Days of Our Lives Review: The Cruelest Plans

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Just when it seemed that Gabi couldn't get any crueler, Days of Our Lives made her twist the knife some more.

During Days of Our Lives the week of 10-28-19, Lani's mother came back to Salem for the first time in decades so that she could celebrate her daughter's wedding.

Meanwhile, the Horton women welcomed Lani to the family, and Gabi offered to live stream the event for Julie, while no one suspected that Gabi was trying to force Lani to dump Eli at the altar.

(TALL) Tamara Price - Days of Our Lives

A seasoned ex-schemer like Julie should have seen through Gabi in half a second. 

Gabi was not only overly eager to live stream the wedding but also smirked at Lani when Lani came to visit Julie before the nuptials.

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

Gabi also made her threats in the public area of the hospital while doctors and nurses walked by and gloated to herself about her plan while seated next to Sarah at the wedding.

Yet no one heard her.

(TALL) Gabi's Threat - Days of Our Lives

Selective inability to hear has been a Days of Our Lives trope for as long as I can remember, but it never ceases to drive me nuts.

But that's not as bad as Lani's refusal to do much of anything to help herself.

Lani is supposed to be a cop -- and not a rookie either.

She's a detective whose father is one of the most well-respected former cops in Salem, yet she believes she has no recourse other than trying to appeal to Gabi's better nature.

If this is how she reacts to that nonsense, I'd hate to see what she did in a hostage crisis.

(TALL) Giving Away the Bride - Days of Our Lives

ALL Lani had to do was record one of the approximately 27,000 conversations she's had with Gabi in which Gabi gloats about being able to blow up Julie's heart.

That would be all the proof she needed to make an arrest and confiscate Gabi's phone.

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She also has plenty of texts on her phone to supplement her accusations, and if she didn't want Eli's belief in Gabi's reformation to be shattered, she could give all that proof to Abe or Rafe and have them handle the situation.

It would be, to quote Gabi, poetic if this plan blew up in Gabi's face so that she were the one humiliated when she was arrested at Lani and Eli's wedding and Julie and Doug saw it on the live stream.

(TALL) Planning Their Wedding - Days of Our Lives

But instead, Lani is most likely going to reluctantly go along with Gabi's plan even though she has a billion other options.

(TALL) Princess Gina Returns - Days of Our Lives

Lani's wedding might have been ruined anyway if Hope Princess Gina had decided to stay.

This Princess Gina storyline might have historical roots, but it also is a rehash of the Kristen/Brady storyline of a month ago.

Related: Days of Our Lives Classic Couple Spotlight: Bo and Hope

In that storyline, Kristen donned a Nicole mask in the hopes that Brady would fall hard for her if he thought she was Nicole.

In this one, Gina is pretending to be Hope in the hopes of getting John to dump Marlena for her.

(TALL) Rolf Has a Secret - Days of Our Lives

There also have been several other doppelganger stories like this in recent history. Bonnie switched places with Adrienne to snag Justin for herself, and Hattie pretended to be Marlena, so she could win Roman's heart.

With this doppelganger epidemic, it's shocking that nobody questions anyone's identity at the first sign of trouble.

All of these doppelgangers and unrealistic plot devices such as magical resurrection shots and remote-controlled medical apparatuses tilt the show in a decidedly campy direction.

Some viewers love that, but Days of Our Lives' backbone has always been family, and the campy stuff is better in small doses.

(TALL) Tony's Revelation - Days of Our Lives

Plus, it's all too predictable because it's the same nonsense over and over. As soon as one doppelganger is unmasked, viewers start placing bets on who the next fake person is going to be. 

Some parts of this, of course, are part of Days of Our Lives' history. Tony almost invariably turns out to be Andre and the Dimeras have an endless supply of mad scientists.

But we need to cool it with these doppelgangers. The more there are of them, the less believable it is that anyone can get away with these sorts of plots.

Related: 17 Times Soap Stars Guest Starred On Prime Time Shows

Another campy tradition since Ron Carlivati became head writer is the annual Halloween fantasy episode.

Every year, a character has a wild dream that lasts the entire Halloween episode. These episodes are love-them-or-hate-them affairs. Some viewers enjoy the break from the regular stories and the meta-humor, while other viewers find them to be a waste of time.

John: So? Did that movie scare the hell out of you?
Marlena: I don't know. A woman possessed by the devil? Seems a little far-fetched to me.

The Halloween 2019 episode started in a promising manner, with Marlena making fun of her long-ago devil possession story.

But then it quickly descended into a ton of random violence.

The episode was supposed to be an homage to the Salem Stalker storyline of 2004, where a mind-controlled Marlena killed many of Salem's most prominent residents, only for them to turn up alive on the island of Melaswen.

(TALL) Ben Searches - Days of Our Lives

That might have worked if it were the sole focus of the hour, but Marlena's return to doing Andre's bidding was overshadowed by Jordan and Claire killing random people just for the hell of it.

It was needlessly gory and violent, plus it again reinforced the myth that people who suffer from mental illness are violent and will kill random people with little to no provocation.

Related: Days of Our Lives: Why Social Messaging Matters

Plus, this was the second Halloween episode to feature JJ being murdered for no reason. It's bad enough that the writers assassinate his character regularly without literally assassinating him!

(TALL) An Unintended Victim - Days of Our Lives

It didn't make sense for Ben to turn out to be the one dreaming this crazy dream since he wasn't in Salem in 2004. It would have been more logical for Marlena to have fallen asleep after John suggested they visit Claire and have dreamed this mess.

But since when does logic play a part in these things?

Meanwhile, Jordan's real-life plan wasn't much better than what she did in Ben's dream.

Poisoning Ciara and putting the vial of cyanide in Ben's jacket pocket would never have worked.

For one thing, Ben would have called 911 if Ciara collapsed just like Jordan did for Rafe.

(TALL) Jordan's Latest Plan - Days of Our Lives

The only wrinkle here was that with Rafe out of commission, he couldn't investigate Jordan's behavior himself.

Of course, Rafe hadn't thought it was weird that Jordan was putting people's names on cupcakes and pushing Ciara to eat hers right away, so he might not have been the right man for the job anyway.

Asking JJ to investigate was silly.

Rafe knows a ton of cops and FBI agents, and he should have known better than to send an ex-cop turned EMT to a dangerous location by himself.

Naturally, JJ's only contribution to this storyline was to get knocked out and found unconscious by Ben, of all people.

(TALL) Rafe Becomes Suspicious - Days of Our Lives

God forbid JJ have a real story! And that knock on the head must have been super hard because he was acting like Ben was his best friend and seemed to have no memory of Ben having killed his girlfriend.

Afterward, JJ wandered around town with a towel pressed against the back of his head, as if blood were the only potential consequence of being hit hard enough to get knocked unconscious.

Meanwhile, Ben went looking for Jordan and managed to wrest her baby from her.

Could his Halloween nightmare about killing Jordan turn out to be foreshadowing?

(TALL) Nicole Fights Back - Days of Our Lives

There was some more nonsense in the Xander/Nicole/Eric/Sarah story.

I don't understand why Nicole keeps letting Xander press her buttons. She knows, logically, that Eric does not have to be a couple with Sarah to co-parent a child.

She also knows that it's against Xander's interests for Eric and Sarah to reunite.

So not only should Nicole ignore Xander's nonsense, but she should realize she has the upper hand. She should tell him to leave her alone, or she will tell Sarah what he has been doing. 

That would solve THAT problem in no time flat!

(TALL) Distressed Sarah - Days of Our Lives

Instead, Nicole is going to keep her mouth shut for no reason, just like Lani is doing with the wedding/Gabi fiasco.

And when Eric eventually finds out, he's going to blow up in some big, ugly way again.

Meanwhile, Sarah considered skipping the wedding so that no one would realize she'd put on weight and guess she was pregnant.

Xander: Take a breath.
Sarah: I hate when people say that. And I can't take a breath or this dress is going to explode.

Stop being stupid, Sarah. Tell Maggie she's going to have another grandchild, and take it from there.

Jack Proposes - Days of Our Lives

Jack and Jennifer's romance was a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of this silliness.

I have thrown away too many chances to be with you, Jennifer. So... carpe diem. Seize the day. I am seizing it. And this time when I marry you, it will be forever.


Now that Jack has his memory back, he's returned to being the Jack fans know and love, and he wants to waste no time before making Jennifer his bride.

Of course, nobody on Days of Our Lives is allowed to be happy, so something is going to happen to ruin this too. But I'm enjoying these scenes in the meantime.

What did you think, Days of Our Lives fanatics?

Is anyone going to manage to get married, or will both Lani and Eli's wedding and Jack and Jennifer's end in disaster?

Did you love or hate the Halloween episode?

And am I the only one who's over the Sarah/Eric/Nicole/Xander story?

Share your thoughts in the comments, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.


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Editor Rating: 3.5 / 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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