Days of Our Lives round table 9/2/2018 Everyone blamed Sami for shooting Marlena, Kristen continued to dangle the idea of a live EJ like a cat plays with a mouse, and Kristen tried to force another man to have sex with her on Days of Our Lives.
TV Fanatics Jack Ori and Christine Orlando are joined by Wendylou from MyHourglass a Days of Our Lives fan forum to debate Sami shooting Marlena, Will going back to Sonny, and how sexual assault is dealt with in Salem.
Everyone is blaming Sami for the shooting. Do you think it was really her fault?
Wendylou: It was kind of chaotic and hard to see what happened. She was drugged and looked confused and then Eric rushed her. I think the gun just accidentally went off.
Jack: Absolutely not! She was drugged, and on top of that, the gun went off when Eric grabbed her arm, yet no one is even thinking of blaming him. 99% of the time, Belle, Hope, and Julie might have a point about Sami putting her own welfare first, but not this time.
This obnoxious condemnation of her is a rerun of how Abe treated JJ, so much so that I'd love to see JJ take Sami's side even though she ruined his sister's life in the past.
Christine: No one seems to care that Sami had been abducted and drugged or that the gun when off when Eric rushed her from behind. He could have taken the gun from her and I don’t think she would have put up a fight. How come no one is blaming Eric for causing this?
Do you consider EJ to be the love of Sami’s life?
Wendylou: She seems to think he is and I guess she would know but I think she and Lucas will always love each other.
Jack: NOOOOO. EJ was yet another rapist whose victim suddenly decided she was in love with him. Plus, when they were together all they did was fight and try to stab one another in the back. Constantly.
There was nothing enjoyable about this couple at all. Lucas is the love of Sami's life IMO, and in any case, Jenn was right that Sami would be happier with someone more stable than EJ.
Christine: I may have hated the way the show put Sami and EJ together but I think in the end they made a great couple. The actors have fantastic chemistry and they have very similar moral compasses.
Yes, they fought like crazy but they had incredible passion. As much as I think Lucas is Sami’s best friend, I don’t doubt that EJ is the love of Sami’s life.
Will has his memories back. Does it change the way you feel about Will and Paul or Will and Sonny?
Wendylou: Unfortunately yes. My opinion of Will changed almost immediately.
I’m glad he got his memory back but I hate that he’s so convinced he needs to be with Sonny right away. I guess he’s forgotten all the lying and cheating he did while he was with Sonny.
Seems like he’s going to go right back to lying to Paul now. Paul is understandably preoccupied right now but on the show, he’s only had his memory back a few hours. Why must he rush back to Sonny?
And Sonny? Ugh! He’s so whiny, pushy and annoying - not to mention selfish.
Jack: It mostly changes my opinion of Sonny.
He is being obnoxious and pushy, and I'm not convinced Will loves Sonny. I think Will is confused because he has memories of having loved Sonny now and Sonny's constant insistence that that means they need to be together has convinced him that that's what he feels.
I feel bad for Paul because he's always left out in the cold and bounced between these two guys as if there are no other gay or bi guys in the world he could be with.
Christine: Once upon a time I loved Sonny and Will but since then Sonny has become pushy and whiny and selfish.
Will suddenly went from being in love with Paul to being back in love with Sonny but no one has ever dealt with why Will cheated on Sonny more than once or that they were separated when Will was “killed.” Paul deserves so much better than either of them.
Does Days of Our Lives overuse sexual assault in its stories? Does it take the crime seriously enough when it does use it?
Wendylou: Yes! It seems like someone gets raped or assaulted every other week and half the time it’s not even acknowledged. So no, it’s not taken seriously enough. Not too imaginative.
Jack: My full thoughts on this are probably way too long to post in their entirety, but here goes. The short answer is YES sexual assault is overused and NO it is not taken seriously enough.
Right now we have Kristen raping (or trying to rape) Brady, Gabi and Chad constantly shaming Abby for having been raped and for carrying her rapist's child, and Ciara's rape being used as a plot point to get her to separate from Tripp and move her closer to Ben.
Lani's rape of JJ was never acknowledged and he has constantly been painted as the guilty party for "cheating" by having sex he was too incapacitated to be able to consent to and which he did not want to have.
Eve's hookup with JJ was also of dubious consent, Jill's drugging JJ and taking a sexually explicit photo was never labeled sexual assault.
Ava's rape of Steve (similar to what Kristen is trying to do) led to Kayla -- a rape survivor herself -- berating Steve for "cheating" for months.
Kristen's rape of Eric was acknowledged as rape, but he dropped the case and his obnoxious behavior after was never connected to the sexual assault he experienced.
I'm not opposed to a legitimate story about rape. Kayla's stats are right. It's a serious problem (for men and for women) and a well-written story such as the ones we had in the 1990s can be a powerful indictment of sexual assault, something we need right now because there are too many people in the real world who don't think rape is really that big a deal.
Instead, Days is supporting the idea that rape survivors are just crybabies and that they deserve the guilt and shame they feel as a result of having been violated.
Christine: Yes! Days uses some sort of sexual assault in far too many stories. They seem to believe it ramps up the drama but it almost always makes me want to fast forward, and I sometimes have.
A real sexual assault story could be powerful and dramatic but this show usually glosses over the crime, lets the criminal get away with it, and shames or ignores the victims. The aftermath is frequently whitewashed or ignored in order to move on to the next story.
Days of Our Lives has done far better in the past and should be striving for far better and more realistic stories on this subject now.
Will Marlena recover from her gunshot wound and how do you hope to see this story play out?
Wendylou: I think she will. As far as how I want to see it play out, I can only say...quickly.
Jack: I’m sure she eventually will. I'm not a big John/Marlena fan but I'd like them to do what they should have done with Steve and Kayla and actually show a story of John having to help her with her disabilities as she recovers from this and her having to deal with whatever limitations her injuries place on her.
Christine: Yes, but I hope it takes some time. I want to see Marlena as a strong, capable woman who has to handle a serious challenge to her health and abilities.
I want John to be there for her, but I don’t want him to be her white knight. I want Doc to be in the forefront of her own recovery, no matter what that entails.
What disappointed you the most this week in Salem?
Wendylou: Kristen’s “seduction” of Brady. Gross.
Jack: Way too much violence. Kristen seems to be a pointless character who does nothing but threaten people, and we don't need another story about someone raping the object of their desires and calling it love.
We also don't need Hope being a corrupt cop who only cares about using the badge to punish people who she dislikes for personal reasons. I wish Sami had threatened to file a joint lawsuit with Ben! Hope violated her civil rights a billion times and then laughed about it.
And Sami should not have been saddled with this obsession with EJ, which contradicts her fierce, independent nature. Women on this show are all depicted as not being able to live without a man and this EJ story is not really an exception.
Christine: Could someone please make Belle stop screeching about Sami? She was giving me a headache.
Also, did the show really bring Kristen back just to have her try and force herself on another man? I don’t know why, but I expected better.
Which storyline are you the most excited about?
Wendylou: Ummm...not too much. I’m kind of interested to see if we’ll hear more about EJ and I suppose, what happened to Paul and Kristen.
Jack: I’m excited about all things Sami. She never used to be my favorite but right now she's the only actual strong woman on the show who is not easily cowed by some ridiculous threat.
Christine: I’m enjoying Sami being back and hope she’s a successful wedge between Hope and Rafe. I also kind of missed Ben Weston this week…and I never thought I’d hear myself say that!
Want to chat more about the violence happening in Salem? Check out Jack Ori’s weekly Days of Our Lives review here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.