Days of Our Lives Review: A Heartbreaking Ending

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People in Salem have short memories.

Ciara's alleged death was awfully similar to that time that Eric thought Nicole died in a warehouse fire.

Yet nobody on Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-06-20 thought for one second that Ciara could be anything but dead, despite not having found her body.

Terrified Ciara - Days of Our Lives

Since Victoria Konefal (Ciara) is slated to exit Days of Our Lives, it looks like this is her exit story.

This gives Hope some meaty material before she heads out of Salem herself,. But the grief scenes were cheapened by how many times we've been down this road before, only to learn that the dead person was very much alive.

First Abigail faked her death in a plane crash. Then Nicole allegedly died in a fire. Then, not a month before Ciara's presumed death, Ben disappeared during a similar explosion at the church and Ciara didn't know if he was alive or dead.

Come on, people! Stop assuming your loved ones are dead when this keeps happening over and over.

Unless something happened off-screen that hasn't been revealed yet, there's no real reason for anyone to assume Ciara is dead.

Hope's missing daughter didn't appear to be in the car when Hope and Shawn cornered Vincent in the first place, and the fire department didn't (as far as we know) report finding any charred remains in what was left of the vehicle.

Instead, they recovered Ciara's wedding ring. Leaving aside the fact that the rings should have melted in the fire, how does the jewelry's presence prove that Ciara perished in the blaze?

It's more likely that she took the rings off to let the cops know that she'd been in that vehicle before she was either forced to hide elsewhere or escaped -- after all, she'd dropped her bracelet in the cabin for that exact reason.

Are we supposed to believe that the fire was hot enough to reduce Ciara's body to ashes but not to destroy the jewelry she was wearing? That's the only way the conclusion that she's dead rather than missing makes any sense whatsoever.

Struggling to Get to Her/Tall - Days of Our Lives

The writers did the same thing when Nicole supposedly died. The firefighters found her necklace and no body, so Eric assumed she was dead.

I know he and Nicole were a bit distracted by this farcical custody hearing they're involved in, but it would have been nice if they'd remembered that. 

Anyway, this Ciara kidnapping story was full of twists and turns that made no sense even before her disappearance.

We'll probably never get an answer now to whether Vincent was really suffering the drug-induced hallucination that Ciara was Wendy or if he was messing with her. And how on Earth did Shawn find out Vincent's car was registered to Wendy without knowing what car he was driving?

This story was unncessarily violent and continued the theme of killing Ciara being an appropriate way to avenge the death of Ben's victims.

A Frantic Search/Tall - Days of Our Lives

The writers were painted into a corner with Ciara's exit, though. They probably couldn't find a decent way to explain her absence while Ben remained in Salem, other than everyone believing Ciara was dead.

I suppose Victor could have sent her out of town on Titan business to keep her and her new husband apart, but what would they have done with Ben after that? This annoying story at least provides something substantial for Ben as he struggles with Ciara's absence.

And as grief again ripples through Salem, it demonstrates what an important character Ciara was to the Hortons and Bradys and gives most of the vets strong material.

Kayla: I want to go home and put my head under the covers and fall apart. But I can't. I have to be strong for Hope.
Justin: Well, you don't need to be strong for me.

Kayla and Justin's grief scenes were among my favorites. Having two ex-lovers evolve into mature friends who support each other during hard times was a refreshing change of pace. These scenes were tastefully done, and thankfully, Steve didn't show up in the middle to get jealous of a simple hug.

Eli's Bad News - Days of Our Lives

More peripheral characters such as Kristen and Lani also had a chance to grieve for Ciara. It reminded me of when Paige died, except for that everyone was allowed to grieve instead of just one person.

Speaking of Kristen, when are the writers going to give in and let her and Lani explore their feelings for one another?

Eli seemed jealous when he pointed out that Lani risked their family's wellbeing for Kristen without as much as consulting him. And if he were, he'd have every right to be.

Lani makes Kristen her top priority, not Eli. She jumps at the chance to help Kristen, defends her behavior, shields her from the cops, and demands Eli go along with her plans even though he doesn't want to.

Who does all that for someone who is just a friend? 

Eli Is Upset/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Eli was wrong to say that Kristen isn't a true friend to Lani -- but he's not wrong to think something is going on that shouldn't be. The way Lani is behaving, it seems like that if she had a choice she'd rather have Kristen in the delivery room than Eli when the time comes!

Plus Lani and Kristen have amazing chemistry, and Abe would go ballistic at the idea of his daughter throwing away her marriage to level-headed Eli to hook up with reformed bad girl Kristen... even though Lexie was a Dimera too.

That said, Eli is right about one thing: Kristen stabbing Victor is inexcusable.

Brady: You can't be serious. You're not going to tell me not to see my grandfather.
Kristen: After everything he put us through, you're really going to choose that old coot over me?

It doesn't matter what Victor did to her. Stabbing him wasn't self-defense. It was an impulsive, angry act that could have cost him his life.

A Shocking Reveal/Tall - Days of Our Lives

And despite their recent fallings-out, Brady is Victor's grandson and will always be loyal to him to a degree because of it. Kristen's reaction to Brady wanting to comfort Victor after Ciara's alleged death was selfish and annoying. And Lani should know better than to blame Victor for Kristen's almost stabbing him.

Meanwhile, across town Abigail's return ushered in a storyline that makes little sense and contradicts the established timeline.

Days of Our Lives went to all the trouble to refilm flashback scenes with Marci Miller that had originally aired with Kate Mansi, but that doesn't make this Gwen-as-villain storyline add up.

At the time that someone drugged Abigail, Gwen was supposed to be in Bayview with Claire. But she also apparently was in Julie's Place slipping drugs into Abigail's drink. 

I hope the writers have found a way to explain this discrepancy, because it's bugging me so much that I can't watch this storyline.

Besides the logistical problem, what motive does Gwen have to drug Abigail?

She didn't know Jake was a Dimera back then either, so that can't be it... unless there's been some weird switcheroo where Jake is really Stefan and Gwen knew it all along.

Hopefully not, but I wouldn't put it past the current writing regime given its obsession with doppelganger stories.

As for Jake, I agreed with Chad that he didn't need to be putting his nose into Abigail's business and causing trouble. 

Jake was at his most interesting when he was an auto mechanic who rejected the trappings of money. Now he bounces back and forth between being Stefan 2.0 and being his original self.

His best scenes were his attempt to comfort Ben after Ciara's disappearance. He was much more enjoyable and relaxed when he wasn't trying to be something he's not or trying to fill Stefan's shoes.

And now that Abigail is back, I hope we are in for something other than a Gabi 2.0 story with Gwen lurking around trying to poison Abby again every chance she gets.

Gwen has never been the most compelling character and this latest plot twist does nothing to help that.

Catching Up With An Old Friend/Tall - Days of Our Lives

In other news, Tripp is back! 

This is good news because it gives Steve and Kayla something to do. I hope that Tripp's decision to transfer to Salem University Medical School isn't a one-and-done. It would be great if there was more to the story than him randomly deciding that's what he wants to do.

It also appears it's only a matter of time before Tripp and Claire get back together. That would cement Claire's status as a reformed Salem citizen, though Steve and/or Kayla might become the latest hypocrites who disapprove despite Tripp's own sordid past.

Calling Marlena out on her similar hypocrisy was the one thing Sami got right. Marlena's main point about Sami being selfish and short-sighted is probably true, but she had no real answer to the argument that Sami claiming Jan was cured wasn't any different than everyone claiming Claire and Ben were no longer dangers to society.

And finally, we got an answer from the judge -- and by a miracle she found her backbone and didn't let Sami interrupt anymore.

Anxiously Waiting/Tall - Days of Our Lives

As soon as the judge sat down I figured she'd do a King Solomon type thing and split the difference -- which was exactly what she did. Of course, Sami being Sami, she isn't likely to let Nicole and Eric have any time with the baby no matter what the judge said about that.

I'm mostly glad this custody hearing is over, though. The whole thing was so farcical and annoying, and I didn't buy the judge's claim that she knew all about Sami's past just from living in Salem. 

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics!

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought about Ciara's disappearance, the revelation that Gwen is the one who drugged Abigail, and all other things Days of Our Lives.

Hungry for more Days of Our Lives chat? Be sure to check out our Days of Our Lives Round Table on Sunday.


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. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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Days of Our Lives Quotes

John: You said I was nobody.
Sami: You hate me, don't you? You have always hated me. I hope you get another blood clot.

He went right behind my back. My own husband double-crossed me.

Lani