The 2018 Daytime Emmy Awards will be handed out on April 29, but winners have already been decided in the drama acting categories by blue ribbon panels that viewed sample performance reels. That includes the race for Best Younger Actor, were Lucas Adams has earned his first nomination for playing Tripp Dalton on “Days of Our Lives.” Will he win for scenes in which he vows revenge against those responsible for his mother’s death?
Adams’s 15 minutes worth of scenes actually include two storylines. In one he’s suspicious of Kate (Lauren Koslow) when she comes asking for a cell phone belonging to Theo, who has just been shot. She may be trying to access the phone to delete evidence of illegal activity she doesn’t want exposed. Tripp reluctantly hands over the phone, and even tricks Theo’s girlfriend into revealing Theo’s password.
But the storyline that accounts for most of the reel involves the death of Tripp’s mother, Ava Vitali (who was previously played by Tamara Braun in an Emmy winning performance). Tripp has learned of how Ava terrorizes his father Patch (Stephen Nichols) and his family, but he can’t come to terms with the fact that his own father killed his mother.
Tripp later comes to believe that it was actually Patch’s wife Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) who killed Ava. He hatches a plan to ruin her medical career by forging her patients’ records in a way that incriminates her for hospital deaths. the reel then cuts to later in that storyline after Kayla has been reinstated at the hospital, but Tripp isn’t content to let the matter rest. He threatens, “It’s time that you paid for what you did to my mother.”
Will Adams win Best Younger Actor with this performance against Rome Flynn (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), Tristan Lake Leabu (“The Young and the Restless”), Casey Moss (“Days”) and Hudson West (“General Hospital”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
Adams shows voters a broad range of emotions. He defends Theo to a self-interested Kate, and expresses guilt and doubt when he ultimately decides to help Kate destroy evidence on Theo’s phone. Then he’s in grief over his mother’s death while having dinner with his family. And he’s downright creepy when plotting revenge against Kayla.
His villainy in certain scenes could make him unsympathetic, but it’s balanced by his moments of mourning make you understand that his vindictiveness comes from a place of profound loss.
There are no big emotional fireworks, but Adams subtly expresses Tripp’s internal conflicts in his best scenes with his family and with Kayla in which he admits to being torn between his love for his mother and his desire for a relationship with his father. It’s nuanced work that balances sadness, resentment, and regret all at once.
The scenes are edited out of order. The storyline involving Kate’s attempts to get her hands on Theo’s phone appear at the beginning and end of the reel, so the emotional continuity may be difficult for viewers to ascertain.
He reveals his plan to tamper with medical records in a lengthy scene with Jade (Gabrielle Haugh) that is primarily exposition and doesn’t give Adams as much opportunity to emote.
His anger against Kayla builds and builds, but the last we see of that storyline is his ominous threat to make her pay, so the reel ratchets up the tension to an emotional payoff that doesn’t quite come.
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