Days of Our Lives is my favorite soap opera for a reason. The characters of Salem, USA are just like neighbors and friends to me, occupying a special place in my heart that no one else can touch. But it’s when they don’t make it easy to watch the show which in turn makes this piece harder to write that drives me crazy. The stories are there, this last week had some material that could really be compelling if only they were given the proper pacing and time to flesh out but instead viewers have to sit through their favorite characters behaving like strangers. At this present time, it’s really hard to root for most of our Salemites but I’ll hold out hope. And I’ll try not to rant.
Week in Review for Days of Our Lives episodes airing May 23rd – 27th.
Remember the time, just a few months ago where Rafe Hernandez was one to root for? He spearheaded the hunt for the Necktie Killer and was there for Hope Brady through all of her troubles. Now that friendship and partnership has turned into a relationship, and just like that Rafe has regressed from strong adult man to a big baby.
Hope has found herself in her second love triangle in about half a year, this time with Rafe and newly resurrected Aiden Jennings. Even though Ken Corday had promised no more returns from the dead, the former town lawyer was back on Hope’s doorsteps begging to be loved again. Hope’s apprehension is completely understandable, Aiden’s story about Andre Dimera kidnapping him and doppelgangers is believable in Salem, USA but all of that doesn’t change the fact that Aiden still lied about his debt. Not to mention, he was this close to attacking her before the lookalike took his place and now he wants to kiss Hope in the middle of a rainstorm? I’d say no thanks too.
Rafe happened to see the kiss that Aiden pushed onto Hope and went spiraling right toward the bar. It must be jarring for everyone who had continued on with their lives to see a dead man walking again, but Rafe immediately going into mopey drunk mode was just sad. Where’s this heroic, standup guy that everyone always makes him out to be? I would have liked if during his pep talk with Roman Brady at the bar, that Rafe had mentioned all of his past failed loves and how maybe that’s got his confidence riding a little low when his girlfriend’s husband turns up again. Because really, when has Rafe ever been happy in love for a good amount of time? It would add a much more heart to this back and forth love triangle. I’m only getting Aiden being far too pushy too soon, Hope being far too wishy-washy and Rafe being far too childish. Hope isn’t an object to own! These men need to go sort out their issues (PTSD from being held captive, daddy issues, rapist son issues, etc.) before trying to get into a romance. As of now, I’m on #TEAMNOONE.
The obvious highlight of this last week on DAYS was Jennifer Horton’s standalone episode featuring the one, the only Jack Devereaux. After five years, Jennifer was reunited with the love of her life (sit down Daniel Jonas) on screen and it was everything we could have hoped it to be. Writing was spot on, production was great and performances were stellar. This episode truly saved last week and its clunky drama.
Four months ago, Jennifer was a doting grandmother and homemaker that spent her days dusting or making donuts. This last week, we got a glimpse into Jennifer the raging pain pill addict and it was not at all the rainbows and sunshine we expect of her. She practically tore apart the iconic Horton house in search of more medication to down. Thankfully former alcoholic and half-brother, Lucas Horton arrived to guide his sister through her ordeal. Often times, Jennifer and Lucas’ relationship (much like other familial ties on DAYS lately) are ignored so seeing Lucas be brought in at the beginning of the episode as Jennifer’s pseudo-sponsor was an amazing touch. The writers actually utilizing the character of Lucas alone made me realize that us viewers were going to be in for a poignant episode.
With backup from Doug and Julie Williams, Lucas managed to calm his sister down to the point where she could finally sleep. In those dreams, Jennifer met with a familiar face in a very unfamiliar setting. Her nightmare shifted from Abigail Dimera blaming her for losing track of son Thomas while high, then to visiting JJ Devereaux in prison where he had been residing for selling Jennifer’s pills to finally settling on Jennifer as the prisoner with Jack as her guard. The conversation takes an emotional shift that would touch even the coldest of hearts. There’s history between these two characters as well as the two actors, both Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves play off of each other so seamlessly. It’s almost as if Jack was never gone.
They reminisce and laugh but soon enough the tears come. Even though the addiction plotline was almost comically rushed, I must say that Melissa’s portrayal through the entire run of the story was very realistic. She wasn’t gobbling down full bottles of pills every scene but subtly every now and then, trying to keep her habit under the radar. The writers explained Jennifer’s behavior really well. Losing Jack meant she had to be both parents, on top of being a cousin, sister, aunt, grandmother to most of Salem, she really felt like she’d lost herself. Which actually makes sense! Often times on soap operas you get the plucky heroine who always does the right thing, but even when she does make a mistake it’s minute in comparison to the bad girl next door; that was Jennifer for a long time, especially recently. Living that kind of façade has to get tiring at some point and if popping pain medication helps to get over that, then of course she’d snack on those pills.
I think the ending of the episode felt clunky, and I almost wish they could have devoted a second standalone episode to Jennifer, Jack and Jennifer’s beginning of recovery so there’d be no need to cram so much in. But I am glad that Jennifer has finally admitted to her problem to her family and now also to a support group full of addicts in the same boat. I’d be even happier if Jack miraculously showed up on her doorstep ready to walk her through the difficult times ahead. But I’m also very much okay with this heartfelt dream exchange being something akin to closure for the super couple. It was very well done.
But was I the only one hoping Julie would smack the mess out of Jennifer for laying a hand on her? She’d hug her right after, of course but still.
House of the Scorpion
Joey Johnson has found that life really comes at you hard when you make rushed, thoughtless decisions i.e. skipping out on court dates with your girlfriend on your dad’s motorcycle. Ever since leaving Salem, Joey and Jade have faced issue after mounting issue to the point where it’s pretty much confirmed that they’ve found themselves stuck in the middle of a cult. Jade insists that her aunt is this amazing person for letting them stay with her but Joey is rightfully suspicious after becoming an accomplice to a robbery that leader auntie claims to be justified. Just what these people are after or up to other than lounging around on dirty couches? As viewers, we’re not exactly sure yet.
What we do know is that reluctant bad boy Joey had no idea what he was getting himself into by getting involved with Jade. Personally, I think Joey should have run the other way when Jade took the news of him murdering Ava Vitalli so well and with so much excitement. There’s something off about this girl but with Paige Searcy doing so well in the role, you can’t help but be more curious than put off by her. I really feel for Joey who seems to really be stuck with no idea how to get out. His parents might be on the case but who knows what crimes Joey would have had to commit by the time they find the commune.
The two teens are initiated into the odd society by burning a scorpion onto their hands. If Jade’s aunt is leading a group of scorpion branded criminals, could Jade’s parents be tied to the commune as well? Could this be the same scorpion found painted on the wall of Ava’s hideout months ago? We already know Real Andrews has joined DAYS as Jade’s father but just who will be her mother…
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!