Days of Our Lives Review Week of 5-17-21: Kisses Out of Nowhere

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Only on a soap can someone take off and go halfway around the country or world without warning.

On Days of Our Lives during the week of 5-17-21, Abigail left for Boston with only a few minutes of prep time while Ben considered jumping on a plane to South Africa to talk Ciara out of divorcing him.

Meanwhile, some people who we wish would leave town are still in Salem, wreaking havoc. Yes, I'm looking at you, Kristen!

Ben Confides in Claire / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Abigail's sudden decision to leave town was probably borne mostly out of necessity. Marci Miller recently had a baby in real life and needed to go on maternity leave around the time this was filmed.

I don't object to Abby leaving for a bit. It's nice to get a break from all the screaming and unnecessary drama that she causes every time she hears Gwen's name.

But Abby leaving to visit Jennifer, who is in Boston when there's no reason for her to be, came out of nowhere. Plus, she didn't bother to say goodbye to Jack!

In a way, that's understandable since she feels he takes Gwen's side in everything, but it would be nice if Abigail acted like an adult for once.  Hopefully, Jennifer can talk some sense into her off-screen so that she returns with a head that stays clear for more than five seconds.

An Emotional Goodbye - Days of Our Lives

The major problem with this story is that nobody is willing to admit that Abigail's behavior contributed to the problems, especially not Abigail herself.

She made a start at taking responsibility by admitting she had been consumed with anger,  but her focus was exclusively on whether she had caused the accident on purpose.

Chad: I love your strength. I love your compassion. Let me help you. We can work through this together.
Abby: It's not about us. It's about me. I am overwhelmed. You know, I lost my grandmother, and I have a sister who's trying to ruin my family, a sister that my dad wants to have a relationship with. And I feel like everything I knew about myself, everything I knew about my life has been pulled out from under me.

And Chad, for his part, admitted to Jack that Abigail's behavior had contributed to this situation too, but quickly backtracked into how Gwen deserved Abigail kidnapping her and otherwise tormenting her.

Dr Snyder Blackmails Gwen / Tall - Days of Our Lives

It was almost as if everyone is severely allergic to acknowledging that Abigail is not anywhere near an innocent victim in all of this.

Yes, Gwen did horrible things... but so did Abigail.

And not only has her behavior made it impossible to believe she didn't push Gwen down the stairs on purpose, but every awful thing Abigail has done in her adult life has been excused even when there was no excuse for it.

Abigail going off to regroup would have been much stronger if she'd acknowledged that her unhinged behavior gave fuel to Gwen's lie about her pushing Gwen on purpose and wanted to reflect on how to get her own behavior under better control.

Instead, the closest she came to it was admitting that chasing Gwen down the stairs wasn't smart and that Gabi was right to stop her from injecting Gwen with poison.

It's great that she realizes those things were wrong, but will she ever make the connection between that and the lack of trust her family had in her?

To be clear, it didn't help that Jack insisted on moving Gwen into his house or that Gwen lied about when she lost the baby.

But Jack has two daughters who do awful things to each other, and I wish the writers would stop writing it as if Gwen is evil and Abby is good when that's not quite true.

Meanwhile, Gwen became the latest person to give in unnecessarily to a weak blackmail threat.

Snyder: I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this.
Gwen: I don't care about your feelings of comfort. You are bound by doctor-patient confidentiality.
Snyder: I don't think HIPAA regulations apply to you playing mind games with your sister.

No matter what Snyder said, she had the upper hand... only she didn't use it.

There was no need to stand there arguing with him.

A Major Showdown/Tall - Days of Our Lives

She could have said she told Jack already that she lost the baby before the fall. Sure, it would be a lie,  but Gwen constantly lies, so why not do it when it would get her out of trouble?

Gwen could have taken that envelope right to Kayla and told her that Snyder threatened to reveal confidential patient information if she didn't deliver it.

And when Snyder left so she could get dressed, she could have sneaked out before he came back.

But instead of any of those things, she sat around looking at a bag full of drugs he had ordered her to deliver... for the sole purpose of Chad seeing it and getting the wrong idea.

Trapping a Killer / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Ugh. I'm so tired of strong women becoming weak to make a blackmail plot work.

Speaking of which, WTF is this nonsense with Belle, Shawn, and Jan?

Belle is as terrible a lawyer as Justin if she doesn't see her obvious defense: she is the fourth person that the cops fingered for Charlie's murder, which opens the door for massive doubt that they're right this time.

All Justin has to do is cross-examine Rafe about how sure he was that Sami, Ava, and Tripp were all guilty before Belle's arrest.

But okay, for the sake of argument, let's say there's no real legal defense here. Why should Shawn try to seduce Jan when there is an easier, more obvious way to resolve this?

Jan wants Claire to be her BFF almost as badly as she wants Shawn. So instead of Jan randomly breaking in to kidnap Claire, how about Shawn and Belle recruit Claire to pretend to be Jan's friend again and get the truth out of her?

I know they might not want to endanger their daughter, but it has to be a better plan than allowing Jan to try to force her way into Shawn's bed when that's the trigger for most of her violent behavior!

And Jan certainly switches her delusions on and off quickly. She accepted Shawn's feigned interest in her without a second thought, only to presume she'd been tricked without questioning Snyder's claims half an hour later.

Nicole Shares Her Secret / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Sheesh! Talk about fickle.

Speaking of Claire, it's too bad that her kiss with Ben was just a temporary bump in the road back to Ciara.

I was glad Ben stopped before it went too far. I hate the trope of people going from nothing to jumping into bed together in the space of a few minutes.

But Ben and Claire have a ton more chemistry than Ben and Ciara ever did, plus their relationship is based on something substantial, while Ben and Ciara was a competition to see who could be more clingy and a race to set records for the largest number of gratuitous sex scenes.

Ben's desire to run off to South Africa to talk Ciara out of filing for divorce was a prime example of the problem with Ben/Ciara. Their desire to be together always borders on stalker behavior, and this was no exception.

Across town, it wasn't clear what's going on with Chanel -- will she become a stalker too?

I hope not, especially not when it comes to Allie/Tripp.

It's beyond time that Days of Our Lives introduced some bisexual characters. The LGBTQ spectrum includes more than gay men (who aren't even on canvas anymore, anyway), and it's time for Salem to reflect that.

But if the first bisexual (or possibly pansexual) character they introduce becomes a stalker who wants to break up her cousin's marriage and interfere with her female crush's relationship, that will reinforce negative stereotypes about the bisexual community.

So let's hope Days of Our Lives doesn't go there!

Chanel is a lot more likable and relatable when she talks about wanting a friendship with Allie or being hurt that people find her sexual orientation shocking.

I was hoping it would lead Lani to the realization that she has some feelings for Kristen that cross the line, but unfortunately, so far, Lani and Kristen's relationship is just being used for Chanel to cause trouble between Lani and Eli.

Lani Learns Kristen Is On the Loose / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Lani's denial of having more than friendship feelings for Kristen has satisfied some viewers' belief that there was never anything there, but Lani and Kristen's behavior in the park tells an opposite story.

People who are "just friends" don't sit in the park holding hands and talking about raising their children together. And they don't risk their jobs and freedom on multiple occasions for the other one.

Nor do they swear to each other that "we forged a bond no one can break." Lani sounded like she was reciting wedding vows to Kristen!

And how come Kristen tries to eliminate anyone else who gets in her way but comes quietly if it's Lani?

Trying to Make a Deal / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Kristen seems to turn off the crazy whenever she gets around Lani. There are three possibilities here:

  1. Kristen recognizes Lani's feelings for her and tries to manipulate her by acting as if she returns them.
  2. Kristen has feelings for Lani and wants to be a better person when she's around her.
  3. Kristen has feelings for Lani and wants to act like the kind of person Lani would be into.

It doesn't matter how many lies Lani tells about how she and Kristen are just friends; it's obvious they're more than that, and it's time to stop insulting viewers' intelligence by denying it.

I'd rather have Lani and Kristen coming to that realization than the rest of Kristen's storyline, which is totally off the rails at this point.

Chloe is Missing / Tall - Days of Our Lives

If Kristen got her way, the body count would keep piling up until, eventually, the only Salemites left were her, Brady, and maybe Lani. It's beyond time for her current reign of terror to end already!

Kristen telling Eli that Chloe won't be found unless she's set free should be a non-starter. Eli's supposed to be a cop. Act like it and search for Chloe with or without Kristen's help.

And this Lucas/Sami/Xander thing was disappointing on SO many levels, too.

Xander could have so easily double-crossed Kristen. If he'd taken her money and then set Sami and Lucas free, they could lay low and pretend to be dead while secretly helping him find out whether Kristen did the same thing to Sarah she did to everyone else.

Rushing Kate To The Hospital / Tall - Days of Our Lives

That would have been fun to watch! But instead, we got Xander doing Kristen's bidding so that she would pay his rent. Ugh.

And once Xander got to the secret room, Sami's intelligence went out the window. He offered her a phone to make a ransom demand to EJ and never checked whether she actually called him.

So what stopped Sami from calling Rafe and alerting him to what was going on while pretending to call EJ? Instead, she appears to have gone along with Xander's demand.

The only reason for that is to give EJ an excuse to come to Salem and mess with Sami and Lucas. Ugh.

Kristen Pleads With Lani / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Finally, I'm not sure which love triangle is worse: Nicole/Rafe/Ava or Kate/Jake/Gabi.

There is no real reason for Nicole to keep it secret from Rafe that she slept with Xander. She's acting as if she cheated on him, not on Eric.

If Ciara can get divorced from halfway around the world, so can Nicole. There's no reason for her to be in eternal limbo, thanks to Eric.

As for this Jake nonsense, all this bouncing back and forth makes him look like a jerk who will be with whatever woman is available.

Gabi was the love of his life until she left, and then he hooked up with Kate. He loved Kate so much he wanted to take her on a romantic getaway... until he thought she wasn't interested and hooked up with Gabi. Now Kate is on life support, and he seems torn.

Enough already! He needs to choose one and stick with her, period.

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. What did you think of Abigail's exit, Snyder blackmailing Gwen, the Kristen craziness, or anything else that happened on Days of Our Lives during the week of 5-17-21?

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

Eager for more Days of Our Lives discussion? Be sure to check back on Sunday for our latest Days of Our Lives Round Table.

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


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

Vivian: You have made a good impression, and I don't make compliments lightly.
Eve: Then I'll return the favor. You look good for someone who's been dead for two years.

Gwen: Did you get your old job back?
Claire: Nope.
Gwen: Why not?
Claire: They are under new ownership. My old boss Fran is still there, but she said they were looking for a 'more sophisticated type of employee.' You know, saving her from the embarrassment of telling me to my face that they don't want a psycho pyromaniac waiting tables.
Gwen: Well, that's too bad. You know, you should have told them that you can serve the hell out of bananas flambe!