As soap fans, we witness life-and-death scenarios on a weekly basis. Sometimes more, if Claire and her trusty lighter are around, but I digress. Characters are often in dire danger. We watch them barely hold on as their loved ones urge them to fight -- begging them to come back from the brink. Most miraculously make it in the end. If they don't, we're often left with at least a little hope in the form of *whispers* Resurrection by Wilhelm.
Yet, not every character evades death, and those are the ones that hit us the hardest. While Will got to live last week, Caroline sadly passed. For the characters, it was a sudden loss, but with the heartbreaking passing of Peggy McCay last year, we knew, as fans, it would only be a matter of time until we had to say goodbye to our sweet Caroline, too.
Now, if Alice Horton was the television grandma we went to for gentle encouragement, warm wisdom, and doughnuts, Caroline was the one we went to for tough love, straight-shooting insight, and chowder. Maybe an Irish whiskey if old enough. Caroline was, as her loved ones beautifully recalled during Thursday's episode, a spitfire who loved hard. And I loved watching Caroline because of that!
In fact, I watched Peggy's entire tenure as "Ma Brady" but also knew of her long acting legacy. Seriously, look up Peggy's credits. They're staggering. So, it was no surprise that Peggy packed as much of a punch as she did while bringing such a spirited character to life.
One of my favorite Ma Brady moments is when a baseball bat-wielding Caroline broke up a fight between Shawn-Douglas and Philip. She was not messing around, boys. In fact, that was one of my favorite things about Caroline. When she put you on notice, she meant it, damn it.
Of course, Caroline wouldn't have been half the character she was without the remarkable talents of Peggy McCay behind her. Peggy earned her spot amongst the legends with a career spanning nearly seventy years. I'll always remember the tenacity she approached the role with.
In addition to her acting chops, I'll also remember Peggy for her fierce fashion sense! When she was on the red carpet, she certainly wowed with some bold choices. Peggy always seemed to take an elegant yet fun approach to her style. Yes, she was a legend.
As such, the writing team had their work cut out for them when crafting a befitting tribute to the character as well as Peggy herself. Caroline's presence in Salem was a large one and had to be honored the right way. And you know what? DAYS did it right. Very right. I was moved to tears. Um, many, many times.
My soap-loving heart is filled with nothing but pride and gratitude for the show's work. It was evident that Ron Carlivati, the cast, and the crew put their hearts and souls into the scenes. Performances transcended characters saying goodbye to a loved one. You could tell the love the actors had for Peggy. She was, as Caroline was to the Bradys, part of their family. And while my condolences continue to go out to them, I hope the cast and crew can take comfort knowing how well they honored both Caroline and Peggy. I can't speak for all fans, but this one is greatly appreciative.
Okay. I'm greatly appreciative, but majorly cried out. The Sob-Monster attacked me hard while watching Wednesday and Thursday's episodes. That tells me the job was done right. I mean, Will seeing Caroline was one thing. It was moving. I loved the entirety of the scenes. Just "seeing" Caroline there was comforting (and respectfully done). Will then returned to us. He would be okay. Then Roman got "the call" from Kimberly...
"Ma's gone," was all he had to say to Kayla for my waterworks to begin. Josh Taylor and Mary Beth Evans' performances were profoundly authentic. I wanted to give them both a hug as the shock subsided and the sadness engulfed them.
Things didn't get easier (or less sobby) the next day. First, we had Victor reacting to the news. John Aniston brought it home. He delivered. His was an epic, earnest performance, and I'm thrilled the writers remembered Victor's relationship with Caroline. It's so rare to see Victor's softer side, and Kristian Alfonso also shined as Hope as she became his rock. When he reached back out for her hand, indicating for her to stay, I was a blubbering mess.
And I was no less a blubbering mess at the actual wake. I laughed. I cried. I cried more. I laughed more. Mostly a lot of crying, though. Oh, I did let out a few happiness-through-tears squeals when I saw Carrie and Shawn-Douglas (much like the day before when seeing Sami and Lucas). The returns were amazing and well-timed.
The entire wake was wonderful, though. The writing was brilliant, as were the performances. I'd literally be here all day, trying to determine which tribute was the most moving, as all of them were significant to the characters who shared them. I also loved that Caroline's wishes were for colors and laughter and not black and tears. She wanted everyone to remember the brighter side of life. It was a fitting end to a character who loved life and those around her.
I would be remiss not to mention the end of Thursday's episode. The big final boo-hoo moment, if you will. Kayla shared that her heart was full as Caroline and Shawn were reunited in heaven. We'd "seen Caroline" already the day before with Will. Then we'd witnessed some incredibly tender flashbacks of Shawn Sr. and Caroline -- I had almost forgotten how charming and sincere Frank Parker's performances were. Shawn was a gentleman, and it's easy to understand how he could make Caroline blush. And then -- as Caroline looked upon her loved ones celebrating her life, that plaid-covered arm was placed over her shoulder. Caroline and Shawn did reunite. Kayla's heart was right. And I rightly reached for more tissues. I couldn't have loved that ending more.
Now, there are many quotes about death and mourning. Many sayings that encourage us to be strong. To celebrate the life that has left us. Winnie the Pooh once expressed through the celebrated words of A. A. Milne, "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." Auguste Renoir said, "The pain passes, but the beauty remains." Both are certainly applicable, but I couldn't help but think of another quote that fits our beloved Caroline (and Peggy) that, appropriately enough, comes from another soap.
On Desperate Housewives, Nicollette Sheridan's vivacious character, Edie Britt, passed in a rather shocking way. As her friends and neighbors mourned her passing and scattered her ashes over Wisteria Lane, Edie's voice narrated a final goodbye. She said:
"As I looked down on the world, I began to let go of it…I let go of all those things which seemed so ordinary, but when you put them together, they make up a life. A life that really was one of a kind. I'll tell you something. It's not hard to die when you know you have lived. And I did. Oh, how I lived."
While I could nitpick the details of Caroline's wake, like who wasn't there or mentioned or lack of more flashbacks, I won't. DAYS delivered a poignant farewell. So, instead of dwelling on any small details, I'm instead looking at the larger picture, and that's toasting to Peggy!
Will and Sonny's wedding was rather perfect, given the moment. I'm with them. They had a spectacle wedding. This time they wanted an intimate one. And that it was. Very. The exchanges were heartfelt, and I especially choked up when Kate started helping Will with his vows then everyone else joined in. Gulp!
If there ever was a week to welcome back Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo, it was last week. I adore these two. And they did not miss a beat, stepping back into their roles. Sami came in like an overwhelmed wrecking ball. Lucas' introspective sensibility and ability to Sami-wrangle was as keen as ever. DAYS needs more besties like these two.
Oh, oh! And we got an E.J. update! He's doing "okay," but he's not the same after what Kristen did to him. That's fair. Though, let's hope he got those bandages removed by now. Elvis Jr. looks like James Scott, and that's far too delightful for marshmallow-like headgear.
I'm all on board with Abe working at DiMera! So much so, I'm getting him a monogramed pen set and ficus for his new office. I loved his reason, too. He's there to honor his pledge to Fay (Fay!) to watch after Nicole, especially after seeing firsthand what destructive influences those damn dirty DiMeras were on Lexie and Theo. He also wants to erase Stefano's corrupt legacy and turn the dynasty legit. You go, Abe Carver!
Though Abe watching Nicole's back is, in reality, him watching Kristen, and that makes everything entirely more enchanting. One, James Reynolds gets to be front and center. Love it! Two, Abe may stumble upon some scandalous DiMera secrets, well, you know, aside from Kristen posing as Nicole. Like, Abe finding a door with the initials "FW." Bring back Fay Walker? Love that, too! Finally, being at DiMera ensures Abe will cross paths with a plethora of other characters. Maybe he'll give Gabs some guidance. Keep an eye on Ciara for Hope and tabs on Ben. Abe vs. Kiriakis? Yes! See, there's a lot to love about Abe being a cornerstone in this caper.
Kate and Gabi scheming will never not be a fun time. Maybe now with Sami in town, they can form a trio again. At least for a ruse or two.
I'm a sucker for Maggie and Xander scenes! I adore that she knows the Tin Man has a heart, but he can't quite quit scheming just yet. Sure, things will take a hit when the truth comes out about Holly, but, hey, Maggie is a forgiving woman. For the most part. Sorry (not sorry), Rex.
Look. I'm not a founding member of the Rex Fan Club. The twice cheater rubbed me the wrong way when he returned to Salem. With that, Rex's family need to pump the pushing Eric toward Sarah brakes. It's mind-bogglingly distasteful, despite their, um, good intentions, well, for everyone but Rex. Eek. This should all make the next family get-together not awkward at all.
Cheers and gratitude to Ron Carlivati, the cast, and the crew for delivering a perfectly poignant farewell to a beloved, amazing character, and, more so, a lovely woman who was just as amazing!
Oh, Eve. Lady. Seriously. You actually said that Claire MIGHT need professional help because she almost killed three people. Might!? That's like saying Brady might fall in love quickly, or Stefan might love wigs, or I might need some Scotch after hearing that comment. Yes, Eve. The answer is "Yes!" to all of those things. Guh. Help the young lady, Eve. Help her.
Claire's craziness is juicy drama, for sure, but it's starting to come at the expense of a lot of lost brain cells in other characters. Eve un-shockingly put her own agenda before Claire's well-being, but she isn't the only one who could do Claire a solid by alerting some professionals. Say, like Ciara and Tripp might want to tell Claire's super psychiatrist grandma or her other grandmother who was police commissioner and top-notch detective. Those two might have an idea how to get Claire the help she needs. You know, might.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Roman (on Caroline's smile): "People said it would light up a room, but I would argue it lit up an entire town for a lot of years."
TRUE 'DAT LINE OF THE WEEK:
Kate (to Gabi regarding Arianna's confusion about the permanent nature of death): "Okay, well, that wouldn't be surprising, considering how many people come back from the dead in Salem."
Having had a hoot with Vivian, Kate, and Marlena in those tunnels, if I were Ted, I'd check the crates for some Champagne. At least it will pass the time.
Everything about Roman and Hope's scenes gave me the warm and fuzzies. From him still calling her his sister-in-law to stating, "You're not just a Horton. You're a Brady, too." I. Loved. It. All.
Since I've already admitted to being a blubbering mess last week, I totally welled up when I saw Christie Clark! I mean, I was thrilled by all the returns last week, but (perhaps knowing Christie's limited availability these days) seeing her was like seeing an old, much-needed friend walking through the door at the right time. Welcome back, Carrie Brady!
I forgot the story of Caroline's friends James and Robert. That was a nice throwback to Will and Sonny's O.G. wedding as well as Caroline herself. Well played, DAYS.
Conversely, if Will and Sonny have a son someday, they could name him "James Robert" or "Carroll James Robert." Just saying.
Ha! An amped-up-on-concern Sami said, "Maybe they need some motivation!" I swear, this lady has enough money and needs to hire an intern to follow her around with a boombox just to play "Wrecking Ball" wherever she goes.
Gabi was in a bad place when talking to Stefan about fathers, but I was still a bit taken aback, as I've never heard her speak of Sonny as anything less than Arianna's daddy, too. It wasn't a major moment. Just an odd one.
Speaking of dads, it tugged at the old heartstrings when Kate shared with Lucas, "I have so much respect for you as a father." What a wonderful, warm moment. Too bad Kate doesn't have the same respect for his ability to pick mates.
Sonny told Ari-Grace that, "It's an MP3 player. Ancient technology from 2013." Ha! Well played, Sonny Bear. Though I'm not ashamed of my still-working Zune.
Kristen's Nicole mask looks super-duper creepy when just laying around!
It was amusing when Eric was asked if he made any more barters with God. Though he does have a good track record when it comes to the power of prayers.
I love that Lucas loves the "Sami" in Will.
Hearing Hope say "Gram" always makes me happy.
After that sweet scene between Kayla and Tripp recently, you'd think he would have gone to the wake to support his step-Sweetness.
Dr. Nathan should have returned to Salem to help his Aunt Sarah with the formula. Plus, it wouldn't be horrible if he ran into Gabi. Oh, heck. Just a Mark Hapka sighting wouldn't be a bad thing.
I often wonder what (if any) kind of relationship Shane had with Paige. Conversely, I heard Paige and her Uncle Andrew were close. I kid, I kid. I think Andrew went to mail a letter in the other room on his way to Chicago. Good luck seeing him, again.
Arianne Zucker as Kristen pretending to be Nicole is amazing and fun. Two words that I love with my DAYS.
Last week was proof that we need more Victor and Hope scenes! Maybe next time, they can even bring up Chelsea. Maybe. Please?
When Sami says, "I have my sources," I totally believe her.
When Kate says, "I know people conspiring when I see them," I totally believe her, too.
Wow! Have we seen the Salem Inn entrance before? I just thought people magically appeared outside the doors, using the same magic to travel from other countries in minutes.
I understand the severity of Maggie's alcoholism, but maybe, just maybe, she and Brady could have gone to an earlier A.A. meeting, enabling them to make the wake?
I enjoyed Hope's disco blazer!
I hope we get that video chat with Kimberly later! Maybe we could loop in Frankie, Max, and Chelsea. Maybe?
Aww! You could totally tell Greg Vaughn and Alison Sweeney enjoyed working together again. More, please!
I really want to know what's on "Wilson's Greatest Hits!" I'm guessing some sappy love songs, but it could get interesting if Sonny updated during Will's not-so-faithful days.
Sometimes, lines come across strange when they're probably not intended to. Case in point -- Kayla told Sonny, Sarah, and Rex that "I just think his family should be here." Umm. I know what Dr. Sweetness meant (gather the troops), but she's Will's aunt, Sonny is his husband, Sarah is his cousin, and Rex is his uncle.
The Brady Pub needs to market events they'll cater, like weddings, wakes, showers, anniversary parties, and out-of-body experiences. In Salem, that last one might make them a mint. Get Claire on that! She loves social media and needs a new, less fiery hobby.
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of June 24! Laurisa will be back next week with a black-and-white striped shirt to referee all the blowouts in Salem. Sami vs. Kristen, anyone!? And, "That's a fact!"
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