Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (4), Peacock

Here’s the thing about cake: You can’t both have and eat it.

Days of Our Lives took Ben “the Necktie Killer” Weston, had him work on his mental health and transformed him into one of the show’s most popular romantic leads. It was a miraculous feat, but the show pulled it off. So why, we ask, is it writing Jan as if she’s patently irredeemable?

The powers that be can’t, on one hand, demonstrate for us the curative powers of therapy on characters like Ben and Claire, then treat Jan as if she’s Michael Myers, the living embodiment of evil incarnate. The double standard would be so great that we’d have to wonder whether the writers’ room has been possessed.

At Shawn and Belle's place, Ben glares at a pregnant Jan.

You’re judging me? Like… for real?”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

So what we suspect — and hope — is that the soap is pulling a fast one and having Jan become one of Marlena’s patients for all the wrong reasons, only to actually find herself ultimately benefitting from treatment. Were that to happen, we wouldn’t have a spoiler in Shawn and Belle’s relationship that’s a cartoonish villain but an unlikely but viable option for Bo and Hope’s son.

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Plus, think of all the story that would be spun out from such a twist. As Ben and Claire found, Jan would discover that her past is pretty impossible to outrun in Salem. She and Shawn might grow closer as she turned the other cheek so often that she ran out of face. She wants to do better, to be better, but at the same time, she can’t say that she doesn’t understand why everyone would be skeptical (at best!).

Marlena excitedly presses a remote control. She lounges on her couch, with a blanket over her legs. Days of Our Lives

“I can’t wait to see if I pull this off!”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

If Days of Our Lives doesn’t go that route, what message is it sending viewers? “You and you and you can be helped. But you? Mm-mm, no. You’re nuttier than a jar of Planter’s and always will be.”

What do you think? Are we crazier than Jan to imagine that if Ben and Claire can be redeemed, so can she?

Check out Days of Our Lives’ 2022 cast portraits collection in the below photo gallery.