This past week on Days of our Lives primarily focused around one major storyline that some predicted and others did not want to believe – the death of EJ DiMera. For the viewers who loved EJ, they were sent on an excruciating emotional journey, experiencing the multiple facets of grief from many beloved characters, as well as a little mystery and intrigue. Let’s go over the happenings from Salem, USA!
Elvis has left the building
Every soap blogger has probably used this as a title for a recap this week, but without shame, I will too. It’s just fitting because who would have thought it’d come to this? After getting shot at the end of the October 10th episode by Miguel, a flip-flopping day player DiMera goon controlled and then taken care of by Clyde, we had to watch Elvis die in Sami Brady’s arms. Throughout James Scott’s near decade-long run on Days of our Lives, EJ had numerous brushes with death (many inflicted by Sami or those closest to her) but always managed to just make it out of the other side okay. He is the son of the eternal Phoenix after all. But watching him get gunned down by a pop-up villain and his lackey felt cheap in a way. It was unbelievable. For that reason alone, there are many (including myself) that believe this isn’t really the end of EJ…but we’ll get back to that in a minute.
Alison Sweeney devastates with her performance
I must take the time to praise the emotionally devastating portrayal of Sami’s grief by Alison Sweeney. All of the ups and downs; ins and outs, were all hit on the nose by the soon-to-depart veteran actress. It’s bizarre that after 20 years in the business, Sweeney is still underestimated by the soap community. Some criticize her tendency to “over act” over the course of her run, but has anyone ever considered that she’s just playing the character as intended? Samantha Gene Brady has always had a flair for the dramatics whether it is necessary or unnecessary, so her acting choices have always been justified in my eyes. This week cemented those feelings.
From Sami chanting her “I love you’s” to her slowly fading husband, to the anguish she fought through while delivering the distressing news of his death to their children she had to fight through to tell her children the horrible news (shot very intimately through the glass of the window, muted and poignant), it hit hard. Sami was hurt in every possible way by the loss of EJ, and though I was never an EJami fan, I found myself becoming emotional during her private moments (like Sami sleeping in EJ’s clothes, surrounded by photos of him). The ripple effect of this death reached far and wide in Salem, even with a horde of enemies on every block; almost everyone was racked with disbelief; rising up to support Sami and her children. The highlight had to be Lucas coming in to comfort the mother of his two children (and soul mate, in my opinion). Though the writers have not been giving us a romantic Lumi scenes in years, their lasting friendship shined through in their scenes. It showcased their strong ties especially through their reassuring of their daughter, Allie. It’s going to be such a huge loss to not be able to see them together again once Sami leaves town, but I’m thankful for what we’ve gotten so far.
The DiMeras Mourn and Regroup
As expected, the DiMera family took the news of EJ’s death especially hard. Kristen and Stefano rightfully broke down, but I was really moved by Chad’s reaction. Watching Chad take news with a steel-face, eventually crumbling while begging Sami to forgive him and let him help was extremely moving. I was wary of when it was announced that Billy Flynn would take over the very underdeveloped role of Chad DiMera, but his performance washed away any doubts. The more he makes this role his own, the more I enjoy him. I’m not sure his predecessor could have delivered much of anything in these scenes.
Through the tears of grief, the DiMera family knew it was time to act. Under the orders of her patriarch, Kristen injected EJ’s lifeless corpse (or was a sample taken?) with a mysterious compound; prompting Stefano later in the week to gloat about taking EJ to where his family is. Has EJ been resurrected? His body transported to whatever European country where Stefano resides? Who is in the giant urn Sami can’t put down? There are so many possibilities to be explored, and with Days of our Lives not shying away from the kooky as in previous years, I cannot wait for what’s next. I wouldn’t mind if EJ stayed dead though.