Days of Our Lives Review: Desperate Measures

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What do you do when the soon-to-be-ex-husband you're still in love with flies off to Greece on a bizarre mission to retrieve a cursed amulet?

If you're Abigail Deveraux, apparently you fall for your scheming friend's sob story about being deported and get remarried to help him out before the ink is even dry on your petition for divorce.

This ridiculous Dario/Abigail/Chad/Gabi storyline has been dragging Days of Our Lives down, and this latest development isn't really doing it any favors.

Chad Continues to Love Abigail - Days of Our Lives

The Chad in Greece stuff is just silly, but the Dario stuff is downright offensive.

During a time when immigration is a hot-button issue and there are plenty of real people who are afraid of their lives and their relationships being torn apart because of changes in U.S. immigration policy, Days of Our Lives has chosen to do an implausible deportation story and then have it turn out to be a scam.

Dario claimed that he was in danger of deportation because he was born in Mexico, despite the fact that both his parents were U.S. citizens at the time. That didn't really make any sense. The child of U.S. citizens is a U.S. citizen even if he is born in Mexico during a family vacation.

Anyway, Abigail apparently believed this story and decided that since Chad and Gabi were both visiting Greece she would marry Dario as long as they lived in separate bedrooms. She'd even let him be a stepfather to her young son even though there was no real relationship.

Dario: A marriage in name only. Of course. I told you that when I first asked you. That's not gonna change.
Abby: Okay. I just wanna see you get your green card and stay in Salem. And, you know... stay alive.
Dario: Absolutely. What changed your mind? I mean, I get that you don't want me to leave Salem. We're friends. But...
Abby: Well, it's partly that, but I also knew if you went to Mexico your life would be in danger because of the people you crossed.
Dario: Yeah, you already knew that. It was something else.
Abby: I... I found out Chad and Gabi are both in Greece. And since they're moving on with their lives the way they should, I figured it was time for me to do the same.

That's right. Abigail decided to move herself and her toddler in with a man who has displayed a violent temper to everyone except her and who, last year at this time, was busy covering up a murder, because Chad and Gabi both chose to visit Greece.

I thought Abby had left Chad because she wanted to be independent and had encouraged JJ to move out of their mother's house so that he could experience the boost in self-esteem that comes with taking care of yourself too.

That was last week, though. This week Abby thinks the important thing is showing Chad she's moved on too by immediately bringing her kid into a phony relationship.

Glad she has her priorities straight.

Not only is this storyline offensive on so many levels, it's also unrealistic. I don't claim to be an expert on immigration laws, but I somehow doubt that USCIS cares whether the people involved are soulmates or not. This immigration interview seemed like a pre-cana session.

All that should be necessary is to provide proof of marriage before the deadline.

Of course, it doesn't matter because it's all phony anyway. Dario didn't learn anything from his attempt to pretend he didn't know how to dance and went on to the next stupid scheme to try to get Abigail to fall hard for him.

Dario needs to stop watching romantic movies and stop engaging in stupid 15-year-old antics. He also might want to ask Chad why he and Abby broke up the first time.

Abigail didn't like Chad's fake brain tumor scheme, so she's not likely to appreciate this nonsense either. But then again, there's no consistency lately so maybe she wouldn't care.

In any case, this story made a mockery of the very real fear and pain many immigrant families are experiencing right now.

I realize that six months ago when this was written, the political climate had not yet changed, but immigration was being hotly debated then and there's really no excuse for thinking such a serious subject can be treated so lightly.

Kate: What are you doing, looming over me like that?
Andre: Projecting ill will. I was so looking forward to that well deserved vacation, exploring the Inca ruins in Machu Piccu, but no, I had to hear that Chad flew all the way to Greece in search of a cursed amulet.
Kate: I guess the jewelers here were all out of cursed amulets.

Kate had the best line about the cursed amulet. I laughed really hard at this because her trademark sarcasm pointed out everything that is wrong with this cursed amulet storyline.

DAYS has sometimes gone the route of fantastical, otherworldly, or weird storylines before, but they have to be done skillfully or they come off as parodies of the genre.

This particular one is not done skillfully at all.

Most of the story consists of various people telling Chad that this amulet is cursed while he declares he doesn't believe in any such thing. This week, Chad and Gabi were robbed by the least scary mugger I've ever seen on this show but managed to hold onto the amulet. 

Maybe it was just me, but the mugger didn't seem at all threatening.

He didn't actually hold his knife against anyone's throat and threatened to slice Gabi's while it was nowhere near her. In order to make good on that threat, he would have had to push Chad out of the way because she was hiding behind him and Chad was the one in danger of getting cut!

I spent the whole scene wondering why Chad didn't just grab the mugger's wrist and twist his arm to make him drop the knife.

Afterwards, Chad and Gabi panicked about Eli actually doing his job and investigating the so-called mugging and then Eli broke up with Gabi because he believed she was still into Chad.

This was a little contrived since for the past month, Eli and Gabi's scenes have consisted of Gabi saying she still has feelings for Chad and Eli saying he doesn't care and is going to win her over, but I'm okay with that if it actually gets Eli out of Gabi's orbit. Like his cousin JJ, he is way too good for Gabi.

Gabi's response to the break-up was to blame the cursed amulet. It couldn't have been because she was mad that Eli went on a business trip without her, sneaked into a police-controlled aircraft to prove a point, and accused him of interrogating her when he asked what she'd been up to while he was working.

The only curse is the curse on viewers, who are forced to endure Gabi's whining and a lot of silliness surrounding this storyline. I'm convinced that this amulet is made out of the remains of the elephant statue because this is easily the worst story DAYS has aired since that one.

Lani Suffers Through Withdrawal Symptoms - Days of Our Lives

Eli, JJ, and Lani went to Greece on an important police mission to... sit on a plane.

Instead of doing anything remotely useful, they all sat around arguing about whether Gabi should go home and who was most into her. Then Eli stormed off because JJ told Gabi to go home and Lani proceeded to pressure JJ into having sex on the plane.

Raping him once apparently wasn't bad enough because JJ kept saying no to more than kissing and Lani kept insisting that was proof he didn't really love her. Lani then used JJ's inappropriate guilt and shame over having been raped to manipulate him into agreeing to more than he wanted to do.

This was not romantic or cute at all. It was a rapist trying to revictimize her target. Ugh.

It also is a waste of JJ's potential. JJ is smart, resourceful, and loves to take big risks. He should be part of an actual investigation, not sitting on a plane in Greece fending off his rapist-turned-girlfriend's inappropriate advances.

Nicole Goes Off on Eric - Days of Our Lives

The stupidest part of the Greek storyline, though, was Nicole's boneheaded decision to go back to Xander's lair to try to rescue Eric.

I hate what the writers have done to this once independent, smart, take-no-nonsense character.

The Nicole I know and love would never have fallen for a corrupt cop telling her she had to go with him in person to identify Xander, especially not when there were two cops parked on the next plane and another one wandering around Greece interrogating Chad for no reason.

Maybe this is meant to create some sort of closure for Eric/Nicole or reunite them in some way, but even so this is really badly done and just makes the characters look stupid. 

Wyatt: What are you doing?
Ciara: Now that finals are over, I am putting away all my notebooks. I hope I can sell my textbooks too.
Wyatt: You should sell your notes. You're like a machine.

Back in Salem, summer is heating up and usually that means some sort of engaging teen story to draw in younger viewers.

Not this time, though. Instead we get a story that scores an A for the kind of insignificant drama that often consumes teenage lives but is not interesting or engaging in the slightest.

Wyatt and Theo had another argument about Wyatt continuing to date Ciara. Theo was especially irked because Wyatt is not planning on getting a job and asked Ciara to pay for his meal for the second time in as many weeks.

The biggest problem with this storyline, besides the absolute senselessness of Theo setting up Wyatt and Ciara and then being angry his plan worked, is that Ciara was always a sharp kid who wasn't above doing a little scheming herself.

There is no way that Ciara would fall for someone conveniently forgetting to go to the ATM over and over and pay for every single one of his meals while not worrying about the fact that he had no source of income and didn't plan to change that.

Nor would she think that someone who agreed with 100% of her opinions was being genuine.

The only reason Ciara is falling for any of this is because the current writers seem to enjoy writing women as weak and stupid and in need of a man to protect and straighten them out.

Ciara is apparently so pathetic that she can't get any attention online (except from Rory who is now a one-note stoner) without Theo manipulating things for her, and so desperate and/or oblivious that she will continue to go out with a man who is obviously using her.

It's especially sad because this could have been a great story about how Theo's friend who is also on the autism spectrum struggles to succeed at dating Ciara and is jealous of Theo's success with Claire while Theo secretly pines for CIara.

Jade Moves in With Tripp - Days of Our Lives

The other big story is this Tripp trying to find out the truth about his mother's death thing.

I really like Tripp.

He's much more natural than many of the other teens and has the right look and personality to be Steve's son.

His determination to investigate this is reminiscent of JJ's insistence on finding out what Jack did to Kayla a few years ago, which is why I keep pointing out that it's a shame that JJ hasn't even met his new cousin yet.

I would love for Tripp and Joey to have been switched at birth. That's how much I like Tripp.

However, I hate this storyline. 

I didn't enjoy Joey killing Ava in the first place and don't need constant reminders. I also don't like Tripp turning semi-evil to try to prove Kayla is the killer.

And that scene where Tripp was shocked that he and Steve both like root beer was pretty over the top, even if I did enjoy the father-son bonding between Steve and his new son.

Also, can everyone please stop listening to Jade? Tripp should be savvy enough to be suspicious of her lies since he's proven himself to be intelligent, and that girl Joey dated shouldn't just assume a total stranger's story about Joey being a player is true.

Joey's date wasn't all that engaging, mostly because Joey's attempts at small talk were boring, the girl didn't pick up on his discomfort about talking about his stepmom, and nobody cared who paid the bill. I was still disappointed that the girl was so naive and gullible, though.

This reminded me of how Paige's friends used to try to keep her and JJ apart with gossip, rumors, and half-truths, only that involved characters that I cared about. I doubt we'll ever see this girl again. She was probably just there to make Joey realize he can never date anyone because he killed Ava.

What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Which was the most annoying storyline set in Greece? Was there a particular storyline you loved or hated?

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

Review

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

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