Days of Our Lives Dragged the Past Kicking and Screaming Into the Present — and Sent Marlena Where?!

Marlena stefan allie alex jpi days mashup

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (3)

I’m not going to lie. Aside from that unexpected reveal, things slowed down quite a bit for me as Days of Our Lives focused on the shifting relationships that are coming out of the deaths. While some of them work, others feel a bit shallower and more forced. The stories this week just felt more emotionally detached from the big tragedies. 

Between Heaven and Hell

So, Marlena has officially joined the others in death. And while we know she’s going to meet up with Kayla and Kate in the afterlife soon, for now, the only one she’s run across is Susan. Except not really.

Wearing all white, Susan holds a clipboard and puts an arm around Marlena's shoulder. Marlena holds an orange drink with an umbrella in it, and gives Susan a confused look.

“Now don’t spill that. It’s a nightmare to get all this white clean!”

Look, I was full on in the grip of a stomach bug at the beginning of the week and was in and out of it, but when Susan turned out to be the devil, I had to question if I was still in a fever dream or not. I guess it makes sense that his creepy obsession with her would continue in the afterlife, but we got so much of him last year, I really thought he’d be retired. At least for a while.

With that said, what in the world is going on? My theology might be a little rusty, but Satan doesn’t get to mess around in heaven, does he? And if that’s true, that means Marlena’s not in heaven. So is Days of Our Lives actually saying that she, of all people, is in hell?! That seems like a slap in her face.

We get that tease, then nothing the rest of the week. It’s clear that they’re dragging this out to February sweeps. Plus, the whole “They’ve arisen!” thing will be more dramatic if it’s not done right away, but the long stretch already feels artificial. And I can tell it’s already wearing out its welcome.

Musical Partners

This all ties into what I think is the point of these deaths, but some parts of the fallout are more successful than others. I understand what they’re doing with Johnny and Allie. It’s a new twist on the old sibling rivalry — like bringing Carrie and Sami fighting over Austin into current times. But there’s something so shallow in this that’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe I’m off base, but Johnny’s lost half his family at this point, and Allie’s not far behind… and now they’re just devolving into a bunch of petty squabbling.

Chanel grabs Johnny's arm to keep him from leaving.

“Wait, Johnny! You forgot to give me a kiss before you went. As friends.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Allie seems like she’s been looking for a reason to be angry and not trust Chanel from day one, and Johnny and Chanel’s “We were going to kiss… but we didn’t because we were forced to stop even though we’re both very attracted to each other so we’re the best” is just eye-rolling.

Allie and Johnny just seem petty and unconcerned with those they lost . They talk about them, but it feels hollow. Of course, after they went after each other for taking after their respective fathers, I can definitely see a shared selfish Sami trait in them. I can already see the new pairings now. Wendy and Tripp (he better stick around…), Chanel and Johnny and Allie and Alex.

A “Stabi” In the Dark

Conking Stefan over the head was a bit heavy-handed (ha) but then we got to see manipulative Gabi work Li. And that’s the best Gabi out there. I almost felt bad for how pathetically, willingly gullible Li was in welcoming her back. He knows who she is. He knows what she’s capable of. But he ignored the obvious because he was so desperate to have her back.

With racks of wine behind them, Gabi smirks as she pats duct tape over Stefan's mouth. Wearing an exasperated expression, he sits tied to a chair.

How can you be mad at her? Just look at how proud of her rope-tying skills Gabi is.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Rolf going along with Gabi seemed a bit plot-pointy, but it does kind of make sense. Li’s a sinking ship whose interests no longer ally with the DiMeras. So Rolf would want to go back to his beloved family’s best interests. Though it doesn’t make sense that he’d know just how out of favor Li was, unless Li called to have a chat about how EJ came clean to Stefan and bullied him out of DiMera.

Will the deprogramming work? I don’t know, though I don’t see this being the end of the “Stabi” obstacles. But my money’s still on Chloe getting pregnant.

Arch Enemy No. 1

For me, one of the brighter spots this week had to be Sloan. I’m all for her and Nicole becoming nemeses. With Sami gone, I can see Sloan picking up her torch as Nicole’s romantic enemy. They both know how to push each other’s buttons to the point of snapping, and yeah, I enjoyed Sloan calling Nicole out for using outdated slurs.

Outside the Pub, a disdainful Nicole stands between Eric and Sloan.

Bring on more of this hateful energy in 2023, please!

Credit: Peacock screenshot

More: Greg Vaughan races to his son’s side

Victimizing Sloan (OK, maybe that’s a bit hyperbolic, but Nicole called her a “pathetic slut” first) is a surefire way to get Eric even more interested. Not Nicole’s smartest move. But Eric and Sloan are fun together and seeing EJ turn Nicole down as she tried to hook up with him to rub it in Sloan’s face (er, OK) because she was impaired makes me like another go with them all the more. So good job, Nicole!

But I have questions. Nicole drank the mimosa with whatever Stefan put in it — which was intended to impair EJ’s judgement long enough to screw up with the DiMera board? Stefan did mention something about a couple doses, but does that mean EJ’s judgement would be impaired more after a couple or just for a longer period? Would it make him act permanently drunk like with Nicole? That seems too noticeable to risk.

And is it really out of Nicole’s system or is her judgement still impaired in deciding to move ahead with EJ? Because if it’s not, this surprisingly sweet reunion just went back to being nightmarishly problematic with consent.

Plans that rely on nebulous magic drugs are my least favorite kind. I’d be happy if this was the end of that one and Stefan cooks up something new with mommy dearest… because hopefully Vivian’s brief appearance is just a prelude to more!

Stray Thoughts…

• Will and Sonny seem to have narrowly escaped their own relationship meltdown… for now. I don’t think it’ll last.

• I chuckled at Paulina. Stephanie and Belle both lost their mothers and after a brief moment of comfort, she launched into her own problems. And they just went along with it!

• I always like little connective touches like when Paulina mentioned Tammy was devastated to learn of Marlena’s death.

• Wendy’s excitement over Gabi accepting her apology was too cute and reminded me why I love her so much.

• Gabi knocked Stefan out and took him outside to drag him into the DiMera secret tunnels… instead of just dumping him in the secret passageway? Wouldn’t that have been easier and less risky than “hiding” him outside the glass door where EJ could spot him — if he had peripheral vision?

Check out our updated photo gallery of Days of Our Lives stars with their real life loves!


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