With all due respect to the other storylines -- there were really only two things that happened in Salem last week. Dick Van Dyke charmed the whole DAYS universe. And boy did we need a smile, because we also had to say a final farewell to Victor Kiriakis.
Let's start with the big fella. Considering the "mass" gatherings we've had (or not had -- Hi, off-camera Juneteenth celebration!), this one was about as grand as they come. A trio of amazing ladies made their way back to Salem, starting with Jeannie Theresa herself.
Oh, Jen Lilley. You magical lady, you! I was so jazzed to see her. She brings a spunk to the show. She's never boring. Yet, she has a real soft spot when it comes to her family. In a way, Theresa was the Caroline proxy at Victor's funeral, and that felt nice.
I'm glad the show remembered the touching farewell Theresa and Victor had.
If anything, I'm shocked that the show felt it necessary to make Brady and Theresa such adversaries. I remember them leaving on somewhat good terms. And Brady's never seemed to have a problem co-parenting with her these past years. It felt like this faux feud was an excuse not to bring Tate to Salem, which, come on. Theresa should have done that. Brady just lost custody of Rachel. Seeing his Tater tot could have done him some good!
But, either way, Theresa's here and took immediate notice of Alex. I can get behind this. They're cut from the same cloth. Just like Stephanie, Theresa will make Alex up his game. Only Theresa won't be as forgiving if Alex steps out of line. I can't wait!
Oh, and how did they meet? Why, when Chelsea introduced them! Squeeeeeeeee!!! I adore Rachel Melvin. Chelsea had such a full circle character arc on the show. I've missed her something fierce. Glad to know that baby Isaac Brady is doing well in London with Max. And I thought it was wonderful for her to be there to remember her grandpa.
Chelsea started a string of eulogies that were touching. She remembered that while her dad's relationship with Victor was a challenge, Victor learned from his mistakes and didn't make them with Chelsea. They remained close.
Sonny compared Victor to King Lear -- accurate! -- but then talked about how Isabella thawed Victor's iced heart first. Then, Maggie took over that role. This shouldn't be understated, and Sonny did her justice, saying the whole Kiriaikis family is better because of Maggie.
Justin talked about the meddling and how it really was a sign of love ...and that he'll actually miss the meddling. You can't have a Victor tribute without mentioning his love of control.
Xander's eulogy was especially heartbreaking. He spoke of Victor's drive for both power and love. Xander said Victor worked for his children to have a great life. I know they had Xander mention children to up the drama on the Sarah secret, but this was heartbreaking. Victor would keep Xander at bay for most of his life. Xander was painfully aware that he was not one of Victor's children.
Philip, bless his heart, got up there and said some nonsense about still trying. And in true cringe faction, Belle got up there and ushered the poor little rich boy away from the front of the crowd. Kate, Rex, this was your job. Please don't make us watch Belle get sucked back into the Philip vortex again!
Brady spoke of learning lessons -- and how Victor always wanted to teach them. Eric Martsolf delivered these lines masterfully. But I would have liked to see Brady go a little deeper and talk about his sobriety and the role Victor played in that.
Shawn opting not to speak at all was devastating in itself. His feelings for Victor are the most complicated of them all.
We all must bow down to Suzanne Rogers, who continues to impress without overdoing any of her scenes. Maggie has the right to collapse and break, yet she's keeping it mostly together, and in doing so, helping us all through this.
Finally, gah, the flashbacks over Justin's reading of the poem broke me into 100 pieces. So very well done, DAYS. Thanks for doing right by our Greek god who gave us so many years to treasure.
Speaking of treasures, the unsurpassable Dick Van Dyke danced his way into daytime history this week. Of course, when DVD asks to be on your show, you make it happen. But this stunt casting actually paid off.
Thanks to Black Patch doing their jobs, and some plain old dumb luck, it turns out that John Black is this darling man's long-lost son. This rewrite was genius, because it actually didn't rewrite any of John's history. It rewrote the history of the forgettable Yo Ling character. That jerkface took DVD's dog tags when they were in the Korean War and let everyone go one thinking their switched identities were real. I felt for John when he broke down because every revelation of his past has been a bad one. This was the first time he felt like he came from a good place -- of love and care. When John mouthed the word "Dad" as they hugged?!?!? All the good feels!
Vivian is here!! Her return was so well played. I'm glad she didn't crash the ceremony, as that moment needed to be protected. But the wake afterwards needed some comedic relief -- and chastising Victor's loved ones seems like a very Victor thing to do. Vivian's take on Bonnie being a carbon copy of Adrienne was hilarious. Philip reluctantly hugging her made me chuckle. And I'll never not love Vivian vs. Kate.
The only thing I call complete malarkey on is this business about Victor not making sure the divorce paperwork was filed. Bull. Crap. Victor didn't become a business tycoon by letting details like that slide. He went so far as to set up a side trust for Philip to assist with faking Philip's death. Sure, I can see Victor wanted to amend his will now that Bo is alive. But destroying the whole thing and forgetting that he never legally divorced Vivian? Nope. Sorry. Don't buy it. I hope the rest of the Kiriakis clan doesn't, either.
Apparently, Nicole didn't watch DAYS during the last Philip/Chloe go-round, because she's pushing for Chloe to dump Xander and get back with "true love" Philip. Look, Nikki, Philip was haaarrrible last time around, and he's picked right up where he left off. Somewhere after the digital reunion series, Philip turned into a giant, tantrum-throwing man-child with no sense of situational awareness.
Sure, Philip was always entitled. But he used to have somewhat of a swagger. More recently, he has all the charm of a drunk Real Housewife. Him complaining to Kate that he'll never have the chance to prove himself to Victor was laughable because he's always been Victor's chosen one! Victor picked Philip over Brady, Xander, Shawn, Sonny, and every female Kiriakis there ever was or will be. Kate has defended Philip to the ends of the earth. Rex traveled halfway around the world to send him messages because you can't risk communicating with a "dead" man. I get that he's bummed he doesn't have a lady, but complaining about what a short straw he drew in life is not the way to impress anyone.
Speaking of not trying to impress people, I'm starting to wonder if Chanel just likes projects. You know, fixer-uppers like the unclaimed shop in the square, Allie, Alex, Talia... Look, I'm the first one to say that Talia didn't deserve Colin's abuse. But Chanel going on a date with Talia is ridiculous. Chanel doesn't have to hate Talia for the rest of their lives, but dating her? That's a bit much. Here's hoping she sees Johnny's declaration of love as a sign that she doesn't always need to take on a special project.
Anyone looking for work? E.J. will hire anyone to kill Ava Vitali. Luckily, when Xander turned E.J. down, the on-call person at 1-800-Assassin showed up to get the creepy order. This was also helpful, since E.J. had been walking around with an envelope of money in his lapel pocket that had to make his suit hang funny all day.
Unfortunately, the 1-800-Assassin wasn't successful and ended up allowing Ava and Harris to break out of Bayview. But the big news here is that Ava remembers Susan is alive...and doesn't tell anyone because she doesn't think anyone will believe her. I'm hoping that this will soon change into Ava realizing that finding an alive Susan (who probably has amnesia and believes herself to be a nun -- wild guess) and using her to negotiate her way back into good graces.
Fortunately, this bonkers storyline gave us the delightful surprise that was Sloan and E.J. She was the perfect person to run into E.J. and lament about avenging a parent's death. Honestly, after all she's been through, I'd still say Sloan's advice would be, "Don't miss. You get one shot." I did not hate Sloan and E.J. together at all. Not one little bit.
I wasn't as intrigued with Sloan's sudden urge to adopt a baby with Eric. I have a sinking feeling this adoption is going to take about six months, or roughly however long Nicole has left in her pregnancy.
Finally, in other pregnancy news, Sarah went into labor immediately after Victor's service. Luckily Rex was there to deliver the baby girl with an assist from Xander and Chloe. I don't know why, but I had to remind myself that Rex is a real doctor. I wonder if that's because he asked such medically sound questions as, "Sarah...what's up? You all right?"
Oh, my gosh! Doug, Julie, and Dick Van Dyke dancing and singing together made my day! I'll be singing, "Darling, this place is a lovers' oasis" for the next month. A soft shoe routine to "Tea for Two" will never not make me happy. And Doug shouting out the 5-6-7-8s of it all was pure joy. I loved everything about this scene!
That Champagne bottle effect during Tripp and Wendy's scene deserved a gold-plated seat in the Cringe Hall of Fame. I don't know that we'll ever be able to unsee that. I just hope someone arranges some kind of group therapy for us all.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Kate: "You break at least four laws a day!:
Maggie (not missing a beat): Not to mention five or six Commandments.
There's no way Chanel went bowling in that dress.
Wait...Brady and Xander used to play together as kids?
Hearing 1-800-Assassin call Harris "G.I. Joe" immediately reminded me of Combat Carl from Toy Story, which means that Harris officially has his Halloween costume.
Sloan changed into the most adorable wrap dress ever for her discharge from the hospital.
I swear, Nicole and Chloe have had this same conversation about not busting each other's beaus over and over.
Did my ears deceive me, or did Tripp and Wendy get their own theme song?
Can we just talk about how Ava was able to resist Mar's Hypnosis Special? Do we know for sure that Marlena believes Ava, or can she tell Ava was faking?
I'm going to make the case here that Chloe is Xander's best match. He's not trying to prove anything like he did with Sarah. He's not trying to run from things like he was with Gwen. With Chloe, they're simply with each other because they make each other happy. Imagine that.
It makes my mind do tricks to see the third actor playing Philip talk about Chloe to an actor who used to play Brady but is now Rex.
E.J.: "Damn it, what good is hiring an assassin if they won't return your texts?"
The number of times I've said this exact same thing, Eeej. Preach!
It's got to be a strange but wonderful encounter to meet a relative for the first time. You share so much genetics, but not a shred of history. Chelsea and Alex played that very well.
I don't believe for a second that Theresa wore a skin-tight mini dress on the plane, nor that she would complain about another kiddo, but still, good to see her!
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