These were dark days, dark DAYS indeed. And honestly, I loved most of it! As a fan of stories both sick and twisted, I’ve always enjoyed when soaps incorporated gothic elements into them. As I’ve mentioned before, Days of Our Lives and James E. Reilly were synonymous to me – he was writing when I began watching – so that goes to say a lot about my taste. Give me tragedy, give me pain but throw in strong relationships so that our favorite characters can make it out intact. DAYS has excelled at showcasing the former two but there’s still that familial element that we have not been getting enough of. All of this darkness taking over Salem and not every many of these families have banded together in the face of it. Have Belle and Paul even met yet? I don’t mind the dark route DAYS has set for itself for the last few months, just stop letting the characters get lost along the way.
Now onto a few highlights from Salem, USA this last week!
Week in Review for Days of Our Lives episodes airing March 28th- April 1st, 2016.
Supercouples are not allowed prolonged happiness; everyone knows this unwritten law and sticks to it more or less. Even if the fans riot and protest against it. Chabby, the new age supercouple formed of Chad Dimera and Abigail Devereaux Dimera, is no stranger to short-lived happiness and lots of strife. After battling fake brain tumors, a weird battle for Abigail’s virginity, brainwashing and a burning bed, the pair finally married two weeks ago. But wedded bless soon gave into a wedded craze as Abigail began to turn into someone almost unrecognizable.
According to the bride, ex-boyfriend and escaped psychiatric patient Ben Rogers had crashed her honeymoon with Chad leaving behind a cryptic message in the form of her shredded blouse. That was enough for the couple to head back to the Dimera compound with a bigger security team right behind them. This last week in Salem began at that point, opening up with an eerie yet superb single story episode focused on Abigail’s descent into – something. We’re not exactly sure what is going on with Abigail, but as a storm passes over Salem and knocks out power at the Dimera mansion, she begins to see moving shadows and visions of Ben out to finish what he had started at the cabin. Chad is joined on his wild goose chase around the mansion by JJ Devereaux, called in to keep his big sister safe only to find that the threats all live in her head. Even after multiple checks of the perimeter of the property come back negative, Abigail can’t seem to shake that Ben is out there waiting to get her and her son.
Some DAYS fans are suspecting that someone has drugged and begun gaslighting Abigail, making her only think she’s losing it while some cite her family history of mental illness to say it’s very much real. Both her grandmother and great-grandmother were institutionalized for long periods of time, so whatever’s going on with Abigail could be from genetics. For me, Abigail has always been a flawed and slightly unstable character. My introduction to Kate Mansi’s Abigail was right at the beginning of her odd obsession with Austin Reed that went on without explanation. She simply apologized and started dating a doctor, and no one seemed to bat an eye. It’s a pretty fanfic-y idea, but I’ve always thought that Abigail has suffered from major daddy issues from Jack Devereaux always being away or temporarily dead. She clung to these older men (Austin and EJ Dimera) then jumped from man to man (Chad and Ben) all the while never seeming 100% sure of herself. At least to me. The stress of a near death experience, a wedding and the looming adventure that is motherhood all seemed to culminate as that final straw to break the camel’s back.
As expected and as usual, Kate Mansi was at the top of her acting game this last week. I’m no actor myself but to be able to play someone slipping out of reality without going over the top, without constant crazy eyes and screaming? That has to take talent. Kate choosing to stay on even after her contract finished to wrap up Abigail’s storyline was a perfect move because she does some of her best work on DAYS in these scenes. It’d truly be a tragedy if she doesn’t get to take home a bit of Emmy gold for this. Just the looks between her and Billy Flynn’s Chad are enough to pull at the viewer’s heart strings. Having an entire Monday episode dedicated to them, washing out all of the nonsense with Summer, was the perfect way to kick off the week. Sure, anything that followed wasn’t particularly as good but Chabby’s chemistry added this nice rosy glow to the rest of the stories for me, making them seem not at all that bad.
Did you want to rip out your heart watching Chad anguish over not being able to help a delusional Abigail? Do you think Ben was actually there in any capacity, or was it all really in Abigail’s head?