Days of Our Lives Week in Review: The Recap-iest Version Ever
Apparently Days is trying out this neato new approach to soaps in which absofreakinglutely nothing happens Monday through Thursday, but Friday is a decent enough episode that you'll put up with four days of repetitive boringness just to get to it. Or, if you're smart, you won't, and you'll just check in here and elsewhere for updates on what you "missed." Because I really don't think we should reward this kind of plodding soap storytelling with increased viewership, cancellation on the table or not.
Anyway, I take a few notes throughout the week as I'm watching, and those notes ultimately become Week in Review posts. This week had exactly one note for the first four days of the week (I'm not over-exaggerating, sadly), so I'm going to try something new. Since Friday was the only day really worth watching, I thought I'd just recap that ep for you guys. Mallory and I had lots of fun with the General Hospital: Night Shift recaps, and until something horrible like a second season of that crap becomes a reality sprung from our nightmares, I'm in a bit of recap withdrawal. We'll see how this goes.
Chelsea apologizes for being late to meet Kate for breakfast at the Brady Pub. Chels slept through her alarm, girl after my own heart, but says breakfast was still a great idea because she needed to get out of the Kiriakis mansion. Kate confirms that Victor is still treating Chelsea well but then launches into an uncharacteristically grandmotherly bit about Chelsea looking tired and pale. Dr. Jonas shows up and scolds Chelsea for not taking care of herself.
Phillip and Nicole discuss their plan, which as Nicole helpfully exposits is "that I spy for you and that in exchange you use your influence with Victor to help me with my divorce settlement." This is one of the many examples of why you needn't have watched the rest of the week, because it's the beginning to a possibly fun storyline, but 1) at this rate it will take 18 months to come to fruition, and 2) a character will tell you about it, in some detail, on a daily basis -- which you will enjoy if you are stupid, or a fan of James E. Reilly's oeuvre. Phillip reveals that the person Nicole will be spying on is John Black. Dun dun duuuuunnnnnn.
Cut to John Black, who is mocking Rolf while talking to the impossibly hot Paul Hollingsworth. I new he looked familiar, and Mallory was kind enough to point out last week that there is a reason for that:
Paul Hollingsworth is played by the ultra awesome Linden Ashby who (1) was on Y&R as a crazy (2) played Coop on Melrose and (3) has the best name in the history of naming.
I remember very little from the last few years of Melrose Place, which I only spottily watched, but I never completely forget a gorgeous face. Oh, Linden Ashby. You're so good-looking you reach that next plateau: You fine.
Even furrowed, you fine.
Anyway, Paul and John are in the DiMera mansion, arguing about bribery and messy divorces, as guys named after disciples are known to do. Paul's ex-wife is haranguing him over money that he doesn't have because he can't get a job because he's about to be indicted for fraud. I thought he was already indicted and it was all over the newspapers, but I don't care, because he fine. John assures Paul that he's going to take care of everything so well that in the end Paul is going to owe him big time.
Now we're at Ava's family compound, which Days outrageously puts on the screen with a realistic scenery shot that does not involve gabillions of dollars in CGI.
Perhaps GH should adopt a What Would Ed Scott Do (WWESD) approach to similar issues, because can't we all agree that this photo is vastly superior to whatever you call the technique used to create Wyndemere's exterior shot?
Yeah. Anyway, at the compound, (beware, I'm about to catch you up on four days' worth of ACTION): Kayla -- who is in the middle of a high-risk pregnancy -- and Bo -- who is recovering from a partial pancreas transplant which I think is fake but which the show has made clear is v. v. serious -- decided like a couple of dumbasses to storm the compound to spring Steve and Hope -- both perfectly healthy -- loose. In the process, Hope got shot, and everyone found out that Hope and Steve have been faking that she was Kayla when in fact, obviously, she is not. Ava ordered her cousin/enforcer to kill all four of the Salemites, and now they're trying to stall her. Hope asked Ava to tell them all the story of what Steve did to Ava, which brings us to today.
Back at the Pub, Kate and Daniel continue to harp on how Chelsea looks ill. Daniel does that obnoxious frat boy thing where he turns a chair around and sits astride it, further reminding me that this show does not want me to believe that this guy is in his early 40s. He is so hot, why do they need for him to act like he's 22? Daniel concludes that basically Chelsea can't take care of herself and needs "a keeper." While Daniel takes a call on his cell, Kate hurries Chelsea off back home.
Phillip and Nicole confirm the deal that I thought they'd already agreed to. They head off to breakfast, with Phillip appalled that Nicole is already "thirsty" at this hour -- she's deciding between a Mimosa and a Bloody Mary. I'm sure an alcoholic spy with a mean streak a mile wide won't create any soapy consequences!
John and Paul share a pointless scene wrapping up their conversation, which I forgive because of Paul and his fineness.
Ava begins her tale of love gone bad by reminding everyone that she and Patch "were once deeply in love." Or so she thought, until their wedding day.
You know, this whole "reveal" would be a lot more interesting if the audience didn't already know almost the entire story, but whatever, I'll take forward story movement where I can get it.
Nicole and Phillip chat outside the Brady Pub and then Nicole heads inside to start schemin'. She snags a Bloody Mary off a passing waitress' tray (I would have gone with the Mimosa) and gets down to flirting. John looks suspiciously amused, but then that's how he always looks. Outside the Pub, Morgan comes up and wants to know "what in the sam hill" Phillip is doing. This causes me to 1) reflect on the fact that I've never known what that phrase means, 2) wish that they would let the actress who plays Morgan drop that awful accent because she's otherwise pretty good, and 3) wonder whether they are chem-testing Phillip and Morgan.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Chelsea collapses. Kate does that quintessentially soap opera thing of screaming that someone should call an ambulance while nobody does. Meanwhile Dr. Jonas is at the front door and bursts through to the rescue.
Back to the Days of Ava's Life. She's recounting her putative wedding day, how she mouthed "I love you" to Patch at the altar as she started down the aisle towards him.
She describes her dress as "simple" but I lean more towards "annoyingly fussy and yet still too faux-hippie-ish." And her hair is a wreck. I'm sorry, but even if it's an informal wedding, you are still required to run a brush through that mess. ANYWAY, Mary Beth Evans is doing a great job of making Kayla look like she is going to throw up at any moment.
We head to commercials and there is one with a puppy. I think I might be an advertiser's dream in this regard, because I swear to god I think I might buy any product if it has a cute puppy in its ad. I wouldn't even otherwise need the product. It's amazing all non-pet-product marketers haven't clued into this yet, but it's good for me because otherwise I might have a spare closet full of, like, cigarettes and adult diapers.
Back to Phillip, who awesome tells Morgan she is "overdoing the Southern Belle accent a little bit."
Oh, Phillip, how I love thee. She says that happens when she's nervous, but then she won't tell him why she's nervous, other than that he's "lurking" outside while John Black is in the Pub. I like these two together. They bicker a bit and then Phillip invites her to breakfast. She says she'd like to, but she's meeting her dad for breakfast. The fine Mr. Hollingsworth arrives and Phillip gives him attitude about messing with his family's business.
Nicole and John are having breakfast, and she's telling him how she always had a bit of a crush on him. Which is 1) gross because she was engaged to his son, and 2) totally untrue because we all know the mullet the dude had through the 90s. John says from what he understands the old him was "boring as hell," and a "narrow-minded, self-righteous, stick-in-the-mud," which is not true of John/Roman back in the days of Diana Colville and Isabella, and isn't even really accurate for the more modern-day John of "John+Marlena=True Love Forever," but I will totally accept it because "really fucking annoying and disturbingly horny all the damned time" isn't really appropriate for afternoon television. Anyhoo, Nicole throws down the old chestnut "have you been working out?" and Drake Hogestyn does this hilariously robotic thing where he looks down at himself like he's trying to identify the muscle groups at issue and form a response. Nicole catches Phillip's eye over John's shoulder and shoots him an "I told you I was good at this" look.
Steve apologies to Kayla that she has to hear all of these gory details. Ava decides to twist the knife by having Steve finish out the story.
Dr. Jonas is tending to Chelsea, saying she has a high fever and he can't "bring her around," and he finally instructs Kate to call 911.
Nicole thinks John's big ol' mansion must be lonely, but John hilariously responds that he has lots of company in the form of his staff, especially his "man-servant, Rolf" who "rarely leaves [his] side." Hee, man-servant. I think I might need one of those. Nicole, who hasn't watched for a few years, thinks Rolf is Stefano's creepy doctor, but John says no more! Now he's the butler, and he's still creepy but "we're working on that; it's been a little slow." Nicole plays the sensitive card by telling John that it must be so difficult to be a man without a past, that he must feel "cast adrift." The fact that Nicole knows the word adrift is questionable, but John's deadpan "yes, it's a nice feeling" response makes me not question it. Hee. Then Nicole asks John out.
Morgan is pissy because she has to look at John in the Pub. Paul describes John as a good friend and wants Morgan to chill. Only he doesn't say "chill," because unlike Dr. Jonas he is actually allowed to speak like a grown-up. That scene was rather pointless. Morgan is involved in a lot of pointlessness, poor dear.
Kate is freaking out, either because she has realized the hideousness of her outfit or because Chelsea is still unconscious. Perhaps her continued state of barely-alivedness is somewhat due to the fact that the sole treatment Dr. Genius is applying is a white towel on her forehead?
Just saying. Kate then turns her anger on Daniel, saying he never should have talked Chelsea into the surgery.
Ava forces Steve to finish the story of their doomed wedding day: Patch was standing at the altar, watching Ava walk down the aisle looking so happy, but he didn't feel the same way. A really strange feeling came over him
and he started having flashes in his head to "someone else's wedding" -- OMG, clips of Steve and Kayla's wedding on the screen, 80s-nostalgia-induced Becca-freak-out commences! --
and he knew in his gut that he couldn't go through with the wedding.
Morgan continues to blame John for her dad's troubles while Paul continues to be fine. Morgan describes John as sickeningly carrying on "with a girl half his age," which is 1) hilarious to have someone on a soap point out, and 2) ridiculous because I'm pretty sure the age difference between those two is less than that between Dr. Jonas and Morgan's friend Chelsea, which everyone seems a-ok with. They wrap up their really boring conversation and she heads out.
Nicole is trying to talk John into accepting her invitation for a date, with the exceptionally cheesy and cringe-inducing "I won't bite...unless you're into that kind of thing" line. Phillip helps things along by coming by and appearing super pissed that the two of them are hanging out.
Kate apologizes for jumping all over Dr. Jonas (not literally, of course, though I submit that would be the more sensible of the two types of jumping to do, because annoying though his surfer-speak may be my god is the man hot), and the paramedics arrive to take Chelsea to the hospital.
Stephen Nichols is fucking awesome and Tamara Braun -- able to act out something other than the same three repeated lines for the first time in at least a month -- is rocking the tears. Steve continues with the story, explaining that he was having these flashbacks and then he turned and left the church. He went into a courtyard to compose himself and was heading back into the church to explain to Ava that he couldn't go through with the marriage, when two guys came up behind him and kidnapped him.
Ava's not buying it.
The paramedics are taking their sweet time with Chelsea. Her fever is 103.5. Morgan comes running into the mansion, worried about her friend.
John accepts Nicole's dinner invitation. It's set for "tonight" at the DiMera mansion, which given Dena Higley's pacing means it will probably happen in August.
Ava says Steve must think she's stupid to believe the kidnapping story, and explains how horrible she felt when he disappeared from the altar. Steve wants to explain further, and everyone except Ava -- even Hope, who I'm pretty sure should have bled to death by now --
wants to hear the details. Ava relents. Steve explains that he has to go back before they met, to a time when he had been abducted and held prisoner by Stefano. Ah, the great early-90s coffin switch! Good times. Anyway, it turns out one day Steve managed to escape from Stefano but he had no memory of his past, and then he met Ava. She changed him, gave him a life and something to live for, he fell in love with her, and he truly wanted to marry her.
Mary Beth Evans is killing me with Kayla's reaction to all this.
Phillip and Nicole meet up outside the Pub and...whatever, this was another pointless scene. Back inside the Pub, John tells Paul to stop following him, and Paul's fine self explains he was just having breakfast with his daughter.
Back at the Kiriakis mansion, where it is apparently taking the paramedics and hour and a half to load a 90-pound woman onto a stretcher, Chelsea wakes up and Dr. Jonas promises he is going to take very good care of her. Please don't read anything non-medical into that last phrase.
Ava says she'll take the storytelling back from here on out. When she realized Patch wasn't coming back to the wedding, she had a breakdown and was hospitalized. Then her father locked her in her room in the compound for some unspecified period of time, and even just talking about it causes her to lose her shit and profess her undying hatred for Steve. Everyone's crying. Well, Kayla, Steve, and Ava are. I'm not, because I don't really care enough about Ava to be upset by her unhappiness, plus, like I said earlier, we kind of knew all this before.
So this was a decent episode. Not as good as some, and certainly not good enough to make up for the rest of the week's pace (to which even snails would react all "What the hell? Move this stuff along, slowpokes!"), but decent. James Scott being on it (shirtless), plus Shawn Christian, Linden Ashby, and Jay Kenneth Johnson being shirtless would have improved it, but that's really true of all Days episodes. I think instead of the NBC peacock, they should just rotate photos of the four of those guys half-naked at the corner of the screen. Now that would create some brand loyalty.
Screencaps courtesy of Days of Our Lives 2.