I've thought a lot about the time jump over the break. It was a risky move, for sure, but it was spectacular right out of the gate. DAYS was fun. We were solving mysteries together. How did Adrienne die? Who killed Jordan? What did Xander and Victor do? When did Gabi install sauna lamps in the DiMera Mansion to make it acceptable to wear crop tops in the beginning of January?
But in gaining that fun, we lost an element of trust. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a very unfamiliar thing for soap viewers. We spend every weekday with these people, for decades. We know them. Missing this year gives the writers some latitude, but I feel myself pushing back in places where it doesn't make sense.
The spot is glaringly obvious with the doppelgängers -- Gina and Stevano. Sure, it's fun to see actors that don't get to work together share scenes. Stacey Haiduk and Stephen Nichols probably wouldn't have gotten to play this intense of a scene otherwise, and they were captivating together. Unfortunately, I don't find the gimmick enticing enough to cover the actual storyline holes.
Mainly, how in the world is no one realizing this isn't Steve? Not only did we just go through a year where a DiMera stole someone's face to get back into Salem, but the DiMeras brainwashed Steve before! Just like with Gina, our poor beloved vets -- Marlena, John, Kayla, Justin, Jack (Jack?!) -- must have the cumulative brain cells of a pigeon in order for them to let this happen right under their noses.
Watching Stevano and Jack's scene last week was the first time it made sense to me for Adrienne to die. Obviously, she would not fall for this noise. Were she around, she'd blow this thing right open.
The time jump also isn't kind to Gabi's storyline, but maybe that's because it actually didn't go anywhere in a year. Lani and Gabi are in the exact same spot. And I'm still trying to figure out how making someone kneel negates bypassing normal organ donor protocol to give your husband's heart to a woman who's done nothing but make your life miserable. Would everyone feel better if Julie were dead but Lani never had to beg and got to marry Eli? Of course not. And that's because the situation was always more complicated than Lani vs. Gabi. Yet that's the thing we're focusing on after the time jump, since apparently nothing else happened.
I feel the same way about Chad. Gabi's worked for DiMera for a while now. By all accounts, the company was doing well. Yet now he's worried about his family's legacy? I feel like I missed something. (Which can happen in a year!) Hopefully, both of these Gabi plots are filled in. Otherwise, there's a lot of dead space on both of these storylines.
Speaking of dead spaces, Sonny's brain is functioning on exactly no cylinders. I can't be the only one getting a Leo 2.0 vibe from Evan. I don't just mean Kate's extremely perceptive scammer radar. (It takes one to know one!) I mean that Sonny is getting super close, super fast with a guy he knows little to nothing about. I'm not saying he needs to do a background check. But I am suggesting that he meet some of Evan's friends before they end up in bed together. At the very least, this is Salem, Sonny needs to make sure he's not about to hop in the sack with a long-lost cousin or something like that!
From the moment Evan showed up, I thought he was David's father. Now I'm wondering if he's also Jordan's killer. It would make sense for him to blame Ben, too, as that would take care of the whole next-of-kin thing, paving the way for Evan to get his son back.
Rafe is the curve ball here. And I found Rafe and Evan's scenes much more interesting than Sonny and Evan's. Rafe warned Evan that it's tough to try to date half of a supercouple. Evan should trust Rafe on this, as he's tried and failed at that twice. Rafe also has experience with a deceased fiancée -- a storyline that never really resolved itself. If done correctly, it could be an interesting storyline between these two men -- one who chose one path, and the other who chose another.
You guys. You won't believe this. Justin lost a case. I know, I know. I'll give you a minute to pick your jaws up off the floor. But seriously, of course Ben's final appeal got denied. We haven't had a good rush-in-and-save-someone-before-they're-executed since Lucas saved Sami. When you've got powerhouses like Robert Scott Wilson and Victoria Konefal around to play it, you give. them. this. scene. My popcorn is ready. Let's do this thing.
I actually bought Stevano's slip. The real Steve would consider Tripp one of his kids with Kayla.
I'm already picturing a DAYS sitcom where Brady and Lani end up together and have a genius child, just so there's always someone around who can correct them when they say ridiculously dumb things. Here are a few of their greatest hits from this past week.
Evan has to undergo a background check. I'm sure it will be fine.
I loved the Chad and Kristen scene and would like to see this relationship explored a little more. Despite not having the blood, Kristen's been the most "DiMera" of the DiMera kids. Chad is the least "DiMera"-like. He never went through a red dress phase. Yet, he does have the DNA. They make an interesting combo. Plus, Billy Flynn and Stacey Haiduk are great opposite each other.
Gina tried to fire Rafe. He basically told her she can't because it would be a lot of paperwork, and this was acceptable. Rafe is a knucklehead at times, but this was a mic drop moment for our guy. I laughed out loud at that scene. Go on, Rafe.
I really don't like J.J. getting pulled into Lani's mess. He needs to focus on his recovery, not give the woman pretending to be a nun a place to hide out and plan revenge along with one of the most dangerous people in town.
Friday's cliffhanger was Victor telling Xander they must tell Ciara the truth. What could it be? I'm hesitant to think it's the actual truth -- more than likely it's a "truth" they think she'll accept and live with. I've never thought Victor ordered Jordan's death, but perhaps he does know something about it.
Read any backstage interview, and it's clear that Ari Zucker and Stacey Haiduck are buddies. They even played the same person for a while, which had to make them close. So, I'm very excited to see them together. I wish Stacey wasn't playing Kristen, but I'll take what I can get. It's been way too long since Nicole had a legitimate rival. The woman who raped both Eric and Brady seems like the perfect opponent for Nicole to get in the ring with.
I can't believe John didn't think anything of it when "Hope" didn't rush to Victor's side. John knows the relationship Victor and Hope have. Hope would have run to that hospital to be there for Victor, Maggie, and Ciara. Yet she barely managed an, "Aw, that's too bad." No follow-up question for "Hope" there, Johnny? Really?
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Will (to Kate about Evan): "Can you talk to me before you try to poison him, please? Because that never really works out for you."
Kate and Will's relationship is delightful, and I never want it to change.
John confiding in "Hope" about how weird "Steve" had been acting was cringeworthy. Oh, man, you're going to want that tape back, John.
LOL! Will calling Kate "Grammy" was hilarious.
It's odd that Brady can hold a grudge against Victor but fall in love with women all the time.
Something about Stacey's styling this week was on point. The leather jacket, hair color, eye makeup -- it was all working.
John's brought up "Hope's" feelings for him, like, a bunch of times. Hey, Hope, remember when you had a thing for me? Yes, John. We all know. Did your high school team also win state?
That's it for this week! Tony and I are putting the finishing touches on the digital scoop, and we'll be back with a recap of the last blast shenanigans soon! Until then, have a great week!
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