This week's Days of Our Lives mixed family time in with high emotions and deadly secrets.
At the forefront of all of the week's events is one question: is Aiden Jennings what everyone, especially Hope, thinks he is or not?
It certainly seems that Aiden is up to no good, judging from the mysterious phone calls he's been getting.
I was sent to Salem with one task -- get Hope Brady. She's completely over Bo. She's mine.Aiden
We're clearly being led to believe that Aiden is a bad guy who has nefarious motives towards Hope. I don't buy it, though.
Had Aiden been a new guy that had just appeared on the scene while Bo had supposedly just deserted his family, it would be a lot easier to swallow the idea that he was actually behind Bo's appearance or didn't really love Hope. But by now, we've lived through Aiden and Hope's year-long courtship.
We've seen Aiden and Hope hate each other so much that Father Louie had to practically force them to be together, then move into a fragile friendship, be embarrassed by their feelings for one another, and eventually start dating and fall in love.
If all that was the work of someone who was hired to be Hope's new lover so that she doesn't search for Bo, Aiden was doing a terrible job, since at least half of his tenure in Salem involved avoiding Hope. He even went on a date with Jennifer to keep Hope at bay, for Pete's sake.
Hopefully we will see some twists in this story as time goes on. So far all the clues have been ambiguous. Aiden's desire for a secret, isolated location could just as easily be a romantic getaway as the scene of a kidnapping or murder, and the stressed out look on his face every time his contact calls him could mean he's being forced to do something he doesn't want to do.
In any case, Friday cliffhangers were back with Caroline's premonition/dream about Bo being juxtaposed with Aiden's proposal to Hope. Plus, Kayla's wayward son Joey, who she discovered never returned to school in Ohio, showed up with her wayward ex-husband Steve!
Hello sweetness. It's been awhile, hasn't it?Steve
Elsewhere in Salem, Serena Mason turned up dead in the park. I'll overlook the fact that this is the same park where murders, kidnappings and muggings happen regularly because this is such a good mystery. Serena wasted our time for nearly a year babbling about elephant statues, so many viewers may want to give whoever did it a medal for getting rid of her for us -- if only we can figure out who the killer is.
The obvious suspects are Clyde and Ben. Both of these men seemed to go out of their way to try to convince Abigail that Chad DiMera was to blame for Serena's death.
He was mad. He was drunk. He's a Dimera.Ben
And Clyde was especially creepy when he terminated his therapy with Marlena.
Marlena: I think we made progress -
Clyde: I don't care what you think.
Are one or both of these guys just taking advantage of the situation to drive a wedge between Chad and Abigail or did one of them kill Serena in a twisted attempt to ensure Abby didn't change her mind about which man she's marrying?
Then there's Stefano, who recently disowned Chad.
I know you don't care, but you broke my heart.Stefano
I wouldn't put it past Stefano to commit murder and frame his son, either to get revenge or to get leverage -- or both.
It's way too early to tell and the obvious suspects usually have nothing to do with anything. The fact that the Salem PD is so focused on Chad suggests he is totally innocent, although Chad himself isn't so sure. His doubt about his own behavior that night adds another dimension to this. Meanwhile, Rafe is certainly not objective since the last time he and Chad locked horns, Rafe ended up out of a job for a while.
If murder and possible kidnapping weren't enough, this week Eve chose to blow JJ's cover just to ensure he stayed away from Paige. This is a new low for Eve, who doesn't seem to care that JJ could get killed -- or that she's putting her own daughter's life in danger.
I'm baffled as to why anyone believed Eve's crazy stories. Kyle heard the tape and he didn't totally buy it, and no doubt thought it was weird that Paige's mother was trying to help protect his drug dealing enterprise. But Maggie and Julie seemed to accept the idea that JJ was dealing drugs out of the Horton Center just on the say-so of a tabloid article that contained no facts whatsoever.
Julie really irritated me by saying that it was a good thing that Tom and Alice weren't here to see what trouble JJ was in.
The good news is, they won't see the mess JJ's gotten into.Julie
First of all, Julie has no room for judgment considering all the things she did in the past that her grandparents forgave her for. Secondly, there's no real evidence whatsoever that JJ is into anything except avoiding being interrogated by older relatives. And thirdly, this is yet another example of how JJ is the black sheep of the Horton family for no real reason.
Where were Julie and Maggie when JJ was legitimately having a crisis? When he spiraled into out of control drinking after Paige broke up with him, nobody in the family reached out to him at all. I don't recall seeing anyone even try to help him when he was using, either, or to offer meaningful support when he decided to sober up. And if he is dealing again, shouldn't Maggie the town AA sponsor be quick to think he needs help rather than that he may be bringing shame to the Horton name?
While Julie and Maggie were debating this, JJ was going against Roman's orders -- again -- to try to get Kyle for once and for all. When will Roman learn that telling JJ to sit and wait doesn't work? He needs to give him busy work to do if he wants him to stay out of the line of fire. Also, Kyle more or less ordered JJ at gunpoint to sample meth next time it comes in. The cops that are so worried about a stupid magazine article saying JJ is dealing don't seem to be aware that Kyle has twice pointed a gun in JJ's direction during their meetings.
All this is a recipe for disaster, especially now that Paige has decided she's on JJ's side again and followed him to Kyle's as soon as she promised to steer clear of him.
Your turn, TV Fanatics! Which was your favorite storyline this week?
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.