Friday’s episode, otherwise known as The Paige Larson Memorial Hour, sure had a lot going on.
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.
I also really, really appreciated that we finally got to see JJ grieving for Paige.
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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