Days kills Will
Will Horton gets stuffed in a body bag while his onscreen family protests the Grim Writer’s choices.
On Tuesday 4 December, Will (Guy Wilson) was beaten unconscious, strangled to death, stuffed into a laundry bag and dragged back to his apartment by Necktie Killer Ben (Robert Scott Wilson). It’s a hideous way to go and what a waste. More than a Salem baby and onscreen presence for 20 years, Will was also a true breakthrough character for the LGBTQ com- munity (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning) thanks to how sensitively the soapie handled his coming- out scenes, first kiss and gay wedding last year. Now he’s done, dusted and dead. Behind the scenes, the soapie’s cast took it hard. “It was very difficult to see the killing of Will on air. We stood paralysed and fixed on the screen in the make-up room. Seeing the show on air brought back the terrible sadness we all felt when the scenes were being filmed,” says
Deidre Hall, who plays Will’s grandmother and confidante Marlena. And onscreen, Days’ surviving stars will have you crying your hearts out in the scenes leading up to Will’s funeral on Wednesday 12 December.
Will’s husband Sonny (Freddie Smith) is packing his bags in Paris to fly home and reconcile on Wednesday 5 December after hearing the heartfelt voicemail message that Will left him. But his hopes are crushed when he gets a choked-up phonecall from his grandfather Victor (John Aniston) who has to give him the bad news. Sonny dissolves in tears as he realises that he can now never tell Will that he loves him and has forgiven him. And in another heart-wrenching moment, Will’s parents Sami (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas (Bryan Dattilo – doing some of his best work in these scenes) view his body in the morgue on Thursday 6 December. Lucas can’t stop the tears but the reality only hits Sami when she goes to Will’s apartment and sees all his things on Friday 7 December. Sonny mirrors her grief when he visits the apartment that he shared with Will on Monday 10 December, realising that he’s standing right where Will died.
The tears continue as family and friends gather for the funeral on Wednesday 12 December, unaware that Will’s killer is sitting alongside them. There are touching moments, including when Sami looks at the mourners and reaches out to Hope (Kristian Alfonso), Marlena and Abe (James Reynolds), acknowledging that they have lost children too and grieved for them. Here are some of the special words from Will’s mourners… Marlena: “When Will decided to come
out, that’s a thing that shouldn’t be terrifying in this day and age, and yet, for some it is. For him it was, so I got to watch him come to terms with the man that he was. I saw him find happiness. I saw him find love. I’m unspeakably proud of his courage and his determination. I will miss him every day. I will miss his work, his words.”
Sami: “I call him a miracle because he actually turned out okay. I don’t take any credit for how smart he was, how funny he was, how kind he was, how talented he was. Too many people sitting here today know what it is to lose a child. There is this hole in my heart that will never be filled.”
Sonny: “The last time I heard his voice, he said he wanted to make things right, and I would give anything to have that chance. A piece of my heart is going to be buried with Will today. You know how people say don’t go to bed angry? Well… look at me and know why.”
THE FAMILY SPEAKS OUT
Will’s death was originally meant to be permanent (the character was written back into the show two years after his death) when Days could simply have sent him to Paris to live with Sonny. Will has been pretty messed up lately, but he was never boring – the only real deadly sin in soapies – so both the cast and fans were taken aback by Days’ then-headwriter Josh Griffith’s choice. “Completely honestly? I was angry and I felt betrayed, hurt they were doing it. There are other ways they could have handled it. It breaks my heart that there is no Will anymore. There have been a lot of storylines that I haven’t agreed with, but I always understood the motive behind them. But this particular story point is something that I just don’t agree with. I didn’t from the moment they told me and I don’t understand why they did it,” says Alison. Bryan adds, “I was upset and I didn’t understand it. I felt betrayed.” And Freddie says that “it was more shocking than anything and it was the last thing that I thought would happen. I was just blown away that is the route they went, for a character who has been there forever”.
Even former Days writer Kola Boof (who created the character of EJ DiMera, played by James Scott) commented, “I think the killing of Will Horton is one of the biggest and dumbest mistakes in Days Of Our Lives history. On many levels.”
Salem gathers to mourn Will Horton.
Necktie Killer Ben murdered Will (but everyone blames the Days writers).
Andre DiMera crashes Will’s wake to announce that he is Stefano’s biological son. Will might be dead but Salem’s drama lives on. Sami and Lucas say a last goodbye to their son.