Days of Our Lives Fans Defend Ciara, Marlena and Other Strong Salem Women — Plus, If Sami Didn’t Kill Charlie, Who Did?

March 1-5, 2021

soapbox march 5 collage ciara marlena sami

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (3)

Apparently, nobody bothered to tell the folks at Days of Our Lives that February sweeps is over. The show charged into March juggling several major stories involving pretty much every character on the canvas. Sure, some worked better than others, but unlike some soaps which insist on telling one story at a time — did someone just cue up the Bold & Beautiful theme? — Days had enough going on that even the most jaded of viewers could find something to keep them from switching channels. 

By the Books

So far, the “Who killed Charlie?” story is playing out pretty much how you’d expect a classic soap mystery to. “Innocent” may be the last word anyone would use to describe Sami, but she’s almost certainly not guilty of shooting Charlie. I was surprised that we didn’t spend more time this week casting suspicion on other potential shooters, but we did get the amazing scenes between Belle and Sami.

Sami rants at Belle at Marlena's Days of our Lives

“Geez, just because I tried to sell you on the black market and shot my true love in the head doesn’t make me some kinda crazed killer!”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

There is so much history between the sisters that whenever you put portrayers Alison Sweeney and Martha Madison in a scene, it’s bound to prove riveting. Of course, Belle had every reason not to want to serve as Sami’s lawyer… and of course, we all knew she’d wind up doing so, anyway. Sami promised that she’d told her attorney/sibling everything and that there’d be “no surprises,” so naturally, two seconds later, Rafe entered to reveal that his ex-wife’s fingerprints were on the gun.

More: What the heck’s going on with Sami?

At the moment, it looks as if the answer to this mystery might be locked in the oh-so-troubled head of John, who keeps remembering the sound of a gunshot.

Who (I Think) Really Killed Charlie

The best part of a soap murder mystery is hearing everyone’s theories as to who killed the much-hated victim. So I’m going to share my theory… then I want you to do the same in the comment section below. I honestly look forward to not only reading what you guys think but seeing how our collective opinions change as the story moves forward. In any case, here’s my theory…

Sami didn’t shoot Charlie, obviously, but she believes that Allie did. I’m betting that as things look grim for Sami, Allie will step forward and confess her own guilt… but only out of a mistaken belief that Sami really killed Charlie in order to avenge Allie’s rape.

With me so far?

More: Which of these people killed Charlie?

If that plot sounds familiar, you’re probably a fan of the greatest primetime soap in the history of ever, Knots Landing. If so, you’ll recall that Abby and daughter Olivia each believed the other guilty of killing local lothario Peter, who actually died after falling on a spindle (yes, a spindle) during an argument with yet another of his admirers.

KNOTS LANDING, Hunt Block, Nicollette Sheridan, 'Gifts', (Season 8, aired December 11, 1986), 1979-93, © Lorimar Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Peter might have been a lady killer, but it was Paige who wound up doing the Knots Landing hunk in.

Credit: Lorimar Film Entertainment/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Of course, I don’t think either Allie or Sami actually pulled the trigger. Rather, I suspect it will turn out to be someone we haven’t met (or think we haven’t): Charlie’s dad. Now exactly who Ava’s ex might prove to be, I haven’t quite figured out yet. Perhaps it’ll be someone we meet as this story unfolds, or perhaps we’ll find out it’s someone from the past we didn’t realize she’s connected to. Here’s a crazy thought: What if Ava and EJ DiMera hooked up somewhere along the line and he’s Charlie’s dad?

More: Check out our Knots Landing photopalooza

That’s my theory as of this week… we’ll see how it evolves!

Well, I Guess You Told Me!

A whole lot of you ripped into me after reading last week’s Soapbox column with regard to comments I made regarding the Ciara storyline. To refresh your memory, here’s the passage which got folks hot under the collar:

I’ve really enjoyed the way the show is writing and Victoria Konefal is playing Ciara during this whole “lady in a cage” storyline. We’ve all seen enough “woman in jeopardy” storylines on soaps to know that they often involve the heroine in question weeping or cowering in a corner. 

days victoria konefal ciara hostage JJ

“I don’t cower. I lounge.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Many of you worked on the assumption that I was referring to past Days of Our Lives stories (perhaps logical, given that this is a Days-centric column) and pointed to the many times women like Hope, Marlena and Kayla have been held hostage without ever playing to the “weeping or cowering in a corner” stereotype.

Where the women of Salem — including Ciara — are concerned, y’all could not be more on the money. No matter how many times Stefano kidnapped, threatened or otherwise harassed Marlena, she never cowered before him. Often, her defiance was downright thrilling, as in the standoff featured in the below clip.

I often talk about the fact that Days of Our Lives is, in many ways, a classic soap — sometimes to its detriment. But when it comes to heroines, Salem’s are head and shoulders above some of the women from other soap towns.


Dream a Little Dream

Speaking of Ciara’s story, this was a big week for “psychic connections.” Not only did Ben and Ciara share a dream, but he then underwent hypnosis during which they were able to have a conversation. I assume that next week, she’ll just say, “Ben, I’m at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, beneath the fake staircase. Beware of the dragon.”

I tried, I really tried, to go with the whole “They share a connection and are dreaming about each other” thing. But when you get to the point where they’re just basically talking on a Psychic Friends Hotline, I struggle. Evan went to all the trouble of having a fake newspaper printed up with what looked like a really, really long story about Ben’s supposed death, and Ciara was like, “Ha! I know it’s fake because I just had a mind meld with Ben, and he’s totally alive.”

More: Relive Ben and Ciara’s dreamy reunion

Fortunately, Evan has emerged as a strong villain, which this story definitely needed. I mean, when the dude said of his captive, “I can watch her cry, hear her scream and feel her suffer. And I’m going to enjoy every second of it,” I got chills.

Random Thoughts

• When Gabi went to see Gwen, did anybody else think, “Oh, crap, she’s double-crossing Abigail!” That’s how well written and played those scenes were. Gabi and Abigail later pushing the body-hiding laundry cart through the middle of Horton Square was ridiculous. But it went from eye-rolling to humorous the moment Bonnie discovered them and started asking questions.

More: How to fix the Gwen problem? Just add Marlena

Paulina arrives at Lani's Days of our Lives

“Sorry I’m late, I was at the wrong apartment. Have you met that nice Mary lady in 227?”

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

• Man, Jackée Harry is a breath of fresh air. I was a little worried this might feel like stunt casting, but the moment Paulina walked through the door, I was sold. We didn’t really get much detail about the character other than that she’s rich and a hugger, but her presence was so incredibly inviting (and just a tad mischievous) that I can’t wait to see what the show does with her.

• I still don’t get exactly what Kristen expects to accomplish with the Susan swap. If this were an old-school The Edge of Night storyline, I’d expect Kristen to kill Chloe and frame Susan for the crime. But it seems unlikely the soap is going to write off Nadia Bjorlin (and thank goodness for that).

Video: YouTube/NBC


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