I was all set to make a bunch of jokes about Andre wandering around Salem with a bag of bagels, hoping he’d run into Chase so he could force-feed him, and then luring Chase to his hotel room to eat more. What is this, some deranged fetish?
And I was also going to offer up praise for how well the Hope/Rafe/Andre thing is working. Hope and Rafe seem smart with this setup, and the past few months’ worth of story points are all being used interestingly. I know lots of people are upset that Hope is a “cold-blooded killer” and that they’re framing an innocent man, but… meh. I loved Stefano, but I’m a viewer, not a Salemite. He was batshit crazy, and he spent over three decades terrorizing Hope’s family for sport. Someone should’ve plugged him years ago. He raped Hope! I think they could’ve written the shooting better — if Stefano had overtly threatened Ciara, Shawn, Chase, and/or Claire, Hope’s motivation would’ve been clearer and a bit more noble, without just being able to claim self-defense. But I actually think this cat-and-mouse game with Andre is interesting.
Or I did. Until the end of Wednesday’s episode happened.
I don’t even want to go back and get a screenshot of the final Chase/Ciara scene. I thought the directing and editing were effective in being terrifying, so I guess that’s a plus… but this just feels like another throwaway traumatic event in the endless procession of darkness that is present-day Days of Our Lives. We literally had scenes in the same episode in which a man keeps from his wife the fact that he was coerced into sex with a maniac — and then we have to watch a teenage girl be raped? No thanks.
I do believe there are ways in which a story like this can have value. If this were a story about campus assault, exploring the nuances of consent and enlightening people on how it isn’t such a black-and-white subject, I could see that being worthwhile television. Not pleasant to watch, perhaps, but important and engaging and relevant to contemporary society. But another instance in which a woman is held down while a man forces himself upon her? We’ve seen it. Enough. The list of people currently in Salem who’ve been raped or sexually assaulted are, off the top of my head: Julie, Marlena, Maggie, Kayla, Adrienne, Jennifer, Nicole, Hope, Eric, Steve, and now Ciara. That’s nuts. Not that a rape victim should be solely defined by her or his experience afterward (I think Kayla is a strong example of a character whose rape isn’t ‘forgotten’ but isn’t presumed to be the entirety of her identity), but sadly, it is something that will probably color the victim’s life in distinctive ways forever, and we don’t see that with most of the people named above. So why add another to the list, especially with the way they seem to be racing through plot points rather than thoughtfully playing out every beat?
I also feel, strategically, that it’s a waste of the Chase character and a strong actor. I don’t mind them making him dark or bad, but in a logistical sense, why go there with a character who has established connections but isn’t biologically related to three-quarters of the cast? The most we can hope for is a Nick-esque character who wreaks havoc for a while before being killed or tossed in jail. I don’t want to see him redeemed after this. I’ve read speculation that the reason they’ve emphasized Andre giving him food is so they can later reveal that Andre drugged him, but that’s sloppy and silly and offensive to rape victims.
Can we go back to everyone wearing hideous dresses I can make fun of?
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