Enough is enough.
Days of Our Lives is supposed to be an ensemble show, but this week focused almost exclusively on Hope and Rafe's storyline. Viewers who didn't like this story, this pairing, or these characters were pretty much out of luck.
Even some Hope/Rafe fans were burned out by so much overexposure of this couple.
Rafe and Hope found themselves in a sticky situation at the beginning of the week. Rafe was chained to the wall and Hope couldn't free him as a bomb was about to explode.
Naturally, they fought for most of the little time remaining over whether Hope should save herself and at the last second she got the brilliant idea to shoot the chain off the wall.
This whole scenario made it difficult to believe Rafe was ever an FBI agent or that Hope is a decorated detective. Rafe's contribution to solving the problem consisted of screaming for help every five seconds and begging Hope to leave him to die.
Meanwhile, Andre put his foot on Aiden's neck and informed him that he was framing him for Hope and Rafe's "murder" (as nobody was aware that the pair wasn't dead).
Shawn: Don't worry. Rafe's all over it.
Andre (smirking): And I'm sure he's all over Hope.
Andre had it right when he made fun of Hope and Rafe's relationship.
Not only are the two of them busy declaring their love for each other every other second and arguing over who should leave to save the other, but the rest of the town thinks Rafe is a saint and Aiden is the most evil man who ever lived.
There's far too many problems with this ultra-contrived scenario to list here. Kayla and a few other people are being awfully hypocritical. Aiden is an evil scumbag for lying to Hope and thinking about killing her, but Joey and Hope both actually killed someone in cold blood and apparently that's okay.
In addition, during the world's longest, most boring dream sequence, Rafe's thoughts included shooting both Aiden and Andre in cold blood. Since he's already covered up one murder in addition to fantasizing about two more, how exactly is he morally superior to Aiden now?
This Hope/Aiden/Rafe story is shaping up to be a rerun of several other stories. It's very similar to the Eric/Nicole shredded documents fiasco, as that was also a story about someone being dumped over a stupid lie and then berated, abused and told constantly to get out of town.
It also is a rerun of what happened last time, with Hope waking up in the hospital to realize her "true love" isn't Aiden.
It's really too bad Aiden's friendship with Nicole has gone down a black hole, as she's in a good position to understand his lies and help him do better in the future.
There were also a few other things that happened in Salem this week, though most of them were blink and you'll miss them types of moments thanks to the near-exclusive focus on Rafe and Hope. John and Marlena talked about their wedding, JJ stood up to Chad's attempt to manipulate him, and the investigation into baby Tate's disappearance moved forward...or did it?
JJ's short scene with Chad demonstrated how far JJ has come. He used to be an angry kid who flew off the handle at every opportunity. Now he saw right through Chad's attempt to manipulate him but just told him firmly that he wasn't getting in the middle between Chad and Jennifer and went along his way.
JJ might have had an annoyed tone in his voice, but that was far less than Chad deserved. Chad has been antagonistic towards JJ every time he's seen him and now acted friendly towards him because he thought JJ could be useful to him.
If Chad wants people to believe he's a different type of Dimera, he needs to cut back on the manipulation and games and be willing to work with JJ and Jennifer to find Abby instead of trying to cast them aside except for when he can use them for his own purposes.
You don't have to live like this. You can break the cycle. People CAN change.Marlena
Meanwhile, Kate showed an actual human side after her latest confrontation with Deimos. The normally cold, unflappable diva privately cried over her loss and then called Marlena for a chat.
For once, Marlena was both empathetic and honest. Maybe she should pretend all her clients are personal friends so she can give them the appropriate therapy. Marlena gave Kate some food for thought and Kate actually seemed to be taking it seriously.
It probably won't last, because Andre was literally waiting just around the corner to tempt Kate into some bizarre revenge scheme. But it was nice to see Kate's softer side. It's been absent for too long.
In addition, this is a far better use of Andre than as an obstacle in the Hope/Rafe stuff.
Finding someone who has as much hatred as he does that he can use to carry out his diabolical plans is classic Andre, and he too showed a tiny bit of vulnerability with Kate. His loneliness and desire for companionship was authentic even if he wanted to solve the problem by wreaking havoc for everyone else.
Messing with Rafe and with Aiden is small potatoes compared to that.
In addition, the Aiden storyline is just ridiculous. In addition to being hypocritical, the entire town is so determined to believe Aiden is a bad guy that they all take Andre's word for what Aiden's involvement is with this latest attack.
Andre is not known for telling the truth, ever, and he is known for manipulating people. Other ordinarily good people have fallen into disrepute because of Andre's manipulations; why can't Aiden be given the benefit of the doubt like everyone else?
This storyline is a waste of talented actors and twists all the characters involved with it out of shape. If the writers need to go to this much effort to force Rafe and Hope together, something is wrong somewhere.
It's especially a shame because there's so much that could be done with Aiden as a lawyer, especially with Jennifer entering this custody battle, Summer accused of kidnapping Tate, and possibly Philip needing an attorney if something goes wrong with his new record business.
Nicole, there has to be a way for us to wipe the slate clean. Let's do it.Deimos
Nicole and Deimos got the conversation that Aiden and Hope should have had, with Deimos acknowledging that he lies all the time and that there's no reason he can be trusted, then becoming determined to prove he's changed because of his love for Nicole.
It's anyone's guess whether he really has changed or not, but it certainly is interesting.
It also seems that Victor's belief that people can't change is being tested over and over. He was hurt that his family and friends seem to think that he might be behind Tate's kidnapping, yet hasn't made the connection between his belief that no one else can change and everyone else's belief that he has not.
And Deimos came to him asking to make peace again. Will Victor consider the possibility that Deimos did change, or will he assume that change is impossible?
I love him so much, I really do, but I mean... Marlena if we don't find our son? It's just how do you... how do you live through that? Can you... I mean... can our love survive?Theresa
The kidnapping seems to be tearing Brady and Theresa apart. Both Marlena and Belle mentioned that they need to be kind to each other during this trying time, and Theresa tearfully asked Marlena whether their relationship could survive the possibility of losing Tate forever.
Marlena's answer to this would have been interesting. Too bad the scene ended there.
In any event, Theresa came back from her session with Marlena all excited about a semi-clue she discovered via hypnosis and proceeded to sabotage Brady's attempt to talk to a contact who might have been involved. After it was too late, Paul filled her in on what was going on.
Too bad he didn't do that before the damage was done. However, it was nice to see Brady drop the anger and actually comfort Theresa afterwards.
So what did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Did you think there was too much Rafe/Hope, not enough, or was it just the right amount for you?
How Do You Feel About the Amount of Airtime Rafe and Hope Got This Week?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Round Table Discussion!
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.