Days of Our Lives Review: Chad And Abigail's Swan SongJack Ori at .
Raise your hand if Chad and Abigail's wedding moved you to tears.
I cried more than once -- and I haven't been a big fan of them in a long time!
Whatever you felt about this couple, they got a beautiful farewell -- and no gratuitous deaths, either!
The wedding was rushed so that the couple could hightail it out of Salem, but it was nothing unusual for this soap.
Salem weddings are always put together in a matter of minutes and guests are never unavailable for a last-second ceremony.
Besides, Kate Mansi (Abigail) was only available for a limited period of time, so the writers had to do the best they could to wrap Abby's story up properly.
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Family and romance are two of the things DAYS was known for once upon a time, and we got a glimpse of what this show used to be in Chad and Abby's wedding.
Jack being cajoled into accepting his invitation was a nice touch, and JJ playing guitar was the perfect way for him to honor his sister.
And of course Julie -- who is quickly becoming the second-generation version of Alice Horton -- officiated with equal parts sentimentality and humor.
And now before I declare these two husband and wife by the power vested in me by the Internet....Julie
What an honor it must have been for Billy Flynn and Kate Mansi to get to work with Susan Seaforth Hayes during their final scenes! She is truly a soap legend and she and real-life husband Bill Hayes always play perfectly off one another as Julie and Doug.
The wedding was no exception to that.
Chad and Abby's vows were heartfelt and beautiful. My only complaint about them was that they eschewed the tradition of using the show title somewhere in there, but that was a minor issue.
Jack also felt a need to jump up and make a speech right when Julie asked if there were any objections. He wasn't objecting, of course, and his speech about being honored to be there was nice. But was there really any reason that couldn't have waited until after the ceremony?
Nevertheless, I enjoyed seeing Jack spend time with the family he once knew. Julie and Doug said that had to be surreal for Jennifer, but how much more surreal was it for Jack?
Jack's love of literature might have led him to comment that he felt like he was in a non-Christmasy version of the Christmas Carol, had he been asked, because his lack of memory made this event a glimpse of a future he was supposed to have when he was "killed" but couldn't relate to now.
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One of my favorite moments in the entire goodbye was Jack's reaction to learning that Abby quoted his book at her first wedding. It was like he couldn't fully fathom being so important to this family that his daughter would want to quote him.
I just wish that would wake him up enough to stop listening to Eve for once and for all.
JJ: What happened to you, Dad? The dad I grew up with would have been on Haley’s side. You were always for the underdog.
Jack: I am not against Haley! But she is a frightened girl and she is desperate for a green card and you’re a single guy with a job.
JJ: You’re worried about me being taken advantage of by a woman? You’re the one who’s shacked up with Eve Donovan!
JJ hasn't been making great decisions lately when it comes to Haley, but I was glad he called Jack out on criticizing JJ's relationship while remaining tethered to Eve.
Amnesia or no amnesia, Jack isn't stupid -- so why is he being so gullible? Eve's manipulations are super transparent. There is zero reason for him to reject his family's opinion of her when he has seen with his own eyes that they're right.
In addition, JJ isn't a teenager anymore. He's in his early-to-mid 20s! What man that age is going to put up with his father dictating who he can be friends, roommates, or anything with?
That didn't even work when JJ was a rebellious teenager and Jennifer was a helicopter mom, and I wish JJ would have pointed that out too.
Also, as an aside: can the writers find something for JJ and Jack to do besides drink together?
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I know the writers love to ignore this, but JJ had problems with alcohol in the past.
After a year of sobriety from weed, he suddenly and randomly drank four beers as a teenager and ended up slurring his words and responding to Eve's advances.
In 2016, Lani took advantage of a blacked-out drunk JJ, who then berated himself for cheating on Gabi when he was too intoxicated to consent.
Yet the show always portrays JJ drinking as no big deal, and now is suggesting that the only way Jack can bond with his son is by sharing a beer with him.
How about instead of suggesting that men can only bond over beer, the formerly introspective and eager-to-do-the-right-thing JJ realizes that alcohol is a bad idea for him and does something else with his dad?
All that being said, JJ does need a talking-to about Haley -- just not the kind Jack is giving him.
Soaps are forever using the trope of one person kissing another to melt away resistance to romance, but it's not cool.
Haley had just said moments before she didn't think they should be more than friends, which meant no sudden kisses.
And since JJ had worried after their first kiss that he'd somehow taken advantage of Haley, there was no reason for him to do it right after she'd said she didn't want to.
It was nice that JJ asked after the fact if he'd come on too strong, but it wasn't enough. He of all people should know better since he's so often worried that he might be a rapist because Jack raped Kayla.
That was almost as bad as Abigail and Stefan's final conversation, where he apologized for raping her in one breath and then said part of her loved him in the next and she agreed!
I've always said that for Stefan to be redeemed he would have to take responsibility for the rape, but this doesn't count! It was just more whitewashing of what he did to Abby and that marred her otherwise excellent exit story.
Also, someone please stop this Claire/Tripp/Haley/JJ thing before it starts!
JJ has never had any on-screen relationship with his cousin whatsoever, so the soap trope of pitting cousins against each other falls flat.
Plus, the rushed relationship between JJ and Haley has had no build-up and we've already endured months of Ciara and Claire fighting over Tripp.
The last thing this story needs is more of that kind of nonsense, but it looks like that's exactly what we're going to get.
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As for this ridiculous Mayor's race storyline, honestly, the one who brought on Trask's destruction was Trask herself.
Eve overhearing Trask's secret was one part karma for Trask telling everyone she knows that she's a "real American" who deports anyone who is here illegally and two parts her refusal to leave Haley alone and insistence on discussing secrets in a public place.
EVERYONE takes their private business to the park, and it's about time someone suffered some consequences for it!
And Haley should have stood up to her sister, too. There is no reason she had to go anywhere with Trask just because Trask said so. She was busy. She could have told her so.
She had the stones to stand up to Eve, so where was that fire when it came to her sister?
Also, as an aside: mayors have no control over immigration policy.
Immigration policy is a federal matter and while I applaud DAYS for trying to take a stand on a current social issue, doing it in this ridiculous, unrealistic manner cheapens the point.
In other news, Claire and Jordan competed for most ruined character during the week of 12-18-19.
Jordan, I gotta be honest. I’m looking at you and you look the same but you don’t sound like the woman who helped me walk again.Rafe
Rafe was right -- Jordan is not the woman he once knew. I don't buy for a second that she killed her mother on purpose and realized after her accident that she had protect people from Ben the same way she tried to protect them from Clyde.
Brain damage from the car accident MIGHT have been a plausible explanation, if it had been set up properly instead of being tacked on to the story after the fact as if the writers were desperate to find a way to make this make sense.
It's possible that Jordan now has a false memory of killing her mother on purpose that she thinks is true, I suppose, but the whole thing just feels like character assassination to me. Plus Jordan was more or less a plot point to break Ben and Ciara up five seconds after they finally got back together.
Ciara: Aunt Kayla said my bloodwork came back fine. And she said I could go home tomorrow.
Hope: That is so good to hear. And Jordan is in custody. Thank God Rafe got there when he did.
Ciara: And Ben.
Ciara: Mom, can you please admit you were wrong about Ben?
Hope: Ciara Alice, your mother has been wrong about an awful lot of things.
I realize couples need obstacles, but viewers also need a second to take a breath between the end of one story and the beginning of the next. The constant interloper/break-up/make-up/interloper cycle gets exhausting.
It didn't work with Daniel and Jennifer and it won't work with Ciara and Ben either.
This latest problem of Ben thinking he's still a murderer reminds me of years ago when Jack threw Harper off a cliff in self-defense and then tried to break up with Jen because he felt that made him a horrible person.
It's virtually the same situation, except Jack and Jennifer had a stronger foundation for their relationship and other stories in their history besides constant interloping and breaking up.
I'm mildly interested in where this Ben/Ciara story goes but I already know once it's resolved someone else will interfere and they'll break up again, so what's the point of caring?
And why do we need Ben to be the new version of Jack when Jack has a son in town who is named after him and shares personality traits with him?
In any case, the biggest WTF moment was the reveal that Claire was the one who set the fire.
Jordan setting it might have been predictable, but at least it wouldn't have ruined yet another character in the name of propping Ciara/Ben.
Claire is written as a jealous brat, but she's no murderer and since she couldn't even deal with her guilt over rigging a useless contest, there's no way she could have kept the fact that she nearly killed Ciara secret for over six months!
Plus she has zero motive. Ciara is her AUNT who she desperately wants to be best friends with!
There was also some nonsense with Hope/Rafe/Ted that I'll skip except to say that we already had this DA story when Aiden was the DA and Rafe was jealous of him. So let's not go there again, please. And if Rafe and Hope are staying together, which I would prefer they don't, they need some other story besides Hope getting jealous every time she walks into a room.
Similarly, there was some more stupidity with Rex/Sarah/Eric, the only good part of which is that it was only one day long.
Kate's chastising Rex for leaving his date with his brother was amusing, but I prefer Kate hating her sons' girlfriends like she usually does.
Far more interesting is this Diana story. I'm almost positive that DIana is lying about Leo being John's son and that her goal is to create problems between John and Marlena.
She keeps manipulating John to try to get him not to tell Marlena this news and if Leo hadn't interrupted with his nonsense, she probably would have told Marlena herself to make it look like John was keeping secrets on purpose.
That said, Diana is a wonderful soap diva and watching her is refreshing.
Unlike all the other characters who have been totally rewritten, I'm enjoying her being the way she is even though that's not who she was 20 years ago.
Finally, I'm glad Leo blackmailing Sonny is over, even if Hope is being hypocritical for insisting on arresting Sonny and Will for the same crime that she herself tried to get away with after she murdered Stefano.
The Leo/Gabi scenes were supposed to be comic relief but tying Leo up the same way Ciara had just been tied up wasn't funny, especially since Gabi was recently kidnapped too. Plus Gabi went back to being whiny and throwing tantrums as soon as she left the Kiriakis mansion, instead acting as if Stefan owed her a job just because she needed one.
And Sonny's description of what had happened with Leo should have rung several bells for Gabi since it was exactly what happened when Kate and Sami convinced her to throw Nick in the river after hitting him with a rock in self-defense.
So what did you think, DAYS fanatics?
How many tears did you shed during Chad and Abby's wedding? Is Jack being ridiculously gullible? And does Claire setting the fire make sense to anybody?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to ckech back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
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.