Just when I thought that the awful Rafe/Hope pairing couldn't get any worse, Days of Our Lives sent them on a camping trip.
It's February in a small town near Chicago, so it made no sense that they would even consider it.
And viewers had to suffer through Hope whining about a rainstorm ruining her plans to sleep under the stars with her fiance, only for Rafe to mistake the justice of the peace she hired for a surprise elopement for a robber and nearly kill him.
Thank God Claire has audio proof that Rafe slept with Sami now. This relationship needs to be put out of its misery.
Rafe and Hope have been declaring over-the-top happiness and love, which is always a signal that the relationship is about to blow up.
Rafe's secret one-night stand with Sami has been secret for far too long and too many people know about it. The longer this drags out, the worse Rafe looks, because he had a bazillion opportunities to tell the truth and it will be humiliating for Hope to learn that most of her friends and family knew while she didn't.
Technically, Rafe and Hope were broken up when he slept with Sami, though they had been for all of 30 seconds, but that doesn't matter at this point.
Rafe has been keeping this incident secret from Hope but one person after another has discovered it and said nothing. Hope is going to feel like the world's biggest fool after this!
Ciara: Wait, what do you mean canceled? You called off the wedding?
Hope: No. Just the rehearsal dinner. I'm taking Rafe camping on Smith Island tonight to save Julie the trouble of throwing -
Hope: Probably. Yes, camping. Two very over the top parties back to back.
Tripp: Well, camping will be more fun for you guys anyway.
Rafe: Well, more fun for you too, unless, of course, you like drunk people rambling on and on and on.
Ciara: Thank God. I was afraid you guys were gonna tell me you decided not to get married.
I'm excited that Claire now knows the truth, because it's beyond time for it to come out.
But I wish this story had played out differently.
Back when Ciara found out, I had thought her sudden change of heart meant she was going to blackmail Rafe into doing her bidding. Seeing Rafe undermine Hope's attempts to get Ciara's reckless behavior under control because otherwise Ciara was going to tell her mom the truth would have been fun.
It also would have been true to Ciara's character. As a little girl she was spunky and manipulative, and she seemed like she'd rediscovered those traits when she came back from Hong Kong.
So a little blackmail would not have been above her, and her sudden desire to protect this relationship at all costs because Rafe helped her learn to skate backwards when she was nine really made no sense.
In addition, Ciara blackmailing her stepfather-to-be as revenge for him telling her all about his sex life with her mother would have been a better use of her character than this endless fighting with Claire.
Ciara and Claire's rivalry over boys has crossed over into territory that is as senseless as it is obnoxious.
Even though they're still fighting over Theo while he is on the other side of the world, half the time they're also fighting over whether Ciara has feelings for Tripp.
Since Ciara being with Tripp would solve the problem of her resenting Claire for being with Theo, I don't understand why Claire keeps having a problem with it.
Tripp keeps sounding like the exasperated parent of two pre-schoolers when he walks in on the two of them sniping over nothing. If I were him I would move in with Steve and Kayla to help his dad out and escape these immature arguments!
Tripp and Steve shared an emotional reunion after they both nearly died at the hands of Pamela Van Damme.
I'm glad this storyline is over, though the conclusion got kind of silly.
Pamela Van Damme broke into the loft and kidnapped Tripp and Ciara when poisoning Steve backfired on her.
The only reason for Ciara to be involved in this at all was to give her and Tripp an additional reason to bond. It seemed a little contrived that she got caught trying to hit Pamela with a bat three seconds after calling Hope for help dealing with an armed intruder.
Tripp interpreted that as Ciara being brave and caring about him so much that she was willing to be kidnapped along with him.
Personally, I disagree. That was stupid and unnecessary and the story would have worked just fine without Ciara being part of it.
Anyway, Pamela Van Damme turned out to be surprisingly incompetent for the head of the ISA!
She took the kids to a public area and proceeded to babble about covering up Ava's death and Joey confessing.
Hope and Rafe showed up and stared at her instead of doing anything useful. Then she produced a big syringe full of poison and demanded John go back to the hospital and finish killing Steve.
As soon as Tripp started begging John to kill him instead, I knew he was planning to inject Pamela with the poison. But she was blissfully unaware, so Tripp was able to easily dispose of her.
The kids suffered no lasting harm and Tripp had an emotional reunion with Steve afterwards. I liked his acknowledgment that he wanted to be part of Steve's family and had wasted a lot of time when he first came back to Salem full of anger, but I would have liked a less ridiculous setup!
This whole thing was based off of a story that never should have been written. Joey killing Ava was one of several unnecessary dark moments over the past few years, and now that Joey has confessed and been sent to prison over it, the whole thing needs to never be mentioned again.
Between that and the fact that John was instantly forgiven for nearly killing his best friend, I really couldn't get into this story. The payoff was satisfying but I wish the writers would have found a better way to get there.
I also wish that Tripp would bond with his cousin JJ over this.
JJ and Tripp have similar backstories, personalities, and senses of guilt.
They both engaged in violent behavior in the past because they couldn't deal with the death of a parent who they then found out had done something horrible.
They also both have good investigative instincts and are willing to look death in the eye, yet also both carry guilt for having to hurt someone in self-defense.
If only the writers hadn't forgotten JJ's relationship with Steve and changed his personality to fit this ridiculous Lani baby story, we could have got a lot of mileage out of these two troubled cousins bonding.
Abigail's my best friend and all, but the girl's about as exciting as a sock. Not to mention that she's loca.Gabigail
The biggest story during the week of 2-19-18 was the reveal that Abigail killed Andre, or more precisely, her alter ego did.
"Gabigail", as many fans are calling her, appears to be an alternate personality of Abigail who thinks she is Gabi Hernandez and is going around seducing Stefan while he continually tries to convince her that she's actually Abby and is in need of mental health treatment.
I'm not sure how I feel about this story yet.
Marci Miller is doing an awesome job as Gabigail, but so far it is yet another medically inaccurate storyline that perpetuates the myth that people with mental illness are violent and dangerous.
Most people with dissociative identity disorder are not at all violent, but people fear them because media always portrays them like this. I'd like DAYS to be better than that.
Plus we already have DAYS using JJ's suicide attempt as a plot point instead of building a real story around it, so it's difficult to trust this will be handled at all well.
At the same time, it's entertaining to watch Abigail transform and Stefan try to deal with it, so I'm not entirely sorry the show went in this direction.
I just hope it progresses past the same conversation over and over where Gabigail claims not to be Abby, threatens to frame Stefan if he tells Chad about any of this, and attempts to seduce him.
Meanwhile, Eve and Brady berated Eric and Jennifer for no apparent reason, while Maggie broke up with Victor because he wants Brady to pretend to seduce Eve in order to eliminate her as CEO of Basic Black.
While I'm glad to see Maggie have a storyline, this particular one is ridiculous.
Back in 2013, Maggie and Victor broke up for a while after Victor humiliated Brady and Eric at Brady's wedding to Kristen.
It was made clear at that point that the reason for the breakup was not because Victor isn't pure and innocent but because his shady dealings had hurt Maggie's family after he promised they wouldn't.
But four years later, Maggie claims that she has been the long-suffering wife who has never stood up to Victor before and has hated every single one of his questionable actions.
Her beautiful break-up speech would have been appropriate for an abused woman who has finally chosen to stand up to her abuser, but was nonsensical coming from her given her and Victor's history.
Maggie has never "put up" with Victor's schemes. She's always talked him down when he's going too far while loving and appreciating his dark side.
And she took great pains to point out, over and over, that she doesn't like Eve, so Victor's treatment of Eve being the last straw makes no sense whatsoever.
In fact, considering that a drunk Eve ran over and nearly killed Maggie's daughter some 30 years ago and then when Eve returned in 2014 she immediately began trying to break up the relationship between her favorite niece and her favorite child, Maggie should be cheering Victor on for getting some revenge on her!
If anything, she should be upset that Brady is continuing to drink and feel that maybe Victor is exploiting that, but she definitely should not be taking any stands to protect Eve.
And claiming she's enabling Victor by living with him just shows that the dialogue writers have no idea what that word actually means.
Eve: There's nothing to explain. Nicole cheated on you with Eric, left you both high and dry. No wonder you two have bad blood between -
Brady: No. There's a lot more, stuff that Eric doesn't even know. I was the reason Nicole left town.
Brady's confession to Eve was also silly, considering she's done much worse than him in terms of evil plans.
After all, this is the woman who hired a prostitute to seduce JJ in order to break up him and Paige and then spread the rumor that JJ took roofies recreationally and cheated on Paige after the plan failed and the prostitute resorted to drugging him so she could get her money!
I'm guessing this conversation was a precursor to Brady and Eve falling for each other for real. This will ruin Victor's plan and make Maggie's stand against it even more pointless.
What do you think?
Does Maggie's anger at Victor make any sense?
Are you glad Claire found out Ciara's secret?
And am I the only one who had a problem with Rafe and Hope camping in the dead of winter?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.