We bid farewell to Theo and Ciara this week, as they relocated to South Africa. I'm very, very conflicted about this move on Theo's part. Had they just kept them as friends and Theo was doing this to help his bestie out, I might not feel as bad about it. But Theo knows that Ciara wouldn't make this same decision if she had her memories back. He's okay with overlooking that because he wants to personally, romantically benefit from it. Ben's about as subtle as a speeding dump truck, but he's not totally incorrect in his assessment of the situation nor of Theo's motives.
That's not to say Ciara should be forced to stay around Ben's manic self just because she doesn't remember their marriage. As far as we know, neither Kayla nor Marlena thinks Ciara lacks executive function. It's that everyone knows this isn't the decision Ciara would make. Even Abe and Lani gave Theo the side-eye about his plans. They were kind enough to nestle it under, "You're going to get your heart broken here, fella." But I wish they would have told him that he's kinda, sorta exploiting a woman with a mental health issue. It feels a little gross.
In the meantime, that leaves Ben home alone to day drink with Tripp and bring flowers to Claire. Let's unpack each of those. Ben and Tripp have come a long way! If you think too much about them, you'll get caught up in their messy triangle with Ciara and how Tripp sorta tried to frame him for attempted murder. So, don't go there! Instead, enjoy the friendship starting! These guys are entertaining together! Plus, Steve can't be Tripp's only friend.
As for Ben and Claire, they've certainly been through some stuff, both together and as enemies. And Claire gets a million points for shutting down Ben's offer to join him as an accessory to kidnapping. (Him giving Ciara the ring because of her dad was the right move.) It's not surprising the show is hinting at a pairing between the two of them. It's certainly a soapy move to have something there between them when Ciara returns this summer.
We'll have to put a pin in that storyline for now and pick up with Gwen's miscarriage. I get why DAYS had to play the pregnancy plot. Fans were expecting it. I appreciate that they didn't draw the storyline out. I look forward to seeing what happens next. For sure, Jennifer needs to come home soon so she can help Abigail just in case Nicole, I mean Gwen, tries to tell everyone that Jennifer, I mean Abigail, killed her baby in that fall.
But we all know that Gwen's pregnancy had ended prior to the confrontation with Abigail. My heart was heavy for Gwen the moment the doctor told her there was no heartbeat. But outside of that moment, I haven't found any empathy for this character. Truer words were never spoken than when Gwen told Jack that keeping the baby was about her, not about Abigail and Chad. Of course, it is. It's always about her and never about anyone else. That's exactly the problem with Gwen.
Removing the pregnancy from the storyline also helped sidestep a very problematic decision on Gwen's part to raise a child without that child's father being part of it. I thought Gwen's entire excuse for being the mess that she is, was because she grew up thinking her dad didn't want her. Yet it seemed like she was going to do the same to her own kid. I'm glad we don't have to reconcile that.
The one thing I am happy to deal with is more Gabi and Abigail scenes. They're not friends. But they've got a dynamic about them that allows for some of the most honest conversations on the show. Gabi was right to tell Abigail to snap out of it. Her life is still pretty great right now -- career, kids, husband, fantastic skin and hair! I hoped Gabi would go one step further and sarcastically comment to Abigail how frustrating it must be to be told to just understand why someone did such bad things to you and made you suffer. But maybe we'll get that later.
Speaking of pairings where Gabi is honest, I wish she wasn't too quick to dismiss Philip as a distraction. They're refreshingly honest about what they want, or don't want, from each other. Jake was very much correct when he pointed out that Gabi's probably more interested in the fact that he has Stefan's face. I wish she would notice the guy who respects her and recognizes her for the formidable and smart businesswoman she is.
I'm not opposed to Rafe and Ava. I'm not opposed to Nicole and Rafe, should they make sure to properly close the loop with Eric. What I am opposed to is breaking up Nicole and Ava. That's the couple I'm really invested in!
I'm already counting down the days until Paulina is back from Miami. I get it, I do. If I had to deal with Chanel's bratty nonsense all the time, I'd need a beach vacation, too. Just don't stay gone too long, Auntie P!
You know those moments when a character speaks the exact words you'd been wanting to say? That was Steve when he told Gwen that if she wants to be welcomed into the family, she needs to beg Abigail's forgiveness and start treating her with respect and kindness. Preach, Steve. Preach.
Jan's working Salem like a Peloton bike. She got the upper hand with Nicole, who, despite having the correct read on Jan's character, isn't able to overcome the trump card of Nicole being down for murder at one point in her life. Then, Jan sniffed out Melinda's desperation and pointed her in the direction of the recording of John saying he saw Belle kill Charlie. It's almost too easy for Jan.
I like everything about Tripp and Allie. I like the chemistry between the actors. I like them bonding over Henry. And I really liked the subtle shift in Claire and Allie's conversation where Allie said that she would have kissed Tripp and might next time. This small, but brilliant, wording frames their connection as one Allie is interested in driving.
Lucas and Sami continue to bring a comedic delight to their fumbling over trying to get Chloe to forget Brady. Both of them used to be much better schemers than this, though. First, Sami would realize that even if she does this for Kristen, that's not going to remove Kristen's power. Kristen will just call in another blackmail. Second, Lucas used to be a much better liar! Kate would not be pleased.
Tripp took Steve's last name! I love this! And it makes me hopeful for Tripp learning more about that side of his family.
I've got a plan. Next time, Kristen should pull out a mask of me so someone else can sit through this storyline.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Belle: "I hate it when Sami is right."
John: "Luckily, that's a very rare occurrence."
You guys, aneurysm John is funny, too! Also, shouldn't Belle have known there's actual, definite evidence that Sami couldn't have killed Charlie? It seemed strange for Belle to make that assumption right out of the gate.
I would think Tripp would have taken off the white coat before leaving the hospital to get coffee.
Susan's wardrobe is the Pinterest Fail version of Kate's.
While recounting his complicated past with Hope, he sorta left out the part about her dumping him when her husband came back from the dead and then again to date a different ex.
Lani wearing a sheath overlay dress while taking care of newborns tops Chloe's postpartum bodycon dress as the most impractical wardrobe choice I've seen a mom on DAYS make. At least Chloe's dress could go in the wash. Lani's frock was lovely but gave off a very dry-clean-only vibe!
I did some Googling when Ciara said it would be easier for Hope to go to Johannesburg than Chicago. I'm not sure if that's a shorter flight or not...
I chuckled when Gabi chastised Abigail for bringing her to Julie's Place, of all restaurants in Salem.
I didn't get Allie's line about Sami, "I may be Sami Brady's daughter, but yes, I can keep a secret." Hmm...yeah, I know it's in vogue to hate on Sami, but Sami's made pretty much her whole reputation on being able to keep and capitalize on secrets. Will was Austin's kid for, like, two years.
Careful with those pencils, Shawn! Abe's trying to keep this department on budget!
Prior to Philip bringing a lady home for some private time, at what point do you think he may tip her off about his fake leg and face transplant?
That's it for this week! Tony will be back next week to see if Gwen wakes up with amnesia or if she will actually be able to tell us where she got that cool leather jacket! Surely, that's going to be the first thing she says. Right?
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