Soaps

‘Days of our Lives’ Week In Review: Waking The Dead

Credit: © Howard Wise/JPI Studios
Credit: © Howard Wise/JPI Studios

Days of Our Lives rode into 2016 on a high but shaky note; unfortunately these last few weeks have been a complete toss up. Most of the stories middle out, never completely going as high as they could which made for solid episodes but also very uninteresting and uninspired episodes. Last week showed promise however even if all the suspense and romance it gave viewers was tepid. As always, I have hopes for DAYS to rise above and with new material from interim head writer Beth Milstein coming up, anything is possible!

Now onto a few highlights from Salem, USA this last week!

Week in Review for Days of Our Lives episodes airing January 18th – January 23rd, 2015.

His Heart Will Go On

Just when the world thought it was safe to live and love in Salem, Dr. Daniel Jonas rose from the dead – well, a small percentage of him at least. After a New Year’s car crash claimed the life of the town’s beloved doctor, fans rejoiced from near and far in hopes of never having to deal with DAYS’ unsubtle propping of his character. But thanks to his heart being transplanted in best buddy Brady Black, Daniel will forever be a part of Salem – unless Theresa Donovan goes after Brady with a fireplace poker this time.

There’s something fundamentally wrong with the character if the majority of the fans championed for his death far before it was announced. Many DAYS fans wished for Daniel to be off screen for years now, mainly because the character was always far from likable. To the town of Salem he was some miracle doctor who always deserved praise for always saving the day when in reality he started off as a slut, sleeping his way through multiple generations of one family. Later he ironically became a slut shamer which only further pushed him down viewers’ favorite lists. The pile up caused by a drunken Eric Brady should have been the very end of Daniel’s story; he finally hadn’t been driving story for months and was a character on the edge of the canvas. What this story should have been was a long twisted road to redemption for Eric, a story to bring him back into the arms of his now grieving one true love, Nicole Walker. But knowing that Greg Vaughn was let go from the show and will air through the spring, it was clear that this story was not set to focus on its catalyst.

And just as predicted, Daniel made the storyline all about him even while six feet under. Brady began to have flashbacks to moments he never shared with Nicole as if Daniel’s heart in his chest held some kind of psychic imprint. I’ve never been afraid to say that I love a good outlandish soap opera storyline, it’s not often that I groan during psychic visions but I could not keep quiet at all this last week. This was the perfect chance for DAYS’ head writers to give viewers a heaping helping of true, human struggle for this story but instead they made it silly by making Daniel some sort of immortal. What I want to see is Eric in anguish on his knees begging for forgiveness from Nicole and for Nicole to freeze over like ice, shutting it all out. Yes, she loved Daniel but he was not the love of her life. Watching her drip snot into wine glasses was wrong on many levels.

But now we have Theresa afraid that she’ll lose her man to Nicole all because of this implanted heart and its implanted visions. The writers could have gone a much more subtle route, even metaphorical by just having Brady feel pangs of emotions instead of full-fledged visions. This is a case where a kooky twist does not at all add anything, it degrades the overall story.

Now all we have to do is get Marlena Evans certified as an exorcist as well and we can take care of Daniel’s pesky ghost.

Terror at Home

While it’s great to see the Kiriakis clan grow, it is a bit sad that it is at the expense of the Dimera family. Once Salem’s most prominent family, the Dimeras have lost many sons, daughters and now a patriarch in the last few years while Victor Kiriakis has gained a sibling a year for the last two years. For a long time fans have complained about the lack of Kiriakises on screen and the head writers listened well.

Victor confides in Maggie about his twisted history with Deimos.
Victor confides in Maggie about his twisted history with Deimos.

This last week we met Deimos Kiriakis, a rewritten addition to Victor’s history that so far has yet to upset many fans like Xander Cook did early last year. With Xander, fans were disappointed that with so many unintroduced young Kiriakis men to choose from, the writers instead chose to craft someone brand new. Deimos works for me because the show could use another villain, but also because he fills in a demographic that DAYS has been lacking. Deimos is that ambiguous middle age that soap operas do so well, one where he can be with an older or younger woman without raising eyebrows. Because really, who else is in that age range other than Rafe Hernandez? Roman Brady…?

Anyway, Deimos means “terror” in Greek and with an ominous entrance paired with Victor’s sheer aversion to his younger half-brother, we knew from the start he’d be wreaking plenty of that across Salem. Vincent Irizarry plays the mysterious, shifty characters extremely well so his sudden appearance as Deimos was perfect, blending him right into the canvas as if he’d always been there. I always enjoyed the fact that the writers wasted no time in revealing just who Deimos was and why Victor hated him so much. Apparently Deimos was Victor’s impetus for coming to Salem decades ago – as he may have been the one to murder his own fiancée for falling for Deimos’ seduction. After paying for the crime in prison, Deimos arrived back in Salem keen on taking down his big brother. And with Philip Kiriakis’ help.

I think it’s clear to see that Deimos is the one chasing after the miracle drug that cured Caroline Brady’s dementia, thus making him the one who imprisoned Bo Brady for years to get information on it. Soaps don’t do twists very well anymore (partly because of the internet), but was anyone expecting another Kiriakis brother to show up as the culprit? I highly doubt it. Already a much better villain than Clyde Weston ever could have been, Deimos has DAYS viewers on the edges of their seats to see how his revenge against Victor plays out. Caroline’s visions have shown Victor going down from heart attacks, gunshot wounds and more but the only constant is that a man with a name beginning with D is behind it all. Will the spotty psychic’s visions actually come true or will it just be a misunderstanding like in an episode of That’s So Raven? Either way, DAYS seems eager to introduce new villainous blood to the canvas as its patriarchs have begun to age out. One has to wonder if Victor will be going down for good. Somehow I doubt it, but then again I never thought they’d kill off Bo!

Also, is anyone else down for a Deimos and Jennifer “Pill Poppin’” Horton pairing? Too soon?

Bringing Down the House

Yet another silly plot began a week ago, one that snuffed out the life of Salem’s eternally burning Phoenix. Stefano Dimera died at the hands of Hope Brady – yes, Hope Brady not his longtime rivals Marlena Evans or Roman Brady or John Black. Those three characters had a much richer history with Stefano and far more motive to kill him dead, Hope only had a “hunch” based on prejudice. With no other plan, super cop Hope Brady and her lackey Rafe Hernandez dumped Stefano’s body in a building set for demolition and called it a day. Dena Higley took a leave of absence around the time these stories were written. So we’ll have to see where that takes us viewers.

While waiting for the building to implode, Hope confessed to killing Dr. Seth Malcom to keep the cops from sniffing around the murder she actually committed. The scenes weren’t particularly suspenseful or really interesting; they felt more confusingly throwaway than anything else. Unfortunately for Hope, Justin Kiriakis and Roman Brady only seemed to buy her story on the surface and for reasons relating to emotional stress, dropped all charges. Easy enough, right? But truthfully, both men found Hope’s confession to be extremely peculiar but did nothing to dig any deeper other than to pay home visits to check in on her. Lani Price though has been lurking in the background, motivated by her obvious crush for Rafe who has an obvious crush on Hope. Lani still hasn’t stuck as a character for me yet but I do think her being suspicious of her love rival in Hope could play out very interestingly.

I really just don’t care too much for this storyline but it is still very early on. There are many factors that could turn this from a silly caper to an entertaining murder mystery. Andre will surely deliver on the revenge front but Lani is a wild card at the moment but I’ll take anything that will throw a wrench in all that is Rafe and Hope. They look pretty together on screen but it is far too soon for Hope to even contemplate shacking up with a new man. Plus, I can’t shake the feeling of Rafe’s crush on Hope being entirely juvenile.

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!

Photos courtesy of JPI Studios.

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!