kate kayla dead in hospital beds jpi days
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (2)

So long, farewell?!

Well, it looks like Days of Our Lives has pulled off the impossible and killed two of its biggest vets in one fell stroke. Orpheus’ toxin returned with a vengeance, tore through its victims in record time and now Kate and Kayla are both well and truly dead… Ish.

The first time around with the story, we weren’t that worried. They wouldn’t really kill off Kate, Kayla or Marlena, we knew. If they did, we would know if a vet of their caliber was leaving the show. There just weren’t real stakes in putting these three characters in particular through that storyline.

But that, it turns out, wasn’t the whole story. There was more to come, and it looks like Days of Our Lives followed through with the threat of death twice over. Stories without stakes are pointless, so one way or another, deaths were inevitable. In short, Kate and Kayla had to die. Otherwise, why should we care about Orpheus’ silly revenge plot?

Steve twists a lock of Stephanie's wavy brown hair, while standing behind her at Kayla's bedside. Kayla lies with closed eyes and her head tilted to the side.

What’s more, Marlena is soon to join them! How do we know? Well, that winter preview gave it all away. The three of them end up in Heaven together — and encounter someone surprising. But in tipping off the fact that they were all going to die, it also made it clear that we shouldn’t really worry about it. And just like that, the stakes the show teased us with were gone.

We’re not sure exactly how the show will pull it off, but Days of Our Lives’ own teaser made it clear that we shouldn’t give up hope — especially after we just saw Bo return from heaven after being gone for years! Heck, the soon-to-be-three men mourning — Roman, Steve and John — have all been dead and come back.

Maybe this variation of the toxin doesn’t even kill its victims for real so much as put them in a kind of suspended animation that’s near enough to death to send them heavenward. After all, it’s different enough from the original toxin that it requires multiple doses of cure. And even if Kate, Kayla and Marlena are dead, maybe Dr. Rolf’s magical science will bring them back to life as it has with so many other Salemites.

Granted, there’s a chance the show could pull a surprise and kill one of them off for real. But if we’re being honest, that’s not something we actually believe. And that doesn’t mean that death would stick.

The show is trying to have its cake and eat it too, giving us pathos with death scenes, while we know they aren’t real ones. This isn’t Abigail’s murder with Marci Miller leaving the show. (And even with her, we won’t be surprised if one day, even if it’s years from now, Abigail comes back.)

Marlena weeps to John

More: Has Alex finally gone too far?

So, as phenomenally acted as these farewells have been, they can’t hide the fact that, at the end of the day, we just don’t believe they matter. That’s why this is a problem. And while we don’t want to lose any of these phenomenal actresses, if the show insists on writing stories with big threats only to pull back at the last second, it’s a problem that we just don’t see being fixed any time soon.

Catch up with who’s actually leaving and who has truly left with our Days of Our Lives exit photo gallery.