Samantha Gene Brady is one of those characters people love. Or love to hate. Or just hate.
For myself, I only caught the tail end of scheming Sami. I saw the very last of her multiple failed weddings, with Austin in 2006, and also the last of her paternity test switches (she blackmailed Lexie into telling Carrie her baby was Lucas’s … I think). Soon after, Hogan Sheffer came on as headwriter and rather abruptly turned her into a leading lady rather than an anti-heroine. (He also wrote the infamous rape of Sami by EJ, which I am not even going to attempt to talk about today.) I thought at the time that the transition was a little abrupt, from the schemer and manipulator who constantly shot herself in the foot, to a heroine with multiple men in love with her who had more children than anyone else in town.
I still think so, but the show eventually managed to find something of a middle ground as time went on, keeping her impulsive and mouthy and easily driven to extremes (as she was in her scheming days), while keeping her romances firmly front and center. I’m someone who appreciates what she brings to the table: energy and spark, a certainly unpredictability, chemistry with co-stars; while feeling impatient with her copious screentime, and a bit of an eyeroll anytime she is called on to Act with a capital A.
However, one thing that the show desperately needs right now is energy and spark, so I’ll say cautiously that, so far at least, I have been enjoying her return.
I find this whole “let’s dig up Will’s grave … or not” plot point to be a bit strange. Usually Days tends to gloss over the icky details of what might mean to actually disinter someone and take a peek at their remains. It all stays discreetly offscreen. So having John and Paul head to the graveyard with shovels and a wheelbarrow — Paul, who is usually so levelheaded! — was odd, to say the least. And then, having brought it up, it feels strange that in the end they didn’t actually do it. I’m guessing there will be some plot reason for the delay; otherwise, it’s strange.
However, it made for a pretty great entrance for Sami to come in and grab the shovel to stop them, and her instant rudeness to Paul in particular –“Hi, you’re the one who ruined my son’s marriage” — was refreshing. I always enjoy when the good guys don’t get along. It might not be fair to blame Paul for what happened to Will and Sonny, but it’s understandable.
So far the highlights of Sami’s return have been her scenes with Lucas on Will’s grave, and her “happy crappy birthday” scenes with Eric.
I really enjoy Eric and Sami’s twin relationship. Greg Vaughan plays so well opposite big, showy actresses like Ali Sweeney (and Ari Zucker!). In this scene, they traded news about their lives very naturally. I particularly loved how she was trashing Nicole but in a good-natured, big-sisterly, she’s-not-good-enough-for-you way, and when Eric had had enough and said “Shut up, Sami,” she shut up. They feel very real as twins who are opposites and who argue a lot, but still love and support and help each other. (Which is why I will NEVER EVER WATCH that Hallmark movie where they play lovers! Ew ew ew ew!)
I was unimpressed with the way the Will story played out this week: Sami steals Hope’s gun and pistol-whips poor Dr. Rolf (seriously, he looked so frail cowering on the floor), she gets arrested, she gets released … and then Hope just hands over to her their best lead. Uh, nice job, commissioner?
But, for all that, I am still engaged and interested. I enjoy how so many people have been involved, and those who aren’t, are talking about it. Even in Salem, someone coming back from the dead should be big news! No doubt “Memphis” will look like the Horton Town Square and the Brady Pub, but it feels like things are about to kick into high gear, and I’m excited to see what happens.