Soaps

‘Days of Our Lives’ Week In Review: Onto The Offensive

The Second Offense

Nicole fears for her life as she hides out with Holly.

The next blow was to both viewers’ and characters’ intelligences and of course it came in the form of Nicole Walker. Well, her and everything else surrounding her as well. This surrogacy gone wrong turned kidnapping story has completely fallen off the rails now but somehow continues to keep digging itself deeper. There’s no compelling material, no character to truly root for when the only one who is even minutely right is still pretty out of her head. It’s hard to know just why we’re all being put through this.

When Chloe Lane vowed to keep baby Holly from Nicole Walker, I was decidedly on her team. Now I cannot side with anyone as this story seems keen on ruining everyone involved. I’m neither a soap historian nor a long time watcher like some fans, but has there ever been a story on any show where you do not want to root for every character involved? Chloe should not be going around Salem referring to Holly as her baby, Nicole should not have kidnapped her own child and been swindled along the ride and Brady Black shouldn’t be picking sides and leaving his child behind in doing so. This repetitive baby drama is honestly just a complete head scratcher. Dena Higley has the ideas but her execution is always so lackluster, so diminutive to what a story could be and frankly, it’s insulting to the actors and viewers alike.

Nicole is on the lamb in a Paris Hilton wig from 2003, pretending to be a battered wife on the road to freedom with her child. After spending weeks blabbering about how she’s changed for the better, as soon as something doesn’t go her way, she reverts right back to her baby stealing ways. Last time, Nicole kidnapped Sydney from Sami Brady who was very much neglectful to the child but Chloe kept Holly safe. There should have at least been some solace in knowing that her child was safe but nope, instead she steals her away to a life of uncertainty on the run. It’s hilarious watching Nicole fumble about as if she’s never taken care of a child before. Does desperation usually make someone so clever into a fool? The amount of mistakes Nicole made at the very start of her getaway was insane! Spilling her entire (fake) life story to her new neighbor, flashing her ridiculous amount of cash and then leaving her child alone in the room with her! It’s almost like Nicole was asking for Holly to be taken because she went through all the necessary steps, one right after another. This baby isn’t even half a year old yet and has been pushed and pulled her whole life but Nicole is worried she’ll only have nightmares. If this continues for longer, I’m sure there’ll be a lot worse damage done than just bad dreams.

Not just a shell of her former spunky self, Nicole has also lost her independence. Immediately after being swindled, she was only able to find comfort in Brady coming to her rescue and telling her everything would be okay, that she was only desperate and alone. What an awful message to be putting out there! The Nicole we all know would have picked herself up by her own boot straps, scammed her own money back and kept it moving all on her own. Nicole is a survivor of many a tragedy, a setback of this size should have never taken her out of commission. So apart from DAYS thinking women cannot function on their own without a man, they’re also crazy without one too. Chloe is alone in a sea full of people against her – which isn’t a new concept for her except this time she can’t seem to understand why. Her reasoning behind her baby hoarding actions has transformed into someone wildly unlikable. Usually when the entire town is tearing into Chloe you can sympathize with her, I’ve lost that feeling for her as of late. Holly is not her baby and while her actions make sense considering Nicole’s current state of life, the baby is still not hers.

The Chloe and Nicole I know would have been able to talk this out; they would have tried to understand each other after their colorful history of being frenemies. I think this would have been a great moment for reconciliation between the two women. With Nicole and Deimos at the outs (they’re not together now, right? I honestly cannot keep up), Chloe could have put out a video pleading for the safe return of Holly as well as extending an olive branch to work out this custody disaster. Chloe did not win custody of Holly because she was the child’s mother, yet she’s continuing to go around town referring to the child as her own. The only reason she has Holly is because she lives in a safer environment compared to Nicole’s. Instead of thinking that maybe it’s time to end all the nonsense for the baby’s sake, Chloe chose to perpetuate the drama by reaching out to career assassin, Eduardo Hernandez to aid her in her quest to retrieve her surrogate baby. So for after weeks of preaching about the dangers of mob boss Deimos Kiriakis, Chloe enlists the help of someone equally as dangerous? None of this computes!

Don’t even get me started on Brady growing even dumber than usual (yup, it’s possible!) by joining Nicole on the run. While I absolutely love that their friendship is still going strong and there are clearly some more romantic feelings bubbling under the surface too, Brady choosing Nicole’s side over Chloe’s just doesn’t sit well with me. He’s extremely close to both women and I feel like he should be much more torn up about these recent developments. He certainly shouldn’t be offering her any advice that’s helping to perpetuate this bad behavior. Listening to Brady is only going to push Nicole further down her destructive hole which will probably lead to her permanently losing access to her daughter. Where’s Nicole’s father figure Abe Carver when she needs him? The last time he was there for her was during her battle with Jennifer Horton back in 2012, I believe. He understands her and her life experiences very well and doesn’t judge her for her decisions but offers her sound advice on how to maneuver through it all. Writers really don’t play up on that relationship enough. That’s part of the reason why I’d love to see Brandon Walker back in town before Nicole rides off into the sunset. Hopefully with baby Holly and every single mention of Daniel Jonas packed neatly into the trunk of her car.

The Third Offense

Kayla’s life is unexpectedly put in danger.

While one new character’s dubious ties to the canvas could become a compelling story, a new set of interlopers kicked into high gear this week and no one really knows why. Jade and Hal Michaels aren’t characters any DAYS viewer is invested in (I checked out of Jade Land when Paige Searcy vacated the role) and yet they ate up nearly an entire day to themselves with clunky family drama that had no depth. DAYS viewers don’t know these characters and force feeding them to said viewers won’t gain them appeal, especially not by tossing them at Steve and Kayla Johnson who have to prepare for the arrival of the illegitimate son no one asked for. We just wanted more than a month of marital bliss before a new plot device came to ruin it, is that so hard?

DAYS has the worst history of introducing new characters, at least in recent years. After scooping up lots of high profile names from other soap operas, crafting all new characters for them that are immediately thrust into the thick of drama, they’re burned out and gone in around a year. Vincent Irizarry’s Deimos Kiriakis is the latest victim of this specifically. With him headed out, the latest new characters being shoved down viewers’ throats are Jade and her father Hal. The amount of time these characters ate up this last Wednesday was incredible! The sad thing is that I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t believe it though. Suddenly we’re supposed to care about Joey Johnson’s ex-girlfriend’s abusive dad mentioned only in passing before needing a liver transplant. Most DAYS viewers don’t even care about Joey at this point, so why would we care about the characters attached to him? Other than our beloved Steve and Kayla, of course. Jade has gone from a scheming teen vixen

On paper, I could understand where this story could have felt compelling. A daughter that resents her abusive father having to donate a part of her to save his life and the conflicting feelings that come with that. The only issue is that we’ve never gotten much character development from Jade, we don’t know her father save for a few bits of dialogue over the last year so there’s absolutely no emotional attachment. And you better believe when he began to berate Kayla as if she was to blame for the blood clot forming because his liver was being rejected by his body, many DAYS viewers wanted him out! You do not talk to our Sweetness that way and get away with it! The situation escalated very quickly to Hal holding Kayla hostage in his hospital room, claiming the good doctor wished him dead after looking down on him. These two aren’t lifelong enemies but the way Hal was talking made it seem like Kayla had it out for him for a straight decade, badmouthing him to everyone in Salem as if she knew anything about him outside of what his daughter said every now and then. Suspenseful music may have been playing during these scenes but I felt no suspense.

All Joey did was jump into these scenes to worsen the situation. Why try to cuss out the man holding your mother with a deadly weapon, where is the sense in that? Joey is one of the least well-adjusted young adults I’ve ever seen, ever emotional, dense and pretty dead to the world. He didn’t even seem to get when his father was telling him not to provoke the man threatening to kill his mother. Luckily Kayla made it out of yet another anti-climactic hostage situation thanks to Jade’s pleas, this only after Steve learned his son with Ava Vitali is actually alive. How shocking.

I am a strong proponent for romantic angst and hurdles for couples to jump through, but can Salem’s couples have a straight month of happiness before a new plot device is hurdled their way? I get it, Joey is a little dumb but that doesn’t mean we have to replace him with a secret bastard child! DAYS really does not need another character to take up space, especially not another character with another improbable tie to the canvas that we’re suddenly supposed to care about. Again, I may be no soap opera historian but Days of Our Lives has an incredibly rich history that hasn’t been touched for decades. There really isn’t a need to continue cranking out new characters when so many old ones can be rediscovered for a new generation. Hopefully when Carlivati takes the helm all of these plot-driven characters will be cast aside to make way for important, legacy characters that fans are dying to see. There’s just so much there that isn’t being utilized and that factor alone is one of the major factors now hurting the show.

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!

  • Nk3play2

    The thing is none of the Horton family members were ever written to have a problem with David and Valerie’s relationship because of race. It was actually Valerie’s own mother that didn’t want them together because of their race. Unfortunately, TPTB chose not to bring Helen back for this story. It would’ve been interesting to find out that it was Helen Grant who manipulated Valerie into keeping quiet about Eli’s paternity and marrying another man and claiming said man as Eli’s father and it would’ve been even better if David was still alive.

  • Nk3play2

    Archey has improved leaps and bounds since his time on Y&R! I’m very proud of him! He openly admitted to not being the best actor and said he went to work the moment he left Y&R and it shows! And one thing that he has kept consistent in his acting though he’s gotten much better is that he still feels very natural. I haven’t enjoyed a Days newbie this much since Kyler Pettis as Theo. But I agree with you about the rushed revealed. There was no need to do it. Eli should’ve come to town knowing nothing and showed at the funeral to support his mom only. The stakes would’ve been higher if Eli and Julie were bonding and not realizing why and Val could’ve been doing everything she could to keep them apart or get her son out of town.