Hope for the Best

How lovely! Another episode of People Who Are Dead Who Should Be on Our TVs Instead of Summer.

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I’m kidding. Kind of. These standalone episodes are an interesting change of pace, and I applaud the experimentation with form (seriously, we get 250 episodes a year — they don’t all have to abide by the same structure), but it’s a little weird that I’m coming to look  forward to these episodes because I want to see people who aren’t regularly on the show and see longtime characters behave in ways that actually make sense, which they don’t get to do in the regular episodes.

I thought the throughline of this Hope-centric episode worked fairly well, although like the Jennifer and Abigail ones before it, there wasn’t exactly enough story to fill an hour-long episode. But at least we got a bunch of exciting visits. Like Larry Welch!

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That was fun and unexpected, and it was a smart way to call back to who Hope was way back when (and bring up some of her less admirable personality traits, like the “princess” stuff — and I mean the bratty kind, not the brainwashed art-stealing kind). This really was an occasion for Hope to take stock of who she’s been and who she will be, so this fit better than I thought it might.

And of course I started weeping the minute Grown-Up Zack arrived.

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I really like how they’ve maintained Zack as a sort of touchstone for Hope (and Bo) for a decade. Part of me has always expected him to turn out alive as part of some convoluted DiMera plot, but it was so powerful to see him in this context. They should never let us forget how the loss of a young child impacted Hope and will continue to do so. And the actor was pretty good, no? He reminded me, looks-wise, a little of Jason Cook, and he held his own easily. Why can they cast good Ghost Kids but can’t find decent living ones?!

Some of this episode definitely felt like a response to criticism about Hope being, you know, a murderer who got away with it, and yeah, it was sort of heavy-handed to have the ghosts of Bo and Stefano basically absolving her of what she did, but it’s about damn time they brought that major internal conflict into the foreground. She’s a cop who shot a man who — despite being a monster — was unarmed and just kind of being an ass to her at the time, and then she disposed of his body and let his own (insane) son go to jail for it. I still maintain that they could’ve gotten just about the same story value out of Hope killing Stefano in an act of self-defense, without all the ensuing ickiness, but what do I know? Also, did anyone else crack up when she promised Stefano that she’d look out for Chad — which was actually a smart, interesting tie to make — “the same way I look out for my own”? So what, you’ll text him every four weeks? Sounds great!

It was so great to see Peter Reckell onscreen again as Bo. The two of them just light up the screen together. And don’t get me started on how I bawled when “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love” started playing. I did not expect that. I assume the upcoming cast cuts were made in order to free up money for 90 seconds of that song to be played onscreen, but good grief, was it worth it.

The problem, of course, is that Bo and Hope have such weight, such history, that it made the entire piece about her flimsy love triangle with Rafe and Aiden feel beyond superfluous. I’ve said this before, but I like Hope and Rafe in concept. They have a pleasant chemistry. But the forced writing does them no favors, and when you put them up against the legend of Bo and Hope, it’s clear why. I find the idea of exploring Hope getting a “second act” interesting, and it’s something that Haiden 1.0 kind of delved into, but they seem to be avoiding it with the current Hope/Rafe pairing. This is a woman with two grown children, a child she lost, a grandchild, and a great love in her past. This should be a story about “What does the rest of my life look like?” instead of a paint-by-numbers soap romance. And is Rafe ready to be a stepfather to Ciara and Shawn? He has some experience, given his marriage to Sami, but that’s an angle to explore that they’ve completely neglected. They’re bypassing the interesting, different story in favor of… I don’t even know what. And then there’s this mind-boggling B.S. about Hope maybe still being in love with Aiden. Lady, you can’t be the stepmother to your daughter’s rapist. Sorry, move on! She could be torn over a number of things — residual affection/guilt toward Chase in spite of her hatred of what he did; a desire to forgive Aiden — but contemplating a reunion with Aiden is bonkers.

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28 Comments on “Hope for the Best”

  1. underyourwing Says:

    it is abhorrent they brought aiden back and got this stupid maybe we can love again crap with hope in our face. just disgusting. and
    has anyone else (deserving) gotten a whole episode to themselves before?

    rafe is fine, but matching him with hope is just wrong wrong wrong. he was/is basically her co-worker…when she was a cop. when it suited her to be a cop for some dumbo SL anyway. blanca was brought in by mami in an obvious attempt to tempt rafe away from hope so he is taken care of.

    bo blew everyone else out of the water as far as a romantic life partner so how can they top that?

    bring a look alike bo back to fuck with hope with some insidious odious plot line that will make us all bang our heads into a wall so she goes insane and ends up in the nut house. kidding…..

    there has got to be a GREAT way to get some charismatic strong hairy man with a great sense of humor, great intelligence, chemistry integrity, a huge love of dogs, perhaps a somewhat tragic back story (other than my wife died of cancer) into this show with a believable story we can accept and relish to bring love back into hope’s world. i am not expecting the writers to figure any out…..

    i also spoilered a page which leads me to believe that the new abi is really the same old abi with a new face. but, what do i know?

    • mykleraus Says:

      I don’t remember any of these standalone episodes prior to these writers. When Sami got the death penalty, the entire episode centered on that STORYLINE, but it featured a lot of characters in different places, etc. This approach is new. Guiding Light did something similar every Wednesday in its last few years (to varying degrees of success).

      I just want to see them build a romance for Hope, not just slap her into something. And her relationship with Bo has to be a factor in it. She’s not some ingenue with no history.

  2. Denise Says:

    Wasn’t it awesome to see Peter again?! But you are so right. The chemistry and history between the two just highlights the lesser pairings currently. If they were going to bring Aiden back, they never should have had Ciara raped by his son. And can we just stop with the rape storylines? I’m so so sick of them using that as a plot point somehow.

    These stand-alone episodes are so much better than the rest of the show. What does that say? I think the idea that we have to bring back dead characters to generate any kind of excitement is a little sad.

    I’m not sure where they go with Hope from here. I’m glad that this seems to be where they bring her back to sanity, but I’m not excited about either pairing. I really like Rafe, but I’m not feeling it between he and Hope. And they ruined Aiden’s character in many ways. I think they should try something else. I’d have her back away from both of them and introduce someone new. She does need to decide what act 2 of her life is going to be, but neither of these guys has even a third of the chemistry with her that Bo did. I understand if they don’t just want to cast a “Bo #2” type, but I need to see something a little more hot.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I’m beyond tired of the rapes, too. They never address it in an interesting or sensitive way.

      Aiden/Hope is DOA for me this go-round. I wouldn’t mind if they tried him with Jennifer or Nicole or Kate or whoever. Those could be complicated without the absolute “DO NOT PASS GO!” sense of him and Hope.

      • Denise Says:

        For me, the only rape story that was done well was Kayla’s – the fall-out from that lingered for a very long time in a real, compelling, heart-breaking way. Steve basically forcing Kayla into Jack’s arms when he found out Jack was his brother, the marital rape, and Kayla caught between the two men was riveting and real to me. None of the other rape storylines felt as realistic. And also, the “redemption” of Jack’s character was brilliantly played. They never let you forget that this way the guy that raped Kayla. It was one of the main reasons he wouldn’t let himself pursue young Jennifer. The back-lash from that continued on and on. I wish they could write layered stories like that now.

        A redemption story for Aiden might be possible – I think Jen could actually be a good match (awkwardness with Hope abounds!), but NO to a renewed romance for Hope and Aiden. a

        Speaking of Steve and Kayla – we need a stand alone epi for them! I’m dying to hear “If Your Heart Comes Out Tonight” one more time. They can skip Lady in Red or The Rose.

      • mykleraus Says:

        That’s the problem: a rape story really demands that level of focus and sensitivity, and they almost never grant that. Jennifer’s rape was done pretty well, too, from what I can tell, but that was sort of the continuation of Jack’s story — and it could be argued that having another woman raped to further a man’s story is sort of fucked-up, especially when Jack also had a sister who was a rape victim. But they definitely played important emotional fallout beats and really delved into what it meant for the victim, in Jen’s case.

        I’m a sucker for The Rose! I’d lose it if they played that for S&K again.

  3. Gavin Says:

    I’d been meaning to tune in for this episode and forgot until I read your post. Wish I’d remembered and then Tonight I Celebrate… would have been a pleasant surprise! Glad they broke open the piggy bank to pay to play that.

    Also glad they found a use for Chandler Massey’s old blue t-shirt.

    Now it’s back to reading your summaries instead of watching until Sonny reappears.

  4. Shea Says:

    These stand alone shows are starting to feel like a vacation…then it is just back to the sad old daily grind. I have always loved Bo so it was great to see him and fancy face back together on my screen. And I loved that they played their song too. (I will never forget the cringing when Hope “died” and Melissa sang that at her funeral. That was so inappropriate…lol)

    I am still crossing my fingers for a Steve and Kayla stand alone episode. I did read on DR that there is probaby another one coming up next month but I couldn’t tell if that was speculation or fact. But I am not confident it would be for Steve and Kayla.

    I like Rope but I wish it had been a more natural pairing. But I can’t understand how anyone could think Aidan is viable option for Hope at this point.

    • Denise Says:

      Part of the problem with the Rafe/Hope stuff is that you could FEEL the writers’ little fingers in your back pushing you toward that pairing. You’re supposed to THINK it’s coming naturally from the actors and storyline. When you can see it coming a mile away, it’s no fun at all. I like them both, but it just feels forced. I thought that their first kiss was especially awkward. I think I would have rather had them working a case together, talking during stakeouts, sharing things, etc. The whole covering up Stefano’s murder was just craziness.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Exactly. I was gravitating toward Hope/Rafe pretty naturally last year, because it felt like a surprise: “Oh, these two people I’ve never thought of in the same breath actually have an easy chemistry.” And then they pounced on that and started cramming them down our throats. Once they had Ciara start SHOVING them together mere days after Bo died, I was exhausted.

    • mykleraus Says:

      For as much as Griffith seems to love S&K, I’m shocked they haven’t gotten one yet. Along with Hope and Chabby, they’ve had the most consistently frontburner material since he took over.

      I didn’t know Melissa (was it faux-Melissa?) sang that song at Hope’s funeral. That’s NUTS!!

      • Shea Says:

        It was faux-Melissa (Camilla Scott). She wasn’t a bad actress, she just wasn’t Melissa. It’s usually a bit awkward to me when characters sing on the soaps…no matter how good they are. It was during the time when she and Emilio were performing together regularly. If all the clips hadn’t been taken off of youtube I would try to find it. It was right after the Cruise of Deception and Hope exploded over the vat of acid.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I hate the singing! I always get uncomfortable.

  5. Denise Says:

    I liked Camilla (what happened to Brian?), but you are right, she wasn’t Melissa. I’m back and forth with the singing. Sometimes music really does help set the mood, but it’s one of those things that can be embarrassing and make my eyes water! It’s too bad that the cost of using music is so high now, because those love themes from the 80’s really resonated. Even now, every time I hear one of those songs, I’m STILL like “Oh, that’s so and so’s song!”

    Can Hope explode over a vat of acid now? Did she really ask her rape victim daughter if she was okay with her getting back together with the rapist’s dad? I’m skipping ahead a day, but OMG!

    • Shea Says:

      Brian Scofield? I think he left town with Ginger…..Molly’s mother. Last time I saw Robert Mailhouse he was on some tv show performing in the band Dogstar with Keanu Reaves.

      • Denise Says:

        I forgot Brian was a Scofield! I loved Vern. I can’t even comment on Dogstar. Celebrity bands make my jaw clench LOL. I hope he looked well though. I had a little crush on Brian. I love those cute, bumbling types 🙂

      • mykleraus Says:

        The Scofields are such a forgotten part of Days history (to me, anyway). I guess it made sense to try and build a family off Vern, but they came and went so fast.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Yeah, he left with Ginger. I had forgotten about Dogstar!!

        I always wonder what it was like for viewers at that time to be inundated suddenly with Tanner, Molly, Brian, and Ginger. Aside from some interaction with J&J and Melissa, weren’t they kind of in their own world? Seems weird.

    • mykleraus Says:

      The singing usually feels wildly out-of-place (like you know it’s because the ACTOR wanted to sing) or like we’re supposed to believe we’re watching Adele when it’s really… Claire. I do miss them using REAL songs, though!

      LOL about Hope. Someone brainwash this woman ASAP!

      • Shea Says:

        I know Doug used to sing a lot but that was before my time watching days. It worked for me when it was Gloria Loring (Liz Chandler) singing at Blondie’s but when Justin Kiriakis is singing it is just strange.

        The whole singing soap star thing was such big a thing in the 80s. Gloria Loring was the only real crossover artist Days had in the 80s but Days had lots of characters singing Eve, Melissa, Emilio, Justin…but GH had those big cross over folks like Jack Wagner, Rick Springfield and John Stamos and Y&R had Michael Damian. I miss a lot of music montages and things Days did with music in the 80s but I don’t miss the characters singing….and I want Claire to stop asap.

        I loved Molly and Tanner back in the day and my best friend was in love with Brian scofield. Is Verne supposed to be married to Jo now?

      • mykleraus Says:

        The performing was a part of Doug’s character from the get-go, so that helped a lot. Same with Chloe (even though I didn’t need her screeching arias on my screen all the time) — it at least felt natural to the character.

        Vern and Jo got married, yeah. They appeared quite a few times back in 2006 when Steve came back. Didn’t the actor who played Vern pass away? They never addressed it onscreen, but they had one of Jen’s kids say something about Grandma Jo within the last year or two.

    • Shea Says:

      Well Brian was a cop so he had interactions related to that like Verne had his interactions through the Spectator. Tanner and Molly were in the college crowd so I seem to remember some interactions with Carrie. Ginger was a waitress….I think at Shenanigans so there were interactions there too. Back then Days knew how to use supporting characters.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Their introductions kind of remind me of the Ridgeway/Westin crew — new characters brought on without much of an anchor to the show, except none of them were really paired with main characters, either. It’d be fun to have them acknowledged in SOME way!

    • Fluffysmom Says:

      I forgot all about the Scofield’s and all of this other than Vern.

      • Shea Says:

        There was also a sister named Cassie but I do not remember her at all! I loved Michael Easton as Tanner but can not stand him now. He’s playing his third role on gh and just the sound of voice grates on my nerves now.

        Another character I just remembered from that time frame was the cute doctor that Julie had the May/December romance with during one of her divorces from Doug…Chip Lakin (Jay Pickett). Jay Pickett was on Port Charles and GH later and I always had this feeling I should know him but didn’t put it together until today!

      • mykleraus Says:

        I completely forgot Cassie existed. I’ve only read about her… And the Michael Easton thing on GH is absolutely bonkers!

        It seems like they tried a lot of random stuff in the early 90s. They were kind of in a reboot phase between the 80s heyday and the JER years.

  6. ADW Says:

    Can we please trade Zack with Ciara? Zack can come back very much alive and thinking he’s someone else (courtesy of Andre) and Ciara can just go off to school far away to become a ventriloquist or something ridicoulous like that, right? I doubt Bo like many of us would actually approve of Hope getting back with Aiden knowing what we all know. Bo DID tell Rafe to ‘look after Hope’ I’m sure he didn’t mine wine her (umm Passion Fruit Margaritas), dine her (Mexican food cooked by Mommy), and take her to bed (coitus interruptus).

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