Days of Our Lives Review Week of 12-07-20: Off the Rails

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You have to hand it to Ava.

She may be a totally useless, one-note villain, but she does get some great lines.

And now that she's revealed herself to the Johnsons, at least there's a point to her latest return,

Stayla Spill the Beans/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Ava strikes me as a comic book villain, perhaps the Salem version of Batman's Catwoman.

She seems to be able to do or get whatever she wants, gets away with literal murder, and does it all while maintaining her sleek, sophisticated look and a repertoire of smooth one-liners.

Coming back from the dead in real life is hard, you know. It's not like it is on soap operas.



Her meta-humorous comment about resurrection being harder than it looks was the best line of the week. Too bad she's part of yet another annoying anti-Kayla storyline that is incredibly transparent and predictable.

Steve and Kayla made so many mistakes with Ava this time around, and for the most part, they were obvious mistakes that the smart, seasoned supercouple should never have made.

Kayla is Horrified/Tall - Days of Our Lives

First of all, Steve's decision that Ava should live with them so that he could "keep an eye on her" made zero sense whatsoever. Doesn't he own a detective agency? What happened to tailing suspicious people?

The only reason for her to still be in the house when Kayla came home was for the manufactured drama of Kayla trying to strangle Ava while Ava gloated about being alive.

That irritating and senseless act of violence was made worse by the fact that John JUST got out on bail for doing the same thing to Jan Spears.

Come on, writers. Surely you can think of some other way to show that people don't like each other besides having them put their hands around each other's throats!

Anyway, Steve and Kayla should have realized from the get-go that Ava's objective was to turn Tripp against them, just as she did from "beyond the grave" with those DVDs that caused Tripp to go nuts and attack Kayla after the last Ava visit.

Ava Visits Tripp - Days of Our Lives

So the last thing they should have done was helped her widen the gulf. They should NEVER have discussed Tripp moving out in front of her, and since they did, they had no business being shocked that she either butted into the conversation or invited Tripp to live with her instead.

But the most egregious thing they did was give in to Ava's demands and drop the charges against her so she wouldn't press new charges against Joey for attempted murder.

Kayla: Justin needed Ava to support your release. And the only way she would do that was if I dropped the kidnapping charges.
Joey: So she doesn't go to jail? You shouldn't have made that deal!

I am sick and tired of supposedly strong, smart people giving in to every threat, no matter how ridiculous it is.

And this one was particularly stupid. Joey is already in jail, so if Ava made good on her threats, nothing would have changed for him. The only thing that would be different would have been that someone actually got justice.

Honestly, the best twist would have been if Kayla dropped the charges for kidnapping... only for Steve to press rape charges because Ava threatened to kill Kayla if he didn't sleep with her. But that would require taking Ava's misbehavior AND the crime of rape seriously, so, nope.

Instead, Ava got off scot-free; the same DA who is so concerned about justice that she was willing to prosecute both Lani and Kristen for Kristen stabbing Victor dropped the charges the second Kayla said she wouldn't testify. Steve and Kayla went off to collect Joey as if this was all good news.

Joey, who wasn't exactly the most intelligent character before he was shipped off to prison, was the only one who understood this was wrong, but that was quickly shot down as "necessary" for his homecoming.

And his objections were quickly forgotten when, in one of Days of Our Lives most unrealistic prison scenes ever, Rafe showed up to announce that Joey had been released.

The Wrong Idea/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Incidentally, there was a problem with the timing of all this. After getting the charges against Ava dropped, Justin ran off to his failed date with Bonnie while Steve and Kayla went to visit Joey... yet he was supposedly in court during the visit getting Joey's conviction vacated.

Justin must be more talented than I thought, being able to be in two places at once like that AND to get a hearing after the courts were closed for the day!

I'd have rather seen him in court if I had to choose one, though. Those Bonnie scenes were ridiculous.

Justin shouldn't be interested in goofy, imitation-Annie Potts Bonnie just because she looks like his dead wife, and their misunderstanding over his helping Kayla out legally was one of the stupidest in a while.

Let Bonnie go off with Mr. Random. Justin deserves better.

The other weird thing about the Bonnie storyline was Jennifer's new friendship with Bonnie.

Jennifer's character has been twisted out of shape since this silly Jack/Kate affair began, but this friendship with Bonnie takes the cake.

Goody-two-shoes Jennifer's had some odd BFF's over the years (remember when she adored Kristen?), but she's rarely had any use for Bonnie in the past, and it also seemed out of character for her to get drunk and flirt with random guys just because Bonnie said to.

What is she, sixteen again? Come on!

Also, the entire Jennifer/Jack/Chad/Abigail/Gwen mess would be a lot easier to take if there weren't three allegedly top-notch investigative reporters who couldn't see through Gwen's nonsense.

Gwen Poisons Jennifer's Mind/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Listing all the ways Gwen's manipulations are transparent would take up way too much space.

There's no reason all three of these people should confide in a stranger who happened to volunteer to take care of Abigail's kids, especially when Abigail's relationship with Gwen began with Abby suspecting Gwen wanted to steal Chad from her!

She often tells one person one thing and the next the opposite, too, so if these characters would ever talk to one another, the scheme would be blown wide open.

Yet Abigail somehow manages to avoid saying that inviting Jake to Thanksgiving was Gwen's idea even when not saying so leads to Chad accusing her of cheating on him! She also has failed to say that Gwen was supposed to tell Chad that Abby had gone to visit Jen or that it was Gwen's idea to drink and read the letter the night of the party.

Chad has never mentioned that Gwen is the one concerned that Abby might cheat on him, and Jennifer and Jack haven't once slipped up and angrily revealed something Gwen told them that was the complete opposite of what she told the other one.

Chad Catches Jake/Tall - Days of Our Lives

When these supposedly smart characters aren't keeping Gwen's secrets for her or confiding in her for no reason whatsoever, they're jumping to utterly stupid conclusions that Gwen encourages.

Chad would never have thought Jake was sleeping with Abby if Gwen hadn't put the idea in his head, and there was zero evidence for that. Similarly, Jennifer has no reason to think Jack is continuing to pursue Gwen other than Gwen's suggestions.

Seriously, why can none of these people figure out that they're being played, especially when this is about the 9-millionth time someone has tried to ruin Abigail's life?

Usually, Gabi is more competent than this, even if she is incredibly annoying. But Abby and Chad should be prepared for such shenanigans, just as Marlena and John should be prepared for kidnap attempts. Sheesh.

Gabi Gets an Eyeful - Days of Our Lives

Of course, some of this is also on Kate because she insists on having a secret affair with Jake that "no one will ever know about" minutes after her secret affair with Jake came out in an ugly way and caused a ton of trouble.

There is no reason for this relationship to be secret. Chad has disapproved of Kate's many liaisons before, and Jake is a better guy than Clyde, who she openly dated.

The only point to keeping it secret is to help keep Chad's wrongheaded belief that Abby is the one sleeping with Jake going.

And why on Earth does Jennifer assume that Jake is not a possible suitor for Kate when he lives in the same mansion as Jack, Chad, and Harold? It's almost as if Jennifer is deliberately obtuse to drag this story out.

Kate Advises Allie/Trimmed - Days of Our Lives

Meanwhile, the fallout from Allie's attempt to shoot Tripp is underwhelming.

I wouldn't mind the idea of a civil suit if only it had been established that Allie is truly suffering rather than her rape being nothing but a springboard for all sorts of violent nonsense.

But here's what I DO mind. I mind that Allie's bad behavior is being dismissed by almost everyone in town as "understandable" because she didn't get to pursue justice in court.

Days of Our Lives likes to promote this idea that it's acceptable -- especially for women -- to snap when they're disappointed and angry and lash out violently.

In real life, there are cases where people end up in jail for what should be self-defense: shooting a kidnapper or an abusive husband who was actively hurting them at the time. Such a story would be fascinating for Days of Our Lives to tackle but seems utterly beyond the writers' capabilities.

Roman Updates Rafe - Days of Our Lives

Instead, DAYS often reinforces stereotypes about women being hysterical, overemotional, and violent, which simultaneously promotes the idea of people with mental illness being violent and scary.

Sure, people like Rafe or Nicole say that violence is not the answer, but then they defend the violent perpetrator against all attempts to be held accountable for their behavior, excusing it because the guilty party was having a hard time.

This is the 21st century. Days of Our Lives can and must do better.

It's also weird that Gwen is spying on Kate all the time, except for when Kate needs to talk to Allie.

It's like Kate's in two totally different storylines that must never meet, so the first one magically ceases to exist when she's engaged in the second one.

Abe Makes an Offer/Trimmed - Days of Our Lives

Also, is anyone else disappointed that Abe chose Rafe as the new commissioner?

As annoying as Lani is, it would have made more sense dramatically for Abe to appoint Eli despite Lani's falling out with her husband.  

That would have made Lani's head explode and give Abe the chance to put his wayward daughter in her place for once and for all. Not that he ever does that.

And besides, Eli is the only cop who follows the rules instead of looking the other way all the time. To me, that's more commissioner material than Rafe and his constant need to cover for Gabi.

Sarah Has a Revelation/Trimmed - Days of Our Lives

Finally, the complicated spying on Philip that Sarah and Xander are involved with needs to go.

Was there anyone who didn't see Philip's attempt to kiss Sarah coming from a mile away? And does anyone doubt that Sarah's resistance will soon melt, and she and Philip will fall for each other for real... while he's falling for Chloe all over again?

While the Philip/Chloe reminiscing was a nice gift for Phloe fans, having Philip flit from one high school flame to another now that he's middle-aged isn't romantic. It's pathetic and makes him look like an old man who never got over any of his teenage disappointments.

But Philip/Sarah isn't much better.

The amount of subterfuge and double-crossing going on makes viewers dizzy, it's all an extension of this idiotic and overly macho pissing contest between Philip and Xander, and Sarah is not a likable or enjoyable character even without this nonsense.

Nicole Reels/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Now we have Charlie in the mix, having been pressured by both men to spy on the other, and Sarah doing stupid things like calling Xander from the hallway outside where Philip is sitting and regularly going to Xander's hotel room while they're "broken up."

Yawn. Someone wake me when this ridiculous storyline is over.

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics.

Do you think I'm too hard on the Philip storyline? Agree about Ava? Have thoughts on other aspects of Days of Our Lives during the week of 12-11-20?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your opinions!

Hungry for more Days of Our Lives chat? 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.


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 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

Like sands through the hourglass... so are the Days of Our Lives.

Dr. Thomas "Tom" Horton Sr.

Kayla: I'm just glad I could be helpful to someone.
Hope: Wanna talk about it?
Kayla: It's fine, really. It's just Steve.
Hope: How's he doing? I'm sorry I haven't been around more.
Kayla: It's all right. It's just, my husband hasn't got the memo that it's not a badge of honor to be the tough guy 24/7. I mean, you know, when I lost my hearing I let him help me. He even learned sign language. Yeah, it was hard. I felt like a burden at first. But you know something? It actually brought us closer together. I just wish he'd let me be that for him.