Vintage Recap: Thursday, October 18, 2007

A long time ago, I recapped an episode from summer 2007. Since everything from 2007 through the present is on iTunes, I figured it might be fun to catch up on some of what I missed when I wasn’t so much watching every day (I am not so sure what it says about the current state of my life that I watch just about every day now). In my defense, I apparently had better things to do than make this a regular practice, but with the two-week Olympic hiatus, I figure this is a good time to jump back in.

I’m really fuzzy on the sequence of events from early 2007 through mid-2009 — between Colleen/Santo and Touch the Sky, plus the fact that I finished grad school and had a real job, I was watching maybe once or twice a week, tops. I thought the episode featuring John Black’s funeral might be a good place to catch glimpses of lots of characters, so here goes…

We open, weirdly, on a flashback. You can tell it’s a flashback because John has 80s hair and a snazzy burgundy blazer. He’s on the pier, which is shrouded in fog, and there’s some super-emotional music playing as Marlena emerges from the fog, and this is totally a flashback because she has, like, 18 cans of hairspray in her hair and also can move her face. As they emotionally embrace, with John (Roman) stunned to see her and her gasping, we cut to the present. Marlena is on the pier again, and she calls out, “John?” But no one answers.

There’s a nice transition as a copy of the Salem Spectator flashes over the screen, with a headline about John Black’s death and his memorial service being held today. It’s being read by Stefano, who sits in a hospital room. Tony comes in and gives him a bottle of champagne that he says he was going to use for a dinner with John and Marlena — Stefano might want it since he’s “celebrating my brother’s murder.” I got really confused for a second until I remembered this was pre-John-is-Colleen-and-Santo’s-child reveal. No matter the year, this show can always make my head hurt.

Meanwhile, Bo and Hope arrive at St. Luke’s, which they are surprised to find decorated with many flowers and portraits of John.

At the Pub, Julie checks in with Kayla. They’re all struggling with John’s death. Steve says that he wishes he had killed Stefano when he had the chance.

Sami has some really atrocious, way-too-blonde hair [which I realize I also ragged on in that other 2007 recap, meaning Alison Sweeney was walking around for months looking like this, which is very sad] as she, Shawn, and Belle worry about Marlena’s whereabouts. Sami insists she won’t miss the funeral. Belle gets a call from Brady. Shawn makes a comment about how “Belle really needs her family around her right now, and your mom not being here is just making things worse.” I forgot how EVERYTHING ON EARTH used to be about Belle. Stupid widowed Marlena, not realizing that she needs to stifle her grief for Belle’s sake!

Marlena whispers to the wind on the pier, but it isn’t John — it’s Roman. Wow, I forgot how much better this show looked then. The pier is sort of darkly lit, and it’s huge, and it actually looks run-down, and there is wind blowing. (Contrast with 2009-2011, when it looked like a set from Saved by the Bell.) Marlena tells Roman that she can’t go to the funeral and say goodbye to John.

And we go to the opening titles, which are the long ones they don’t play anymore. I miss that red sky turning to blue, and the dramatic strings building up. Oh well, at least they haven’t tried to update the titles to be “hip” like every other soap, because that generally ends in disaster/embarrassment.

Stefano, who has some very nice light cast over him by the blinds, tells Tony he doesn’t have time for this. Tony says that the Bradys are going to come after Stefano for his part in John’s death. Yeah, because that has worked so well the last 10,000 times.

Roman tells Marlena that he had a feeling she might be here, hoping for a miracle. Deidre Hall is really good in this as she says that she keeps waiting for John to reach out for her, “the way he did when he was in the coma.” First off, that makes me think of that completely insane scene when the wind was blowing and she ran out onto the terrace and yelled, “John! I’m coming!” in the most orgasmic way. Second, remember how from mid-2006 until early 2009, everyone was constantly in comas and randomly offscreen? I don’t think John, Marlena, Stefano, Bo, and Hope were all conscious and onscreen in a single episode together for that entire period. Did the wind machine cost THAT much? That said, Deidre Hall is doing a really great job as she tells Roman that she doesn’t know if she can do this. He promises that they will all be with her every step of the way.

Bo and Hope wonder who’s responsible for decorating the church. A priest comes in and says it all came this morning, with a check from a “V. Alamain.” Hope says that’s John’s aunt. She said something in her note about not being welcome back in Salem but wanting to make sure John had a proper farewell. Hope says that she had almost forgotten Vivian Alamain — it’s been a while since she’d heard that name. This is what I love about soaps: Vivian was a name from the past at this point, but two years later, she came tearing back into town like a total lunatic. Also, it’s hilarious that she didn’t feel she could come for her beloved nephew’s funeral, but she had no problem showing up to terrorize Carly.

Kayla, Steve, Doug, and Julie reflect on how this vendetta has claimed Benji and now John. When they spell it out like that, this vendetta storyline actually seems like it made some sense, but at the time, it was just a confusing bunch of start-and-stop. Right? Am I nuts? Steve remembers how he brought John to Salem in the first place, complete with a flashback of Steve talking to a bed-ridden “Pawn.” He never figured John would wind up being one of his best friends. Tear.

Stephanie approaches Abe, Lexie, and Real Celeste to offer her condolences. Celeste of course pipes up: “I wish I felt he were at peace, enjoying God’s eternal rewards.” She’s afraid he’ll be a very restless soul. Could you keep it to yourself for one damn day, lady? No wonder this was the last time anyone saw you (I’m pretty sure this was Tanya Boyd’s last appearance). No one needs you crowing about death and danger at family functions!

Jett asks Chelsea where Nick is. Jett was still on the show by this point? In my mind, he and Jeremy vanished immediately after that horrible summer of Touch the Sky. (This article says that he was apparently around into 2008, for the Ford Decker storyline. I seriously feel like I have amnesia.) Chelsea says he’s “home with the kids” — does she mean, like, Ciara and whatever babies were around, or does she mean those random kids who belonged to that China Lee woman he married? I don’t even know what that story was. WHAT SHOW IS THIS?

Belle says that Brady and Chloe couldn’t get a flight out because of snow. Sami knows how she feels, since Eric can’t come, either. Eric didn’t come to his actual father’s funeral, nor his mother’s. Why did anyone think he would bother with John’s? Also, every time a beloved Salemite dies, there’s some horrible inclement weather somewhere else in the world. Didn’t Boston suffer a terrible snowstorm in June so that Mike Horton wouldn’t make it in time for Alice’s funeral?

Lucas is heading into the Pub when EJ calls out to him. He says he came to offer his condolences. Lucas punches him in the gut and accuses him of having killed John. Kate comes running up and stops Lucas from pummeling him, and a whole bunch of others run out of the Pub. Sami is furious to see EJ. He says he wishes things had been different. Sami tells him that this day is for John. Doug, Steve, and Abe tell EJ to get lost. This could basically be a scene from 2012.

At the hospital, Stefano is annoyed that Tony keeps calling John his brother. Tony says that Stefano banished him to an island for the last 20 years, which is a pretty legitimate complaint. Anna, who has apparently been waiting in the hallway, comes in to get Tony and tells Stefano that he is getting everything he deserves.

Lucas apologizes to Sami for losing it with EJ. She apologizes for her terrible hair. No, she doesn’t really, but it’s SO BAD. She does tell him that there’s only one way to end all this violence (marrying EJ, I suppose).

Shawn and Belle get to St. Luke’s. I can’t stop thinking about how this show used to be all about them. Martha Madison is really good as she says stands over John’s casket and tells him that they need him. Bo and Hope join them. I try not to talk about the actors’ appearances regarding things other than fashion, hair, etc., but WOW, does Kristian Alfonso look thin here. Her face looks so drawn. I don’t know when it changed, but she looks a thousand times better in the present day. Too bad I can’t say the same for the overall production values.

The funeral begins. Jett is sitting between Lexie and Celeste, neither of whom he ever spoke to onscreen, I don’t think. This might also be the last shot of TB’s Celeste ever, which is so weird. That gangly Will (Christopher Gerse) comes in with Sami and Lucas. It’s insane to think that this is Chandler Massey’s character, but I guess that’s how SORAS goes. Actually, I think he got slowed down in the aging, but still. Philip comes in with Billie and Chelsea. Wow, Julie Pinson looks great. I don’t think I’ve seen this many characters in a single place in years.

The priest does his thing for a bit, and then everyone turns when the doors open — and it’s Victor. He strides right up to the podium and says that he wasn’t invited and is sure he isn’t welcome, but he has some things that he needs to say. He apologizes for what he did regarding Claire, and he says some nice things about John as his former son-in-law and as a “man with no name” who had such strong belief in truth and justice. They show a brief clip of Victor in his wheelchair, with a young-looking Kate by his side, talking with John and Marlena. He apologizes to Marlena and Belle for the interruption. Grandpa Shawn thanks him. This is really, really well done, and it feels like a nice, natural end to all the crap that was going on with Claire, I guess. I had forgotten so much of this.

In his hospital room, Stefano is on the phone and demands a limo. So has he just been hanging out at the hospital but can leave whenever the hell he wants?

At the funeral, Caroline speaks. Wow, Peggy McCay looks so much younger than she does today. Like, the difference between middle-aged and elderly. That makes me sad. As she speaks, they show a few 80s clips of her and Shawn embracing John. They consider him an honorary Brady — which of course is unnecessary, because in a few months, we’ll find out that he is Grandpa Shawn’s nephew. This damn show.

I’m questioning my choice to recap this episode, because while it’s nice and emotional, there isn’t a lot happening, and it’s not bad enough to make fun of!

Hope speaks. She falls apart at the podium. I don’t really know if that’s the most tasteful choice for the funeral of a man whom you once kidnapped, brainwashed, and seduced on a submarine, but what do I know?

When we come back, Anna’s at the podium. I was going to complain about how no one even mentioned Carrie not bothering to show up (and I realize this was only, like, nine months after she and Austin left for Switzerland), but Anna gives a beautiful speech about how Carrie loves John so much and wishes she could be there. She’s so grateful to John for having done such a great job raising her baby. This is really a great way to tie some pieces of history together. Look at me, not even complaining!

Then Abe speaks. More niceness.

At the Pub, Kate is behind the bar pouring herself a drink (as you do in someone else’s restaurant — and why isn’t she at the funeral?). EJ is smart enough to ask why she isn’t there, and she doesn’t even answer. She just tells EJ that she knows this is what he wanted: John dead. That’s why he shot him last year.

Belle props up something that Claire allegedly made, which as best I can tell is a handprint with the writing of a teenager on it. She promises to tell Claire all about John. They keep cutting to Philip, who’s looking hot and forlorn. This was right before he and Belle had their affair, right? I truly cannot fathom how or why Philip and Shawn were fighting over her. LOOK AT THEM.

Then it’s Sami’s turn to speak. She says some great, mature things about how she thought John Black was invincible and how they didn’t get along that well for a long time. It’s crazy how rapidly they turned Sami “good” during this period. Not even a year before, she was blackmailing Lexie into telling Carrie that she and Austin would have genetically inferior babies or whatever. I have to say, seeing this really pisses me off when I think about how they had Sami railing against John and Marlena in 2011-12. Anyway, she promises that his death will count for something, which gets some very concerned/constipated looks from Lucas and Marlena.

Roman wraps up the parade of speakers. He says that he and John shared a very strange bond, but if anyone else had to share his name, he’s proud it was John.

Back at the Pub, EJ says he didn’t shoot John. Maybe it was Andre, or Bart. Didn’t we see EJ shoot John? This is such blatant white-washing. She says that EJ was taught to hate the Bradys before he even met them, but then he met them and actually fell in love with one of them, and that EJ must realize that the Bradys didn’t deserve this vendetta just like John didn’t deserve to die. She advises him, as someone who has a tendency to be blinded by hatred, not to miss what’s really important. You mean like your friend John’s funeral?!

Marlena thanks everyone for coming. She says that she can’t find the words to express what John means to her. But he was her life, her everything (I’m sure her children appreciate that). Deidre Hall is SO good in this. Just as she’s wrapping up, the doors open… and everyone turns… and in comes Stefano. He and Marlena glare at each other down the aisle.

In the previews for the next day (I must say, I don’t miss these because they started giving away the whole damn episode and also gave me epilepsy): Marlena screams at Stefano to get out… Philip tells Steve and Kayla that his son has been poisoned and to get out of his way, and Steve decks Philip… Lucas tells Sami that she’s right and she will have to marry EJ.

Well, that was actually good. I probably should have picked a random Thursday so I’d have something to snark on, huh? Oh well. I have an episode from August of 2008 that I’m sure will be a mess.

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3 Comments on “Vintage Recap: Thursday, October 18, 2007”

  1. Jayme Says:

    These retro recaps are AMAZING. It is a bit sad to see how the show used to look vs present day sets/lighting. I went back and watched the plane crash episodes when Shawn died and forgot how realistic the crash scene looked. It was pretty impressive. I hope the DAYSaster (I can’t type it without cringing a bit) measures up. There’s some good behind the scenes footage on nbc.com. So many different kinds of fake blood!


  2. […] time, I chose a random episode from 2008 rather than a special event. Also, after a quick scan of this episode, I can state pretty confidently that I don’t […]


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