Marlena Evans, She Not Through!
No, that isn’t a typo in the title of this post. It’s an homage to one of the greatest literary works of our time.
The killer’s attack on Marlena was brutal and visceral, which was somewhat needed in this storyline since we just saw Serena and Paige’s dead bodies and not their actual deaths. It adds a certain amount of scare factor to the proceedings. I loved the sense of cause-and-effect in those scenes, too: Chad leaves because he’s frustrated, then comes back when he remembers the struggle with the hobo, only to be the one Marlena sees when she awakens and make things worse for himself. There was a real sense of momentum to this storyline this week, which I loved. I also got a great chuckle out of Daniel’s questioning of Marlena when she came to later: “Who’s the president?” “Barack Obama.” “How old are you?” [bitchy Marlena side-eye] “Nice try.” And what was with that shot of Marlena opening her eyes to find Daniel hovering over her? It was so shadowy and dark that it felt like it was supposed to be ominous, but then again, maybe someone just forgot to turn the damn lights on. In all seriousness: I greatly appreciate the elevated sense of mood, but the lighting needs some fine-tuning. A good 30% of scenes are so dimly lit that I can barely tell what’s even going on.
Speaking of which: so Ben is the killer, or at least that’s how it currently seems. It’s far from a shocking reveal, but the show didn’t drag this out for six months and then expect us to be wowed by some huge twist, so I can’t be mad at that. It makes sense. It fits. And it was presented in such a way that there could be more layers to it. Did Ben kill the two girls, but someone else (Clyde?) attacked Marlena to keep her quiet? Could Daniel have been the one to kill Serena, and when Paige found out he was the killer, he took her out to shut her up — only to have Ben or Clyde attack Marlena in order to frame Chad? I won’t be surprised if it’s Ben and that’s that, but the door is definitely cracked for another twist or two with this whole thing.
Meanwhile, look who’s back.
“André?” Stefano reads from the cue cards with all the surprise of learning that Harold ran out of arugula and will instead be using romaine for tonight’s salad. So yeah, André DiMera is alive, and he’s back in Salem, and he’s also Stefano’s biological son, which I have a sneaking suspicion they won’t even bother to explain even though it’s a pretty big fucking deal. I do see why they wanted this character in place, a truly bad DiMera to play as a counterpoint to Chad (whereas the last incarnation of Tony was sort of the same type of conflicted DiMera), and they’re also probably setting André up to take up Stefano’s mantle in the future. Seriously, Joe Mascolo is a treasure, and I’ll be delighted to see him onscreen for as long as we can possibly have him, but it’s becoming apparent that he can only film in limited capacities, and the reading-off-cue-cards is getting very distracting. But it’s going to drive me absolutely insane if we don’t get some real explanation of this latest turn in the unbelievably convoluted Tony/André saga.
Oh, and we had one more arrival on Friday.
Lani Price arrived at the police station, introduced herself to Rafe as the new officer transferring from Florida, gazed suspiciously at a photo of Abe on the wall, and searched for stories about Abe on her tablet. Case closed: she’s his long-lost daughter. I’m not against the idea of giving Abe something more to do, and I could buy that he got someone pregnant pre-Lexie who kept the child from him, but these scenes were played with all the excitement of… well, of Stefano greeting André. I half-expected Sal Stowers (Lani) and Galen Gering to fall asleep during that dull-ass exchange at the station. But I’m willing to see where this goes, since most of the seeds this regime has planted thus far have proven to be worthwhile.
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