Days of Our Lives Review Week of 8-16-21: Johnny Returns to Salem

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Johnny is home!

Ever since an aged Allie hit our screens, Days of Our Lives fans wondered what her twin brother was up to.

Johnny's return on Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-16-21 was well worth the wait -- in fact, this is the best new character to move to Salem since an aged JJ returned in May 2013.

A Surprise Visit / Tall- Days of Our Lives

Johnny shares some traits in common with JJ: quick wit, a reputation for being a prep student turned playboy and a ton of family drama.

But while JJ initially went the route of a self-destructive bad boy, so far, Johnny seems to be the one in the right, standing up to his overcontrolling father and insisting on forging his own path.

Stories about ruthless businessmen with more artistically minded sons are far from original -- in fact, I called this in the Days of Our Lives spoiler post for the week of 8-16-21.

But this one is a refreshing change from the usual CEO wars at Dimera, and I'm also glad that Johnny hasn't turned out to be a mini-EJ who is every bit as ruthless as his father.

A Happy Reunion / Tall - Days of Our Lives

When Sami and EJ broke up, I expected Allie to be pro-Sami/Lucas while Johnny pushed his parents to get back together.

Instead, the twins have each other's back, while Allie tried to get EJ to give Sami another chance, and Johnny stayed neutral. Johnny likely has no use for Lucas, yet he could do without EJ and his negative attitudes, making for a far more interesting situation.

It seems like the problems between EJ and Johnny are long-standing, too. EJ feels that Johnny doesn't ever listen to him or take Johnny's interests seriously, while Johnny sees EJ as little more than a business contact who can help him with his own business initiatives.

There's another layer to this, too: Johnny seems, at least from EJ's descriptions, to be far more like his mother than EJ would like, and EJ doesn't know how to handle him any more than he knows how to handle Sami.

EJ Needs a Favor / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Speaking of which, what the heck happened to Sami?

EJ told Chad that he has no idea why Sami left the mansion permanently or where she is and that he just hopes she doesn't come back. That seems to imply that he had nothing to do with the kidnapping... but was he telling Chad the complete truth?

EJ is unfazed by Sami's disappearance and keeps saying only that he wants her gone forever. Even more significantly, moments after "Sami" sent a text to her family, EJ told Stefano's portrait that now that something was settled, he was going to concentrate on bringing Johnny back into the family business.

That's the second time EJ has told Stefano's portrait about having the Sami situation under control... could the thing he had settled be sending those fake texts?

Allie Worries About Sami / Tall - Days of Our Lives

And why did he tell John that he didn't KILL Sami? No one said anything about her being dead!

Not that she really is -- Alison Sweeney only left temporarily to film a Hallmark movie. So Sami will show up very much alive at some future point, I'm sure.

Allie seems to be the only one aware of how strange Sami's disappearance is, but for some reason, everyone keeps assuming Sami was just so traumatized that she acted completely out of character, ran away, and decided she needs space indefinitely.

Johnny and Allie agree that's not Sami, so let's get on with realizing she's missing!

John and Marlena's reactions to the news that Sami was missing were strange enough, but they also seemed to suddenly be super pro-EJami when they never were before.

I don't know why they are shocked that Sami and Lucas might have fallen for each other again, nor that Sami cheated on EJ. How long have they known Sami for, exactly?

Either way, the EJami propping is annoying and not true to character. John and Marlena always distrusted EJ because of the havoc Stefano wreaked in their lives and made no secret of the fact that they thought Sami was better off without him... until now.

Anyway, whether or not EJ kidnapped Sami, he seems to think he will do the same to Johnny if Johnny doesn't voluntarily join Dimera Enterprises.

He's been running around trying to get someone to convince manipulate Johnny into doing his bidding, and now that he has no takers, he plans to do it himself no matter what it takes.

Nicole: Just FYI, if you continue to tell Johnny not to pursue his dream, he will defy you and become more determined to do it.
EJ: I should know by now that if you want something done properly, you must do it yourself. Johnny will be part of my business one way or the other.

That sounds ominous, but it's also doomed to failure. Suppose EJ does have Johnny kidnapped and forced into a job at Dimera. How long does he really think that's going to last?

EJ also doesn't seem to realize that Johnny has options other than getting seed money from his father or working at Dimera Enterprises.

Olivia Tries to Stop Paulina / Tall - Days of Our Lives

There are plenty of people who might want to invest in a young, up-and-coming filmmaker's first project. Kate comes to mind -- after all, she gave Allie a credit card after Sami cut her off.

And now that Johnny is interested in Chanel, part of Paulina's apology tour might soon include financing a pet project for the man her daughter has fallen hard for.

It would be ironic if Paulina did that, considering that her attitude towards Chanel's bakery isn't much different than EJ's is toward Johnny's films.

While in Paulina's case, her skepticism was half based on secretly wanting to demolish Horton Town Square, she did go on the same rant about how Chanel jumps from one passion to another that EJ did with Johnny.

Anyway, Johnny and Chanel make a cute couple, and I'd for Allie's feelings for Chanel to ruin it.

These two are moving awfully quickly from meeting at a bar to sending each other half-naked selfies and a TON of flirty texts. But when they are actually together, they share an enjoyable connection that could blossom into something real one day.

Unfortunately, with Allie joking that whoever Johnny is into is in trouble plus having dreams about lying in bed with both Tripp and Chanel, the chances are that Johnny will be forced to choose between his new love interest and his twin sometime soon.

Allie keeps getting interrupted just as she is about to find out about Johnny and Chanel's date (side note: this annoying trope needs to go away!), but once she does, she is going to explode!

A Heated Conversation / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Will she finally acknowledge she has feelings for Chanel? And where does this leave Allie and Tripp, especially after Tripp's conversation with Kayla about wanting to declare his love for Allie?

I wish more than ever that Will was still on the canvas. Allie needs some input from her big brother about this whole mess.

Meanwhile, Paulina has big problems -- or at least, one big problem in the form of her mother!

I love Marla Gibbs, but Olivia certainly was overbearing. I was shocked that the normally unflappable Paulina was so intimidated by her mother.

An Exciting New Opportunity / Tall - Days of Our Lives

She seemed to come to Salem for one purpose only: to reveal that Lani is really Paulina's daughter and discourage Paulina from telling Lani the truth.

A lot of fans hate this story, but I'm all in!

First of all, Jackee Harry, Marla Gibbs, Sal Stowers, and James Reynolds are powerful actors who deserve a meaty storyline. Before Paulina came to town, Abe was wandering the streets of Salem, giving random people advice, and that was a waste!

And on top of that, this story didn't really come out of nowhere. When Lani popped up in Salem and informed Abe he was her father; he didn't as much as ask for a DNA test. That was naive and foolish of the usually meticulous Abe, and I think he wanted to believe Lani was telling the truth so badly he didn't bother to verify it.

That never sat right with me, and from the moment Lani made her random claim to be Abe's daughter, I was waiting for it to come out that it was all a lie.

At least Lani wasn't the one lying -- it was her entire family!

It doesn't fully make sense why they told all these lies. They could have got a restraining order against Ray and pressed charges against him for breaking Paulina's jaw and solved the problem that way.

And even if Paulina didn't want to report the abuse, surely there was a way to protect Lani from the man without all of this unnecessary subterfuge.

At the very least, Tamara could have told her when she was old enough to handle it that she was adopted and that her father was a bad man who had hurt her mother.

Rafe Consoles Nicole / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Lani is the weakest part of this story. She's incessantly whining about a trip to Paris that didn't happen when she was a little girl. 25 or more years have passed, and she needs to get over it!

And how did she not notice Olivia's strange behavior? She should have realized Olivia was trying to get rid of her and trying to stop Paulina from telling her the truth from the bizarre requests for food and drink and the dirty looks Olivia kept giving Paulina.

Come on, Lani, you're a detective. Act like it!

Honestly, Paulina should tell Lani the truth now and get it over with. In real life, maybe it wouldn't matter at this point, but on Days of Our Lives, secrets come out in ugly ways, and Paulina JUST promised not to keep any more of them from Lani.

Xander's Big Sacrifice / Tall - Days of Our Lives

As for Abe, he might be upset to learn he's not Lani's biological father, but things shouldn't change much.

Lani's baby will still be named after Abe, and he's still going to be the godfather. He probably will still treat her like his daughter even if there's no biological link between them, and if he and Paulina continue to date, he will be Lani's stepfather.

So there's really no reason to keep this secret.

Meanwhile, across town, Rafe could have avoided some grief if he would communicate better, too.

Ava would have had nothing to be jealous of if he'd called or texted ahead of time to tell her he was stopping by Nicole's and asked her to keep dinner warm for when he came back.

Instead, he acted like he was having an affair behind Ava's back. No wonder she got upset enough to throw a fresh manicotti in the trash!

Of course, Ava could have refused to listen to any more of Gabi's nonsense and/or not let her comments influence her, but where's the drama in that?

Oh well. At least Ava didn't burst in on Rafe and Nicole in the bedroom together. All hell would have broken loose then.

Bon Voyage, Claire / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Elsewhere, Isabel Durant wrapped up her run as Claire. I'm sorry to see her go, especially since the ending was so... silly.

Heartbroken, Theo had to rush back to South Africa to interview social media managers, so Claire volunteered for the job, only to find out it meant jumping on a plane in the next few hours.

I don't understand why a social media manager can't work remotely. Social media is done online, and post managers and schedulers usually have a phone app and a desktop version.

Plus, Claire had leverage. If she didn't take the job, Theo would have to rush to find someone to fill it before the launch. So she easily could have negotiated the ability to work remotely!

I agreed with Shawn and Belle that this was sudden and seemed counterintuitive when Claire and Ciara had JUST made up.

It also made it obvious that Claire was little more than a prop for Ben and Ciara, as the writers rushed her out of Salem the second Ciara got her memories back.

Speaking of which, what was with that super-rushed wedding?

It seemed like we got the honeymoon first since Ben and Ciara spent most of the week lying in bed professing their gratitude that Ciara remembers now that she's in love with Ben.

And after all that, they finally returned to Salem, where Ben proposed to Ciara and married her in the space of half an hour.

I know Isabel Durant (Claire) was leaving, so they probably wanted to wrap up the wedding in one day, but this was a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, and I can't imagine how disappointed the Cin fans who have waited an entire YEAR for their favorite couple to reconcile must feel.

Finally, Xander and Gwen... can we not?

Xander taking the fall so that Gwen won't have to tell her absurdly ridiculous secret is a waste of Xander. How about we put him to work searching for Sarah instead?

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics!

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you think about Cin's rushed wedding, Claire's exit, Johnny's return, and everything else that happened on Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-16-21.

Hungry for more Days of Our Lives chat? Be sure to check out the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.

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

Ciara: It was so humiliating, Mom. I put it all out there and I was so sure he was... but it turns out Theo doesn't want anything to do with me.
Rafe: Well, you can still be friends.
Ciara: Yeah, that'll work.

I'm not asking you to dance with them. I'm just asking for you to sit in the corner drinking martinis and making some snide remarks.

Chad [to Kate]