Freddie Smith, who plays Sonny, is leaving the show. We are watching his exit this week.
I can’t offer much comment on Sonny and Will’s falling in love story, which was apparently quite awesome. Instead, I can only talk about the sorry downslide of the last few months.
The pieces were there for a decent story, honestly. Will did marry his first boyfriend, fairly soon after coming out. He did suddenly find himself settled down with a family at a very young age. It makes sense, in the abstract, for Will to suddenly find himself insecure and jealous when Sonny’s ex-boyfriend, a hot baseball player, suddenly shows up in town. I even like the idea of Will interviewing said baseball player, realizing as they are talking that Paul is Sonny’s ex, and seducing him in response. (UPDATE: too bad it didn’t happen that way! Commenter Erica has informed that Will didn’t find out until later about Paul and Sonny’s past. That means he cheated on Sonny … just because, I guess. Sigh.)
I think that the story was hurt by a combination of factors. One is the complete lack of chemistry between Freddie and Guy Wilson. I heard that Chandler Massey, who previously played Will, was fired for shooting his mouth off about his plans to leave Days at the end of his contract. Days decided to do a pre-emptive strike and fired him first. If that’s true, the joke’s on Days, because I think Guy Wilson is really kind of terrible.
The other problem with the story is that it was entirely about Will. Sonny is supposed to be the one in the middle, right? But he didn’t seem torn at all, didn’t seem to have feelings for Paul at all. It all seemed to be in Will’s head, which made his desperation and jealousy seem stupid. Sonny also seemed extremely passive. Will cheated on him, lied to him, bribed their marriage counselor, threw jealous fits, and indulged in schemes to get Paul away from Salem and away from Sonny. And Sonny just put up with it.
Until yesterday (8/17), when we finally got to see Sonny get angry. It was too little, too late, but it was cathartic. Then, in the scene in the park with Paul, and that final intense closeup, I thought, whoa … chemistry. This is what the story should have been highlighting all along. It would have made Will’s actions more understandable, if no less idiotic. And it would have given given Sonny, and Freddie Smith, something interesting to work with — the good man torn between his marriage, which is in trouble, and his first love.