Last week was a short one in Salem due to preemptions. Usually, short weeks are met with tons and tons of delicious drama to keep us breathlessly awaiting the extra few days until the next episode airs. Usually.
Instead, I found myself a bit perplexed. There was a sense of déjà vu. Sure, there were some setups to upcoming storylines, but there was also some well-acted filler that made me more, "Sure. I'll be there on Monday," instead of, "Move outta my way, sucka, I need to camp out in front of my TV with a timer counting down until 1:00 p.m. Monday!"
Look, I love DAYS. The cast is beyond amazing, and they put their everything into performances. Overall, I like what Ron and the writers have done with the show, too. I have nothing but respect. Still, last week was, well, tiring for some storylines. Some need to be shown the door while others seem to need it opened for them.
For starters, I have Brady fatigue. That has nothing to do with Eric Martsolf. He's amazing, and I will always champion his work. It's just Brady. He's becoming a bore. I won't bore you all with going on again about my hardships investing in Brady's love life, but it's that. Very much that. Let's look at the past couple of weeks…
Brady with Theresa? That was so two weeks ago. Brady with Eve? That was so the week before that. Oh, and again last week. Yep. Brady and Eve are re-re-reengaged. I might hold off on getting them a gift. Something tells me they won't make it down the aisle. It's not that Brady is fickle or anything. Nope. Nothing like that. He truly loves Eve. And Theresa, well, two weeks ago. He's just mad at Theresa now, so, you know, why not get thrice engaged to her sister. Makes sense. See, Brady fatigue. I want more for him, and a lot more for Theresa and Eve.
Brady's also mad at Victor. He's actually so mad that he's packing up his things and getting his own place. I get that Brady's mad and all, but, I mean, moving out of the mansion? Do you think he's ready!? He's an adult man -- how will he survive? Maybe he can learn some "out on your own" tips from relatives Ciara and Claire, since they've lived out from under their parents wings since they graduated high school. Welcome to adulting, Brady. Though something tells me he'll make excuses to go back to the mansion, you know, to pick up a toaster because he doesn't have one…and bread…and butter…and ask Maggie to make him some toast. Anyway…
Brady's love life fatigue also came with a side of hypocrisy last week. Look, Jeannie T isn't St. Theresa. Lady's done some shady things and will probably, er, certainly do more. Coincidentally, Brady's done bad, too. So, while Theresa is the villain du jour for keeping quiet about Chloe and putting John and Paul in harm's way, I have to ask Brady: What about Nicole?
I get Maggie's madness over Chloe. I do. I also love that Maggie thinks of Chloe as family, since she's Parker's mom. That's nice. But perhaps she needs to know a little truth about Brady, too. That is, dude kicked her other grandchild's baby mama to the curb. Like, a hard kick. And that curb isn't in Salem. Nicole isn't allowed back in the borough, or else blackmailing Brady will turn her in for Dirty D's murder. Maggie might not be so thrilled with Brady's choices regarding the Oracle Baby, Holly. Or Nicole. Maybe Brady should dial down the 'tude toward Theresa and reflect on his own murky past. A little self-awareness would go a long way with that guy.
Oh, Victor stepped in it with Maggie, too. She is mad and disappointed. He's been exiled to the guest room. I get her frustrations, but it's hard to have much sympathy for her at this point, as it should be clear to her what she married into, since she has to scold him about his Victor-ish behavior every few months. Yep. It's a bit tiring. Either embrace Victor in all his Victorness, or move on, Mags.
Since we're on the topic of tired, I'm going to be frank about the Ciara/Tripp/Claire storyline as I share similar feelings about it as I do with the Theresa/Brady/Eve storyline. The acting has been great. But. Oh, yeah -- but. I'm having a hard time investing. The talented cast pulls me in, but I'm just feeling weary with the characters right now.
Ciara/Tripp/Claire largely live in a rinse and repeat vacuum. He referees. They squabble a lot. Some of it's valid. Some of it's contrived. There's just been so much of the same between them that I'm tired of them, even now when I should be more invested. I need a double espresso to reignite my energy level.
Interwoven with those maddening squabbling type scenes were beautiful ones with Ciara and Kayla, and Ciara and Hope. Ciara dealing with her rape is bigger than the drama being stirred up with Ciara and Claire. The writers are missing the mark by trying to turn Ciara and Claire into Carrie and Sami 2.0. It's just not working.
The writers also seem hesitant to turn either Ciara or Claire into a resident baddie. I get that. They're Salem royalty, but that reluctance to commit is draining storylines. They're both just sort of bratty and hard to like a lot of the time. Mustering up the care to pick a side is rough, as they're both exhausting, and like Brady, Eve, and Theresa, I want more for them. I also miss the Hope/Jennifer 2.0 potential Ciara and Claire once had. So, I still think this should happen…
And with the risk of sounding redundant, we need some fresh faces in the early-twenty-something scene. I brought this up a zillion times, but Joy Wesley would be perfect. She's an unrelated clean canvas with ties to only Chloe in town. Bonus!? More Chloe time! That's never a bad thing.
Or bring back Claire's one-time gay bestie, Henry. He had a bad relationship with his conservative parents. I seem to remember his father was a minister. Maybe he needs help from Claire, or he learned he was adopted, and that can set them off on an adventure to find his birth parents, who should totally turn out to be Philip and Mimi, making him Tyler Kiriakis. Boom!
Ultimately, that group worked best as a group of friends tackling the world together. That crew came out of the gates a few years ago with brutally strong storylines, but the best part was them banding together. It was refreshing yet makes the current squabbling storylines between the group's remnant residents seem lackluster.
In the latest, Ciara walked in on Tripp and Claire seemingly in a steamy romp. They started to romp but stopped. Still, Ciara didn't see it that way. She didn't believe them when they explained the truth to her. Given where she's coming from regarding sex and trust, I don't blame her. Still, it was just wonky. When the best decision made from the three of them was Tripp stating it was "a really stupid thing for us to do," that's bad. Then Ciara stormed off and got into a motorcycle accident. Don't worry. Ben found her! Yes. Ben. Which leads us to some setups…
Ben is back. He's "psychiatrically sound," as per some shrink we don't know and seconded by Marlena. Hold up, Mar. Are we sure this is really Marlena? Like, Marlena-Marlena. Ron likes to throw around doppelgängers a lot. Just saying. I'm not convinced Doc would be so resolved in her professional beliefs that she would let Ben skate after what he did to her "My Dear Boy," not to mention Serena, Paige, and Wendy. Yep, Wendy! The dead midwife got some ink last week, too. Well played, writers. Anyway…
Everyone's kind of giving Mar the side-eye about her judgement call. I am, too. It wasn't great. And I also remember when Marlena -- let's say -- took a detour around her ethics to inject Stefano with a drug cocktail, paralyzing him, yet his brain still worked, so he was basically a prisoner in his own body. I didn't blame Mar then, and I'm not now, but my point is she hasn't always played by the rules, so why this time? Hence, a doppelgänger? Maybe. I dunno.
What I do know is Ben is back! And he has Ciara, who was pretty much road kill after her accident. What he does with her is to be determined, but, before walking off with her Creature from the Black Lagoon style, he stopped by Will's place. Hello.
The encounter was as tense as you'd expect it to be with all the reformed murderer and not-so-dead victim drama going on. Then Chad popped into Will's place with a bucket full of "Oh, hell no!" and ripped into Benny Boy. I'll admit, I kind of cheered when Chad arrived. I've always loved the Chad/Will bestie bromance. And then Chad gave Ben a few bucks and a ride to the city limits…where he found Ciara. And that's that.
Theresa will be staying with J.J. Mm-hmm. Interesting. I liked the candor of their talk. I'm okay with more "Jeannie-T and J-Dawg" time. That totally sounds like a reality TV show. I'm okay with that, too.
Will and Marlena had a chat about Dr. Rolf's miracle memory elixir. He's game yet nervous. So is everyone else. I'm not that concerned. I mean, what could go wrong from injecting yourself with a potion written by a mad scientist?
Riddle me this: was the handsome manbunned bartender at the Brady Pub in or not in on Vivian's plot to destroy Sonny via Leo!? I'm not sure. I'm confused. Maybe I'm supposed to be at this point. He was the one who turned Sonny on to the Salem Universe's version of Grindr, after all. So, I can see him being in on it, but, again, I'm not sure. If he's not, couldn't he easily be a witness for Sonny's defense? He certainly saw and commented on Leo's profile. I'm rooting for him to be one of the good guys, maybe even Sonny's hero.
One, it's great that Gilles Marini has landed in Salem as sketchy lawyer Ted. He's one talented guy. Gilles that is, not Ted. Though Ted might be talented, too. We'll see. Anyway, I enjoyed Gilles work on Brothers & Sisters as well as Sex and the City. And this time, he gets to play a smarmy, opportunistic shark. Ted knows and doesn't give a flip that Kate and Leo are up to no good. This should be fun.
Two, I already suspect that Ted is working with Stefan! I don't know why. Just something tells me he's going to play Kate, and Stefan will have his hand in that plot. Besides, Stefan did spend most of his life on the "continent," if you remember. You know, where it's okay to be sleezy. So maybe, just maybe, Stefan and Ted knew each other. Hmm…
I'm not in love with the idea of Kayla helping Stefan. I know she's doing it because she loves Steve that much, but I'm not sure that the Patch Man, err, Glasses Man will feel the same. At all. But…
I do have a working theory! More so, a hope. That is, I want Kayla to be working with Kate. Maybe Kate and Kayla could fabricate something to give to Stefan. He'll think he has the upper hand. Once Steve can see again -- boom! Stefan will realize he's been played. It's not that Kate didn't do something wrong, I just, one, don't want to see Kayla lower herself. Two, it's contrived drama for Steve and Kayla. And, three, I hate Stefan far more than I hate what Kate has done. Rapey McCreeper deserves to lose, not bring down Kayla, which will hurt "Stayla" and lead another character down a "Hope shooting Stefano" rabbit hole that's hard to dig out of.
In other breaking news: Lani wanted chowder but didn't get any. Yep. That covers that storyline.
Like Laurisa "HOTTED" Ciara and Hope's scenes in last week's Two Scoops, I felt the same level of "HOTNESS" for Ciara and Kayla's. They were perfectly performed, and it was a poignant moment for Ciara when she learned that Kayla had been victimized, too, but has overcome and flourished. It was a great growth moment for Ciara and prompted her to face her fears. Scenes got shaky when she got back to the loft, but the ones in Kayla's office were the kind of "road to recovery" ones that are important to see. Cheers to Victoria Konefal and Mary Beth Evans!
Brady told Theresa she'll get distracted by the next "something shiny." Wow. I know Brady was hurt and angry, but that was 1-800-NOT-COOL, Brady Black. A low blow. Theresa has made some terrible choices, but she decided being a sex slave to a drug lord was a better fate than having said drug lord (who's more powerful than Victor or the ISA [but not Chloe -- work it, girl]) literally and brutally annihilate her entire family -- her child included. She was not on vacation. At all.
I fear that Theresa is getting the same shaming treatment that Nicole always got. That is, people bringing up Nicole's "Misty Circles" past as a dig. Because, you know, I'm sure a teenaged Nicole loved that her father set it up for her to be drugged and sexually assaulted so porn lovers -- the Scooters of the world -- could get their, um, kicks watching underaged girls be victimized. Yep. This insanity needs a quick end. Theresa's done some bad things, but choosing her family's lives over hers was not one of them. In the immortal words of Liz Lemon, "Shut it down!"
LINE(S) OF THE WEEK
Hope (to J.J.): "It seems to be old home week for ex-cons."
Ben (to Will): "My doctor says I'm of sound mind -- sounder than yours, actually. No offense, but I can remember who I am."
Stefan told Kate, "Murderers in Salem don't go to prison." He's not that wrong. And even if they do, they don't stay long. Though I did scream back at my TV, "Neither do rapists, Stefan." Ugh. That guy.
Not to nitpick, but the road where Ciara was splatted out was surrounded by guardrails. Like, they were in a U-shape. Maybe, just maybe, that's why she wrecked. You know, no road.
Dang! I thought Brady had forgotten all about Melanie. She should visit, but only as a friend to Brady. Oh, who am I kidding!? He'll fall in love with her again.
I can. Not. Wait! Until Eve has a scene with Ben.
Bravo! Tyler Christopher does sadistic so well. So well! That only makes me sadder that he was saddled with Stefan's last storylines. I would have much rather seen a sneaky, snarky sinner Stefan from the beginning rather than a delusional rapist.
It cracked me up when Marlena told Kate as Stefan had a gun on her, "You know, if you want to live through this, you should stop talking." Sassy Mar-Mar is so much fun.
The look on J.J.'s face when he turned and saw Lani and Eli enter the pub was fantastic.
Speaking of a look saying so much, Olivia Rose Keegan crushed the "OMG moment" when Claire realized that Ciara never told Tripp about what Chase did to her.
It would be a bit great if Brady would move into John's old loft! The one with the cool industrial sliding door. That set is sorely missed.
In case you're trying to get on Tater Tot's good side, do not feed him peas. He hates them. Hates. Them.
Conversely, Xander hates shirts. Well, clothes in general. Does anyone mind this? I didn't think so. Carry on, Xan. Carry on.
It's 2018. It's time for the tired Kiriakis men's club to wake up and acknowledge what they've been missing -- Chelsea. It's time for a woman to run Titan. Former Swamp Baby Georgia might be a good start. Truthfully, anything would be better than the testosterone-sponsored clown rodeo that's been going on.
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for the week of June 11! Laurisa's back and on the hunt for Two Scoops most wanted (and unwanted) storylines next week. And, "That's a fact!"
As always, thanks for reading!
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