‘Days of Our Lives’ Week In Review: Haunted By The Past

Photo Credit: © XJ Johnson/JPI Studios

Friendly Fire

How many times can you applaud Billy Flynn’s acting until it becomes redundant? I ask myself that question whenever I watch an emotional Chad Dimera scene, finding myself caught up in those same feelings very easily. I think it’s the eyebrows. How did he get such emotive eyebrows? But I digress, my favorite part of the reveal of Hope Brady’s murder of Stefano Dimera was the reaction of his son. Not only had a reputable member of society who often chided his father’s behavior killed him, but someone he regarded as a friend help to cover it up for her. This is the kind of story I want to see Chad wrapped up in, not so much the back and forth flirting with his presumed wife’s friend.

Continuing from last week, the Horton Town Square was in chaos after Andre Dimera let Hope’s murder confession loop on the loudspeakers. Nearly everyone in Salem was in attendance to the Halloween turned Salem PD award ceremony meaning Hope’s secret was out in a major way. I was living for the reactions of the townsfolk. A Horton had murdered a Dimera?! It must have felt like Opposite Day for everyone there. They even jumped at Andre, accusing him of doctoring the message in utter disbelief while Hope knowingly hung back. Rafe Hernandez of course had to get into the thick of it, acting as poor fragile Hope’s white knight and leaping ot the rescue by offering to pummel Andre. If it were me, I’d be so relieved to have a big secret like that out in the open now. The burden of it must have been awful but these formerly stellar citizens had committed a crime, they were worthy of being judged for what they did. I’m sure in Rafe’s head he’s always the hero of something, no matter if he’s in the wrong or not.

Everyone got carted down to the Salem Police Department where Andre came clean about finding the confession. Apparently he’d downloaded it from Aiden Jennings’ computer and made multiple copies, confirming his month long theory that the decorated police officer had taken out his father.. She listed off all of the horrible things Stefano had done to her over the years but ultimately knew they weren’t excuses for what she did. Emotions ran even higher when Chad showed up to the police department with a load of questions. What really hit me was when Chad asked if Stefano had suffered in his death. No matter how much Stefano had forced himself into his youngest son’s life, Chad really grew to love him and depend on him as his only parent and now he’d been taken away from him. Hope mentioned that she thought he laughed and I thought Chad was going to completely lose it on her then. Even Chad had believed that maybe Andre had been the one behind this shocker but Hope remained firm that it was all her fault. All of it.

Hope made a deal with Andre that if she pleaded guilty to the murder then he’ll keep quiet on the fact that Rafe and Roman Brady played a role as well. It was Hope’s turn to finally be the white knight. I admired her for making that decision after letting the men in her life make the decisions for her for so long. Hope may have not been a killer but I don’t think her intelligence would have gone out the window after gunning someone down either.

Later, Chad ran into Rafe in the town square to begin some of my favorite moments of the week. We got to see Chad sticking up for his family, for saying what we’ve all been thinking for so long – and we got to see Rafe in peak ignoramus form. Chad accused Rafe of being a bad friend by keeping this secret from him and since he cannot seem to read any kind of situation, Rafe began to list off excuses why Chad should be fatherless. “You’re dad was bad guy, he did this and he did that and oh, remember the situation with your dead wife and her ex-fiance? It was kind of like that!” Stop making excuses to justify your wrongdoings, Rafe. They’re just that – wrong. Stefano was honestly just coasting at this point, he wasn’t locking anyone in secret rooms and just wanted to play chess during his afternoon tea. He wasn’t the same villain the town wanted to criminalize him as forever. There just is no denying that Rafe is the dense hero we don’t want, need or deserve.

Chad on the other hand played it with immense levels of cool. His grief was quiet but powerful especially when accusing the town’s prominent families of living outside of the law for as long as his family has too. Though Chad clearly had sympathy for Hope during her confession, I know he’ll be making sure she’s prosecuted to the fullest extent. It’s what she deserves.

New Beginnings

When Jeannie Theresa Donovan showed up in Salem, USA about three years back, viewers knew instantly that she was a bad girl. Not just from the head to toe leopard print skintight dresses she wore to her hospital office job, but because it was a known fact that she’d come as a condition of her probation. There wasn’t too much backstory that we learned, just that she’d stolen a few cars , dabbled in drug dealing and had some DUIs. This last week on DAYS showcased a newly crafted backstory for her, set up to usher Jen Lilley out of the role and it was – something. I can see where the writers wanted to go with it but in the amount of time allotted, will it really have any effect? I can smell a “Sami Brady Moves to Hollywood” type exit on the horizon…

After surviving a town wide siege at the hands of escaped convicts and looters, everyone in Salem has decided to re-devote themselves to God! St. Luke’s Church is back in action and everyone was visiting this last week to say their thank yous. Theresa and Brady Black met Victor and Maggie Kiriakis there to pray for the safe return of Marlena Evans and Kayla Brady. Therese however made a move to the confessional as she’s probably still asking for forgiveness for the mountain of dirty deeds she’s committed in the past. Lately she’s been on her best behavior though. In the booth, she quickly noticed that the priest had the most familiar voice – as did the viewers. Shane Donovan had sneaked into St. Luke’s undercover, meeting his daughter in the secure location to alert her that her past is on it way to catch back up with her. Apparently not only had Theresa been involved in multiple crimes back in California, but she’d been running them alongside her love and drug cartel lord Mateo. And he desperately wanted her back, no matter the cost.

Theresa mentioned that had Mateo come for her when she first arrived in Salem, then she probably would have left with him. She was different now, she’d grown up and was no longer was thinking only of herself anymore. While I still find Theresa growing up through having a baby and getting married to the man who berated her daily so backwards it’s laughable, I do think other situations have forced her to mature too. Just the natural progression of life. I like the place that Theresa is in right now as a character but this sudden plot is just an odd way to shake up her life.

Brady had just agreed to his grandfather’s wish to move into the Kiriakis mansion to secure his role at Titan, but over frozen yogurt he’s already thinking of moving out again. Weird writing moment. Theresa’s visibly shaken by her father’s shock warning and left to take a walk. Mateo of course came across her after watching her all day. He wanted her to move with him to Mexico. This encounter lit a fire under Theresa who would do anything she could to not go on the run like her father wanted her to. She enlisted Victor Kiriakis to help with her situation. After relaying her dangerous past to her grandfather-in-law and how it might be putting Tate and Brady at risk, she asked if maybe the patriarch could make this Mateo disappear. Unfortunately Victor knew of Mateo and the power in his family name. Her best option was to go on the run, leaving behind her family. To Theresa, Victor was holding out on her because he’d always wanted her gone but his hands were tied.

Theresa met with Kimberly and Shane Donovan at the Brady Pub later with a plan in mind. Her parents were opposed to it and her husband would loathe it as well, but it was the only way out that she could see. She let her parents know that Mateo wanted to bring her back to Mexico with him, to start up their love affair again and she was going to do it. She’d convince Brady, Mateo and everyone else that she was up to her old schemes again to get closer to the drug lord. Then she’d help to bring him down. Does the story work? Yes, I can kind of get into it. But is it good? Not so much, not when it’s this rushed. I’m getting James E. Reilly-lite from this reintroduction of Christianity to Salem tied with a drug cartel plot out of left field but not in a good way, not in a way that will make DAYS exciting to watch.

It makes me wonder if Jen Lilley turned in her two week’s notice literally two weeks before leaving because of this story’s rush job. Why can’t we lengthen out these exit stories to make them interesting – hell, why not lengthen out all storylines in general to give them a good kick? Give us some flashbacks to Mateo and Theresa’s first go round together, make us worry more for her safety, make us feel something more than just being rushed into saying goodbye to the character we loved to hate! I can appreciate the thought behind all of this but the execution is just lacking. What a way to lose Theresa…

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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About the Author

Coryon Gray joined TV Source Magazine as a staff writer in October 2014. Prior to TV Source Magazine, he's written for and moderated Asian entertainment blogs and forums. On top of writing duties, Coryon is also a panelist for the TV Source Podcast, Soap Countdown Podcast and Our Take Media.