Days kills Will

Will Hor­ton gets stuffed in a body bag while his on­screen fam­ily protests the Grim Writer’s choices.

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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.

MOURN­ING WARN­ING

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.

FU­NERAL BLUES

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.

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