The overtime bill at the Salem PD is going to be huge this month. Abe better arrange a bake sale or something to cover it. For those keeping score, we've got two murders, one drugging/kidnapping, and more assaults than you can shake an hourglass at. Let's run down the police blotter!
First up is the lingering "murder" of Laura Horton. Yup, I'm still using air quotes because, if DAYS has taught me anything, it's that Gwen is a master manipulator of any and all situations, be they of her own creation or thrust into her lap. Until we see the whole flashback, I'm not trusting Gwen's side of the story. And the way she went to work on Jack this week tracks with every Gwen behavior we've seen thus far.
Matt Ashford has this way of playing Jack as a puppy caught out in the rain so brilliantly that I totally believed Jack would believe Gwen. But Jennifer, Chad, and Abigail's correct reminders that Jack has nothing to feel guilty about weren't a coincidence. My spidey senses triggered the second she started to bring up Abigail's campaign to smear her good name. Please. Gwen's brought all of this on herself and shunned people who wanted to actually help her.
And that brings me to another problem with Gwen. People have believed in her and had her back. Claire was her friend. Jake would have stuck with her if she hadn't imploded. Abigail and Chad welcomed her with open arms -- giving her a job, letting her stay in the lap of luxury, and trusting her with their kids. Good people were there for her. She threw them away.
In light of all of that, and with all compassion for the spot Jack is in, the answer here is clear. Jack needs to help Gwen get some intensive therapy. Not only does she need it, but it might be the one element Abigail can't argue with. Abigail has benefited from -- dare I say, been exonerated by -- therapy after victimizing others. This would be an interesting beat to play here...or down the road.
The fascinating turn of events right now is that Abigail is about to get a crash course in understanding what Ben and Gabi went through after she hurt both of them. Note: what I'm about to explain in no way puts blame on Abigail for Ben becoming a serial killer. Let's understand that now.
However, the pattern with Abigail for years was that she did something bad, and the person she wronged swung back so hard that her sins evaporated into thin air. Abigail never had to answer for them because a bigger catastrophe was taking place. Is Abigail drugging and kidnapping Gwen bigger than Gwen drugging Abigail and targeting to ruin her life? At this point, I'd say no. But I don't know what's going to happen next week. I'm just pointing out that the very familiar Abigail pattern, this time, has Abigail in the opposition position.
Someone who's not in an unfamiliar position -- and main suspect in our second murder -- is Sami. Have we named an interrogation room at the Salem PD after her yet? If not, can we get on that? Anyway, Sami did her Sami things and convinced Belle to take her case. No sooner had Sami sworn she'd told Belle the truth than Rafe emerged with evidence of Sami's fingerprints on the gun. Well, swell. A few things:
First, have there ever been actors more brilliantly physically cast to play sisters than Alison Sweeney and Martha Madison? I could not get over how fantastically they resemble each other in their scenes.
Second, how great is the chemistry between these ladies? I mean, we knew Belle would take the case because she's Belle. We also knew Sami truly does realize (care...is another argument) how deeply she hurt Belle. So much resolution had to happen in this one short scene, of which we all knew the outcome. Lesser actors would have let this scene roll over them. But these two ladies delivered. Man, we're lucky to be DAYS fans.
Back to the case, I agree with my partner, Tony. The more guilty you look, the less guilty you are. Sami did not commit this murder. As she rambled through in frantic, but effective, fashion -- Sami doesn't plan her shootings. Shocker, they seem to happen out of panic. Charlie did not panic Samantha Gene Brady.
However, Sami is obviously lying a bit. The question is, who is she lying to protect? Or, who does she think she's lying to protect?
The first question is a fairly short list. I think Sami would lie to protect any of her children (obviously), Lucas (aww), and John. Yup, it can't be a coincidence that Belle incorrectly threw John's condition in Sami's face at this very moment nor that John is having flashbacks of hearing a gunshot. For the record, Belle, Sami didn't do anything to John. Yelling doesn't cause aneurysms. Even Marlena said that! Sami and John have had a roller-coaster relationship over the years, but history trends toward Sami truly loving John.
The second question brings up the idea that someone other than one of Sami's loved ones shot Charlie. I can't shake the feeling that Charlie is a mob son who did his mob mom wrong. A second mob family (sorry, Victor, but I do watch the show) offered a favor. A son (Philip) for a son (Charlie) seems like a deal Victor would order a hit for. However, all of those characters are much smarter than to be in the apartment. They have snipers for that. But any of the characters mentioned in the paragraph above may barge in and threaten with a gun and be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Finally, in a case the Salem PD put aside because they really couldn't handle another murder-turned-kidnapping, we've got Ben and Ciara. Look, I love Ben and Ciara. James Reed's Clyde is always captivating to watch. And I'm a sucker for anytime Marlena gets to dig into "doc mode." But I'm really over the Book Club with Bae storyline. Victoria Konefal and Rob Scott Wilson are playing the same scenes over and over again. They're doing a great job! But still...let's move it along, please? Even the ever-cool Marlena seemed to lose a little bit of her patience, trying to explain to Ben that she can't hypnotize him to remember a dream, only real-life events. (Come on, Ben. That disclaimer is right in the hypnosis brochure!)
I wonder if the show is stalling a bit to figure out what to do about the Hope situation. Since Hope is out searching for Ciara but still checks in with Shawn and Ben, there's no way Hope wouldn't rush back to Ciara immediately once Ciara is found. Once Ciara comes home, Hope will either need to be missing/captured (which seems like something neither of her kids would just let go without looking for her) or recast. I know, I know. That last one is tough. However, Cady McClain does change my mind a bit that maybe with the right actress and storyline, there could be a new Hope. Maybe? Thoughts??
Abe and Eli caught up on some cop shop talk. While Abe understands Sami's anger, he doesn't believe in vigilante justice. Additionally, neither of them understands why Lani is so loyal to Kristen. Word, fellas. Me, either.
Xander and Sarah proceeded with their wedding plans. These two haven't been given much to do since the Ava bust, but their scenes are lighthearted and charming. It's a nice relief during the heaviness of the other storylines. Plus, I wouldn't mind seeing the scene where Chloe helps Sarah pick out a wedding dress. It seemed a little odd for those two to be thrown in a scene together, but I like the idea of these two as friends!
Anna is still here! A few weeks ago, Anna had Gwen's number from the start. So, I loved seeing her find Gwen tied up in the wine cellar. There's no way Anna will be motivated to untie Gwen. At least, I don't think so. This is a woman who carried her "dead" husband's ashes around for years. She appreciates the value of a grudge. Also, she's very protective of Chad and Abigail. She's not one to take kindly to strangers who schemed to ruin their lives.
I have no idea what in the world Kristen's plan is here. Either she's going to reveal herself to Brady, or Gwen's about to have a roommate in those DiMera tunnels. I don't think Kristen would kill Chloe (because she's changed!), but kidnapping her seems to still be on the table. Either way, I would have loved to see a little more of Charlie's whodunnit storyline than see "Susan" be a complete a-hole over some delicious-looking muffins.
The thing this storyline does have going for it is that it has two generally smart people -- Lani and Chloe -- each almost, sorta thinking that something isn't right. Lani seemed to notice a few Susan-isms -- referencing her baby being in Italy, not knowing the difference between piazza and pizza. Chloe straight-up called "Susan" out on treating her like the enemy. I'll be interested to see who figures it out first. My money is on Chloe right now.
Bonnie was really pushy about having a double date with the woman who left her date at the altar and the man she left him for. Read the room, Bon Bon. Look, while I always love Justin scenes, I am tired of seeing these men have to defend crappy women. Justin, Jack, and Brady repeatedly have to stump for Bonnie, Gwen, and Kristen, respectively. These women have given tons of excuses but no actual remorse for committing rape, assault/fraud, and attempted murder, again, respectively. Instead of having these men campaign for them, maybe have any one of those gals own up to what they did and not make an excuse for it.
Oh, sheesh. Philip made the assumption that the only reason Chloe would turn him down is if she's hung up on Brady. Really? It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that he was an unemployed mob target with a gambling problem? Maybe, Philip?
Also, Philip missed the biggest Susan/Kristen giveaway of the week. "Susan" repeatedly called him Phil. That was funny and all, but a complete tell. Not only does the real Susan never shorten names, but she often goes full-on title and name. Examples: Dr. Marlena Evans; Mr. John Black; Elvis (instead of E.J.); Mean, Mean, Mean Stefano DiMera. Susan doesn't do nicknames. Come on, Dimples. Pick up on these clues.
Hello there, Jackée!!! Paulina Price, Lani's aunt, came to town. She's a hugger who is here to visit the babies. Already, I'm a fan! When she mentioned, "Did I mention that I'm very rich?" I was sold. The thing with big personalities in Salem is, they can either go the route of Anna or Bonnie. I'm sincerely hoping Paulina is an Anna. Oh! Can we get those two together for a boozy lunch soon?
I'm going to take the hardest pass ever on Gwen shaming Abigail for being a working mother. Have all the seats, Gwen. Oh, what's that? You're tied to one? Good.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Abigail: "If this were tennis, Gwen is a talented young phenom, and Kate is Serena Williams."
I am such a fan of the frenemy alliance between Gabi and Abigail. After spending years at each other's throats, it's wonderful to see these actresses get to play something a little different. Camila, especially, plays a woman who co-parents with two gay men, has an older brother, and has a male love interest. It's nice for her to have some female energy to play off of that isn't an outright enemy.
Someday, I aspire to be someone who delivers muffins in a basket with a decorative napkin
I could go without hearing the phrase "fruit of our love" ever again. Please and thank you.
The general interrogation of Bonnie was maddening. Why would Gabi and Abigail give this woman the time of day? Also, I found her referencing them as "girls" really condescending.
Is Gwen still sleeping in the room where Laura died? Did she switch rooms, at least? Eeek.
Kayla's sleek updo twist was utterly fabulous.
For real, why does anyone drink Champagne in Salem anymore?
Gabi's jumper was amazing.
That's all for this week! Tony will be back next week to see if Anna unties Gwen or if she grabs her white wine and shuffles off to booze lunch. Spoiler: Tony rarely turns down snacks, so I know which way he'll be rooting!
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