December 19, 2018

Days of Our Lives Review: For Better or For Worse

Romance may mostly be dead on Days of Our Lives, but Steve and Kayla still got it.

They were one of my favorite couples in the late 1980s when Kayla was trying to prove she didn't kill another one of Steve's exes and they had to chase a baby-napper to Australia.

And unlike most of the other couples on the show, they are still as devoted to each other in 2018 as they were in 1989.

On Days of Our Lives during the week of 3-26-18, Steve went blind and Kayla pledged her eternal love and support.

This was a tearjerker of a storyline and a very welcome break from all the liars, cheaters, and couples that don't belong together at all.

The Steve and Kayla storyline seemed very different from the rest of the show.

Other major storylines all seem to revolve around lies and manipulation.

JJ and Gabi learned that Lani is carrying Eli's baby, Brady tried to get a second chance with Eve after she discovered he was using her to destroy her company, and new guy Leo turned out to be on Vivian's payroll and dating Sonny for the same reason Brady had been dating Eve.

But in the midst of all this chaos, there was Steve and Kayla proving that love and romance aren't dead.

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Maybe it's because I grew up watching this couple, but I cried when Steve told Kayla he could no longer see her or anything and again when Kayla helped Steve take off his eye patch and kissed him before putting dark glasses over his eyes.

This story is as heartbreaking as it is realistic. And it is everything I want from a soap.

Steve struggled to adjust to his new reality while Kayla tried desperately to hold onto hope. But even with all her knowledge of medicine, she had no choice but to accept that Steve is now blind.

And Steve had to figure out how he was going to function without sight and ask John to buy out his share in Black Patch in case he was no longer able to work.

I've seen situations like this in my own family and I'm sure I'm not the only viewer who could actually relate.

Every beat was played perfectly and added to the emotion of the storyline. I didn't even mind John going around feeling guilty and Marlena trying to encourage him because it tied into this story in a much more realistic way than the original poisoning nonsense did.

And best of all, Steve and Kayla are facing his health condition together rather than this being yet another story about a couple breaking up because of infidelity, lies, or other problems.

I'm not really sure why Steve can't get a cornea transplant, and I hope eventually it moves in that direction.

But either way, I'm excited for more of this story. I hope we will get some more emotional scenes with friends and family as the story progresses.

Jennifer: JJ, I remember when you told me about the baby. You were so happy and hopeful. IT was like this dark cloud of Theo's shooting was lifting and you were JJ again and you were happier and light and –
JJ: So it's okay that Lani lied to me?
Jennifer: No, no. I'm just saying that Lani knew we were so afraid of losing you and when she found out she was pregnant and she saw how happy it made you –
JJ: Mom, stop! Just stop!
Jennifer: I'm just saying, honey –
JJ: She has ruined my life! Stop defending her!

I am far less excited about the aftermath of the Lani baby lie reveal.

This could have been a great story instead of a mediocre one, but the writers missed too many beats.

I've written over and over about what a mistake it was to try to make Lani a hero instead of a villain in this story, and the post-reveal scenes were no exception.

Jennifer has already started the train rolling in the direction of all of Salem trying to convince JJ to take his lying, manipulative ex-girlfriend back the same way they all want Hope to take Rafe back.

I enjoyed seeing JJ stand up to her attempts to defend Lani, but it seemed out of character for Jennifer to not be 100% on JJ's side of this mess.

Jennifer does tend to think the best of people, but she's also fiercely protective of her children. She should be furious that Lani dared do this to her son!

Worse still, JJ's arrest for punching Eli is nothing more than a plot point when it should be a story in its own right.

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In the fall of 2013, JJ was arrested for breaking a store window and punching a passer-by who tried to stop him. His behavior was the result of a nervous breakdown, though nobody bothered to do as much as call Marlena even when JJ continued to act out whle in handcuffs.

In any case, after spending a night in jail, JJ began to turn his life around and became as determined never to get in trouble again as he was guilty about how he'd behaved and afraid that his previous behavior was proof he was a bad person.

So for him to be arrested again for a similar offense, especially so soon after resigning from the police force, should cause him major psychological distress.

Instead, JJ apparently spent a night in jail without any reaction to having been arrested, nor was Jennifer at all concerned about his new legal problems or that this was a sign that he was headed for major trouble.

And when Justin told Chad that JJ had been arrested in court and that he didn't want the same thing to happen to him, neither Chad or whichever personality was in control of Abigail at the time had any reaction whatsoever.

Lani Tells JJ the Truth - Days of Our Lives

JJ's arrest was nonsensical.

For one thing, people held in contempt don't go to the police station and don't pay bail. They go directly to a cell and stay there until the judge decides to release them (or in some cases until a lawyer can get a court order squashed).

Police also don't tell a third party paying someone's bail what the conditions are and hope the arrestee gets the message. He or she has to sign a bail agreement.

And leaving aside the unrealistic way the legal issues were handled, everyone in town goes around punching each other so it's silly for JJ to be the only one getting in trouble for it.

But I would have overlooked all that if the story was worth watching rather than JJ's arrest being an excuse to move the scenes to the police station rather than the courthouse.

Abe: If I hadn't been so unforgiving, maybe JJ wouldn't have been so desperate. I made him feel like he was a killer, that he was a racist.
Lani: You were afraid of losing your son.
Abe: Lani, you tried to talk to me about compassion. Everyone did. And deep down I knew Theo didn't want me to hurt JJ. I failed him.

I'm also really disappointed in Abe.

For a second, he seemed to be the Abe Carver I remember and who I have loved for ages: a moral, compassionate man who cares deeply about his friends and family and takes responsibility for his own behavior.

I loved Abe's mea culpa about his contribution to JJ's suicidal behavior.

But then he found out that Valerie had sneaked a peek at Lani's medical records without permission and he went nuts again.

While Valerie did violate Lani's privacy, there is a bigger issue here that Abe is not addressing.

His daughter lied to everyone for months about who the father of her baby was and claimed it was so that JJ wouldn't relapse into depression when it was really so he wouldn't break up with her!

Yet she gets nothing but sympathy and Abe's girlfriend — the only person in all of Salem who tried to protect JJ and Eli from the damage Lani's lie was sure to cause — gets dirty looks and Abe getting ready to yell at her at the top of his lungs.

Could someone please remind him of what he said 30 seconds before this about needing to be more compassionate and forgiving so that his words don't negatively affect people?

Dr. Laura Confronts Stefan - Days of Our Lives

I'm not sure what's more infuriating about Abigail's DID storyline: Stefan's awful behavior or Chad's obliviousness.

There was a lot of nonsense in Hong Kong related to this story.

Stefan and Gabby ended up kissing before Dr. Laura took over and demanded Stefan take Abigail and her alters home.

Meanwhile, Hope and Chad both almost discovered Gabby's existence and Chad was briefly arrested because Stefan planted drugs in his belongings to get him out of the way.

Chad spent a lot of time ranting and threatening to leave despite being under arrest before Belle magically got him released. He then ran into Dr. Laura, noticed his wife was acting weird, and failed to investigate further.

The next day, Abigail was due in court and was extremely late.

She acted strange in the courtroom and needed reading glasses while on the stand. Yet Chad — who is married to Abigail and has never seen her use reading glasses before — didn't have a single clue that anything out of the ordinary was going on.

Abigail also had no reaction to Justin saying that JJ had been arrested, which should have struck Chad as unusual, but since no one else did either I guess he can't be faulted for that one.

Anyway, Abigail lied on the stand after the judge allowed Trask to recall her and Justin didn't object despite having no foreknowledge of this plan or of the evidence Trask planned to present. She — or more precisely one of her alters — said that Gabi confessed to her in the bathroom.

This was a suspenseful cliffhanger even though it was also totally ridiculous and the situation could have been avoided by having a female guard escort Gabi to the restroom and go inside with her.

I hope now Chad realizes his wife is off her rocker! This degree of obliviousness about her condition is making this story even worse to sit through.

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Hong Kong was also a bust for another reason: the main purpose of Hope's visit seemed to be for Shawn and Belle to be Rafe cheerleaders.

Shawn in particular should be on his mom's side, not Rafe's, and it would be nice if we could go five minutes without someone hoping they get back together.

Meanwhile, back in Salem a new plot to seduce someone in order to destroy their business began while Brady rushed all over town trying to beg Eve for a second chance.

The Leo storyline might be interesting if we didn't just see the heterosexual version of this play out. Surely the writers can come up with something more original!

It was funny to hear Sonny explain how he had been involved with both Will and Paul, though.

Will and Paul Make Out - Days of Our Lives

I'm not sure how I feel about Will and Paul's relationship yet.

I enjoyed Will/Paul 1.0 when Guy Wilson was in the role, but an amnesiac Will hurrying to bed the man he doesn't remember cheating on his then-husband with doesn't do much for me.

Plus Paul, Will, and Sonny are all too intertwined with each other and I'd rather Paul not keep bouncing back and forth between Sonny and Will.

In any event, I'd much rather see JJ use his investigative skills at the Spectator than Will, whose only connection to investigative reporting is that he wrote trashy gossip columns that helped ruin the lives of people he cared about.

Bonding Over Drinks - Days of Our Lives

Chloe came back in town… and so did a mysterious stalker.

I thought it was pretty obvious who sent her those flowers since the guy was sitting there staring at her and Lucas for a good half hour before he introduced himself.

I liked how strong Chloe was in these scenes, though, and that she didn't need Lucas to protect her.

I hope this storyline is going to address sexual harassment in a meaningful way, though I won't hold my breath considering the mess that was made out of Stefan sexually harassing Abigail and Gabi.

In any event, I enjoyed Chloe and Eve's friendship. It was the best part of this stupid Bella Magazine contest, which is nothing but an excuse for more pettiness between Claire and Ciara and more of Brady stalking Eve.

What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 3-26-18?

Did Steve's loss of his eyesight make you cry too?

Did anything following the reveal of Lani's lie make sense to anybody?

Any guesses as to who is stalking Chloe?

Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion!

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