I'm all for creativity, but the special Halloween dream sequence episode on Days of Our Lives during the week of 10-30-17 was just cruel.
Viewers saw Paige resurrected to reunite with JJ and Hope rejecting Rafe forever, only for those fantasies to turn into over-the-top violence that existed only in Abigail's head.
After Abby woke up, life went on in Salem as usual, and some stories were just as nightmarish as the Halloween fantasy.
I'm sure the writers thought they were throwing viewers a bone by giving them some of what they wanted in that dream sequence.
Hope and Rafe are the least popular couple currently on canvas, if not in the history of the show, and many viewers preferred to see JJ with Paige despite the messy Eve/JJ story than with far shallower characters like Gabi or Lani.
But by making these viewer desires into dream sequences -- and then turning Paige super violent and murderous on top of it -- the show made it clear that they have no intention of fixing any of this, and that felt like a slap in the face.
Paige: JJ? This is where we first met. Remember?
JJ: Who are you?
Paige: I just told you.
JJ: That's impossible. I'm the one who found her. I was holding her, begging her to come back to me, but she was already gone.
Paige: I don't know what happened that night. All I know is I'm here now. Would you please hold me again?
JJ and Paige had a ton more chemistry in the 30 seconds of sweetness before the over-the-top violence began than JJ has ever had with the woman who raped him or the one who dumped him because he was raped.
When she approached him in the Square, it felt so right that it brought tears to my eyes and her asking him to hold her while he wondered if she was a doppleganger was exactly how this story should have played out in reality.
Of course, then it was ruined by this nonsense where Paige murdered Lani and JJ because she was angry that JJ moved on in the three years that he thought she was dead.
That would never happen and I'm glad that part was just a dream.
The real Paige would wonder why JJ moved on with someone so far beneath him and blame herself even though it wasn't her fault that she was killed and then resurrected and it took her forever to get back to him.
I'm also not really sure why Abby would dream that. It would make more sense for JJ to have dreamed it because he feels guilty about moving on.
That would be a strong story for JJ, if only he were moving on with someone worthwhile.
Instead, once Halloween was over, viewers got treated to an absolutely nonsensical scene in which Abe ranted that he didn't like JJ.
During this scene, Abe was written as if he were a complete stranger who was meeting Lani's boyfriend for the first time and knew nothing about him except for that he was a cop who had recently been suspended for misusing his gun.
Apparently viewers were expected to forget that Abe has been a friend of JJ's family since before JJ was born.
In fact, Abe used to like JJ just fine.
He helped JJ and Paige get together.
He complimented JJ on keeping his promise to Jennifer to stay off drugs and turn his life around.
And he made a point of coming to support JJ during his sentencing hearing after he threw a chair through a store window because he didn't like the way Theresa was bullying him when he saw them in the park the day before.
The writers have been doing a good job of bringing in show history in other respects, so ignoring this history makes little sense.
The most charitable explanation is that they don't know how to create interest in JJ and Lani, so they decided to turn Abe into an enemy of the couple to try to make them rootable.
It doesn't work. JJ dating the woman who raped him while he was too drunk to consent will never work, no matter how much BS dialogue the writers put in his mouth about how she is the love of his life who makes him a better man.
That was Paige, not her, and the dream sequence meant to tell us Paige was never coming back and we should get over it proved how much better Paige and JJ were together than Lani and JJ could ever hope to be.
It is really a shame that Abe, one of the most moral and most likeable characters on the show, is being twisted out of shape and turned into yet another judgmental Salemite who hates JJ for no reason.
The Rafe/Hope fantasy was equally aggravating because the majority of viewers can't stand this couple and would love to see Hope take off her engagement ring and throw it at Rafe.
Again, there was no need for extreme violence, and the Princess Gina stuff was as over the top as usual, but no one wanted Abby to wake up from a fantasy of this couple breaking up to find their relationship is alive and well.
And why on Earth was Abby dreaming about her cousin's relationship anyway?
Not everyone had a violent Halloween fantasy sequence. Adrienne made a half-hearted attempt to put her life back together by reaching out to Lucas, only to immediately run to Justin and declare that he is the true love of her life.
If I were Justin I'd be very suspicious. Bonnie said almost word for word what Adrienne did about how she suddenly realized he was the man of her dreams.
Adrienne: How is it that after all these years, all these kisses, it still feels fresh and new?
Justin: I was wondering that myself.
Adrienne: It's gonna be different this time, you know?
Justin: The kissing?
Adrienne: All of it.
Justin: What was so wrong with what it was before?
Adrienne: It didn't last. That was what was wrong before, remember?
Justin: Mmm hmm. Well it's gonna last this time. That I promise.
Adrienne: Well, I'm gonna hold you to it. I'm serious, Justin. This is it for me. No more breaking up and starting over again.
This whole thing doesn't exactly make Adrienne look good, either. The whole time she was in prison, she wanted to get back to Lucas. Then when the going is tough, she immediately gives up and goes to Justin, declaring him to be the love of her life.
This whole thing makes Adrienne look wishy-washy and not really capable of commitment. Even if Justin and Adrienne were supposed to be end game, it should have taken more than one kiss that both of them realized was a mistake to get there.
Part of the fun of shipping a couple is watching all the angst while they're apart and the build up to their eventual realization that they are meant to be together. This rushed story cheated Justin/Adrienne fans out of all of that and cheated Adrienne/Lucas fans out of any kind of story at all for their couple.
This did no one any good at all. No matter how much feedback the writers had that fans wanted Adrienne to choose Justin, getting them there at breakneck speed wasn't the answer.
In Memphis, Sami did what she does best: jumped impulsively into crazy behavior that got her in trouble.
I like Sami, but I'm exhausted by this. I'd rather see Sami help Lucas get his head on straight and them rebuild their relationship. I also was never an EJ/Sami fan, so hearing Sami call EJ the love of her life every two seconds irritated me.
You know, some people are good with just a little bit of mean. Not you. You're mean, mean, mean.Susan
It was fun seeing Susan again, but I'm not convinced this isn't Kristen pretending to be Susan.
Killing and resurrecting people to get revenge is Kristen's MO, and she's the one who had connections to Rolf. And why would Rolf kill himself (or fake his own death) in order to keep it secret that he was working for Susan?
Plus, this is another ridiculous and convoluted plot. Supposedly, Susan wanted Will resurrected so she could be the one to kill him in order to get revenge on Sami, who she blamed for EJ's death.
This makes almost as much sense as Anjelica wanting Bonnie to break up Adrienne and Lucas so that Adrienne wouldn't be in the way of Anjelica stealing Justin's heart.
And how many people were secretly at the scene of either Will's death or his autopsy? Rolf hid in the morgue and apparently Susan watched Ben kill Will.
Susan herself has become mean, mean, mean, and if this is really her she is yet another character twisted out of shape, though her thinking John was jealous of her Elvis impersonator boyfriend cracked me up.
Chad: Theo never makes careless mistakes when playing chess.
Kate: Everyone makes mistakes.
Chad: Theo doesn't.
Theo is again working for the Dimeras, this time trying to help Kate find out who is sabotaging her company.
Kate swore to Chad that she wouldn't let anyone get hurt, which means lots of people are going to get hurt before this over.
Meanwhile, Chad contributed to the myth that people with Autism have superhuman abilities. It was ridiculous for him to state that Theo never makes a mistake, though he was right that Theo was off his game.
I did enjoy Kate confronting Theo at the loft. It was clear that Kate was not prepared to deal with her young employee having Autism, and her frustration and difficulty explaining subterfuge to Theo was far more realistic.
This is also a more interesting story for Theo than this ridiculous rivalry with Tripp for Claire's affections.
Claire had a super cute Halloween costume, but instead of seeing the kids at a Halloween party having fun, there was a lot of nonsense involving Tripp dropping his towel and then debating whether he should live with Theo and Claire or not.
Finally, Eve returned! I was so excited about this and still am, but her storyline is crazy and senseless.
Supposedly, Eve married Deimos somewhere along the line, despite the fact that up until he took his dying breath Deimos was aggressively pursuing Nicole and in fact his death resulted from him attempting to kidnap her daughter to force her to be with him.
I don't see why this was necessary. Eve said that she wanted to be close to where Paige was buried and one of her first orders of business was to accost JJ and accuse him of keeping from her the possibility that Paige was alive.
That's powerful enough, especially considering the history between JJ and Eve, without some convoluted, contrived backstory that doesn't fit into what has been depicted on screen at all.
What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 10-30-17? Did you like the dream sequences, or did they seem like a waste of time to you? Does Eve marrying Deimos make sense to anyone else?
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.