Deidre Hall marlena phone office "Days of our Lives" SetNBC StudiosBurbank07/30/18© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 13521U.S.Airdate 01/30/19
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Is there anything that Dr. Marlena Evans can’t do? Let’s find out as we float an idea that would salvage a badly damaged character and solidify a disastrously fractured family.

From the start, the deck was stacked against Days of Our Lives’ Gwen. She was a new character taking screen time away from familiar ones. She was messing with familiar characters in upsetting ways. (No one can say that Abigail didn’t have enough problems without being drugged!) And ultimately, she dropped an atomic bomb on a supercouple’s marriage and brought about the death of a legacy character (RIP, Laura).

More: Why Laura should never have been killed off

days gwen laura

“Don’t do it, crumpet; you’ll never live it down!”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

But here’s the thing: Emily O’Brien, who plays Gwen, is freaking terrific. She’s like a shot of adrenaline to every scene she’s in. And now that the conniver she plays has been revealed to have family ties in Salem, they need to be explored, not snipped. Otherwise, all of that deck-stacking was for naught.

How to do it, though, when viewers dislike Gwen so much?

More: Is Charlie’s killer among our suspects? [PHOTOS]

The answer doesn’t require Dr. Rolf to swap out her essence for someone else’s. It doesn’t even require her to donate a kidney to save Chad’s life. It just requires a few sessions with Marlena.

Marlena smiles talking on her phone on Days of Our Lives

“Sure, yes, I have experience with sibling rivals. Did you ever meet my late sister?”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Picture it: Salem’s resident shrink sits down the estranged sisters and challenges Abigail to put herself in Gwen’s shoes. How would she feel if she knew that someone else was being raised by loving parents while she herself suffered through no fault of her own? What would that knowledge do to a child as she grew up? Would she be angry? Resentful? Full of hatred that she felt she had a right to unleash?

Watch: Daytime’s Best Rivalries

We know — that’s giving Gwen a free pass on a lot of horrific behavior. But remember, she was warped by the lie Laura told that changed the course of her whole life. And we aren’t letting her get off scot-free, not really. Because next, Marlena would challenge Gwen to put herself in Abigail’s shoes. Imagine being led to believe that this stranger was her friend, then stabbed mercilessly in the back. And why? Not because of anything Abigail had done but because of something her father (supposedly) had.

days abigail slugs gwen JJ

No, no… this is not slap therapy.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

The anguish that would cause Gwen might be almost as awful as her years spent believing that Jack had wanted nothing to do with her. Finally, both she and Abigail would be forced to view one another through new, more compassionate eyes. At the same time, viewers might see Gwen in a more sympathetic light — which owing to our admiration for O’Brien’s stellar work, we sure hope they will.

More: Days leading man’s touching goodbye to his mom

days abigail gwen marlena jj mashup

“This is going to be harder than I expected,” thought Marlena. Aloud. To a portrait.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (3)

What do you think? Can your POV on Gwen be shifted along with Abigail’s? On your way to the comments, stop off at the below photo gallery, one to which we suspect we’ll soon instead have to add Abby and Gwen — it’s a countdown of daytime’s most formidable rivals.