Mother, May I?

Here’s a screenshot I snagged of Friday’s dramatic twist, in which Julie choked on a large piece of the Horton Town Square set.

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Oh, wait, this was right after she received a phone call that her only child, David, was killed in a motorcycle accident. I truly do live for any time they let Susan Seaforth Hayes go to town with the Vaudeville-style dramatics — see also: “OH MY GOD, NICK! YOU’VE BEEN SHOT!!!!!” — and even though it was so over-the-top that it looped back around and came out on the bottom (no, I don’t even know what that means), it did feel like exactly the way Julie would react to this news.

And luckily Doug took Julie home right away, so that Hope could slip off to dance with Rafe instead of being there for her family.

Does it suck that they killed a legacy Horton offscreen? Of course. Do I think this is some crime against the fans or irrefutable proof of ineptitude? No way. David hasn’t been seen onscreen since 1983. Yes, he absolutely could’ve been brought in and used in story, but frankly, he and Mike Horton would serve most of the same purposes at this point. The characters in that rough age range who need love interests are Hope and Jennifer, neither of whom could be paired with David. And I strongly believe that a huge part of the reason that Julie’s branch of the family has been neglected for so long is because of all the SORASing confusion that took place in the 70s and 80s: David, born in 1968, was an adult by 1976, and his son, Scotty, was born in 1978 and an adult by 1989. I think subsequent writers have shied away from dealing with the absolute confusion of Julie having a grandson who should be around Jennifer’s age right now — or how the hell old David would have to be in order for that to work. If anything, this strikes me not as killing off a long-unseen character just to clean up a loose end, but a move intended to generate story.

I’ll put the rest of this behind a cut because it’s getting into spoiler territory, but they’re also the kinds of spoilers that anyone who thinks about this stuff has probably figured out, so… proceed with moderate caution.

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As random and contrived as it was for Valerie and Abe to be there when Julie got the news, it was clearly an important part of the puzzle. Valerie has a son. Valerie also has a secret. Valerie has not wanted to interact with Julie much. Hmmm. Isn’t it much more powerful for Valerie’s son to learn that David was his father only after David is dead and gone? That makes him resent Valerie for never giving him the chance to know David. That makes Julie pissed at Valerie for this unilateral decision that now can’t be rectified. That makes Eli perhaps want to bond with the other Hortons harder, as if to make up for lost time. I see lots of story value in this, as opposed to the truth coming out and Eli going, “Oh, I’m going to fly to Downtown Europe to see my father.” Of course it would’ve been cool for them to cast David after all these years and craft a story involving him, but I definitely see the value in this, too.

It also means, in theory, that it’s less awkward to cast Scotty now — they could make him Brady and Eric’s age and not futz with the timeline too much, especially if they downplay or fudge his past connection to Eve — though who knows if they’ll have the sense to do that.

And how fitting that, as the subject of Days‘ first-ever huge custody battle dies, another even more convoluted one is playing out!

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They could not have been more crammed into that judge’s chambers (or is this what we’re calling a “meat locker” these days?) if they’d tried, which of course ratchets the drama down about 20 points, and I don’t even know what to say about the special, inept brand of lawyering on display from both Belle and Justin. Martha Madison’s Belle has grown on me considerably since they got her out of that terrible Philip rehash, to the point where I was sad that she and Shawn left, but boy, was she terrible on Friday. The way she kept tripping over her lines as she presented Chloe’s case… I didn’t even buy that Belle would’ve passed a single class in law school, let alone actually been hired by anyone to represent them in court. Even Chloe up there is like, “Jesus, what have I gotten myself into?” Not that the writing helped her at all. “Nicole was involved in porn… not to mention the incident involving my client and flesh-eating bacteria!” Are you going to elaborate, or are we just presuming that the judge watches Days and/or keeps all these characters’ Wikipedia pages bookmarked for easy reference? She certainly didn’t even flinch at the mention of flesh-eating bacteria in a custody case, sooooo…

At least Nicole looked nice. Small victories.

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14 Comments on “Mother, May I?”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I wish I could be as optimistic as you about this David story. Imo this was done only to bring Eli on to hook up with Gabi, who Julie hates. I mean Dena’s only thought process was probably we need a new triangle for Chad and Gabi once we hook Abby up with Dario, who hates Gabi…Julie, ohhhhhhhh let’s give Julie an age appropriate grandson for Gabi now!

    • mykleraus Says:

      I’m trying to be optimistic. We’ll see. Having another Horton around — and expanding Julie’s branch of the family — can’t be a bad thing (in theory). And I’d be way more annoyed if they had just brought in Eli and kept David offscreen, or everything was hunky-dory from the get-go, which they do WAY too often with these insta-relatives. What’s the point if there isn’t going to be real conflict generated by their arrivals?!

  2. marypickford Says:

    LOL at Julie choking on the scenery. I love SSH to death, but man she EMOTES.

    I have been longing for David to come back on the canvas ever since I saw how fantastic Gregg Marx still looks. But I take your point that a recast of Mike would bring the same things to the canvas. Plus a better connection to Jen.

    I was really repelled by those “courtroom” scenes. The only thing I liked was the Deimos bribing the judge thing backfiring. That’s classic soapy irony.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Yeah, she, uh, really goes for it. LOL. At this point, that just IS Julie, so it works, but I don’t know how anyone in that square was doing anything *but* watching this woman squawk and scream.

      The court stuff was awful on almost every level: production, directing, writing… some of the acting was “fine,” but it was no one’s best moment.

  3. ADW Says:

    I’ve seen better courtroom when we did mock trials in 6th grade. I got the vibe that the Judge and Justin have been in the court room together before and don’t much care for each other. I thought Justin was better versed in court room etiquette although I sincerely think Justin took the high road; Justin just brought up Chloe used to be a prostitute and had severe postpartum in the past. Conversely, Belle slung mud and even brought up Misty Circle. The Judge likely did her homework and saw aspects of Chloe and Nicole’s lives which was public record and medical records but, still I’m sure the Judge was like “WTF” in her chambers.
    I have a feeling this will be complicated. I’m guessing Nicole is allowed visitation. This will cause more of rift in Nicole’s relationship with Demios (who we all know will be out of the picture by the time Holly has her first b’day anyways).
    I just noticed looking at your screen shot, Nicole’s and Justin’s outfits look very color coordinated w/ the gray, periwinkle, and plum. Nicole looked very nice and appropriate for court. Meanwhile, Chloe’s girls in yet another one of her Barney the Dinosaur dresses looked like they were suffocating and needed to free themselves.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I don’t blame Belle for bringing up Nicole’s porn career, considering that her job is to prove that Chloe is a more fit mother than Nicole. What I don’t get is why Justin didn’t counter that Nicole was underage and drugged when she made Locker Room Lolita, but I’m not sure the show even remembers that part…

      Nicole really did look nice! Good hair, cute blouse. She should not be this hard to style.

  4. ADW Says:

    I honestly, don’t have too much of an opinion either way about David Banning and killing him off….in order to make an omelet you have to crack some eggs. David was on way before my time; all I really know about Julie’s son is what I’ve heard and read. I can’t even find any old videos on line with David in them.
    I don’t mind extending the Horton clan at all and shifting the focus back to Julie and her branch would be a nice change after the spotlight was on Jen and her kids for way too long. I’m so glad that the new Horton was done with substance as opposed to manufacturing and retro/fitting more improbable, annoying off-spring of Maggie.
    I’m pretty sure Valerie was the last person currently in Salem to see David alive maybe they even had a tryst in DC before Kayla summoned Valerie to Salem? 😉

    • mykleraus Says:

      I’m all for anything that strengthens the Horton clan. If they wanted to cast David and bring on Scotty and another kid of his, that would work. If they don’t have story for him, killing him off and bringing on his son with Valerie works, too. And yeah, at least this doesn’t fly in the face of onscreen history.

      I was assuming we’d have to buy that David and Valerie’s relationship ended more like late 80s than early 80s, but the way Valerie explained it, they might’ve hooked up after both left Salem, so that was actually a slick way of blurring the time in a believable way.

  5. Mo Says:

    Those court room scenes were soooo campy. Like if you were doing an SNL sketch of a “soap opera” I think they hit every beat. Prostitution, kidnapping, porn, murder, miscarriages, “he was a hired assassin!”, babies switched at birth, postpartum depression and flesh-eating bacteria thrown in too. I mean all that stuff totally happened at one point on this show but the way they piled it up had me laughing instead of crying for Nicole.

    Nothing will ever top Julie’s “Nick’s been shot!” freakout. Sadly for Blake Berris his own onscreen death was upstaged by Hayes. Its the only thing I really remember about that storyline.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Ahahahahaha! So true. When Belle just said “flesh-eating bacteria” casual as could be, I lost it. “He was a hired assassin!” was pretty good, too.

      I remember Nick staggering from Murder Park to the Town Square, where like 20 people just happened to be hanging out. Julie’s scream was soooooo funny.

  6. Gavin Scott Says:

    I’ve only seen Thursday’s episode – we’ll get Friday’s on Monday here in Australia – but the “Oh my God” from Julie was terrible.

    It’s about time some of the missing Hortons were referenced, and even though we’re not getting David or Scotty, at least we are getting someone who’ll widen out the family.

    I’d like to know what happened to Julie’s brother. (and Tommy, and Sandy…)

    • mykleraus Says:

      At least they had Scotty call and mentioned him by name, too. I know not everyone can be in town at the same time (and the SORASing really made that branch screwy), but at least acknowledging that they exist is something.

      There was a scene in 1990 where Julie mentioned that her brother’s son, Spencer, was coming to Salem for law school, and then it never happened. So that’s another Horton out there somewhere.

      • Gavin Scott Says:

        Yeah, the Scotty reference was good. They make so much of the Horton family and yet at the same time they’re so offhand with so much of it. And yes, you can’t have a show full of Hortons running around being do-gooders, but they routinely insert new characters and insta-kids when an existing long-absent family member would do.

        Didn’t know about Spencer – wonder if he has a bauble…

      • mykleraus Says:

        That’s really the only time when it bugs me — when they keep creating these random characters and attaching them to people who have plenty of relations who would work in story anyway! The Summer thing was truly absurd. Obviously you couldn’t have played Sarah Horton exactly the same as Summer, but you could’ve shaped *a* story around her that wouldn’t have made such a mess of Maggie’s timeline.


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