A return to form
The revelation that new character Xander Cook is actually a Kiriakis sent viewers of Days into a frenzy this last week. For the first time in what felt like a long time, this show had managed to surprise it’s viewers with a twist. Now not only would the long neglected core family be getting a handsome, intriguing new face but he seemed to have a dark side, something that the Kirakis clan had been missing for far too long.
There was a collective squeal of excitement among fans of the show when Xander referred to Victor Kiriakis as his uncle, hopes rising that maybe this was Sonny Kiriakis’ long lost brother Alexander but very soon those hopes were shot out of the sky. No, this isn’t an old character with ties to the current characters on canvas (which would be a logical decision) but a newly invented one, related to a side of the family we’ve never seen or cared much for. Xander was revealed to be Alexandros Kiriakis not Alexander, the son of Victor’s unseen brother. When the two relatives finally meet again, it’s clear that Xander is much more eager to see Victor than vice versa. Victor has questions as to why his nephew is in town, especially whether he’s been keeping his nose clean or at least pretending to. Xander promises his uncle that he has been careful, reminding Victor that he owes him his life which is probably why he seems to be so subservient to his uncle. We learn that Xander’s money laundering scams are what drives the Kiriakis crime organization in the background though Victor likes to keep himself out of the loop with that, citing his improved reputation in the town of Salem. In a rush to rid himself of his nephew, Victor attempts to make quick dinner plans with him before Brady Black shows up confused. As always. It takes a moment but soon the two family members are reconnecting, recalling a summer in Greece and how close they were with Daniel and Phillip back then. It’s revealed that on this mystical island, Xander was sent home early after getting into some trouble to which Xander laments how he was never good enough in Uncle Victor’s eyes, not in the same way Daniel or Brady was. The newly introduced Kiriakis leaves on a sour note, giving Victor the chance to tell his grandson that he would like him to keep away from Xander as much as possible especially after his dropped murder charge. Elsewhere, Xander fumes and breaks his glass when remembering Victor unabashedly showing favor to Daniel and Brady. Since arriving, Xander’s been saying that he’s someone who enjoys having things his way or else but others had always assumed it to be another of his cheeky remarks. From cold reactions from his family to angry glass breaking, Xander’s character is only getting darker the deeper we dig into it.
If we put the complaints aside for a moment, there’s no denying that Xander is a welcome addition to the town of Salem. He’s handsome, charming and has an accent – there’s no one in town that would turn that man away. The only issue is that the very existence of his character makes no sense at all! For a show in its 50th anniversary year, Days has been doing a terrible job at keeping up with history. There’s literally half of a century of information to tap into if a new character has to be added, there’s no reason to craft up a Kiriakis from nowhere at this point. As long as we all can remember, Victor only ever had one brother who had one son named Justin. There was even a time when Victor assumed that Justin was his only living relative (until the discovery of his children and their children), so just where does Alexandros come from? He can’t be an unknown brother of Justin’s since Victor has pretty much fostered him since childhood. So is he therefore the offspring of a brand new brother of Victor’s? It makes zero sense that the writers found it easier to create all of this new history instead of letting the already established story do the work. Xander could have easily been Sonny’s oldest half-brother come to town worried after finding out that his younger brother had been hurt. Sonny had even gone to visit his twin brothers a month ago, they could have easily relayed the message to their big brother who’d come running to Sonny’s side with worry. It was all there for them! Set up by their hands! My only hopes for Xander’s story is that Dena Higley’s return to helming the show will tie up the loose ends of his lineage and that he’ll become Nicole Walker’s longtime love. Something tells me that for once, Victor won’t mind someone in his family hooking up with the “town tramp”.
So many chips, so many old blocks
As the gays on Days continue to drive some of the most interesting story on the show, their true colors are beginning to show more and more. Will Horton’s insecurities have been driving him to do a lot of unsavory things in the last few months and for the first time (but surely not the last), someone calls him exactly what he is – a clone of his mother Sami Brady.
Instead of owning up to his issues, Will has been manipulating situations in his favor so that it’s easier to deny blame. Victor had summoned Will to the Kiriakis mansion, angrily showing him an article to which Will shrugs off, thinking it’s the piece on his infidelity when in fact it’s a misprint in his and Sonny Kirakis’ first anniversary blurb in the Salem Spectator. This is what gets Will upset, noting the picture shows Sonny and Paul Narita instead of him. Victor sends him away with a threat after attempting to drive home the fact that Sonny always does his best for Will. Unfortunately not even a crime boss’ warning works on Will as he continues to lie to both Sonny who asks him about the paternity scandal he’d written about Paul, something he happened upon and then John Black, spinning the tale of his affair against Paul while knowing well who Paul is to his grandfather figure.
Frustrated with Will’s constant lies, Sonny takes Will’s article right over to Paul and in a busybody Adrienne Kiriakis move, spills details that were really none of his business. Everyone at home watching can see that Sonny is doing this because he still has feelings for Paul, as he tells his ex about his mother lying about never being in Salem before and alluding to his father still being in town, there’s a lot of tender gazes that just scream intimacy. Could Sonny be ready to pull another Adrienne and answer his husband’s cheating with some cheating of his own?
Everything comes to a head after Paul learns the truth from Sonny. Unlike the other two involved in his love triangle, Paul does not use his mother as source material for his actions and outright asks for the truth in front of all of those involved. Tori would much rather flee the town and even makes several attempts to do so but it’s too late. John who arrives with Marlena Evans quickly pieces everything together, deducing that Paul is his son with one of his classic memorable reactions. While this was arguably the most enjoyable part of this entire week on Days, there’s no denying that none of this makes sense. Tori’s inclusion into John’s life is yet another rewrite of history that contradicts everything we’ve ever know. I do want to applaud the writers for adding more diversity into the lives of these characters, giving John a half-Asian son is a step in the right direction but unfortunately, it makes no sense.
Very easily the writers could have made Paul a hidden love child with John and Diana Caulfield or they could have written of Tori and John’s love affair during a time when he wasn’t in town for some unexplained reason. John was an international super spy back in the day, no one doubts that he probably had women from all over the world in his bed at one point but don’t try to feed loyal viewers and historians of the show with such convoluted backstory. When even the actor is confused about the timing of this love affair and pregnancy, there’s something absolutely wrong going on.
Once again, these recaps are not always blow for blow recaps and contain a lot of my own feelings toward the storylines this week. Use my points to kick off a conversation. Comment here or tweet me if you agree or disagree with me, I want to know what the readers have to say. Your input is what makes this all the most fun. See you next week!