Soaps

‘Days Of Our Lives’ Week In Review: Putting In The Work

Abigail creeps on Chad removing his wedding ring.
Abigail creeps on Chad removing his wedding ring.

Days of Our Lives has been keeping up lately and I’ve really been enjoying watching each day in Salem, USA. It may not be perfect or groundbreaking, but DAYS feels a kind of fresh I haven’t felt from the show in a long while. From family interactions making a return, personalities being developed (slowly but surely for most, not all characters) and history being utilized, there seems to be a real effort behind the scenes to whip this show into shape. Is it everything viewers want from the show? No, not at all. That’d be impossible to answer to every complaint of DAYS’ very opinionated fans. Is it everything the viewers need? Not even that, but it’s beginning to get there. I’m someone who can appreciate even the smallest of efforts, there doesn’t always have to be grand gestures when things like this take some time. The only problem is that DAYS is so far ahead in time and we’ve learned from history that these new beginnings tend to lead to quick endings too. Will the state of the show stick? For now we can only watch and hope.

Here are my highlights from this last week that showcased what I felt was a new resolution for DAYS’ latest creative regime. Well, the beginning stages of one.

Week in Review for Days of Our Lives episodes airing December 12th – 16th.

One Foot In, One Foot Out

While DAYS has been pulling from history and beginning to shape some of the characters back into who they really are, there is one element to the show’s past that should be left in the dust. Abigail Dimera recently reappeared in Salem alive and well despite what the majority of her family thought and since then she’s been lurking in shadows, hiding in attics and on staircases just out of their sights while contemplating revealing herself. I can appreciate what Ryan Quan and Dena Higley may be trying to do, throwing back to a time where this storyline could have played out for months with tensions high and the viewers would have stayed. This story could have been huge in 1996, but in 2016 the pacing just feels very off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m exhausted with the abundance of stories that begin off screen and are resolved in two episodes, but it feels odd and clunky for something to drag on for so long in the present time. There’s a difference between long story and a dragging story; at this point, Abigail hiding in the attic is being dragged to death! Either step out of the shadows now or stay in! (But don’t stay in…)

Abigail and Andre get an eyeful.
Abigail and Andre get an eyeful.

My poor baby Chad Dimera seems to be a bit out of it these days. No, it’s not just his budding romance with Gabi Hernandez (who committed a multitude of crimes to get with him last!) that’s been throwing him off, but the recent death of his father and the revelation that he chose to be murdered. That was definitely a shocking twist to find that The Phoenix was finally being taken down by cancer where even explosions had failed before. I was even more shocked that Chad seemed to so quickly forgive Hope Brady who fired the unregistered gun Stefano Dimera bought for the sole purpose of having an enemy take him out. The youngest Dimera son ran to tell Rafe Hernandez the news, giving the detective more support for his case to spring Hope out of prison. Whether or not Stefano chose to go out this way, he and Hope did not write a contract (as if it’d be legally binding), there was no secret handshake or pact to show Hope was in on this. Wouldn’t that really be the only way to argue her case? She had no clue that Stefano wanted to die but she killed him anyway. She killed a man, and deserves to be in jail. At least we have fabulous Andre Dimera who realizes that Hope deserves to be punished for this, even if Chad has seemingly moved on.

Much like he has with Abigail, right? Just when viewers think maybe this thing with Gabi might take off into something, Chad slips back into missing Abigail. Which I’m grateful for. It really seemed like he was forgetting Abigail at a rapid rate, but his announcement to Jennifer Horton that he was looking to create a monument for his lost wife was touching in such a sad way. Jennifer looked like she was ready to spill the beans herself to keep Chad from spending the big bucks on this memorial, but ultimately kept quiet like Abigail would have wanted. If Abigail really doesn’t feel like coming out to her family, then she should skip town while she still can. Everyone and their dumb brothers are catching onto her lurking at the most rapid of rates; she won’t be able to keep this up for much longer. I mean, we get Abigail watching the unveiling of her memorial angel statue from the shadows while Chad and Thomas mourn and she just hangs there. Right there, just a few steps away, not very hidden at all even when she openly sobs over Chad removing his wedding ring before the memorial statue. It’s gotten a bit silly at this point.
I think one of the silliest parts was in tears, Abigail ran directly into Dario Hernandez’s arms and he was the one who gave her the strength to choose to tell Chad tonight. Not her mother or her brother or even fairy godbrother-in-law, Andre but Dario. Just a week ago they were threatening each other with their respective secrets, now Abigail is taking his advice? Blegh, did not care for that part whatsoever but if it makes Abby decide to reveal herself then so be it. But nothing ever works out simply in the world of soaps so as Abby is making this decision, Gabi is overhearing JJ Devereaux tell his mother he no longer wants to keep secrets from his girlfriend. A cheater and liar herself, Gabi can’t seem to forgive the fact that JJ too might be cheating and lying – which this time he’s not, the secret was about Abigail which Gabi did not know, of course.

The feeling of betrayal pushes Gabi right back into Chad’s arms. To be even a little less hypocritical, you’d think Gabi would break it off with JJ first before going about lying and cheating like she fears he does but instead she and Chad make out. Little do they know, expert ninja Abigail had just been glammed up and led into the Dimera mansion by Andre (seriously, what’s in it for him? Just the pomp and circumstance of it all?) to watch this passionate scene unfold. Regardless of any of the complaint I made about this love triangle (face it, JJ is just pretty filler at this point), that cliffhanger was effective in making me crave more. It took forever to get to this point, yes but this cliffhanger felt like a simple but still effective climax. Will she go in or won’t she? Marci Miller has been playing this new fragility to Abigail so perfectly, even just down to her gestures and mannerisms. Abigail is a woman on the edge who’s scared of being the woman on the edge, it’s such a unique dynamic especially in soaps where some characters just tend to be crazy – or not. I’ve been loving that aspect to the story a lot. But I desperately need to see her sharing a scene with Billy Flynn, to see that chemistry we’ve all seen behind the scenes and at fan events explode on screen.

Crawl down from that attic, Abigail Dollenganger and take back your man! Preferably next week or I’m going to scream.

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!