The “Fun” in Funeral

I have a lot of good things to say about Will’s funeral.

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Like that it existed at all. Like that they populated the seats with contract and recurring characters, so that even though some people were absent — Justin and Adrienne were the most glaring to me, because Sonny had such a central role — you kept finding familiar faces in the crowd. Like how the camera panned around during the eulogies, landing on different characters who’d be affected by this death in different ways. Like that wonderful embrace between Sami and Kate that said so much without much dialogue at all. Like how the actual Brady Pub set (interior and exterior!) returned for the wake.

I also have a lot of other things to say. Like what in the ever-loving fuck was everyone on about with regards to Will’s legacy of amazing writing? “I’m so glad Arianna will be able to read his tabloid-trash exposés on his relatives when she grows up!” It just made a point of how hollow the adult version of Will has been. He stands for a lot, as a son, a grandson, a husband, a father, a gay man, etc., but they didn’t quite succeed in properly developing him as a full character, which weakened the “WilSon” coupling a bit (if they weren’t the show’s first same-sex couple, I don’t think they’d have been considered a supercouple in any way). Regardless of that, though, it was an insane choice to have multiple people nattering on about Will’s brilliant, insightful, truthful writing in which he basically called his cousin a homewrecking whore and later proved himself to be a fickle slut.

Speaking of insane:

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André’s grand reentrance to Salem society — during Will’s wake — was completely wacko. This guy is so clearly a raving maniac, and it’s absolutely ridiculous how they haven’t even bothered to explain how he’s actually alive or how he is Stefano’s son (“My mother, who has no name, wrote a letter to me, a dead man, to inform me RANDOMLY of this secret she’d kept for 50 years!”). That said, I kind of didn’t mind.

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It’s been a while since we had one of these bonkers scenes where all the Salemites stand around trying to figure out what in the hell is going on, and I loved all the little asides — “Read up on the Salem Stalker!” and “Is this the guy who made you think Dad was dead?” among others. It reminded me of André’s return in 2002 (when he was pretending to be Tony… because the show didn’t decide it was André until years later), with all of Salem gathered at the Penthouse Grille expecting Stefano to return, only to be shocked by his very-much-alive son. I have no idea what André is even doing, but at least this was fun — and it was a smart way to play out Will’s funeral without spending an entire episode with people just crying and consoling one another, because I think we’ve had enough of that for now.

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16 Comments on “The “Fun” in Funeral”

  1. Gavin Says:

    I was on holidays and came back to watch Will’s murder right up to the funeral across a couple of days – and I have to say I was pretty pleased with how it’s all played out, even if, like you, I disagree with Will being killed off. And of course it was all pretty harrowing – but in a good way.

    Agree with you about the funeral although I do have a real problem with Justin and Adrienne not being there for Sonny. Also Victor, Maggie, Theresa, Brady and Julie/Doug (although they were always Team Nick) could have shown up. So much for “all of Salem” being there, according to Andre.

    Speaking of… his return felt so old school Days. I liked the line about “that’s why I always resembled Tony” or whatever it was. At least there was some effort to explain it unlike Gabi’s miracle release which has been completely glossed over with the feeblest of excuses, never to be mentioned again.

    I liked how they were hopeful it was actually Tony and how Roman punched Andre – and yes, the Salem Stalker reference was great. Andre is a great addition – especially since Stefano has become so toothless lately.

    It’s a shame to see the end of WilSon, even though it was so badly bungled, but at least the end provided great drama,

    • mykleraus Says:

      They definitely should’ve had Brady there. That was a strange omission, since they just played up the family connection with Sami. I get that there are limitations to what they can do production-wise, though, and it was a fairly good effort overall.

      For some reason, Gabi’s release isn’t bothering me. It feels like she went away for a while and suffered/was punished, and if Nicole and Kate can be walking around after multiple malicious murder attempts, it doesn’t bother me too much that Gabi received parole. Although I wonder why they didn’t have Will get murdered and then have the parole board rule in Gabi’s favor — I feel like “this woman is a single mother and the child’s father was just killed” makes a pretty compelling argument.

      Roman punching Andre was sort of great. It was so out-of-the-blue!

      • Gavin Says:

        It’s the best thing Roman’s done in decades, surely.

        I don’t mind that Gabi received parole – I just wish it had’ve been better justified/worked into the story. Your idea is a good one. Like John being Paul’s father, it feels dodgy because they’re so clearly trying to just pretend we won’t notice. It bothers me when I’m treated like I’m not paying attention.

        At least with Andre being Stefano’s son they’re addressing it directly. Yes, it’s still a lame explanation but at least they’re trying to justify it.

        Yeah, I assumed it was a budgetary thing not having more people at the funeral. I just wish they’d cut corners somewhere else to make this a more momentous and meaningful occasion for more characters.

        But what a better show it is in general!

      • mykleraus Says:

        I hear you on all the shortcuts. Like they just think, “We want to accomplish X, so we’re just going to say things are that way and hope no one notices.”

        I would kill for them to try and sort out what the hell is up with Tony/Andre. They weren’t even identical to begin with. Andre was a cousin whom Stefano convinced to have plastic surgery to impersonate Tony.

      • underyourwing Says:

        why isn’t gabi checking in with her parole officer i wonder?

      • mykleraus Says:

        That poor parole officer. “How have your first four days out of prison been?” “Well, I got accosted on the docks for wandering around delivering a shady letter, and then I found a dead body!”

  2. Shea Says:

    It was a solid episode even with the missing family members. I tend to keep getting stuck on all the missed beats but the show is getting so many things right that I am starting to feel bad about my complaints. Since I only recently became a full-time viewer again I thought I had missed something special about Will’s writing career and perhaps he had written a meaningful story about his coming out that would help people and that is what the family was talking about. After reading your comments I guess that wasn’t the case. It is not that surprising to me that Kate would focus on Will’s vocation more than the person he was. I am ready for Sami to be gone and I am interested to see where this grief takes Lucas. I haven’t been disappointed with this storyline so I hope it finishes strong.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I try to catch myself when I’m watching the show going, “Oh, I thought X was going to happen” or “Why isn’t Y involved in this?” Sometimes those things are glaring omissions or bafflingly wrong story decisions, but a lot of the time lately, what’s being presented is good, and I’m just working off assumptions and expectations. This isn’t necessarily the show I would’ve written or envisioned, but it definitely is not BAD or poorly executed, for the most part.

      Will’s writing career was a flash in the pan. He wrote like one short story, got into some program for it, got a job with TruVista, did the Sami/EJ exposé, then got poached by Sonix and wrote about Chad and Clyde. I think that was it. They could’ve at least planted that he was working on a novel. Maybe it’ll be discovered posthumously (which could actually be interesting, tbh).

  3. underyourwing Says:

    please! no hidden “novel’ being discovered after hemingways murder!!! smh.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I’ve been rewatching stuff from 1993, when Jack and Billie were fighting over this manuscript he found in the attic, and it was weirdly fun. Though God only knows what idiocy Will would have written…

      • underyourwing Says:

        ya know, i would NOT be shocked if something DID turn up on a flash drive or in a file somewhere……but with sonny gone and him gone and blah blah i wonder what it would have to be… create another fun shit storm in salem? hmmm.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Imagine the fun of everyone running around screaming about THE MANUSCRIPT for six months…

  4. Dan Says:

    The funeral had many strong moments. I was particularly impressed with the decision to feature Abe when they were discussing lost children. I had forgotten about Issac, but clearly someone else remembered Lexi and Abe’s loss. I thought it was also poignant, and borderline insane, that Abe brought up the loss of Lexi when Andre was going on and on about his return. The writing for Abe always seems stronger for Abe when Higley is in the house.

    Freddie Smith continued to break me with Sonny’s grief. Talk about an underrated performer. His presence will be missed, at least by me. The writing was strong, too. “If you ever think of going to bed angry, look at me.” It was just really well done for a show that isn’t really delving very deep into many emotional situations as it should.

    Justin and Adrienne’s absence was glaring given how visible they have been in Salem. It would also have been a good opportunity to play some unresolved Adrienne / Lucas tension. I would’ve liked to have seen Maggie and Victor there as well given Victor’s ties to Sonny and Maggie’s connection to Lucas and Will.

    This show makes it hard to like. It’s hard to grieve for Will when you have Andre Dimera announcing he (Andre) is alive at Will’s funeral and Sami departing the funeral to find her not-so-dead ex-husband. It’s this kind of thing that makes it hard to invest in the emotional loss of a character.

    I still don’t get why Andre is in Salem. I think Andre is here to take over the Dimera empire, but we don’t have that type of show anymore. In recent years, the Dimera family has been more interesting in terms of internal conflict, and Andre hasn’t brought much of that too the table. I’ve already tired of Andre playing Nurse Ratchet to Stefano.

    I got what they were doing with focusing on Will’s writing career. It was suppose to help build this image of Will as a crusader of truth, but the problem is this is a direct contradiction to the last year of his life, which almost made things more heartbreaking. Sami implied things might have been different if she had still been in Salem. I think truer words might never have been spoken.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I really appreciated a lot of the cutting-around at the funeral. The eulogies were well done in that they applied to various characters in different ways, which helped hammer home what Will means to much of Salem. And I thought Freddie Smith really stepped it up once Sonny hit Salem. He’s rarely gotten to play material with BIG emotion, so it was interesting to see Sonny out of his usual mode.

      I was actually fine with the idea of introducing Andre at the funeral because I think the grief had sort of been done, and we didn’t need another half-episode of people milling around the Pub consoling one another. And people’s reactions were funny. What doesn’t work for me — same as for you, I suspect — is what the FUCK Andre is supposed to be doing. He’s always been a total maniac; all of the early-to-mid 2000s DiMera plots were just nonsense. Now he’s just fucking with Aiden for “fun.” He doesn’t have any personal relationships with any of these people (whereas Stefano has his deep feud with John, his obsession with Marlena, his marriage to Kate, etc.). Andre is just this cipher of supervillainy, and the answer always comes down to “because he’s crazy,” which is ultimately boring. I guess positioning him as a foil for Chad makes sense, and while I understand that he’s essentially a Stefano stand-in because Mascolo can’t do a lot, he feels much more unhinged and unmotivated than Stefano usually does.

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