The violent fugitive trio took things to the next level on this week's Days of Our Lives.
A press conference meant to reassure and encourage the public ended in tragedy when Abe stepped in front of Aiden, taking a sniper's bullet.
Now Abe is in critical condition in the hospital and his autistic son is melting down, while elsewhere the search for the fugitives continues.
I have mixed feelings about this storyline. For one thing, the shooting was extremely contrived.
There was no reason to hold a press conference in Horton Town Square in the first place, though Abe's desire to show the villains that Salem wasn't afraid of them was admirable. More to the point, what kind of press conference was this?
There were no reporters present, though Abe did appear to be on local television, and very few people in attendance.
And the mayor had no security detail, nor did any of the cops who were so incredibly worried do any sort of check of the area prior to the beginning of the conference.
In addition, since this storyline began, Abe has been written as some sort of commanding officer in the police department. That's great, from the perspective that that's what Commander Carver does best. However, he's supposed to be the mayor, not the commissioner.
Mayors don't come to the police station to direct investigations, nor do they join officers in the field. The mayor would, in reality, appoint a commissioner to oversee the police department.
In fact, Abe or his predecessor did, as Roman is supposed to be the commissioner. So where is Roman?
Now, you've seen firsthand the lengths to which these felons will go to to achieve their criminal ends. That is why it is crucial that now more than ever, we as a community act not out of fear, not to excerbate what is already a precarious and dangerous situation. We have faced challenges before and we have risen to them and we will do it again.Abe
This story may require an extreme suspension of disbelief, but Abe's speech just prior to the shooting can't be beat. James Reynolds is a powerful actor who has often been underused, and his speech was inspiring and passionate.
Unfortunately, it may be his last words. Whether he saw the laser beam and deliberately stepped in front of Aiden or did so by accident is anyone's guess.
Hopefully Abe will survive this shooting. Theo needs his father. And Abe is needed badly because most of the high ranking police officers have been involved in a cover-up for the last six months.
Roman, Rafe and Hope are all busy running around trying to make sure nobody knows that Hope killed Stefano and Rafe helped her hide the body. This is so important to Rafe and Hope that they're distracted from the investigation into what the villains terrorizing Salem are up to.
Aiden isn't much better. The press conference was not the time to bother Hope about how he knows she killed Stefano. He should have just given that information to Abe prior to the conference, as Abe is the only person associated with the police department who would care.
I can't root for Aiden to blackmail Hope. That just leads to more character assassination and some viewers calling for his actual assassination. But I can't root for Rafe and Hope either.
They are corrupt. They covered up a murder and manufactured evidence to put Andre in jail.
Stefano and Andre being evil doesn't make that okay, because if they can do it to the Dimeras they can do it to anyone else they feel like, and then Salem's jails end up full of people who individual cops don't like and have thus stripped of their rights.
Thus there are no heroes in this story, just degrees of bad behavior, and that makes it painful to watch.
The excessive flashbacks of the conversation Hope and Rafe had that Aiden secretly recorded don't really help, either. Viewers can remember what they saw five minutes ago and the time spent on revisiting this one conversation over and over could be better used furthering other stories.
SInce my mom died, it's just been me and my dad, you know?Theo
Anyway, Abe's shooting should have ripple effects all over Salem. Theo's difficulty in dealing with the situation, both because of his autism and because he already lost his mother and has been very close with his dad ever since, was the most emotionally engaging story of the week.
Unfortunately, Theo's grief appears to be leading towards a Claire/Theo/Ciara triangle that I just don't want to see. Ciara has been so selfish when it comes to Theo that it's very difficult to root for them as a couple.
They have been friends for years, but Ciara dropped Theo in half a second without any regard for his feelings so that she could pursue Chad. It's going to take more than her holding his hand in the waiting room to undo that and make this couple anything close to rootable.
Meanwhile, while Claire and Theo have far more chemistry, Claire has become totally self-centered and obnoxious. Even after being threatened at gunpoint, all she cared about was getting WiFi access for her tablet so that she could be on Twitter 24/7.
Claire has become the epitome of all the worst stereotypes about her generation. That does her no favors, nor does it help with public perception of younger people. Let's hope her kidnapping has taught her a lesson that lasts more than 30 seconds.
Can you believe that damn hillbilly? He's been going on all day and all night about what an experienced hunter he is, and then he goes and shoots the wrong guy!Orpheus
Orpheus' comment about Clyde's shooting ability was dark humor, but it definitely broke up the tension because it was so true.
So far Clyde has failed to kill Kate twice, failed to hit his intended target while aimed with the very best sniper rifle his contact could get him, and failed to hit anyone at all while shooting at Steve and John in the alley.
It's hard to tell who is stupider -- the villains or their hostages. The bad guys didn't do a very good job of tying up their hostages. Tying Joey's hands but not tying him to the chair made little sense. And they were dumb enough to argue among themselves in front of their victims, leaving a gigantic clue as to how to exploit their weaknesses.
Unfortunately, neither Claire nor Joey had the brains to act on it.
Instead of trying to manipulate Xander into taking them elsewhere by himself so that they could fight him off or trying to turn the kidnappers against each other so that they could escape during the resulting chaos, Joey dived for a necklace that was 20 times closer to Claire and then the two of them sat quietly, making no effort to resist being gagged.
It's a miracle that they escaped at all and that was probably due to their captors being equally stupid.
The most entertaining part of this entire mess is wondering exactly how long it'll take for Orpheus to turn on Clyde and Xander and get all of them either killed or recaptured.
He's the only one in the bunch with any brains at all, yet he couldn't figure out that videotaping his ransom demand might help clue the cops in to where the kids were being held. Perhaps if he wasn't spending all his time telling Xander to be more patient and Clyde to be less of an idiot, he could think clearly about his plans.
We need to put the past behind us. We need to think about the future. We need to be men.Brady
Brady got sick of waiting for the cops to take care of Xander and went rogue, hiring his own men to find and eliminate the villains.
Unfortunately, they shot up the wrong warehouse, though it appeared they were in the same alley. Brady might have done the resistance effort a favor, though, as Orpheus, Clyde, and Xander assume the botched attack is evidence that Victor is losing his touch, thus allowing him to swoop in when the time is right.
Brady. If I move into that house because I’m scared of Xander, Deimos is gonna think it’s something else.Nicole
Elsewhere in Salem, Deimos demanded a paternity test, which Kate promised to help Philip and Chloe with. The test showed Deimos wasn't the father, but Kate claimed she had not switched the results as planned because of Clyde's attack on her in the alley.
Kate is probably lying, because making Philip think Chloe has been playing him would end that relationship in addition to depriving Deimos of his parental rights. It's shocking that neither Philip nor Chloe thought of this, considering Kate's dubious relationship with the truth and her track record of plotting against Chloe.
Meanwhile, Nicole abruptly changed her mind about living with Deimos because his lack of proof of paternity made her feel a kinship with him due to her inability to carry a baby to term. That doesn't really make sense, and hopefully Deimos isn't the new super-fertile bad guy in town.
If that couch romp (why on Earth couldn't they use a bed?) ends in another miracle pregnancy for Nicole, she'd better carry to term, even if it is Deimos' baby. I don't think I can take the heartbreak of her having a third miscarriage.
Finally, Gabi sent out exceedingly confusing and mixed signals this week. She was flirting heavily with Chad in the Square and I was surprised she even bothered to take JJ's call. Then she suddenly acted like she used to before she randomly decided JJ was no good and was sweet to him.
Jennifer's advice to JJ to make sure to make Gabi a priority in his life would have been sound if it weren't for the fact that prior to this, JJ has been far more committed to the relationship than Gabi.
He's tried on multiple occasions to work through their problems and until JJ offered Gabi sex, she made no such effort. In the past month, their relationship pattern has been JJ apologizing and trying to work things out while Gabi walks away and then goes to flirt with Chad.
I don't think it's wrong for JJ to want to actually communicate and work out problems, and it's irritating that it's written as if he's just jealous and insecure when he's the only one making any effort to keep the relationship healthy at all.
Gabi seems to see him only as a sex object despite Rafe saying that Gabi is more serious about JJ than he is about her.
If JJ and Gabi are to be at all rootable, then Gabi's actual feelings for JJ need to be shown and not just talked about. As it is, she's coming off as selfish, entitled and superficial.
In the last month or so, I've gone from being a JJ/Gabi fan to rooting for Paige to miraculously return from the dead and rescue JJ from this pseudo-loving relationship.
What'd you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Do you think Abe will survive the shooting? Are there any storylines that you loved or hated?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of our Lives Round Table discussion of this week's shows!
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.