Days of Our Lives Review: Flirting With Evil

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Every time I start to like Gabi, she does something that is equal parts crazy and obnoxious.

I was done with her after her repeated excuses for dumping JJ in favor of Chad and her constant blaming and shaming him after Lani raped him.

Then she managed to get it together enough to save him from suicide and was a good, supportive friend throughout his ordeal. She seemed to be a decent person with decent morals who stood up for herself and for what was right.

Not a True Friend - Days of Our Lives

Unfortunately, recently Gabi became the victim of a ridiculous storyline involving her being falsely accused of crimes that any person with half a brain would realize she was not capable of committing and she got victimized over and over in a series of stupid plot twists.

When Gabi finally emerged from this storyline, she decided she wanted revenge at all costs and is once again obsessed with breaking up Abby and Chad.

And on Days of Our Lives during the week of 6-25-18, she took another step towards total unlikeability, insisting that the only reason Abigail could have betrayed her was that she wanted revenge on her for sleeping with Chad two years ago and not because Abby suffers from a severe mental illness.

Her arrogance and lack of empathy are astounding, and she's again become an obnoxious one-note character who only cares about stealing Chad for herself. 

Who thought that viewers actually wanted to see this?

Every time Gabi has become Chad-focused, it's been a train wreck, and this is no exception.

Gabi's insistence that Abigail must have been seeking vengeance, despite knowing that Abby was released from a mental hospital the same day Gabi was released from jail, was the height of arrogance.

Gabi has become selfish again, thinking that everyone obsesses over her and Chad just like she does.

What a coincidence. You were in the mental hospital for exactly as long as I was in prison for the second murder I didn't commit.

Gabi

To be fair, Gabi has a point about how quickly Abigail was deemed sane enough to come home. Dissociative Identity Disorder cannot be cured in a month, nor does integration involve the person magically remembering things they did while in an altered state of consciousness. 

This unrealistic, simple solution to Abby's problems is an insult to the field of mental health, as has been this entire DID storyline. 

That doesn't change the fact that in the context of this story, Abigail was not in control of herself and harmed Gabi because of severe mental illness, and Gabi's selfish presumption that it was personal lacks empathy.

In addition, she twisted the knife about Abigail's rape, blaming and shaming her for it the same way she did to JJ after Lani raped him.

There is no way this is the same woman who talked JJ out of shooting himself in the head to try to atone for Theo's being in a coma. 

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Instead, selfish, Chad-obsessed Gabi pretended to befriend Abigail and encouraged her to keep her potential pregnancy secret from Chad, or at the very least, keep it to herself that the baby might not be his.

First of all, Lani was recently begging Gabi not to tell JJ the truth about the paternity of her baby, while Gabi told her firmly that it was cruel to keep the child's real paternity secret and that JJ and Eli both needed to know the truth.

And even if Gabi has conveniently forgotten this fact, Abigail and her newly intact memory should realize how heartbroken JJ was when that truth came out and resolved not to do the same thing to Chad that Lani did to her brother.

It's also incredibly obvious that Gabi plans to spill the beans herself to Chad at the most inopportune moment so that she can cause trouble between him and Abigail and maybe break them up so she can have Chad for herself.

Yawn. Chad/Gabi 1.0 and 2.0 were awful, and 2.0 involved rewriting history to make them high school sweethearts who played baseball together when Gabi as initially written hated baseball, became obsessed with Chad and indirectly caused the death of Abigail and JJ's father through her plot to fake being stalked so that Chad could rescue her..

So why, exactly, are we doing this again, complete with the rewritten history?

There's also something gross about using Abby potentially having been impregnated by her rapist as a plot point to further Gabi's latest attempt to steal Chad's heart.

It's bad enough that for the most part, the show has backpedaled on calling this rape what it is. Abby now remembers the sex and has decided since her alter Gabby wanted it, it was consensual. 

It no longer seems to matter to anyone but Steve and possibly Chad that Abby's mental illness rendered her incapable of consent.

Nor does anyone care that Stefan deliberately provoked that mental illness because he knew that if Abigail continued to be in control of herself, she would reject his advances, but if he could cause her to dissociate, the alter Gabby would be happy have sex with him.

And Abby's memories of everything seems to be missing the fact that 30 seconds before the sex happened, she WAS in control and told Stefan not to touch her and to get the hell away from her. 

Instead, Abby taking responsibility for sex she did not and could not consent to is implied to be a sign of her new maturity, and the rape has been transformed into yet another Who's The Daddy story where the woman is afraid to tell her husband the baby might not be his.

This is the 21st century. It's about time for DAYS to return to the progressive attitudes it held in the 1970s and 1980s when rape was treated as a serious issue rather than as a plot point.

Ben And Ciara Grow Closer - Days of Our Lives

Another case in point is this nonsense with Ciara and Ben.

Ciara's bizarre behavior supposedly comes from her belief that she's "damaged goods" because she got raped, but that's not exactly the focus of this story.

Ciara called Claire this week to tell her to take her job at Bella Magazine -- the one she fought so hard to steal from Claire in the first place -- and to have a nice life with Tripp.

She blamed Claire for her own choice to first not tell Tripp about the rape and then tell him, then told him to be with Claire and hung up on him.

It seemed more like someone read an article about PTSD in sexual assault survivors and decided to give Ciara random symptoms than anything true to her character. Also, it quickly began to seem like her trauma over the rape was just an excuse because she really wasn't into Tripp.

After all, she had no problem with Ben knowing about the rape and told him what happened the second he asked. Then she started flirting and otherwise expressing interest in Ben, culminating with the two of them laughing about how much Hope would hate seeing them together.

Now, some sexual assault survivors do become promiscuous to compensate for what happened to them, but there's no evidence that's what's happening here. Instead, the rape was only an issue to create a triangle between Tripp, Ciara -- and Ben. 

It takes a special kind of sick to hurt your sister. If anyone ever laid a hand on Jordan, I'd kill them.

Ben

While taking the longest time ever to cook some carrots, Ben learned all about Ciara's rape and threw shade on Chase for being sick enough to harm his step-sister.

It's nice that the man who killed three people and attempted to kill two others to get revenge for being jilted draws the line at sexual assault, I guess. But it seemed hypocritical, to say the least, for him to say anything about other people being especially sick in the head.

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Meanwhile, it seemed this story was more or less a vehicle to get Hope and Rafe back together.

Hope fretted and panicked, while Rafe was the voice of reason, reminding her that Ciara was an adult and had the right to stay away if she wanted but agreeing to help her find her anyway.

Hope screamed at Rafe that he couldn't understand because he didn't have kids, which I guess was supposed to hit him in the gut since she apologized profusely, but he didn't seem all that upset about it. Then they got to work, and Hope finally figured out that Ciara was with Ben.

By then, Rafe was back to questioning Hope's intelligence, continually asking her if she was sure this was the case, and then they shared a hug while she cried.

I've been enjoying Hope and Rafe as friends and fellow detectives, but I can't take another round of these two trying to make a relationship work.

When Hope and Rafe were arguing about whether or not Rafe should have called off the search for Ciara, I felt like the writers were trying so, so hard to recreate what she and Bo had.

But it didn't work because Rafe is no Bo Brady, and Hope becomes weak and spineless whenever she spends too much time with him.

Rafe and Hope Work to Find Ciara - Days of Our Lives

Meanwhile, Theresa and Brady fought over custody of Tate.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed JJ's part in these scenes. When I read spoilers that JJ was going to take Theresa's side, I thought it was going to be yet another story that dumbed JJ down, paired him with a woman who was unworthy of him and made him the town pariah for no good reason.

Instead, JJ was the sole voice of maturity and reason. It's clear that he is trying to be a good friend to Theresa and get her to think about what she's doing. It reminds me a lot of the way Daniel was able to balance out Nicole when their relationship was written true to the character back in 2013 or so.

It's not the same situation, but when I found out Lani's kid wasn't mine, I felt like I lost a child. So I understand your fear of losing Tate. You sacrificed two years of your life in Mexico to keep him safe. You don't deserve to lose him. I'm Team Theresa all the way.

JJ

While he seems to be blinded to some degree by his desire to have had a baby with Lani, something that I'm relieved never came to pass, he also seems to be a genuinely good guy who both defends Theresa and tries to talk her out of going too far and to protect Tate's actual best interest.

Theresa needs that, and if she were staying on the show longer, I'd be interested to see where this goes.

Jen Lilley and Casey Moss are both strong actors, and their characters have complicated histories, so a potential JJ/Theresa pairing could be interesting, but since Theresa is reported only to be on canvas for a few months, it's hard to get invested in them.


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There were a ton of developments in the Sonny/Leo story.

I hate this story. It makes a mockery of real sexual harassment victims, it's not clear why Kate was doing that when she was going to tell Sonny about the plot back when she found out Vivian was engineering it, and it appears to be a contest to see who can be stupidest.

Sonny twice met with Leo outside of the presence of his attorney to try to resolve this.

The first time, he pretended to be into Leo so that he could get a recorded confession, risking implicating himself further if Leo had a hidden camera.

The second, he at least realized that was a possibility, but he allowed Leo to frisk him anyway and then listened while Leo suggested they get married in exchange for Leo dropping the lawsuit.

That demand made no sense, and neither did Sonny continually trying to meet with Leo in private when the guy had already lied about the nature of their relationship once!

The Best Couple in Salem - Days of Our Lives

The best part of this story was Kayla catching Kate in the act.

For the record, I'm not a fan of Kayla working with Stefan. I love that she's willing to do anything for Steve, but he seems to be fine with staying blind until the day comes that Stefan doesn't have a proprietary hold on the bionic eye technology, so it doesn't seem entirely necessary.

Plus, after hearing the sad news that Stephen Nichols did not renew his contract, I'm worried that the writers will go the idiotic exit story route and break Steve and Kayla up over the secret she's keeping.

Anyway, Kayla unmasking the Kate/Leo connection was all sorts of sweet. Kate screwed over Steve and Kayla not that long ago, and this Leo stupidity needed to end.

I knew that Stefan was going to try to string Kayla along, demanding more and more from her before he gave her the bionic eye for Steve, and I loved seeing Kayla put him in his place about that.

Kayla is one of the few genuinely strong women left on this show, and I love it when she doesn't let people mess with her or Steve!

Getting the Shot - Days of Our Lives

Will was in a hurry to get his memories back. I was glad that he finally told Paul he was having memories of Sonny and doubly glad that the fact that he kept the first memory secret for a few days wasn't a big deal.

After all, Paul did the same thing when he first found out Will was still alive.

Will was right that it was his decision whether or not to risk taking the serum, though it didn't seem like stealing a vial and injecting himself without the slightest idea what the dosage is supposed to be was a great idea. I loved how supportive Paul was trying to be despite his fear that Will will leave him for Sonny.

What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 6-25-18? Are you finding the stories sizzling hot or is this summer a dud so far? Do you like Gabi better as a bad girl or a good girl? Does Ciara's behavior make sense to anybody?

Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Days of Our Lives Quotes

Getting older is not for sissies.

Victor

John: I know how this looks. But we heard some things about Will --
Sami: I know. Mom told me. So just because that murdering bastard Ben Weston says that his murdering bastard Clyde Weston said so, it must be true?
John: Well, we also heard that Dr. Wilhelm Rolf could be behind this, and we know what he's capable of.
Sami: Rolf? Okay, okay, so three psycho crazies said so.