To quote Dorothy, "there's no place like home!" I've been away from my computer, recovering from surgery, so writing the column again is a bit like coming home. Forgive me if I have gotten a bit rusty on my commentary, but I promise to do my best.
I really thought I would have more to say about Salem's happenings in my absence. Honestly, though, I feel like time there hasn't moved much at all. Granted, we did kind of get an explanation on just what is going on in New Salem, but I read Roxanne's last column and I don't think I have much to add to her comments. I was expecting more out of the reveal. (And am I the only one who remembers Reilly promising in various publications that Stefano wasn't behind this??) I think I dislike Reilly more and more every week. Granted, I have not seen the Nielson ratings in some time, but the last time I had looked the show had fallen to a low of 3.0 after being number two for some time. Reilly promised that this whole story would "galvanize viewers" and restore DAYS to the top of the ratings for a long time to come. I have yet to see prolonged proof of either.
It seems as though the Captive Island story may finally be coming to some sort of a head (probably to really take off for sweeps week), as now more and more people have found their way to the island and we know Tony is helping orchestrate this. Also, a large part of the Island's population is now imprisoned by Tony and, especially with Abe (and now Tek) waiting for them, this shouldn't be a case where the prisoners languish away for months without hope of breaking out or rescue.
You know if things keep going as they have been, pretty soon more Salem residents will be in the fake Salem than the real one! Remember the days when no one knew anything about the island, and now Patrick and Hope, John and Bo, Tek, Brady and Nicole have all found their way there, and Kate knows a bit about it as well? And remember when the huge problem on the island was finding a way through the force field? Now people go back and forth through the thing like it was a revolving door. By the way: I distinctly remember John talking about trying to climb over the force field, and either being discouraged or unable to do so. I also find it hard to believe that the residents of New Salem wouldn't have already tried that. But now Tek can hop over it lickety-split?
Having not been able to check the rumors and spoilers for some time, I thought the reintroduction of Billie to the scene was an interesting choice. True, they did set it up back in January when Peter Reckell had to be written off for a while to film a movie, but the whole reason why Billie didn't stick around last time was because the writers realized (through listening to fan feedback, something the current regime doesn't seem to get the concept of) that viewers weren't buying that Billie could get between Bo and Hope. We felt then, as I feel now, that the connection and love between the couple is too strong for Billie to be any type of threat. I mean for goodness sake: Hope ENCOURAGED Bo to go after Billie without a second thought when she went missing in January! Now all of a sudden Hope (Hope, of all people!) is insecure in the face of her "rival" and Bo is continually daydreaming about the kiss they shared? Give me a break. My hope is that Billie soon becomes a love interest for someone else-Patrick maybe?
Speaking of our boy Patrick, it seems Bo, John and Roman have been right about him all along and he is working for the DiMeras. I know we should have known that because of his coin and the little he admitted to Hope, but I really wanted to be wrong. I like his character a lot now. My hope is that he's either really working for the ISA, or has turned into a double agent. He truly seemed to care for and want to help both Jen and Hope. It's going around that Patrick will turn out to be a DiMera (how I'm not quite sure), and that reminds me that another DiMera-associated person will be turning up on the island-Colin Murphy! Rumors have been swirling forever that he would be involved with this story somehow, so I'm sure Nicole will be hot-to-trot to clear herself of at least one attempted murder rap.
I was amazed to see that DAYS actually decided to have Mimi go through with an abortion. I don't want to get into a debate about the morality of abortion with anyone, as everyone has their own views. But I was surprised because so few soaps choose to go this route, and especially in a case where the pregnancy is not a result of rape or life-threatening illness to the fetus/baby or the mother. Most times TPTB don't want to risk upsetting and/or losing any of their viewers, and usually, even if the character is considering abortion as one of her options, she decides not to go through with it or is stopped. I was totally expecting Rex would find out at the last moment and plead with Mimi not to do it; that's usually the way it goes on soaps.
There has been some debate about whether this story is intended as pro-life or pro-choice. Personally, I don't see it as either. I think of it more as a cautionary tale. Abortion is still a legal option in this country. Having either a child or an abortion is a huge life-changing decision. Even if one option may be more permanent than the other, it is something that stays with you and colors all your future choices. Especially in a case like Mimi's, the consequences can be huge. We saw Meems go through with the abortion after not even telling the father-to-be, "sure" that he did not want a child right now. Unfortunately almost right after she arrived home, Rex let her know that if she were to get pregnant at this stage of life, they would have made it work. Cue Mimi's mental anguish over "kill[ing] a baby created out of love." This was not a pregnancy resulting from an act of violence, or where it could not have worked. Rex and Mimi love each other, and are in a committed and (before this, anyway) honest relationship; they are planning to get married one day. Obviously the timing was not ideal, but had both partners been given a chance to decide on a level playing field, they could have made the decision that was right for THEM. Not just for her, or just for him, but the two of them and what they created. Often times, soaps make it seem like a character being raped, losing a child (either before after it has been born) or having an abortion is something that just gets pushed to the back of their mind, never (or rarely) to be thought of again. I think this story shows the result of what this decision can be, if made without the proper considerations. Mimi's was a choice that seemed to be made rashly, and certainly not with all the information she needed. Just because the abortion wasn't the right choice for her doesn't necessarily mean it's not the right choice for others-it just means it is something to be thought out carefully and thoroughly, as this isn't something can be undone.
Of course as far as storyline goes, we all know that it's likely that Belle's dire warnings to tell Rex the truth will come to a head, especially now that Jan seems determined to blackmail Mimi. (How is it that Rex can be so dense, yet Jan realized immediately that Mimi had had an abortion?)
Jan. Ugh. Now I don't know who I can't stand more, her or Shawn. There are so many names I'd like to call him, but unfortunately they are unprintable. Jan is obviously manipulative, lying and deranged, but him! It's hard to believe Shawn would ever believe a word she said, no matter what his "memories" tell him. Then again, he's definitely had a marked personality change since the accident, but whether it's a direct result of the accident, or an effect of his Brady Hothead Always Right complex remains to be seen. Calling Belle a liar, a bitch, a slut and blaming her for the death of his parents is a bit much, even for him. I would think that whatever love he had for her (assuming the verbiage isn't a result of a personality change) would remain enough to at least respect her. What I don't get is why Belle has not told Shawn that she tried to move on only after he supposedly sent his purity ring back. Jan will have no choice but to confirm it was she that gave the ring back, which would mean that Shawn had supposedly been with Jan before anything ever happened between Philip and Belle. Which would make Shawn the liar and the slut. After being presented with this information, and knowing what Jan has said and done in the past, Shawn would at least have to reexamine the situation. But I guess that would be too easy and would make too much sense. Hey, at least we now know why when Shawn finally escaped Jan and called his father he didn't mention a word about the psycho that kept him shackled and locked up-that would mean this stupid storyline never would have happened! ,br>
Wow-Sami actually shed some tears over John's supposed death... I loved her commentary on Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez's weddings! Leave it to Sami to come up with the idea of having Basic Black's investors underwrite her wedding to Lucas as a publicity stunt. The girl is crafty... This Jan/Shawn/Belle/Philip storyline reminds me of Austin/Carrie/Lucas/Sami... Bo is such a hypocrite: what right does he have to be so upset over finding Hope keeping Patrick warm, after his remarriage to Hope was cancelled because he missed the wedding doing the same thing with Billie! Hope at least was more clothed than Billie was then. She also wasn't kissing Patrick willingly or prolongedly (is that a word?), as Bo was kissing Billie when Hope came upon them in the jungle... How is it all those smart and observative people that are in the dark jungle never once noticed the bright red lights of the video cameras that are recording them? Yet John automatically knows that the earthquake felt on the island was manmade. And just how, if the floor of their cell is supposedly magnetized, did Tony's goons pick Billie and Hope up so easily? I guess the writers really think we're stupid enough not to notice these things... Supposedly Tony's ultimate plan is to blow up the island. If that's so, why did he and Stefano go to so much trouble and expense to make the island an exact recreation of Salem? And where is Cassie in all this mess? It's always questions and more questions. Let's hope we can find some answers!
See you soon,