Black Friday

Friday’s episode, otherwise known as The Paige Larson Memorial Hour, sure had a lot going on.

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For someone I was, uh, less-than-upset to see bite the big one, Paige’s ghostly appearances didn’t bother me. I actually love how they’ve so wisely and sharply focused this thing on Eve. Her grief has felt incredibly raw and jagged, like every time someone has offered their sympathy, she is on the verge of absolutely losing it. I’ve seen Salemites lose their spouses and move on to a new lover in less time than this has taken — and that’s a compliment to the writing. And Kassie dePaiva has been excellent in basically everything they have thrown her way.

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I also really, really appreciated that we finally got to see JJ grieving for Paige.

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I’m learning, with this regime, that even when the pacing feels odd, the right beats tend to show up at some point. I get why Abigail couldn’t be there, in terms of filming issues, but I think they could’ve sacrificed one of the 4,000 episodes she’s appeared in recently to get her into this one — and think of the weird tension involved in Ben having to go to this funeral! I’m still irked that, especially with the anniversary coming up, Shane and Kimberly couldn’t make the damn trip to Salem for the funeral, but I assume Shane’s contract with the ISA mandates that he miss a certain amount of important family functions per calendar year. No wonder Eve and Theresa are so fucked-up, though!

That said, I’m mostly interested in how Paige’s death spirals out for the characters involved. I want to see how this propels Eve, JJ, and others forward. For an episode essentially featuring the “B-team” (as it seems to be for this regime), though, this felt very strong.

One thing, though: who does Justin think he is? At least let the priest finish speaking about Paige before you turn around to bitch at Rafe about arresting the suspect!

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4 Comments on “Black Friday”

  1. Dan Says:

    I’m glad to hear they held a funeral for Paige. Higley’s funerals tended to be emotional affairs on both DOOL and OLTL.

    I’m still struggling to get back into the show. I caught Tuesday and Wednesday or maybe Wednesday and Thursday. The show is still a hard pill to swallow. The material with Caroline’s dementia teeters between brilliant (Kayla having to tell Caroline that she is her daughter) to typical DOOL madness (Caroline’s fights in the mirror). I don’t mind the decision that Caroline has dementia over Alzheimers. They made it clear early on how there is no test for Alzheimers, but its a shame because Caroline has been living with it for several years. There was also some fighting between Victor and Kayla that was alright, but not overly compelling. I think this story is a good way to build up Kayla. Personally, I would have done this and then brought Joey and Patch back to Salem.

    Were the Eric / Marlena scenes this week? Those were nicely done and well overdo. There was a nice “are you being a psychiatrist or my mother?” comment which I find is so important to Marlena’s relationship with her family. Nicole’s inability to handle Eric’s question about the photographer job was wonderful. I love the angst. Nicole and Kate chatting and basically ignoring Theresa was wonderful. I really like how that dynamic is playing out. There was also a really nice moment where Eve picked out the clothes for Paige to wear at the funeral. Little details that often go overlooked.

    I saw a bit of the Aiden / Andre / Stefano story. I never know who Thaao Penghlis is playing and I don’t really have much investment in this. Andre hasn’t been around for nearly a decade, have they done anything to define him? I think this loan stuff is dumb, it would have been better if Clyde bought the loans. I did love the Monopoly game with Chase and Ciara. Should be interesting to see them magically age at the end of the month.

    The Justin / Adrienne stuff was less painful. Have they acknowledged that Jo actually had breast cancer already?

    Charles Shaugnessy said years ago he won’t return unless he has something “substantial” to play, which is why we got the arc with Rafe prior to Alice’s funeral. I was really shocked he came back for Theresa’s intervention, but not so surprised that he was simply sick when Kim popped up around the holidays. Kim and Shane should be around given Theresa’s presence, given the ISA storyline, given the anniversary. I know CS is busy, but I still would have brought Patsy Pease back for most of the fall / winter and sent her home after Christmas.

    It’s a shame they didn’t have Ben and Abby at the funeral. The situation you outlined would have been brilliant.

    Regarding Eve’s grief, I’m glad Higley and Griffith tapped into that. Tomsell always played Eve as if Paige was the center of the universe and her death would have shattered Eve especially given how things were playing out at the end of Paige’s life. If I were writing, I would have Eve develop a nearly unhealthy relationship with Gabi, which, given where that story is going, would allow the show to play some very interesting dynamics.

    Months ago, WK described Justin as taking a drastic turn and I figured people would be turned off. I think I would have grounded Justin’s passion in what has happened to his son this year. I would have use Chad’s underhandedness at Club TBD, which nearly cost Sonny his business, to fuel Justin’s belief that Chad is following in the family footsteps. I would also use Sonny’s attack as one of the reasons Justin is so determined to see no one get hurt.

    • mykleraus Says:

      A lot of what’s airing is quite good, but yeah, the jarring-ness of the transition still has me a little thrown.

      The DiMera stuff is definitely my least favorite, because it’s been so abrupt and I’m not sure what any of it is supposed to be. They gave Aiden a lot more gray shading this week, which I appreciated; the Monopoly scenes were interesting, and now he feels a bit more like a guy who’s stuck between a rock and a hard place than a flat-out DiMera employee villain. I honestly think they brought Thaao back as Andre mostly because they want to do “DiMera stuff” for the 50th, and he’s a familiar face, and Joe Mascolo can’t do a lot. I get it on that account, but Andre was such an absolute lunatic during the 2000s that I can’t imagine him integrating into Salem society. He’s really just coming off as CrazyAndre again. I understand why they wanted a bad guy, but I sort of think it would’ve been better to resurrect Tony and have him slide over to Stefano’s evil side rather than just bringing Andre back with his samurai swords and crazy wartime plots and God knows what else.

      Shane and Kim’s absence really bugged me. I know PP would’ve done a day. I had forgotten CS said that about his returns, but I guess he felt the intervention was meaty enough and not just a “Hey, I’m here!” If he’ll only come back for strong story and yet felt that whole stupid safehouse thing in 2012 was worth his time… I’ve got nothing.

      Good point about Justin. The shift has felt very unexplained, but just laying in the things you mentioned would help a ton. Justin could also be concerned about Abigail, who’s been his niece for years, etc. He just feels like he’s in Bo/Roman mode with “Gotta get the damn DiMeras!” without anything to back it up.

  2. Jamie Says:

    I thought Friday’s episode was really, really well done! The scenes with Paige’s “life” flashing before Eve’s eyes, and Eve seeing all of the moments that Paige should have had…very heart-wrenching. Again, Kassie DePaiva really delivered in those scenes! And, the editing/lighting were brilliant! Just the way the lighting changed between fantasy and reality…When Eve was having her flashes, everything was so well lit and sunny and as soon as she was back in reality, the lighting instantly dimmed…and then the fades to black into commercial….bravo!

    • mykleraus Says:

      Yeah, there’s at least attention being paid to the lighting, even when it gets a little try-hard. It’s a nice change from when everything was lit like an episode of Full House.

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