The Friday cliffhanger returned with flair last week! Just as Marlena finally joined Claire's storyline, shock! Someone/something is on the floor! I don't know what/who it is, but I can tell you two things. One, our buddy Ben always has another rescue in him! Two, it was Claire's fault. It's always Claire's fault.
Okay, I kid. A bit. We've been working toward this point since the rewrite flashback where Claire started the first Ciara cabin fire. With each step of it, Olivia Rose Keegan has been absolutely stellar. Unhinged Claire is a masterpiece of facial tics, eye movements, and erratic speech patterns. The combination of the strong performance coupled with the character's inherit rootablility as a legacy character leaves viewers struggling with one main question.
Is Claire a person who did something dangerous? Or is she a dangerous person?
Ciara and Tripp clearly think she's the latter. They're not even entertaining the idea that she's someone who needs help. They didn't go to Eli, Marlena, or Shawn. There's definitely a solid argument to be made that this is personal for them. They did almost burn to death, and Ciara's ticked her bae is under arrest again.
However, they're acting like getting her confession and sending her to jail is the sole purpose. Furthermore, to punish Claire for scheming after being hurt, Tripp and Ciara are scheming to hurt her back. How does that make them that different from Claire? Claire took it further, granted. But the genesis of their schemes is exactly the same thing: This person did me wrong. I'm going to get them back. And, I'm going to completely ignore anything that I did to contribute to this outcome.
That last line is pretty important with both Tripp and Ciara. (Warning! Dead horse coming up in 3...2...1) Ciara can't be serious with the assertion that Claire stole Theo from her? Ciara gave up Theo. Ciara gave Claire permission to pursue Theo. Then, Ciara tried to steal him back. I hope that was just a throwaway line to set Claire off, because it's a flat-out mischaracterization of what actually happened.
As for Tripp -- oh, man, why hasn't Shawn had a scene with this dude? This kid screwed over both Shawn's daughter and his baby sister! I appreciate the hunk-off when Shawn and Ben shared a scene. But there's a scolding with Tripp's name on it, and if Shawn doesn't deliver it, I will be very disappointed!
But back to Claire. Clearly, I think she's a person who did something dangerous. I've seen way too much evidence of Claire being a good person or at least conflicted to think otherwise. I believe Ben sees it, too, as that's part of the reason he told Marlena (Yes! Finally!) about Claire. Now that Marlena is involved, I hope we can get some perspective around this whole isolated storyline. And I sincerely hope Abigail and Ben didn't use up all the vouchers at the mental illness storyline shop. While Claire is cracked, she's far from a lost cause we should write off. Stop her? Absolutely. But Claire Brady isn't some random big bad. She needs help, not just a comeuppance.
Meanwhile, on the other side of Salem, Rex has been pushing hard for Sarah to marry him since day one. Finally, in the context of Will and Sonny, his urge to tie the knot immediately made sense. Rex's speech to Sarah was perfect rom-com 101. Then he turned to Eric and elevated it to another level when he talked about how great of an inspiration Ericole is. He capped it off by innocently asking Eric to perform the ceremony, which Greg Vaughan delivered with his trademark angst and longing for a woman he can't have. But again, none of this is enough to make me feel bad for these fools.
Look, I like Sarah. I like Eric. But it's really hard to feel bad for either of them in this situation because it's clear Sarah is second choice and both of them know it. Yet, they're fine with that? I don't know why Sarah would be into that. And I don't know why Eric would be okay with Sarah settling, either.
Xander may be a villain, but he's one hundred percent about Sarah. I think that's the reason I'm shipping Xarah so hard. Like I did with Sami before her, I root for these second-choice women to find a fella who worships and respects the ground they walk on. Guess what? That's neither Rex McCheats-A-Lot nor Eric Von Second Choice. I'm just saying, it could very much be Xander O'Snack Tray. A guy who shows up with food and booze is already a step ahead of the game!
Fun fact -- I bartended my way through college and my early 20s. I saw guys try to pick up girls all the time by buying them drinks. It never worked. One night, a guy ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and fries for a fellow bar patron. He got her number. I sincerely hope they're still together because that was the best move I'd ever seen.
Speaking of guys making moves, Ted finally found a use for that necklace he's been aggressively trying to put on Hope for weeks. I swear, Rex and Ted went to the same charm school -- Diamond Forcers Academy.
Ted (who is not dead!) offered it to Xander as a gift for Sarah. It's really a smoke signal to Hope to find Ted. Smart move, Teddy bear! By the end of the week, it looked like Hope recognized it. I'm loving Hope in detective mode. Keep sniffing, Hope!
Kate was even one step ahead of Hope. The scene where "Nicole" found Kate in her room was amazing vintage Kate. "Nicole" caught Kate red-dress handed, and our Katie was so good, she rolled with it and spun it into an interrogation of "Nicole." Amazing.
It's also good that Kate didn't discount Maggie's claim of seeing Kristen. Kate recognized Kristen's voice in "Nicole's" room, too. The look on Xander's face when Kate hit him with that accusation was pure shock. Xander didn't get a lot of screen time with Kate before, but he's getting a crash course now. Kate's gone toe to toe with the best male villains in the show's history -- and won. Xander shouldn't underestimate her.
Gabi and Stefan had a legit date, which was adorable thanks to Brandon Barash's charm. I really want to root for these two. But I have a sinking feeling this whole thing is going to end up with Gabi being the loser...again. Stefan has no right to any moral high ground with Gabi -- now or in the foreseeable future. Yet the show gives it to him, time and again. When it comes out that Gabi was working with Brady at the beginning, I'm sure Stefan will blame Gabi for messing up his life.
Thanks to the legal precedent of "I Had It First," Will is in possession of Rolf's diary. That gave him the power to bargain with Jack -- drop the charges against J.J. in exchange for the formula that will cause a brain tumor that may or may not completely go away. First, smooth move on Will's part! Second, Eve has ulterior motives, but she's not completely wrong in worrying about the drug's safety. Still, I know Jack's going to go through with it because we can't deal with this Jackhole forever. We need the real Jack back.
Abe told Lani that he's working for DiMera. She started to question him but then realized that he's Abe Carver and she's not, so she rightfully shut up. I'm glad. I want Abe in the mix with Stefan and "Nicole." Not only is he a former cop, but he's a great Jiminy Cricket to help control Stefan's less-than-noble impulses.
Everyone acknowledged Nicole was acting weird. But everyone chalked it up to grief. That is, until Sami Gene. Thank goodness she's here. It took her literally three minutes with "Nicole" to realize something's going on there. Listen to her, Lucas/Brady/everyone else in Salem! Sure, she's passionate and impulsive. But Sami's not dumb or unobservant. Remember what happened when everyone told Sami she was wrong for thinking Will was alive? How'd that work out for you, Salem? Listen. To. Sami.
In what's been the worst executed storyline DAYS has done in years, it looks like the Haley drama is finally coming to an end. Melinda knows a powerful senator, and she stepped in to pull rank to get Haley in line for a green card. Why couldn't this have happened literally years ago? It's baffling and maddening. An off-camera ending to this crapfest seems appropriate, since the foundation of the storyline was things and characters that all existed off-screen. But, oh well, at least we got a chemistry-less couple and two tarnished tenured characters out of it! So worth it!
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Victor (about the DiMera team): "What they lack in intellect, they make up for in bad intentions."
Best delivery :
Sarah: "Rex and I got married."
Maggie and Xander (in perfect unison): "You did what?!"
Jen Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club jacket looked really hot for a hundred-degree June day in the Midwest.
I don't know of any friend I'd share my wine with. Buy her a glass? Sure. But my wine is not for sharing.
Is a double honeymoon a thing? It sounds...crowded.
When Eric told Roman about the wedding, all I could think of was how Roman is the number one dude you go to for sympathy when longing for a chick you can't have. Plus, if he keeps ending all his pep talks with "And now, I'm going to go make you a sandwich!" Roman could be the go-to guy for every problem in the world.
Someone check hell for snowmen. Kate approves of her son's wife!
I'm officially declaring that Victoria Konefal's behind-the-back side-eye is a separate character on its own and thus should be eligible for Emmys and Golden Donuts on its own merit at the end of the year.
Why is no one sharing my interest in what's in the rest of Rolf's magic book?! Will handed the whole diary over to Jack, rather than photocopying the page Jack's after. Hang onto that, Will! There's got to be other secrets in there!
Hope's jacket is a joke, right? There's no way a stylist saw that thing and didn't think of Kate. It belongs with the Lady Roberts. It looks ridiculous on Hope.
Claire weighs all of seventeen pounds. There's no way Tripp could have pushed her away?
Hat tip to Brady for realizing Nicole loves Eric, and he's not getting in the way of it again!
Yeah! I'm so glad Ted took Tony's advice and found the Champagne that Vivian left in those tunnels! Plus, of course, Champagne is what brings Kate back from an unconscious state.
I don't know how Camila Banus picked up and carried a child while wearing heels and a barely-there dress, but someone get that woman a gold ribbon.
This whole week was the same day as Caroline's memorial service, which begs the question: was her service at 8 a.m.? If so, the line, "Grab a drink. We're going to celebrate Caroline!" is even more Irish than it sounded the first time. That is not an insult at all!
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