Abe's finally out of Whitley's apartment, if not out of the woods yet.
After Whitley went further into fantasy land on Days of Our Lives during the week of 7-24-23, nearly killing both Abe and herself, many people converged on the apartment to stop her schemes.
Things got weird toward the end, even by Salem standards, with Whitley's sudden psychotic break bearing little resemblance to reality. But Whitley ended up in police custody, and Abe's recovering in the hospital, so at least there's that.
Whtiley's full motives for her crimes were both understandable and far-fetched.
The renegade nurse's motives became clear after Marlena realized Whitley was once her patient (or, more specifically, the Devil's patient!). Whitley was trying to replace her late husband with Abe and was living in a fantasy world, so she didn't have to face her guilt over her real partner's accidental death.
That's a fine motive, but it felt tacked on to the end of the story as if the writers were making things up as they went along and hit upon the right reason for Whitley's behavior accidentally.
For weeks, she'd seemed like an obsessive stalker, yet this Misery-like setup was about something else altogether. That was jarring!
It would have been far better to sprinkle hints about Whitley's real reasons for kidnapping Abe throughout the story or set things up before Abe ever suffered a brain injury. With careful planning, this story would have made total sense.
Instead, it bounced from motive to motive. Whitley wanted to protect Abe from Colin. Then she was obsessed with him. Then, suddenly, she had a complete psychotic break brought on by the death of her real husband.
Paulina: Abraham, I know your mind is all jumbled up right now, but please believe me, okay? I'm your wife, and I love you very much.
Abe: I... I don't even know you.
[Paulina takes out her driver's license]: Well, see, it says it right there. Paulina Price. That's me.
Abe: That's...that other woman?
Paulina: That was Nurse Whitley King. She was your nurse here at the hospital. She pretended to be me and she kidnapped you, plucked you right out of your hospital bed, and worst of all she tricked us into all thinking you were dead.
Abe: Why would she do that?
Paulina: I don't know. But clearly that woman is completely off her rocker.
These are great motives, but the writers should have chosen one and stuck with it!
Still, this story finally ended, or at least the part of it where Abe was held captive and forced to watch a campy soap opera. He's still struggling to figure out who's who, thanks to his amnesia, and is confused about who Whitley is and why she would harm him.
The aftermath was fairly satisfying. The best parts included Paulina telling Whitley what she needed to hear and Theo's talk with Kayla.
Marlena: How is Abe?
Paulina: Physically, he's fine. But when he opened his eyes, he asked for you, Whitley. I did my best to set him straight, but my husband looked into my eyes and he doesn't remember me. He doesn't know me, his own wife. He doesn't remember his children.
Whitley: I'm so sorry. I know I put all of you through hell. If there's anything I can do to help -
[Paulina slaps her]
Paulina: You can shut your damn mouth! I don't want to hear anything that you have to say!
Marlena: Paulina, we should go. Now!
Paulina: Fine, I'll go. But I just want this bitch to know that she can't undo all the damage that she's caused with just 'I'm sorry!' It's gonna take a hell of a lot more than that. A hell of a lot more.
Theo and Kayla's scenes represented everything that has made Days of Our Lives such a fantastic show for almost 60 years. Family and friends supporting one another used to be this show's backbone, which keeps viewers' eyes glued to their screens.
As for Paulina and Whitley, someone had to tell Whitley what she needed to hear. This isn't easily resolved with an apology, not when Whitley's behavior deeply hurt everyone who cared about Abe.
Hopefully, Whitley's trauma-induced psychosis won't become an excuse for her bad behavior, like Talia's choice to go along with Colin's manipulations.
In that scenario, Talia should have both been acknowledged as a victim and held accountable for her choices. Instead, she received a slap on the wrist for serious crimes because she was also an abuse survivor.
That shouldn't happen again here. Whitley may have convinced herself she was Paulina and lived in the world of Body & Soul instead of the real world, but she knew exactly what she was doing when she hired an actor to play Theo, drugged Abe, and kidnapped and tried to kill Lani.
Psychotic break or not, she should have to answer for those crimes, even if she legitimately thought Abe was her first husband or that she was Paulina by the time she tried to kill them both with that space heater. But Marlena's treatment of Whitley so far suggests she will testify that Whitley was too mentally ill to know what she was doing.
Will Whitley at least get sentenced to Bayview rather than her crimes being ignored because she was sick?
Only in Salem would a person be given back the faulty heater that killed her husband after the investigation into his death was over!
Also, will anything come of Talia giving Whitley a missing persons' flyer and Whitley responded by rambling about her nonexistent cats and generally acting weird?
Now that all is said and done, Talia should connect the dots and come forward. That scene felt like it should lead to something, but never did.
Lani's exit was emotional. She finally got her father back but had to return to prison before he fully recovered from his injuries.
That was, sadly, as realistic as it is heartbreaking, even though there's no way a former cop could be sailing through a prison term with no problems.
Prisons are notoriously bureaucratic organizations that depend on strict adherence to regulations; Lani was lucky she had a few minutes to say goodbye!
She's not my favorite character, but I felt for her when she had to tell Abe she had "obligations" without explaining that she was in prison and hoped to see him soon.
Being separated from her children is hard enough; now, she cannot know whether her father will remember her when she's finally allowed to see him again. In the little time they spent together,
Abe remembered that she tried to rescue him, not who she was, and if months go by without contact, that might not change.
As always, James Reynolds also did excellent work with Abe's confusion.
It's easy to forget what a powerful actor he is when he doesn't get good material. Sometimes, Abe has nothing to do but wander around Salem dispensing advice.
But this scenario, as unrealistic and silly as it was, gave him more meaty material. Amnesia stories are often an annoying soap trope, but this one offers Abe and his family the opportunity for solid drama.
Elsewhere, the baby and wedding dramas competed to see which one could be more ridiculous.
These DNA switch stories are never satisfying to people who like their soap to bear some resemblance to reality, and this was no exception.
Sloan got her hands on the DNA results by claiming she was Nicole and intimidating a nurse into handing over private medical information without verifying her ID.
She also didn't have to sign for it and was allowed to sit in an empty exam room reading it.
The hospital was engaging in numerous HIPAA violations there, as usual. And this plan doesn't make much sense.
Didn't Sloan think the real Nicole would ask for her test results sooner or later? Furthermore, doesn't Dr. Sorenson have the actual results? Even if she's out of the country, I'd think she'd call if the test results said that EJ was not the baby's biological father!
And when will Salem University Hospital join the 21st century and offer an online patient portal? Nicole and EJ should be able to check test results online instead of anyone having to run to the hospital to pick them up.
Sloan's fantasy of what would happen if Eric learned the truth was also ridiculous. Eric might be a judgmental ass in many ways, but I have no doubt he'd want to be there for the baby even if he decided he couldn't stand the sight of Sloan.
Realistically, he now has two kids being carried by two different women. Since he's not the polyamorous type, he can only be with the mother of one baby romantically and will spend time with the other one for the child's sake.
The drama over Dimitri's wedding is beginning to drag on.
EJ: Listen to me, nephew. I don't know exactly what is behind this whirlwind courtship or your ridiculously hasty decision to marry Gwen Rizczech, of all people, which I'm sure is going to end up in lots of tears and probably in a courtroom, but in any case, Stefan has reserved our family home for his wedding, so you're going to have to find another venue.
Dimitri: Uncle, I completely understand your concerns, and obviously it isn't an ideal situation, but I can't do that to Gwen.
EJ's right that this marriage will likely end up in divorce court, and Gwen has no reason to be so attached to a man she's known less than two weeks.
The worst part of this story is that it destroys Gwen and Leo's friendship. Leo looks like a selfish cad willing to throw away his relationship with Gwen for a few rolls in the sack with Dimitri.
All the straight men seem unable to resist women's advances on Days of Our Lives, so why should Leo be any different when it comes to the man he's attracted to? Still, it's horrible that he'd betray Gwen this way, especially since she's laying it on super thick about how great a friend he is.
But what's wrong with her that she believed that silly story about why Dimitri was naked? Leo's claim that Dimitri was trying on his suit made more sense -- who takes their clothes off because someone other than their partner is curious about what their body looks like?
The argument over who would get to use the Dimera living room for their wedding was also silly; these things should be planned in advance, and Gwen had supposedly already made arrangements.
The double wedding also brought out the worst in Jada. Jealousy is not a good look for her, and there's no reason for her to resent Eric having a baby with anybody.
Jada's reasons for having an abortion were valid, and people have mixed feelings about them, but her snide remarks about Nicole and jealousy of Sloan's pregnancy months later were uncalled for.
I'm also tired of the endless race to the bedroom. Jada should have worn a robe rather than a towel when she answered the door, and she and Rafe did not need to have sex when he was already dressed for the wedding!
Wendy and Tripp's scenes continued to be a lot of nothing, though Li and Melinda are another story.
Melinda is often a one-note character who cares more about winning in court than justice, but it's always fun when she gets a more human side. And she did what no one else could and put Alex in his place, including telling him to stop playing with those glasses!
I don't get how she and Li could ever be a couple, considering she is prosecuting him and interrogated him in the police station not that long ago. But at least their bad dates provided some comic relief.
Trask also discussed her love life with Sloan, which was an interesting choice. She and Sloan are two peas in a pod, but on opposite sides, and generally hate each other. But it was nice for Melinda to have a reason to engage in girl talk with someone!
The Melinda/Alex scenes were better than Alex's annoying neighbor routine. I'm with Stephanie -- there's no way he thought he was being neighborly by constantly interfering in Stephanie and Chad's lives.
But here's a pro tip for Chad: if you don't want Alex interfering, don't invite him to dinner in the hopes he'll say no! Sheesh.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts! And for even more Days of Our Lives chat, check back on Sunday for the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
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