Ben fought the impulse to kill Ciara, a vision of Paige got through to Eve, Nicole and Sami battled over the baby, and Gabi and Rafe left Salem on this week’s Days of Our Lives.
Our TV Fanatics Jack Ori and Christine Orlando are joined by Kathy and Tony from MyHourglass a Days of Our Lives fan forum to debate what happened to Ciara, the custody hearing debacle, Jake cheating on Gwen, Gabi and Rafe’s exit, and all the characters who were missing this week in Salem.
What do you think happened to Ciara? If she’s alive, do you think she will forgive Ben?
Kathy: I think Ciara is alive, and Vincent has something to do with her disappearance. He told Eve that he had something to do before he left town. I don't know if Ciara will think that Ben needs to be forgiven.
Jack: I think she ran away somehow. I kept eyeing that window in the bathroom and wishing Paige had jumped out of it instead of trying to fight Ben off, so maybe Ciara did?
I doubt she's dead because Ben's MO was never to hide the body. He always left it in plain sight.
In any case, I'm sure she'll forgive Ben. Hope keeps saying he was brainwashed, and it wasn't his fault he attacked Ciara, so I have no doubt Ciara will too.
Tony: I think she's being held captive somewhere by Vincent. As for whether she'll forgive Ben, probably, eventually.
Christine: Ciara must have gone out that window, but I have to believe Vincent has her because otherwise, you’d think she would have made her way to Hope or Rafe by now.
I think she’ll want to forgive Ben, but the terror of this incident will traumatize her, and it may affect their relationship whether Ciara wants it to or now.
Nicole and Sami did battle over Allie’s baby, and Nicole won, for now. Are you happy with the way it played out?
Kathy: I hated the whole custody fight. I think it would be best for the baby to go into foster care.
I'm not convinced either Sami or Nicole really have the baby's best interests at the center of their war.
Jack: I was annoyed by several things with this. First of all, this is the same judge that Deimos paid off to give Holly to Chloe instead of Nicole, so for her to act like she doesn't know who Nicole is and that she's impartial is ridiculous.
And she had no reaction to hearing that Nicole possibly killed the man that paid the judge off? Please.
Secondly, she said she didn't want her courtroom turned into a reality show but then proceeded to let Sami rant about Nicole after she had already made her ruling.
And her treatment of the two women was not equal, either. Sami was allowed to rant and rave with no more than a gentle admonishment, while Nicole saying, "This is ridiculous!" in a normal tone of voice was met with a stern warning that further outbursts would result in her removal from the courthouse.
This wasn't a custody hearing. It was a catfight. And totally unrealistic and ridiculous.
Tony: Not really. The judge was hardly impartial, and the court trial was completely unrealistic. I am glad that Nicole won, but the way we got there didn't thrill me.
Christine: Ugh. It was horrible. Both Sami and Nicole will do whatever it takes to win, and they both have equally lurid histories. Now even Eric is lying to a judge.
Personally, for Nicole, I think this has become more about beating Sami than about taking care of the baby.
With Allie acting like an immature brat, taking off, and not even talking to Eric and Nicole, I think Sami, as the grandmother, should have temporary custody until Allie returns and cleans up her mess.
Jake cheated on Gwen with Gabi. Now that Gabi has left Salem, should he try to reconcile with Gwen?
Kathy: I don't know if he should, but I think he will try to reconcile with Gwen. They have a past, and it seems that Gabi is cutting him loose.
Jack: I think that would be insulting. He'd basically be saying Gwen is his consolation prize, and Gwen is so desperate to be with him that she would probably jump at the chance. Ugh.
The only thing worse than that is if Gwen tries to wrest Chad from Abigail, which I'm afraid might be the next step in this awful story.
Tony: Yes. Gabi has no real interest in Jake outside of his resemblance to Stefan, whereas Gwen, for all her faults, does at least seem to like Jake for Jake.
Christine: Ugh. It’s pathetic to think that Gwen is willing to go back to a guy she literally walked in on with another woman. Or that Jake would run back to the woman he just dumped because he’s hurting from being dumped by Gabi.
If Gwen’s going to stick around, I hope she gets a better storyline that doesn’t involve Jake or Chad.
A vision of Paige, and Hope’s pleas, had Eve admitting what she’d done to Ben. Is she redeemable?
Kathy: I think Eve is redeemable. She finally realized all the collateral damage she was causing by trying to destroy Ben. I'm sure she will hate Ben forever, but she should not let it consume her life.
Jack: Redemption seems so arbitrary on this show. Ben can be forgiven for killing three women, but Aiden is run out of town for telling a lie that didn't really mean much in the scheme of things.
That said, I did like Eve displaying some actual empathy and compassion toward Hope after Ciara disappeared. However, for her to be redeemable, she'd have to take responsibility and stop gloating that it hurt Ben.
Tony: The powers-that-be made Ben redeemable, so I'm sure they can figure out a way to redeem Eve, though also I'm sure it'll take a while.
Christine: Isn’t everyone in Salem redeemed at some point? If they can redeem Ben after he murdered several people, then Eve can certainly be forgiven if she gets the help she needs.
With Rafe leaving town, it appears he and Hope won’t be reuniting any time soon. Are you thrilled or heartbroken?
Kathy: I will miss Rafe and Hope. I have watched Hope grow up from the day Addie gave birth to her.
I don't have the strong negative feelings others have for Rafe. He may be a little boring, but he is mostly a stand-up guy,
Jack: It's no secret that I anti-ship this couple. I find they generally go back and forth between boring and irritating. But this wasn't the way to end it.
This was a stupid and contrived ending that didn't really make sense and wasn't satisfying. It left the relationship in limbo as if the writers were trying to please both fans and non-fans by half putting them together, half not.
Tony: Thrilled! They were a horrible pairing!
Christine: Closer to thrilled than heartbroken. I like Hope. I like Rafe. But I hate them as a couple, so if Rafe has to leave to keep me from sitting through #Rope round 2, then I’m on board with him heading out of Salem.
Lots of key characters didn’t appear on screen this week. Which absence disappointed you the most?
Kathy: I missed seeing Maggie, Victor, Sarah and Xander. They are my favorite circle of characters.
Jack: I'm irritated that we left Philip and Shawn staring at each other for over a week. And I'd like to know where Allie is and if she's coming home soon. Also, where was Lucas during this whole custody battle?
Tony: Allie. Even though she left town, I wish she would come back soon!
Christine: Philip and Shawn were facing off, Xander and Sarah reunited, Victor left Xander hanging about being CEO…and then a week of nothing!
That's a lot of disappointment right there. How do they expect to keep viewers interested with such huge gaps in their popular storylines?
What were your favorite or least favorite moments of the week?
Kathy: I enjoyed watching Hope deal with Eve and Ben after Ciara disappeared. I especially liked her talking about losing Zac and how it haunts her to this day.
Jack: I was thrilled for Paige's all-too-short visit. I wish she'd appear as a ghost more regularly. And I don't know why she didn't appear to JJ when he was in attack-Kristen mode.
But her visit with Eve was wonderful, and I was thrilled the writers remembered what her character was supposed to be like. I was afraid they'd make her support Eve's nonsense for the sake of the plot, and thankfully they didn't.
I also thought Gabi's goodbye scenes with Will and Sonny were well done. This version of Gabi I can get behind.
I don't know why the writers always wait until Gabi is half out the door to make her worth watching. (I felt the same way when she confessed to killing Nick before being written out a few years back.)
Least favorite -- all that Gwen stuff was pathetic. Move on from Jake already and stop eating up airtime.
Also, I'm glad Ben struggling with murderous impulses part of the story is over. I almost never fast forward, but I had no desire to see Paige's murder again or endless reruns of his torment at Eve's hands.
And re-enacting Paige's murder with Ciara was a terrible idea.
Tony: Favorite: Paige's appearance and Gabi (finally!) leaving!
Least favorite: Everything else to do with Gabi.
Christine: Gabi’s goodbye to Will and Sonny made me cry, in a good way. Gabi has such potential to be a well-rounded character, and I appreciate the far too few glimpses we get of that.
But I despised all of the time spent of Ben terrorizing Ciara and the flashbacks to Eve torturing Ben. I get that they were trying to show Ben’s torment, but instead of entertaining, I found excruciating.
Want to chat more about the happenings in Salem? Then check out Jack Ori’s Days of Our Lives review here at TV Fanatic.
Then hit that BIG, BLUE, SHOW COMMENTS BUTTON down below to let us know what you thought of this week's Days of Our Lives.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.