Soaps

‘Days of Our Lives’ Week In Review: Burning And Yearning

Episode # 12797

Not a bad week in Salem, USA, but not a great one either… There were doppelgangers and crazy women and other soap tropes that either work well or don’t. There’s a lot on Days of Our Lives that isn’t working right now, the effort is there but the final product just is not getting me excited as a viewer. There have been some really intriguing weeks as of late but in comparison, this last week felt much more flat.

DAYS went back into production after a longer than usual break which was great for news like the casting call for Valerie Grant, a groundbreaking character from DAYS’ second decade on air and backstage photos. But this return to production also mean farewell to Brandon Beemer and Martha Madison – again! I don’t think I’ll ever not be upset and bitter over once again losing these core characters, but I won’t rant for my blood pressure’s sake. At least we have five more months of Shelle thanks to DAYS’ production model! Instead, here are a few highlights from this last week.

Week in Review for Days of Our Lives episodes airing April 4th – 8th, 2016.

The Burning Bed

How many times can one applaud the Kate Mansi, Robert Scott-Wilson and Billy Flynn trio before it gets tired and old? Never, right? Naysayers can bemoan the storylines all they want but no one can deny that these three actors on screen in whatever permutation make for an electrifying experience. Though funnily enough, you could say this last week gave DAYS viewers more of a burning sensation if anything.

Just a week ago, we had to see the beginning of Abigail Deveraux’s downward descent into mental instability. Having a baby at gunpoint and being nearly burned alive certainly had lasting effects on the young woman. With convicted murderer and ex-boyfriend Ben Weston now on the loose, Abigail just could not shake the feeling that he was on his way to get her. Like the Boogey Man, Abigail saw Ben wherever she looked and even crafted intricate delusions of him attacking her. This week, reality finally hit hard and Abigail no longer had to deal with visions of Ben when he showed up right on her doorstep. Not even Chad Dimera’s extra security could hold back The Necktie Killer.

Though I thanked him for killing Paige Larson and hated him for offing Will Horton, Ben got a bit of my sympathy in the last minutes of Friday’s episode. He really had no clue what he was walking into. First Abigail turned everything around, curbing his murderous rage into lust as she professed her undying love for him then the next second she’s stabbing him and smashing a lamp over his head. Yikes! And how chilling was it watching Abigail calmly detail her day to Chad on the phone as she tied Ben to the bed, putting in much more work and effort into something than she has in a long time. And without tears or shifting the blame!

It’s really a shame that in most cases, a soap has to pen a woman as mentally unstable to show her strength and it’s even more of a shame that I still fall for this trope. Abigail kicking ass was a sight to behold but cheering her on still felt wrong when she was so dead behind the eyes, vacant and clearly not completely based in reality. It was so smart of Ben to try and convinced the snapped Abigail that this was all in her head as a ploy for her to leave him alone. Too bad that only made her douse him in lighter fluid and toy with matches by his side. In only a few short months, two Hortons have committed or attempted murder as well as a Brady. Oh, how the mighty have fallen! But whatever you decide to do Abigail, please don’t torch Ben’s face! Or abs!

Trading Faces

Most of Monday’s episode had me rolling my eyes, but only because there wasn’t any Chabby to save me from things I did not want to see (i.e. Summer Townshend). The Kiriakis mansion became a bit of a disaster zone recently, after Maggie Kiriakis’ tumble down the stairs left her paralyzed; Victor Kiriakis suffered a heart attack while trying to defend her against his brother Deimos. Even for someone who has admitted to loving dark, gothic inspired storylines like myself, it was a bit much when Deimos promptly left his brother to die on the sofa so he could finish his tryst with Kate Roberts upstairs. Just a bit too much.

Nicole makes a shocking discovery about Deimos' past. © jpistudios.com
Nicole makes a shocking discovery about Deimos’ past.
© jpistudios.com

Having Nicole Walker as the one to stumble upon Victor and call emergency services could have been a classic moment for the show. The two have been at odds with each other since Nicole’s early gold-digging and murder-for-hire days, so adding in a little of their great comedic moments to lighten the heavy mood a bit would have been great to see. Or at least have Nicole show some more hesitation when it came to saving the man who has done nothing but trash her for decades. But alas, the Nicole we see now has been saved by basking in the holy light emitted from Daniel Jonas and blessed by the grace of Maggie Kiriakis, his insta-mother. Blegh.

We find out later when Deimos comes across Nicole that she is the spitting image of Helena, the woman at the helm of the Kiriakis feud… Right… Before adding in this element to the story, I was intrigued by the relationship between Victor and Deimos but now it’s on the verge of silly territory. Is this not just a Colleen Brady saga with the Kiriakis family and Greece as a backdrop? I already don’t like nice Nicole, I don’t want to have nice Nicole be nice to Victor because she resembles his dead love! If it’s explained that the reason why Victor holds so much irrational (and rational, I guess) contempt for Nicole is because of the identical Helena’s past betrayal, then I can try to get behind the story. But for now, this just feels like another instance of misusing the character of Nicole Walker. Arianne Zucker’s Nicole should be leading her own A story, not supporting stories with newly crafted histories. But I must admit, Nicole would make a hot Mrs. Deimos Kiriakis.

Trading Faces II

Does anyone know where the real Kate Roberts is? By Kate Roberts I mean Lucas Horton and Philip Kiriakis’ overbearing mother, the ruthless businesswoman and loyal friend – not the woman who jumps from one powerful man to the next just because. I swear I blinked and Eduardo Hernandez was dead to Kate and she was all about Deimos. I feel zero chemistry with this couple, they don’t pop on screen nor do they seem to want to. Deimos and Kate always seem almost ready to leave the other high and dry.

It’s finally become glaringly obvious that Kate has been written out of character for far too long now. She spent much of early 2016 bullying Theresa Donovan for little to no reason, then dumped her ex-boyfriend’s dad for the charismatic new bad guy in town. Why isn’t Kate spending her days in the office, crafting plans to ruin Theresa and Nicole’s fashion company efforts for legitimate reasons like breach of a contract? Or digging into Philip’s current situation with Belle Brady (or at least alerting him of his father’s heart attack)? It’s just a complete bummer to see a character so powerful just crumble to pieces. I hope the new writing regime does right by Kate and gives her a reboot of her own.

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!

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!