Soap Hub Performer of the Week is an ongoing series of articles in which an editor pays tribute to one performer from each show who was outstanding. For Days of our Lives, the triumphant return of fan-favorite Tamara Braun as Ava Vitali was filled with surprises, though her knocking it out of the park was certainly not one of them.
Tamara Braun Returns
This past week, Braun returned to the role that nabbed her that first Daytime Emmy for Supporting Actress back in 2009 (we don’t count the tease the Friday before) and she’s already mixing it up with several key Salem players despite the fact that most of the town thinks she’s still dead.
Viewers now know that it’s Ava who is pulling Philip’s (Jay Kenneth Johnson) strings, trying to launder money through Titan and he is not happy to be in debt to her family. Well, that’s his own fault and Ava has zero sympathy for Victor’s (John Aniston) youngest child. She wastes no time establishing herself once again as a big baddie, instilling fear.
But luckily for Tamara Braun and the audience, she’s not a one-note villain by any means. Sure, she’s still obsessed with Steve (Stephen Nichols) and went so far as to knock on his door but the arrival of Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) rightly sent her on her way. That is when she spots her son Tripp (Lucas Adams), whom she has never really met, certainly not as an adult.
He was so close she could practically touch him (and almost did!) and the longing wasn’t just on Ava’s face — it encompassed Braun’s whole being. Ava’s brush with death hasn’t mellowed her vicious side but she does have more facets and Tripp will be key to showing them. But not just her son — her friendship with Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) has potential too!
Their pow wow at the jail crackled as these two outcasts managed to support each other as they revealed bits of information about how their friendship formed. But don’t think Ava’s gone soft. She was soon back with Philip, twisting the knife with her demands that he take care of Xander (Paul Telfer). It will be great once those two cross paths!
It was fantastic to see Braun being able to mix it up, with much potential already being put on display, after writers at her last gig as General Hospital’s Kim (where she picked up another Daytime Emmy statuette this year in the same category) wrote her character into a troubling corner they couldn’t get her out of.
At least on DAYS and with her established character, Braun is able to jump back into the thick of things and should hopefully be wining this honor many more times in the months to come — and we can’t wait! Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.