As I began Thursday’s episode, I was all set to rage about all the over-the-top caterwauling at Daniel’s funeral. For someone who hated Daniel and loves to snark on Days, it should’ve been my Christmas! But I have something to admit: I… thought it was pretty well done.
I know, I know! Hold your tomatoes, though. I still think Daniel generally sucked, and I resent how much airtime was given to him (and spent talking about his awesomeness), and I still abhor the way he was crammed into Maggie’s family tree, and I still hate that they sacrificed the compelling, organic Nicole/Eric pairing for this alleged “great love” between Daniel and Nicole. But, in terms of the relationships Daniel was given and the onscreen history he had, I felt like the show did a very nice job of playing the proper beats. I know there’s been a lot of discussion about how Will and Bo got short shrift, but I truly disagree. The grieving for Will was intense and well done (unfortunately, Sami and Sonny were only visiting, and the death itself didn’t have any real story fallout), and Bo basically got memorialized for a week before he even died. So, in a world in which Daniel is a thing that we’ve had to deal with and these people, for some reason, liked him, I thought this worked decently as a tribute episode.
This was the Melanie I loved, light on the spastic wigging-out (and thankfully free of that horrible wavy bob that looked like it had a Bump-It in it that she was sporting last year). Since I didn’t really give two hoots about Daniel, the one scene that almost got me to tear up was Melanie’s talk at the end with Maggie. That bond will always be moving to me. And they had Chloe behaving like a mature human being, too! I appreciate that they’ve taken the time to rehab Chloe and Nicole’s friendship.
I did almost lose it — in the laughing-hysterically sense — when this happened.
A shrine right in the Town Square, next to Tom and Alice’s plaque! Random extras espousing the greatness of St. Daniel! Ugh. But then they even had to go and (sort of) make this work by revealing that Eric was the one who’d started it.
I like how they’re navigating the reactions to Eric and what he did. People are being firm that his act was wrong but haven’t just decided that he’s The Evilest and should burn in Hell. That said, this still feels really flat to me. The individual scenes are good, but there’s sort of no there there. He drove drunk, and someone died. We haven’t seen one discussion in which Eric reveals why he was drinking so heavily, or in which other people wonder if this was an ongoing thing and how/why they didn’t notice. They might as well have just said he had one glass of wine too many and got behind the wheel, because this isn’t really about Eric or his drinking at all, and they don’t seem to be addressing any of the underlying reasons for the behavior we (briefly) saw in the lead-up to the accident.
Oh, and maybe someone should check on Maxine? I’m pretty sure that if she missed that sobfest over the great Daniel, she must have ended it all the minute she heard about his passing.