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Background: Friendships

I realized that in one of the early background posts, I said that I would be writing about the friendships that developed between Shane and Kim and the other Salemites in the story.  I do not know why that slipped my mind, but I figured I would correct that oversight.

One of the things I loved about classic Days of Our Lives was the way the show established a strong community.  Salem was not just the leads, but there were supporting, vibrant characters who might appear for a scene or two to provide some advice, a little comedic interplay, or a shoulder to lean on.  Unlike today, where characters seem restricted to a very small group of people with whom they interact, some of my favorite scenes from classic Days are the random conversations between friends who run into each other at a restaurant or happen to wind up at the hospital together.  The show added a lot of depth by having Dr. Neil Curtis give Kim a shoulder to cry on, Calliope showing up at Shane and Kim's house at an inappropriate time < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSlXshOxRwg >, or Mickey and Maggie Horton sharing their experience of falling in love while Maggie was paralyzed to try to help Shane when he was paralyzed < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T427sN-Olg > (this is during the infamous Shane/Kayla pairing so they are talking about Shane's relationship with Kayla and there is some Shane/Kayla stuff at the end of the clip).  These scenes provided wonderful interactions, even if they added little to the plot, and really add to my enjoyment of the show.  (The dialogue in that Kim/Shane/Calliope scene is some of my favorite.)

I'm not going to go on too much about Kim's friendships because few of her "friends" (as opposed to people with whom she is related by blood or marriage) appear in this story.  I do, however, want to say something about the Kim/Marlena relationship because of a comment I received about Marlena in the in the scene where she asked about why Kim lied about Jeannie's paternity.  I did not intend for Marlena to come across as judgmental.  I hoped the scene would come across having the tone of the Marlena/Kim relationship in the following scenes:


In each, Marlena has identified an issue with Kim and either prods her to talk about it or pushes her to do something.  One thing that you can tell about Marlena is that she does not beat around the bush.  As a psychiatrist, Marlena does tend to take on a professional tone, but I don't see that as condescending.  And with Kim a therapist by the later scene (and in the fic), I feel there is a tendency for their conversations to be somewhat blunt.  Marlena cuts to the chase when she talks with Kim, and I think Kim appreciates that.  So, hopefully, that is how most readers saw that scene.  I did not intend for Marlena to seem condescending.

A few quick thoughts on Shane's and Marlena's relationship.  It was never as clearly defined, but they seemed to get on well.  When Shane returned in 2002, Marlena was extremely happy to see him.  However, there were times when Shane's involvement with the ISA created tension between them.  This came out a few times fairly expressly.   One example is when Shane came to Roman's wake after he "died" in 1984 and Marlena lashed out at him for breaking his promise to bring Roman back safely < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHWtTsND4Hc (Shane arrives at 1:30)>.  (They did make up pretty quickly < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ifFf9L8c50 at 2:35>.)  Another came much later, when Roman fled Salem because of threats from drug lord Rafi Torres, and Marlena let Shane have it for not disclosing any information about Roman. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faas9YOubck, beginning at 3:13>.  In that scene from the story that I mentioned above, Marlena refers to Roman leaving Salem and her anger at his leaving, which comes out pretty strongly in this scene.  Also, despite his denials, Shane knew that Roman intended to come back to Salem in disguise to try to find Bo, who had been kidnapped by Torres, but Shane could not reveal that to Marlena.  (This clip also has some Shane/Kayla stuff as they prepare for a party designed to get information on Torres that was bombed, leaving Shane paralyzed.  The video quality is not great, but that may be for the best, since it limits the amount of time you have to look at Marlena's florescent-colored disaster of an outfit.)  I like these scenes a lot, and use them as a reference for Marlena's distrust of the ISA (which also kidnapped her in 1986) and her misgivings about John's efforts to find Shane.

In addition to Marlena, there are several other friendships that are or will be relevant to the fic.  The story repeatedly alludes to the strong friendship between John and Shane, so I'll start with that. 

When John arrived in Salem, he was the "Pawn," the prize in a game between Victor, Shane's former boss Nickerson (who is mentioned a few places in the fic), and a henchman of Stefano DiMera.  Through Shane's and the ISA's efforts, John escaped from Victor, but he had no memory of who he was.  Yet second to Marlena, Shane seemed to be one of the first people in Salem that John felt he could trust.  And Shane was willing to put his faith in John early on.  In the scene I've posted a few times of Shane learning that Kim lied about Victor and Andrew's paternity, it was John who allowed Shane to watch the monitors and, after witnessing Kim's revelations, promised not to reveal anything he overheard.

As I had Marlena observe early on in the story, I feel that the crux of Shane's and John's friendship boils down to an instinctual trust evident in that scene and others.  For instance, when Victor realized John was the Pawn and attempted to capture him, John turned to Shane for help, despite only have very few contacts with him.  < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVfoefVM3-0 > I love Kim's observation that John and Shane are "alike," which is something I had Marlena echo in the fic when she thinks of the two men.  Another scene I referenced in that part of the story was this one -- where Shane joins John (during the JoRoman period) and Marlena at breakfast and, when JoRoman mentions that he had doubts that he would be ashamed by what he learned when he recovered his memories, Shane assures him otherwise, adding that he knows John is a "good man."  < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3znmK9Qifw >.  There's an ease in how John and Shane interact in that scene and this one < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p3pCJC0uxo > that I think makes their friendship very believable.

That trust was put to the test during a major storyline in 1988.  Shane revealed that he had known Roman was alive when he was believed dead in 1984, and, even more, Shane could have rescued Roman, but instead chose to rescue his own brother, Drew.  This revelation led most of the Bradys to give Shane the cold shoulder, culminating in a fairly awkward Christmas party where Shane left to avoid disturbing the Bradys and Kim was forced to lecture her family about the way they were treating Shane.  < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-r6wqsDq7g > What followed was a fantastic scene between Shane and JoRoman where they come to terms with Shane's "betrayal" and acknowledge that they really are more like brothers than friends < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45KR_SR11zs >.  I have a lot of reservations about this entire retconned storyline, among them: the inconsistency between Shane's behavior in 1984 after Roman's death with the idea that he knew Roman was alive (one example is in the make-up scene with Marlena at the wake, where Shane seems pretty guilt-ridden over Roman's death); the seeming impossibility of fitting these events into Shane's late-1984 to early-1985 history; and the lack of any explanation about why Shane couldn't reveal that Roman was alive to his family.  However, it is almost worth all those issues just to have that great Shane/JoRoman scene on the pier.  (I'll also say that, though it's a minor point in the story, I will address most, if not all, of those points I just mentioned.)

I could go on with more scenes about Shane's friendship with John, but I hope those are enough to give you an idea about their relationship, because I also want to talk about his friendships with Bo and Hope, which will feature in the story.  There is some overlap between the two, so I'll discuss them together.

Bo and Shane originally started out in a rather confrontational relationship.  Shane tried to get Bo to help him capture Stefano DiMera immediately after Roman "died" in 1984.  Bo refused to get involved with the ISA.  Eventually, however, they joined forces -- even though their methods differed -- and Hope also becoming involved.   That prism storyline to capture Stefano was followed by a host of Bo/Hope/Shane adventures: (1) the Dragon storyline where they team up to capture the terrorist intent on destroying the British royal family; (2) the Victor Kiriakis/Miami storyline where they try to get the goods on Victor; (3) the first of the Stockholm adventures after Victor sets up Shane to be charged with treason that Bo actually committed and Bo has to clear his name; (4) the attempts to free the Pawn from Victor; and (5) the attempt to track John Black and Marlena when the threesome believe John is actually Stefano.  (I should add that Kim was actively involved in the prism, Dragon and Miami adventures, so there really was a foursome involved in those.)   Those storylines overlapped Shane and Kim falling in love, getting engaged, breaking up over the revelations about Victor, and Kim giving birth to Andrew.

Here's an early scene between Shane and Bo, where Shane first reveals that he has received a job offer in Stockholm and tries to get Bo to offer reasons for him to stay in Salem < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egDJWOb7WYc >.   (That clip also has a nice Neil/Kim scene.)  That scene was pretty typical of the teasing Bo/Shane banter.  However, that also led to some awkward moments, such as in this scene shortly after Shane and Kim broke up following the revelation that Victor might be the father of Kim's baby < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGJOAXSQ_jo >.  There's a nice interplay between hot-headed Bo, who is protective of his sister Kim, and Hope, who tries to play peacemaker and be sympathetic to Shane. 

Next is one of my favorite scenes ever.  It takes place on the roof of Bo and Hope's building, where they try to protect Shane from Steve's badgering about Kim, and Hope tries to cheer Shane up < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBgChVV0M98 >.  That clip really embodies the friendships of that time.  It's a rather simple, touching scene that is ultimately irrelevant to any plot, but establishes a strong connection between the characters.

Bo often turned to Shane for help in sticky situations, such as when Bo and Hope were arrested on the night of their wedding in England, escaped, and needed Shane and Kim to convince authorities to let their plane leave < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1E2u58gued8 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F68wF4sJ9DU >; when Bo broke out of jail during the treason storyline and asked for Shane's help in getting out of the country < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKOhpDMjg3w >; and when Hope was kidnapped by the KGB in Stockholm and Shane gets called to the rescue < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axiFdGjgATE and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIlA9VqNCV0 >.  When Bo decided to take his "place" as Victor's heir (after Bo was revealed to be Victor's son) and tried to find evidence to bring down Victor, the only person who knew Bo's plan was Shane (though Bo later revealed it to Hope).  That explains this scene after Shane is shot in the second Stockholm adventure of 1986, where Bo, estranged from his family, comes to the hospital and urges Shane to recover because he's the only one Bo can talk to < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhVy_o0Ic0U >.  (I do have to ask about the writing staff's seeming obsession with Stockholm during 1986-1986.  Not only does Shane extol the virtues of the city when he considers the job offer there, but it becomes the scene of two major storylines.)

Getting back to the point of this no-longer so little essay, I also want to offer some thoughts on the Shane/Hope dynamic, which I love.  Like the Neil/Kim relationship, Shane and Hope seemed to have a great friendship that was entirely platonic.  I suspect that, given the same characters, the writers of Days today would have Shane and Hope get drunk and sleep together leading to a whose-the-daddy storyline about whether Hope's child is Bo's or Shane's.  Thankfully, the writers of that time understood that it was possible for a man and woman to just be friends and support each other.

I always felt one of the major reasons Hope and Shane bonded was that he supported her involvement in their adventures.  Bo was rather chauvinistic and would often belittle Hope's efforts, but Shane, perhaps due to his own experience with Miss Peach, was much more open to having women involved in his operations.  For instance, when Bo tried to stop Hope getting involved in the hunt for Stefano during the prism storyline -- and belittled Hope -- Shane defended her involvement < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdOzYSKPQUU >. 

Also, second to Miss Peach, Hope opened herself up to Shane as a confidant.  She was not pushy (as in the fantastic rooftop scene I linked above), but offered a sympathetic ear (and Shane did a bit of the same regarding Hope's problems with Bo).  Here's a scene during the prism storyline where she and Shane talk after Bo and Kim leave Shane's apartment < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmOgwCa1t_E >.  (That scene also has a bit of the antagonistic early Bo/Shane interplay, because Bo was angry about Shane asking Kim to seduce a Russian connection of Stefano's to help the case.)  And here's another scene between Shane and Hope that takes place while Andrew is missing.  Shane gets Hope to help in the search and discusses his problems with Kim (and hers with Bo) < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQaS5XdW46s >.  (This is the break-up after Andrew is born, not to be confused with the break-up before Andrew was born.  Oh, forget it, if I try to list all the Shane/Kim break-ups, I'll never finish this post.) 

In any event, I think these scenes establish their relationship enough so that when Hope refers to Shane as one of her "dearest friends" in the Stockholm hospital scene I linked above, it does not sound like something the writers just decided to toss in.  Their friendship also may explain why the only time Shane returned to Salem between his departure in 1992 and the reunion in 2010, was when Hope was abducted in 2002.  And, hopefully, it explains why Hope pushes John to let her help in the search for Shane in this story.

One last comment.   Although Shane is shown to be very loyal to the ISA, there are several times when he is willing, though usually reluctantly, to put his friends over the ISA.  For instance, he helps Bo get out of the country during the treason storyline,  And when Marlena is kidnapped, Shane gives JoRoman access to classified information and, later, when he finds out that the ISA is behind the kidnapping, he rushes to Stockholm to try to warn JoRoman about the ISA plot (which results in Shane being shot).  Also, in the most recent Shane scene, he thinks about the folly of his trying to stop Jericho.  One of the reasons that he had to chase after Jericho is that Shane agreed to let Jericho go in exchange for a prisoner that Jericho's people had.  That prisoner was Dr. Marcus Hunter, Steve's best friend.   (I didn't really mention Steve in the discussion above, but, briefly, he is married to Kim's sister Kayla and had a rather contentious relationship with Shane much of the time, but they worked together a few times, including on the Jericho case and, later, on the case against Jencon that got Steve "killed."  But more on that in a future post about Shane's relationship with Kayla.)  At first, Shane did not want to give up Jericho, but changed his mind after Steve talked about his close friendship with Marcus < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llxPSe4udWo >.  Frankly, giving up Jericho was suicidal, but as Shane admits, there are some things more important than the ISA.  That is the kind of willingness to stop at nothing to help family and friends -- even if it means risking one's own life -- that exists in the the friendships between these character (and I mean all of the character discussed above), both on the show and in this story.

I"m editing this post to add something.  If you have any thoughts on the characters' friendships or other videos that you would recommend to highlight the friendships, please add them in the comments below.