Ah, children. They truly make your life complete. Or, in the case of some of our favorite Salemites, they punch your ticket to loony town.
Take Chloe for example. She sure is using the term "my child" a whole bunch. Much like I didn't like how Nicole acted when she found out she had a kid, I'm not digging how Chloe is acting entitled now. The court didn't side with Chloe because she birthed the kid. The court sided with her because Nicole's life was unsafe. Crazy Chloe needs to can the "my child" talk.
But at least this no-favors storyline is being unfair to everyone. Brady's logic about Chloe backing away from a second child because she already has one was so offensive, I couldn't stand it. If he had appealed to Chloe's motherly instincts as they related to Parker, I would have backed him up. But that's not what he said. Children aren't "turns" where once you have one, the others don't matter. Put a sock in that, Brady. Now.
In fact, it shouldn't even be Brady at all here. What about using Abe in this storyline? He has this wonderful and underutilized father/daughter relationship with Nicole. Abe's one of the few people who really knows the pain Nicole's biological father inflicted on Nicole and Fay. Plus, he can relate to a woman resorting to extremes when she realizes she can finally have a child. (Hello, red dress Lexie!) He could help Nicole a lot more than dopey Brady right now!
Finally, there's Nicole. I guess Daniel's shock therapy was successful, as all of Nicole's hellcat survivor instincts are kaput. I can't believe she didn't sense bad news from Tiffany right away. Come on, Nicole! You used to be Nicole Walker!
I know it's futile to protest against the Daniel machine, but I have to try. It was painful watching Nicole describe Holly as her tie to Daniel. Nicole finally having a child of her own is so much more than her five-month stint as Daniel's lady! It goes all the way back to her marriage to Victor when Nicole was barely an adult herself. I still remember the scene in the hospital where Nicole learned she couldn't have children. It was heartbreaking. So this baby isn't about Daniel. (For that matter, it shouldn't be about Chloe, Deimos, Brady, or anyone else.) I've rooted for Nicole to be a mom for so long. I want to see her happy with her baby!
Bottom line, when Brady left to find Nicole, Chloe said, "Tell Nicole we'll work something out!" That. That is what needs to happen. Holly and Parker are siblings. They deserve to grow up together. Nicole and Chloe both need to get it together so we get some happiness before Nicole leaves!
In other children news, Julie found out that she was a grandma and celebrated by going on a cruise. Kidding. True to Julie form (I mean that in a good way), she made the reveal all about herself and stormed out of the pub, clutching her necklace. Okay, truth be told, I want someone to make a GIF of her "I caaaaaan't" when looking at Valerie and send it to me. There are times when Julie is my spirit animal. This was one of them.
Still, I'm not totally connected to this storyline. It's easy to believe that Julie would be furious with Valerie. Yet I'm not feeling much for anyone involved. Lamon Archey has had essentially two scenes. (Two!) In his very first scene, he confronted his lying mama about his paternity. In the next, he spilt the beans to his new Horton Granny. I am hard-pressed to think of another character who ever went through that much storyline so fast.
Which begs the question, why are they rushing this? There's so much stuff to unpack here! For starters, David Banning was the Will Horton of his generation -- meaning he drove storyline pretty much from conception on. So for him to be killed off off-screen is ridiculous. This is not how you usher in a brand new Horton. It would have meant so much more for him to come back and reconnect with Julie before he died, thus encouraging her to look into this possible missing son.
Then, how did Eli find out this info? Who else knew? Valerie's been able to keep this secret for decades, so she's obviously been doing something right in the scheming department. Or does the fact that she's been very cautious about her relationship with Eli mean there was some other trouble there?
Finally, I'm not someone who cares about a character just because they're a lead in a storyline. Eli is a complete stranger to me. If anything, I know Val better. She's the nice lady who saved my man Abe's life. So I'm more inclined to believe she had a good reason for lying. I'm pretty emotionally indifferent to Eli's plight, despite knowing in my head that what happened to him was unfair. The whole thing feels mishandled.
What makes it worse is that Eli isn't the only long-lost Salem son at the moment. And the other storyline is doing it much better.
Steve got a call from shady baby-swapper Raymond. You'll find this shocking, but guys who trade in black-market babies don't always have accurate information. Weird, I know. Raymond told Steve the baby Martin Vitali (Ava's bad-time dad) gave to him was very much still alive. This left Steve to ponder two things:
One, how can he get a DNA sample from Vitali Jr.? Two, how in the holy heck is he going to explain to this kid that his
half-brother Joey father killed his mother?!
Now, this is how you introduce a new character! Set the stage using characters we care about. I'm optimistic about Steve's long-lost son storyline. John and Paul worked out well. If the soap math is right on this kid, he should be about Paul's age, too -- younger than Stephanie but older than Joey. Of course, Steve is going to go track this kid down because he's Steve, and that's what he does. But seeing how Steve and Kayla navigate this one will be entertaining. I can see Tripp and his adoptive family being less than elated to meet the Johnson clan.
Also, side note to the writing team -- keep Steve and Kayla together! Don't do something stupid like have them break up over this or have Steve distance himself from Kayla to make her less of a target. The fact that this kid could still come with mob connections is awesome, but not if it means sacrificing Stayla. They need to be a constant on this show.
After all, they can leave the partner swapping to the next generation, as we're heading for a Dario/Abigail/Chad/Gabi/J.J./Lani/Eli love heptagon. You know what else? I'm kind of in! Here's a quick rundown:
Abigail did the fall-into-Dario's-arms bit. Just once in my life, I'd like for this to happen to me. Anyway, Dario imagined an old Hollywood-style kiss with Abigail, and it was kind of fantastic. She makes him so much more likeable. I thought I was all in for the Abigail and Dario train.
But then Abigail went home and had a real family dance with Chad and Thomas, and it was utterly adorable. I honestly don't know who I want Abigail with, but I hope that she stays the strong character she's finally become. It's refreshingly fantastic.
Next up, Abigail and Gabi appeared at the DiMera mansion and belly danced for a complete stranger. Don't worry, though, it's not at all weird because his dead wife was a belly dancer. Sure, we'll go with that -- only because I adore Gabi and Abigail's friendship. I love me some Chadsworth, but he's in real danger of ruining this girl power duo for me.
My boy Chad needs to stop messing with Gabi's head. The whole "I hope we can still be friends" can't be delivered with those lethal baby blues. It's not fair! Plus, I don't think Gabi's the one for Chad. Gabi's gone and somehow made herself the "other woman" in two love triangles right now, and that's downright impressive.
Yup, Lani's not happy that the dude who cheated on his ex with her is looking at another woman. Lani's my least favorite member of this band, so I don't feel bad for her one bit. And while J.J. is almost right about Gabi having no say in who he dates, Lani is a different story. J.J. swore she meant nothing to him. Yet now he's dating her? Yeah, that's some shady pool, Jack Patrick. I can't blame Gabi for throwing stank eye your way about this particular girl.
I suspect Eli will end up in the mix with either Gabi or Lani. I'll wait and see if there's chemistry with either. That is, unless Eli is gay. In that case, we could have a new complication for Paul and Sonny. Ah, young love! So many possibilities!
Jennifer gets a major high-five for telling Eric to stop moping around like someone ate his last brownie. Maybe if everyone and their surrogate mother hadn't been waving the "I Heart Daniel" banner all. the. damn. time, I could appreciate Eric's grief. But I've heard so much about Dead Dr. Saint Jonas that I pretty much start shaking and throwing things anytime anyone mentions his name now.
As for the pairing, though, I'm going to take a pass. I think both Jennifer and Eric are best when paired with bigger personalities. (I totally see the similarities between Jack and Nicole.) They each need a "ying" to counter their respective "yangs".
Joey and his hair supported Jade during surgery and her dad's subsequent freak-out. All jokes aside, I've grown a fondness for Jade and Joey. I like how they're peppered in with the right amount of Steve and Kayla. Watching Stayla take Jade under their wing makes me think a bit of how they were there for Benjy. And that makes me smile.
Lucas and Anne make me laugh. I can't get enough of them.
I'm really glad that someone had the good sense to realize that Jen was having too much fun solving crimes and decided to shove her back in a storyline where she has to convince a grown-arse adult to return to society. It worked out so well with Abigail and the attic. I'm so excited to see it again with Eric and the cabin!
None of that last paragraph was true.
Adrienne's cancer storyline goes weeks without a single beat. Then Judi Evans comes in and slays it. Slays it dead. I wish they would give this storyline a little more attention, as it gives us superb tender moments between Justin and Adrienne and comedy moments like Anne proclaiming, "Please, when you've had as many hangovers as I have, puke is like breakfast." It also alerted me to the fantastic idea of fresh-squeezed watermelon juice. There's so much to love here!
Speaking of my new love for Anne, it got me thinking. I couldn't stand her when she first came on the show. She was a one-note whiner who took extreme actions for a pretty weak reason to dislike someone. (Jen got the job Anne wanted. This, obviously, made Anne hate her so much that she agreed to drug Jen. Sure, sounds fair.) Anyway, I get the same vibe from Raines. Commissioner Batman Voice stomps around the Salem P.D., being a massive bully to everyone because...why? Sure, the Salem P.D. can use some discipline. But his version seems extreme and unfounded. There either needs to be something more here, or they need to rein this back in and play him for comedy too.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Dario (to Abigail): "Of course, you're a DiMera."
Abigail: "And proud of it! Just like I'm proud to be a Horton."
I'm sure she's proud to be a Deveraux too, but you know these family trees can get complicated, and it would have taken away the dramatic emphasis of her declaration. But if I could have chest-bumped Abigail for this line, I would have!
The Kiriakis and DiMera families have a well-established history with both crime and power in Salem. The Hernandez family is two other dudes who showed up approximately ten minutes ago. So I have a hard time giving them equal weight when it comes to all these mentions of "the three families."
Kayla should sleep on the nickname "Doc Big Shot." That has possibilities!
Thank you, Eric, for mentioning Parker and Melanie! All of this talk about Holly being "the only thing left of Daniel" had to be making those two feel like trash.
I'm impressed with anyone who carries more than $20 cash in their wallet. I'm lucky if I can find a quarter for the cart at Aldi.
Jennifer wore open-toed shoes with a sweater. I don't know where Salem is, but my weather is the same at my shoulders as it is at my feet.
Um, I think Lucas dined and dashed at the pub.
You know it's a seedy motel when they still have actual keys and not those cards.
A group of vampires is called "the C.W." I'm joking. I'd go with colony, since that's what a group of bats is called.
I'm always thrilled when someone remembers Rex and Cassie are Kate's children! Maybe now that Roman's retired, he'll have more time to spend with them too!
Kayla mumbling, "First do no harm," upon encountering Mr. Michaels made me chuckle.
Is Belle gone now? Boo. #BringBackBelle #TwoScoopersForTink
Why is Jennifer offering Eric a job at the Horton Center when she owns a newspaper and he's a photographer?
I feel like Raines was a high school vice principal in a former life.
I kind of want more Myron and Dario scenes.
Tate and Parker might be plotting to kidnap baby Holly so their own parents start paying some attention to them. I wouldn't exactly blame them.
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