Adrienne's breast cancer storyline could have been powerful.
Judi Evans is an extremely talented actress who has played two very different roles on Days of Our Lives. Three, if you count Adrienne's transformation from impoverished blue collar girl to Kiriakis housewife in recent years.
In her current storyline, she's knocking Adrienne's doubt, fear, and desire to handle (or not handle) her cancer her way out of the park.
The problem is, the story seems to be more about Justin's attempt to re-assert control over his wife than anything else, and that makes this otherwise strong storyline more than a little uncomfortable.
After meeting with her doctor, Adrienne wanted to keep what happened there to herself, but Justin and Kayla pushed her to talk so she finally broke down and cried. She then shared that she needed to schedule chemotherapy prior to her mastectomy and hadn't done so yet. She went to the park to think and Justin showed up.
Adrienne told Justin to stop following her, but he said he just cared about the ex-wife he'd lost after he cheated on her in Dubai. Then he tried to tell Adrienne what to do about her cancer.
Some people might call that love. However it seems rather stalkerish, and more than a little patronizing.
That's been a problem with this storyline from the beginning. When Adrienne couldn't choose between Lucas and Justin, the two of them talked over her, arguing with each other about who she should choose and not very interested in asking her opinion on the matter.
Now, the story has shifted to her cancer diagnosis, Lucas has disappeared, and Justin is still trying to impose his opinion on Adrienne.
There was a silver lining here, however, because it wasn't Justin but Kate who gave Adrienne the push she needed to make her appointment. Kate being empathetic was a nice surprise, since her softer side rarely comes out, and I got a little thrill out of another woman being able to succeed where Justin was failing.
Meanwhile, Hope languished in prison where there were some very silly scenes involving a group of women who hate her for no reason. Naturally, they thought beating up a former cop would be easy and she was rewarded for fighting them off by temporarily being given a cell phone to video chat with Rafe on.
This was all ridiculous. The prisoners were stereotypical, not real characters at all, and when prisoners fight they generally get punished, not given contraband.
And nobody needed to see Hope flirt with Rafe from a prison cell.
While Hope was dealing with all that, Rafe continued down the path of Stefano's murder not being a murder at all. Apparently Stefano had bought a gun so that someone could shoot him and end his terminal illness that way.
Somehow or other, this is supposed to translate into Hope shooting Stefano being okay.
For some weird reason, most of Stefano's family bought this explanation. Theo even had a meltdown in which he threw over a chess set because learning this detail made him hate Stefano.
Trying to make someone do it for him, that's weak.Theo
Theo apparently thinks Stefano was weak because he allegedly tricked Hope into killing him. The problem is, that's not what happened.
Hope did not go to Stefano's with good intentions, only to be hypnotized or brainwashed into shooting him with his own gun.
Hope took Bo's gun, which she had hidden to ensure that Roman didn't find it when he confiscated her weapon, went to the mansion, and shot Stefano when he laughed at her.
She kept firing until the gun was empty. She then called Rafe and they took Stefano's body to a warehouse and covered it with trash.
None of that has anything to do with Stefano being terminally ill or wanting to die, and allowing this to be an excuse for murder is simply in bad taste, especially with the number of police-involved shootings that are in the news on a regular basis.
It also makes no sense that Stefano's family would suddenly absolve Hope of her disregard for his life because he'd bought a gun.
Elsewhere in Salem, Gabi was jealous not only of whoever raped JJ but also of JJ's mother.
The longer this offensive storyline goes on, the harder it is to tolerate Gabi on my screen. She did JJ a favor, or would have if she'd actually told him they were breaking up instead of assuming that telling Chad she didn't want to be with JJ anymore was good enough.
Then she got busy cheating on JJ again, with the excuse that he dared tell his mother things he doesn't tell her.
Gabi's latest problem is that JJ told Jennifer he didn't like keeping it secret that Abby is alive and Gabi overheard and decided he's lying to her about something.
She then went to the park with JJ where she attempted to interrogate him but never directly told him what she'd overheard, instead making passive-aggressive comments about him keeping secrets. When JJ, unsurprisingly, didn't respond the way she wanted to a question she never asked, Gabi told him she wasn't feeling well.
Gabi stormed off, and for good measure made sure Julie thought it was because of her, then remembered JJ telling her about his rape and sulked about that before going to see Chad to tell him that JJ is a liar who keeps secrets from her and not from Jennifer.
Being jealous, possessive, and controlling is bad enough, but then Gabi informed Chad that she had decided to break up with JJ, while JJ told Jennifer he was worried because Gabi was angry at him but was unaware that they had broken up.
Without informing JJ they were over, Gabi then kissed Chad.
And we're supposed to think JJ is the bad guy here?
About a year ago, JJ sacrificed his health and risked his life so that Gabi could have the antidote to the virus before he did.
He then went to Miami to try to find his presumed dead sister, drank too much, and was raped in his hotel room. Gabi has never had any empathy for any of this, choosing to focus on how JJ isn't paying attention just to her and using his pain as an excuse to attempt to woo Chad instead.
Gabi holds things over JJ's head, makes snarky comments instead of telling him what's bothering her, and generally refuses to communicate while he tries his hardest to resolve the problems between them.
Yet it's written as if Gabi is the one viewers are supposed to be sympathetic to because JJ "cheated" by having non-consensual sex.and having a PTSD flashback when Gabi tried to touch him later.
JJ needs to forget Gabi and find a woman who actually loves him. Gabi only loves herself.
To Chad's credit, he actually tried to talk some sense into Gabi.
Unfortunately, her stupidity won out and he ended up kissing her just as Abigail showed up.
This most likely means that Abigail talking to Chad will be postponed again because she still hasn't figured out that Chad learning she's alive might negate his decision to move on since his wife's been dead half a year.
There were some hints of romance when Eve came to visit Brady and help out with Tate. It wasn't clear whether Brady's interest lies with her or with Nicole, but he clearly is ready to move on already, in typical Brady fashion.
Kassie de Paiva is a formidable actress and I'm glad to have her back, though I'd like to see some actual story for her. Her scene with Jennifer was one of the highlights of the week.
Eve may be new and improved, but Jennifer is unaware of that! The best part of their exchange was Eve asking if JJ was okay after he'd been shot and Jennifer shutting that line of conversation down.
Hopefully that will also shut down speculation that Eve was the Miami rapist. We really don't need to go there again.
Anyway, Eve offered Jennifer a sympathetic shoulder, which left Jennifer utterly confused. Meanwhile, Brady saw Jennifer with a bag of pills and assumed she was sneaking off to get high.
This was just ridiculous.
Jennifer had a pharmacy bag and people who have struggled with opiate addiction are allowed to fill prescriptions just like anyone else. In fact, medications are often prescribed to balance brain chemicals and solve the problems that led to addiction in the first place.
Brady was insufferable in these scenes, even if Jennifer was pretending the prescription was hers and not Abigail's.
Afterwards, he went off to confront Sonny and was even more obnoxious. He was apparently intimidated enough by Deimos kidnapping Philip that he felt a need to order Sonny to back off of any investigation of the goings on on the docks.
Deimos had kidnapped Philip to find out the truth about Chloe's baby.
It turned out that he was about as good at this as Dr. Chyka had been and got Philip mumbling, "Embryo" over and over before Brady interrupted. Deimos told Brady of his suspicions and Brady lectured him about how Nicole is too fragile to hear that she might have a baby in case it turns out to be false.
This was more patronizing nonsense. Nicole is far tougher than Brady gives her credit for, and there's a huge difference between hearing that Chloe's baby might be hers and losing a baby a few weeks before her due date.
Well, darling, if I've learned anything in this life, it's that you cannot force someone to be in love with you. You just have to let it go.Julie
Finally, Ciara lusted after Theo despite the fact that she dumped him for Chad months ago and he moved on instead of sulking endlessly.
Julie's advice to her was interesting, considering how good Julie seems to be at letting things go. Nevertheless, it's always nice to see Julie's softer side balance out her tendency to overstate her opinion.
What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Have you had enough of Abby's failure to talk to Chad or Gabi's histrionics yet?
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.