Soaps

Days of our Lives Week in Review: Back in Black

A mystery guest interrupts the double wedding. © jpistudios.com and NBC.com

If romance ruled the week before last’s Days of Our Lives, then it was certainly all about suspense this last week! The return of an infamous serial killer shook the entire canvas to its core after reuniting it just a week ago. Sure, it wasn’t perfect (and what is perfect in soap opera land) but it was exactly what the show needed – a shot of adrenaline to kick off an autumn to remember.

Head writer Ron Carlivati did not lie when he said this season will showcase “Salem on steroids!” After a week this exciting, it’s almost wild to think that this is literally just the beginning. I’ll never tire of saying it, but the new writing regime has brought Salem together as a community once again. The week before, we saw everyone united for an incredible moment full of life and love and now they must come together in the face of grief. That is how a community of loved ones should operate!

Let’s check out some of my picks and pans from the week of October 2, 2017 on Days of Our Lives!

Picks of the Week

Causing A Commotion

The return of Ben Weston to Salem ignited a much need fire all throughout the town. Even if he’s only around for a short time, he’s the bit of villain that we deserve on DAYS. It’s been far too long since we’ve had a viable one in our midst that has the potential to affect every corner of the town.

Scott McKinsey directed Monday’s episode highlighting Ben’s return and that man deserves not only a round of applause, but a standing ovation with kudos from all of soap media. I’m not so sure if he directed the entirety of the double wedding arc, but Monday’s episode in particular stood out from the bunch. When Abigail Dimera saw Ben at the doors of the church, she dissociated from reality and retreated into herself. We have to remember the last time Abigail saw Ben was during her hallucinations! She’d been working diligently on herself, trying to gain her life back and then there Ben is in the flesh – or at least she had to convince herself that it was him. This scene was done so incredibly well that I got goosebumps!

The entire set went dark and it was just her and him but this was all inside her head! That was the gag! Marci Miller delivered a really strong monologue about taking back control of her life, one that ended with her snapping back to reality after understanding Ben’s appearance was real, moving through the crowd in slow motion and punching him square in the face! When was the last time DAYS had a good slow-mo moment?  The only thing that comes to mind is John Black’s turn in The Matrix but that… that wasn’t good.

From there, it seemed like the entire town of Salem rained down upon Ben, as it should! Not until he managed to get out that Will was supposedly alive did anyone stop and listen. I thought it hilarious that in a room full of people who have come back to life multiple times, killed said people who came back to life and orchestrated plots to bring people back to life – no one could believe that Will might still be alive out there! Even so, the disbelief that the different Salemites was based in reality you could say. Everyone who experienced Will’s death firsthand, recounted seeing and then burying his dead body so there was no doubt he was gone. Even Marlena Evans who battled against the devil was having some trouble believing the whole story! I can’t recall, but I don’t think Ben was ever diagnosed with any sort of mental illness other than the standard soap opera crazies and still everyone rushed to doubt his words.

Speaking of Marlena, her interrogation scenes with Ben were the absolute best (JJ Deveraux’s were a close second) for that reason alone. Having faced a lot worse in her life, Marlena was cool, calm and collected while trying to fish out more information from the Necktie Killer. In the face of the impeccable Deidre Hall, Robert Scott Wilson shone as well which is no easy feat. He’d go from being angry, guilt ridden, confused, hurt then right back to aggressive in seconds! It’s wild to see how far he’s come in the role of Ben and almost makes you want to keep him around. I only say almost because I think like Xander Cook, Ben makes a good villain to cycle in for stints of bad behavior.

Thanks to Marlena, we all learn that it was Clyde Weston who visited his son to inform him of Will’s survival. Along with Sami Brady, James Reed’s Clyde is showing back up this coming week to give more details on just how the town’s beloved Will may still be alive. I’m itching to find out how Carlivati & Co. will explain this latest twist. I literally have no ideas and for once, the spoilers aren’t giving away even a little bit which is a big deal in this digital day and age. Even so, with or without spoilers this is bound to be a wild ride!

Queen of Hearts

Carlivati’s version of Chloe Lane is an interesting one – somewhere between a good friend and a meddler, Chloe has had her hands in everyone’s pots lately. As always, she has good intentions but different from the usual affair is that no one is jumping down her throat and berating her for it. I wasn’t watching DAYS when the character of Chloe Lane debuted but from what I’ve seen in recent years, she was never given much to work with outside of being victimized. It’s refreshing to see her try to do the right thing by telling the truth to her friends while ultimately kick starting a lot of drama.

Chloe drops a bombshell on Nicole about Eric.
© jpistudios.com

With Nadia Bjorlin still pregnant while filming these last scenes, it makes sense that she can’t really get knee deep into the drama that she starts. I like seeing Chloe as a talk to even if I have to suspend belief on how a lot of her friends now were the ones who talked down to her. Chloe can almost never catch a break but now seems to be in a good place. The best part is that while she’s evolved into supporting role for people in town, it’s actually a part of her wanting to do better for herself and for her son. Buying into the new Doug’s Place was a first step in that.

Chloe having to admit that she knew about Eric Brady’s feelings toward Nicole Walker only to then admit that she also told Brady Black about – while telling this to Nicole was absolutely hilarious. It was like seeing different stages of guilt flash across her face while pouring this all out to Nicole. I’m happy that she fessed up about this, even though that puts Ericole on a fast track when we deserved a beautiful, languid romance for them. I’m just hoping that Nicole takes this information from her best friend to finally come to understand that Brady is nothing but an emotionally abusive schmuck.

I wasn’t too keen on Chloe filling Lucas Horton in on Ben’s claims. Clearly, she didn’t really want to fill him in when she stumbled upon the drunk in her club but let it slip anyway. Kate Roberts and Jennifer Horton’s plan to keep everything a secret from Lucas also felt pretty misguided. But even with all of that said, is there any way to tell a vulnerable alcoholic that his son may only be presumed dead? Maybe Chloe ripping off that band-aid was a kind of blessing in disguise. I do know that Lucas’ reaction to this news was incredibly heart felt, gut wrenching even! Bryan Datillo continues to utilize incredible depth in his portrayal of a spiraling alcoholic. With Sami Brady returning to Salem next week, I’m interested in seeing whether or not she’s going to give him some tender support like Chloe has – or will she lay on the tough love?

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!