In the blink of an eye, Gabi and Rafe left Salem.
These characters evaporated along with their storylines, which is convenient for the people who didn't want to deal with them anymore, but wasn't good writing.
The ultra-quick ending for Gabi and Rafe was an especially disappointing moment during a dismal set of episodes on Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-24-20.
One of the most frustrating things about this story is that it was such a waste of A Martinez's talents.
Eduardo could be an interesting character. Rafe has always resented that his father disappeared for 25 years, while Gabi has idolized him in the past, and of course he fathered Paige with Eve while absent from his other family's life.
And with Eve having gone off the rails as well as having refused his call on the anniversary of Paige's death, this was a perfect time for him to return and throw a monkey wrench into everyone's lives.
Rafe: You got a phone?
Rafe: You know, a device you use to text or call to make plans to stop by instead of breaking into people's houses and setting off alarms.
It started off great, with Rafe's sarcasm and annoyance over Eduardo having shown up in his living room without warning. But then, instead of anything close to a decent story, Eduardo turned out to be making a token visit for the express purpose of getting Rafe and Gabi off canvas.
And if that wasn't bad enough, his reason for wanting them to leave town made no sense.
According to Eduardo, the bad guys that were after his entire family were so ruthless and powerful that offering Gabi 24 hour protection would be useless. Yet these same bad guys are so toothless that all the Hernandezes had to do was cross the border and they would be entirely safe.
That didn't make any sense, especially considering that Rafe is an ex-FBI agent who began his time in Salem by protecting Sami when she was in witness protection.
It also didn't make sense for Eduardo to be so adamant that nobody know the family was running away.
Like everyone else in Salem, he seemed to be allergic to the cops knowing that there were criminals threatening somebody -- but he took it a step further. He was angry that Gabi told Will and Sonny the truth and afraid she might tell some other random people.
What would happen if she did? People would know she was in danger and actually do something?
Also, Jake was running from a different mob when he first arrived in Salem. There's no way he wouldn't understand what Gabi was going through if he knew.
I'm not sorry to get rid of Gabi and her incessant whining, gloating, and smirking. But Eduardo's out of the blue arrival and announcement that everyone was in danger was lazy writing.
There was zero foreshadowing of any of this, not as much as Gabi freaking out about someone following her and everyone thinking she was being paranoid. It just happened, and it was utterly convenient that it did just as Sonny and Will were trying to convince Gabi to let them take Ari out of state with them.
This was contrived nonsense that cheated viewers out of a real resolution to the story. Instead of Sonny and Will trying to work things out with Gabi before they left, a miracle occurred and they got custody of Ari without having to lift a finger.
And worse still, Rafe disappeared in the middle of a major storyline.
It's no secret that I anti-ship Rafe/Hope. But putting them back together just to rip them apart before the story even gets started was no solution.
It was cruel to raise Rope fans' hopes just to erase Rafe from Days of Our Lives just as they reconciled.
And it didn't provide a satisfying ending to their relationship for those who didn't want them to try again.
Does anyone remember when Scrubs tried to please both JElliot shippers and non-shippers by putting JD and Elliot together but never showing their relationship on-screen? That's what Days of Our Lives just did, and it didn't work here any better than it did then.
And why were the writers in such a mad rush to create a quick exit for Rafe and Gabi, anyway? It's not as if Galen Gering and Camila Banus just didn't show up to work one day. They knew these two were slated to leave and could have taken the time to craft a proper exit story.
Exits aren't these writers' forte -- Rafe's goodbye to Hope was not much better than the non-exit they wrote for JJ when Casey Moss left -- but this reached new depths of awful.
Not only was this an ultra-easy way to wrap up some stories, but it perpetuated negative stereotypes about Latinx people. Rafe is the only one of the Hernandezes that is not a criminal, and Mexico always seems to be where they go to hide.
They could have crafted an emotional story over the past few months in which Rafe and Gabi learned of their mother's illness and held onto hope that she would recover, only for Eduardo to appear with bad news.
The two could have then had to make emotional choices about whether to say their final goodbyes in person or over video chat -- something viewers could relate to during this pandemic.
But instead, the writers went the lazy route.
I can't say I'll be sorry to say goodbye to the Gabi/Jake/Gwen triangle, though. The way it ended was ridiculous, but the ladies' conflict over Jake added nothing of value.
CEO war stories are uninteresting and far too much of a go-to for Days of Our Lives, and neither Gwen nor Gabi had many redeeming qualities.
The fight over Jake quickly devolved into two women slinging sex-based insults at each other and arguing over a guy who quite frankly didn't seem worth it.
I don't know what's going to happen with Gwen and Jake now that Gabi has exited stage left and I don't care. But at least the catfighting over him is over with for the time being.
Of course, we still have Philip and Xander to deal with, but that storyline was mostly put on hold to get through all these super-fast wrapups.
Rafe and Gabi weren't the only characters to disappear on Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-24-20, either. Ciara literally vanished into thin air after a brainwashed Ben attacked her.
This awful story took a turn for the worse with Ben bringing Ciara to the scene of Paige's murder to attempt to kill her, too.
The only saving grace here was Paige's brief ghostly appearance to try to talk Eve out of this stupid revenge plan.
Eve: I did this for you, beautiful.
Paige: For me? Why in God's name would I want you to brainwash Ben to kill Ciara?
It was good to see her again, and she was written in character, allaying my fears that she would be turned into some sort of monster just to support the plot.
But this whole story was not okay. It reinforced the idea that the only thing that mattered about Paige is that she suffered a violent death.
Her life mattered. But no one has ever talked about or remembered anything about her except for that she died far too soon -- and even that is all about Eve's suffering and nothing else.
We didn't need a reenactment of her strangulation at Ben's hands, and we certainly didn't need endless flashbacks of her final moments as Ben attempted to do it all over again to Ciara.
This did not honor Paige's life or her death. It was disgusting.
And after suffering through this terrible story, there was no resolution because Ciara magically disappeared and Ben can't remember if he actually killed her or not.
Despite phenomonal acting from Kristian Alfonso, Robert Scott Wilson, and Kassie de Paiva, this story was virtually unwatchable.
It glorified death and violence and having Ciara be missing and presumed dead is no way to end her time in Salem, either. (Victoria Konefal has a few more scenes coming up, but these will most likely be to inform viewers of where Ciara is before she disappears from the canvas altogether.)
The other big story -- Sami vs Nicole -- had some annoying moments, but at least it wasn't offensive.
Mrs. Dimera, you do not seem to understand that this is a court of law and not a reality show.Judge Duncan
The biggest mistake Days of Our Lives made with the Sami story was using the same judge that presided over Chloe's attempt to wrest custody of baby Holly from Nicole.
When Nicole and Sami began sniping at each other, I couldn't help thinking that this should seem familiar to the judge. Chloe used virtually the same arguments in favor of her getting custody, and this judge cannot be impartial when Deimos paid her off last time!
And Days of Our Lives can't even use the "same actress, different judge" excuse when this judge even has the same name placard as she did last time.
Judge Duncan was anything but unbiased, too.
She claimed not to want her courtroom turned into a reality show, but she let Sami go on and on about nonsense after she had already made her ruling. She also let Sami rant and rave with little more than a quiet admonishment to stop, yet threatened to kick Nicole out for merely saying she thought Sami was being ridiculous.
Nicole apologized for "losing it" when she didn't even raise her voice, too. Did the writers really think we wouldn't notice that?
Not that Nicole is completely innocent either. She is doing a great job of raising her own daughter and was a good surrogate mother to Allie, but there was no reason for her to tell Belle about Sami's confession to Marlena.
Belle's reaction was way over the top, but Nicole's behavior here supported Sami's assertion that Nicole was trying to manipulate things.
This isn't like when Nicole told Allie that Sami had spoken to Rafe. Allie had a right to know that.
In this case, there was no legitimate purpose to Nicole gossiping and it didn't help matters for her to do that.
And this custody battle isn't about anything having to do with who would be the best parent or what's in the child's best interest, either. It's just two women sniping at each other about past grievances.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics!
What did you think of Paige's short visit, the quick exits for Rafe and Gabi, or Sami and Nicole's custody battle?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts.
And don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
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