Days of Our Lives Review Week of 9-28-20: So Close And Yet So Far

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I called it: Allie was raped the night she conceived Henry.

The way she shut down every time someone mentioned her baby having a father was a major red flag for the past few months and I couldn't understand why nobody figured it out.

And on Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-28-20, Allie revealed the truth. It was close to being a realistic story, but with the serial's track record when it comes to sexual assault storylines, can we trust it will be handled appropriately?

Confiding in Nicole - Days of Our Lives

Allie and Nicole's conversation about it was, for the most part, realistic. Allie's self-blame and reluctance to talk were as believable as anything I've seen on countless episodes of Law & Order: SVU.

Nicole responded with sensitivity and compassion while also encouraging Allie to talk, something which I applauded.

When she pointed out that Allie was too drunk to remember what happened, I was all set to point out that these otherwise-effective scenes were marred by JJ's similar non-consensual experience being labeled cheating.

But then this happened:

Allie: I remember a hand. He was holding me down. I said No.
Nicole: If you said No, we have to go to the police. He assaulted you.

First of all, the last thing anyone should EVER tell a rape survivor is that they are obligated to report the rape. The survivor's mental and physical health are a higher priority than "reporting a crime" and not all survivors need or want to pursue justice against their rapist. 

A Horrific Realization - Days of Our Lives

Some survivors don't feel safe around cops for a variety of reasons, some may have to live with their abuser and fear the consequences of telling may be worse than the consequences of keeping quiet, and some just may not be ready or want to.

Reporting or not is a decision a survivor must make in their own time, and Days of Our Lives sent the opposite message, as usual.

In addition, Allie was too drunk to consent and it's unclear whether that was natural or someone slipped something into one of her drinks at the bar.

Either way, her incapacity to consent already made this sexual assault. We didn't need to add this stereotypical rape description, and doing so again reinforced the idea that having sex with someone too drunk to consent is A-OK.

And to add insult to injury, the cop Nicole called to take Allie's statement about this was Lani...the woman who raped JJ in the exact same manner as Allie was raped, minus the random pinning down incident.

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

I'm sure Lani's scenes will be written sensitively, but it doesn't change the fact that she took advantage of a drunk JJ despite Days of Our Lives' continued insistence on pretending that whole thing was something different than it was.

In any case, the chances are high that it will turn out Tripp had nothing to do with what happened to Allie, but nobody will realize that until after he's been arrested and possibly convicted.

I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, mistakes and false accusations do happen occasionally (though not as often as TV likes to make us think). And even a disproven accusation can ruin the accused's life.

But at the same time, if this story focuses on Tripp's innocence and how this accusation screws up his medical school application, it again reinforces poor messages about sexual assault.

Simply put, SOMEBODY assaulted Allie that night, resulting in a pregnancy, and that deserves equal focus even if she's wrong about it being Tripp.

This is not to say that Tripp going on trial doesn't have dramatic potential. Allie might find herself on the opposite side of her cousin Claire, who will undoubtedly believe in Tripp's innocence and all the characters involved are connected to major Salem families. So this could tear the whole town apart.

But if Tripp's trial is the focal point it's problematic, plus Days of Our Lives never handles legal storylines at all realistically.

And with the way real-life people in Tripp's position are often given a slap on the wrist by the court system for a rape, the last thing we need is a hearing that makes a mockery of the whole issue.

Another thing that I hope doesn't happen: Tripp turning out to be guilty but Allie deciding she's in love with him anyway.

It's bad enough that Days of Our LIves is always promoting Sami's rapist as her "true love" and hooked JJ up with his for a while. Let's not go there again, please.

Eli's Tough Spot - Days of Our Lives

At least Lani showing up at Nicole's got her out of Trask's orbit for a little bit.

This whole Lani/Kristen/Eli thing has gotten way out of hand and is irritating at this point. 

Lani feels a need to explain why she's so loyal to Kristen every chance she gets, Eli is angry at her yet also angry that she didn't go ahead and destroy evidence of her wrongdoing, and Trask doesn't sound much different from Eve every time she starts up with "she killed my daughter."

Trask prides herself on her supposed integrity, but she's decided to be just as corrupt as Lani by agreeing to look the other way if Eli helps her nail Kristen.

Eli tends to have more integrity than everyone else, so he wouldn't falsify evidence just to get Lani off, but that's the risk Trask is taking by making this ridiculous deal.

A Violent Encounter - Days of Our Lives

The only halfway decent scenes in this whole mess are the ones Abe had with both Lani and Trask. Abe walked a fine line, trying to be compassionate toward Lani but also remain professional.

He was right, too, that Trask was not able to be objective and should recuse herself.

I wonder if there is any power he has as Mayor to force that, because all she got out of the conversation was that she had a reason to be suspicious of Lani.

Kristen seems to be surprisingly mature about the whole thing... now that we've got past her wanting to run away again.

Kristen Panics - Days of Our Lives

Thank goodness Brady talked her out of that. We've had more than enough of these two on the run, and Brady's been on the run with Nicole and Holly too. No more of these kinds of stories!

I was surprised that Kristen asked Marlena rather than Lani to help with baby Rachel if Kristen goes to prison. But I guess since Brady is in the picture now, Kristen wants to keep it in the family. Besides, it was nice for Marlena and Kristen to share a warm moment, even if I'm not sure it'll last.

It didn't seem like a good idea for Brady to take the baby to see John, though. It was all off-screen, but still. If Marlena was worried about John exploding at Kristen, shouldn't she also have been worried about him scaring a young child if he had an episode?

Meanwhile, Hope and Ben caught Vincent, but what reason do they have to trust anything he tells them?

Sure, he appeared to have a change of heart after Lani's rights-violating speech about how he was hurting Ciara's mother, but Vincent has proven himself to be devoid of conscience and single-mindedly focused on getting vengeance for Wendy's death.

So he could easily make up a story about Ciara's fate. Whether he says she's alive or dead, Hope has zero reason to believe him. There has to be a better way to investigate this while letting him rot in jail.

And with Hope due to exit somewhere around October 14, it seems likely she's going to go on a wild goose chase in search of Ciara and never be seen again.

The other biggest story was Jan Spears' latest plot to snag Shawn for herself.

Jan and Claire's relationship is the most interesting part of this. I expected Jan to be her old, manipulative self, but part of me can't help being disappointed. It would have been a great twist if Jan was actually cured!

Claire really should be picking up on all the red flags, but maybe she doesn't want to see what she sees.

After all, Ciara and Ben thought they had strong evidence that Claire was messing with them and she was totally innocent.  So Claire might be reluctant to "jump to conclusions" even with fairly obvious signs that Jan is manipulating her.

Jan Spears Returns - Days of Our Lives

The rest of this plan is silly.

Shawn would love to kill Jan himself, so there's no reason for him to be so eager to arrest Philip for threatening her, and there is certainly no reason for him and Belle to be on the outs just because Belle has to drop paperwork off at the courthouse before heading to dinner.

Philip has been so obnoxious every time he gets near Xander that I was relieved to get a break from that when he was arrested. And Sarah's tantrum when she found out Xander had merely spoken to Jan about what happened wasn't much better.

Here's the thing: Sarah knows exactly who Xander is. She chose to go into this relationship knowing that he sometimes does underhanded things in the name of love. 

So either she loves him, sneakiness and all, or she doesn't. She shouldn't be going into this hoping her love changes Xander into a squeaky-clean Boy Scout. That's not gonna happen and trying to change him will just make them both miserable.

Kate Makes an Offer - Days of Our Lives

Xander and Philip's rivalry didn't sound much different than Chad and Jake's, either. Chad decided to go down the same snobby path as Philip did, declaring that a former blue collar worker was worthless because he is basically a working class guy.

Ugh. 

Also, I don't think the writers know what Gwen's problem with Abigail is and I really couldn't care less what it is. Just get her off my screen.

Plus, why would Chad and Abby hire her as a nanny and THEN ask about her background? Have enough concern for your kids to make sure their caretakers are decent people. Sheesh.

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics! What did you think of Allie's backstory, Trask's desire for revenge, or Philip and Xander's rivalry? And am I the only one who is bored to tears by Gwen's new hatred of Abigail?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you think. And if you want even more Days of Our Lives chat, be sure 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.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 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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