Days of Our Lives Review: The More Things Change

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Everyone in Salem might have been shaken up by the time jump, but some things never change.

Jail guards in Salem are either corrupt or non-existent.  The police are useless, and citizens do their jobs for them, often at great risk to themselves.

And Xander and Nicole are STILL arguing over whether or not Nicole should tell Eric he is baby Mickey's biological father.

(HORIZONTAL) Ben and Clyde - Days of Our Lives

Kidnapped babies are a soap staple for a reason.

Missing child stories play on the worst fears of the parents in the audience, and babynappings are even worse. There is little that is scarier to contemplate than a helpless, innocent infant at the mercy of a stranger who sees the child as a means to an end.

Although baby Mickey's kidnapping was unrealistic, the fallout from it has been phenomenal.

Xander: Eric may have been the one who created her, but I am the one who was there hold back Sarah's hair when she was suffering from morning sickness and to take care of her during her pregnancy. I was the one who was by her side to hold her hand and tell her how brave and strong she was when she went into labour even though I was terrified. I put her in her mother's arms for the first time and saw Sarah fall in love with her. And I fell in love too. I was head over heels for that baby.
Nicole: I don't doubt how you feel.
Xander: This isn't about how I feel. This is about who I am, the kind of man I've become. I have been there for the 3 AM feedings, for changing her nappies. I have been there for all her firsts. First cry, first laugh. First time she said 'Dada.' And when she said it, she was looking at me. I am her father, in any way that is meaningful.

Among the strongest scenes: Xander's devotion to Sarah and to baby Mackenzie.

Both Nicole and Sonny wondered whether Xander might have had the child kidnapped for some nefarious purpose of his own, but Xander put that all to rest with his heartfelt explanation to Nicole that he truly considered himself little Mackenzie's father.

His raw anger and desire to hurt whoever had kidnapped the baby were authentic and came from a deep love for the family he's created out of this lie about who fathered Sarah's baby.

This side of Xander is delightful to see, but the truth needs to come out ASAP.

A Forced Confession - Days of Our Lives

Nicole and Xander's scenes tend to go around in circles.

It's the same argument over and over. She feels guilty that Eric doesn't know he's Mackenzie's father, but Xander thinks it's best for everybody for Nicole to keep her mouth shut.

The sooner the secret is out, the sooner this argument goes away.

And with so many close calls on Days of Our Lives during the week of 11-18-19, it's bound to come out soon.

Sarah is a blubbering mess, which is understandable given that her child was just stolen right from under her nose.

But part of her emotional upheaval involves believing it's karma that she lost her child after keeping Mackenzie from Eric.

So while she managed NOT to tell Eric the truth -- but only because she got interrupted too many times -- it wouldn't be surprising if it slips out soon anyway.

Of course, now that Eric has proposed to Nicole, the chances are that the secret could come out at their wedding.

It's only been a couple of weeks in real-time since the last disaster of a wedding, but that's never stopped Days of Our Lives before.

A Dangerous Game - Days of Our Lives

Anyway, Sarah's constant crying is probably the worst part of this storyline.

Yes, Sarah is a mess because of the babynapping, but after four days straight of her sobbing so hard that she's hard to understand, I'm ready to move on.

And not to be unemapthetic, but she's not entirely wrong that this is her fault.

The majority of babynappings in Salem happen because the parent walks away from the carriage for a minute in a public place, and this was no exception.

Sarah didn't need to abandon the carriage to give the woman back her money, and since there is a babynapping epidemic in the Square and the park, she should have been more careful.

It was unbelievable, though, that in the 30 seconds she was gone, someone not only snatched the baby but disappeared into thin air.

Mackenzie should have cried or made some noise. And more than that, Sarah wasn't gone long enough for the kidnapper to disappear without a trace.

Witnesses might not have remembered seeing someone take Mackenzie from the carriage, but surely someone would have seen a person carrying a baby.

Yet nobody recalled even seeing any babies in the Square, and the implication was that in an impossibly small amount of time, the kidnapper managed to get so far away that he or she would never be found.

Ciara Investigates - Days of Our Lives

And that wasn't even the most unrealistic part of the story!

That honor goes to Clyde engineering this from a maximum-security prison.

There are gang leaders and Mafia bosses that are powerful enough to order hits on the outside while locked up, but not the way that Clyde did it.

Somehow, despite being released from solitary confinement only hours before, Clyde had a corrupt guard behind him who let him have cash and a cell phone -- both offenses punishable by another trip to solitary -- and even made Ben give the cell phone back to Clyde.

That same guard was nowhere to be seen when Ben grabbed Will's arm and Will worried that Ben was going to kill him.

And Clyde's decision to use the baby as leverage to get himself out of jail is silly.

How exactly is that going to work? Won't it be obvious who is behind the kidnapping if the kidnappers suddenly demand that a prisoner be set free?

This all is an improvement over the usual jail story, though. 

While it's still utterly unrealistic, at least it doesn't rely on the stereotype of all inmates being violent people who are eager to beat someone up for no apparent reason.

Eric Loves Nicole - Days of Our Lives

Will working with Ben on the inside could be fun, too.

Let go of me, Ben, or I'm gonna call the guard. [Ben ignores him.] What, are you gonna kill me again?


It is an unlikely alliance, considering that Ben tried to murder Will during his Salem Necktie Killer days. 

But Will used to be an investigative reporter, and now he believes Ben is innocent. So the two could form an odd friendship by the time one or both of them gets out of jail.

Meanwhile, Ciara's attempt to intervene in the kidnapping was, unsurprisingly, a bad move that put her life in danger. Again.

Ciara is an eternal damsel in distress, but this time Ben is in jail. So who is going to save her?

And more to the point, why did she insist on going it alone in the first place?

Ben's idea of leaving an anonymous tip was a good one. Plus, Ciara is related to a bunch of cops, and being willing to risk Ben getting implicated in the kidnapping would go along with the lie she told Victor.

There is no reason she couldn't have told Rafe where she was going. Even fake Hope would be a logical option.

And did she really think she was going to take a baby back from a kidnapper affiliated with a mob boss without a fight?

Eve Summons Abigail - Days of Our Lives

Ciara trying to get the kidnapper drunk was funny, but the trap she fell into was predictable.

Most likely she'll claim she was just checking on the baby, and there will be some more weird interactions with the kidnapper. But where is this situation going to go from here?

Either Ciara will end up being held prisoner for the umpteenth time or the cops will finally figure out where the baby is -- and find Ciara with the kidnapper.

There's no way she's walking away from this with the baby in her arms, and it's not likely she's walking away at all.

Meanwhile, Eve's friendship with Hattie while Eve is also in prison for a crime she didn't commit has provided some strong comic relief.

Eve and Hattie's exchanges cracked me up, but there has to be a deeper point to their encounters than that.

Hattie getting out almost always means Hattie is pretending to be Marlena. Is she going to rope Eve into her latest scheme?

Plus, there have been a lot of mentions of Bonnie lately.

Usually, that means a character is coming back.

But with Adrienne dead and Sonny saying that he keeps expecting her to call and say she's been held prisoner somewhere, is it possible that Will killed Bonnie and not Adrienne?

A Doppleganger Artist - Days of Our Lives

Either way, Jennifer and Sonny's respective griefs over Adrienne's death were among the more powerful scenes during the week of 11-18-19.

For Jennifer, it's as if Adrienne died yesterday. So it's understandable that she's not ready to hear that Justin moved on.

However, it was more than a little hypocritical for her to demand how Justin could fall for his sister-in-law so fast.

Jack and Jennifer fans were offended by how quickly Jennifer moved on with Daniel after Jack's "death" in 2012, and JJ's mental health issues when he first came back to Salem had a lot to do with his anger over how fast his dad had been replaced in his mom's life.

Nevertheless, Jennifer's shock and pain were raw and realistic, and Jack holding her while she cried made for a beautiful scene.

It's annoying, though, that nobody was thinking about JJ, who is in terrible shape right now.

JJ's drug use over Haley's death doesn't fit his character, but that's beside the point.

Jack is the kind of father who would do everything in his power to pull his son back out of that dark place, especially after the way amnesiac Jack almost ruined things for JJ and Haley.

But the writers have considered JJ an afterthought since Paige's death in 2015, and this is no different.

Other than a throwaway comment from Abby about how concerned she is about JJ, he is out of sight and thus out of mind even though he's high all the time and sleeping on park benches.

Jennifer Grieves - Days of Our Lives

Meanwhile, Abby is working with Jack at the Spectator -- a role that would have fit JJ perfectly if he hadn't been turned into a drug addict who gets little screen time.

Her main job seems to be to try to talk Chad out of meeting with "Stefano," or whoever that is in Gina's loft, though.

This Stefano story is bizarre.

The real Stefano would never take orders from the likes of Gina, and she's determined not to let Chad see Stefano's face. So most likely, this is an imposter.

Days of Our Lives would be smart to go that route, too, because for many fans, the idea of replacing the late Joe Mascolo as Stefano is blasphemous.

So a fake Stefano allows the writers to pay tribute to the iconic character without recasting the role.

There is a persistent rumor that when Steve Johnson returns, he will have been brainwashed into believing he's Stefano.

That sounds silly and unlikely to please the thousands of Stayla fans who longed for Steve's return, so hopefully Days of Our Lives won't go there.

Speaking of which, Kayla and Justin just do not fit together as a couple.

Sarah's Bad News - Days of Our Lives

Days of Our Lives once tried Kayla with her sister's lover Shane, and that worked almost as well as this does.

Plus, Kayla should be suspicious that something happened to Steve since he stopped calling, didn't come to his sister's funeral, and sent back divorce papers in the mail without a word.

If Hope were Hope and not Gina, she would remind Kayla that this is exactly what happened when Bo was kidnapped and held hostage for three years.

Of course, it's been an entire year since Gina took over for Hope and nobody is onto her yet, either, so it's not surprising that Kayla takes Steve's disappearance at face value.

What did you think, Days of Our Lives fanatics?

Are you enjoying the babynapping story?

What were the best and worst scenes on Days of Our Lives during the week of 11-18-19?

And now that the time jump has been going on for a while, what do you think of the post-jump stories?

Share your thoughts in the comments, 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.


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 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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Days of Our Lives Quotes

You have picked the wrong time to develop a few brain cells, honey. You know what, I broke out of prison because of you. Lucky, lucky you.


Dinner with you and Clyde. I'd rather hold my breath and pass out.