It was a sad, yet exciting week on Days of Our Lives.
Aiden left town after realizing what he'd become in the name of trying to win Hope back. Later, Andre made sure the whole town knew that Hope had killed Stefano. And elsewhere in Salem, Theo seemed to be the only one with questions about Abe's new doctor, former flame Valerie Grant.
I've been very disappointed in Aiden's return. Daniel Cosgrove is a terrific actor and the character of Aiden had so much potential. Serving as the town lawyer could have given him some meaty stories, as could his new appointment as DA.
He might have had lots of opportunities to interact with Salemites, who are awfully prone to judging others, and maybe even to move on with another woman if Hope was determined to stay with Rafe.
Instead, Aiden was rewritten into a quasi-villain before his exit last November and rewritten again into a lunatic who was obsessed with Hope and willing to do anything to have her. It was almost as if he were possessed by the ghost of Liam, the crazy stalker who was obsessed with Jennifer a few years ago,
So even though Aiden is one of my favorite characters, I was relieved to see him leave town alive and mainly well. His exit was reminiscent of Chloe's exit a few years ago, when she stopped trying to break up Daniel and Jen and checked herself into a mental hospital.
I'm sorry. I just wanted to show you how much I love you. What'd I show you? Some sick, twisted version? That's not who I am.Aiden
This was the best fans could hope for. Aiden was semi-redeemed and thanks to the talent of the actor who plays him, he had one of the most emotional exits in recent history. Daniel Cosgrove did an excellent job of showing Aiden as a man who had fallen apart and completely lost his way (and his mind)
This was the realistic depiction of mental and emotional health problems that was missing throughout the Summer storyline and to an extent, in Abigail's storyline. Kudos to Cosgrove for bringing Aiden's despair and confusion to life despite the material he was handed, that clearly had been meant to make viewers despise Aiden.
After Aiden left, Hope and Rafe took a break from worrying in order to camp out in the park. This was one of the silliest scenarios for this couple yet. They're living in a Midwestern town in late October. Even accounting for global warming, there's no way these characters wouldn't have been freezing their butts off.
Equally silly was Rafe's declaration that he wanted children. Hope has a son close to Rafe's age and a granddaughter the same age as her young adult daughter. There's no babymaking happening there.
Rafe and Nicole trying to work out her fertility issues so that they could have the family they want would be a moving story. Rafe declaring to Hope that he wants a family with her just stretches credibility far too thin and seems ridiculous.
I killed Stefano... I killed Stefano... I killed Stefano...
In any case, Rafe and Hope's happiness was cut short by Andre getting his hands on the recording Aiden had made of Hope's confession. Hopefully Andre really did steal it so that there's no more assassination of Aiden's character now that he's gone.
Andre giving Hope the comeuppance she deserves is delightful. Clearly something is wrong with a story where it's so easy to root for the bad guy to topple the so-called good guys from grace.
With tensions between police and citizens constantly in the news, it is irresponsible at best to make the heroes into corrupt cops, even on a soap opera. Andre may be a bad guy, but the cops framing him for a murder that they committed is still wrong, and if they can do it to him they can do it to any other character they feel like.
Andre's revenge was classic Dimera behavior as well as the best part of the Halloween festival.
Most of Hope's friends and family were gathered and expecting to hear good news. In a move reminiscent of how Sami outed Abigail for sleeping with EJ, Andre made sure to have Hope called to the front to get an award before playing the tape.
The rest of the Halloween festival was unexciting. Some of the costumes were cute, but nobody knew who Joey was supposed to be and Ciara's costume was in bad taste.
It was nice to see her emulating her mom by dressing as a cop, but her cousin JJ was just shot and nearly killed while wearing a similar uniform, and she went with Theo, whose father was also just shot under similar circumstances.
Interestingly, Theo was the only one who seemed to be suspicious of Andre, suggesting that his skepticism about Valerie Grant is not at all misplaced. Abe seems to be attributing Theo's behavior towards Valerie to his autism, but Theo is pretty sharp and needs to be listened to.
There was one detail of Theo's autism that the writers got wrong, and that's that he responded appropriately to Ciara's sarcastic remark, People with autism often have a hard time detecting sarcasm and it would have been more realistic had Theo had this problem as well.
In another display of absolute silliness, Hope told Ciara not to accept a trust fund from Victor three years in the future. There's really no reason for Hope to even be discussing this now, unless Ciara is going to be magically aged again in the near future.
Hope insisted Bo felt Kiriakis money was "blood money."
First of all, there's no evidence one way or the other of how Bo would feel about this because he's not here, and considering that Hope believed that Bo told her to get revenge for his death and engaged in crazy behavior for months, her opinion isn't all that valid.
In addition, the woman who shot Stefano in cold blood has no business talking about blood money.
Andre wasn't the only one out for revenge, as Orpheus came back to life in order to kidnap Marlena and Kayla.
As soon as Kayla said a body was missing, everyone should have thought of Orpheus, who came back from the dead not that long ago. Certainly everyone should have recognized him at the magic show.
And to make things even more obvious, he insisted on picking Kayla and Marlena for his final "trick" when there were a bunch of kids begging to be chosen.
However, nobody realized anything until it was too late and Kayla and Marlena had been whisked away to parts unknown while Orpheus abandoned his magic show and confused all the kids who were watching.
Meanwhile, Nicole, for some reason, decided she had to make up with Deimos even though he's the one who has been abusive to her. Deimos promptly turned around and again accused Nicole of lying to him.
In the last several years, Nicole has done nothing but take verbal abuse from men and then beg them for forgiveness. This had better not be a resurgence of this trend. She needs to dump Deimos and find someone who is worthy of her.
Finally, Gabi spent a ton of time flirting with Chad as if nothing was out of the ordinary until he reminded her that JJ is still in critical condition. Then Gabi ran to the hospital with Chad and cried to Jennifer about how worried she was.
It might be easier to believe Gabi actually cares about JJ if she wasn't flirting with another man throughout his ordeal. Once again, the writers are defaulting to telling instead of showing and it is hurting the story.
JJ keeps mumbling that he's sorry. Since Jennifer said he wasn't fully awake, the most logical conclusion is he's having a dream or saying things in his sleep that won't make sense when he wakes up.
If he really is sorry, he should be sorry he chose Gabi, since she doesn't seem to make him a priority even when he's near death.
In addition, he should be seeing visions of Jack, Paige and Daniel -- the three most important people in his life who are no longer alive -- as his life hangs in the balance, but so far that has not happened. Instead, the uber talented Casey Moss is reduced to mumbling vague apologies once a week for two or three minutes.
Hopefully this storyline will go somewhere, and quickly, because right now it seems like an excuse for keeping JJ off-screen and implying viewers shouldn't root for him even though Gabi's the one who is treating him badly, not the other way around.
What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Were you satisfied with Aiden's exit? Which storyline did you think was the silliest? What was your favorite moment this week?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.