Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (2)

The Internet is abuzz over what has got to be the year’s most unexpected feud.

It happened in as little time as it takes for a hand to fly through the air and land with a sting on a rival’s cheek: Days of Our Lives took Jennifer and Kate from trading barbs to exchanging blows, and made of the good girl and bad girl formidable new nemeses.

Reactions to the slapfest itself have been mixed. Some fans have called it classic soap; others, an outdated cliché. But no one can say that it hasn’t sparked a fascinating debate. Are we to side with Jennifer, whose husband Jack cheated on her while she was in a coma… or Kate, the other woman?

In theory, the answer to that question should be a no-brainer. Of course, our inclination should be to side with the wronged wife. There Jennifer was, lying helpless in a hospital bed, trapped in a prison of her own body, and where was her better half? Throwing back drinks at the Brady Pub and ultimately giving his favorite barmaid more than a tip.

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It’s not that simple, though. To us, anyway. To Jennifer’s kids, it’s as basic as right and wrong, saintly and sinful.

Certainly, Abigail is in her mother’s corner. Heck, that fact — combined with a dizzying mixture of alcohol, medication and Gwen’s mischief — is what prompted her to reveal her father’s tryst with Kate in the first place. Abby regrets her actions now but arguably for the wrong reasons.

jack confronts abigail Matthew Asford, Marci Miller"Days of our Lives" SetNBC StudiosBurbank09/21/20© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 13974U.S.Airdate 11/10/20

“I can still tell you’re making your #judgingyou face.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Instead of just being sorry for drunkenly airing her father’s dirty laundry in public, perhaps Abigail should be sorry that she didn’t stop for a moment to consider that Jack is human, and humans screw up. Of all people, Abby shouldn’t have to be told that, right? Not after she carried on with Sami’s man, EJ, and two-timed Ben with Chad. (And Ben hadn’t even been in a coma at the time!)

Abby’s brother, JJ, is solidly Team Jennifer, too. However, we can’t for the life of us figure out how he managed to get up on his high horse, considering how often and enthusiastically he cheated on ill-fated girlfriend Paige. With. Her. Mother. Maybe take it down a notch, huh, JJ?

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And heaven knows it’s easy to paint Kate as the homewrecker in this scenario. It’s easy to paint her as the homewrecker in any scenario. The ex-prostitute is a born man-eater and makes no apologies for her appetites. Why should she? She’s not answerable to Salem’s moral majority.

But in this case, Kate wasn’t out to seduce anyone, even the guy who wound up between her sheets. She’d just seen Jack, night after night, trying to drown his pain in drink after drink. She knew that he was hurting. She felt for him. It was compassion, not passion.

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That her empathy for Jack led them upstairs is almost irrelevant. Kate wanted to offer him comfort. The poor fella spent months at the hospital turning over his hourglass and praying for Jennifer to awaken, and never did he get any sign that she would. He was breaking, the poor thing. Kate reached out to him — in a way that they both ultimately regretted, but that was all it was. An act of kindness, a show of caring, a moment of connection.

days kate jack sleep together Matthew Asford, Lauren Koslow"Days of our Lives" SetNBC StudiosBurbank09/21/20© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 13973U.S.Airdate 11/09/20

“We’re not sleeping together so much as you and Jennifer are sleeping… apart.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

So we — and at least a few others in the audience — find ourselves siding with Kate. We understand why Jennifer would be shocked, upset, hurt. But Jack’s night with Kate really had nothing to do with his wife and everything to do with the loss that he was feeling. He was mourning a partner who, for all intents and purposes, was gone. If Jennifer put herself in his shoes for even a moment, we suspect she’d get it.

At least Kate’s secret lover, Jake, seems to understand. How about you? Do you see Jack’s evening with Kate as a big betrayal or an answered cry for help? Are you Team Jennifer or Team Kate? Answer in the comments below, and while you’re here, check out a brand-new photo gallery of soaps’ all-time greatest rivalries.