On the Mend
Fun fact: Laura Horton is one of only two characters to have appeared onscreen in each of the six decades in which Days has been on the air.
The other? Julie Olson Williams. While Julie has had significant appearances in every decade, though, Laura barely squeaks out this feat: her initial run went into the first part of 1980, covering that decade, but she didn’t show up again until the 90s, and she eked out only two episodes in the 2000s (when she visited for Jennifer and Jack’s 2003 wedding). Both Alice and Mickey Horton nearly qualified for this distinction, but despite the fact that both died onscreen in 2010, neither had appeared on the show for a few years beforehand.
Source: me being a nerd and a bunch of websites with annoying popups.
This week was… well, I wouldn’t exactly call it good, but things at least feel “back to normal.” Compare any episode from this past week to one from last November or February, and you’ll see the difference. The pace has calmed down, things are actually taking place onscreen, and characters are interacting outside their immediate story circles. I appreciated that they took the time to show people mourning for Abigail; too often, when they do these fake deaths where we know the person isn’t dead, they can’t even be bothered to have the characters pretend to believe it. And I thought the ending of Wednesday’s episode, with Julie reading the poem and getting to the line, “I did not die” as they cut to a woman (presumably Abigail) crying in a bed, was great soap.
I’m still unclear as to what makes Chad such an unfit father, other than the fact that he’s cried a few times, or why Jennifer thinks it’s okay to volunteer her brother and his fiancée to take custody of an infant without even asking them first, but hey, that’s Salem. The sudden use of Lucas and Adrienne makes it pretty clear that a writer change is afoot, and we even got this:
Will got numerous mentions! Layering Lucas’s grief over his son into Jennifer’s storyline worked well, and seeing Sonny at his grave felt necessary. (Don’t even get me started on how we of course also had to spend time at St. Daniel’s grave.)
In other crazy news, I continue to be alarmed every time I realize that I’m enjoying Belle. It’s so weird — put her in scenes with anyone but Philip and Shawn, and she exudes compassion and warmth. Her friendship with Chad is great. Her material with Jennifer and the Hortons was great. Her talk with Claire about Chloe? Also great! I loved that they had Claire reference the history of Shawn having been married to Mimi and how Chloe was once called “Ghoul Girl,” though it seemed a little weird that Belle put all the bullying on Mimi and failed to mention that the ringleader was actually a crazy woman who kept Claire’s father in a cage for months, but I guess these people have multiple family members who’ve been kept in cages, so maybe it’s old news.
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