Salem favors not only kidnapping, but locking those abducted in cages.

There are many storyline tropes soap operas rely on: evil twins, characters coming back from the dead, who’s the daddy? Not only does “Days of our Lives” utilize these plot points, but this year they also seem to really enjoy going to the kidnapping well over and over again. They’ve done it 10 times in the past four months alone. Not only do they love kidnappings, but specifically, trapping characters in cages. With Nicole as the latest victim of such an abduction, thought it was the perfect time to look at what has become a rite of passage in Salem.

Nicole Walker:

Currently, Deimos Kiriakis has hired a back from the dead Xander Cook to kidnap Nicole Walker and her baby so Deimos could “rescue” her and win back her heart. That’s three clichéd twists in one storyline, but we digress. Xander locked Nicole in a cage, but quickly let her out to hold her baby and play cards with him, because, why not? During one respite from her confines, Nicole opened the door to find Eric Brady, who came to rescue her (trope number four and counting), yet get thrown in the cage before he and Nicole turned the tables on Xander and locked him in the cage!

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Belle, Sami, Julie, Kate, Bonnie, Mimi:

You could say these damsels in distress were held captive by a tiger. Or, the Salem Stalker. Or, more accurately, themselves. During an early 2004 circus themed fundraiser, the aforementioned tiger and Stalker, who turned out to be Marlena Evans (Gasp!), hunted the residents of Salem, leading the women to use the tiger’s cage for sanctuary. Unfortunately, the masked Stalker found them, causing a panicked Sami Brady to lock the cage door. To further defend themselves, Bonnie Lockhart used a DIY flamethrower to chase off the killer, but she created a new problem when her tossed away cigarette caused a fire. Luckily, Hope Brady, Doug Williams and a few shirtless hunks came to their rescue.

Shawn Douglas Brady:

By the end of 2004, Shawn Brady was embroiled in a love triangle with Belle Black and Philip Kiriakis when his mentally unstable ex, Jan Spears, returned to try and win him back. In doing so, Jan turned to Nicole Walker for help in building a cage (Karma’s a bitch ain’t it, Nic?) in which to hold a captive Shawn D. He eventually escaped Jan’s clutches, only to wind up in a memory altering motorcycle accident that left him feeling drawn to his captor. She used that to her advantage, convincing him they were in love, but Shawn eventually came to his senses and broke free of the craziness. As for Jan, when Mimi learned of her wrongdoings, the women got into an argument and Jan tripped and hit her head on a rock. She wound up in the hospital and hasn’t been seen since. Dare we mention that it’s another trope, characters falling, sometimes perishing after hitting their head on a rock?

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Marlena Evans:

No stranger to being kidnapped, Marlena found herself once again abducted in the late 90s. Her captor was none other than Stefano DiMera, who was determined to make her fall in love with him. So, he locked her in a cage underneath the streets of Paris, as any sane suitor would. A ball, Marie Antoinette’s crown, a guillotine and magic goggles were involved in the fantastical storyline that ended with John Black, Kristen Blake, Abe Carver, Lexi Carver, Vivian Alamain and Ivan Marais partaking in Marlena’s rescue. After an explosion, Stefano was presumed dead, but, as it was one of his defining character traits, he lived to rise from the ashes.

Hope Brady:

In 1990, Victor Kiriakis‘s frenemy Ernesto Toscano set out to destroy the good people of Salem during his “Cruise of Deception.” In addition to other fun shenanigans, the businessman locked Hope in a cage that hovered above a pool of acid. An explosion sent the cage careening into the deadly liquid, leading everyone to believe the fair Hope Brady had perished. How could she survive such a fate, after all? Through the magic of the trusty, yet overused, back from the dead soap opera trope, of course. The same could not be said for the presumed dead Ernesto.

What are your thoughts on the caged kidnappings on “Days of our Lives?” Do you enjoy the campiness, or is it time to retire the contrivance?

– Lori Wilson