Days of Our Lives Opinion: As Excellent as Mike Manning Is, Charlie’s Gotta Go — Here’s Why
For the love of Alice Horton, please do not redeem Charlie Dale.
Earlier this week, Soaps.com’s Charlie Mason suggested a way Days of Our Lives could be salvaging the character of rapist Charlie Dale. I’m here to beg the NBC soap opera to not let this happen.
My colleague makes the logical assumption that Days’ Charlie has a split personality, which will eventually redeem him, thus, allowing him to stay on the canvas. He argued that Charlie’s demeanor seems to change when he puts on his glasses, with the prop perhaps serving as an indicator that we’re dealing with two distinct personas inhabiting one body. This is, as my coworker established, a soap trope current Days of Our Lives headwriter has used with great success in the past.
However, just because it’s been done before and is being hinted at now doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea. It’s a well-worn trope for one thing. But the bigger issue is that Days of Our Lives really, really needs to stop redeeming their bad guys. There are too many episodes where every scene includes a redeemed rapist, murderer, or just general villain roaming the streets of Salem, falling in love, and being accepted into polite society.
We don’t need more.
Of course, some fans want Charlie redeemed because they like the character’s portrayer. I totally get that. Mike Manning is good. But I don’t want to watch his character evolve and find love after what he did to Allie. She shouldn’t have to either. Not only does it center Allie’s trauma on the perpetrator (which they are already doing), but it makes Claire, or whoever else he’d be romantically paired with, problematic for accepting his behavior — split personality or not. Sure, murderer Ben and eventual true love Ciara worked as a couple, as did rapist Jack and Jennifer, but it’s not a great message to send repeatedly, especially in this day and age.
Instead of redeeming Charlie, commenter Heidi Q. posed an interesting scenario: “Usually one personality doesn’t know what the other is doing…but [Charlie] knows. He may fake it which would make us hate him more.”
I might be able to get behind that should they go full villain with Charlie. However, a TV villain who is just generally out to destroy lives (ala Gwen) and a villain who commits rape are two very different things in my book. My suspension of disbelief only stretches so far.
Some fans have deemed Charlie too new to get the redemption arc, while others don’t like seeing the actions of bad characters excused. As commenter Terri L. urged, “Stop using rape and murder as some sort of joke. No big deal thing. Rape is rape, murder is murder. Nothing funny about either of these.”
It’s a message I wish Days of Our Lives would hear and take to heart.
Sometimes, villains should just be villains and then go away, no matter how good the actor portraying the bad guy happens to be. General Hospital wisely recognized evil cult leader and rapist Shiloh could not be salvaged so they killed off the character despite portrayer Coby Ryan McLaughlin’s fantastic work. Shiloh’s not presumed dead. He’s dead, dead. Not even Dr. Rolf could revive him. (It’s a soap so anything’s possible, but you know what I mean.) Days should take GH’s cue and follow suit. At the very least send Charlie to prison, never to be seen again.
As for Mike Manning, I say to Bold & Beautiful, General Hospital, and Young & Restless: capitalize on his charm, fan interest, and co-star affection. Snap him up for an unproblematic romance viewers can actually get behind.
What do you think Days should do with Charlie? Tell us below!
If you need a refresher on how many villains have been redeemed on Days, take a look at our gallery at just a few of them. Then, get your free daily soap-opera fix for Days of Our Lives — and all of the other daytime dramas — delivered straight to your email inbox by signing up for Soaps.com’s newsletter.