Did you know that Tony is a rapist too?
When Tony first appeared on the show he was Liz Chandler’s (Gloria Loring, of “Friends and Lovers” fame) back-from-the-past husband. And this being Days, he was naturally still obsessed with her, and ended up tormenting her for awhile and then raping her. Hm, that sounds familiar.
Not too long after, they paired him up with Renée, who turned out to be his sister. And not long after that, they paired him up with Anna, which I remember being a great soapy love story.
So why was the rape not an issue in turning him into a semi-romantic lead? Maybe it was and I just didn’t know it. I remember Tony being bad but weak, under Stefano’s thumb and dominated by him. He was torn between being his father’s son or being a better man, which is what made him an interesting character.
Oh, well. I imagine none of this will come into play in the current Tony incarnation. I am mostly ignorant of Tony’s next go-round on the show, except knowing he was the Salem Serial Killer despite being a victim of the Salem Serial Killer. But it hurts me to think about that storyline, so I won’t.
I really enjoyed Tony’s entrance on Thursday (5/24), the hands parting the curtains and then Tony stepping through. Those silhouettes in the background, presumably taking care of the ailing Stefano, were a nice touch. Bringing on Tony is going to be really good for EJ. Giving him father issues and brother issues, and feelings for Sami and the baby, is a great way to humanize him and give him layers, which he badly needs. (And if it turns out EJ is not really a Dimera but merely their pawn, that would be delicious.)
The question is, are they just going to shift the cartoonish villain card onto Tony? Is this going to be an EJ redemption-through-contrast, where you make someone bad look better by bringing on someone even more evil? I forgot to mention this technique in my post about soap redemptions last week. There was an element of this, I believe, in bringing on Steve’s father in 1987. It was very well done, but Mr. Arm and Face Grabber Steve Johnson looked a lot better next to Mr. Wife Beater and Daughter Raper Duke Johnson.
Speaking of Steve Johnson, we got some very nice payoff scenes this week for the whole brainwashing storyline. I think the show dropped the ball with Steve-the-killer, but that’s water under the bridge now. Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans are very good with hash-it-out scenes, and the deprogramming scenes were very much in that vein. It’s nice to see the show be true to Kayla’s tenacity, which was always such a part of her relationship with Steve. Looking back at old clips they did occasionally show Kayla questioning her decision to keep after him, and I think it would have been nice to see that this time around as well. But there are a lot of things it would have been nice if they had done with this storyline, and I’m not going to get sucked into going over that ground again.
I have a feeling Steve’s relationship with Stephanie is going to be a problem when he gets back, and I’m all for that. I liked the little poem Steve made up about her, “She can’t decide if she loves or hates me.” And telling Kayla to back off when she asked him if he loved her (Stephanie). Steve was always touchy talking about love.
And please please please let Steve’s recovered memories be used as clues in the plot against the Dimeras!
I haven’t watched Friday’s episode yet, but overall this was a very strong week. Even the Claire/Three Stooges storyline was well done. And I have to give credit where credit is due. At some point after the cruise ship jump, I said (on TWoP) something to the effect of “It might be interesting—though I’m 99.9% sure it won’t happen—to explore the fact that all of Claire’s parents put winning over the other parties over her welfare.” Well, count me 100% wrong, because they really did bring this up. Thanks, Days, for exceeding my expectations. (But the cruise ship jump was still over the top, I’m not letting you off the hook for that one.)
And to give credit again where credit is due: I was Pissed Off (see below) earlier this week about the lack of reaction scenes, of family members caring what happens to other family members. The gatherings at the pub and at the hospital for the returning stooges were exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. It’s always a pleasure for me to see, as we did on Thursday, different characters weaving in and out of different interactions. Hope talking to Marlena and Victor at the pub, then going to the hospital to visit Belle, talking to Shawn out in the lobby, and then to Bo. None of it furthered the plot very much, but it was wonderful to see.
This was a rambling post, wasn’t it? I just wanted to pat the show on the back for a good week and a decent sweeps. If only Days could pull together their current strengths in dialogue, character interaction, and emotional “truth” (hit or miss, but mostly hits lately) with some honest-to-goodness exciting, cohesive drama.
I remain ever hopeful.