Days of Our Lives Killed Laura and Kidnapped Two Babies Because… Well, Heck If We Know — Plus, the Education of Ben Weston
There was a lot to be thankful where Days of Our Lives was concerned this week… including the fact that it actually aired, unlike the three other soaps. It being February sweeps, there was an awful lot happening in Salem, too, including a wedding, a romantic reunion of sorts, a death and more. For my take on what worked, what didn’t and what left me baffled, read on!
It’s Just a Fantasy
The Ben and Ciara story continued to rely very heavily on the pair sharing a mystical connection. As I said last week, how you feel about this story will depend very much on what type of soap viewer you are. I loved the whole Romeo and Juliet thing from a visual standpoint. I also really dug the idea that it puts the couple on screen romantically even as we slowly build toward their seemingly inevitable reunion. And one thing you can always count on is that Robert Scott Wilson and Victoria Konefal will deliver fantastic performances and leave the audience swooning.
That said, the fact that Ben and Ciara had the dream at the same time was a little too much for me, personally. I also found Ben’s attempts to explain the dream’s significance to Claire kinda hysterical. Essentially, it went something like this:
BEN: Ciara’s alive!
CLAIRE: What makes you say that?
BEN: I now can say things like “thou art” and “thine self,” and I totally couldn’t before.
CLAIRE: Maybe you read the book or saw the movie?
BEN: Girl, I don’t read!
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I know, I know, I’m a cold-hearted cynic. And to be fair, my partner-in-soap-watching Charlie loved the scenes. I guess he’s much more of a romantic than I will ever be. And before #Cin fans start sending me their hate tweets, it’s OK that this isn’t really my kinda story. Not everybody has to love everything. I am 100 percent certain that there are stories and couples I like that nobody else does. It’s called opinions, and like… er, noses, everyone’s got ’em.
The Fourth Time’s the Charm
I know some people thought Steve and Kayla deserved a splashier wedding, but I thought the impromptu nuptials were really quite charming. All these years later, Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans have still got “it,” so their from-the-heart vows felt genuine, and the whole thing came off as a lovely treat for fans.
I’ll admit, I was annoyed that John and Marlena weren’t in attendance. (Note to self: Never eat Claire’s chicken and wild rice casserole.) But hey, you might be a soap character if you know not one but two people — in this case, Marlena and Abe — who can officiate your wedding at the drop of a hat.
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Death Be Not Proud
Until it went majorly south (more on that in a moment), the Laura/Gwen confrontation was a blast. As the Brit heard details about the affair Clark and Monica (aka Jack and Laura) had at The Meadows all those years ago, she asked all the questions a modern soap viewer would. “How is that even possible?” she marveled. “You never even saw a photograph [of your son-in-law]?”
But like many other longtime fans, I can’t for the life of me figure out why Days of Our Lives decided to kill a legacy character like Laura. So far, it doesn’t seem as if it was done to advance any particular plot point, which seems like the very least you’d want if you’re going to off a legacy character. We now know that Cady McClain’s Jennifer will exit the canvas in a few weeks, and perhaps this was done as a way to facilitate that, but surely Laura and her daughter could have left together if that were the case.
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To be fair, no soap currently airing has as many legacy characters on the canvas as Days of Our Lives or uses them as well. Doug and Julie may not appear as often as they once did, but they’re regular players, while Victor and Maggie routinely drive story. But I’m a big believer that if you’re going to kill a major character — let alone one who’s been around as long as Laura — there’d better be both a good reason and a compelling story behind it. Falling during an argument with the new villainess on the block doesn’t really suffice in my book.
• When Kristen summoned Susan to the jail, I assumed we were in for a switch. What I didn’t expect was that Kristen would calmly and logically play on Susan’s concern for Brady, John and Marlena to convince her that trading places was the only way to keep them safe.
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• I don’t understand what the point of the babynapping story was. Sure, it gave newlyweds Eli and Lani something to do, but like with Laura’s death, the whole thing seemed to serve no overall purpose. Was it simply designed as a way to bring Vivian back to the canvas? I get that not all stories are going to stretch out over months and have lots of big twists, but this one feels like a case of someone saying, “Hey, we need something for Eli and Lani to do.”
• Both Nicole and Ava threatened to kill Charlie this week, so it’s probably not too big a stretch to assume that he’ll be the victim of the murder mystery headwriter Ron Carlivati said would be part of February sweeps. It feels like ages since a soap has done a good, old-fashioned whodunit, so I’m really looking forward to this one.
That’s my take on this week’s episodes, so now let’s hear yours. Hit the comment section with your thoughts on this week’s highs and lows, then check out this photo gallery in which we revisit Ben and Ciara’s shared Romeo and Juliet fantasy.