Days of our Lives Week In Review: Double Trouble

Andre holds a press conference to make a shocking announcement. © Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

Pans of the Week

Who Do You Think You Are?

Rafe being the worst.
©XJjohnson/jpistudios.com

The drama was there, the suspense was there but the unmasking of Commissioner Raines as Dario Hernandez’s secret partner felt so irresponsible in this day and age. When Hope Brady pulled a gun on a defenseless, ailing octogenarian Stefano Dimera, her every right to be sanctimonious should have been revoked. Once a decorated cop, her credibility and integrity was stripped away when she “killed” The Phoenix and dumped his body like trash. Raines counterfeited money, profited off this operation, ran down Abigail Dimera and tried to stitch up the mayor of Salem – all crimes understandably punishable by law however; I did not appreciate all the smug smiles from equally guilty parties. I was honestly unsettled.

During Hope and Rafe Hernandez’s body dumping plot, the one bright point was their boss Raines telling it like it is. The entire town of Salem was rushing to find ways of bringing Hope to freedom when he was treating her like a criminal, following every procedure of the law. It was admirable to see a cop be a cop first, not a friend or family member willing to risk their career to break a few laws. You know a story isn’t going well when you want to root for the man who is meant to be the antagonist as he’s making the most sense. Stereotypes of African-American men on television often deal with them being labelled criminals and for once, there was a black man in power who wanted to do right. Until he didn’t. There was such a drastic switch as the character became one note and it was so clear they were setting him up to be the villain when it did not feel fair at all.

As a black man myself, I was disturbed seeing Hope smile in Raines’ face while telling him she’ll make sure he’s charged for every crime he committed. Hope’s own list of misdeeds was nearly as bad yet she skated by on them all due to a lame technicality. Had I been her boss, Hope and Rafe both wouldn’t even be allowed to carry weapons let alone leave their desks and yet there she was behaving like the pillar of society she no longer was. The privilege in this scene was so palpable that I swear I could almost taste it.

Commissioner Raines went down in a barrage of bullets and curses. His stint of terror ended with Mayor Abe Carver reading him the riot act, reminding him that he was supposed to be a center of the community and had let everyone down. My only wish was that this same speech was offered to the two cops who only a year ago thought it was okay to kill a man and disgrace his body by throwing it out like evening trash.

With that said, I do want to confirm that I’m by no means calling this show or story racist. I simply just want people to understand that with so few characters of color on our screens, it’s important to show that they too can be upstanding citizens and not the thugs that so many other forms of media paint them out to be. The media isn’t careful enough in portraying these sensitive subjects, not as much as they should be – and that’s not to say they should shy away from hard-hitting stories, but just to have a little forethought before airing them. As much as anyone else, I want to see my soap operas tackle difficult issues confronting this extremely divided time in the world but don’t do that by subtly creating more division either by perpetuating stereotypes. I don’t want to see anymore, “Aha! Of course the black guy’s guilty!” moments on TV anymore.

Rescue Me

Only a few months ago, Dena Higley wanted DAYS viewers to know that Gabi Hernandez was her heroine and she’d do anything to show it. Over the course of weeks, Gabi was put in danger so many different times that it would have made viewers heads spin if it hadn’t been so contrived. This last week was much of the same, highlighting Gabi getting taken by Commissioner Raines in a plot that just made viewers wonder why this was happening again. The character of Gabi does not have the capabilities of being a heroine to me and that’s just a fundamental truth, not just my personal feelings. A heroine to me is someone who encompasses so many different qualities but unfortunately, all we’ve seen of Gabi recently is that she knows how to survive hostage situations – by crying through them all. Shouldn’t she be used to them now and have gained relevant skills to survive? Truthfully, I enjoyed the kidnapping scenario as a juicy, soap whole but Gabi herself was not my favorite.

I have a strong love-hate relationship with Gabi though I must say, she’d be the only Hernandez I’d want to keep around in the long run. Camila Banus has grown so much with this role and not only made it her own, but made Gabi someone as well which makes me constantly flip between the love and the hate. But I am so over seeing her having to always be rescued! There’s always these little hints in the dialogue as Gabi fights through her tears, that she’ll literally do anything to survive for her daughter (like shoot her baby daddy’s cousin in broad daylight) but we so often never get to see that side come out of her. Add that to the Gabi that we had to suffer through last year, and it just feels so exhausting to continue to see these stories happen to her. However even with that said, Aaron D. Spears and Banus had fantastic chemistry during their hostage situation – something almost like a sitcom at some points? It was so weird but so enjoyable! Camila really knows how to do comedy, it seems and I would love to see some rom-com moments between her and Eli Grant, not so much constant rescue missions from meat lockers and panic rooms.

How awful was Rafe Hernandez trying to berate Eli for saving his sister’s life – like, he actually made a move and saved her while Rafe talked. Why does he always have to be the worst? I really don’t want Gabi to be the worst though, I do want more for her, I do want to see her grow. Gabi survived prison, for God’s sake! She should and has to be tougher and smarter than this!

Cheap Love

Nicole Walker needs to open her eyes and realize that Brady Black’s love for her is nothing but a cheap imitation of the real thing. Having to sit through the two of them continually professing their love for each other feels so wrong, especially since the misogynistic Titan heir will do anything to control Nicole’s life and come out on top. Every moment of this “romance” for Brady is simply a competition in his head against Eric Brady, making it really hard for me to believe that his love for Nicole is even real. Is she just another thing that he wants to possess?

Eric and Nicole share a close moment.
© XJjohnson/jpistudios.com

There are far too many reasons for me not to get invested in the Nicole, Eric and Brady triangle. It’s not original for the character of Nicole, Brady is an absolute irritant, and Arianne Zucker is on her way out so how much longer will this even last? I’ve complained about Brady and Nicole through countless articles and I really don’t want to repeat myself as the complaints are still valid today. That said, my biggest issue with them from this last week has to do with Brady confessing to bribing a judge for custody of Holly. How and why was Nicole so accepting of that? To me, there was nothing heroic about the way Brady continued to interject in the middle of the trial nor was it admirable to have to resort to bribery in the end.

When the judge ruled in favor of Nicole only after Brady paid him off, it cheapened the entire plot of Nicole sorting out her life to start a new one. We saw all of her struggles from start to finish only to have them wrapped up in a neat bow by Brady’s slick mouth. If he loved her so much, shouldn’t he have put his trust in the fact that she’d worked hard and turned a corner for the better? Had Nicole done that then everything would have worked itself out naturally, instead his jealous, possessive tendencies reared its ugly head as he took control of the situation. Brady announcing to Nicole that he’d pretty much bought her baby out of the foster system just oozed creepiness and ruined a moment that should have been touching. This was not his moment to steal but he just couldn’t help himself!

Just what is it about Brady that makes him behave like such a petulant child – and more importantly, why do people continue to let him get away with it? Nicole constantly makes excuses for him, downplays his erratic behavior, and tiptoes around friends just because it might make Brady jealous yet she loves him. How is that love? I think it’s no wonder that Paul Narita has become John Black’s favorite son when there’s Brady.

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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