Marlena Lucas EJ Sami mashup jpi days
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (4)

There’s only one way out of this mess.

Let’s face it. Days of Our Lives has a problem. And it’s a big one. Well, actually it has a couple problems, and they’ve both been highlighted with the current non-deaths of Kate, Kayla and Marlena.

The first problem, of course, is that death has become utterly meaningless in Salem. No viewer buys it when someone dies anymore, and once the ladies come back, it seems like no character should believe it either.

But the other problem that’s been highlighted is of an entirely different nature and it’s a giant legacy character shaped void in the show. Because through all of this, Sami was nowhere to be seen, and barely anywhere to even be mentioned.

Alison Sweeney, Deidre Hall marlena sami jpi days

Maybe she’ll return when Marlena isn’t dead?

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

When Kayla passed, she “died” so quickly that Tripp and Joey couldn’t make it home in time and Stephanie couldn’t even be contacted in time. But the boys still came back after to be there for their family. And, you know, attend the funeral.

Rex was around for Kate, Lucas was brought back in prison for his mom’s death, and even Philip was mentioned at great length. Heck, Rex went out to talk to him.

Marlena held on longer than any of them, yet Sami still didn’t make it home. And yes, the funeral happened offscreen, but still, no Sami. We all know Marlena isn’t dead, but no one else in town does. Sami certainly doesn’t (unless she’s in cahoots with the DiMera holding her mom captive). So at this point, Sami couldn’t even make it back for her mom’s death.

And that’s a problem. Her mom died, her dad’s wife died, her aunt died, both her son’s grandmothers died and we got nothing from her. The same can be said about folks like Austin, Billie and Carrie, but Sami is a character inextricably linked to so much of the very fabric of Days of Our Lives. She comes back from time to time, but while her returns keep her tied more deeply to the canvas than other characters, they don’t give us much else.

Her last return gave us a Sami/Lucas reunion and love story… without the story. It happened almost entirely offscreen, so when Lucas’ betrayal came out at the wedding and Sami ran off, we felt almost nothing.

Flanked by Roman and Eric, an emotional Sami clasps a stonefaced Lucas's shoulder at the church

“It can’t be true! I love Lucas so much! we shared so many wonderful, intimate moments! In another country. Away from the cameras.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

The show’s offered flimsy excuses here and there as to why she’s not around and, to be fair, at her last exit, she said she’d never set foot in Salem again… but if that’s the case, why didn’t the show just kill her?

The fact that Sami’s out there and not returning for the most devastating times is virtually impossible to justify at this point.

And this is not at all a knock on Alison Sweeney. She is always a joy to watch in her Hallmark fare and every moment she brings Hurricane Sami back to Salem. But if she can’t make it back to Days of Our Lives for more than a quick stint here and there (and that doesn’t always coincide with major emotional moments for other characters), then something has to be done.

So why not kill her off? Invite Sweeney back for an epic sendoff. Maybe even send her out with a murder mystery that would make Hannah Swensen proud. We all know Sami’s ticked off enough folks over the years. EJ could be both a heartbroken ex and a suspect. And Nicole? Her reaction would be fascinating to watch.

In his bedroom, a shirtless EJ grabs an irate Sami

Killer or mourner? That could be tough to decide for EJ.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

More: The show’s next return from the dead is…

Sami’s loss would be devastating for so much of Salem. She could go out in a blaze of glory, a hurricane that upends the town for years to come and gives us so many emotional beats to play off of.

And make it permanent. Make death mean something again. If there was ever a character to do it with, it would be Sami. They couldn’t bring her back with the flip of the switch, since Sweeney would be busy with other projects.

It would bring the show back down to earth, give Sami an actual reason for not being around and if Alison Sweeney is free to return for appearances here and there, she could always pop in as say EJ or Johnny’s conscience, much like John Abbott did for years over on The Young and the Restless.

What do you think? Is it time to say farewell to Sami for good? Or should they just recast her? Would you accept anyone but Alison Sweeney in the role that she originated 30 years ago this past January?

Look back on Sami’s life and all her loves in our photo gallery covering her first moment in Salem to her last!