I didn't expect to love Diana Cooper as much as I do.
Judith Chapman is a soap legend who played snobby, evil Anjelica to perfection back in the 1990s and it's great to have her back on canvas.
But the Leo story has been nothing but annoying so far, and Days of Our Lives' track record with bringing back old characters hasn't been great lately. So Diana's snarky, snooty, enigmatic ways on Days of Our Lives during the week of 1-29-19 were a refreshing surprise.
From the moment DIana set foot on the Kiriakis mansion grounds, she had my interest.
So far, she's an old-school diva who rivals Kate for the title of coldest woman in Salem, except Kate would do anything for her kids and Diana seems to hate hers, at least to his face.
She abhors what Leo is doing, yet she does seem to want to protect him, stopping just short of telling anyone the truth about his past and switching from friendly and sweet to cold and aloof as soon as she's pushed.
She clearly has secrets, and I want to know what they are! And that's saying a lot considering her on-screen son is nothing but irritating and I wouldn't mind if he disappeared without explanation.
Leo clearly fears and despises his mom, and she's not afraid to slap him -- or blackmail him!
Let's get this straight. I'm the parent. You're the child, though you're more like a parasitic leech.Diana
It's too early to tell what's really going on, but so far my guess is that Ted Laurent is Leo's father, and that possibly Ted abused both Diana and Leo.
The only person Diana has opened up to at all about this is Sonny, and her claim that Leo is just a spoiled brat who refuses to accept being told NO fits what we've seen of his character, yet doesn't quite ring true.
And what the heck did Diana want with Marlena? She clearly was involved with John during his Roman days, yet Marlena didn't recognize her.
Did she want that recognition and to gloat that she was back in town? Did she already know Marlena was Will's grandmother?
I don't know, but I can't wait to find out!
I wish, though, that everyone in town would stop trying to force her to turn against Leo.
The more people do that, the more it seems to make her shut down, and it doesn't seem particularly wise to arm her with a lot of information she could use to help her wayward son wreak havoc.
Marlena: You know, I've been asking myself what makes it okay for Leo to hurt people? What could have made him so vindictive? Was he perhaps traumatized? Perhaps you could shed some light, not just for Leo's sake, but for everyone's.
Diana: Let me ask you something, Dr. Evans. If you had potentially damaging information about your daughter, would you throw her under the bus to help a complete stranger?
As Diana pointed out, she's virtually a stranger to all these people who are trying to protect Will. Will and Sonny assumed that because Leo hates her, Diana would be on their side. That could be a fatal assumption, and Will gave her every detail she needs to make their lives miserable!
Marlena didn't fare much better; Diana went from adoring fan to angry and defensive in seconds. And now John is at Diana's door to do the same thing.
Maybe John's former relationship with Diana will do something to break the logjam, but so far trying to turn Diana against Leo is an exercise in futility, and everyone should have expected it to be.
Regardless of what the story is with their relationship, it's highly unlikely that a mother who came to Salem to warn her son that law enforcement was after him harbors no love in her heart for him. In fact, she already proved she still has protective instincts, since she did issue that warning.
Leo's scene with Adrienne was more interesting after seeing him interact with Diana.
His insistence on calling Adrienne "Mother Kiriakis" seemed before to be just another way he was getting under Sonny's skin, but now I had to wonder whether he is engaging in this whole obnoxious plan because Sonny and Adrienne represent the family he wishes he had and he's trying to force his way into being part of it.
Adrienne showed she can be just as threatening as Diana if she wants to be when she approached him with scissors in hand! But that likely is making Leo twice as determined to make her accept him as her son-in-law.
Either way, I'm still finding Leo's insistence on trying to sleep with every guy he sees irritating.
On the one hand, DAYS has evolved as a soap, now allowing an openly gay character to hit on every man he sees instead of killing off gay characters for no reason or shoving them in the background for months on end.
On the other, Leo doesn't seem to understand the meaning of consent. He tried to bribe Xander into sex while continually touching him in ways Xander didn't want to be touched and then forced a kiss on an unwilling Brady.
That's not cool when men do it to women and it's equally uncool when men do it to other men. Leo can be as promiscuous as he wants, but can we stop playing nonconsensual encounters for laughs, please?
Speaking of nonconsensual encounters, what's up with Ciara getting kidnapped.;..again?
This came out of the blue. Nobody was stalking Ciara or otherwise threatening her. She just disappeared and suddenly found herself tied to a bed.
In addition, this is the fourth time Ciara has been kidnapped!
As a small child, she was taken by a corrupt cop who wanted a huge ransom and payback for not getting a promotion. That was a fine story except for some nonsense about Bo seeing visions and blaming Hope for the kidnapping because she didn't hide Ciara's teddy bear to stop the vision of him looking for her and finding it from coming true.
But it doesn't need to be repeated over and over, and it certainly does not need to happen three times in the space of two years!
Soon after Bo's death, Hope swore vengeance on Stefano's goons and one of them kidnapped Ciara to try to teach her mother a lesson.
Then a corrupt ISA head kidnapped CIara and Tripp from their loft as part of her plot to punish Steve for quitting the ISA.
And now she's been blindfolded, gagged, and tied to a bed by an unknown person for unknown reasons.
Victoria Konefal is a talented young actress who has shined in this Ciara/Ben story so far. Can't the writers find something better for her character to do than this?
Ciara has been struggling with feelings of low self-worth after her rape (at least, when the plot demands it), but the odds are that this new kidnapping will not add to her psychological difficulties.
The story is nothing but yet another vehicle for Hope to complain about Ben and demand that he be put in jail to stop him from dating her daughter.
Hope: Did Ben say anything about Ciara?
Marlena: You know I can't tell you that.
Hope: I know. And other ordinary circumstances, I would respect that. But these aren't ordinary circumstances. Please, Marlena, I am begging you... my daughter is missing.
Hope was convinced that Ciara was just avoiding her to stop her from knowing she and Ben had got back together until it dawned on her that Ben might have kidnapped her daughter.
Then she got that hard look in her eyes again, called Marlena in... and demanded she break confidentiality to give Hope probable cause to arrest Ben for a crime he didn't commit.
Marlena kept her face neutral as Hope demanded this over and over, but I could tell she was irritated. I wish she'd point out that Hope's behavior is not healthy and recommend a course of therapy for her instead.
I also hope that Marlena doesn't give in, but I wouldn't be surprised. The current crop of writers has neither understanding of nor respect for how mental health treatment works and seems to think that Hope's continued abuse of power is heroic.
Marlena had a number of scenes in her office, which is a big improvement over her being absent from mental health storylines, but she wasn't exactly effective.
It goes without saying that she shouldn't have counseled her son, though technically she was just giving him advice as a parent. Her advice to him wasn't bad, though it was missing the obvious.
She was right that Eric denying his feelings for Sarah wouldn't help anything, but that didn't mean he had to act on them or even tell her how he felt. He just had to acknowledge them to himself and accept that he felt the way he did so that he could decide what to do.
Of course, that visit had to be followed up with an impromptu visit from Sarah to discuss the same thing!
It was wholly inappropriate for Marlena to counsel Sarah. Even if she hadn't just had this conversation with Eric, Sarah was coming to her to talk about Marlena's son.
It's odd that Marlena follows ethical codes about confidentiality but not about dual relationships or the inability to be objective. I know she's a main character, but surely there has to be some other psychiatrist in town that Marlena can refer people who want to date her children to.
That aside, Sarah was at her most likable both when talking to Marlena and when talking to Maggie. In both of these cases, she came across as an adult who realized she'd done something stupid and immature and wanted to make amends.
That's a far cry from the Sarah we see whenever she's around Rex!
There really was no good reason for Sarah to take Rex back. Her decision to sleep with Xander was stupid and shortsighted, but it was consensual and she did it while not committed to any man.
So Rex and his attitude that he owns Sarah can go. In addition, his stalker vibe is getting stronger. He showed up at Sarah's workplace unannounced because he missed her so much he couldn't wait for her to get off shift.
That's not romantic or cute. It's creepy.
And Sarah looked incredibly unhappy and unenthusiastic when Rex suggested they go on a date after her shift, too. The implication seems to be that she really wants Eric but can't admit it to herself. But that's ridiculous since she's known Eric for only a few days and the so-called love of Eric's life died only a few months ago!
The Jack/Jennifer storyline is so much better than any of this nonsense that seems to be the writers' idea of romance!
Jack seems to be playing Eve, but for what end I don't know. He refused all of her advances and ran away from her as fast as he could after getting as much info as he could out of her about Xander and Rolf's diary.
If he'd come back a few minutes earlier he would have seen the diary and that would have been that.
Anyway, I don't blame him for being angry at Jennifer. Telling him there's a cure but it's years away does seem pointless It's like telling someone with cancer that if they wait ten years, there may be new technology available to treat an inoperable tumor!
Jennifer's heartbreaking statement that Jack is no longer the man she fell hard for might have got through to him if he wasn't so angry about the information she so inconsiderately shared with him. If she'd posed it as wanting to help him look for the diary, he might have felt differently.
Anyway, I was thrilled that Jack turned up at JJ's, even though I suspect the connection he feels with him is more of a plot point than anything else.
JJ had just had that contrived argument with Haley to get her out of the house and into Tripp's arms, and Jack was pressing JJ to divulge Haley's secret. This is probably going to be the next source of conflict between JJ and Haley, since Jack is running against Haley's evil sister for Mayor and JJ's longed to have his father back for years.
Anyway, I've thought since the beginning that Jack has always had a special relationship with JJ and that that would be the key to getting his memories back, even more so than his love story with Jennifer.
And it's about time to see someone in that family treat JJ as the most important member, since he always gets the short end of the stick while everyone treats Abigail as the golden child deserving of far more love and attention than her brother.
FInally, what the heck was with the random Chloe/Stefan stuff?
Doug's Place could solve a lot of problems by locking the door when people aren't welcome to come in. Eve interrupted Jennifer and Jack's private party, Xander showed up looking for a drink when the place was closed, and Stefan crashed Lani and Eli's impromptu romantic evening, all because the door was unlocked.
It doesn't say much for Salem's star cops that they were both so into each other that apparently they didn't notice Stefan sneaking into the club as they were leaving. It's a good thing no one robbed the place!
Anyway, this Chloe/Stefan conversation was all sorts of random. I'm wracking my brains to try to remember any previous interactions between these two characters. If there were any, I'm sure they weren't pleasant.
But Chloe came to work to find Stefan had broken in, or I guess sneaked in, agreed to a drink, and shared parts of her personal life with him. Why?
It made no sense whatsoever, nor did her suddenly getting a bloody knife in the mail.
She ruined whatever fingerprints might have been on it by taking it out and was somehow convinced just by looking at it that this was the exact same knife she killed Mateo with months ago. Could there not possibly be two knives that looked alike?
I'm also not convinced that Stefan didn't send the knife himself. Since he's smitten with Chloe at the moment, what better set-up is there to get her away from Brady than to get her to relax and have a few drinks with him while knowing she's about to receive a threat that he can offer her protection from?
What do you think, DAYS Fanatics? Am I giving Stefan too much credit?
Weigh in on that and all other things DAYS below!
And don't forget to check back in on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion!
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.