Gone With the Wind
Just kidding. There’s no wind in Salem. Fans are expensive to run, and it might knock down the sets!
As for the “gone” part: Tuesday’s episode was the final one of Sonny’s run as a contract character. It also marks the official end of an era — that of “WilSon,” Days‘s first gay couple.
I’m not entirely sure what to say or how to feel about all this. I’ve always enjoyed Freddie Smith’s presence onscreen, and he played well off the former Will, Chandler Massey, and jived really nicely with Wally Kurth and Judi Evans, who play his parents. But Sonny has, for just about the entirety of his four-year run, been a B-player in other people’s lives. The only exit that made sense for him was for him to get fed up with Will’s shenanigans and leave Salem — and, given how rushed and slapped-together this exit felt, they actually did a decent job getting him out of town and making me buy that he’d leave Arianna, since he said repeatedly that he’s just taking some time away, not leaving for good. But it’s still all a bit unsatisfying to me.
Will and Sonny’s initial pairing really excited me, but I do think a lot of that was simply because Will’s coming-out was exciting and emotional, and Sonny was a pillar of support. The payoff of a real romance between them was wonderful, and the ensuing baby drama with Gabi and Nick was a very strong umbrella plot. But Sonny and Will have never clicked for me as the “supercouple” people seem to want them to be (a distinction I don’t think they’d come close to getting if the characters were straight). What does Sonny love about Will? What about Sonny is it that makes Will need to be with him? They retroactively addressed all this, in a somewhat roundabout way, during the Paul story, by making a point of the fact that Sonny was coming off Paul’s rejection when he came to Salem, and that Will married his first love without ever living life as a gay man outside that relationship. While that stuff worked from a storytelling perspective, all it did was knock the foundation out from under the myth of WilSon — which I’m not saying was a mistake, since the Will recast doesn’t work and hasn’t had chemistry with Sonny, but it’s made it awfully hard to know what in the hell to root for these past several months.
In fact, the entire pseudo-triangle with Paul has been skewed, perspective-wise. I think the show was blinded by the novelty of a gay love triangle — i.e., one in which all three participants had been involved with one another. And while I agree that’s an interesting variation on the norm and could allow for some real, messy human emotion, it didn’t play out that way. Will’s cheating with Paul played out as mere restlessness (which they then confirmed with the later news that he had already cheated in L.A.), but it had nothing to do with Paul and Sonny’s past. A stronger story would’ve been for Will to catch wind of Sonny and Paul’s past, then start manipulating. I might’ve bought him sleeping with another guy (Derrick?) as a sort of self-destructive move, desperate to feel wanted and needing to lash out, which would have echoed Sami’s behavior in a more organic way than Will continually plotting even though Sonny found out about his infidelity and didn’t leave him. Sami was always scheming to get something that wasn’t hers (or that she’d only acquired through coercion); Sonny was Will’s, and all Will kept doing was chipping away at that by coming up with stupid plots. Finally, I can’t believe they didn’t run with the Sonny/Paul relationship more, given that’s where the longing was, and Christopher Sean plays that stuff very well.
Also, there was this:
Guy Wilson seems like a very nice guy and a team player, but he isn’t cutting it as Will, and the writing has done him zero favors. If they want him to be Sami 2.0, then give us Sami 2.0. He should have been on the damn floor, screaming and crying, grabbing onto Sonny’s leg and refusing to let him leave that apartment. Instead, we got him standing there looking like he just ate a bunch of sour Warheads and limply watching Sonny walk out.
I have no idea where this goes now. I’m not particularly eager to watch a Will/Paul pairing, because Paul’s feelings for Sonny have been such a throughline that Will is going to be sloppy seconds, and aside from that first fling, I haven’t felt any romantic chemistry between the two. (I do think they work as adversaries who get a little bitchy with one another, though.) It’ll be interesting to see where the show chooses to take these characters — and, especially, if we get any adjustments to Will’s characterization in the coming weeks, or if Sonny’s departure finally gets him to open his damn eyes.