Sex parties. Drag queens. Betrayals.
The penultimate installment of Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem raced toward the series’ conclusion as characters went to extremes to recover the stolen gems.
It was campy, ridiculous… and a ton of fun, and then Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Season 1 Episode 4 ended with a few compelling cliffhangers to keep viewers tuning in just one more time.
The writers were clearly having fun going a bit farther than they usually do, especially with the Ben and Ciara storyline.
While most of the episode was over the top, this story walked a fine line between campy and uncomfortable.
I have nothing against sex parties as long as it’s all consensual, but Ciara agreeing to go to Miles Faversham’s bedroom in an attempt to get the amethyst COULD have ended up badly.
Ciara probably always knew she could outsmart Miles, though. But still, I’m surprised that a rape survivor wouldn’t have any hesitation before jumping into this scenario, gems or no gems.
As soon as she began talking kink with Miles and asked him where his restraints were, I knew exactly what was going to happen, so I could relax and enjoy the silliness.
Meanwhile, the scenes with Ben and Sophie also toed the line. I figured Ciara would show up just in time to stop this woman from having her way with Ben. I was never so glad to be right!
While I didn’t expect a sex party, I DID expect that Ciara and Ben’s cover would be blown.
They were both way too young to be the people they claimed to be, and it seemed especially ridiculous when juxtaposed with scenes with the real Austin, who is middle-aged and far more boring than Ben.
Ben shouldn’t be too hard on himself for admitting he wasn’t Austin. There wasn’t much else he could do after being left without backup and a stupid cover story that anyone could see through.
Besides, Sophia must not have cared too much if the pair stole her gemstone since she was well aware Ben had infiltrated her party but didn’t do anything about it except try to get him to sleep with her.
Sonny, Will, and Chad’s storyline was equally silly but without the squick factor.
Days of Our Lives has done things like this before (most notably Daniel, Rafe, and Brady participating in a strip show in 2015), so the guys having to perform a drag show to get the emerald back wasn’t that out of the ordinary.
It did allow viewers a peek at a part of gay culture that not everyone is familiar with. Not all gay people are into the club scene or do drag — Sonny and Will certainly aren’t alone in that!
But those who enjoy such things go to clubs and shows like this, and I appreciated Beyond Salem including an LGBT-centered storyline, even if it did use the old trope of the straight guy being forced to do drag.
I knew Chad would end up winning the competition before it even began, given how uncomfortable he was with the whole thing.
But by the end, he was laughing and joking with the drag queens as if he were one of them, and I enjoyed his greater comfort level with the whole scene.
Meanwhile, Graham and Billie FINALLY kissed!
These two have had chemistry from the beginning and it was obvious that they were going to fall hard for each other sooner or later.
I hope that there’s a sequel to Beyond Salem or that they make an appearance on Days of Our Lives sometime soon. I’ve enjoyed their growing relationship and will miss them.
This was all made sweeter by Graham completely accepting Billie’s past and admiring that she survived it all.
In some ways, Kristen did them a favor even though she and Billie both acted like mean girls who were still in high school and traded insults about each other’s pasts.
It was disappointing that Kristen escaped again, too, though that’s par for the course with Kristen. Doubly so because we still have no idea why she wanted that necklace!
Whatever the reason was, it couldn’t have been that important to her, since she dropped the necklace and didn’t make any effort to retrieve it.
But at least one mystery was solved: the random guy who got kicked out of the auction was working for Kristen. Now we just need to know why — and we only have one more episode left to learn it.
By far, the best part of the hour was the two cliffhangers.
After an entire episode of campy fun, things got serious again with Shane catching Leo trying to abscond with the emerald and Carrie and John discovering gems in Austin’s bag.
The Carrie/Austin stuff doesn’t interest me all that much. These two spent an entire hour in bed, making up for Ben and Ciara having real things to do, and none of their pillow talk was exciting.
Still, though, I’m curious as to why Austin has gems in his bag. Are they his, or did Kristen plant them for whatever reason?
Elsewhere, Leo’s betrayal shouldn’t have been surprising, but it was. I was focused on the silly drag show stuff and didn’t notice Leo was gone until one of the drag queens pointed it out.
Well played, Beyond Salem.
Leo [staring at the emerald]: As mesmerizing as my eyes. Almost.
[Shane comes around the corner]
Shane: Going somewhere, Mr. Stark?
Shane was in the right place at the right time and I have to wonder how long Leo has been on his radar.
Hopefully, all will be revealed as the series wraps up with Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Season 1 Episode 5. I imagine the gems will all be returned to their rightful owner, Billie and Graham will go off into the sunset, and the bad guys will either be arrested or go into hiding again.
What are your expectations for Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Season 1 Episode 5? And what did you think about the crazy hijinks as everyone chased after the gems?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!
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Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem is available on Peacock. New episodes will drop daily from September 6 -10, 2021.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.