Soaps

‘Days of our Lives’ Week In Review: A Family Connection and a Killer Revealed

Kassie DePaiva, A Martinez
"Days of our Lives" Set
NBC Studios
Burbank
04/17/15
© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com
310-657-9661
Episode # 12683
U.S.Airdate 09/25/15
Kassie DePaiva, A Martinez "Days of our Lives" Set NBC Studios Burbank 04/17/15 © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661 Episode # 12683 U.S.Airdate 09/25/15

Another solid week in Salem, USA! The show’s new head writers are delivering on their promise to keep romance and intrigue on the forefront of the show. There are still a few complaints about the new writers making big changes to keep plot moving, creating inconsistencies or drafting up something from nothing but overall, has the show not become better? I’ve enjoyed every week since the new writing regime took over after suffering through months of my favorite people in my favorite town become unwatchable. Days of our Lives is entertaining again, it may not be the best but it’s getting better.

I think instead of nitpicking on the slower serial killer story or Aiden Jennings suddenly becoming Stefano Dimera’s pawn, there should be more commendation over the saving of this show. Everyone from the crew, to the cast, to the majority of viewers are enjoying the changes – and it shows with ratings rising and actors putting in their best work. This is still a transition period for DAYS but for it to be this good at that point can only mean better things down the line. Now onto what went down in Salem, USA this last week!

Days of our Lives week in review for episodes airing September 21-25, 2015.

The Booming Bunch

Of the two people who were already well acquainted with Eduardo Hernandez, neither of them was very happy to see him arrive in Salem. His ex-wife Eve Larson took it the hardest, with the death of their daughter Paige on her shoulders and his timely re-emergence after abandoning them when their daughter was only 8 years old. Speaking for the viewers (including myself), Paige and Eve’s relationship and its subsequent destruction was always an odd point on the show. The mother-daughter duo was extremely close yet all we really knew was that together they’d gotten over the divorce. Even so, Eve going to the extremes of sleeping with JJ Devereaux then setting him and his mother up for a drug-related offense was a bit baffling. With Eduardo in town now, it’s plain to see how an already dependent woman like Eve could grow even worse. He was the textbook absentee father, gone even when he was there but somehow Eve still loved him. There was an amazing push and pull within their first scenes together, the tension palpable and emotion high, so much so that even nosy Theresa Donovan thought it best to leave the scene after gathering Paige’s belongings to let the two have it out. Kassie DePaiva and A Martinez have to be commended for their work. After only one scene, there wasn’t a single viewer not impressed with the way their grief was played out on screen. Eve hated him, she voiced that and showed that with her fists but at the same time, she’d come to him for comfort proving that even in grief, Eve was needy. Their dynamic is going to be so much fun to watch in the coming weeks though the power in their scenes together has dimmed a bit, knowing that Eve will be exiting the canvas soon. Such a shame.

As if Rafe Hernandez didn’t already have enough family, this week Salem’s foremost officer had a few unexpected additions to his clan. Last week, we all saw Gabi Hernandez be miraculously released from prison on some unnamed technicality – a quick, cheap plot move but in the long run, was necessary. Gabi really grew to be a great character over the years and after suffering through Melanie Jonas and the confusion that can be Abigail Devereaux, it’ll be nice to have a young woman on screen that more or less has it together. Again, I must emphasize more or less. The other addition to his family, the patriarch of the brood, was none other than Eduardo, Paige’s father. After being around Salem for a year and maybe sharing just a scene or two, Paige and Rafe suddenly have this family connection but as she’s set to be buried six feet under it’s much too late to explore it. Oh, well!

Through Rafe, we all learned that Eduardo was no shining example of a father to his first family either. Just like with Eve down the line, Eduardo up and left his first four children, leaving Rafe to step up as the man of the house in his place. What I loved the most about the scenes between father and son (as well as ex-husband and wife), was that Eduardo was not a cut and dry bad guy. Yes, he made mistakes in the past – a whole mountain of mistakes, but he admitted to them, didn’t make excuses or really even fight back in the faces of those he’d hurt in the past. It was refreshing to see a “bad guy” on Days of our Lives, a show where they can sometimes be written as caricatures, actually have remorse and be a lot less black and white and more gray. I never thought I’d feel a bit of sympathy for a deadbeat dad, but this last week I did.

Now that the Hernandez family is seemingly being set up as a fixed one, I’m interested to see how the coming weeks will play out. Rafe still has a lot of animosity for his father. I would too if my father disappeared and started a whole new life; that must sting even more knowing that he’d show up to make amends in time for the funeral of one daughter but thought a simple phone call would suffice for the other. Then there’s Gabi, who didn’t even recognize her father when he helped her out with Ariana Grace in Horton Town Square. I have a feeling that Gabi will take to him, want to get to know him against Rafe’s wishes because other than her daughter, Rafe and Will to an extent, she doesn’t have many connections in Salem at the moment. Her only other friend was the cousin of the guy she killed! Speaking of Nick Fallon’s family, how long until Julie Olsen goes on the attack for Gabi’s early release? Rushed family ties aside, I’m enjoying the Hernandez clan (Rafe especially) much more under these new head writers and cannot wait for more. What are your thoughts on the new family dynamic in town?

Abigail (Kate Mansi) doesn't know Ben (Robert Scott Wilson) is a killer! Photo Credit: © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com
Abigail (Kate Mansi) doesn’t know Ben (Robert Scott Wilson) is a killer! Photo Credit: © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

Setting the Framework

Lying somewhere in between expected and unexpected, the Necktie Killer was revealed this week. Ben Weston, the man who has been gradually becoming more and more obsessive over his girlfriend Abigail, has been strangling women with his endless supply of red dress ties. Do I buy it? No, not exactly and here’s why.

In comparison to DAYS’ other murder mysteries, this one is a considerably tame affair. But even so, to have a reveal that big be set for a Thursday in a non-sweeps month? Suspect, definitely suspect. Ben could very well just be setting up Chad Dimera and not physically doing the killing. There could be someone else he’s working with, someone with violent tendencies like his father. What we saw this last week was Ben having a sort of emotional outburst. Again, he’d been looking for his girlfriend but found her getting her face caressed by her ex-boyfriend which made him break it off with her for her lies. And there are a lot of lies that came from Abigail’s mouth, so tears and slow-moving pregnancy and all; I can’t say that I felt much sympathy for her. Soon after that, Marlena Evans was nearly strangled to death in her office after attempting to help Chad clear up those hazy nights where the women were killed. That attack could have very much just been reacting to Chad getting his girl yet again; an unplanned, extreme emotional reaction. Ben is the guy who was apprehensive about installing the stalker app onto Abigail’s phone, who went along with his father’s plan after being coaxed into it. I don’t think he became a cold-blooded serial killer in a heartbeat.

But there’s also the flip side to consider, Clyde Weston covered up a major crime for his son from when he was living in Miami. We don’t really know what it was, the only info that we got from Ben was that he was more or a less a drug mule. But with someone of his stature, is it that hard to believe he did a little more of the hard work too? Clyde had to call in to have a man killed to keep his son’s offense hidden, so maybe this isn’t Ben’s first go round with murder.

There was also a smart red herring this last week involving Daniel Jonas, one that I loved seeing as I’d hoped he’d be the killer from when the story was first announced. It involved Marlena in her darkened hospital room; the stress of her previous attack was high and making her see things. At first she saw the masked assailant but he soon morphed into Daniel, easing Marlena’s anxiety. That could have just been a simple scene to demonstrate Marlena’s mind state but could Daniel really be involved? Unfortunately, there’s no motive for him to go around strangling women except for his general emotionally abusive tendencies and that Shawn Christian will be leaving the show soon. Fortunately, Daniel not being the killer means he’ll be open to being a victim.

What are your Necktie Killer theories?

That’s What Friends Are For

When the chips are down and things are looking bleak, it’s good to have a friend like Patch Johnson in your corner. Though Bo Brady is unaware that his longtime buddy is on the hunt for him, he’d probably appreciate getting a second thought from him as his entire family had more or less given up on him. There have been floods of complaints regarding this, finding it out of character for Bo’s family to be so complacent about him being gone. Even with Steve’s investigation, Victor Kiriakis was still skeptical for a while before real evidence was put before him. The most complaints seemed to be toward Kayla Brady’s reaction, finding her to be uncaring about her brother probably being held captive and more interested in berating her ex-husband for leaving her the same way Bo had left Hope. I didn’t necessarily see that.

Patch (Stephen Nichols) questions Claudia (Anya Monzikova) during his search for Bo! Photo Credit: © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com
Patch (Stephen Nichols) questions Claudia (Anya Monzikova) during his search for Bo! Photo Credit: © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

In all of the scenes since Steve returned to Salem, Kayla has been teetering somewhere between love and apathy with him. You can tell she’d love more than anything to be reunited, to have her family again be complete but she also seems to be afraid to let that emotion in should he hurt her again. At the beginning, she was extremely closed off to him wanting to be back in her life but she’s melting down, even calling him now to keep in touch. The same could be said to how she reacted to Steve’s suspicions about Bo. At first, Kayla wanted to hear nothing from her ex but inconsistencies and worries began to plague her too until this last week, she voiced them to Hope. I think it was just her having a knee jerk reaction to not trust anything Steve said to her, not that she didn’t care about her brother. Hope is still very much apathetic but she did wish that Steve would find Bo to bring him home for his deteriorating mother’s sake.

Thanks to Steve, we’re getting closer and closer to Bo’s rescue. He managed to dig up some surveillance footage showing Bo speaking with someone strikingly similar to Britta Englund, the long deceased woman who came in between the two friends decades ago. He followed the lead to Mexico where he met a woman named Claudia who after a pay off revealed that she’d been paid to lure Bo into a trap. She’d lied that Britta Englund was still living and gave him a phone number but that was the last she’d seen of him, nearly two years ago. It’s later that John Black traces the number to a monastery in the Yucatan, leaving Steve to wonder why a holy place would be holding his friend captive. All of this happens while Bo makes a brave yet unsuccessful attempt to escape. He’s soon strapped down to a chair after breaking out of shackles. It really seems like the heat is only being further turned up on Bo but can Steve make it in time?

This coming week on Days of Our Lives, Aiden confesses to Hope, Lani knows something about Abe’s past, Kayla and Victor butt heads over Caroline’s treatment, Eve has a hard time at Paige’s funeral and Chad needs his father’s help!

As usual, if I missed something you really wanted to talk about or if I missed something important in my recap, let’s start a discussion! Comment below, tweet me and let’s chat!

Photo Credit: © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

About the author

Coryon Gray

Coryon Gray joined as Staff Writer for Soaps at TVSource Magazine in October 2014. Prior to TVSource Magazine, he's written for and moderated Asian entertainment blogs all while staying updated with his multiple "stories" like the elderly person in his soul. TV is a big part of his life, and it shows as he has been known to try to incorporate TV hijinks into his life with varying results. Follow him at @sourcecoryon for soapy soap reactions and more!