There were four days of DAYS last week, but they were jam-packed with tons of shiny objects to distract us with! I could barely keep up, which happens this time of year when seasons start to change. Some storylines are starting to slide the door closed while others are opening up just a bit to reveal their sudsy drama. Let's take a look at some of these shiny objects to figure out where we've struck gold and where we've been handed a rock covered in glitter that, although shimmery, isn't always super and leaves glitter residue on our hands.
First and foremost, DAYS did everything right with the Vincent storyline last week. I still love the Wendy connection. That was well played. She was all but forgotten, except for by devoted fans who would scream, "And the midwife!" when characters would suggest Ben only killed three people or two (depending on Will's level of aliveness at the time, but you know what I mean). I enjoy when Ron goes digging in the history books for tidbits. Well played, good sir!
Overall, though, the acting, writing, directing, and cinematography were all fantastic and created a heightened sense of suspense, sheer terror, and sadness. Robert Scott Wilson continued his tour de force performance, and Kristian Alfonso was flawlessly heroic and heartbreaking as Hope. Seriously, I'm still haunted by Kristian's portrayal of Hope when Zack died. That guttural scream. This was right on par, especially that hospital scene after she handed Ben the rings.
Of course, that leaves us with a huge question. Characters are starting to mourn Ciara, but has she really been inCINerated!? Between spoilers being spilled and *whispers* Resurrection by Wilhelm, I'm not overly concerned about Ciara. Sure, she might need a marshmallow wrap job like E.J. for a while, but she'll be fine. Fine I tell you. I mean, did you see that woman fight for her life earlier!? Ciara is a rock star.
Okay, C-Train should have run like hell when she opened the door, but Vinnie also has some otherworldly Chumbawamba-level reflexes because when he got knocked down, he got up again really quickly. So, that's not all on her lack of trying. She tried hard to free herself. And I think she will free herself soon or be freed because, without a body and a bad guy, you know she's being kept somewhere by Vincent. In any event, I was deeply moved by the performances, but, like I said, Ciara will be fine, eventually.
Not so fine, what's up with Salem's fire department!? They made the popo look competent. Let's just say if I get into trouble while I'm visiting Salem, I know it's best to call the EMTs or Sarah. For real. An ambulance made it to the explosion site and back to the hospital where Ben was admitted, treated, and left to rest in his room before the Salem Fire Department had extinguished the flames of one car. I don't say this often, but duuuuddddeesss. Not a good look. Kate needs to include this in her next 30-plus page spreadsheet to Abe.
Another nitpick? Okay! Sure, Steve has had his hands full lately. There's, uh, showering with Kayla, concern over John, and, oh, dear, ordering French fries at the pub, but wouldn't you think Agent Patch Man would be there for his "Sweet Thing" and help Hope find Ciara? I'm disappointed in him. On the flip, I loved that Jack had a hand in discovering Vincent's agenda and I loved, loved, loved that Kayla and Jen were there for Hope, too. All of that with a side of Shawn-D and Belle, and I was cheering.
Final quibble: in no way, shape, or form do I believe Vincent, as wily as he was, could outrun Shawn-Douglas. Nope. Not happening. Shawn's pretty much Salem's Superman. Look at those eyes. And I bet if Shawn would take off his shirt...oh. Right. Need to finish that sentence. If Shawn would take off his shirt, there's probably a spandex suit underneath, complete with a Superman-like "S" for Shawn. Then again, Vinnie displayed his Chumbawamba-level reflexes, so perhaps he really does have metahuman powers of his own. Fair.
So, let's move on from bombings to bombshells. Abigail is home and has a new foe. First, I'd like to echo the sentiments Laurisa celebrated in her column last week: "Yassss. Marci. Miller. Is. Back." Amen. This thrills me. It's totally a "Becky" on Roseanne situation with Abigail. Sometimes we get a Mansi. Other times it's a Miller. And either way, both actresses are impeccably golden, and DAYS fans wins. We've spent time with Kate earlier in the year, and now it's a Marci fix. Yes, please, and welcome back, Ms. Miller!
So, hello, Abigail! She claims that she's gotten her hallucinations under control enough to come home to her family. While we still may get a little uneasy around her if she picks up a martini shaker, I believe her claims of sanity -- well, claim of sane enough. Abigail is, if nothing else, a mama bear, and she's not going to let anyone, including herself, harm her cubs. So, until I see a dark wig, or she swipes some reading glasses, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.
I'll also give Abs a social distance high-five, as her investigative reporting skills are as sharp as ever. She's already making some brilliant assumptions on figuring out who drugged her. More so at this point, who didn't. She doesn't believe it's Gabi, and her reasons were solid. Now, she just has to figure out the new who...
Snap! It's Gwen. Gwen was the one who poisoned Abigail. Correction. She is the one who poisoned Abs and is attempting to do so again. I didn't see this one coming, mostly because, you know, they seemingly had nothing to do with one another, but I'm willing to bite. Sure. Now the fun part -- why is Gwen serving Abigail hallucinogenic hooch!? Hmm.
I may need to have a cocktail of my own as I further ponder this poisonous plot, but my knee-jerk reaction begins with "Gabby with a Y" and or "Dr. Laura." Perhaps one of those pillars of Abigail's fractured psyche harmed Gwen in some way, and she's back for comeuppance. The, uh, crazy part being Abigail may not remember said slight, as she was, well, "not herself" at the time. There's that.
Or, perhaps, Gwen was "Sam's" last flame prior to his ascension into the DiMera hierarchy as Stefan "Oh No" DiMera, and "Sam" left Gwen in the dust to pursue his new life, which included a not-so-stable-at-the-time Abigail. And then, Gwen found Jake and tried to do what she accused Gabi of doing (turning Jake into Stefan, well, Sam in her case). Hmm. There's that, too.
Maybe, just maybe pop-up DiMeras aren't all sired by Stefano! Did Andre have a daughter we don't know about? Abigail did kind of crack his skull with a cocktail shaker full of what we thought were Tony's ashes. Gwen might think she's urn-ed the right to shake up Abigail's life in revenge. Wait! Whose ashes were those, anyway? Okay. We'll move on before I go down that rabbit hole...
There's still some of that lost Salem time-spring that could play a part in Gwen's tale, as well as Abigail's time in Paris -- and her time institutionalized isn't all accounted for, either. Gwen did check herself into Bayview. Had she done that before and met Abs?
Finally, what if it's not about Abigail at all? As a DiMera, Chad has a built-in target on his back. Maybe Gwen is going after him by harming Abigail. Or could Gwen be the child of someone Jack or Jennifer hurt in the past? Jack has a lot of missing years still unaccounted for. He may have jilted someone while on an investigation or had a fling with the wrong person's wife (SEE: Victor/Loretta/Ernesto). Once again, "Hmm!"
Speaking of my man Chad, is he a bit "much" toward Jake? I get it, but I don't. Granted, sassy Chad is fun to watch, and Jake can hold his own. Still, it's hard to love two DiMera men. I'll have to work on some brotherly bridge-building activities for the two of them...
Oh! Maybe, we can start with FroYo at the Square then Chad can walk us through his old hood where he was born to be a fighter, as he said. You know, the mean streets of Salem, where he lived with his district attorney dad and judge mother, and some nights they had to drink straight-up tap water when the housekeeper forgot to fill the Brita. Thug life, man. Okay, D.A. Woods was a piece of work, but Chad -- you didn't come from West Salem or even Brookville, and I'm pretty sure there's really a T Swift C.D. in the "Straight Outta Compton" case on your bookshelf. There's no doubt you're scrappy, bro, but let's curb the street talk. Deal? And I still love you, don't worry. We're certainly still on for chess and Limoncello in the park on Thursday!
Oh, no, sir. No sirree. Any ideas to reunite Philip and Belle for another raunchy romp can go straight to "Phelle." I love the idea of them maturing into platonic friends, but their affair does not need to be revisited yet again. That was handled years ago as well as on the web series. So. No. Just no. Between co-CEO-ing, Jan Spears, Claire, and Ciara's death, they both have adult things to worry about and should stick to said adulting without the re-re-affair-ing. Though, Claire spotting Philip and Belle on a table in a Titan boardroom would be oddly full circle-ish, but, no. No, please.
Claire and Gwen's chumminess threw me off for a second until I remembered they knew each other from Bayview. Whoops. My bad. Now, I felt that Claire was being sincere when she expressed her appreciation toward Gwen's friendship during the Bayview period, but I think she wants to close that crazy chapter. Claire seemed compassionate but ready to run. I get it. Gwen can be a lot. Though, props to Claire for being a good friend by telling Gwen she'd be better off alone, or at least without Jake. Claire's not wrong, once again.
Tripp stumbled back into Salem. He wants to stay and finish med school. Steve was super smiley about that. I'm happy, too, especially after Tripp apologized to Claire. THAT needed to happen. So much so, and we'll talk about that and French fries later!
Hold up! Before we go on, let's address the dimwit elephants in the room -- Steve and Kayla didn't have their door locked!? That's a record coming to a screeching halt level "Seriously!?" and "What the front door, Stayla?!" They've both been kidnapped and terrorized how many times now? If I even went through one of the events either of them has gone through -- even within the past year -- I'd Jodie Foster style myself into a panic room every night as soon as I got home. They're brave. Sure. We'll go with that. But, seriously, Stayla!?
The role of Kristen's pal and confidante should have gone to a fellow sinner trying to make good. Soap gods help me for using them as an example, but a Bonnie and Hattie type of scenario, if you will. Well. If the Big Bon Bon was trying to be better, and if they were both on Kristen's level of sinisterly psycho. Anyway...
The worst pages out of Lani's playbook have been some iffy if not all-out skanky choices. She took advantage of a drunken J.J. and took selfies with him after he passed out. She tricked Shawn-D into a faux stakeout in a really nasty hotel room, where she hoped to, um, read him his rights? Is that a code for hooking up these days? We'll pretend it is and move on. Either way, Lani's never been near a Kristen level of bad, nor has Lani had a hard time finding people who would be in her corner. From what little we witnessed, Lani and Kristen bonded over loneliness, cowardice, and running away from their problems until they finally encouraged each other to fight. Good on them, but perhaps Lani should have a talk with Jennifer, Eli's cousin, about being Kristen's friend and then rethink her priorities.
Also, oh, Brady. For crying out loud. He's such a twit when it comes to Kristen. I can't even with him anymore. Kristen must have the golden, umm, touch because, as soon as she gets a little sultry, he caves every time they argue. Though, come to think of it, from booze to nose candy, Brady is an addict through and through. I think it might be time to add sexual addiction to his list. Might be an interesting storyline.
A couple that's working is totally Xander and Sarah! In addition to his total adoration for Sarah, I love his love for Victor and the company. He really does care. And she's simply straight-shooting with Xander once again, and it's spot-on and delightful.
And Sami for the win! Wowza. I didn't see that one coming. At all. I mean, I could see Justin losing a case, but Sami winning? Again, wowza. She was surely as shocked as the rest of us. I thought Judge Duncan would "Xander and Philip" the twins. Make them co-guardians, or just give them to Eric and Nicole. Nope. Sami won. Again-again, wowza.
The serious After School Special question to ask would be, "Sami won guardianship, but what did she lose in the process?" Insert super serious music. Ugh. I'd say Sami straight-up won. Nicole and Eric were being pills, and Mother Mar, despite some zingers that weren't wrong at all, was sort of snide, condescending, and drenched in favoritism. Then again, Mar was having that throwdown over her husband's comatose body, so I'd probably not hold my punches, either. In the end, they both had their points.
Side bar: Sami and Mar's "No kidding" throwdown was awesome and perfectly delivered. Both sides had valid points. Dee and Alison were on fire! I love their comfortableness with one another, which lets them go as deep and ugly as they'd like to. Bravo, ladies!
So, to kind of agree with Mar, I do think it's time for Sami to grow up. Sure. Sami needs to make a mature realization that she'll never be Marlena's "chosen one." They'll always love each other, but she's kind of burned the daughter bridge. Instead, Sami should wish Mar the best, keep in touch causally, and send her a Mother's Day card every year, but really focus on being a better parent and grandparent. It would certainly keep her saner and much happier. She and Mar might even grow closer again someday, too. Yep, Mar, therapy-ing is good.
Love Judge Duncan as I do, I did have to call foul when she stated there were only two viable options for custody of Baby Boy Horton. What about Lucas or doing a genetic search for the baby's father? In addition to hospital and police databanks, detectives are now searching on sites originally intended to trace one's heritage. It's too bad they don't have some cyber sleuth in Salem. Oh. Wait. Hi, Shawn-Douglas. But I digress, because of the official candidates in the race for Baby Boy Horton, it was slim pickings.
Finally, for the love of all things holy in Soap Land, can we please give Baby Boy Horton a name or at least do another NBC online poll to name him like they did with Ciara? We already know that Allie will hate whatever name Sami selects, but at this point, even "Pocket" is starting to sound good. Okay. Not that. Never that. But, for real, it's good that little Baby Boy H is too young to realize he's been around for a few months now (which is like ten soap years) and still doesn't have a name. I still vote for Carl being a middle name as a nod to Caroline and, as Laurisa stellar-ly suggested a few weeks ago, Bryan as a nod to le Dattilo himself. In the meantime, I'm calling him Baby Boy George Horton. I'm already picking out some sick shades for him, and his lullaby will be "Karma Chameleon."
Woot! It's not very often an Alex North Memorial Award, umm, winner gets a pardon, but Tripp snagged a reprieve last week when he apologized to Claire. Sure, she apologized, too, and that was great, but Tripp had never really owned his part in their relationship going up in flames, as it were.
So, yes, Tripp. Yes! You made some bad choices, too. Yes, you were selfish and insensitive. And, yes, Tripp, you pushed her too far. Yes, to all of that, Doc-to-Be Dalton, just yes! You've grown, and self-awareness is always a good look. This excited me so much. I liked Tripp a lot, but that had put a strain on our relationship, too, and now it's a fresh, clean start for us all.
Bonus: he offered her Brady Pub French fries. Again, yes, please. So, yes, you are officially pardoned from your Alex North victory, Day Tripper, just, you know, don't make me regret it -- or else. Okay. So, about those fries...
Lani stated to Kristen, "Don't worry about Eli. I will handle him." Oh, Eli overheard that and shot it down quickly, leaving me not much else to say to her, but, damn, Lani. Not cool.
LINE(S) OF THE WEEK
Judge Duncan: "Well, seeing that we do not know the biological father's identity there's only two more viable options. Samantha DiMera, the grandmother, and Mister and Misses Eric Brady, the aunt and uncle. Frankly, from what I've heard, neither option is ideal."
Belle (to Marlena on the phone): "I'm trying to steer clear of Sami...Mom! She brought Jan Spears back to Salem because, I don't know, smallpox wasn't available."
Xander (to Sarah regarding Philip): "What happens when I disagree with him? What are we going to do, arm-wrestle!? Actually, that would work out kind of great for me."
Abigail (to Chad): "Don't make me laugh when I'm so mad at you right now."
ADVICE OF THE WEEK
Jake (to Chad): "You can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors."
EXCHANGE OF THE WEEKJudge Duncan: "...n'est-ce pas?"
From "Hoda and Jenna" to "What about Ben? Jerry?" Sarah's hilarious and wise, and she loves ice cream. Yep. She wins everything.
Okay, Xander cracked me up, too, when he called Philip a "pip."
I'm honestly not attempting to be gross or morbid, but the rings Hope got back from the fire department were rather shiny, considering what they've been through, right?
I don't praise him enough, but I adore Lamon Archey. His delivery always either cracks me up or prompts me to cheer Eli on.
Ha! Jake's catty and hissing sounds were amazing. Also, Jake should meet Roman. I think they would get along famously.
Wally Kurth and Mary Beth Evans' combined awesomeness made me feel bad for Justin and Kayla all over again. They do "running into your ex" better than any duo I've seen. It's sad and classy and just well done! Love. Them.
On the topic of running into your ex, Tripp kind of wins with, "I heard you got out of Bayview." Nope. Not awkward at all.
Sami gets a lot of smack for being a bad parent (and, yes, she does make some big blunders), but at least her priority was always to keep her kids with her and not pawn them off to grandparents in Colorado. Whoops. I mean grandparents somewhere. You know, generally speaking.
But it is weird that the DiMera mansion is so large, yet they all congregate in one small room, right? There are rich people rules I just don't understand, I guess.
I know being "stoic" is Marlena's thing, but lady certainly comes across exceptionally cold at times. Though, maybe she'll find time to text Hope a selfie with a stoic look and, in the textbox, the following emojis: a tombstone, sad face, bowl of clam chowder, rain drop, a car, fire, a bomb, a pill, a clown holding balloons, a racoon, steaming coffee cup, and a thumbs-down.
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for September 14! Tripp mentioned something about French fries at the pub, so I'll, um, probably check that out and then go give Hope a hug, so Laurisa will be back next week to see what's remained shiny and what dulled! As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."
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