Xander and Sarah’s Wedding Gets Derailed *Again* Just as a Slew of Baddies Descend on Salem… Again
This week feels like the perfect example of the law of diminishing returns with yet another thwarted wedding, plus a prison break in everything but the name. And while there’s been plenty of talk about love, it feels like forever since we’ve actually seen it!
Do governors usually broadcast pardons as publicly as they can? It seems that most of the time, they’re quiet affairs so they can try to avoid the blowback. Being blackmailed into pardoning five notorious criminals isn’t something you’d want to make sure everyone was aware of as you did it, is it? Actually, all that pardon stuff was just too deus ex machina for me. It’s essentially just another take on a prison break story.
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI
Most of the recipients are kind of ridiculous, but I wasn’t too upset about Kristen getting out. She was just locked up, but DiMeras always get out of these messes anyway. Same with Rolf, he just comes back over and over again. I am a bit curious as to what she wants with him. I do have one idea… but for now I’m going to keep it to myself. The other two — whatever. Do your villain thing, get thrown back into prison and/or killed.
I will, however, grudgingly admit, that whole rogues’ gallery scene with them walking out was kind of cool.
More: Brush up on Alex Kiriakis before he returns
But I’m here thinking of all the ways that Gwen can get out of her own mess, then Orpheus (unwittingly) drops a pardon bomb on everyone. As Kristen said, “This must be how Oprah feels. You get a pardon, you get a pardon. Everybody gets a pardon!” Amusing, but frustrating. I guess that’s why we haven’t seen much of Gwen’s actual legal troubles. It wasn’t necessary since she was just getting her charges tossed out the window.
But her getting out just as Sarah and Xander’s wedding fell apart was, I guess, too much of an opportunity to pass up. Leo may be a creep, but it didn’t look like he was wrong in pointing out that Xander can’t just turn his feelings off for Gwen.
Where’s the Love?
Since we’re on the topic, I feel like the show just spent months squandering the “Xarah” reunion. We should have been excited about their wedding. It should have been this big event that we built up to. They’ve been separated for so long and their love has been thwarted for so long. This should have been even grander and more romantic than Xander and Gwen’s! Instead, after hardly seeing them since Sarah’s return, they decided to get married within hours of discussing it and just had a tiny ceremony with Maggie.
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI
Now maybe, since the plan had always been to have Sarah brought in at the ceremony, they didn’t want to do what would essentially be a repeat of Gwen and Xander’s wedding with a big ceremony stopped at the last minute. And maybe they’re planning to make it an actual grand event down the line. But I’m just not sure.
Lately, the show’s had a serious problem showing couples together and in love. At least with “Xarah,” we believed they were in love because of what came before. Others, though…
We got back to Ava and Jake this week and saw them living in all-but domestic bliss. And all I can say is, wait, what? When did they get so cozy? (Also, don’t get too comfy, we’re pretty sure Jake isn’t long for this world…) I know I was on vacation for a week, but I couldn’t have missed that much. Jake then talked about Gabi and Li’s lovefest which, well, we haven’t really seen much either. Those who watched Beyond Salem did get a bit of it, and back when Abigail died, we got a sweet scene between the two, but otherwise, they’ve mostly been offscreen building their relationship.
It’s the same problem I had with Sami and Lucas last week. They aren’t showing these relationships develop so we’ve got no investment in them. With Sami, at least we knew it was because of Alison Sweeney’s availability, but with all the other couples, it just feels lazy.
But Who Really Did It?
The way EJ handled learning about Chad’s role in framing him was… chilling. He remained so calm as he tortured his brother with the idea that he might have been responsible for his own wife’s death. Just an offhanded little remark to gut him enough that he’d have no fight in him when EJ came for his stakes in DiMera. It was so far beyond cruel, it even hurt me, but it was also masterful. EJ really is his father’s son.
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI
But it’s clear now that Lucas didn’t kill Abigail, so maybe Chad will regain a bit of his spine with EJ. And since Sarah’s been called in as the prime suspect before we’ve gotten to the truth of the matter, I doubt it’s her. It has to be someone completely out of left field at this point, unless it really was Gwen or Leo. I just can’t see that, though.
But I can see Leo being taken out by a ticked off Clyde. And a side note while we’re on the topic, please stop swooning over a man you now know is a criminal, Nancy! You can do better!
Talk It Out
I loved that Belle and Shawn finally talked about things like adults and both admitted fault. But we can’t have things go too well, or you’ll end up with a lackluster story like Chloe and Brady have. I guess that’s why they needed another wrench thrown into things with Evan showing up on their doorstep. But there’s been so little consistency with him, he just feels more like a plot point. He’s gone from breaking out of prison to knowingly work with Satan to wanting to be a responsible, doting dad. It’s just weird.
I’m kind of hoping/expecting Belle and Shawn to end up raising Evan and Jan’s kid anyway. They could give the tot a chance at a better life or something like that, all while wondering if he’s going to end up troubled down the line like his parents. This I can enjoy more than that Jan nonsense — though I won’t count on her not coming back before the baby drama is resolved.
• Maybe, Rafe, if you don’t want Chad storming down to the station every time there’s a new development, you shouldn’t call him with every possible lead you have. Just a thought.
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI
• How many times have we been here with Allie, Johnny and Chanel? “You have to choose!” “But I can’t!” “But you must!” “OK, but not right now!” “Oh, OK, that’s fine, then. Besties forever?” I didn’t hate seeing Allie punch her brother, though. Sorry, Johnny, but you’ve both been such brats, that was just a tad satisfying.
• Abe as governor? Sure, if anyone deserves the role, it’s him, but where would this story go?
• “We should be celebrating with champagne and cake… and lots and lots of newlywed sex.” There’s our Xander!
• Does Rolf just have a key to the DiMera mansion, or do they not lock their door? People do seem to have a habit of just wandering in while the DiMeras hang out in the living room.
Take a look at our gallery of photo shoot hijinks and outtakes of actors from all your favorite soaps!
<p>Michael Graziadei’s 007 was a perfect 10 at the bicentennial shindig that <em>Young & Restless</em> threw on screen for the 50th anniversary of its debut.</p>
<p>As you can see, former <em>Young & Restless</em> “marrieds” Emily O’Brien (ex-Jana) and Greg Rikaart (Kevin) had no fun whatsoever after being re-teamed by <em>Days of Our Lives</em> as Gwen and Leo.</p>
<p>Onetime <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> sisters Alley Mills (Pam) and Susan Flannery (ex-Stephanie) couldn’t have been closer. Literally.</p>
<p>No joke! In 1992, <em>Loving</em> introduced a whole gaggle of future stars: Paul Anthony Stewart (Casey), who’d go on to play made man Danny on <em>Guiding Light</em>, Laura <span style="text-decoration: line-through">Sisk</span> Wright (Ally), who’d become the fourth Carly on <em>General Hospital</em>, Rebecca Gayheart (Hannah), bound for <em>Beverly Hills 90210</em>, Michael Weatherly (Cooper), now a primetime mainstay, Eden Atwood (Staige), who became a successful jazz singer, and Roger Howarth, who as of this writing is on his third <em>General Hospital</em> role.</p>
<p>If anyone deserves to have his cake and eat it, too, it’s <em>Young & Restless</em> legend Eric Braeden (Victor).</p>
<p>At the 2021 wedding of <em>Young & Restless</em>’ “Ashtoria,” the attire was formal; the atmosphere, hilarious. Just ask Jason Thompson (Billy) and Christel Khalil (Lily).</p>
<p>No one was going to rain on Camila Banus and Brandon Barash’s parade when the <em>Days of Our Lives</em> co-stars got together in 2020 to pose for Gabi/Jake promo shots. And even if if someone tried, they were prepared!</p>
<p>We have a feeling that picture No. 2 was the keeper from this 2010 portrait session with <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> heartthrob Don Diamont (Bill). But the other one is awfully cute, too.</p>
<p>So Vanessa Marcil and Maurice Benard could afford a lot of it when <em>General Hospital</em> photographed them in 2010 to herald the reunion of Brenda and Sonny.</p>
<p>Dang, we only wish we’d been at the 2017 Picture Day that so cracked up Amelia Heinle (Victoria, <em>The Young and the Restless</em>). </p>
<p>Anyone else think that seconds before these images were snapped, <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ Arianne Zucker (Nicole) had asked Eric Martsolf (Brady) for a lift? Just us? OK.</p>
<p>… to <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> MVP Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy) for even <em>thinking</em> that she could hide her light — no matter how far down over her head she pulled her cap.</p>
<p>As these 2017 images of <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ Billy Flynn (Chad) suggest, the trickiest part about playing enigmatic on camera is how does <em>anyone</em> keep a straight face?</p>
<p>The romance of doomed <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> lovers Deacon and Macy brought out the punk rockers in portrayers Sean Kanan and Bobbie Eakes in 2003.</p>
<p>’Cause back in 2002, <em>Days of Our Lives</em> supercouple Jason Cook (ex-Shawn) and Kirsten Storms (ex-Belle) were adorably gouda to go!</p>
<p>Pictured: just one of the reasons <em>Young & Restless</em>‘ Kristoff St. John (Neil) is so missed by castmates like Bryton James (Devon). St. John brought joy to every room that he entered.</p>
<p>Sadly, the 2010 marriage of <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> sweethearts Whip and Taylor lasted less time than it took to snap this playful pic of Rick Hearst and Hunter Tylo.</p>
<p>Before returning to <em>General Hospital</em> as Robert, Tristan Rogers had a few laughs as the conniving Colin on <em>The Young and the Restless.</em></p>
<p><em>The Young and the Restless</em>’ Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) and Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael) struck not just a pose but a <em>yoga</em> pose at their 2013 session.</p>
<p>At a 2000 shoot, <em>Days of Our Lives</em>‘ Peter Reckell (ex-Bo) and Kristian Alfonso (ex-Hope) demonstrated our reaction to the idea of them ever taking a bad photo.</p>
<p>At a 2012 shoot for <em>The Young and the Restless</em>, Christel Khalil took the roundabout route to the picture-perfect portrait of herself as Lily.</p>
<p>Long before <em>General Hospital</em> tapped her to play Lulu, Emme Rylan was an old pro at being photographed from her stints as Abby on <em>Young & Restless</em> and here, Lizzie on <em>Guiding Light</em> (back in 2008).</p>
<p>Ooh! They almost had it. But in the end, taking intense shots as <em>Young & Restless</em>’ Mason and Summer in 2013 cracked up Lamon Archey (now Eli, <em>Days of Our Lives</em>) and Hunter King.</p>
<p>We said <em>drama</em>, not <em>comedy</em>. But there was no containing the tomfoolery that was on tap when <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ Freddie Smith (ex-Sonny), Chandler Massey (Will) and Christopher Sean (ex-Sean) got together to memorialize their on-screen love triangle in photos.</p>
<p>Eat your heart out, Victor Newman! <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em> leading man Jack Wagner (ex-Nick) tried out a new look during a 2006 shoot with Lesli Kay (ex-Felicia). We kinda like it, actually.</p>
<p>If a picture says a thousand words, these two say over and over again that <em>Days of Our Lives</em>‘ Arianne Zuker (Nicole) and James Scott (ex-EJ) had a blast posing together in 2008.</p>
<p>No way, no how could <em>General Hospital</em> have decided that Finn was Chase’s father, not his brother — not when portrayers Michael Easton and Josh Swickard are so good at goofing around like siblings.</p>
<p>Being as lovey-dovey as <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ Galen Gering (Rafe) and Tamara Braun (Ava) had to be for the image on the left, you can imagine how they found themselves cracking up in the image on the right.</p>
<p><em>Young & Restless</em>’ Joshua Morrow wasn’t just game for his 2012 photo shoot as Nick, he was game for <em>anything</em> — karate, jazz hands… You name it!</p>
<p>In 2013, <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> castmates Lawrence Saint-Victor (Carter) and Texas Battle (ex-Marcus) spoke a little “sign language.”</p>
<p>As you can see, absolutely no fun whatsoever was had at the 2010 shoot at which the subjects were <em>Young & Restless</em>‘ Billy Miller (ex-Billy) and Amelia Heinle (Victoria).</p>
<p>No one can say that <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em> star Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy) doesn’t make a splash wherever she goes — including this 2011 shoot on location in Cabo.</p>
<p>In 2015, <em>Days of Our Lives</em>‘ Camila Banus (Gabi) and A Martinez (ex-Eduardo) were clearly gearing up to deliver performances that were, ahem, <em>knockouts</em>.</p>
<p>Hitting the photo studio in 2009, <em>General Hospital</em> scene stealer Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) raised more than the spirits of co-star Kirsten Storms (Maxie) — he swept her right off her feet!</p>
<p>From the looks of it, <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> leading man Darin Brooks (Wyatt) didn’t recall suggesting that Rachel Melvin put up even one duke during a 2006 <em>Days of Our Lives</em> shoot that focused on Chelsea and Max.</p>
<p>If only <em>Young & Restless</em>‘ Adam and Chelsea were able to resolve their differences with as much goofy good humor as Mark Grossman and Melissa Claire Egan brought to their 2020 shoot.</p>
<p>Real-life besties Kim Matula and Linsey Godfrey (Sarah, <em>Days of Our Lives</em>) couldn’t contain their glee at being paired for a photo op in 2013, when they were <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> castmates as Hope and Caroline.</p>
<p>Nevertheless, <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe) wasn’t about to let Alison Sweeney (Sami) or Arianne Zucker (Nicole) get a hand in edgewise once she got a hold on James Scott (ex-EJ).</p>
<p>The camaraderie doesn’t stop for <em>General Hospital</em> co-stars Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) and Carolyn Hennesy (Diane) when taping does.</p>
<p>Even venerable veterans like <em>Young & Restless</em> legends Eric Braeden (Victor) and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) have been known to crack up occasionally as they were getting down to business.</p>
<p>It’ll be a cold day in hell before <em>Bold & Beautiful</em> adversaries Sheila and Taylor get as close again as portrayers Kimberlin Brown and Krista Allen are here.</p>
<p>… just <em>Young & Restless</em> alum Adrienne Frantz (ex-Amber) putting the squeeze on onetime castmate Vail Bloom (ex-Heather) during a 2009 photo op.</p>
<p>At least we <em>think</em> that’s what <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ Casey Moss (ex-JJ) and Kevin Riggins (ex-Rory) were trying to do in this 2013 pic. That, or they were playing a game of cat’s cradle with invisible string.</p>
<p>If the question was, “Where’s the camera?” <em>General Hospital</em> castmates Sofia Mattsson (Sasha) and Chad Duell (Michael) <em>nailed</em> the answer.</p>
<p>Or maybe it’s “at long last <em>laughs</em>”? Either way, <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Drake Hogestyn (John) couldn’t resist injecting a little levity into a Monte Carlo shoot.</p>
<p>Photographed in Rome in 2010, the sky was the limit for then-<em>Bold & Beautiful</em> castmates Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy) and Brandon Beemer (ex-Owen), who is now Shawn on <em>Days of Our Lives.</em></p>
<p>Prior to becoming <em>Days of Our Lives</em>’ new Sonny, Zachary Tinker threw side-eye like nobody’s business as <em>Young & Restless</em>’ Fen opposite on-screen rival Michael Mealor (ex-Kyle).</p>
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