The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, Part 4

Annnnnnd we’re back. This time around, in our quest to rewrite the 50-year history of Days of Our Lives with age-appropriate characters substituted for any who have been victims of SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome), we’re tackling 1995-99. Previous installments of this headache-inducing endeavor can be found at the following links: Part 1 (1965-79); Part 2 (1980-89); Part 3 (1990-94).

I always knew that the decision to reposition Christie Clark (Carrie) and Alison Sweeney (Sami) as cousins Hope Williams and Jennifer Horton would cause trouble — primarily because the real storylines had a lot to do with the Brady girls’ involvement with two Horton men, Lucas and Mike — but I pressed ahead because it made the most sense to me to hand off such heavy story to a pair of Hortons who were the right age for young-adult storylines at that time. But as viable as I think that would’ve been in a perfect world, it’s also been causing me major stress, because we’re at the point now when one thread pulls another, and that pulls another. Since my goal with this was to stick as closely as possible to having the actors who actually appeared on the show acting out storylines similar to the ones that aired, I’m having to do some serious gymnastics to make some elements work. But I dug my own grave, and I have to lie in it while Vivian Alamain taunts me via walkie-talkie, so here goes.

Sami-Lucas-Carrie-and-Austin1-300x269Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) has to remain a bystander in the 
Hope (Christie Clark)/Austin (Austin Peck)/Jennifer (Alison Sweeney)
storyline in order to avoid actual incest.

1995

As it happened: Marlena’s reign of terror as the Desecrator continues, and Stefano is critically injured when the Devil throws him out a window. John performs an exorcism to save Marlena’s soul, and she emerges alive. Marlena cares for an amnesiac Stefano as he recuperates. When Alan continues harassing Sami, she shoots him in the groin. Sami sleeps with Lucas and, when Carrie catches them, Sami convinces her that it was actually Austin. Sami also drugs Austin and has sex with him. She later interrupts Carrie and Austin’s wedding with the news that she is pregnant with Austin’s child, so he moves in with her to care for her. Sami gives birth to a son, whom she names William. Laura and Jack have to hide their affair; though Laura loves Jack, he is determined to win Jennifer back. Jennifer marries Peter in Aremid, the Blakes’ hometown. Vivian stands in for Kate during a wedding rehearsal and manages to become Victor’s legal wife. Vivian gives birth to Victor and Kate’s child, Philip. After Vivian drugs the pilot, Kate’s plane goes down, and she is presumed dead. Bo finally marries Billie, but it is revealed that Gina really is Hope. Billie steps aside and leaves Salem. Kristen and John decide that they want to be together, but they must wait for him to be released from his vows and for Kristen’s divorce from Tony to become legal. A jealous Tony learns that he is dying and frames John for his murder. John faces the gas chamber and writes a letter declaring his love to Marlena. John is saved at the last minute due to the discovery of Tony’s journal — and a mysterious “Woman in White” who lives in Aremid.

Notes: Aside from changing the names of the already-adjusted characters, there’s one major thing that needs tweaking here, which is Sami’s tryst with Lucas. If her character is now Jennifer, she can’t sleep with Lucas, because they’re half-siblings. I stressed over this for a long while, but it actually causes fewer issues in the long run than I expected (well, so far). Also, both Will and Philip are born this year; one will cause serious trouble in not too long.

The revised story: Marlena’s reign of terror as the Desecrator continues, and Stefano is critically injured when the Devil throws him out a window. John performs an exorcism to save Marlena’s soul, and she emerges alive. Marlena cares for an amnesiac Stefano as he recuperates. When Alan continues harassing Jennifer, she shoots him in the groin. Sami sleeps with Lucas and, when Carrie catches them, Sami convinces her that it was actually Austin. Jennifer also drugs Austin and has sex with him. She later interrupts Hope and Austin’s wedding with the news that she is pregnant with Austin’s child, so he moves in with her to care for her. Jennifer gives birth to a son, whom she names William (after her father, so this actually works!). Laura and Jack have to hide their affair; though Laura loves Jack, he is determined to win Melissa back. Melissa marries Peter in Aremid, the Blakes’ hometown. Vivian stands in for Kate during a wedding rehearsal and manages to become Victor’s legal wife. Vivian gives birth to Victor and Kate’s child, Philip. After Vivian drugs the pilot, Kate’s plane goes down, and she is presumed dead. Bo finally marries Billie, but it is revealed that Gina really is Olivia. Billie steps aside and leaves Salem. Kristen and John decide that they want to be together, but they must wait for him to be released from his vows and for Kristen’s divorce from Tony to become legal. A jealous Tony learns that he is dying and frames John for his murder. John faces the gas chamber and writes a letter declaring his love to Marlena. John is saved at the last minute due to the discovery of Tony’s journal — and a mysterious “Woman in White” who lives in Aremid.

1996

As it happened: The Woman in White turns out to be Rachel Blake, Kristen and Peter’s mother, who was believed dead in an accident caused by Stefano years ago. Kristen discovers John’s letter to Marlena and hides it. Kristen discovers that she is pregnant. Stefano regains his memory, and Marlena swears him off, so he kidnaps her and holds her captive in a cage in the sewers beneath Paris. John comes to rescue her and is nearly put to death by guillotine. Rachel shoots Stefano, causing an explosion in the sewers. Rachel dies, and Stefano is presumed dead, though he goes on the run. Kristen loses her baby but keeps it a secret. Stefano hires a pregnant Elvis fanatic, Susan Banks, to impersonate Kristen during doctor’s appointments, while Kristen wears a pregnancy pad and tries to convince John to elope. Lexie discovers that Celeste and Stefano are her biological parents. Crazed Jude St. Clair holds Hope hostage, but she is rescued. Bo and Hope plan to marry. Billie returns, and she and Bo still have feelings for one another. Mysterious Franco Kelly, on orders from an unseen boss, works to separate Hope and Bo. A woman named Jill claims that she was attacked, and Bo suspects Franco was the assailant. Bo goes to Smith Island to save Billie from Franco and is forced to spend the night there. Hope finds him and Billie asleep together and calls off the wedding. Franco and Jill are secretly in cahoots. Hope tells Bo that if he can prove Franco’s guilt, the wedding is back on. Jennifer learns of Peter’s schemes and files for divorce. Jack becomes convinced that Peter plans to kidnap Jennifer and Abby, but Jen won’t believe him. Jack tries to stop Peter and, in a struggle, Peter is shot. Daniel Scott wanders into a DiMera scheme, and Stefano has him killed. He switches Daniel’s body with Peter’s, so everyone thinks Peter is dead even though he is under Stefano’s care. Laura becomes suspicious of the DiMeras when she sees Kristen’s pregnancy pad slip and then walks in on Stefano and Peter together. Stefano kidnaps her and uses a laser surgery to erase her memory of the incident. Kristen continues to have Laura drugged so that she won’t remember. Jack faces a prison sentence for Peter’s murder. Kate turns up alive on a fishing boat and makes her way back to Salem. She exposes Vivian and reunites Victor. Unfortunately, Victor suffers a stroke and is left catatonic. Austin and Carrie reunite; they pursue custody of Will. Sami’s neighbor, Mary, kidnaps Will and flees to France. When the child is recovered, French authorities will only release him to married parents, so Austin is forced to marry Sami. Sami then blackmails Kate into giving Carrie a promotion at Titan that will force her to travel frequently. When Sami has an accident in Austin’s car due to a malfunction, everyone believes that she is lying to keep Austin away from Carrie. Austin gets in the car, and it again malfunctions, slamming Sami into a wall and leaving her on the brink of death.

Notes: This year is blessedly free of anything that needs changing, besides names. Whew. Gives me a chance to rest up for the fuckery that lies ahead. Also, it’s really glaring in recap form how isolated stories were during the James E. Reilly years. Aside from the thing about Sami kidnapping baby Belle and the weirdness of Laura being involved in Melissa’s story instead of Jen’s, there’s very little overlap between stories and even parents/children on a macro level.

The revised story: The Woman in White turns out to be Rachel Blake, Kristen and Peter’s mother, who was believed dead in an accident caused by Stefano years ago. Kristen discovers John’s letter to Marlena and hides it. Kristen discovers that she is pregnant. Stefano regains his memory, and Marlena swears him off, so he kidnaps her and holds her captive in a cage in the sewers beneath Paris. John comes to rescue her and is nearly put to death by guillotine. Rachel shoots Stefano, causing an explosion in the sewers. Rachel dies, and Stefano is presumed dead, though he goes on the run. Kristen loses her baby but keeps it a secret. Stefano hires a pregnant Elvis fanatic, Susan Banks, to impersonate Kristen during doctor’s appointments, while Kristen wears a pregnancy pad and tries to convince John to elope. Lexie discovers that Celeste and Stefano are her biological parents. Crazed Jude St. Clair holds Olivia hostage, but she is rescued. Bo and Olivia plan to marry. Billie returns, and she and Bo still have feelings for one another. Mysterious Franco Kelly, on orders from an unseen boss, works to separate Olivia and Bo. A woman named Jill claims that she was attacked, and Bo suspects Franco was the assailant. Bo goes to Smith Island to save Billie from Franco and is forced to spend the night there. Olivia finds him and Billie asleep together and calls off the wedding. Franco and Jill are secretly in cahoots. Olivia tells Bo that if he can prove Franco’s guilt, the wedding is back on. Melissa learns of Peter’s schemes and files for divorce. Jack becomes convinced that Peter plans to kidnap Melissa and Abby, but Melissa won’t believe him. Jack tries to stop Peter and, in a struggle, Peter is shot. Daniel Scott wanders into a DiMera scheme, and Stefano has him killed. He switches Daniel’s body with Peter’s, so everyone thinks Peter is dead even though he is under Stefano’s care. Laura becomes suspicious of the DiMeras when she sees Kristen’s pregnancy pad slip and then walks in on Stefano and Peter together. Stefano kidnaps her and uses a laser surgery to erase her memory of the incident. Kristen continues to have Laura drugged so that she won’t remember. Jack faces a prison sentence for Peter’s murder. Kate turns up alive on a fishing boat and makes her way back to Salem. She exposes Vivian and reunites Victor. Unfortunately, Victor suffers a stroke and is left catatonic. Austin and Hope reunite; they pursue custody of Will. Jennifer’s neighbor, Mary, kidnaps Will and flees to France. When the child is recovered, French authorities will only release him to married parents, so Austin is forced to marry Jennifer. Jen then blackmails Kate into giving Hope a promotion at Titan that will force her to travel frequently. When Jen has an accident in Austin’s car due to a malfunction, everyone believes that she is lying to keep Austin away from Hope. Austin gets in the car, and it again malfunctions, slamming Jennifer into a wall and leaving her on the brink of death.

Sami-Carrie-Austin-480x392Jennifer schemes to keep Austin, the father of her son,
away from his true love — her cousin, Hope.

1997

As it happened: The accident leaves Sami paralyzed from the waist down and suffering from amnesia. She reverts to her kinder, younger persona and also thinks that she and Austin are really married; guilt-stricken, he plays along. Carrie grows closer to Dr. Mike Horton. Word arrives that Roman was killed on his mission. Sami gets electrocuted and regains her memory, but she hides this to keep Austin away from Carrie. Susan, posing as Kristen, gives birth to a son, John Jr., and marries John in the delivery room. Vivian discovers Kristen’s scheme and uses it to her advantage, and she and Ivan become Kristen’s accomplices. Timid Susan enters therapy with Marlena, though she does not reveal the identities of the people involved in her troubles. Susan gains confidence and makes Kristen hire her as the baby’s nanny. Kristen plans to throw Susan in a secret room in the cellar of the DiMera mansion, but when Marlena puts together the pieces, Kristen imprisons her instead. Everyone believes that Stefano has kidnapped Marlena again. Susan perfects her Kristen disguise and locks Kristen in with Marlena. Susan takes over Kristen’s life and even fools her own twin, Sister Mary Moira. She plans to wed John in a Graceland-themed wedding. Laura regains her memory and interrupts the wedding to expose Kristen, who turns out to be Susan. Marlena and Kristen are rescued before a gas leak kills them. Marlena reveals all of Kristen’s schemes, and John dumps her. Jack goes to prison for Peter’s murder, and he meets fellow inmate Travis, who is working for the DiMeras. Travis is released and, as “Trent,” becomes Jennifer’s neighbor to keep an eye on her. Bo goes undercover to catch drug kingpin JL King and is forced to pretend that he is with Billie as part of the scheme. King nearly kills Hope and Shawn Douglas with a bomb when he doubts Bo’s loyalty. In Rome, Bo and Billie have to marry to keep up the charade. King is captured, but Hope catches Bo in bed with Billie. King’s men get Billie hooked on drugs again, and Bo sees her through the detox. Kristen interrupts John and Marlena’s wedding with Roman, who is alive and very ill. Roman thinks John and Kristen are married, so everyone plays along for his benefit. Sami discovers that Lucas is really Will’s dad and tries to alter the hospital records. Austin gets the annulment but thinks Carrie is with Mike, who has accompanied her to a medical conference to try and help Roman. Austin decides to solidify his family with the “changed” Sami and their son. Sami’s twin, Eric, returns to Salem. Kate learns of Sami’s deception but is blackmailed into silence, because Sami has proof that Kate was once a prostitute and that she hired Franco to break up Bo and Hope. Carrie interrupts Sami and Austin’s wedding with the truth about Will’s paternity and Sami’s memory. Carrie decks Sami and marries Austin herself. Austin and Carrie honeymoon in Rome, and Sami manipulates Mike into going there, too. In Rome, Sami joins forces with Franco, who decides to use Sami for his own purposes. Stefano is revealed to be the father of Susan’s baby, whom she renames Elvis. Stefano barters his freedom for the cure for Roman’s illness, but he must travel to the jungle with John, Hope, and Kristen to obtain it. Marlena agrees to remarry the dying Roman, but John races in with the cure at the last minute. Kristen tricks Susan into signing over custody of the baby, but John and Marlena assist Susan, who takes her son and leaves town. Sami continues blackmailing Kate and scores an executive position at Titan. Broke after their involvement with Kristen’s crimes is exposed, Vivian and Ivan meet a senile old man, Jonesy. Vivian pretends to be his lost love so that she can marry him for the wealth contained in his mysterious townhouse. Jennifer infiltrates Jack’s prison by posing as a guard, but Travis/Trent catches her and kidnaps her. Peter, afflicted with the exotic disease Jungle Madness, comes to retrieve Jennifer. Jack escapes prison to rescue Jennifer, and Travis is killed during a struggle at the Grand Canyon. Jack and Jennifer make it home in time for Christmas. As Bo and Hope reunite, Billie faints — she is pregnant.

Notes: First of all, here comes John Jr., a.k.a. Elvis, who will cause a real mess in just a few years’ time. One big thing that happens in 1997 is the revelation that Lucas, not Austin, is Will’s father — and the fact that Sami hid it from everyone. Since we didn’t have a Jennifer/Lucas fling for reasons of incest, that can’t come out. I toyed with the idea of making the father someone else entirely, but what’s really needed is for Kate to be Will’s grandmother, so Austin stays the boy’s father. Luckily, Sami/Jennifer did all kinds of other crap that could be exposed at that wedding, so that doesn’t pull too many threads just yet. This is also the year in which the Carrie/Mike relationship began, but that can’t happen if they’re cousins Hope and Mike. We already established Carrie as a separate character (she’s the one who kidnapped Belle after witnessing Marlena’s affair with John), so I’m going to create a little side story with her to keep some players occupied. Meanwhile, we need someone for Hope to begin growing closer to in place of Mike. There’s a SORAS coming in the next few years (Nicholas Alamain) that makes no sense, so I’m going to bring in the substitute character a little early. Finally, we have the introduction of the SORASed Eric Brady, Sami’s twin; if Sami is Jen, she doesn’t have a twin — but she does have a cousin, Timmy/Scotty Horton (now the child of Sandy Horton) who was born in 1977. We can plug him in here without causing too much chaos, and we’ll call him Scotty so that my brain doesn’t explode. Whew.

The revised story: The accident leaves Jennifer paralyzed from the waist down and suffering from amnesia. She reverts to her kinder, younger persona and also thinks that she and Austin are really married; guilt-stricken, he plays along. Hope grows closer to Vivian’s newly arrived nephew, Julian Alamain. Word arrives that Roman was killed on his mission. Jennifer gets electrocuted and regains her memory, but she hides this to keep Austin away from Hope. Susan, posing as Kristen, gives birth to a son, John Jr., and marries John in the delivery room. Vivian discovers Kristen’s scheme and uses it to her advantage, and she and Ivan become Kristen’s accomplices. Timid Susan enters therapy with Marlena, though she does not reveal the identities of the people involved in her troubles. Susan gains confidence and makes Kristen hire her as the baby’s nanny. Kristen plans to throw Susan in a secret room in the cellar of the DiMera mansion, but when Marlena puts together the pieces, Kristen imprisons her instead. Everyone believes that Stefano has kidnapped Marlena again. Susan perfects her Kristen disguise and locks Kristen in with Marlena. Susan takes over Kristen’s life and even fools her own twin, Sister Mary Moira. She plans to wed John in a Graceland-themed wedding. Laura regains her memory and interrupts the wedding to expose Kristen, who turns out to be Susan. Marlena and Kristen are rescued before a gas leak kills them. Marlena reveals all of Kristen’s schemes, and John dumps her. Jack goes to prison for Peter’s murder, and he meets fellow inmate Travis, who is working for the DiMeras. Travis is released and, as “Trent,” becomes Melissa’s neighbor to keep an eye on her. Bo goes undercover to catch drug kingpin JL King and is forced to pretend that he is with Billie as part of the scheme. King nearly kills Olivia and Shawn Douglas with a bomb when he doubts Bo’s loyalty. In Rome, Bo and Billie have to marry to keep up the charade. King is captured, but Olivia catches Bo in bed with Billie. King’s men get Billie hooked on drugs again, and Bo sees her through the detox. Kristen interrupts John and Marlena’s wedding with Roman, who is alive and very ill. Roman thinks John and Kristen are married, so everyone plays along for his benefit. Sami discovers that Lucas is really Will’s dad and tries to alter the hospital records. Austin gets the annulment but thinks Hope is with Julian, who has accompanied her to a medical conference to try and help Roman. Austin decides to solidify his family with the “changed” Jennifer and their son. Jennifer’s cousin, Scotty Clayton, returns to Salem and suspects something is going on with her. Kate learns of Jennifer’s deception but is blackmailed into silence, because Jen has proof that Kate was once a prostitute and that she hired Franco to break up Bo and Olivia. Hope interrupts Jennifer and Austin’s wedding with the truth about Will’s paternity Jennifer’s assorted lies, including that she has her memory back. Hope decks Jennifer and marries Austin herself. Austin and Hope honeymoon in Rome, and Jen manipulates Julian into going there, too. In Rome, Jennifer joins forces with Franco, who decides to use Jen for his own purposes. Stefano is revealed to be the father of Susan’s baby, whom she renames Elvis. Stefano barters his freedom for the cure for Roman’s illness, but he must travel to the jungle with John, Olivia, and Kristen to obtain it. Marlena agrees to remarry the dying Roman, but John races in with the cure at the last minute. Kristen tricks Susan into signing over custody of the baby, but John and Marlena assist Susan, who takes her son and leaves town. Jennifer continues blackmailing Kate and scores an executive position at Titan. Broke after their involvement with Kristen’s crimes is exposed, Vivian and Ivan meet a senile old man, Jonesy. Vivian pretends to be his lost love so that she can marry him for the wealth contained in his mysterious townhouse. Melissa infiltrates Jack’s prison by posing as a guard, but Travis/Trent catches her and kidnaps her. Peter, afflicted with the exotic disease Jungle Madness, comes to retrieve Melissa. Jack escapes prison to rescue Melissa, and Travis is killed during a struggle at the Grand Canyon. Jack and Melissa make it home in time for Christmas. Carrie Brady dates Lucas Roberts but becomes attracted to Dr. Mike Horton, his half-brother. As Bo and Olivia reunite, Billie faints — she is pregnant.

nicholasvictorThe improbably aged Nicholas Alamain (Victor Webster) instead
becomes a different Alamain nephew, Julian, who arrives in Salem earlier.

1998

As it happened: After Billie announces her pregnancy, Hope tries to focus on finding out about her missing years. Bo accompanies her to New Orleans. Billie follows them and gives birth to a stillborn daughter, though she hides it until they return to Salem — where she stages a fight with Hope and blames her for the miscarriage. In the bayou, Bo meets “Swamp Girl,” a scarred woman who turns out to have been Hope’s stand-in when Ernesto Toscano’s cage exploded years ago. Swamp Girl, a.k.a. Greta, returns to Salem with Bo and Hope. She remembers John as a priest from Maison Blanche. Billie joins Roman in Lugano, Switzerland, for an ISA mission, and Hope’s search leads her and John there, too. The wealthy Lili Faversham recognizes Hope as Gina. Stefano wants to regain control of Hope’s mind and turn her back into Princess Gina. When stillborn Georgia’s coffin is shipped to Salem, Billie’s lie about her baby’s death comes out. Vivian marries Jonesy, who soon dies, but it turns out that Stefano really owns the townhouse. Stefano marries Vivian and implants a mind-control device in her tooth in an effort to get back the townhouse and its secrets. Sami launches a New Faces campaign at Titan. Her brother, Eric, works as the photographer and becomes involved with Nicole Walker, the waitress-turned-model. Nicole hides her past from Eric, including the fact that another girl working at Titan, Taylor, is really her sister. When they travel to LA for work, Nicole and Eric encounter a man named Jay who taunts them about Nicole’s past. Roman finally learns the truth and gives up on Marlena. In England, Susan falls in love with gentle Edmund Crumb. They become engaged, but Kristen kidnaps Sister Mary Moira to use as leverage to get baby Elvis back. Kristen is soon found dead in a pool, with Laura and Susan as the prime suspects. But Kristen is really alive and impersonating Susan, whom she has sent off to a harem. The dead woman turns out to be Penelope, the other Banks quadruplet; Edmund killed her thinking she was Kristen. He and Susan trick Kristen and, after leaving her a prisoner in the harem, return to England with the baby. Peter and Celeste are both in the throes of Jungle Madness. Jennifer, Jack, and Abby run away and join the circus to hide out. Jennifer fakes her death to smoke out Peter, who is finally arrested. With Jack cleared, he and Jen reunite, and they move to Africa with Abby. Stefano provides Celeste with the cure for Jungle Madness. Franco plans to marry Sami for his green card. Sami lies that Lucas, who has developed a drinking problem, hit Will, so she gains full custody. On the wedding day, Franco tries to kill Kate, but Lucas steps in and shoots him. Sami finds Franco dead and faints; Kate takes the opportunity to frame her for the murder. Mike runs for Chief of Staff against Dr. Craig Wesley, who conspires with his wife, Nancy, to ruin Mike’s chances. Mike continues to long for Carrie, who works on the campaign with him. Mike distracts himself by dating a nurse, Ali, which makes Carrie jealous. Mike is eventually named COS, but Craig and Nancy still work to undermine him.

Notes: This one isn’t too difficult, aside from the fact that the stillbirth of Georgia Brady has now been established and is going to be retconned way too soon. We’re once again dealing with the awkward split caused by the rewritten version of the Carrie/Mike pairing, but in this broad-strokes world, we can make it work.

The revised story: After Billie announces her pregnancy, Olivia tries to focus on finding out about her missing years. Bo accompanies her to New Orleans. Billie follows them and gives birth to a stillborn daughter, though she hides it until they return to Salem — where she stages a fight with Olivia and blames her for the miscarriage. In the bayou, Bo meets “Swamp Girl,” a scarred woman who turns out to have been Olivia’s stand-in when Ernesto Toscano’s cage exploded years ago. Swamp Girl, a.k.a. Greta, returns to Salem with Bo and Olivia. She remembers John as a priest from Maison Blanche. Billie joins Roman in Lugano, Switzerland, for an ISA mission, and Olivia’s search leads her and John there, too. The wealthy Lili Faversham recognizes Olivia as Gina. Stefano wants to regain control of Olivia’s mind and turn her back into Princess Gina. When stillborn Georgia’s coffin is shipped to Salem, Billie’s lie about her baby’s death comes out. Vivian marries Jonesy, who soon dies, but it turns out that Stefano really owns the townhouse. Stefano marries Vivian and implants a mind-control device in her tooth in an effort to get back the townhouse and its secrets. Jennifer launches a New Faces campaign at Titan. Her cousin, Scotty, works as the photographer and becomes involved with Nicole Walker, the waitress-turned-model. Nicole hides her past from Scotty, including the fact that another girl working at Titan, Taylor, is really her sister. When they travel to LA for work, Nicole and Scotty encounter a man named Jay who taunts them about Nicole’s past. Roman finally learns the truth and gives up on Marlena. In England, Susan falls in love with gentle Edmund Crumb. They become engaged, but Kristen kidnaps Sister Mary Moira to use as leverage to get baby Elvis back. Kristen is soon found dead in a pool, with Laura and Susan as the prime suspects. But Kristen is really alive and impersonating Susan, whom she has sent off to a harem. The dead woman turns out to be Penelope, the other Banks quadruplet; Edmund killed her thinking she was Kristen. He and Susan trick Kristen and, after leaving her a prisoner in the harem, return to England with the baby. Peter and Celeste are both in the throes of Jungle Madness. Melissa, Jack, and Abby run away and join the circus to hide out. Melissa fakes her death to smoke out Peter, who is finally arrested. With Jack cleared, he and Melissa reunite, and they move to Africa with Abby. Stefano provides Celeste with the cure for Jungle Madness. Franco plans to marry Jennifer for his green card. Jennifer lies that Lucas, who has developed a drinking problem, hit his nephew Will while Austin and Hope had the child, so she gains full custody and Austin’s sympathy. When Hope clashes with Austin over Jennifer’s story, she receives support from Julian Alamain. Carrie, pregnant with Lucas’s baby, believes Jennifer and has doubts about raising a child with him; she receives support from Mike. On the wedding day, Franco tries to kill Kate, but Lucas steps in and shoots him. Jennifer finds Franco dead and faints; Kate takes the opportunity to frame her for the murder. Mike runs for Chief of Staff against Dr. Craig Wesley, who conspires with his wife, Nancy, to ruin Mike’s chances. Mike continues to long for Carrie, who is having a child with Lucas and works on the campaign with him. Mike distracts himself by dating a nurse, Ali, which makes Carrie jealous. Mike is eventually named COS, but Craig and Nancy still work to undermine him.

4892424Instead of Jensen Ackles being Eric Brady, who would still be a young
teen,
 he is Horton cousin Scotty Clayton and can still get involved
with
 Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker).

1999

As it happened: Sami is sentenced to death for Franco’s murder. Austin believes in her innocence, and they go on the run. Tracey, a mountain woman, hides them until Sami is forced to turn herself in. Eric proposes to Nicole, but Kate offers her $5 million to marry Lucas, which she accepts. Lucas thus wins custody of Will. Outraged, Sami escapes from prison. When she is caught, the court moves up her execution. Lucas is guilt-ridden over having shot Franco, but Kate will not let him confess. Sami receives the lethal injection, but Lucas bursts in at the last moment and confesses. Sami is saved. At the same time, Kate convinces a dying mobster to take the fall for Franco’s murder, so the truth remains unknown. Carrie and Mike kiss but vow it cannot happen again. Ali grows overly possessive of Mike. She e-mails photos of Carrie and Mike to Austin, who soon catches them in bed together. Ali attempts suicide by slitting her own wrists but lives. Austin divorces Carrie, who leaves town with Mike to begin a new life. Sami bonds with Nicole’s brother, Brandon, a doctor, while Eric begins growing close to Greta — who is revealed to be the real Princess Gina’s daughter. Gina was an art thief and Stefano’s lover, and he brainwashed Hope to impersonate her during her missing years. He once again manages to brainwash her. John and Marlena finally wed and honeymoon in Hawaii, but Hope — now Gina — kidnaps John, whom she considers the love of her life, and they make love on a submarine. When Stefano catches them, Gina sleeps with him to quell his suspicions. Stefano exiles Hope-as-Gina to Europe. The real Princess Gina is still alive and wants to reunite with her great love, John, and her daughter, Greta. She undergoes plastic surgery to look like Hope and comes to Salem to take over her life. “Hope” and Bo plan to marry. Vivian’s nephew, the now-grown Nicholas Alamain, returns to Salem to help her. She obtains a divorce from Stefano and sets her sights on Victor again. Nicholas is attracted to Kate, and vice-versa. Teenage Shawn Douglas Brady is suspicious of his “mom”’s behavior. Philip Kiriakis, also now a teen, gets into trouble with a bookie. Their classmate, Belle Black, befriends a shy new girl at their school, Chloe Lane, who is being fostered by Nancy and Craig Wesley — though Nancy hides the truth: that Chloe is really her daughter.

Notes: The only reason I let myself get away with the utter mind-fuck of the whole revised Carrie/Mike/Hope/Julian/whatever situation was because I knew the decks would pretty much clear in 1999, so it was a short-term headache. Interestingly, the Sami/Lucas stuff repositioned as half-siblings Jennifer/Lucas is sort of fun — that would’ve added a whole new level to the Laura/Kate feud as it played out. And then, once this is all sorted out, the universe laughs in my face by slapping a whole bunch of illogically SORASed teens (the Last Blast Crew) into the show at the tail end of the decade. Belle is still far too young to be a teenager, but Marlena has another daughter who would be 15 this year. Kirsten Storms can easily be Sami instead of Belle, who’s still in grade school, and the Jay Kenneth Johnson character isn’t Philip, but Eric. (This will cause some minor Kate/Victor issues on a micro level, but we can dodge those.) Shawn Douglas is more of an issue; the character is only a few years shy of being a teenager in real time, but he’s still too young for high school stories — and he’s also Sami’s first cousin, so that pairing wouldn’t work. I think we can sub in Max Brady (whom they kept trying to pair with his relatives, anyway), so that’s who Jason Cook would be playing. And God bless Chloe Lane, who requires zero rewriting!

As it happened: Jennifer is sentenced to death for Franco’s murder. Austin believes in her innocence, and they go on the run. Tracey, a mountain woman, hides them until Jen is forced to turn herself in. Scotty proposes to Nicole, but Kate offers her $5 million to marry Lucas so that he can get custody of his and Carrie’s unborn child, which she accepts. But Carrie loses the baby during childbirth. Lucas thus wins custody of Will. Outraged, Jennifer escapes from prison. When she is caught, the court moves up her execution. Lucas is guilt-ridden over having shot Franco, but Kate will not let him confess. Jennifer receives the lethal injection, but Lucas bursts in at the last moment and confesses. Jen is saved. At the same time, Kate convinces a dying mobster to take the fall for Franco’s murder, so the truth remains unknown. Hope and Julian kiss but vow it cannot happen again. Carrie and Mike kiss but vow it cannot happen again. Ali grows overly possessive of Mike and jealous of his growing bond with Carrie. She e-mails photos of Carrie and Mike to Lucas. Ali attempts suicide by slitting her own wrists but lives. Austin also catches Hope and Julian in bed together. Austin divorces Hope, who leaves town to get some perspective. Jennifer bonds with Nicole’s brother, Brandon, a doctor, while Scotty begins growing close to Greta — who is revealed to be the real Princess Gina’s daughter. Gina was an art thief and Stefano’s lover, and he brainwashed Olivia to impersonate her during her missing years. He once again manages to brainwash her. John and Marlena finally wed and honeymoon in Hawaii, but Olivia — now Gina — kidnaps John, whom she considers the love of her life, and they make love on a submarine. When Stefano catches them, Gina sleeps with him to quell his suspicions. Stefano exiles Olivia-as-Gina to Europe. The real Princess Gina is still alive and wants to reunite with her great love, John, and her daughter, Greta. She undergoes plastic surgery to look like Olivia and comes to Salem to take over her life. “Olivia” and Bo plan to marry. Heartbroken by Hope’s departure, Julian focuses on helping his Aunt Vivian. She obtains a divorce from Stefano and sets her sights on Victor again. Julian is attracted to Kate, and vice-versa. Now a teenager, Max Brady (who years earlier left town with Frankie and has not been back since) returns and is suspicious of “Olivia”‘s behavior. Eric Brady, also now a teen, gets into trouble with a bookie. His twin sister, Sami Brady, befriends a shy new girl at their school, Chloe Lane, who is being fostered by Nancy and Craig Wesley — though Nancy hides the truth: that Chloe is really her daughter.

That brings up to the close of the 1990s. Yeesh. In an ideal world, or one in which I was not a maniac who undertook this project, I never would’ve written a story as convoluted as the whole Hope/Austin/Julian/Carrie/Mike thing, but we’re (almost) clear on that front now. We still end up with Alison Sweeney’s character, Jennifer, becoming closer to Austin while having a feud with Lucas. Will is Jennifer and Austin’s child, so he’s still a Horton and has Kate as his grandmother. Mike winds up with an alternate-universe version of Carrie. And we’re now in the era of the Last Blast teens. Next time, we’ll dive into the equally messy early 2000s…

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2 Comments on “The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, Part 4”

  1. Dan Says:

    All very fascinating.

    I think have a solution that might be a bit more effective in terms of Lucas. Like you split the Sami story over Jennifer and Carrie, why not give Kate two sons: Lucas (a military cadet stepson) and Adam Roberts (a preteen born from Kate’s affair with Bill Horton who was raised by Kate’s second husband as his own). This way, you can still have the Kate / Lucas bond, even though they aren’t biologically mother and son, but I think it would almost make the story more fascinating: Kate choosing between the son she has raised as her own and the son she wasn’t allowed ot raise. This would keep most of your story problems at a minimum. Then, Lucas can still play all his story with Jennifer, which is important since all of Lucas’ story is directly tied to his loving Sami. Also, it allows you to further play the dueling mamas angle between Kate and Laura.

    And then, Adam Roberts becomes Phillip Kiriaikis, which allows you to have a Horton in the mix of the younger set. Phillip can now be involved with Chloe. Shawn D would be Eric Brady and Belle Black would be Sarah Horton, with Sami playing the role of Mimi, Sarah’ s best friend. And, down the line, when Adam Roberts falls for Sarah Horton, Mickey and Bill’s ‘children’ are now a couple.

    With the Mike / Carrie story, I think you split it again. Carrie falls for Mike and is involved in the Ali storyline. Hope falls for Chase Wesley. C.J. would be Craig’s nephew and be about 21 when he arrives in Salem. I’d probably allow him to be played by Jensen Ackles. Later, his doctor uncle and nosy aunt arrive and you would have a prescribed reason for the Wesley / Horton feud before even arriving in Salem. With that C.J. would also usurp the Eric Brady story since C.J. would essentially have the same ties, but could pick up the story where Eric left off.

    I would have simply made Victor Webster, Julian, a business savvy young man who Vivian takes a liking to playing on Vivian’s maternal instincts. When Vivian leaves, Victor would keep him at Titan. I don’t think the Nicholas / Kate affair was ever mentioned again so its impact is minimal.

    I’ll comment more later about what I’ve realized from your un-doing about the show over the decades.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Thanks for chiming in!

      I was trying to toy with something like what you proposed for Kate (two sons), but I was over-complicating it and couldn’t quite get the logistics right. But you’re right: the key is to have the son who’s a Horton just exist for his Horton-ness right now, and then he can be utilized in place of someone else in a few years. And he would help with Philip a lot.

      I like the idea of having NewHope’s other love interest be tied to the Wesleys. I kind of just merged that with the Nicholas character because I figured I might as well utilize Victor Webster in SOME way, haha.

      Basically this is just a ridiculous mental exercise at this point, but I’m enjoying myself, and I’m loving getting other people’s views of how they’d go about this or how to dig myself out of corners I’ve gotten boxed into.


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