In late May of 2018, Brady learned that ex-wife Theresa hadn't really fallen out of love with him, but had been blackmailed into leaving him by a drug lord who wanted to force her to be with him instead.
It was a disappointing end to a disappointing story in which Theresa's being forced into sexual slavery was never called anything close to what it was.
Fast forward to Days of Our Lives during the week of 10-8-18, where Eric learned that Nicole never really fell out of love with him but had been blackmailed into leaving town ... and now Xander was using the same threat to force her to marry him.
I can't be the only one who feels like this is a rerun -- and the original wasn't enjoyable.
This story features yet another formerly strong woman who has suddenly become weak and unable to take care of herself without a man's protection.
I don't believe for one second that Nicole is so scared of going to prison that she will do anything anyone demands.
This is the same woman who stood up to abusive men like EJ and Victor and who ignored Daniel's instructions to stay home while he confronted a drug dealer, instead saving him from an attempted knife attack before blackmailing the dealer into leaving town.
The local police have even overlooked her misdeeds from time to time, like when she ran Kristen off the road, and Roman told her what to put in her statement so that she wouldn't get in trouble.
And Xander couldn't use the tape of her confessing without putting himself on the hook for obstruction of justice since he held onto it for several months and would be coming forward 18 months after the murder. Plus he stole the tape from Victor.
So why exactly does Nicole feel forced to remain Xander's prisoner?
The only answer I can think of is because someone thought it was romantic for Eric to rush in to save her.
It isn't. This story does nothing but ruin both their characters and show yet another woman being forced into marriage with someone who constantly pressures her for sex she doesn't want to give.
Xander made a big deal out of how he's not a rapist, but he's also informed Nicole several times that if she knows what's good for her, she'll hurry up and consent to sex with him and has threatened to separate her from her daughter and/or kill her boyfriend if she doesn't comply.
The writers apparently are unaware of this, but threatening someone's loved ones to make them have sex with you is rape even though it doesn't involve physical force.
I'm sure this was meant to show what a romantic couple Eric and Nicole are. After all, Eric will do anything for Nicole.
But the rushed way they were put back together doesn't do either of them any favors. Nicole has been transformed into a damsel in distress and stripped of everything that made her unique.
And Eric looks like a jerk.
I would stand up to 1,000 Xanders in order to keep you safe.Eric
He professed eternal love to Nicole and swore that nobody, not even Xander, could keep them apart.
That's nice, but he told Jen at least 25 times that Nicole was his past and she was his future, then suddenly became mean and angry when he heard Nicole still loved him, rushed off to see her, and doesn't seem to remember he had been committed to Jen not all that long ago.
There's more to making a couple into a supercouple than having them say the words that Steve would say to Kayla or Bo would say to Hope in a situation like this.
The characters have to be rootable, the situation has to make sense, and neither partner should have just dumped the last person they said the same words to to be with this one.
Jennifer should be furious at Eric for having lied to her for months and months rather than hating herself for taking some time before telling him what Brady did to Nicole.
Instead, she's acting like she's totally okay with Eric dumping her for Nicole because Nicole is his "true love" and that sends the message that his caddish behavior is acceptable.
It isn't. Even after Jennifer returned the ring, Eric insisted he was only going to see Nicole for closure and that he didn't want to break things off with Jen.
At the very least, he owes her a phone call to explain the situation and apologize for having led her on.
Meanwhile, the Salem PD is busy looking for Xander while he is in Nashville bothering Nicole and Eric and working with Kristen.
That situation could have easily been resolved by Eric telling Roman that he knew where Xander was, but Eric kept his mouth shut because of the infamous tape that we're supposed to believe is a threat to Nicole.
I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying Xander and Kristen's interactions, though.
These two actors have a ton of chemistry, and while I will always be disappointed that Paul Tefler was not cast as the new version of EJ, I'm loving the way he and Kristen fight with each other and would love to see them in a romantic pairing!
The way they sniped at each other reminded me of Kate and Andre, and it was the first time I've been interested in Kristen since her return.
I was never a big fan of Brady/Kristen to begin with, and Kristen is generally over-the-top violent and one-note. But she was witty and fun in her interactions with Xander, and they're two outcasts from their super-powerful families, so they have plenty to bond over.
I'm also curious about what they're doing. Brady clearly thought that the patient was EJ, and the patient responded to hearing Sami's name. But is it really EJ, or is it someone they are grooming to believe he is EJ?
As for Brady, could he be any more stupid?
I mean, he gets points for trying to play Kristen (though actually having sex with her two or three times was a bit much) and following her to find out what she was up to was a good idea. But as soon as he found that keypad, it was like his brain ceased to function.
Putting in wrong passwords over and over was sure to make the thing lock up, if not set off some sort of alarm so that Kristen knew someone was breaking in.
And unscrewing the keypad and trying to snip wires without knowing what he was doing was purely idiotic. Plus he used a metal knife on random electric wires!
How could he not have seen the electric shock coming?
I'm glad at least he didn't wake up paralyzed or with a case of amnesia, though I'm not sure kicking in the door and tiptoeing around Kristen's secret complex is a great idea.
Since his dad is ISA, letting him in on some of this might have been a good idea, but Brady is perpetually short on those. I just hope this doesn't end up with him convincing himself he's in love with Kristen after all.
There was more silliness on the John/Marlena front now that Hattie knows she's probably going back to prison soon.
Hattie showed up at the Pub with a jacket over her hospital gown, desperate to get Roman's attention even though she is insisting on being married to John. Roman freaked out that people might wonder why "Marlena" was out and about, more or less did a citizen's arrest, and marched her back to her hospital room.
He sounded like he was scolding an errant kindergartener when he told her she'd better not leave her bed without permission again, and I didn't see what the big deal was.
Why not take the opportunity to move Marlena back into that room now that she's on the mend and let everyone think that Hattie had just been released from jail and was bothering Roman?
That would certainly have attracted less attention than Roman yelling at her in front of customers that she had to go and threatening not to get her any more cheeseburgers if she didn't behave herself.
Meanwhile, Sami was using her newfound freedom to reunite with EJ.
It would have been so much better for her to get involved in the baby Bonnie scam. She and Lucas are far more soulmates than she and EJ ever were -- in fact, EJ threatened Lucas' life to force Sami to be with him!
Anyway, I was glad that for once Rafe decided to play by the rules. I'm tired of seeing corrupt cops do whatever they feel like to whoever they feel like doing it.
The only corrupt officers on DAYS should be random uniforms who lose their jobs at the end of a storyline where they're causing trouble. It's not entertaining to see abuse of power being treated as something heroic.
Sami: I have a lead on where Kristen is, and EJ's with her.
Kate: Have you called the cops?
Sami: Of course not. They'd just try to stop me.
I wasn't sure what to make of Sami's scenes with Stefan.
Her plan to pay him for information seemed poorly thought out. How did she know he wasn't making something up just to get his hands on her money?
I also wondered if she knew about him raping Abigail and what her reaction to that whole mess was. Sami was the last one to swear revenge on Abby after Abby slept with EJ, but she wasn't creepy like Gabi, and she is a rape survivor herself, so I doubt she'd approve of Stefan's behavior here.
I cracked up at her rushed interaction with Kate, who seems to have grown a conscience recently and was concerned about her. But why the heck did she decide to mace Nicole?
Putting aside the obvious stupidity of opening the door without seeing who's there when you're on the run and scared of your roommate, that whole thing was random.
I'm glad Lucas is suing for custody of "his" baby. I wish he knew the whole story and could claim that Mimi is a negligent mother because she allowed Bonnie to do this.
Bonnie's blackmail attempt is yet another example of someone giving in to a weak threat that she shouldn't have to worry about.
Mimi killing her father is right up there with four-year-old Chase Jennings having shot his mother, and anyway, since Bonnie already did ten years for it, if she turned around and claimed Mimi was the killer now, everyone would assume she was lying to get out of trouble.
And if Mimi loved her daughter as much as she claims, she would not allow Bonnie to pretend the baby was hers and then be shocked that the baby's alleged father demanded time with the child.
Besides, why do we need Mimi giving in to blackmail to avoid going to prison for her daughter's formative years at the same time as Nicole is giving into blackmail for the same reason?
Finally, Abe spent time yelling at Sheila about taking his parking space and then practically breaking up with Valerie because she dared suggest his daughter was less than perfect.
This is not a good use of Abe. In fact, it's more nonsensical rewriting that destroys his character.
Abe has never been the type of person who would get all bent out of shape over something like this. And before someone behind the scenes deciding that Lani being his daughter made her automatically a good person no matter what she did, he was a role model in the community who stood for integrity and justice.
Abe should have been disappointed in his wayward daughter after the lies she told and the manipulations she engaged in.
John's harsh words to Belle during the advanced directive storyline, when he told her he was ashamed to call her his daughter, should have come out of Abe's mouth.
But instead, Abe got mad because Valerie suggested Lani wasn't blameless in her relationship problems with Eli and said that if Valerie couldn't back off of Lani, their relationship was over!
And Valerie apologized.
There is so much wrong with this picture that it's hard to know where to begin.
Valerie had nothing to apologize for, and the whole scene again sent the message that when men throw their weight around, women should appease them.
If she had any self-respect, she would have told Abe that she knew her son wasn't perfect and was okay with Abe pointing it out and that he needed to act like an adult when it came to his daughter, or he was going to find himself without a partner.
And Abe should never have gone there in the first place. The writers again think that all they need to do is tell us that Lani is wonderful and perfect and we will believe it.
It doesn't work that way, and it's a shame that Abe's character is being sacrificed for the sake of propping his daughter instead of writing anything that would make Lani at all rootable.
What did you think, DAYS fanatics?
Were Kristen and Xander an interesting couple? Is the mystery patient really EJ? And which storyline most held your attention during the week of 10-8-18?