Who else needed tissues for Doug and Julie's trip down memory lane?
Like most Days of Our Lives couples, they have had their share of break-ups and make-ups, emerging all the stronger for it. They are a leftover from the days when Days of Our Lives was about love, romance, and family.
And that is why Doug and Julie dealing with her serious and possible fatal heart disease was one of the best stories on Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-30-2019.
For almost 55 years, Days of Our Lives has most strongly resonated with viewers when it focuses on families coming together to support one another in good times and bad.
High-stakes, realistic, and relatable stories capture viewers' attention and don't let go, and Doug and Julie's seeming swan song is a strong example of that.
I had envisioned a romantic dinner and dancing but I don't have the strength. So I'll settle for just one last night of just you and me together.Julie
Doug and Julie have aged gracefully, but they have aged, and unfortunately eventually, everyone has to deal with the possibliity of losing beloved family members to terminal illnesses.
Julie's illness struck suddenly -- she was in near-perfect health before her heart attack -- and the unfairness of it all was compounded by the fact that Kayla deemed her ineligible for a heart transplant because of her age.
And then on top of everything else, Julie and Doug were excited about the possibility of getting a donor heart after all -- only for the potential donor to wake up!
Okay, that last part wasnt 100% realistic. There's no magic potion to resurrect dead or near dead people. But it's forgiveable because it helped intensify the drama!
Doug and Julie's decision to go to Doug's Place one last time after getting the bad news was a beautiful and heartbreaking tribute to one of Days of Our Lives' strongest couples.
Julie didn't want to die in a hospital. She wanted one last night with Doug. And who didn't tear up a little when Julie was upset about her appearance and Doug told her she was still the most beautiful girl in the world?
Doug: I remember the first time I ever saw your beautiful face. The best gig I ever had. Being hired to pretend to fall for you, and then when I lay my eyes on you I did. You knocked my socks off.
Julie: Well, the way I look today, I don't think I could even make your socks droop.
Or during their final moments together when Doug moved Julie's wheelchair across the floor since she was too weak to dance with him the way she liked?
In between there were a ton of flashbacks from their 40+ year union, including the real-life wedding vows that actors Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes said when they got married off-screen. Now THESE are the kinds of flashbacks that viewers can't get enough of.
The flashbacks, along with some gorgeous dialogue as Doug comforted his dying wife, told the story of their long romance, hitting some of the highlights of their life together (and leaving out some things that are better left in the dustbin of history, like Julie's competition with her mother for Doug's affections.)
It was especially fitting that Julie's last words before she passed out were "Love you always."
As long-time Days of Our Lives fans know, "Always" was Tom and Alice Horton's special song, and in a way, those words paid tribute to Salem's founding couple as well.
If Julie were truly dying, this would have been the perfect way to write her out -- dying on her own terms, with dignity, while Doug was tending to her last needs.
Of course, the story isn't ending there.
Now that Lani's shot Stefan and Kayla's declared him brain dead, his heart might be a match for Julie so that she can get her transplant after all, if only Gabi will allow it.
Gabi: You shot my husband!
Abe: It was an accident.
Gabi: You were so understanding when JJ shot Theo, weren't you?
Stefan's shooting was graphic! There was a LOT of blood and I had to look away while he was bleeding out on the ground.
It also, in many ways, felt unnecessary.
It was an accident, but one that was preventable. Lani should have gotten backup before she acted on Marlena's tip about Vivian's whereabouts, not after Stefan was shot.
And perhaps Lani could have found some way to talk Vivian down instead of shooting at her the second Vivian lifted her gun.
It's a shame to lose Brandon Barash, too. His version of Stefan was fun to watch.
Plus, Gabi and Stefan have become a popular pairing that has now been torn apart just as they finally admitted their love for one another.
The scene in which Stefan gave Gabi the necklace felt contrived.
While their romance has been building up, Stefan's giving Gabi the necklace and saying he gave her his heart telegraphed too loudly to viewers who read spoilers that Gabi might soon have to decide whether to give that heart to Julie.
And Stefan telling Gabi he knew she loved him because she was willing to cover for arch-enemy Vivian was silly, to say the least. If Gabi had NOT done that, maybe Stefan would not have ended up throwing himself into the line of fire and getting shot.
I'm not afraid of you or your big gun. You're not going to shoot me.Vivian
Nevertheless, though, it was nice to have a romantic moment ... and a few minutes' break from angry, vengeful Gabi so that she could have some happiness for a change.
I didn't blame Gabi for being angry about the shooting.
Not only was her happiness torn away from her by Lani, who she has had a long-standing rivalry with, but she was right that Abe was being a lot nicer to Lani during this shooting than he was when JJ shot Theo.
Gabi had to pick up the pieces of JJ's shattered heart and stop him from killing himself, partially because Abe continually treated him as a villain who shot Theo with malicious intent. Yet now Abe wants Gabi to give Lani the benefit of the doubt in a similar situation.
The question is, what will Gabi do now?
She's shocked, angry, and hurt, and that's never a good thing when it comes to Gabi.
If Gabi isn't in revenge mode now, she will be soon! And if Kayla's next move is to suggest Gabi donate Stefan's organs, what better way is there to act out but to refuse to allow Julie to have Stefan's heart?
Of course, Kayla also said Kate had no chance of waking up and was wrong.
Nobody knows that's because Rolf interfered, but still, that's a legitimate reason for Gabi to refuse to listen now.
Kate's vendetta against Kayla was purely ridiculous.
There was no real reason for Lucas to tell Kate that he had been about to donate her heart to Julie when she woke up. It was better than Lucas and Will worrying about Kate finding out, I guess, but the whole thing was unnecessary.
And Kate's anger at Kayla felt like filler. She ranted and raved and then calmed down and said she wasn't suing and she was sorry Julie was in bad shape.
What exactly did that add that viewers would have missed had it been left out?
Now that Kate is better, hopefully she'll give Gabi some much needed support and stop her from doing anything too crazy to avenge Stefan's death.
She could also help Ciara and Ben find out what's really going on with Jordan.
Kate and Jordan have history, and nothing would make Kate happier than to send Jordan back to Bayview, this time permanently.
Jordan's storyline is ludicrous, over-the-top, and again reinforces the lie that people who suffer from mental illness are violent and dangerous, but if we have to have it, Kate should be part of it!
Ciara's life being threatened is getting old. This happens at least once a month. Ben needs to hire one of his co-workers at Dimera Enterprises as a bodyguard for her and be done with it.
It would almost be better if she and Ben were wrong about Jordan and this was a random drunk driver. That way nobody would believe Ciara when Jordan comes after her later.
But most likely, Rafe will play both sides to try to find out what's going on while Ben and Ciara conduct their own investigaton on the side and eventually prove Jordan is guilty.
The most infuriating thing is that Jordan is going around town saying that people don't change, Ben must have fooled his doctors, and that once you become unhinged enough to get violent you will always be that way...
...while also claiming that she is no longer violent and that her doctors gave her a clean bill of health.
The hypocrisy is obvious enough that several characters have called her on it, to no avail. Clearly she lives in her own reality.
I wish she would do it off-screen.
Meanwhile, since Nicole is the only woman in Salem who seems to understand that people can parent a baby together without being in a relationship, could she please send out a memo to the rest of Salem?
Sarah and Kristen are both acting like idiots because they are convinced that being pregnant means that their baby's father MUST marry them. This is not 1812, and no such thing is necessary.
Sarah was all set to leave town, insisting it was in the baby's best interest to never know its father and vice versa because she didn't want to ruin Eric and Nicole, while Kristen tried to use her baby to manipulate Brady into reconciling with her.
At least with Sarah, we got some cute scenes with Xander out of it.
Xander's claim that he would backslide into bad behavior without Sarah there to stop him was more ridiculous than flirty, but still.
Meanwhile, any bets on how long it takes for Kristen to wear Brady down?
He's so determined to prove he's not addicted to Kristen that he's probably going to spend a lot of time with her in the name of "checking on my unborn child", and we all know what will happen then.
Marlena suggested that he sue for full custody, but Brady will never do that.
Is it really a good idea to do that anyway?
I'd love to see Brady stick it to Kristen, but she'd fight hard and dirty for control of that child. In years gone by, I'd have expected Victor to protect Brady and the baby, but lately Victor is written as weak and shortsighted, so it's not a given he'd do anything to help.
It's so good to have Jack back, memories and all! He started to drift into those feelings of inadequacy, claiming he wasn't good enough for Jennifer because he killed Shah in defense of Jennifer's life. Luckily, she nipped that nonsense in the bud!
Jack shared an emotional reunion with JJ, even if it included the nonsensical suggestion that JJ as a child was a miniature version of Jennifer.
Sure, JJ has a sweet, sensitive side, but his personality has always been far more like Jack's.
Half of his problem when he first came back to Salem in 2013 was that he felt Jack was the only member of his family who accepted him instead of trying to change him into a Jennifer clone, and Jack was supposedly dead.
The other half of his problem was that he inherited Jack's penchant for guilt, self-blame, and feelings of low self-esteem.
So no, Jack's memory is still off if what he remembers about JJ is that he was a sweet kid who never gave anyone any trouble.
I'd love to see something more come out of this than JJ giving Jack a hug and then disappearing to parts unknown. Even something as small as Haley not being so quick to forgive Jack would help!
On the other hand, JJ getting the big reunion scene while Abby is off-screen was long overdue, since Abigail is treated as the favorite by everyone in town and JJ usually gets the short end of the stick.
And Jack seemed afraid to contact Abby. It'll be interesting to see what develops there!
What Jack absolutely did not need to do, though, was try to apologize to Eve.
Their scenes incorporated past history nicely, but Jack was wasting his breath and since he has his memories back, he must have known it.
The one saving grace here was that Eve glanced at a photo of Paige. It was good to see Paige's face again, and if Eve leaves town that will be better for everyone.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics! What did you think of Jack's reunion with JJ, Julie's final request for Doug, Stefan's shooting, and everything else that happened on Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-30-19?
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.