Days of Our Lives Review: Plots, Plans, and Mischief

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Does EJ really not know that Sami's heart belongs to Lucas now?

On Days of Our Lives during the week of 6-14-21, EJ played it cool, telling Sami he wanted to repair their marriage and wandering into the tail end of conversations to ask what was going on.

But considering how ruthless he plans to be to topple Jake from a position of power in Dimera Enterprises, could he be toying with Sami for his own purposes?

Sami is Surprised / Tall - Days of Our Lives

It certainly wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for the same man who tormented Sami on multiple occasions to be messing with her again.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that Sami isn't quite as into EJ as she used to be. She's pushing him away, rejecting his advances, and literally running into the other room to get away from him when all else fails.

And every time he turns around, someone is talking about Sami and Lucas. It's unlikely that EJ hasn't put the pieces together by now... or that he didn't know what was going on before he even arrived in Salem!

And EJ is already asserting control over Sami, deciding for her that they're staying in Salem and repacking her things while she isn't in the room so they can move into the Dimera mansion.

Marlena Catches Lumi / Tall -  Days of Our Lives

Lucas was absolutely right when he told Roman that he was upset that Sami was going to rush off to Europe just because EJ snapped his fingers.

Of course, Roman was also right: Sami doesn't see it that way.

But as a former cop who dealt with EJ's various misdeeds for decades, Roman should be concerned that his headstrong daughter isn't seeing that her husband is being abusive!

In any case, EJ is far more compelling a character when pushing his brothers into underhanded dealings at Dimera Enterprises than when chasing after Sami.

Caught Between Lovers - Days of Our Lives

Newcomer Dan Feuerriegel plays EJ super low-key in scenes with Sami. That may be deliberate if EJ is trying to lull Sami into a false sense of security or otherwise mess with her mind, but it doesn't feel like EJ's proper character.

However, EJ is his usual charming-yet-calculating self when dealing with his family. Whether he's talking to Stefano's portrait or trying to push Chad and Tony into helping him unseat Jake, Feuerriegel plays these scenes just right and is totally believable as EJ.

Tony: Well, well, well, nothing warms my heart like seeing my two little brothers getting acquainted in proper Dimera fashion: plotting against somebody.

One of the best things about EJ's return is that it gives Thaao Penghlis a reason to be on-screen more too.

Whether he's Tony or Andre (and honestly, the jury's still out on which one he is this time), Penghlis always brings more charm, class, and fun to Days of Our Lives.

So far, Tony's been ancillary to EJ's plans, and Anna has put a stop to him taking an active role in the company, but that could always change... especially if Andre turns out to be masquerading as Tony again!

Of course, Anna should be able to tell the difference.

She's usually pretty sharp (she's onto Kate already and was the first onto Gwen last time around!), and unlike the rest of Salem, she can tell the difference between her husband's kiss and an imposter's.

Sami Confronts Ava / Tall - Days of Our Lives

If Tony is the best part of EJ's return, Marlena and John's involvement in the love triangle is the worst.

These two really need to mind their own business.

There's no need for extended conversations about whether Sami is planning on abandoning EJ for Lucas or not, and it's jarring and disappointing for John to be on the side of Sami belonging with her husband when the Dimeras have done so much to ruin his life.

But on the plus side, Lucas ranting to Roman shortly before John and Marlena showed up gave Roman something to do.

Abe Confides in Roman / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Roman doesn't have much of a story these days besides being the owner of the Pub and occasionally doling out advice to friends and family, but tis' always a good day when he has air time.

That happened twice during the week of 6-14-21, and it looks like Roman might be around more often now that he's aware of Lucas' feelings about Sami.

Now that Sami and EJ are back in town, Days of Our Lives needs to get Sydney out of boarding school. Johnny will be returning soon, and it doesn't feel right for his little sister to be missing in action.

Besides, Sami's rivalry with Nicole would be far more interesting if a teenage Sydney were around to be stuck in the middle between her surrogate and real moms.

Rafe Presses Nicole / Tall - Days of Our Lives

And someone needs to rescue Nicole from this awful Xander blackmail storyline!

Xander is EJ 2.0 these days, and it's unfair to have his scenes juxtaposed with EJ's actual scenes. It just makes me wish Days of Our Lives had done some Dr. Rolf weirdness to make it turn out that Xander was really EJ.

Anyway, his whole plot against Nicole would fall apart if she told anyone the truth about sleeping with Xander. Brady and Rafe have both given her about 15,000 chances to do so, and she's kept her mouth shut for no reason.

Paul Tefler's Xander is always a delightful, love-to-hate villain, but could we please put both him and Nicole in a more worthwhile storyline?

Rafe Gives Ben Advice  / Tall - Days of Our Lives

And no, Xander and Gwen is not an improvement. This is also a silly blackmail story that could be easily resolved, except Gwen refuses to let anyone help her.

But at least when Xander obsesses over protecting Gwen from Snyder while she pushes him away, it keeps him out of Nicole's orbit. If this ends up with Nicole and Xander rekindling their twisted relationship, I'm going to puke.

Sami marrying her rapist is bad enough without Nicole deciding she's in love with Xander.

And what's the point of involving Brady in this ridiculous story? Doesn't he have a love triangle of his own to worry about?

Locking Horns Over Chloe / Tall - Days of Our Lives

The Brady/Chloe/Philip story could be compelling if done right, even if it's been done before.

It feels like too often, the writers not only recycle Chloe through her exes but make said exes act the same way they did 25 years ago when they were all teenagers squabbling over the same girls on the Last Blast dance floor.

That worked then... because the characters were sixteen. Now that they're all pushing 40, it's not cute anymore. It's annoying.

And Chloe didn't seem to like Brady and Philip fighting over her either, so it would be nice if they cut it out.

Belle Puts Jan to the Test - Days of Our Lives

These two also didn't have a real reason to hang around Jan's hospital room after Belle pulled the plug on Jan's ventilator.

Sure, Philip delivered an opinion about how Jan deserved to die that Shawn told him to keep to himself, but the scene would have worked just as well without that.

Philip and Chloe felt tacked onto that scene and would have been better off going home than randomly showing up to see what was going on.

Also, Brady and Philip's fight over where Chloe should live was reminiscent of a few years earlier when Stefan offered to protect Chloe from the drug cartel's threats against her, and Brady tried to interfere "for her own good."

Gabi Fumes / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Chloe didn't like that then, and neither did viewers, so we don't need a redux thanks.

Anyway, speaking of Belle, those scenes with Jan were 99% pointless.

There was no reason for Belle to rant to Jan about how this time Jan wasn't going to get away with tormenting her family, and pulling her ventilator plug out was so not Belle's character.

If she's supposed to be the latest person to have snapped under pressure, I guess it makes sense, but otherwise, it was ridiculous.

Hostage Vs. Hostage / Tall - Days of Our Lives

And was anyone surprised that Jan wriggled her fingers when no one was looking? 

No? I wasn't either.

This idea that doctors can't tell the difference between a coma patient and a faker is stupid, but I knew Days of Our Lives would go there again so that they could leave the door open for Jan's next evil plan.

At least that nonsense led to a nice romantic scene between Shawn and Belle, and they weren't the only ones to share kisses.

Double Date Disaster / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Abe and Paulina's scenes were the nicest. I loved them bonding over both trying to understand a changing world.

Paulina: You're not gay and she's not gay, so this is a wee bit confusing.
Chanel: I'm not confused. I kiss girls and I kiss guys.
Paulina: Okay, so you're bi.
Chanel: No.
Paulina: Okay, I give up. What are you?
Chanel: I'm your daughter.

I wish Paulina didn't have some stupid secret that will probably tear her and Abe apart just as he's finally warming to the idea of new love.

The beats have been played just right so far, with Roman talking a hesitant Abe into taking a chance and Paulina and Abe's friendship moving into something more. It's so good that I can overlook Paulina being Lani's aunt.

Stunned About Chanel  / Tall - Days of Our Lives

But this won't last, and probably for a reason that isn't worth it.

As for Chanel's sexual orientation, I applaud Days of Our Lives for moving past thinking the only LGBTQ relationships worth depicting are endless varieties of Will, Sonny, and some guy who wants to interfere.

But I wish they'd get their facts right.

Pronoun usage has nothing to do with sexual orientation -- that's a gender identity issue -- and non-binary people don't say "they is."

They refer to themselves as "they" (if that's their chosen pronoun" but say "they are." Mistakes like this undercut what Days of Our Lives is trying to do as far as diversity, so the writers really need to do basic research here.

As for the actual story, Allie is playing it very cool with Tripp, so it's no wonder he's feeling insecure.

He believes that all this is due to Allie's PTSD after her rape, but Allie is acting a lot more interested in Chanel than Tripp. And what was with her telling Chanel it was okay with her if people think they're a couple?

Accidentally Found Out - Days of Our Lives

That was just an odd thing to say, and instead of an honest story about Allie coming out to herself about not being straight, it still feels like it came out of nowhere and is more a male fantasy about women kissing than anything else.

The weirdest romance was Bonnie/Justin.

Justin: Adrienne was one of a kind. But so are you, Bonnie. And yes, you are family to me.
Bonnie: You really mean that?
Justin: What is family if not someone who is there for you day in and day out, who offers company and companionship, who listens to you and supports you, who humors you? You take care of me in ways that I don't think you even realize.

Justin's speech to Bonnie was romantic, but it still feels weird for him to be into a woman who looks just like his late wife but acts nothing like her.

And while Steve could have been nicer to Bonnie, he was right: she needed to stop trying to act like Adrienne and be herself.

Instead of any of this, Days of Our Lives should have made it turn out that Bonnie died in that accident rather than Adrienne so that Justin and Adrienne could get back together.

The latest Ben/Ciara nonsense wasn't much better.

Ben Searches Frantically / Tall - Days of Our Lives

It was a waste of police resources for Rafe to go check out suspicious activity at the cabin and then spend the rest of his shift encouraging Ben to let go of Ciara.

And to add insult to injury, Ben didn't even take his advice! Instead, he sat around moping until Claire showed up, then burned the divorce papers... in front of someone who was recently tied to a chair in the midst of an inferno.

Insensitive much, Ben?

Finally, when is Jake going to see through Kate's fake blindness?

Sorry for the pun, but it's so obvious that Kate is faking. She keeps noticing things like Gabi being in the room and having to cover for her slip-ups by saying she's developed a super-strong sense of smell.

Plus, she's coming on heavy to Jake while being extremely soft-spoken and sensitive around Gabi. Since when does Kate talk this way?

This triangle also is not compelling because, until recently, Jake was making literally the same speeches to Kate about how he was done with Gabi that he's now making to Gabi about Kate.

I wish both women would realize he is not worth it and team up to get revenge like Sami and Kate did when EJ slept with Abigail. Now THAT would be must-watch TV!

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics! What did you think about EJ's return, Xander's latest hijinks, or Kate faking her blindness? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know.

Hungry for more Days of Our Lives chat? Be sure to check back on Sunday for our latest 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: 4.5 / 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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