Days of Our Lives Review: The Trap Is Set

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Gabi Hernandez gets into trouble so often she might as well hire herself out as a damsel in distress.

In the space of the last year, she's been mugged twice, kidnapped twice, and accidentally locked in a panic room once.

And on Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-25-17, she played a tape implicating the now-corrupt Commissioner Raines in a counterfeiting operation just as he walked through the door.

I'm really tired of Gabi getting herself into these situations. The whole man-saving-Gabi thing is getting extremely old, and it doesn't help that most of her problems could be avoided with a little forethought.

Abe Is Arrested - Days of Our Lives

This one was no exception. Gabi's dilemma began with her deciding to ignore yellow police tape because she has a key to Club TBD so therefore she should be allowed in.

Seriously.

And if that wasn't stupid enough, Eli simulated a kidnapping, grabbing her from behind and covering her mouth, to try to get her to see how dangerous her behavior was. Gabi took a break from taking idiotic risks to cry about Chad and see if she could garner some sympathy.

Then, when she was finished, she went right back to what she was doing in the first place. While she was busy going places she had no business being, a delivery guy showed up with a package for Dario, so naturally she opened the package and played the tape she found -- just as Raines walked in, ready to pounce on her.

The only question now is who will save her this time?

Eli and Rafe are both on their way to the sting, but Rafe is Gabi's brother and thus not a suitable romantic partner post-rescue operation, so he's not likely to be involved.

JJ is also determined to get Raines for the sake of his family's long friendship with Abe and perhaps because he hasn't broken up with Lani yet. 

So will it be Eli or JJ who saves Gabi from a stupid and dangerous situation she should never have been in? And how long will it be before she loses interest in whichever one of them it is and starts flirting with the other?

Lani and JJ - Days of Our Lives

Maybe I'm being too hard on Gabi, but I don't think so. When she was dating JJ, it didn't matter to her that he was willing to give his life so that she could live during the virus storyline because he wasn't Chad. She began flirting with Chad behind JJ's back and making excuses to start arguments.

Then Lani raped JJ and Gabi decided it was the perfect excuse to dump him. She went back and forth between Chad and Eli for a while, dating Eli while insisting she loved Chad. Eventually Eli dumped her and she chose Chad full time.

Immediately after that, JJ was falsely accused of murder and Gabi spent all her time sneaking behind Chad's back to support JJ.

None of this makes Gabi at all likeable or rootable. She really comes off as a player who isn't happy unless she's cheating or attempting to cheat on her current boyfriend.

Preferably, she should stay single for a good long time while JJ, Chad, and Eli compare notes on the awful way she treated them. Failing that, she needs to choose one man and stick with him and cut out all the nonsense.

I also want to see an end to this damsel in distress motif when it comes to Gabi.

Danger and rescue scenes are part of soaps, but this is ridiculous. Gabi is constantly getting herself into trouble for the sole purpose of the man of the day rescuing her.

This is a very tired plot, and it makes her look weak. I'd much rather see stronger women who can take care of themselves even if occasionally they allow their boyfriend or husband to get them out of some mess or other.

"Marlena" Breaks Up with John - Days of Our Lives

Marlena is another one who tends to be a professional damsel in distress. She's been kidnapped more times than viewers can count, and her current dilemma isn't doing her any favors.

Marlena did a lot of crying and insisting that they were never getting out of the mental hospital. I could have done without any of that; I'd rather have seen her use her knowledge of psychology to outsmart the mental hospital staff.

John had to lead Marlena through more than one meditation before she got ahold of herself. Considering she's the one who's a psychiatrist, that seemed backwards, even if it did lead to some nice John/Marlena fantasy moments.

I liked seeing Marlena finally get out of that straitjacket, though. I hope her and John's plan to escape works. I've had enough of the two of them talking through the vent while back in Salem, Marlena's double wreaks havoc.

Anjelica has cashed in her chips. She's probably causing trouble in the afterlife.

Hattie

It should be obvious to everyone that Hattie is not who she claims to be. She had to ask Paul what a psychiatrist would say about his alleged spoiled brat behavior, she spent her session with Andre obsessing over his treatment of her,and her tone and demeanor are the opposite of Marlena's.

I hope all this means this storyline is ending soon. It was funny at first, but now the joke's worn thin and it's time to get John and Marlena home and straightening out the mess that was made out of their lives.

I'll never drink again. I'll never drink again. I promise I'll never drink again.

Lucas

I especially hate that Lucas has gone back to alcohol as a result of a fake Adrienne breaking up with him. Lucas has been sober for about 20 years. I know that his lack of sobriety now is supposed to be because the breakup was the last straw after all the other tragedies that have befallen him, but I'm not quite buying it.

I feel like Lucas' sudden relapse into alcohol abuse is still being used as a plot point. In addition, he now believes he slept with Anjelica when he didn't and is struggling with guilt over that.

There is no such thing as consensual blackout sex. This was a problem when Lani raped JJ and it's a problem now. Lucas thinking he killed Anjelica by having sex with her while blacked out drunk is not any better than JJ thinking he cheated on his girlfriend when he was unable to consent.

Lucas had some funny lines, but I'm not comfortable with this type of sexual encounter AND a death being played for laughs.

Plus, from a storyline perspective, it's incredibly annoying that Lucas found Bonnie's cheat sheets and realized her body was different from Adrienne's while drunk and doesn't remember it.

Instead of drinking himself into a stupor, he should realize that Bonnie isn't who she claims to be, especially since the day before this all happened, "Marlena" suddenly and randomly broke up with John.

Meanwhile, Brady blackmailed a judge to get him to give Nicole custody of Holly.

I'm never a fan of these blackmail plots. They usually rely on the victim giving in when he or she could easily resolve the situation, and this was no different.

It doesn't matter that Deimos paid the judge off. If he recorded Brady trying to extort him, Brady is the one who would get in trouble, and there's no proof that he was paid off at all, especially since he denied it to Brady.

In addition, the judge had a legitimate reason to question whether Nicole was entitled to custody. She was court ordered to stay away from the baby for 60 days and  she failed to do that. 

Nicole: I swear, I didn't go to the Square with the intention of breaking the court order.
Thorpe: And yet you did.
Nicole: She was left alone with her foster sister. Holly started to cry and the little girl didn't know what to do and panicked. So yes, I picked her up and held her in my arms, because that's what a mother does when her child is sad and crying. I am deeply sorry that I broke the rules, but I will not apologize for loving my daughter.
Thorpe: I appreciate the sentiment, Ms. Walker, but the law is the law. Feelings don't come into play.

The judge pointed out that Nicole's reasons for breaking the law may not be relevant. Then Brady barged in with a threat to make and the judge ruled in Nicole's favor.

This really soured Nicole's victory for me. I'd have much rather seen the judge ultimately decide to show compassion rather than be strongarmed into a decision he may not agree with.

This whole custody battle began with Nicole rightly chastising Deimos because his attempt to bribe a judge caused Nicole to lose in court.  Having her win in the end because Brady did something similar with a different judge is no victory at all.

The high point of the week for me was seeing JJ involve himself in the sting operation against Raines. He once again proved that he is highly intelligent and resourceful, while Eli resorted to physical violence to try to subdue him.

Eli looked really ridiculous, consistently shoving JJ, getting in his face, and yelling at him to stay away, then turning around and saying the reason for JJ to be out of the loop is that he's a "loose cannon".

It seemed to me that Eli was the one who demonstrated a lack of self-control and that JJ has come a long, long way since he broke a store window in the throes of a nervous breakdown back in 2013.

Eli had to resort to trying to start a fistfight because there was a fatal flaw in his plan. He assumed JJ was as stupid as his partner and wouldn't be able to figure out that nothing added up about Abe's arrest. Meanwhile, Lani showed herself to be as incompetent and unintelligent as always.

Raines tried to railroad her to hide his illegal activities when Lani walked into the club, and she bought it totally. It never occurred to her that Raines might have something to hide until JJ pointed it out to her.

Yet Eli kept insisting that Lani was smart, competent, and able to take care of herself and that JJ was ruining everything. It was obvious who the smartest one in the room was, and it certainly wasn't Lani or her love-sick former FBI partner.

Hope Forgives Rafe - Days of Our Lives

Too  bad JJ wasn't allowed to follow up his strong performance with a prominent role in the actual sting. For some reason, that was left to Rafe and Hope while JJ had an impromptu picnic with Lani in the interrogation room.

The writers probably thought they were adding romance with these filler scenes, but all they did was demonstrate that JJ deserves far better than the woman who raped him and that Lani has no clue who he is.

JJ asked to delete their first encounter and start their relationship over on a legitimate basis. He suggested a story in which he rescues Lani from an evil fiance on an ocean liner. Lani pooh-pooed that idea and accused him of telling her the plot of Titanic.

There are so many problems with this it's hard to know where to begin.

First of all, Jack kidnapped Jennifer from her wedding to Emilio and married her, and later rescued her from the evil Lawrence Alamain, who had married and abused her.

So those are much more likely inspirations for JJ's suggestion than a movie that came out when he was a small child and that he is not likely to ever have had the interest or patience to sit through.

Lani's comment demonstrated she had no clue about JJ's history or personality, and it saddened me that he followed that up with a claim that he was essentially uncreative.

Before his character was retconned and forced into a cop uniform that didn't fit him, JJ was a passionate musician who wrote his own songs. I'd like to see him get his creativity back, along with a girlfriend who actually loves him for who he is.

And again, these scenes just wasted time when JJ could and should have been helping with the investigation now that he'd figured out exactly what was going on.

Tripp Apologizes to Kayla - Days of Our Lives

Finally, Kayla confided in Valerie that she blamed Steve for Joey going to jail and felt he didn't fight hard enough for his son to keep his mouth shut.

Kayla is usually level headed and this departure from that aggravates me.

She seems to have no understanding that Joey was consumed with guilt and would have destroyed himself sooner or later if he didn't pay for his crime, nor does she seem to be aware that her son murdered someone when he was old enough to be held responsible for it.

I loved her scenes with Valerie, though. Days of Our Lives should be about friendships and family relationships, and there aren't enough scenes of women bonding with one another right now.

I just wish Kayla had taken Valerie's advice. Running away because Steve was talking to Tripp was immature and ridiculous, even if it's equally crazy that Steve has forgiven Tripp for nearly murdering Kayla and nearly killing several of her patients within minutes of it happening.

What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Are you enjoying the doppleganger stories, or have you had enough? Who do you think will get Gabi out of trouble this time?

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

Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 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.