That's it. You can officially cross me off any Christmas list. The last ten seconds of Tuesday's show gave me everything I wanted. Kristen and E.J. are both alive! Excuse me while I bust out all the speakers on the Internet. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!! Yaaasssss!!!
I know some fans hate the DiMeras. But, I'm not one of them. When Brady Black is the most mischievous character on canvas, you need to up your baddie game. We'll get to E.J. later, but for now, Kristen is back. As a villain, she's flawless. Her schemes aren't based on power and money. They always start from very relatable personal experiences -- the loss of a child, a lover, etc. Of course, her actions are literally insane and over the top. But that juxtaposition is what makes her entertaining as a character. (Being helmed by the incomparable Eileen Davidson doesn't hurt, either.)
And like they say in late-night TV: But wait! There's more!
It looks like that really was Susan, which is a shame. It's best not to think about the ridiculata of that too much. Among other non-Susan-like activities, it means she screwed over her own grandkids, ensuring not only her complete absence in their lives, but causing them to unnecessarily grieve the loss of their beloved big brother. Plus, while Roger seems nice and all, I'm #TeamEdmund all the way when it comes to Susan.
For their parts, everyone else, Sami especially, was nicer than I would have been to Susan. This woman kept Will from them for years. Aside from when Susan made fun of Sami for being a rape victim, Sami never really lost her cool with Susan. Out of respect for E.J., Sami actually showed compassion and tried to reason with Susan. It took Marlena taking John's suggestion to violate patient confidentiality and talk to Susan and Roger about some of Susan's fears to finally get through to Susan. That was sneaky, Mar! But in this case, I'm not mad at you!
I'm not mad at Sami, either. The only reason Will isn't gone again is because Sami stopped Susan and Will from getting on the plane. There will absolutely be a time when Sami goes too far and does something "Sami-y" to force Will to get his memories back. But this week wasn't it. I give her credit for that.
This whole Memphis trip was a perfect Sweeps activity to get Will back to Salem. It's exactly what Sweeps should be -- soapy, flashing, bomb-dropping, and then leading into great storylines for the next few months.
The most immediate task at hand will be getting Will his memories back. Everyone seems to be making strides there except for Sami -- whom Will is shutting out and scolding regularly. Hey, wait a minute, maybe Will does remember how he used to act! And Sami needs to take another look at this Susan situation. Will's love for her -- the woman who lied to him about his paternity for two years -- should bode well for Sami in the future. Guess she's off the hook for the whole Austin/Lucas thing now, huh, Will?
I kid. I actually like that Sami's attempts to bulldoze her way back into Will's life are met with a healthy amount of skepticism. And really, that duck thing was downright scary. Never, ever lead with that nightmare host again, Sami Gene!
Instead, take a cue from Chad. He was giddy to see his best friend again. I was all about the bro hug. And Chad had the most appropriate summary of this whole situation when he said it was okay if Will never remembered. Will was alive. And that's what matters. Agreed, Chadsworth!
From things that are alive and well to things that are on life support, Rope is quickly headed for splitsville. I haven't been Rafe's biggest fan over the years. And I generally adore Hope. So I was downright shocked to find myself on Rafe's side in the Rope argument. The worst part was there were two Hopes there -- Commissioner Hope and fiancée Hope. Unfortunately, neither of them came off looking all that fancy.
First, there's Commissioner Hope. Will's murder happened in Salem. The fact that Hope sent no detective to Memphis to work on this now-reopened case of a serial killer makes her look like a terrible leader. Rafe going there actually made the department look good.
Next, fiancée Hope came across as way too needy and petty. Should Rafe have sent her a text first? Absolutely. But Rafe's done nothing but adore her for years. He waited for her while she was in jail. He waited for her both times she picked Aiden over him. He moved a freaking dead body for her. Rafe has zero interest in Sami romantically unless Hope pushes him toward her. I fear/know that will happen, and, sorry Hopers, I'm billing you for my medicinal wine, lady!
Of course, this is all to manufacture conflict between Rafe and Hope in order to split them up. I don't have a huge problem with that, as this couple wasn't one of my favorites. But I wish Hope didn't have to be written as such an insecure and incompetent character to make this work. I want Hope to be strong, fabulous, and confident. Those characteristics shouldn't be reserved for the villainesses.
Much like Hope, I tend to like Sonny most of the time. Sonny's not wrong when it comes to Paul, but man, it's hard to root for Sonny now. Sonny seems to be using Paul's 24-hour lie as an excuse to scrap their whole relationship, which Sonny should know from experience isn't a behavior pattern that serves him well.
Will and Sonny's relationship ended in such a bad place, it's entirely possible that Sonny's guilt is the main driving force here. For Will to die with so much unsaid between the two has to weigh on Sonny. I get that. But maybe the current situation with Paul and his complicated past with Will means Sonny should try to finish one thing before he starts another. And it definitely means he should can the judgment toward other people a bit.
Across town, Theo's family was understandably raw and heartbroken. I get why Abe and Chad were still pretty furious with J.J. Until Theo's condition gets somewhat out of limbo, it would be difficult for either of them to look past anything but Theo's current state.
But when they do, they'll see J.J. is a wreck. Credit again goes to Casey Moss. J.J. is harder on himself than anyone else is. That could be because J.J. knows he's his own worst enemy. I know J.J. means well, and I feel bad for him. But sneaking into Theo's hospital room was not the right move, bud! Sheesh! You're tempting Abe and Lani to say something terrible to you next week!
As soon as Eve enters a room, life gets better. For years, I've been rooting for Chelsea to come home and challenge Sonny and Brady for Titan so the Kiriakis boys club will be broken up a bit. Eve's finally doing that. Sure, she's a makeshift Kiriakis, but I'll take it!
What I won't take is Maggie's compliance with Victor's assertion that Maggie knows all she needs to know about Deimos' murder. Um, no thank you very much, Victor. With Bo gone, Maggie's been helping Justin out with the role of the moral compass of the Kiriakis family. If she just sits this one out, the family will suffer.
Finally! We find out that people have been trying to call Lucas, but he's not answering. That gets Sami and Sonny off the hook a tiny bit. But still, come on, you two. Either of you could have called Kate. She went to see Clyde to blow this whole thing wide open. She could handle news about Will and then tell Lucas in person.
Loved, loved, loved Sami and Roman being there for Abe. Sami and Abe's scene about their sons was touching.
There's an old theater saying. If you put a gun on the table in the first act, it better go off in the second. Well, E.J. is officially that gun. Technically, he's been the gun since his last scene when Kristin injected him with something. But now the mentions are getting too frequent for him not to make an appearance.
First, unlike Stefano, E.J. isn't a get-out-of-death free character. The presence of him looming somewhere out there in the world doesn't hold the same romance as it does for the Phoenix. This isn't a "thing" that E.J. just does.
Second, and more importantly, Sami is still unsettled about the whole thing. Like her or not, she's a legacy character. She deserves better than to be schlepping her kids all over the world in search of a not-so-ghost. I don't care what magic has to happen. Get James Scott back for one scene. John Oliver pretty much laid it out for you already when Ali and James did this touching tribute to refugees. After that, Sami can go back to returning for holidays, weddings, and funerals without having this huge, unanswered storyline shadow following her around.
Justin and Adrienne are back together! All's right with the world again. There's something strong and solid about not only this pair but Wally Kurth and Judi Evans as screen partners, as well. The way Justin and Adrienne love and support their family is fantastic. It makes me want to root for them to be happy with each other all the more.
None of that is a slight on Lucas. I'm all for him and Bryan Dattilo having screen time, but I never though a pairing with Adrienne was the best way to go. Is Anne still around? Can they have french fries again soon?
There was something oddly charming about the family dynamics between John, Marlena, Paul, Sami, and Sonny as they stood waiting for Will to return. Sure, Sami snapped at Paul. And Sonny snapped at Sami. And John tried to defend both. But the beauty here was neither side was really wrong. They all want the same thing. They all want Will to get his memory back. So despite the fact that there are some well-deserved daggers to be thrown, they all seemed to unite for Will. Maybe this could be one big, dysfunctional happy family after all!
I have mixed feelings about bringing Ari to see Will right away. I'm all for anything that will help Will. But I worry about Arianna having the emotional capacity to comprehend her daddy being back but not remembering her. I'm honestly surprised Dr. Marlena thought that would be a good thing. Maybe Marlena and Sami are more alike than either of them wants to admit!
If there's anyone who owns a role more than Eileen Davidson owns Kristin and all her doppelgängers, I don't know who it is. Susan Banks is a complete and utter cartoon character. There's nothing relatable about her. Yet, when she broke down because she just missed E.J. so much, I actually felt sorry for her. And I wanted to flick her right between the eyes for the last week! Eileen does that wounded puppy thing with Susan that breaks me right down. Get better, Susan! I really want to see you again!
And then, The Scene. Seeing Kristen in all her blonde-bombshell-red-dress glory cackle was like that first sip of wine/bite of chocolate on a Friday night after a hellish week of work. Yassssss. You know if you indulge too much, it isn't going to end well. But for this moment, it's your reward for getting through the tough times. She's here. And she's just extraordinary.
I worry they're going there with Eve and Brady. That red light blinding you right now is me holding up my flashing "Too Soon!" sign over Brady's head. He shattered Nicole's soul all of five minutes ago. We're just now settling into Darth Brady (which Eric Martsolf is making work quite nicely!). It's way too soon for him to be walking in on Eve in her awesome silky PJs.
In related news, Roman is still single. Hint. Hint. Hint.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Marlena (to Will): "Could I just give you a hug?"
I would watch a whole series of Chandler Massey and Deidre Hall. They are magical together.
Kristian Alfonso can pull off "highlighter yellow." That's amazing.
Fun game! Let's list all of the ways Paul could answer Will's question, "Who are you?":
1. I'm the first one to tell all these people where to find you.
2. I'm the star baseball player you helped come out to the world.
3. I'm kind of your step-uncle.
4. You and I used to sleep together.
I really wanted Rolf to say, "He's only mostly dead" in the flashback. #princessbride
Really, Mags? You can't believe something like this would happen in Salem? You were buried alive, my friend! Bad stuff tends to happen in your town.
I'm glad Will got on John's flight. I doubt he could afford expensive last-minute holiday airfare on the salary he earned working in a sports bar!
Sami was absolutely right that E.J. would be furious with Susan. He loved Will too.
Had DAYS aired on Thursday or Friday, these scenes could have been added to the week:
1. John's talk with Roger.
2. Sonny and Will's scene when Sonny said he followed Will home and tried to talk with him.
3. More time with Sister Mary Moira! What another delightful nod to long-time DAYS fans!
Wait, Marlena can cook? How did I not know this?
Camila Banus put something extra into Gabi's scene with Will. There was a special blend of gratitude and humility I quite enjoyed.
Abe's probably not all that wrong to throw out food from a hospital cafeteria.
In the running for the 2017 Christmas miracle:
1. Will remembers who he is.
2. E.J. returns to Sami.
3. Theo wakes up.
4. Gabi takes me shopping for awesome suede jackets.
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