Days of Our Lives: The Eternal Damsel in Distress

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Marlena gets kidnapped so often it's become a joke.

She's supposed to be this strong, smart woman -- a female psychiatrist who has been helping the citizens of Salem with their mental health issues for over 40 years. But whenever the plot demands it, she gets kidnapped or attacked and needs John to save her.

Their love story is always centered around her being the damsel in distress and him being her knight in shining armor. And on Days of Our Lives during the week of 3-4-18, it happened again thanks to Diana plotting against Marlena.

(TALL) Marlena in Danger Again - Days of Our Lives

To her credit, Marlena does see through Diana, which is more than I can say for her husband.

John still insisted there was no reason for Diana to lie about Leo's parentage and seemed generally clueless about his ex's romantic interest in him.

That's silly. John is supposed to be a super-spy! How can he possibly be that oblivious?

Related: Days of Our Lives: Why Social Messaging Matters

There's no reason for anyone in this story to be stupid! Plots are compelling when intelligent heroes battle equally intelligent foes. But that's not the case here.  

John's general obliviousness is bad enough, but after being kidnapped so many times, you'd think Marlena would be suspicious of this woman who seems determined to break up her and John!

An Evil Interloper - Days of Our Lives

Diana gained access to Marlena's office and records ridiculously easily, too. Nurse Shelley said no to helping her break in, then changed her mind five seconds later.

While Shelley was shown to have a mean streak in her conversation with Jack about illegal immigration, this abrupt about-face didn't make sense.

She respected Marlena and didn't want to hurt her, but decided to because... Diana walked away.


Related: Days of Our Lives: 13 Things That Only Happen in Salem

This was rushed, lazy writing that came on the heels of a bunch of filler. Viewers didn't need ten versions of Diana's fantasy that John came to her door in tears that Marlena was dead to get the point.

If the writers had cut most of that, there'd have been plenty of room to build up Diana's manipulation of Shelley.

Shelley resented that Haley -- a Chinese immigrant who came here illegally as an eight-year-old -- got a job at the hospital and Shelley's nephew didn't.

Diana overhearing that was a great set-up that might have been fascinating had the writers taken the time to build up an alliance between the two women instead of Shelley randomly giving a stranger access to confidential files for no apparent reason.

Amateur Detectives - Days of Our Lives

It's disappointing because Judith Chapman (Diana) plays the villain role so well. Diana is a wonderful soap diva who is both classy and cruel, and the story of her using a hapless nurse for her own purposes might make for riveting drama.

But the writers once again cheated viewers out of the story in their rush to get to the part where Diana makes her move.

Let’s forget about til death do us part. We want to kill each other anyway. So let’s just get a divorce.


The other branch of this story is, of course, the Will/Leo/Sonny mess.

I'm not sure I follow Leo's logic in his continued refusal to divorce Sonny.

If Sonny and Will go to jail, I doubt Victor will consider Leo family or allow him to stay in the mansion. If Leo wants to keep using Sonny's wealth for his own gain, he needs Sonny free.

And what, exactly, stops Sonny from filing for divorce himself, other than Justin's nonsensical claim that the guys need to appease Leo since he accused them of attempted murder so that he doesn't do anything worse to them in court?

What exactly is it Justin is afraid of? Leo will only damage his own credibility if he lashes out at the guys after claiming to be an innocent victim, and Sonny could more easily explain the circumstances of this "marriage" on the stand if he wasn't still married to the guy!

Plus, all of that attempting to crack safes using instructions found on some random website was silly.

Who Was Betrayed? - Days of Our Lives

Across town, I appreciate what the writers are trying to do with the immigration storyline, but their execution of it leaves a lot to be desired.

The worst part of this story is Haley.

Haley obviously isn't a bad person. She's kind and by all accounts a decent nurse (though I was less than impressed by her nursing skills when she interacted with Kate).

But in this story, she's being portrayed as a hapless victim who is too naive to realize when she's being lied to and who refuses to do anything to help her situation.

Those traits don't make her sympathetic and they don't help drive the writers' point home about immigration issues.

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Haley refused over and over to allow JJ to hook her up with an immigration lawyer instead of hiding her status and praying for the best, and now is hiding in Tripp's house and crying that JJ betrayed her and the world betrayed her and it's not fair for her to be kicked out of the country.

This victim mentality takes away from the point about the immigration policy being unfair to someone who was brought here as a child and has been contributing positively to the community. It makes it look like Haley would not be having these problems if only she would get up and do something about them.

Another Bad Situation - Days of Our Lives

Haley's whining about JJ is obnoxious, especially because what he did was confide in someone he thought he could trust, while Haley blindly trusted Tripp and his roommates instead while Claire plotted to turn her in.

Claire's behavior was abhorrent.

I hate what the writers have done to her character. She went from a sweet, kind mini-Belle to completely selfish and immature without warning, and she gets worse  every time she's on screen!

She's not a love-to-hate kind of villain, either. Her desire to have Tripp for herself isn't a strong motivation and it certainly doesn't justify setting cabins on fire or ruining the life of someone caught up in a bad legal situation.

Take it from someone who learned it the hard way. You have to take care of yourself because no one else ever will.


I've always enjoyed Claire's relationship with Eve. Claire has been Eve's substitute Paige since Paige died. But Claire tattling to Eve about Haley ruined it.

And what is up with Tripp that he can't see through Claire's super-obvious lies? 

(TALL) Jack Drops a Bombshell - Days of Our Lives

As hateful as Eve is towards Jennifer, I can't quite believe she'd want to ruin Haley's life this way either

Eve was a foster child whose problems come from being bounced from home to home and never trusting anyone could love her and Haley is an orphan who was sent to the United States after her parents' death in China to live with a sister who viewed her as an intrusion.

If anything, Eve should be on Haley's side because of their similar pasts.

Not the Man She Remembers - Days of Our Lives

Jack's descent into ruthlessness doesn't make much sense either. He went from being sad that he had ruined things with his son to making the object of JJ's affection Public Enemy #1 within a day and doesn't seem to be able to think without Eve telling him what to think.

Jennifer's latest attempt to get through to him about who he really is was moving, but at this point, she needs to give up and let him come to her when he's ready to care about his family.

I keep wanting to believe the man you were is still in there somewhere. The man I fell so hard for, the man I married. But if you keep going down this path, you will not only lose the election, you will lose your soul.


The whole idea that mayors of small towns in the Midwest run campaigns based on their opinions of illegal immigration, never mind have the power to do anything about federal policy on the matter, is laughable, but JJ taking Abe's side over his father-turned-devil's is interesting.

JJ's suicide attempt in 2017 was partially due to Abe's rejection of him after Theo was shot, and this story solidifies Abe as JJ's newest father figure. Plus it gives too talented actors something worthwhile to do.

Related: Why is Days of Our Lives Misusing Abe Carver?

I just hope that conversation between JJ and Lani wasn't foreshadowing that Haley is just a temporary distraction for JJ until he and Lani get back together! Round one of JJ and the woman who couldn't take no for an answer was bad enough.

Fighting Her Feelings - Days of Our Lives

Across town, Stefan was the latest person to think that kissing someone without permission is acceptable behavior. It's not surprising, considering he still hasn't really taken responsibility for raping Abby, but it's still not cool.

I liked that he was more or less respectful of Chloe's wishes after she pulled away, but I'd rather have had the conversation about where their relationship was headed BEFORE any kissing took place.

Lost His Queen - Days of Our Lives

I also am not a huge fan of Brady and Gabi teaming up against Stefan because Stefan kissed Chloe.

First of all, Chloe is not Brady's property. He crossed the line by hiring a security guard without telling her and then continued to take the attitude that her wishes don't matter because he needs to protect her.

Maybe he should talk to Hope about how Ciara felt about her efforts to "protect" her from Ben!

Also, Brady spent a good chunk of time berating Eve for her plan to get revenge on Jennifer, only to turn around and plot revenge against Stefan.

That was hypocritical, plus it showed he learned nothing after blackmailing Nicole despite his insistence that he was a changed man.

Fighting Over Hope - Days of Our Lives

The Ted/Hope/Rafe triangle competed with the Rex/Sarah/Eric triangle for most ridiculous.

There was no need for Rafe to beat Ted up or for the thousandth fight over Rafe having gone to see Sami when Hope didn't want him to.

Hope sounded delusional when she insisted that Ciara getting kidnapped while Rafe was away happened because Rafe had gone to see Sami.

Rafe doesn't have a crystal ball and can't predict that a different crazy ex is going to kidnap his stepdaughter while out of town helping his former stepson!

Is Hope Falling for Ted? - Days of Our Lives

In any case, Hope's behavior isn't entertaining and neither is the endless fight this couple has. I keep hoping they're going to break up already so I don't have to be tormented by any more of this.

Stuck in The Middle - Days of Our Lives

As for the Rex triangle, this belongs on some teen drama. People in their 30s don't act this way.

Rex told a story about Sarah's first day at work that sounded like it belonged on New Amsterdam and somehow that was supposed to justify his insistence that Eric convince Sarah to marry Rex.

Chloe and Eric both tried to tell Rex this wouldn't work, and his continued insistence on high school hijinks didn't make this couple rootable or even interesting.

A Sad Breakup - Days of Our Lives

Finally, I have mixed feelings about Ciara and Ben's breakup.

I've never been 100% behind this couple because Ben's serial killing ways are harder to redeem than the show has made them.

And it didn't help that they went around in circles, having the same conversation over and over for literally three days before getting to the point that Ben decided to end things.

I get impatient with conversations that go nowhere, especially when they are repeated over and over. Maybe if they'd got to the point more quickly, I'd find this breakup compelling.

As it is, it seems like contrived drama designed to give the couple an obstacle that came out of nowhere.

Plus, I'm sure Ben will save Ciara AGAIN and then realize he's good enough for her. It's bad enough that Marlena holds the world record for number of times kidnapped. Let's not have Ciara be another damsel in distress.

Your turn, DAYS Fanatics! Is this Diana story compelling drama? ARe you rooting for Ciara and Ben to reunite? And who is the most naive in the Haley storyline?

Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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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.

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Days of Our Lives Quotes

Like sands through the hourglass... so are the Days of Our Lives.

Dr. Thomas "Tom" Horton Sr.

Gwen: Did you get your old job back?
Claire: Nope.
Gwen: Why not?
Claire: They are under new ownership. My old boss Fran is still there, but she said they were looking for a 'more sophisticated type of employee.' You know, saving her from the embarrassment of telling me to my face that they don't want a psycho pyromaniac waiting tables.
Gwen: Well, that's too bad. You know, you should have told them that you can serve the hell out of bananas flambe!