It's official. Ben is mentally insane. How else can you explain the strange behavior where he straight-up told Ciara about his feelings like he's an adult or something? Can you even imagine? This guy needs a session on Marlena's couch right away if not sooner. We can't let such a menace corrupt the delicate balance of fašade and deception we have in Salem. No, thank you, sir.
Ciara was so taken aback by this move that she started a fight as a divergence. I think Ciara has real feelings for Tripp but made a mistake with Tripp and definitely should have waited until she could sort herself out and figure out which guy she wanted. Still, she gets points for coming clean with Tripp. Keep this up, lady, and you'll be blackmail-proof -- which is always a good place to be on a soap.
My man Tripp, however, is not. In the span of a few days, Claire, Wyatt, Ben, and Ciara all know that he planted the evidence against Ben. Rope even came to question Tripp, but that shouldn't concern him. The last guilty person they arrested was...hang on...gimme a second...I'm sure I can...
The one he should worry about is Ciara. The last time she encountered something emotionally distressing, she wrecked her motorcycle, broke her leg, and was almost set on fire. If you need me, I'll be trying to intercept her with a pint of ice cream and a bottle of wine. You know, how adults deal with problems.
Tripp's choice to frame Ben is a result of Tripp seeing Ben as a combination of a romantic rival as well as a dude who's just bad for society. That last point is one that makes Ben's whole redemption arc easier to swallow. No one is letting him off the hook. From Wyatt to Chad to every employer in Salem, Ben's treated as a cancer. Ciara and Claire are the only ones who treat him well, and it's taken months for them to come around.
I've talked a lot in this column over the years about soap justice. We can't have every character who does something bad getting sent off to jail. We'd have no show. But we do have to have ways for these characters to pay for doing terrible things. Many times (Hi, Kate, Sami, Nicole, and Victor!) that comes in the form of serving a sentence as the town pariah. This is Ben's turn. I'm okay with that.
I suspect his sentence will last another month or so, then Gabi will assume that spot. Her secret is close to coming out, and I am all here for it because I just want this heartbreaker of a storyline to end. Since it's probably going to get worse before it gets better, I'm going to pull out the positive to highlight here:
First, there's nothing like the Billy Flynn/Marci Miller chemistry. Somehow, they always manage to work in nuggets of humor. I giggled when Chad said, "I can deliver a baby. Sonny did it!"
Second, someone finally told Rafe what's Gabi's been accused of, which means he'll finally get to see what the weather is like outside of Hope's rear. Congrats, Raferino!
Third, the Kate/Chad relationship is a gem on this show. Yes, Chad will be mad at her when she was blackmailed into lying to him about his daughter because she was also feeding company secrets to his brother. But, come on, that's how Kate shows her love to all of her kids! It's really warm and fuzzy when you think about it! Maybe next Christmas, she'll send his baby mama to death row! Oh, Katie. Your love knows no bounds!
Next, the Chandler Massey and Camila Banus scene was a scoop of comfort food -- and not just because Will played Jiminy Cricket to Gabi's poor unfortunate soul. But Chandler and Camila were babies when they started on the show. They've both grown so much as actors. I loved seeing them back together as the full versions of their respective characters.
Finally, the acting was stellar. When Stefan ordered the paramedics not to hurt Abigail, that delivery and humanity was all thanks to Tyler Christopher. Billy Flynn's Chad is a hot, tortured mess right now, and Flynn is dazzling, as always. Camila Banus has Gabi perfectly positioned on the tipping point of soap cheese (the mimosas were a divalicious touch) and a heartbroken mother. Casey Moss excelled at conveying compassion under the stoic shell of a protective brother. And finally, Marci "Killer" Miller came through again. Oh, my gosh, those tears when she took the meds and went to sleep?! Forget it. Just hand her all the awards now.
And that tear, in that quiet moment alone, was Gabi's validation. Abigail screamed that "all those who don't believe her" should pay. Yes, there is someone intentionally doing her wrong. But the final nail in her commitment papers was brought on by people she loves. And there are external forces beyond their control affecting their actions. Yet, Abigail can't do a darn thing about it. They can apologize to her down the road, but she'll ultimately need to just brush it aside and find a way to deal with being separated from her kids and suffering physical trauma. To me, that sounds like a tough ask. I could see how Abigail would crack a bit under that circumstance.
LOOSE ENDS: I'll look past the heavy-handed reason to get Eric and Sarah to share scenes, because that gal cracked me right up. Sure, if she can't get past someone lying to her face, she needs to move to somewhere that isn't a soap. (Girl, someone lying to your face is what we call "Tuesdays" in Salem.) But still, the cojones on this gal to tell Rex to hit the pavement then tattle on him to his dad in the middle of his family's pub took spunk. I dug it.
I still feel bad for Lucas. But I'm glad that he realizes he's still Emily's uncle. Maybe once Rex gets a custody agreement hammered out (and he really should), there can be some visits with Uncle Lucas and Cousin Allie.
Sorry, buried the lead -- Lucas mentioned Allie! She's alllliiiiiive!
There's a lot of talk about Holly's welfare. She's staying at Maggie's. Eric is visiting her. Brady's buying her toys. Chloe is determined to help Holly know Nicole. It's awesome that all of these people love her. I'm not shocked Nicole didn't have a will. But I would think Melanie or Brandon would have a say in where Holly stays permanently.
Point of clarification -- Gabi swapped the piece of paper with the paternity results on it. Did she hack into the computer system and change the master record, too?
Adrienne offering to be Sonny's wingman was about the most delightful thing I've heard in a while. I'd take that deal. Apparently, it comes with free grilled cheese and tomato soup!
Well, lookie there! Brady's single for a week, and he's already getting his head together! His confession to Paul was a good move. He did read Will the riot act when he found out Will was going to leave Paul for Sonny. Sure, the ultimate betrayal was Will's, but Brady bulldozed his way into that situation to play God, as he said. Here's hoping Brady is on a path to being a better Black in the new year!
Forget Gabi. I think the men in Abigail's life are the worst! First, I don't care what Gabi's up to, there's something extra creepy about a dude who feels like he's entitled to go through a woman's purse. Second, dream Chad believing that minutes after giving birth, a woman could walk out in a skintight dress or, hell, walk anywhere makes him oh, so dumb. Honey, no. Just no.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Drunk Sarah: "Just make sure he doesn't have a baby with his Rex...I mean, his ex."
Why do people on soaps keep going to cabins? Seriously, when was the last time someone said, "I had the most delightful time in the cabin. Such a fun getaway where no one went into labor/was set on fire/saw the ghost of dead relatives -- really just some nice me-time!"
Is there anything more humorous than Rex and Brady lamenting about losing the loves of their lives? That's like someone standing on the subway platform and sobbing that the train just left and they'll never see one again.
I love the cobalt blue tea mugs at Doug's Place.
Rex didn't mention the name of the second person he cheated with. Hmm...
It's a testament to Chandler Massey that he can make the line, "I write about you in the journal my mom gave me for Christmas" sound both adorable and swoon worthy.
Things that took me a genuine minute to put together:
1. Sarah is Holly's aunt. (Because Sarah and Daniel are siblings)
2. Will has a reason to talk to Gabi (Because they
haven't shares a scene in what seems like years share a child.)
It will be a damn shame if Billy Flynn and Matt Ashford never share a scene. They've got some similar comedic timing.
I don't know which one is more on-the-nose, Stefan answering the phone, "Stefan DiMera, who's this?" or Rafe unironically saying, "Hold on there, slick."
Careful, the last gal named Charlotte on DAYS ended up going after John with a syringe.
Yeah! I'm so glad Sami called Chad to tell him about E.J. I also like that he keeps in touch with Johnny and Sydney.
From baby Charlotte to baby Emily, these little cuties on DAYS are taking up all of my "Awwwws!"
That Wilson family photo reminded me of when vests declared war on both Will and Sonny. *shudders*
Chloe mentioned the holidays might bring some Joy. Could that mean her long-lost little sister may make a return from the Land of Characters We Don't Talk About? Rex, Cassie, and Allie all made it out recently!
Here's a fun game: If Ben does sue the Salem P.D. for harassment (which they did) but they plead incompetence (which they are) as a defense, who wins that case?
Bonus Sarah's quote (after her second shot): "Two down, one for each time Rex cheated on me!"
Cheer up, Rex. Will cheated twice, and people still love the snot out of that dude. There's hope!
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