These last two weeks felt like fall break -- a departure from our regularly scheduled programming to bask in the utter ridiculata of soaps. I have to say, it was kind of nice. It's not that DAYS is ever super challenging to follow. I don't mean to brag, but sometimes, I can fold laundry and watch DAYS at the same time. But most of these last two weeks furthered no storylines. It was fluffy filler done with some of our best performers and a totally bonkers mini plot. Once I accepted that premise, it was relaxing to just watch and enjoy.
If a prisoner escapes in Salem, but he doesn't kidnap someone during his release, does it really count as an escape? Of course not. So, Orpheus got right down to business, kidnapping Marlena and forcing her to use her Doc magic to spring Evan/Christian from Bayview. It worked, and she delivered him and his quarantine beard to Orpheus.
I was surprised when Evan knocked out his own dad and proclaimed he wasn't better-better yet. I was not surprised when Evan escaped when John turned his back. John's PI skills have really never recovered from that whole Princess Gina thing. Tough break for our guy.
While Orpheus was blackmailing Marlena to get his son free, Clyde was trying to get his own son back under his wacky version of love mind control. Look, Ben, it may be tempting to take Clyde up on his offer to kill Vincent for you, but do not listen to this man! The only thing Clyde ever wants is to be in control. There are strings attached to every offer from this fella!
There was some slight nonsense about Clyde kidnapping Henry. It took Allie and Nicole a solid ten minutes to realize Henry was gone, which was not a good look for these two. Luckily, it took Kate and all her awesomeness ten seconds to rescue Henry, shoot Clyde, call the mayor, and do it all high heels. Yasss, queen. Kate in great-grandmama bear mode was awesome.
Finally, we got a truly bananas plot where Rolf announced he was going to clone Stefano and make Kayla give birth to said Stefaclone. In his defense, would you expect a mad scientist to come up with a plan that made sense? Anyway, Kayla pointed out that she was way too chronologically gifted for this plot. She also pointed out that the clone would be a baby, and Rolf would have to wait years for him to become another Stefano. I call shenanigans on that last point. This is Salem. That baby would be grown and complete his MBA in 18 months. Alas, Steve arrived to rescue Kayla before Rolf's plan could take full effect. As I said, this whole thing was completely berserk, but darn it if I didn't love every minute with William Utay. It really is a stroke of genius for him to insert just the right about of humor into Dr. Rolf. The things Rolf plans are twisted and sinister, yet I find myself tickled with Rolf's madness.
All three baddies were in custody by Thursday, meaning that we did have about a day and a half of drama that will matter in the long run.
For my money, the best change was with Allie. She used the word "son" when referring to Henry, and she admitted she was selfish when she first came back to Salem. Yes! Correct! Yes, you were! I would have liked her to go on to say that she was unfair to Sami, but I'll take what I can get.
As soon as Allie took responsibility for splitting town after Henry was born, I was suddenly okay with Nicole, too! I loved Nicole being right there to not let Allie go down the shame spiral. It's Clyde's fault Henry went missing, not Allie's. I'm glad Nicole told her so.
The cherry on top was Kate being the one to save the day and return Henry to Allie. Nicole making Kate a congratulatory martini was fantastic. I'm in for these two to have happy hour together. Nicole is much better when she's just a little bad.
Speaking of bad, Ben is not in a good place. Eli had to use his serious voice with him twice, and Ben still knocked Eli out and whisked Vincent away to enforce vigilante justice on this bad guy. This will finally be the make or break point for Ben. He's going to have to do the right thing without Ciara cheering him on.
Finally, we got our explanation as to where Hope is going to be for the foreseeable future. She left a note for Jennifer, explaining that she couldn't sit through another child's funeral and was taking off to look for Ciara on her own. She'd reach back out to Shawn and the rest of the family in time. But for now, she's a heartbroken mom on a mission.
I buy it. Sure, it may complicate things if Ciara does return to Salem someday. But, two of Hope's best traits are her love for her kids and her passion for being a cop. This move combines both and feels very "Hope" to me. I'm not here for any foolishness like Hope dying off-screen. But this was a nice move by the writing team to explain why Hope is out of Salem.
Ciara's memorial started off rough with Claire freaking out about napkins and flowers. Julie was a little rude to Claire about it, too. I know, I know. Weird, right? Julie's usually so sensitive to other people's feelings.
Remember how Hope's prison storyline was all about her being the outcast? Kristen would be the exact opposite. If anyone is built to rule the roost in prison, it's Kristen DiMera. I don't think it will actually happen, but I'm all in on a prison storyline for Kristen. Just think of her running into Hattie!
Tripp said he wished he had just taken the DNA test. My anxiety over this storyline continues to grow.
Yikes. Abigail said Gwen is the closest thing she's had to a best friend in a while. How is that possible? I mean, she's right. But really, this gal needs to have drinks with Clarie, Lani, or Sarah soon.
Preach, Eli! Tell him! Brady needed a truth bomb detonated so hard. He's so deluded with his love for Kristen that he can't see what a child he looks like when he stomps his feet for people trying to hold her accountable for the things she actually did. I cheered when Eli explained how he really doesn't feel bad for Kristen at all, considering that up until five minutes ago, Kristen kind of was the big bad in Salem.
I guess it happened in a passing comment and I missed it, but I really don't love that DAYS killed off Stefano. I really loved the ending where Stefano escaped and is out there in the world...somewhere. There was something poetic about the whole thing being left open to possibilities. All this talk of essences and clones really drove home the point that Stefano is gone. Who or whatever comes next will always be a shadow of the Phoenix.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Kayla: "I'm a doctor, not a mad scientist like you!"
Rolf: "Potato, Potahto. Frankenstein, Frahnkensteene"
Again, Dr. Rolf should not make me laugh this much, but he does!
Aw! I love that Holly gets to visit with Chloe and Parker!
Orpheus does that thing where he puts a candle out with his fingers. It always freaks me out when people do that.
It was legitimately terrifying to see Clyde holding a baby and remarking on his own "daddy skills."
Were Ben and Ciara planning to get an apartment ever? I'm always shocked that living in a hotel is cheaper than paying rent somewhere.
When Orpheus said he had a member of Marlena's family she'd do anything to protect, I immediately thought, "Whew! Sami's totally safe."
I thought this week really highlighted the changes made to the show in light of COVID safety recommendations. There are no extras. We get a lot of people talking to themselves for extended periods of time. And, most scenes will be between two people. That last point makes these shows feel much more like live theater. These kinds of scripts are going to rely a lot more on the actors delivering lines and emoting to get through to the audience. Kissing, passing objects back and forth, or having big group scenes are probably not going to happen for a while. Luckily, we have a top-notch cast that, so far, has been pulling it off beautifully.
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