Claire's descent into madness is one of those things that's both frustrating and fascinating.
Days of Our Lives has a bad habit of making almost every woman lose control when upset, get violent, and blame it on mental illness.
This is a terrible message to send, and Claire's out-of-character behavior ruins a once-promising character. Yet the acting on Days of Our Lives during the week of 5-27-19 has been amazing, turning this awful storyline into must-watch TV!
Claire's behavior led to all sorts of drama, too.
Ciara didn't believe Ben's claim that Claire was burning Tripp's clothes and definitely doubted that her niece started the fire that nearly killed her. This could drive a wedge between the couple that a million people would be happy to exploit for their own benefit.
It's understandable that Ciara wouldn't want to believe Claire tried to kill her, yet at the same time it's not. After all, she did see Claire destroy Maggie's figurines in a fit of rage.
The scenes between Claire and Ciara were among the best of the week of 5-27-19, as Claire was by equal turns paranoid and affectionate and Ciara peppered their conversation with subtle references to Ben's suspicions.
Claire's reaction to Ciara suggesting she talk to Marlena -- who Claire has always been close to -- should definitely convince Ciara that something's up!
I was glad that Ciara told Claire that talking to a therapist doesn't make a person crazy. Days of our Lives plays fast and loose with loaded terms like "crazy" and "psycho" on a regular basis, and it was nice to hear someone affirm the value of therapy instead of putting it down.
Ciara could have gone further, though. Didn't she see a therapist after her rape? Pointing out that she, too, had needed help at one point and that Claire doesn't think Ciara is crazy might have made for a powerful moment.
And the closer Ciara and Claire get now, the more painful it's going to be when the truth about Claire setting that fire comes out.
It looks like that secret will come out sooner rather than later now that Ben insisted on being hypnotized again to see if he could remember more details about that night.
The scenes with Marlena dragged on too long. The writers were probably trying to amp up the drama by having her have to hypnotize Ben a third time after their latest attempt failed. But it made her look less than competent.
An experienced hypnotherapist like Marlena should have asked Ben to engage all his senses while under hypnosis long before the last minute!
Despite that silly bump in the road, though, these scenes were effective! The way Ben's voice echoed and the sounds he heard played over his retelling while under hypnosis put viewers inside his head so that we could take a fascinating journey along with him.
Meanwhile, Suzanne Rogers continued doing an amazing job with Maggie's alcoholism.
Maggie was surprisingly coherent for a drunk -- in real life, highly intoxicated people repeat themselves over and over and carrying on a conversation is next to impossible. Nevertheless, Maggie's emotions were all over the place.
One moment she'd reverted to being a rebellious teenager and the next was filled with fear at the thought of having come face to face with Kristen Dimera.
Maggie: I saw Kristen.
Brady: Maggie. You had a lot to drink.
Maggie: It'd take a lot more booze than that for me to forget what Kristen Dimera looked like.
Kristen is nowhere near, if you'll excuse the pun, being unmasked. Brady was skeptical to begin with and now his mission's been completely derailed by "Nicole" faking Eric shoving her.
I'm hoping that someone will check her neck for a pulse and feel the rubber mask. But that would be too easy.
This Kristen as Nicole storyline is one of the weakest of all those currently airing. Head writer Ron Carlivati clearly loves doppelganger stories, but each one is less believable than the one before and this one takes the cake!
Kristen's plan makes no sense. Even if she manages to hook Brady, she can't ever take off that Nicole mask or she'll lose him, so what's the point of all this?
In addition, it's amazing nobody has questioned Nicole's identity since there seems to be an epidemic of evildoers taking over identical twins' lives in Salem!
At least Xander's meta-commentary on how silly it all was was good for a laugh.
Still, I'd have much preferred a real story for Eric and Nicole to this nonsense.
The doppelganger stuff has been done to death and it seems like a cruel bait-and-switch to hype Nicole returning only for her to turn out to be someone else.
Plus, this next beat is so predictable. Kristen will be all too happy to manipulate Brady's wrong conclusion that Eric attacked Nicole, driving yet another wedge between the brothers.
It's a shame we seem to be going this route yet again. Brady's attempts to be there for Maggie like she's been there for him during his many, many slips are so much more enjoyable than Brady vs. Eric Round 1 Million.
I wish Brady would have let Sonny in on what was really going on after Maggie claimed her bottle of vodka was Brady's.
Sonny might not have believed Brady at first, but Brady could probably convince him. After all the fighting these two have done over Titan, I'd have loved to see them team up to save Maggie!
Besides, covering for Maggie just enables more bad behavior, and Brady should know that from being on the other side of this problem.
You know, Maggie, you were the one who always told me that drunks are cunning, that drunks lie, that you can't believe a word they say. I never thought you would throw me under the bus with Sonny like that.Brady
Of course, Sonny has his hands full with Will's brain tumor.
The Sonny/Will scenes are emotional, but I doubt Will is going anywhere. My prediction is that he will be in a coma or otherwise hovering between life and death when a miracle will occur and the doctors will resynthesize the formula and cure the tumor.
Eve showed some of the vulnerability that makes her a fascinating character when she learned about Will's tumor.
John was right -- after suffering through Paige's death, she couldn't let that happen to someone else, especially someone close to Paige's age (and who, technically, was Paige's cousin, since Kim is Eve's stepmother.)
After months of Purely Evil Eve, it was fantastic to finally get some balance back. Eve is a more complex villain than she's been shown to be lately. She tends to get in over her head with some stupid idea and then self-destruct in an effort to get herself out of trouble.
The whole hiding-the-diary plot never fully made sense. Since the diary contained the formula for the resurrection drug as well as the memory drug, why not resurrect Paige instead of resurrecting and brainwashing Jack?
It would be a powerful storyline indeed if Eve had done so and then blamed herself if Paige developed a brain tumor or other complication from the whole thing!
I'm loving all these mentions of Paige, though I'd prefer to have her back than have Eve act crazy because of her death -- especially since JJ is so focused on helping Haley escape that he doesn't have time to give Paige a second thought.
Instead, JJ got another blast from the past when Rory made a brief appearance to help him.
It's a shame that Rory is reduced to making cameo appearances as the "loser" from JJ's past. He could be a fascinating character in his own right if the writers bothered to develop him.
Back in 2016, JJ's choice to become a cop led to a huge falling out with Rory after JJ offered him a deal that Roman then reneged on. That could have been the beginning of a strong story for JJ and Rory, but for some reason, the writers abruptly dropped it.
Rory was next seen attempting to date Ciara in 2017, then disappeared again til JJ called him out of the blue.
Eli: Do you know a guy named Rory?
Jennifer: Unfortunately, yes. He's a loser.
And after all this time he still doesn't have a last name!
I didn't like Jennifer categorizing Rory as a loser and then begging him to tell her where JJ was. It was as judgmental and obnoxious as it was when JJ was a teenager and Rory was the best friend she wanted her son to part ways with.
Plus, the scene was practically a carbon copy of what happened shortly after JJ broke the store window, when he went to party with Theresa and a panicked Jennifer turned to Rory for help finding her son.
Jack and Xander arresting Jennifer was all sorts of ridiculous. I wish DAYS would get it through their heads that Mayors are not part of the police department!
Of course, Jennifer being able to knock Jack out with her purse was also silly. What in the world does she have in there that's THAT heavy?
Jack: I like my life now. I'm the Mayor of Salem, I have a beautiful wife. I look to the future.
Jen: Maybe you don't want to remember, but I don't think it's up to you anymore. Your memories are coming back whether you like it or not.
Jack: All I have is a woman's name and you in a costume. All I care about is what you remember. Tell me where JJ is.
Jennifer's determination to make Jack remember and Jack's insistence that he didn't want to was vintage Jack and Jen, though. I think Jen just needs to hit him over the head a couple more times since she's had two small successes with it.
At least that way, he won't get a brain tumor (though he might sustain brain damage if Jen isn't careful.)
Jack seems to be caught between two worlds at this point. He goes back and forth between having a conscience and going along with whatever Eve says, and he definitely was suspicious of Xander.
I'm beyond ready for him to regain his memories, though. Once he does, he's going to have a lot of messes to clean up. JJ wants nothing to do with him on top of being on the run partially due to Jack's actions and God knows what Abigail will think if she ever comes back from Paris.
And he's going to have to get rid of Eve and rebuild a relationship with Jennifer, too.
JJ and Haley's love story continues to underwhelm me. The actors are doing good work, but there's just no chemistry there and every time I see Haley I think about how much better a story this would be if for some reason JJ was hiding out to protect Paige.
JJ developed tunnel vision, too, becoming so focused on starting a new life with Haley that he didn't care that Rory was in jail, that Tripp almost ended up there too, or that Jennifer could be in huge trouble.
That made him seem super selfish, and JJ is not a selfish person.
Your turn, DAYS fanatics!
What was your favorite and least favorite storyline during the week of 5-27-19? Are you digging this Nicole/Kristen switcheroo or would you rather see something else? And how soon do you think Will will be cured of this brain tumor?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion!
Days of Our Lives continues to air on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for air times.