‘Days Of Our Lives’ Week In Review: Family, Love And A Bit Of Adventure

Photo: © Chris Haston/NBC

Undercover Undead

Feels like it’s been forever since Abigail Dimera was last seen on our screens when in reality, it’d only been about six months since she leaped out of Shady Hills window to freedom. Over the months the viewers heard passing whispers about what might have happened to her from other characters including hitchhiking, fake IDs and crashed planes in Miami but we mostly dealt with the fallout around her disappearance. The guilt from Abigail’s family members for putting her away in such a – excuse the pun – shady place ran high for everyone from her mother to her husband; both of whom everyone and their mothers foolishly wanted to deem unsafe to be around children just for grieving a death. This last week, Abigail appeared in town very much alive with an interesting tale to tell.

Abigail was meant to disappear forever in a plot orchestrated by her, Andre Dimera and grandmother Laura Horton but she couldn’t keep away after hearing of JJ’s shooting. She made a pit stop at the Dimera mansion to see her son Thomas Dimera, returning to him his favorite toy she noticed he’d dropped in the Horton Town Square. In no time at all she was caught by co-conspirator Andre who was firm with her about the dangers of coming back to town. At first, I wasn’t quite sure about the New Adventures of New Abby considering she arrived in my grandma’s Southern Baptist Church hat to sneak around her old house, but as soon as the hat came off and she interacted with Andre, I was sold. We learned through a great flashback (one that’s actually pertinent!) that Abigail and Andre ran into each other right she broke free from the mental ward. She’d only meant to disappear but Andre offered her help with a more permanent solution.

Marci Miller killed it playing against Thaao Penglis, there’s just no question about that. Though the scene in the present with them joking around about faking deaths was a little awkward (not in a bad way, just sort of off), the flashback scene was superb. Abigail went on describing why she ran away, to free her family of the burden of having to care for her during her descent into mental instability. She felt like there was no coming back for her. So it was Andre that helped to arrange the false identification to tie her to the Miami plane crash. But why? No amount of intriguing writing and great acting from these two could have filled in the gaps in the story. Abigail mentioned that she was “better” now (uh huh, not with that dazed look on your face!) but then why did she stay away from town for so long? Why go through faking the death in the first place? What’s in this for Andre, what does he get out of helping his brother’s wife? The only thing I can think of is maybe Abigail gave him a chunk of her Irish land money or maybe he thinks helping Chad through his grief would secure him a spot back in his good graces? And how in the hell did Laura get roped into this all? I’m sure we’ll get answers soon enough, but I’m just venting a little.

Though I must say, I do enjoy the fact that Laura is involved in this storyline in general. Abigail’s grandmother has been institutionalized herself; she knows the bests and worsts of that system and could have very well helped to instill that paranoia in Abigail’s head. Or to amplify it. Laura has no reason to trust the mental health system after it failed her – but she also has no reason to trust Dimeras! It was Stefano and Peter Dimera who gaslighted her two decades ago, making people think she’d lost it again. So on one side I can see why she’d rather have her granddaughter free from that system but on the other, I can’t imagine why she’d be okay working with Andre. She was even awful to Chad during her last visit! Sweet, innocent puppy dog eyes Chad! The dynamic between these three will be something to watch out for as Jamie Lyn Bauer’s Laura will be returning to Salem for a longer stint. For once, all of the plot holes aren’t bothering me so much as they’re intriguing me.

After the flashback scene, the best scene was obviously Abigail revealing herself to Jennifer Horton! What a moment! It was so good and so soapy but not overdone. The mother-daughter connection already felt solid between Missy Reeves and Marci Miller and the resemblance was there too. When she tried to convince her mother that she was somehow “healed”, I was rolling my eyes. There’s no way she’d gotten a quick fix for her mind’s anxieties while on the road. She later overheard JJ talking to Jennifer about Chad and Gabi growing close, obviously hating the thought of her husband moving on without her. Even though that was her plan all along. I personally don’t think we’ve seen the last of unstable Abigail, that it’s just a matter of time before she snaps again. I think Chad and Gabi “getting close” during this vulnerable time for them will be what sets her off, especially if she’s going to spend her time lurking in shadows and watching everyone.

On a final note, I have to go back and praise Marci Miller. Her debut was written well but she handled the scenes with such poise. I’m enjoying the new Abigail because it feels like such a natural progression for the character. We’ve seen baby, child, teen then young adult Abigail and now we’re finally getting to see the adult Abigail. There’s an air of maturity to Marci’s portrayal that I don’t think Kate Mansi could have accomplished. Not to say that Kate doesn’t have the ability to, she was just best as the bright and naive Abigail (and eventually the unhinged Abigail). Where the character will go next and how she’ll grow will be fun to see but the most anticipated moment is when she’ll share scenes with Billy Flynn. The two actors already have great chemistry off screen but that doesn’t always mean it’ll translate on screen. Kate and Billy were fiery together, so let’s keep that going with Marci and Billy!

Trouble with Goodbye

In my last recap, I aired out my frustration with Theresa Donovan’s exit storyline. Unlike her cousin Sami Brady’s exit to Hollywood for a still unreleased biopic, Theresa’s exit was tied to a newly invented Mexican drug cartel that we could all imagine her getting roped into. Because c’mon, Theresa is historically a mess who would do just about anything for a quick bump, buck or hump. And we loved that about her – well, some of us DAYS viewers did. I can say that I never fully bought into her big turnaround into a family woman but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t choke up during her last scenes this last week, no matter how silly the storyline was.

Jeannie Theresa’s week began with an overdose that left her foaming at the mouth in Victor Kiriakis’ house. I loved the fact that Victor was the one who found her and that he actually sprang into action to save her. Had little Tate been kept forever by Kristen Dimera, his existence unknown then I bet Victor would have left Theresa to choke on her own foam. Since Victor knew about the Theresa’s mission to bring down her ex-lover’s drug cartel, he called Kayla Brady to treat her niece instead of alerting authorities. His EMTs work together with Kayla to pump Theresa’s stomach of the drugs, then transport her secretly to Salem University Hospital for further treatment in stable condition. To Kayla’s surprise, Victor allowed her to alert Kimberly and Shane Donovan but to keep it quiet from Brady Black.

At the hospital, Shane and Kimberly are there when their daughter awakens, completely beside themselves. Theresa had just wanted to escape from her grim reality, especially since Brady was not buying her last act. She’d tried to convince her husband that she no longer loved him but if Brady being Brady, is pretty dense. It probably didn’t even really register to him. I was cracking up this week when he mentioned that he felt Theresa was hiding something else from him or that he was missing something because honestly, isn’t he always? Every woman Brady’s been with has pulled the wool over his eyes only to leave him in the most dramatic fashion. You’d think he’d learn by now. But nope, this is Salem we’re talking about!

Knowing that Jen Lilley is leaving the role completely, hearing Shane believe that the undercover operation might be over in a month is so bittersweet. We know we’re losing that firecracker for good, don’t tease us like this! If the scenes with Theresa bidding goodbye to her son and parents wasn’t enough to tug at your heartstrings, then the following scene with her meeting Victor definitely would. She’d just been trying to pack up her things quietly when literally her entire family caught her in the act – as they should have! I was genuinely surprised to see Victor actually open up to Theresa. I could have easily imagined Victor being much terser, a little stoic but clearly pained to see Theresa leaving. I did not expect to see him wish her well, to even go as far as to consider her a part of the Kiriakis family – and not a prostitute. This was huge! The way I see it, Victor had always figured Theresa to be childish and selfish and honestly, that is who she is. But in this sacrifice for the sake of her family, Victor learned that there was also more to her than just that. Maybe the writers won’t delve that deeply but that’s just my own personal analysis of the situation. My armchair psychologist analysis.

In Jen Lilley’s final scenes as Theresa, she’s caught by Brady on her way out the door. She sidestepped every one of his questions before putting the final nail in the coffin, stating that she’s never sure she even loved him. The hurt is palpable from both ends. No matter how much I disagreed with Thrady as a pairing from the start, middle and even up until recently – you really thought they’d be in this forever. No one could have expected a Mexican drug lord to come between them in the end. Not even Theresa’s attempted murder of Brady’s father kept him away for long! Things end on an extremely tearful note for the characters and viewers alike, thus concluding Theresa’s time in Salem. Will she be gone for longer than a month? Yes, we know she will be. This job won’t be as easy as anyone expected it to be. I can only hope that it isn’t dragged on inexplicably for years like Bo Brady’s road trip for the cure to dementia.

In that same vein, Theresa is a character that needs to be on canvas now. I can’t really imagine her not being there now, she was such a big character with a lot of potential and so many ties to the town. With her we could keep Shane and Kimberly around, maybe finally bring Andrew Donovan home (or even mention him!) and have more naughty hijinks that seem to follow her wherever she goes. I would not be opposed to a recast in the near future. Jen Lilley was phenomenal and no one can take her place, but let’s not retire the character forever. It’d be silly to. For her future endeavors, I wish Ms. Lilley all the luck in the world. Not only does she seem to be a great person, her talent is right up there too. I’ll miss her!

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!

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