Days of Our Lives Review: A Familiar Situation

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It wasn't that long ago that Claire went nuts because Tripp asked her to wait while he entered a marriage of convenience with Haley.

And it DEFINITELY hasn't been a long time since Eric held back his feelings for Sarah because he didn't want to hurt his brother Rex -- that story just came to an end!

So why did Days of Our Lives spend part of the week of 8-12-19 repeating these storylines with different characters?

An Unhappy Reunion - Days of Our Lives

The Kristen/Tony/Anna storyline is superior to the Haley/Tripp/Claire version, but it's still a repeat of a story that just ended.

Tony and Anna are a classic couple. Back in the 1980s, they represented the more ethical branch of the Dimera family, often working together to thwart Stefano's evil plans. They have the relationship history to make Tony's frustration and Anna's pain over this forced separation believable.

Related: Days of Our Lives Classic Couple Spotlight: Alice and Tom

Plus Thaao Penghlis is a DAYS legend who elevates any story he's in, so there's that.

Even so, this storyline feels like a rerun.

Tony: I fought my way back from the brink of death twice. It was excruciatingly painful, so much so that sometimes I wanted to give up. But I didn't, because of you. I wanted to make my way back to you so that we could be together like we're supposed to be.
Anna: Are you saying you want to fight for me, Tony? Then there's one thing you can do.
Tony: What's that?
Anna: Divorce Nicole.

Tripp married Haley so she could get her green card, then learned that he'd have to stay in the marriage indefinitely because the process was so slow.

Tony married Kristen so she could get control of Dimera Enterprises, then learned he'd have to stay in the marriage indefinitely because it was unclear when Kristen would get the CEO position she coveted.

In both cases, the jilted lover was unable to accept having to wait indefinitely and came up with a crazy plan to force the issue.

Luckily, Anna's craziness extended only to pretending to be engaged to Roman, not setting fires! (Although she did threaten to kill faux Nicole and make Tony a widower, so there's that.

)
Tony Talks to Marlena - Days of Our Lives

Kristen is more Claire-like than Anna, whose schemes are mostly harmless. She threatened either Tony or Anna if Tony didn't forget Anna and stay married to her, and as an added bonus, she keeps threatening to turn Tony in for accidentally shooting Ted if he doesn't comply.

Too bad Tony and Andre's personalities haven't been fused into one body! Tony is too weak when it comes to Kristen. He lets her intimidate him into ruining things with Anna even though he's been fighting for ten years to return to Anna's side!

Related: Days of Our Lives Round Table: Who is the Real Jack?

Telling Kristen she's evil and he hates her isn't enough. Begging Anna to wait for him isn't enough. He needs to stand up to Kristen and his crazy brother Andre would have known exactly how to do it.

Thinking About Anna - Days of Our Lives

Anna is another huge problem with this storyline. Her hurt is understandable, and she was 100% right to tell Tony that if he wants her, he needs to get rid of "Nicole", period.

But her way of dealing with it is silly and childish, and she seems every bit as unstable as Kate claims she is. That makes it hard to root for her.

Plus, this whole situation is being played for laughs, with Roman making a rare appearance to get dragged into Anna's plan to make Tony jealous. Both Roman and Anna deserve a better storyline than this silliness, and we already have one fake relationship turning into true love so we don't need another.

Related: Get True Crime Files by ID via Prime Video Channels for Over 1,000 Real-life Mystery & Suspense Shows!

If Tony were a different kind of person, he might hook up with Kate, who seems eager to replace Andre with his lookalike brother. Then Tony and Anna could swap partners at the end of this.

Eric and Sarah Get Closer - Days of Our Lives

Across town, Eric and Sarah celebrated being free to be together by putting spaghetti sauce all over each other's clothing before deciding they'd rather have sex than eat.

That was undoubtedly meant to be cute, but it was gross, and a waste of food. Plus, there isn't enough of a relationship there for this hookup to matter to viewers. 

Days of Our Lives' golden age featured romances that built up slowly over time so that viewers could hardly wait to celebrate the couples finally getting together.

Audiences may have less patience in 2019 than they did in 1989, but rushing a couple to the bedroom as soon as they get together is still a poor substitute for real romance.

Haley's Emergency - Days of Our Lives

Meanwhile, Tripp, JJ, and Haley picked up where Eric, Sarah, and Rex left off.

Sarah married Rex because he was available and Eric wasn't, while Eric rebuffed her advances so as not to hurt his brother. Now that that annoying storyline is over with, Tripp admitted to Kayla that he has feelings for Haley but is holding back because he doesn't want to hurt his cousin.

Surely this story had to sound familiar to the writers when they pitched it! Couldn't they have come up with something better for these three?

It's a shame, too, that Tripp and JJ had no relationship prior to this storyline.

The two both got in trouble with the law when they first came to Salem because they were acting out pain from their pasts, and they both tend to be impulsive, adventurous, and willing to jump headfirst into danger to protect someone they love.

Tripp Tries to Help Haley - Days of Our Lives

So they SHOULD have been friends all along. If they had, this triangle might be a powerful story instead of shallow drama that bounces from contrived plot point to contrived plot point.

Haley's accident was inevitable, and the fallout from it was predictable and shortlived.

JJ tried to beat up Tripp for keeping Haley's mental health issue secret, then calmed down and told Haley he was there for her. Meanwhile, Kayla's lecture to Tripp about his behavior turned into sympathy for him because he has feelings for his cousin's girlfriend.

Kayla was right that Tripp and Haley's behavior was unethical, but somehow missed that it was also illegal.

Taking someone else's prescription drug is considered illegal drug use, and Haley's job -- and legal status -- should be in jeopardy, especially now that her mother has been rehired as the DA.

JJ: Obviously this isn't the time, but after we make sure Haley's all right I want an explanation of why she was in your bed and you're down here half naked.
Tripp: It isn't what you think.
JJ: Better not be.

It's especially problematic that a nurse who deliberately overdosed on sedatives a few months back allowed her roommate to get sedatives in his name so that she wouldn't have to deal with that history.

Kayla should, at the very least, have serious questions about whether Haley has a drug problem and whether she should continue to be allowed access to the hospital pharmacy!

But it appears that Haley's drug use will be ignored in favor of this love triangle. Once again, what could have been a compelling story was merely a plot point to jumpstart the next phase of the story the writers wanted to tell.

An Unusual Request - Days of Our Lives

The most disappointing story point goes to Eve, though. Her choice to falsely claim Jack raped her to get revenge on him for leaving her was a new low, even for her.

It was offensive to rape survivors everywhere for Eve to casually pretend a man raped her just to get revenge. Justin pointed out that false rape claims hurt real survivors, but still.

Justin: Did Jack really rape you?
Eve: I'm the victim here!
Justin: I want to believe you. I do. But you know, there are already too many people who don't believe women when they say they are raped. So think very carefully before you do this. If you can look me in the eye and tell me that Jack raped you, I will take your case.

Eve's out-of-nowhere accusation made a mockery out of Kayla's real ordeal. Back in 1989, Days of Our Lives used the Jack/Kayla story to be the first daytime soap to assert that a woman has the right to refuse sex with her husband, and the writers using that backstory to further Eve's agenda undid that groundbreaking claim.

Rape should never be used as a plot point. If the writers are going to go there, it should be to tell the story of what the experience does to survivors and to state unequivocally that it is wrong. The way the current writers trivialize the issue makes Justin's words ring hollow and even his statement doesn't undo the damage.

And why, exactly, did Justin take her case, other than that it was a convenient conflict for him and Adrienne now that they have finally reappeared?

Eve's new plan to sue Jack for wrongful termination of employment shouldn't work any better than her false claim of rape did.

Regardless of Jack's animosity towards her, the fact remains that she was incompetent to run the police department and that Ted and Kate's kidnappings were partially due to her ordering Eli to ignore Kate's 911 call.

Eli Takes the Promotion - Days of Our Lives

It would be delicious poetic justice if a jury were to hold Eve liable for both the kidnappings and Ted's subsequent murder because she stopped Eli from attempting to prevent them both!

Teaming Up With an Old Friend - Days of Our Lives

The walls are certainly closing in Kristen, especially now that Gabi has literally ripped "Nicole's" face off!

John and Hope teaming up is one of the best things to come out of this mess of a story. These two are smart detectives who play well off each other, and Hope in detective mode is far preferable to the destructive Rafe relationship cycle she's been stuck in.

Their confrontation of Xander was fun to watch and the writers even acknowledged that private detectives can't grant immunity deals!

Rafe was right, too, that Xander's credibility as a witness was shot since he admitted to making up a story in his first statement. Of course, Kristen will probably never go to trial and will instead flee or fake her death again once she's caught, so that won't matter.

Teaming Up to Expose a Killer - Days of Our Lives

Ben and Ciara also teamed up to find out who really killed Ted. The only low point in this story was their argument over whether it was too dangerous for Ben to break into "Nicole's" hotel room.

Since Ben is the head of security for the world's shadiest company, this comes up a lot, and it's irritating to hear the same argument over and over. It was never fun when John and Marlena battled over John being in the ISA and this argument wasn't entertaining either.

Despite that (and the cliche of Ben and Ciara having to hide under the bed when someone came in), this was a fun use of these characters!

Ben and Ciara working together to solve a mystery is far more riveting television than the sexathon viewers have been treated to recently, and their motivations for getting involved make sense.

Plus, it was a nice surprise when Kate walked in instead of faux Nicole! This time, Days of Our Lives didn't go the predictable route, and it paid off.

Stefan: You have news about my case?
Rafe: It seems Xander is backing off saying you're the kidnapper. Looks like he's gonna point the finger at someone else.
Stefan: I told you I was innocent! I cannot wait until my name is cleared and I can take my company back from your sister.
Rafe: I talked to her earlier, and as much as she wants revenge, I think she regrets what she did to you. If it were up to me, I'd never let you near my sister again. But for some reason she seems to have feelings for you, and I think you feel the same way about her. So why don't you two grow up, be honest with each other, and put this behind you?

While Ben and Ciara were getting the dirt on "Nicole", Gabi was making a nuisance of herself. Her attempt to get information out of Rafe was beyond irritating.

And as a side note, if that black-and-white dress with its weird-looking sleeves is a Gabi Chic creation, it doesn't say much for the probable success of the company!

Anyway, Gabi and Rafe's scenes are usually a high point, but this time Gabi was nothing but a pain in the neck and Rafe insisted on having the same argument with her about her feelings for Stefan that he's had at least three times already.

"Nicole" Confronts Gabi - Days of Our Lives

But since Gabi ended up pulling off "Nicole's" disguise during a catfight, it was worth it. It'll be interesting to see what Gabi does next. She is no match for Kristen, but if she's smart she'll use this as leverage to get herself out of trouble.

Meanwhile, Brady could easily figure out Kristen's identity...if only he would use his brain.

The most frustrating aspect of Brady's character is that all reason goes out the window whenever sex is involved. Brady seems to be a sex addict who will believe anything he is told if it means a roll in the hay, and this current mess is no exception.

Brady can't figure out why he keeps thinking about Kristen after sex with "Nicole" even though he is aware that the sex seems different than any he's ever had with the real Nicole and finds it odd that "Nicole" has a scar covering the exact area where Kristen used to have a tattoo.

And he has also forgotten that Maggie insisted she saw Kristen in "Nicole's" hotel room and that he got mysterious non-answers when he tried to talk to "Nicole" about that!

Another Angry Confrontation - Days of Our Lives

Maybe he needs to talk to Will and Sonny, who are hot on Xander's trail and are sure to dig up the Kristen connection sooner or later.

Elsewhere, it was disappointing that Jack so quickly returned to obnoxious behavior.

He's hurt that Jennifer called him a slimy politician and determined to prove he doesn't need her. So how does being a slimy politician that goes around intimidating reporters help any of that?

The best part of this was his confrontation with Adrienne. Adrienne tried to get through to him that Jennifer loves him and that he's being a stubborn idiot, but he was too busy being a stubborn idiot to listen.

When Kayla suggested he talk to the FDA about the approval for the formula, Jack slipped up and expressed his real feelings. It's not that he doesn't want his memories back. He's tired of hoping and having his hopes dashed (last time literally.) So he doesn't want to try anymore.

A Double Romantic Surprise - Days of Our Lives

But that doesn't mean he has to go around being obnoxious. He was more like his old self when he thought there was hope he could reclaim his past, and he almost desperately wants a relationship with JJ.

Maybe if Jennifer could lay off the judgmentalism and remind him of that, he might give up this antagonistic behavior.

Finally, there was some comic relief and genuine romance as John and Marlena both set up a surprise party for each other on the same night.

This kind of lighthearted story is a perfect use of a veteran couple. Days of Our Lives needs to do more of this and less of the doppelganger and other weird stuff.

Commissioner Eli Grant - Days of Our Lives

Thank goodness Lani and Eli talked Julie out of canceling the party so they can have their engagement party!

Julie's support of her grandson and his fiancee is a nice change from the usual interference with people's relationships. But it wasn't that long ago that Lani was engaged to JJ, so Julie's "welcome to the family" speech was odd.

If you're a Days of Our Lives fanatic, we want to hear from you! Share your thoughts about Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-12-19 in the comments!

Want to chat more about Days of Our Lives? Check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.

Days of Our Lives airs on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for air times.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 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

Jack: All right, your mother has been released just like you wanted. Now where's Haley?
JJ: I'm not telling you.
Jack: We had a deal.
JJ: I lied.
Jack: You lied to me?
JJ: I will never give up Haley!

Deimos: Sometimes in life all the pieces come together exactly at the same time.
Victor: Yes, well the love of a good woman will do that for you.