Witchy Women

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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I suppose these wouldn’t the days of Nicole Walker’s life if something good happening weren’t immediately followed by misery crashing down like the rains outside a farmhouse that exists in its own climate zone. And as much as I’m tired of exits like this — where someone has to lie to their loved ones and essentially cut off contact (Theresa), or go on the run and cut off contact (Sami) — this is a really, really well executed version of that model. Spoiler Free Days has an excellent breakdown of exactly why this is such a smart way to go, and it’s helped me get onboard with the decision to play Nicole’s departure this way. I was already enjoying it for the powerful acting and the sense of payoff to the past five years of Nicole and Eric’s lives, but I’ve been irritated that we were going to get another Theresa-esque exit. After 19 years of following Nicole’s journey, I would’ve loved to see her decide — literally for the first time ever — that she doesn’t need a man, that she finally has her miracle baby and is going to be the best mother she can, and that she’s going to take Holly and raise her somewhere where she can have a fresh start. I still don’t love that her journey appears like it’s going to end with her as the victim of yet another man (Brady) and essentially on the run for murder. But they gave us that “Ericole” reunion. They’re giving us a plausible turn to the dark side for Brady (and they tied in his history with Kristen and Theresa, even making this feel like part of a full narrative for him). They’re giving us a heartbroken Eric, who has to find a way to move forward. And they’re giving us the potential of a war within Marlena and John’s family. All of this benefits the show moving ahead. We’ll see how the next few Days play out, but if this is how we have to say goodbye to Nicole Walker, I think I can deal with it.

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8 Comments on “Witchy Women”

  1. Matthew Says:

    You said, “I’ve never had a single person in my life be replaced by a crazed doppelgänger.”

    At least not that you know of, anyway!

    Seriously, so many great points in your post as always.

    I would write the story as Victor already told Maggie what was going on. He wouldn’t want her to suffer needlessly. That would make sense why there is no big fallout scene between Maggie and Victor.

    Of course, Bonnie should question why Maggie isn’t more upset. That would be our clue that Maggie might be in the know.

  2. UnderYourWing Says:

    if i have to suffer through one more day of adrienne suffering in that jail i am gonna scream….enough is enough.

  3. Shea Says:

    I’m not even sure how to describe what I feel about the show right now but it’s like things are starting to work pretty well on the surface but you don’t want to look any deeper because it’s still a hot mess underneath. Some of it definitely feels like Ron has just been doing the best with what he was handed but there are actually a lot of newer things he has introduced (or re-introduced) and they have the same feel. I would laugh my ass off at Bonnie if I wasn’t cringing and terrified that her boobs are going to pop out and injure someone at any moment.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I do have concerns about stuff not totally clicking on a deeper level, but I also feel it all shifting over time. I’d say by the end of the year, we’ll really know what his show feels like. It’s DEFINITELY an improvement. If the Bonnie storyline weren’t there, I think the overall show would go up an entire letter grade as far as careful writing, attention to detail, etc. There’s just so much to overlook with that story.


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