Let’s start with Eric, because, hey! It’s Eric!
I had no idea he was going to be on today, so it was a nice surprise when he popped up. And it was an even bigger bonus when it was clear he was upset and drinking because of the Basic Black photographer’s job. That shows that when he seemed so accepting of the news, it was because he was being nice and didn’t want to make Nicole feel bad, not that he didn’t care about the job.
All this drinking is interesting too. Are they setting up Eric going, very quietly, into a tailspin? Which no one will notice at first because he doesn’t scream for attention like the people around him? His lie to Sami that he was “with a friend” shows him instinctively hiding the fact that he was drinking alone. Not a good sign.
I loved his scenes with Sami. Ali and Greg have great sibling chemistry, and I loved that Sami naturally turned to him as someone she could trust. He was perfect at the voice of reason. He saw she was latching onto EJ’s letter as exactly what she wanted to hear, and as the perfect distraction from her grief about Will. It was nice that she acknowledged he was right about that, and seemed comforted by his words.
I think I like this letter from EJ as a plot point. It’s hokey, but c’mon, it’s a soap. I like how it adds a different layer to this serial killer story, something that could potentially spin off into another story in the future. I’m not holding my breath about how explosive this secret will be about Stefano (didn’t we do this a few years ago with some secret Alice had about Stefano, also in a safe-deposit box?), but it potentially gives the Bradys a play against the Dimeras, and Andre, when that story starts heating up.
Abby pulled her hair back! Yay!
Now, Ben and Abby. So much subtlety and intrigue.
The show is doing such a good job making sure we’re constantly jumpy about when Ben is going to lose it with Abby. Today when she said “Chad” and he heard her, I was so afraid for her. And then that note of warning in his voice when he said she “had” to believe in Chad’s guilt, otherwise there’s no telling what “that monster” will do.
Yes. That monster.
So then it was both good (Chabby!) and bad (what will Ben do to her?) when it became clear, at the hospital, that Abby still doesn’t believe in Chad’s guilt. So soapy, so good.
And do we think Stefano is going to kidnap Abby? Something about the way he held up that queen makes me think so. I’m not sure how he thinks it would help Chad, but it will be great if it gets her away from Ben!
When Rafe arrived to question Ben, he was awesome, as has become the usual. When he’s questioning someone, he manages to imply he knows a lot more than he’s saying. It’s perfectly calculated to make any guilty person panic and lose it, and I could see it working on Ben. When Rafe turned at the door (classic interrogation technique!) and asked Ben to explain Chad’s motivation – why now? – I could see Ben trying to avoid the trap, just leaving it be. (“I’m sure the Salem PD can figure it out.”) But he couldn’t help trying to erase Rafe’s doubts, and in searching for an explanation that would fit, groping towards his own motives. The pressure built and built … if I can’t have her, no one can.
And then, when Rafe left, and Ben looked at his face in the mirror and said “What happened to you?” and then smashed the picture of his face? So chilling. I love that they are giving Ben layers, and motivations. He really is conflicted about Will, and it’s making him lose it.
In other news, Sonny arrived in Salem.
I love Freddie, but I don’t see heavy drama and angst being his strong suit. He was excellent, though, in the way he mournfully took all the blame on himself for leaving. It killed me when he thought Sami was blaming him. That seems very in keeping with his character, and it’s realistic, but I hope we have some resolution for him before he leaves. Will’s death does not erase all the terrible things he did in their relationship, and Sonny was certainly justified in leaving — in fact, I would say it was overdue.
I’m glad they gave him scenes with Paul, and showed Paul does still have feelings for him. I know that it isn’t going anywhere (since Freddie is leaving), but it gives us an inkling of where Paul is emotionally if they give him a new love interest – which I hope they do.