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Days of our Lives - Recaps

DAYS Recap – Dec 19 – Dec 23rd

Photo Credit: Adam Campbell

Photo Credit: Adam Campbell

Sami sees a close moment between Brady and Madison and realizes they made love. She calls her boss on this, and Madison warns her to stay out of her business. Sami won’t back down, saying it puts her in an uncomfortable position. Madison warns Sami if she’s so uncomfortable then maybe she should find another job. Later, Sami runs into Brady and puts him on the spot as well, saying it’s awkward for her and that she really likes her job and is doing well. Brady pretty much offers the same sentiment as Madison, stating that maybe she should find another job. Kate overhears Brady and Sami’s conversation and approaches Sami, asking if she’s having a bad day. Sami tries to ignore her, but Kate wants to help. Sami scoffs but Kate admits she’s been watching Sami and thinks she has talent … talent that wouldn’t be wasted at Countess Wilhelmina. Kate leaves Sami with food for thought. At the same time, Madison receives a mysterious call and she tries to keep the caller at bay… Later, she finds Brady and they laugh about Sami’s concern. Brady can see his stepsister’s point, but doesn’t think things will get messy between him and Madison, especially now that they’ve opened up to each other. There are no more secrets. Madison smiles, but doesn’t mention her earlier call.

EJ breaks up a fight between Kate and Nicole and tries to get the women to come to a truce. Both reluctantly agree and Kate leaves. Later, Nicole asks EJ about John, and he reveals John turned down his and Stefano’s offer to buy Basic Black. Curious Nicole asks if EJ or Stefano had anything to do with John’s misfortune. EJ simply says there are certain things he cannot tell her. Nicole understands this is part of being involved with a DiMera; however, when it comes to “them” she wants nothing but truth and honesty. So if there is anything he needs to tell her, tell her now. EJ, covering that he had sex with Sami, promises there are no secrets. Still upset about Stefano and EJ’s visit, John tells Marlena he wants to dissolve Basic Black and pay back the people who lost their life savings. Rafe and Carrie arrive. Carrie tells John he can’t dissolve the company because all of his assets are still frozen. Rafe and Carrie inform John and Marlena about the altered security photo. Later, after John is taken back to his cell, Carrie and Rafe bring up the i.o.u. that Stefano gave Alice Horton. Marlena is stunned to hear about this and they wonder if they could use it to make Stefano exonerate John. Marlena says John would never go for it and even if he did, she worries Stefano would hold that over their heads… Rafe notes it’s a long shot, but it could ensure John’s freedom.

Bo, Hope, Carrie and Rafe approach Marlena to get permission to approach Stefano with the “courtesy card” he gave Alice in exchange for helping EJ all those years ago. They want to use it to force Stefano to pull whatever strings necessary to clear John. Marlena knows how John will feel about getting help from Stefano, and is torn. Finally, she gives her assent and Bo and Hope leave, anxious to get an answer from Stefano.  It’s pure cat-and-mouse at first. Stefano toys with them about the card’s meaning, and his ability to help John. Hope stares daggers at him, challenging him: she knows he made a promise. Now is the time to make good on it. Stefano seems affected by her words… and then speaks cryptically, saying he may not be able to “access the information” needed to fulfill her request. She presses him to explain what that means but he withdraws. Bo and Hope are left to ponder what he truly meant. Daniel meets up with Maggie and Melanie, and he grows closer to his biological mother. In private, he worries about his shaky hands and struggles to hide his condition. He leaves the women to their shopping and goes to Lexie, who’s happy to tell him he does not have myasthenia gravis (though he does have the DNA markers for it). Curiously, that doesn’t mollify Daniel, who thought that at the very least having it would explain the problem he’s been having. He takes himself out of the surgical rotation until some answers can be found. Lexie knows just how much of Daniel’s identity is wrapped up in being a surgeon and promises to do all she can to help. Maggie is determined to find the perfect Christmas present for her newfound son. She finds a pair of medical-themed cufflinks. Later, when she presents them to him, he has to cover his worry and thanks her for a terrific gift. As he examines them, however, he privately deals with the possibility of never performing surgery again.

Bo and Hope report back to Marlena, Carrie and Rafe about their meeting with Stefano. Although he claimed he could not help them exonerate John, he left them with a cryptic hint. Everyone wracks their brains trying to figure out what Stefano’s mysterious words meant, positive that it will lead them to proving John innocent. After much debate, they finally realize Stefano was trying to hint that John couldn’t have committed fraud because he didn’t always have internet access to make the transactions. Galvanized, the group decides to look into internet outages in the area and match them up with the record of illegal transactions. Marlena can barely let herself believe that John may finally be proven innocent. Kate drops by the loft to visit Sami, who has been stressing out over bills/money woes, thanks to Rafe not having a job. Kate tells Sami she wants to change her life – she’s offering her a job at Countess Wilhelmina at double what she is making at Mad World. Sami is stunned – and immediately suspicious. Sami grills Kate about her intentions but Kate swears she has no hidden agenda. She simply believes Sami is a smart executive and she wants her working for her company and not the competition. Kate makes a strong argument for Sami to switch over, but she is still somewhat dubious. Kate tells her to think about her offer – but don’t take too long. Brady is impressed with Madison’s business acumen. Madison offhandedly says she owes a lot of her success to the words of someone quite wise. Brady asks who she is talking about. Realizing her slip, Madison claims it was just an old colleague and quickly redirects the conversation to focus on Brady. She gets Brady to admit his big dream as a kid was to become an astronaut and he opens up a bit about his mother. They go back to the mansion, where Brady shows Madison the stars through a telescope. Madison opens up about how as a kid, she often wished her father would come back. She and Brady bond about the absent fathers in their childhood. Then they head out for a romantic stroll under the stars. Going off Stefano’s clue, Bo, Hope and Rafe investigate internet outages that occurred at the same time John was supposedly making embezzlement transactions. At first they don’t come up with any leads and worry maybe Stefano was leading them astray. Hope warns Bo not to be upset by Stefano needling him about her past with John. Bo assures he knew exactly what Stefano was trying to do, but he doesn’t care because he and Hope are stronger than ever. Rafe gets word from an Interpol connection that the French government secretly shutdown the internet to prevent a terrorist attack … at the same time John allegedly made many illegal online transactions in Paris. They finally have proof someone framed John!

Abigail uses Melanie as a sounding board for what to do about Chad and the other guy she has a crush on. She feels terrible for even having a crush on this other guy, given how good Chad has been to her. Melanie stuffs her own feelings for Chad and says if it’s not going to work out with the other guy, she should stay with Chad. Chad runs into Austin and Carrie. Chad notes how happy they are together and Austin tells him if he finds someone who makes him happy, hold on to her. Chad realizes that person is Melanie. When he brings up their kiss and the things they said while being held captive, Melanie “nonchalantly” dismisses it as something that happened out of the fear and emotion of the captivity. They deny their feelings for each other, and instead agree to forget what happened, because it didn’t mean anything. They go their separate ways.  Abigail tries to avoid Austin because she’s recommitted to Chad. But he’s so charming to her; she can’t help falling for him again – until Carrie shows up. Abigail sees the depth of their love and again feels like she’s wasting her time caring about Austin because he’s so committed to Carrie. Meanwhile, Rafe confides in Carrie that he doesn’t understand why Sami pushed so hard to do the vow renewal now. Carrie reassures him. Rafe appreciates her support, and promises he will be there for her, should Austin ever give her a hard time. Maggie and Victor learn Daniel has taken himself off the surgical rotation because his hands are shaking. It’s not myasthenia gravis, but he won’t be sure what it is until tests are done. Daniel minimizes, but Maggie and Victor sense he’s having a tough time. Maggie reaches out to her son and comforts him.

It’s Christmas Eve in Salem. At the police station, Carrie and Rafe anxiously await word from the judge, who has been presented with evidence proving John is innocent. They are hoping to provide John and Marlena with a Christmas miracle by getting him released in time for the holidays. Carrie and Rafe share a close moment and then she receives a call from the judge. Later, John arrives at the square, where he surprises an overwhelmed Marlena. He’s a free man! They share a tearful reunion, and family and friends congratulate John. EJ burns when he learns John has been cleared of all charges. Will brings Marlena to the square as his date to Sami and Rafe’s vow renewal. Marlena and Will have a serious talk about his breakup – he is quite tormented by feelings he doesn’t understand. EJ overhears part of this and is intrigued. When Sami learns Will has brought Marlena, she asks her to leave. Will gets his mother to back down and allow Marlena to stay. Later, Will swells with anger as he sees Sami and EJ interact. He and Sami have a heated confrontation, and he nearly reveals he knows about her affair. Rafe arrives and brokers peace. Rafe and Sami renew their vows, and she is very emotional over her guilt.  At the town square, Santa Doug reads the Christmas story to the kids. Hope is touched by the gifts Bo gives her for her birthday and their wedding anniversary. Jack and Jennifer continue to bond, but when he goes in for a kiss under the mistletoe, she tells him she’s still hurting over Daniel. He apologizes and she’s grateful for his understanding. Victor, Maggie and Melanie enjoy their first Christmas as a family but worry about absent, heartbroken Daniel.

Abigail hopes Melanie finds someone to love. Melanie feels guilty since she’s in love with her best friend’s boyfriend. Abigail later runs into Austin and struggles to fight her attraction. When EJ and Nicole arrive at the festivities, Lexie worries her brother will once again horn in on Abe’s evening. EJ swears he has no such intention. He urges Lexie to drop by the house to see Stefano. Though she initially declines, she ultimately brings her family by the mansion – after all, it’s Christmas.

 

 

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Cady McClain Ends Her Great Run as Jennifer; But Not Before A ‘Wink-Wink’ Nudge-Nudge’ to AMC’s Dixie ‘Poison Pancake’ Debacle

Wednesday’s episode featured another solid performance by two-time Daytime Emmy-winner, Cady McClain as Jennifer Horton Devereux as it was the day of her mother, Laura’s (Jaime Lyn Bauer) funeral.

Last week, longtime viewers were saddened that the character of Dr. Laura Horton was killed-off.  The question remains did she fall accidentally and hit her head in a struggle with Gwen (Emily O’Brien), or did Gwen intentionally kill Laura?

Yesterday was also the final episode of McClain in the role of Jennifer – as far as we know for now.   In story, following Laura’s funeral, Jennifer was heading to Boston to be with her brother Mike, to settle their mother’s estate and go through her belongings, etc.

Cady had taken over the role of Jennifer from Melissa Reeves, who chose to stay in Nashville during the Covid-19 pandemic.  As part of her departure, head writer, Ron Carlivati and the writing team, delivered a little wink-wink nudge-nudge to soap viewers and those of McClain’s time as Dixie Cooney Martin on All My Children.

In one of the most controversial soap death scenes of all-time, and one that was not kind to McClain, Dixie was killed-off the ABC daytime drama series after eating poison peanut butter pancakes. Fast-forward to 2021, and in an attempt to make DAYS Jennifer feel better, Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) whips up some banana pancakes with extra peanut butter!  When Jennifer declines them, Julie says she thought she liked them, to which Jennifer replied, “I used to.  But I had a bad experience with them once.  Now I can’t even look at them.”  Julie questions, “Bad experience?”  Then Jennifer says, “I’d rather not talk about it.”

In our books, McClain got the last laugh here getting to do a nod to the audience, who has followed her soap career for decades including the the 2007 killing of Dixie … by pancakes.

Previously, Cady shared in a 2020 interview with EW.com about the subject: “It was a dig at me by one of the writers that very much wanted to put me in my place. I had stepped out of line and they wanted to put me back in line, and I was going to eat those pancakes and I was going to learn my lesson, and I certainly did.”

So, what did you think of the mention of the ‘pancakes”? Will you miss Cady as Jennifer? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Emily O’Brien Delivers The ‘Power Performance of the Week’

She has been a polarizing character since her arrival in Salem, with some fans screaming Gwen is sucking up too much airtime.  HOWEVER, the performances by Emily O’Brien (Gwen) show an actress on top of her craft who can play, as Gwen called herself, “A miserable, vindictive bitch”, or a young woman so deeply-emotionally wounded that you might just come around and eventually feel some empathy for her.

Last week, while the soaps were pre-empted for most of the week due to the senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, DAYS posted all of its weekly episodes online on NBC.com, the NBC app, or on the Peacock streaming platform, and O’Brien’s work was a standout.

Photo: JPI

It all came to a boiling point when Laura (Jaime Lyn Bauer) and Gwen have the long-awaited confrontation in Gwen’s room at the Salem Inn, where O’Brien goes from Gwen baiting Laura to tell her dirty secret of her long-ago affair with Jack (Matthew Ashford), to her utter anger at how because of it, Laura trashed Gwen’s entire life.

 

Laura reveals the guilt she felt for sleeping with Jack, so much so, that she would do anything to save Jennifer (Cady McClain) and Jack’s marriage.  In delight at getting to the root of the truth, Gwen responds: “You slept with Jack? That is just perfect! My father slept with his mother-in-law!”

Then, Laura shares how it happened.  They were both at the “Meadows” finding their ‘truest selves’ and they were both using other names – she, Monica and he, Clark, and Laura had never seen a photo of Jack before to know it was him!  Gwen wants to burst out in hysterical laughter, but then she becomes filled with rage knowing that if Laura hadn’t bought off her birth mother, Tiffany, her own life would have been very different.  She goes on to say that she and Abigail (Marci Miller) might even be close as sisters, but instead of “borrowing her clothes, she borrowed her husband” alluding to sleeping with Chad (Billy Flynn).  Next, Gwen wants to make Laura pay and lets Laura know that, “All the damage that you did, can’t be undone.” When Laura tries to leave, Gwen stops her and says in no uncertain terms, “I want revenge, because you ruined my life and you’re not going to get away with it!”

Photo: JPI

Next, we see that there had been a struggle with Laura dead on the floor bleeding out of her head.  A freaked-out Gwen does not know what to do.  She realizes she will be accused of murder.  With no one in town to call, she decides to call her father, Jack.  When he shows up at the Salem Inn, Jack is shocked, and grief-stricken to see his mother-in-law, dead.  Gwen swears to Jack this was an accident and that she did not kill Laura, and that he has to believe her.  Jack decides he will stand by his daughter.  Gwen wants to get rid of the body, Jack says he can’t be involved in a cover-up, so he calls Rafe (Galen Gering).  When Rafe arrives at the crime scene he is very suspicious of Gwen, and takes her down to the station.

Scene after scene, O’Brien layered her performances with venomous and ominous undertones, illustrating a woman with so much emotional baggage who becomes desperate to save herself.  For all these reasons, Michael Fairman TV names Emily’s work, The Power Performance of the Week.

What did you think of Emily O’Brien’s key scenes? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: What Do You Think of the Death of Laura Horton?

This week on Days of our Lives, the longstanding character of Dr. Laura Horton (Jaime Lyn Bauer), a once mighty force and mainstay of the NBC soap opera, was killed-off in an altercation with Gwen (Emily O’Brien). The question is, did Gwen murder Dr. Laura, or did she fall and hit her head by accident?

Laura was played originally by Floy Dean, then made soap-famous by Susan Flannery. Later Susan Oliver took over the role, then Rosemary Forsyth, and on and off for years by Jaime Lyn Bauer.  In the 60’s and 70’s, Laura was involved in the love triangle between brothers Bill and Mickey Horton, which spawned much of DAYS central story.

Courtesy/NBC

Now in 2021, Gwen has a confrontation with Laura in her room at the Salem Inn.  There she learns that Laura at one time slept with her father, Jack (Matthew Ashford), after previously learning that Laura sent her real mother away when she was pregnant with her.  Laura had revealed to Gwen the reason she did that was to ease her guilt as she did not want anything standing in the way of her daughter, Jennifer’s (Cady McClain) happiness with Jack.  As Gwen sees it, this set the stage for Gwen’s entire childhood and life, and made the young woman hell-bent on revenge against her sister, Abigail (Marci Miller) and the Deveraux family.

 

In story, after Laura is dead, Gwen phones Jack to help her as she swears to her dad that she did not murder Laura and it was all an accident.  Jack says she will help his daughter and phones Rafe (Galen Gering).  When Rafe gets to the Salem Inn, he sees a bleeding out and dead Laura and takes Gwen in for questioning.  Later, Jack tells Jennifer and Abigail that Laura is dead.

Photo: NBC

Throughout the key scenes, Emily O’Brien delivered one of her strongest set of performances yet on DAYS.

So, what did you think of the decision to kill Dr. Laura Horton? Share your thoughts on the comment section below.

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Power Performance

Emily O’Brien as Gwen

Days of our Lives

Airdates: 2-9/10-2021

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