Before we get to the regularly scheduled column, we have to all come together to salute a true legend and one of the best champions for DAYS we've been lucky enough to call one of our own.
We saw the end of Kristian Alfonso's run on DAYS this week. Due to the 2020-ness of it all, the last we'll see of Hope (for now...she says with equal parts hope and denial) is a broken mother alone, sobbing on the floor next to a pretty posh Plexiglas table.
Kristian had no way of knowing this would be her last scene. She and Brandon Beemer had no way of knowing the dialogue, "Will you come back? I promise you, I'll come back!" would utterly gut me. No one had any way of projecting how ironic it would be for some of Hope's last minutes to be spent talking about who is or could be that "one in a million." Because in the absence of the real send-off this character deserved, we're left to project all of the stages of grief on this last scene. Which, to be honest, is a pretty raw way to say goodbye to our Fancy Face.
Still, it's impossible even in this moment to lose sight of the immense contribution the Lady Alfonso and her Hope made to DAYS. She grew up before our eyes. We rooted for her. We became frustrated with her. We braced ourselves each time she stepped near a crown or grabbed a tube of lipstick. We loved with her, grieved with her, and championed all of the people she loved. Because if Hope saw something good in them, there must be something there.
She's such an institution to DAYS, driving front-burner storyline for so long. Anytime I encountered a former DAYS watcher, they'd ask me, "Oh! Is Hope still on?!?" She was this connector among fans -- pulling in generation after generation. Maybe other soaps are a bit more used to this, but DAYS seems to hold onto their vets a long time. So, her departure stings. And it will for some time. But the door is never closed. And I mean that not only to put out in the universe that she could return. But more so because she'll never not be Hope to generations of DAYS fans. We'll keep her memory alive with every tough cop, amazing necklace, or fantastic eyebrow raise we see from here on out. Thank you, Kristian. May you enjoy all the days to come.
Whew! Okay. Trying to collect myself...
I'm glad Hope's final scenes were with Shawn-Douglas. With Bo, Zach, and Ciara all gone, he's really holding down this whole Bope legacy for us, and doing so beautifully. Plus, I need someone to look out for some of our other beloved knuckleheads.
For example, how do I describe the Tripp/Allie storyline? Well...my toddler is at the age where he really wants to drink out of a regular cup, just like his big sister. Sometimes, he'll insist he can carry the cup of milk I've just poured from the counter to his spot at the table. I get the exact same feeling watching the Allie/Tripp storyline as I do when I watch my two-year-old carry a full glass of milk across the kitchen. This is a bad, very bad idea.
The storyline continues to be well acted. And I appreciate that it's involving a good chunk of the cast. But each step forward makes me more and more worried that we're heading for an ending where Allie was indeed raped, but she misidentified Tripp as her rapist. If this is the case, it will feed right into the dangerous narrative that women are not to be believed when they say they were raped. And "I believe something happened to you, but he didn't do it" is just another degree of not believing the woman.
I'm so nervous about how this will end, I find myself rooting for a brainwashing here. Something supernatural needs to come in to swing this storyline so far into fantasy that it will shake any comparison to the real world. Come on, possession. Step right up, evil twin. Where're you at, memories on a CD? Come on, DAYS! Don't let me down!
Kayla, who clearly has custody of the Salem brain this week, finally suggested a DNA test would add some clarity here. (Side note -- It does not bode well for Tripp's future as a medical professional that he didn't suggest this right away!) Still, DNA tests in Salem always come with problems. I trust Kayla. But spy-trained Steve and test-swapper-extraordinaire Nicole both have very vested interests that the tests have a specific result. Plus, there's still that thing that happens in Salem where relatives can test positive. At one point, DNA showed Lucas and Bonnie were the parents of Rex and Mimi's baby because of the close familial relationship between Lucas/Rex and Bonnie/Mimi.
Speaking of lessons Salem needs to absorb, when are people going to learn that parties in Salem never end well? Seriously, if I lived there, and someone I barely know offered to throw a party for all of my closest family and friends, I'd run so far away, you couldn't find me until Sweeps. Let's just keep Jack away from any elevators at this party, mmkay, Abs?
Then again, could Jack actually be the one person safe at this party? All of the talk about parents, how Jack and Jen are so proud of Abigail, and how Jack wasn't around for part of Abigail's childhood seems to suggest Gwen may be Jack's daughter. She could be holding a grudge against Abigail for getting the life Gwen never had. That could also explain Gwen's utter neediness to hold onto Jake. Men -- or even people -- leaving her life is something Gwen may be very sensitive to.
Jake overhearing Gwen's plotting (seriously, people need to stop talking to themselves!) makes me wonder if he could be the one to expose the plan and save Abigail. This could send Chad headfirst into a piece of humble pie, which, to be honest, he kind of has coming.
Chad's a downright snob when it comes to Jake. It was very patronizing to offer Jake a job in the junior executive program. Chad never had to do that. I loved Jake clapping back that Chad didn't go to college, either. Finally, I'm not too comfortable with this reasoning that it's okay for Chad to be rude to Jake because Jake looks like Stefan.
First, someone who looks a lot like Abigail tormented more than a few people in Salem, yet Chad is the first to remind everyone that isn't actually Abigail. Second, if you're going to be a DiMera, you need to be cool with a bunch of people having the same face. Tony/Andre, Kristen/Susan/Penelope/Sister Mary Moira; E.J./Santo... Get with the program, Chadsworth.
LOOSE ENDS: Sarah asking Philip to have dinner with her was pretty shady. You know what isn't shady, Sarah? Tupperware. If Xander can't make it home for dinner, you put that stuff in Tupperware. You do not ask your fella's nemesis to share it with you. Sarah and Philip aren't friends. There was no need for her to do this. I'm #TeamXander on this one.
Consider me hooked, but I can't wait to see who Philip is working with! He confessed that he plans to use Titan to launder money. So, who may have some dirty money? Clyde? Orpheus? Vivian? Ava??
Eli ended up going to Kristen and told her he had her confession, as well as everything Trask made him do. In what was the first true display of friendship I've seen from her, Kristen pleaded guilty (to a crime she committed) to save Lani. Eli told Abe what he'd done. Kristen told Brady. No one told Lani. Again, I'm sure that's fine. Everything's fine here.
With Hope and Ciara gone, we're left to see what happens with Ben. He took Vincent's gun. I'm assuming in some poetic justice situation, Ben wants to use the gun that "killed" Ciara to kill Vincent. Someone's going to pull Ben back from the edge. But I'm not sure if it will be Claire, Shawn, or someone else. I wouldn't mind it being Shawn. That could be an interesting friendship.
Tina Huang is doing impressive work as Melinda Trask. The scene where Melinda finally broke down and connected with Lani was amazing. Now that she has some backstory, Melinda is an interesting character. She's a tortured child who grew into someone professionally successful but who is personally a terrible mess. At best, she's cold to people. At worst, she's downright vindictive. It makes for a volatile soap character, and that's not a bad thing.
I'm done with Dr. Nicole. Allie is bringing up major issues. Nicole needs to stop giving advice in these mentally fragile situations. The second Marlena heard someone ask Allie what happened that night, she said it wasn't healthy for Allie to relive this. Yes, Mar! Yes! The only thing worse than Dr. Nicole is Tele-Nicole. Sheesh, how many people is she going to tell Allie's secret? That's Allie's news to share! And I really didn't care for her being the arbiter of which parent gets to be involved in Allie's life. The more and more this happens, the harder it is to believe it comes from a place of care. It seems more like Nicole is being a busybody.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Philip: "He put me in hot water!"
Belle: "No, you put yourself there when you put your hands on Jan."
Preach, Belle. Between Philip and Kristen, there was way too much of people being indignant over being charged with crimes they actually committed. Sure, Jan is a shady character. Yes, Melinda has a grudge. But none of that means that Philip didn't threaten Jan or that Kristen didn't stab Victor. It's maddening to watch these two and their enablers (Hi, Brady and Lani!) walk around like they've been terribly victimized.
Line of the Weak:
Kristen: "I'm not Gabi!"
Indeed, Kristen, but it's good to have goals! You could grow as a person if you just put your heart into it! I kid, of course. But DAYS is trying way too hard to prop Kristen's "redemption." Gabi is no saint, but Kristen is decades worse.
This week marked the mix of scenes shot before the COVID-19 shutdown in March and some that were shot last month when they resumed. It will be interesting to see how we can social distance on soaps as well as how DAYS will change now that they're taping much closer to when the shows air.
Can Ben turn some lights on in his hotel room?
Lucas and Nicole were actively talking about their plan to manipulate Allie into being a mom to her son. But Sami was run out of town with torches and pitchforks for wanting to do just that. Gotcha, Salem. Stay crazy.
That baby blue on Sal Stowers was stunning.
DAYS had to bring in a completely new character as a love interest for Claire. Thanks to her being a Brady/Horton/Kiriakis/Evans/Black/Alamain (via adoption), she's the single most related person in Salem. If you threw in the time John thought he was a DiMera, she was part of every single major family in Salem.
Tripp spent the night by the lake. As in, the lake where people take the ferry to the Horton Cabin? Just wondering.
Something tells me Eli shouldn't have deleted that recording.
For a minute there during Lani and Melinda's conversation, they seemed to be expecting the audience to prioritize which mother suffered more, which is exhausting and a little pointless. It's kind of like prioritizing which gunshot victim is worse. Sure, you can do it. But, OMG, these people were all shot!
That's it for this week. Tony will be back next week to cover the regular Salem shenanigans, along with his own tribute to Hope. You spend almost our decades with us, you're family. You get two Two Scoops worth of praise!
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