Days of Our Lives Review: Crossing The Line

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Theresa's re-entry story could have been powerful.

Theresa was more or less Mateo's sex slave after she was forced to join him in Mexico. She had to have sex with him that she didn't want to have, over and over, and she only came home because he sold her to someone else.

This could have been a dramatic story about a woman dealing with the aftermath of severe sexual trauma.

Eve could have been torn between her feelings for Brady and her desire to support her sister, plus feel resentful that at least Theresa survived, while Paige was still dead, and felt guilty about feeling that way.

The town could have been divided about whether or not to feel sympathy for Theresa and her plight, especially after PTSD drove her to still fear Mateo after she came home and engage in behavior that negatively affected other people.

Instead of all that, during the week of 5-29-18, Days of Our Lives chose to focus on Theresa trying to reclaim Brady and turned her into a villain in the process.

Caught in the Middle - Days of Our Lives

Theresa left Chloe behind when she escaped from Mateo, called Mateo to warn him that Brady's father and brother were coming to arrest him, and kept it secret from Brady that Xander was blackmailing her by threatening to tell Brady that she abandoned Chloe if she didn't do what he wanted.

When Chloe returned and she and Eve confronted Theresa, Theresa sobbed that she felt she had no choice because she was scared of Mateo.

This might have worked if the writing had been stronger. Part of the problem is that we only have Theresa's word for it that she was afraid of Mateo.

Jen Lilley's acting has been great, and she's shown Theresa to be frightened,  but Mateo was far too cartoonish a villain to believe he really had as much power as Theresa claimed.

The idea that this guy was so powerful that neither the ISA nor Victor could do anything to protect their families from him was laughable. In addition to that being extremely unlikely, Mateo was not depicted as a powerful drug lord at all.

He was shown to be just some perverted guy who got off on possessing women and forcing them to do his bidding. He wandered around his complex all day long barking orders at his girls and didn't spend any time actually doing the other illicit activities that supposedly gave him his power.

Nor did he have many minions working for him, until John and Paul showed up and three goons suddenly showed up out of nowhere.

Plus, he was easily felled by Chloe stabbing him -- a rookie mistake that someone with the amount of power that Mateo allegedly had would never make.

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His goons responded by saying that now that their boss was dead, the intruders would never get out alive, but the next scene showed John, Paul, and Chloe having made it out without any further trouble.

It's hard to feel sympathy for Theresa when there has been zero evidence on-screen that this guy was anybody to be feared.

When Mateo held a gun to Paul's head, I stabbed him in the back. What's your excuse for doing the same thing to me?


So when Chloe came back to town furious that Theresa had left her behind and then dropped the bombshell that Theresa had not only abandoned her, but had betrayed John and Paul and almost caused their deaths by tipping off Mateo to their plan to ambush him, it was easy to agree that Theresa had been selfish and heartless.

Once again, the writers seem to have taken the easiest path to fulfilling their agenda, which appears to be for Brady and Eve to reconcile and Theresa be shut out.

It's fine if Brady/Eve are endgame, but why do they have to be so obvious about it?

This happens far too much. The writers write a "triangle" that is no triangle at all because they demonize one of the choices and angelicize the other.

Years ago, when Marlena struggled to choose between John and Roman or Jennifer was torn between Emilio and Jack, it was compelling because viewers could make a case for either choice. These stories generated tons of discussions and debates. Viewers took different sides, and nobody knew for sure how the story was going to end.

These modern triangles are far less compelling. The writers don't worry about what's true to character, instead using the story to announce to viewers who they're supposed to root for.

Viewers end up either getting bored because it's obvious where the story is going or aggravated because they don't appreciate the writers telling them what to think.

Eve Rejects Brady - Days of Our Lives

In the Theresa story, it's especially problematic because neither woman has lived a saintly life, yet the writers have chosen to canonize Eve and seem to think viewers will just forget her checkered past ever existed if they refrain from mentioning it.

While the Chloe/Eve/Theresa scenes kept my interest, especially since they seem to be setting things up for a custody battle over Tate, I couldn't help thinking that it was ridiculous for Eve to talk about Theresa's selfishness as if she herself had never acted out of impure motives.

I always thought that Eve didn't really mean to hurt anyone but couldn't help herself, but that doesn't change the fact that she did things like hire a prostitute to try to seduce JJ away from Paige and then pick up where the prostitute left off when her original plan didn't work.

She also tried to move Paige to California so she wouldn't find out that her mother had slept with JJ.

She tried to steal numerous boyfriends from Jennifer, starting with making Jennifer think Frankie had cheated on her when they were both young adults.

She tried to break up her parents' marriage because she was upset that Shane was no longer with her mother, and her reckless behavior caused Kim to miscarry her baby.

She fell hard for the man who forced her into prostitution and was more interested in him than in the far more traditional life Shane and Kim tried to offer her.

And let's not forget the time Eve stole a car and ran over Sarah Horton, who was chasing a ball in the street, causing years of tension between her and Maggie which magically vanished now so that Maggie can take her side over Theresa's.

Ignoring all this history doesn't make it go away, and the glimmer of the old Eve that viewers saw when she warned Theresa that she'd be sorry if she hurt Brady didn't make much sense without acknowledging who she used to be.

Will, Paul, and the Past - Days of Our Lives

Will struggled with the question of whether or not to try to regain his memories.

This whole story rests on a ridiculous plot about a drug that can bring people back to life, but it's easier to suspend disbelief about this than about Theresa's alleged ordeal.

Paul: If all your memories come back and you remember what you had with Sonny, I'm going to be the odd man out.
Will: It wouldn't be the first time.

I felt bad for Paul. He's constantly being bounced between Will and Sonny, and is treated as nothing more but a temporary interloper between the two of them.

I really wish DAYS would bring on another guy for him, one that has nothing to do with Will and Sonny and their need to get over each other by getting with Paul.

Of course, it's possible that Will will still choose Paul after he gets his memories back. Paul and Will were attracted to one another when they first met, which was part of what led to the unraveling of Will and Sonny's marriage in the first place.

But since Will comforted Sonny after the Leo debacle, while Sonny seems to be softening towards Will in general, it really seems like this miracle drug is a vehicle to get these two back together.

I actually like Paul better than either of the other guys. Sonny has become unsufferable in the last few years, and Will was becoming very much like Sami before his death, resurrection, and amnesia turned him into a nicer guy again.

Paul deserves better than being the rebound guy who's eternally getting dumped. 

As for Sonny, I'm finding this whole Leo storyline irritating.

Sonny's Legal Problems - Days of Our Lives

I agreed with Will that false sexual harassment claims just make it more difficult for real victims to get justice.

It was nice that Victor alluded to the #metoo movement with his comments about the current climate, but since Sonny isn't actually guilty, it fell flat.

Plus, the whole scheme is both stupid and confusing.

I don't understand why Kate, who was going to warn Sonny about the truth before her fatal altercation with Vivian, decided to blackmail Leo into going ahead with this plan.

Nor do I understand why Leo, who seems to genuinely like Sonny, went along with it

And it doesn't make sense that Sonny was so careful to avoid inappropriate behavior that he wouldn't touch Leo while they were working together, yet didn't bother to get Leo's resignation in writing before making out with him.

In addition, the texts Leo sent himself from Sonny's phone were sent at a time that Sonny was meeting Will for coffee, so it should be easy to prove that they are fake.

Gabi is Attacked Again - Days of Our Lives

These stories where a crime can be easily disproven have got to go.

I'm even more aggravated with Gabi's storyline than Sonny's.

She should have been released from jail as soon as the cops had Abigail's confession in hand, since that proved she was innocent.

Instead, Gabi was not only locked up for a long time after Abby's confession, but is now facing another bogus murder charge because her prison nemesis Dianne randomly decided to attack her again, choked her until she was unconscious, and then got herself killed.

Dianne was found with a syringe in her neck, and somehow it never occurred to anybody that Gabi would have had a hard time filling a syringe and stabbing someone with it when she only has the use of one arm.

Nor did the warden realize that looking at security tapes could easily clear up the matter of how Dianne ended up dead.

Instead, Gabi was immediately accused of the crime and denied her release despite the plethora of evidence ruling her out as the killer.

To add insult to injury, the whole attack was a stereotypical, overdone, and senselessly violent story about one inmate hating another one so much that she'd rather kill her than wait 24 hours for her to be out of her life forever.

Naturally, the guard on duty wandered off to smoke a cigarette, so Gabi had no recourse when Dianne attacked her.

There are a myriad of problems in prisons that DAYS could address with thoughtful writing. Instead, they again relied on stereotypes of correctional officers and cops being incompetent idiots and expected viewers to swallow the stupidity whole.

Family Time - Days of Our Lives

I really feel sorry for little Ari, who now not only has no clue her mom is in prison, but is expecting her to come home and is going to have her heart broken for the stupidest of reasons.

I loved seeing Ari have some family time with Will and Sonny. More of this, please, and less stories centered around gratuitous acts of violence.

But I knew they shouldn't have told her Mommy was coming home until it was a done deal and Gabi was on her way home. Now how are they going to explain this to her, especially since Ari doesn't know Gabi is in prison?

Even if Gabi did come home on schedule, Ari isn't going to understand why she is all beaten up when she was supposedly on a business trip.

I'm not a fan of keeping these kinds of secrets from kids in the first place, and I think it would have been a more powerful story if we'd seen Ari dealing with her mom being locked up instead of the guys keeping her in the dark. Plus keeping this secret is going to be impossible now.

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Anyway, Gabi had better get out of prison fast, especially since Ben is about to hit the Salem streets again!

I know a lot of people are fans of Batty Ben, but I'm not one of them. He was a serial killer who killed three women in a violent manner, including one of my favorite characters, in addition to killing Will, and I don't see him as redeemable.

And if a serial killer is free to walk the streets of Salem while Gabi remains locked up for crimes everyone knows she didn't commit, that's just unconscionable. 

It was good to see Marlena actually doing her job instead of getting kidnapped and waiting for John to rescue her, but it made no sense that she couldn't find it in her heart to recommend Ben remain committed.

Ben supposedly wasn't delusional anymore, but there's no other way to describe his belief that Will will forgive him for strangling him. Plus, he never answered Marlena's question about what he would say to his victims or their families if he could, and he seemed fixated on getting WIll to forgive him.

He seemed to think that because Will had been given a miracle drug that allowed him to live, it negated the horror of his crimes against Serena, Paige, and Wendy the midwife, plus his kidnapping and torture of Abigail.

Marlena never addressed that belief in any meaningful way, nor did she do anything to explore HOW Ben would stop himself if he had violent urges once he was released.

Abigail Gets Help - Days of Our Lives

Meanwhile, the real Dr. Laura returned to whisk Abby away to Boston for treatment. I've never been impressed with Laura's abilities as a psychiatrist, and I'd rather Kim have this cameo appearance since she overcame Dissociative Identity DIsorder herself and has some idea what Abby's going through.

Plus, JJ was mysteriously absent from his sister's mental health crisis, while Jen went all out for Abby and never once mentioned her guilt over having not been there at all for JJ when he was suicidal.

Related: 7 Ways Days of Our Lives Could (and Should!) Be Using JJ Deveraux

There was a lot more disappointing stuff with Tripp and Ciara.

I appreciate DAYS finally writing the aftermath of a rape properly, even if it is two years too late, but it seems to be more or less a plot device to create yet another reason for Claire and Ciara to be at each other's throats.

Claire just happened to be dumped by Theo, who waited til she traveled halfway around the world to see him to inform her that he was no longer interested. She came home just as Tripp was reeling from Ciara having broken up with him to avoid telling him about her rape.

Naturally, Claire leaned in to kiss Tripp -- and like all Salem men, he was unable to resist the advance of a woman even though the one he really wanted had broken his heart 30 seconds before.

A Confusing Breakup - Days of Our Lives

I'm so tired of the plot of a man jumping in bed with someone else immediately after his "true love" broke his heart. It wasn't cool when Rafe did it, and it's not cool now.

It makes it seem men are all driven by nothing but what's between their legs and is a cheap, overused plot device to boot!

A Deal With the Devil - Days of Our Lives

Finally, I'm not sure how I feel about Kayla's attempt to get Stefan to help with Steve's blindness.

I'm always thrilled any time I see Steve and Kayla on my screen. They are one of the few couples in Salem that is truly in love, rather than just being thrown together for the sake of having couples on the show, and their storyline is relatable and realistic.

But Kayla going to Stefan while Steve says he would rather be blind than deal with him, and then not telling him what she's done, looks like a conflict written to tear the couple apart.

I don't want to see Steve and Kayla at odds with one another over Kayla's attempt to help Steve regain his sight. That kind of nonsense is beneath this couple, and Kayla keeping this kind of secret is out of character for her.

What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 5-28-18?

Are you rooting for Theresa, Eve, or nobody in this twisted triangle? 

Are you thrilled or annoyed that Tripp seems to be headed for rebound sex with Claire?

What do you think about the latest development in Steve and Kayla's storyline?

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


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 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.

Show Comments

Days of Our Lives Quotes

Doug: I'm not Doug.
Marlena: I think you're confused. I'm Marlena Evans. You're Doug Williams.
Doug: I'm not confused. I know exactly who you are. [creepy voice] It's been 25 years, but did you really think I wasn't going to come back for you?

I've only read two e-mails from the woman and already I want to do a lot more than threaten her. My favorite type, a vindictive woman who can't spell.