Soaps

‘Days Of Our Lives’ Week In Review: Let’s Keep This Going

Jennifer and Abigail reunite.
Jennifer and Abigail reunite.

Days of Our Lives ran a short week thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday, airing just three episodes for the week. Surprisingly, those three episodes were solid all the way through which has fallen in line with the last few weeks of solid material. Fans and non-fans alike have been praising DAYS as of late, citing it as US daytime’s currently most watchable soap. We all know that ranking is volatile and fluctuates at any given time, but for DAYS this is something to note seeing as they’ve often fallen behind their three competitors. It’s not perfect, never will DAYS or any soap be perfect for every viewer but if the show continues down this road it’ll remain most enjoyable. Even with the annoying occasional hiccups. Let’s get into what happened this last week in Salem USA!

Those Meddling Kids

The teens do some investigating.
The teens do some investigating.

Lots of DAYS fans have complaints about the current teen scene, most of them leaning toward pure apathy but I’ve enjoyed them more or less since their debut. There’s definitely some stand outs in the crowd that I don’t think should be unfairly roped in with the bad parts. Theo Carver and Claire Brady are the stars of Salem’s teen set, there’s no doubt about that. They have charisma, burgeoning talent and the looks to boot, that’s why I’m glad to see them on screen so frequently. Does that mean their storylines are any good? Not at all.

Theo is harboring a major distrust in Dr. Valerie Grant, Abe Carver’s old flame and there’s a good reason behind it. Only problem is, the show only touches upon it instead of further explaining why this nearly grown man would stand in the middle of a public space berating his father’s date. We first saw Valerie and Abe meet this last week before their date, the two of them all smiles nd clearly eager to start fresh. They chose to dine at the Brady Pub seeing as it didn’t exist back in Valerie’s first run in Salem and she wanted a dinner with a home cooked feel. Theo stopped them after receiving an SOS call from Claire. He made his lack of trust in Dr. Grant clear and called her out on lying about being in New York City to someone on the phone, a piece of information he claimed to only overhear. To him, Valerie was a lying, dangerous woman and wanted her away from his father.

I liked the fact that Abe was right there to discipline his son for his disrespectful actions. Though Valerie explained herself, admitting that she lied to her boss because she wanted to stay in Salem to see Abe through his recovery, there shouldn’t have been any reason for her to explain herself to a child. Her explanation was almost too easy which of course means she’s hiding something; this is soap land after all. But is it as bad as Theo thinks? I want to say no just because Vanessa A. Williams has the sweetest smile and voice that you can’t help but love. But who knows!

Theo and Claire decided to dig further into Valerie’s past when the adults decided to go on their date anyway. Like who would have thought these two grown adults would drop their lives for a couple of teen’s thinly reasoned warnings? Claire is a bit of an evil mastermind though, isn’t she? Theo is a very malleable boy who can easily get caught up in not only his own feelings but others too. I don’t think Claire means to manipulate Theo by riling him up and putting him on this charge against Valerie, but she sure isn’t helping any either. It’s sad that Ciara Brady is the only one being rational in the bunch because – well, she’s Ciara Brady. Not the girl we came to know and love for nearly a decade, but a shell that uses too many “awesome” and “totally” in her sentences.

Unless Theo actually uncovers a big secret about Valerie, maybe one involving the son she mentioned in passing to a surprised Abe, then this story won’t be worth much to anyone. Or the writers should at least delve more into the teen’s autism; explain why he irrationally wants Valerie gone. She’s shaking up his normal life, changing everything he’s ever known since his mom passed away. That’s a lot to handle for any kid. I love to see Claire and Theo’s dynamic grow, especially since Claire is such an O.G. (original gangsta, if you didn’t know) and it makes Ciara so upset but this story just doesn’t feel like it. Let’s see how it progresses though.

Auntie Andre’s Family Reunion

Abigail returns.
Abigail returns.

Andre Dimera leading the charge to reunite a family and with no clear ulterior motive just yet? Could this be real? I’ve seen some soap fans liken the way DAYS has so easily turned the former psychopath into just an everyday slimeball to the way other soaps have tried and failed to redeem their villains. While Andre has been nothing but sweet this last week to Abigail and Chad Dimera, I do not think he’s been redeemed or even necessarily changed as a person, I just think he’s learned to tone it down a little bit. Kind of like DAYS itself. While he may have been rocking that silk scarf, that did not make him sweet!

We first saw Abigail Dimera this week still hiding out at the Horton house with Jennifer Horton. Marci Miller’s Abigail and Missy Reeves’ Jennifer have already clicked right into mother-daughter mode. They even look similar too! There’s this moment where they’re catching up, Abigail explaining that she’s better now after having been diagnosed correctly outside of Shady Hills and Jennifer just listening with this twinkle in her eye. Part of me was wondering if it was all because of the fact that Abigail was back from the dead or because Marci Miller was just so captivating. I know I was hanging onto her every word as she spoke with this weight and depth to everything she said. She wasn’t on the show then, experiencing the same ordeals Kate Mansi’s Abigail had to but she made it feel as though she had. I applaud her to no end for that.

Their little reunion was cut short when Andre turned up, keen to speak with Jennifer about Hope Brady’s verdict for The Salem Spectator. Of course it’s a bad time and Jennifer wanted him gone but Andre stood firm, snooping around until he figured that Abigail must have been there. The partners in crime later ran into each other in the park much to Abigail’s dismay. Andre said a lot of things she clearly did not want to hear, especially – I’m going to paraphrase here – “either stay dead or come back to life!” Abigail’s been floating around town since her return, hiding in dark corners and drawing up conclusions about the loves ones she left behind. Her biggest worry is coming back to find no one truly wants her back. Chad has moved on with Gabi Hernandez in Abigail’s eyes, though he’s only toying with the idea right now, she believes it’s all set in stone. It’s actually the perfect time to rise from the dead and take your husband back as he’s straddling the fence.

I’m more than a thousand percent rooting for a Chabby reunion, but Chabi also has a fire between them. I’d be an idiot to say they didn’t. But they just do not belong together; I don’t feel the same love there. The kiss Chad and Gabi shared in the heat of an argument was classic soap goodness, so much so that I found myself giggling at the interaction. It made sense. They’re both in fragile states and think that distance would be best for them, to keep their heads and hearts clear but neither of them truly want that. Again, the pacing is off with this story but belief will have to be suspended, I guess. Abigail is back in town, JJ Devereaux had to cheat out of town so all the drama could be set up against everyone involved. Though I feel like this story’s rapid pace stems from the show runners finding an Abigail sooner than they thought they would; they’d been looking for a while, re-releasing the casting call every month or so until Marci Miller came along.

Gabi eventually decided to give JJ another shot after he sincerely apologized. I’m happy for them but Gabi doesn’t seem quite as happy. Of course had to go tell Chad this news after he’d resolved to giving their romance a try and while Abigail hung in the wings, ready to reveal herself. Seeing the two together erases everything Jen and Andre had told Abigail about Chad still loving her, pushing her to run. Kate Roberts’ had talked Chad into giving Gabi a chance, making an excellent point that Abigail may have died but he didn’t, he had to move on. Amazing advice from his mother figure but poisonous to all of us watching, waiting and hoping for that Chabby reunion. But so it goes in soaps!

I think my favorite part other than flashy Andre trying to put his family back together was Abigal’s fear – of herself. She kept removing herself from these stressful situations and speaking about doing so in fear of having another breakdown. I think that’s an amazing touch to the character that I hope will stick around. We always get fragile women in soap operas but usually in a nefarious or comical way; barely ever do we see them having to struggle in a realistic fashion. Hopefully Abigail’s mental state plays a big role in this love quadrangle.

About the author

Coryon Gray

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