With buzz growing about the upcoming versions of All My Children and One Life to Live possibly delving into edgier, ripped-from-the-headlines stories, my brain has been working on overdrive about how the remaining four daytime soaps could also benefit from such a shift in storytelling. Don't get me wrong, I love a good return-from-the-dead as much as the next suds lover, but at some point, when you've seen one — you've seen 738,265 of 'em.
Awhile back on Twitter, I posted how I would love to see Sami's (Alison Sweeney) teen rapist Alan (originally played by Paul Kersey) return to seek his warped brand of revenge on Days of Our Lives. Back in 1995, Lucas' (Bryan Dattilo) pal Alan dated Sami, while secretly pining for her older sister Carrie (Christie Clark). Frustrated by his lack of progress with Carrie, Alan violently raped Sami.
During the rape trial, Sami was branded a liar and Alan was released. It wasn't long before he came after her again — this time with a gun! Sami managed to get the weapon away from Alan—before he could rape her a second time—and shot him in the business!
Distraught, Sami made love with Lucas, conceiving Will. Although no one in Salem knew that fact for quite some time, because Sami passed the baby off as Austin's (Patrick Muldoon). What if Will, devastated after some future bust up with Sonny (Freddie Smith), decides to look for love online?
On a gay dating site he meets a man going by the code name "Uranus". Will thinks it's a vulgar play on words, until his new secret friend explains Uranus was the Greek god who was castrated by Cronus. Also a budding fan of Greek mythology, Will becomes intrigued.
After countless hours chatting online about ancient myths with him, Will begins to develop feelings for Uri (the shortened nickname they agree upon). They make plans to meet. Viewers are stunned when Alan Harris, the man who raped Sami back in '95, shows up to meet Will at the coffee shop.
When Sami arrives to meet EJ (James Scott), Alan quickly ducks out to the restroom, before Will can introduce his new friend to his mother. Sonny, however, spies Will with the much-older man and is none-too-thrilled.
Once Alan gets back to his hotel room, he opens his closet door. We see a shrine dedicated to Sami, the woman who castrated him; the woman who ruined his life. Alan vows to seek vengeance on Sami through her eldest son's loins.
Sonny confides in Kate (Lauren Koslow) about his concerns over the older man Will has been seeing. Kate relays Sonny's fears to Lucas and Marlena — neglecting to discuss the matter with Sami. When Sami overhears Kate and Marlena talking about Will's love life, true to form, she becomes enraged over once again being the last to know what's going on with her son.
Sami makes a beeline for Will's apartment to confront him about this new man in his life. Will and 'Uri" are about to make love for the first time. Making out on the bed, Will removes "Uri's" shirt. He spies a jagged scar near his belt line. Will asks "Uri" what happened. Alan says it's a long story from his ill-spent youth. He doesn't want to bore Will with the details.
Will reaches for his new partner's belt buckle. Alan pulls away. Will wonders what's wrong. Alan says he has something to tell Will.
Sami shows up at Will's door. Alan is about to unzip his pants, revealing his secret shame to Will. The sound of Sami's thunderous banging, not to mention her tell-tale voice, startles Alan. He immediately zips back up.
Annoyed, Will throws a shirt on, before heading out of the bedroom to deal with his mother. No sooner than he opens the door, Sami bursts in, nostrils flaring. She demands to know who this man is he's been seeing.
"Sonny says he's old enough to be your father!" Sami screeches.
Will tells Sami who he's seeing isn't any of Sonny's business — or Sami's.
Alan listens from the other room, as Will defends their new relationship to Sami. Sami's instincts suddenly come alive. She realizes Will's secret lover is there in the apartment.
She demands for him to come out and face her. Both Will and Alan panic, but for drastically different reasons.
Will is starting to fall for Uri. He can't afford to let his train wreck of a mother to ruin things. Alan can't allow Sami find him in her son's apartment before his mission is complete.
Will tries to force Sami out of his home. She once again rushes past him, heading for the bedroom.
Alan realizes everything he's worked so hard to set up is about to come undone. He manages to lock the door, just before Sami reaches for the knob from the other side.
Sami comes unglued, demanding Will open the door. Fed up, Will decides to do just that. He's a grown man; why should he have to hide his new boyfriend from his mother?
Will calls out to let Uri know they're coming in. When they open the door, no one is there.
Sami sees the window open. She rushes over to look out, Will in hot pursuit. They see no one.
Alan scurries down the fire escape. He doesn't notice Sonny, on his way up to hash things out with Will, is watching the scene.
What the hell? Why is Will's friend climbing out of his window? Sonny wonders silently.
Sonny goes over to confront "Uri". Reaching ground level, Alan pushes past, almost knocking Sonny into the garbage cans.
Seconds later, Sami joins Sonny in the alley. She demands to know if he saw anyone climbing out of Will's window. Will arrives in time to hear Sonny reveal he saw Uri, but Will's friend had pushed him into the garbage before he could ask what he was doing. Livid, Will tells his ex and his mother that they had scared Uri off.
Sonny says he's concerned about Will. Something seems way off about this Uri guy. Will blasts Sonny, saying he was never gay enough, or complication-free enough for Sonny. Now he has someone in his life who accepts him for who he is. Sonny needs to back off. The same goes for Sami.
Sami reminds Will she's his mother and has a right to know what's going on with him. He tells her she has no rights where he's concerned. She's miserable because she's screwed up every relationship she's ever had; now she wants the same fate for him. He tells them both to stay the hell out of his life.
Alan waits until dark to return to Will's place. He says he wants them to be alone. Will promises there will be no more interruptions. "Uri" can finally tell Will the secret that's been troubling him. Alan says they can't do it there. What if Sami or Will's ex-boyfriend returns? Will tells "Uri" he knows the perfect place where they can be alone — the Horton Cabin.
Back home and reeling, Sami gets a knock on the door. She prays it's Will coming over to talk things out. She opens the door to find her sister. What the hell is Carrie doing back in Salem?
Carrie says it isn't a social visit. Sami quips she's sure of that. Sami tells her she doesn't have time for her drama.
Carrie tells Sami to shut up and listen. She wouldn't be on her doorstep on a random Friday evening if it wasn't important. She has something to tell Sami.
Earlier that week, Will's Aunt Hope (Kristian Alfonso) asked him to go up and make sure the Horton Cabin on Smith Island is ready for summer visitors. He tells 'Uri" the cabin will be the perfect place for them to be alone. Alan says he can't wait to get Will by himself, before hugging him, smiling.
Sami tells Carrie she doesn't have all day. EJ (James Scott) is coming over to spend time with the kids. Carrie makes a crack about the Sami/EJ merry-go-round being in full swing again. Sami tells her sister to mind her own damn business.
Carrie offers that she doesn't want to fight with Sami. She's learned some information that affects them both.
Will's hybrid almost packed up, he and "Uri" are about to set off for a weekend they'll never forget. At the trunk, Alan pulls out a long, razor-sharp knife. Seeing Will coming, he quickly pushes the instrument into his duffle bag.
"All set," Alan says with a smile.
Sami asks Carrie if she plans on telling her what she came to say before they both start collecting social security.
"It's about Alan Harris."
Sami's capillaries strain, as the blood coursing through them turns to ice.
"What about Alan Harris?" she manages through gritted teeth.
Carrie fills Sami in on what her rapist has been up to over the past two decades. Courtesy of a recent chat Carrie had with a lawyer pal who works with the FBI, she's learned Alan has been in and out of prison — coming out a little more deviant with each stay. Most recently, he did a two-year jail stint for cyber stalking a blonde, blue-eyed co-worker at a deli Houston.
Carrie goes on to inform her that Alan hasn't checked in with his probation officer in months. Additionally, the Feds suspect him in connection with a "Catfish" scam involving a popular Olympic gymnast. The blonde, slender, blue-eyed gymnast dedicated her bid for the gold to "Uri", a paralyzed soldier she'd met online. Only, the FBI learned "Uri" was using pictures of an actual paraplegic Iraqi War veteran, who had never conversed with the gymnast online.
Sami admits all of these things sounds horrible. She feels sorry for Alan's latest victims and will do anything she can to help. She'll testify on their behalf, write letters, whatever, but right now she has a lot on her plate.
Carrie wonders what could be more important than discussing them making sure they track down Alan Harris before he hurts anyone else? Reluctantly, Sami shares she and Will are having issues.
"What else is new?"
Sami glares at her sister, before making a crack that it's easy for Carrie to pass judgment, considering she's childless and barren.
Visibly stung, Carrie says leave it to her baby sister to go for the low blow. Sami knows how devastating Carrie's last miscarriage was for Austin (Patrick Muldoon) and her.
Sami softens. She asks how her marriage is holding up.
"Not good — not good at all," Carrie offers. "Which I'm sure you're thrilled to hear."
Sami tells Carrie that isn't true. She wants her big sister to be happy — just happy far away from Salem. Both women laugh at their moment of brutal honesty.
Carrie assures Sami that Will loves her. The two of them will eventually make peace.
Sami doesn't want to talk about her son with Carrie. She asks what her sister's Fed friend recommends they do about the Alan situation. Carrie has already notified their dad. The Salem P.D. will be patrolling the homes of their loved ones until Alan is caught. Carrie also suggests letting Lucas know what's going on, since he was once Alan's friend.
Sami flashes back to shooting Alan, and later making love to Lucas for the first time. She calls Lucas and tells him to meet her at the coffee shop.
Will and "Uri" sing along to the radio as they make the drive up to Smith Island. With his free hand, Will interlocks his fingers with "Uri's", as he navigates the winding stretch of road. Alan swallows his disgust.
Hootie and the Blowfish's "Let Her Cry" is playing. Alan feigns shock when Will knows the lyrics. He says that song was way before Will's time. Didn't it come out in '95?
Will explains the track was one of his mom's favorite songs from when she was a teenager. She sang it to him all the time when he was a kid.
Alan nods his head. He temporarily flashes back to the image of an awkward, overweight, teenaged Sami. All she wanted was for him to look at her like so many boys—including him—looked at Carrie. The memory rebuked him angrily.
He'd tried giving Sami what she was looking for — asking for. How did she repay him? The little fat, little slut accused him of rape!
If that wasn't bad enough, she'd shot his balls off. Bitch.
It was time for Sami Brady to pay. As he reached over to squeeze her gay son's firm, young thigh, he knew he'd found just the way to make that happen.
At the coffee shop, Lucas is thrilled to see Carrie, causing Sami to roll her eyes. Some things never change.
Lucas wants to know what brings her to town. Carrie tells him they need to talk about Alan.
Alan? Lucas doesn't know an Alan... Alan Harris. He locks eyes on Sami at the realization. She looks away.
"What about that asshole?" Lucas demands.
Carrie informs her brother-in-law of what Alan's been up to. Her friend at the FBI is worried he might be heading their way.
Lucas asks if Carrie has a current picture of Alan. She pulls out her iPad to bring up a recent photo from the Texas sex offenders registry. Sonny is wiping a table nearby. He looks over and manages to see the picture. He rushes over to get a closer look.
"Sonny, what are you doing, man?" Lucas bellows, as Sonny snatches the iPad from Carrie's hands.
"That's Uri!" Sonny exclaims.
"Uri?" Carrie asks.
"Who the hell is Uri?" Sami demands.
'Will's new boyfriend."
Hope enters the coffee shop with Ciara and Theo. She'd promised them if they played quietly while she studied for her upcoming FBI training course at Quantico, she'd treat them to decaf, frozen caramel frappuccinos.
"Hey guys, what's going on?" she asks, before noticing Carrie. "Oh my God! Hey you!"
Carrie quickly hugs Hope, as a freaked Lucas and Sami get up to head for the door.
"What, leaving so soon?" Hope asks, joking.
"There's no time for this, Aunt Hope!" Sami snaps. "We have to find Will!"
Hope is stunned by Sami's behavior, though by now she should be used to her niece being self-centered and rude. Hope asks what's going on with Will. Why do they all have such intense looks on their faces?
Carrie says Will may be in danger. Hope tells them she saw Will earlier, when she dropped off the keys to the Horton Cabin.
"The cabin?" Lucas repeats.
"Yeah, he offered to go up and make sure it's ready for summer," Hope explains. "He just texted me in fact, saying he was going tonight and taking a friend."
Lucas and Sami exchange terrified looks.
At the Horton Cabin, Will is busy lighting numerous candles. A bottle of champagne—left over from his Uncle Bo and Aunt Hope's last anniversary trip—is chilling. Alan watches his prey. He wonders if on some level Will realizes this would be his last night as a fully-functional man.
He isn't a man. Little faggot. Thinks I actually want to have sex with him! Disgusting.
No, William Horton wouldn't be having sex with "Uri", or anyone else any more for that matter. Once Alan got him naked, he planned to do the same thing to Will that Sami had done to him all those years ago. Only he planned to do it much slower.
Alan winced, as he flashed back to Sami shooting him in the groin, taking away his manhood.
"You okay?" Will asks, so innocent, so yearning for a man's love.
"I'm fine," Alan responds. "Just caught a chill."
"Oh is that all?" Will teases. "Maybe I should come over there and start warming you up?"
"I'd love that," Alan said, glancing over at his duffle bag.
Hope tells Carrie to watch Theo and Ciara. She already called for back-up and is on her way up to Smith Island to stop Alan — for good this time.
Lucas, Sami and Sonny demand to go along. Hope reluctantly okays it, but says once they arrive to let her and the other cops handle things from there. All three make promises to Hope they have no intention of keeping.
Carrie hugs the kids on either side of her legs, more for her comfort than their own. She calls out for her loved ones to be careful.
Will they make it to the Horton Cabin in time to save Will from a fate worse than death?