Abigail's death was as painful as it was unnecessary.
On Days of Our Lives during the week of 6-13-24, Chad spent the better part of a short week swinging back and forth between anger and despair, Jack was speechless, and Jennifer wept over her eldest child's body.
As emotional as these scenes were, they had all been done before.
Abigail's death might have hit harder if it weren't for a couple of things.
As Gabi pointed out, this wasn't Abigail's first alleged tragic death. After she faked her death in a plane crash in 2016, viewers sat through months of Chad and Jennifer's grief, only for a very-much-alive Abigail to pop back up in Salem.
While it's less likely that the bloody mess Chad found this time is alive, his raw grief was cheapened by the fact that we'd gone through it before.
And as usual for Days of Our Lives, only one or two characters were allowed to grieve, while others who should be heartbroken aren't even mentioned.
It's great that Jack and Jennifer came back to town to mourn their daughter, but the way they are written makes no sense.
Neither one has given a single thought to checking in with their young grandchildren, which is incredibly out of character for these doting grandparents. They are close with Thomas and Charlotte; Abby was killed just before the family planned to go to Boston to surprise Jack for his birthday.
There is no way these two would be more concerned about peripheral figures like Gwen than those kids. While Jennifer would want to check in with her half-brother Lucas, that wouldn't take precedence if she were written in character.
Jack wouldn't want to leave Jennifer's side to share the news with Gwen, either. He's written as stoic and unemotional as if the one scene where he said his goodbyes was the extent of his grief.
The only thing that rang true about Jack's character this time was his guilt over not being a great father to Abigail in the long-ago past. Everything else seemed like it was plot-driven and senseless.
It was equally out of character for Jennifer to be so accepting of Jack having disappeared to the prison when she could have used him by her side. At this time, the last thing Jennifer should want is for Jack to seem to abandon her, even if it was only for a few hours!
Most egregious is the absence of any mention of JJ, other than Jennifer commenting that Abigail was her firstborn.
JJ and Abigail were close with each other, even if Abigail drove him nuts when he was a troubled teenager who was struggling to turn his life around. And even if they weren't, she was his sister.
He deserves to hear the heartbreaking news directly from his parents, especially given that half of his psychological problems came from Jennifer not allowing him to come home from boarding school after Jack's alleged death in 2012.
Instead, Days of Our Lives is writing it like JJ never existed.
He was ushered off the canvas without a real goodbye scene back in 2020, which shows how little regard the current writers have for his character. But viewers remember him, and it's disrespectful and strange for this story to go on without anyone even mentioning his name.
Hopefully, that'll change -- while Days of Our Lives has had plenty of tributes to Abigail, there hasn't been an actual funeral yet. But it's hard to trust that JJ will get more than a cursory explanation of how he couldn't make it to the funeral because he had plane trouble, considering the way Days of Our Lives has dealt with the absence of other seminal characters such as Hope.
Hope is another character who should be in Salem but isn't, considering how close she and Jennifer are supposed to be. But if the birth of her first granddaughter didn't bring her home, why would the death of her cousin, even if Jennifer is supposedly her best friend for life?
Similarly, where are Doug and Julie?
Julie has taken over as the Horton family matriarch in recent years and lives in the Horton house, yet she has not yet reacted to the news of her beloved Abigail's death.
Maggie should also be over at the Horton house offering her condolences and signature lemon bars but has not been on-screen since Abby's death.
While there was limited time during a three-day week, this could have been better planned. All of these absences make no sense. It's so disrespectful to this legacy character to treat her as expendable.
It's especially aggravating because it was unnecessary. Marci Miller's decision to leave did not require her character to be killed off. There were so many other ways to write Abigail out.
- She could have gone to Milwaukee in pursuit of her story and not returned until another actress could be found.
- She could have had a resurgence of her mental health issues or had physical health issues due to her pregnancy and had to go to a specialized facility.
- She could have had trouble conceiving and gone to a specialist out of state to resolve the issues.
- She could have gone to visit JJ in Africa.
- She and Chad could have gone to visit Jack and Jennifer in Boston, and Chad come back alone because Abigail had to stay there for some reason.
Not all of these exits would have been great. Still, they would have been an improvement over yet another violent death, especially since, in the aftermath of that death, Abigail's character and her family's importance to Days of Our Lives have been treated with an utter lack of respect.
Instead, she was brutally attacked for the sole purpose of setting up a murder mystery that supposedly includes a long suspect list, even though most of the suspects have already been eliminated and the ones left have weak motives.
Gwen is the most likely suspect, and if she was behind the murder, it was because she was angry that Abigail broke the misshapen cup she wanted to give Jack for his birthday.
Supposedly, the cup incident was the last straw or somehow pushed her over the edge. However, it still comes off as childish, and as Leo pointed out at the time, wanting to murder Abigail over it was a massive overreaction.
After Leo and Gwen's conversation, they both seem unlikely to be involved with the murder itself.
Despite the reveal that he had Abigail's jewelry in his possession, Leo seemed genuinely upset about her murder. It's far more likely that he witnessed the murder than actively participated in it, though if he saw who did it, he wouldn't have had to ask Gwen.
However Leo got his hands on that jewelry, he likely wants it for the sole purpose of framing someone on his enemies' list for the murder.
He doesn't seem to have the appetite for murder, but he is the ultimate opportunist, and if he can send Chloe, Brady, Sonny, Chad, or any of his other enemies to jail over this, he will.
Gwen is likely also innocent because Days of Our Lives is making her look guilty.
Everyone in town suspects her, except Jack and his eternal blindness when it comes to her.
When Days of Our Lives points all the evidence toward one person, it usually means they are innocent.
Besides, Gwen killing both Laura and Abigail is too much. It has to be someone else.
Similarly, Lucas and his conveniently-timed bender are likely red herrings.
Days of Our Lives has been ruining Lucas' character recently, but murder seems a step too far.
And while Days of Our Lives often ignores reality when it suits the story, it beggars belief that Lucas could be so drunk that he blacked out yet be able to stab Abigail. He wouldn't have the motor skills, and he'd have had to have driven over to the Dimera mansion in that state, too.
None of that seems remotely likely, even if Lucas does have a stronger motive than Gwen and her broken cup.
Despite the ridiculousness of this story, there have been some high points.
Chad: How much did you tell Lucas? ANSWER ME!
Kate: You really need to calm down.
Chad: My wife is dead! Someone stabbed her to death in our bedroom and you want me to calm down?
Billy Flynn is doing excellent work. You could feel Chad's grief and the pain behind his anger as he lashed out at Kate.
Despite the awful writing for his character, Bryan Dillato has also sold Lucas' guilt, grief, and confusion.
But, surprisingly, the most emotional performance went to Gabi. I've not had much use for her whiny character recently, but her grief over Abigail's death and her revelation that Abigail was her best frenemy were well-done.
I especially liked her vow to find out what happened to Abigail, though I could do without her and Chad working together.
Chad should be given time to mourn Abigail's death, but like JJ before him, he might be quickly siphoned off into a relationship with Gabi in the hopes that viewers will forget his great love for the one who came before her.
Despite the overemphasis on the murder mystery, there was some movement forward on a few other fronts.
Most notably, Belle and EJ kissed again before learning that Abigail was dead.
Belle should have had more concern over EJ trying to comfort her by suggesting the baby could die than she did. Regardless of his apology, the comment betrayed a certain callousness that Belle found unattractive; that quality may come back to the surface again at a later time.
And now that Chanel's choice appears to be between Johnny and Allie, Tripp decided to leave town. What a shame!
Tripp was one of the few good-guy characters left. He had enough of a temper to be Steve and Ava's son while rejecting his mother's mob ties and following his step-mother's footsteps, becoming a doctor in record time.
More importantly, he had good chemistry with Chanel, and I was secretly hoping she'd dump both of the twins to hook up with him. That would serve Allie right after leaving both of them in limbo, and a relationship between Chanel and Tripp could have been fun.
He also could have gotten involved in medical storylines at the hospital or met someone new.
It was disappointing that the writers chose to write him out instead of finding a new storyline for Tripp. But at least they left the door open for him to return, and he will be featured on Beyond Salem 2 in July.
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