Days of Our Lives Review: A Somber Thanksgiving in Salem

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It was a very somber Thanksgiving in Salem on Days of Our Lives during the week of 11-20-17.

Half of Salem was struggling to understand what had happened and deal with Theo being in critical condition after JJ accidentally shot him.

Meanwhile, Sami and her family were grateful Will was alive and back in Salem, but Will had no memory of anyone and wanted his overeager mother to leave him alone.

Jennifer Comforts JJ - Days of Our Lives

I am continuing to be surprised at how much I'm enjoying the JJ/Theo story.

I never liked the idea of JJ as a cop; it didn't fit his rebellious, passionate personality and I'm never going to get over the fact that his love of his guitar just vanished into thin air in order to shoehorn him into this role.

And in the past several years, when JJ isn't being underused, he's been the victim of terrible writing designed to make viewers hate his character.

But this time, this story is well-done. JJ is getting to do what JJ does best, which is be overwhelmed with guilt and anger at himself and struggle to make amends, while viewers are given the right to make up their own minds rather than being told what to think via heavy-handed dialogue.

Get your hands off my son!


I am disappointed, though, in how crazy Abe has become.

Abe Carver has always been one of my favorite characters. In the past, he was highly moral, yet empathetic, and was a great dad who did his best for his son as well as for the entire community of Salem.

Ever since Theo became a teenager, though, Abe has been written as this annoying, overbearing parent who thinks his kids can do no wrong and seeks to protect them in ways they neither need or want.

And now that Theo committing a crime led to him being shot, Abe is becoming insufferable.

He is sitting vigil by his son's bedside, which is understandable. He is also informing anyone who will listen that Theo is completely innocent and JJ is the most evil person in the world, which is absolutely ridiculous.

JJ is clearly wracked with guilt over his decision to shoot when he thought Theo was pointing a gun at him, and he slipped into Theo's hospital room because it was the only way he could think of to attempt to make amends.

As soon he entered the room, I knew Abe was going to catch him and it wasn't going to be pretty, but Abe's reaction went beyond ridiculous.

He screamed at the top of his lungs for JJ to get away from Theo, as if he had just caught him unplugging Theo's respirator or smothering him with a pillow, when all JJ was doing was holding Theo's hand and whispering that he was sorry and that he wanted him to wake up.

Abe has been going on and on about how JJ can't control his temper, but it seemed to me that he was talking about himself.

I'm  hoping Valerie or Kayla comes in and tells Abe that Theo needs peace and quiet to recover and that he will have to step out until he can control himself. It's doubtful that would wake him up to how bad his behavior has been, but it would feel very satisfying to me as a viewer.

Abe Blames JJ - Days of Our Lives

Meanwhile, Lani whined to Eli that she wants to support JJ but Abe has ordered her to stay away from him.

All this proves is that Lani is not worthy of JJ. Theo being shot should not mean that Abe gets to dictate and control her relationship, and an actual adult would find some backbone and tell her father that she is going to be with her boyfriend whether he likes it or not.

Paige definitely would have and even Gabi has stood up to Rafe before on behalf of whichever man she is dating at the moment.

But Lani is incapable of doing more than defending JJ to Abe and parroting her father's ridiculous opinions when she sees JJ, which is reinforcing his guilt and anguish over the situation.

Although it will devastate JJ further, the sooner Lani dumps him, the better. He deserves far, far better than a wishy washy rapist who whines all the time.

JJ: This damn guilt is eating me alive, Gabi. My job is to protect and serve. Protect. And now Theo is in a coma because of me, because I didn't take one extra second that could have made the difference.
Gabi: Yes, I understand, but you cannot keep torturing yourself like this. You know that?
JJ: I breathe it. When I sleep, if I sleep, it's right there. This morning I had a dream I went to visit Theo at the hospital. He pulled out a gun and shot me.
Gabi: JJ, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
JJ: I just need to see him, Gabi, I need to apologize, to let him know how sorry I am. Even if Theo can't hear me, I need to say the words. I need to tell him that I am sorry.

I'm not sure how I feel about Gabi's visit to JJ. 

Gabi is a step above Lani, but that's not saying much, and I wasn't very happy with her before.

She berated JJ mercilessly after Lani raped him and used it as an excuse for her to run to Chad. Then once she had Chad she suddenly dropped her hatred of JJ and kept going behind Chad's back to support JJ.

Now she is supposedly with Eli and suddenly she is JJ's best friend and it seemed like it was moving towards something more.

While JJ needs all the support he can get right now, Gabi's constantly jumping from him to another man and back again is making me dizzy and making me miss Paige, who would be a more consistent source of support.

And anyway, JJ doesn't need relationship drama on top of trying not to drown in guilt and regret. If anyone besides his mom and sister should be visiting him, it's Marlena, because he needs help dealing with his part in this tragedy. But that's not going to happen because she's tied up with the Will thing right now.

Will Begins To Question Susan - Days of Our Lives

The Will storyline is a welcome respite from the heavy drama involved with the shooting and all of Salem judging JJ's actions one way or the other, most of them without having a clue what really happened.

I'm thrilled that Will is back in Salem, though I was sorry to see Susan go. She is always a lot of fun even if she seems to be crazier every time she returns than she was the last time.

I was expecting Susan to turn out to be Kristen pretending to be her. Kristen again teased that EJ is alive with her five-second appearance. I'm wondering if this will actually play out this time or if it's just more propping the door open in case James Scott is ever willing to return.

Anyway, I have always loved Will and Marlena's relationship, so I'm also really enjoying Marlena being the one to try to break through the brainwashing and amnesia and help him regain his memories.

Marlena is patient, calm, and accepting, which is what Will needs.

Unfortunately, Sami is none of those things, and that's going to be a problem.

Everyone Finds Will - Days of Our Lives

I understand how Sami feels. Her heart was broken when she thought her eldest son was dead, and she wants to pick up where they left off now that he's apparently been resurrected.

Sami has never been patient, nor has she ever learned to think things through at all, so it's inevitable that she would push too hard for Will to accept that she is his mother and rejoin the family.

It was pretty obvious that Will would not be anywhere near ready to go to Doug and Julie's Thanksgiving party and reunite 90% of Salem when he has no memories of any of these people, but I can't fault Sami for trying.

It was almost pathetic how hard she was pushing, even showing Will a Thanksgiving duck he made for in third grade, only for Will to be so overwhelmed by her attempt to force his memories that he ended up asking her to leave.

Chad: Hey, Sami.
Abigail: You on your way to see Will?
Sami: I just came from there. Couldn't get rid of me fast enough.
Chad: We actually had breakfast with him this morning.
Sami: You had breakfast with Will?
Abigail: Yeah. He insisted that we stay.
Sami: How classy of you to twist the knife, Abby.

And of course, Will invited Chad and Abby to stay for breakfast even though he had no memory of them either.

As soon as he did that, I knew that sooner or later Sami was going to find out and there was going to be hell to pay.

I didn't expect it to come so soon, but the scene definitely did not disappoint. After running into Chad and Abby in the Square, Sami told Abby that she was twisting the knife and was ready for a fight.

I was relieved that at least fighting over Will stopped Sami from giving her opinion about JJ's predicament. The last thing Abby needs when Chad is already judging her brother and discouraging her from checking on him is Sami being anti-JJ just because she's still mad that Abigail slept with EJ in 2014.

Chloe Tries to Help Lucas - Days of Our Lives

But why has nobody told Lucas yet?

I know that people are worried about Lucas and his drinking problem, but hiding the truth about Will from him isn't going to help anything. And he's Will's father. He deserves to know.

Sami had time to go to the hospital and act like Abe's best friend and trade barbs with Abby but has not contacted Lucas, and that's just wrong.

When Lucas finds out some other way -- which he surely will, since this is Salem -- there are sure to be fireworks, and Lucas might drink even more because nobody bothered to put him in the loop.

John Supports Paul - Days of Our Lives

The other low point for me was the continued conflict between Sonny and Paul over the fact that Paul waited 24 hours to tell Sonny that Will might be alive.

I'm not a fan of Paul and Sonny as a couple. For me, any potential they had was ruined by Paul flirting with Sonny at what appeared at the time to be Will's grave.

So if they're having problems, I'm glad, but I'd rather their breakup not be due to a contrived conflict that just makes Sonny look bad.

Paul was wrong not to tell anyone right way, but when push came to shove, he did the right thing.

And sitting on a secret for less than a day really pales in comparison to switching DNA results, paying people to falsify evidence, and all the other crimes that both Sami and the Kiriakis family get up to regularly.

Sonny is being smug and sanctimonious and this is doing his character no favors. At this point, I'm hoping when Will regains his memories, he and Paul go off into the sunset together and leave Sonny out in the cold.

Brady Sets Up Eve - Days of Our Lives

Brady is also on my bad list, with his poorly thought out attempt to frame Eve for Deimos' murder and his love affair with that brandy bottle in the Kiriakis mansion living room. I hope that Eve wipes the floor with him and that she manages to wrest custody of Tate from him while she's at it.

That would serve Brady right and he needs quite a bit of comeuppance right now.

What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 11-20-17?

Do you think EJ is really alive, or is the show just teasing us again?

Do you think Abe's absolute hatred of JJ is justified?

Who do you think will be the one to get through to Will?

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


Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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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.

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Days of Our Lives Quotes

You have picked the wrong time to develop a few brain cells, honey. You know what, I broke out of prison because of you. Lucky, lucky you.


Dinner with you and Clyde. I'd rather hold my breath and pass out.