there. It's an entire Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" meets Madonna's "Material Girl" tossed in with some My Fair Lady and a splash of viciousness, but it's a little, well, extra. It only tarnishes the charm between Gabi and Jake, and that's a lot of charm on a good day, thanks to the effortless chemistry between Camila Banus and Brandon Barash. Sure, they need obstacles, but between Chad, Gwen, and Vivian, they have enough without the social gap nastiness (and a gap which Gabi jumped only a few years ago herself).
LINE(S) OF THE WEEK
Kate (to Sami): "You need to learn how to stay out of your children's business."
Umm. Jen's not supposed to have wine, is she? I know Jack was a little dead at the time J-Ho had her pill-popping problems, but I thought she was entirely on the wagon.
Rafe telling Hope, "I love the hell out of that kid," is just another reason to love him.
Eve's comment that when something goes wrong, Claire will probably be blamed again doesn't sound all that off, even though Eve is more than a bit off right now.
Justin made himself even more likable when he admitted that being compared to Mickey Horton was high praise. Indeed!
I literally yelled, "Yay, Martha!" when Belle came on-screen. I'm so glad she's still in Salem. And Shawn. Oh, yes, and they're staying (for a while)! Yes, please!
Ciara and Claire are going to work their way back to becoming friends. Again, yes, please!
I guess the two hospital interns with Champagne, flowers, and the boom box were late when Eric and Nicole started to read the letter Allie left behind. Really, I was expecting "Simply the Best" to start playing as they shared her testaments with each other. While most of her words weren't untrue, it got to be a little much, if you know what I mean.
Does anyone know where Li is staying while in Salem? Asking for another friend this time.
I liked Abe and Kate's chitchat about Vivian and Abe's hilarious take that she and Viv are a lot alike. I can't believe he walked away from that one. He also cracked me up when he stressed the "great" in great-grandson. Ha! Well played, Mayor Carver!
I think it's time for a quality Lucas and Jen scene. I also want Lucas' reactions on being kicked out of his room.
Jack makes everything better.
Greg Vaughan owes me some tissues. That talented son of a gun broke my heart when he gave Eric's speech about not being able to stand in front of the maternity ward's glass, proudly pointing out his newborn, or how he never got to hold Mackenzie. Ouch. That just hurt (and needs to be used to win Greg some gold next year).
Will's beard. That grew fast, no? I mean Chandler's handsome either way, of course. I guess that's just Salem's speedy timeline. At this rate, Baby Boy Brady-Horton will be ready for his first day of high school by the end of next week.
On topic, can we name Baby Boy Brady-Horton "Karl," which is the masculine version of Caroline? Okay. Maybe that's a better middle name, but it should be worked in there, as it honors Ma Brady and Baby Boy Brady-Horton's mom, Alice Caroline. See. Has to happen!
Jake ordered rounds of shots at the business meeting! Ha. I knew I liked him.
When Eve said to Claire, "Those people are out there buying a Crock-Pot for the son of a bitch who murdered her," I was kind of like, "Well if you put it that way..." for a brief, very brief, second. Two wrongs don't make a right, Eve, but Crock-Pots do make great gifts and delicious meals. Remember that next time you want to revenge.
Adrienne was wise! I'm totally adopting, "Forgiveness is the highest form of love." Noted, that means I would have had to love someone to forgive them, so it's still on, Café Fran.
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for August 17! I am off to put my mask back on then, from a safe, socially distant six-plus feet give Fran side eye while waiting for Claire and those boba teas. With that, Laurisa is back next week for all your Two Scooping needs! As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."
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