Soaps

‘Days of our Lives’ Week In Review: Last Minute Scrambling

Lucas confronts Kate about her marriage to Andre.

How obvious was it that Days of Our Lives is a show in transition this last week? I’d say it was pretty damn transparent as a viewer, but I also was not complaining about it. I cannot tell exactly what was a reshot and redone, what was inserted but it glaringly apparent when some of Dena Higley’s material was trashed for something new (and seemingly better). Remember Hope Brady literally overdosing on Halo last week? Well she’s back to work with no side effects or a doctor’s note! More eagle eyed fans noticed further slip ups but like most people, I’ve been watching DAYS in a daze until the day Ron Carlivati’s material begins to air. After months of waiting, we’ve finally come upon the finish line with Dena Higley’s material and it feels damn good!

Still, this last week wasn’t the worst nor was it the best. There just really wasn’t much that happened? It’s hard to explain when clearly five days of story have gone by but so much of it was just so inconsequential. This should have been an exciting week coming off the murder of a big character but it just felt in disarray. I hope that once Higley’s material officially ends and Carlivati begins to wrap it up in his own way, we can see the pacing being returned to something coherent as well as the focus. We’re supposed to be in the thick of a summer murder mystery and Rafe Hernandez’s infantile proposal felt like it got more play than any interrogation!

Let’s check out some of my picks and pans from this last week on Days of Our Lives!

Picks of the Week

Family Portrait

I personally would not mind watching a part of an episode devoted to Kate Dimera trying to wrangle in all of her kids for a family photo with new husband Andre. If those scenes on Friday’s episode with her, Andre and Lucas Horton would be any indication of the hijinks to come then seriously, set me up. To me, it was clear that this batch of scenes were penned and inserted thanks to Ron Carlivati. There was this touch of black comedy that I’ve been craving from DAYS for years now and it’s also something Carlivati is known for.

Much like everyone else in Salem, Lucas couldn’t believe when his brother and sister called to let him know of their mother’s new husband. The writers may be writing Andre as the more mild-mannered Tony Dimera, but everyone in town still remembers him as a serial killing psychopath. Lucas’ reaction to his mother getting hitched to him regardless of it being for business was totally warranted. But of course, Kate brushed it off like it was nothing. Her kids’ business was always her business but never the other way around! I feel even more so lately Kate has become a hypocritical tyrant. I remember when I first truly got into DAYS, she at least had a lot of fan support behind her but now there’s also constant backlash as the character has seemingly continued on a downward spiral. I still like her though; I think that’s what makes her charming.
Throw in a little bit of Andre and his fabulous scarves and you’ve got a super duo of awful, but charming characters. Koslow and Penglis just pop on screen together, so I think whoever decided to go ahead with this idea must have seen that and ran with it. Although I do understand why some viewers have reservations about the pairing what with Andre’s rich history of rape and murder, as well as it being a bit silly.

For me, DAYS was always DAYS when they juggled dark stories with some kind of humor. Andre and Kate are supposed to be that humorous side story to lighten up the darkness elsewhere in town. That magazine interview felt like a classic DAYS scene, especially with the way the transitions played out from gag to gag. This show has been starved of humor so this was very necessary. Plus it was nice to see a scene other than the standard chatting in the coffee shop / nightclub. When Kate mentioned having a magazine photoshoot, I was truly not expecting to see said photoshoot unfold, only ready to hear about it in later conversations.

If these scenes were Ron’s doing, I cannot wait to see what his full brainchild for DAYS will look like! It’s so clear that these scenes were made to balance out Higley’s murder mystery material, but since that story is so weak and barely focused on, I don’t think these scenes had the intended full impact. The scenes worked but they shouldn’t have left me begging for more, the scenes should have just been a little snack in between a tense murder investigation. We had none of the latter all week, funnily enough.

Live While We’re Young

Claire tells Theo she wants to get back together.

Claire Brady and Theo Carver’s relationship woes were surprisingly one of my favorite bits of this last week. For me, these two teens – well, young adults now – have always been my favorite out of the newest set of SORASed Salemites. Not only have they always had unique personalities (Claire’s may have changed a few times, but there was always something there!) but the actors behind the characters committed to their roles. It’s just been a shame that they’ve been saddled with stories too big for them up until now.

There are some viewers who still cannot get into the characters, but I’ve enjoyed them from the start. Claire’s feelings invasion and betrayal from Jade secretly taping her and Theo having sex were valid and poignant for the character. What this show has often forgotten in recent times is that most normal people can’t simply move on from traumatic events, those things affect them for years to come. Ciara Brady was raped by her step-brother in her great-grandma’s living room but forgave him and more or less kept it pushing. Claire on the other hand was vocal about how Jade’s secret sex tape hurt her as well as how she was treated for it. I do wish that the show would have delved deeper into that issue though. It seemed like everyone Claire cared about had to second guess her, not really trusting if she’d played a part in producing a sex tape just because she’s shown herself to be fame hungry. Claire may be a bit self-centered, but she also seems to have a good moral compass for the most part, so I know it was a pretty big blow to even see a second of doubt in her loved ones’ faces.

That’s why she’s taking this break up with Theo so hard, I think. He was the main one who should have believed her but instead he automatically assumed she was guilty and left. It makes me wonder how much Theo even loved Claire or if she truly was just a fill in for Ciara when he couldn’t have her. That’d be pretty messed up of him, if true. But that doesn’t feel like a very Theo thing to do, right?

I have to say I’m thrilled to see where this time apart takes them. In a great turn, Claire admitted to Theo that he was her stability after years of instability. She spoke about her time living abroad with a bit of bitterness but it didn’t feel angry because being with Theo had helped her through it. These scenes would have been great if they were followed up with Claire airing out these concerns to her parents. But Belle and Shawn Douglass would have to be in town for more than a week for that to happen.
I do wonder if Claire had to learn that sort of patience in herself when dating someone with Autism, having to understand why he saw the world the way he did and behaved differently than she might. That’d be an awesome plot point for the writers to cover as they bring the characters back together. Hopefully.

Claire took her grandmother’s advice and threw it out the window, opting to go the complete opposite way so she could bombard Theo with her feelings in this delicate break up time. Will it work? She should probably ask Aunt Sami how often it worked out for her!

About the author

Coryon Gray

Coryon Gray joined as Staff Writer for Soaps at TVSource Magazine in October 2014. Prior to TVSource Magazine, he's written for and moderated Asian entertainment blogs all while staying updated with his multiple "stories" like the elderly person in his soul. TV is a big part of his life, and it shows as he has been known to try to incorporate TV hijinks into his life with varying results. Follow him at @sourcecoryon for soapy soap reactions and more!