Days Of Our Lives Review: The Beginning of the End

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Please let this Gina/Stevano storyline be almost over.

The writers have made it look like these two microchipped doppelgangers are about to get caught over and over, only for them to slip away so that this ridiculous story could keep going.

But now that Shawn's in town and onto Gina, could things be coming to a head?

(TALL) Tracking Down Gina - Days of Our Lives

The good news is that Shawn seems to have remembered to bring his brain to Salem.

It's hard to believe that Rafe was once an FBI agent, considering how stupid he was compared to Shawn.

For months, Rafe has noticed something off about Hope but hasn't questioned her identity despite the fact that there is a doppelganger epidemic in Salem and that Rafe was once also replaced with a fake.

Maybe that's forgiveable, but not realizing that Marlena was in trouble during that weird phone call wasn't.

(TALL) Shawn Arrives - Days of Our Lives

Rafe should have had plenty of experience with kidnapping and hostage situations, yet he needed Shawn to suggest that maybe Marlena made up a story about going to Prague because she was under duress.

Sheesh. Salem's version of the FBI will take just anybody, won't they?

Of course, one also wonders what's wrong with Ciara.

She's supposedly close with her mother, but didn't pick up on the obvious inconsistencies, out of character behavior, or general weirdness for an entire year, yet Shawn figured it out in 30 seconds.

Ciara might not have experience with Princess Gina, but she did know all about Nighttime Hope, so she should have suspected SOMETHING.

(TALL) Deciding Whether to Come Forward - Days of Our Lives

I guess Ciara was too busy trying to clear Ben's name and accidentally stumbling on the truth about the accident that killed Adrienne.

Her conversation with Will was also annoying because it seems like a no-brainer for Will to talk to someone who can do something about getting him out of jail.

He feels guilty about texting and driving, but he didn't cause the fatal crash, and it makes no sense for him to continue to sit in jail while Sonny moves on with Evan.

Sure, there's no proof other than Ciara's claim that Victor told her that Maggie did it, which is not admissible in court.

But telling Justin would be a good start. Maybe there's something he could do to get the ball rolling on Will's appeal.

(TALL) Processing The Truth - Days of Our Lives

Instead, Will wants to keep the knowledge of the truth to himself so that Maggie never has to answer for having been found drunk in her car on the side of the road that night.

Everyone loves Maggie and no one wants her to go to jail, but this is getting beyond ridiculous.

Everything is all mixed up. The wrong person is in jail for Adrienne's death, Sarah's baby is really Kristen's, and Haley ended up in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the hospital stairs for no reason whatsoever.

Can someone take responsibility for some of this, please?

(TALL) John Gets Suspicious - Days of Our Lives

Anyway, getting back to Gina and Stevano, these two have made so many obvious mistakes that it's unbelievable they haven't been caught before now.

Stevano certainly blew his cover (along with his top!) while confronting Anna.

Anna: I still say if you hadn't got in the way of that bullet, Stefano would be dead and the world would be a better place.
Stevano: As if a bullet could stop Stefano. The Phoenix always rises from the ashes.

Stefano, as originally written, wouldn't have been so careless.

He'd have had a thick enough skin to deal with it if some woman who meant nothing to him said mean things about him to him while he was disguised as someone else.

(TALL) Stevano Lashes Out - Days of Our Lives

Stefano was cunning and classy. He was a love to hate character.

Stevano, on the other hand... well, the less said the better.

Stephen Nichols is doing great work with what he's been given, but the writing doesn't fit Stefano's character at all, even if both Stevano and Anna had some great lines.

The best part of these scenes was, as usual, Thaao Penghlis. He plays Tony with equal parts charm and righteous anger, and Tony and Anna's love story is one of the stronger ones on canvas right now.

The more I see Tony, the more I think it's a shame the writers didn't have Penghlis take over the Stefano role.

(TALL) Anna's Betrayal - Days of Our Lives

Dastardly, dashing Andre would have done so for his own purposes, and it would be a lot more entertaining and believable than a microchipped Steve trying to be someone he's not.

In any event, John should have been onto "Steve" a long time ago. He's a seasoned spy and private detective, Steve is his best friend, and Stevano's weird behavior combined with "Hope's" antics should have tipped him off.

Instead, we got this inane storyline where John ddn't realize that Stevano was not who he claimed to be, almost caught him, and then got tricked when Rolf pretended to shoot Stevano in cold blood.

Three out of five days during the week of 1-27-20 were devoted to Stevano and Gina's stupid plan to make John and Marlena think the other was dead, and that was three days too many.

There was only one saving grace in all of this, and that was that Marlena might have switched places with Hattie before she was kidnapped.

A New Plan - Days of Our Lives

Hattie has a distinctive accent and speech pattern that she can't hide even when she's trying to be Marlena, and it was present when Marlena was tied up in the throne room.

Plus, Marlena's actual kidnapping was off-screen. One minute, GIna was holding her at gunpoint, the next she was waking up tied to a chair.

Could Roman or Kate have managed to switch Hattie with Marlena to keep Marlena safe? And if so, when did it happen?

Roman: Shawn is in town and he needs to talk to me. Can you two hold down the fort?
Hattie: Can we hold down the fort? We could hold down TWO forts.

There has to be some reason Hattie came back and got involved in this story, so this twist would make sense.

.
(TALL) Learning About Their Wedding - Days of Our Lives

Plus, Hattie was acting awfully therapist-like with Kate. So could Kate have actually been telling Marlena what she knew?

This excessive focus on this storyline left little room for other stories, but there was still some movement forward.

To nobody's surprise, Lani was livid when she found out that Eli and Gabi were getting married.

Her whole plan continued to be to do nothing, though, other than blame JJ for Eli's decision to marry Gabi and get angry at him for agreeing to be Eli's best man.

All of that nonsense reminded me of why Lani and JJ were a horrible idea for a couple in the first place. JJ is right that 1) doing nothing is not an option and 2) Refusing to be Eli's best man would not accomplish anything productive.

Trying to Stay Calm - Days of Our Lives

Of course, Lani couldn't figure any of that out on her own even though she used to be a cop, just like she couldn't figure out when she was a cop that arresting Gabi for her attempt to blackmail her and confiscating her phone would end the problem altogether.

These plots where characters give into weak-sauce threats for no reason at all have got to go. Viewers are smarter than that--why can't characters be?

Victor: There you are. I was getting worried. What made the tests take so long?
Maggie: The tests were quick. I stopped in the chapel to get myself together.
Victor: Prayer is always helpful at a time like this.
Maggie: I was asking for forgiveness.
Victor: Forgiveness? For what?
Maggie: The last time I gave blood, I'd been sober for over 35 years. This time I had to admit I've had more than a few slips, including last Mother's Day. I don't even remember it.
Victor: Oh, Maggie. Don't beat yourself up. You are still the most beautiful person both inside and out that I have ever known.

More interesting was the entire mess that Victor and Xander have got into now that "Sarah's" baby has cancer.

This was an unforeseen consequence of the baby switch, and it's putting Xander and Victor at odds with one another.

(TALL) An Urgent Request - Days of Our Lives

Unlike most of the couples currently on screen, Xander and Sarah have chemistry. But the best thing about this story is that both Victor and Xander are desperate to protect the woman they love from pain.

Victor: There you are. I was getting worried. What made the tests take so long?
Maggie: The tests were quick. I stopped in the chapel to get myself together.
Victor: Prayer is always helpful at a time like this.
Maggie: I was asking for forgiveness.
Victor: Forgiveness? For what?
Maggie: The last time I gave blood, I'd been sober for over 35 years. This time I had to admit I've had more than a few slips, including last Mother's Day. I don't even remember it.
Victor: Oh, Maggie. Don't beat yourself up. You are still the most beautiful person both inside and out that I have ever known.

Victor started all this to protect Maggie from knowing that she killed her granddaughter, and Xander is equally determined not to let Sarah either know that her real baby died or to lose the one she was given.

Having both men be motivated by determination to protect the object of their affection makes this one of the stronger stories on canvas right now.

Even though what they did in the first place was wrong, the idea that the women couldn't handle the truth is paternalistic, and the odds are that Maggie didn't cause the accident anyway, this story makes for riveting drama.

(TALL) Kristen Grieves - Days of Our Lives

Xander and Sarah are a rootable couple and nobody wants to see Maggie go to jail, yet Kristen and Brady need to be reunited with their baby and Victor needs to face the wrath of his family because he caused so much trouble for everybody.

This is a multi-faceted story with consequences for a lot of people, and it's the kind of drama I want to see, not doppelgangers running around pulling the wool over the eyes of stupid people.

The Brady/Nicole/Eric triangle aspect is unnecessary, though.

First of all, we've been down this road a gazillion times before.

More importantly, if the peace between Eric and Nicole is so fragile that him finding out that she maybe kinda sorta is with Brady after Eric berated her for months on end makes him "hate" her again, then she needs to move on.

(TALL) Turning to Someone Else - Days of Our Lives

Nicole is always blaming herself for her and Eric's fights, while he explodes constantly and never pays any consequences for it.

That's not love. That's abuse. It needs to stop.

Thankfully, Brady and Nicole are done with their ruse, which must be the fastest turnaround in soap opera history.

Unless, of course, Eric doesn't believe them or they change their mind about telling him the truth at the last minute so the writers can drag this story out for another six months.

But hopefully, it's over for real, which is a welcome departure from the usual fake love turning to real love story on this show.

Bonding Over Their Grief - Days of Our Lives

What did you think, Days of Our Lives fanatics? Could the Stevano/Gina doppelganger story finally be coming to an end?

Are you team Xander or team Victor? Or neither?

And do you think Marlena and Hattie pulled off a last-minute switch?

Hit SHOW COMMENTS and share your thoughts. And don't forget to check back on Sunday fpr our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.

We sure would appreciate a follow of our new Twitter account as we work to rebuild our audience!

@TVFanatic


Days of Our Lives continues to air on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Days of Our Lives Quotes

Eli: I just want what's best for the baby.
JJ: Did she make you godfather or something? Cause you're being awfully protective of our baby.

I keep wanting to believe the man you were is still in there somewhere. The man I fell so hard for, the man I married. But if you keep going down this path, you will not only lose the election, you will lose your soul.

Jennifer