Over the course of just a few months, the most capable young actors on the show were tossed around into a mess of a storyline riddled with kidnappings, falsified flashbacks and – well, more kidnappings. I believe this is the third time Chad Dimera and Gabi Hernandez have been taken by Deimos Kiriakis but this time Abigail Dimera was also put in the mix. Throw in some heavy inspiration from the Saw franchise and we’ve actually got an entertaining few scenes. Was it needed? No not really. Was it thrilling? Only barely. But I must say I enjoyed myself watching them but that was mostly thanks to Camila Banus, Marci Miller and Billy Flynn, all of whom are consistently given material beneath them.
At the start, I have to say I was so ready for this triangle to kick off. The classic soap opera set up was there with one spouse presumed dead, the other doing his best to move on but hang onto her memory while growing closer to the best friend and supporter. Once again, Higley proved that her stories on paper may sound riveting but the execution never ever lives up to that initial pitch. Since then, Gabi and Chad were forced together after being kidnapped in September then again in January and now here we are in March. While the holding room this time might not be too hot or too cold, it’s definitely too repetitive.
This last week, Chad admitted to his wife that he loved her best friend. Abigail just sat there and took the information, stone faced because she already knew that. And was cool with it! At this point in the story, I am going to need Abigail to show a little more emotion other than bawling and complacency. Her best friend romanced her husband and they still have feelings for one another – there needs to be some fire there! Higley has done all she can to prop up Chabi as a couple including giving them a first true love kind of backstory together with nonsensical flashbacks when the story was there the entire time. All of this add on fluff is really just unnecessary.
Want to create a viable love triangle? Use the drama that you have right in the palm of your hands. Abigail selfishly ran away, leaving behind her family and thus allowing Gabi to comfort Chad in his time of need and for them to fall in love. Chad should be angry with Abigail, he should want his marriage to work but he should not have so easily forgiven her. The entire town turned against him as a widower, Abigail’s mother wanted to take his son away from him but when she shows back up everything magically patches back up again. We had a few days of turmoil for Chabby before everything was amicable again? It’s just unrealistic given the circumstances.
The numerous kidnappings and heated glances from across the room just aren’t enough for me. A good way for this to have all played out is that after weeks of back and forth, couples therapy as well as PTSD therapy for Abigail, then and only then should Deimos have taken them the way he did. In the middle of a Dimera Enterprises fundraiser, the cartoon villain acting as a Kiriakis kidnapped Gabi, Abigail and Chad to make the latter play a twisted game a la the Jigsaw Killer of Saw fame. Had there not already been kidnappings before then these scenes would have had much more impact to them. There’s really no emotion behind this love triangle, we saw Chad crying when posed with administering antidote to the two poisoned loves in his life but why should we care? The new version of Chabby hasn’t had any meaty material to make us hunger for them back together, I only want them because I loved them in the past and I’m enjoying Miller and Flynn’s chemistry. Chad and Gabi have a rough past but who’s to say hatred can’t turn into love… but we need to see more of that in present day story, not in lazy flashbacks.
Chad eventually saves both women – at least half-saves them and now we’re kind of back to square one again. This should have been the climax after weeks of emotional struggle but instead it feels like just another plot point to a plot driven storyline that will just perpetuate more of the same. “Why didn’t you let Gabi die? I can’t believe you chose us both!” Or, “Why did you only choose to save me after flashing back to me helping you with pitching?” The three younger Salemites have been going around and around in circles and the only thing saving the story from being completely unwatchable is that the actors are committing themselves to it. As much as it’s humanly possible to commit to Dena Higley material, at least. The only real frustration I have is how much potential there is to this story but it’s just not being utilized, it’s so upsetting to watch unfold.
At this point, the story is taking a turn toward being focused on Deimos and what will ultimately be his exit story (most likely a Whodunnit kind of murder mystery). He continues to torment these people week after week with schemes so blatant and awful only to get away with it time and time again. His comeuppance is definitely on its way, especially with Vincent Irizarry’s exit growing closer and closer. Too bad there’s still 3 months until Higley’s exit.
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