Some big Monday morning casting news. Because when you don’t have stories to tell, just fill the show with people arriving and leaving (probably by dying)…
Archive for November 2015
How fitting that, during such a dark time, and on a day meant for giving thanks, the Salemites were once again graced with the presence of the saintly Belle Black Brady — or, as I often call her, “the Daniel of the 2000s.”
By the time she and Shawn left in 2008, the sight of Belle was almost enough to make me break out in hives. She was just the worst. She vacillated limply between Shawn and Philip for years. She was incapable of being alone. Nothing was ever her fault. Everyone spent truly mind-blowing amounts of time talking about how wonderful she was and wringing their hands over how she would react to things — even things that had nothing to do with her, like Alice Horton’s “death” in 2004! On top of that, “Shelle” never particularly worked for me as a couple, because they were never fully developed as individuals, and I never understood why I should want these two people to be together — or why they wanted to be together — aside from the fact that they were the children of two big supercouples.
That said, we’ve had a long break from her, and I understand that Belle is a vital character in terms of her place on the show. She’s a natural choice for an additional woman in the 30-something age range, and as much as this would’ve been a good time to reset Belle with a recast, I’ve always thought Martha Madison was very capable, and I get that the familiarity makes sense. I’m optimistic that they’re bringing Belle and Shawn back in the midst of a marital crisis because they’re putting an end to “Shelle” and moving them into separate stories. If they eventually find their way back together, fine, but I need to see them fall in love, not just have it be a foregone conclusion. I’m not here for another round of Carrie & Austin: 2012 Edition.
With that out of the way, I have to say that I already like their offspring.
It was a short week, featuring one birth and, most remarkably, not a single death…
Bo succumbed to his brain tumor and died in Hope’s arms, meaning that she is managing almost the same body count with husbands that the Necktie Killer is with victims. His family and friends were shocked and upset by the news, but a grieving Hope had a vision of Bo telling her to avenge his death. She attempted to recruit Steve, but even he — Steve, who is constantly running off on insane missions! — was like, “Maybe we should just chill out.”
Read the full recap to see What Happened in Salem this week!
You know who I definitely want living in my house?
A distraught orphan who lights a series of matches and throws them onto a blood-stained carpet. (I am liking the actor who plays Chase, though — he’s by far the strongest of the teens so far — and it struck me as very wise to take the time for those scenes in which he reflected upon and puzzled over his mother’s death.)
Considering all the other shit they’ve done in the last 24 hours, including putting that house back together, none of these people thought to deal with that disgusting rug? I mean, maybe the Salem equivalent of Stanley Steemer got too turnt up at the bicentennial and actually took it easy today, but roll the damn thing up and haul it to the trash. Ain’t no one’s PTSD getting any better if they’ve gotta see that every time they arrive home from an insensitively timed party or trip to the Town Square.
For as death-ed out as I am by this show lately, I was really drawn in by a lot of the scenes in Monday and Tuesday’s episodes.
Seeing that foursome together in this final moment was really moving, and Kristian Alfonso does onscreen mourning like a champ — she even busted out that animalistic “No! Noooooo!” that I remember so well from when Zack died. And I was pleased that they let the story breathe enough so that we saw Shawn, Roman, Caroline, Victor, and Maggie all find out. When Caroline saw Victor and broke down, I was genuinely touched, and they played a lot of little beats like Jennifer seeing Shawn and Ciara for the first time since getting the news, Victor mentioning having spoken to Chelsea and being glad she was with Billie, etc.
I don’t know that I’m dying to see Hope go after the people who tortured Bo, but I would much rather see her be active than lie around grieving way too realistically for the next month, so I’ll take it. And hey, she managed to reapply her makeup, so you know she’ll be okay.
As far as other stories go: this Sami thing is so weird. Are we even going to see her again? I don’t necessarily mind the idea, but it’s so clear they are writing it around the limited amount of stuff Alison Sweeney filmed, and I’m not sure there’s a satisfying payoff coming given the casting and production restrictions. Also, who is watching her damn kids, and do they know their brother was murdered? Meanwhile, the Abigail/Ben stuff is suspenseful and tense and interesting, and I actually gasped when we heard the gunshot from him taking out the midwife, but I was SMH (that’s millennial for “shaking my head”) at Abigail typing out the entirety of War and Peace when she knew Ben was liable to turn around any damn second and see her with the phone. Mass-text a “KIDNAPPED HELP PLZ!” to a bunch of people and cross your fingers, ya know?
No amount of attempted murders, brain tumors, kidnappings, or other assorted traumas could keep these people from throwing a party…
Kayla sadly informed Bo that, according to the tests she’d run, he had an inoperable brain tumor that left him with only months or weeks to live. Bo made the most of the day (as did most of the people of Salem, whereas anyone normal would’ve stayed in sweatpants, ordered Thai food, and watched Netflix after the events of the previous night). At Ciara’s impassioned and disturbing urging, he made love to Hope, who was able to carve a few minutes out of her PTSD fit for sexytime; later, Ciara and Caroline organized a surprise party with family and friends to welcome Bo back, and everyone told heartwarming stories about the times they’d almost died in front of Hope, a traumatized woman who was nearly murdered the night before.
Check out the full recap to see What Happened in Salem last week!
You’ll have to excuse any typos in this post, but I’m currently listening to “Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You” by candlelight and weeping, so, sorry.
The more I tried to write this post, though, the more I realized there was a fundamental disconnect at play. Therefore, I’ve broken it up into three parts.
Part 1: These People are All Crazy Assholes
This is like the third day in a row where they’ve thrown a party and had to justify it in light of recent events. “I know Will was just buried, but he would want us to cavort with a stripper! Will loved dick!” “I know half this party is in mourning, but what can cheer people up like a wedding?” “I know Hope’s new husband attempted to murder her and was then killed himself last night, but surely a party will boost her spirits!” Do these people ever just go take a nap? There are like 300 episodes of Friends on Netflix. Take a day off!
And then there’s crazy-ass Julie, who was like, “In light of the fact that Hope was almost killed last night, let’s tell a touching story about how we all got trapped on a death cruise, which ended with Hope dying!” Very zen, you old bird.
Then Ciara went and trumped every nuclear-family-obsessed Salem youth of the past 50 years with her public insistence that Bo and Hope remarry right this minute. Girl, your mom married another man last fucking night! What if they discussed it and decided to wait? What if they aren’t sure they want to be married? Although after the way she campaigned for them to bone, I’m not sure any of this logic would register.
Meanwhile, Bo is just staggering around Salem gripping his head and nearly passing out, but people are letting him drive. No wonder there’s a car accident any time we see someone behind the wheel — the roads are filled with drivers like Bo and Caroline, who can barely function when they’re standing up, let alone operating heavy machinery.
The timeline remains so batshit insane that I almost (almost) have to believe that, in honor of the 50th anniversary, it’s a throwback to the James E. Reilly Days, when everyone would be celebrating Halloween, and then no one would go to bed and eventually it was four weeks later and they were all going to Thanksgiving dinner even though it was actually the same never-ending day. I don’t get why they couldn’t have inserted a new morning or two over the past week, or even played with the form a little and done an episode that spanned several days or weeks, primetime-style, as it focused on Bo. He found out he had a tumor, like, six hours before he dropped dead! Hope has had two husbands die on her in under 24 hours! Rafe should run for the hills, or he’s never going to see Christmas.
Part 2: OMG I Can’t Handle This
Issues of pacing and basic human decency aside, I thought they knocked Bo’s death out of the park. Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso were absolutely fantastic; they never lost that true supercouple chemistry that made them so popular in the first place.
I can’t be the only one who finds this Bo stuff absolutely insane, can I?
And I’m not just talking about the way Bo was flailing around on the Astroturf screaming and foaming at the mouth like a wild animal/Carly Manning.
I get that the show is in a bind. They had Hope with Aiden, but they got Reckell to come back for a short stint tying in with the 50th anniversary in order to close out Bo’s story, and they probably wanted to give the fans some ‘pure’ Bo/Hope material (without her cheating on Aiden) before Bo’s exit. But this is all too damn much.