Stop me if you've seen this before on Days of Our Lives.
A man fights with his girlfriend, and they decide they are "on a break." He almost immediately runs into someone else who is also grieving, and they have sex.
No sooner is that done than the man's girlfriend decides she wants to reconcile, leaving the man with a dilemma. If he tells, he may lose his lover forever. If he doesn't, he's a liar who doesn't deserve her.
This scenario has played out many, many times in Salem, always with disastrous results. The cheated-on lover always finds out in the worst possible way, and the relationship implodes.
So why on Earth does Rafe think things are going to be any different for him and Hope if he keeps it secret from her that he slept with Sami?
I'm no fan of Rafe and Hope as a couple, and this mess of a storyline doesn't help that any.
Hope seemed pathetic as she begged Rafe to take her back in the first place. She was right in everything she said about him being a controlling, passive-aggressive jerk who belittled her at every turn and then took her job out from under her.
For her to turn around and then decide that she was wrong and he's the love of her life severely weakened her character. She looked wishy-washy as well as unable to stand up for herself.
Rafe: Ciara! I thought you left.
Ciara: I did. Now I'm back. Was that Sami I just saw you with?
Rafe: Yeah. We're friends.
Ciara: I guess so.
Rafe: She's going back to see her kids for Christmas.
Ciara: And she tracked you down to say goodbye?
Fortunately, the Rafe/Sami one night stand is probably going to permanently kill this awful excuse for a couple when it comes out.
Ciara is the perfect person to find out the secret, which Rafe and Sami stupidly talked about in public. She was hiding behind a bush in the park, but still.
I enjoyed Ciara interrogating Rafe without him realizing that was what was going on.
I can't believe this man is a former FBI agent! He was no match for a 20-year-old with a chip on her shoulder.
Ciara had a bone to pick with Rafe because he took away her dad's motorcycle, which she's been throwing tantrums about not being allowed to drive without a motorcycle license since she got in town. It should have been obvious to him she was looking for trouble with her questions.
It also should have been obvious that she knew something.
Thankfully, he was too dense to figure this out, which means she'll spill in some dramatic way that makes his relationship with Hope implode.
I'm hoping she pulls a Chad and announces it at this wedding that Hope suddenly can't wait to have.
Maybe Rafe can turn to his old pal Kate when it does since she just learned the hard way that secrets always come out in Salem.
Steve tricked Kate into confessing to everything while Chad lurked nearby. You'd think a manipulative diva of Kate's caliber would know better than to fall for such a simple trick!
Nevertheless, it was nice to see her finally get some comeuppance. She's got away with far too many bad deeds and become colder and more calculating every time.
That said, I'm not all that comfortable with this focus on Kate. The fact remains that Theo chose to break into a warehouse and then chose to run from the police.
Abe is desperate to believe that his boy is completely innocent and was gunned down by a corrupt cop who used the badge as an excuse to rid the world of black people, with the help of Abe's evil in-laws.
But that's not even close to what happened here. The fact is that Theo chose to commit multiple crimes that night, and while he didn't deserve to hover between life and death because of them, he contributed to the consequences he is now facing, and it doesn't appear that anyone cares that he committed a crime.
Kate should be held accountable for tampering with evidence and perhaps for being a co-conspirator, but if Theo wakes up he should find himself under arrest for breaking and entering, and it appears that that is not likely to happen.
If my dad understands that you did everything you could, why can't he understand that JJ would never do anything to hurt Theo?Lani
Meanwhile, Abe continued to be insufferable.
I was confused by his tenderness towards Claire. He's so eager to blame anyone and everybody for Theo's condition that when she said she felt guilty, I expected him to begin interrogating her on the spot.
He quickly returned to his ridiculous refusal to acknowledge that Theo isn't an innocent victim, however, referring to JJ as "that man who shot your brother" and horning his way into Rafe's private discussion with JJ about the results of the investigation into his conduct to demand the decision.
Eli didn't help either, deciding to tell Abe that his personal opinion is that JJ didn't need to shoot Theo.
His personal opinion was based on nothing but his own bias, since he wasn't at the scene and had no idea what went down, and his explanation to Gabi that he was telling Abe what Abe needed to hear didn't help matters any.
Either Eli was throwing JJ under the bus to appease Abe, or he believes his cousin is a racist who shot Theo because of the color of his skin. Either way, it's not a good look for Eli, and I'm glad Gabi stood up to him.
This storyline is making both Lani and Gabi look good, which I don't like because neither of these women has ever been good enough for JJ in the past and both of them have been whiny and manipulative and irritated me every time they were on screen for the past year or two.
Jennifer: I just -- I feel like a nervous wreck. I mean, JJ is wracked with guilt and he is so depressed right now.
Kayla: Well, I know what Abe's been going through with Theo, but I can't believe the way he's treating JJ.
Jennifer: JJ won't even talk to me about it. I asked Eric to try to get through to him.
Kayla: Eric understands that kind of guilt.
Jennifer: No. JJ won't even listen to him.
Kayla: This is just an awful situation.
Meanwhile, JJ spiraled deeper and deeper into depression, isolating himself and refusing to take care of his basic needs.
Casey Moss is doing great work. JJ's pain, guilt, and hopelessness are palatable, and my heart breaks for him.
I wasn't surprised that Eric's attempt to talk to JJ didn't go well, though, for a couple of reasons.
Eric and everyone else is not giving JJ any space to express his guilt. Everyone is so focused on convincing him that he didn't do anything wrong that they cut off his ability to communicate how he feels, which isn't helping anything.
JJ's friends and family can be excused for this, but Eric is supposedly a trained counselor, and reflective listening is counseling 101!
Additionally, there's a giant elephant in the room that I'm surprised no one mentioned.
Eric thought that he could connect with JJ because of his guilt over having killed Daniel. But Daniel was JJ's mentor, surrogate father, and quasi-therapist.
Had Eric not done what he did, Daniel would have been the one at JJ's door insisting that he let him in, and he might have been able to help.
Daniel was also Jennifer's boyfriend on days she was in a good mood.
Now Eric has taken over the role of semi-boyfriend in Jennifer's life as well as Daniel's role in JJ's life.
JJ should have refused to listen to him because Eric doesn't get to first kill Daniel, then become him. His close relationship with Daniel was never even mentioned when Eric brought Daniel's death up.
Anyway, Eric also tried to preach religion to JJ, which I have never seen as all that religious. JJ has had a lot of heartache in his young life, and I always thought that he'd be the kind of person who'd feel that if there is a God, He's never been there for HIM.
Eric, of course, is a former priest, so it's natural for him to encourage JJ to turn to the Bible, but some guidance as to which passages to read would have been helpful.
Left to his own devices, JJ managed to find the worst possible passage for his state of mind and most likely has become convinced that God wants him to be punished to make up for shooting Theo.
Abigail: JJ, it's me. Can you please open the door?
JJ: Go away!
Abigail: Yeah, when hell freezes over.
I have a problem with the way JJ's depression is being handled by his family, too.
Jennifer, who typically would be in JJ's face trying to get him to come home so she can keep an eye on him, is keeping her distance and crying to whoever will listen that her son is in trouble.
I'm glad Abigail finally went over to his apartment and insisted that he let her in, but it isn't nearly enough.
No one has even tried to contact Marlena, and Hope is the only one who suggested JJ could benefit from counseling at all.
That is the same crap that happened after JJ's mental health issues led him to break a store window back in 2013.
He was carted off to the police station back then, where his continued acting out was a clear cry for help, yet nobody bothered to bring Marlena in to evaluate him, and after he calmed down and was released, he was left to put his life back together pretty much on his own.
After he sobered up a few weeks later, he was expected to remain sober without any support whatsoever other than occasional check-ins from Daniel, despite the fact that his aunt is everyone's AA sponsor in the entire town and Lucas was sober then and also available to help.
After the JJ/Eve debacle, in which JJ exhibited further signs of mental distress, no one checked in with him nor did anyone care that he had abused alcohol as part of this whole scenario. Nor did anyone care about that when his overuse of alcohol led to Lani raping him.
And now he is in an even worse crisis, and everyone's solution is sitting around talking about how worried they are without anyone offering him any actual help.
JJ has needed counseling FOR YEARS, and his problems have got worse and worse, and now he has Abe calling him a murderer every five seconds on top of the absolute lack of treatment for his mental health issues.
And you can bet that if Abigail were this depressed, everyone would be pulling out all the stops to help her, as they did when she had PTSD.
What will it take for anyone to take JJ's mental health problems seriously enough to do something about them instead of treating him as less important than the rest of his family?
Other goings-on in Salem included Ciara declaring herself Claire's enemy and trying to turn Tripp against her, which is odd considering that she just spent three months living with Claire's parents in Hong Kong and Eve and Brady facing off yet again.
Eve also offered Gabi a job and tried to use her relationship with the half-sister she never met to manipulate her.
I found it bizarre that Eve claimed that if Paige were alive, they'd be working at Basic Black together since Paige wanted to be a doctor and had no interest either in her mother's nonsense or in being a stereotypical woman who only cares about clothes.
And finally, Sami rushed off to California to be with her other kids, leaving plenty of unfinished business in Salem.
While I'd like to see more of Sami's caring side and less of her extreme impulsiveness, I'd much rather she have brought her kids to Salem so that she can continue to support Lucas' sobriety and maybe even let him have some time with Allie.
What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 12-11-17?
Did anyone else have to resist an urge to try to punch Abe through the TV screen?
How did you feel about Sami's exit?
Are you hopeful that Hope and Rafe will break up permanently?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.