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Soap Stories: Show Me The Payoff!

jessica serfaty, arianne zucker, days of our lives


Worth The Wait? Fans deserved more when Sloan’s (Jessica Serfaty) baby-switch deception was revealed to Nicole (Arianne Zucker) on DAYS.

Call me old-fashioned, but when a soap makes me watch a looong, drawn-out story it better have a payoff. 

We did not get that with Sloan’s kidnapping of Nicole’s baby on DAYS. Six months of watching Nicole sob, Sloan lie to everyone (including the formerly smart Eric), Leo blackmail people and EJ learn that Eric was the dad.

EJ (to baby): “It will be our little secret.”

Nicole (entering): “What secret?” 

Like that. Lots of “my son, my son” from an overcompensating EJ while DAYS teased that punishment was coming. Nicole gazed lovingly at a blanket that was supposed to have a baby in it while giving big monologues to nothing. 

Nicole: “Oh, my precious boy! I dreamt about you every night. Mommy is going to make sure Sloan pays for taking you away from me.”

It was one episode. 

Nicole: “You stole my baby!”

Sloan: “I didn’t plan it. A baby showed up at my home. It was fate.” 

Nicole: “I’ll show you fate.” 

Slap! A fight followed which dovetailed into Sloan going on the offensive with a good callback to when Nicole purloined Sami’s newborn in 2009 and passed it off as her own. 

Sloan: “Didn’t you do the exact same thing? Eric told me what you did to his twin sister.” 

Enter Eric so Sloan could plead her case and actually quote the Bible about forgiveness. (I can’t be the only one expecting lightning to strike the DiMera mansion after that travesty.) Just when we thought Sloan would be hauled out kicking and screaming, EJ interrupted. 

EJ: “Whatever the rest of the story is, I don’t want to hear it.”

He pretended to take Sloan to the police station but pulled her aside instead. Sloan insisted Nicole would eventually forgive her and he went on the attack.

EJ (scoffing): “You thought she’d say, ‘Can I braid your hair?’ Take the money and go. You are going to disappear forever.” 

And… scene. It’s like DAYS let all the air out of a balloon that had months left to fly. 

We will now turn our attention to The Kon Man and hope that the fireworks at Konstantin’s wedding (non-wedding?) to Maggie will deliver a delicious resolution after 14 months of watching his villainy. 

Hope and Steffy’s ongoing feud on B&B has had recurring mini-payoffs rather than building to one big one. They went round and round about Hope “using” Steffy’s brother Thomas until he split town, leaving the stepsisters to expand their battle to Forrester Creations. 
First up: Steffy trashing “the Logans” and eliminating Hope’s fashion line. 

Brooke: “Ridge, you have to do something!” 

Steffy: “Brooke, would you excuse us? We need to discuss the fate of Hope For The Future.”

The “Slut from the Valley” made her exit and Hope reminded the group that her mother created the BeLieF Formula and Brooke’s Bedroom Line which are still huge moneymakers 30 years later. Take that, Steffy! 

Ridge (exasperated): “We’re on the same team. Pulling the plug on Hope For The Future is premature. You tw0 — and Thomas — are the future of this company. Figure this out.”

Cut to Hope propping her mom as the best former CEO of Forrester.

Hope: “You’re Brooke Logan! You’re a coveted legend in the fashion world. You should be the one leading the company. Take control.” 

You see where they’re going with this, right?

Ridge (to Brooke): “Will you help lead Forrester Creations into the future?” 

That’s a solid advancement in this story. Team Logan!  

Elsewhere, months of speculation about whether Luna was Bill’s daughter ended with this: 

Luna (looking at a paternity test): “It’s two stripes. You’re my dad!” 

Bill: “And here I thought I could only make boys.”

This retcon is fine as long as they bring Wyatt back for scenes with Liam and Luna making fun of their newfound father for his… misspent youth. Three grown kids Bill never knew about is a stretch even for soap operas. 

Y&R’s retcon of Victoria’s baby who died in 1998 but turned out to be Claire has a few holes. She began as Nikki’s assistant, lured the Newmans out west to be murdered, spent a month in a treatment facility, and is now living on the ranch like the golden child. 

Meanwhile, Adam has been paying for lesser crimes for two decades. 

Victor: “Adam has made wonderful progress.” 

Nick: “I was wrong to assume it would never be possible.”

Victor (re: Connor): “I’m afraid this could lead him back into darkness.” 

Claire tried to kill them all and the Newmans are stewing over Adam? I guess the payoff will come when Kyle moves his wide-eyed “innocent” new girlfriend into the Abbott mansion and her inner Jordan comes out. 

Speaking of Jordan, she’s had a longer run than she deserves because Colleen Zenk is such a riot as Claire’s nutball aunt. Cole and Michael busted Victor for faking Jordan’s death and locking her in a cage so Victor had to pretend to find her alive. 

Nikki: “How did Jordan survive the fall? How did she stay alive all this time?” 

Excellent questions. Victor probably wishes Nikki was still drinking. 

The endless story of Connor’s OCD will not have a payoff because few people care about an offscreen kid, and Ashley’s foray into mental illness has taken an unfortunate turn with her newbie shrink Alan. Ashley, Traci and Alan spent three episodes trying to figure out why Ashley thought she had seen Alan at a Paris bar and then this: 

Alan: “You say you called me to have a glass of wine. The truth is I have never been in this bar in my life. I believe you spent the evening with my brother.” 

He has a twin named Martin (who takes anti-psychotic medication) and made Ashley think she was crazy for seeing Alan when it was Martin? This is not the denouement Ashley and that meandering Tucker story deserves. 

Memo to Y&R: Only one psycho per show.

Which brings us to GH. I don’t know anyone rooting for multiple murderer Heather Webber to get released from prison, yet they are rewriting 40 years of story that some kind of cobalt poisoning made her drug/murder/kidnap half the town. Laura (of all people!) is championing her cause.

Curtis: “You want to set Heather free?” 

Laura: “No. I am advocating to have Heather’s case reopened, taking into account she was suffering from an undiagnosed illness at the time she committed those crimes. It is up to the court to decide. It’s the fair thing to do.”

Curtis: “Is that fair to all the people murdered by a poisoned hook? We will fight you with everything we’ve got.”

It’s the Franco brain tumor defense all over again and it won’t fly. Go, Curtis!

Mercifully, we were spared Gregory’s long decline from ALS when he died in his sleep. Some good lines came out of it. 

Alexis: “I was too cowardly to fall in love with a man I knew was dying.” 

Tracy: “Contrary to conventional wisdom, you can miss what you didn’t have.”

We could do worse than a memorial with memorable lines, but as they were pouring Gregory’s ashes in the park and dedicating a bench to him I couldn’t help thinking back to 2019 when Oscar’s loved ones poured his ashes in the park and dedicated a meadow to him. Clearly that’s been paved over, since no one goes there and Drew never mentions his son. 

Continuity: It’s the best payoff of all. 

Hey. It’s only my opinion.