Time: 1:51 p.m. (CDT), Oct. 17, 2007
Place: University Hospital, Salem, USA
Who: John "That's a fact" Black
What: Took his last breath
Why: Someone ran him down close to Salem Clinic
Okay - this is Days of Our Lives I'm talking about & John Black is a fictional character who has been played by one actor, Drake Hogestyn, for the last 21 years. I wasn't actually at home able to watch when Drake came on board, but kept up at that time through the weekly TV guide recaps. Drake played John as the romantic hero, knight in shining armor, law enforcer extraordinaire, and the former Pawn of everyone's enemy on DOOL - Stefano DiMera. When John stood on that pier and saw his beloved Marlena return to him, I cried as the characters cried. When John realized he wasn't in fact Roman Brady, I was devastated that they'd get rid of his character. When John went on to marry and then lose his precious Isabella, I cried as she died in his arms he held her while they danced. When John and Marlena reignited their passion for one another, I cheered. And over the years I've been cheering for John in his story lines. This last year and a half, I've hoped that he got a good, meaty storyline to equal those of years' past - but he didn't. When he announced his fan club gathering this year & called it "John Black's Last Mission" the online message boards lit up with rumors that John Black was on his way out. And sure enough today, the character flatlined and took his last breath as his one & only love, Marlena, told him to close his eyes and sleep & someday he would welcome her with open arms. Yes, I had tears in my eyes. More so in the next scene when Sami (who hated John for most of the time Allison Sweeney has played the part) bolted out of John's rooms in tears and shoved the annullment papers in front of Lucas & told him to sign them & he did. I understand that all of the tears the characters shed were real - they were all in shock that Drake was leaving.
Yet . . . no one ever stays dead on Days - so maybe . . . possibly . . . he'll be back. Maybe - we don't know now . . . and "that's a fact".