Days of Our Lives Review: Theo Wakes Up

By Jack Ori at

JJ attempted suicide on Christmas Eve because Theo was still in a coma, only for Theo to wake up the next morning.

It was a Christmas Day miracle that made the holiday feel worth celebrating for many Salem residents.

But Days of Our Lives is using Theo's miracle cure to try to reverse the damage that was done to the town and characters when JJ shot Theo, and that just doesn't work.

It seemed like everything was on track for JJ to just sweep his suicide attempt under the rug on Christmas morning, thanks to the way this was written.

JJ had reluctantly agreed to get professional help, but by the time Gabi called to check on how he was doing, he was in a great mood because Abe had forgiven him and Theo had woken up.

Lani had something intelligent to say for once and pointed out that his happiness couldn't depend on what was going on with Theo and Abe, but it sure seemed like it was going that way anyway.

And JJ wasn't the only one whose life seemed to suddenly turn around because of the miracle. Abe softened and went back to being kind, compassionate, and fair -- though he did more or less blackmail Kate, so there's that.

Abe not only forgave JJ, but gave Hope her job back and told Lani to go reconcile with her boyfriend. He then admitted Theo committed a crime and let Hope decide what to do about it.

Most of these scenes were beautifully done.

I cried when Theo opened his eyes even though I knew it was coming from spoiler videos, and I was glad to hear Abe admit that he had been far too hard on JJ and that he was aware that JJ had not purposely harmed his son.

But it all seemed too simple.

The fact is, this shooting polarized the town.

There were several people who were ready to crucify JJ. Abe, Eli, and Chad were all of the opinion that JJ shot first and asked questions later even though none of them were at the scene, and they all tried to convince others in town to turn against JJ too.

Abe didn't just insist JJ should be held accountable for the shooting, either. He called him a criminal, accused him of visiting Theo's room in order to finish murdering him, and threatened to investigate privately to force the DA to press charges against JJ.

All of that leaves scars, and even though JJ wanted Abe's forgiveness, he and Jennifer should have a hard time trusting that it's genuine after the way Abe behaved.

Instead, one apology later, Abe's contribution to JJ almost committing suicide is forgotten as if it never existed and JJ's depression is more or less vanquished.

Days of Our Lives is a soap opera, and soaps aren't known for their realistic treatment of most issues, but this is very disappointing.

I've been hungering for the story of JJ facing and conquering his mental health issues in therapy since 2013, and this would have been the perfect time to have such a story.

It would have been dramatic and interesting, given Casey Moss even  more meaty material to work with, and had ripple effects through JJ's family as the changes his therapist encouraged JJ to make affected his loved ones and forced them, too, to face the role they played in JJ's problems.

JJ did ask for help and decided to see Eric -- a former priest with no formal training in assisting people overcome serious mental health issues who is semi-dating JJ's mother. 

This is not JJ getting professional help. It's more of the same as always.

JJ used to ask Daniel for help when Daniel was the one who was Jennifer's quasi-boyfriend, leading Jennifer to resent the fact that she was out of the loop with her son. This will not be a problem for Eric, though, who made his first order of business calling Jennifer to let her know her son had a therapy session.

Between that and Gabi telling Eli, who then told Lani, that JJ attempted suicide, he has no place to turn that is entirely confidential -- one of the most important aspects of any therapeutic relationship.

Nor can Eric be objective if he is this close to JJ's mother.

Plus the one session so far is off-screen and the others most likely will be too. At least when JJ used Daniel as a therapist, we got to see it!

I realize that Days has a smaller budget nowadays and may not be able to afford to hire a full-time actor to be JJ's therapist, but surely there was a better, more realistic way to handle this that would have given viewers some sense of JJ's struggle to regain mental health.

Almost as soon as Theo woke up, the catfighting between Claire and Ciara over him intensified, mostly instigated by Ciara.

Ciara has had some crazy idea that Theo getting shot has something to do with him dating Claire instead of her, which she should have got rid of since Theo is telling anyone who will listen that it's his own fault he got shot.

Instead, Ciara continued to make her niece and former best friend into her worst enemy, constantly accusing Claire of not loving Theo, claiming he belonged to her, and roping Tripp into her scheme to get Theo's attention.

Ciara is completely obnoxious. I realize she's heartbroken and angry, but while Theo is recovering from a coma is no time to try to convince him to dump his girlfriend for her!

I admit I'm enjoying Ciara throwing shade at Rafe and Hope, whose reconciliation has become more and more gagworthy with each passing moment, but other than that I have no real use for her.

One person who did not get off scot-free after Theo's shooting was Kate.

I love seeing her get some comeuppance since she has poisoned, blackmailed, and murdered her way through life in Salem for years without any consequences.

It seemed a little out of character for Abe, the king of integrity, to inform Kate that he would not press charges against her as long as she barred Theo from further employment with Dimera Enterprises, but it was satisfying enough that I didn't care.

Chad is like a son to Kate and as such is the only one of her children (though he is not really her child) to never have disowned her before. So his refusal to forgive her cuts her deeply, not that she will think twice before her next horrendous scheme.

I just wish I knew why Abby is undermining Chad's hatred of Kate by encouraging Andre to pursue her romantically. Abby and Andre's friendship never made any sense and this matchmaking makes even less so.

As the dust settled, most of Salem rushed off to attend a gala at Doug's Place that Abby and Chad hosted for New Year's Eve in order to usher in a new era where Chad is again the CEO of Dimera Enterprises.

I found much of this gala uninteresting. 

There was some more Paul/Sonny/Will nonsense in which Paul tried to leave before Will and Sonny got there, only to run into Will outside and end up kissing him at the stroke of midnight while Sonny waited at home for Will.

Rafe tried to convince Eric to be more than friends with Jennifer, while Eric stood there with an expression on his face like he couldn't get away from Rafe fast enough.

Brady and Eve crashed the party to try to convince Gabi to sign with Basic Black instead of Dimera Enterprises, or something. Eve bantered with Gabi while Andre threatened to call the cops on Brady a bunch of times and Brady did a lot of drinking.

Ciara showed up drunk, rambled, and got dragged off to be lectured.

And Eli and Gabi were dancing while Gabi was blissfully unaware that Eli had recently slept with Lani. Similarly, the audience was mostly unaware that Eli was at the party, as he just randomly popped up for that dance scene.

None of that was particularly compelling,  and I found myself thinking during these scenes that everyone stopped worrying about JJ very quickly.

As much as I hate JJ and Lani as a couple, I hope that Rhianna concert he bought them tickets for was a New Year's Eve concert because I'd hate to think JJ was sitting in his room alone while everyone else partied and having a relapse of depressive thoughts!

Anyway, Vivian's entrance was classic DAYS. If there hadn't been spoilers that Louise Sorel was returning, the build-up would have been fantastic, as her preparations were interjected into all the more normal party-going scenes.

As it was, I knew it was her and was impatient for her to make her appearance. I loved the way she took command of the room when she finally showed up.

What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 12-25-17? Did Christmas and New Years meet your expectations? What do you hope will happen for Salem's residents in 2018?

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