Not another one

Someone sure loves baby stories, doesn’t she?

I really hope that Jade is lying about the baby, or there is some other twist so that Joey doesn’t end up a father before his twentieth birthday. I like James Lastovic but Joey has been written as such a dim bulb. If there was some career he was preparing for, something he was dreaming of doing, and this baby was forcing him to give up that dream, I might be able to muster up more interest. But he’s going to college (under protest), living at home, and not working. Steve is proud of him for “stepping up” but how is he stepping up? Offering Jade a place to live in a place he’s not paying for?

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There’s also the fact that he’s a murderer. I could maybe forgive that, but I can never forgive this hair:

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I will take the ring to Mordor, only I do not know the way.

Also, Jade’s smugness, and her taunting, about the baby at Thanksgiving drained any sympathy I had for the character (and I did have some). If she’s going to treat her baby like a meal ticket, why should I see it any differently? Grrr. Someone help me out here.

I am theoretically intrigued by this Abby/Chad/Gabi triangle — I like all three characters. So far, though, the best thing about it is the homophonic couple names. Chabby vs. Chabi! They sound so alike? How can we choose?? Abby’s talk about staying dead had me shouting at the TV, “What about your son??” Also, the fact that her own brother is with Gabi should put a dent in her certainty that Chad has “moved on.”

On Friday, though, they addressed the Thomas issue a little by having Abby freak out at her inability to comfort him, which added fuel to the idea that Thomas might be better off without her too.

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In general, Abby’s hysteria on Friday made her decision to stay in hiding a lot more understandable. I liked that Jennifer mentioned her pill addiction and Chad’s doubt about her ability to take care of Thomas. (Though she left out the whole custody battle — I’d like to see Abby’s reaction to that!) And I was surprisingly moved by Jennifer’s sense of betrayal that Laura kept Abby hidden from her. In general, I’ve been enjoying the Deveraux/Horton family interactions. Let’s hope the love triangle gets a little more interesting.

As for Adrienne’s big decision, again the execution of the story leaves a lot to be desired. I loved Justin’s big entrance (even without the necessary buildup) because it was soapy, and Adrienne’s collapse was fun to watch for the same reason, but the writing is so thin in between these events that it is hard to care. “I love them both,” she says. But what does she see in Lucas? What does she see in Justin? What are the stakes? Three times she has been interrupted right before she announces who she has “chosen,” and sadly this is all the suspense we have been given. Again the pleasure is coming from the family/friend interactions. Wally Kurth and Bryan Datillo have obviously been having a lot of fun with their juvenile sparring. And then there’s Steve throwing shade at Justin:

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What a look! I love Steve in protective older brother mode.

Aaaaaand … how great was this scene:

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Awwww.

Screencaps Joanie

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Nouveau Deveraux

Technically, that should be “nouvelle,” but that didn’t rhyme.

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(Look at that picture of Jack! Jack, who I met last weekend!!!)

I was quite favorably impressed with Marci Miller as the new Abby. I thought her scenes with Jen were very good. She connected very naturally with Jen and they gave off a nice mother/daughter vibe. She also really sold the whole “I faked my death so you could all move on” thing — not the easiest sell for one of your first scenes. And, family resemblance isn’t everything (see Brady, Ciara), but Marci’s striking resemblance to Melissa Reeves is a nice bonus.

She’s also got the “blink and let one tear fall down your cheek” thing down pat — always a good skill for a soap actress!

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The big test will be seeing her with Chad.  They seem to be banking a lot on nuChabby, based on the general buzz, the frequent behind-the-scenes photos, and the constant cutesy tweeting between Billy and Marci. I worried that it was all being built up too much, because for me anyway, I won’t automatically ship a couple I like if there’s a recast — quite the opposite, actually.  Now, I’m not a Chabby shipper per se — I like them, but I was open to seeing Chad paired with someone else. I didn’t want to see Billy Flynn wasted just because Kate Mansi left the show. At any rate, I’m excited to see how it plays out.

Seeing Steve and Adrienne together is always something special, and this was a particularly good scene:

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I loved the banter about “the blues” being her “something blue” and Steve saying he was the “something old” and Adrienne cracking up and saying “at least you didn’t say me!” Such a cute sibilng vibe to these scenes.

At the (pitifully attended) wedding itself, the highlight for me was Steve and Kayla making googoo eyes at each other:

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I was on board for Justin’s big entrance, because it’s so soapy, but this is the kind of thing that calls for more than a couple of scenes (not even episodes) of preparation. I heard there was a cut scene where Adrienne was talking about the wedding and accidentally said Justin’s name instead of Lucas. That seems like a scene we should have seen, don’t you think? And a better writer would also have made more of Sonny being torn between encouraging his father to interrupt the wedding and the fact that he’s Lucas’s best man, his former father-in-law, and Lucas has endured so much loss in his life recently (as has Sonny). But instead it was just “Oh, by the way, Dad, you should totes interrupt the wedding.

Then there was Theresa’s exit this week. I actually have been drawn into this little arc against my will.

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I was so annoyed at the whole Mateo retcon, and I still don’t believe in a million years that Shane and Kim would help Theresa leave her son and go off with a dangerous man, no matter how powerful he was. But, I must admit it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a decent “I have to pretend to be a horrible person” storyline (a story which can be good soapy angst if done well), and this one actually gave Jen Lilley and Eric Martsolf some surprisingly good material to work with. I haven’t liked Thrady that much since Theresa’s redemption. But they had an interesting dynamic when Theresa was bad and Brady was a drug addict, and the angst they got to play this week reminded me of when I liked them.

And, I’m glad they gave a little hint that Shane might have another plan in mind, and he’s not letting Theresa go off with Mateo after all, in his last scene on Friday.

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Now can we get some scenes with Kim and Shane with Kayla and the rest of the cast, pretty please?

Screencaps Joanie

RIP Will

Those Ben/Will scenes were intense, weren’t they? Maybe a little too intense in spots, for daytime. But I’m coming down on the side of this being a good move. It’s a copout to have a serial killer story and only kill off characters people don’t care about. This raises the stakes, for everyone.

The best part, for me, was the conversation Ben and Will had, where we got to hear some of Ben’s twisted thought processes. I especially loved his reaction to Will saying Chad might not be guilty. Contemptuously – “you and Abby.” And then asking what it was going to take to make people believe in Chad’s guilt. Another bod

But it was all really well done, really horrifying. A moments stand out — the refrigerator door flying open. The overhead shot of Will’s body and Ben laying next to him, exhausted from strangling him. Ben’s phone constantly buzzing. Ben picking up the picture of Sonny and Will.

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And I had to turn away when Ben come back from moving the body, and started kissing Abby. Shudder.

Clyde’s arrest, and JJ’s role in it, has apparently unhinged Ben a little further. I am liking all the references to Clyde’s abusive past, because it suggests a troubled childhood for Ben. I hope they don’t try to make that too pat and easy, and so far they haven’t. The fact that he made up with his abuser and is now his biggest defender is interesting psychologically, to say the least.

In lighter news, it looks like JJ and Gabi — JJabi! — is definitely a possibility. I really liked how JJ confided in her about Paige today. Now, when Gabi finally finds out about Eddy, it will affect her relationship with three people. Eddy, of course. Rafe, because she’ll be mad he kept it from her. And now JJ. She’ll find out she had a sister she never knew, and she might turn to JJ to find out what she was like. And I think it will complicate any attraction between them.

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Does she like him? Or has she just been in an all-women’s prison for two years?

With Justin and Adrienne, I am getting whiplash. Let’s recap. She tells him she wants to give their marriage “one more chance.” He agrees. They go on one date, which doesn’t go so well. They go on another date, where she asks him if he ever just wants his freedom. He says, sometimes. She says, that’s it then. Huh? I would attribute this to awkward transitioning from the old writing team to the new, but in fact this was all written by Higriff. I don’t get it.

I’m glad, though. All summer I watched them trading barbs and not trusting each other, and it looked like they were setting up more of the same. I am ready for them to be apart for awhile, even permanently (love both characters, was never into them as a couple). Oh, and there was a great, casual reference to history in their conversation yesterday, when Adrienne said they met when he found her crying on a park bench and she was looking for somewhere to be safe. And then I loved her line when she said she didn’t need that anymore — telling him she is stronger now.

Listening

There was some plot movement today — most notably, Marlena being strangled. They hit a little hammer of suspicion for us when they cut from the strangling, to Abby back at her apartment saying Ben’s name to an empty room, and then to Chad on the elevator (not strangling!).  Another development was Chad remembering being with someone the night Serena was killed — a homeless man that he fought with, who could possibly give him an alibi. (Or who is in on the plot against him?) Ben also said he was “done” with Abby — we’ll see how long that lasts.

But my favorite parts of the episode were the moments that gave our actors a chance to react, to just listen:

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Adrienne is listening to Justin’s excitement about doing something that has “nothing to do with his last name” — and thinking he’s never sounded more like Victor.

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Poor Chad’s lip is never going to heal, but he is so beautiful here listening to Abby tell him she knows he could never kill anyone.

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Look at the mixture of happiness and pain on Rafe’s face, as Eve talks about how wonderful Paige was. This is the sister he will never know.

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Kate, showing Nicole hit a nerve with her catalog of her misdeeds — but also that she’s not giving up, thank you very much.

And we saw our pier again! A very small, claustrophobic pier, but a pier:

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I love the camera angle here. Eve looks so trapped and so very, very alone.

This shot is from the music montage, which I loved because it was so perfectly old school. Little short shots of all of our characters — thinking, reacting to the events of the episode. When Adrienne picked up the picture of Justin and looked at it, I may have squealed. It was so classic.

Bad choices

I wasn’t going to do a post on today’s episode (8/26), but my husband took the girls out to a soccer game tonight. I could spend the evening folding laundry, but blogging is more fun!

So here are my disconnected thoughts about today:

Aw, a family scene around Caroline’s bedside. And a Kayla sighting! It sounds like the bicentennial will be fun, everyone dressed up in Victorian costumes. And Aiden dropped another anvil that he is Evil. He’s working for someone, and his job is Hope Brady. Andre? We shall see. I am still finding Aiden so much more interesting now that he is evil. He’s the perfect villain: so sweet, with those beautiful dimples.

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Eve is a horrible person, and she got even more horrible today. So why do I like her more than anyone else in this storyline? I think I feel about her the way some people feel about Theresa. She’s so horrible that Kyle, who is a drug dealer, was calling her on her actions. If that doesn’t wake you up, what will? Eve had a great line in her run-in with Paige: “Anger is causing you to make bad choices.” Look in the mirror, sweetheart! Wonderful irony.

I love the idea of Justin and Eve mixing it up. Today’s little tidbit was fantastic. I like Justin, I like Adrienne, but I have always been lukewarm on them as a couple. I think because both of them are so sweet. They need to bump up against someone with more of an edge, like Judi Evans did with Lujack on Guiding Light. Eve has edge to spare! Bonus points for the Sinatra reference in their scene. And Justin would look awesome in a fedora. Get on it, Days wardrobe team!

Speaking of Adrienne, I detected a small bit of chemistry in her scenes with Lucas today. Even though I shipped Lumi only briefly, I always thought Lucas had awesome chemistry with Sami … and no one else. My first episode watching Days again earlier this summer, Lucas and Adrienne were in bed together, and they didn’t work for me at all. But today they did, a little. Not so much in their bungee jumping talk, which I found somewhat forced, but in the very sweet conversation they had after she mentioned Justin. I liked the way he told her he didn’t want her to erase her past, and he knew what divorce was like. They felt like two wounded people, being there for each other. Very sweet.

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Chad and Serena were fun, and a bit sexy. I think Billy Flynn is one of those actors who has chemistry with everyone. Melissa Archer got to kiss all the sexiest men on the show during her run. Greg Vaughan, Paul Telfer, and now Billy Flynn. Good thing she’s leaving, or she’d be onto Stephen Nichols next.

I almost wanted Serena to go home with Chad, but maybe that was because Abby seemed to be having a wonderful time with Mr. Abs, and poor Chad has no one.

Speaking of Abby and Mr. Abs … I don’t know. What did you all think of that love scene? I give points to the show for trying something different, I suppose. It just felt a little strange, a little out of the blue. And for Abby and Ben? When we’ve been seeing her clearly be in love with Chad for months? I know I was complaining that there didn’t seem to be enough of a focus on the Ben/Abby relationship (mostly, giving Ben a reason to want to marry Abby), but this was … not was I was expecting. Maybe it’s just my supercouple era conditioning. I’m not used to seeing the non-rooting couple enjoy going to bed together. And maybe I’m a little bit more of a Chad fan than a Chabby fan.

Speaking of supercouples, I got some major supercouple feels in the Chad fantasy sequence. That’s my favorite kind of fantasy sequence, when it connects to what is happening in the story. Much better than flashing back to their hookup for the umpteenth time. And Chad was so happy when Abby told him the baby was his! And then the closeup on his face as they came out of the sequence. Heartbreaking. Fantastic.

Only one more episode, and then the Patchman cometh!