Daytime dramas are always filled with heartbreaks. Sometimes they're an absolute downer and leave audiences with a gut-punched feeling. Last week had some down parts, for sure, but I'm a little nervous that DAYS is headed down an even heartbreakier path.
Though, before I go on, I should issue a warning. Cue dun dun DUNNNNN! sound effects. I'm going to talk about some major casting spoilers/rumors that have me placing even more tissues (and Scotch) on standby. But first, let's start with the non-spoiler major boohoos from last week...
That is, Lani and Eli lost their baby boy. Gulp. Hands down, the saddest part of this storyline was brought on by the actors' powerful performances. Sal Stowers especially tore my heart up with her gut-wrenching take on the sheer heartbreak of what Lani was going through. When she kept asking, "Where's the baby?" I misted up. The supporting cast shone as well. Major hat tips to the always incredible James Reynolds -- he was amazing.
As far as the storyline itself goes, I'm a bit all over the place. It was sad. No doubt about that. And as soap audiences, we're generally left wondering why the writers choose to go in a certain direction. This is one of those cases. It's hard not to ask, "Why!?" Did the baby have to die? Nope. It didn't.
Yet part of my "all over the place" feelings about this storyline lead me to the same question, only in reverse. Instead of "Why?" I wonder, "Why not?" Soaps are a majorly exaggerated, fantastical take on life. Not only does romance get inflated -- I mean, how often do you wake up looking totally rested to find your partner has prepared a big breakfast spread with a perfect single rose in the middle of the platter in an expensive crystal vase? No, I'm asking you all, because that happens to me all the time. I kid, I kid. It doesn't. Anyway...
The point is that from romance to pain, soaps are over the top (just how we like them -- most of the time). So, if they're a grand imitation of life, anything can happen, including heartbreaking deaths for no reason. Like real life, some things just don't have a great explanation, no matter how hard we search.
With that, part of me wonders what the harm would be in keeping the baby around. Let's be real. Babies are future characters, and it's important to have a next generation rather than all the pop-up kids later. I'm looking at you Chad, Stefan, Eli, Paul, Tripp...okay. This list is long and not even close to an end. Point is, soaps can't rely on surprise children all the time. It's getting redundant. Sometimes kiddos just need to be "at the park with the nanny," "taking a nap," or in "the other room." Audiences get that. Unless they're sick, kidnapped, or being used as cute little pawns, kids aren't generally on-screen all that much, anyway. So, why kill the baby, especially a Carver-Horton hybrid? Sad.
On the flip side, I can understand why they did...to a point. The J.J./Lani/Eli/Gabi storyline was overall a little lackluster. It was more maddening in the beginning than suspenseful. Then it just sort of lingered on the backburner until last week. There were some awkward J.J./Lani run-ins. Lani wanted (but never got) chowder. Eli and Lani talked a few times, but that's about it. It lingered.
Then there's Lani and Eli. There was like and camaraderie between them, but no love. They were working friends with an occasional attraction, at best. So, having them linked for soap eternity via a child probably wouldn't have panned out in the long run as it might stifle them from other storylines. Still, on the flip of that flip side, them shuffling a kid back and forth wouldn't be too stressful, and a few throwaway lines could explain where little one-night stand result was at any given moment.
Though, even in the hardest of times, we have to remember what "death" means in Salem. It means, "Eh. A character might be dead...ish." There's always Dr. Rolf's miracle elixir, and it's often harder to quickly think of a character who hasn't "died" at some point than one who never has, so, really, it's a wait and see game through the tears.
Hmm. Are we headed for a "Whodunit!?" with Stefan as the dead guy? Everyone seems to be out to get the bozo. I can't say I'd cry a river over his demise. At all.
I mentioned spoilers earlier. Well, here's why. My Spidey Senses are tingling. There's been an ongoing story that Stephen Nichols may exit (or may have already exited) DAYS! That makes me sad on many, many levels. I love the Patch Man. And here's my biggest concern...
I hope that Steve doesn't end up six feet under (again). While I enjoy him getting in Stefan's face over what that dirtbag did to Abigail, and part of me suspects those scenes are only to keep Steve in proximity to Stefan while Kayla does his bidding, I could also see Stefan causing the death of Steve. That's what has me worried. I hope I'm wrong.
I'm also headed for a heartbreak over Chad and Sonny. I love their friendship. I always have. I don't want it to be ruined over Chad's, more so Kate's, quest to decimate Stefan. Trust me. I want him decimated, too. I do. Very much so. But not at the expense of "Chonny." I'd like to say bros before hos, but since Stefan is Chad's bro, too, let's just say, don't do it, Chad. Or at least fill Sonny in on the plan.
I think that after what Stefan did to several of Sonny's loved ones, he'd be willing to play along with Leo for a moment longer with the knowledge that he'd get revenge on almost everyone who's done him wrong. It would be like mega-revenge. Leo goes down. Stefan goes down. I'd be down with that. It could be a win/win that way and avoid losing the friendship of Sonny and Chad.
On the topic of losers, does anyone think Paul will remain part of a duo when Will's memory returns? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? That makes me sad, too. I like Paul, and Christopher Sean's charisma is infectious. He simply beams with positive energy. Alas, and another spoiler, knowing what we know about Christopher doesn't make me too hopeful for Paul and Will, but a Wilson redux isn't such a bad consolation prize.
Right. I buried the lead above. Chad is the new CEO of Titan. Philip was all, "Hard pass." And Victor pretty much alienated everyone else. Everyone but Chelsea. Yep. I'm still on that. She needs to return and take the helm, but I digress. Sonny is out, Chad is in. Aside from Chad potentially keeping Sonny under the bus, I'm okay with this. Chad and Victor scenes could be fun, and I love the idea of besties Chad and Sonny working together. Double gulp. If that's how it works out. Be better than Kate, Chad, be better than Kate.
Snap, this spud's for you! Theresa is suing for sole custody of Tater Tot. Brady and Eve are steamed. Um, I'm not sure my care level is soaring, but I love watching the masters Lilley, DePaiva, and Martsolf go head to head, so at least it will be entertaining!
Eve is right. Don't agree to a deal with Stefan, Brady. That just screams, "Bad idea!" all around. Though, should Stefan screw them over, it just leads to more suspects if he gets a little murdered.
Meanwhile on the Island of Misfit Toys, err, a burned-out cabin in the woods, Ben made Ciara pancakes. I'm not sure what's going on here, but I'm not sure I hate it, either. I'm intrigued despite all the "Seriously!?" impulses I have about them literally shacking up together. They're both broken, and perhaps they'll help one another heal. You know, if Ben doesn't snap and kill her. Eek.
In addition to the brilliant performances last week (and there were many) and the multitudes of characters there to support Lani and Eli, which I loved, Gabi's finally -- and I do mean finally -- out of prison! No. Really. I'm not kidding. She's out. Like, really out of the clink. Well, for now. Next week is anyone's guess, but, until then, cheers to Gabi's freedom -- enjoy it while it lasts! Also, Gabi's about to go gangbusters on Stefan for his part in what happened to her. Go, Gabi. Just go, girl! Get him.
I'm trying, but I'm not in love with this entire "Kayla does Stefan's bidding" storyline. I know Sweetness loves Steve that much, but there are some major hiccups. One, Steve could lead life as a blind man. Blind people do lead very full lives, especially when one has as large of a support system as Steve. Two, Kayla is a laughably terrible liar and I hate that she's put herself in that position. Three, Kayla could reach out to other resources. The ISA has a huge bank account and would likely invest in such a product that would basically turn their super sleuths bionic. Shane himself might be able to buy the company. Or maybe even John could bankroll the buyout. Dude owes Steve a little, err, lot of something-something for, you know, blinding him.
So, this storyline just seems a little "beating up a good character" rather than "a true struggle of how far she will go for a loved one." And I simply don't like Kayla lying to Steve. It's not cool. They're a supercouple, and if one's going to mess with a supercouple, at the very least, the storyline should be super.
LINE(S) OF THE WEEK
Brady (to Stefan): "Sorry, I prefer 'Man Toy.'"
Kate: "Chad, there's no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater."
EXCHANGE(S) OF THE WEEK
Eli (on Lani): "She said I was hovering."
Doug (looking at Julie): "Well, if you were, you come by it naturally."
And then Julie's expression said everything that needed to be said.
Marlena: "You were definitely the aggressor?"
Claire: "Oh, yeah."
Kate offering Stefano's ring to Chad totally had an "evil witch offering Snow White the apple" vibe. Coincidence? I think not.
Casey Moss got to wear a T-shirt and sweatpants to work. He wins. He totally wins.
Ouch! Little Ari G was not happy with Gabi. At all. I felt bad for them both. It was certainly horrific that a child was separated from their parent, and that would surely lead to long-lasting emotional scars. Sad all around.
I wonder if Abe's warm apology to Doug and Julie will inspire Julie to apologize to Gabi. OMG. Sorry. I could barely write that without bursting out into laughter. Of course, she won't apologize.
Ouch again! Do you think Rafe's pride was dinged when Hope told him to use Eli's contacts, as Raferoni's were probably outdated? Rafe's "I know a person" is sort of his jam.
I chuckle that Hope being a bad cook and baker has been a running gag on DAYS for so long. Fancy Face can't be great at everything. Conversely, I never knew Jennifer was such a good baker. I knew she baked, but the best in the family now? Hmm.
I really want Claire and Ciara to patch things up once Ciara gets back to town. I miss the way things were.
In two or three appearances, I already feel that Ted is a more fleshed-out character than Stefan. That's good for Ted. Sad for Stefan.
Ha! I cracked up at the casualness that Gabi had while telling Sonny and Maggie that Diane's archenemy, Wanda, killed her and framed Gabi. Yep. Yo-Gabba-Gabi's seen things. #hardknocklife
Oh, Ben makes killer pancakes! Okay. I'll show myself out.
I like that Billy Flynn and John Aniston got a scene together!
Not to kick Eli while he's down, but Detective Grant kind of hurts my head at times. I get why unrelated coppers would think Hope's command of "drop everything and find my daughter!' is a bit much, but Eli's related to Hope and Ciara. He's family. His reaction wouldn't have been so bad if not accompanied by his dismissal of checking the missing person's last location. Um. Isn't that usually the first place you check for clues? Then Captain Obvious pretty much did a stoner from a '90s movie, "Whoa, dude!" when he saw the crash site. Yep. It was bad, Eli.
Maybe Sonny isn't so sweet after all. He does remember Will's track record for sleeping with interview subjects. Perhaps that wily Care Bear has a plan.
Hands down, Abe is the classiest man in Salem. Maybe Abe and Doug are tied. It's a pretty close race, but a win/win for viewers.
I'll never not love a moment when Hope brings up Bo. I miss him. So much. <`/p>
I have to repeat, Kayla is a bad liar. Like, so, so laughably bad. It hurt a little.
Couldn't Stefan "The Almighty" just hire a thug to dig up dirt on Kate? Nah. That wouldn't be as much fun for him as to watch Kayla squirm. He's a jerk face.
John and Paul moments make me happy.
Nadia Bjorlin in that blue jumpsuit was everything. Work it. Just work it.
On fashion, I love that Kate and Ted matched in purple, and the file folders coordinated, as well.
Val's shoes. I don't know much about women's shoes, but I know they rocked.
Okay. John and Marlena currently have 300 people on their wedding guest list. Who's ready to place bets now that we'll see about five familiar faces and a St. Luke's full of gawking extras? In any event, Laurisa and I better be invited. We still have outfits from other failed wedding attempts that need to see the light of day. And I totally won't disrupt the wedding by yelling at John for what he did to Steve. Nope. No, I won't. I promise. *stage wink* and evil laugh.
C'mon, Sweeny Ben! I was waiting for him to sing, "Not While I'm Around" to Ciara.
I thought a velociraptor was lose in Salem, but it was just those Fallen Kingdom pop-up ads. My bad.
Speaking of ads during DAYS, there was an Activia Yogurt one followed by a Cottonelle commercial. Someone in advertising has a sense of humor. #pottyjoke
Kayla told Lani that Joey was a "26 weeker" and there were no complications. Um. Are we sure, Sweetness? I mean, really sure? Kayla knows we've meet dim but loveable Joey, right?
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for the week of June 25! Laurisa is back next week. In the meantime, I'm going hiking outside of Salem to see if I can get some pancakes from a shirtless Ben. And, "That's a fact!"
As always, thanks for reading!
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