Look, I know times are tough and budgets are lean, but even I had trouble suspending my disbelief at a woman who recently had brain surgery decorating the local pier for a surprise romantic evening with her ex-husband.
“I know I just underwent surgery and our son was kidnapped and our town has been under siege and I’ve been working round-the-clock at the hospital, but I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do than climb the pier to hang some Christmas lights! I presume absolutely no one else will walk through here during our date, considering that normal people don’t like to just hang out on a shady pier. And don’t worry, the only lingering effect of my surgery is hat head!”
I do think they’ve done a decent job shoring up Kayla and Steve as a couple, considering the impossible-to-solve conflict the previous writers gave them. Throwing them into major crisis bonded them and helped Kayla realize that a) Steve’s tendency toward heroics is not a bad thing, especially when the FBI can’t even be arsed to help an entire town being held hostage, and b) her family and friends attract an equal number of dangerous lunatics and psychos! So this is solved, right? Because I don’t like Kayla when she’s a nag, and I want to like Kayla.
I didn’t entirely hate the wrap-up they gave Aiden, either.
Daniel Cosgrove once again proved why he deserved a less-muddled character with a fighting chance at lasting, and I was pleasantly surprised by the way they had Hope stand up for herself and call that what it would’ve been: rape. This woman has been through too much and is too smart (in theory) to just cower at his demands. And having Aiden realize she was right and reverse course was an interesting way to show that he still has some dignity at his core. Of course, it remains to be seen whether he passed that recording along to Andre after he told Hope he’d wiped it, or if Andre already had it, but at least this digs us out of a story I can’t say I’m sorry to lose.
And just as some things end, some things begin. In the case of Dr. Valerie Grant, everything old is new again.
No, literally. This character, who should be about 65 years old, is a good decade-and-a-half younger than that. But I got a good vibe from Vanessa Williams on her first day, and I was thrilled that they had her and Julie cross paths so quickly. I’m pretty sure Julie wasn’t against Valerie’s (interracial) relationship with her son, David, back in the 70s, and Julie seemed pleased to see her while Valerie was the standoffish one, so something’s gotta be up here. I’m calling it now: Valerie found out she was pregnant with David’s baby before she left Salem and, fearing all the local racists and blowback, skipped town and never told him that she had his kid. I mean, this is Days, so that’s a logical conclusion. The real mystery is whether they’ll actually say the name David Banning, which Julie couldn’t even be bothered to spit out while explaining the history of her own son’s father’s mansion last year.