Days of Our Lives Review: Weak Women and Overprotective Men

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I knew Abigail's strength last week was too good to last.

I'd love to see the women of Salem be strong and independent, partnered up with people who are their equals. But given Days of Our Lives' track record recently, that's really a pipe dream.

This week, Abigail turned out to have left Chad not because she wants to live life on her own terms but because relationships aren't like in the movies, where love is enough and you don't have to bother to put any work into it.

Meanwhile, Lani was forced to drink and woke up on a park bench with no memory of what happened to her, but somehow it never dawned on anybody that that was exactly what happened to JJ that they've all been shaming him mercilessly for. 

And Nicole and Brady became victims of yet another random act of violence when Xander broke into their cabin to steal Holly, make Nicole cry, and shoot Brady when he tried to be the hero.

Abigail Walks Out - Days of Our Lives

The Abigail storyline is needlessly cruel, paying lip service to women being strong and independent while depicting Abigail as weak, stupid, and unable to tell the difference between reality and cheesy movies.

Abby: Okay, but I don't understand because I know you and Chad love each other.
Gabi: You act like that's the whole story. But it's not, okay? Chad and I, we got involved because you were not there. Think about that. I mean, he never cheated on you, it's not like we were sneaking behind your back.
Abby: I know that. And that's why I'm not angry with either one of you. I do not feel the least bit betrayed.
Gabi: And yet you're still ending your marriage.
Abby: Yeah. I am. Because marriage doesn't really work if someone's heart isn't totally in it, if they are harboring feelings for someone else.
Gabi: Have you ever heard about feelings changing or fading? Because it seems to me that if you don't spend time with someone, that if you don't talk to them, if you don't have that touch, yeah those feelings will go away.
Abby: Really? You really think that?
Gabi: Yeah.
Abby: Cause I've watched a lot of movies and I've read a whole lot of novels and people fall in love and they stay in love, Gabi. It doesn't matter how long they've been separated or if some other person comes into the picture.

She acted like Gabi was cheating on Chad by moving on with someone new instead of jumping at the chance to take him back. It's hard to tell if she just enjoys being the martyr or if she seriously believes this delusion about Chad and Gabi being star-crossed lovers and herself being the heroine for stepping out of the way.

Either way, these endless conversations in which she tries to force Chad and Gabi together are tiresome, and this newest claim that if he loved her their relationship would require no work is absolutely ridiculous and does her character no favors.

Supposedly, Abby has a mental illness that's driving her behavior... or has it been magically cured? She said something to Dario implying that she no longer has PTSD, not that PTSD actually works anything like what's being depicted here.

I would have loved to have a seen a bona fide mental illness story, with Chad and Abby trying to deal with how PTSD was changing her behavior and struggling to hold onto their marriage. Instead, we get this ridiculous Gabi-pimping story.

Abigail: I didn't realize you and Eli were dating.
Gabi: You were the one who set us up, thought it was great, as I recall.
Abigail: I did.
Gabi: So why are you surprised that we're still seeing each other?
Abigail: I think it's probably pretty obvious.
Gabi: No, it's not obvious to me, unless you think that Eli and I are not a good match. But you played matchmaker, right?
Abigail: Don't play games with me, Gabi. You know that I left Chad so that the two of you could be together. So I'm sorry if you think it's a little strange that now you seem to be moving on with my cousin.

Gabi said all the right things to make herself seem mature and sensible, but she conveniently left out half the story.

She was looking for any excuse to spend time with Chad while she was with JJ, was frequently rude to him in an effort to get him to break up with her so that she wouldn't have to bother to dump him before moving on to Chad, used his rape as an excuse for ending the relationship, and told him that she would go after Chad whether or not Chad was married to Abigail.

Everything she told Abigail about how relationships take work was something she refused to accept when she was with JJ. In fact, she told him that she wanted to just have fun and that she was breaking up with him because she didn't want to have to put any effort into their relationship!

And now we're supposed to believe that she is wise, mature, and a good match for Eli?

This Gabi/Chad/Abby story is as annoying as it is offensive. Women wanting all the perks of a relationship without having to do any of the work isn't cute. It's immature and women who are in their late 20s or early 30s should have outgrown it a long time ago.

Plus, Abby's ridiculous insistence that Chad loves Gabi and her tantrums about it remind me of some of the more horrific writing for Jennifer and Daniel a few years ago and I don't want to see that again.

JJ and Lani Flirt - Days of Our Lives

The JJ and Lani story has so much wrong with it I don't know where to begin. 

It's offensive enough that their relationship began with Lani raping JJ, but now the exact same thing happened to her that she did to him. And yet nobody even questions whether JJ actually cheated on Gabi.

JJ was so kind and compassionate when he found Lani on the park bench that it made the horrible way he's been treated that much worse.

A few years ago, he was also found passed out on a park bench after he was drugged and suggestive photos taken without his consent, and no one called him a victim then either. Plus, the whole town has been shaming him for the sex he can't remember while simultaneously feeling bad for Lani and relieved that she wasn't actually raped.

On top of all that, this story is somewhat of a ripoff of Paige's final storyline before she was brutally murdered and JJ wasn't allowed to grieve for her.

Two years ago, JJ went undercover to catch a dangerous drug dealer named Kyle who Paige was dating to get revenge on him for yet another person having preyed sexually on him. 

Now, Lani is going undercover and pretending to date a dangerous pimp named Snake and JJ is trying to protect her.

This storyline would be laughable if it wasn't so misogyny-filled. So far, the point of the story seems to be for Abe, JJ, Eli and probably some other dudes we haven't seen yet to constantly tell Lani that this job is too dangerous for her.

Meanwhile, Lani keeps chasing Snake with no backup whatsoever and doing her best to keep it secret from JJ what she's doing.

The storyline is ridiculous, based on stereotypes, and full of cliches, in addition to portraying Lani as yet another stupid woman who is too weak to take care of herself without a bunch of men to protect her.

I don't understand why the cops on this show have to be shown as so incompetent and annoying. They don't even know the basics. 

I realize this is a soap, but there's no reason for details such as cops working in pairs to be completely ignored just for the sake of the storyline.

Great drama can come out of cop stories where the cops have some clue what they're doing, and viewers wouldn't be distracted by how unrealistic it all is if the writers bothered to do even a little bit of research first.

Is Scooter Gone? - Days of Our Lives

The other front-burner story this week was the latest installment in the ridiculous Canada saga.

Brady and Nicole celebrated how happy they were now that Scooter and Hillary had moved away. They were even glad to hear that the man who had been planning to rape Nicole was enjoying his second honeymoon with his wife.

They had some not-very-riveting conversations about hardware stores, fritattas and other normal things that I can't even remember, blissfully unaware that a masked gunman had come into the house and was tiptoeing around.

For some reason, the gunman, who eventually turned out to be Xander, didn't attack them directly during the fifteen times or so they got up during the night and went into another room. Instead, he just kept tiptoeing around until he had an opportunity to grab baby Holly.

Nicole assumed he was working for Deimos and kept begging for the baby. Brady kept telling her not to confront the gunman, since she was a woman and unable to figure this out for herself.

Then Brady went after the gunman himself and got shot in the chest or stomach. It was too dark to really tell exactly what happened.

Too bad the cop next door went away. Having a cop friend nearby might be a good thing when you're on the run with your baby and dangerous people are after you.

Paul: I think I might have something.
Sonny: Did Deimos try to replane?
Paul: Uh, maybe. Maybe not. See, I talked to this guy at a charter place, and he wasn't being very forthcoming. He didn't say no, but he didn't hang up. He just kept hinting that he might know something.
Sonny: He also kept hinting that he wanted some incentive?
Paul: Yeah. Exactly.
Sonny: Well, where is this place?
Paul: It's not far from here, just off Country Road L.
Sonny: All right. I'll grab the money, then we'll head over.
Paul: Sonny, no, you stay here. I'll go get it.
Sonny: No!
Paul: Sonny, isn't that why you hired me in the first place? To do the legwork? What if Deimos finds out you've been asking questions, bribing charter owners? You can't antagonize him any more than you already have. Eventually, Deimos is gonna find out what you're up to. Until then, just leave it to me.

Sonny jumped on the overprotectiveness bandwagon with trying to insist Paul not accompany him on his mission to find out where Deimos went. Paul didn't listen and got the info anyway. Then Sonny intimidated a Titan employee into giving him Deimos' address by pretending Victor was angry with him.

If Victor ever gets wind of this, he should be furious! He doesn't need employees who so easily give secrets away.

Joey: How's the move going?
Jade: Kind of slow, but don't worry. Everything'll be out by tonight.
Joey: No worries. There's no rush.
Jade: Actually, there is a rush. I don't want to be cluttering up your space anymore.

Finally, there was some more nonsense with Tripp, Joey, and Jade. Jade is moving in with Tripp, who admires Kayla but still hates Steve, and Joey has wished for the millionth time that Tripp knew it was him and not Steve who killed Ava.

Of course, Jade dropped a bunch of large clues to that fact in a 30-second conversation with Tripp, so he'll probably investigate and find this out soon enough.

I couldn't help wondering if JJ knew that Steve and Kayla had a second son now that the writers remembered Steve is his uncle.

Tripp's anger and criminal behavior is so similar to JJ's after Jack died that it would be great to see a friendship between these two, and Tripp is the only other character who is actually around JJ's age.

Unfortunately, the writers seem to like to keep everyone in their own storyline and don't let characters interact who should, so there's not much hope for that at the moment.

What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Who did you think was the most overprotective? Which storyline is the most offensive, aggravating, or just plain illogical?

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

Review

Editor Rating: 3.3 / 5.0
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Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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