I'm not sure how I feel about Abigail being stuck in a loveless marriage with evil Dario.
It's all very soapy and dramatic, and the scenes between Abigail and Chad were pretty powerful. This kind of high drama is far more what I expect of Days of Our Lives than the nonsense that got Abigail into this predicament in the first place.
At the same time, I'm not too happy with Dario and Chad arguing over who Abigail "belongs" to. Abigail's a lot stronger than she used to be, but she hasn't called either of them out on treating her like property yet.
Plus, a lot of this feels like a rerun because Abigail already went through this with Ben.
There was really never going to be a good way to end this mess of a storyline and get Abigail and Chad back together.
Under the old writing regime, Abigail was flaky and completely driven by emotion. She made a bunch of decisions that made no sense whatsoever, like breaking up with Chad at their vow renewal ceremony and marrying Dario without any concern for what this could mean for her infant son's future.
Abigail had stars in her eyes regarding Dario, while Chad quickly moved on with Gabi.
None of that could really be undone, so the new writing team has had to try its best to move forward from here.
The story is engaging. Dario is better suited to being a complete villain than a gray character that we're supposed to root for despite his complete lack of morals, and the Chad/Abigail angst is well done.
Still, though, I wish it wasn't so similar to what already happened between Abigail and Ben. This is a better version of it, mostly because Dario is a more realistic villain than Ben, but it still amounts to a jealous rival framing Chad for murder and taking Abigail away against her will.
Dario: Look, you're coming in here, getting all heated -
Chad: I'm not talking to you.
Dario: I don't care. You're getting in my wife's face.
Chad: And I wanna hear it from her.
In both cases, Abby was more victim than survivor, though she is still far stronger in this new story than she ever was with Ben.
Abigail held her ground with Dario at first, telling him she wasn't going anywhere with him and that she wasn't abandoning her family. However, when Abe inadvertently interfered with her plans to get rid of the incriminating photo of Chad that Dario had, she caved in.
Abigail: Please don't ask me any questions.
Chad: I have every right to ask you these questions.
Dario: Abigail, we have to go. The FBI is waiting for us at the station.
Chad: We're not done here.
Dario: The hell you aren't. [Grabs Chad by shoulder]
Abigail: Hey! Stop, you guys!
Chad: Get your hands off me!
Dario: You say goodbye to Abigail. You are history, Chad! Do you understand me? Because after tonight, you're never gonna see her again!
Chad [grabbing Dario by collar]: Do you have any idea who I am?
Abigail: Stop it! Stop!
Chad: Huh? You might not think I have it in me, but believe me, if you do not back off I will kill you.
Abigail: Stop it you guys!
Dario: Oh, I know who you are. You're a Dimera. Murder's in your blood. And I have no doubt that you would have no problem murdering someone who stood in your way.
I enjoyed seeing Chad and Dario's fight, mostly because it sets viewers up to believe that murder photo is genuine and most likely it is not. But I really wish that Abigail had been more central in her own story.
It seemed like her main role was to yell at the guys to stop fighting and give Chad some vague, empty statements about how it was for the best that she was leaving.
No wonder Chad is ready to be done with her. She certainly made it seem like she just runs away from her family at the first sign of trouble.
I still don't understand why Abby couldn't tell Chad the truth. Even if she felt compelled to go along with Dario's blackmail of her, there was no reason not to admit to Chad that the reason she's leaving is because she doesn't want him to go to jail for murder.
I get that she is afraid he'll turn himself in, but that wouldn't be the end of the story, and at least Chad would know what Abby was up against and not think she's happy to be leaving with Dario.
And the chances are that Chad would use his resources to get Abby out from Dario's blackmail one way or the other.
It would have been especially powerful if Abby had blurted it out by accident while they were arguing, leaving Chad with a major decision to make just as Dario showed up.
Instead, Dario came out of nowhere and started fighting with Chad again, giving Abby the opportunity to talk to Theo and find out the so-called evidence was gone. Then Dario got out of the way just in time as a car sped towards Chad.
I'm interested to see what happens next with this, but I found that cliffhanger a little silly, at least in how it was executed.
For one thing, the guys did not appear to be on the street or a parking lot. So the sudden presence of headlights was jarring.
Dario looked like he knew the car was coming when he suddenly disappeared in the middle of fighting with Chad. He couldn't have known Chad would have been there at that time, and most likely the driver of the car was after him.
Meanwhile, Abe finally accepted that Theo is now an adult who can make his own decisions, but first, he had to become absolutely insufferable.
Abe is one of my favorite veteran characters, and I'm thrilled to see him have a storyline, but I wish he'd spend his time giving Lani some much-needed tough love instead of bothering Theo unnecessarily.
Abe found out that Theo was doing some computer work for the Dimeras and immediately threw a tantrum about it. He yelled at Theo that he couldn't get a job without his permission and confiscated his computer, just as Theo was about to delete the incriminating photo of Chad.
I realize this was partially to throw a monkey wrench into Abigail's plan to save Chad and get out from under Dario's blackmail, but I found it really irritating and obnoxious.
First of all, Theo lives on his own and is not required to tell Abe every detail of his life. Nor does he need Abe's permission to take a job.
Just because Theo is on the autistic spectrum doesn't mean he's an eternal 14-year-old.
The fact that he has to tell Abe this over and over sends the message that people with Autism are presumed to be less capable of independence no matter how high functioning they are and will always have to fight for the right to be treated like adults.
Furthermore, Abe didn't come across as a caring yet overprotective father. He came across as a control freak. He not only took Theo's laptop but went to the Dimera mansion and used that laptop as leverage to demand that either Theo or Andre be fired.
No matter how valid his concerns were, he was seriously overstepping his boundaries. He had absolutely no right to dictate personnel decisions at a company he does not own.
And while we're at it, can we please get rid of this idea that the last name Dimera automatically makes people evil?
Lexie was the love of Abe's life, so clearly, her Dimera-ness didn't destroy their relationship. And whatever bad decisions she made after finding out Stefano was her father were her decisions. Blaming her last name for those decisions is out of character for Abe, who is big on personal responsibility.
Also, Abe knows Chad very well and knows he strives to give the Dimera name a better reputation. He also knows his son (presumably) and knows Theo would not be goaded into a criminal lifestyle just because Andre says so. So none of this makes much sense and is more or less manufactured drama.
Plus, Abe should know that ordering the Dimeras around, and particularly making an enemy out of Andre, never ends well. Trying to force Andre out of the business was a bad idea, and it was uncharacteristically foolish for Abe to think he could interfere with Theo doing Dimera business without there being any repercussions.
While Abe was over focused on Theo, his elder child was being completely ridiculous, immature, and inappropriate, none of which is new for her.
It's beyond me why Raines described Lani as one of his best young detectives because she is incompetent and has no work ethic.
She joined Eli in interrogating Dario, except Eli did all the work. Lani's contribution was to ask who Dario was offering up as part of his deal and then complain that Eli interrupted her having sex with JJ by expecting her to come to work.
She is completely useless, and there is really no reason to keep her on the show. She should have been fired from the police force a long time ago, not given a special assignment while JJ, who is a far superior detective and human being, is nowhere to be seen.
Meanwhile, Rafe acted as if he were morally superior because he arrested Dario even though expecting his family to obey the law is relatively new for him.
He covered for Gabi a billion times in the past, even losing his badge for a while because of it, and helped Hope cover up Stefano's murder, so he came off as more of a hypocrite than anything else.
Also ridiculous was Brady's jealousy of Eric and his juvenile response to it.
Brady couldn't get over the fact that Nicole and Eric shared a kiss while drugged. Everyone else in town seems to understand that that was not consensual on anybody's part, but Brady refused to let it go.
He went as far as trying to push Jennifer and Eric together to get Eric out of his way.
Jennifer rightly confronted Brady about his immature behavior. It really doesn't matter if she would be happy with Eric or not -- the fact is that Brady used her to try to manipulate the situation in his favor.
It was demeaning to both Jennifer and Nicole for Brady to act this way. He was being possessive and acting like Jennifer's value was only as a means to the end of him "winning" Nicole.
Brady was also pretty abusive to Nicole when he found out about the kiss, joining the long list of men who feel a need to tear her down verbally when she disappoints them.
I don't know why every single writer thinks it's entertaining to see Nicole's boyfriends tear into her for some minor transgression while she begs for forgiveness as if she's committed the worst sin in the world.
It's not entertaining. It's obnoxious and abusive, and Nicole deserves better. So do viewers.
I was just telling Tripp, when we find out who's responsible for this, there's gonna be hell to pay.Steve
Steve and Kayla are far and away the best and most entertaining couple on Days right now. I love that Steve can support Kayla through her job crisis without being the knight in shining armor while she sits helpless and depressed on the sidelines.
Kayla took a job in the Pub while her suspension is being worked out and is determined to make the best of things. She allowed herself to be vulnerable with Steve, admitting that she was saddened by this potential end of her career.
Steve and Kayla found time for romance before Steve went back to investigating who had set Kayla up. I absolutely loved that they celebrated their anniversary. This is what I want to see: a loving couple facing a problem together rather than letting some interloper break them up.
It looks like Steve is finally onto Tripp, too. He seemed to have overheard Tripp bad-mouthing Kayla to Claire, and when Claire said that Tripp hangs around the hospital a lot, Steve was suspicious.
I can't wait to see Steve confront his new son. I wish he'd figured it out from the dozen or so times Tripp looked terrified when Steve said he was going to make the guilty party pay, but now that he is onto the truth this should be some great drama.
I really hope this storyline is actually wrapping up soon. I'm not a fan of Tripp being so callous and calculating to avenge the death of a mother who abandoned him at birth, especially when he knows how violent and abusive she was towards his father, brother, and stepmother.
Plus I don't like seeing Ava's photo. The sooner we get rid of the need for it, the better.
I did like Roman's conversation with Joey, though. It reminded me of the way Daniel used to mentor JJ.
I feel like the show really needs more scenes of family or friends talking to one another instead of constant action. Relationships are the backbone of the show, and without those types of scenes, everything falls flat.
Roman: Long distance relationships are not easy. They're hard.
Marlena: This is not a long - [pause] Maybe this is a long-distance relationship. [laughs]
Roman: Is that the worst thing in the world?
Marlena: Well, oh gol. No, I guess... I guess not. And I have such great respect for John's commitment to his work. But you know what? Rrr. He made a commitment to me too, and I... I get lonely sometimes.
Roman's conversation with Marlena was also really nice. It was great to see these two have a warm, easy friendship after all these years, and I almost wished Marlena could get back together with Roman instead of staying with John.
This love triangle between Marlena, John, and the ISA got worn out a long time ago. I really hope Hattie doesn't use it as part of her plan to pretend to be Marlena so she can break up with John and get Roman.
The Hattie/Anjelica stuff was mildly funny, but that was getting old so I'm glad that this storyline is moving forward.
I'm not really excited about Hattie confronting Marlena, but the look on Marlena's face when she walked through the door was priceless.
Plus, this moves this story out of the endless circle of Anjelica telling Hattie she needs to be perfect in her imitation of Marlena and Hattie getting offended.
What did you think of Days of Our Lives this week? Were you excited to see Tripp finally get close to getting caught? How do you like the resolution of Abigail's messy marriage to Dario?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.