Since the leaked footage of Sami shooting EJ hit the internet like a shit storm, people have been speculating that anything and everything that’s happened since that fateful night in the no-security home of the DiMeras is just someone’s nightmare (I mean someone aside from just myself and about ninety-nine percent of Days’ viewers). Now that the show has finally hit infinitely ridiculous proportions not seen since the Salem Stalker fiasco with this whole Rafe/Efar disaster, the saccharine suppository Ken Corday decided to administer in the form of the EJ/Taylor love story, and Chloe’s leap off the pier (possibly in an attempt to escape the show), the speculation that this could all be a dream is our dream.
Remember how you felt when you discovered “Rosebud” was a sled? Or that Malcolm Crowe was a ghost? Remember gasping when that Raquel Welch poster was torn away to reveal the tunnel Andy Dufresne had spent almost twenty years digging with nothing more than a small rock hammer?
Pretty damn awestruck, huh? Heartstrings suitably tugged at, right?
I’ve always loved a good surprise ending. And I’ve never been one to not enjoy the surprise more than once. It’s why I’ve watched Mildred Pierce more than a dozen times. It’s why I can recite every line from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.
I’m not usually into the whole “…and then he woke up” thing. I hated when Roseanne used a similar gimmick to explain away all the shark-jumping it had done in its last couple of seasons in an attempt to save a little face. I thought it was an absolute travesty when six seasons of St. Elsewhere were revealed to be the imagined goings-on in an autistic boy’s snowglobe. I laughed my ass off when the U.S. adaptation of Life on Mars ended with the main character actually being an astronaut having a dream while on his way to – yep – Mars (incidentally, the finale of the original UK version is heralded as being one of the best endings of all time).
Would it bother me if the past six months turned out to be a dream? Yes and no.
It wouldn’t bother me if the dream gimmick was used merely as a means to an end. Characters have been destroyed. Storylines make no sense. Reveals have flopped. Let’s make like none of this ever happened. It was all a dream. What happens on Melaswen stays on Melaswen.
It would bother me if “…and it was all just a dream” was TPTB’s plan all along. I watched a kid losing his eye over Christmas. I watched Jennifer get filleted. I watched Taylor trying to lift off by huffing the cologne from EJ’s cashmere scarf. I watched Brady physically throw Nicole out of his house. I watched EJ’s body convulsing and bleeding over, and over, and over again. If the writers are patting themselves on the back for all this, I’m ready to take some eyes out myself – something I promised I’d give up for Lent.
I grew up watching Mystery and Jeremy Brett’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on PBS. I loved movies like Bunny Lake is Missing and Chase a Crooked Shadow. I loved looking for clues. I always wanted to be the first person in the room to crack the case. When EJ’s shooting first happened I was looking for clues, hints, symbols - anything that would make sense out of what I’d just seen. I compiled a list, kept track of any lines of dialogue that seemed wonky, props that seemed out of place, made note of any strange camera angles and close-ups.
So what happened? Well, days turned into weeks and then months. I just stopped caring about whether or not there was a twist on the horizon. My patience has been whittled down to a splinter. If the shooting was revealed to be just a dream after a couple of weeks I’d maybe have given some props to the writers. But the show shouldn’t be a test of wills. The very nature of the twist is that you don’t see it coming. The story is going in one direction and just as your mind starts to go into autopilot things veer off-road, sending your head into a tailspin. Right now Days is going in so many different directions you’d need a twist stapled to your forehead to recognize it as such. Let’s also keep in mind that right now on Days a twist is Caroline being the one behind the paternity test switch, Stefano being the head of the organ snatching operation, and Efar. A twist, in retrospect, needs to make sense. A twist has you gasping "How did I not see that?", not "Jesus Christ, what the fuck just happened?"
I like a surprise ending only if a good time was had getting there. Thus far, the past six months have not been a fun ride. The past couple of weeks alone have been downright unbearable. If I were to find out that this was all the result of the powers that be making a group effort out of trying to channel Carl Jung, I’d be mad as hell. However, if the writers admitted to their mistakes, giving me the opportunity to forgive them, I’d be more inclined to overlook their inadequacies. Alright, maybe not. But at the very least it would make me feel a little better, and isn’t that what I deserve right now? I’ve been putting up with so much crap for so long at the hands of these writers. I think I’m entitled to having my ass kissed a few dozen times by the powers that be.
So let’s say the past few months have been just a dream. How would you feel about that? Whose dream would you prefer it belong to? Which characters/storylines would you want to be involved? What would you want the dream to erase and what would you want to keep? Which one of the powers that be do you think is behind the madness? Will things change now that Chris Whitesell is out?
Speculate. Rant. Go for it.