The very first scene on my Steve and Kayla DVDs, from June 1986, is a scene at Shenanigans with Abe and Chris. Abe says (paraphrasing), “Are you telling me John Black is Roman? And Kim had her baby? And Bo is Victor’s son?” (Chris’s response: “It’s been quite a week.”) It’s a heavily expository scene, obviously there to catch up any viewers who missed out on May sweeps. And he plays it perfectly, reacting with shock and concern for his friends, and tearing up at the idea Roman is alive after all.


These scenes are so important to make us feel like these are real people in a real town, reacting to the news and events of each other’s lives. Often characters who seldom get stories of their own can be the glue that ties the stories of other people together, serve as audience surrogates, offer wisdom and advice. Tom and Alice could fill that role when they were alive, and Doug and Julie now. But Abe is perfect in this case. He knows everyone in town from his long history there, and his job as a police officer makes him a natural fit in this role. It’s nice to slow down a bit after the excitement of the last few days, and just breathe a little and show people’s reactions. The big events are exciting, but in order to feel real, we need to see everyone reacting. And if criminals hellbent on revenge are involved, people should be worried and jumpy.

The problem of characters being limited to their bubbles, hardly even aware of what is happening to other people (let alone interacting with them), seems to be something that every new headwriter initially fixes, and then falls lazily back into. I imagine intersecting stories are more difficult to write — though that’s no excuse of course. So I’m not counting on this intersection of stories to last forever, but I intend to enjoy it while it does.

I’ve enjoyed the interrupted Thrady wedding and the criminal breakout for the most part.


I loooooove seeing Orpheus again. It’s pointless to wish for anything as good as his first run — Stockholm remains a gold standard that will never be matched, in my opinion (unfortunately). But even to hear Marlena reference being kidnapped in Stockholm made shivers run up my spine. And I could listen to George DelHoyo’s voice all day. Such gravitas. And this was a nice example of an Event — something that brings different characters togteher. The wedding and the Orpheus interruption led to Paul’s heroic rush, Sonny worrying about him and talking to Phillip about it, Phillip and Victor’s tender moment, and Eve and Nicole’s somewhat bizarre, but enjoyable, bonding session. Different characters interacting immediately raises my interest level.

Side note: I have only faint hopes that this will be explained or addressed, but let’s talk about the Roman/John issue for a minute. Back in 1986, Orpheus wanted to get revenge on Roman (played by Drake, so John-as-Roman) for killing his wife, Rebecca (accidentally) when Orpheus and Roman were ISA partners in 1979. Last week, Orpheus reiterated thatย  he wants revenge on Roman first, for his wife — but then other people are on his list for what happened later. Makes sense so far. But then he told John this week he wanted to kill everyone John loves because John killed everyone he loved. So that sounds like John killed Rebecca.

Adding to the confusion, back in 1986, didn’t we see flashbacks of John-as-Roman hiding the bonds and shooting Orpheus’s wife? Which didn’t even make sense at the time because it was supposed to be happening in 1979? If the show was smart they could fold in the John-isn’t-Roman story into this. Like: Orpheus was in league with Stefano and knew all along that John was brainwashed to think he was Roman, and it was really John that Orpheus was partners with the whole time. That would explain those flashbacks. Orpheus called him Roman in ’86 because he was involved in the long con on John and Marlena. This of course could explain how Marlena ended up with Stefano after being initially kidnapped by Orpheus. A long term Orpheus/Dimera connection could potentially bring Andre and Chad into the story today — if Orpheus was in jail because Stefano set it up for Orpheus to take the fall, the Dimeras could be on his list of targets too.

Okay, moving on. I thought it was smart that the three villains split up and are wreaking havoc separately. Xander’s confrontation with Theresa was good, mostly because of Paul Telfer — I liked using the irony of Xander being sent away for the one thing he hadn’t done, so he was able to kind-of-legitimately claim the moral high ground. I’ll be glad if it gives Nicole something different to do; maybe she’ll even have time to think about how Eric saved her from Xander. It’s all making me miss Greg Vaughan something fierce (fiercer than usual).ย  And as far as the cliffhanger with Clyde and Kate today — all I can say is, Clyde, don’t play me like that. Less talking, more shooting.

Screenshots Joanie

13 thoughts on “Glue

  1. I need to learn not to take a drink when I read Mary’s posts…. I inevitably come close (or do) spew water/tea all over myself/computer – she can just crack me up at times.

    totally agree about the Orpheus confusion.. they could’ve done that better, they just didn’t ask the pros (Mary and other fans like her๐Ÿ™‚ ).

    It’s nice seeing Abe every now and again. He is indeed, like the solid, the glue – the trusty one who’s there when everyone’s world is turned upside down

    • I would love to be a Days consultant, looking up old storylines and helping them get the history right.๐Ÿ™‚

      I think Abe is a great long-standing character who sometimes cycles to the front burner but does a great job in a supporting role too.

  2. Great way to weave together those Abe scenes.

    So far, I have to say that this is the kind of story I wanted for the 50th anniversary. Although I’m not that invested in Thrady, at least their wedding felt like a culmination of their storyline, as opposed to that of Hope and Aidan last year, which made no sense.

    For the most part, the people of Salem are united against the bad guys. No one is dying (at least not yet). Characters actually talk to each other about what has happened in their lives. Right now, there’s balance in the storytelling.

    The Orpheus rewrite is nuts, but I’ll give them a pass because there’s no good way to make sense of RoJohn. I wonder if we’ll get any backstory on his kids, since they played such a key role the first go-round.

  3. Jason47 had hinted for months and months that multiple villains were returning and had posted a list of possibilities on his facebook page so I had a clue that Orpheus might be making an appearance way before I saw the preview before the Olympic break. Back when I saw Orpheus on his list I immediately thought that it wouldn’t be possible because of the RoJohn issues and honestly it gives me a headache to try to decipher the truth. Roman should have killed Rebecca and hidden the bonds- not John but I just expected them to make it seem like it all went down when John was living as Roman. Of course that is also a bit of a problem because Days just likes to ignore that that even happened. If John were not married to Marlena I doubt there would be any trace of the John as Roman story remaining. But I am still glad they brought Orpheus back and I also believe the Stockholm story is the best damn storyline arc that Days ever did! Trying to add any more backstory by making an in depth Orpheus/Dimera connection might be a little too much on top of the already convoluted RoJohn and Andre backstories. My head might actually explode if I tried to wrap my head around it all at one time.

    • Of course you’re right. It would be way too much for a modern writing team to take on, because it would have to be very intricate and evolve over weeks and months.

      It’s just a bizarre coincidence for me right now, because I just finished watching Stockholm on one set of DVDs and I am watching Wayne Northrup’s return as Roman (and John finding out he’s NOT Roman) on the other set! (On the Shayla DVDs.) So naturally it makes me think of how they could tie it all together.

  4. Oh my gosh I love your idea!! I was recently watching the Stockholm storyline in anticipation of Orpheus’ return and because, I too, love it! Anytime I watch John as Roman, and he has flashbacks, my mind goes crazy! Of course back then, they didn’t intend on bringing Wayne Northrup back, I’m sure, so he had to be believable as Roman. Since late 80s Roman was revealed to be John Black, it leaves longtime viewers going “wait a minute” occasionally. And this happened to me watching the Stockholm story. It makes sense that John would be brainwashed with as many as Roman’s memories as possible. His past loves and childhood memories are no brainers (pardon the pun). However one thing that struck me during Stockholm, was that it made absolutely no sense for John to have been brainwashed with the memory of hiding millions of dollars in bonds! Many other things can be explained but you’d think that this would be one point a Dimera would leave out during their brainwashing sessions. If they knew it existed, wouldn’t they find the bonds themselves and omit that memory? Again, not something writers planned on needing an explanation for but something now that we look at. Your explanation just blew me away and would be perfect! Those details and points that tie in past storylines are part of what wow the fans. These writers clearly need some consultants when it comes to details and loose ends!! You’d be perfect! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Ha ha I never thought about the process of how the memories were implanted in John’s brain. I was thinking more like a download — just hit “Select All” and “Copy” and “Paste” and there you go!๐Ÿ˜€

      There are so many holes it’s just crazy. I have been a little pleasantly surprised with how it was handled in 91-92. He is so sure he’s Roman and they really let it all unfold slowly with all the confusion for the family and the angst for John.

      But the story is so hard to use now …especially with Orpheus because that involved not just John thinking he was Roman in 1986 but Orpheus seeking revenge on him for stuff he did in 1979. I just would like them to make some kind of effort!

  5. Maybe they’re getting ready to reveal that John Black really IS Roman and Roman is really Chris K. with implanted memories LOL! I’m with everyone else, my brain hurts when I try to figure THAT mess out. I think I would have preferred it if there was SOME kind of acknowledgment of “I used to think I was Roman” from John’s character, but there doesn’t really seem to be any in the family relationships, etc. I’m just going to go with it, because I love that they brought Orpheus back!

    I agree with Mary – the Stockholm story was one of the best umbrella stories ever done on Days (or any other soap). Darn! Now I want to go back and watch it.

    • I would be so happy if John was actually Roman and we didn’t have JT as “Fauxman” — as they call him on the boards.๐Ÿ˜€ The funny thing is that JT has played Roman the longest of all three Romans, but I still can’t accept him.

      As I said above they seem to be doing a good job in the early 90’s showing all the angst of finding out you’re not the man you thought you were. I think the whole story was pretty good at the time but now they seem to just ignore it for the most part. I would have liked to see Steve, when he came back in 2006, call John “Roman” and be confused about it. But they didn’t.

      • Yeah I definitely think they should have used some of the RoJohn backstory when Steve returned since Steve had been an integral part of the pawn storyline to begin with! Instead we got Bo saying “you remember John Black?” And Steve said “Yeah” and that was it! What a waste!

  6. Thanks for clarifying (or attempting to clarify) the RoJohn/Orpheus backstory. The decision to shoot new flashbacks with Drake playing a 1979 Roman is really baffling. I can’t rationalize any way in which that decision made any sense even at the time!

    • I’m not sure why they did that either. I think they must have just figured people wouldn’t care — I don’t remember being bothered by it, though I remember wondering if this was supposed to have happened during his missing years rather than 79.

      But after they brought Wayne back, it just confuses the issue more!

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