Hope used to be one of the strongest women on Days of Our Lives.
She was a tough, no-nonsense cop who wasn't afraid to stand up to misbehaving family members, tried to be a good influence on the troubled teens in her life, and could display a softer side with those she loved.
For the past six months, though, Hope has been selfish, cold, and manipulative. She was so preoccupied with getting revenge for Bo's death that she didn't care about the car accident that claimed Daniel's life and seriously injured her cousin and best friend for life Jennifer. She took Chase in after Aiden supposedly died, then paid no attention to him until he became violent.
And worst of all, she murdered Stefano in cold blood, shooting him at point blank range, then went along with Rafe's plan to cover it up for months and months.
Hope's character was ruined so terribly by her behavior surrounding Stefano's death that it has been impossible to root for her. When Andre finally unmasked her secret, I cheered.
When the bad guy is more rootable than the supposed heroes, something is wrong with the writing.
Rafe and Justin seemed to want to go for some variation of the "Stefano was a bad guy so it's okay to murder him" defense. This was completely ridiculous. No matter what Stefano did to Hope in the past, the fact remained that she came to his mansion uninvited, told Andre to leave, and then pulled out her gun and shot him.
Stefano was an old man and he died while laughing at her from a wheelchair. This was not self-defense, no matter what Stefano had done to Hope in the past. It was murder.
And to her credit, Hope actually admitted that, refusing to go along with the nonsensical excuses being offered to try to exonerate her.
I know my father did terrible things for many years, but that doesn't make what you did to him okay.Chad
Chad and Ciara were the only two characters who seemed to understand that Stefano was actually a human being and that taking his life was wrong.
Chad had a tumultuous relationship with Stefano. He was not raised by him and once they met, Chad was uninterested in the ways Stefano dealt with the world. Thanks to Stefano's misdeeds, Chad is often presumed to be evil because of his last name.
Yet he did have some sort of relationship with Stefano and he was upset with what Hope did because she took the life of a person who was important to him. And the only answer Rafe had to give him was some nonsense about how it was really Stefano's fault because he'd pushed Hope too far.
Not only did this lack empathy for Chad, it was simply ridiculous. Rafe tried to compare what Hope did with what Abigail did to Ben, claiming that Stefano was just like Ben.
First of all, at the time that Abigail had her breakdown or whatever it was supposed to be, Ben had escaped from a mental hospital and knocked out a security guard so that he could break into her home and threaten her. This is completely different from Hope's decision to confront Stefano in his own home at a time when he was doing nothing to her.
Hope's behavior could, perhaps, be compared to Gabi's decision to kill Nick because of the way he tormented her -- a decision that resulted in a 20 year prison sentence, even if Gabi did only serve about 9 months. And even that's a stretch.
Hope's behavior is also concerning because of her position as a cop. If it's okay for a cop to shoot someone like Stefano because he was a bad guy anyway, then what's to stop them from shooting any other suspect they don't like that has a criminal record?
There is no excuse for what I did, Ciara. What I did was wrong.Hope
At least Hope recognizes this and is willing to confess to the murder. This may not be enough to redeem her character, but it's a start.
You're a hypocrite! My whole life, you have been telling me, do the right thing. Don't lie. Don't steal. Don't do bad things. Even on the night that you got arrested, you were going on this speech about how I shouldn't take Grandpa Victor's money. Oh, it's dirty money, it's tainted, he did bad things. AND YOU'RE A MURDERER!Ciara
Ciara's accusations against Hope were one of the best parts of this storyline. Ciara rightly felt that her mother was a hypocrite, and in addition pointed out that Stefano was Theo's grandfather and Theo doesn't understand how Hope could have done this to him. Rafe tried to tell Ciara the same nonsense about Stefano being a bad guy anyway, but that didn't fly with her.
Ciara did eventually forgive her mother, but first she confronted her with the truth of what she'd done and it was only when Hope admitted that she had been tormented by her guilt that she broke down and admitted she loved her.
Rafe's behavior throughout this thing did him no favors nor did it make Rafe/Hope any more rootable than usual. Rafe came across as a controlling jerk who is starting to be aware that he is losing the ability to manipulate Hope.
He seemed to still be jealous of Aiden, wanting desperately to blame him for Hope's predicament, and angry that Hope wouldn't just fall in line and go along with the defense he had planned out for her.
Nicole... if you ever cared about me, take me with you, all right?Deimos
Elsewhere in Salem, Nicole tried and failed to deal with another controlling jerk. Deimos has been nothing but abusive towards Nicole since the moment he found out she kept Chloe's secret from him. He has taken every opportunity to cut her down and acted like the problem is her not being trustworthy, not him being an abusive person who makes the potential mother of his baby scared to death of him.
Nicole has no reason to apologize to him, do what he wants, or even associate with him ever again. She needs to stop acting like losing him is a tragedy.
Instead, she accepted his pseudo-apology and allowed him to manipulate her into taking him with her on her secret rendevous with Chloe.
Chloe was absolutely right that Nicole is desecrating Daniel's memory. The sad thing is that Chloe is actually carrying Nicole and Daniel's child, and Nicole's actions are putting her own baby in danger.
Deimos' violent behavior has been given a pass by Nicole, Victor, and even Maggie. Nicole is once again being used as a punching bag by some guy who is not worthy of her, and it is affecting her life in ways she is unaware of.
This relationship needs to end.
As for the twist of Chloe carrying Nicole and Daniel's baby, this was the highlight of the week. Some viewers may not have liked Daniel, but he and Nicole had been toeing the line between friendship and romance for years and once they got together he was tragically taken from her.
Nicole had told Daniel that she regretted not being able to give him children and the fact they didn't get to explore their options made this doubly sad. Now, if this mess Deimos is causing is ever straightened out, Nicole will finally have her miracle baby and a little piece of Daniel, too.
I'm sorry. I'm gonna give him what he wants.Theresa
Theresa's past came back to haunt her when Mateo, a bad ex-boyfriend who just happens to be part of a drug cartel, showed up in Salem. Shane and Kim also reappeared, scaring Theresa half to death so that they could tell her to go on the run with her family. Theresa rejected this idea, instead deciding she'll break Brady's heart so she can pretend to be with Mateo and expose his activities.
This is almost a total rerun of when JJ went undercover a few years ago. However, JJ had the sense to make sure his mom knew about it so that he wouldn't break her heart. Theresa doesn't see the point in telling the man who is supposedly the love of her life what's really going on.
The excuse that Brady would go after Mateo himself is flimsy and stupid. Victor and Shane can surely take care of that.
What happens if Theresa is successful in her mission? Brady will feel played and, being Brady, will likely have moved on to someone else. And Theresa will not be able to raise her son if she is doing this.
To offset all of this nonsense, there was a lighter storyline this week involving Jennifer and Adrienne buying the Spectator. It was lovely to see Jennifer acknowledge how important the Spectator was to Jack -- and even more importantly, how important Jack was to her. Jennifer seemed happier and more like herself the second she made this decision.
Adrienne stood up to Justin, who was angry that she dared use her divorce settlement to buy the paper when he wanted it for Titan. This must be where Sonny got his recent nonsensical attitude from that Chad "betrayed" him by making a bid for some business he wanted.
In Justin's case, it's even more ridiculous because the divorce settlement is Adrienne's to do whatever she wants with, and he came across as yet another controlling idiot who can't figure out why a woman would resist him living her life for her. Adrienne was at her strongest standing up to him and hopefully being a half-owner of the paper will also help her mood.
What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Can Hope ever be redeemed? Will Nicole ever leave Deimos? Is buying the Spectator a good career move for Adrienne and Jennifer?
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.