Days of Our Lives Review: The Things We Can't Unsee

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Will's supposed murder on Days of Our Lives was one of the worst sequences in the show's 52 year history.

It was brutal, graphic, and grotesque, and it was the start of a shameful era in DAYS history where women were written as weak, gay people were virtually non-existent, and anyone with any personality was either killed off or shuffled off-screen.

So why on Earth did anyone think we wanted to see a re-enactment of it?

On Days of Our Lives during the week of 11-27-17, Sami came up with a bizarre idea to kidnap Will and have Ben strangle him all over again in order to spark his memories of his past.

Almost everyone rejected her afterwards, but this whole thing was an unnecessary reminder of a horrific storyline.

Will Thinks He Is EJ - Days of Our Lives

The whole thing was just bizarre to me. 

Sami tends to be impulsive and crazy but this was way out there, even for her. What mother would stand by with a loaded pistol after forcing the man who attempted to murder her son to try it again while she watched?

Sami: At least you understand what I was trying to do, that I was trying to help our son?
Lucas: I understand that you are insane. This is the most insane thing you have ever done and for you that's saying a lot.

I really don't understand what the writers were going for here.

There was an extended sequence in which Ben's new attempt to kill Will was mixed with flashbacks of the original (though reshot with Chandler Massey instead of Guy Wilson). Then Ben declared he couldn't do it and apologized while Sami was angry that he didn't keep going til Will remembered everything.

Was this some weird attempt to undo the murder by having Ben decide he couldn't do such a thing to poor Will and beg his forgiveness?

If we're supposed to feel bad for Sami that Will now hates her... sorry, that doesn't work, not for me and I doubt for many viewers. Sami retraumatized a whole lot of viewers who would rather not have seen the graphic, brutal murder the first time and now had to sit through it twice...and for what?

Rafe: Why don't you just admit that you don't want to get married?
Hope: I don't want to get married.
Rafe: I guess that's what I get for asking.

To make matters worse, it seemed like the whole ridiculous story was setup for Sami and Rafe to reunite while Hope is reconsidering her strong stance with Rafe.

There is so much wrong with this that I don't know where to begin.

First of all, Hope was right that Rafe has been second guessing her decisions as Commissioner and that he had no business even talking to Abe, never mind taking her job out from under her.

Rafe was the one who chose to end things, but he did her a favor. 

Rafe has been controlling and demeaning since the moment he and Hope got together. He has treated her like a little girl with no brain instead of trying to be an equal partner to strong, feisty Hope.

He not only spent the last month telling her every decision she made as Commissioner was wrong, but informed her during the argument that he had done no such thing!

The further away these two are from each other, the better.

Furthermore, I don't buy that Rafe is so in love with Hope when he turned to Sami 5 seconds after the break-up.

I know that grief sex is a thing in Salem. People jump into bed with the first person they have any sense of connection with, usually after a drink or two, when they are heartbroken.

I hate the grief sex trope with a passion. I think it promotes stereotypes that men can't resist sexual temptation as well as unhealthy reactions to pain and I don't enjoy seeing it.

But Rafe gets even less of a pass than anyone else because he has done this before and should know better.

Rafe broke up with Hope because she admitted she didn't want to get married -- something that he had been pressuring her to do for months. Then, five minutes after he supposedly was so heartbroken that he couldn't continue with the relationship, he began comforting Sami.

The only good thing I can say about this hookup is that at least they were both drinking equally so nobody was raping someone who was too drunk to consent.

But we don't need round 1500 of this kind of thing, and it doesn't do Rafe's character any favors to see him be unable to go five minutes without turning to another woman.

Sami Convinces Rafe to Help - Days of Our Lives

Hope kept bringing up Sami, so I'm sure Rafe will try to justify this someday with her having driven him to it, and Hope had better not fall for that BS.

In addition, the whole Rafe becoming Commissioner thing made very little sense. Abe, who has become downright delusional, insisted Hope fire JJ for visiting Theo in the hospital. Hope refused and Abe fired her.

Rafe decided to intercede on Hope's behalf and Abe agreed to let Internal Affairs investigate the shooting -- as long as Rafe replaced Hope as Commissioner.

Why? If Rafe isn't going to fire JJ and Hope's refusal to do so was the problem, what was the point of firing Hope, other than to create conflict between her and Rafe?

In addition, since Rafe was among those insisting JJ must have flipped out and shot Theo because he was mad for some reason, it makes no sense for him to take this sensible "let's see what Internal Affairs has to say" approach now.

Abe Blames JJ - Days of Our Lives

Plus, Abe's behavior towards JJ is totally ridiculous. He accused JJ of sneaking into Theo's hospital room in order to murder him!

Thinking JJ shot Theo because he was a black kid in a hoodie is offbase, but at least it is plausible. Thinking JJ is a cold-blooded murderer who targeted Theo on purpose and now wants to finish the job is insane.

Theo Is In a Coma - Days of Our Lives

It's also weird to me that Abe, and later Eli, seem to have no awareness of the fact that JJ is wracked with guilt over having shot Theo.

It's true that there are white cops who abuse power and there are people of color who end up dead when they shouldn't, but to suggest that JJ thought Theo was dangerous because he is black is beyond ridiculous.

JJ is depressed and believes Abe is right to hate him because he shot Theo. That would seem to suggest that whatever happened, it wasn't because JJ subconsciously considers black people thugs who deserve to get shot.

In addition, this was not a case where a black suspect was cooperating and a white cop shot him anyway.

This was a case where a black suspect ran from the police, consistently refused to obey orders, and pointed an object that looked like a gun at an officer who told him three times to freeze and felt bad about having to use his weapon.

It seems that Abe and Eli are of the opinion that Theo's behavior doesn't matter and that he bears no responsibility for the consequences of his actions.

Kate and Theo - Days of Our Lives

Abe is going back and forth between blaming JJ and blaming the Dimeras -- but where is Theo's responsibility in any of this?

Certainly Abe, who when in his right mind believes strongly in self-responsibility, doesn't want to espouse the idea that because Theo is black he can do whatever he wants and suffer no consequences whatsoever.

Theo didn't deserve to get shot, but his own behavior contributed to what happened to him, and no one seems to care that he was breaking into a building. When he wakes up, he should be arrested, but so far nobody is talking about that.

Kate is struggling with guilt as well, and she should. She encouraged Theo's bad behavior.

But still, ultimately Theo made a series of bad choices and that contributed to what happened to him. There is nothing wrong with wearing a hoodie, but there is a lot wrong with everything else he did that night and that should matter on some level.

I really liked Claire being able to take a more nuanced view and feel bad for both JJ and Theo. She wanted to comfort her cousin and felt bad about making JJ's mood worse, and also felt horrible about what had happened to her boyfriend.

If only the adults could emulate her perspective instead of assuming that JJ was automatically in the wrong, maybe he could get over some of his guilt.

Chasing a Thief - Days of Our Lives

JJ continued to spiral downwards, and it broke my heart.

I was glad he broke up with Lani. She's never been a supportive girlfriend in any sense and has only cared about how much sex she could pressure JJ into in order to make herself feel loved.

His reasoning that Abe didn't like it was all wrong, though, and was based on depression, and a girlfriend who actually loved him would have been very concerned.

I was surprised, again, by how supportive Gabi was of him. Gabi has been so selfish and awful to JJ for so long that I'm finding it hard to believe this is the same person.

I still really miss Paige, but if Gabi can actually stay mature and avoid jumping from one man to another every five seconds she might be good for JJ.

What did you think of Days of our Lives during the week of 11-27-17? 

Was anyone else as sickened by the re-enactment of Will's death as I was?

Is Abe's sanctimonious attitude bothering anyone else?

Who else is glad that Rafe and Hope are broken up and wishes Jennifer would shut up about how they belong together?

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


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 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.