Days of Our Lives Review: One Down, One to GoJack Ori at .
When Anjelica first came up with her silly plot to replace Marlena and Adrienne with dopplegangers, it was a breath of fresh air for Days of Our Lives.
Hattie and Bonnie were hilarious, especially when they misunderstood the plot, refused to follow directions, and were nothing like the people they claimed to be.
But seven weeks later, the joke's worn thin.
And now that Hattie's been caught and everyone is aware that she was working with someone else, it is beyond infuriating that all of Salem is clueless about Adrienne's fate.
I think killing Anjelica off was a mistake. First of all, she was a legacy character who deserved a less ignoble end. But putting that aside, she was the glue that held this storyline together.
The way she clashed with her minions provided great comic relief. Hattie and Bonnie running amuck without Anjelica trying to rein them in has not been nearly as entertaining.
Hattie's arrest was one of the highlights of the week. Hope was equally empathetic and tough, treating her like she would a wayward kindergartener who was pulling out all the stops to get out of trouble with Mom.
And Hattie genuinely made me feel for her. She was so desperate for acceptance and a chance with her "Mr. Roman" that she was willing to do anything, and she was devastated when she got caught and realized she had sabotaged any chance of happiness.
Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there as far as this story goes.
Justin [looking at Bonnie]: I still don't understand why Anjelica would go to all that trouble just to hurt you.
Hattie: Seriously? You're Ivy League? And you can't connect a few of those dots?
It's not just that there's a doppleganger causing chaos. As silly as that is, it seems to be a common occurrence in Salem, right up there with DNA tests being easily faked and people being fooled by clever disguises such as someone wearing a pair of sunglasses or a baseball cap.
But in this case, the plot only works if characters become complete idiots.
Let's take Marlena, for example.
She was kidnapped by Hattie and imprisoned in a mental hospital and now that she's home, she's heard several bizarre reports about Adrienne and is aware that Adrienne is not acting like herself. Yet she does not seem to question whether the same thing happened to her friend that happened to her.
Even worse, Justin -- who has loved and lived with Adrienne for over 30 years -- seems clueless that his newly reconciled ex-wife is not who she claims to be. She was desperate to talk to Hattie alone for reasons that made no sense to him, yet it never crossed his mind that she could be Hattie's accomplice.
It's not like Justin and Adrienne have been separated for a long period of time. Adrienne wasn't lost at sea or presumed dead for years before Bonnie showed up. Justin has been in constant contact with her.
Surely he should be able to tell the difference between his wife and an imposter.
So should Steve, Jennifer, Abigail, JJ, and Sonny, all of whom are very close to Adrienne.
Lucas: One damn drink and you're gonna fire me? You know all the losses I've gone through lately. You know what I've lost. I've lost my son and Adrienne. I-I can't lose this job too. I need this job.
Kate: Okay. But it seems to me like you're acting like all you need is one more drink. I know you're hurt. I know you're heartbroken. But this isn't the way to handle it. Lucas, you need help.
Lucas: No, I need some empathy. I need some support. Anything. But I guess that's not you, is it? That's not in your wheelhouse, right?
Kate: Okay. How do you think Will would feel if he were alive and he saw you right now?
Lucas: Did you actually just say that? That actually came out of your mouth?
Kate: Oh, what? What? Why? Is that off-limits, to bring up your son, your son who loved you, your son who wanted the best for you? Because he would be appalled if he saw you drinking right now, Lucas.
Lucas: Mentioning my son in any other way but a loving, respectful way is off-limits, yes, because he's gone! How could you do that? How could you try to make me feel guilty about my own son? Any person with a heart or a conscience would know that you don't say that, that that's off-limits!
Kate: I'm sorry.
Lucas: Good. I'm glad you're sorry, because now I really do need a drink.
The best thing to come out of this mess of a storyline is Lucas' renewed struggle with alcoholism.
I'm not happy that the show chose to have Lucas throw away 20+ years of sobriety over this nonsense instead of questioning the weird coincidence of Adrienne suddenly breaking up with him the day after "Marlena" suddenly broke up with John. But nevertheless, there were some powerful scenes here.
My favorite was the exchange between Lucas and Kate. For once Kate demonstrated love for her son, even though Lucas was too caught up in his alcoholism to see it.
I felt like I could see this scene through both characters' eyes.
Kate wanted to protect Lucas from himself. Lucas saw her behavior as more proof that she didn't love him and turned to alcohol to numb that pain too.
These strong, emotional scenes also demonstrated how talented an actor Bryan Datillo is when given some meaty material. While I hate that this is the story Lucas has been given, I'm glad to see him have a story at all!
Now if only we can get as strong a story for JJ, I'll be happy. He was non-existent this week and I was relieved to hear Paul say he was meeting him for a tux fitting because I was afraid he was going to be excluded from his sister's wedding.
Anyway, if there was one flaw in Lucas' story this week it was little Ari. I'd think that a little girl who is used to her Grandpa being a certain way would be scared by the strange way he was acting while drunk, not thrilled to be with him. At the very least she should have recoiled from the smell of alcohol on his breath.
Since it wasn't played that way, I thought Ari should have taken longer to get over not being allowed to go to Lucas' house for a sleepover. Her anger was minimal -- we didn't even see her throw a tantrum -- and it melted away in just a few minutes when Eli promised ice cream.
Anyone who has been around young children knows how unrealistic that is.
I know soaps can only use young actors sparingly, but I wish they would stop writing children as more or less perfectly behaved, quiet, and easy to take care of. It just isn't how it is and if they are going to use kids they should give them something real to do.
Sonny: Look, I know you're hurting because my mom broke up with you, but you're not going to spend another minute with my daughter until you sober up!
Lucas: Oh, now she's your daughter? She's not your daughter, you idiot! She's Will's daughter! Will's daughter!
Anyway, Gabi made a good parenting decision for once and did not allow Ari to go to drunk Lucas' for the evening. While she was following that up with a questionable one by exposing Ari to the third man she'd considered dating in the last two years, Lucas stormed off to the church to confront Sonny.
If these scenes were meant to make us root for Sonny and Paul, they backfired. Lucas said what many viewers have been saying for months: the show did a quick switch-a-roo, making Sonny Ari's father as if Will had never existed and sticking him with Paul as if Will didn't count.
Sonny and Paul's love story has had no real buildup and began with Paul flirting with Sonny at Will's grave, so it was nice to hear a character acknowledge some of the problems, even if that character was drunk out of his mind at the time.
Lucas' rant at God after everyone else walked out of the church to call someone for help was also powerful. I'm curious to see what "Will" has to say to him. This was one of the better cliffhangers Days has had recently; it left me wanting more and eager to tune in on Monday!
So Arianna wants to spend a few minutes with Maggie and the kids. She is so excited about being a flower girl. [pause] What's wrong? Is the wedding not going to happen?Gabi
I felt it was wrong for Sonny to wait until right before the wedding to tell Gabi that Chad and Abby were getting married at the same time. It's not a secret that Gabi is my least favorite character, so if I didn't like the way she was blindsided, Gabi fans must have really hated it.
In any case, that seemed like contrived drama and kind of cruel on Sonny's part.
It was also manipulative.
Gabi had already agreed to let Ari be the flower girl and she was excited, so she was kind of forced to accept Ari being in Chad and Abby's wedding too. And there was really no reason not to tell her earlier, since Sonny and Paul have known for a while that they were sharing their wedding day with Gabi's latest ex.
Across town, Brady became almost intolerably obnoxious in his quest to stop Nicole from being anywhere near Eric.
This love triangle has been completely played out. I'm not sure which I'm more tired of: Nicole bouncing between one man and the other or her current boyfriend becoming abusive.
For some reason, Days thinks men controlling Nicole, telling her who she can be with and what she can do, and verbally abusing her is entertaining.
It's not. It's offensive. Nicole was once a strong woman who didn't take any BS from anybody and she shouldn't be reduced to constantly begging a man who isn't worth it to accept her and her choices.
Brady ordered Nicole not to work at the Horton Center because Eric has feelings for her. Then after a conversation with John about how ridiculous he was being, he changed his mind and gave her permission.
I wish Nicole had told him that she was going to do it with or without his blessing and didn't need his permission. I don't particularly want her with Eric, either, but I'd love to see a woman stand up for herself and walk away from a man who tries to order her around, and Nicole used to be that kind of woman.
Also, can we please put a stop to people coming around the corner to see someone they want to be with hugging someone else?
It's bad enough that either Brady or Eric is constantly standing around sulking because Nicole is with the other one. But one such scene bled into a scene of Theo seeing Claire and Tripp hug too.
When you have two scenes in a row that are exactly the same except the characters are different, it's a strong sign you're overusing a plot device. Days needs to cut it out.
I'm also not a big fan of this Theo/Claire/Tripp silliness.
I like that the teens have a normal teen storyline, but I like Claire and I don't want to see a return of her manipulative side. I would have rather Theo called her out more on her behavior rather than instantly forgiving it for the sake of the story, too.
Plus, Tripp recently put patients' lives at risk to sabotage Kayla's career and then took her hostage, so I don't exactly relish the idea of him being treated like a normal teen who is equivalent to Theo.
What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Was there a storyline you loved or hated? Are you tired of this Bonnie nonsense yet?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back in on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.