Soaps

‘Days of Our Lives’ Week In Review: Escapes, Excuses and Escapades

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

Days of Our Lives is not in the best shape at the moment. Ratings for the half-century old soap have been dipping lower and lower each week, and watching what’s playing out on screen makes figuring out why very simple. There’s not much to compel viewers to watch every day of DAYS right now. Stories that actually have potential like Jennifer’s addiction, JJ and Gabi’s sweet romance have taken a back seat to recycled love triangles and squares. The shining point as well as the sad point of this last week was Kate Mansi’s goodbye scenes as Abigail. Her growth as an actress over the last five years in Salem was highlighted in these last scenes full of various emotions, all of which deserved applause. She’ll truly be missed on the show. Hopefully DAYS will fill her spot well with Marci Miller later this year though I’m more hoping they erase and fill in some of these storylines with better ones.

For more thoughts on the current state of DAYS, check out TV Source Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief, Ryan White-Nobles’ latest Soap Reaction ‘Days of our Lives’ is a Test of One’s Patience.

Week in Review for Days of Our Lives episodes airing June 20th – 24th.

On The Run

As expected, the climax of Abigail Dimera’s battle with her own mind was the best thing to air all week. When Kate Mansi announced she’d be leaving the show, fans of her and Billy Flynn’s Chad Dimera knew the pair would bring their A Game no matter what. Unnecessary Michael Meyers mask aside, I was very pleased with the way Kate Mansi’s Abigail was ushered off canvas though I’m a little broken up about it.

It has been absolutely heartbreaking watching Chad week after week, standing by helplessly as his wife spirals into the darkest parts of her own mind. So traumatized by ex-boyfriend Ben Rogers’ attempt on their lives last year, Abigail has been losing touch with reality to the point that she burned herself while hallucinating. She blamed Ben for the arson that left her burned (I think? Her face was just fine under the mask though…) while the police investigated her for the crime. Of course it was all in her head, shown through flashbacks we learned that a vision of Ben taunted her until she tried to light him up again only to be stopped by a ghostly Jack Devereaux. I really loved this moment between father and daughter. Jack died saving Abigail and him telling her it wasn’t her time to go yet was extremely touching, poignant too but all too fleeting as well. DAYS should have hyped up this return no matter how minute.

The family she has that’s still living all rallied around Abigail though everyone had varying opinions. I think that aspect was very real; having conflict arise in the face of what to do next when Abigail clearly was not doing well. Jennifer Horton wanted to move her daughter to a new facility, Chad wanted to spring her while JJ Devereaux only knew he’d stand by his sister no matter what. As someone who has had to deal with a similar issue, there really is never a general consensus with what to do next when it comes to family. Funnily enough, in my case and in Abigail’s, the person at the center of it all made the ultimate decision.

With Andre Dimera free, he attempted to get onto his younger brother Chad’s good side again by offering to help him with Abigail. It’d be simple; they’d use her silly mask to distract the incompetent staff at Shady Hills and spring her but while this plan was just being born, Abigail was making big moves on her own. In her few lucid moments, Abigail managed to cause a distraction and slip away to her doctor’s office and to an open window. There was a fraught moment there where she’s almost caught but it’s with this cute little smirk that she disappears from the facility, marking Kate Mansi’s last appearance as her character of the last five years.

I was almost hoping she wouldn’t actually get free. Since DAYS has been going the dark and twisted route these last few weeks, I would have loved to have had Abigail’s entire escape plan be nothing more than another hallucination while she’s getting strapped into her bed or trapped cowering under the doctor’s desk. But with this exit there’s a lot more finality to it because the family drama would just continue on, but without Abigail on screen; with this, viewers know she’s gone for the time being. I cannot wait to see how the next months play out for Abigail’s family before Marci Miller assumes the role this fall. Just please, please no more Ciara Brady crushing on her best friend’s uncle.

No Excuse

Like every soap couple, Hope Brady and Aiden Jennings’ Haiden has had its fair share of ups and downs. There were the good times, the bad times which almost exclusively tied into the boring times. They’ve come along way and have finally begun to find their way back to each other, but is the same magic still there? I’m inclined to say no. This last week on DAYS had the once strong contender for a new age supercouple, diving into unlikable territory without even dipping a toe first!

Photo Credit: © Jill Johnson/JPI Studios
Photo Credit: © Jill Johnson/JPI Studios

Since Aiden came back from “the dead” his creepiness level has hit its peak. Much like the disgusting son he’s been campaigning to redeem (and the writers too it seems, ick), Aiden doesn’t seem to know how to take no for an answer or to at least calm down for a quick minute. After pushing and pushing, Hope for some reason agreed to give their romance another shot but at that slow, even pace that’s foreign to Aiden. What we as viewers know is that he needs Hope on his side before Andre Dimera can get to her in order to expose the huge lie Aiden told the very first day he returned. He’d like to have Hope believe that his Dimera Doppelganger was the one plotting to kill her from the very start, but the truth is that the double only showed at the last minute when Aiden chickened out meaning this creep was very much ready to kill the woman he “loved”. Blegh.

The two took a trip to Green Mountain Lodge this week to get away from the hustle and bustle of bustling Salem to recharge and think. There was a lot to consider about their future especially when Aiden brings up marriage. Already. Other than Hope having to learn to trust him again, I imagine they need to figure out what they’ll do with their children, one of whom was raped by the other very recently. How would joining these two families again make for a happy home? Aiden can’t seem to see the long term effects of anything he’s requesting yet he’s barreling ahead toward it anyway with Andre at his back. He agreed to get the Dimera son out of jail in exchange for his silence – and a hit on Rafe Hernandez. Desperation just really isn’t a good look on Aiden.

Aiden’s character was ruined to prop up the rushed reunion of Bo Brady and Hope then was brought back to not be redeemed, but to be dragged down further. And why? Is this all just propping for Rafe now, a man that Hope treated like a buddy or little brother up until very recently? I feel bad that these three are being wasted in this rehashed love triangle that has left viewers with no one to root for. He’s got Hope up in the mountains, he stole her phone and is cleverly pushing ultimatums on her when not even a year ago he was choking the life out of her. The only thing I’m hoping to get out of this is that Hope wakes up, realizes that now is not the time to be worrying about having a man in her life. She needs to get herself in check first, focus on her family and then try to find romance. Has she even seen cousin Jennifer Horton since her addiction kicked into overdrive? There’s so many other ways Hope should be spending her time, not taking mountain hikes with the man who tried to kill her on her wedding day.

Sad Songbird

To keep from ranting, I chose to talk as little as possible about Deimos Kiriakis, Kate Roberts and Nicole Walker’s love triangle. I still don’t like it, still don’t understand it and still don’t want to see it five days a week. I’m sorry. But I will talk about Chloe Lane’s return; one that we quickly learn is tied to though on the fringe of the previously mentioned love triangle for right now. Her reintroduction just has me wondering why does every writing regime love to make Chloe so pitiful. Nicole is criminally misused on the show but there are times when she’s written as this misguided heroine, Chloe is almost always used to be used.

Flashback after flashback revealed that Deimos and Chloe had a thing a few months back after he saw her nightclub act. I can appreciate being shown this backstory because far too often viewers are told of history, never shown and we all know seeing is believing. (Daniel Jonas’ egg baby origin story? Yeah, still don’t buy it, sorry!) Clearly it was a set up from the start but she fell for it and continued to fall for it even after Deimos revealed his true identity in the present day. This last week after bonding over card games and attempts on their lives by Kate, Deimos thought it wise that they run off together after renouncing his old villainous life. Chloe turned him down but not without looking interested and that look alone made me want to shake her. Her hooking up with Deimos on her sofa only furthered that sentiment.

Even after learning of his involvement with her best friend Nicole, even after mentioning their history of butting heads over men, Chloe still let Deimos use her body – which is all he’s doing. There’s no way this man loves her, I doubt he loves anyone other than the ghost of his dead lover. Kate, Nicole and Chloe have so many shared men between them but they’re going to war and/or risking it all for one they only met months prior. It just baffles me at this point. Chloe’s always moving away from Salem to make a new start only to find herself caught in the same old traps.

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, checkout 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!