The annual Christmas party took a back seat to Stefano trying to see Marlena, Gabi and Chad tried to put aside their animosity, and JJ got out of the hospital on Days of Our Lives during the week of 12-23-19.
Our TV Fanatics Jack Ori and Christine Orlando are joined by kpatch and silvanoir from My Hourglass: A Days of Our Lives Fan Forum to rate the Horton Christmas, discuss the doppelganger epidemic in Salem, and debate which storyline we’d have done differently.
Rate this year's Christmas from 1 (the Grinch seemed to have stolen it) to 10 (best Christmas ever).
Silvanoir: I give it a 6. It was nice but sad in a way due to budget cuts. It had the Christmas vibe but there was just something a little lacking about that I can't fully explain.
Christine: Maybe a 4.
I liked that JJ got to come home and spend Christmas with his family but there were so many people missing and we saw so few ornaments.
I wish they’d show more of the ornaments and maybe a few flashbacks to Christmases past. It could really bring back the holiday spirit.
Kpatch: I’ll give it a 6. I really liked seeing Jennifer’s whole family together, and of course Julie, Doug and Maggie as the family’s anchors. But something was missing. Maybe it was the absence of the real Hope. It felt a little hollow.
But the scenes in JJ’s hospital room were the best of the week. They really got to me. Even though it was only Monday, I knew that nothing else that happened the entire week could top it.
Jack: If we’re talking just about the episodes that aired on the holiday, I’m only giving it a 2. There was very little Christmas spirit and the holiday itself took back seat to some very selfish behavior.
That said, I agree with Kpatch that JJ’s reunion with his family was the highlight of the week, and I’d also throw in Xander’s visit to Sarah as full of Christmas cheer.
It’s a shame that the ancillary episodes were far more Christmas-y than the actual holiday.
Kayla confided in Roman that she feels guilty about moving on from Steve with Justin. Do you think she should remain with Justin while she works through these feelings, or is it a sign she is not ready to date yet?
Silvanoir: I think she wasn't ready for moving in with him.
Dating someone is completely different from moving in with them.
That is a whole new level of commitment that Kayla may not have truly been ready for. She might get past those feelings but she needs to talk to Justin and be honest or she might start to feel worse about it.
Christine: I think what Kayla is feeling is normal, especially considering how Steve left her with no answers and no sense of closure.
Moving in with Justin probably pushed those feelings closer to the surface. (And Steve lurking around doesn’t help.)
I don’t believe that Kayla needs to break up with Justin but I’m glad she’s acknowledging her feelings. She should probably see a therapist to talk this out because, although I think Justin would understand, sharing too much could hurt him.
Kpatch: Ooh, good question.
I think she is ready to be with Justin. Her marriage ended abruptly so I think her mixed feelings are normal.
But because she knows Steve so well and this is Salem, she should be more suspicious that something is off.
Jack: I agree that Kayla’s feelings are normal, but I think she should work through them before jumping into a serious relationship. Not that anyone EVER does that in Salem.
I also think that Steve’s presence or semi-presence in Salem makes this more complicated.
It has irked me from the beginning that Kayla isn’t more suspicious. This is exactly what happened when Bo disappeared and then Bo turned out to be imprisoned in a Dimera dungeon.
That alone should set off alarm bells, but so far not one of our friends in Salem realizes the parallel.
Hattie is back in Salem. Who do you most hope she interacts with?
Silvanoir: John. Hattie and Roman are fun but I love how Hattie and John interact.
Christine: I’d like to see Hattie and Roman become real friends. I’d also like to see Hattie have her own love interest, although I have no idea with whom that would be.
But overall, a little Hattie goes a long way.
Kpatch: I’m kind of tired of Hattie. Her one-liners are cute but I agree with Christine. Like Susan and Bonnie, a little Hattie goes a long way.
Jack: I’d like to see Hattie break out of her bubble.
So far she’s only interacted with the same people she usually does plus Stefano/Steve. I don’t know who she should interact with, really, but mixing it up could be fun.
Of the three doppelgangers currently on canvas (Gina, Stefano, and Hattie), who do you most and least enjoy?
Silvanoir: Hattie is the best.
I know that there are people who can't stand her, but Hattie has always been fun because the show uses her sparingly.
No one asked for Gina to come back and want her caught and gone.
But man, do I not love Stevano. Just the worst.
Christine: Hattie is best because she’s her own person. Hattie can be herself and she has nothing to hide.
Gina is kind of ho-hum. There are moments when she’s moderately interesting but overall I’m just waiting for her to be gone.
But, as much as I love having Stephen Nichols back, I’ll be happy when this ridiculous “Steve is Stefano” fiasco is over.
Kpatch: I think the Stefano and Gina story has been done to death and I just cannot suspend disbelief that Stefano is in Steve’s body or that no one has unmasked Gina in more than a year. It can’t end soon enough.
Jack: I am sick to death of doppelgangers. It seems like every time we finally get rid of a fake, another one (or three, in this case) pop up.
Of these three, Hattie is the only one that is at all tolerable. She is often quite funny, while the other two are just ridiculous and annoying.
Who had the most and least Christmas spirit in Salem this year?
Silvanoir: Not actually sure. I mean is vengeance part of Christmas? Because that it would be Lani.
Christine: Xander had the most!
He made cookies with Maggie and flew to Boston to give Sarah some Christmas cheer even when he knew he might not be welcomed and wouldn’t be allowed to see baby Mickey.
The least is Ciara. She only went to see her cousin, Will, at Christmas as a ruse to actually see Ben, who is all she thinks about.
Did she visit any of her family at Christmas?
Kpatch: Jennifer had the most Christmas spirit as her family was all together.
Gabi had the least. All she wanted for Christmas was Kristen’s shares of Dimera stock. Bah.
Jack: Bah humbug indeed to Gabi! And to Chad. I thought it was inappropriate for him to drag his children into his problem with Gabi, especially on Christmas.
There are so many people who had equally poor Christmas spirit, though
Kate starting up with Sonny and Evan at the Christmas party and Ciara using WIll to sneak in a visit with Ben come to mind.
As for the most, I think Jennifer and her family all tried to make the best Christmas they could given some sad circumstances.
And I also agree with Christine that Xander had a ton of Christmas spirit. I found myself wondering why his scenes with Sarah didn’t air on Christmas Day instead of all of that Stefano/Steve nonsense.
What one storyline would you rewrite if you could and what would you do instead?
Silvanoir: I would destroy this weird doppelganger storyline.
No Gina and no Stevano.
If we're going to bring him back then give him a young new body. Pretend to be a new Dimera heir (maybe not Stefano's son, but related to one of the Dimera brothers) who sees Gabi and Chad seriously lacking and have him take control.
That's what I would have done.
Christine: Gina and Stefano can go. I would have added the Kristen and Lani as Sisters to this list but I kind of liked Lani throwing a tantrum in her nun outfit.
Kpatch: I’d wipe out the time jump. It was just an excuse for not writing full stories and instead showing snippets in flashbacks to fill in the blanks.
I am hating Stefano/Gina, the nun story, Eric’s rage, Nicole’s self-pity, a sick baby, Will in prison/Sonny and Evan, and so on.
Jack: I would rewrite JJ’s addiction story to make it into an actual story instead of random plot points.
Imagine what a powerful story it would have been had JJ been injured, on the job or otherwise, and initially resisted filling a prescription for pain pills because of his history of substance abuse and his mother’s, only to give in when the pain got too severe and quickly spiral downward into addictive behavior.
Instead, we got only the tail end of the story and what was shown didn’t make sense.
Plus it was more or less a plot device to get Kristen and Lani out of the convent. What a wasted opportunity!
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Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.