Days of Our Lives came fresh off of an exciting murder that had fans talking... and put it on the back burner.
Charlie's death got one day's worth of airplay, leaving viewers impatient and annoyed.
Instead, Days of Our Lives during the week of 3-01-21 put much of its focus on Evan tormenting Ciara while she and Ben shared dreams of a reunion. And when they weren't doing that, they gave us Gabi and Abigail teaming up to kidnap Gwen.
These stories involve over-the-top nonsense, kidnapping for revenge, and unnecessary arguments between kidnappers and captives.
I enjoy a good kidnapping story, but that's not either of these. In fact, I'm not sure which one is worse.
Ciara's story bears no resemblance to reality, nor does it feature characters we care about in high-stakes situations.
Ciara has been held captive in a glass box for a couple of months now, though it seems like longer because this story is so torturous to watch.
Her surroundings look more like a luxurious hotel suite than a prison, and her original kidnapper supplied her with intelligent conversation, good food, and access to literary classics.
Ciara had so much chemistry with him I was certain she would fall in love with her mind-mannered kidnapper, who was doing this for unclear reasons!
But as if that wasn't bad enough, now this awful story has completely jumped the shark.
We're treated regularly to Ben and Ciara having shared dreams to convince one another that their partner is still alive.
Ben and Claire are begging psychic Susan (who now is really Kristen in disguise) to give them a supernatural clue as to where Ciara is being held.
And Ciara spends all her time informing her new captor that Ben will rescue her eventually.
Nothing is entertaining about this story whatsoever. It's a one-note, irritating story that makes zero sense and relies on far too many gimmicks.
Maybe if I were a diehard Ben/Ciara shipper, I'd enjoy this, but this kind of nonsense does not endear me to the couple one bit.
And it's a repeated storyline, too, because all that ever happens with Ben and Ciara (besides them having copious amounts of sex) is someone trying to kill one of them to keep them apart because Ben was once a serial killer.
That's not only annoying and unoriginal but insulting to Ben's victims, who are all just props to try to make us root for Ben and Ciara against the latest vigilante trying to murder them.
Evan should have been the kidnapper from the beginning if this was the direction they were going, too. This musical bad guy nonsense isn't doing this already awful story any favors.
Evan's character is all over the place.
He started as a bad guy, similar to Gwen. They even used the same trick: become a nanny for nefarious purposes.
Then he went to Bayview and seemed to turn himself around, even turning against Orpheus before running away.
Now he's back to being purely evil.
He doesn't even want to go along with Orpheus' plan to demand a huge ransom from Victor, which interestingly was also a plan of Ciara's that Rhodes rejected because he would rather torment
viewers Ciara endlessly.
Can Days of Our Lives make up its mind about who he is, please?
It's a shame that Orpheus' son is so wasted in these idiotic types of stories, too.
Marlena was forced to raise Orpheus' children for a couple of months back in the 1980s, and I always wondered what happened to them. Back then, they didn't even have names.
But now, his son is a cartoonish, ridiculous character who is a wanna-be Orpheus with none of his father's talent for terrorism, and his daughter quickly disappeared after causing Rafe a lot of heartache.
If Days of Our Lives wanted to bring these kids back as adults, they should have used them for something worthwhile. Sadly, they rarely interact with Marlena when she was the only mother figure they'd ever known.
Their return could have been a fantastic story about their twisted attachment to their "mother," but instead, Orpheus and his son are both random bad guys without real motivations, and Marlena is mostly on the sidelines.
It's especially sad because this story doesn't interest most fans, and there is another story going on that does... but which gets little airplay.
The second-biggest story of the week was not the murder mystery. It was Abigail and Gabi's evil alliance.
This is another story that's been done a billion times before. It seems like there's always someone tied up in the Dimera wine cellar, and someone always finds them when they go down for a bottle of wine.
If someone had to be the finder, Anna was a great choice. She's smart, funny, and unpredictable. But this repeated beat didn't need to be done again at all.
That's not the worst part of this storyline, though. That honor goes to Abigail becoming a kidnapper.
I can see from a mile away where this is going. The current writing regime and its total lack of respect for mental health issues are heading toward Abigail having another breakdown so that her recent bad behavior can be blamed on her being "crazy."
I don't like it, and I don't want it on my screen.
Her attempt to torture Gwen didn't fit her character at all, and she sounded more like a cop attempting to interrogate a suspect than anything else.
I also didn't appreciate Gwen's insinuation that mothers should not have careers, and I doubt that the many working mothers who watch Days of Our Lives did either.
When is this show going to stop promoting attitudes that were last popular in the 1950s? Get into the 21st century already, where women have interests outside of sex, clothes, and raising children!
Gabi and Abigail's banter over this isn't cute, either. It's obnoxious, and that ridiculous scene where the women had no idea how to tell Bonnie to mind her own business didn't help either.
Bonnie is another character who doesn't have much of a purpose nowadays. This romance with Justin not only makes her yet another person that Salem doesn't believe changed but also makes me wish that Days of Our Lives hadn't killed off Adrienne every time Bonnie is on screen.
And their feelings about Bonnie aside, Steve and Kayla had every right to want to have a date night. It would have been nice if Bonnie and Justin had acted like adults about it instead of accusing Steve of the crime of the century because he said he wanted to be alone with his wife.
I felt bad for Kayla in that whole stupid scenario. She'd had a long, hard day at work and was looking forward to a relaxing dinner with her husband. And instead, she had to play referee between him and her ex-boyfriend!
I'm sure Sarah is another person who wasn't expecting trouble while going about her business.
I'm not a big Sarah/Xander fan, mostly because Sarah's babyish behavior around him is unattractive. But still, can't a woman shop for a wedding dress without getting unsolicited advice about whether or not the wedding is a good idea?
Chloe has been married four or five times, so she's not the best person to turn to for advice in that department anyway, and she's got her hands full fighting her feelings for Brady and fending off Philip's advances.
If only Chloe had a love interest that she wasn't married to before, maybe she wouldn't have her nose in other people's nuptials.
I am disappointed she turned Philip's latest date request down, though, because then they could have compared notes on "Susan's" weird behavior and figured out that she was really Kristen.
Philip has become surprisingly likable again now that he's not running from the mob.
Maybe it's also because he's not locked into a childish power struggle with Xander. But he's been less snooty and annoying lately despite his questionable decision to go into business with Gabi.
He's at his best went bantering with Kate.
Kate: Do you not realize that Jake and Gabi are history?
Philip: And do you not realize that you're playing right into Gabi's hands?
Kate: Okay, I'll bite. How so?
Philip: If you'd stayed out of this, she'd be busy with relaunching Gabi Chic. But now you've ensured that she and Jake are going to continually lock horns.
And he had some great points about why her "victory" over Gabi was short-sighted. His going toe-to-toe with his ruthless mother should be fun, though I wish he and Lucas would share scenes one of these days. They're half-brothers who both have a ton of experience with Kate, yet they never talk!
One bit of comic relief I didn't mind was Aunt Paulina's entrance into Salem!
Jackee Harry is great at playing larger-than-life matriarchial characters, and her scenes with Lani, Eli, and Abe were a lot more like what I was hoping for when the twins were born.
She's taking over, making snide comments that she backtracks on, and generally getting in the way. Now we need to add Julie to the mix with her own set of (opposite) ideas about how Lani and Eli should raise their children and live their lives.
More of this, fewer people running around kidnapping each other for revenge, please.
Finally, there was SOME movement in the murder mystery storyline, even if it was mostly backburnered.
Sami would have been better off picking an attorney off of Ewe Search than relying on Belle, though.
Belle: Did you do it?
Sami: How could you think I'm capable of murder?
Belle: Sami. You've shot people multiple times.
Sami: Okay, but I had a good reason.
Unlike the rest of Salem, Sami seemed to be aware that she has the right not to incriminate herself, and Belle wouldn't do her the courtesy of reassuring her that their conversation was confidential.
Instead, she went off on unrelated rants about how Sami caused trouble six months ago and made asinine statements about how innocent people don't need lawyers.
I doubt Sami is guilty, but going with Belle seems like a good way to end up doing jail time.
I don't know what the story is with the fingerprints on the gun, but I have a feeling there's going to be a twist.
There are two possibilities here. Either Sami came to Salem with a different gun, and the cops don't have the actual murder weapon, or she picked it up afterward.
Since Sami is not stupid, it's because she's covering for someone if it's the latter.
But I expect there will be trouble because Belle told her not to lie to her, and Sami appears to have been caught in a lie already that she should have realized she couldn't get away with.
There are two other suspects that Days of Our Lives is working overtime to try to make us think are guilty: Allie and John.
Allie is happy that Charlie is dead, doesn't see why anyone should care who killed him, and somehow knew Sami was at the police station when no one else in her family seemed to.
Those are all signs pointing to Sami covering for Allie, but I'd bet anything they're red herrings.
I still wonder if Lucas is the murderer. He mysteriously disappeared after threatening Charlie in the Square.
I also don't think John had anything to do with it. My guess is that he heard the gunshot go off as he was parking by Charlie's apartment, and it startled him enough that he passed out.
John's heard many gunshots in his day, but his health is precarious since the aneurysm, so it's entirely possible he would faint if surprised like that.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics! Are you enjoying the Abby/Gabi alliance and the Ciara kidnapping story, or would you rather the focus be on the murder mystery?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!
And if you love to chat about Days of Our Lives, don't miss our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion on Sunday!
Days of Our Lives continues to air on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes.