DAYS’ Cady McClain is deserving of Soap Hub’s Performer of the Week kudos merely for the deft way in which she’s made the character of Jennifer Rose Horton Deveraux her own, but she’s actually receiving them for her powerhouse work as a woman on the edge.
Before her alter-ego popped a pill, McClain presented as a bundle of nerves. With Jennifer’s addiction satiated, McClain literally sighed with relief. Seconds later, when it appeared that her action had been rumbled, the actress shifted into self-preservation mode.
In want of a distracting action, McClain turned to a prop — in this case a framed photograph — straightened it and invoked the item’s subject. “Remember how [Abigail] always used to come over here and rearrange things?” she wondered to Matthew Ashford’s Jack Deveraux. He did. “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” he reminded.
“Yeah,” McClain retorted, now verging on tears. “Except our little girl is not in the place where she belongs.” The couple embraced. A ringing doorbell interrupted the scene. When Jack made a move to answer the call, Jennifer returned to her daughter’s picture and, in quiet desperation, hid her cache of drugs behind it.
Jennifer was not pleased to see that their visitor was Gwen Rizczech (Emily O’Brien); McClain made that perfectly clear with the tone of voice she used to identify the young woman; her, “Gwen,” was not so much a “Gwen, how nice to see you,” but rather a “Gwen, what the Hell are you doing in my house?”
Still, Jennifer tried to play the perfect hostess. She even thanked Gwen, sincerely it seemed, for turning Leo Stark (Greg Rikaart), Abigail’s supposed killer, into the police. And she didn’t even blanch when Gwen copped to doing so mostly out of spite for his previous treatment of her. But Jenn did balk at Gwen’s assumption that Leo is actually innocent, and that Craig Wesley (Kevin Spirtas) is the mad stabber.
McClain was excellent in several subsequent scenes –scenes that included Jennifer trying to wrap her head around the story that Gwen was selling — but she truly shone during a fiery confrontation with O’Brien, triggered by Gwen’s having stumbled upon Jennifer about to self-medicate.
“You have no idea what I’m going through,” her Jennifer spat at Gwen, who’d taken the position that Jack should be informed before his wife’s condition worsened.
Grief and shame quickly gave way to not-so-righteous anger that was very unbecoming of Jennifer, but Cady McClain sold it — and when Jennifer warned Gwen that she could see to it that Jack turned his back on her, the audience was made to believe it.
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on Peacock+ in the U.S. and The W Network or Global TV App in Canada. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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