Soaps

‘Days of our Lives’ Picks and Pans of the Week of May 8, 2017

This Charming Man

Gabi and Abe trick Eli and Valerie, hoping mother and son will work things out.

If Paul Telfer’s Xander made DAYS entertaining this week, then Lamon Archey’s Eli Grant provided a good balancing dose of heart. There is this spark in the actor and character that just makes him pop on screen, no matter who his scene partner may be at the time. Eli bounced around town this last week from Valerie Grant to Gabi Hernandez and Lani and every scene was great, he just has so much chemistry with them all.

The absolute best scenes came with Vanessa A. Williams’ Valerie when Gabi and Abe fooled the two into have a Mother’s Day breakfast reconciliation. The two of them maybe be new to our canvas, but watching them reconnect, chatting about having pancakes whenever Valerie had a good day in the OR or how she raised him to be a gentleman was like watching old friends. Their scenes were just so damn heartwarming! My only gripe is that I wish DAYS would do the same with established core characters as well. There are so many family connections in this town and only a third of them are ever explored or shown on screen.

Another favorite Eli moment came when he met with Lani and urged her to be honest, to stop pretending to be strong for once and just be honest. DAYS has a severe problem with abundant toxic masculinity where it’s male characters constantly beat down on women to make them feel less then, always feel like they have to save a woman or constantly try to measure up to another man; as of now, Eli feels very much the antithesis of that. He saw Lani right after JJ Devereaux who seemed more invested in feeling like a hero for figuring out Lani was in danger than how she truly felt, which was why she hid her true pain from him. With Eli, he genuinely expressed his worry and Lani opened up — as it should be! I’m finding it hard to choose who I’d like to see Eli with because he’s good for Gabi too. I practically swooned when he thanked her for setting him up to hash things out with his mother.

Please don’t pull an Aiden Jennings and make Eli suddenly bad! This town need more sweet, sensitive but still tough men; its 2017, people are multi-faceted! Let’s get rid of some of those more stupid expectations and create more characters with range. I’m excited to see how JJ, Lani, Gabi and Eli’s drama unfolds in Greece. Funny how the former star JJ has become the weakest link in the bunch though…

Pans of the Week

Fake Love

At this point, there’s very little that can redeem Hope Brady in the eyes of (many) DAYS fans. Over the last year and a half, she’s done some pretty awful things and constantly has gotten away with it because she’s supposed to be our heroine. Even heroines can fall from grace, yes but their redemption also has to come in the form of something equal or comparable. Hope shot an old dying man in cold blood under misinformation, was jailed, broke out and returned to town a hero with her old job back because aforementioned old man set up a fake death.

Now weeks and weeks later, Hope decides that it’s finally time to make due on some bogus promise to keep an eye out on Chad Dimera for Stefano. Hope is nothing to Chad and thankfully he knows that, seeing right through her faux concern that was truly a guise to dig for more information about everyone and their mamas flying off to Greece. I can’t believe she even had the nerve to pull the family card on him knowing full well that his marriage with Abigail Dimera — their only familial connection at this point — was on the rocks. To me it was a very underhanded, not at all heroic and most of all insincere move on Hope’s part.

Déjà Vu

Just how many times will Maggie Kiriakis walk in on Deimos Kiriakis openly making dastardly plans and confuse it for something else? Can someone please just expose Deimos for what he is so he can finally stop eating into every story? This last week felt like a wash and rinse cycle in The Twilight Zone instead of an episode of DAYS thanks to these scenes. Deimos would completely unfold his plot to have Nicole kidnapped and held so he could rescue her, win her over again and fly off into the night together to Xander over the phone – and then Maggie would walk in to question him. From there it’d turn into more drivel about how he’s turned over a new leaf, she’s so proud to see him trying to help out, et cetera.

It was painful to repeatedly see these same scenes. I can’t understand why the show has Victor Kiriakis retired to an armchair giving his granddaughter and great-granddaughter advice while his wife slowly builds suspicion of his brother. Victor should be playing Deimos for a fool, being nice to his face but having his operatives slowly unravel his idiotic plan in the background. Deimos has become this omnipotent super villain while Maggie’s become like a nosy neighbor and Victor a curmudgeon.

Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong

Tripp comes to Joey’s aid.

My main question for Jade Michaels is why? Why does she have to be so nasty and rude, why does she feel so entitled and more importantly, why is she still in Salem? At first I wasn’t onboard with Steve Johnson’s new insta-son Luke Adams’ Tripp (can we please rename him?) but outside of his sudden connection with Jade, he’s begun to grow on me. Much like Lamon Archey and Paul Telfer, these new actors to the show are actually committed to their characters and aren’t phoning in their scenes. You don’t see that with Jade.

When Paige Searcy was in the role of Jade, I bought that she was this smarmy little scammer with a black heart. But Gabrielle Haugh is not selling me spunky little scammer. She had the audacity to ask Kayla Johnson to buy her a car on top of continuing to pay her tuition when her parents hadn’t even truly disowned her like she’d cried about, which was partially why Steve and Kayla extended their help to her. There was also the issue that she’d been pregnant with their son’s child. After losing their baby, the Johnsons should have told Jade to get lost too. Sure, it’d be a cold move but this girl had done the family absolutely no favors from the first day she showed up in Joey’s life.

Because they didn’t cut off the problem beforehand, Jade has become even bolder in her moves. Angered by the fact this woman with no ties to her at all won’t financially support her, she lets slip to Tripp that Kayla killed his mother Ava Vitali. Both she and the viewers know full well that Joey was behind the murder but as Jade still continues to preach about her undying love for the whiny Johnson, she’d rather throw his mother under the bus. While I do think this will bring great drama, I think Tripp is a good addition to the family unit especially as we seem him bond with the other characters. It’ll be great to see those new relationships crumble as Joey finally has to answer to his crimes. The main issue is just that the girl at the center of it all is more bland than bad.

Also, was it me or was that Australian rugby player (like, huh?) scene far too long?

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!