Cheers & Jeers
Lots to talk about. So that’s (mostly) a good thing. Let’s start with some things that made me happy.
Hope’s house! This set makes me so nostalgic. It always makes me think of those wonderful times when Crazy Ass Laura lived there with Fake Jen and Mike and those robotic Abigail twins and maybe even Fake Jacks 1 & 2 (how many bedrooms does this place have?!), and Hope trying to set Bo on fire in that living room, and lots of other nonsense. Sigh. In the same vein…
The real police station! We’ve watched a lot of idiocy go down here. Seeing these old sets really just makes me feel like there’s some kind of commitment to broadening the feel of the show and not being content to have it just be a bunch of random scenes of people wandering around a four-foot park.
YASSSSSS! Honestly, that was such a fun, eerie shot to end an episode on, and it solidified the whole “We’re dealing with a serial killer” setup. (It also helps that this story is thus far 1000% less stupid than the Salem Stalker.) And yeah, a lot of people have been eager to have Paige off their screens for a long time, and yeah, it does sort of feel like a gift to have both her and Serena violently murdered instead of simply “leaving town,” never to be discussed again. But I really think this is a great move. Casey Moss (JJ) and Kassie dePaiva (Eve) both gave great performances in Thursday’s episode, and the potential for story to grow out of this is so much greater than the potential for Paige, a blandly conceived character who never really sparked. Eve will be out for blood; it’ll help bond Eve/Justin; it’ll have repercussions for Jennifer, Theresa, and Daniel; it adds a really compelling layer to JJ’s undercover mission and the Clyde entanglement. So while I’m thrilled not to have to spend another day thinking about whether Paige will go to Stanford, I’m grateful to see the show actually building story instead of rushing it offscreen.
Which brings me to the negative. (Minor spoilers based on casting toward the end of the post…)
Nothing right now has me more annoyed than the weak, bullshit choice to have Aiden working for Stefano. Of course he’s working for Stefano DiMera, the man who never met a scheme too convoluted to put into action. They explicitly had Aiden state that Stefano “brought [him] to Salem.” Let’s get this straight: Stefano recruited some random, handsome lawyer from Portland with a blackmail-worthy past, made him come to Salem, manipulated St. Luke’s Academy so that Aiden and Hope would be forced to work on a bake sale together, was fine with Aiden’s strategy of being a raging dick to Hope for months, and expected that this would all somehow lead to Hope being over Bo for good. What?! That is almost as batshit crazy as André’s Melaswen plot. What makes me angriest — aside from the fact that it’s lazy and washes away the much more compelling story of Hope genuinely being torn — is the fact that it doesn’t even track with Aiden’s introduction or the progression of his romance with Hope. I’m excited by the prospect of Bo finding his way home just as Hope is about to marry Aiden, but that would be so much juicier if he weren’t just able to reveal that Aiden’s working for Stefano and wipe away the whole relationship. Ugh.
I have really enjoyed the development of Lauren Boles’s version of Ciara. She’s hilarious, and she’s one of those secondary characters who’s really fleshed out this newer version of Salem. I’ll be sad to see her go. But I also understand why they would want to tell this upcoming story with a more mature actress as Bo and Hope’s daughter, and Boles is just hitting that awkward age where she’s still a child but not so little that anything she says or does is cute. Ciara has been sort of a joke character (in a good way), but I do see the wisdom in making her more of a fully fleshed-out cast member for what lies ahead. That said, it’s so awkward to me to have Child Ciara appearing now — after Teen Joey has debuted, and when Teen Ciara is only weeks away. Will Bo have been gone since Ciara was a kid or just since she started junior high? God help us all if this Ciara ever appears in scenes with or is even referenced in relation to the new Joey. My head will 100% guaranteed explode.
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