Kassie de Paiva is one of daytime's strongest actresses, and Days of Our Lives is lucky to have her.
Her version of Eve is a broken-spirited woman who always does the wrong thing for the right reason, and it's hard not to feel sympathy for her no matter how horrible she's being.
That's why this Eve-as-supervillain story is so damn disappointing.
After Eve was revealed to be behind Ben's kidnapping, she and Robert Scott Wilson had some powerful scenes while Ben was trapped alone in a room with Eve.
The acting was top-notch, so this stupid story was worth watching for that alone, but there were a ton of problems that made me want to hit fast forward anyway.
Ben: I would never hurt Ciara.
Eve: That's your line these days, that you've changed? I wish your victims could hear that, like Serena Mason and that midwife...what was her name?
Eve: What's that? I couldn't hear you.
Eve: That's right. Wendy. I'm sure she'd be happy you remembered her name. Though she would probably be happier to still be a midwife, be bringing new life into the world. Now I'm forgetting someone. Who could it be... that's right. My daughter Paige. Do you remember her? You snuffed the life right out of her when she was in her prime. You're going to do to Ciara exactly what you did to Paige.
Ben: I would never hurt Ciara!
Eve: What? Being a serial killer was just a phase?
Eve's anger and desire to seek vengeance for Paige's death was understandable, but this kind of scheme isn't consistent with her character.
Eve is more of a Sami or Nicole type than a Vivian or Kate.
Both when Paige was alive and after her death, she was the kind of overcontrolling, selfish woman who accidentally hurt everyone around her in her effort to make things better for the people she cared about.
Sure, she's been accused of murder in the past, but she wasn't guilty.
Her worst crimes were things like setting up enemies to be arrested for drugs, hiring a prostitute to try to seduce JJ away from Paige, and smashing the vials of memory serum so that Jack would never remember his life with Jennifer and leave her.
To go from that to hiring a bomber, kidnapping an enemy, and using drug concoctions to brainwash him into murdering his wife makes no sense.
And to make matters worse, Days of Our Lives will probably explain it away as "Eve snapped after learning Ben wouldn't be executed." They've already set the stage for that with Eve's monologue about that disappointment.
This trope of the mentally ill woman who lashes out violently after heartbreak needs to go. It's offensive to both women and people who suffer from mental illness and has no place on a 21st-century serial.
It's bad enough that Claire and Jordan both got transformed into violent villainnesses on the basis of "mental illness" without sending Eve down that path too.
And if you leave the poor social messaging aside, this story doesn't make sense.
This kind of brainwashing plot requires access to a mad scientist such as the Dimeras' Dr. Rolf or Vivian's Dr. Wu. Eve may have been Deimos Kiriakis' widow, but she doesn't have those kinds of connections.
She made some sort of bargain in the past to get Jack from Rolf, but there's no reason Rolf would help her now. And if she does have access to Rolf, it would make more sense to resurrect Paige than to seek revenge against Paige's killer.
Plus, Claire was Eve's surrogate daughter. She thought of her as Paige 2.0. So why on Earth would she frame her for something like this?
Also, Eve's problem is with Ben, not Ciara. Why would she want Ben to kill Ciara and put Ciara's family through the same pain she's suffered since Paige's death?
Maybe these plot holes would be easier to take if this wasn't the fifteen millionth time Days of Our Lives has done something like this.
It's barely been two months since the end of the ridiculous Steve-as-Stefano story, in 2015 Andre tried to force Aiden to strangle Hope on their wedding night, and in between there have been close to a dozen similar storylines.
The most interesting aspect of this ridiculous storyline was the mystery of who kidnapped Ben.
Thank goodness that Clyde explained all the reasons that Orpheus was a viable suspect.
There's no explanation for why neither Rafe, Hope, John, or Marlena even though about Orpheus after Orpheus' recent attempt to blow up John and Marlena's penthouse, but at least someone had a brain.
Sadly, that was all a build-up to absolutely nothing.
It seems weird that Orpheus was secretly transferred to a maximum security prison and that the ISA didn't want Shane to tell Rafe that. There's probably more to the story, but until such time as Days of Our Lives wants Orpheus for something, he's officially in Supermax.
Afterward, Claire went through the most ridiculous list of suspects ever before hitting on Eve. (Side note: The Salem Inn needs better security. People are always sneaking into other people's hotel rooms when they aren't there.)
Victor hiring someone was a possibility, but Sonny? JJ? Come on. Sonny and Will are focused on adopting a baby, and JJ isn't even in the country!
And no one has thought about Tripp in so long that it was weird he was even mentioned. Sometimes when characters' names come up, it's because they're coming back -- could Tripp turn out to be the father of Allie's baby?
In any case, I was glad that Ciara and Claire finally got past the repetitive argument about whether Claire was responsible for drugging Ciara and sabotaging her wedding.
That was starting to be as annoying as Gabi's constant monologue about how she was beaten up in prison and Ari hated her when she got out.
Speaking of Ari, Will and Sonny need to stop spoiling her.
First of all, they shouldn't have said anything until the adoption papers were signed, sealed, and delivered. Until that happens, Allie could still change her mind...and since this is Salem, she probably will.
Allie was hesitant about signing the papers and Hurricane Sami is in town, doing her best to destroy any chance that Allie makes up her own mind about who has custody of the baby. So Will and Sonny would be smart not to count on getting the baby until it happens.
And if they don't want Ari to grow up to emulate Gabi's worst qualities, they might want to rethink this whole bribery thing.
Ari, like many ten-year-olds who are used to being the only child, would rather have a puppy than a brother or sister. That isn't a reason to get her a dog that Will doesn't think they'll have time to take care of properly, and it certainly isn't a reason to laugh about how Gabi bribes people all the time.
Most Salem parents are horrible at taking care of their kids, but this was beyond ridiculous.
Will and Sonny constantly keep things from Ari that she needs to know -- like the reasons for Gabi's disappearances every time Gabi goes to jail -- while being quick to tell her things she's better off not knowing.
That's bad enough without giving in to her demands because they "want her to be happy."
It also rankles a bit that Salem's only gay couple is depicted as being the worst parents in Salem, but that's probably coincidental since the writing team regularly demonstrates that they have no clue what children are like or what they need.
The Sami/Allie storyline continues to be the most compelling story on canvas despite that and a few other problems, though.
When Allie came to town, she was "on the edge of" being able to have an abortion, which means she couldn't be more than three months pregnant. So it was jarring, to say the least, for her to be close to being able to deliver barely a month later.
But Salem is apparently built on top of some sort of time rift, so that's par for the course.
Sami's reactions to learning her daughter was in labor not only made her sympathetic, but demonstrated that Sami is capable of being a sensitive, compassionate human being when she wants to be.
She was, for the most part, soft-spoken and caring when she was at Allie's bedside, and even managed not to say anything about walking in on Allie hugging Nicole. If only she'd be like that more often and give up being overcontrolling, she and Allie would stop having problems.
On the flip side, only Sami would think she could demand that Allie's water un-break and that she stop being in labor. That was classic Sami!
You know, I know Sami screwed up, but I can't help feeling bad for her.Eric
Still, though, I was with Eric. Sami's motivations were reasonable even if her behavior has been less than ideal lately.
She feels shut out of Allie's life and like Allie has replaced her with Nicole when she just wants to be there for her daughter, and it broke my heart when she stopped being so judgmental and simply cried that she hated being pushed out of the delivery room.
And as much as Allie is angry at Sami, it seemed ridiculous for her to focus her rage on Sami "causing" her labor.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter why she went into premature labor. It happened, the baby was born, and now everyone needs to move on from there.
It also felt cruel for Sarah to be the one to deliver the baby.
Though the writing didn't address it at all, I wondered how she felt about congratulating Allie on delivering a healthy baby when her own baby died hours after birth.
Similarly, all the cross-talk about whether or not Nicole was qualified to help Allie deliver her baby left out that Nicole gave birth twice to babies that didn't make it -- one of them when she was eight months pregnant.
Nicole had the sense not to tell Allie that, but it had to have crossed her mind that Allie could suffer a similar fate. I'm surprised she didn't as much as mention it to Eric while Allie was out of earshot.
Anyway, while Sami may not be enjoying Allie's special relationship with Nicole, I certainly am.
Nicole is to Allie what Daniel used to be to JJ: a surrogate parent who understands exactly where Allie is coming from. I especially loved the way Nicole used her own past to tell Allie that she could get past feeling like her life was a gigantic mess.
Meanwhile, there was a lot of Gabi/Jake/Gwen/Chad stuff that didn't hold my interest at all. I don't care who the CEO of Dimera is or which annoying woman Jake chooses in the end.
And I don't like Gwen stealing Lucas' room, though that would help stave off the next sneak attack from Bonnie. Could this story be any more full of useless characters?
I agree with Steve: Bonnie needs to be gone. And Steve and Kayla need a storyline now that they're back, though it was nice that Justin was mature about the whole thing.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you think about Eve's return, Sami and Allie's conflict, and all other Salem happenings!
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.