There are very few things in soaps that deserve the pomp and circumstance that they receive, but this past week was one of those times. Shawn's funeral was just beautiful.
At the risk of sounding too cheesy, I looked up the lyrics to the Irish folk song and found these lines, which I think capture this week's mood:
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.
Most people don't know this, but there is more to the song. It goes like this:
When half-Irishmen inherit money
By joining the family tree
If only he knew the truth
Oh wait, it's on the DVD
Don't believe me? Well, the proof was all over last week's episode. I've taken the opportunity to outline the inspiration for the lyrics in this week's edition of "Two Scoops." Let's get started!
Shawn's funeral was just beautiful. There are very few things in soaps that deserve the pomp and circumstances that they receive. This week was one of those times. From the flashbacks, to the guest stars, to the great scene with Bo, Roman, Kimberly, and Kalya holding hands over Shawn's coffin, everything was done first rate. I'm also very glad that the writers let us laugh with the characters. It is OK to celebrate at a funeral. And, in this case, it was essential that this big lovable Brady family pulled together to celebrate the great life that Shawn had and the exceptional family he built. It very much reminded me of my own grandpa's funeral. We were sad that he was gone, but so happy for his life that we couldn't help but smile at his memory.
I appreciated that the writers remembered to have characters mention Frankie, Lucas, Carrie, Austin, Will, Eric, Doug, and Julie. Personally, I would have liked a mention of Rex and Cassie too, but that's just me.
The Irish toasts were wonderful. I liked how each character took a line of the first toast. Then, I thought it was great how everyone continued to drink, laugh, and give their own toasts. I braced myself a little bit when EJ started to talk, but he actually turned in the funniest toast
of the night.
Finally, the week brought Days back to one of its keys to success. Days is a matriarchal society and Caroline Brady is the new reigning queen. I adore Peggy McKay's portrayal of Caroline. She represents everything good about a "mother". You want to cry on her shoulder but protect her at the same time. She handles everything with an understated class, but can be strong when she needs to be. For example, Caroline and Victor are treading on dangerous waters. The obvious thought is to have Caroline and Victor get back together. But, flirting with your ex at your husband's funeral is not at all acceptable. Luckily, Peggy McKay and John Aniston stopped short of inappropriate and kept the interaction between the characters respectful. The two characters do have a history together, but their present depends on being friends and being there for their son, not jumping back into the memory of a relationship.
We thought Bo had cancer, but apparently he doesn't. In a page ripped right out of the "House" script, Bo has a mysterious illness that is causing his pancreas to shut down. The doctors have no idea what caused it, nor do they have any idea how long Bo has left to live. All they know was that Bo is going to die if they don't figure out what is wrong with him. Here's the problem I have with this storyline: I don't know where it is going to go. It's not like Bo and Hope need a "love check" in their relationship. Shawn and Belle are on their way out, so I don't think Shawn will have much to do with the storyline. I guess Bo's sickness could bring Caroline and Victor back together- but that seems both disrespectful and unrealistic considering the close timing to big Shawn's death. That leaves Chelsea. But, considering that "Fordgate" was really her maturation process and most of us love Rachel Melvin, it seems odd for the writers to feel the need to bring Chelsea away from the dark side. Top it off with the fact that there's no way they'd kill off Bo, I'm not really sure how I should feel about this storyline. At least I'll get some great acting scenes from Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso.
STEVE, KAYLA, and AVA
Just typing that heading makes me cringe. If I can, I'll address the casting first. Tamara Braun is pretty much knocking my socks off. Holy Norman Bates, batman! Ava Vitali is perfectly mad. She says "daddy" the same way that Hanibal Lector says "hello". The acting is wonderful. However, I find it a little hard to believe the casting of Tamara Braun as Stephen Nichols ex. I know it makes me sound completely ridiculous, but I just don't get it. Maybe it's the 20 year age difference between the actors. Maybe it's the fact that Steve is about to have a baby and Ava is still using the word "daddy". Or maybe it's just the fact that Steve doesn't really go for the type of girl who is completely batcrap crazy. I really hope that this is strictly a stalker storyline and not a true love triangle. I don't want to think of Patch actually being with Ava.
Either way, Steve knows who she is and asks Abe for police protection. I'm not sure why this conversation had to be so hush-hush. I guess because Steve doesn't want Kayla to find out? This never turns out good. Doesn't everyone know that when a crazy lady stalks you, you should always tell your wife? I thought that was common knowledge.
AND, I can't wait to see little Miss Jan Spears Version 2.0 go after Hope Brady. That's Detective Hope Brady now and my money is on Hope- any day of the week.
DiMera: THE HOUSE THAT JOHN BUILT
Marlena takes John to see Stefano, hoping to jog something in John's memory. John reads Stefano the riot act- tells Stefano about the new branch on the family tree and how John didn't kill Colleen. And then John says that he's going to take over Stefano's life. It turns out that it's going to be pretty easy, thanks to Stefano's "will".
Ok, here's the deal with Stefano's "will": since he is permanently incapacitated (which is NOT dead) Stefano needs someone to manage his estate while he is in disposed. I guess someone needs to swim in the "Scrooge McDuck money bin" during Stefano's absence. Since Lexie, Tony, and EJ have all been written out of the will, Stefano's lawyer decides that "this guy" is the best choice to manage the money. So, John Black, who's been a DiMera for about 5 minutes, is now in charge of the DiMera estate. The only person who's getting any money is Johnny, but not until he's 21. (In all fairness, that could be in about 3 weeks. This is a soap opera after all! But, back on topic…)
I love this storyline! Stefano's torture is the only real memory John has. Why wouldn't John want revenge? We know that the Bradys are great people, but if you put yourself in John's eyebrows…I mean shoes...wouldn't you tend to gravitate towards what you know for sure, rather than what people are telling you? And, why is Marlena so against John taking over the estate? Did it occur to her that John could actually do some good with the money? She might be worried that the money will corrupt him. But, I didn't hear her planning to sell her penthouse and live as a freegan while helping John recover. I think she's worried that John is less concerned with his Brady roots than he is with the DiMera fortune.
Many of you wrote in to tell me that you are enjoying the new John. I couldn't agree more! In turn, I'm really enjoying the new Marlena with new John. His inadvertent humor brings out a much stronger Marlena than the Doc we've been used to seeing in recent years. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed Drake Hogestyn and Deirdre Hall this much.
SAMI and EJ
I'm very glad that Saint EJ of DiMera isn't running around shooting and raping people anymore. But, the lightning fast speed in which other characters are forgiving EJ is actually a disservice to the character (not to mention it's kinda irking to viewers). Quick headcount of the "I heart EJ" club: Marlena, Caroline, and now Kimberly. Truth be told, I am in complete favor of an EJ redemption storyline. However, the writers are totally missing the mark on this one. I've talked before about how it doesn't matter how many people forgive EJ if Sami isn't one of them. But, I have another suggestion for an EJ storyline. Let him spend some time with Lexie and Tony- the only two other people who can convey what it is like to be named DiMera, but not actually be a DiMera. The guy comes with built in baggage and he needs to unload that on someone.
On the positive side, I'm actually digging the fact that Sami is getting to play the other role in a relationship. It's strange to see Sami pushing someone away and being the one in control of the relationship. I'm glad that, for once, I'm not watching Sami chase down the guy.
SORORITY HOUSE OF PAIN
The sorority girls forgave Chelsea for breaking the super secret code of the sisterhood. I'm glad this scene wasn't that long. I couldn't stand any second of it. These girls were really going to get mad at Chelsea for finally doing the right thing? Seriously. With friends like these, who needs low self-esteem?
Much to my dismay, Morgan took her hat out of the Max ring. The two are going to be friends. It's not exactly what I wanted. But, it's a nice consolation prize to keep Morgan around. I hope that the new intern storyline coming up we get to see more of Morgan. She's good people.
I'm not too sure how much longer he's going to be in a "coma" but isn't it amazing how Joe Mascolo can still command a scene when he says nothing and doesn't even move?
Holy crap! I heard Hope mention Ciara! Whew! They remember that they have a daughter. Now, if only someone can get that kid to the hospital to see her sick father...
John and Claire are still the best on-screen-duo that Days currently has to offer.
I'm fairly certain that we heard Nadia Bjorlin's actual singing voice during the funeral scene. (Putting on my Randy Jackson hat) It's so strange to hear such an innocent sounding voice come out of such a sultry vixen, but I liked it!
As Tony pointed out in his blog, Ari Zuker is coming back to Salem. I share Tony's sentiments
that Nicole has always provided great comic relief and I'm thrilled to see her return. I just hope that viewers are ready for a Caroline-Victor-Nicole triangle! (I'm just kidding)
Lexie is going to get some help diagnosing Bo's disease when Shawn Christian joins the cast of Days
as a doctor who specializes in pancreatic diseases (that no one has ever heard of).
Flashbacks of Grandpa Shawn. Normally, I'm not a flashback fan, but this week was wonderful. It was a wonderful tribute to Frank Parker and all of his remarkable work on Days.
Tony and Anna not being at Shawn's funeral and wake. I guess the writers thought they needed another storyline to break up the funeral scenes, but seriously, the Anna/Tony corporate struggle was stupid. Considering that Anna is Shawn's ex-daughter-in-law and the mother of Shawn's granddaughter, Anna and Tony should have been at the funeral.
Line of the Week
The best written line of the week was when Roman answered Bo's "What if I'm not ok?" question with, "I'll meet you in heaven and kick the hell outa ya"
The best delivered line of the week was when Marlena said, "letmethinkno" to John upon receiving his invitation for dinner at the mansion.
So that's it Days fans! We're you as impressed with the way the writers handled Shawn's funeral and wake as I was? Let me know!