Last week, Days of Our Lives hit a trifecta of Entertainment Weekly Community soap tropes:
Serial Killers: All soaps love their serial killers when it comes time to prune a bloated (and presumably overpaid) cast. But none more so than DOOL. To date, we’ve had the Salem Strangler, the Salem Slasher, the Riverfront Killer (narrowed down to one neighborhood), the Coronation Massacre (narrowed down to one room), the Salem Stalker (back to citywide killing!) and now, the Necktie Killer. He kills! With neckties! (Though, technically, won’t that also qualify him for Salem Strangler status? It’s like the show has come full, deadly circle just in time for its 50th anniversary in November!)
Killing Off Soap Opera Legacy Characters for Shock Value: The Necktie Killer’s first victim was Serena, a relative newcomer to Salem who added a nice splash of red hair and cleavage, but really wasn’t too important to the canvas. His next victim, though, was Paige, a legacy character. Daughter of Eve, granddaughter of Shane, stepdaughter of Kim, who was a member of the core, Brady family. Paige had also been involved in an on-again/off-again romance with JJ, a member of the core Horton family. It was a relationship that could have been salvaged – or at least provided angst for many more years to come – once Paige got over JJ’s teeny, weenie bad judgment of sleeping withPaige’s mother. But now, DOOL has killed off Will (or has it? It is a soap, after all, who wants to bet Stefano has whisked Will off for a dose of the same magic, reviving elixir he slipped EJ?). Will was a character viewers saw born on the air in 1995, the son of master schemer Sami and her sometime partner in crime, Lucas. Will was a Brady and a Horton. He played the show’s first major coming out story, was part of its first gay wedding (and first gay extramarital affair). He was the definition of a legacy character that the audience had invested 20 years into watching. And now he’s been (presumably) killed off for… what?
Soap Opera Murder Mysteries Where the Non-Contract PlayerDid It: OK. So, technically, Robert Scott Wilson, who plays the Necktie Killer, himself, has been on-contract since January of 2014, when he began taping (though he didn’t air until May). But his character, Ben, isn’t too firmly connected to the canvas beyond his engagement to Abigail and (current) fatherhood of her unborn baby (again, it’s a soap, anything could still happen). There’s also Ben’s shifty dad, Clyde, played by the Not Patrick Swayze half of 1980s mega-miniseries, North & South. But Clyde isn’t too important either.
Continue reading at Entertainment Weekly, here.