Days of Our Lives Review: Flashbacks and Fear

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Does anyone else remember when Lawrence Alamain raped Jennifer?

Jennifer was deeply ashamed, couldn't touch Jack without having flashbacks, and ended up calling him a rapist because she couldn't tell him the truth. It drove a wedge between them.

Some 30 years later,  while trying to have sex with Gabi, Jennifer's son is having flashbacks of somebody on top of him while he looks terrified and it is freaking him out so much he can't touch her. 

It's the exact same story, except for JJ is being vilified for it and his girlfriend -- along with most of the town -- doesn't want to hear about it because they all assume he cheated.

JJ Confesses to Gabi - Days of Our Lives

From the beginning, it was pretty obvious that whatever happened to JJ, it wasn't him voluntarily having sex with a stranger. He was too drunk to remember what happened when he awakened the next morning without any clothes on. 

This sounded a lot more like the Brock Turner case than a cheating storyline, except for that the victim rather than the alleged perpetrator happened to be male.

And now he is having flashbacks when Gabi touches him and getting freaked out. That is not something that happens when you cheat on someone.

That is something that happens when you are sexually assaulted and are struggling with PTSD afterwards.

JJ really needs to talk to someone who isn't going to vilify him for having a flashback.

Gabi's reaction was atrocious. She got jealous and assumed JJ was telling her he'd rather be with the other woman than her. He was breathing heavily, pulled away from her, and said he was freaked out, but she couldn't figure out that he was anxious and not attempting to compare which lover was better.

Hopefully the writers did this all on purpose so that they can reveal that JJ was indeed raped. That would be acceptable even though the way it's being written is shameful.

JJ might not be aware of what happened to him, but his mother should have recognized it right away, both from the story he told her and from her own experience. Nobody is telling him that it's even possible that something happened that shouldn't, even though he was too drunk to consent to begin with.

I really wish that DAYS could have a crossover with Law & Order:SVU as JJ needs Lieutenant Benson to help straighten him out instead of all these people making him feel worse.

Chad: I'm very happy for them.
Kate: You want to try that again and this time tell me the truth?

Gabi is jealous and only appears to care about how much attention she gets; her boyfriend's clear terror at being touched means nothing to her. Chad is busy mumbling that JJ had better treat Gabi right. Kate is busy telling Chad that he should try to break JJ and Gabi up because she deserves better than a cheater. And Jennifer is a bit preoccupied and hasn't talked to JJ once since he initially confessed to "cheating".

Once again, as has been the case since this horrendously written storyline began, this whole scenario sends viewers the message that sexual assault is the victim's fault and that nobody will support them. 

Ironically, JJ's behavior is a far more realistic depiction of PTSD than his sister's. Abigail supposedly has PTSD but her storyline consists of sitting in her mother's attic begging her not to tell her husband that she's alive.

Abby: Mom, I'm scared!
Jen: Of what? Of getting your life back?

Not only does this nonsense have nothing whatsoever to do with PTSD, but it's not healthy for Jennifer to enable it. Jennifer agreed to hide Abby in the attic and spent most of the Horton Thanksgiving trying to stop anyone from going up there.

When JJ found out his sister was alive, Jennifer took him aside and ordered him not to tell Chad. JJ correctly let her have it for keeping his sister's existence a secret from him when he was struggling psychologically as a result of her "death."

The next day, Jennifer flew into a rage when she found out that her mother Laura has known for months that Abby is alive, specifically because Laura's behavior hurt JJ and Chad.

This is almost as hypocritical as Gabi being jealous of JJ's rapist while trying her best to have an affair with Chad.  What does Jennifer think she's doing by putting pressure on her son to keep this secret and absolutely refusing to break Abby's confidence by informing Chad that his wife is alive?

Abigail Is In Hiding - Days of Our Lives

Jennifer made a passionate, yet half-hearted effort to get Abigail to come out of the attic. She told her daughter that she had to go see Chad herself so that she could bond with baby Thomas. Abigail responded by throwing a tantrum and Jennifer gave in and agreed to collect Thomas from the Dimera mansion so that Abby could see her son.

Jennifer is in way over her head, as usual, and is making everything far worse. Abby is not getting any better hiding in an attic for no reason and not getting treatment for her mental health issues and JJ now has to struggle with the guilt of knowing Abby is alive and keeping it from Chad on top of dealing with being sexually assaulted all by himself. 

Meanwhile, Abigail avoided Jennifer's very important question -- why is she afraid to see Chad? She sidestepped it and Jennifer didn't push. 

This is why Abby needs therapy rather than help covering up her existence.

I don't know what's going on with Adrienne, but she doesn't need you two idiots making it worse.

Marlena

While all this was going on, across town Adrienne finally decided between Lucas and Justin, only to collapse before she could give her final answer. Both of these guys should really forget any dream of romance with her, since she is unable to make up her mind on her wedding day.

Will Adrienne Dump Lucas? - Days of Our Lives

Instead, they all went to the hospital where Justin and Lucas almost came to blows several times before Marlena intervened, correctly pointing out how idiotic they were being.

Adrienne also told them to cut it out while being wheeled into the waiting area in order to tell them they were waiting for her test results and everyone should go home.

Kayla was the one ordering tests. Apparently Adrienne missed her last mammogram, despite the fact that less than six months ago she was busy telling Lucas and Justin that her latest mammogram results were fine. 

This whole thing seems a little bit contrived, both because of the sudden non-existent mammogram and the fact that fainting is not generally a symptom of breast cancer. In any case, Adrienne managed to disappear from the hospital while everyone was in the waiting area.

It was annoying that Sonny, Justin, and Lucas were the only family members in the waiting room.

Steve at least was informed of his sister's hospitalization, since he happened to be with Kayla when she found out. However, Jennifer -- who is Adrienne's sister-in-law via Jack and almost became a sister-in-law twice since Lucas is her brother -- was never told, and JJ asked Gabi how "Sonny's mom" was doing.

Not his Aunt Adrienne. Sonny's mom, as if she is a stranger to him, just like a few months ago he went on a rescue mission with his Uncle Steve in which Steve was written as a random citizen he was helping out.

Someone on the writing team needs to brush up on family relations, because that's ridiculous. 

The important thing about Adrienne being in the hospital should be that she's sick, and that should be important to her entire family. Instead, her hospitalization seemed to have been about Lucas and Justin's fight over her.

No wonder Adrienne ran away. They were so loud she could hear them in her room and she probably just wanted some peace and quiet.

Justin and Lucas weren't the only ones to come to blows this week, as Brady decided the best course of action was to forget Theresa ever existed, came to the Kiriakis mansion in order to be snarky to everyone, and then punched Philip because Philip made some calls on behalf of the business while Brady was doing nothing.

Across town, Hope began her prison stint in a very stereotypical prison, complete with mean prisoners that want to beat her up because she's a cop. Luckily, she was rescued by Hattie Adams.

Hattie is fun to watch. I got the feeling that even though she and Marlena aren't actually related (Stefano had once done some plastic surgery on her to turn her into a Marlena clone), that if Marlena were to get really drunk she'd turn into Hattie. She is Marlena's total opposite and great comic relief.

While Hope was busy dealing with Hattie, Ciara pined after Theo because he happened to have moved on with her best friend after she dumped him because she had a crush on Chad.

Rafe gave Ciara some disturbing advice: go after him even though he's taken and see if you can break them up. Later, Kate gave Chad the same advice about Gabi.

This is a trend that needs to be nipped in the bud. Chasing after someone who is going out with someone else in the hopes of breaking up their relationship is not romantic. It is not cute. It can be harassment or stalking if taken too far, and in a best case scenario it's disrespecting the desire of the person you claim to love to be with someone else.

Rafe did it and then the writers chose to assassinate Aiden's character to try to justify this behavior. Justin attempted to do it to Adrienne. Now both Ciara and Chad are being encouraged to do it.

This needs to stop. 

So what did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Was there a storyline you loved or hated?

Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Days of Our Lives Quotes

I hope she didn't run away again. She's so fragile.

Jennifer

Tripp: So how was the wedding?
Claire: Oh, it was a typical Salem wedding. Crashed by a murderer.