Vintage Recap: March 16, 1993
After last month’s adventure in 1983, I decided to jump forward a decade to a completely different era of the show. So here we are in 1993, which is close to the beginning of James E. Reilly’s first tenure as headwriter. It definitely feels like the JER Salem that I came into a few tears after this episode, but what really struck me is that it also feels similar to a lot of the earlier 90s material I’ve seen, too. I think this episode predates Carly being buried alive by a few months, which was when things really started to get outlandish. So this is very much a time capsule of a show in transition. Without any further ado, let’s pay a visit to Salem circa March ’93…
We come in on Jack at the Brady Pub, and wow, I had forgotten how big and bustling it once felt. There used to be booths on the side close to the camera, too, and the place is crawling with extras. Jack is wearing a rather dopey tie and furiously crunching numbers. Victor sidles up to his table and smugly asks, “Still trying to make the Spectator pay?” He gloats about how broke Jack is and how he’s going to take over the paper. These two really do not like each other, based on the way they’re sniping at one another.
Over by the Pub’s front door, Austin — played by Patrick Muldoon, who looks exactly the way he did when he played that bastard Jeff who broke up Kelly and Zack on Saved by the Bell — is using the payphone (!!) to call the hospital. He asks to speak to a patient, Carrie Brady, and is told she isn’t taking calls. Austin is very distressed, which he expresses via some profoundly bad acting.
At the hospital, Carrie either just got burned by acid or she’s becoming Amish. Sami comes in and says that she knows something is wrong. She asks where Austin’s ring is. She knows Austin was going to ask Carrie to marry him. What a bitch! What if Carrie didn’t know that because, I don’t know, she got acid thrown in her damn face?! Sami is laying it on so thick that I assume she’s already scheming to break them up, but maybe she was just a moron and/or Ali Sweeney was very green. Carrie looks sad. She knew about the ring. Sami questions how Carrie could’ve turned Austin down when they LOVE EACH OTHER!!! Roman comes in on this.
Lawrence Alamain lets some blonde woman into his mansion and tells her, “Damned if I haven’t found the perfect man to bring your partner down.” I have no idea who this woman is, but the dialogue seems to imply that she’s Bo’s police partner? Lawrence shows her a video of Bo roughing up some guy named Cash Bowman.
Now we’re in Daniel’s apartment, except it’s decorated like a child’s nursery. Someone’s pounding on the door. A voice calls, “Billie, open up! It’s Bo!” Lisa Rinna Billie comes running in a flimsy robe. And she opens the door to Robert Kelker Kelly’s Bo! She asks if this is about Cash, but Bo says no — he came for her. But seriously — look at that dresser.
Victor throws more shade at Jack about the sorry state of his finances. When Victor goes (to pay Jack’s check!), Jack spots a woman and runs over to her. “Ms. Roberts!” “Kate, please,” she says, though she looks nothing like any Kate Roberts I know. Try and imagine this woman sashaying around with Flava Flav’s clock around her neck and a green streak in her hair.
Jack is hoping they can talk — he has an idea for a story that could be good for both of them.
The blonde woman in the ill-fitting jacket doesn’t understand Lawrence’s scheme or how Cash Bowman fits into it. He says he plans to destroy Bo in Carly’s eyes. What Blondie needs to do is get familiar with Bowman. They couldn’t have picked a name that sounds less like Bo, could they? The sound on this is kind of shoddy and I keep second-guessing what I’m hearing.
Bo tells Billie that he spent all night at Carly’s accident site and needs to be convinced it was really an accident. Billie resents being asked. It was dark, and Carly’s car was speeding. Billie saw the crash and pulled Carly out. Gee, Carly getting into an accident. Who’d have thunk?! She wants him out of there. Bo promises that Cash won’t hurt her. She’s not buying it. They clearly don’t know each other very well yet, which is interesting. She insists she’s fine, but Bo notices the (ugly) dresser that she had pushed in front of the door because she was scared someone might get in. She swears she can handle herself. But he waits outside and listens to her pushing the dresser back in front of it.
Roman tells Sami that Carrie needs to rest. Yeah, nice try, Roman — Sami giving someone a damn break? She prattles on about having gone with Austin when he picked out the ring. She tells Roman he’s wrong about Austin. He’s a great guy! I’m trying to figure out her angle here. Is she sincere? Carrie says that sometimes people make choices, and sometimes they aren’t easy, but they have to live with them. She insists she isn’t changing her mind. Roman goes to get her some books. Sami insists she wants the real story about why Carrie broke up with Austin, because that’s obviously her business.
After a break, Sami is still yapping about how awesome Austin is. Carrie’s like in tears and Sami keeps pushing it. Shut up, you pushy bitch! Carrie says she’s tired, and Sami goes.
Out in the hall, Abe comes in and asks Roman how Carrie is doing. He asks if Roman has heard from Marlena. Abe thinks Roman should try harder to connect with Marlena. Mm-hmm. We’re in the era of everyone wanting to insert themselves into everyone else’s relationship problems. Sami comes up and wants to go to lunch. She says there’s barley soup in the cafeteria. Ew!
As they move off, Tom and Alice walk up to the nurses’ station. He observes that she’s wearing her best coat, which is some large purple monstrosity.
She says she has some errands to run. Tom questions whether they have anything to do with Kate Roberts. Alice says Kate is being very secretive about something and she’s going to go crazy unless she finds out. They don’t get why it would be a big deal that Kate used to live in Jennifer’s house. Alice just wants to ask Kate a few simple questions. These two are so cute together. And wow, I think this was like the last year of Macdonald Carey’s life. 😦
Victor comes into Kate’s office at Titan and says he was impressed by her proposal. But he thinks she should get out more. She admits to being a workaholic. Victor just wants her to be social and wonders who else she knows in Salem. She says no one besides John and Marlena, whom she met through the board. Victor thinks it’s weird, since she lived here before.
Austin is still on the phone calling for Carrie. The woman at the nurses’ station is like, “Shut up, she’s not taking calls, you lummox.” Roman comes up and tells her not to give out any information on Carrie to anyone named Reed.
The nurse hangs up on Austin as Billie enters the Pub wearing a hideous letterman’s jacket. She asks Austin what’s wrong. “Is it Carrie? Is there something wrong?” Everyone in this version of Salem is so damn nosy… so I guess some things never change, huh? He explains that the hospital won’t tell him anything. Carrie doesn’t want to see him. Billie thinks she’s just saying that. Austin can’t believe he ruined her life. It was his fault. Billie knows Carrie isn’t thinking straight now. Carrie would’ve said yes to a marriage proposal from him if she were in her right mind. It’s the painkillers! It must be the painkillers! Or maybe it’s the fact that he got acid thrown in her face. She convinces Austin to go see Carrie. She tells him it’s 9:30 or 9:45 in the morning, which is something they never do in present-day Days because you know they’d contradict it by having someone eating dinner in the next scene or something.
Billie spots Jack and asks if he’s going to start paying her a salary, because she doesn’t work for nothing. She says she’ll settle for an answer from Kate Roberts on their book. They must be talking about the manuscript they found in his and Jennifer’s house. Jack says he’s been passing himself off as Miranda Miller’s (the alleged author) agent. Billie warns him that the Titan building is swimming with security, but Jack tells her that he’s leaving. He needs to get the book back from Victor Kiriakis or something. Jack says that there’s no Miranda Miller, so Victor can’t buy a book from her. These two are fun together! I can’t believe they never paired them in any incarnation; I liked the possibility of Ashford with Julie Pinson’s Billie, too. After Jack leaves, Billie suddenly gets a thought and tells herself she’s a genius. I wonder if the other Pub patrons are wondering who this loon talking to herself is.
Sami and Roman return to Carrie’s room. They say they went to see Carly, who’s doing well. Carly wants to see Carrie, but Carrie says no thanks. Who wouldn’t?! That sounds like the opposite of restful. Roman apologizes if they’re trying too hard to cheer her up. A nurse pokes her head in to say Austin is there to see Carrie. Everyone freezes.
Kate explains to Victor that she lived in Salem a long time ago. “About eighteen years ago,” Victor says helpfully. She insists she didn’t live here long, but Victor knows she must’ve liked it if she moved back. She questions whether he was asking her out earlier. He says it depends on whether she’d say yes. Kate says she never mixes business with pleasure. I wonder what 2015 Kate would have to say about that…
Jack arrives for his meeting with Kate and runs into Victor, who throws even more shade. Kate wants to know what Jack’s article is about. He says it’s more than that — he wants to do a whole series on “What Makes a Book a Bestseller?” He wants to serialize books in the Spectator. And also a book that doesn’t sell, so people can see what doesn’t work. He mentions a book she referenced the other night, In the Midnight Hour. Jack plays dumb about the book and its author. The Titan receptionist (Marie?!) says she just spoke to Miranda Miller. She’s actually coming in a minute. Jack is alarmed as he realizes what’s going on.
The waitress at the Pub (is this Lisa?) thanks Billie for her tip and wonders why she wanted to borrow her glasses. Billie: “‘Cuz I want to look intelligent!” Honey, I don’t think there are enough eyeglasses in the world to help you there. And doesn’t this poor woman need them to, like, do her job?
Outside the Pub, a Gene Simmons-looking guy follows Billie, but Bo comes up from behind and puts him in a headlock.
The nurse tells Austin that Carrie doesn’t want to see him. God, he’s as dense as I remember.
Sami steps out of the room, allowing Roman and Carrie to talk, which is the last time for the next 25 years that Sami will ever give anyone some breathing room. Carrie tells Roman that she upheld her end of the bargain by sending Austin away — so what about Roman’s part? I have no idea what they’re talking about, but I’m guessing it has something to do with not arresting Austin or implicating him or whatever. Roman insists he wants what is best for her. Carrie says he got what he wanted, so he can get out, too.
Bo wants to know what Gene Simmons is up to with Billie. He says he was just following her to tell her he’s leaving town. Bo’s voice is really deep. It’s weird. I know he’s Bo and he looks like Bo, but he isn’t quite the Bo I remember. This does seem like it was a good recast, though. (Too bad RKK turned out to be a creep.) Bo’s blonde partner comes up and he tells her that Cash is leaving town. He isn’t convinced that Cash will actually leave. She promises to keep an eye on Cash. Bo is off to see Carly.
Blondie goes inside and uses the payphone in Bo’s family’s pub (smart!) to call Lawrence and tell him, “The key to your plan just took his act on the road.”
As Kate and Jack are talking, Billie sashays in wearing glasses and a suit and introduces herself as Miranda Miller. Jack is not pleased. It’s really weird to see Billie and Kate interact without knowing they’re related.
After a break, Billie is trying to impress Kate and steps in it by not knowing James Joyce was Irish. Billie improvs that her real last name isn’t Miller. Jack pipes in that it’s “Billie O’Reed,” and Kate gets a weird look. She would know that her kids had the last name Reed, right? Does she recognize the name? This never made sense to me. Billie wants to know about the state of the manuscript, and Kate is like, “Um, I don’t read them myself, so leave your number.” After Billie acts thirsty some more, Kate goes back into her office. Jack wants to take Billie outside to chat, but Billie thinks he’ll probably try to kill her. Then Alice steps off the elevator. Hoping to avoid her, Jack leads Billie off. Alice announces herself to the receptionist and is shown into Kate’s office. Jack and Billie try to slip out, unseen, but someone approaches the receptionist and says they’re done with Miranda Miller’s manuscript. Billie is determined to wait and see how this goes down.
Austin bemoans his sad state to Sami, who’s like, “Yeah, Carrie won’t see you. Give up. Oh well!” Okay, she’s definitely into him. He asks her to give Carrie some little present. Sami says he must feel awful. Austin says the acid was meant for him. Carrie has every reason to be angry. Roman overhears this. Sami remarks that if Austin were hers, she’d never turn him away. Austin’s like, “Cool. Thanks,” without understanding that Sami is insane for him. When Austin heads off, Roman approaches Sami and tells her that he would never hurt his kids unless he was trying to spare them from something even worse.
Blondie returns to Lawrence’s home, a.k.a. the front door of the Kiriakis mansion, where he introduces her to a goon named Lloyd, who will make sure Bowman doesn’t leave Salem. Then they can move on to “the final solution to the problem of Mr. Bo Brady.”
Jack warns Billie that the reader won’t talk to her about the book. Billie thinks he’s just mad that Billie beat him again — her number is on the manuscript. Should they maybe not be discussing this right in front of the receptionist? She is sitting, I’m not kidding you, four feet away. Billie suggests that he take Victor for a ride. Jack realizes that he could use the money from the book (i.e., Victor’s money) to get his paper back. Jack reminds her that whoever wrote the manuscript and left it in the attic probably forgot all about it.
Now we subtly cut inside the office, where Alice questions Kate about how she lived in Jennifer and Jack’s house. Kate plays dumb, but how is this any of Alice’s business at all?! Alice asks her to be on the committee at the hospital. Oh, The Committee. I know the one. Alice mentions Bill having been a former member of said committee, and Kate flinches. Alice, with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer or Sami Brady, asks “Did you by chance know my son Bill?!?!” Victor interrupts, and Alice goes. Victor notices that Kate is acting weird. The reader comes in and says In the Midnight Hour is good — lots of truth in it. Kate sets it on her desk to read later.
Bowman’s on the payphone in the Pub. Good grief, this thing gets more action than the park bench of today. Lawrence and Blondie send Lloyd in after Bowmam. Then she warns Lawrence that Carly still loves Bo and won’t stop loving him. Lawrence is confident in his plan. Inside, Bowman is trying to book a flight when someone waves cash in front of his face. It’s Lloyd, who says he has a job for him — a job that pays very well.
At the police station, Abe is looking for the Austin Reed file, but Roman says he put it in the inactive file. He still thinks he can nail Reed, but they have to pick and choose their cases. Roman: “We make our choices, and then we live with them.” Ominous! I honestly can see how they cast Josh Taylor in this part four years later, though. There’s less difference between 1993 Northrup and 1997 Taylor than I would’ve imagined.
Sami brings Carrie the gift. It’s a key to some cabin where she and Austin were supposed to go. Austin wanted Carrie to hold onto it, because the two of them would use it someday soon. Carrie looks pained.
At the hospital, Bo spots Billie and tells her that Cash is leaving town. She says she’d be more enthused if she believed him. She won’t believe it until Cash is gone.
Lloyd tells Cash that he’ll know what the job is when the time comes, but for now, he should just enjoy his money. Cash hangs up on the airline. When Cash goes, Lawrence hands Lloyd a photo of Bo and orders him, “I want you to find his twin brother.” Just move to Salem circa 2000. Everyone has a doppelgänger!
And that’s our episode. Please enjoy this bonus wide shot of the entire Brady Pub set, circa 2015 (ugh):
If you’d like, you can actually watch this one on YouTube here (but these have a tendency of getting yanked down). I’m actually curious to see more of this era — the Jack/Billie/Kate stuff all fascinates me, and I’d be eager to watch the reintroduction of Laura Horton and the revelation that Lucas is a Horton, for sure.