This was one of the more exciting weeks of Days of Our Lives.
Most of the week was taken up with the aftermath of Marlena and little Arianna's kidnapping. While this was going on, Ciara confronted Chase about raping her and then called Hope, and Chad and Abigail's wedding began.
It's been a long time since we've had a wedding. Heck, it's been a long time since there's even been any genuine romance! Chad and Abby were MIA for a few weeks and JJ and Gabi's romance has been mainly off-screen.
Are there even any other viable couples in Salem?
Anyway, a wedding was a welcome distraction from all of the craziness going on. The pre-wedding event offered some opportunities for Days of Our Lives to do what it does best: show families supporting each other, remembering those who have passed on and spreading wisdom and love to the next generation.
Jennifer: You put in in your shoe for good luck, but I know you and Chad won't need it. He's going to make you happy. That's all I ever wanted for you from the day you were born: to be happy.
Jennifer may be struggling to hide her pain, but we finally saw a glimpse of the real Jennifer Rose when she gave Abigail a new penny and a crayon bouquet that Abby had made as a little girl. This is the Jennifer I remember and love, who is too frequently absent, who is a romantic at heart, loves her children and is an eternal optimist.
I couldn't help wondering what she would say or do if JJ ever gets married, but even that didn't ruin this tearjerker of a moment. Between that and Julie's sharing of Tom's poem, this wedding is already one of the most emotional events of the year.
It was a bit odd that Ciara was at the wedding while Hope was working on solidifying the charges against Chase. You'd think at a time like this Hope would want to leave the work to someone else and be there for her daughter!
The guest list is a bit weird, too. Who invited Eric? He has nothing to do with anyone at that wedding except Jennifer. People were concerned about Rafe being on a big case, but nobody seemed fazed that the bride's brother was not in attendance.
Doug was an odd choice to walk Abby down the aisle. He's one of those Christmastime relatives who doesn't seem to have much to do with Jen's kids otherwise. There really isn't anyone closer, though, except for JJ, who was being misused at the shootout instead.
I'd have liked to have seen Lucas do that honor if JJ couldn't.
First the ground rules. Nobody mention Ben Weston.Julie
Naturally, what's a soap wedding without some annoying person getting in the way? I wasn't surprised that Ben showed up on the grounds. Whether he's really there or a dream sequence remains to be seen, but with the number of times Julie mentioned him it was a given.
Julie telling everyone not to mention Ben was amusing, since she was the only one who mentioned him at all. Julie always puts her foot in her mouth when she's anxious about something and this was no exception.
Jennifer taking a pain pill was supposed to make us think she's addicted, but I still am not getting that sense. It looks more like Jen is, as usual, minimizing her own pain and pretending everything is all right while really being in such severe pain she needs to take medication.
While the wedding got underway, across town there was a shootout between a bunch of kidnappers and the police.
This storyline was pretty fast moving and interesting, but Eduardo's constant insistence that Rafe stay out of it was irritating. Rafe, before he became obsessed with Hope, was a smart cop who had worked for the FBI before coming to Salem. Surely this is not the first kidnapping case he's ever handled.
Rafe himself was also irritating because he suddenly seems to have developed negative feelings about JJ's relationship with Gabi.
This relationship should not be a shock to him since he asked Gabi about it about six months ago, told her that Jack Deveraux was a better person than Eduardo, and was interested to learn that JJ wanted to be a cop.
These insta-conflicts that spring up out of nowhere feel contrived and don't add anything to the show.
Anyway, Rafe didn't listen to Eduardo and took JJ and Lani along to try to shoot at the bad guys. I think this part of the story could have benefited from slowing down a little. I'd have liked to have seen how Rafe found out where Marlena and Ari were being held and how he decided on his team.
I'd also liked to have seen how they decided that a shoot-out was the best way to go.
Since this is the first time we've ever seen JJ shoot a gun, some story around his being chosen for this mission and his feelings about it would be nice. I don't understand why the show refuses to give him a real storyline. It seems like the last time he had anything substantial to do was when Jennifer opposed his decision to become a cop.
Then that conflict magically disappeared and now JJ is given things to do that any one of the random uniforms could do exactly the same.
The most interesting part of the shootout was the look JJ had on his face when he put away his gun after Eduardo was shot. I'd like to see some fallout from that but I doubt it will happen.
Elsewhere in Salem, the teens took it upon themselves to deal with Chase's rape of Ciara. I found this way of resolving things to be incredibly problematic.
First of all, two wrongs don't make a right, and all the teens except Ciara and Chase are guilty of kidnapping. Justin said the confession wouldn't stick because it was made to "Ciara's mother."
How about the fact that it was made while Chase was tied to a chair and threatened with a crowbar?
You're a monster just like your father. I wish you'd never come into our lives.Ciara
The number of times that it's been suggested that Chase raped Ciara because Aiden was his father suggests a really obnoxious agenda on the part of the writers. It's as if this storyline is a vehicle to convince viewers that Aiden and his son were just bad apples.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Aiden was a gambler who succumbed to a stupid blackmail plot on Andre's part. Chase was a mixed up kid who succumbed to a stupid manipulation plot on Andre's part.
Both men needed to be stronger and are responsible for their actions, but neither one is a monster and Andre is the common denominator.
Chase needs help and while that doesn't make the rape at all right, his distress shouldn't be ignored, nor should he just be labeled as a villain because that's not at all what happened here.
The way Hope switched from stepmother to completely hating Chase was unrealistic. Of course she is going to be very angry that the stepson she took in when he had no one else raped her daughter, but her feelings should be more mixed.
She's acting like Chase and Aiden set out to hurt her family. When is the lightbulb going to go off that that's Andre Dimera's MO, not the Jennings clan's?
I don't care what happens to me, Hope.Chase
Chase has been sounding suicidal from the moment his father died and this is no exception. Are we supposed to hope he kills himself because of what he did? I certainly don't. That would be a tragedy, not something to be celebrated.
While all of this high-stakes drama was going on, there was also some more nonsense related to Summer. Maggie was the only person with any sense in this entire storyline.
She wanted to know what Brady knew about this woman, while Victor was busy plotting to use her to break up Brady and Theresa without bothering to find out anything except for that she is pretty enough.
Meanwhile Summer is busy stealing random things for no apparent reason.
I'm not convinced that Summer is really Maggie's daughter. The audience didn't get to see the DNA results, nor did Brady. What I am convinced of is that this silly character adds nothing to the show and needs to go back to LA as soon as possible.
Also silly is this whole Philip thing, with Belle flitting back and forth between wanting to have sex with Philip and wanting to keep things casual while Philip keeps trying to get back on Victor's good side and falling into Deimos' trap instead.
Your turn! Was there a storyline you loved or hated on this week's Days of Our Lives? Do you think Abby really saw Ben in the window? Will Ciara survive the wedding without a total meltdown?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Round Table discussion!
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.