Salem’s newest love triangle is starting to divide viewers.

The Chad DiMera, Abigail Deveraux, and Gabi Hernandez love triangle is heating up on “Days of our Lives” with Chad unable to move past his feelings for Gabi, and Abby receiving love declarations of her own from Gabi’s brother, Dario Hernandez. As we wait to see how it all plays out, examines both couples’ pasts and speculates on how the triangle might play out in the end.

Chad and Gabi: Then and Now

Episode # 11764Chad DiMera and Gabi Hernandez’s connection began at Salem High with Gabriela Rodriguez and Casey Deidrick in the roles. Gabi and Chad had a spark, but that was quickly defused by jealous Mia McCormick. They both moved on, Chad with Melanie Jonas and Gabi with Will Horton. After she and Will broke up, Gabi became fixated on Chad, but he only had eyes for Melanie. To turn his attention away from Melanie and toward her, Gabi hired Countess Wilhelmina photographer, Andrew, to pretend “stalk” her. It worked for a while and Chad reacted by being gallant toward her until the scheme went horribly wrong and was exposed. After that, they were never friendly again. Camila Banus replaced Rodriguez and a few years later, Deidrick followed with Billy Flynn taking over the role of Chad.

Chad eventually married Abigail Deveraux. After Abby faked her own death, he and Gabi became unexpectedly close again. Chad hired Gabi as his image consultant and through working together, their friendship and connection was reestablished. Gabi even helped Chad land a big businessEpisode # 12970 deal for DiMera, and her and daughter Arianna proved good company for the lonely widower and his son, Thomas. Eventually Chad found himself falling for Gabi and she for him. They were just getting comfortable with their revived feelings when Abby returned from faking her own death. Despite recommitting to his wife, Chad couldn’t shake his feelings for Gabi. When trapped by Deimos in a storage unit, Chad and Gabi, thinking they were about to die, professed their love for one another.

More: Vote for your soap favorites in the 11th annual Sudzies

Chad and Abby: Then and Now

"Days of our Lives" Set WeddingThey began as good friends, but Abigail, as a Horton, always struggled with the fact that Chad was a DiMera. Once she overcame her judgment, they began dating, but this came to a halt when Chad wound up accidentally kissing her friend Melanie Jonas at a Halloween dance. Things went from bad to worse, with Abby developing feelings for her temporary University professor, much older and married, Austin Reed. She and Chad broke up and he moved on with Melanie.

After Melanie and Chad imploded following the Gabi stalker plot, Chad drifted back into Abigail’s orbit. She was interested in Cameron Davis at the time, but drawn to Chad. To sway Abby into choosing him, Chad faked a brain tumor, which drew Abigail in. Episode # 13067She and Chad had a brief, happy relationship until she found out he lied about the tumour. They broke up and Chad departed Salem for Chicago. When he returned the character was portrayed by Billy Flynn and he and Kate Mansi embarked on their journey to super couple gold. From their very first scene, the intensity displayed in these characters’ simplest interactions transfixed viewers.

Chad realized he still had feelings for Abby, but though she was drawn to him, she professed to be in love with new boyfriend Ben Weston, and they gave into their attraction one night and made love in the DiMera garden. When Abby finally came around, she realized she was pregnant. The baby was Chad’s, but malevolent Clyde Weston changed the results to make it look like Ben fathered her child. Ben became deranged, especially when he discovered Abby had cheated. He kidnapped Abby after she discovered he was the ‘Necktie Killer’. Chad eventually rescued her and the two began their life together with their baby Thomas, and married. But Abigail was traumatized from the kidnapping, became emotionally unstable, and was admitted to the Shady Hills psych ward. To escape from seeing visions of Ben, she set fire to the ward and took off, faking her own death with Andre DiMera’s help. When Abby returned from the dead, Chad was elated, then angry and felt betrayed. He had trouble moving past how she had faked her death. This combined with his feelings for Gabi has led to a less than an ideal reunion.

More: Kate Mansi’s 44th Annual Daytime Emmy reel

The Verdict

Chad and Gabi are smoking hot, have history, share a special connection and spark, plus, they’ve a lot in common and since Gabi has her own skeletons in her closet, she doesn’t judge Chad for being a DiMera. Their love seems rushed though and given Chad’s enduring love and loyalty for Abigail, it even seems a little out of place. However, given that it happened after Abby was thought to be dead, Chad finally let Abigail go and allowed himself to be open to loving another woman. Since Chad and Gabi already had a connection and a past, it could have been easier for him to fall for Gabi. No matter how hard Chad has tried to focus on his marriage, he and Gabi have not gotten each other out of their systems. Viewers can sense this through their easy chemistry and natural dialogue, but the writers seem to think they need more convincing of this by showing unnecessary faux flashbacks from their days of Salem High.

Billy Flynn and Kate Mansi originated “Chabby.” The actors poured emotion into their scenes and the result was a super couple magic blend of compelling chemistry, heart stopping scenes and an emotionally charged love. Chad and nu-Abigail may not share that same passion, but viewers enjoy their deep and abiding love, rich history, and that they’re connected through a child together. Some viewers are having difficulty accepting Marci Miller as Abigail. It’s not easy on any actor to fill the shoes of a beloved character. Episode # 13043It’s a shame to watch a legendary couple die an agonizing soap death and hard to force a super couple vibe where the chemistry is lacking. Ken Corday’s been proclaiming that Chad and Abby are “end game,” but considering the show has a new head writer in Ron Carlivati coming, could things turn around for Chad and Abigail and will he write them so that viewers who haven’t invested in them give them a chance? We can’t help but notice that nu-Abby has a lot of chemistry with hunky Dario. If Chad and Abigail don’t work out, will we at least get to see how things play out with Dario?

More: James Lastovic’s 44th Annual Daytime Emmy reel

What are your thoughts on Chabby vs. Chabi? Are Chad and Abigail really still end game or are you rooting for Chad and Gabi to have a future?

[poll id=”1276″]

Follow on Twitter and on Facebook, and on Instagram.

Photo credit: Howard Wise, Jill Johnson, Paul Skipper/JPI

– Jennifer Kelly