Vintage Recap: November 22, 1983
With Days not airing today or Friday, I thought it’d be the perfect time to step outside the box and do something productive and meaningful with my life. Just kidding — I watched a very old episode and I’m recapping it in full. Today’s entry comes from November 22, 1983, a time when Roman Brady was a hero and not a fool with lawnmower mouth, when Tom and Alice were still with us, and when a killer was (per usual) on the loose. Special thanks to friend-of-the-blog Aaron for sharing this episode with me. Oh, and pardon the screenshots. I wanted to provide visuals, but the video and audio quality was hit-and-miss, so just squint real hard and you should be able to see what’s there. And we’re off.
“Roman’s been arrested?” shouts Melissa Horton (Anderson, still?). At least we don’t have to figure out the broad circumstances of what’s going on. Full disclosure: I also watched the episode before this, but it didn’t feature as many familiar characters, so I decided to recap this one instead. But it did give me some context for all the caterwauling going on here. Melissa is with some boy whose name I don’t know and Don Craig, who’s just become engaged to Maggie, who walks in a second later (sans ruffles!). They take off to go see what the hell is going on. Melissa tells the boy Roman can’t be a murderer. She asks him to stay. The camera pans outside, and Pete Jannings — who will go on to become arguably Melissa’s greatest love, and whom I vividly remember from a photo of him stripping that imprinted upon me when I was 13 — is lurking there watching them.
Meanwhile, Marlena is at her house with Sandy Horton. Marlena wants to go see her husband, Roman. Sandy says no way. They open the door, and a cop is there with a young, be-mulleted Bo, who wants to know what the hell is going on. No way did Roman kill someone, he insists. Hey, check out Marlena’s kicky belted red jumpsuit!
Anyway, now we go to the cop shop, where Abe tells Roman he’s under arrest for the murder of Daisy Hopkins. Roman doesn’t understand what’s going on. He didn’t kill anyone. Abe tells him to shut up, then informs him that Sandy and Marlena saw him kill this Daisy. Someone (Larry Welch?) walks in.
Old-school opening credits! It really delights me how they’ve kept them virtually the same, saving for updating the graphics. And these have the Macdonald Carey voiceover! Awww. Can we get that back in the present-day episodes? I’d take it over another 15 seconds of Nicole having monologues about things that make me violent.
Abe and Roman and Larry — yes, it’s him, because they keep shouting his name — are all yelling at each other. I guess Welch is the D.A.? He’s crowing victoriously about taking Roman down. Roman’s been investigating these murders and all along, it was him! Which killer was this? The Salem… Slasher? I always get this one mixed up with the Salem Strangler, but that was the one where Roman slept on Marlena’s floor and they fell in love, and they’re married now, so this isn’t the Strangler. Also, these people sure deal with a lot of serial killers. Maybe moving to Milwaukee isn’t the worst idea?
Marlena insists to Bo and Sandy that there has to be some explanation. But she and Sandy did see Roman stab Daisy. Marlena was going over to Daisy’s place to give her a therapy session, it turns out. And she brought a buddy? Ooo-kay. Don and Maggie arrive. They talk about Pete being a suspect — which he should be, given how he’s just lurking outside people’s windows looking nuts — and Maggie reports that Roman actually saved Melissa from Pete earlier. But no one other than Melissa saw Roman, which doesn’t make for a great alibi. Marlena insists to Don that it was “someone who looked like Roman,” not Roman. She heads out, leaving all these people hanging out in her living room. Some things never change!
Now Tom is in the Horton living room. Awww, Tom! The doorbell rings, and he lets in a rather young and svelte Anna Brady (not yet DiMera? I think?). The geography of the foyer has definitely changed, but this is definitely recognizable as the same house, which is cool. Anna goes into the living room and takes a tape out of her purse. Alice comes in. Anna appreciates them taking her in. Alice offers her something to eat or that old Horton classic, a cup of tea. Anna makes a break for the phone book and places a call. No one answers, but she’s still screwing around with the tape. Alice comes back and looks out the window, commenting that she hopes nothing is wrong at Roman and Marlena’s. I forgot they were neighbors! Living next to Marlena doesn’t seem great for resale value, though.
Who is this boy with Melissa? He’s being a little creepy, insisting that they stay in, but at least he’s cute. I still have no idea what his name is. Is this someone I’m supposed to know? Melissa wants to go somewhere, but Unnamed Boy doesn’t want to go out with “that nut Pete Jannings on the loose,” Melissa isn’t scared. They leave, while Pete hides behind a fake tree, watching them with crazy eyes.
Now we’re at a fancy restaurant. Is this Wings? Doug’s Place? I know the names, but I’ve never seen any of these places in action. David Banning, Julie’s son, who is randomly in a tux, and Tony DiMera, who is wearing a rather shiny leather-ish jacket, are at the bar. David orders a drink from Dave (the bartender who was around for years!). They talk about Pete being a murder suspect. Tony doesn’t get why Pete would’ve killed Renée (Stefano’s daughter whom he was also banging, because Salem). Pete didn’t know Renée. David insinuates that Pete could’ve infiltrated the party. They cut to what I guess is a hypothetical flashback of Pete arriving at Renee’s room dressed up as party staff and then murdering her. This is awfully detailed for a hypothetical. I dunno, David. Some dude who’s strutting around in a tux on a perfectly normal night goes into a rather vivid explanation/fantasy of a woman’s murder — sounds a little suspicious, no? We do see Pete-as-murderer leave a raven’s feather in Renée’s hand, which I remember was a mark of the Slasher from all the really highbrow reading I did as a teen. Tony isn’t sure he agrees with this theory. Sandy comes in and tells them to shut up. She informs them that Roman was arrested.
Don and Marlena show up at the police station. Don announces that he’s representing Roman. They won’t let Marlena in to see Roman, though.
I bet it was Dr. Alex North who did it!
After a commercial break, Roman doesn’t understand why the women were at Daisy’s or what they saw. Don explains that Eugene arranged for Marlena to go see Daisy at her home so her pimp wouldn’t find out. So I guess Daisy was a hooker. I wonder if she left her wardrobe to future Salem resident Nicole Walker in her will. Roman is relieved that Marlena doesn’t want to believe it was him. He swears it was not him.
Tony, his flamboyant jacket, and David can’t believe what Sandy has just told them. Melissa and That Boy walk in. David goes over to them. She introduces the boy as Alan, so I guess we don’t need to worry about him because I don’t think he is anyone significant. Sandy joins them. It’s fun to see this many random Hortons from different branches of the family swirling around. Sandy and Melissa talk about how Melissa swears she saw Roman around the time of the murder. David seats Melissa and “Alan” at a table. I guess he’s in a tux because he runs this place? That’s at least less weird.
Meanwhile, Sandy insists to Tony that she saw Roman. We know, girl! It’s been established! Tony offends her by suggesting that she will get a reward for turning in Roman. She runs off.
Alice invites Anna to stay for Thanksgiving. Anna offers to help Alice decorate for the holiday. Apparently she wants something to do with what’s in the box on the table? Alice refuses to put her guest to work and forces her to go upstairs. Anna is not thrilled. Alice calls in Tom — he got the wrong box of decorations. The camera zooms in on… the phone? Some weird bag? I have no idea what this is all about or why Anna was fondling that tape.
Awww. That’s all.
Larry Welch taunts Marlena and Bo. She insists it was not Roman she saw. Welch remains smug. Marlena lunges at him, and Bo restrains her.
And here comes that old “We will return for the second half of Days of Our Lives” bumper that they took away several years ago. I used to appreciate it, but now it would probably feel like a death sentence. “See if you can make it through another half-hour of this torture! Mwahahaha!”
At the sound of the scuffle at the police station, everyone comes pouring out of their various rooms. Larry goes on about having Roman charged with all the murders. Everyone’s irritated with him. He’s sort of reminding me of Anne Milbauer here. Larry drifts off into some weird hypothetical flashback, similar to David’s, in which Roman kills Renée. Abe tells him to save it for the jury. Roman vows to “Doc” that he’s innocent. She says she knows that. Larry says he’ll see them in court. Marlena asks to go home.
Back somewhere with an ugly leather purple loveseat, Tony chases after Sandy and apologizes. He offended her, so she fled to his home? There are a lot of weird statues around but also a view of a skyline out the window. He offers to get her a sherry. Sandy feels guilty that Roman is in jail because of her. Tony offers to “prepare a light supper” because she has to eat.
After a break, Sandy is still by that window, troubled over what she saw. Tony returns with a spread of caviar, toast, and champagne. He makes her eat some cavi-ahhhh. “It always makes me feel better when I have some cavi-ahhhh.” Is this Tony or André? Who in the hell even knows? I bet if you asked 10 people who work on the show whether this was supposed to be Tony or André, they’d all have different answers. I do think it turns out that André was the Slasher, come to think of it, so maybe he didn’t exist yet onscreen. ANYWAY. Sandy keeps belaboring what she saw. There has to be some explanation. But she saw Roman! THANKS. GOT IT. If he killed Daisy, maybe he did kill the others. She flings herself onto Tony in distress. Even Tony or André Dimera, who once rode a horse into the living room just to make an entrance, is like, “Okay, hon, you’re being a little dramatic here.” No wonder Sandy hasn’t been back to Salem in 30+ years, if this is how she reacts to a friend being arrested for murder. She’d probably keel over at the thought of sharing a fro-yo sundae at the local coffee shop/nightclub with a circle of pals who all have murder convictions under their belts.
Get a grip!
Tom brings the Thanksgiving decorations downstairs. They banter about Anna. He takes the other box away. Anna creeps back downstairs in a robe and insists on helping, but the doorbell rings. Anna answers, and it’s Maggie. She tells all of them about Roman’s arrest. They can’t believe it. Alice is worried about how Caroline will find out.
When Melissa and Alan return to the house, Pete is still lurking there. He might not be a murderer, but he sure isn’t acting like someone you should date, Melissa. They don’t see him, though, and Alan wants to come inside. Melissa kind of pushes him off and goes in alone. Pete continues his Hard Lurk.
Tony holds Sandy to comfort her. He wants her to stay there tonight instead of going back to “the cottage.” They discuss how there’s a murderer on the loose. You don’t say! The music turns sappy. They were obviously testing something out here, though I don’t think it went anywhere significant.
Marlena, Bo, and Don arrive home to the ringing phone. Don picks up and says Marlena isn’t giving any statements to the press. It rings again, and he unplugs it. Don says there’s a strong case against Roman, and Marlena keeps yelling about it. She’s more worked up here than she was when Stefano was about to throw her out the damn window, for God’s sake. Don wants her off the hospital’s roster for now. Bo says his folks can take care of Carrie, who is… where right now?! Chilling upstairs alone? Don goes, and Bo sends Marlena upstairs to rest. (BTW, this house looks like the one Abe and Lexie lived in when she croaked. I think it might be the same set.)
The Hortons’ bell rings again. It’s Don coming in to give an update. He says, “Marlena’s a total basketcase.” No shit! Don takes Maggie home. Alice isn’t much in the mood to decorate, but Tom takes her upstairs. Anna immediately starts looking through that little bag, not realizing Tom switched the boxes. What the hell is she looking for?!
Bo looks at a scrapbook of Roman’s police achievements. Marlena comes down in her robe. Bo says he’s impressed by all Roman’s accomplished and he doesn’t get how anyone could believe Roman killed someone. Wow, this must be very early Bo. Marlena looks out the window; the police are still out there. Bo says he’s going to call Howie (Hofstetter? The P.I.?) tomorrow. There’s something connecting all the deaths, and it isn’t Roman. Bo goes to make her hot chocolate. Marlena looks at the scrapbook as a very tense score plays. She recalls how she and Sandy saw Roman stab Daisy and run out. When Bo returns, she’s upset and goes back to the window, an ideal spot for dramatic staring. The episode ends by cutting from her at the window to Roman lying in the dark in his jail cell.
And that’s all. I have to say, while this story seems exciting and there’s a great sense of atmosphere, they really overdid it with every damn person in town having to hear about Roman’s arrest. It was just a lot of people being like, “Oh my. Roman? It can’t be!” Bet you guys wouldn’t be saying that if you could see 2015 Roman!