Warning! For this column, I'll be using my mom voice about putting away the toy you're playing with first before you get another one.
Did anyone else think it was ironic that Ciara was talking to Tripp about a guy who snapped? Granted, killing four (yeah, I'm counting Will) people is much worse than holding a scalpel to someone's throat. But isn't that just a matter of how much they snapped, not that they snapped?
Anyway, clearly confused by her feelings for Tripp, Ciara tries to solve her problems with misplaced intimacy. I have to call a full stop here and demand DAYS clean up its old storyline first. I'm a Cin fan, so I appreciate Ciara being single when she met Ben. But the show played the rape card and then didn't follow through on it. Victoria Konefal turned in some of her best work on DAYS when Ciara confessed to Hope that "the monsters" are still there. We're supposed to believe that after a few days in the woods with Ben, Ciara's hesitancy to jump in the sack with Tripp is gone? Nope. Sorry. I don't buy it. Just because she's confused about her feelings for a serial killer doesn't mean that she doesn't mean her stepbrother didn't rape her. (That sentence could only exist on a soap recap!)
It didn't matter because Ben showed up to stop things (whew!), and by the end of the week, Ciara seemed to be coming to some realization about her feelings for Ben. All I'm saying is that her romantic feelings and her readiness to sleep with a partner are two separate storylines. The former doesn't automatically take the place of the latter.
Across town, I had to laugh at Abs slamming the door in Stefan's face. It was a good piece of physical acting from Tyler Christopher. Abigail told Stefan that he gets nothing to do with her until the baby is born. Just when I was thinking how much I like this Abigail, she lets him feel the baby kick.
It's no surprise Stefan is one of those people who asks to touch baby bellies because those people are the worst. When would one ever go up to a woman and ask to feel her uterus? See, when I say it that way, it sounds weird, right? Right. It is weird. Stop it, Stefan.
Second, Abigail is under no obligation to let anyone touch her body, least of all her rapist! But the whole moment was a vessel to finally flesh out Chad's feelings in all of this. Chad finally got a chance to be human. In a pretty impressive string of scenes from Billy Flynn, Chad went to therapy with Marlena, had the necessary uncomfortable conversation with Abigail, and finally ended up with his best friend, Sonny.
A few weeks ago, it felt like Chad blamed Abigail for the baby. This week showed that Chad can't deal with Stefan's part in his life anymore. As Marlena pointed out, even if Abigail wasn't pregnant, Chad still would have seen Abigail in bed with Stefan. Chad's brain broke in that moment. The pregnancy means that Chad needs to get over that a lot sooner than he's ready to or, in fairness, than he should have to. Chad deserves time. But the pregnancy means he doesn't get it.
Chad came home and saw Stefan with his hands on Abigail's stomach, and it didn't sit well with him. I don't blame him because Stefan immediately went into smug overdrive and dropped some gratuitously jerky "my child" mentions. And I can even appreciate Chad's conflict over whether or not Abigail has any remaining feelings for someone else. Chabby 2.0 started with Abigail cheating on her boyfriend. Still, the scene where Chad's pain and Abigail's reality came to an impossible impasse was heartbreaking. Chad shouldn't have left. But he had to leave. Billy and Marci were at one of their acting high points in this scene.
Having said all that, I still get really uncomfortable watching Abigail struggle to make Chad okay. I'm not sure she's the wrong person to be comforting him. She is his wife. But, any hint of apology in her voice makes me sad for her. She shouldn't accept any shame for this situation whatsoever.
Stefan says he can take Steve's sight away. Is that bionic eye password protected or something? Wait This is the family that puts mind control chips in people's teeth. Carry on.
I didn't care for Hope demanding that Marlena declare Ben insane. However, from a storyline perspective, that scene was very strong. These are established characters. We've known them. We trust them both personally and professionally. It's interesting to see their professional worlds colliding.
I agree with Kayla. Jen's not a terrible person. But Jennifer: The Last Samurai knows she's second choice. Okay, Jenny Bear, if you have to convince yourself that your dude would still be into you if his ex shows up, that might be your first clue.
Both Jen and Eric describe their relationship the same way I described my third favorite pair of sweatpants -- comfortable, dependable, not Jack or Nicole...just fine. That sounds like it will be so solid.
I'll be downright shocked if Sami doesn't turn back up in Salem with Rafe's baby. There are parts of this I do like. I think Rafe should have a kid. However, given how much I don't need Safe connected forever -- coupled with the impending horror of Hope screeching about Rafe's "betrayal" again -- this leaves me with an overall negative feeling about this plot point.
I'm not one to say that every storyline with a deceased baby or child is inappropriate. But I will say that the situation has to be good. Damn good. Like, baby Grace good. That stuff needs to be handled by vets like Sami and Nicole, who we've been invested in for years. Lani and Eli are still such new and undeveloped characters that this whole storyline just seems gratuitously painful and headed nowhere.
Now that Theresa's out of town, J.J. can turn his attention toward Gabi. J.J. and the reminder of what she did for him is Gabi's salvation. He literally owes his life to her. I can't help but remember the real Gabi when J.J. is around.
That is, if J.J. has time because he also seems to have some confidant duties with Lani and Abigail, as well. The guy could basically set out Lucy's 5¢ advice booth in the Horton Town Square.
Hang on, Tripp. The rules of the breakup run both ways here. Just like I don't think it's right for Ciara to be mad at you for hooking up with Claire, I don't think you should be able to shame her for telling people about it. Once you break up, you two can do whatever you want with the former relationship. It's not like there are kids (or, hell, even dinner leftovers) for you to consider here.
If we didn't think Ted was the smartest person in Salem, he proved it this week. He actually suggested they go someplace less public than the Town Square to talk about a possible crime. Ted wants money from Wilson. Sonny agrees if Will isn't part of it. Valiant, sure. But that's not how these things work, Sonny boy. Your best bet is to make a call to Sami and let her know someone's messing with Will. Ted vs. Sami is a scene I'd like to see!
I appreciate that Brady misses his son. But, last I heard, Theresa told him he could visit anytime he wanted. What's keeping him from getting on a plane and doing just that? Well it's probably hard to get a flight with all the summer vacations. He'd have to get hold of a private jet or something. Hey...wait a minute...
Yay! We got a Rafe and Gabi scene. I missed these! Much like the ice cream they were eating, the scene itself was comfort food.
Claire Bear and John scenes! Heck, yes! I love John telling her that he's protective of her. And for the record, Claire was absolutely right. Ciara wants Ben, isn't ready to admit that, and is trying to compensate for that confusion with Tripp. I also love Claire admitting there's a hole in her own ego from Tripp bolting after Ciara. Now, if she could just admit that part of her liked the way Tripp adored her for a while, we'd be onto something. I think a few more session with Grandpa John might do the trick!
It's weird when Rafe is the voice of restraint. But he talked all sorts of sense to Hope about not wasting the department's money anymore on a case that isn't happening. If only she could have listened. Instead, Detective Smug Face tried to blackmail Ben into leaving town, telling him that if he doesn't head to get the mail with Tommy Horton, then she's going to keep wasting all the town's money and all the town's men, trying to lock him away again.
Regardless of how you feel about Ben, we all know Hope should be better than this. Being an efficient cop had been a part of Hope's character for a while. Recent years have gotten away from that. I'd like to see that fixed. This move was a leap in the wrong direction.
NOT: Part 2
Lani threatening harassment was so tone deaf, it was offensive. I don't know if this was supposed to be DAYS' way of hinting at the #metoo storyline, but that was a misguided attempt. However, Eli definitely does need to go back to the charming, patient dude he was when he first got back to town. You don't solve all problems by smooching the lady, Mr. Grant.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
John: "Bad luck is never going to be a match for true love."
Deep down, isn't that why we watch soaps anyway?
Exchange of the week:
Gabi: "If he was smart, he'd just do what you say. He'd dump that nut job and move on."
Kate: "I know that's true."
I've always liked that Brady calls Victor "Granddad."
Eve's dress with the green jewelry was wonderful.
Thanks to Kassie and Camila, white dresses are totally having a moment here.
"How could Brady do something like this to Nicole?" Um, ask Viv and the sarcophagus about it. Or, you know, ask Eric's face -- which is still absorbing the punch from the Bristen wedding video.
Marci Miller is stunning. That is all.
Ciara's hair is what I think mine looks like. Tripp's hair is what it actually does.
Now that Steve can see, Kayla's lying tactics are so tanked.
I loved John calling her "Claire Bear"!
Shouldn't Jeremiah be showing up with bags of money for Ben any minute now?
Gabi and Kate fist bump!! I love that.
I've never felt satisfied by an "agree to disagree" suggestion.
I can't totally hate on Chloe and Eric sharing scenes.
I rolled my eyes so hard at Marlena's sheer gloves that I think I pulled a muscle in my brain.
Wait, I missed it! Could Eric still have feelings for Nicole? I wasn't sure, since no one asked him about it.
There's no way Abigail's showing this early. They SOARSed that kid in utero. I don't care how much dialogue they write saying otherwise.
My favorite Marlena wedding dress was actually the blue one she wore for their Italian wedding.
Tony and I had a text conversation about the reemergence of the 80s "mom jeans." I'm totally in favor of this. However, it's a slippery slope to shoulder pads and banana clip hair pieces. Okay, truth be told, I'd be okay with banana clips, as well.
I feel like Steve has a lot of IOUs to cash in with John. Anytime Steve remotely approaches John with a favor request, John's only response should be, "Absolutely! What else do you need?"
It's to further the Kayla eye thing, but I really like Steve standing up for Jack's daughter.
I'd like to make a smarmy comment about Abigail being pregnant in five-inch heels, but I can't hate at all. I was that mom-to-be. Twice. Look, if you're lucky enough to keep your feet size and feel like rocking some high heels, you do it all day long.
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