No one can argue that poor Claire Bear has been through the wringer lately on Days of our Lives. Oh heck, she’s been through it for years. But this past Friday, Claire finally found her footing after having her boyfriend Charlie (Mike Manning) turn her world upside down — and actress Isabel Durant came into her own as the troubled young woman, winning Soap Hub’s Performer of the Week honors.
Isabel Durant — Performer of the Week
It certainly hasn’t been an easy road for Durant, who stepped into the firestarter’s shoes once worn by Daytime Emmy-winning actress Olivia Rose Keegan this past summer. But this storyline has helped the Australian-born actress come into her own as the heartbroken (and often cast-aside) daughter of Belle (Martha Madison) and Shawn (Brandon Beemer).
It was exciting for fans to see Claire finally fall for someone who could put her first, unlike past loves who usually had fallen first for her Aunt Ciara (Victoria Konefal). Little did she know this incredible new man in her life had actually raped her cousin and close pal Allie (Lindsay Arnold). But accepting that fact wasn’t easy.
After all, Charlie lies the way most people breathe and it was hard for Claire to believe the horrible tales she was hearing about the man she had only seen as kind and devoted. But Friday’s episode saw this once-troubled young woman stand up for herself and tell Charlie she wanted nothing more to do with him. But Charlie’s good — and he worked by touching those buttons she had shown him.
He could relate to her — always coming in second to Ciara. He’s always come in second to Tripp (Lucas Adams) in his mother Ava’s (Tamara Braun) mind. And despite the bravado that Durant imbued in Claire, chips in that resolve were starting to happen — as the actress showed her character’s vulnerability to this master manipulator.
But then she shocked us — asking him, “Is that what happened to you? You drove yourself crazy until you snapped?” He didn’t realize that by playing on what they shared in common meant she did indeed know where he’s been — better than most. She knew that kind of rage and it was even more challenging for Durant since she didn’t play Claire when she went through that — but you’d never know it from her performance.
Charlie then pled that he needed her. Just as it seemed she might give in, Ben (Robert Scott Wilson) showed up. Claire was able to draw on his strength and walk away — and viewers couldn’t be more proud of how far Claire — and Isabel Durant — have come. Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.