As a Soap Opera Weekly subscriber, I receive weekly emails entitled “Today at Soap Opera Weekly.” In the column entitled, “This Week’s Top Ten,” a very thought provoking question was asked which had me nearly jumping up and down at my computer in agreement:
"Now that Stefano is returning to Days of Our Lives, and Eileen Davidson is on recurring status on Bold and Beautiful, isn't it about time that Kristen makes a return to Salem to help run the DiMera empire?”
I for one would love for this to happen, and have missed Eileen Davidson’s portrayal of Kristen since she departed DAYS in 1998. We’ve only gotten to see a picture of Susan Banks, also portrayed by Davidson, in late 2006 when John and Marlena went to Italy to search for an ill Stefano. Not only was Davidson a terrific villainess and my favorite all-time bad girl on DAYS, but she showcased her immense talent and made daytime history by portraying a total of five characters simultaneously on the show: Kristen Blake, and quadruplets Susan Banks, Sister Mary Moira, Penelope Kent, and Thomas Banks. Not surprisingly, her effortless portrayal of these five characters earned her a 1998 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Many fans, like myself, were floored when she didn’t take home the trophy.
Kristen first emerged onto the scene back in 1993 when John Black saved her from being mugged. When she found out who he was, she tried to steer clear of him, despite her attraction to John. After she miscarried John’s child she turned to the dark side, plotting to keep John any way she could no matter who got in the way. Stefano had arranged for a pregnant Kristen lookalike, Susan Banks, to give her baby to Kristen once it was born. As many fans know, this baby turned out to be E.J. and is the biological child of Susan and Stefano. Kristen went to desperate measures to hang onto John and became a woman obsessed, knowing that if John found out about her miscarriage, he would return to his true love, Marlena. Kristen’s list of crimes included helping Stefano to erase Laura Horton’s memory, helping Stefano kidnap Marlena, and tricking Susan into signing over custody of Baby Elvis, among others.
As fans may recall, Kristen was last seen on the DAYS canvas in 1998. Kristen was presumed dead by all of Salem when her lifeless body was found in a pool at Peter Blake’s house. It was later revealed that Penelope Kent, Susan Bank’s sister, had perished in the pool. Kristen had arranged for Susan Banks to be sold into white slavery, but Susan managed to escape her captors and forced Kristen at gunpoint to go with them. Kristen was last seen in a dungeon at an island fortress and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Stefano is the only one in Salem who knows that Kristen is still alive, but is unaware that she’s been held captive all this time.
Of course many of us don’t want to see another woman come between John and Marlena, but to see nuJohn’s reaction to Kristen would be interesting to say the least. She could team up with Stefano help him take back control of the DiMera empire. As we know, it was actually Andre whom Kristen married, since Tony was banished to an island for twenty years, so to see this new dynamic and a possible renewed interest in the real Tony would send Anna into a jealous rage. E.J. has only mentioned his mother a handful of times, so seeing some interaction and some possible backstory from Susan’s point of view would answer some questions which have many of us perplexed. Would Susan be the meddlesome mother like Kate? Would she dote over Elvis and treat him like a little boy? Would she plot and scheme to help Elvis win the woman of his dreams once and for all? Susan would definitely bring some much needed comic relief to the show, as she did in the late 90s.
During her five-year tenure on DAYS, Eileen Davidson proved she could be sexy, seductive, devious, cunning, dangerous, funny, and “mean, mean, mean,” (as Susan Banks repeatedly mentioned) all at the same time. Kudos to Eileen for her willingness to deglamorize herself for the Banks quad roles. It would be another mistake for DAYS not to lure this Emmy nominated actress back to the show. According to various reports, DAYS didn’t even approach Eileen to come back when she was fired from The Young and the Restless in late 2006. Sometimes when we snooze, we lose, as DAYS did when The Bold and the Beautiful snatched her up soon after she was fired from Y&R. The possibilities for Eileen Davidson returning to the show as Kristen or even Susan would be endless and would possibly give DAYS the ratings boost it so desperately needs.