My family does a March Madness bracket every year. I never win, but I watch lots of ESPN the twenty minutes before I fill out my bracket. The thing I hear over and over again is that it's all about matchups. Well, this week, I'd argue the same can be said about DAYS.
Let's start with matchups I totally love.
First up is Abe and Jack. Yes, sir, James Reynolds. Yes. Sir. Every time DAYS gives this man a monologue, I wonder why he isn't used more. I adore Abe. James is at least 80 percent of the reason why. Seeing him go toe-to-toe with the consistently awesome Matt Ashford is DAYS at its best. I can't urge the writers enough to leave Matt out of the kiddie pool and put him back in scenes with James (and Missy Reeves...always Missy Reeves!)
Abe gave Jack the reality check most of us fans have been screaming at our TVs for months. This impostor isn't our Jack. And, sure, Jennifer, J.J., and Abigail can say it all they want. But they have more skin in that game. That's not to say Abe doesn't, but his life can go on just fine with or without Jack in it. (And from the sound of it, his beer fridge actually benefits from Jack's absence!) Abe is a step removed, which gives him a little more objectivity and -- most importantly -- leaves Eve with no history to throw in Abe's face the way she can with Jennifer and J.J. I loved it. I cheered when it happened. I want more of it.
So, where does that leave Eve? Unlike Jack, I'm actually for Eve to have scenes with the younger set. Specifically, when she's playing a mother figure to a troubled mini-Eve. That brings me to my next awesome match -- Eve and Claire.
That heartbreaking scene on Monday between Olivia Rose Keegan and Kassie DePaiva was outstanding. Their talk about Claire's lack of self-confidence was beautiful and the exact example of where this storyline should have gone.
Claire could have been a solid cautionary tale for what happens when a young person bases their self-worth on likes and views from total strangers. Think that doesn't happen in real life? Think again. There are children committing suicide because of catfishing schemes and online bullying. For a brief, beautiful scene, this storyline moved from superficial into something truly real.
Eve spoke all kinds of truth when telling Claire how horribly Tripp was treating her and that she deserves something better. When Eve turned back and saw Claire in tears because she was all alone, I wanted to go through the TV and hold her myself. Maybe it's the mom in me, but my heart broke for kids who have to grow up in the digital age now. I'm so glad Eve came back and held a sobbing Claire. Oh, Mama Kas! Hold me, too! Sob!
The third awesome match on my list is Victor and Maggie. I'm putting this down as a warning because if DAYS is even toying with the idea of breaking up Magic, I want to go on record that I'm against it!
The next good match is Gabi and Wilson. This is a two-for deal because we got the tender scenes with Gabi and Will along with the snarky scenes with Gabi and Sonny. I adore Gabi being there for Will, questioning him on whether or not he is eating enough. And then there's Sonny, who is possibly the only one who can thread that needle between calling Gabi out and supporting her. She'll need a sounding board if she goes through with Brady's plan regarding Stefan. This sets Sonny up nicely. I'll welcome this trio anytime.
Speaking of Stefan, he and Brandon Barash are a definite match. Tyler Christopher did a superb job with -- quite frankly -- a horrible storyline that sabotaged this character. But Brandon is a fresh new start with a fresh new storyline. Shirtless Stefan brings breakfast and roses. The takeaway here is NuStefan wears pants when greeting women! Better!
This week, we saw Nadia Bjorlin and Brandon have awesome friend chemistry, too. At first, I really wanted Stefan and Chloe to be more than friends, but her serving as his confidante wouldn't be terrible. "The dude doth protest" line was adorable. She'd definitely be the angel on his shoulder.
That would leave Gabi as the devil, which I'm not so sure I hate either. I need to see more of Stefan/Gabi -- and preferably in something other than a scene consisting of:
"You like me, like me!"
"No, I don't! You've got cooties!"
We got it. Brandon and Camila Banus are capable of more. Let's get to it.
Speaking of getting to it, Ciara and Ben need a new scene. I adore this match. I'm 1000 percent convinced their chemistry started that cabin fire. But, lordy, they're starting to get repetitive. I almost wished Ben had been sent away so Ciara would tag along with him. I like her much more as the danger-loving, adventure-craving, hard-loving daughter of Bo Brady. Anything we can do to get Ciara Alice in that space is A-Okay with me.
But on the other side of Salem, some matches are very, very tough to watch.
Eve and Jack show up around Salem with the same unbearable annoyance of Mr. Greetinnnnnnngs the Birdwatcher from a few years ago. Where's Sami and a river when you need her?
That storyline isn't hurting for maddening pairs, as the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Dalton pairing is dancing on my last nerve too.
We've well established that Tripp sucks as a boyfriend, but telling Claire she can't come back to her own home earns him a Daniel Jonas level of irritation, circa Danicole. Sure, he'll possibly throw her some love kernels as long as she behaves and goes along with what he determines is right. Ugh, you know it's bad when I say listen to Eve, but listen to Eve, Claire!
As for Haley...um...I'm starting to wonder if she's kind of a huge, ginormous jerk. What's happening to her is awful, no doubt. (See previous statement about Eve and Jack.) But -- but -- this week, she told Tripp that no one has ever done anything nice for her. Excuse me, Hales? No, babe. No. J.J. took you in and offered to marry you. Claire gave you her man and her ring. Ciara kept quiet about your hideout. I'm pretty sure Justin represented you for free.
She seemed pretty with it when she gave Melinda the well-deserved stank face scolding. If J.J. hadn't offered to marry her, I think I'd feel different. But Haley picked Tripp for her own personal love-life reasons. Yet she's acting like she had no other options. Is this girl that void of self-awareness? Or is there something more here? I honestly don't know.
Hope reopened the case of the first Ciara fire because a crazy lady rocking and singing to a blanket proclaimed her innocence. That checks out.
Brady gave Gabi the scheme he tried to pull on Eve, since that worked out so well for him. Does Brady realize how long it will take for her to implement all three steps of this plan? He's got to realize that no other man -- even Stefan -- proposes to women with the frequency Brady does. Anyway, this is all so Brady can play the good guy, which could also be accomplished if Brady actually went back to being a good guy. Oh, well, a girl can dream.
Rafe flew to California and back in less than twenty-four hours to check out Jordan's claim of a baby -- which, sorry, Hope, was the absolutely right thing to do. Jordan kidnapped Charlotte a few weeks ago. Once she started talking about another child, Rafe had to take it seriously. But Rafe better do a DNA test on that baby before bringing him anywhere near Songbird McCookoo. Rafe, of all people, should know that birth certificates can be forged, since he forged baby Grace's.
More... could Ted be the father of Jordan's baby? Is Jordan possibly Ted's wife who was "killed" in a car accident? I'm keeping an eye out to see if that kid starts talking with an accent and shamelessly hitting on married women while also brilliantly putting the legal smackdown on Eve.
People are scrambling to see why Will fainted, since the obvious soap answer -- pregnancy -- doesn't apply here. I have low expectations for this curse storyline. That's probably a good thing.
Why isn't Melinda helping Haley now? She's out of the mayoral race. She's no longer the D.A. Melinda's still a lawyer, right?
Eve is a wretched mother, crap sister, and corrupt campaign manager. There's nothing to like about this putrid human. But Kassie DePaiva?! That woman is a godsend. Her performances are so on point that I'm actively rooting for Eve to get some sort of second act because I need to see what this thespian goddess will do next.
I'm really torn. I don't know which scene I want to see again less -- Brady vs. Eric or Hope vs Rafe. If you need me, I'll be making one of those paper chains to mark when Nicole comes back. She can settle this stupid bro score, give her old friend Rafe a reality check, and then meet me for drinks! #hurrybackNicole
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Victor: "He's Will. You know how overly dramatic he gets."
Maggie: "Was he overdramatic when he died?!"
Maggie putting Victor in his place is never not welcome.
Once again, Claire wears a dress I wish I could pull off. Alas, there are two decades telling me I can't.
How did Ben get a permit for a gun? Like, really, how?
Stefan signs a lot of things without reading them. That's got to come back and haunt him eventually.
Is Jack even a resident of Salem? He doesn't have a permanent address. I'm pretty sure he does still have a death certificate on file. Though the Salem records department has got to be pretty adapt in voiding those things.
I almost choked on my water when Brady scoffed at how fast Stefan moved Chloe and her kids into his house. Um, there's a cabin and a severely neglected hardware store in Canada that would like to have a word with you, Freddie...er...Brady.
Ben's new house is like a real-life photo hunt game. That place is full of fun random stuff!
I like how J.J. put the lighter in a plastic bag after he handpicked it out of Claire's jewelry box and carried it out of the loft. Way to preserve evidence there, big guy.
Monday's episode, led by Kassie and Olivia's blockbuster scenes, was a treat of a show! I chuckled when Sonny asked Gabi for some frankincense. I'm always up for some Cin romance. And when Jordan launched into the creepy lullaby? Chills. MonDAYS: You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll swoon. You'll probably sleep with the lights on. Good stuff!
Rex (to Will, who's surrounding by uninvited family): "How you doing?"
Will: "Well, I'm not lonely."
Ha! Will has jokes! Someone get this guy back at the Spectator so he can comment on this downer of an election storyline.
I'm going to save us all some time, Rafe. Just put "John" on that birth certificate. Nowadays, the answer is always John.
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