Days of Our Lives Review: Stolen Storylines

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I thought I'd be thrilled that the stranded-on-a-desert-island storyline that has wasted two weeks of airtime on Days of Our Lives is over.

This story was torturous to watch, over the top, and made little sense.

But somehow, the writers managed to make the end of this travesty of a story even worse than the rest of it.

After the Crash - Days of Our Lives

With no foreshadowing or scenes depicting their attempt to search, John and Marlena suddenly showed up on the island, where they gave everyone but JJ a big hug. Paul escaped his bonds and tried to steal a gun and was wrestled to the ground by JJ and Chad. John and Marlena then continued to ignore JJ while discussing the situation.

This trend then continued, with everyone who's anyone in Salem commenting on Chad and Gabi's reunion and speculating that the island couldn't have been that bad if they fell in love there and everyone but JJ having some sort of homecoming scene, while JJ was briefly mentioned in a text to Abby that was not shown on-screen.

Sonny: Looking at you now, it's hard to believe you were so sick.
Paul: Yeah, that island seems like a bad dream. All that was missing was Gilligan and the Skipper.

Paul isn't the only one who wished that island story was a bad dream!

There are so many problems with this. First of all, everyone was healthy and back to work within hours in Salem time, making the whole story pretty pointless. Nobody seemed to care that people almost died, instead focusing on how wonderful it was for Chad and Gabi to have found each other.

And more than one story was stolen from JJ, who completely disappeared without any explanation whatsoever after the rescue.

JJ Talks To Sonny - Days of Our Lives

While the castaways were on the island, Hope and Rafe interviewed JJ's friend Rory and encouraged him to go undercover to help catch Deimos distributing a made-up drug called Halo. 

You know who should have been doing that? JJ. Rory has been his friend since 2013. Back then he often was JJ's partner-in-crime who tried to get him to dial his anger back even while joining him in destructive activities.

More recently, Rory blamed JJ for some drug dealers being after him after Roman pulled the rug out from under him and cancelled a deal JJ had made to keep Rory's involvement in snitching on the dealers anonymous.

This storyline was dropped without any resolution or explanation.

And now Rafe and Hope are investigating JJ's case and using JJ's friend who may or may not still be upset with him to do it.

This is just one more example of how this show is so obsessed with certain characters that it doesn't care how horribly other characters are treated.

Fans don't like seeing storylines and screen time stolen so that the Hernandezes can be front and center at the expense of the characters that belong in those stories.

And if Rafe and Hope starring in a story that should have been JJ's wasn't bad enough, he was given little to do on the island, was depicted as the bad guy for daring to turn sex down with the woman who already raped him once, and got absolutely no homecoming story.

He didn't even get a hug from Marlena, who for some inexplicable reason was thrilled to see Gabi.

Abigail Considers Marriage - Days of Our Lives

While JJ was missing, Abigail thought of him exactly once, and that was when his dilemma was a good excuse for not marrying Dario.

Abby had little concern for her potentially dead brother, who had struggled immensely with grief and guilt when she faked her death in a similar accident last year.

Instead, she bounced back and forth between missing Chad and convincing herself she should marry Dario to give him a green card.

The rest of the town was similarly unconcerned.

One person after another had something to say about Chad's reunion with Gabi, making it clear that the whole point of the island story, or any other story, was to put Gabi front and center despite the fact that Chad and Gabi are an unpopular pairing and their whole love story is contrived and based on rewritten history.

The only entertaining part of this Chad and Gabi marathon was Andre making his displeasure with the couple known. Usually, disapproval helps engender a couple to viewers. In this case, though, it made me cheer Andre on.

In addition, it seemed really stupid on Gabi's part to think she could successfully go toe-to-toe with the all-powerful Andre.

Justin: Do you realize what you've done? You've opened up this company to potential lawsuits for wrongful termination.
Sonny: People who talk about suing rarely do it.
Justin: My phone's been ringing off the hook all morning from those fired 50 and their families demanding justice!
Sonny: I am the CEO of Titan. I can fire or hire anyone I want to, Dad.

While JJ got no story, Sonny got plenty of story. Bad story.

I used to really like Sonny because he was sensitive and kind and tried to do the right thing.

Now he's become some ruthless business man who nobody recognizes, with slicked back hair and a hard tone in his voice.

The only remnant of his kindness left was his refusal to consider taking measures to protect the other castaways from Paul, who he apparently is in love with all of a sudden.

I'm not sure why someone who doesn't care about anything but the bottom line would be in love with Paul, who is generally a pretty nice guy who doesn't like all this cutthroat business stuff.

In any case, Sonny told Marlena that he wasn't the same person he was when he was with Will and that he was older and wiser now and realized he loved Paul.

Yet almost losing the man he supposedly loves only a few years after his husband was brutally murdered doesn't seem to have had any effect on Sonny.

Instead, he went right back to firing people just because he can, with absolutely no concern for the consequences for those employees or for the company.

He just wanted to punish Deimos by getting rid of people he had chosen, even if they were in key positions that could help the company succeed.

And then he was shocked that any of those people dared stand up for themselves instead of just accepting their fate, even after Justin told him that he was getting calls left and right about how unfair Sonny's actions were.

Sonny and Paul Work Together - Days of Our Lives

Who is this guy and what has he done with Sonny?

I can only hope he's been brainwashed by Andre or something and will come back to his senses someday. I can't stand this obnoxious, power-hungry version of Sonny and I found his scenes with Victor especially distasteful.

If Victor had been written properly, he would have given Sonny a tongue lashing and limited his power until he demonstrated he was ready for it instead of calmly giving him advice that he knows he won't follow.

Chloe Shows Up At Nicole's Hearing - Days of Our Lives

Elsewhere in Salem, Nicole got to be happy for about three seconds before her baby was again torn from her arms in one of the most contrived storylines ever.

Chloe finally showed some remorse for her crazy actions of the past several months and gave baby Holly back to Nicole. 

You and Daniel had a dream of becoming a family and I wanted to give you that dream, but things got messed up along the way. And I took your child away from you. I'm sorry, Nicole. Holly belongs with you. You are her mother.

Chloe

Chloe's tearful goodbye to the baby and decision to support Nicole's motherhood was a little drawn out but well worth watching. Unfortunately, DAYS then went for a stereotypical storyline about a mean judge deciding to put the baby in foster care.

The show hired veteran actor Ken Lerner to play Judge Thorpe. His presence is about the only good thing that could be said about this storyline. Too bad he was given such a ridiculous role.

Judge Thorpe declared that Nicole was an unfit mother based on the fact that she'd recently been convicted of kidnapping and he decided without hearing any evidence from anyone that she'd put the baby in danger.

He then made the completely ridiculous decision to put the baby in foster care despite the fact that she has a million relatives living in Salem that could take her if he didn't want Nicole to have her.

He had no concern for the child's best interests whatsoever and didn't even consider what bouncing baby Holly from caretaker to caretaker might do to her.

And then, a social worker came in with a big smile on her face and happily took the child away while Nicole sobbed.

The stereotype of the social worker as happy baby snatcher is a particularly problematic one, especially in poor communities of color, where racism has sometimes played a role in these kinds of decisions.

Perpetuating this stereotype is insensitive and ignorant at best. It also is yet another example of how irresponsibly this show treats social issues, especially mental health issues.

Many social workers provide counseling or other mental health services to, among other populations, single women who want to improve their circumstances for themselves and their children, as well as working with attorneys and judges to ensure a fair outcome for their clients in court hearings.

By buying into a stereotype that went out in the 1950s about what social workers do, Days has probably made it harder for people who need social services to seek help. This isn't surprising considering how mental health issues are treated on this show, but it is offensive.

Jade Posts a Video - Days of Our Lives

I have really mixed feelings about the aftermath of the Jade sex tape scandal.

Claire and Marlena's scenes were wonderful, and Claire took a big step forward in her maturity by taking responsibility for having stolen that letter Ciara wrote to Theo and returning it to him.

However, something is being overlooked in all of these scenes, and that's that Claire and Theo were both victims of a sex crime. Claire pointed out that she felt absolutely violated by having someone record her having sex without her permission, yet no one paid any attention to that.

Abe's only concern seemed to be that Theo had sex at all, and everyone is busy telling Claire that she's too selfish to be a proper girlfriend to Theo and shouldn't have had sex with him in the first place.

Whether or not sex between Theo and Claire was a good idea is beside the point. It was consensual. Getting recorded doing it was not.

Abe and Hope are both cops and both know that Jade broke into a hotel room to plant a camera for the purpose of secretly filming the occupants of the room having sex, yet no one is even considering arresting her for any of that.

Instead, they are shaming Theo and Claire for choosing to have sex, which sends teens the antiquated message that having premarital sex makes you a bad person and amounts to more shaming of victims of sexual assault.

Tripp Falls Under Jade's Spell - Days of Our Lives

Since she's not in jail for these crimes, Jade is free to egg Tripp on in his plan to get revenge on Kayla for a crime she didn't happen to commit.

First of all, Tripp should be smarter than this. He seems to be pretty sharp otherwise, but when it comes to avenging a mother he never knew that he knows committed various violent crimes against his family, he has a blind spot.

He also should be suspicious of Jade. He knows she has a thing for his half-brother Joey and that she blames Kayla for the implosion of that relationship. How does he not realize she has an ulterior motive that may have nothing to do with the truth?

Plus, it seemed like he was thinking about hurting or killing a patient just to get Kayla in trouble, and that's pretty callous and horrible.

It's bad enough Joey killed Ava. Is it really necessary for both of Steve and Kayla's sons to be amoral murderers?

What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Did the lightning fast rescue bother you, or are you glad this awful storyline is over? How did you feel about Nicole losing her baby again seconds after she got her back?

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

Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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