Secrets and lies are part of soap operas, but so is romance.
Sadly, Days of our Lives has very little genuine romance nowadays. Other than Steve and Kayla and occasionally Doug and Julie, there are really no rootable couples anymore.
I'm thrilled that Hope and Rafe broke up on Days of Our Lives during the week of 3-05-18. They were one of the most mismatched and torturous couples to watch in soap history.
But three other couples broke up or nearly did as a result of secrets, lies, and manipulations, and the overdose of loveless unions left me feeling cold.
Rafe and Hope's relationship ended in the most humiliating way possible.
Rafe's behavior has made him into more and more of a jerk lately. I don't blame Hope for taking off her ring and wanting nothing to do with him after her granddaughter announced in front of all of her friends and family that Rafe cheated on Hope and she had proof!
I just wish that most of Salem would realize it too and especially that Ciara and Claire would cut out the fighting.
Ciara blamed Claire for her mother's unhappiness.
Her loyalty to Rafe bordered on delusional, especially since Rafe did the only mature thing he's done since this whole thing began and told her that this mess was no one's fault but his.
Ciara refuses to see that Hope deserves to know the truth or that it's not good for her mother to stay in the dark while the whole town knows her husband slept with another woman 30 seconds after they had a major fight and almost broke up.
It's hard to tell whether Ciara's right about Claire's motives for telling. Claire seems to genuinely care about Hope, though she also was angry and wanted to get back at Ciara for being mean to her at the wedding.
Honestly, though, it doesn't matter why Claire told. The fact is, Rafe slept with Sami and kept it to himself for months while one person after another learned the truth. Yet Claire was the only one who thought Hope had the right to know rather than wanting to "protect" her.
Hope is not a fragile little bird that cannot handle knowing Rafe cheated on her. Before he came along and ruined her character, she was one of the strongest women on the show.
And she is showing that strength now by standing up to pretty much everyone since for some reason all of Salem is rooting for her to get back together with Rafe.
Half the town seems to think that Rafe and Hope's alleged love for one another should excuse his bad behavior, but the issue isn't so much that he slept with Sami but that he lied about it for months despite Hope giving him a million opportunities to tell the truth.
Everyone insists Aiden was a psychopath because he didn't tell Hope ahead of time that he was defying Andre's orders to kill her and ended up imprisoned for months, then lied to her about when he was kidnapped. Yet Rafe gets a free pass for a much more hurtful lie.
The hypocrisy is astounding and the way everyone is rallying around the man who broke Hope's heart is ridiculous.
Seeing Hope stand her ground is a good look for her, though, and I loved her taking off her wedding ring.
I just hope she doesn't give in anytime soon.
As for Rafe, he can stop stalking her.
This thing DAYS characters do after a break-up where they chase the person around begging for a second chance is sometimes obnoxious and sometimes pathetic. In Rafe's case it's both.
Hope wants so much space from him she's going to Hong Kong! So he needs to back off and realize she's not going to forgive him in the near future.
Eli: I just want what's best for the baby.
JJ: Did she make you godfather or something? Cause you're being awfully protective of our baby.
This all would have been very satisfying if it were not for all the other secrets that people are stupidly hanging onto despite seeing this one blow up in Rafe's face.
Eli is a prime example.
He gets a few points for having the insight that Gabi will eventually find out he cheated on her and admitting the truth.
But then he followed that up by lying to her face about being the father to Lani's baby, even when she said she would only forgive him if he promised to never kept secrets from her again!
There is absolutely no reason for Eli to keep this secret whatsoever. He's not protecting JJ. He's not protecting his relationship with Gabi.
He's protecting Lani by making sure she never gets caught and sacrificing a relationship with his unborn child to do it.
And now he's pretty much put the final nail in the coffin of his relationship with Gabi by lying about it after she told him point-blank that she won't accept dishonesty.
I really could care less if Eli is with Gabi or not. I don't think much of him for continuing to protect Lani this way and I was never sold on him and Gabi as a couple.
I do care about JJ, though, and I want him to learn the truth sooner rather than later.
He's not stupid and he's pointing out constantly that things aren't adding up, plus Lani has that incriminating voicemail Eli felt a need to leave her.
But for some reason, he's backing off his questions about it when Lani resists, even though it's entirely out of character for him to do so.
The more I see of this travesty, the more I wish the show hadn't dropped the ball on his suicidal depression storyline and followed through with a real therapist for JJ and the opportunity for him to explore what's been going on with him since his adolescence.
Earlier in the week, Lani had a scare when she had pains that made it appear she was having a miscarriage.
It turned out to be nothing, and I'm not sure that she didn't fake those pains to stop JJ from asking inconvenient questions about why she and Valerie were arguing.
These scenes did nothing for Lani's character, which is so despicable that she can't much lower, but they did give JJ the opportunity to interact with Steve!
I was thrilled to see the writers finally remember that JJ is Steve's nephew. I always felt these two should be close because Steve is all that JJ has left of Jack.
Steve told JJ that he wanted JJ to know he was there for him. I hope JJ turns to him when this Lani fiasco comes out!
Meanwhile, Gabi decided to be a total idiot and I'm not entirely sure that Lani didn't arrest her for the sole purpose of making sure she never tells JJ that Eli and Lani slept together.
Someone put the coat, the urn lid, and the key card in Arianna's backpack, and Gabi panicked and tried to throw them away in a dumpster.
This is in character, at least, since she freaked out like this on a regular basis in 2013 after Kate convinced her to let her and Sami throw Nick in the river instead of reporting his attempt to rape her to the police.
But it was about the stupidest thing she could have done. She looked scared and nervous and might as well have had a neon sign on her back announcing that she needed to be arrested for destroying evidence!
She could have burned the evidence in someone's fireplace, away from prying eyes.
Heck, I'd have even settled for her convincing JJ to help her destroy it because he knows what it's like to be falsely accused of murder and then Lani freaking out and thinking JJ knew the truth, and Gabi was helping him plot revenge on her!
And if she was going to go the dumpster route, she might as well have thrown away the entire backpack and bought Ari a new one instead of taking the time to get her fingerprints over every single piece of evidence and running out of time before she got rid of it.
I hope Lani appreciates how much easier Gabi made her job because she's so incompetent herself that she would never have found the evidence at all if Gabi hadn't laid it out for her.
Gabi: Lani, listen. I know what this looks like, okay, but just let me explain.
Lani: Gabi, put the stuff down and move away. [checks things out] Wow. That looks like the coat we were looking for, the one someone wore to break into that office and kill Andre.
Gabi: Lani, you know I'm innocent, okay?
Anyway, Lani caught Gabi, who then got stupider and tried to talk her way out of it by insisting she was innocent even though she had a ton of evidence of guilt in her hands instead of asking for a lawyer.
And when that didn't work, Gabi attempted to blackmail Lani out of arresting her by informing her she knew about her tryst with Eli.
Are these two women having a stupidity contest or what? Gabi can sometimes be strong, smart and resourceful, and I enjoy her when she is, but when she's like this I want her off my screen as soon as possible.
Trask: With you, it's always someone else's fault. Isn't that right, Ms. Hernandez?
Justin: Stop questioning my client!
Trask: Just making small talk til you got here, Counselor.
Once Gabi got to the police station, things quickly descended into the realm of the absolutely ridiculous.
I guess DAYS has torn down its jail set because arrested persons seem to spend all their time sitting in a chair in a conference room, and this was no exception.
DA Trask did a lot of gloating about how Gabi was under arrest before leaving her alone to have an extended conversation with Chad about the situation. She also had a long conversation with her cop boyfriend without her lawyer or anyone else in the room.
Gabi's pain over being separated from her daughter was real, but it would have been more impactful if it actually seemed like she was in jail and not just hanging out at the police station.
Abigail continually got headaches from her DID, and she wasn't the only one!
This storyline makes little sense to me. DAYS is playing fast and loose with this oversensationalized mental illness, and even leaving aside the inaccuracy, it's a confusing mess.
Abigail sometimes switches into Gabby, who tries to seduce Stefan and insists she killed Andre. But now she also has another persona named "Dr. Laura" after her grandmother, who wears glasses and acts like a stereotypical psychiatrist.
Dr. Laura says that Abigail created Gabby after she killed Andre, leaving us with no motive whatsoever for this murder.
Dr. Laura also is aware of all the personalities and controls who comes out when, while neither Abigail nor Gabby is aware of the other's existence.
This storyline is dizzying enough without all of Abby's alters being her imitation of real people! That's not something I've ever heard of happening with DID and I don't see why it's necessary.
Meanwhile, Chad is mostly in the dark about all of this, so there's yet another secret floating around that could interfere with a couple's happiness and Stefan thinks he can cure Abby himself after reading Kimberly's book.
Someone make it stop. Please.
Justin: Repeat after me. I, Eve, take you to marry for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, til death do us part.
Eve: I, Eve, wouldn't marry you if you were the last man on Earth.
Eve and Brady were the other bookends to a week's worth of failed romances, as Brady prepared to wed Eve in order to push her out of Basic Black and Maggie boycotted her relationship with Victor because he wouldn't cancel the plan.
I hate the idea of Eve and Brady together for so many reasons. First of all, I'd like to see Eve in a relationship with someone she doesn't absolutely hate. That would be refreshing.
In addition, Eve is Tate's aunt and it's inevitable that if she and Brady get back together, little sister Theresa will resurface, and I'm not interested in that drama.
Claire and Ciara are bad enough. We don't need Eve and Theresa at each other's throats over a guy too, especially one like Brady who does nothing but drink.
And this farce of a relationship can't possibly be good for Tate. Getting married after one date and secretly plotting to destroy one another is going to be confusing for the little boy.
So for all those reasons, I was thrilled when Eve turned the tables. I also like seeing strong women and her rejection of Brady at the altar was almost as sweet as Hope's rejection of Rafe.
What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 3-05-18?
Which couple were you most glad imploded?
Who is acting stupider -- Gabi or Lani?
And am I the only one who misses real romance on DAYS?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back in on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.