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Kate’s Sons Are a Mess on Days of Our Lives, and Jan Doesn’t Understand How Consent Works — Plus, Looking Back at the Highs and Lows of 2021

December 20 - 24

Photo collage of Philip in a hoodie, Shawn arresting Jan, MarDevil with blown out torches, and Lucas kidnapping Sami. Days of Our Lives

Jill Johnson/JPi

Days of Our Lives is seemingly starting to wrap up the MarDevil storyline, but there are zero stakes or consequences… unless one cryptic taunt comes to fruition. However, the bigger stories this week centered on Lucas and Philip, which seriously calls into question Kate’s parenting style. Let’s get to it…

Here We Go Again

Jan returned, which meant it was time to sexually assault Shawn again. She may have told MarDevil she didn’t want to force Shawn to have sex with her, but then she passed herself off as Belle in order to have sex with him. It doesn’t make it any less offensive to watch when Days of Our Lives tells us they know what they’re writing for their characters is abuse before they go ahead and write it. Especially when they play it for laughs or camp. How about, just don’t write it? Thankfully, her reign of terror didn’t last long, but what was that remark to Belle that they’re bonded for life? Will she reveal she’s pregnant, or return with a baby several months from now?

More: Daytime’s all time best villains, ranked

Belle opens the door to see Shawn in Bed with a blonde on Days of Our Lives

Beginning of the End?

John overpowering MarDevil feels like the beginning of the end of the storyline. While it has kept me entertained, it’s time. However, everything that happened this week felt so rushed. Ben and Ciara were at a safe house one day, and the next… home for Christmas. Jan posed as Belle, immediately revealed herself and was arrested. Tripp was put in a comatose Jan’s place and found moments later. MarDevil came for Ciara’s baby, was overpowered and everyone carried on with Christmas as if nothing happened. It was all very weird and, unless the Jan thing from above (which I really, really don’t want to happen) pans out, there has been zero fallout or consequence from this months-long storyline.

More: Rewatch Marlena’s very first levitation

Ben and Ciara hold each other in front of a burnt Christmas tree in Julie's living room. Days of Our Lives

Feeling No Sympathy

Philip lamenting how he can’t hold on to the people he loves explains his insecurity, but it does not excuse his recent behavior. Just like with rapist Charlie — who at the beginning of the year just wanted his mother to love him — I feel no sympathy. Had Philip just been your run-of-the-mill villain who tried to sabotage Brady through business or even something more personal, that would have been one thing, but he turned into an over-the-top madman.

It was surprisingly self-aware of him to admit to being a hypocrite for judging his father so harshly when he doesn’t even know his own biological son. While I originally thought only a brain tumor could course-correct Philip’s trajectory, maybe bringing back an adult Pocket, a.k.a. Tyler, to Salem could help Philip straighten himself out. Or at least give him something to focus on other than Chloe and Brady. Hopefully, whatever therapy Philip has gone off to undergo will do him some good. I know it will do me good to take a break from the character for a while.

Kate rests her hand on Philip's shoulder, as they talk in her Brady Pub room. Days of Our Lives

Oh, Lucas.

Lucas not calling the cops when he went to rescue Sami, and the guard “getting away” all makes sense now, but why does he have to be the kidnapper? And what was his ultimate plan for her? Unless the devil made him do it, Kate might want to reserve a space at Philip’s treatment facility for her other son, because Lucas might also need somewhere to go to redeem himself. I’ve enjoyed Lucas and Philip’s too few interactions the past few months, so I wouldn’t be opposed to a storyline of the brothers’ high jinx in therapy.

I enjoyed Sami’s kidnapper Jason when we first met him, so I was thrilled to see him turn up again. While I hate the kidnapping for love trope they’ve saddled Lucas with, I wouldn’t mind seeing him use Jason in more schemes in the future. And getting EJ arrested was a nice touch, but while I get that it added more drama to the moment, EJ suddenly wanting Samantha back felt unearned.

More: Alison Sweeney seeks true love on Hallmark

Lucas stands nearby, as Sami leans in to question Jason, who is tied up. Days of Our Lives

Thoughts on the Year in Salem

• Chanel and Paulina have been fantastic additions to the cast, and I hope they’re around for a good long time. Chanel marrying a DiMera is a good start to tying her to the canvas. I do love a good quickie wedding story on soaps and she and Johnny are adorable together. (Though according to Soap Opera Digest, their marriage could be over before it even starts.)

Finally recasting and bringing EJ back energized Salem, even if Sami working overtime to get her emotionally and verbally abusive husband back is troubling.

• As campy and ridiculous as it has been, the MarDevil storyline showed up just in time to pull Days out of a lot of lackluster storytelling. It had me excited about what was to come each week and that wasn’t always the case prior to it.

More: Is it time to bring Paulina’s ex to Salem?

Paulina cackles while opening a briefcase full of cash on A Very Salem Christmas

Days branching off into streaming was a fantastic move. Beyond Salem and A Very Salem Christmas, though not perfect, were well done and entertaining. Here’s hoping there’s more where that came from.

• The worst storylines of the year had to be Philip’s jealousy, Bonnie and Calista, and anything to do with Duke. Right?

• I get resting characters, but not in the middle of a storyline. Days had a huge habit of letting a week or two go by before getting back to a cliffhanger.

• All I want for Christmas on Days is the end of sexual assault, harassment and questionable consent storylines. Good soapy stories can be told without them.

In Julie's living room, MarDevil holds out two lit torches. John thrusts his hand at her, as Ben, Ciara and Julie cower behind the devil. Days of Our Lives

That’s all I got this time around. As always these are just my thoughts on the week in Salem. What are yours? Tell us in the comments after looking through our photo gallery of the best recasts in daytime ever. And also, if you celebrate, have a very Merry Christmas!

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