Soaps

‘Days of Our Lives’ Pick and Pans for the Week of May 22, 2017

Sonny can’t fly a plane and nearly kills everyone. (JPI)

Days of Our Lives had a pretty solid week for me! Others will disagree, there’s no doubt about that but in my opinion, I found it pretty entertaining. For the first time in a while, I didn’t roll my eyes five days in a row and I call that an accomplishment! There’s been a noticeable switch – not a new head writer kind of switch yet, but a switch. There’s still a lot of nonsense going on in Salem and in Greece but interspersed were bits that made sense or rang true? I feel like the show hit a lot of important beats this last week but they weren’t as strong as they could have been because the story behind them was severely lacking. Summer for soaps used to be a spectacle and its clear DAYS tried to do something similar but the plot was just too contrived. However, there were many things I could appreciate this last week that helped to distract from the messiness.

Let’s check out some of my picks and pans from this last week on Days of Our Lives!

Picks of the Week

What Could Have Been

Finally, after years of longing fans were finally treated to scenes with Nicole Walker and Eric Brady this last week. And they were fighting through most of them, of course. Eric who went from priest to drunk to secret agent was the only person to crack the case, find Nicole and keep her safe from crazy Xander Cook but Nicole appreciated none of that. For some reason she’s still hung up on Eric running down her chauvinistic baby daddy. Weird, right? I kid, I kid. Though many aspects of these scenes got annoying fast there were also some really good bits.

Remember that longing feeling we all felt as Nicole oozed over Eric from across the rectory? That was such a good time for these two, almost magical but very quickly that fell apart after going absolutely nowhere. Like many of the men in her life, Eric turned on her in the nastiest of ways so it was sort of funny to see her doing the same this week. Nicole’s issues with Eric were a little more weighty, dealing with the loss of a life instead of a career (or way of life, I guess) but boy was she annoying with it! When she wasn’t crying about Daniel Jonas, she was yelling at Eric about Daniel Jonas and viewers were supposed to believe this was her grief spilling over when the dialogue just felt like mindless Daniel propping. There was even some Brady Black propping in there too.

Everything was about Daniel wanting her to be a better person or her wanting to be a better person for Daniel, or feeling bad about lying to Brady or getting back to Salem for Brady (forget about the daughter you risked your freedom to take!). Men have always played a major role in Nicole’s life, but the way I saw her, she always had them in her pocket and never the other way around. Both Brady and Daniel were so commandeering to her but seeing Eric being patient, sitting back and letting her rip into him was such a nice change of pace. I hope he was taking it as a chance to not only own up to the drunk driving accident but to how awfully he treated Nicole years back too.

Had their scenes continued in this vein, it definitely would have made it to the pan section but instead the two realized they had to work together to survive. There was shirtless furry chest wrestling with Xander, Nicole pretending to be weak and assaulting an armed guard to steal his keys; there was this total ‘Us Against the World’ feel to these scenes that I was living for. This should have been the vehicle to push these two characters together again. Yes, Jennifer Horton and Eric are smoking hot together and Brady and Nicole are… there but Eric and Nicole? They’re what the fans have desired for years! Even after so much blubbering about Daniel, I don’t think I’d hate Nicole as much if she realized that the true love of her life was the one risking his life to break her out of that Grecian cage.

But it’s nice to dream! The reality of her flouncing back to a dying Brady won’t be as bad now that we’ve had her last scenes with Eric. I hope they continue to warm to each other and at least become friends again if we’re to suffer with more Bricole.

Kindergarten Cop

JJ and Lani pressure Guy into confirming what everyone suspects. (JPI)

Bad boy JJ Devereaux becoming a cop was sort of natural soap opera progression – except that DAYS hardly showed any of it. The pacing on this show can be far too fast for its own good, often completely skipping over sensible developments like JJ’s process to wanting to become a cop. Viewers may remember it had to do with the death of Paige Larson but even from that, we hardly saw JJ grieving for her until he decided he wanted to be a boy in blue. From then on, his personality flipped and he became cold, rigid and far too adult too quickly. This last week JJ melted a little; showing a little more warmth and displaying just hints of the Casey Moss that was once electric on our screen.

I feel like it’s a big mistake that the show lost focus on JJ. On one hand, I stand by DAYS’ decision to make Billy Flynn’s Chad Dimera their leading man. Flynn took the role, expanded upon it and made it his own in spectacular fashion. But soap operas are ensemble shows capable of having more than one lead; upon introduction, Moss’ JJ was that young male lead and shifting focus off of him really detracted from the show.

When JJ decided to join the police force, his family was adamant about him keeping away from it. There was this hugely missed opportunity to show JJ’s transition from mistrusted teenager to this suddenly decorated police officer. It really takes me out of the scenes of him acting like a serious, seasoned cop because the only true development that we saw on screen was him rebelling against Daniel then loving Daniel. Though I must admit, his scenes this last week in Greece were probably the most convincing of him as a cop. There were actually some logical moments with him interrogating Deimos’ lackey and deducing all of the connections together with Lani Price. Too bad his cousin Hope danced into Salem PD with Deimos on her arm like she did all the work.
Back to JJ and Lani, there was finally some noticeable chemistry between those two! It wasn’t a fiery kind of connection, more like smoldering but nonetheless there. Seeing these subtly romantic interactions were what really made me feel like, “Ah, JJ is a grown up now.” Since the show is likely to forget it (I mean never address it at all!), I have to push aside any ill feelings toward JJ getting involved with his rapist. I believe these two could actually pan out to be something. I don’t think they make intimidating cops, but they worked well together and the little moment where JJ helped Lani put on her Kevlar was actually kind of cute. Especially when she assured him she was more than capable of doing it on her own. And then of course they crash on a deserted island and all she does is whine about not being able to take regular showers…

But I digress!

Since the show gave us no development on teen JJ to young adult JJ, I’m hoping to at least see him grow as a police officer. He can’t crack every case, that’d just be unrealistic for someone so green. Let’s bring on some failures to break him down so he can be rebuilt again because I’m honestly longing for more JJ!

Comeuppance

Deimos’ rescue of Nicole is thwarted. (JPI)

I just loved to see Deimos Kiriakis finally lose. DAYS rapidly built the newly invented Kiriakis brother into this omnipotent, omniscient super villain that always slithered out of trouble (and never as creatively as Stefano Dimera). Everything about him became so over the top and unrealistic, it was fitting that two untrained professionals were the ones to corner him in the villa, just in time for the police to roll in. While this last week was most definitely not the end for Deimos, there were clear signs that it’s just the beginning of it.

The perfect climax to Eric and Nicole reconnecting (sort of) was them turning the tables on Deimos. This guy is the super criminal who entered the villa of his secret accomplice, whisper-shouting his name for anyone to hear. And then he proceeded to act like they weren’t in cahoots! Deimos has to be one of the dumbest super villains to ever step foot in Salem. On top of that, there’s nothing really intimidating about him. For the whole week in Greece we had to hear from every character just how fearsome Deimos is when all he seems to do is lock people in meat lockers. At least Xander got creative and utilized a big bird cage.

With the star witness dead, its clear Deimos will be getting off scot free once again. But for how long will he be able to escape with his life? Spoilers have stated there’ll be a big murder mystery hitting screens for the summer and there is no shortage of people with their guns trained on Deimos. I think his DAYS are numbered!

Everything Is Illuminated

How incredible were Victor Kiriakis and Marlena Evans’ scenes this last week? There isn’t a time in recent DAYS history that I can recall truly poignant emotional scenes like these. Starting from them chatting in the hospital waiting area to the little chapel, there was a necessary depth to everything said and done there. For the longest time, fans have wanted Marlena interacting with friends and family members in difficult times, using her trade to ease them along and finally we got to see some of that!

Sonny appeals for Victor’s support in becoming the next CEO of Titan. (JPI)

Victor does a lot of wrong and even when he knows he has, he often fails to own up to it. I applauded him for having the courage to admit he was in the wrong for berating Eric for Daniel’s death. It wasn’t going to bring his wife’s egg baby back to life. Victor has been feeling his age recently and while I think the show depowered him much too quickly and steeply, it felt very natural for him to get this reflective with his beloved grandson’s life on the line. Victor mentioning that he’d experienced far too much loss in his life really struck a chord for me. First there was Isabella then Bo and even Daniel dying had an impact on him, there was no way he could survive losing his Brady too. Parents and especially grandparents never expect to outlive their children. It’s not the natural way of life so no one can truly prepare for it.

Marlena coming to his rescue just made these scenes all the better. This is the kind of heart this show has been missing for so so long. It’s crazy that somehow the writers always forget that most of these people are related; when something happens to one, it should trickle down and affect others too. As we move closer to a new writing regime tenure, I’m hoping that more scenes like these will come along with it.

I didn’t even have an issue with Daniel’s ghost resurfacing to help guide Victor to a place that made him see it was okay to seek help. Daniel may be one of my least favorite characters but his resurgence here with Victor and at Brady’s bedside made sense for the situation, and it was actually handled as logically as a ghost scene could be handled. Him coming back just a few months back to give Nicole the okay to move on with Deimos could have spoiled this whole scenario but the other scenes were too good to be brought down.

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!