So how do we feel about today’s revelations?
Here’s the real twist: Days revealed the killer on a THURSDAY!
I am satisfied with Ben as the killer. I think there is more to the story, which I’ll talk about below. But even if this is the biggest twist in the storyline, I am still satisfied. I’m sure there are people ranting and raving around the boards about the lack of surprise. But I’ve said here several times that there is no way the show would truly surprise us, at least not those of us in the online Days community. Every member of the cast, except maybe Caroline, has been chewed over as a potential suspect. Also, I am partial to human, understandable motivations for murder — rather than sick, twisted, serial killer type motives. And Ben has a motive — Chad.
In each case, the woman was attacked after interacting with Chad. Serena slapped him, Paige was a witness against him, and Marlena was helping him. It shows, though — pardon the pun — a definite problem with overkill. From Ben’s point of view, isn’t it better to have one murder and work hard to make sure Chad goes down for it? Surely it is muddying the waters to have more murders, more deaths.
And, I would argue that Ben’s real purpose was not just to frame Chad but to destroy Abby’s faith and love for him. In that, he has failed miserably. I think we can trace his growing frustration over the last weeks to exactly this. The worse it looks for Chad, the more Abby tries to help him. She keeps saying she loves Ben, but that is clearly not enough for Ben. He wants her to hate Chad, too. He’s like the dog in this old New Yorker cartoon:
All that being said, I predict that there is still more to this story, and more twists and turns along the way. The first question is Clyde’s involvement. I think we can safely assume he is involved, but in what way? He was conspicuously out of breath when he ran into Jennifer in the park today. He told her, talking about the wedding planning, “Things have a way of unraveling, and I seem to be the only one who can put things right.” To me that implies that he might be cleaning up after his son, the sloppy murderer. Or, it could mean he is driving the whole thing, and Ben is just his stooge. When Ben said he and Abby were leaving, Clyde was very threatening and authoritarian, and essentially taunted him for not being man enough to stand up to Chad. So he might be manipulating his son — who is very biddable, let’s not forget Clyde was the reason he proposed in the first place! — into committing murder, or helping cover them up.
Clyde, then, might have a different motive for wanting these people dead, and the framing of Chad is just a side motive to appease his son.
And as long as we’re at it, Ben and Clyde could be involved only in the framing of Chad, and the real murderer is someone else entirely. We’ve got this interesting little moment from today’s episode:
Daniel was dressed all in black today. When he came into Marlena’s room for the first time, he touched her neck, and then was interrupted by John. And this last look, after Marlena “saw” him as the murderer, is … ambiguous, to say the least.
A red herring, maybe. I go back and forth as to whether I would want Daniel to be the murderer. I have a hard time seeing what the motive would be. He has motive to kill Serena (sortof — more than Chad, anyway), but Paige and Marlena? I guess I could see killing Marlena to prevent her from helping Chad recover his memories of that night, so Chad could still be the fall guy. But Paige … well, maybe Paige found out something unsavory about Dr. Dan. She did say she had something “important” to tell JJ. Maybe it had to do with Daniel, not Clyde.
Part of me doesn’t want Daniel to be the murderer, because I want Nicole to choose Eric for his own sake, not because Daniel turns out to be a bad guy. But another part of me … wants Daniel to go down in flames. Hated by everyone in town. Yup, that might be okay.
On another note, I have to give a little shout-out to the classic supercouple moments we got for Chad and Abby today:
The whole situation of the unjust accusation, Chad hiding out in the little shack, while Abby works to clear his name, is just like Steve and Kayla after Britta’s murder. I loved the when she said “I’m calling the shots.” (Kayla also threatened to turn Steve in.)
But, I still have to quibble. Abby was all over the place today, emotionally. She talks like she’s going to help Chad prove his innocence, then turns around and tells him she’s leaving tomorrow. You can’t do both! Her caving to Ben’s emotional manipulation is great for the tension of the story, but bad for the character of Abby. She’s hysterical at the thought of Ben leaving, but then calm and strong with Chad. It’s jarring.
Another great moment: Jennifer encouraging Abby to leave with Ben, because she thinks it will keep her safe from Clyde. The irony! And a nice mention of Jack, and how going off on a “desert island” can be nice for a young couple. Jen certainly knows all about that. 🙂