Days of Our Lives Review: The Devil on Brady's Shoulder

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For the last several years, Nicole's been used as a punching bag by every guy she's been with.

First, Eric abused her mercilessly over those stupid shredded papers. Then Daniel inexplicably turned mean as part of the Serena storyline.

Now Brady is drinking, losing his temper, stalking Nicole, blackmailing Eric, and seemingly stopping at nothing to make sure his girlfriend doesn't leave him.

Can someone please give the writers the memo that seeing Nicole beg for love from abusive partners is not entertaining?

Nicole Recalls Killing Deimos - Days of Our Lives

Nicole was sexually abused by her father, so it's understandable that she'd fall into relationships with men who treat her as badly as he did.

It wouldn't be such a problem if the story was about Nicole being in that kind of relationship once and then realizing she's self-destructing after she finally escapes it.

But instead Nicole ends up in this pattern over and over and over, and somehow it's always written as if we're supposed to root for her to be with her abuser.

Brady: You're not having Nicole!
Eric: I told you I don't want Nicole! You're my brother. I will never come between you two, because I want you to be happy.
Brady: You mean that?
Eric: Of course I do!
Brady: All right, then, I want you to do us a favor. I want you to fire her.

This story is particularly bad because it seems to suggest that because Nicole seems to have feelings for Eric again all of a sudden, that makes Brady's behavior okay.

But abuse is never okay.

Stalking your girlfriend to make sure she's staying faithful is never okay.

Threatening your girlfriend's employer because you're jealous is never okay.

It doesn't matter what feelings Nicole and Eric have or don't have for each other. It doesn't matter if they're cheating or not. If they were that would be a separate problem.

Brady using violence to control Nicole's behavior is wrong, period.

During the week of 9-18 alone, he turned to alcohol at least twice, threw a glass across the room, called Nicole to check up on her several times, and showed up at her workplace to threaten Eric.

He is no better than Deimos, who Nicole supposedly killed because he threatened to harm her daughter to punish her for not wanting to be with him.

Nicole Gets Holly - Days of Our Lives

This is not a man who should be around Holly, nor should he be around Nicole. 

I was really disappointed that Eric's reaction to all this was to just quietly leave town.

Some viewers may feel that being willing to sacrifice everything proves Eric loves Nicole, but all I see is someone who has no backbone whatsoever giving in to threats instead of telling anyone what was really going on.

I didn't like it when Melanie left town to keep Theresa from hurting her and this isn't any better.

In addition, Jen was right -- Eric's actions didn't just affect him.

He was walking away from a job in which he was helping people turn their lives around, hiring someone he barely knew to take his place, and possibly leaving the Horton Center extremely short staffed when it is supposed to be assisting young people in crisis.

He's also enabling Brady to continue to get away with his abusive behavior, since nobody knows the real reason he's leaving.

Paul and Sonny Toast Their Engagement - Days of Our Lives

The only time Brady was at all like his old self was when he was offering to throw a bachelor party for Paul, but that lasted about five seconds because Paul very stupidly brought up Nicole and Eric and set Brady off again.

I can't stand seeing Brady turn evil. I don't like it any more than I liked it when Will went this route. The only thing I'm rooting for is for him to be exposed before he goes any further off the rails.

Jennifer: Oh, I can't even take it. You looked like a princess in that gown.
Abigail: Oh, did you really see it through all those tears?
Jennifer: Honey, it is not every day you get to see your daughter in a wedding dress.
Abigail: Oh, Mom, come on, it's not like you haven't seen it before.
Jennifer: Well, I don't care if you got married 20 more times. I would cry just as much. Not that we need to test that theory.
Abigail: Don't worry, no. Tomorrow's gonna be the last time I'm gonna be walking down the aisle.

Meanwhile, Salem prepared for the double wedding of Sonny/Paul and Chad/Abigail.

I'm glad that both Andre and Abigail took pains to point out this is far from the first time Chad and Abigail have attempted to tie the knot.

It seems kind of silly for Jennifer to act like this was her daughter's first wedding day. But Jennifer is a romantic at heart so I can't blame her.

Andre: Can you tell me what you find so amusing?
Chad: Oh, it's just... I mean, come on, Andre. A bachelor party? It just doesn't, uh, seem like your thing.
Andre: Well, it's not as if I was gonna throw you some crass, vulgar evening.
Chad: Okay. All right. What'd you have in mind, then? What, uh... martinis at the Rooftop Grille?
Andre: Perhaps.

I'm not sure I would trust Andre to throw any kind of bachelor party. As much as he loves his younger brother or half-brother or whatever it is Chad is to him these days, Andre tends to be addicted to chaos and ruining people's lives.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the scenes between the two brothers. They provided some much-needed lightheartedness and I absolutely loved Chad's reaction to Andre wishing Stefano had raised them.

Lucas Sees Will - Days of Our Lives

Lucas' relapse into alcoholic behavior continues to be an extremely powerful storyline that should win Bryan Datillo an Emmy nod.

I will never be happy that Lucas relapsed, especially since it happened in the blink of an eye and doesn't feel true to character, but the aftermath of his descent into alcoholism is gritty, painful and realistic.

Lucas' "talk" with Will's ghost was a strong re-entrance for Chandler Massey, and I am really rooting for Will's wish that Lucas and Sami get back together to become a reality.

But the intervention scenes after Jennifer and Kate found Lucas passed out on the floor of the church were the ones that really got to me.

Even though Lucas was terrified when he woke up tied to a hospital bed with no memory of how he'd got there, he wasn't ready to stop drinking.

I knew that would be the case, both because the storyline just started and because it didn't look like he'd hit bottom yet. Lucas will only stop drinking when the pain of continuing is even worse than the pain he's using alcohol to numb, and it doesn't seem like that's happened yet.

Anyway, interventions rarely work as planned because if the person was ready to stop he or she wouldn't need an intervention to wake him up to what he is doing to himeslf, so it's no surprise that the guilt Kate tries to use to motivate Lucas just makes him want to drink more.

Nevertheless, I felt bad for her. She was engaging in a losing battle to try to rescue her son. I have never felt Kate's love for Lucas so much as I have since he began drinking again.

Ultimately, Lucas has to be the one to decide to stop drinking. Going to rehab for Kate or anyone else other than himself won't work. But in the meantime, his behavior opens up the door to explore the complicated, often twisted relationship between him and Kate.

I do wish that Jennifer had brought her experience dealing with JJ's drug problems into the story. She really learned what not to do when JJ was addicted to weed, since she was a textbook example of denial of problems, attempting to control the addict, and enabling addictive behavior. 

That experience could be useful to Kate now.

Additionally, JJ should have had more of a reaction to hearing his uncle had fallen off the wagon. Alcohol has contributed to the ruination of more than one relationship important to him, he has lived with a ton of guilt forever over his drug use, and he recently saw his mom struggle with addiction to pain pills.

All of that deserves more than a passing mention that he didn't realize Lucas was doing so badly.

The writers have a blind spot when it comes to JJ, and it's a shame. This storyline would be a great vehicle for JJ to come to terms with his own past while being the one to help someone else who is suffering from addiction.

That would be a far stronger role for JJ than being cheerleader for characters like Rafe and Paul.

I like JJ and Paul's friendship and it was really nice to see JJ come full circle and become someone's mentor.

These scenes showed what an effect Daniel had on him. Daniel was yet another person that JJ was barely allowed to grieve for despite how important Daniel was to his regaining mental health after his father died. 

So seeing JJ give the same type of calm, loving support to someone else that Daniel used to give him was a nice tribute.

However, it would make more sense for JJ to have mixed feelings about Paul and Sonny's marriage. Paul may be his friend, but Will was his cousin and JJ was close with him!

Considering that Will and Paige met the same ignoble end within weeks of each other, this whole thing should also be bringing up uncomfortable feelings for JJ. In fact, all these weddings should make him think about what he could have had with Paige if she hadn't been killed.

Lani and JJ - Days of Our Lives

Similarly, I'd much rather have seen JJ help a reluctant witness open up than hear Lani gush about it after it happened off-screen. That would really help me buy that JJ is passionate about police work, something which still seems out of character for him. 

Plus Lani only has two modes: pure infatuation or pure hatred. Her raping JJ was bad enough without viewers being tormented by her mindless obsession with him now.

Working the Case - Days of Our Lives

Instead, JJ's main role was to pump up Rafe about the possibility of becoming commissioner, and later convince Hope that she should try to get the job.

Since neither Rafe nor Hope possesses an ounce of the integrity Abe said he was looking for, there's really not much to say about this farce of a story. I hope that competing for the job or one having to work under the other breaks Rafe and Hope up, but I'd rather Abe himself be commissioner.

I'd also rather that Eli's firing be about racism.

He was fired because he shot to wound Raines instead of letting him drag Gabi away to do God knows what to her.

Clearly this was all set-up for Eli and Gabi to get back together, but it seemed to me that his firing was absolutely ridiculous and it would be a far more interesting and topical story for this incident to be an excuse on the part of a white supervisor to get rid of a black employee.

DAYS used to be at the forefront of social issues, highlighting inequality through groundbreaking storylines, and I wish it still was.

With Eli's mother having been the first character on daytime to be involved in an interracial relationship, it would be a nod to history as well as a commentary on modern times for Eli to have to deal with racism on the job and decide whether to fight it or just move on.

And if he has to be with Gabi, she could offer support while he deals with this serious issue.

What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-18-17? Are you excited about either of the weddings coming up? Do you think either Hope or Rafe should have any chance to become commissioner? Is there a storyline you wish you'd see play out that just isn't?

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

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Days of Our Lives Quotes

I hope she didn't run away again. She's so fragile.

Jennifer

Tripp: So how was the wedding?
Claire: Oh, it was a typical Salem wedding. Crashed by a murderer.