Days of Our Lives Review Week of 8-23-21: EJ's Control Issues

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Powerful fathers disapproving of their sons' career choices is a soap staple.

It's a relatable, dramatic scenario that viewers can enjoy... even though most probably are not part of the ultra-rich society that characters as EJ Dimera represent.

And on Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-23-21, EJ went way too far, suggesting he will do almost anything to keep Johnny from pursuing his passion.

EJ's Surprising Offer / Tall - Days of Our LIves

To be fair, EJ isn't entirely wrong in his lack of faith in Johnny's filmmaking dream. When Johnny presented the idea to Tony and Anna, it was clear that he hadn't thought things through.

Johnny's explanation was pie-in-the-sky dreaming. He wanted to make a film and get an Oscar, but it didn't sound like he had any type of business plan or knowledge of the industry.

So if EJ had rejected the idea because Johnny didn't have a real plan to get there and told him he was not going to help financially in something that didn't seem to have any thought behind it, that would have been understandable. In fact, I think that's what Tony was going for when he was questioning Johnny about this idea.

But that's not what EJ's problem is. He wants Johnny to work with him, and he doesn't care what he has to do to get him there.

A Passionate Kiss / Tall - Days of Our Lives

EJ is so determined that I was surprised he didn't make a condition of working for Xander that Xander talk Johnny into giving the family business a try!

He didn't have the right to tell Tony and Anna not to invest in Johnny's dream either, and I was glad Tony put him in his place.

EJ: You agreed for me to take over the company so that you could reap the benefits without doing any of the work. This arrangement was fine with me, but I cannot allow you to make investments that are against the interests of Dimera Enterprises. And investing in my son's film would be such an investment. I order you not to do it.
Tony: I think sometimes you forget who it is you are talking to.

Tony also had the best strategy for getting EJ to see reason about this, not that it worked: remind EJ that he didn't like it when Stefano tried to control young EJ's career choices.

Paulina and Abe Have a Breakthrough / Tall - Days of Our Lives

But EJ is so convinced he is in the right that he won't listen to anything, and it looks like he's going just to push Johnny further and further away. While I'm no fan of EJ/Sami as a couple, I'm wondering how things might be different if Sami was around to offer some input into this dilemma.

EJ also went too far by trying to interfere with Johnny going out with Chanel. He's not going to get anywhere by trying to force Johnny to do nothing but work for Dimera Enterprises 24/7. He's just not.

And was his problem with Chanel that he thinks she's a distraction from his plans for Johnny to take over the business, or is it something else? Does Chanel strike him as not rich enough for his son? Is he against interracial relationships?

It's not clear what the issue is, which is a shame because that would add depth to this storyline.

Meeting Chanel's New Man / Tall - Days of Our Lives

In any case, this nonsense is sure to push Johnny and Chanel closer together... if Allie's interest in Chanel doesn't get in the way.

After all, Johnny and Chanel have the experience in common of dealing with an overcontrolling parent who doesn't support their dreams.

And Chanel put together a business plan for her bakery despite Paulina's disapproval, so maybe she could help Johnny do the same thing so that he has a chance in hell of making his dream come true.

In short, they could be good for each other.

I also appreciated that Chanel was unwilling to have unprotected sex.

I know this was likely just a plot point -- the writers needed a reason for Chanel and Johnny to put the brakes on their makeout session.

But considering all the unintended pregnancies in Salem, it was refreshing for someone to demonstrate responsible sexual behavior! The last time anyone mentioned birth control was when Paige's friend disapproved of Paige getting it back in 2014.

Anyway, Allie's claiming confusion over whether she wants to be with Tripp, and that means that, most likely, Johnny's interest in Chanel will spark feelings of jealousy for her.

Allie Worries About Sami / Tall - Days of Our Lives

I have mixed feelings about this. I LOVE that Days of Our Lives has finally added a couple of bisexual characters, but the writing has not been particularly stellar for this storyline.

Plus, Johnny and Chanel have good chemistry, and so do Tripp and Allie.

And Allie's confusion over her feelings for Tripp seemed to be more about fear of committing to a man after what Charlie did to her than anything else.

She told Marlena that she cares about Tripp a lot, and when she talked to Kayla, it felt like she was trying to talk herself out of her attraction to Tripp more than anything else.

Ava and Rafe Tangle / Tall - Days of Our Lives

It's a shame that Marlena didn't give her anything better than a suggestion that Allie figures out what she feels. 

As a therapist, Marlena should have tools to share that would help Allie untangle her emotions and make the best decision for herself. Instead, she gave her a platitude, and no direction, much like Eric did when JJ was suicidal.

Kayla ended up stuck in the middle, with both Tripp and Allie confiding in her, too. At this point, it would be best for Allie to hire a therapist who isn't related to her!

Meanwhile, Johnny and Chanel didn't get the resistance from Paulina that I expected.

Beyond Salem - Days of Our Lives

Paulina embarrassed Chanel and said stupid things, but it seemed more clueless than malicious, and she wasn't actively against the pairing.

That surprised me since Paulina tends not to take Chanel seriously. It would be logical for her to be worried about what her daughter was getting herself into now, considering both Paulina's past and Chanel's impulsive decision to marry Xander.

As for Johnny, at first, I thought he'd be more upset about Paulina's behavior, but then I realized it must seem normal to him.

After all, Sami would do the same... or worse!

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

Paulina had better worry about herself, though. Now that she and Abe are back together, the secret she's keeping about Lani's parentage could blow them up again.

Even though I'm thrilled for Abe, Lani, and Paulina to have a meaty storyline, there are LOTS of problems with this one.

It doesn't match up with the show's history, for one thing. When Tamara left in 1987, Abe was investigating her ties to Coleman, a dangerous ex.

Now, Olivia claims that baby Lani was given to down-to-earth Tamara to protect her from PAULINA's dangerous ex.

A Heated Conversation / Tall - Days of Our Lives

And since Abe helped Lexi deal with learning that "Frankie Brooks" was her mother, Celeste, and not her aunt as previously believed, the idea that he would write Paulina off forever if he learned this particular secret is ludicrous.

Yes, Abe believes he is Lani's biological father and will be upset that he is not, but what exactly will change here?

He will still treat Lani as if she is his daughter while dating her biological mother. Paulina needs to stop listening to Olivia and just tell the truth already.

Instead, we have a ton of those anvil-like pieces of dialogue where Abe and Lani talk about how glad they are that Paulina isn't keeping secrets anymore, just in case anyone was wondering whether there's going to be a huge blow-up at the end of this. Ugh.

Rafe Consoles Nicole / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Across town, the Ava/Rafe/Nicole triangle is becoming irritating.

The thing is that all of this could have been prevented had Rafe been more responsible in how he communicated with Ava. ALL he had to do was let her know he was stopping by Nicole's and allowed her to come over too. That's it.

Because he didn't, it seemed like he was having an affair with Nicole, and he triggered enough of Ava's insecurities that Gabi was able to whip her into a frenzy about Nicole with almost no effort.

And once Rafe found out what Gabi was doing, his first order of business should have been to get ahold of her and tell her in no uncertain terms that her behavior was unacceptable and that if she wanted to stay under his roof, she'd better cut it out.

Gabi Has a Plan / Tall - Days of Our Lives

As for Nicole, I hate the way she's written as not only a walking pile of insecurities but as a punching bag that buys into everyone else's unearned negative opinion about her.

Roman's attitude left a lot to be desired. He seemed to think Eric could do no wrong and, shockingly, didn't believe that Sami had manipulated this situation even though he's called her out on similar behavior in the past!

It was like he was so invested in the idea that Nicole was the bad guy here that he couldn't see the significant role that both Eric and Sami played in this whole mess.

In addition, his problem getting over Marlena is not Nicole's problem, and I hate that she agreed that she's a horrible person. She's another one who needs therapy because she can't just fold up and lie in bed for a week because Roman said something negative about her!

While Gabi was using Nicole for her own purposes, she was right when she said that Roman is judgy and Nicole shouldn't take his opinion seriously.

Once she got to Rafe's, Nicole's behavior was more mature than anything we've had on air in a while. She was right that Rafe was spending too much time with her and not enough with Ava.

It didn't have to be all-or-nothing. Nicole and Rafe could have agreed they'd have lunch once a week and that Nicole would call before coming over or something. But Nicole was correct that if Rafe is meant to be with Ava and spends all his time with her, something is off-kilter.

That's why Ava's returning just in time to see Nicole and Rafe's final hug was so aggravating. This rivalry is based on one misunderstanding after another and is unnecessary.

Philip Flips Out / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Also annoying: Brady's decision to take Chloe on a business trip with him.

Brady pulled an EJ and told Chloe she was coming instead of asking her. And he didn't want her even to tell Philip she was leaving town -- what kind of nonsense is that?

Plus, there is no legitimate business reason for Chloe to go. In fact, with Nicole out of the office and Brady going out of town, Chloe should have stayed behind so that SOMEONE would be at the home office.

So far, Philip has been fairly mature about this, but Brady will undoubtedly try to manipulate the situation further, and then it's anyone's guess what'll happen.

Kate Warns Philip  / Tall - Days of Our LIves

Of course, Philip has problems of his own, thanks to Gabi and Jake.

Kate has the whole scheme figured out and will undoubtedly be watching from afar to try to protect her son, and I had this feeling that Philip might have believed her theory but hired Jake to keep an eye on him.

The whole thing is ridiculous since Victor will not randomly make Gabi or Jake CEO of his company. If Philip fails, he will probably try to woo back Brady or Sonny or might even ask one of Justin's other sons to step in!

It's also so damn disappointing since Gabi and Philip were friends and almost lovers until this happened.

Cin's Romantic Celebration / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Thankfully, most of Ben and Ciara's continued sexathon was off-screen!

These two don't need a honeymoon or any more sex scenes. They've spent more than a week in bed already.

They need a real storyline and not this psychic connection nonsense. No more flashbacks of their shared dreams, please.

Finally, Days of Our Lives made up for sparing us too much of Ben and Ciara in bed by replacing them with Bonnie.

Haunted By Her Past / Tall - Days of Our Lives

The writers ruined Victor's character by blaming him for trashing the living room when he found out about Justin and Bonnie's engagement. Victor would NEVER do that.

He'd make a bunch of snarky comments and make his disapproval known, but he wouldn't throw things around or engage in a food fight!

And Bonnie's sister-in-law is just silly.

Did it occur to anyone that Calista Lockhart sounds way too close to the name of actress Calista Flockhart? Even leaving that aside, we don't need any more goofy characters or Southern caricatures. Let's hope this nonsense ends quickly!

Your turn, Days of Our Live fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts about Johnny vs. EJ, the various love triangles, or any other Salem happenings!'

Hungry for more Days of Our Lives chat? Be sure to check back on Sunday for 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: 4.5 / 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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Days of Our Lives Quotes

It's not just her. Pretty soon you may be dealing with her whole family. That imbecilic mother, the slatternly sister. My god, it's like living in an episode of Honey Boo Boo.


Ciara: I'm not your prisoner, Ben.
Ben: I'm sorry. I can't let you go. Not now. Not ever.