Soaps

‘Days of Our Lives’ Week In Review: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

Photo Credit: © JPI Studios
Photo Credit: © JPI Studios

What a jam-packed week! At times, it really felt like there were way too many stories flying around at once, none of them cohesive or even intersecting a bit until the middle of the week came about to tie everything together. Days of Our Lives brought out some of its most entertaining episodes in a long while this last week; shootouts galore, warehouses galore and the beginning of beautiful wedding with bailing guests galore! I really enjoyed the majority of the week.

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

Week in Review for Days of Our Lives episodes airing March 7th- 11th, 2016.

Not Another Teen Set

Salem’s most famous set of teens spent most of their time talking about the internet at the Java Café. But that was more than a decade ago. Apparently teenagers these days are all into kidnapping, warehouses and shady means of revenge. It really says something about the environment these teenagers were raised in when their first plan of action is not to go to their high powered parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles for help on bringing a rapist to justice but to instead tie him up in a warehouse. How macabre! These kids are a little twisted and I love it!

If I remember correctly, Claire Brady’s casting call back in the day was for a quirky girl but lately she’s been nothing but a little spitfire! The week before, Claire was there for her not much older aunt, Ciara Brady after hearing about her rape at the hands of Chase Jennings. She asked all the right and all the wrong questions in a very well written and real to life dialogue moment with Ciara. It really seemed like Claire was just going to figure out a calm route to handling this bad situation but instead she spilled the beans to her cousin, Joey Johnson, got Theo Carver involved and soon the three of them were lugging Chase to an abandoned warehouse. There they tied him up and told Ciara to do whatever she wanted to do to him to get revenge.

If the kick off wasn’t enough of a shock, what came next really took me aback. As mentioned in a past review, soap operas do not have the best history of handling rape and usually the outcome ends predictably in love or devastation usually of the victim. DAYS did something a little different this time by having the victim take back her power by just using her words. Ciara had the option to bang Chase up with a steel pipe but instead she poured out every ounce of pain he’d inflicted by his disgusting act. She’d loved him as a brother, accepted him into her life and trusted him yet he harmed her in one of the worst ways. To Chase, it really seemed like he believed he was still in the right somehow, even though he knew he forced Ciara, Andre Dimera’s words had twisted him even more. He couldn’t even say he raped her until Ciara forced it out of him. Vivian Jovanni and Jonathon McClendon did really well with this powerful material, both actors still have more room to grow but the different anguishes both characters felt were palpable; though I only sympathized with Ciara’s.

Unlike her rebellious group of friends, Ciara does the right thing and calls the authorities – so, her mother. After Chase is booked, Hope and Ciara have an honest discussion that honestly made me tear up just a bit. I’ve never experienced or personally known anyone who has experienced any sexual violence but Ciara admitting that she didn’t think her mother would believe that Chase had raped her was incredibly sad. Far too many people suffer from the same fear and stay quiet for far longer than Ciara did. The mother-daughter chemistry with Kristian Alfonso and Vivian was off the charts and it definitely made up for Hope’s weeks of neglect in favor of killing octogenarians. I really have to applaud the DAYS writers for taking a new, bold route with dealing with this rape story. I think the best outcome was that most of the opponents to Chase and Ciara’s rape story changed their tunes, especially real life victims, some of whom have said they only wish they could have had the chance to have their abuser hear them out.

What do you think is next for Ciara? And is Claire a budding criminal mastermind?

Secret Agent Men

DAYS has always has always asked viewers to suspend belief a little more than other soaps have. In Salem there have been aliens, countless brainwashings, evil twins, devil possession and countless secret agents. For some reason, the world’s top secret agents always seem to converge on this one sleepy Midwestern town near Chicago and nowhere else. So when Eduardo Hernandez came to town, revealing himself to be a spy trained in the same facility as John Black, I have to say I rolled my eyes a little. But bit by bit I warmed up to the character’s buddy chemistry with the legendary former Pawn and A Martinez’s portrayal helped immensely.

Under material co-penned by Dena Higley, Eduardo was a secret agent but he was also a man on an apology tour to his family. While that was all and well, and necessary for the character that deserted not just one but two families, it was still stale when compared to his rumored exciting past. This last week under Beth Milstein and Josh Griffith, we all got to see Eduardo come to life while helping John uncover the decades long mystery of his true identity for the umpteenth time. For weeks, both men spent time behind laptops or interrogating whatever villainous syndicate is tied to their early childhoods but all of the promised action was finally delivered on a rescue mission for Marlena Evans and Ariana Grace Horton.

Most fans were rolling their eyes the very second the good doctor and her great-granddaughter were kidnapped by this organization. Why, you ask? DAYS has been rife with rape, kidnapping and other nefarious dealings for months now and some people really can’t stand it. But for me, as long as it makes compelling TV then I’m there! From the beginning I was intrigued, mainly because their kidnappings would affect so many different people in town thus creating a really big umbrella story. And when was the last time that DAYS wasn’t just a bunch of different stories going all at once? Even all of the deaths that happened within the last few months didn’t bring the town together as it should. But soon enough we had Gabi Hernandez bawling for her child, JJ Devereaux trying to comfort her while working the case, Rafe Hernandez got pouty that his dad was a secret agent that left home to protect his family and that’s just the beginning of it all.

It was very crafty of the writers to use some Saw elements in this kidnapping storyline after hiring The Jigsaw Killer himself, Tobin Bell, as John’s scarred father at the helm of the operation; there were cryptic messages from a machine altered voice, a creepy warehouse full of armed guards and a single thermos full of God knows what that John and Eduardo had to drink to free their loved ones. The shootout was really well done too, the direction made sure to utilize every angle to really show the expanse of the space they were shooting in, making the action seem all the more grand. Getting Lani Price and JJ out of the office and trading gunfire with the villains was awesome too. All in all, it was honestly one of the more intriguing mysteries DAYS has shown in recent years. As usual I wish the mystery could have been stretched out just a little bit more but this isn’t the 90s, there viewers just don’t have the same attention span. But there’s still that same thirst for intrigue!

I think this first half of the mystery was intended to prop up story for the Hernandez clan. Eduardo got wounded in the crossfire which might just bring Rafe closer to his side, Gabi got word that her mother was on her way to Salem and Dario shouldn’t be too far behind either. I’m curious to see this family dynamic in the heat of this danger. John, on the other hand, after 30 years it seems his story is just beginning.

What did you think about the spy drama this last week? And is it me, or was it confusing as to how Deimos Kiriakis tied into all of this, can someone clue me in on what I missed?

Power of Love

Photo Credit: © JPI Studios
Photo Credit: © JPI Studios

There was not as much Abigail Devereaux and Chad Dimera this week and that greatly hurts me. Their wedding has been building up for the last few months and the most we saw of them was on a Friday – which can only mean that next week will be a Chabby week! At least I’m hoping for that. We’re not going to have Kate Mansi as Abigail for very much longer, so please overload us with all things Chabby until that sad, sad day that we lose her!

Since not much happened in the lead up to the wedding except for Julie Olson sprinkling her usual Horton magic about the room, I’ll just quickly comment on how gorgeous of a couple Chad and Abigail make. Abigail’s dress? Amazing design, amazing fit… Probably one of the only wedding dresses in daytime’s recent years that I’ll be remembering. How funny is it that even though she’s wearing a Theresa Donovan original, Abigail still didn’t send the girl an invite? Surprisingly Theresa didn’t even crash with Anne Milbauer hanging on her arm! What a missed opportunity.

Billy Flynn and Kate’s acting chemistry has really come so far, you can just see it in the way their eyes catch that they really found their stride with Chabby. That makes at all the more precious to get to see the two of them preparing for wedded bliss! But with Ben Weston back on the prowl, it’s hard to say how long this happiness will last. Can’t wait for Chabby Week to begin!

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

For a look at what’s ahead, check out our Days of Our Lives Spoilers.

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!