Am I the only one who feels sorry for Henry Shah?
Dropping your new beau for a second chance with your ex seems to be a thing in Salem, but Jennifer took that to a whole new level!
On Days of Our Lives during the week of 7-22-19, Henry took another chance on Jennifer after telling her he didn't want to be her consolation prize, only to realize that he would never be able to compete with her hope that Jack would come back to his senses.
The entire idea of Jennifer moving on with Henry was ridiculous to begin with, but Henry became likable when he stood up for himself with Jennifer.
It was refreshing for a character to have enough self-respect to state unequivocally that he would not be someone's guy-in-between-loves and to move on once it became apparent that Jennifer wasn't nearly as into him as she said.
Most Salem residents seem to believe that they own the object of their affection and go to extremes to stop them from moving on with someone else. (See Eve or Claire, for example). But not Henry!
Henry: I asked you three times what you wanted to order and you didn't hear me. It was like you didn't even know I was there. You're obviously distracted and I'm guessing you were thinking about Jack.
Jennifer: I'm so sorry.
Henry: It's okay.
Jennifer: It's not. I feel terrible. I ran into my son on my way over here and he told me that Jack took the serum.
Henry: So it's possible that Jack could get his memories back?
Jennifer: Yes. But Jack and I weren't together right before his accident. So what we had was in the past.
Henry: I have to think of my own feelings. I don't want to get hurt again. So I hope you understand if I cut this short.
Jennifer: I'm sorry. I did it to you again after I promised I wouldn't.
Henry: I hope Jack gets all of his memories back and he makes you as happy as you deserve to be.
Even though Jack and Jenn are my favorite couple from DAYS' Golden Age of Supercouples, I couldn't help hoping that Jennifer and Henry could at least get through their date!
Henry was laid-back, yet clear on his boundaries. He didn't take Jennifer's rejection personally, which was a nice bonus.
He is a minor character who will probably never be seen again now that he's served his purpose, but I'd love to see a romance between him and...someone. DAYS could use a character or two who is stable and in a healthy relationship to balance out all the instability elsewhere in Salem.
In many ways, this was a more sane re-do of Jack/Jennifer/Daniel. This doctor didn't put up with Jennifer's plan to be half with him and half with Jack, and this time JJ was supportive of his mother's desire to move on even though he thought it was a mistake instead of getting in the way.
Of course, Eve was the polar opposite of Henry, revealing to Jack that there are no lengths she won't go to prevent him from leaving.
I had to wonder if Xander REALLY switched the vials or if the joke was on Eve. Jack seemed to snap back into being the intelligent, compassionate father and husband he once was after he took the "fake" medicine.
JJ was clearly touched by Jack's desire to remember him and by his father's desire not to hurt his mother. Kudos to both Matthew Ashford and Casey Moss for one of the most emotional scenes in this storyline!
The only problem with that scene was that Jack mentioning that Eve's daughter had died was insensitive, considering that Paige was JJ's first love, who he would likely be with today if she were still alive.
But Jack made up for that lapse in judgment by confronting Eve about the way she used Paige's memory as a manipulation tactic.
Jack: When you gave me the drug, you told me all about your daughter Paige's tragic death and what your memories of her mean to you and that you wanted me to have the same opportunity to have memories of my own children.
Eve: I did.
Jack: You had to say it! You had to say it because you knew I was going to take the drug no matter what you said and you couldn't do anything about it. The daughter that you loved so dearly, you told me about her murder over and over again. It was a rehearsed speech. You have used her as a sob story. She probably got used by you the same way when she was alive and never felt loved by you.
Eve: NO! Don't say that!
Jack: It's over. I am going to divorce you and if there is a God in Heaven I will forget I ever knew you.
The way Eve had been suddenly distraught over Paige's death after not mentioning her for nearly three years irritated me. Paige's death has never been handled properly, and it seemed to me the writers were using her as a plot point.
But it turned out that this was purposeful and EVE was the one using Paige's death as a means to an end! Jack was 100% correct in his assessment and maybe someday JJ will forgive him enough to have an honest talk about Paige and the ways that Eve's idea of loving her daughter hurt Paige tremendously.
I'd still prefer an alive Paige, or at least her ghost, to stand up to her mother herself, but Jack's comments on that matter were applause-worthy.
Jack's sudden concern about Eve's dishonesty and desire to hurt Jennifer was what sold me on the theory that Xander had double-crossed Eve, though.
Throughout this entire amnesia storyline, Jack has believed everything Eve said and treated Jennifer like the enemy who just didn't want him to be happy because of their shared past that he couldn't remember.
He 100% agreed with Eve that Jennifer thought he wasn't good enough as-is and that whatever they once shared was irrelevant. And Eve was always able to talk him down if he suspected that Jennifer or JJ could be telling the truth about Eve's ulterior motives.
So if he isn't starting to recover his memories, what changed?
In any case, now that Eve has shown her true colors, she's destroyed any chance she ever had with Jack. It was bad enough that she let slip that she had hidden the diary from Jack and that he caught her trying to destroy it!
But gloating that she switched the serum and threatening to destroy the real serum went way too far.
Jack may need to grovel at Jennifer and JJ's feet so that his family will help him get the serum from Eve and get his memories back, but her ridiculous behavior ensured he will not be putting up with her and her nonsense for very much longer.
That's what makes Eve such a tragic figure. If she would stop playing games, she might get what she wants one of these days, but she always ruins any good thing she ever has in her life.
Hopefully, once Jack gets his memories back, he can repair things with JJ enough to give him some guidance about this Haley situation!
Meanwhile, the Tripp/Haley/JJ situation took a disappointing turn.
Once again, the writers did little to no research before writing a story about a mental health issue. While some people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder do also suffer from hallucinations, hallucinations are NOT part of the disorder, and certainly aren't the main symptom that sufferers experience!
Worse still, this story isn't about Haley having PTSD because she was the victim of extreme violence. This story is about JJ and Tripp competing for Haley's affection, and her PTSD is simply a plot point that gives Tripp a reason to spend time with her and a secret to keep from JJ.
Using mental illness as a plot point is not any more appropriate than Eve using Paige's death to manipulate everyone around her!
The writers are again reinforcing negative tropes about people with mental illness all being out of control and out of touch with reality. This type of writing increases stigma and discourages viewers who suffer from mental health issues from getting help.
Also, there is no way any real doctor would have given Tripp sedatives just because he asked for them, regardless of Tripp's relationship to the Chief of Staff.
Henry was so strong with his personal boundaries -- how on Earth did he miss the fact that Tripp's request was entirely inappropriate and in line with what addicted patients do when they can't get any more drugs from their doctor of record?
Since Haley tried to kill herself by overdosing on pills, getting her a sedative without getting her a doctor to monitor her is a seriously bad idea, plus if she gets drug-tested at work she will be in huge trouble because taking someone else's prescription is equivalent to taking illegal drugs in the eyes of the law.
Haley insisted she couldn't see a doctor because she would jeopardize her green card if she lost her job for having a mental health issue. Not only would it be illegal to fire her for having a health condition, but she is jeopardizing her green card MORE by taking drugs that aren't hers.
There's also the fact that Haley never saw Claire engage in violence towards her, while Ciara has been kidnapped at least four times and been trapped in a burning cabin twice and trapped with someone who wanted to burn her alive twice.
While a person can certainly develop PTSD after only one traumatic event, this disorder makes far more sense for Ciara than for Haley!
We also don't need another love triangle involving family members.
The Eric/Sarah/Rex triangle is irritating beyond belief, and Kate hitting Sarah over the head did nothing to help that!
Eric is still oblivious to the fact that Sarah married Rex for the same reason that Henry refused to move forward with Jennifer, Rex is still oblivious to Eric and Sarah's feelings for each other, and Sarah is still pining for Eric while married to Rex.
The only worthwhile part of this story is Sarah's attraction to Xander, but since Xander was involved in kidnapping Sarah's mother-in-law, right now that's at a dead end.
Elsewhere in Salem, the doppelganger story dragged on.
The Susan interlude was fun but otherwise pointless. Susan came to town, confused everyone, met Kristen... and left.
Will and Sonny never realized that the first "Susan" they met wasn't Susan at all despite glaringly obvious discrepancies between her behavior and the real Susan's. Nor did Marlena put two and two together even though a year ago, Kristen disrupted her wedding by disguising herself as Susan.
Brady not only didn't realize that "Susan" came onto him exactly the same way "Nicole" keeps doing, but didn't bother to open Xander's briefcase himself before returning it and never saw the Nicole mask.
And Xander decided to give Kristen back the mask after he felt she'd learned her lesson about being nice to him.
What a waste of time all of that was!
The good news is that Stefan and Gabi are aware that "Nicole" has something to do with Ted and Kate's kidnapping and Lani is suspicious of Kate and Ted's story. So maybe one of these days someone will take the next step and realize that "Nicole" is not Nicole at all.
Meanwhile, this story seems to be veering into even sillier territory, with Gabi impulsively deciding to marry Stefan so that she can become the CEO of Dimera Enterprises and "Nicole" deciding to marry Tony/Andre for the same purpose.
I love Thaao Penghlis, but enough already! There has to a better use for his character(s) than this nonsense.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics!
Are you excited by the turn of events in the Jack/Eve storyline? Does this new love triangle with JJ, Haley, and Tripp hold your interest? And would you like to see Henry Shah stick around Salem and find a woman who is as into him as he's into her?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of our Lives Round Table discussion.
Days of Our Lives continues to air on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes.
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.