Days of Our Lives Review: All Out of Balance

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I was thrilled when Hope and Rafe broke up.

This couple's relationship was, as Hope said, based on a lie. 

It began with Rafe helping Hope cover up Stefano's murder, and viewers had to endure the loss of strong, feisty Hope and her replacement with some weak-willed person who just did whatever Rafe told her to.

Hope Rejects Rafe - Days of Our Lives

It was painful to watch, especially after both Aiden and Bo were sacrificed just to put this incredibly mismatched couple together.

But ever since the break-up, one character after another has tried to convince Hope that Rafe is the love of her life and that she should give him another chance.

On Days of Our Lives during the week of 4-9-18, Hope told Rafe in no uncertain terms that she wanted an annulment and that their relationship was over, but he wasn't listening.

I'd like to be proud of her for finally standing up to Rafe's nonsense, but the argument went on for two episodes, and that makes me think that sooner or later this awful excuse for a couple will be back together.

In the soap world, couples breaking up is rarely the end of the story, and I get that, but I can't take another minute of Rafe and Hope.

Hope told Rafe that it was over, that their entire relationship was based on a lie, and that she didn't want to try to work things out. She had signed annulment papers and asked him to do the same.

Rafe's refusal to do so and the declaration that he was going to keep fighting for Hope wasn't romantic. It made him sound obsessed and possibly violent.

I don't like the fact that in general, on this show when there's a break-up, one character chases the other all over town begging them to change their minds. It's disrespectful, makes the begging character look pathetic, and sends the message that it's okay to refuse to take NO for an answer, especially from a woman.

And in Rafe's case, it's even worse.

Rafe has done nothing but belittle Hope and order her around from the beginning.

The broken engagement or "being on a break" or whatever the excuse is for Rafe sleeping with Sami happened because Rafe couldn't stand Hope's refusal to get with the program and set a wedding date when he wanted her to.

And at the time, I think there was also some other nonsense going on where he was telling her how to do her job.

So, the break-up happened because Hope got sick of Rafe's attempts to control her, then Rafe had sex with Sami and lied about it for months, even including Hope's daughter in the cover-up.

And now Rafe is trying to force Hope back into a relationship she has said No to countless times by refusing to sign annulment papers.

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It is terrible writing, terrible messaging and not a good look for Rafe.

And seeing so much of him and Hope arguing didn't inspire me to keep watching. I spent most of their scenes checking how much time was left in the hour!

Why, why, why did we need this? All that time wasted on them could have been used to advance Steve and Kayla's storyline or to give JJ something to do related to Gabi's being found guilty.

I'd even have settled for a scene of Kate talking to Andre's martini glass. That's how bad this Rafe/Hope nonsense was.

A Guilty Verdict - Days of Our Lives

If Rafe was going to take up screen time, it should have been focused exclusively on his reaction to Gabi's being found guilty of murder.

I"m not a fan of either Rafe or Gabi, but Gabi's plight is breaking my heart. If she can refrain from any more selfish behavior, I might grudgingly admit she's not that bad.

And Rafe was tolerable while comforting her after her verdict.

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Gabi's trial was nonsensical, of course. The writers have never bothered to do any legal research whatsoever before writing trial scenes, and this was no exception.

Abigail/Gabby/Dr. Laura's "testimony" should have been inadmissible, but Justin didn't even challenge it and did a poor job of countering it. Nor did he put on any defense whatsoever.

He literally presented zero witnesses on the grounds that Trask hadn't made her case, right after failing to discredit eyewitness testimony that Gabi had confessed!

Gabi's sentencing was equally silly.

Trask's argument that she was a flight risk between now and her sentencing hearing because her jailed father has money to get her out of the country was ludicrous, and no judge should have ever granted her demand that Gabi is remanded pending sentencing on those grounds.

And don't get me started on how stupid it sounded for Stefan to say she hadn't been granted bail since there is no bail after you are convicted of a crime.

Even weirder was how much time Chad seemed to be spending with Gabi.

He told JJ he thought Abigail had been brainwashed and continued to be suspicious of his wife's behavior, yet he left her to her own devices while he got Gabi settled in prison and reassured her that he would fight for her innocence.

I really hope we're not headed towards Chad/Gabi 3.0. The first two times were bad enough, and seeing Chad virtually abandon his mentally ill wife to be there for Gabi isn't a good look for him.

Plus, it would make a lot more sense for JJ to do that. JJ has just been dealt a devastating blow and needs something purposeful to do, and Gabi saved his life the night of his suicide, so I'm sure he'd love to return the favor.

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Gabby: I think it's clear that I've accepted reality and you haven't.
Chad: Yeah? What reality is that?
Gabby: Gabi's guilty verdict. Sooner or later you have to accept it and you have to move on.

Chad eventually found his way home, where he ran into Jennifer and learned she hadn't been sick, nor had she seen Abby anytime recently. He confronted "Gabby" about that, but still didn't seem to be aware that his wife was suffering from mental illness despite all the red flags practically smacking him in the head.

Chad also should have been a lot angrier.

Brainwashing or no brainwashing, most people would think, upon learning their spouse was out all night and lied about their whereabouts, that they were having some sort of affair. Yet Chad was focused more on Abby having testified against Gabi than anything else.

Abigail: Chad! Help me! I need you! Chad!
Andre: Abigail. I'll help you.

Meanwhile, the DID storyline got even sillier.

When Abby didn't turn up for her appointment, Marlena went to the Dimera mansion to find out what was going on. She found Gabby in her dark wig and Gabi Chic clothes, and after Gabby accused her of quackery and Stefan refused to leave the room, Marlena began to put two and two together.

Naturally, she ended up kidnapped for the second time in the last few months.

The Marlena as a damsel in distress meme was played out about 20 years ago. Marlena is supposed to be an experienced psychiatrist who deals with violent patients on a regular basis, yet they are always knocking her out and locking her up somewhere.

We just went through this with Hattie, and now it appears we are in for the same storyline all over again.

Last time, Marlena was kidnapped by a doppelganger. This time, Abby's problem is being portrayed as DID but is really just another doppelganger story, with "Gabby" being a dead ringer for Abby who lives in her head.

The story has zero to do with how DID works, and the illness seems to have been chosen randomly since Abigail has no history of childhood sexual abuse.

And if those ridiculous images of Abby being locked in Marlena's office as a metaphor for being trapped in her body while Gabby takes over are to be believed, it looks like Gabby kidnapped Abby, took over her life, and is now holding Marlena prisoner.

Meanwhile, the focal point seems to be Stefan's love for "Gabby" and refusal to get Abby mental health treatment because he doesn't want her doppelganger to disappear.

This is wrong on so many levels that it's hard to know where to begin. Abby/Gabby can't consent to sex with Stefan because of her mental illness, and Abby will not remember it if she ever breaks through to consciousness again.

It makes Stefan a potential rapist who is using Abby's mental illness to take advantage of her.

It's also making mental illness into a gimmick that is used to add extra interest to what otherwise would be a run of the mill cheating story between Abigail and Stefan.

If Abby's DID was taken seriously, the story would be about her efforts to get help, not about Stefan's attempts to bed her, and he and Gabby would certainly not be written as a couple we're supposed to champion!

Days has got to stop promoting rapists, stalkers, and liars as heroes and expecting viewers to cheer them on.

Claire has my vote, but you have me. I choose you, Ciara. I want to be with you.


Elsewhere in Salem, there was a lot of nonsense regarding the Face of Bella contest.

Brady bet Eve that Claire would win, probably so that viewers would root for Ciara. Claire randomly became 100% self-absorbed again and determined to win at all costs while Ciara wanted to win just to stick it to Claire.

And then there was a ton of drama surrounding the fact that Tripp voted for Claire because he wanted to show her he supports her career even though he knows she will lose the contest.

That inspired Claire to convince Theo to hack into the system and make her win, while Ciara cried about Tripp's betrayal.

Claire has my vote, but you have me. I choose you, Ciara. I want to be with you.

Maybe this story would have been acceptable if all parties involved were 14. Maybe.

But we have a bunch of adults running around acting like they are in middle school and it is not at all entertaining.

Lucas and Chloe Argue - Days of Our Lives

Finally, Lucas and Chloe argued about her potential job offer in Mexico City.

I could really get behind Chloe standing up to Lucas if she wasn't being portrayed as an idiot for doing so.

Lucas was right that Chloe's job offer sounded an awful lot like luring in a kidnap victim. A mysterious person offered to write an opera for her -- if she came to Mexico City to perform in it without knowing what the opera was or who was offering it to her.

Doesn't Chloe watch Law & Order: SVU? That sounds like a sex trafficking scheme!

But while Lucas was right that Chloe should have some street smarts -- especially since she's planning to bring her 8-year-old on this adventure -- the way he went about it was 100% wrong.

He kept talking on behalf of Chloe, physically attacked her contact, and insisted that it was his business when she told him to butt out.

That came off as more controlling than protective, while Chloe's refusal to be the slightest bit skeptical came off as dopey.

What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 4-9-18?

Am I just bitter because there was no Steve and Kayla, or did you also find that Rafe and Hope dragged the show down?

Is anyone enjoying this Face of Bella competition?

Is this Abigail DID mess a typical soap story or is it overly ridiculous?

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


Editor Rating: 2.0 / 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

Ciara: It was so humiliating, Mom. I put it all out there and I was so sure he was... but it turns out Theo doesn't want anything to do with me.
Rafe: Well, you can still be friends.
Ciara: Yeah, that'll work.

I'm not asking you to dance with them. I'm just asking for you to sit in the corner drinking martinis and making some snide remarks.

Chad [to Kate]