Soaps

‘Days Of Our Lives’ Week In Review: Dog Days Of Summer

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

It’s been a much needed while away from Salem for me, but I have returned just in time for Days of Our Lives’ Olympics cliffhanger… At least that’s what I thought I’d be speaking about. There’s no need to have massive explosions and character deaths every four years like the DAYSaster in 2012, but excite and entice viewers to come back in two weeks to find out what happens next! This last week felt like any other week in Salem which is a major issue with the writing, and eventually the ratings. Though the DAYSaster was what one would expect from a soap opera cliffhanger, there were also repercussions to that catastrophe that lead to emotional character drama. Where is that now? I can say that I really only care about half of a handful of characters in Salem at the moment. Make us care again, DAYS!

Week in Review for Days of Our Lives episodes airing August 1st – 5th.

Super Friends

Rafe Hernandez and Hope Brady are beating the odds on DAYS! After successfully covering up Stefano Dimera’s murder, foiling Aiden Jennings’ plot and surviving a bomb set by Andre Dimera, one would think it’d be smooth sailing without this couple of super cops’ enemies on their backs. Unfortunately for the couple deemed ROPE, they’re actually their own worst enemies. But no matter the opposition whether from fans or characters on the show, the pair who were once charming as friends continue deeper and deeper into Dannifer levels of aversion.

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

This last week in Salem did not heavily feature what Ken Corday has described as the new supercouple, but what was seen of Rafe and Hope only enforced general opinion against them. A recently released from the hospital Hope paid a visit to cousin, Jennifer Horton who fills her in on her latest dramas. Only problem is that Jennifer is looking to hire Aiden as her lawyer which of course sets Hope off. The tide of the conversation turned to how Hope felt and thought, not giving Jennifer much of a chance to explain herself. Since I’ve been watching DAYS, I’ve never known Hope to be petty and selfish (except for maybe her scheming against Chelsea Brady, but hey, she killed her son!) yet that seems to be her default setting these days. Where was Hope when Abigail Dimera first disappeared? Doing much of the same as when Ciara Brady was raped and dealing with the trauma after that – worrying about her love life. What happened to the woman who had always stood by family being her first priority? It was shocking to see Hope not even try to understand where Jennifer was coming from.

Not that the two women had much time anyway as Rafe quickly swept in to “save the day”. That’s been the running gag with Rafe and Hope scenes, anytime she seems to doing anything at all, there’s Rafe just always a step behind. There’s really no romance there, just a lot of creepiness especially when he just agrees with what Hope says no matter what. Later on, they decide to have a Netflix and chill session that ends with them making love – only days after suffering internal trauma from an explosion. Alright.

I just don’t get the pairing, I don’t feel anything for the pairing other than distaste but I know I’ll have to suck it up. I’ve said it before and will continue to say it, Rafe has never been in Hope’s league character wise. He is not fully formed, has gone through more reboots than DAYS itself and he’s still just there. I personally don’t think there’s a woman in Salem suited for Rafe because they all have more character than he does. Maybe I can just pretend they’re still just friends, going on cute buddy cop adventures then back to their respective homes with respective significant others. Or maybe Hope doesn’t even have a significant other considering the love of her life hasn’t been dead a full year yet and she needs time to heal. No, that’s not healthy to think that way? Well, I can dream then… at least until the love scenes between Hope and Rafe finally come to an end.

Twisted Brother

Dario Hernandez’s return to Salem has been one that kept me perplexed for weeks. Every time he’d arrive on screen, one would have to wonder: Why? Much like his big brother, Dario suffered from having far too little personality to justify his screen time. His only purpose in town quickly became just following around a woman he loved (like Rafe), getting into angsty shouting matches with his father and bartending. That’s really about it. Honestly, watching the way Dario was utilized on canvas felt like such a massive injustice to Jordi Villausso who is not only a solid actor, but he’s very nice to look at as well. A man like that would not be pining over a single woman anywhere in the world, especially not in a small Midwestern town. Dario is supposed to be the wild, exciting brother yet until this last week he’d been nothing but tepid.

Eduardo Hernandez, former assassin, has been receiving anonymous notes from someone threatening his brood over his bloody past. It was easy to forget that fact since most of the Hernandez clan’s stories had fallen back onto Rafe’s shoulders, but viewers were reminded this week when Gabi Hernandez was attacked in the park. The assault was quickly tied back to whoever was after Eduardo – which turned out to be Dario! In a twist that can actually be considered a twist, Dario did something interesting… I mean, Dario was the one anonymously harassing his father and even paid a man to scare his sister in the effort to keep that game going. How dark! He did have major issues with the unknown man going after Gabi, maybe Eduardo had been the intended target but he paid him off anyway.

This is a much more interesting way to get back at dear old dad for decades of abandonment than to constantly whine at him. Dario first came to Salem as a thief, viewers recently learned her swindled together with Summer Townshend, all of which makes this latest reveal a little more understandable. Though I can’t say I’m invested in the character and story yet (unless he goes full on Ben Weston – interesting, not unstable), it will be intriguing to see where the story goes. Even if it goes nowhere, let’s just keep this story running so Dario can stay out of Lujack, Misty Circle and Ghoul Girl’s soggy love triangle.

Not Without My Grandson

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

Easily the best storyline going for this entire show, Chad Dimera and Jennifer Horton’s upcoming custody trial is going to be explosive. Well, if done right. Missy Reeves and Billy Flynn have been acting their pants off in their scenes together, showcasing both of their emotional depths rooted in their connections with their own characters. Viewers can see just how much both actors understand their characters. Whenever this storyline is on the front burner whether it is this week, last week or the weeks to come, it’ll probably stand out as the cream of the crop.

Chad was not in the best of places when Belle Black, his lawyer, came to find him. Belle was as tough on him as needed in that moment, forcing him to get his act together – at least outwardly – so they can go after Jennifer. Inwardly however, Chad was greatly suffering and now shower or shave was going to fix that. Belle managed to get through to Chad and agreed to be his lawyer. Unfortunately for Jennifer, Aiden turned down her request for representation in fear of messing up his chances with Hope. It’s funny that he said that, as if there was even an ounce of a chance left for them.

As Jennifer spent her day with her family, working out Abigail’s disappearance and getting updates on Tate Black’s disappearance as well, she only ever quietly brought up the custody battle for Thomas Dimera. I really like that they’re not having her try to steam roll Chad, she is actually trying to be reasonable and work with him on an agreement but to no avail. Far too many times have soaps done a custody story where both sides were either black or white, Chad and Jennifer are both very much in the gray. Chad doesn’t want to defame Jennifer for Abigail’s sake and for Abigail’s sake, Jennifer would much rather settle this issue outside of court.

Unfortunately, Abigail is not there and by the end of the week she’s presumed dead in a plane crash under an assumed name. Though we know it’s all a part of Andre’s scheme and a recast Abigail will resurface in just a few weeks, watching Chad and Jennifer break was very much painful. The very best moment showcasing that middle ground both parties seem to occupy was when they embraced, sobbing over Abigail whom they both loved. I really do hope this event forces them to work together to protect Thomas instead of drilling the wedge between them even deeper. I have a feeling JJ Devereaux will be the straw to tip the camel’s back in whichever direction; he’s very much the wild card right now. He can either continue blaming Chad or do his own investigation to find out who the puppeteer behind this tragedy really is. Either way, I cannot wait for this story to pick up in two weeks’ time.

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!

  • fanny

    Excellent article!
    I do agree with the comments about Rafe & Hope. I didn’t mind them as friends, but now the “Rope” pairing feels more and more like
    the “Dannifer” pairing: extremely forced and painful to watch. I’m sorry to say, but Rafe doesn’t have what it takes to be a leading man.
    He greatly lacks in personality, charisma and sex appeal. Hope needs a stronger character who will challenge her and excite her at
    the same time. Rafe is definitely not it, he’s just bland.
    Can’t say that I’m enjoying Nicole & Deimos either…what has DAYS done to feisty Nicole, where did she go?
    You’re right, the only scenes I did enjoy this past week, were the ones with Chad & Jennifer.

  • Stacey Stewart

    Great article! I totally agree that Billy, Missy & Casey are doing a phenomenal job with this material.

    Other thoughts:

    I can’t wait to see Abby reunited with Chad, Thomas, Jenn & JJ. I look forward to Marci Miller’s debut this fall. I think that she will do a wonderful job as Abby.

    As for “Rope”, I’m pretty much indifferent to them as a couple. However, I agree that Hope should’ve been a little more compassionate to Jenn last week. Also, it would be really nice to see Hope focus more on Ciara, who is still in need of guidance and moral support.

  • coldhardtruth

    And given the ratings : nobody care about obnoxious/boring Jennifer and lame Chad except YOU !

  • coldhardtruth

    wtf ?? Because Rafe was in Sami’s league maybe ?? Viewers/WE had to suffer Sami being destroyed and transformed as a stepford wife/damsell in order to sell her pairing with Rafe for 4 freaking years (and eternity in soap land) but ATTENTION the almighty Hope deserve better..nah..nah and nah..and actually Hope fits him far more since she is supposed to be an heroine saved by her hero..before Bo now Rafe. Moreover Jennifer is a totally obnoxious character (her and her disgusting offspring always propped for no reason…WE DON’T GIVE A DOWN about cray cray slutty weird looking Abby’s fate for pete’s sake ) and doesn’t deserve Hope’s care what’s so ever !!