Days of Our Lives Review Week of 5-23-22: Heartbreak and Broken DreamsJack Ori at .
The Devil may be gone, but it left a ton of broken hearts in its wake.
On Days of Our Lives during the week of 5-23-22, Allie had to face the consequences of her indecision, Eric lost his vocation, and Jaan continued putting wedges in between Shawn and Belle. And those were only the people affected directly by the evil demon!
While Days of Our Lives has mostly gone back to more mundane drama, you can't say the Devil didn't leave its mark on most of Salem.
Even Eric, who had returned to the priesthood seemingly for the sole purpose of exorcising evil demons from his loved ones, didn't escape unscathed. In one of the stupidest plot points yet, the Vatican defrocked him by phone for performing illegal exorcisms.
In reality, the Catholic Church DOES only permit exorcisms under certain circumstances. The allegedly possessed person needs to get a medical examination to ensure that no one is mistaking mental illness for demon possession, and a specially trained priest is supposed to perform the rite with permission from a local bishop.
However, in the context of this story, Eric's loss of his vocation makes little to no sense.
Nothing else about this Devil story bore any resemblance to the theological Devil; instead, the demon was some sort of supernatural doppelganger that went around causing trouble for people in love and winced if anyone prayed or used G-d's name. And John, who isn't even an ordained priest, did most of the exorcism-related activities.
The Vatican accepted Eric's reapplication to be a priest after he'd left the Church to be with Nicole and had a baby with Sarah out of wedlock, but now it doesn't want him because he did a successful exorcism or two without consulting the local bishop (who does not exist anyway!). That seems unlikely.
And even if the Church had a problem with Eric's exorcism habits, they wouldn't defrock him via a phone call from Rome.
This silly plot point happened for only one reason: Eric needs to be free to cause drama for Nicole and Rafe.
Nicole told Holly that Eric would be happy for her and Rafe just like she was happy for him being a priest.
But now, Eric is not a priest anymore. He is staying in Salem for an equally silly reason: the people he has worked with in Africa for the past several years no longer want his help because he's related to people the Devil has possessed.
That leaves Eric free, forcing Nicole to choose between him and Rafe rather than assuming that Eric's commitment is to G-d and not to her.
Similarly, Eric encouraged Sarah to forgive Xander for pretending her baby wasn't dead. But could he have been holding back interest in Sarah because he planned to try again with Nicole now that being a priest is no longer an option?
If we have to have a triangle, I'd prefer an Eric/Sarah/Xander triangle to an Eric/Nicole/Rafe one. Eric and Nicole have tried and tried and tried, and it has never worked out.
After a certain number of failures, it's time to move on, and Eric and Nicole got to that point a couple of tries ago. Their relationship seems to revolve around Nicole telling some stupid lie, Eric finding out, and then Nicole begging him for forgiveness while he berates her.
Nicole and Rafe have not had much chance as a couple, and they deserve a real try. Their whole story has been about Rafe not wanting to choose between Nicole and Ava, and now Eric is back to cause trouble between Nicole and Rafe.
Can we not, please?
Eric and Sarah have an excellent, relaxed rapport, and Sarah was genuinely supportive about Eric's loss of his vocation. They were more or less a rebound couple last time they were together. They might be a compelling pair if Days of Our Lives gives them a chance!
In any case, I wish that Eric's grief over losing his vocation had lasted more than 30 seconds. Supposedly, his heart is in the priesthood (when he's not thinking about Nicole, anyway.)
Yet he had all of one scene where he had tears in his eyes over it, and the next time he appeared on-screen, he was calmly telling Sarah that he had to accept the consequences of his choices and that the Church was right to fire him.
If this were a real story instead of a plot point, Eric would have fought harder for his vocation or at least grieved more. We didn't even get a scene of him asking G-d to direct his path!
Also, did anyone else find it disturbing that Eric's initial reaction to learning that Nicole and Rafe are a couple was to contemplate a martini? The last time we went down this road, he killed Daniel in a drunk driving accident.
We don't need Eric to relapse into alcoholism over Nicole, especially if it's not going to be written as a serious story.
Abe and Paulina's storyline is also on the disturbing side.
I couldn't believe that straight-shooter Eli, who nearly broke up with Lani over her sneaking Kristen out of the police station, was willing to let Paulina take the fall for Lani's shooting TR.
Eli encouraging Lani to lie and lying to Abe's face himself were new lows in out-of-character behavior. But then, Eli told Lani that it didn't matter that Chanel was terrified of losing her mother to the jail system.
Lani: Chanel was so upset and scared of losing Paulina. It took everything I had in me not to tell her the truth.
Eli: Chanel is a grown woman. She has had her mother all her life. Our twins will need theirs for the next 17 years.
Seriously? Chanel doesn't "need" her mother because she's an adult? How selfish can Eli be?
It's true that babies need more care than young adults. But that doesn't mean that adults are "just fine" without their parents. There is much more to the parent/child relationship than taking care of children's physical needs.
The writers tend to be clueless about how children act and think -- six-year-old Holly talked like a teenager when Nicole told her she was getting married -- but this went beyond that. It was insulting.
And Chanel has made it abundantly clear how Paulina's predicament is affecting her mental health. Not only does she not want to lose her mother right after they've healed decades-long problems in their relationship, but she's taking it especially hard because she lost her father some time ago.
Eli dismissed all of that as unimportant because Lani is the mother of HIS children and not Chanel, and Paulina didn't even think of the possibility that Chanel might be upset about her arrest before taking responsibility for the shooting.
Is anyone going to consider Chanel's feelings and needs in this mess?
As for Lani, I'm tired of her guilt not leading to any action whatsoever. She cries that this is so hard and wrong but continues to keep her mouth shut. This story is not doing her character any favors whatsoever and needs to go ASAP.
Paulina's lies are so obvious that Justin, Eli, Abe, and Rafe all had big questions about her story. This plan can't possibly work.
And with Abe declaring his love for Paulina and desire to try for a third time with her, it's obvious where this is going. The two of them will likely get close, and then Abe will learn about Paulina's latest lie and break up with her again.
This is ridiculous.
Abe and Paulina's love story keeps going around in circles. Abe needs to either accept that Paulina will lie when she thinks the situation warrants it or decide he can't live with a liar and move on.
As for Chanel, she's also left with a choice to make: Johnny or Allie?
Chanel expected Allie and Tripp to give it another shot, but she didn't seem happy about it, and she wasn't eager to jump back into a marriage with Johnny.
If she decides to date Johnny, these two should take it slow. The Devil could get its hooved foot in the door with the twins and break Chanel's heart twice partially because she and Johnny had this whirlwind courtship and marriage while Chanel secretly harbored feelings for Allie.
Chanel's heart seems to belong more to Johnny, but she also enjoyed being with Allie and even admitted to Xander that she was in love with both twins. And with Allie no longer in a relationship with Tripp, Chanel has the opportunity to make a genuine choice.
She doesn't have to choose either one by default because the other isn't available, and she knows they love her. This could be an interesting triangle!
I still don't know why Xander chose Chanel to confide in about Sarah, other than that he provided a convenient excuse for Lani not to tell Chanel the truth about the shooting. But at least that conversation led Chanel to realize she had feelings for both twins.
Plus, she got some funny lines in!
Chanel: The fact that Sarah dumped you on your wedding day and went back to her ex should tell you she's not interested.
Xander: It turns out that wasn't her.
Chanel: What, was it the Devil?
Xander: No. It was Kristen Dimera in a Sarah mask.
Chanel: This town is beyond weird.
At least Xander didn't ask her to pretend to be into him again so he could make Sarah jealous. Considering his harebrained schemes lately, I wouldn't have been surprised if he did something that stupid.
Tripp made the right choice when he decided to break up with Allie. He was right: she's not entirely into him, and as much as he loves her, he deserves someone who loves him and only him.
It was a refreshing change for someone to have enough self-respect to say goodbye instead of trying to manipulate the other person into choosing them.
This scene was heartbreaking. Allie and Tripp love each other, but Allie isn't in a position to commit to him.
Since she's newly out as bisexual and has never had a relationship with a woman other than a brief fling with Chanel, she may need to explore same-sex relationships before she can decide what she wants.
Add in her guilt and heartache over what happened while she was possessed, and you have a recipe for disaster. Allie has work to do on herself before she's ready to have a relationship with anyone.
Finally, the CEO drama and Gabi's subsequent relationship with Li Shin competed with the Belle/Shawn/Jan stuff for the worst story of the week.
Kristen's predictable monkey wrench was ridiculous. The motion to remove Gabi as CEO had already passed, so it should have been too late for her input, and her weak sauce reason for betraying her family didn't fit her character.
EJ: Kristen, why are you doing this?
Kristen: You mean besides the fact that it's fun?
Gabi's response was even worse. She's sleeping with Li Shin while secretly dreaming of Jake. It seems like she's hoping sex with the head of the board will give her job security. What a horrible message to send about women in business!
The Jan stuff is equally ridiculous, though. Shawn should not be so naive when it comes to Jan, and Belle should not be so quick to let Jan push her buttons.
Jan most likely faked having cramps to blame Belle for "almost making her lose the baby." And Shawn fell for it without a second thought. Ugh.
Meanwhile, Belle threatened to take Jan's baby away.
She should do it instead of talking about it. She should also stop turning to EJ for support; that will only lead to grief sex, which will cause her a lot of trouble if Sami ever comes back to Salem.
Belle will probably pull away from the kiss with EJ and the two of them will declare it a mistake, but that doesn't mean they won't go further later, especially if Shawn keeps being an idiot about Jan.
Finally, Leo's revenge story took a dark turn.
I'm not a fan of these drugging storylines. They're never treated as sexual assault, and it doesn't look like this is going to be any different. What Leo did to Sonny is no different than what Kristen did to Eric or what Jill did to JJ.
Eric's rape was acknowledged as being what it was, but years later, it's treated as a joke more often than not. And JJ's assault led to a story about Paige believing for half a second that he cheated on her.
I don't expect this Leo/Sonny thing to be any different. Victor may have encouraged Sonny to call the police, but he's not above blaming him for being "stupid" when he sees those photos Leo sent to the Intruder.
Hopefully, Will's smart enough to realize his husband was the victim of a crime and not a cheater.
Either way, this not only turns sexual assault into a plot point AGAIN but ruins Leo as a villain. It's bad enough that he sexually harassed Chad and Xander; now he's assaulting people.
Up until this point, I was rooting for Leo to get his revenge on super-obnoxious Sonny, but now Leo is yet another rapist.
This isn't entertaining. It's sickening, and now I can't wait for Leo to be exposed.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts about Days of Our Lives during the week of 5-23-22.
Eager for more DAYS 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 or watch on Peacock TV on weeknights after 8 PM EST / 5 PM PST.
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.