Days of Our Lives Said Farewell to Lani and Eli and Prepared Us For ‘Cin’s Exit — Plus, The Twist We *Never* Saw Coming

lani eli twins ciara ben orpheus mashup jpi days

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (3)

Is the show in the middle of a time jump again? It almost feels like that with the number of plots that felt rushed or glossed over this week. At least between Lani and Eli’s farewell and Abigail’s family in mourning, there were some emotional beats that could still be hit. 

Until We Meet Again

I’ve been really enjoying Days of Our Lives recently, so I guess I was due for a “meh” week.

I loved seeing Paulina and Abe play hardball, but I don’t buy that Trask would back down that easily over the threat of losing the “court of public opinion” any more than I believe she’d have dropped Ava for Gwen.

Tears stream down Lani's face as she looks at Abe in the squad room

Lani was so touched, she was in tears. Also, Abe was standing on her foot.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

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Look, I know that Trask is supposed to be the hard-nosed, no-nonsense DA ready to take on anyone in her unyielding pursuit of justice, but mostly, I feel like her defining characteristic is that she serves whatever plot point is needed. I guess that’s a useful function for a soap DA to have, but I’d like to feel like there’s more consistency to her.

In fact, the whole Lani thing felt rushed. There was hardly any time to build dramatic tension. We went from confession to plea deal to leaving within a week. There was literally less than half a show of wondering if Trask was going to lock Lani up for as long as she could. The whole thing was bizarre, and then the reason why Eli had to leave too was just a random, 11th hour blindside.

The show had to have an idea that Sal Stowers and Lamon Archey decided to leave more than a week in advance. So why wasn’t this paced better?

With all that said, at least they got a proper sendoff in. Julie’s farewell to Eli (completely out of the blue as it was) was lovely, and Abe adopting Lani so he could officially be her father again was just what we all needed. Sometimes characters, even established ones (I’m looking at you, Hope. We found Ciara years ago, when are you coming back for good??) just leave town and that’s that.

So hooray for emotional farewells. Rushed or not, Friday’s farewell hit us right in the heart.

Murder One

With Lani dealt with, maybe now Trask can get back to Gwen instead of getting distracted by the next shiny crime. We know the Brit’s been sitting in jail, possibly coming and going as she pleases to murder Abigail, but there’s been zero word on what the DA’s been doing about her. Wait, never mind, Trask just got her hands on Kristen. Gwen’s going to be ignored some more.

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Actually, why do I get the sinking feeling Salem’s DA is going to inexplicably break character again and let Gwen go without fuss because of some detail in Abigail’s murder? “Yes, I arrested you because I decided you were the biggest fish to fry in Salem, but you helped catch Abigail’s murderer, so you’re free to go now!”

Speaking of which, I’m worried that Abigail’s murder is all but over too — another rush in what should have been a fun summer mystery. (OK, not so fun for Abigail.) Maybe Sarah is a red herring (please!), but if not, the show all but told us she did it after that knife attack on Chanel. Sarah and Xander are finally reunited and the only times we see them for weeks is when she’s threatening someone. That’s way too deliberate. Sigh.

At least Abby’s death brought JJ back? For however long he’s here.

Sail Away, Sail Away

Well, we know how Ben and Ciara are exiting now — on a boat. I get it, Bo and Hope did it with Shawn, Shawn did it with Claire, now it’s Ben and Ciara’s turn with little Bo. But they’re supporting themselves how? I didn’t think they were exactly rolling in money. Ben’s not exactly going to be fixing cars on a boat and Ciara… what does she do again? Something something Titan?

At Ben and Ciara's, Julie hands the couple a yellow box

The way neither Julie nor Ciara seem to want to touch that box makes me wonder if it’s radioactive.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

It is a great way to handle Konefal’s coming and going, but I feel like it’s also a great way to handle not knowing what the characters’ points are. Mostly, their stories seem to revolve around kidnappings, fake deaths and Satan. Maybe by the time they come back, the show will have figured out what to do with them.

I do like the name of their boat, though. “Living In Cin,” indeed.

Wait, Who’s Your Daddy?

So Orpheus is the mastermind behind Jan’s release. I’ll admit, not a twist I saw coming. Evan being her kid’s real daddy we should have seen, though. “Shawn Christian?” Ugh, it was right there in the name. Evan was born Christian Maddox.

Heather LIndell, Brandon Beemer, Susan Seaforth Hayes jan shawn julie days jpi

Just about the only thing missing from this scene was Jan being called a “trollop.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

I’m not sure what Orpheus’ endgame is, but I thought the whole deal from when EJ was in prison in the spring was that Clyde was supposed to be Milo’s man on the outside, not Jan. Ben’s dad might have his own agenda, but I feel like he’d be more reliable to work with Orpheus than someone as single-mindedly obsessed as Jan.

Eh, Orpheus has never been the most compelling villain for me. I’m not sure how much I care. And now that the baby doesn’t belong to anyone consequential, I’m ready to move on from him too. Sorry, baby Shawn Christian! The best part of this whole story was Julie staring down Jan and sniping at the conniver.

A Couple of Few Couples

As for Eric and Rafe, it was nice for the show to acknowledge exactly how invested we are in them… by having them marry off-screen without any warning. Eric’s reaction to them was the real event, so let’s just fast-forward to the annulment already.

Galen Gering, Arianna Zuker, Greg Vaughan rafe nicole eric days jpi

Nicole’s face just screams, “I can’t believe I did this any more than the rest you.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Even Lucas’ proposal to Sami felt rushed because we haven’t seen them reconnect at all onscreen. They came back together, left for months, now they’re back and we’re suddenly supposed to believe Sami’s fallen back in love enough to remarry Lucas. It’s not really playing that way for me, but maybe that’s the point. Lucas, I get trying to rush it… I guess? It’s panic of some kind. But Sami seems mildly interested in him at best because we just haven’t seen it.

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EJ and Belle, on the other hand, have been a great slow burn, culminating in them finally hopping into bed — after admitting a good chunk of their attraction is based on petty vengefulness. But at least their night of passion felt like payoff.

Stray Thoughts

• I didn’t get into Abigail’s family mourning much this week, but those scenes continue to excel. There are so many sad, quiet touches, not even just from the acting, but the directing and editing. Take the closeup of Jennifer slowly zipping up the garment bag with Abigail’s dress in it, for instance. It was solemn and mournful.

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Jennifer and Jack tried to comfort Chad as best they could after he slammed his hand in the car door.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

• Julie’s sniping at Jan was perfection. Walking in on Shawn unburdening to Jan about Belle: “You were too busy sharing about your wife with this prison pinup.” Replying to Jan complaining about not getting her own boat after having a kid: “The Titanic would be appropriate.”

• Have the writers been spying on me and my complaints of not seeing people for sometimes a week on-end? I loved Ben’s crack about how it seemed like Ciara had been on the phone with Hope for days. She had been, thanks to how the show’s paced.

• The twins have been annoying me, but Theo had a point. Chanel does seem to be relishing having them fight over her a bit. I still say she should choose neither and move on.

Check out our photo gallery of the best and worse soap moments of 2022… so far! There’s plenty of Salem shenanigans!