Days of Our Lives MUST Stop Killing Off Legacy Characters

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They did it to Bo. They did it to Adrienne. And now they've done it to Laura.

Days of Our Lives keeps bringing back legacy characters only to kill them off quickly.

It's senseless, it's disrespectful, and we have only one thing to say about it: STOP.

Old Wounds Are Reopened/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Laura Horton was far from my favorite character, but she deserved better than what she got.

She's Jennifer's mother, who has spent her life in and out of mental institutions, only to be felled by a fatal shove toward the sharp edge of a desk.

Now Jennifer has no parents left, and for what? It's almost guaranteed that it won't lead to a story about a beloved Salem character struggling to redefine herself now that her parents are gone.

It won't lead to anything, most likely, other than more fighting between Abigail and Gwen until one day Abigail decides that she's going to accept Gwen as her sister and forgive her for killing her grandmother.


There are a ton of reasons fans are outraged by Laura's death.

For one thing, it wasn't necessary for this utterly ridiculous story to move forward.

Laura came to town to confess to Jack and Jennifer that she had paid Gwen's mother off to go away, which is the core reason Gwen is so hateful. Once she did that, the writers had several options.

  1. Have Laura realize she was persona non grata for the moment and go back to Boston in the hopes that over time her family would forgive her
  2. Continue begging Jack and Jennifer to forgive her.
  3. Confront Gwen and end up seriously injured or in a coma
  4. Confront Gwen and randomly die.

The writers chose #4 when they had so many other options that didn't involve killing off a legacy character whose short return had been hyped up to fans.

Fight at the Cemetery/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Why? What did it accomplish that other options didn't?

Nothing, except that it leads to some cheap drama by Laura's grave -- drama that could have occurred equally well by her hospital bed if she were in a coma or the Square while Laura was in Boston and couldn't defend herself.

This kind of thing is a slap in the face to long-time fans.

Once upon a time, Tom and Alice Horton were Days of Our Lives' backbone. Now that they're gone, they can still live on through their children... if the writers will stop killing those children off for no good reason.

Jack Conveys The Truth/Tall - Days of Our Lives

In Laura's case, she first became the victim of a stupid story and unoriginal writing.

In the past several years, too many people to count have died or been presumed to die because they hit their head during a fight, and most of those stories aren't worth it.

But this one was even worse because Laura is not only a major connection to Days of Our Lives' history but had no reason to do anything she did.

It was bad enough that she took it upon herself to interfere with Jack learning he had a daughter. That was senseless -- estranged or not, Jennifer likely wouldn't have balked at learning that Jack had a life before he met her that included a one-night stand resulting in a pregnancy.

But when she came back to town, after telling her tale of woe, she decided to visit Gwen to "make things right," which meant explaining to her why she thought Gwen's existence was too inconvenient to share with Gwen's father.

Laura Explains/Tall - Days of Our Lives

This is the world-renowned psychiatrist who successfully treated Abigail's Dissociative Identity Disorder? Come on!

Laura was always unstable. She had schizophrenia and never fully recovered her ability to live a productive life.

But once upon a time, the writers took mental health issues seriously and didn't write people with mental illness as stupid or as laughingstocks.

That's a rant for another day, though. The point is: Laura's death happened because of a series of ridiculous, mostly out-of-character decisions made for the sole purpose of sealing her fate.

And now that she's gone, we can't expect that any of her huge family will mourn her. We'll be lucky if Jack and Jennifer show up for the service!

Of course, some of that is due to COVID-era restrictions on how many people can be on set, as well as the budget problems DAYS has struggled with for the past several years.

But there will likely be a ridiculous excuse for why JJ and Hope -- two people who cared deeply about Laura -- can't be there and no mention at all of Jennifer's brother Mike and his family.

Laura's death wasn't about Laura. It was nothing more than a plot point to increase the tension between Abigail and Gwen. That's what makes it despicable.

And this is hardly the first time Days of Our Lives has treated legacy characters as expendable, either.

Peter Reckell Image

Bo Brady is probably the most famous casualty of the blatant disregard of such characters' importance to Days of Our Lives.

After Peter Reckell left the series in 2012, Days of Our Lives left fans in limbo for three years. Just as the writers are doing now with Hope, they chose to write that Bo was off in parts unknown searching for supervillain Stefano Dimera, even when Stefano was in Salem.

And if that wasn't disrespectful enough, Bo was revealed in 2015 to have been held captive for those three missing years and returned home to rescue Hope from a new lover suddenly turned evil.... only to die of a brain tumor mere weeks after he returned.

Bo and  Bope fans, who had been thrilled by the announcement of Bo's return, were heartbroken. Bo's final scenes were beautiful but unsatisfying, and there seemed little point in bringing him back only to kill him off.

The New Horton Matriarch - Days of Our Lives

Some legacy characters don't even get that much respect, either.

Eli came to town shortly after Julie learned that her son David, whom she had been estranged from for years, was killed off-screen in a motorcycle accident.

David was a fundamental character as the son of the only remaining original (Julie was played by a different actress in 1965 but has been with the series since the beginning.) and half of daytime's first interracial couple.

But he was quickly disposed of off-screen after being off-canvas for years, simply because some writer thought it would be dramatic for Eli to discover that his mother had kept his father's identity secret until it was too late.

Upset about Jack - Days of Our Lives

Did David's death provide Susan Seaforth Hayes and Lamon Archey with strong material?

Absolutely, but again, it was unnecessary.

It would have been an equally powerful story -- and more in line with Days of Our Lives' history -- if David had discovered he had a son and returned to Salem despite his estrangement from Julie.

And it was entirely disrespectful to essentially throw a legacy character away like that merely for the sake of the plot.

There are so many characters that have suffered this fate at the hand of Days of Our Lives writing; it's impossible to list them all.

They've done it to older characters like Laura, Bo, and David.

They recently did it to Adrienne only to have Judi Evans return as Bonnie Lockhart. And Justin started to fall for the woman who looks just like his late wife.

And they've done it to several members of the younger generation. Killing off Paige, Shane, and Kim's granddaughter, rather than allowing her to develop relationships with her family, is just one example.

They even tried to do it to Will, though there was enough outrage over that one that they had to reverse it, leading to a silly story about a resurrection drug that has been far overused since.

Over to you, Days of Our Lives fanatics.

How do you feel about the way DAYS treats legacy characters?  Are any of these deaths necessary, or would you rather people like Laura, Bo, Adrienne, and David be written out some other way?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and sound off!

Eager for more Days of Our Lives chat? Check out our Days of Our Lives reviews and Days of Our Lives Round Table discussions.

Days of Our Lives airs on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes.

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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