For some reason, Ava is back on Days of Our LIves, and she's as determined as ever to get Steve.
She's so "in love" with someone who will never want her that she's willing to risk everything to see him.
And she's not the only one, as Jan Spears embarked on a completely crazy scheme to try to force Shawn to marry her on Days of Our Lives during the week of 11-16-20.
Jan Spears is often a fun villain, but this time, she went way over the top.
Her desire to manipulate a naive Claire into thinking they were best friends was a great plot idea. It would have been riveting to watch Belle and Shawn try to talk Claire out of her friendship with Jan, while Jan pushed her back toward bad behavior.
But unfortunately, that story fizzled when Jan switched gears into using Claire to interfere with Belle and Shawn's impromptu wedding.
Once again, the DAYS writers sidestepped the compelling plot that was right in front of them for a more mundane and predictable story, and that's a shame.
Jan pushing Claire and Charlie together was way more entertaining, and this silly switcheroo is doomed to fail.
Shawn lifted the veil before the wedding even began, and there's no way he's marrying Jan.
My guess is this will be a short-lived story. In one day's time, Shawn and John will probably subdue Jan, find out where Belle is, and rescue her before the wedding goes ahead as planned.
Jan will either go to jail or back to the mental hospital, Belle will rail on the phone against Sami having brought that nightmare into their lives, and Claire's parents will get their happily ever after (for now, anyway).
Belle: You talked about second chances. So maybe you could give me a second chance to be the kind of friend you really needed me to be.
Jan: Really? Well, there is one thing you can do for me. Stop being such a condescending bitch!
Claire will probably feel betrayed and question her new relationship with Charlie because she clearly lacked the judgment to see Jan for what she was.
That part of it is fine, except this couple needs more of a story than constantly worrying about whether or not they're going to BE a couple.
For one thing, we need more of an inkling into what Charlie's all about.
He came out of nowhere and seems too good to be true, leading fans to speculate that he's going to turn out to be the guy who raped Allie.
So far, Allie and Charlie haven't met, but this seems like a good bet. Days of Our Lives has this bad habit of introducing nice guys who turn out to be horribly evil and violent and usually end up kidnapping the woman who once loved them.
But maybe they'll go a different route and surprise us for once.
I'm not holding my breath for that, though. Not only does this fit the pattern that Days of Our Lives follows every single time, but Shawn's warning that Charlie had better not ever hurt Claire seemed ominous.
As for Belle and Shawn, they put together a wedding in record time, even for Salem.
So far, the point of the wedding has been to make Jan lose her mind and try to replace Belle under the veil. Very little family was invited, and everyone except for Jan is thrilled about this (re)union.
So obviously, the ceremony itself wasn't the reason for this story. There won't be a lot of romance here, just some good, old-fashioned getting rid of the delusional bad guy.
We can expect that the actual affair will be rushed and not terribly romantic once this is all settled.
Meanwhile, we once again had someone holding an innocent person hostage for no reason at all.
Belle at least tried to get a coded message to Shawn. I think, anyway.
There was no other reason for her to tell Claire to call Shawn and ask about a bracelet he gave her for Christmas.
Of course, Claire had no clue what was going on, even though she should have been able to see Jan in the background through the cracked-open door.
And Brady was no help because, predictably, he thought Claire was overreacting. Plus, nobody ever got the message to Shawn.
I'm tired of these types of stories, though. We just suffered through one with Marlena and Orpheus, plus Jan playing psychological tricks would have been far more compelling than yet another lunatic with a gun trying to insist on their way.
And if that wasn't bad enough, we had Ava engaging in similar delusions across town.
She demanded Philip meet with her, then spent at least half that meeting ranting about how Kayla wasn't good enough for Steve, and she wanted to steal him for herself.
It didn't seem to matter much to her that even going to Steve's house put her at risk of blowing her own plan out of the water or that she could end up back in jail.
And she engaged in these deluded rants, while Jan was ranting about how Belle "stole" Shawn from her 25 years ago.
Enough already! Sheesh.
Also frustrating: Sarah taking a picture of Ava only for it to be too blurry for Xander to make out.
I know Days of Our Lives wanted to drag out this story, but I would prefer to get it over with already.
Xander and Sarah's adventure isn't my idea of fun.
This couple once had potential, but Sarah is even more annoying and insufferable when she's with Xander than when she's not nowadays.
I guess this is slightly better than Xander jumping in to push Charlie and Claire together, but that's not saying much.
I kept wanting to yell at him to shut up already and let Charlie speak. No one asked him to accost Claire or to accept her invitation to the wedding for Charlie.
As for Philip, he's coming off as an entitled brat. That was one of his worst characteristics when he was sixteen and it's disappointing that he hasn't outgrown it now that he's an adult.
Instead of this useless Philip vs Xander with Ava thrown in storyline, I'd have loved to see Philip get involved with Kate's mess or butt heads with Lucas.
He's spending so little time with his family that it feels like the writers forgot he has one!
And Kate is definitely in the middle of a mess.
I'm seriously annoyed that she is jumping right back into a secret affair that "no one will find out about" minutes after her last secret affair was exposed in public.
Kate may be a lot of things, but stupid was never one of them -- until now.
I don't even get what she sees in Jake, but whatever it is, she should stop trying to hide it from Chad and just let the chips fall where they may.
She's leaving herself open for blackmail. Again. And she's also giving Gwen the opportunity to try to make Chad think that Abigail is the one sleeping with Jake.
That doesn't seem like a plan that should get much traction, but this is Days of Our Lives, where logic doesn't often apply.
I don't know what Gwen's reasons are for hating Abigail, nor do I care. I think the writers haven't figured it out yet, and that's why she told Rolf off-screen.
Meanwhile, Jennifer seems to be more disturbed that Jack slept with the same woman who slept with her father than with the fact that he cheated on her while she was in a coma.
Nice use of history, I guess, though I wonder what Lucas would say if he overheard any of these conversations. After all, he was the result of that affair with Bill.
And Jack's indiscretion seems like a made-up-after-the-fact rewrite of JJ and Eve's affair, so I don't understand why JJ hasn't made that connection yet.
Other than the fact that it seems to be against Salem law for anyone to remember JJ once had a relationship with Paige, that is.
JJ and Abigail's scenes were a high point of the week, though. Usually, their roles are reversed, but this time JJ got to be the supportive one.
Casey Moss and Marci Miller both hit these scenes out of the park. It's always a joy to watch these two performers interact, and JJ's advice was right on the money too.
I especially liked JJ admitting that his own experiences demonstrated the hold that alcohol can have over you.
He's had a troubled relationship with alcohol, to say the least, and it would be a compelling story if he realized he was an alcoholic after seeing both Jack and Abby have similar bad experiences with drinking.
Days of Our Lives probably won't go there, but still.
JJ was a rare voice of reason, while several other people got into fights for no real reason.
Besides Jennifer and Kate having it out (and really, Jack and Kate, if you're going to have an apology talk, don't do it where anyone can see you!), there was this annoying argument between Eli and Lani, and Steve and Kayla had it out over Tripp.
This Eli/Lani thing is irritating. Lani needs to admit she's in love with Kristen or drop this. She's defending her all over the place and constantly puts her ahead of everyone else, including Eli.
And Eli was right about another thing, too: Kristen wouldn't be in this mess if she hadn't stabbed Victor. Lani is mad at him for doing his job, and on top of that, for doing it in a way that kept Lani out of prison for helping Kristen escape.
Talk about ungrateful!
As for Steve and Kayla, at least their argument is about something.
I'm not a fan of Allie's story being all about how Tripp was falsely accused of rape, but it does make sense that Steve and Kayla would be on opposite sides of this one.
You think Tripp is telling the truth and I don't. Like mother, like son.Kayla
Kayla didn't need to bring Ava into this, though. There are other good reasons to suspect Tripp, like four DNA tests implicating him in the rape.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics.
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Days of Our Lives continues to air on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes.