From Stefan’s First Contact to Orpheus’ Big Move, Find Out What’s Working and What’s Not Before Days of Our Lives Moves to Peacock

nicole eric stefan ava orpheus kayla marlena jpi nbc days

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI, NBC screenshot (2)

As we gear up for the NBC to Peacock jump (it’s just two weeks away!), it seemed like a good chance to take a look at what’s working and what’s not right now on the show. From Alex’s womanizing to Gwen and Leo’s backstabbing, this week was the perfect mix of stories to take a deep dive into Salem. 

Working: Stefan’s Rebirth

Look, we all saw the Jake/Stefan switch coming from a mile away, but as ridiculous as return-from-the-dead stories are, I’m a sucker for the soapiness of it all as they try to reclaim their lives. Stefan’s escape and return to the mansion was perfect. I loved the tension as Ava spotted him and mistook him for Jake, while Stefan was desperate to get past this stranger and find his wife — who was just one room away!

ava passed out stefan nbc days

“Sleeping on the job… The hired help has really gone to hell since I’ve been gone.”

Credit: NBC screenshot

More: Show boss explains the big move to Peacock

Then Li swooped in and removed Stefan before more damage could be done, and now we’re back to waiting to find out how well Dr. Rolf’s love-washing of his patient to fall for Chloe instead of Gabi works. Will he overcome his programming? Will he seduce Chloe and give Kristen her chance to move in on Brady? Will Li be able to maintain his grip on Gabi? Will she and Ava expose the whole scheme? I’m here for all these questions. Stefan was always a stronger character than Jake.

That’s not to say it’s perfect, though. It’s super sci-fi and still early enough that it could veer off into strange waters. Plus, Gabi’s too smart to fall for Li’s half-baked, awkward explanations as she keeps catching him in compromising situations. And I know this is a very common soap trope, but it drives me crazy every time someone wakes from a coma and just starts walking around. Li pointing out that Stefan shouldn’t have been able to overpower Dr. Rolf since he was a vegetable for four years was on point, but no, he was even strong enough to catch Ava as she fainted in his arms.

Not Working: Alex’s Womanizing

Robert Scott Wilson has done an amazing job of jumping from one well-established character right into a brand new one, but Alex is a tough character to warm up to.

In the Kiriakis mansion, A shirtless Alex and scantily clad Sloan gravely look offscreen

“What do you mean, I make people uncomfortable? It doesn’t get much more comfortable than this!”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

He’s so over the top, there are times I feel like the playboy act is just that, an act. Even he couldn’t be that full of himself to think telling Sloan to drop her client in order to keep sleeping with him was reasonable. But then he’s just as out there trying to win over Stephanie. He may just genuinely be a cretin.

Her reaction was understandable, though it was still being played as too cutesy. Stephanie made clear time and again that Alex was making her very uncomfortable (heck, he was making me uncomfortable) and he just kept plowing forward aggressively hitting on this complete stranger. Alex seems like the type of person who “love bombs” to try to impose their feelings on someone, which is a huge and dangerous red flag.

And why is Sonny so determined to act like Alex’s dad and push him to settle down? If they want someone to do that, how about Justin, who’s been down this road himself? Yeah, Sonny’s married and all, but having your little brother tsk tsk you for sleeping around just feels silly. It’s a waste of an opportunity to give Justin at least a little something to do. Let Sonny and Alex fight over the corporate stuff.

Working: Abigail’s Murder Fallout

I’m sure if it drags on too long, we’ll get a bit tired of Chad being sad and lonely, but for now, the melancholy that hangs over him in all his interactions is both understandable and relatable. And it’s an impressive bit of acting. Chad is a man deeply hurting after losing the love of his life, and it’s settled in to his being in everything from his talks with Sonny to his encounter with Stephanie.

In the interrogation room, Trask stands next to a sitting Leo. They glare across the table at Gwen

“You two just sit in here and think about what you’ve done.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

The mystery has, as I’ve noted before, genuinely entertained me, as we’ve wound through explanations as to why each suspect didn’t do it. Now we’re down to Gwen and Leo in custody together, ready to go down clawing each other to pieces, even as both seem to be genuinely innocent. (Of murder, not of heinous acts.)

But then we ended the week with Trask putting Gwen and Leo in the same room to fight it out, which seems like an odd legal move. Eh, what do I know? I’m no prosecutor. Sure, give the two former friends time to hash things out and figure out that someone else killed Abigail instead of letting them stew separately. Sloan did more to salvage Trask’s plan than the prosecutor herself. Good thing she has a complete worm for a client.

Not Working: Orpheus’ “Master Plan”

Really? All that build up and Orpheus’ big plan after orchestrating his (and half of Statesville’s inmates) pardon was to spend less than a day eavesdropping on Kayla and Steve, then kidnap her and Marlena? Brilliant criminal mastermind there. What was the point?

orpheus marlena kayla thugs nbc days

If looks could kill, Kayla would have just murdered this entire plotline right then and there.

Credit: NBC screenshot

Also, this is the 21st century. Days of Our Lives is about to be the first soap to go digital. Enough with the damsels in distress and the big strong men having to protect/save them. Orpheus should have kidnapped John and Steve, only for Kayla, Marlena and even Stephanie to jump in to save them.

But I did love how Marlena stepped forward, put herself between Kayla and Orpheus and stared the villain down, gun in her face and all. Neither woman are strangers to danger, but Marlena’s still protective as all hell. And I appreciated both ladies working together flawlessly to take Orpheus down, even if they did run into his goons before they could escape.

Mixed Bag: Love Triangles & Quadrangles

As Gabi put it after watching Ava and EJ go at it, “There’s a very fine line between love and hate, especially when it comes to the DiMeras.” We’re clearly being set up for a Johnny/Ava/EJ triangle here, which could be a total blast. But at the same time, EJ’ still doubling down on being a horrible human and I’m not sure I even want Ava with him. Him spitting out that she and Gabi are “really just a couple of screwed up, angry women, bitter to the core,” was dripping with misogyny. Can we maybe make him a complex character without the women-hating undertones or has that ship already sailed?

Greg Vaughn, Elia Cantu jada eric jpi days

“Cheers to making more progress in four days than you and Nicole have in four months!”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

More: Is Tripp already headed back to Salem?

Then there’s the Nicole and Eric saga. It’s about time things heated up between them — even if it’s just in their dreams. But both having the same dream at the same time? Has Days of Our Lives been watching Sandman? Still, this has been inching forward so slowly, I’m more eager to see where things go with Eric and Jada. She’s won me over already. She’s strong, smart, vulnerable, and I love the edge she had with Nicole, who was very much butting in where she didn’t belong in getting all upset over learning Eric slept with someone who wasn’t her.

Beginning September 12, Days of Our Lives will be airing exclusively on Peacock. To make sure you never miss an episode, click here. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

Check out our photo gallery of the real-life partners of another online-only show with your favorite Yellowstone stars!


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