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Days of Our Lives Offered Glimpses of Promising Stories to Come, But As Satan’s Plans Reach Critical Mass, He’s All But Taken Over Once More

soapbox mashup ej belle ben alliedevil chanel tripp kissing jpi days

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (3)

The wedding fallout was nowhere to be seen as the devil came back full-force this week. Unfortunately, Satan’s force remains… underwhelming. The return of a couple baddies couldn’t quite elevate the hellish goings on, but there were still some glimmers of promising stories shining through.  

Talk About Over-Complicating Things…

Like much of the devil’s plot, I couldn’t help but feel like this week’s Andre/Evan stuff was just too convoluted. So the devil kept Ben alive to kill Johnny because Allie wouldn’t let Satan kill her beloved brother himself.

Thaao Penghlis, Robert Scott Wilson, Carson Boatman johnny andre ben jpi days

“Believe it or not, Ben, there is a dress code in hell. Neck ties are essential.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Fine. But when Ben refused to murder his crypt-mate, Andre first said he’d kill him, then decided to kill Johnny instead. Why didn’t he just do that to begin with? And the devil could have just killed Ben and left him for Ciara to find instead of breaking Evan out of prison and faking the whole thing.

Trying to make sense of it makes my head hurt — probably not as badly as poor Jake, though. It was strangely satisfying to see him get knocked out (again), but that’s just because at least whenever the devil attacks Jake, we get to see Satan as almost dangerous. Otherwise, it’s just monologues and empty threats.

At this point, Gwen has a higher body count than Satan. I think. It’s still not clear what’s happened with her confession to Abigail. It was pretty much a given after last week that we’d be seeing a lot more devil shenanigans, but to completely abandon the wedding fallout seems like such a huge missed opportunity. All that momentum was just ground to a screeching halt.

At least this chapter of the crypt saga has finally come to a close now that EJ and Susan rode in to the rescue. The question now is whether Ben will be able to reach Ciara in time to save her and their baby from the devil. He seems to be about the only one with any sense of urgency.

Friends or More?

Paulina is my hero for putting a stop to Chanel and Tripp’s drunken tryst. I was going to say something about these young folks’ tendency to just hop into bed to get over heartbreak, then I realized that’s more of a Salem problem than a youth problem… With that said, Tripp stopping by the next day with a hangover cure and an adult discussion about why it’s a good thing that they didn’t go through with their hookup was lovely. It seems pretty clear after their lunch where this pairing is heading, but now that Johnny’s free (of the crypt and the devil), things could definitely get interesting.

At the hospital, EJ leads Johnny off the elevator, as Chanel hugs Tripp. Days of Our Lives

If only Johnny wasn’t so weak, he’d be able to tell the difference between a post-sex hug and a friend hug.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

An Ugly Nightmare

Full disclosure: Paulina and TR’s story hits a little close to home. I noted as I was watching Monday’s episode that I was close to having a panic attack, and that wasn’t an exaggeration. Their kissing made me incredibly uncomfortable, and it just seems cruel to put Paulina back with her abuser. Plus, that balled up fist was terrifying, and not at all in a good way.

Jackee Harry, William Christian TR paulina jpi days

No. Just no. It should not be this easy to convince Paulina he’s harmless.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Yes, there is something to be said about that painfully confusing love a survivor can still feel towards a former abuser. It can, against all odds, be mixed in with the fear and the anger, even years after getting away. But that doesn’t mean someone like TR could work his way back into Paulina’s good graces. She is a powerful, smart, wise survivor who has spent decades in fear of this violent man. She may very well still have conflicting feelings about TR, but an abuser coming back into a survivor’s life is literally a nightmare.

Look, I’ve been critical of this story ever since that tone-deaf Valentine’s Day promo, but there is merit in telling grounded, emotional tales on soaps. It’s what makes daytime great. They resonate so much deeper than the fantastical. (Are you listening, Satan?)

Stories of abuse can open up important dialogue — and in a way, I suppose this is doing that — but the more real something is, the more carefully it has to be handled. Even though there’s no way this will last, it feels so disrespectful to have Paulina take TR back. Carefully crafting a tale of how someone can be drawn into an abusive relationship is one thing. Telling a story of a survivor reuniting with an abuser who hardly has to put in any effort to make it happen beyond showing back up in her life is another.

A Little Empathy Wouldn’t Hurt

OK, Belle, we need to have a talk. Enough with this “me, me, me.” It’s great that you acknowledged to Shawn that what Jan did was sexual assault but doubling down to use that to accuse him of not handling it properly is horrible. Not even Shawn saying he understood that Belle was horrified “just like me” slowed her down. She bowled right over the confused horror he must have felt after being tricked into sleeping with someone he hated and stormed out.

Brandon Beemer, Martha Madison, Heather Lindell shawn, belle, jan days jpi

“Oh, and she just couldn’t get bedrest anywhere but in our home? Sure, Jan.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Belle did have a point though, when she was griping to EJ that Shawn still falls for Jan’s machinations. Her motives are so utterly transparent and her reasons for getting released so flimsy, Shawn should have known better. She can get plenty of bedrest in prison. She’ll be fine.

I could enjoy this story more if Belle and Shawn weren’t being so frustrating… But I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t curious about how a Belle and EJ pairing might turn out. She’s so understanding and kind with him — which is completely the opposite of how she’s been with her own husband who, again, was raped.

A Slow Boil?

Eric made his rounds this week, mostly just saying hello to folks who stopped by. Other than admitting to Marlena that Nicole still makes his heart skip a beat and giving Belle good advice at a bad time, his return is very much a slow simmer. And I’m kind of OK with that. Hopefully that means the show is going to take its time building up the inevitable Eric/Nicole tension, which would make an eventual reunion all the more enjoyable. Well, to everyone but Rafe.

eric marlena days nbc

Eric’s welcome back tour had all the familiar faces.

Credit: NBC screenshot

Stray Thoughts

• I’ll admit that I laughed when, after EJ told Susan that Andre couldn’t possibly have forged a letter because he’s dead, she responded with, “OK, well maybe somebody forgot to tell him!”

• Johnny kept Andre from killing Ben by convincing his dead uncle he was about to off a “stone cold killer” right after Ben essentially sacrificed his own life rather than ever kill again. I’m so confused.

Victoria Konefal, Lindsay Arnold ciara allie alliedevil jpi days car

Never touch someone’s hair without their express permission. Even Satan should have boundaries.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

• I feel like I’ve never identified with anyone more than Ciara snapping at Allie to “Please stop that,” as the possessed woman started humming and stroking her hair. We’ve all been wanting to tell Satan that for ages.

• Is it just me, or does Jan’s baby seem more like it should be the antichrist, seeing as how it’s the product of good and evil and all that, but was actually conceived with the devil’s help? Maybe some questions are better left unasked.

Check out our then-and-now gallery of former General Hospital actors and spot some familiar Days of Our Lives faces.

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