Archive for October 2017

‘Til Death Do Us Part

October 30, 2017

Hark! What’s that sound? Is it… music consisting of a woman moaning seductively? That can only mean one thing…

Eve Baron Donovan Larson Kiriakis is back!

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First off, I’m thrilled that Kassie DePaiva is healthy enough to be back on the show. We’ll never know what the plan was when Eve returned last winter and then abruptly vanished again, but it was classy of the show to bring her back now that her cancer is in remission — helped, I’m sure, by the fact that Ron Carlivati loved writing for her on One Life to Live. That reappearance in the cemetery in a mourning veil and fur coat was the height of pure soap, even if Victor and Brady’s reason for being there (“Uh, even though all hell broke loose in this family earlier today and Deimos has been dead for months, we have to hold a burial now,” i.e., “It’s our turn to justify the expense of that cemetery set existing”) was absurd. And the retcon that Eve came back to Salem and had a whirlwind romance and elopement with Deimos is fairly ridiculous, but the kind of ridiculous that I’ll willingly go along with if the story it generates is worthwhile. It’s the same way I felt about them inserting those flashbacks of Chloe volunteering to be Daniel and Nicole’s surrogate: it doesn’t directly contradict anything we saw, it creates some interesting new dynamics, and a show-eater I hate is still dead.

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What Happened in Salem: Week of October 23rd

October 29, 2017

While Bonnie was finally exposed and run out of town…

After Sami — a person who somehow has not learned any impulse control despite literally getting the death penalty and then going on trial for murder again — busted in on Hope’s confrontation with Dr. Rolf and swiped Hope’s gun to threaten Rolf, Hope stood around ineffectually for a while before Rolf took a cyanide capsule and killed himself. Hope arrested Sami, but after a lot of begging and pleading from various loved ones, not only let her go but also handed over a lead that the cops had found among Rolf’s things.

Read the full recap to catch up on What Happened in Salem this week!

Bon Voyage

October 25, 2017

The story might’ve had more holes in it than a dress Nicole Walker would wear to teach preschool, but go figure: the climax of this Bonnie Lockhart debacle has been pretty damn good.

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I’m not usually a fan of stories that require the viewer to overlook huge gaps in logic in order to work. Like, why did it never occur to Maggie that “Adrienne” might’ve actually been Bonnie, a woman who hates Maggie and once manipulated a senior citizen into marriage — especially after the Hattie business came out? And I know that they threw in a line about how they had to fake the divorce and start the ceremony as a stall tactic to make sure Xander was taken care of, but is everyone (Brady, Maggie, etc.) absolutely fine with homicidal maniac Xander being turned loose? That felt rather glossed-over. Just like how Adrienne never even attempted to use her medical history to convince anyone that she couldn’t be the woman who’d been imprisoned for a decade. Also, able-bodied gym rat Brady wasn’t able to catch up with Bonnie, who had a seven-second head start? He wasn’t even drunk!

Whew. Sorry. In spite of those rather egregious gaps, the way they’ve played this has really thrilled me. They took the wedding right up to the moment of the vows. They had a whole bunch of relevant people gathered in that living room, trying to get Bonnie to come clean while she bobbed and weaved. When they finally broke her, they still had to get her to reveal where Adrienne is. And then, while Steve, Kayla, and Justin struggled to convince the warden of this ridiculous story (Does he know where he lives? Does he never read the Spectator?!), Bonnie made a run for it — only to have to face one final obstacle in Sheila, whose story intertwined with Eli’s beautifully in Wednesday’s episode. (Bonus points for Sheila finally giving me my TLC shout-out when she told Bonnie, “Please don’t go chasin’– you know what, don’t bite off more than you can chew.”) Not to mention that Judi Evans was superb as both Bonnie and Adrienne, in completely different ways.

So, yeah. The contrivance and the surface-level writing required to keep Bonnie’s scheme going for as long as it did weren’t my favorite, but the execution of this reveal gives me serious hope for how great things might be when we get to the climax of a story that works in a much more organic way.

Meanwhile, it’s nice to know that the recent change in leadership has really cleaned things up at the Salem PD.

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Just kidding! There’s the new commissioner, standing by idly while her service weapon is aimed at a suspect by said commissioner’s niece-by-marriage (also her fiancé’s ex-wife — welcome to Salem!). Sure, she eventually hauled Sami down to the station, but it was about six commercial breaks and ten exclamations of “I’m going to shoot you, Rolf!” too late.

What Happened in Salem: Week of October 16th

October 23, 2017

While Nicole said goodbye to Salem…

Much like Miley Cyrus, Sami came in like a wrecking ball, achieving more in one week than many Salemites do in a month. She threatened to have John and Paul arrested for trying to dig up Will’s grave, kissed Chad just to piss off Abigail, brought a cake to Eric’s to celebrate their birthday, chewed out Nicole for hurting Eric and Brady, vowed to help Lucas get better, confessed to Marlena that she doesn’t want to get her hopes up about Will because she did that with EJ and was devastated, and completely forgot that Roman exists.

Read the full recap to catch up on What Happened in Salem last week!

Two Actors Return for Visits

October 21, 2017

I can’t say these are totally unexpected, but I’m mostly thrilled about the details…

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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

October 21, 2017

Yesterday marked Arianne Zucker and Nicole Walker’s last day in Salem, at least for now, after a run that began in 1998. She’s given us a lot over the years — the wonderfully bitchy barbs, the gut-wrenching storylines about Nicole’s desire to be a mother, the hilariously strange porn moniker “Misty Circle,” and far too many sobfests over Daniel Jonas — but, in reviewing my archives, the biggest wonder of all is that she isn’t leaving Salem to go on the run for her crimes against fashion and good taste.

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This could be our last look ever at Nicole Walker (though my money would be on seeing her again, whether in the form of Zucker or a recast), and she’s leaving us with styling as bizarre as any she’s sported throughout either of her stints on the show. One can only imagine what horrors lie within that rolling suitcase. But what’s really important here is that stroller she’s pushing. For all the messy storytelling over the years, for all the damaging writing and bed-hopping and stupid mistakes, Nicole is leaving town with her daughter. I think I’ve said most of what I need to say about her exit, which isn’t my favorite ever, though I can appreciate its dramatic purpose, but I really love that instead of heading out of Salem in handcuffs or a bodybag, she’s got Holly. Her heart is broken as she leaves Eric behind, and yeah, she’s kind of fleeing possible murder charges, but you know she’s going to be all right, because she has that little girl, and her wish to be a mother has been one of the show’s strongest throughlines since her 2008 return, despite umpteen writing regime changes and casting shake-ups. I still would’ve loved for her to head out of town with her head held high, having chosen to be single and focus on giving her daughter the best life possible, but this will do for now.

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Annnnnd I completely lost it at her Scarlett O’Hara-esque final line — “As God is my witness, I will be back. We will be back” — which also happens to echo one of Sami’s most ridiculous scenes from the 90s, and that’s saying something.

If you dare, come behind the cut for a stroll down Memory Lane, including a look at Nicole’s very first scene from 1998 and some of her more egregious follicular and sartorial misdeeds…

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Witchy Women

October 19, 2017

Oh, Samantha Gene. We’ve missed you.

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Sure, you ate the show for a while there, and you have that obnoxious way of making everything about yourself while refusing to listen to common sense, but you still belong in Salem. It’s amazing how easily Alison Sweeney and Sami just fit back into the tapestry of the show. Whatever it is, Sami and Lucas still have it. Always will. There’s just so much history between the two characters. They can go from sniping at one another to being best pals at the drop of a hat, and it all works. I thought her scenes with John and Paul could’ve been a little bigger, but I can’t quite figure out how. They’re wise to play the fallout, about Sami not wanting to stay at the townhouse because of John, but something about that encounter in the graveyard felt a little soft. And wow, was it shocking to see that Sami and Rafe even have noticeable chemistry — which makes his relationship with Hope seem all the more forced and cloying. I’m sure it’ll be addressed at some point, but I was waiting for Sami to make some kind of crack about Rafe now being engaged to her aunt, especially given how Galen Gering seemed to be playing those scenes as though Rafe wanted to get with Sami. “Need a ride anywhere? Anywhere? In my pants, perhaps?!” And Sweeney was just like, “Nah, I’m cool,” and treated him like an old friend, not a great love.

They even bothered to tie in Sami’s 2015 return and that bizarre wild goose chase about the possibility of an EJ we would never see onscreen being alive. Of course she feels stupid and heartbroken about having gotten her hopes up, which is why she’s so reluctant to do the same with Will. I didn’t necessarily need to see her sobbing in Marlena’s lap over EJ still being dead, but that could read as her just being overwhelmed by general grief and the confusion over Will — and it managed to put to bed a weird, dangling thread and give her a strong motivation in the current story. Fine, fine, you can have it. It’s also nice that they’ve found ways to pay homage to all three of her big pairings within her first few days. And I thought her dynamic with Marlena worked as well as ever.

It’s also nice to see that they found a way to make that cemetery set worthwhile! At least this way, we don’t have to hear any explanations about how both Will and Mickey had their remains transferred to a blue-walled mausoleum…

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I know this Adrienne/Bonnie story is goofy as hell, but is it bad that I’m kind of enjoying it? No, it doesn’t totally hang together, or at the least, there are a lot of beats missing. Like, where was the fallout between Maggie and Victor after he announced he plans to divorce her? There should’ve been scenes not unlike the ones Nicole and Eric shared on Monday. But if you squint and accept the moves on a pretty surface level, the scenes themselves are amusing, and it’s stirring people into action. Justin is finally trying to work this out. Steve and Kayla are finally involved. Victor should not be rolling over this easily, so I hope he has something up his sleeve, but it’s giving him and Maggie something to do besides chatter about Daniel, so I’ll take it for the time being. And while the wacky fantasies are not something I need to see every day, they’re true to who Bonnie was during her original run and (strangely) help to ground her a bit as an actual character and not just Evil Adrienne Lookalike. I mean, they could have her express some desire to see her damn kids, but this is a start.

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Maggie is still the only one whom I feel should be, at the least, thinking of Bonnie Lockhart. She could dismiss it as nuts, or verify with the prison that Bonnie is still there, or something, but the fact that Bonnie hates her and resembles Adrienne should be on her mind. I’m hoping that Steve and Kayla, who overlapped with Bonnie in 2006-07, get a clue posthaste, as well. Now that they’ve been let in on this, it would be nuts if they didn’t. Also, not super-slick of Bonnie to be visiting Mickey Horton’s grave in the light of day, dressed as the proprietor of Alice’s Saloon, chomping on potato chips, is it? I mean, I’ve never had a single person in my life be replaced by a crazed doppelgänger, and even I would jump to that conclusion if I’d come upon her like that. It’s a case so blatant, even the Salem PD could solve it!

Meanwhile, the other headline of the week is Nicole breaking up with Eric on Brady’s orders. I’m putting discussion of that storyline behind a cut, because it’s impossible to do at this point without hitting on a spoiler. Consider yourself warned…

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