I knew it was too good to last.
It's been several months since the last doppelganger storyline, but on Days of Our Lives during the week of 3-08-21, Kristen wreaked havoc pretending to be Susan, while Abigail appeared headed for another DID storyline.
Meanwhile, the murder mystery story was back-burnered again in favor of campy nonsense.
Gwen and Ciara's kidnapping storylines came to an end, but not before Evan briefly held Claire hostage, and Kristen knocked out Sarah.
That makes four kidnappings in one week, and none of them was particularly original or compelling.
It's hard to sustain interest when that's almost all there is, and there was no real buildup to any of these abductions.
Claire and Sarah were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, Gwen is so unlikeable that it was hard to root for her, and the Ciara storyline was so full of nonsense that it was impossible to take seriously.
Do better, Days of Our Lives.
The Gwen storyline was particularly aggravating because the only thing to root for was permanently getting it off our screens.
It used Laura's death as a mere plot point for Abigail to team up with Gabi to torment Gwen, act completely out of control, and then get stabbed in the back when Gabi decided to free Gwen and pin the whole scheme on Abby.
There is so much wrong with this that I don't know where to begin.
Abby acting like Gabi 2.0 wasn't entertaining. Or is it 3.0 since Gwen has been acting like Gabi since Gabi left town?
And this looks like a set-up for Gabby with a Y to return.
The first DID storyline was offensive and inaccurate and one of the least popular storylines in recent Days of Our Lives history.
Why on Earth would the showrunners want to repeat something that tempted the majority of viewers to change the channel?
Yet it seems that's exactly where we're headed, with Abigail becoming more and more unstable and Gabi and Gwen teaming up to screw her over.
Even if that's not the end game for this story, what we got already was annoying.
Abigail's rant about all the things Gwen did to her is almost as irritating as Gabi's about how she went to prison because of Abigail, got beaten up, can't have children, and returned to a daughter who hated her.
Pro-tip: when a character makes the same speech so many times that viewers can rattle it off from memory, it's time to retire it.
Anyway, the only positive in this obnoxious story is that Anna came across Gwen in the basement... and that's only because Anna is such a fun character.
This thing where someone is being held in the wine cellar and someone else happens across them when looking for a bottle of wine has been done to death. Future kidnappers: please find someplace else to hold your victims!
And Anna's lunch with Tony was off-screen, so we were cheated of the fun of her trying to keep what she knew from him while he made sarcastic comments!
Why why why does Days of Our Lives always put the most interesting scenes off-screen while tormenting viewers with the stuff they'd rather not see?
In any case, Abigail's reaction to Chad finding out what she did does not bode well for this storyline's future. Marci Miller does great work showing Abigail decompensating, but the series' refusal to write mental health storylines with anything representing accuracy leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
Let's not go there again. Please.
Jack having another daughter that Abigail hates is a fantastic concept, but it's being wasted on this nonsense.
Jennifer and JJ both need to be on canvas for this to work so that they can get involved in this family conflict, but neither one is there.
So it's just Abby vs. Jack, and Abby is acting like a spoiled brat rather than a 30-something woman who is hurt that her father is willing to have a relationship with the half-sister who wronged her.
Speaking of spoiled brats, I don't know whether to be glad Ciara has been found or irritated by the latest developments in this story.
Just like I was glad to get past all the extreme grief scenes, I'm thrilled there will be no more of Ciara informing Evan that Ben is going to save her while he sneers about how un-special Ben and Ciara are.
Ben: You're not gonna shoot us.
Evan: Why the hell not?
Ben: Because that's not how this story ends. Our story. Me and Ciara have been through hell and back. Explosions, kidnappings... nothing tore us apart and nothing ever will.
I mean, I agree with him. This couple is being propped up way beyond reason. They are not Bo and Hope, no matter how hard Days of Our Lives pushes the narrative that they are.
But still, Evan's over-the-top hatred of them as a couple is almost as bad as the nonsensical way this storyline was resolved.
The whole thing was unbelievably campy.
Ben and Ciara can send each other telepathic messages goes way beyond any psychic connection super couples generally have and were just stupid.
The writers are forcing the idea that Ben and Ciara's love is so strong that no one can tear them apart.
Maybe if we ever saw them do anything besides either being co-dependent and clingy or rescuing each other from bad guys who hate the couple so much they want to kill one of them, we might believe in their love story.
But instead, they seem to think that having enough people say that their weird telepathy is proof of true love is good enough. Somebody make it stop.
This story's climax involved danger coming out of nowhere, too, as if the writers threw every violent trope they could think of in there to try to make viewers care.
Evan took Claire hostage! Ben ran off to find Ciara while Shawn lay on the floor with a bullet in his leg! Ciara randomly opened a gas pipe to escape and nearly blew herself up!
All of these were high-stakes events, and none of them made much sense. For example:
- Why did Claire wait until the last minute to elbow Evan and get away from him?
- Why did Ciara choose a gas pipe to try to break unbreakable glass when the last fifteen tries at breaking the glass went nowhere?
- Why didn't Shawn have Claire tell the 911 dispatcher to send backup along with an ambulance?
Because logic interfered with what was supposed to be an exciting plot, that's why. But like everything else with Ben and Ciara, it fell flat because it only makes sense if you're a diehard "Cin" shipper who doesn't care about anything but them being together.
The Kristen/Brady/Chloe storyline isn't much better. It makes more sense, but it's also more mindless violence in the name of writing yet another kidnapping story.
First of all, Sarah's wedding feels like it's rushed. Instead of being about Sarah and Xander's love story, it's a plot point in Kristen's bigger story, causing trouble while pretending to be someone else.
This small, hastily put-together wedding seems to consist only of Jack (who is standing up for Xander because there's no one else to ask), Justin, and Bonnie.
The excuses for why the rest of Sarah's family and friends are absent are ridiculous. I'm shocked the writers remembered Melissa existed, but they could have come up with a better reason for why she couldn't make it to her sister's wedding!
All of Salem trying to tell Sarah she has no business marrying Xander is aggravating, too. We've already had months of people trying to kill either Ben or Ciara to keep them apart because he used to be a killer. Let's not go down this same road with Sarah/Xander, please.
And Sarah needs some street smarts.
She spent half an hour acting like Kristen's friend and discovering what her plan was... only to blow it all at the last second by refusing to go along with it and telling her she was calling Brady.
ALL Sarah had to do was smile and nod and said, of course, she would keep Kristen's secret, then do what she wanted outside of her presence.
That doesn't make it her fault that she was hit over the head, of course, but it would be nice if SOMEBODY in Salem learned from all the other people who end up kidnapped because they have to blab to the bad guy that they're ratting them out instead of doing it in private!
In between all the craziness, we had a semi-normal storyline about Lani's overbearing and annoying aunt.
I applaud Jackee Harry for being such a great actress that Paulina has almost unanimously irritated fans, and I'm glad we get a family-oriented storyline.
Many fans are disappointed because they don't like the way Paulina talks about racial issues.
I would love to commend Days of Our Lives for bringing up important social issues like there being so few Black-owned businesses in many towns and there being far fewer people of color in positions of power. These are important issues that deserve discussion.
But the way Paulina's dialogue is written makes me wonder whether the writers intend to address these issues or make fun of people who think they're important.
Paulina's assumption that Basic Black's name had anything to do with race, for example, seemed like a satire of the way people bring up these types of concerns.
I disagree with the idea that Days of Our Lives shouldn't have gone there because it's a soap.
Not being a person of color myself, I only know what friends, family, and co-workers have told me about their experiences with racism, but it's something that needs to be discussed.
But I don't think that dialogue like this that is so over-the-top helps the cause any, and I sincerely hope that Days of Our Lives will treat racism more seriously than it has treated subjects such as sexual assault and mental illness.
That said, it's refreshing to have various personalities be part of an African-American family on Days of Our Lives.
I hope the Carvers continue to have a more central role whether or not Paulina stays for long.
I also hope that Theo really does stay in town for more than two days this time.
And I enjoyed the lighter, more family-oriented story of Lani and Eli trying to deal with an annoying relative who showed up out of nowhere, though they need some lessons in asserting themselves with Paulina.
She needs to be told ASAP that she is NOT the godmother, though I feel she and Julie will end up sharing godmother duties not to hurt anyone's feelings.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics!
Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought about:
- The latest developments in the Ben/Ciara storyline
- Abigail turning evil
- Paulina's introduction to Salem and anything else you want to talk about!
Hungry for more Days of Our Lives chat? Be sure to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
Days of Our Lives continues to air on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes.