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Deconstructing DOOL: Sweeps Compelling, Action-Packed and Exciting but Lacking in Payoffs

February 24 – 28

feb sweeps days of our lives

Image: NBC, Jill Johnson/JPI

Two weeks ago I focused Deconstructing DOOL not on what I like or dislike but on what some Days fans prefer to see, such as less campy outlandish storylines and more realism, consistent love, real-life problems. It sparked a lot of lively discussions and allowed the audience to be heard on a wider platform. If you missed out, last week I added to my ‘Only in Salem’ series, which showcases the eccentricities of what goes on in our favourite fictional town. February sweeps is winding down the action and compelling storylines and leaving some excited by the climaxes while some are disappointed at the lack of actual payoffs.  

Show me that backbone

Sonny laying the smackdown on Gabi for attempted murder was a highlight of the week. Sonny’s a sweet and mild-mannered guy which often translates as boring. It’s about time we saw his depth, feeling, and passion. After telling Gabs the painful truth about herself, he comforted her by holding her hands. That’s love. Later in the week, having been hit with confessions of secrets and lies, Sonny went off on another tirade with Maggie, Victor, and Xander which was exceedingly satisfying – and wretched. He had some of the best lines, like reminding Maggie that her son Daniel was killed by a drunk driver (Eric), which should have meant she knows better. I’m still not sold that she did this at all but if she got into that car drunk, it’s no accident. Since Maggie’s general state is one of weepiness, her carrying on took something from the depth of the story for some. At least she turned herself in but since she’s a Horton and married to Daddy Warbucks, will she do time? Vote in the Days poll: What should happen to Maggie?

There were a few satisfying payoffs though Sonny going straight to Evan instead of Statesville to see Will was a letdown. Will running off to Ben’s execution so soon after reuniting with Sonny meant we had no payoff with reunion sex. Lastly, Sarah forgiving Xander right away was ludicrous. These rushed endings never deliver and leave many feeling empty.

A heroine, a victim or a little of both?

Some would argue that Lani kept secrets from Eli for an entire year, and only came forth when she became jealous that he was boning Gabi and was about to marry her. Some argue that she’s not entirely blameless. She trusted JJ, not Eli with the truth, which should have had further-reaching ramifications for the couple. But a rushed reunion meant we missed another payoff. I used to love these two but it’s as if someone threw a bucket of cold water on my feelings for them after this. Though they were hot and heavy on the bed, I’d rather have waited to see this after Eli was angry with both women for a time and processed everything before an eventual thaw with Lani. Like Soaps.com’s Lori Wilson said, “There should be many scenes of them running into each other. Her pining, him struggling. We need the heartbreak to get to really appreciate the good stuff.”

Criminals don’t do time

Salemites rarely do time for their crimes but sometimes pay in other ways like getting reamed out by Sonny. This generally doesn’t upset me as a viewer, unless the Horton privilege comes up. Villains are expected to be terrible and if they’re behind bars, they can’t shake things up. Gabi was smart to exchange her bone marrow for her freedom, though I find it a joke that the new hardass DA agreed to it. It’s a great twist overall but is there another one? Is Mackenzie Gabi’s baby? There was that Gabi pregnancy rumour a while back that could have merit.

Rafe forgave Ciara fast after she bashed his skull in with a baseball bat in order to help Ben escape. The act was shocking and criminal. The man’s a cop. But desperation can drive you to places you didn’t know you could arrive at, especially where a loved one is concerned.

My Kate won’t do time for aiding and abetting Stefano. Kate never does time for any of her many crimes. Nothing new there!

A little horrific

Ben’s going down the same road Sami Brady did 21 years ago on death row. It’s sad and a little horrific. Ben’s last few hours were filled with emotion. I dug Clyde’s admission that he would have done things differently with his kids if he could have and that he loved Ben in his own twisted way. James Read really knows how to sell it. It was fitting having Marlena spend Ben’s last hour with him. Sadly, the story for Evan was lacking. Still, he’s keeping more secrets… Soaps.com’s Jennifer Kelly laughed that Salem’s child services can only mail letters. “You’d think if it was serious they would, you know, call?! Apparently it’s still 1990.” Yep.

Oddity: Where was David when Evan visited Sonny and learned he reunited with Will? Sonny really has the worst luck sometimes with guys. First Leo, now Evan!

Victor & Sarah’s large cajones

We collectively shook our heads and a strangled sound escaped our lips as Victor demanded Will stay in prison so Maggie could be free. He’s a hypocrite, but that’s classic Victor, protecting his family at all costs. It bothers me that Will was so understanding about this whole sham. I call B.S.

As for Sarah, she was hilarious this week, threatening to “wring Gabi’s scrawny neck” and rip out the bone marrow herself if Gabi didn’t do her bidding. She even asked Abe to hire a new DA who isn’t so law-abiding! A mother’s desperation, Horton privilege or both?!

Just a few of my thoughts on this week’s storylines. Feel free to join the discussion below.

Best lines:

Sonny to Gabi, “What are you gonna do. Download an app that makes the jury deaf?”

Sarah, “Either we convince the DA to change his mind or I go rip out Gabi’s bone marrow myself.” (Then she grabbed the scissors.)

Sonny, “How could you do this? How could you let me and Will think that he killed my mom? It tore my heart apart, and my marriage, his life, and my life. And you watched it happen. You did nothing, Uncle Vic. And you [Maggie]. How could you be this irresponsible when you lost a son to a drunk driver? Did you think of Daniel for one minute before you got behind the wheel?”
Gabi, “You’re being horrible.” Sonny, “I get to!”

Abe to Sarah, “The DA doesn’t like being told what to do. I can’t make any promises.”
Sarah to Abe, “Can’t you fire the current DA and get a new one?”
Abe, “Um that’d be unethical.”

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