Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Endgame

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I guess I should have seen that one coming.

Head writer Ron Carlivati loves doppelganger stories -- Salem is full of them. And Shane's evil twin brother, Drew, is a legacy character. So in retrospect, it's obvious that he would try to switch places with Shane and cause trouble.

But Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Season 1 Episode 5 surprised me anyway. Well done!

A Painful Betrayal / Tall - Beyond Salem - Days of Our Lives

Frew did such a great job of impersonating Shane that Ciara didn't realize it either until the real Shane came to her door... with a gun.

When Shane first showed up, I thought Ben was having a nightmare about Paige's grandfather wanting revenge. After all, "Shane" was the first person who didn't react to learning that Ciara is married to the former serial killer by resorting to violence to tear them apart.

I wish there had been another way to reveal this surprise twist besides reminding viewers that Ben murdered Paige, though. It's bad enough that he did it, but Days of Our Lives -- and now Beyond Salem too -- only ever mention her as Ben's victim.

Paige had a life. She was Kayla's intern, a top medical student, a loyal friend and daughter, and JJ's first love. She was a lot more than the body Ben left on a shower floor for JJ to find.

An Awkward Reminder - Beyond Salem - Days of Our Lives

And there was no reason for Ben to bring it up to Shane at all, either, other than that helped differentiate Shane from Drew.

Ben: Before you go, sir, I just want to say... I'm sorry about what I did to Paige.
Shane: I don't have time to go into that right now. Not when innocent lives are at stake. Innocent, like my granddaughter was when you stole her life from her.

The real Shane's response was perfect, though, and made me wish that more of Shane and Paige's relationship had been on-screen while Paige was alive.

Leaving all that aside, the best part of this twist was that Drew was restored to his delightfully evil self.

A Hostage Situation - Beyond Salem - Days of Our Lives

The last time he visited Salem, he was used as comic relief and was more a clown than a bad guy. While Drew has always been a bit over the top, that wasn't who he was supposed to be, and I enjoyed him being restored to his campily evil self.

He told Marlena that his beloved Camille had died so he saw no point in continuing to be good, but I chalk it up to better writing and better respect for Days of Our Lives' history.

It was disappointing that Graham turned out to be his evil accomplice and not who he claimed to be at all, though.

I'd enjoyed the romance between Billie and Graham and was hoping it would continue, though I have to admit that this was a hell of a way to turn the trope of hate leading to love on its head!

Marlena In Danger Again - Beyond Salem - Days of Our Lives

Besides, Billie seems like she'll be fine. Shane, ever the matchmaker, encouraged her to accept Lord Sebastian Alamain's offer of dinner, and who knows where that might lead.

Plus, it was poetic in its own way that Billie's relationship with Graham/Dmitri ended the same way it began, with her throwing him to the ground to stop him from hurting someone.

Much less palatable was the Leo/Chad stuff.

I appreciated the irony of Leo accidentally saving the world by stealing that emerald, but the rest of it was cringeworthy.

Sonny Berates Leo - Beyond Salem - Days of Our Lives

Leo having sex with a blacked-out drunk Chad (if that's what really happened) isn't funny. It's as non-consensual as when Lani did it to JJ.

Of course, I'm not sure anything actually happened.

Leo might have made the whole thing up to mess with Chad, and Chad didn't seem to have anything physical going on that would indicate he'd had sex.

But still. Sexual assault isn't a joke, and Chad clearly did not want to have sex with Leo. That should not have been played for laughs, even if Sonny and Will did eventually tell Leo to leave Chad alone.

Abe and Paulina In Love - Beyond Salem - Days of Our Lives

One other mystery was solved, and it actually WAS funny.

All this time, I thought Paulina was making up stories about having met Michelle Obama to try to impress Abe, and it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

The scenes in Miami where Paulina worried about her friend being angry at her and complained about the sound of a jet-ski, plus the reveal that her friend was Michelle White, all seemed to hearken back to Jackee Harry's sitcom days.

That joke might have been silly, but this is the kind of humor I can get behind.

Paulina Greets A Guest - Beyond Salem - Days of Our Lives

It also led to the second time that Paulina almost let slip she is Lani's mother.

Paulina: Now, does everyone have everything? I don't want to get back to Salem and hear that someone's missing a headphone or a tablet cause they left it in Miami.
Lani: You remind me of my mom when you fuss like that.

It was Lani who brought it up this time, and Paulina covered without blinking an eye, but it still seems like it's only a matter of time before Lani or Abe realizes that Paulina is not who she claims to be.

These light family scenes played well against the more over-the-top drama surrounding the diamonds.

A Disturbing Find - Beyond Salem - Days of Our Lives

Speaking of which, I was about to be annoyed that Marlena was taken hostage AGAIN when she got out of the situation thanks to some silly fighting worthy of the original Batman series... and grabbed a gun.

For once, Marlena was the hero who helped save the day instead of the damsel in distress who needed rescue, and I was all in for that.

There was some serious woman power going on in this whole thing, with Billie threatening to shoot Graham in a sensitive area before throwing him to the floor, too.

That was refreshing, considering how often the regular show leaves the heroics to the men and makes the women victims, even in this day and age.

All in all, Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem was a fun throwback to the madcap adventures of the 1980s and 90s, with lots of nods to history, the reappearance of classic characters, and twists I didn't see coming. I loved it and hope that Peacock hosts another miniseries sometime soon!

What about you? What did you think of Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem's final episode and the limited series as a whole?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know, and don't forget to check back on Tuesday for a special Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Round Table!

Meanwhile, if you'd like to chat about the main series, we have plenty of Days of Our Lives reviews and Days of Our Lives Round Table discussions right here on TV Fanatic.

Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem is available via Peacock TV.


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 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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