Soaps

Days of our Lives Week in Review: Never Gonna Give You Up

Nicole confesses to Eric that she loves him. © jpistudios.com and NBC.com

The last few weeks’ themes of love and suspense rang true with this last week as well, though we saw much more of a cross generational effect too. It seemed as if every person connected to Will Horton whether it was through marriage, affair or blood wound up digging deep into the mystery of his presumed survival. Even separate stories have found or will find themselves weaving into this story, affecting the different branches of the family trees that are rooted into the heart of all this. We have some characters who want the truth, some who think they know the truth and others who may not be able to handle the truth. It’s that strong undercurrent of familial bonds that will play a huge part in DAYS’ upcoming stories. I think we’re only just seeing the very tip of that iceberg now.

Let’s check out some of my picks and pans from the week of October 9, 2017 on Days of Our Lives!

Picks of the Week

Whisper To A Scream

Loving Eric Brady and Nicole Walker this time around is so painful that it’s downright masochistic. Why do this to us, writing team? I just want to know how they dare to finally work these two characters back into each other’s orbits after too long apart for just a handful of scenes! They were absolutely beautiful scenes but not near enough for my own personal longing for Ericole. Knowing that Arianne Zucker is on her way out very shortly (Zucker’s final airdate as Nicole Walker is set for October 20), every scene between them was tinged with this bittersweet flavor but damn, were they good. The writing team has to be commended for making me feel so much joy and bitterness all at once!

The week prior, Nicole dropped her baby off with the woman who had tried to claim her as her own for months and ran through a downpour to Eric’s side. It was borderline too much with the dramatics at first. I was worried that we were going to get scenes reminiscent of every Nicholas Sparks novel and film adaption, but that quickly turned. What really sold me was the conversation they had about their history as a whole – though I’m glad we can ignore that period in time when Eric wrongly accused Nicole of raping him – they did dive back into Nicole deserting him for fortune nearly twenty years ago. While I can’t say I miss gold-digging Nicole, more so fiery Nicole, I was happy to hear that she acknowledged how much she’s grown from that person. It’s so tiring when these shows only reference recent history when there’s so much further to dig into! Unfortunately, they couldn’t show flashbacks since Greg Vaughan wasn’t Eric back in the day, but the nod to that history was greatly appreciated. Finally, it cemented what we’ve known all along – Eric and Nicole belong together… but of course they can’t be!

What’s made this a standout story for me, even as it moves far too rapidly toward a climax, is the way that each character in the triangle has done some good and done some bad. Brady did try his best to not be suspicious then ultimately failed in the worst way; Nicole and Eric denied their feelings to the best of their abilities but lost to love. Abe Carver and Marlena Evans’ advices to these three really sum up the multi-faceted nature of this story and I am so happy they were roped into it as talking points. During their dramatic reconnection, Nicole echoed Abe’s worst of not confusing love with gratitude – so she chose love. Then we have Marlena reminding Eric that you can’t control who you love, only your behavior as someone who has been in a similar circumstance. Unfortunately, Eric behaved in a way that would only hurt someone close to him.

While it sucks that Nicole will promptly be on her way out of Salem after reuniting with Eric, it’ll be interesting to see how Eric and Brady’s falling out will play out. Of course, we have Eric playing the brooding anti-hero who no longer wants invites to Christmas dinners so Brady isn’t hurt but we all know that can’t last, especially with a certain meddling twin sister coming back to town. However, their beef is definitely going to have a trickle-down effect to John and Marlena but I’m curious as to what degree that’ll be!

Our House

They’ve gone on missions all around the world but there’s something so satisfying seeing these characters come together as family for family. Will Horton’s grandparents Marlena Evans, Kate DiMera, Roman Brady and John Black mobilized this week to get to the bottom of Ben Weston’s claims. Can you say iconic? Seeing the four of them strategize at the Brady Pub was one of my favorite moments of all last week, almost squeal worthy. DAYS really showcased great cross-generational drama stemming from these four characters that every other soap should take note of!

There are two factors to this story that I absolutely adore right now. The first is that Kate is behaving like the mama bear she is. We all know never to mess with her kid or grandkids so in order to quell everyone’s (including spiraling Lucas Horton) worries, she sat face to face with the man who loved and tried to kill her. Clyde Weston had been revealed as Ben’s visitor at Bayview who alerted him of Will surviving the strangulation, so naturally everyone figured he’d spill to Kate too. Lauren Koslow has been portraying Kate as having this fraying patience with this whole situation. I think she doesn’t want to keep the hope that Will is alive – no matter how possible in this town that could be – because she’s more focused on Lucas’ wellbeing. To Kate, Will has been buried and anyone saying otherwise is just trying to hurt her family. Lucas is in pain, Lucas needs her support and hearing more and more about his dead son is just digging the knife deeper into his wounds. Hearing Kate beg Lucas for the chance to help him while standing over Will’s grave is the kind of gut-wrenching emotion I’ve been missing from soaps.

After having found a drunken Lucas at Will’s grave before this and had to console him over these visions he keeps having of his son. That was when Kate decided to go forward with meeting Clyde and what finally got Clyde to speak up proved to be just as emotional and powerful as that graveyard scene.  Kate shared how much she regretted hurting her baby (Yes, I know there’s Phillip and Rex but Lucas is Kate’s baby to me forever!) so much to get him to this dark place he’s in – and that she knew Clyde felt the same about Ben. At that point, he has no choice other than to reveal Dr. Wilhelm Rolf is back to his old dastardly tricks, but this time with Will as his guinea pig.

Paul ropes John into illegal activity. © jpistudios.com and NBC.com

The other factor I’m enjoying from this storyline is John and Paul Narita. Their connection adds such an interesting layer to this drama as just like everyone else, John hopes that maybe Will really is alive out there but fears for his son’s wellbeing as well. Sonny Kiriakis may love Paul, but does he love him as much as he does Will? Even now, just the idea of Will is winning out against Paul, keeping Sonny from the altar. I saw some complaints from viewers about Paul’s insistence to get to the bottom of this mystery but couldn’t understand where it all came from. Digging up a grave is illegal and pretty gross, but Paul is clearly desperate, so in love and ready to commit to his first love that he’d do anything. Of course, he would want to move on from this pain as quickly as possible! I think if he were digging up Will’s grave for any other reason than proving that he’s dead would be when I question him, but he’s just doing his job as an investigator.

That Christopher Sean though! He’s honestly mastered the art of misty-eyed crying and I swear, he had me in the same state while he plead to John to help him dig up Will’s grave. I felt Paul’s desperation in that scene. Even though I still don’t buy Paul and Sonny as a couple, in that very moment I could have. Again, I just don’t think their love story is as strongly fleshed out both on and off screen to root for them! But I’m also not rooting for a WilSon reunion so there’s that. With all that said, John now being tangled into this grave digging plot with his son won’t sit well with everyone else in the family. I think it’s going to have a very similar trickle-down effect as Marlena’s involvement in Eric and Brady’s new conflict, maybe even more troubling. Will Doc be okay with John digging up her beloved grandson without the family’s wishes? But let’s be real though, that was probably going to be their next step anyway…

About the author

Coryon Gray

Coryon Gray joined as Staff Writer for Soaps at TV Source Magazine in October 2014. Prior to TV Source 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!