Newish Faces

Oh my god. Taylor Walker is messing with Steve and Kayla, and possibly putting the moves on their teenage son!

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JK (I think), but no one has actually said the name Ava Vitali yet, have they? For all we know, this could be Sarah Horton or a transgender Andrew Donovan. Who knows when Tamara Braun is onscreen?! I almost wish they’d had Theo come upon them and ask Joey, “Were you hanging out with Nicole’s sister?”

I really have no clue what to make of this so far. Ava has told Joey that she wants to help reunite his parents to make up for a mistake she made in the past, and Joey, like any normal teenage boy, has gone along with the plans of this 40-year-old stranger that require him to think far too much about his parents’ sex life. Makes sense to me! Based upon what we saw on Friday, Ava is either dying or wants people to think she is — the makeup and the devious grin implied that it’s all a ruse — and since Kayla was headed for “a consult” at the end of the episode, I’m guessing she’s going to walk into her office and find Ava sitting there. So what is this woman’s plan?!

They went out of their way to specify that Joey is 16 in Thursday’s episode, but Ava was definitely playing up the sex kitten factor with him. I do wonder if they’re going to go there.

The Steve/Kayla reunion material, meanwhile, was very strong. I’m not some huge fan of the couple — I enjoy them a lot and appreciate their place in Days history, but I wasn’t around for their first run — but these writers really seem to get the dynamic between them, and they both feel like smart, distinct, flawed characters. I also appreciated how they tied in Kayla’s brief, underwritten foray into online dating and had her react to Steve’s sudden marriage proposal like an intelligent person. They do exist in Salem — who knew?

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John Paul Lavoisier debuted as Philip Kiriakis on Thursday, and I… didn’t hate him. I did hate his hair, but terrible hair seems to have been one of the more consistent things about Philip over the years, so I guess they actually got that right. The portrayal actually feels very much like Philip to me. Yeah, he’s intensely focused on business (and that damned serum, which is now THE DRUG), but I suspect this will be like Chad, who returned to Salem a cocky, raging asshole before the layers were slowly peeled back. I could also justify it as Philip, having suffered a number of losses and personal blows (losing Melanie due to his affair, and then having Parker taken away after having already given up Claire), has sort of shut down his personal life and made business his focus. I’ll be curious to see how he interacts with both of those kids (if Parker still exists) and if they actually establish that sort of throughline with him. As far as recasts go after one day of airing, though: not terrible and could work.

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32 Comments on “Newish Faces”

  1. Jamie Says:

    “HOWWWWWWW did you know I liked apple pie?!?” – – just one example of John Paul bringing, what is apparently, his signature acting style to the role of Philip.

    I never minded it so much on OLTL, as it worked with the character of Rex, who was basically a moron. Plus, he was much cuter then…so easier to overlook the obnoxious over-acting.

  2. Robbiemac420 Says:

    I KNEW Ava looked familiar…..I just couldn’t place her! When she was Nicole’s sister she was blond, of course. So, as a brunette named Ava, I have no idea how she is connected with Steve and Kayla. I like your idea that she may be Kayla’s next appointment and perhaps we’ll learn why she wants to appear so sickly.

    I’m not too wild about this Philip, but I guess we’re stuck with him. I do like how he all about the profits, just like Victor, while Brady has turned into a warm, fuzzy daddy who loves the changed Theresa. It does make me wonder what is going to happen to this happy little family, though. Mwaaaahahaha!

    • mykleraus Says:

      I think they’re definitely going for the Brady/Philip contrast, which is fine by me since I have never ever bought Brady as some sort of corporate mogul. He seems like a dude who should be running the Pub or flipping houses or something outside an office environment.

      Ava was around in 2008. She showed up as a lover of Steve’s from the time he had amnesia, and she was nuts, but it turned out her father (a mobster) had been drugging her or something? She also caused the plane crash that killed Grandpa Shawn Brady in the midst of all this. When she got “better,” she got involved with John Black while he was without his memory and embracing his DiMera side. She left town to avoid facing charges for the plane crash, I think.

      • Robbiemac420 Says:

        That’s why I love your blog so much! Besides your wry sense of humor, and your occasional WTF’s, you help bridge the memory gaps for us old-timers who remember some but not all the details of DOOL! Thank you so much!

      • mykleraus Says:

        You’re welcome! There’s plenty I need others to fill in for me, too. That’s why I love that people come here to ask questions and stuff!

  3. underyourwing Says:

    isn’t Philip the one who had a face transplant?
    who the hell was that….from the war injury?

    or am i in a parallel universe here?

    GA this goofy Soap…it’s just nutty.

    • mykleraus Says:

      YES. But it technically gave him back the face he had in high school… I think that AND his prosthetic leg (blown off in a different war incident) have both been forgotten now.

  4. Shea Says:

    Honestly, I have never really liked the character of Phillip. My impression of the character when he was younger is that he was a combo of the worst traits of both Victor and Kate. I missed a lot of his history due to only being an occasional viewer but he thought he was Claire’s father only to find out he wasn’t discovered he was Pocket’s father only to give him up due to the baby having health issues and then thought he was Parker’s father only to find out he was really Daniel’s? Is that right?

    I thought he had a lot on his plate for the first episode and some scenes worked while some didn’t but he came off like a slime ball and for that reason I think the hairstyle works.

    I am a huge Steve and Kayla fan and their reunion material felt right. I am glad that so far it seems like the writers “get” who these two characters are and how they relate to each other. I am really dreading this Ava storyline. I just hope they don’t go there with Ava and Joey. The whole thing just makes me feel ill but I guess it could be worse and Steve’s first wife Marina could have returned from the dead.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I’m actually very impressed with how well these writers seem to understand Steve and Kayla. I was worried this would be another round of coasting on nostalgia, but their scenes are engaging independent of the 80s stuff.

      You’ve got Philip’s history right. Basically, he’s been made the loser by every regime, or at least the second choice. I feel like if he and Nicole conceived a child, the universe would implode, given their track records.

      • marypickford Says:

        Ha! about Phillip and Nicole.

        Phillip’s cavalier attitude toward letting go of his son Tyler never made sense, and I would say it makes even less sense after being the loser in two different WTD stories. Of course the real reason he doesn’t care is that the baby’s mom isn’t on the canvas, nor any of her family, so … shrug.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Agreed. I was surprised when that baby came up so quickly, actually — it seemed like more of a “let’s save this for down the road” thing than “let’s save this for two years from now.”

      • Shea Says:

        I’m not sure I know the full story…So was Pocket’s “mother” even alive? I didn’t see all of that storyline because the YouTube episodes started disappearing. Basically she was a surrogate that was supposed to have aborted? This was Phillip and Belle attempting to have a child but the eggs had been switched so the egg belongs to who? Mimi or the surrogate?

        I don’t know why he would have let his son go so easily after fighting so hard for Claire but like I said there is a lot of that I didn’t see. It seems like a lot of Phillip’s past just get dropped and forgotten like the prosthetic leg and that baby.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Yeah, Shawn/Mimi and Belle/Philip — two married couples in their early 20s, one of whom already had an infant — became OBSESSED with conceiving and both went through IVF. The “Black Glove” (who was EJ?) switched the samples so that Shawn’s sperm impregnated Belle’s egg, and Philip’s sperm impregnated Mimi’s egg. Belle miscarried, and Shawn and Mimi were having “their” child carried by a surrogate named Lauren. I feel like Bonnie might’ve gotten involved in either paying the surrogate not to abort or having her leave town or something. Then Tyler (nicknamed “Pocket” by Steve and Kayla while they were caring for him) popped up a year or two later.

        I agree that it didn’t make sense for Philip to relinquish rights to his son that easily, especially after how hard he’d fought to keep Claire — and then the Parker loss just makes it weirder. I hope they at least address some regret over having given up Tyler or something.

      • Robbiemac420 Says:

        OK…I just read the posts out of order. Now, I get it (sorta) that Pocket was just a nickname for Tyler. Still, the whole Shawn/Philip/Belle/Mimi thing is soooooooooo confusing. I’m glad it seems to be over. However, I’m amazed how much Claire looks like Belle! So, now that Philip is back in town, who do you think he’ll be involved with next? Belle? Ciara? Ava?

      • mykleraus Says:

        Hahaha. Yeah, it was a silly nickname Steve came up with. That was the low in my 19 years of viewing, so a lot of the specifics of that era are lost on me.

        The casting for Claire seems really good so far. I’m impressed.

        Philip is related to Ciara (through the Victor/Bo connection) so I HOPE not her. Hahaha. I’m actually thinking Belle and/or Theresa will be for him. God knows Brady and Philip are overdue to fight over another girl…

      • Robbiemac420 Says:

        Pocket? Really? Who named this baby Pocket? And what on earth were they thinking? Oh, wait….this was just the prelude to Apple, Saint, King and North, right?

      • Shea Says:

        I thought that technically Patrick Lockhart was the black glove although he was just doing EJ’s bidding but I could be wrong.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Oh, I think you’re right. I remember it was super-complicated and there was a scene of EJ beating Patrick with a belt, which was oddly sexual, and then Patrick went to jail or whatever.

  5. marypickford Says:

    I didn’t think of Kayla’s consult being Ava, but I can totally see that. I would prefer that to her approaching Steve and swearing him to secrecy, which is kind of what I was expecting.

    I saw some confusion on Twitter from people thinking she was Taylor. LOL

  6. ADW Says:

    LOL 😂 a transgendered Andrew (or shall I say Andrea Donovan) would be great! Theresa would certainly offer “her” a job as a model at BB. “Don’t put me with Paul Narita, I don’t verk with the males cuz I used to be one!”
    If I didn’t read the spoilers I would have thought Taylor Walker was back and in cahoots with Joey; I totally missed Ava Vitale’s last tenure because I wasn’t watching as frequently during that era, I blinked so I missed her. I suppose with Ben gone they had a quota to fill for a psychotic character. Btw that was so weird the way she was talking to herself in the mirror.
    I’m giving nuPhil a chance. I don’t like his hair either, what’s the deal with all that product? EJ must have had left over hair slick products and the style is a hybrid of Scrooge McDuck and David Beckham during his growing out phase. I’m surprised Melanie wasn’t brought up while Phillip and Brady were hanging out, “Brady my nephew, I hear you were banging my ex wife who found your son kidnapped from the womb of your ex girlfriend you didn’t even know you had; after you proposed to Melanie she dumped you before running away again.” I don’t mind not having to see footy, quirky little Parker perhaps he’s getting SORSA’ed too?
    I would really like to see a commercial for that Miracle Memory Serum with geriatrics out having fun and even tending bar, side effects include: the ability to see the future. SAY WHAT? I’m happy to see Caroline’s premonitions no longer only work on Bo and have moved to Victor. 😉

    • mykleraus Says:

      The strange thing about Ava is that she seemed to get sane once she went off the drugs and before leaving the show. So it’ll be interesting to see if they undo that or what.

      Philip and Brady have shared Chloe and Melanie already, so they’re already well versed in awkward love triangles. And Philip was married to Belle, his nephew’s sister, so… god, these people need to branch out.

      They actually brought up the psychic visions as a marketing tactic today! Like, WHAT?!

  7. underyourwing Says:

    this show is one giant petri dish of disgusting…… = eeewwwww.

  8. fluffysmom Says:

    I’m wondering if Ava will seduce Joey since she won’t be able to get Steve.

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