In a special episode celebrating portrayer James Reynolds’s 40th anniversary in Salem, Abe — his life hanging in the balance after he is shot — reunites with his late wife, Lexie, and must decide whether to remain with her in the afterlife, or return to the land of the living.
Reports Reynolds, “Albert [Alarr, co-executive producer] told me about this one day after we finished taping: ‘Ron [Carlivati, head writer] wants to dedicate a show for your 40th anniversary.’ And I was kind of blown away. I called my wife and told her. I was so pleased, so warmed by that, by the fact that I’m apparently thought well enough of and respected enough to have this show dedicated to me. And I hope I did it justice! It’s not all flashbacks of Abe! There are some things I hope I did well and right during the show, but it’s a lovely tribute. I love the premise, I loved the script, and I loved how Ron tapped into that special relationship that Abe and Lexie had.”
Lexie’s popular portrayer, Renee Jones, who exited DAYS in 2012, was unavailable, but Reynolds says that the show did an excellent job choosing its fill-in Lexie. He notes, “Abe and Lexie had a very special relationship where they just loved each other through thick and thin. And obviously, they had stresses and strains in their marriage. Lexie had a few years there where she was completely dominated by Stefano, and that caused issues. And when Abe found out about his son Brandon, and he got involved with Fay again during a moment where he and Lexie were estranged, these things all made up part of this very special relationship that the two of them had. The young actress they brought in to be part of this was just wonderful in giving the essence of that relationship and communicated beautifully, just beautifully, in her face and her eyes, as Renee did quite so often. I was kind of transported, actually.”
While viewers might want to have a hanky (or two) on hand, Reynolds himself made the choice for Abe not to shed tears during the emotional encounter. He explains, “One of the thoughts I had during that was the idea of crying in those scenes, because here he was, as far as he was concerned, face to face with his long-dead wife, this woman that he, in fact, still loves with as much intensity as he ever did. And I decided no, that he wouldn’t be shedding tears, that it’s such a special moment that he wanted to face it soberly and express nothing but his love, and tears might convey a different emotion. I thought it was important for me to have that understanding of where he was at that time.”
The actor hopes this isn’t the last Abe sees of Lexie. “I would love to see him visited by Lexie more in the future, because she was such a special character, and like Stefano, she continues to have a presence on the show. I would like to see it become more multidimensional as Abe explores his relationship with Paulina and his growing family.”