Ben made a decision about fathering a child, but the Devil might try to change that. Philip and Chloe were on the rocks once again, Gabi had to decide whether to save Jake, while Gwen and Xander's plan crashed and burned, and EJ and Nicole had their date.
Our TV Fanatics, Jack and Christine, are joined by Trey and Stephanie from MyHourglass, a Days of Our Lives fan forum to debate Ben's decision, the Brady/Chloe/Philip triangle, Abe's proposal, and what doesn't make sense right now in Salem.
Was Ben right to decide not to father a child? Do you think Marlena (or the Devil) will get him to change his mind?
Trey: Absolutely right. He should not father a child if he is not ready. Ignoring the fact that Ben/Ciara just got married and neither seem to have a steady source of income, a baby is a HUGE responsibility. No one should have a baby that they don't want or are not ready for.
This is a big discussion and should not be made on a whim or through emotional blackmail (i.e., Ciara's tears). Ben has the right to say no, and she has the option to accept that or move on.
Stephanie: I think that Ben is right to decide not to father a child at this point in time. He clearly needs more time to work through his worries about whether or not his mental illness will be passed along to any child he might have.
He has also made other good points about it not being the right time, such as his and Ciara's financial situation and the fact that someone will need to take care of the baby if Ciara finally starts working again.
I think that Marlena (while possessed by the Devil) will probably force him to change his mind. The Devil always seems to get his way, and I don't see this situation turning out any differently.
Christine: Yeah, Ben is right. If Ben thinks he's going to spend the rest of his life worrying he's passed on his mental illness to his child, he shouldn't put himself through that.
They could use a sperm donor. That way, the baby would still biologically be Ciara's, and Ben would still be the child's Dad, minus the genetic factor. But it does seem like the Devil will get his way. I just hope it doesn't lead to years of torment for this couple.
Jack: If Ben does not feel comfortable or ready, he is absolutely right not to father a child at this point (or ever).
I think the Devil couldn't resist all that talk of perpetuating evil, and if Marlena listens to it, she will probably push Ben to change his mind. It's annoying because 1) the Devil doesn't need to be involved in this, and 2) psychiatrists aren't supposed to tell people what to do, but it's par for the course on DAYS lately.
Is anyone in the right in the Brady/Chloe/Philip triangle?
Trey: I can tell you who's wrong: Brady. He really needs to back off. Chloe has told him multiple times that she is not interested, and he keeps pushing.
I feel bad for Philip and Chloe. Chloe is stuck in the middle of two men who want to annoy each other (and use her as a prize).
Philip because he's his own worst enemy. Brady uses relationships like a drug. He jumps from one person to another and really needs to work on himself to figure out why.
Stephanie: I don't think anyone is in the right in this triangle. Brady is constantly and deliberately looking for ways to get Chloe to spend time alone with him. He also likes to bait Philip when all three of them are in the same room together.
While Chloe is defending Philip and their relationship, she also doesn't make things easy for herself by giving in to Brady's pleas that she go pumpkin picking with him and Rachel or accompany him to New York on a business trip. She needs to learn to say no in a good and firm manner!
Finally, Philip is blowing up his own relationship by flying into a jealous rage every time he finds Brady and Chloe alone together. That behavior is pushing Chloe away. They all need to grow up and stop acting like they are still in high school.
Christine: No. Brady is by far the worst of the bunch. He only cares about himself and will be mean-spirited and manipulative to get what he wants. As Trey mentioned above, Brady is an addict, and he uses relationships like a drug. It's unhealthy, and it needs to stop.
Philip goes into a jealous rage whenever things don't go his way and then whines when he's called out for it.
And for as much as Chloe occasionally says no, she still gives in to Brady far too often. She could have told Philip right away that she went pumpkin picking with Brady and Rachel. Instead, she lied about it, which only fed Philip's fears. It's a lousy situation throughout, and I've grown tired of watching it.
Jack: Chloe is, every time she tells off one or both of these guys about fighting over her, trying to manipulate the situation, etc. She deserves better than either of them, and I wish she'd just walk away from them both.
Should Gabi hand over Gabi Chic to Philip to save Jake? Why or why not?
Trey: Absolutely not! She worked too hard to give up her company! Gabi Chic is her company that she built from scratch. She should take it to a new investor (Paulina!!!) and focus on taking down both Titan and DiMera!
Stephanie: I don't think Gabi should hand over Gabi Chic in exchange for saving Jake. She worked hard to build that company, and Jake really isn't worth the loss of it.
Christine: No, she shouldn't give up Gabi Chic, but Gabi did this to herself. She's the one who turned on Philip, and now she's upset it's come back to bite her. I have trouble feeling sympathy for her if she loses her company because of it.
Jack: Whichever choice will make her whine less. Gabi's been going on and on about how evil and mean Philip is and ignoring the fact that she stabbed him in the back when Philip was nothing but good to her. If anything can make it stop, she should do it. Otherwise, I don't care what she does.
Abe proposed to Paulina. Is this relationship moving too fast? Do you hope to see them walk down the aisle?
Trey: I don't think it's moving too fast, but I do think that Paulina needs to face the music about Abe/Lani's parentage before walking down the aisle. It's not fair to Abe or Lani. She should be open about her past so that she can have an honest relationship (over time) with both!
Stephanie: I think that Abe and Paulina's relationship is definitely moving too fast. They only just met a few months ago, and we all know that there is a lot about Paulina that Abe doesn't know.
To me, it is clear that this relationship is only being pushed along at this speed so that the writers can have Paulina's big secret blow up at their wedding. If that secret weren't the catalyst behind this whole rushed engagement, then I might be able to get behind them walking down the aisle right now.
At this point, though, I think that Abe is much better off with Valerie, who he has known much longer and who doesn't have any secrets from him.
Christine: They just go back together after Paulina lied to him and played him. So yeah, this is definitely moving too fast, but we can all see why.
Paulina's big secret is bound to come out just as she's walking down the aisle. The only people I'll feel sorry for are Abe and Lani because they don't deserve to be hurt the way they're destined to be.
Jack: I think this is way too fast and too out of character for Abe. I like Abe/Paulina as a couple but slow down! This is going to be another rushed wedding that ends in disaster when Paulina's secret comes out. Ugh.
Justin, Gwen, and Xander got busted for trying to blackmail a judge. What did you hate the most about this scheme? (Because there was honestly nothing to love!)
Trey: There really wasn't anything to love! I hate that Justin's moral character was compromised for his "love" for Bonnie. I'm sorry, but watching Justin over the years, that was the one thing that he was proud of the most...his ethical behavior.
Over the years, he's been tempted for higher stakes, and he didn't give in. I'm disappointed to see this shell of a beloved character. I don't really respect Justin anymore (and he used to be one of my favorites!)
Stephanie: I think I mostly hated the fact that Justin agreed to go along with it. He knew from the start that it was a bad plan, but he gave in and tried to blackmail the judge anyway.
It was painful to watch Justin playing Gwen's tape for the judge and demanding that both Xander and Bonnie's cases be dropped. A man with Justin's years of legal experience should know that things don't work that way! These scenes just made him look stupid and ignorant.
Christine: Ugh. This was just bad. Gwen's plan was filled with holes, and Justin should have known that. Instead, he blackmailed a judge into freeing Bonnie! Oye.
The one teeny, tiny upside was that Xander seemed to feel genuine remorse over having dragged Justin into this. A couple of years ago, we wouldn't have seen that out of Xander.
Jack: I hate that Justin agreed to be part of this! He deserved the tongue lashing Trask gave him, and I don't like Trask being right.
Justin: Melinda. Melinda. Please. Before you arrest us, just hear me out.
Trask: I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am, Counselor. I really thought you were one of the good guys.
Xander: He is!
Trask: Not anymore, clearly.[to Justin] I am truly shocked that you would get involved with these two. She likes to brawl and bash people's heads in, and Xander Cook? Where do you even begin with him? How could you let the two of them talk you into being part of this horrendous scheme?
Justin: I am certain Judge Smails is in EJ Dimera's pocket.
Trask: Then you should have tried to prove it through legal means. My office could have launched an investigation to determine whether or not any crime was committed. Instead, the Salem Spectator is gonna run a front-page story about your arrest and your probable disbarment.
It was so out of character for him, and honestly, if the Devil wasn't stuck on Marlena, I'd wonder if it had possessed him.
I also hate that the only time Jack was mentioned was in the context of the threat Justin made. Xander is Jack's best friend, and Gwen is Jack's daughter! Instead of this stupid plan, they could have asked Jack to investigate this judge for the Spectator. That might have been a fantastic story!
But instead, Jack was an afterthought. And it's especially stupid for Justin because he has TWO brothers-in-law he could have asked for help: Jack as an investigative reporter and Steve as a detective.
Nicole and EJ had their date. Do you hope to see more of these two together? Are you rooting for Nicole and Rafe or something else entirely?
Trey: Honestly, I'm afraid to hope for any couple. I like Nicole and EJ, and given their past history, it makes sense to see if there's something there now that Sami is out of the picture.
I like this new EJ (he's a lot more unhinged), and seeing Nicole balance him out or watching him bring out her impish side could be fun.
Stephanie: I do hope to see more of Nicole and EJ together. I liked them together the first time they were a couple, and I thought they were good for each other.
As someone else pointed out, Nicole also brought out a different side of EJ this week. She was able to see that he is trying to control Johnny's future because Johnny is Sami's son, and by controlling him, he feels like he can control Sami too. Right now, I am hoping for Nicole and EJ's relationship to grow.
While I like her with Rafe too, I don't want to see them get together while he is with Ava. That will mess up Nicole's friendship with Ava, and I don't want to see that friendship get destroyed because we already don't have enough strong female friendships on this show.
Christine: I remember when Nicole and EJ first got together. They made a great couple. But then Nicole miscarried their baby and lied about it, and everything nose-dived from there.
But Nicole understands EJ, faults, and all in a way that most people don't, and I'd like to see where that goes.
As for Nicole and Rafe, Nicole becomes boring and whiny when she's around Rafe. Ava is one of the few people that makes Rafe a bit more interesting.
And more than any of these couplings, I like Ava and Nicole as friends, so I hope they don't muck that up by having Nicole break up Rafe and Ava.
Jack: Ugh, ugh, ugh. DAYS is apparently commemorating Domestic Violence Awareness Month by suggesting that the man who abused Nicole is her soulmate. His abuse of everyone in front of her should be the opposite of a dealbreaker. Gross.
I have wanted Nicole to be with Rafe since 2012, and that hasn't changed. If she can't be with Rafe, she should find fulfillment on her own. Definitely not with the man who abused her so badly that she had to hide her pregnancy from him.
What makes no sense to you right now on Days?
Trey: There are a lot of things on Days right now that make no sense. I'm not sure why the writers brought back the possession storyline. It wasn't very enjoyable the first time around for me.
I also don't know why Ben/Ciara got married one day and are planning a baby the next. I don't understand why the writers had to make Doug a victim of the possession instead of giving him/Julie heartfelt material (that they could emotionally rock!!!) regarding dementia or the effects of aging.
And, I don't know why characters like Justin and Gwen, with their non-storylines, are given so much airtime when they're not enjoyable and unwatchable. Too harsh?
Stephanie: There is a lot that doesn't make sense, but I'll go with John not recognizing that Marlena is possessed again. She has been acting weird for days now, and he still hasn't picked up on why.
One would think that the person closest to her would be able to immediately see that something is very, very wrong with her, especially when he has started having anxiety about that part of her past again.
Christine: Why is Nicole pining over her nonexistent relationship with Rafe more than over Eric, the love of her life?
Chanel not using the kitchen at Sweet Bits to bake those pies. That Chanel wouldn't know her mother's favorite pies. It's not like Paulina is a quiet wallflower who keeps her opinions to herself.
Kayla not knowing Steve never gets a flu shot made no sense. She's his wife and a doctor. If they were going to do this PSA, they could have given a little more information. Instead of Steve never gets one to one conversation changing his mind.
Finally, sending Doug to Bayview only makes sense in Salem, where they've never heard of a nursing home or assisted living facility with an Alzheimer's and Dementia ward.
Jack: Where should we begin? Obviously, the possession story makes no sense whatsoever. Marlena is aware the Devil is talking to her and keeps it to herself. The Devil thinks, "Look, we could hurt people just like we hurt your friend Doug if you'd just let me in," is a selling point.
John is clueless. Doug is shipped off to Bayview -- a place where dementia patients do not belong -- and Julie doesn't say a word to stop it even though she knows it's physically impossible for Doug to have hit her. All this is plot-driven nonsense, and none of it makes a bit of sense.
The mob storyline isn't much better. Mob bosses don't offer information that incriminates them. They don't let people leave the mob and then just forget about them, especially people who might turn on them.
Getting info to blackmail someone doesn't make Ava a Mafia princess, especially considering that Salem is the blackmail capital of the world.
Jake being in the room with a guy who killed another guy doesn't make him an accessory after the fact. And Gabi having killed Nick is absolutely nothing like this situation, so there was no reason to bring it up.
Also, this was unnecessary. Firing someone who is spying on you and trying to sabotage the company you own is a good business decision, even if you lose their company in the process.
And Philip could have just fired Gabi then leaked to the Spectator what she did. Who is going to buy from Gabi Chic once that's public? Problem solved.
Similarly, Philip was going to cut down the new tree because he saw Brady and Chloe hugging... seconds after remembering how he said he planted the tree to start over. What sense did THAT make at all?
The whole Justin blackmail thing also made no sense. Like I said above, he knows two people who investigate things like crooked judges for a living. So why did he resort to blackmail (and does that make him a mob prince since it's the same thing Ava and Philip did?)
Paulina's attitude toward the pies. She was so ungrateful, and all she had to do was not eat the graham cracker crust if that is her only objection to key lime pie.
And why did Chanel have to make the pie at Eli and Lani's when she owns a bakery? What's wrong with her commercial kitchen that she can't use it to bake a pie all of a sudden?
Or, if she had to interrupt someone, wouldn't it make more sense to go over to the Dimera mansion so that she could rope Johnny into baking it just like he insisted she watches The Exorcist because that's what he was interested in?
Finally, Nicole's date with EJ consisted of him berating Rafe and then abusing his son and brother-in-law in front of her.
The fact that she even finished the date, never mind wants anything to do with EJ ever again, boggles the mind, and I still don't understand why she agreed to it in the first place when she knew he was using her to get back at Sami.
What was your favorite quote, scene, or storyline this week on Days of Our Lives?
Trey: I loved seeing Maggie back on canvas! I am looking forward to Maggie and Xander connecting. I also enjoyed DA Trask ripping Justin to shreds. Someone had to shake him up and make him realize he was acting unethically.
Stephanie: I loved Philip finally firing Gabi. It's been a long time coming, and it's exactly what she deserves right now. I just hope that it doesn't backfire on him somehow. Gabi needs to learn not to be so greedy for power and appreciate everything she already has in life.
If she had done that in the first place, she would not have lost her job and would not be in a position where she has to choose between keeping her company or saving her boyfriend.
Christine: Maggie's back! I look forward to her interacting with Victor and Xander and figuring out that Sarah is MIA.
EJ purposefully irritating Rafe. EJ is an arrogant ass, but it's fun to watch him get under Rafe's skin.
Also, Nicole talking EJ down about Johnny. I really enjoy it when these two characters have honest conversations, and Nicole understands EJ in a way most other people don't.
Jack: Even though it was a bit out of nowhere, I liked the flu shot PSA. It's always good to see Steve and Kayla, and they used their time together for a good cause.
I also loved Maggie's return and especially liked her reaction to learning about Victor's latest manipulations. Her support of Julie was wonderful too.
Hey, TV Fanatics. Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below and give us your round table answers. Want to chat more about the happenings in Salem? Then check out Jack Ori's Days of Our Lives review here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.