Dreamy

Don’t judge me, but I’m kind of enjoying this story of Brady’s dreams.

Bricole2

The premise is pretty dopey, but what is making it work is the way Nicole is eagerly latching onto Brady as her last link to Daniel (I know, I know, but if I put that aside). In turn, it seems clear that Brady himself is sympathetic to her pain — it’s not just because he is channeling Daniel’s feelings. That grounds this all in something real. Plus, Ari and Eric Martsolf have always had chemistry. I can’t get behind them as an endgame, rootable couple, but for something like this I enjoy their scenes together.

I thought it was stupid at first that the Basic Black story was being so hastily abandoned. Not that I thought it was really working that well, but it seemed like a strange left turn. Nicole and Theresa are going to be business rivals of Kate instead of business partners who act like rivals. Yawn. But now it makes sense. Bringing Brady into the DJ Designs company should put the three of them — Nicole, Theresa, Brady — in a nice pressure cooker of tension and temptation.

In other news, I was pretty underwhelmed by Chad’s reaction to Stefano’s death. Maybe he didn’t fully believe Andre, or maybe finding out Hope really did do it will change his attitude. I hope so, because if he’s not conflicted about any of this, where’s the story?

Here’s Jen hopped up on pills, raving about Abby’s wedding dress:

Jenhigh

Hee! More please.

No Joy

How are we all feeling? Do we need a hug, a tranquilizer, a straightjacket?

Let me discuss the rest of the show first, because most of it was actually … good. It felt a little less cartoonish, and more dramatic and grounded overall. More Josh, less Dena.

Deimos moving into Ben and Abby’s old place is the kind of detail that is unnecessary to the plot, but it added a layer to Deimos’s character. I enjoyed the relish with which he contemplated living in the apartment of a serial killer. And it was great to hear Ben mentioned — remember him? The guy who killed all those people?

I think Belle and Phillip have chemistry, and their scenes today were quite a bit better than the WTF-ery we saw around their trip to Vegas.

BellewithPhilip

They actually discussed the nature of Belle’s attraction to Phillip (he’s like a drug to her, but she feels she should stay away from him), and Phillip played on that rather skillfully to get her back into bed. (“Don’t you deserve a little fun?”) I’m still not sure what he sees in her or how serious he is about it, but at least we got some insight into her side. And she managed to seem a little more human and sympathetic in her text-exchange with Claire.

But it was all short-lived. She went right back to being entitled and passive aggressive when she snooped in his desk and then drew that big question mark on the envelope of pictures. She acted like she caught him cheating! Phillip doesn’t owe her any explanation at all. I’m guessing these will be pictures of the girl who died in Chicago, but the whole thing was weird.

I thought Joey and Theo’s scenes were also good. At first, when Joey yelled at Theo, I thought we were in for more shallow “Joey punches random guy at party” conflict, but this was really nice. He heard Theo out about Chase, even if he didn’t offer much in the way of guidance. Then he even opened up a little himself. It felt very real, two friends who were upset about different things, trying to talk but not really succeeding.

I also enjoyed Paul, JJ, and Gabi. The corrections officer was a perfect little plot point — it gave Paul a chance to snark on his homophobia, brought up some demons for Gabi, and gave JJ a chance to be a hero (and show off some policin’ skills). Very efficient use of a day player.

All right, I guess I can’t put it off any longer. This is my take on Steve and Ava.

SteveAvaUgh

I got advance notice that this was going to happen today (selective spoilage), the only question was how it was going to play out. And here’s the thing … it was actually dramatic and gut-wrenching. It wasn’t asinine and cartoony like Monday and Tuesday’s scenes, where Steve stupidly put the moves on Ava as a first resort, and was ready to do the deed in his living room where his son could walk in. Here, the setup was more logical and organic. They were in Maui, far away from Salem, and Steve knew the clock was ticking for Kayla. Intercutting their scenes with Kayla looking ill and dehydrated in her little prison raised the stakes nicely. She had to get out of there, and fast. Also, it was nice that they gave Steve a smart moment, when he figured out she wasn’t dying, based on a minor slip by Ava.

And Stephen played the hell out of it all, and so did Tamara.

Okay.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I hate this. It’s unimaginative, it’s been done a million times, it’s been done before with these same damn characters! Also, it makes me sick because it was rape, and I expect Days will blithely ignore that fact because Steve is a man. Ava’s blackmail was there to “justify” Steve’s actions, to give him a pass with viewers. There will be no trauma, no recovery from being violated. From here on out I expect they will treat this much like any other adultery, especially if Steve keeps it secret, which is what I expect.

But hear this. Fellow Steve and Kayla fans, we’ve always treasured that Steve and Kayla are one of the few longtime Days couples that haven’t cheated on each other. That has not changed. This was not adultery. It was rape.

And screw you, Dena.

 

 

My name is Eric …

“… and I have a problem. Rushed stories and underdeveloped character motivation .” (Breaks down sobbing.)

“Hi, Eric.”

Poor guy. Jen and Lucas drag him to a meeting, tell him he can sit in the back, and then the first thing Lucas does is point him out to everyone and ask him to say a few words.

Why is everyone sure that Eric is an alcoholic anyway? People drive drunk who aren’t necessarily alcoholics. Nicole and Daniel had reason to believe he had a problem, but everyone else seems to just be assuming he is. This might seem like nitpicking, given the many other plot and motivation holes I could complain about, but mostly I am begging someone, anyone, to ask Eric what it was he was so upset about — for months! — that was making him drink heavily. (IT WAS NICOLE.)

That said, I enjoyed these scenes. Lucas has been used really well here. And they mitigated (a little) the silliness of Jen’s immediate addiction by having Eric’s suspicion be based on the fact that she was concealing taking the pills, not just that she was taking them.

EricseesJen

And even though the show has been practically screaming at us that Jen is an ADDICT ADDICT ADDICT, she sounded quite reasonable when she pushed back, saying he couldn’t equate his drinking with her taking a prescribed medication for an injury. And then a great line: that it was an injury from an accident that he caused.

I enjoyed very much seeing Jennifer be a little feisty. I like that she is eager and willing to help Eric, but she isn’t going to take anything lying down. And I love seeing Eric be wrong, to struggle a little bit, to be too proud and stubborn to accept her help. We can see the underlying desperation, too, how much he wants to grab onto the lifeline she’s offering. Greg is doing such a great job with this.

EricwithJen2

I continue to be seriously underwhelmed by anything involving Hope, Rafe, Ciara, or Chase. But Kyler Pettis was terrific showing Theo’s hurt and anger. He managed to give the storyline a little emotional resonance, which I didn’t get from any of the other players. (Hope, especially, was mildly concerned about the whole situation for about two seconds, then put the whole thing out of her mind in order to exchange flirty banter with Rafe.)

I can’t get too excited about the “Chabby move into the Dimera mansion” plot either, though I do think it has potential. Kate and Billy were as cute as could be today, in these proposal scenes:

Chabbyproposal

Aww.

Bad choices

Even though I’m spoiler-free, I knew bad stuff was in store for Steve and Kayla this week because Twitter has been all a-twitter (see what I did there?). I figured this would involve some Steve/Ava intimacy because … I’m capable of simple logical deductions.

SteveAvacouch

If I squint, I can sort of appreciate the show having Steve do something to turn the tables on Ava, instead of just jumping when she says jump. But … no. I can’t justify it. For Steve’s first move to be to romance Ava, on the slim chance that he will be able to convince her of his sincerity and win her trust at some point in the future? While Kayla languishes with no food or water?

The “logic” of this, such as it is, may be summed up by this classic, from the Onion:

In Retrospect, I Guess We Might Have Resorted to Cannibalism a Bit Early

… or seducing Ava. Close enough.

Bleah.

Not to be callous, but if I was going to kill myself, would I take the trouble of traveling all the way back to Salem first? (How did he get home anyway? Did he swim?) Seems to me there is plenty of icy water for him to toss himself into right around the cabin.

Chaseshirtless

This reveal, by the way, is an example of how to make us not care. I don’t know if they thought this reveal would be some kind of surprise, but by not showing anything but a shifty-eyed glance or two leading up to it, we have no reason to be invested in this, or him.

I like the actor who plays Chase, and I think it’s great they have a troubled character in the mix with the teens. But the show has given me nothing to latch onto with his angst or his love for Ciara. And outing him as a bully and a harasser, without showing the emotions that led him to do that, just makes me shrug my shoulders.

I do like his haircut, though.

Hellfire

I thought Eric’s scenes on Friday were the best yet for this storyline. Why? Because they finally delved (a little) into the actual, specific history of Eric and connected it to what happened. When Nicole said she blamed herself because she (and Daniel) knew Eric was in trouble and she didn’t stop him, it was the first reference to why he was drinking that night.

My favorite line was when Nicole said that she never imagined she would ever look at Eric and see anything but one of the best men she knows. That was a nice nod to his priesthood days when he inspired her to turn her own life around. I loved the introduction of some complexity, when she said she was sorry he was in hell, but she couldn’t find her way out of her own hell.

And then this reaction shot:

Ericcrying2

Of course it goes without saying that I am heartbroken. But hey, at least Days is making me feel something — other than (or in addition to) “Man, I wish this was a better story.”

His later decision to drink, and then get talked out of it by Jen and Lucas, was a little PSA-ish, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. This was mostly due to Greg Vaughan. I loved the mixture of pride and self-loathing that led him to spurn their help. And it was a relief that Eric didn’t immediately run off to meeting and become cured – though I have no doubt this is what will happen, and fairly soon.

Also, I give credit to Missy Reeves for clutching her back at one point after running to catch up with Eric, but otherwise Jen has made a remarkable recovery from this morning. Oh, Days.

 

 

Sh-yawn

Shawn’s return has been handled so badly. It is really driving me crazy. He comes back, has one talk with his daughter, and announces he wants Belle back. Then he says it again. And again. And again. No reason given. No motivation for the change of heart. Just “I want you back” to someone who cheated on him with Phillip right before they got married (remember that?), cheated on him in Maine, and now has just cheated on him again!

ShawnBelle

I haaaaated Brandon Beemer’s Shawn in his last run, but I was hoping the show would give me a reason to like him this time around. So far, that has not happened. Have we even seen him with Hope or Ciara yet?

It’s also been very depressing that this has brought the return of glittery Belle. I was liking Belle and I’m still hanging onto it, but having two men desperately pursuing her when she has proven herself no prize to either one of them is killing it for me.

That said, I did enjoy the conversation between Marlena and Belle today, when Marlena scolded her for running off to Vegas with Phillip. It’s as close as we’ve gotten to an explanation for Belle’s motivations. I liked the frustration that came through when she said she knew if she stayed she would just have to listen to Claire trying to get her back together with Shawn. (Though, actually, I think she agreed to go to Vegas before Claire called Shawn.) I want to here her say she’s sick of true love and happily ever after — now she just wants to have fun. It makes perfect sense, so let’s hear her say it. Instead we got to hear Marlena say Belle is probably blaming herself for going to Vegas more than anyone. Um, it doesn’t look like it to me.

I have only two words to say to the idea of Deimos and Kate getting together: HELL NO.

DeimosKate

Isn’t it enough that she got her hooks into Eduardo? I love A Martinez and Vincent Irizarry, and both of them are wasted on this woman.

Side note: I love the way Vincent says “Deimos Kiriakis.” Gives me the shivers every time I hear it. I want to see him introduce himself to everyone in town, twice.

I said yesterday that I want more from Eric’s story. One thing I didn’t realize I wanted was to see this hot little jailbird:

Ericpolicestation2

Screencaps Forever Safe

 

Where is Kayla?

People have been having fun on Twitter with the hashtag #whereiskayla. I think this one is my favorite:

whereiskayla

I enjoyed the return of desperate Steve. No one can freak out with love and worry like Stephen can. There was a scene during the Marina storyline, I believe, when Kayla got into a car accident. In the aftermath, Mike Horton said to Kayla, “We’ve got Steve chained up outside, do you want to see him?” Hee!

Stevefreaked

Of course I had to laugh out loud at Steve referring to Ava’s “bony ass” and his great line that he’d rather scoop out his good eye with a spoon than take up with Ava again. I’m actually glad that he didn’t manhandle Ava too much, though. Steve in the 80’s would have, but a 60-year old man would (and should) have more self-control. Besides, Ava looks like she would snap like a twig. What I hope is that Steve, in addition to looking for this “child,” will be scouring Salem and (especially) tailing Ava to see if she will lead him to Kayla. Come on, Steve, be the smart and wily guy we know you can be!

Poor Joey …

AvaJoey2

It was all a bit much, though. He declares his love and desire to run off to Mexico with Ava (see her reaction that proposal above, LOL), gets trashed, makes a scene at Ciara’s party, drinks some more, calls his dad and talks about drunk driving and consequences, and then arrives at home to the news that Ava kidnapped his mom and might have a baby with his dad (who would now be older than him). Now that’s a FULL day! I think James Lastovic is doing great, but it all happened so fast I’m not as emotionally engaged as I should be.

Chad’s proposal that he and Abby move into the Dimera mansion is obviously dictated by the desire to keeping using that set.

ChadAbbyhouse

But I still liked it. Or rather, I liked the idea of it. In my head, Chad was explaining that he wants to reclaim the Dimera house and therefore Dimera heritage, transform what people think of that name and that house. All of this made perfect sense in the imaginary show in my head where they actually explain people’s motivations.

Poor Eric:

Erictortured

Greg is really selling me on Eric’s extreme remorse and guilt, but I’m itching for something to be added to this, some connection to someone or something else. I want this to go somewhere besides “I’m going to prison and I deserve it.” His conversation with Hope today was a good start. When he said he took a life and there are consequences for that, I really liked the look on Hope’s face — that she also took a life and — in contrast to Eric — is trying to avoid the consequences. It will be a nice redemption for Eric if he can help someone else before he leaves — I’m guessing Jennifer, with her instant pill addiction, is the most likely candidate.