If there's one law in soap opera cities, it's that secrets always come out.
It wouldn't be much fun if people got away with the things they're doing behind one another's back. Seeing relationships implode and bad guys get their due is supposed to be a huge payoff.
But on Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-13-18, too many people were discovering secrets about their partners at the same time, while others were still giving in to blackmail for no apparent reason.
After all the years they've lived in Salem, you'd think some of these people would learn that lying doesn't pay!
Kate discovering that Ted was blackmailing Will and Sonny was fun.
Prior to the reveal, she dreamed Andre appeared to her and told her to do the right thing and tell Chad that Abby's baby was his.
I was thrilled with Thaao Phenglis' guest appearance. Andre and Kate's battle of wits showed how much more chemistry there was between those two than Kate and Ted. When she woke up to find Ted in her bed, I was disappointed.
Afterwards, Will came to her to ask for the funds to pay Ted off, only to find that Kate was sleeping with the enemy.
Will: Grandma Kate said she'd handle it.
Sonny: What does that mean?
Will: I don't know. She might make Ted stop. She might pay him off. She might throw him out the window.
Finally, we got a glimpse of the real Kate. Kate has always been a take-no-prisoners kind of woman. She's the kind you don't mess with unless you want to risk your life, and other than when she was with Roman she's never displayed a soft side at all.
Lately, she's been considerably weaker, giving in to ridiculous blackmail schemes and generally lying low.
But when Ted wouldn't drop his vendetta against Will, the claws came out.
Kate gave Ted the same ultimatum she'd given Andre right before his death: give up your scheme for me or I walk.
While Andre never got the chance to give her an answer, Ted flat out refused. Kate threw his clothes at him and God only knows what her next move is.
And to make it even more delicious, Paul found out the truth at the same time as Kate did.
I wasn't a fan of this entire story, and Will lying to Paul so he could have clandestine meetings with Sonny about what to do about this stupid cover-up was ridiculous.
But I'm glad at least the secret came out. Now maybe Paul can help the guys get out of this mess.
My enthusiasm for this is dampened by the fact that Sonny keeps giving Will these sad-eyed looks every time Will and Paul share a moment.
The writing's on the wall on this one and it's in giant block letters: Paul is going to put his all into rescuing the man he loves from a mess of is own creation, only for Will to turn around and decide that Sonny is the one he really wants after all.
This triangle is so overplayed, and it doesn't help that these three men are the only gay characters in Salem. I'd much rather see Paul walk away from both these guys and find true love elsewhere than play another round of watching him get dumped because Will and Sonny can't make up their minds who they want to be with.
In addition, this story suffers from the same problem that Rafe and Hope's initial story did. Dumping a body together isn't an enjoyable start to a relationship, rekindled love or not. It's sleazy, gross, and shows a callous disregard for human life.
And yes, this time it was an accident, but it was still an unnecessary violent end to a story that made a mockery out of sexual harassment in the workplace just as lots of people in real life are first breaking their silence about it.
That wasn't nearly as offensive -- or irritating -- as the continued Gabi/Chad/Abby nonsense.
DAYS continued down the path of shaming Abigail for her rape and making viewers wonder why we should root for her and Chad at all with a bunch of awful scenes in this twisted "triangle" between Chad, her, and her rapist.
After talking to Marlena, Chad came home to try to work things out with Abigail, only to find Stefan touching her belly. He then stomred off and went straight to the Kiriakis mansion, where Gabi was all too happy to encourage him to stay away from his wife and help take care of her daughter instead.
The next morning, Abby turned up to try to talk to Chad, got jealous because he was sitting in bed fully clothed, reading a story to little Ari while her mother sat on the other side of the bed, also fully clothed.
Gabi exploited this for all it was worth and every time it seemed like Chad and Abby were anywhere close to reconciling, she apologized for interrupting and told him Ari wanted him to do something with her -- and Chad obliged.
Nobody saw through this super obvious plan, and Abby left, where she promptly ran into Stefan and told him all her marital troubles.
Yes, that's right: Abby lacks the intelligence to not tell the rapist who is hoping to trigger her mental illness so that he can take advantage of her again that the rape has caused a rift with her husband.
And Chad can't figure out that Ari's "demands" are pure manipulation on Gabi's part, nor does he understand that a five-year-old wanting to play with him on a trampoline is not an emergency that needs to take precedence over a serious conversation with his wife.
There is absolutely nothing entertaining about any of this.
It makes women look both stupid and catty, normalizes rape-shaming, and mocks serious mental illness all at once.
Plus it's yet another plot that relies on pure idiocy to work. Chad and Abby should be able to see through Gabi's scheme, and it doesn't even make sense that she's continuing to pursue revenge for losing her relationship with Ari when that relationship has been instantly fixed.
And if that wasn't bad enough, the writers are using it to ruin Kayla and her relationship with Steve, too!
Stefan is controlling Kayla through the absurd threat that if she doesn't do what he wants, he's going to press a button on his phone and turn off Steve's bionic eye so he goes blind again.
And Kayla, like everyone else in Salem, is giving in and doing things that are illegal and unethical.
The one thing she is not doing is telling Steve any of this.
And Steve, aware something is wrong and determined to protect his Sweetness, looked at her phone without permission to see what was going on -- just as she walked in.
Why, why, why is DAYS doing this to my favorite couple? They had a beautiful story about an older couple dealing with a health issue and they ruined it for this nonsense.
Instead of actually showing Steve struggling with his blindness -- a realistic story fans were hungry for -- the writers kept that mostly off-screen.
We never saw Steve and Kayla at home trying to adjust to his condition or running into conflicts because Kayla didn't know the best way to treat her husband now that he was blind. We never saw Steve have any worse problems with it than dropping a glass on the floor in the Pub.
We didn't even get a mention of them calling their daughter either when he went blind or when he had the surgery!
Instead, the story was spun off into garbage about Kayla letting Stefan blackmail her so she could get Steve a bionic eye while he was adamant he didn't want the surgery if it meant owing Stefan any favors.
Steve didn't even seem upset about being blind. He was more angry that Stefan raped Abigail -- something which matters to no one else! So there was no reason for Kayla to be this desperate.
And now Steve and Kayla are being used to further this offensive story about Abby being ostracized for carrying her rapist's child.
Kayla gave Stefan Abby's medical records when all she needed to do was tell Steve about Stefan making the (probably empty) threat to undo his recovery so that they could work together to resolve the problem.
This is not the strong woman that I have loved for years. There is no reason for Kayla to give into these threats and she should not have given private medical info to anyone, and especially not her patient's rapist, no matter what.
As a rape survivor herself, Kayla should be appalled that Stefan is trying to worm his way into Abigail's life, especially when he implied he was going to try to get "Gabby" to come back so that he could continue to take advantage of Abigail.
She should have thrown him out of her office and called a lawyer about what her options were to protect Abigail and herself and then told Steve the reason she was upset when he showed up.
At the very least, she should have given Stefan a fake medical file to get him off her back for a few hours while she and Steve discussed what to do.
Instead, we were given an idiotic conflict between this iconic couple and it's probably going to end with Steve leaving for parts unknown -- again -- because the show stupidly decided not to re-sign Stephen Nichols and the only two ways they know how to write characters out is via absurd breakup or random death.
Plus, it makes no sense that Steve is so protective of his niece that he can't even hear Stefan's name, but when someone planted drugs in JJ's apartment he was nowhere to be found.
While the two issues aren't the same, he should have the same loyalty to both his brother's kids, and he should be equally concerned about JJ's mental health issues since JJ nearly committed suicide less than a year ago and has a history of drug use.
Meanwhile, Jennifer also engaged in character-ruining behavior for the sake of the plot.
I was enjoying strong woman Jennifer acting as the investigative reporter she should have been all these years, but unfortunately the writers felt it was more important to show yet another woman who is desperate to hold onto her man.
Jennifer's fear that Eric will leave her for Nicole is ridiculous. First of all, the Jennifer of yesteryear had the strength not only to stand up for Jack to her family, but also to Jack himself! He always thought he wasn't good enough for her and she refused, for the most part, to give in to that.
He was the insecure one, not her. She was a woman who knew what she wanted and wouldn't settle for anything less.
But now Jennifer is the 9 millionth person in Salem to be keeping a secret from her fiance because she can't bear the idea of being single.
This particular secret is ridiculous. Nicole is long gone and for all we know she met some other man someplace else.
Her love story with Eric, if you can even call it that, was nothing more than a desperate attempt to recreate the past without any understanding of who each of them had become in the present.
And at one point it ended because Jennifer told Eric the secret Nicole had been keeping from him!
But now Jennifer is so insecure that she not only keeps going back and forth about telling him this insignificant truth but lets Eve stand in her living room insulting her, then goes along with Eve's negative opinion of her.
Newsflash for the writers: women actually have brains in their heads, are capable of being independent, and can have enough self-esteem to throw a guest out who calls them names and tries to tear them down!
Finally, the conflict between Ciara and the world over Ben kicked it up a notch, with Ciara inviting Ben to move in with her despite Tripp's misgivings.
I still have mixed feelings about this.
Ben killed three women because he was angry that his girlfriend slept with another man. Redeeming him without as much as a parole hearing and making the people who dislike him go way over the top doesn't sit right with me.
Yet there are a ton of other murderers in Salem who are walking around free after serving six month sentences and other than Julie badmouthing Gabi, no one cares.
And the issues Ben is facing with finding a job or a place to live are realistic, except the story isn't about how formerly incarcerated people are treated; that's just a plot point to get Ben to move in with Ciara.
Personally, I think that Ciara and Ben should move into their own place. This loft situation isn't good for anyone and has been way overplayed.
Tripp has lived with two girls who fight over him for months and months. He really should go live with Steve and Kayla and help his father recover from his operation instead.
And he should also remember he is only living in the loft because one of the girls invited him when he didn't have a place to stay -- and that he was once the town pariah too because he held Kayla hostage after nearly killing a bunch of patients to avenge his mother's death.
Meanwhile, across town Hope and Rafe were apparently turned on by the idea of blackmailing Ben to leave town and did a lot of inappropriate kissing in the workplace before Abe walked in to complain that they'd closed the case.
First of all, Abe should strongly disapprove of Hope's misuse of police power. He's always been a model of integrity, but now he's supporting corrupt cops being corrupt.
In addition, what happened to his mea culpa after realizing how his harsh attitude contributed to JJ's near suicide? He shouldn't be so quick to judge Ben after that!
What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-13-18?
Are you enjoying all of the secrets and lies, or would you rather see some more realistic stories in the mix?
What do you think Kate is going to do about Ted?
Does anyone like any of Stefan's plots?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back in on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.