Hope and Rafe tried to frame Andre for murder on this week's Days of Our Lives, while Chase's reliance on Andre for parental guidance led to tragedy.
In what was undoubtedly meant to be a shocking twist, the Chase/Ciara/Theo storyline took a dark turn. Chase has pined after Ciara for a while and has gone as far as sending insulting texts to Theo, while Ciara has been torn between her stepbrother's dark side and her best friend's sweetness.
And then, after Chase ran away again and confided in Andre again, he and Ciara returned home. He once again tried to kiss her and she once again said she wasn't ready for a relationship. Only this time, Chase didn't take no for an answer..
Rape storylines tend to be overdone on soaps, and lately Days of Our Lives hasn't had a great track record with handling them responsibly. Ava's seduction of Steve is rape, yet it is being portrayed as a consensual affair, and that's not the first time that has happened recently. Nick's attempted rape of Gabi two years ago turned into a silly storyline about trying to cover up throwing him in the river, and Eric became a mess without explanation after he was raped by Kristen.
If done well, a rape storyline can be emotionally engaging, dramatic and drive home the point that rape is horrible. With sexual assaults on college campuses rising, it's especially important to depict rape appropriately in teen and young adult storylines, and I'm not sure we're going to get that here.
Instead, we have this confusing storyline. I'm disappointed because Chase, as originally written, was a sweet, reserved, shy kid who often got bullied. Now he's become a bully with violent tendencies who raped his best friend and step-sister and doesn't fully understand what he did.
In addition, it's unclear how much of his behavior is the result of his only parental figure being Andre.
Chase: So, I should be a jerk?
André: No. You've got to be strong. You've got to be a strong man. That's what a woman wants. She wants to know that you'll fight for her, and that you will do anything to be with her.
Andre seemed to stop short of suggesting Chase do anything non-consensual to Ciara. However, he is a diabolical genius who may have purposely planted seeds in Chase's head so that he could use the boy to get back at Hope. This doesn't excuse Chase's behavior, but if that's the case it makes it a lot less clear-cut than boy rapes girl.
I'm concerned about where this storyline is going. Ciara's post-rape scenes were realistic and traumatic, but if Theo is going to be her protector, it's possible that we'll get the story of him beating Chase up or worse instead of a story addressing what happened or anyone trying to help Ciara move forward.
Jonathon McClendon is one of the best actors in the new teen set; it would be a shame to lose him, but it's going to be hard to redeem Chase or for this story to end any other way than with him in jail or dead.
Too bad a random cop found Chase wandering the streets instead of JJ. So far it seems the main purpose of JJ's new job is to keep him off screen at times when he should be on screen. In any case, it would have been nice for Chase to get some actual support from someone who has overcome shame, fear and bad behavior before this happened.
Quite frankly, Chase has been left on his own without any adult guidance for far too long. Hope is preoccupied with this stupid coverup, Aiden is gone and nobody else pays any attention to him at all. Thankfully when JJ was in that position, he never raped anyone, but otherwise it's the exact same story. JJ was just lucky that he found Daniel to mentor him instead of someone who was going to make things worse.
It was also disappointing that Jennifer was so out of it that she didn't notice Ciara's pain or the tear in her skirt. Ordinarily, Jennifer would have been the perfect person to comfort and support Ciara. She is a rape survivor herself as well as a generally compassionate person, and Ciara is going to need support that she will not get from her mother.
Instead, Hope is still too busy covering her own butt.
Roman: What happened to your face?
André: What happened to yours?
Without Hope and Rafe trying to pin Stefano's murder on Andre, we wouldn't have had some humorous exchanges between Roman and Andre, but that doesn't make it right. It's unbelievable that Rafe can sit there expressionless while Andre tells the truth about what happened to his father or that he can accuse Andre of patricide without feeling the slightest twinge of guilt.
Roman seemed to be aware of what was going on and not care, too. This is quickly becoming a story of a corrupt police department vs. Andre Dimera. While sometimes it can be fun to root for the bad guy, this story is all backwards. Andre is innocent and Hope and Rafe are the villains here.
Meanwhile, across town Ava was busy making sure Steve and Kayla's relationship imploded. This storyline is aggravating. Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols both knocked their performances out of the park, but it's leaving out the fact that Steve was, actually, raped.
I HATE AVA! But I couldn't live without you.Steve
Steve laid it out clearly: he did not want to have sex with Ava. He did not want anything to do with Ava. But it was the only option because otherwise Kayla could die. That is not a consensual affair.
Kayla should not even consider ending the relationship because her enemy raped her husband. She should understand the guilt and shame, as she struggled with it after she was raped all those years ago. She also should not open texts from Ava, period.
U R A DEAD WOMAN!Steve
Now that Steve sent Ava a threatening text and Ava felt a need to stalk Kayla in the park, the odds are that Ava will either fake her own death or actually turn up dead. Either way is fine if it gets rid of her, but I'd rather not see suspicion fall on either of the Johnsons.
More nonsense happened on the Nicole/Brady/Theresa front, with Brady needing to run off to Los Angeles to meet this Summer person who apparently is more important to Daniel after death than she ever was while he was alive.
Why am I so insecure?Theresa
I wish Theresa would figure out why she is insecure and stop it before she ruins her relationship with Brady. Her overactive imagination was a bit too much to take, and she'd better have made provisions for Tate before running off to L.A.
Nicole lying about her own trip there was also silly and unnecessary. Plus, the whole premise that Brady thought some random bartender in one of the biggest cities in the United States would know a girl who he doesn't even have a last name for is ridiculous.
Also silly is Chad and Abby's continued belief that Andre is easily gotten rid of. Abigail was especially obnoxious when she ran into JJ and Gabi in the square. There was no reason for her to start talking to Gabi as if her brother wasn't there. What is she, 12 years old? Many viewers cheered Gabi encouraging JJ to let up on his dislike of Chad, but it was unnecessary because the only person acting out of line was Abigail.
Finally, Philip tried again to make up with Victor. Victor and Philip's conversation was gratifying.
You damn idiot. Why the hell didn't you come to me when you got in trouble?Victor
Victor was right, of course. Philip should not have acted like a scared teenager and he should not have listened to Deimos. Victor could have taken care of the whole thing. Philip and Victor working together to take down Deimos is an exciting possibility -- hopefully Philip will take Victor up on that.
And finally, just when it seemed Belle couldn't get any more selfish and was actually trying to figure things out, she came up with a ridiculous solution to her problems.
Points to her for refusing Philip's advances, but buying Victor's nightclub will solve nothing at all. It's sad to see how far this once beloved character has fallen.
Which storyline do you find most disturbing?
What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Weigh in below with your thoughts on Ciara's rape, Steve and Kayla's latest relationship problem or any of the other storylines, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table!