Sometimes all that rich history we keep talking about can detract—slightly—from an otherwise wonderful family scene. There’s a little conundrum here: soaps are about family and togetherness, but they are also about crazy drama and suffering. When Kayla thanked Hope and told her, “You’ve made my brother so happy all these years,” it made me snicker a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I think Bo and Hope are great and I believe they love each other and all that, but their marriage hasn’t exactly been a smooth progression of happy, uneventful years.
This is not really a problem, though, just an observation. The core families, the Bradys and the Hortons, really do feel like families that love and support each other (the Hortons less so, just because they’ve become so scattered over the years). But then, we have the other families on the show. These, being of a more recent vintage (and thus prey to JER’s love for baby mixups and parentage surprises), are a much less cohesive group than the Bradys. These are families that didn’t grow up together, where siblings were born twenty years apart but then SORASed into being peers, with multiple fathers and multiple mothers.
The Robertses are a good example. Kate has six different children (Lucas, Austin, Billie, Phillip, Rex, and Cassie) by four different fathers (Bill, Curtis Reed, Victor, and Roman). In addition, Lucas has another brother and a sister through Bill (Mike and Jen), and Phillip, through Victor, has another brother (Bo) and had another sister (Isabella). Rex and Cassie also have Sami, Carrie, and Eric (which means that Lucas and Austin both share siblings with their love interests, Sami and Carrie. Ew!) But, other than Austin, Billie, and maybe Lucas, you can’t really say that any of these people have much of a sibling relationship. The history has simply been too mixed up.
However, the plus side, this means that relationships can be developed among these, that never existed before. Conflicts, competitions, divided loyalties, unlikely bonding … I have been very excited to see a relationship begin to develop between Bo and Phillip, and even more excited to see that it feels unforced. (This isn’t an insta-bond of “Hey, we’re brothers!”) Bo has never been much of a Kiriakis, but as Hope has pointed out, his recent actions might indicate otherwise.
The DiMera family group is one even more ripe for interesting conflicts. When Stefano came back last time around, I was very intrigued by the potential for sibling relationships among the DiMera children, informed by their relationship to the patriarch himself. There was EJ the Chosen, Tony/Andre who wanted to out-Stefano Stefano, Lexie the Reformed (and alienated), and Benjy (sob) the Good, possibly a wild card. The dynamics have changed now, but the potential for drama remains. Only Lexie remains in essentially the same position she was before. We’ve already got EJ and Tony talking about how they have tried to move beyond the long, long shadow of their father, and worrying about how that will change now that he’s back.
I love these guys. They may not have grown up together, but they were both molded by the same man.
There’s little Johnny, DiMera scion. There’s Anna—I loved when she came in to Stefano’s hospital room with an actual cross and talked about stabbing him through his black, black heart. Ha! And John, the long lost brother who was brainwashed by Stefano, who has taken over Stefano’s empire, who EJ is working for, and who doesn’t intend to give up all he has gained.
So let’s hope this second chance doesn’t go to waste. And based on what I’ve seen so far, I am hopeful. That’s a word I’ve been using it more and more, haven’t I?