Days of Our Lives Review: Insisting on the Impossible

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Days of Our Lives has done the impossible.

No, not brought Stefan back from the dead (if they did.).

But even though neither Lani nor Kristen appeals to me, their scenes together were among the best of Days of Our Lives during the week of 5-04-20.

Helping Kristen Escape/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Lani and Kristen have so much chemistry that it's a shame that Days of Our Lives didn't make them a romantic couple instead of Kristen and Brady.

Their scenes together sizzle, and Lani's choice to potentially sacrifice her career and her freedom would make more sense if she was doing it to help the woman she loves.

Plus could you imagine Abe's reaction if his favorite daughter was involved with Kristen Dimera?

Even without that, Lani's defense of Kristen has been her most interesting storyline to date, but that would have added an extra punch.

Usually, I don't like stories about people not being brought to justice for their crimes. Days of Our Lives does that too much as it is. But Lani's heartfelt pleas to Kristen to forget her and be with her daughter elevated this one.

Lani Explains Herself - Days of Our Lives

I can't blame Eli for being angry with her, though.

Lani: Can we please talk about what happened with Kristen?
Eli: Surveilliance footage says it all. What is there to say?
Lani: If you would just let me explain...
Eli: You sneaked Kristen out of the police station. When I asked you where she was so I could make an arrest, you lied to me. What is there to explain?
Lani: You don't understand -
Eli: She stabbed Victor Kiriakis and you helped her evade arrest. I think I understand perfectly.

Eli's the by-the-book cop that Abe used to be before Abe decided that his daughter could do no wrong, and Kristen did stab Victor in the heart.

She's a loose cannon who, as Eli and Brady both pointed out, can't be trusted not to lash out violently at the people she thinks wronged her.

Brady's insistence on being with a woman who could turn on him violently at any moment never made sense, and Lani is blinded tho that possibility by her empathy for Kristen.

Sarah's Plans Hit a Snag - Days of Our Lives

Yeah, this isn't gonna end well.

The Lani/Kristen stuff was the high point of a story that otherwise shouldn't have happened.

Sarah's scenes with Rex were cringeworthy, and probably the worst part of this entire thing.

Sarah became yet another woman who "went crazy" because her heart was broken, something which does the depiction of neither women nor people with mental illnesses any favors. 

And not only was she needlessly violent, but she also became a hypocrite, claiming that Kristen was too much of a lunatic to take care of a child while acting like her.

Her scenes with Rex had this Criminal Minds feel to them, too. Sarah constantly talked in this annoying monotone, tied up and gagged her ex-boyfriend and supposed friend, and seemed to think that they were still friends after what she'd done.

And if that scenario (which, incidentally, mirrored that time that Kristen kidnapped Daniel and held him hostage in a hotel room for no apparent reason) wasn't bad enough, Days of Our Lives added in the stupidity of a near-blind neighbor who couldn't tell that Rex was in trouble.

If that was supposed to be comic relief, it failed.

Plus, there was no COVID-19 pandemic 9 months ago when this was filmed, but Sarah's claim that Jean Marie couldn't come any closer because her husband was seriously ill and might be contagious took on a different meaning in a post-pandemic world.

This is another reason why I hope that when Days of Our Lives is able to resume production, it films less far in advance.

Pleading With Rex/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Things like this need to be changed to adapt to real-world circumstances so that viewers aren't upset or offended by something that was meaningless when it was filmed but seems insensitve by the time it airs.

Even if there were no pandemic, that whole setup was silly. 

Days of Our Lives wanted to put an obstacle in Sarah's path, which is fine, but having a nearsighted woman not realize that Sarah and Rex don't look anything like Abigail and Chad and not realize that Rex was gagged and tied to a chiar... well, that was an insult to viewers' intelligence.

Victor: Learn to put your family first. You'll make the hard choices. You'll find it isn't easy. This time, Maggie in pieces, Sarah and the baby God knows where. After all the hard work we put in to try to protect them... it was all for nothing.
Xander: Not if I can help it.

Surely there was some other way for Sarah to avoid getting caught that was less reliant on characters being stupid.

Kristen is Scared - Days of Our Lives

Things may get interesting now, though, since Kristen has found Sarah and Brady and Xander are on their way.

Everyone who tried to tell Lani that Kristen might indeed hurt Sarah is probably right, but whether help arrives in time depends on whether Xander and Brady waste time fighting with each other.

That's anyone's guess, since they hate each other and neither is known for maturity.

Anyway, Victor and Xander's scenes were surprisingly heartwarming, considering they are more or less two gangster conspiring to do damage control now that their secret is out.

Xander has always been motivated by his desire for Victor's approval, and there was something sweet about Victor giving it even though his perspective is all wrong.

Devastating News/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Xander's scenes with Maggie were also among the most emotional of the week of 5-05-20.

Contrary to what Xander and Victor believe, Maggie is a strong woman. She accepted her punishment for drunk driving and she could have accepted the tragic truth about her granddaughter's death if she'd known about it at the time.

She pushed to learn the truth, all of it, and she eventually got her way. And yes, she was devastated by the news that her granddaughter had died as a result of the accident -- who wouldn't be?

But that doesn't mean she's going to fall apart altogether. She could have had the support of her family at the time and then decided what to do, legally and morally. Instead now she's learning the truth while in jail, and that makes it so much worse for her.

Gabi Kisses Jake/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Elsewhere, Gabi's reaction to running into Jake wins the award for most annoying storyline.

Gabi's right about one thing: people come back from the dead in Salem all the time.

And it's possible that Jake is a brainwashed Stefan, though why Rolf and/or Stefano would want Stefano's newest son to think he's an auto mechanic with a past is anyone's guess.

Let's hope that for once, Days of Our Lives doesn't go there. But either way, Gabi's reaction is as ridiculous as it is obnoxious.

The dialogue between Jake and Gabi has been repetitive, even if Jake did get in some funny lines, and Gabi seems to think that throwing a tantrum will make Jake embrace the idea that he is Stefan -- whether he really is or not.

Ciara Tends to Ben/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Gabi's accident at the auto shop was a stupid plot device to get Jake and Gabi alone while some bad guys attacked Ben.

First of all, if Jake was worried about lawsuits, he should have never taken Gabi upstairs. He doesn't know anything about her except for that she seems unstable -- wasn't he worried about her claiming sexual harassment if he didn't behave the way she wanted him to?

The mystery surrounding Jake's backstory is mildly more interesting, but the attackers were stereotypical thugs and it was hard to believe that Jake and Gabi didn't hear anything from upstairs while Ben argued with two rowdy customers who then beat him unconscious with a crowbar.

And if the point of beating Ben up was so that they could recover whatever it is they were looking for, how come they didn't bother trashing the place to try to find it?

Worse still, this story contributed to Ben and Ciara being stuck in the same rut they have been for a while.

Ciara and Ben Celebrate - Days of Our Lives

This couple only does two things: have sex and nurse each other back to health after an injury.

Their relationship began with Ben rescuing Ciara after she wiped out on her bike and broke her leg. Ever since, one or the other of them seems to be in need of caretaking every few months. 

This is a serious weakness the current writing team has. The story that was compelling the first time usually isn't the fifteenth or the fiftieth, yet the writers have couples do the same thing over and over.

For Ben and Ciara, it's the attack/injury/caretaking/sex rut, just like Will and Sonny are stuck in an endless loop where Sonny and Will are separated for some reason, Sonny hooks up with some no-good  guy, Will returns, and Sonny's boyfriend goes nuts.

Speaking of Sonny and Will, the Christian/Zoey storyline hit a new low during the week of 5-05-20.

Intimidating Sonny/Tall - Days of Our Lives

For some reason, Zoey felt it was appropriate to preview her ridiculous idea of a defense out in the courtroom hall. Her attempts to discredit Sonny and Rafe were laughable, and the only good thing I can say about this is that at least Sonny didn't give in to her attempt to intimidate him.

That puts him way above 99 percent of Salem, since most characters give in to any threat, no matter how baseless.

I neither know nor care what Christian and Orpheus' secret is, but since they have one, let's have it already. Having characters talk about it without revealing it to the audience is irritating.

Also irritating: this next phase of the Justin/Kayla/Steve triangle.

Up until this point, I was enjoying the fact that Justin and Kayla were acting like adults and that Justin and Steve were able to be civil with each other.

Hope and Steve Bond/Tall - Days of Our Lives

That changed once Steve and Hope moved in together.

Marlena was irritating me because she was imposing her opinion on Kayla, who wasn't concerned about Steve and Hope moving in together as much as she was upset that Steve had chosen not to renew their relationship despite 30 years of marriage.

And then Justin decided to be angry because Kayla dared forget to tell him that Steve and Hope were living together and was convinced that meant that Kayla secretly wanted to be with Steve.

It was a civil, quiet argument and breaking of a date, but it was still ridiculous.

Not that Steve and Hope need to be anything more than friends anyway. Their scene destroying the portrait of Stevano was fun, but that's about as far as it goes.

Why can't two old friends just stay friends? Eventually, Steve is going to find his way back to Kayla, so anything else is a waste of time. 

Also, since when is Ciara so close to Justin? This was a set-up for Justin to learn about Hope living with Steve, but is it possible that Justin and Hope will end up together when they both get dumped?

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. 

Hit the SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought about Days of Our Lives during the week of 5-04-20.

And don't forget to 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 airtimes.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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