Brotherly Love

Watching Drake Hogestyn during this time period really reminds me of how much I used to like him. In fact, I would have to say he is my favorite Roman. I didn’t see the drama around Roman I’s return and the reveal that Roman II was actually just memoryless “John Black” after all (though I will get to see some of it on my DVDs, I think), but I’ve never been sure how I feel about that plot twist. On the one hand, it seems crazy after Roman II had recovered his memory and been firmly established. On the other, what a great way to bring back Roman I and give some serious angst to Roman II. But, I have to say, with the benefit of hindsight, knowing what eventually happened—that John’s backstory just became a pastiche of different retcons, that he never recovered his memory, and he lost all his ties to the canvas except Marlena and Belle, that Wayne Northrup didn’t stick around anyway—it’s hard to feel like it was a net positive.

During his time as Roman, Drake had a natural chemistry with his onscreen siblings that I really appreciated. In the section I am watching now, the show uses Roman’s attempts to clear his sister Kayla to create some very believable angst for Isabella and Roman.

Kayla, as we all know, is in prison for Marina’s murder. Roman has been trying to find the real killer, and he has been falling for Marina’s sister Isabella. But, suddenly he finds a piece of evidence that indicates the real killer might be … Isabella. Drake really does a beautiful job showing Roman’s dilemma here. He never questions the fact that he has to free Kayla. But, in execution it’s not that simple. He tries to put some distance between himself and Isabella, but of course she wants to know why. He has to keep putting her off, but he also has to investigate her without tipping his hand. He can’t quite believe that she’s guilty, but he doesn’t trust his own judgment because of what he feels for her. And he wants to investigate her without using her feelings for him to do it, but that turns out not to be so easy either. It all unfolds in a wonderfully complex way.

Here is a great scene where Roman tries to break up with Isabella after he has found out an earring from the crime scene belongs to her. After that, he goes to see Kayla in prison:

YouTube link

Drake does really, really well (almost surprisingly so!) in both of these scenes. He really conveys how torn he is breaking things off with Isabella and how much he hates keeping secrets from her. And the scene with Kayla follows perfectly from that. We can see that Roman is shoring up his resolve the find the real killer by reminding himself who he is trying to save—no matter who gets hurt in the process. It raises the emotional stakes in a wonderful way to see Roman, as he’s talking to Kayla, choking up and almost breaking down, contemplating how much she means to him. And I love that what gets to him is a specific memory of a time Kayla stood by him when they were children, to remind him how much he wants to stand by her now.

Too bad that memory turns out to have been falsely implanted by Stefano … or something. This is a case where I find it’s best to apply my Retcon Wall of Separation. It’s much less frustrating that way.

3 thoughts on “Brotherly Love

  1. This was interesting to watch. I was never a big fan of Drake Hogestyn and found his ever-changig history as Roman/John to difficult to process as it kept changing with every group of new writers. (Gee, doesn’t that sound what happened with Jack and Jennifer in the later years 2001-2006) I always liked Isabella, i found her to be a most sympathetic character who conveyed a sense of sweetness and caring towards people. Witness her relationship with Jack and her telling Jennifer of his feelings for her (Jennifer) when it was obvious that she had maybe started to develop feelings for him as well. Drake in these scenes with Kayla in prison and then later with Bo on the island did show as you pointed out a true sibling connection , just as Jack and Steve demonstrated this as well. Those were the days.

    As an aside, to what is happening on days right now, since this has been spring break for me i have watched complete episodes and have to comment. Carly and her spawn are monopolizing the show. I can’t believe that Bo is favouring this glum faced, badly dressed with the worst hair-do ever over his Fancy Face. As to Melanie ( She who shrieks and and makes the most faces), please, as the new young heroine ingenue of Days??? Think back to the days of a young Hope, Melissa and of course Jennifer. They too had their faults, head strong, stubborn with a fondness for bad boys but still were likeable. The only time i find Melanie engaging is in her scenes with Maggie, (Suzanne Rogers).

  2. This scene was a real find when I came across it on the DVDs. I had no memory of it and I was shocked at how much Drake’s performance moved me. You could see all of Roman’s emotions coming through — his feelings for Isabella, his guilt at having those feelings for someone who might be responsible for his sister being in jail, his commitment to helping Kayla, and his love for his sister. I teared up when Roman is explaining to Kayla why he wants to do this for her.

    It is a reminder of how good Drake could be back in the day. He was really good with Stacy Greason (Isabella) and always had good scenes with Mary Beth. And this scene is the type of thing they did so well back then — showing those family connections.

  3. I just love that the scene focuses on a brother sister relationship. Days always did well with its sibling relationships back then, but they were usually presented in more of an of-course way, not the focus (Jack and Steve are the big exception that rule, of course). This scene really puts Roman’s feelings for his sister at the forefront, and actually shows him breaking down a little about it. Of course his feelings for Isabella are causing him his angst too, but that just makes the scene even better.

    As for Melanie and Carly, love the soaps, I can’t really comment because I haven’t been watching. I really like Crystal Chappell, but I found I just couldn’t get too excited about Yet Another Bope breakup. With Melanie, I agree that she has taken over the show, and I can’t figure out why anyone could think the way they are using that character is a good idea.

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