Ah, Salem... where the good guys almost always talk the bad guys out of hurting them.
I'm not sure Ted Laurent qualifies as a good guy, but he certainly knew how to negotiate for his life, if not for his freedom, on Days of Our Lives during the week of 6-24-19!
Meanwhile, in a surprising turn of events, Jack actually considered taking the memory serum and started pulling away from Eve, at least a little bit.
This Jack as bad guy with no memory story has dragged on too long. It's far beyond time for it to end.
Jack's initial response to Jennifer telling him about the diary was predictable. It looked like more of the same. Jack wanted to forget his life with Jennifer, keep holding useless rallies while doing nothing significant as Mayor to help the citizens of Salem, and profess his deep love for Eve.
But since he made the surprising decision to pursue treatment five minutes after promising Eve he had no interest, I had to wonder: was this about not wanting his memory back or about being angry at Jennifer?
Jack: [chanting at rally]: Deveraux! Deveraux!
Jen: Dever-NO! Dever-NO!
Jack: Don't you think the Spectator could have sent someone who at least pretends to be objective to cover my rallies?
Jen: Oh, I'm not here to cover your rally. Your rally is not news. You already won! So stop wasting the taxpayers' money on these rallies! I'm actually here to ask you what you're doing about dropping the charges against JJ.
Jack: Are you here to give me a lecture or to fight our son's battles for him?
It seems like this Jack amnesia story is a redux of Jack of 30 years ago deciding to turn his life around and become someone he felt was worthy of Jennifer -- except this time around he hates Jennifer.
Maybe it's partially Eve's poisonous programming, or maybe it's because Jennifer keeps pushing too damn hard to get Jack to dump Eve and go back to his old life. Either way, Jennifer seems to be the biggest impediment to progress in this story.
Jack wants to get to know his children (even though he seems oblivious to that being a lost cause thanks to his treatment of JJ and Haley), and looking at JJ's mug shot seemed to wake him up to what he was missing.
I've always thought JJ was the key to Jack regaining his memories. They were close before Jack's "death" and JJ's heartbreak and rejection of Jack now comes partially from Jack being the opposite of the man he loved and missed for so long.
And now Jack decided to go for it so he could get to know JJ.
JJ was right to tell him that pulling strings to get the charges dropped was too little too late.
JJ focused on Haley's deportation, but the fact is that there would have been no charges to drop had Jack not ordered the police to arrest his own son just to score political points!
Why on Earth should Jack get any credit for resolving a problem he caused in the first place?
I hate how Jack's memory loss is blamed for all of his bad behavior.
He doesn't remember his past and doesn't really know who he is -- but why should that mean he suddenly lacks basic intelligence?
He should have seen through Eve a long time ago, and even if he was too emotionally invested to admit to himself that she was using him, he definitely should have realized that the mess he made out of his relationship with JJ is not going to be fixed with one positive move.
In any case, why is he suddenly not 100% on the same page with Eve?
I'm glad he's not, but the sudden change of heart should have been more character driven and less due to the need to end this storyline!
Kayla's abrupt U-turn on this was confusing too.
First of all, when she told Jennifer that she was sure Jack would come around and that he was acting out of feeling that his miserable childhood made him unworthy of love, she had to really be talking about Steve staying away.
If Jack doesn't remember his childhood, how can it motivate him one way or the other?
And more importantly, Kayla seemed very pro-Jack and Jen until Jack showed up and then she did everything she could to dissuade him from getting the serum.
I think she was supposed to be acting as a doctor and warning him of the risks, but it came off as a total reversal of her position from five minutes earlier, which didn't make sense.
Kayla: The serum and the antidote have not been FDA tested.
Jack: Since when does that stop you? You gave it to Will, didn't you?
Kayla: I had no choice! We had to give it to Will right away or he was going to die. I couldn't let that happen to my great-nephew.
Jack: I see. So you're only willing to bend the rules for relatives you like and not for ones you don't.
It felt like a plot point that the writers inserted for the sole purpose of sending Jack to get the diary from Will.
JJ and Haley's reunion felt rushed.
They were talking like a couple that had been together for years when they said they were so glad to be together and couldn't live without each other.
These two barely know each other and their relationship is based mostly on JJ having found Haley passed out after her deliberate overdose!
I'm not saying JJ and Haley couldn't become a couple eventually.
Even though I'm a JJ.Paige fan, if it was written properly -- e.g JJ struggling with how much Haley reminds him of Paige and trying to figure out if he really loves her or just wants to save her because he coudn't save his girlfriend -- it could be a compelling story.
But as written, it isn't working.
This isn't the actors' fault at all. They're putting their heart and soul into the story.
But the rushed writing makes it impossible to invest in this couple. Not only was JJ devastated that Haley was gone when he barely knows her, but it was all resolved off-screen in a matter of days so that Haley could show up on his doorstep and announce she's home for good.
And if Melinda had an in with a senator who could stop Haley's deportation, why didn't she do that before all of this drama happened? Haley went on the run and was almost killed while JJ was arrested and charged with a felony while Melinda was busy not taking advantage of her connection!
Both JJ's legal issues and Haley's deportation were plot points rather than a story. JJ was released on bail off-screen. Jack got him out of trouble off-screen. Melinda got Haley returned to the US off-screen.
And now, we're supposed to just accept that Haley is the love of JJ's life with no on-screen buildup whatsoever and be excited that they're about to have sex.
Meanwhile, the net was closing around Kristen...until it wasn't.
Kate: This is going to sound completely insane, but I thought the voice I heard was Kristen Dimera's.
Ted: You're right about one thing. This is completely insane. Kristen Dimera is dead!
Kate: I know. But she is a Dimera. She's come back from the dead before. Dimeras always do.
I will give Kate props for calling 911. Characters rarely call the police even when it's the obvious thing to do (I'm looking at you, Ciara and Tripp!) and usually there's some ridiculous explanation for why not.
However, Kate made two fatally stupid mistakes that are not worthy of a smart, high-class schemer like her!
First of all, she knows Eve is in charge of the police department and isn't likely to do anything remotely competent with a 911 call. So she should have used her personal connections instead of just calling the cops.
She and Rafe are BFFs and nearly slept together a bunch of times. If there was any time to call in a personal favor, it was now!
Rafe and Eli could have both got around Eve easily enough -- after all, minutes after Eve ordered Eli not to follow up on the 911 call he left his desk altogether to go hang out with Lani. They could have even involved Hope, who used to have Bo's gun and could have unofficially joined them in taking Xander and Kristen down.
But instead, Eve squashed the 911 call for reasons of her own, something Kate should have anticipated. Okay, fine, but what possessed her to hang around that room after calling the cops?
Did Kate want to get caught? All she had to do was wait in the lobby for the cops, call again if they didn't show, and when they finally did tell them what she'd overheard and that Xander's partner sounded like Kristen.
I guess that was too easy, because Kate went the predictable route of standing right outside the door til Xander caught and kidnapped her.
No doubt Kate and Ted being trapped together will lead to a reconciliation. When Ted said that he thought they should get along, at first I thought he said they should "get it on" and that will likely happen before this is over, despite Ted's so-called love for Hope.
Ted probably will leave town for real after realizing he betrayed Hope or because rescuing him will lead to his part in the original Hollynapping scheme coming to light. If he does sleep with Kate in the tunnels, his departure won't come soon enough!
The question is whether Hope is really thrown off the trail or not by Kristen's fake text. I thought she might have texted Ted back because she was suspicious.
Ted saying he wasn't good enough for Hope and leaving town when his last message was that he had great news for her and Nicole doesn't add up at all and a seasoned cop like Hope should question who wrote that final text.
And now that she's seen Sarah wearing that necklace, she just might put two and two together.
Between Hope, Kate, and Abe, the net SHOULD be closing around Kristen. She is not that smart and doesn't know enough about Nicole's life.
The biggest disappointment with this was Sami -- not because of what she did but because she is leaving.
I know that Alison Sweeney has other commitments and I'm grateful for any time she can give fans, but the way Sami was written out this time was ridiculous.
She slapped "Nicole", became aware something was weird about her face, and tried to investigate further -- only to immediately agree with Lucas that it wasn't her business and to head back to Europe with him.
What was the point of Sami, the ultimate dog with a bone personality, realizing that Nicole was not quite what she seemed to be, if she was going to quickly be shuffled off screen?
It wasn't true to her character and leaving things hanging this way was just irritating. The writers knew Sweeney was only available for a limited amount of time, so why have Sami get suspicious if they weren't going to be able to follow through?
Meanwhile, there were two couples wasting valuable screen time: Sarah and Rex and Gabi and Stefan.
This Rex/Sarah/Eric triangle is snoozeworthy except for Xander's insertion into the middle of it. Xander's a fun, witty villain, and his attempts to balance being Kristen's henchman with trying to be a better man for Sarah's sake is entertaining, even if his lies are wearing thin.
As for Gabi and Stefan, I've already had more than my fill of hate-turned-to-lust with a side of revenge stories. I also am not a fan of people falling hard for the person who kidnapped or otherwise attacked them. So let's move on, please.
Undoubtedly the biggest story was Ciara and Tripp pushing Claire to the edge.
For the record: I'm not a fan of this story. It ruins Claire's character and again perpetuates the lie that people who suffer from mental illness are violent and dangerous.
However, if we had to have this story, it's being done well. Mostly.
Olivia Rose Keegan is killing it as a totally unhinged Claire! This is definite Emmy-nod material, and as much as I hate what they've done to Claire and am ready to see her get caught, I am going to miss this actress!
And kudos to Ben for being smart enough to not only see this plan was ill-conceived and dangerous, but to tell someone who can help!
Marlena was the perfect choice. She couldn't just break Ben's confidence willy-nilly, but there IS an exception if you think someone's life is in danger. Marlena the perpetual kidnap victim was no victim here -- she took charge and took Ben to that loft to try to protect everyone.
I just hope she remembered to tell John, Rafe, or someone else with the ability to back them up.
Finally, while I've never been a big Lani fan, I do think she deserves more of a story than Eli quickly reconciling with her as soon as she comes to her senses. An Eli/Lani/Rafe triangle might have been interesting, or Eli willing to be there for the sake of her grief, but not ready to trust his heart with her again.
Actions should have consequences. For Lani they never seem to, and that's a shame, because Sal Stowers is a powerhouse who could rock a proper story just like she did when Lani broke down at Rafe's.
What did you think, DAYS fanatics? Are you glad Jack is moving towards getting his memory back? Did JJ and Haley's reunion seem rushed to you? And am I the only one who can't wait for this Kristen mess to be over?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table!
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Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.