Xander and Sarah’s Wedding Gets Derailed *Again* Just as a Slew of Baddies Descend on Salem… Again

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Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (4)

This week feels like the perfect example of the law of diminishing returns with yet another thwarted wedding, plus a prison break in everything but the name. And while there’s been plenty of talk about love, it feels like forever since we’ve actually seen it! 

Pardon Me?

Do governors usually broadcast pardons as publicly as they can? It seems that most of the time, they’re quiet affairs so they can try to avoid the blowback. Being blackmailed into pardoning five notorious criminals isn’t something you’d want to make sure everyone was aware of as you did it, is it? Actually, all that pardon stuff was just too deus ex machina for me. It’s essentially just another take on a prison break story.

Stacey Haiduk, Richard Wharton, Emily O Brien jana kristen rolf jpi days

Gwen patiently waited her turn to take on the winner of the blinking contest.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Most of the recipients are kind of ridiculous, but I wasn’t too upset about Kristen getting out. She was just locked up, but DiMeras always get out of these messes anyway. Same with Rolf, he just comes back over and over again. I am a bit curious as to what she wants with him. I do have one idea… but for now I’m going to keep it to myself. The other two — whatever. Do your villain thing, get thrown back into prison and/or killed.

I will, however, grudgingly admit, that whole rogues’ gallery scene with them walking out was kind of cool.

More: Brush up on Alex Kiriakis before he returns

But I’m here thinking of all the ways that Gwen can get out of her own mess, then Orpheus (unwittingly) drops a pardon bomb on everyone. As Kristen said, “This must be how Oprah feels. You get a pardon, you get a pardon. Everybody gets a pardon!” Amusing, but frustrating. I guess that’s why we haven’t seen much of Gwen’s actual legal troubles. It wasn’t necessary since she was just getting her charges tossed out the window.

But her getting out just as Sarah and Xander’s wedding fell apart was, I guess, too much of an opportunity to pass up. Leo may be a creep, but it didn’t look like he was wrong in pointing out that Xander can’t just turn his feelings off for Gwen.

Where’s the Love?

Since we’re on the topic, I feel like the show just spent months squandering the “Xarah” reunion. We should have been excited about their wedding. It should have been this big event that we built up to. They’ve been separated for so long and their love has been thwarted for so long. This should have been even grander and more romantic than Xander and Gwen’s! Instead, after hardly seeing them since Sarah’s return, they decided to get married within hours of discussing it and just had a tiny ceremony with Maggie.

Brandon Barash, Tamara Braun"Days of our Lives" SetNBC StudiosBurbank2/03/22© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 14383U.S.Airdate 07/22/22

“Jake, when I said we should grab some wine to Netflix and chill, I was really hoping there’d be a TV involved.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Now maybe, since the plan had always been to have Sarah brought in at the ceremony, they didn’t want to do what would essentially be a repeat of Gwen and Xander’s wedding with a big ceremony stopped at the last minute. And maybe they’re planning to make it an actual grand event down the line. But I’m just not sure.

Lately, the show’s had a serious problem showing couples together and in love. At least with “Xarah,” we believed they were in love because of what came before. Others, though…

We got back to Ava and Jake this week and saw them living in all-but domestic bliss. And all I can say is, wait, what? When did they get so cozy? (Also, don’t get too comfy, we’re pretty sure Jake isn’t long for this world…) I know I was on vacation for a week, but I couldn’t have missed that much. Jake then talked about Gabi and Li’s lovefest which, well, we haven’t really seen much either. Those who watched Beyond Salem did get a bit of it, and back when Abigail died, we got a sweet scene between the two, but otherwise, they’ve mostly been offscreen building their relationship.

It’s the same problem I had with Sami and Lucas last week. They aren’t showing these relationships develop so we’ve got no investment in them. With Sami, at least we knew it was because of Alison Sweeney’s availability, but with all the other couples, it just feels lazy.

But Who Really Did It?

The way EJ handled learning about Chad’s role in framing him was… chilling. He remained so calm as he tortured his brother with the idea that he might have been responsible for his own wife’s death. Just an offhanded little remark to gut him enough that he’d have no fight in him when EJ came for his stakes in DiMera. It was so far beyond cruel, it even hurt me, but it was also masterful. EJ really is his father’s son.

Lauren Koslow, Dan Feuerriegel, Billy Flynn chad kate ej jpi days

“Wow, you’re right, Chad. If you squint just right and tilt your head to the side he does look like Stefano! Wait, no, I meant Stevano, the cheap knockoff.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

But it’s clear now that Lucas didn’t kill Abigail, so maybe Chad will regain a bit of his spine with EJ. And since Sarah’s been called in as the prime suspect before we’ve gotten to the truth of the matter, I doubt it’s her. It has to be someone completely out of left field at this point, unless it really was Gwen or Leo. I just can’t see that, though.

But I can see Leo being taken out by a ticked off Clyde. And a side note while we’re on the topic, please stop swooning over a man you now know is a criminal, Nancy! You can do better!

Talk It Out

I loved that Belle and Shawn finally talked about things like adults and both admitted fault. But we can’t have things go too well, or you’ll end up with a lackluster story like Chloe and Brady have. I guess that’s why they needed another wrench thrown into things with Evan showing up on their doorstep. But there’s been so little consistency with him, he just feels more like a plot point. He’s gone from breaking out of prison to knowingly work with Satan to wanting to be a responsible, doting dad. It’s just weird.

I’m kind of hoping/expecting Belle and Shawn to end up raising Evan and Jan’s kid anyway. They could give the tot a chance at a better life or something like that, all while wondering if he’s going to end up troubled down the line like his parents. This I can enjoy more than that Jan nonsense — though I won’t count on her not coming back before the baby drama is resolved.

Stray Thoughts

Maybe, Rafe, if you don’t want Chad storming down to the station every time there’s a new development, you shouldn’t call him with every possible lead you have. Just a thought.

Lindsay Arnold, Carson Boatman, Raven Bowens johnny chanel allie days jpi

Technically, this photo is from a month ago. But it doesn’t really matter because it’s just the same scene over and over again. 

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

• How many times have we been here with Allie, Johnny and Chanel? “You have to choose!” “But I can’t!” “But you must!” “OK, but not right now!” “Oh, OK, that’s fine, then. Besties forever?” I didn’t hate seeing Allie punch her brother, though. Sorry, Johnny, but you’ve both been such brats, that was just a tad satisfying.

• Abe as governor? Sure, if anyone deserves the role, it’s him, but where would this story go?

• “We should be celebrating with champagne and cake… and lots and lots of newlywed sex.” There’s our Xander!

• Does Rolf just have a key to the DiMera mansion, or do they not lock their door? People do seem to have a habit of just wandering in while the DiMeras hang out in the living room.

Take a look at our gallery of photo shoot hijinks and outtakes of actors from all your favorite soaps!


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