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:

AdriennewithJustin

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.

ChadwithAbby

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.

RafewithEve

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.

KatewithNicole

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:

Eveonpier

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.

A is for …

I watched Santa Barbara one summer and developed a crush on a certain hunk named Cruz Castillo. Cruz and Eden! So it gave me a few shivers to see A Martinez today. He and Kassie were so fantastic! I really sensed that these two had a history. I loved the way the scene was staged, Theresa going on about the boxes for the donation, while the air fairly crackled as Eve and Eddy stared at each other. I think I’m ready to ship them after one day. Eveddy?

Eddy

It’s turning into a theme, all these men coming back and their women (and children) blaming them for running off. I really am curious how they are going to work out the fact that Eddy is Paige’s father, and Rafe and Gabi’s too. A double life? That would explain Eve having the last name “Larson,” which I am also waiting to hear explained.

And now Rafe will suddenly be investigating the murder of his unknown half-sister. Wow.

Speaking of deadbeat dads, Steve didn’t exactly cover himself with glory with the way he ducked out of town today, not saying goodbye to either Joey or Kayla. Shame on you, Steve! But it looks like he’ll have his hands full with Joey stowing away on the plane.

SteveVictor3

So … help me out here. Steve and Victor’s conversation covered a lot of ground. Steve is theorizing that the ISA thinks Bo has “turned,” meaning went to work against the United States. That’s why they are burying all the information about his work with them. He also said someone “lured” Bo to Cancun by setting up a meeting with someone pretending to be Britta — who was, after all, a Russian spy (snort)? Someone who didn’t know that Bo would know she was dead (for 29 years!)? And Bo was playing along, pretending to be willing to talk?

Ooookay. Points for trying to work in some history, I guess? I thought it was really strange that there was no reference for the audience as to who Britta was. I know it’s hard to believe, but not everyone obsessively watches S&K clips. Who else would remember a supporting player from thirty years ago?

And this picture is beyond strange:

BrittaCancun

Britta would be in her 50’s now, if she was still alive. This woman is much younger than that. And her tattoo is on her arm? So is this on purpose, meant to show how idiotic (or misinformed) the person was who hired this Britta impersonator? But that can’t be, because both Victor and Steve appeared to “recognize” her, and their only shock was that she is supposed to be dead. (Which, this being Salem, should merely elicit a shrug.) This feels like something the show does when a character is returning, but I don’t think Britta is coming back. (Is she??)

My head hurts.

But I loved seeing Bo pretending to be near death, even as he does pushups in his cell and tries to break the chains holding him. I love that he’s not just a victim here. I love seeing Steve jetting off to his rescue, and Joey tagging along. A private jet is a step up from those plane scenes we watched this weekend (gotta love those direct Salem-to-Stockholm flights!) And since we’ve been seeing Bo’s tattoo, and now Britta’s (misplaced) tattoo, does this mean the three knives will factor into the plot once again? ::rubs hands together with glee::

Edited to add this little fangirl moment:

Steveknife

This is a perfect example of why the writing is so much better for Steve and Kayla this time. I really feel that I am watching the characters I know. I didn’t talk about Kayla’s scenes today, but she was perfect in her scenes with Joey and Caroline, too.

F – U – N

Oh, Days made me a happy Ericole fan today!

ericdrunk2

Look at Parker in the background … he thinks the drunk man is funny. LOL.

Drunk Eric was great, especially when he was throwing shade at Daniel. I loved when he told Daniel to stop preaching to him, that Daniel had everything he wanted, and everything always worked out for him. Greg gave a little extra intensity to that moment, showing Eric thinking of Nicole. I am so on board with tension and jealousy between Eric and Daniel. His whole “at peace” thing needed to end (though I give him points for trying). I think when he told Daniel he tried “turning the other cheek,” and it was wrong, he wasn’t talking about Serena.

And then when Nicole showed up, I loved his flirtatiousness when he grabbed her and pulled her into the chair opposite him.

There were some good history references too. When Eric told Daniel that he wanted to have “F – U – N” tonight, it called back to something from Eric and Nicole’s very early history at the rectory.  There is a scene soon after Nicole first starts lusting after Eric, where she decides to go out and expend her lust on someone else.  She tells Father Eric she is going out to have FUN, spelling it out like he did today.

That reference might have been unintentional, but the other reference to their history was clear and accurate. Nicole offered Eric the job at Basic Black and said it was “payback” for when she was at her lowest and he gave her a job at the church. He turned her down, not wanting to accept charity from her, and I loved the look on her face after he turned away. She was clearly thinking, “We’ll just see about that.” As you can see here:

nicolemorningafter

The rest of the show was good too. I really love Kassie DePaiva, and she killed it in her scenes with Justin and Marlena. As giddy as I was from my Ericole scenes, I teared up every time I saw Kassie onscreen. I really enjoyed Marlena counseling her, and loved the reference to baby DJ, who died from SIDS.

Marlena was also very funny when John was listing all his previous identities – she said “Stefano’s half-brother,” cackled a little, and hit his leg.

Finally, the reference to the Victorian house for the bicentennial being the Martin house utterly gobsmacked me. I had to look up this storyline. They got the details right, though Julie neglected to mention that David Martin was the father of her son David Banning. Was this just a random reference, just for fun for the really old time Days viewers? Or does this mean something? I saw on Twitter the theory that John will turn out to be Dickie Martin, Susan and David’s baby son, who was the first person to die on the show. That would be kind of cool, actually, and would give him a half brother in David Banning, and a nephew in Scott Banning, if either of those characters ever returned. I think it’s unlikely, though. I really wonder what identity they are going to give to John now. I hope it’s something really boring, like he was a postman or something.

Whee! Unlike Eric, not even Daniel can kill my buzz tonight!

One pill to make you larger, one to make you small

Dena Higley loves her pills.

Her last run, there were no fewer than three stories involving some version of “the pills made me do it.” There was Ava, who was being fed pills by her mobster father. There was Nick, who was taking painkillers when he went to jail for stalking Melanie. And finally, there was Hope, who was taking sleeping pills when she went out at night mugging the men of Salem. And trying to kill Bo.

So, lesson #1: in Higley’s Salem, stay away from the pharmacy.

So I think it’s extremely likely that someone is drugging Chad somehow to have blackouts, as Lisa suggested on yesterday’s post. This implies, as we already suspected, that Chad may be the true target of the necktie killer. Again it all seems to point to Clyde (he certainly would have access to all kinds of drugs), but of course that feels too obvious.

Bopill

Speaking of pills, we also saw Bo, in captivity, spit out a pill his guard gave him. I wonder if the pill is part of an attempt by the Dimeras to create another pawn in Bo, and he is foiling their plan.

EvetalksaboutPaige

Today’s episode (9/9) was really good, the aftermath of Paige’s death. Casey Moss was great, especially in the scenes in Paige’s dorm room, but Kassie DePaiva ripped my heart out. They set up that scene so perfectly too, in her conversation with Theresa. She and Theresa were bantering together like they do (I love their relationship!). Theresa was “comforting” her by saying she told Kim she was “dead to her” (nice dialogue, so creepy) all the time when she was growing up. And then that perfect line, when Eve said she “can’t imagine anything worse” than Paige freezing her out, as the camera panned over Paige’s dead body.

Steve and Kayla had a lovely, brief scene. First, the harmonica. 🙂

Stevedesperate

She’s saying she’s desperate … is that a good sign or a bad sign?

Then, I loved their dialogue. At first, they were just couple of parents dealing with their wayward son. They even fell into an easy banter for a just a moment, before Kayla froze up again. I loved her sarcasm when she said she was desperate enough to ask him for help, and her anger when she thought he was giving up. Then Steve got serious that he hasn’t given up on “us,” and then we saw that all-important reaction shot from Kayla outside the door. She knows she is vulnerable to him. So lovely.

Kaylareactionshot

Take note, Days: reaction shots are good!

I thought Steve and Hope’s fight was interesting. Steve was pretty aggressive with Hope, which surprised me – but I liked it. It put Steve a little bit in the wrong, even though we know he’s right. It balanced the ultra-supportive reaction Hope has had about her relationship with Aiden all through the TomSell era. I also liked how Hope fired right back at him. I think Steve’s hostility to Aiden has a personal edge — perhaps he sees Aiden as what future awaits him if he can’t win Kayla back. And come to think of it, maybe that underlay his hostility to Hope too.

Later, when Hope accepted Aiden’s proposal, I got the sense that it was partly to prove she could, prove she had moved on. Take that, Steve — and take that, Bo.

Jack marries Eve

Previous Jack and Jennifer post: Capable of cruelty

I admit it, I kind of love Jack and Eve together. I love the way they snark at each other and trade insults.

Here’s the plot:  Nick stipulated in his will that Eve had to marry for “true love” (only on a soap, I swear) in order to collect her inheritance. Meanwhile Lawrence has been angling to take over the Spectator by purchasing Diana’s shares, and Jack needs a lot of cash fast. Eve proposes they team up:

Eve proposes

So many great lines here. “Ms. Machiavelli,” “a match made in hell.” If Days ever did gray couples, Jack and Eve could have been fun.

And, while personally I hate the current triangle with JJ, Eve, and Paige – soap triangles with a mother and daughter creep me out — it does tickle my funny bone that Eve married Jack and then, twenty years later, sleeps with his son. I watched some of the Big Reveal this week, when Paige finally finds out the truth. (I haven’t seen too much of Kassie de Paiva but I like her. I hope they give her something better to do soon. Same goes for Casey Moss.)

Eve was also a good foil for Jennifer. When Jennifer got too glittery, Eve was there to rub some sparkles off. The morning after Eve and Jack get married, when Jennifer (not knowing this) runs over to see Jack, she gets an eyeful when she sees them in bed together. While I really do feel bad for Jennifer in this scene, I have to admit this is also satisfying somehow:

Morning after

Eve is obviously having way too much fun pretending to be the happy bride, and rubbing Jen’s face in it. But it comes from a sympathetic place, because Eve has always felt like something the cat dragged in compared to the town princess – and in fact, the guy she actually likes, Frankie, is still mooning after Jennifer. What also cracks me up here is that Jennifer’s theory, that Eve staged this scene purely to get at Jennifer and make her think Eve and Jack slept together, happens on soaps all the time. And yet it is perfectly ludicrous, which Eve rightly points out. I think the writers were poking a little fun at themselves there.

Next Jack and Jennifer post: What if I told you I was raped?