A lot of people (raises hand) never bought stock in Gwen. However, I've yet to encounter a DAYS fan who didn't cheer on Emily O'Brien the actress. This woman is fantastic. She can do more with a look than other actors can do with a whole monologue. She's brilliant. The problem is, this reassignment as Theresa is some "other duties as assigned" nonsense.
I dunno, it just seems that when there's a need for an actress to get a job, it would be good to give that job to an actress who didn't already have a full-time job at the same company. Emily is doing a great job! Why ask (demand?) she keep that great job by doing more work? The most toxic workplaces are those that reward good work with a higher volume of work. It feels like the "keep going until they cry uncle" management style. I don't dig it.
Aside from that backstage foolishness, we'll have to wait until next week to see how NuTheresa is doing. I'm additionally skeptical that the reason the show needed to make Emily play additional roles is because there was something important for Theresa to do. But it's worth preparing ourselves for the fact that the storyline ramifications may fall flat because it's too distracting that the show caused both on-and off-screen drama to make it happen.
But let's talk more about on-screen drama. Gwen confronted Leo about sleeping with Dimitri and then they squared off again at the hospital. Both scenes were super quick, and I'm thankful for that. The performances were stellar, as always. But the problem is the stakes are oh-so-very low here. Gwen sniping at Leo for falling in insta-love with the man she was supposed to be falling in insta-love with was exhausting. Same goes for the latter scene at the hospital where Leo tries to prevent Gwen from cutting off Dimitri's Mathew Perry. No one cares. We just don't care about any of these people.
We've seen Gwen's vicious revenge side come out in much better places. In this case, Leo's a completely selfish weasel who might be the most gifted gaslighter in all of DAYS history. (Gwen isn't a violent person?! I'm pretty sure Abigail, Sarah, and Laura's face would disagree!) Gwen telling Leo to rot in hell might be the most sane thing she's done in years.
The best part of the whole plot was Gwen deciding to go to Europe to regain the fortune. The song gets repetitive when you have a one-note character like Leo constantly in the lead. Dimitri without Megan is proving to be the same chord. So, yes, a trip to Europe might be good for Gwen in more ways than one!
An exit that is most definitely not welcomed is Vivian heading back to Alamania. After shooting Dimitri in a very-much-provable case of self-defense, Viv somehow finds herself on a plane back to the Land of Where You Escape Charges. This is because Gabi outright outed her mother-in-law, compete with the actual smoking gun. Sigh. It's not that Gabi isn't above selfish behavior. And I truly believe Gabi would throw Viv under the bus in a hot second if it meant saving Stefan. But this storyline wasn't at that point. The cops weren't putting the cuffs on Stefan and then Gabi gave up Vivian. Gabi gave her up with no other concerns.
And that part is what's off for Gabi. She's always looking for the angle. She plays chess -- several moves ahead. Having Vivian owe Gabi a favor (especially if Gabi held onto that gun!!!) would be a delicious point for the show to explore. And they could do it with Viv still in town.
Across the pond, seeing smug Rafe get bested by civilians will never not be enjoyable. Tripp (with Wendy in his corner, which helps) tracked Rafe down to the same hotel. The dumbfounded look on Rafe's face when Tripp walked in was hilarious. After some compulsory posturing, Rafe agreed to let Tripp
lead this investigation come along. I have no idea who Rafe was kidding with that threat to arrest Tripp. They're in London. Rafe has no jurisdiction here.
But it all ended up with the whole Scooby gang being rescued. Admittedly, at first, I wasn't convinced that it was Susan. Call me jaded after watching DAYS all these years! I think of it as practical when someone who has identical siblings/twins suddenly "returns" from the dead. But Susan is back.
She convinced E.J. to call off the hits on Ava and Xander. Now, if only Susan could convince Ava to stay away from snooze-fest Harris, that would be grand. This woman has otherworldly powers. Let's use them for good here.
Shawn and Talia were busted in less than 24 hours. I'm not used to secrets coming out this fast in Salem. It's a nice change! It helped a little that Talia's sister is the one person in Salem who can sniff out the truth. And it helped even more that Marlena was in the mix, too.
This was a stellar week for the Evans-Black ladies. As Talia made her tearful admission that she got drunk and slept with a married man, Marlena listened dutifully and respectfully. But then, after she heard a very similar recount of events from Belle regarding Shawn, her mama bear instinct kicked in. In fact, she used the double trouble voice of all -- mom voice + shrink voice -- to scare that truth right out of pitiful Talia. Mar was pitch perfect.
Then Jada made the rare misstep and confessed a secret where Belle could hear it. Kudos to Belle for not taking any of this out on Jada. But Shawn deserved everything Belle dished out. It's so very weird to be on Belle's side when she's reading someone else the riot act. Nine times out of ten, she's being pompous and holier-than-thou. But Belle was right this time. She's supported Shawn. She's pushed for him to get help. She's given him space. She's had enough. She has no more left to give....at the moment.
I am allowing grace for her being a protective big sister. But Jada taking Shawn to task for "taking advantage" of Talia? No, girl. Nope. No way. Your little sister is a functioning human being now. She knew what she was doing. She decided to self-destruct after losing a relationship that was somewhere between three and eight days old. Focus that anger on a different target.
On the other hand, I did like how Belle told Shawn that she didn't blame Talia. That would have let Shawn off the hook a bit too much right then. Also, unspoken but very much noticed, Talia would be in Claire's peer group.
Let me just caution, expecting the fans to root for Alex's redemption is a huge ask. He's been like sand in our thongs since he came to Salem. This year alone, Alex has slept with Allie, turned off Steph's phone, and kicked Maggie out of Titan. So, we always kind of thought he was Dark Alex. So, drifting further to the dark side while people act surprised is a waste of the viewers' time. We know. We've always known. You weren't fooling anyone. And this is a good thing. Because now we have a villain. DAYS took the last shred of decency that Alex had and set it on fire. It was actually freeing. Here's hoping when the truth comes out, Alex learns that Angelica did have an affair, but it wasn't with Victor. Instead, Alex is the son of a nobody.
I was tickled when the week opened with a scene of Marlena calling Kate for the hot goss. Little did we realize that this would be such a good week for both of them!
First, a thousand snaps to Marlena for pushing back on Talia saying sleeping with a married man "just happened." Truth, Mar. Truth. Talia told her that one thing leads to another and whoopsie!, you're in bed with your lawyer's husband. Mar was having none of it.
Second, Kate was all sorts of fire when she confronted Sarah. Sarah tried to argue that Rex is a grown man and can make his own decisions. But Kate put a stop to that self-serving free pass by pointing out that Sarah knew all along how Rex felt. That knowledge gave her the position of power, and Sarah did not treat that position with any sort of care. Kate's right to be furious with someone who put her family member's life in jeopardy. Could it be argued that Sarah was owed some payback after how Rex treated her? Absolutely. But that's not the card Sarah played. She deserved to be called out for it.
I'm so disappointed in everything written for Chloe this week. First, she and Xander broke up over a handshake. Neither of them fought for the other. I honestly think this is a casualty of how far in advance DAYS tapes, and thus, they weren't expecting how electric this pairing would be. As someone who used to champion Xarah -- now that I've seen Chander -- I'm switching my allegiance.
Next, she up-and-said some nonsense about how she can't stay in Salem because she doesn't have a man. Listen, this is a professional woman who has held multiple jobs. Furthermore, her son and family are half a country away. Why not make the reason to leave because she can get a job anywhere, and she wants to spend more time with them?
Finally, this utter rubbish about how Philip should go with her so that they can maybe grab coffee sometime?!? Philip's a grown man and can make his own choices. But that offer made Chloe seem desperate for attention and Philip too dumb to know the difference. Only one of those things is true.
Hurry back, Chloe -- hopefully after you've taken over a company that is poised to buy out Titan, and you want to return it to its rightful heir*.
*anyone but Alex
LINE OF THE WEEK
Tripp (to Edmund, who is emphatically ranting about how he's such a good man for Susan): "I can't imagine why she would have left you."
Vivian (to Dimitri): "Excuse me! Where are the shares of stock certificates?"
The fact that Dimitri was lying with a bullet wound that she inflicted (in self-defense!), didn't dull Viv's manners. I'm grateful for that.
LINE OF THE WEAK
Alex (regarding the CEO role) "I know what I'm entitled to!
I don't know why I added the descriptor context in parentheses. Alex could have uttered this sentence anywhere, to anyone, about anything. Alex gonna Alex.
Again, Jada is the most dedicated cop ever. Her flight from London lands, and she goes right into the office. I'd have to stop at home for a snack and a nap...for the rest of the day, if not week.
I do like that Susan uses the phrase "Missy Moo."
When Susan said, "Mr. Handsome Harris Michaels," I misheard, "Mr. Hairspray Michaels," and then I laughed. A lot.
Assassin (to E.J.) "I'll make her dead." Perhaps it's because I have small children, but this phrasing made me laugh out loud.
Leo doesn't want Gwen to be a violent person, but he's going to kiss Dimitri, who is?
Can we talk about how Edmund must really love Susan because he went out and bought her a complete wardrobe of Susan clothes, so she keeps in Susan style while he's holding her captive?
Vivian: "Let's see....lipstick, wallet, ugh, where's my gun?" The delivery on this line was perfect.
E.J.'s silk robe and jammies set was the most E.J. thing I've seen in a while.
Is it "home-i-cidal" or "haam-i-cidal"?
What will happen now that Albert is gone and the writers' strike is over? It will be near Easter when we start seeing these effects on-screen. But I have to say that I'm looking forward to a time when the writers are happy with their compensation and the actors feel comfortable being on set. Imagine the possibilities.
Look, there's a very real world where Gabi and Vivian could be best of buddies.
Sarah had the most postpartum appropriate outfit I've seen for DAYS. Sure, the jeans needed to be swapped for pajama pants, but the T-shirt and cardigan were accurate.
When talking about "the love of your life" in soap terms, do you think of the couple that overcame the most (i.e., Jarlena)? Or the couple that you loved their happy times together the most (i.e., Doug and Julie)? Because I'm here to argue that Chloe and Xander fit into the latter category quite nicely.
I guess Dimitri changed Leo's name in his phone to "Call this number in case I'm shot." I have no idea why else the paramedics would call Leo and not Gwen.
I want to cast the Real Housewives of Salem and their taglines. What are your suggestions?
Gabi -- Money can't buy you everything, but power takes care of the rest.
Sloan -- If you don't care what people think, people will never disappoint you.
Kate -- You should always have a history to be proud of and a present to be grateful for.
Maggie -- Always give people the chance to surprise you. But never play the fool.
Nicole -- Why settle for a knock-off when the original is still in style?
Chanel -- The elite do it all. The queen does it all in heels.
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