Giving thanks

Hope you all had a happier Thanksgiving than the Salemites did.

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I know we’ve talked about it before, but the timing issue continues to be mind-boggling! So screwy! It’s now very clearly on the second day after Hope’s wedding, which was on the Salem bicentennial. Lest we forget:

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November 9! And now it’s Thanksgiving!

I’m guessing this is all for the sake of the Abby storyline. It has to be believable that her family isn’t raising the alarm. Personally, I’m not sure it’s worth it. I think they could have snuck in a few more scenes of Jen and JJ fretting about Abby, even going to the police. Ben could keep sending text messages, or force Abby to call them and say everything is fine.

They also could have moved everything so her labor started the beginning of this week, without losing much in the way of suspense. As it was we watched her labor begin, then took a big break while everything went down with Bo. Someone who has a Salem day’s worth of time on their hands should go back to when she first found out she was pregnant, and actually count the Salem days until she had her baby. It’s gotta be only about three months – and frankly I think that’s a generous estimate!

I enjoyed Wednesday’s episode. I thought it was funny that the only people who got anything to eat was Salem’s homeless population – and I saw more people serving than I saw people eating.

TPTB obviously shelled out the bucks — almost the entire cast was on. I love holiday episodes that blend the ongoing stories with the plot-free holiday elements. They had a good balance in this episode. We found out that Eduardo went to Winterthorne academy, which will bring him into that story. The coincidences surrounding Eduardo are pretty funny. The two families he abandoned both happened to move to Salem, and now this. And did Paul describe Eduardo as his roommate’s “father”? That means either than Dario was his roommate, or Eduardo has another family somewhere! Hey, why not?

I just have to say, Wally Kurth and Kassie de Paiva have killer chemistry. How I wish Eve weren’t leaving! A triangle with Justin, Eve, and Eddy would be fantastic. And I also have to say that someone in the costume department loves Kassie:

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(Look at Eddy, smoldering through the crack in the doorway. Mmm.)

I like this pissed off Hope, kicking ass and taking names.

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I loved her reaming out Steve for not being willing to drop everything and chase the bad guys all over the world. I like believable conflict between the good guys. Kudos to Steve for not taking the bait, since it would break his promise to Kayla. I have a feeling he might cave, but for now, I am glad to see him put Kayla first. I also like ghost Bo:

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It’s such a great twist to have him be semi-evil (and what’s with his hair? Apparently the afterlife is lacking in hair products!), encouraging Hope’s risky choices. I hope they don’t overuse him – when it comes to ghosts, a little goes a long way.

Belle’s back!

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I hope I can like Belle this time around. I grew to loathe the character back in 2006-7. Back during the TWoP glory days, we coined the term GHH, for “glittery hoo-ha,” to explain a certain type of Days heroine who has no particular personality, no life goals or defining interests, and yet usually has two or men pining after her. She seems perfectly content to waffle back and forth between the two men without feeling she is being unfair. And that any man would be lucky to have even a few crumbs of affection from her. All that would be bad enough, but everyone else in Salem seemed to feel the same way, and acted like glitter came out of her … well, you know.

Despite my loathing for Belle, I always saw potential in Martha Madison. I genuinely liked her in her scenes with her family, and I remember writing on this blog more than once that if they gave her something to do besides wonder which man she should be with, I think I could get into the character. I am definitely excited to see her with her brothers Brady and Eric. It’s a good sign that they are splitting up Shawn and Belle — but I know a recast Phillip is coming back, and the last thing I want to see is Shellip, redux. This team pays more attention to jobs and careers, which I really like. She became a nurse right before she left last time, so they could do something with that. They could also throw her into the Basic Black storyline, since it is her father’s former company. Maybe she’ll try to wrest back control of it. Anyway, here’s hoping!

 

 

Rose colored glasses

One of my favorite Kayla scenes of all time is during the poisoning storyline, after Steve rescues her and brings her to the cabin. She is unconscious, but when she wakes up, she tells Steve she doesn’t trust him anymore. (Mary Beth is so very pregnant here!)

(A note about my YouTube channel: my old one still hasn’t been taken down, but I decided to start a new one anyway. All the videos I post here will be unlisted, which I hope will allow them to sail under the radar of TPTB.)

Steve has to face that he destroyed something precious, something that he loved about her — her joyous optimism and boundless faith. Faith, that is, in him.

Steve makes a unilateral decision, keeping Kayla in the dark. He hurts her in the process — not only hurts her, but abandons her completely. At least this time his playing God was to protect her, and their children, instead of giving her up to help someone else. But the pattern of behavior is the same.

Kayla’s line at the very end, “I just can’t do this anymore,” sums up what she is feeling, again, now. I think we are essentially watching this scene, expanded into an entire storyline. She can’t take that leap of faith anymore, it hurts too much. He has to prove all over again that he is worthy of her faith and love.

(This reminds me of something Mary Beth said at the brunch, commenting on those who think she is “too mad” at Steve. “He LEFT me in AFRICA!” she said. She sounded so incredulous. I loved it.)

So, onto today’s scenes. I really enjoyed the dialogue. I thought it was so true to these characters, and their history. They addressed the trust issue when Kayla believed he set this up, and yelled at him for thinking he could win her over with manufactured romantic crap. (I have to say, I love that someone said that on a soap. Manufactured romantic crap is soap’s bread and butter!) Now, I’ve known Kayla to very happy with romantic gestures, but NOT – this is the key thing – as a substitute for real love and trust.

She made a good point when she told him that he’s told her not to worry before, when she actually had reason to worry. But Steve gets to play the optimist role this time, and he got her to admit that things generally worked out okay, and “it was never boring.”

In a similar vein, she told him she likes things safe and secure, “and everybody lives to be a hundred.” I don’t know if that has always been true, but I think it is true now. And he pointed out that there is no life without some risk. Again, it’s like the tables are turned from when she broke down his walls, encouraged him to take the risk of opening up and trusting someone.

And then the catch in his voice when he said she was the best thing that ever happened to him. And if he could just get her back …

… and then THIS:

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I have to admit, I rewatched this scene several times. It’s like 1986 again!

Bo and Hope also connected today, with their love scene. The quickness of it all fits with how little time they have to work with Peter and Bo’s exit. I have said before that I like Bo and Hope best when they are happy, and this angst for Hope is almost too much for me. But I am hoping that they are setting this up so that Hope finding out the truth is a reason to find her strength again. What I mean is, as long as she feels uncertain about Bo and their relationship, she’ll be in this tailspin; but finding out the truth will (ironically) help her find her strength and trust in herself. And make her determined to enjoy the little time they do have.

I hope so, because I don’t think I could stand watching Hope suffer MORE than she is now.

Bo “willing” Hope to Rafe grated on me. But, it is truly a tradition on soaps. Jack did it once, with Frankie and Jennifer. Addie did it with Doug and Julie. (Thanks, Mom!) I also have a hard time believing that Bo would so quickly see and recognize that Rafe is madly in love with Hope. Maybe it’s because I just don’t see it myself! One thing it definitely won’t do is reconcile Bope fans to “Rope.” Nope.

Theo having a crush on Ciara: mildly intrigued. Lani being Abe’s daughter, and Theo’s sister:  still waiting for the conflict. And why wasn’t Hope invited to Bo’s surprise party?

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Bo and Hope – oh my God.

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The fight scenes were incredible, especially the way they crashed through the Bope house set, destroying all the furniture. Kristian was the star of these scenes, when she woke up, hallucinated Aiden, and then realized it was Bo. When Rafe arrived and she was sitting there with that dead look in her eyes, mascara streaking down her face. And when she turned to Bo and started hitting him, yelling that he wasn’t there when she needed him. Wonderful. And then those final shots in the hospital, Bo holding her in his arms. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to melt at that ending.

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Sometimes I think the only thing grounding the serial killer story in reality is Rafe. I love his quiet, understated reaction to everything, even as he obviously takes the whole thing with deadly seriousness. When he turned to Bo, after they’d already been talking for several minutes, and said “Where the hell did you come from?” I had to laugh a little. And then pondering Aiden’s apparent guilt, saying, “How did I miss this?” It shows how heavily this is weighing on him.

I love this shot:

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I’m glad to see Chad’s memories staring to come back. I really want Rafe and Chad to work together on this case!

Abby’s scenes with Ben were tense and creepy. I am so glad to see her being smart, working to placate him and maybe win his trust, so she can escape. But it obviously made her skin crawl, as mine did when I was watching, to have to return his kisses today. I’m glad she didn’t get hold of the poker. There is no way that would have worked, and I’m scared he would hit her with it. Eee, this is killing me.

Sami: all I got is WTF?

Now, Steve and Kayla.

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With just a couple a quibbles, I thought today’s scenes were really good. We finally heard for certain that Steve’s ISA mission was explicitly about protecting Kayla and their children. But this plays right into his history of playing God and making unilateral decisions. The price of those decisions was summed up by Kayla’s line: “I divorced you because of this. I lost my trust in you.” He is not going to be able to win that trust back easily, even if he didn’t leave for “adventure.”

What I didn’t like was Steve’s line that he finally got the “respectable” job she always wanted him to have. Stephen played the line so well I almost wish it wasn’t so completely wrong. They could have kept it if Kayla had replied, “Do you really think I care about that?” Kayla never cared about his job – Steve did.

My other complaint is I thought her line about staying away from her and Joey was a little harsh. But it’s possible it was in reaction to his line that he shouldn’t have come back. I’m on the fence – I want a little bit of softness, something to encourage Steve, but I don’t want Kayla’s valid reasons to be angry to be swept aside. At any rate, I thought the scenes were very, very promising for where the storyline is headed. I’m glad Steve opened up enough to tell Kayla a little bit of what is going on. It’s all but certain that Ava is the threat Steve is talking about, and the worst thing would be for Steve to keep her a secret (again).

So, cautiously optimistic?

Loved Kayla and Bo’s hug! I want more, but at least they saw each other!

Fireworks

I thought today’s episode was excellent.

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I should have realized that Bo and Steve’s fight was fake from the beginning, but I have to admit they got me. So it was an extra treat when they both ganged up on the deputy and escaped.

And Steve played his harmonica!

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Ten years ago, during the 40th anniversary, I got the chance to watch the very first episode of Days on Soapnet. I remembered that Julie (played by a different actress – but not for long! Susan Hayes has played the part since 1968) was featured prominently. She stole a stole (ha!) from a department store and had to be picked up from the police station. But you all know that, because she told the story today. I thought they did an excellent job incorporating that story naturally, first showing Ciara offering to steal a jacket for Chase, being caught (well, overheard) by Julie so Julie could tell this story, and then breaking down and admitting the jacket reminded her of her father. As her father, unbeknownst to her, is arriving in town! Perfect, seamless storytelling.

The flashback to Alice and Tom was lovely as well. So great to see them.

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A little clunkier was the mention of Marie, when Julie said Marie mentioned 50 years ago she was planning her wedding. To me this doesn’t rise to the level of “Wow! What a coincidence!” since about a bazillion other weddings have happened in the meantime. Also, Marie never married Tony, the man she was engaged to in the debut episode (but she did marry his father, ew!) It would have been better, in this case, to have Marie herself pop in for a cameo. I know Maree Cheatham is still around, I follow her on Twitter!

I liked how they weaved in the new teen set. Today was the first day we really got to see them in action, and I think they all did pretty well. I can see they are going to continue to showcase Theo’s autism, which I think is great. I liked how Joey referred to the way Theo obsessively memorizes baseball statistics, and then when he had to tell him that when he said his mom would kill him, he didn’t mean literally.

And then Joey collapsed. As if Kayla doesn’t have enough to deal with!

Caroline and Kayla were really funny today.

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I love this “I’ve got your number” expression.

And Caroline was so unrepentant, it cracked me up. I loved how she put her dress back on over her hospital gown (the huge dress is good for something!) and headed back to the mansion. Just in time to meet Bo and Steve – but no motorcycle entrance, alas! I cannot wait for everyone to see Bo, finally! The reactions are going to be epic.

I enjoyed the scenes in the garden, when everyone was waiting for the fireworks. They actually gave people meaningful dialogue. My favorite was Eric’s reaction to Daniel and Nicole’s cooing, and then Nicole talking about her sadness over her two lost babies. I have a feeling, based on this, that Nicole might finally get her baby. The only question is are they going to do a WTD story for her?

Is water wet?

Actually, they might not, so soon after Abby’s WTD story. But, a pregnancy +  triangle? How could they resist?

I loved seeing the wedding album, all the great supercouples, finishing with Tom and Alice. Seeing Jack’s photo, and Jen’s reaction to it, gave me hope that maybe, maybe Jack is going to come back. This is the second mention in two weeks! It was nice to hear Adrienne call him her brother too. And all the kisses were sweet. I especially liked this:

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I love Gabi’s reaction.

And Eric kissed Jennifer!

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Is this going somewhere? At this point I’d take almost anything that would give Eric more airtime, but I am not sure how I would feel about this. They are both at loose ends right now, so I could see the show going there, temporarily.

It totally grossed me out that there was a Hope/Aiden sex scene today, but what a great, suspenseful ending of him standing there holding the tie. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. Will Aiden attack and Hope kills him? Or Bo?  But will Days show Aiden delay, and delay, and not attack until the end of the episode – so we have to wait til Monday to find out what happens?

Is water wet?

The adventure continues

Andre and Chad were the highlight for me today. Andre is so delightful.

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“Oh dear, I didn’t realize you’d react this way.” “Eavesdroppers never hear good of themselves.”

And Chad: “So you’re my best friend. God help me.”

And apparently Andre is a Vulcan! Who knew?

I think it’s a great twist to have Andre tip Chad off that a murder is going to happen tonight. I loved the frustration and futility for Chad as he tried to tell his guard. It’s a great way to amp up the tension, and it’s a clue for later as well. After Aiden is “revealed” as the killer, Chad should be very suspicious about the fact that Andre knew about it.

Bo and Steve continue to be more plot driven than anything else. Bo’s fantasies were sweet. I liked how the first one turned out with Hope saying she was married to someone else, and Bo went back and edited it to be more to his liking. And I’m not – I’m not! – going to wonder where Steve got the gas can or the tube to siphon gas from the car at the (closed) station. Sigh.

I enjoyed the wedding more than I thought. I thought it was funny watching the guests. (Were Nicole and Daniel eating popcorn? It looked like it!) I liked Ciara telling Chase to “pay up” because no one gets married in Salem without some of kind of interruption or drama. Hope was funny when she said that continuing with the wedding is what Caroline would want. I think Caroline made it pretty clear what she wanted, Hope.

I really liked Aiden’s line that he wants everyone here to know that he loves Hope with all his heart. Daniel Cosgrove played it well, like Aiden truly believes that. Ironically, I think it’s helping him go through with his plan. Somehow, he’s using it to tell himself he’s not such a bad guy.

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Kayla scolding Caroline was a little much at first, but Peggy and Mary Beth played off each other perfectly. I liked it when Kayla said “mea frickin’ culpa.” I liked how she was unconsciously treating Caroline as rational, as an equal, not an impaired woman, by haranguing her like she did. Roman grinning in the background added to the scene. But, again, I have to complain about the fact that everyone is so sure that Bo is fine and not in trouble. I get thinking he’s not coming back to Hope, and Hope should be able to get married, but a little worry about his well-being would be nice.

And poor pregnant Abby! I don’t know if I can stand watching this for too long!

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She broke my heart trying to placate Ben and reassure him she loves him. She’s smart to see that she shouldn’t set him off. But Ben, in his paranoia, isn’t going to fall for that easily, especially after her attempted escape today. This is going to kill me.

Gala – day one

It’s November sweeps time! Whee, here we go! How many Salem days do you think we’ll have this month? Two? Three?

The gala outfits and hairstyles were mostly great fun, though some definitely worked better than others. I really loved Eve’s outfit:

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Hope reminds of Elizabeth Taylor here:

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One of the worst was Theresa. Her dress wasn’t so bad, but that hair. My God.

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Unlike Theresa, they did great with Abby’s hair. This hairstyle really works on her:

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The way things are looking, I’m not sure Abby is going to make it to the party. Which is too bad, because it looks like she would have rocked her early 60’s outfit. Oh … and of course also because it looks like Ben is going to attack her or kidnap her. Eek!

Those Ben and Abby scenes were good. Really tense and scary. I was yelling at her to run for it, but I thought it was believable that she stuck around to fight it out. Ben having all those pictures of Chad on his phone (he’s a Billy Flynn fan, clearly!) is just weird enough to be suspicious but not “run screaming from the room” suspicious. The line “these time stamps are all the dates of the murders” was kind of silly, but as a Chabby fan I was delighted that even in this situation, one of the first things Abby thought of was how the pictures might clear Chad. And of course that sends Ben around the bend.

And oh, Eric, Eric.

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I really enjoyed the tense encounter with Daniel and Nicole, how he almost snapped at them before excusing himself and snatching that drink off the tray. What they missed, though, was showing him standing off to one side, staring at Nicole and Daniel while they danced together. And maybe Nicole glances at him and then looks away. I love scenes like that.

I’d say we’re about 50/50 on an alcoholism story for him. I can’t tell if they are setting up a drinking problem specifically, or just using it as a shorthand to show he’s depressed. Time (and more airtime — please?) will tell.

I recognized the garage Bo and Steve were in from this promotional picture:

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In that article, Stephen said they filmed 7 episodes in two days — something like that. I hope that seven refers to all of their episodes outside of Salem, because we must be getting close to that now.  That means they will be back soon!

In this age of instant communication, it was always going to be difficult to show Bo and Steve not being able to get in touch with anyone. So I like the twist of Bo calling Caroline, who of course will not be believed. Is the surly guy who didn’t want them to use the phone going to attack them before Steve can call Kayla? Because if he doesn’t try after Bo gets off the phone with Caroline, I’m going to be really mad.

 

 

Catch up

I just finished watching Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday back to back to back. So excuse me if my thoughts, and my comments, are a little jumbled here.

All three episodes were very good, but a few scenes stand out.

The first is Kayla babbling to Hope about Steve’s kiss. She was so obviously thrown by what had happened, it was really adorable.

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I think he likes me. Do you think he likes me? But I don’t know if I like him. I mean, I know I don’t like him. Not that way. I can’t believe he grabbed me at my place of work and kissed me like we were teenagers. Because I’m not acting at all like a teenage girl with a crush right now.

Hope’s knowing smile was perfect, as was her line that the kiss was “the most interesting part” of the story.

I loved Caroline and Victor bantering and teasing each other, and how Caroline called him “Kiriakis.” Showing you’re never too old to flirt. Hee!

Another scene that stood out was the scene between Sonny and Paul. I’m becoming a PaulSon shipper in retrospect. Sigh.

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The dialogue was so well written, how Paul talked about “everyone” in Salem who loved him, and Sonny responded using the same language. But both of them obviously knew that they weren’t talking about “everyone,” but about Paul. Sonny’s line that he couldn’t accept even love right now from “everyone” was so bittersweet.

So, I picked this nice picture even though you all know how I feel about this couple:

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Part of me was jumping for joy that they set their wedding date for Valentine’s Day, because I know Shawn Christian is leaving before then. That means they will not make it to the altar, so yay. But everything else about their scenes was a big WTF. They reminded me of the Haiden scenes from the summer, so happy (and extremely cheesy and schmaltzy), but no story. I honestly can’t think of a story reason for the scenes, other than to establish their wedding date. And that a pop song at the end! Songs cost money, and I find it really odd for them to spend that money on Nicole and Daniel.

One thing that I can now say is a flaw in this new writing team is how they write for non-rooting couples. I have already talked about Abby and Hope, how infuriating it is to see them believing in their men so blindly, and how nothing seems to make them question their choice. I really liked the Chabby scenes in the hospital, but it is driving me a little crazy how Abby can’t take the next logical step: if Chad is innocent, Ben is lying. And if Ben is lying … ?

Some good movement in the Rafe, Eduardo, Gabi, and JJ stories. I wanted a little more drama with the reveal that Eddy is Gabi’s father, but I can see they are setting up her softening towards him. I’m glad she went to his room, but I’m also glad she went away without knocking. That would have been too fast. I’m not sure how I feel about JJ becoming a cop, and I definitely side with Abby on the fact that this is no time to make rash decisions. But I thought the scene between JJ and Gabi was sweet, and I liked how they used Paige’s death as something to bring them together – because I suspect that later it’s going to keep them apart. I’m cautiously optimistic about them.

And then, finally:

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Our guys are together! I am so excited to have this story finally move forward. Seeing these smiles is a great break from all the doom and gloom, and I loved how even in this desperate situation, they are just that glad to see each other. Wonderful end to a Friday.

I was surprised (I’m doing much better avoiding spoilers now, it’s great!) by Shawn D’s appearance. Jason Cook is looking good, a little like a young Bo with that beard!