Chess Pieces

Yesterday’s (8/24) episode was good, though at times I definitely felt the hand of the man behind the curtain, moving the chess pieces around.

This was most noticeable in the Eric/Nicole/Serena scenes, but I won’t comment on them too much. I’ll wait until the plot develops a little bit more. It was great to see Nicole be a little more feisty again, even if a civil suit being brought and resolved over the course of an afternoon was beyond ridiculous. It also makes sense that Eric would argue for forgiveness over revenge for Serena, but I didn’t think it was executed very well. We’ll see what the rest of the week brings for this story.


Theresa and Xander were a lot of fun. Here is a scheme that doesn’t feel silly, like her framing of the nanny did. It fits with the character of Theresa as we know her, but it raises the stakes and suggests she might be playing with fire. And Paul Telfer and Jen Lilley had great chemistry! I also loved the little moment when Nicole said to Theresa, “I can see the movie playing in your head.” She knows because she’s been there, she’s indulged in similar schemes, and I love that she has Theresa’s number.

The Chad/Abby/Ben scenes were all excellent. I liked the longer scene of Abby and Ben at breakfast, and Abby’s obvious ambivalence at the idea of getting married right away. Then, when she plunged into the wedding planning, Kate Mansi played Abby as a little bit frenetic and hyper, rattling off her dialogue about who she was going to ask to participate in her wedding. That was really well done.

But the highlight was the scene with Chad and Abby, especially the moment when she told Chad she was pregnant. I was disappointed that the reveal of her pregnancy happened so quickly and with so little fanfare, but there’s no doubt that Billy Flynn rocked Chad’s reaction to the news. He was touched and overwhelmed, and, at first, with that little note of hope that it might be his baby.


I also liked that Chad told Abby about the land in Ireland, and the seeds of conflict that sowed for Chad and Stefano. But here, again, there was a feeling of the chess pieces being moved around. I also don’t think that Abby would blurt out in front of Stefano that she had a paternity test done, though Stefano’s reaction was priceless. It was like, “Damn, I missed a trick.”

They are clearly going to take Ben in a darker direction, and I’m all for it. Ben has reason to be angry. She did lie to him about where she was going, saying it was the hospital when she was really going to see Chad. Ben obviously shouldn’t have put the tracker on her phone to begin with, but I love that they are both wrong. And that was a great shot of Ben sitting in their apartment, backlit, waiting for Abby to come back. Very ominous. Can’t wait to see where this goes.



18 thoughts on “Chess Pieces

  1. I agree with you about the pregnancy reveal. It should have been a longer, more cataclysmic scene. Preferably it should have been in the hallway away from Daddy. I would’ve like more of a recap about the past month-like “That’s why you said it was too late for us” to really play up the angst. Of course, I’m just talking about levels of perfection and glad that new writers are still playing their angst. I also like that Abby heard Stefano yell at Chad so that she knows what this cost him. Regarding Ireland, it would’ve been nice if Chad said something like “I’ll do anything to protect you. You know I’ll lie to you, but now I’m going to tell you the full truth–also to protect you.”

    • I love your line for Chad, that both lying to her and telling her the truth were to protect her. I’m glad he did that, and that part was perfect to be in front of Stefano.

      Billy and Kate did so well communicating just with their eyes about what the pregnancy meant, and the “fact” that Ben is the father. I just thought it was a bit rushed.

  2. “Yesterday’s (8/24) episode was good, though at times I definitely felt the hand of the man behind the curtain, moving the chess pieces around.”

    Yes, which was both a curse and a blessing. I think it’s why my reaction to the Ericole stuff was less negative than some viewers. I can sort of see what the writers are trying to do with the characters, setting up a stark internal conflict (justice versus mercy) and also playing off some of the resentments both Eric and Nicole have toward each other that haven’t really been addressed.

    It wasn’t well-executed, primarily because it was such a quick 180, but again, I think I see the story logic of it – you need to give Eric a stronger stake in Serena’s murder and you also need to give Nicole another reason to think she and Eric are doomed as a couple, which feeds into her clinging to Daniel even when her feelings for Eric start to burst through the wall of denial she’s built.

    But it also forces Eric to face the fact that he doesn’t feel peace about Nicole’s choice, and I think ultimately that’s to the good.

    As for Chabby, I actually rather liked the simple way the truth came out for both of them. Chad made a huge sacrifice – defying Stefano to protect Abby – and Abby returned his truth with one of her own, the truth about the baby and what she believes to be true about its paternity. In a way, she was telling him, “I didn’t choose Ben only because he was a better choice than you.” But it doesn’t change anything for either of them, making it a bittersweet sort of “Gift of the Magi” moment, and it made me feel for both of them.

    • I am in “wait and see” mode on the Ericole scenes. The setup reminded me of the scenes with the junkie who attacked them in the church. Eric wanted to forgive and not press charges, Nicole gave a statement to the police.

      I definitely didn’t love the flirty vibe of the Eric and Serena scenes, it felt off and I don’t think it’s just the shipper in me talking. But with more time and setup it might have made sense. The forgiveness part definitely made sense.

      My favorite part was the all too brief angry exchange between Eric and Nicole at the end. I am very curious to see that conversation continue today. If this creates good angst for them, as you suggest, and the focus comes to be about them, I’ll be happy.

  3. The lawsuit part was as you said, ridiculous. I’m sure it’s to set up the future storyline but really can you imagine Xander giving any ***** about losing a lawsuit? I think he’d cut the letter with a knife (while flexing his biceps, naturally). 👋 💪 Theresa needs to be with a brute like this.

    I love Chad and Abby. ❤️❤️ . I wish it’d just been the two of them when he found out but still, my favorite two on the show.

    Yesterday was kind of a let down from last week and it was written by a writer I’ve enjoyed ..Melissa Salmons. However, she did have a big order to get all the Nicole/Xander/Serena/Brady/Eric stuff done in one day.

    • Yeah, I’m going to cut the show a little slack this week. They clearly want to wrap up Serena and Xander’s exits, and the whole storyline, rather quickly. At least they seem to trying to send them off with a bang, so props for that.

  4. Yesterday was certainly a transitional episode and it definitely felt like too much, too soon for me. Oddly enough GH had the same feeling and I watched them both last night before bedtime which left my head spinning a bit.

    I guess the Nicole’s civil suit wasn’t completely out of the blue since she had threatened Serena with it earlier but I guess those things wrap up pretty quickly when the people being sued don’t even have time to hire lawyers much less work on a defense.

    Teresa’s scheme didn’t feel silly but it was totally predictable and I don’t know how Brady fell for it.

    What I didn’t see coming was Chad taking a stand against Stefano the way he did and Abby’s reveal of the pregnancy.

    I expect we will have more transitional days in the next couple of weeks and I don’t really mind a few glimpses of the man behind the curtain as long as they are setting us up to see some things get resolved. I don’t want everything to just flip directions without resolution. (That is what is making it painful to watch the 2007 stuff I have been trying to catch up on.)

    • That’s what I appreciate too, that they may be wrapping things up quickly but they are not just dropping them. I wish we even had an extra week with this Xander/Serena stuff, but oh well.

      If I even think about the stupidity of a judge not letting them have time to prepare, and finding in Nicole’s favor so fast, it makes my head hurt. So I’m just going to ignore that.

      I thought Brady might, just maybe, be aware that Theresa might be lying, but if it puts Xander away he’ll take it. I’m probably giving him too much credit, though. 🙂

  5. I didn’t mind the Eric/Serena/Nicole stuff at all, but I don’t have the pent up rage at Serena that people who have been watching this whole story do, or the fatigue of watching Eric be unforgiving toward Nicole (though I mean to go back and watch Ericole). Yes, the man behind the curtain was evident, but the set up being created could be, and I hope is, worth it. Looks like some good potential angst to me. I guess I don’t have such a problem with Eric being able to show some forgiveness to Serena on one hand and accuse Nicole of never changing on the other. It’s because he cares more about Nicole. He feels more of a personal stake there.

    The man behind the curtain was openly moving the pieces with speeding that lawsuit along and positioning Xander and Serena for their exits. Maybe some more time would have been good in some ways, but I really didn’t want to sit through more lawsuit stuff, even if was unbelievable. I am just annoyed that the man behind the curtain sees fit to get rid of Xander, A bad guy/bad girl romance between Xander and Theresa could be really good, even more so now that she pulled that truly heinous move on him. Oh well. May Xander and his adorable accent return some day.

    Chad/Abby/Stefano—loved it. Loved it. I think I liked Abby more than I ever have when she told Chad about the pregnancy. Love what Paula said about it, It was fair and right, and it’s not like it wouldn’t come out soon anyway. I was so glad she didn’t attempt some lame cover up and didn’t backtrack when she started to say it. I actually liked Stefano being there, because Abby and Chad were only noticing each other (his pretty, pretty expressive eyes!), and finding a higher level of honestly with each other than I’ve seen before, even though the bogeyman of Salem was in the room with them. And it was fun to see Stefano be surprised too. As to Abby, it’s wrong to agree to marry a man when you don’t really love him, but I think she believes she can love him. I understand people saying it isn’t right to get married just because of a pregnancy, and though I think that’s true, I don’t think it’s an unreasonable motivator either, if you think you can make a go of it, and Abby is working hard to tell herself that she can. I mean, I get that it isn’t the only way to do things, and in a lot of cases it’s not the best way, but I really like being married to the father of my kids, and I think our love for each other deepened though having children together. I mean, I’ve always been in love with him, so it’s not a totally fair comparison, but I get wanting to be married to the father of your baby. I think Abby’s also trying to deny how she feels about Chad (not without reason) and is partly using Ben to do that. I can’t say I find the brain tumor thing as damning as she apparently did, but Chad can be mean. He was mean about her sleeping with EJ (not that I didn’t feel for him on that one; it’s a little difficult for me not to choke on that one myself). After the Chabby love fest night, yes, she was still hanging onto the possibility of Ben (which was pretty lame at that point), but I think she was also realizing how strongly she felt toward Chad when he came along and crushed her and made her feel used. It was harsh. A lot harsh. Yes, she knows now that he didn’t mean it, but the emotion and the hurt can take a minute to catch up to the knowledge. And Stefano’s dangerous. Might kill you and your loved ones dangerous. Poor Ben though. But the guy is walking into this knowingly.

    • I am – cautiously – encouraged by the Eric/Nicole/Serena stuff. I didn’t think it was executed perfectly, but it could be good in its effects. There was more nuance in today’s scenes than I feared based on message board reaction today. But I’m holding off on commenting too much until the rest of the week plays out.

      I am just happy Xander didn’t die. The door seems wide open for a return, so hopefully TPTB are taking notice of the response to him.

      I am perfectly fine with Abby’s reasoning for marrying Ben. I said in a blog post awhile back that marrying someone because “he’s the father of my child!” is an old soap cliche and I hate it. But, this is more than just that. Yes, that is one of the reasons, but a lot of things have been thrown at her recently. The conversation with Will today was good. He said Ben is someone she can count on, and she asked him point blank if he thought she could count on Chad. Will’s answer was perfect, that Chad is … complicated. LOL. That was a great moment. It was also a great moment when he said that she needs to trust Ben (based on his experience of not trusting Sonny). If she takes his advice, that might come back to bite her!

      Billy Flynn is fantastic. He was great with Melissa Archer today too. I loved their scenes. Curious about tomorrow!

  6. I agree with just about everyone here — as hinky as this all felt, I’ll cut them some slack if it’s all serving a purpose. I’d rather cope with one jarring episode than endure weeks of everyone bitching at each other about The Summons and courtroom scenes that I don’t even think would work. So, whatever. On with the story!

    I really loved that Nicole/Theresa moment you pointed out, too. It was a very sharp insight befitting of Nicole and her position in Brady’s life. And I always thought Theresa and Xander had chemistry, so it’s nice to see it used, even if not in the typical way.

    • Yeah, the court thing probably wouldn’t have been too compelling, so it’s just as well. I am excited Nicole is going to start a business with Xander’s (nonexistent) money. I wonder what it will be? Hopefully not a clothing store, lol. That was some dress she had on today.

  7. I truly, deeply wish they were keeping Xander. There is obviously some chemistry with him and Jen Lilly, who I loved in this episode. What a sneak attack! Of course Brady believed her, because he wants Xander out, and this gives him the opportunity. He doesn’t realize he just basically put his neck in the noose Theresa-wise :). Any softening he shows towards her is like catnip!

    I was just kind of like “uh-huh” with the speed of the Serena/Eric/Nicole stuff. I appreciate that the new writers have to wrap things up quickly because this is transitioning to a new story FAST. I think we’re going to have to give them some slack over the next few weeks as they usher out the old and bring in the new stories (and Shea, I felt the exact same way about GH, which I also watched before bed last night – head spinning).

    The idea that Chad will be all over this is delicious. I think I’m in love with Billy Flynn LOL. He was perfect, in his reaction to Abby’s pregnancy, his “outing” of the truth about what Stefano was really after. It was the only gift Chad could give Abby at this point, when he feels like he has truly lost her. He offered her the truth and his protection. Kate Mansi was wonderful also, in her tearful reaction. Of course Chad probably didn’t realize it, but it seemed to me she was saying, “if the baby had been yours, I would have been too.” How bittersweet! I thought it was perfect that this played out right in front of Stefano, who now knows he has lost his goal (the land), and he potential of a future Dimera dynasty with Chad and Abby as the parents of the new generation. I’m kind of scared of what he will do if he finds out that Chad is really the father of Abby’s baby. I’m also kind of scared of Ben too. That phone tracker things screams “stalker.” He is Clyde’s son after all. Who knows what he is capable of. I feel evil-Ben coming out like the hulk pretty soon.

    Last scene of Chad drowning his sorrows cannot lead to anything good! Looking forward to the Chad/Serena scenes, and where the whole thing is headed.

    Overall, so far, the new writers are keeping me interested and invested, so I’m on board for the ride!

    • Denise, I am glad I wasn’t the only one who has that reaction to Days and GH yesterday. I had to work late tonight so I won’t be watching both tonight. I’ll just watch Days and try to catch up on GH tomorrow. A couple of weeks ago I would have made GH my priority so I guess that’s a good sign.

      I will say I am interested in a lot of what is happening on both shows but I am still looking for something to get me emotionally invested. I know with Days that it’s probably coming with Steve and Bo coming back onto the canvas. I’m on board and committed to watching either way but it would be nice to have an emotional connection again.

      • Shea, we are on the same page! I find myself more emotionally invested in Days lately. Perhaps partly because I know Steve returns this week, but that’s not all. I like a lot of the characters and stories. GH has lost my trust, and DOOL is cultivating it. I only hope the GH “shake-up” brings similar positive results. We’ll see. I think the key for both shows is to return to good old emotional connections and romance. I see that kind of build-up on DOOL with longer conversations, more interactions with friends and family, etc. It’s the kind of things that soaps always did well in the past in order to keep fans invested. In his recent interview, SN acknowledged that the 80’s were the golden age of soaps with big budgets, etc, and those times weren’t returning. But he also said that he feels that they can bring some of that back. I agree. Though big budgets help, it is always about the characters and relationships. Soap writers in general need to go back to the “plot as frame” formula that we’ve discussed here. A great plot helps, but if you don’t care about anyone involved, you’re not going to hold the audience. DOOL is showing me an effort right now that they are returning to that formula. GH remains to be seen.

    • I was so worried Xander was going to be killed – so happy the door is open for him to come back! And he’ll have lots of different characters on his shit list.

      I think evil Ben is coming too. And Clyde will surely make a move regarding the land at some point. I think Abby will find the “safe” choice is not so safe!

      I kind of loved Chad and Serena today.

      • I think I could like Evil Ben, better than wussy Ben :). I really liked Ben and Clyde’s interaction on yesterday’s show. Chad has chemistry with everyone! Sign of a good actor. Liked Serena today too.

        I also loved that Eric kind of let Nicole have it, and her reply that he always thinks the worst of her. Finally a little passion in an interaction between them. I love how they always juxtapose an Eric/Nicole scene with a Daniel/Nicole scene, showing the difference. They always bring Daniel’s son into it, highlighting that Parker is really the one Nicole wants to marry! LOL.

        I may start a #bringbackxander thread. 🙂 His scenes with Victor were great. I haven’t loved Victor this much in ages! “Your gardening skills suck” LOL!

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