I don’t know what’s more surprising: that David Banning, a character who hasn’t been onscreen since 1983, got an actual funeral, or that Maggie remembered her connection to the Hortons and not only showed up, but lent Julie one of her outfits to deliver her eulogy.
Tell me that thing isn’t straight out of the Prince Memorial Line by Basic Black.
All in all, the funeral was pretty well done. There were actual people in attendance — it’s asinine that Hope wasn’t there (Did Rafe poison her with that picnic? Is this the start of some Munchausen-by-proxy storyline?), but Ciara and Claire stepping up to support Julie was nice. And I thought the writing did a nice job over these two episodes of filling in the story of Julie and David’s relationship, which until the past few months has literally not been referenced for decades.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a modern-day Days gathering if there weren’t an exchange like the following:
Valerie: And I’m so sorry about your son.
Maggie: He was a good man!
Yes, WE FUCKING GET IT. It isn’t even that I mind Daniel being referenced, really — it was polite of Valerie to offer her condolences, considering this was the funeral of Julie’s son and Maggie lost hers and Valerie has probably heard about him at the hospital (all over the damn hospital, all the damn time, if I had to guess). But this show’s fixation on mourning him is absolutely deranged. Valerie didn’t offer Hope her condolences on Bo. She didn’t even tell Maggie she was sorry to hear about the loss of Mickey, Maggie’s husband of four decades whom Valerie actually knew. Nope, all about Daniel!
And it also wouldn’t be a Salem event without a random long-lost relative waltzing in.
So far, I’m digging Eli. The actor did well on his first day with tough material, and as dubious as I was of the whole “I just happened to take an ancestry test right before David Banning’s funeral” thing, they did a decent job of using his FBI background to motivate it. Anything that anchors Valerie to Salem and beefs up the Horton clan is fine by me, too. And I have to say, it was really nice to see so many black faces when the camera panned around that funeral. This is the first time in a long while that it’s felt like there was an actual black presence in Salem, which is beyond overdue.
Look at me, being all optimistic! It’s like I’ve never seen this show before.