Though there are undoubtedly many Days of our Lives fans who cheered the searing smack that Paulina delivered her husband’s tormentor, Whitley King, it’s also doubtful that Kim Coles didn’t win over a contingent of fans with her soulful portrayal of a broken woman accepting that she’d done a very, very bad thing.
Kim Coles — Performer Of The Week
Before being approached by Deidre Hall’s Dr. Marlena Evans, Coles looked to be no more than an empty shell. Lost, searching. Desolate and disconnected. But as soon as her eyes focused on the woman before her, her face lit up like a Christmas tree. The switch had been flicked. Life had been restored.
“Oh, my heavens! What are you doing here?” she asked in utter delight. Upon being reminded that they’d seen each other earlier that day (when Marlena had talked her into turning the hostage she had taken over to authorities), a bit of a fog settled in. Had they really seen one another before?
When Marlena wondered whether or not Whitley knew who she was, Coles answered in the affirmative, a little exasperated by the question, but still in total awe. “How could I not know who you are?! You’re just the queen diva of my favorite soap opera!”
And rather than stand on formality, Whitley insisted that “Jesse Whitherspoon” call her by her last name. “We’re practically family” she boasted, grinning ear to ear. Of course, she knows that they aren’t actually family, but she’s spent so many years watching the story of her life.
It remained for Marlena to gently explain that she very much wasn’t who Whitley had mistaken her for. She’s a psychiatrist, and Whitley was once a colleague of hers and one of her patients. That news seemed to take Whitley by surprise. The brightness behind Coles’ eyes suddenly dimmed and she shifted her gaze. She scrunched her face into an expression that telegraphed confusion and she seemed poised to retreat back into the shell she was in earlier.
Marlena pressed on. She wanted to pick up where they’d left off. She knows that it wasn’t Whitley’s intention, but Abe (James Reynolds) was hurt by what she did, and so was his family.
Whitley argued that she had merely wanted to keep Abe safe. “I didn’t want him to end up like…” and with that, Coles trailed off. “Like your husband?” Marlena wondered.
The good doctor did her best to get Whitley to see that she wasn’t responsible for her husband’s untimely passing (that would be the faulty electric heater), and to disabuse her of the notion that she wasn’t Paulina Price (Jackée Harry), Abe’s actual wife; she’s Whitley King.
“But I don’t want to be Whitley King” Coles argued. “Being Whitley King means I killed my husband. [It] means I’m an awful person. It means I have nothing to live for…My precious husband, he was so good to me. He was so sweet. If only I knew he was in danger…He’s probably looking down at me from Heaven, with such shame at the person I’ve become. He probably doesn’t even recognize me. I don’t even recognize myself.”
With that Kim Coles let forth a quick burst of anger, of self-recrimination. Then it was back to a calmer, more collected Whitley. The occasional labored breath and the busy fingers clacking atop the table were the only things to betray the storm raging within.
Days of our Lives 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 DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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