JJ is back on drugs.
Haley and Adrienne are dead, Will and Ben are in jail, Lani and Kristen are nuns, and Kayla, well, she is with Justin instead of Steve.
After the historic time jump, Days of Our Lives featured a bunch of brokenhearted Salemites during the week of 11-11-19. The missing year must have been a terrible one for our favorite characters.
The best part of the time jump is the air of mystery.
I have to admit that I was skeptical of how well a time jump could work on a soap opera. Days isn't This Is Us, picking out specific stories from past, present, and sometimes future to tell stories each week.
Days of Our Lives airs daily, and the stories have to make sense.
But, surprisingly, the time jump worked well. Before the jump, Days of Our Lives felt like it was circling the drain, repeating the same storylines of a month before with different characters.
Thanks to the time jump, most of those stories have morphed into something else -- and viewers have come in on the tail end of stories, so we're not quite sure yet what's going on with some of them.
The stories are more interesting and, for the most part, soapy, though there are some problems.
One of the biggest problems is JJ's storyline.
I'm thrilled that JJ finally HAS a story. Casey Moss has been severely underused since Paige died in 2015.
However, JJ's new storyline doesn't fit his character.
JJ was very strongly anti-drug because he saw Theresa overdose in front of him, and in the past three years when he couldn't deal with life he turned to alcohol to numb his pain without using drugs.
So it's hard to believe that JJ would wander around with a bottle of pills in his pocket that he's taking every five seconds. (Plus the only drug he abused, besides alcohol, was weed -- so it's more likely he would return to that than pills.)
I've had my fair share of slip-ups and I've hurt people I loved. But I never wanted to drink as much as I did the night my baby died. I wanted to go on the bender of all benders. But I didn't because I knew deep down that there was no amount of drugs, no amount of alcohol that could take away the pain of losing your child.Brady
Even worse, JJ's downfall occurred as a result of Kristen killing Haley.
That might make sense if JJ and Haley had a love story, but they didn't. JJ saved her from suicide, and it was clear from the beginning that the only way it made sense was if JJ was trying to save Haley because he couldn't save Paige.
Plus, when Paige, who truly was the love of JJ's life, got murdered, JJ was not given any grief scenes whatsoever. He visited her grave once, then forgot all about her as soon as he got involved with Gabi.
His rant that Brady's girlfriend killed his girlfriend was emotional, but where was his anger when his sister's boyfriend strangled Paige?
The only way the storyline makes sense is if JJ's unresolved grief over Paige's death is now being compounded by his grief over new girlfriend Haley's death.
But the writers likely are not going to go there, because all along they've expected us to believe that Haley was the love of JJ's life just because they said so.
A far better story would be a sober JJ and sober Brady going off together to find Kristen and make her pay for killing Haley. After all, Brady freely admits that his addiction to Kristen contributed to the situation, and JJ wants to avenge Haley's death.
Incidentally, from what's been said and shown so far, it sounds like Kristen pushed Haley down a flight of stairs out of anger that Kristen's baby was born dead. Even if Brady should have had the sense to stay away from Kristen, how on Earth is any of it his fault?
At least Brady is sober for once and is managing to get along with Eric. The old storylines had way too much fighting between Eric and Brady over Nicole.
That was some AA meeting, though. There was one background player in the scene who had no lines, and everyone else knew each other. So much for Alcoholics Anonymous.
No wonder JJ stormed out mad! Props to him for staying as long as he did in a room full of people who know exactly who he is and who he had reason to fear were judging him.
His argument with Eric sounded like one he SHOULD have had with Daniel, so it would be nice if anyone mentioned Daniel's death as another factor contributing to JJ's sudden spiral out of control.
The poor guy has lost two girlfriends and one father figure to death since 2015, on top of having to come to terms with the fact that the father whose death devastated him in 2012 was alive all that time.
Anyway, since Eric was supposedly JJ's counselor after JJ's suicide attempt over Christmas 2018, he should be VERY concerned about JJ saying his life is over and demanding to be left alone.
Those are big red flags that another attempt could be coming, especially coupled with drug use, but Eric didn't seem concerned about anything other than JJ not wanting to go to an AA meeting.
Haley wasn't the only one not to survive the time jump, as apparently Will is in jail for killing Adrienne and Justin has now hooked up with Kayla.
It's weird to me that Justin can move on so quickly from losing a woman he's loved for over 30 years. He doesn't have to turn to drugs and alcohol, but other than a few random mentions of his anniversary being difficult, so far he seems just fine.
The idea of Will killing his mother-in-law, accidentally or otherwise, is filled with soapy goodness. We NEED more details ASAP.
It was an accident -- but what kind of accident? Was Will driving drunk? Did he think Adrienne was Kristen and smash her over the head?
Will and Ben being cellmates is odd. I'd think the jail administration would not want people who know each other to bunk together.
But it's a great device for each of them to tell their stories. Now that we've heard Ben's story, hopefully soon we'll hear Will's.
And of course, life outside of jail goes on. Days of Our Lives has often dropped the ball on that aspect of jailhouse dramas, which is a shame.
Children and spouses being separated from their loved ones when a family member goes to jail is a rich source of drama. I'm glad that, this time, Ari and Sonny are affected the way that they are.
When Gabi last went to jail, I'd have liked to have seen Ari deal with getting teased about it instead of that nonsense where Sonny and Will kept it secret from her that her mother was locked up.
This time, the writers did things properly.
Ari -- now played by an older actress -- complained about getting teased, and hopefully, that will develop into a real story and not just a throwaway line.
Meanwhile, I have to wonder what the deal is with Evan, Rafe's new nanny.
He and Sonny crossed paths for a reason, and most likely Sonny is going to be attracted to him and/or have an affair while Will is locked up.
However, Evan's eagerness to work extra hours as a nanny was disturbing.
The best-case scenario is that he's a workaholic who has no real life outside of being a male nanny, but could he turn out to be a pedophile?
Either way, it'll be interesting to see how his character develops and what's going on with him.
Victor: Iced tea, my dear. I'm drinking iced tea.
Maggie: It smells like 30-year-old Scotch from here. You don't have to hide it from me and you don't have to lie. I know about your secret stashes.
The best part of the jail story is Ben and Ciara working together to unmask Victor.
It was obvious from the moment Ciara walked into Victor's study that she was saying what she wanted to hear.
A man like Victor who is used to double-crossing and getting double-crossed should have been skeptical of her claim to have seen the light about Ben.
Nevertheless, Ciara in spy mode should be fun.
Being a spy is more like the personality Ciara had back when she was a mischevious and sometimes manipulative child than the girl-next-door persona she's had recently.
A few things haven't changed despite the time jump, and that's a shame.
Xander and Nicole are STILL arguing over whether Eric would dump Nicole for Sarah if he found out he was the mother of Sarah's child.
That old argument needs to go by the wayside already.
Gabi still has an app on her phone that can control Julie's pacemaker, and she accidentally set it off while having sex -- with Eli.
Fortunately, she discovered the mistake before Julie became seriously ill. But hopefully, Julie will follow through on getting her pacemaker checked and resolve that problem.
For some reason, nobody has figured out that Hope is not Hope, and that's silly.
She's getting better at acting like Hope, but still. The mere fact that she pushed Marlena out of the picture and tried to make a move on John should make it super obvious who she really is.
If John had told Marlena that "Hope" had pushed him to push her to take that job in the middle of nowhere, the scheme would have gotten resolved before it began.
And as soon as Gina hid Marlena's latest letter, I knew Marlena was going to come home unexpectedly. She probably told John in that letter to expect her.
Marlena's walking in on "Hope" trying to flirt with John should be fun, though. That is what a Friday cliffhanger should look like!
Chad's connection with a potentially resurrected Stefano is interesting, but odd.
First of all, Joe Mascolo has been gone for almost three years, and many fans feel it would be disrespectful to his memory to recast the character of Stefano now.
Would Days of Our Lives do it anyway?
And storywise, the whole setup is suspicious.
Why would Stefano prefer to talk to Chad only over IM, and why would he care about avenging what Gabi did to Abigail?
More likely, it's going to turn out that we're dealing with a resurrected Stefan O. -- aka Gabi's late husband.
But why would he want to hurt Gabi? Or is he trying to trick Chad to ensure that Gabi comes out on top?
In any case, it's nice that Abigail took time out of convincing Chad that it wasn't really Stefano to express worry about JJ.
But where has she been for the last year while JJ spiraled downwards?
Finally, the award for weirdest post-time-jump change goes to Lani and Kristen becoming nuns and friends.
The nun motif doesn't fit either of these characters, but the idea of evil Kristen renouncing the pleasures of the world to devote her life to God is especially laughable.
Lani: We all have our sins, including me. I have asked God for forgiveness for what I have done. But my sins are nothing in comparison to those who have sinned against me.
Kristen: Sinned against you? What do you mean?
Lani: I'm talking about Gabi Hernandez. I hope she burns in hell for what she did to me.
Lani also has no business devoting herself to the church, especially not if she hopes Gabi burns in hell! What kind of attitude is that for an aspiring nun to have?
And why in the world is Lani confiding in Kristen, who could renounce the church at any moment and then use all the info Lani gave her to wreak even more havoc for her purposes?
What did you think, Days of Our Lives fanatics?
Is the jumbled up, weird world of the future Salem entertaining, or do you wish Days of Our Lives could somehow turn the clock back again?
What storylines make the most and least sense to you?
And what do you hope happens next?
Share your thoughts in the comments, and don't forget to check b ack 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 senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.