Soapbox

Death’s Come to Days of Our Lives — and It May Be Time to Throw Out Everything We Thought We Knew!

Days crying mashup steve stephanie crying john hugging eric paulina hugging roman jpi peacock

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Much of this week was given over to the double deaths and the surprisingly moving aftermath. Even if things turn out alright in the end, the toxin storyline seems like it could do lasting damage to the fabric of Days of Our Lives. If the show’s brave enough. 

All About the Journey

Last week, I was less than thrilled at how rushed the second act of the orchid saga was, but while Kayla and Kate are gone, Marlena’s hanging on until at least the end of next week. It’s slowed down, but I still feel like K&K died from Pacing Syndrome.

With that said, we got a number of moving moments, from Steve’s breakdown with Jada to getting to see Kate’s boys vowing to stick together. And Roman handling it all with his usual aplomb was… kind of sweet, but also a bit unhinged? He was calmly chatting with Kate’s ashes in the pub. Are people cremated that quickly? My Spidey senses are tingling over all of this, but I’m a bit more unsure than I was.

Jada wraps her arms around Steve as he cries in Kayla's desk chair.

Heart. Broken.

Credit: Peacock screenshot

I’ve bounced between certainty that none of the three ladies would be actually dead for good to wondering if at least one of them might actually bite the bullet. Kate seems like the obvious one because, well, ashes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Right, Tony? Days of Our Lives has spent too many decades teaching us that deaths don’t matter to give this the benefit of the doubt.

Ultimately, this week had me thinking about Hallmark and superhero films. (Stay with me here.) People don’t love these movies because they expect to be surprised by the ending. We all know how they’ll turn out — love and victory — but that’s not the point. The point is the joy of the journey. Even if everyone comes back alive at the end of this story, I’m already a bit surprised at how it’s unwinding. So maybe the journey will be worth it? The jury’s still out, but at the very least, I’m curious.

Fallout

One of the inevitable things to come out of this is definitely Philip’s return, right? Besides Kate’s death and the fact that we have to say goodbye to Victor, Chloe’s clearly not ready to return to Brady. And I can’t blame her. Forced to dump her or not, he still went about it in the worst way he could. But a returned, perhaps saner and kinder Philip might muck things up even more for their reunion. Depending on where Stefan ends up.

In Alex's bed, Stephanie sits up holding a sheet to her bare chest. She wears a confounded expression. Alex sits next to her with a creased brow. His eyes dart to the side.

Stephanie may look horrified, but that look from Alex is the definition of “Oh, ****, I screwed up.”

Credit: Peacock screenshot

Another piece of fallout looks like Stephanie taking a hard turn to Chad. My problems with Alex aside, I’m enjoying the soapy way this is going down and the fact that he’s clearly still got loads of issues to work through. Plus, my heart is breaking for Stephanie. Going from blaming herself for not being able to say goodbye to her mom to her reaction to Alex’s admission was a rollercoaster of pain. My hat’s off to Abigail Klein.

“Instead of being with my mother while she was dying, instead of being able to tell her than I loved her, you and I were having sex. Do you have any idea how disgusted that makes me feel?” That line right there. That’s a gut punch that had to hurt Alex. And hopefully kick him to fix himself, even if it’s too late for him and Stephanie.

I doubt it is, but this is going to seriously bond her and Chad. That card he gave her from the kids was just so cute and heartbreaking. He, of all people, understands her.

The Devious Ones

It’s also nice to see a bit of Paulina/Abe and Allie/Chanel dealing with these deaths, especially after Sloan’s vanishing storyline. I was genuinely surprised to see her show up to give Chanel hell on Friday. And kind of amusing to see her (sincerely) claim the moral high ground when Chanel freaked out thinking the newly delivered lawsuit was a weapon. “Relax. I’m not the one with homicidal tendencies here.”

At the Horton House, Gwen and Leo face Sloan who stares at them with crossed arms.

We can feel the audience hate already.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Elsewhere in the Sloan orbit, I love Leo and Gwen together and all the exasperated looks and eye rolls she throws his way. Adding Sloan to the mix would make an interesting trio… And one I’m sure the fans would happily heap the hate on. With that said, Leo having a discussion with Sloan in someone else’s home when the people who don’t even live there aren’t around is just absurd. That’s not how it works! Again, enough of these increasingly ridiculous setups to have characters overhear things!

But now Will’s got dirt to get Leo away from poor Sonny. He’s being absolutely hammered by those closest to him about his naïve (but, as Chad maybe rightfully pointed out, protective) need to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Identity Crises

I liked seeing Li desperate, uncertain and grasping at straws. It’s not an “I want him to suffer” thing, so much as liking him when he’s not smarmy and in control. Like Lori mentioned the other week, sometimes it’s like there are two Lis: Someone who’s genuinely caring and someone who’s a power hungry jerk.

In the Hernandez kitchen, Gabi and Stefan face each other with anguished expressions.

“I just remembered something, Gabi… I left the stove on four years ago. Did you ever turn it off?”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

However, while Li’s not entirely wrong that Gabi may have done something similarly underhanded to hold onto her love, his “We belong together” spiel was just screaming toxic relationship. It boiled down to, “We’re both horrible people, so come down into the darkness with me. Forever.” That got a shudder out of me.

As for Stefan, I’m fascinated by the idea that even knowing he was manipulated into hating Gabi and loving Chloe his response is: So what? He showed compassion towards Gabi but likes who he is now. There’s something deeper there about the human condition. How much of who we are is innate, and how much was changed by others? Does it make a difference? All of who we are now is a swirl of people we’ve come into contact with and our own core identity. That’s not to say we can’t or shouldn’t change, but… yeah, there’s a surprising depth to this brainwashing story that I’m digging.

Stray Thoughts…

• Orpheus’ summing up of Brady and Kristen’s saga to John as her “blackmailing your dimwitted son” was just too delightfully perfect. (Sorry, Brady.)

• From turning EJ into an enemy by blackmailing him, living with Johnny after what she did to Marlena and with Stefan after what she did to him, Kristen really is off her rocker at this point.

• I’m sorry, but Rex’s “I’ve done everything medically possible,” line about Kate almost got a chuckle out of me just because of how little we saw and how fast the whole death was. What exactly did he do? Put her in a hospital bed?

• How low is Eric going to go? None of us really thought he’d shoot Kristen, but with enough time, that may change.

Speaking of fallout, one of the biggest to come out of all this could be a game-changing murder. Find out who could die and who the potential suspects would be in our murder mystery photo gallery

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