Did Days of Our Lives Just Pull a Fast One Over Us In the Afterlife? (And *Not* the One We Expected!)

Kayla Marlena in afterlife John Roman Steve mashup jpi peacock days

Credit: Peacock screenshot, Jill Johnson/JPI (3)

Days of Our Lives seemed to focus on romance this week, but mostly we were left with a bad taste in our mouths as love took a backseat to childish lashing out. There was one bright spot on the romance front, though… and we’re one step closer to finding out what’s going on in heaven! 

And the Mastermind Is…

Let’s get the first thing out of the way. What in the world is going on in the afterlife? Is the devil actually running rampant through heaven and purgatory? I was really hoping Jordan would be the one guide who was genuine. That would’ve been a fun twist, the one person who’s truly helping is the last one we’d suspect. But no.

Wearing all white, Kayla Marlena and Kate cast glares ahead. White curtains billow behind them.

That’s the look of three ladies who have just about had enough of this whole story.

Credit: Peacock screenshot

The obvious answer is that, yes, it’s the devil behind these contracts and tricking the trio of dead ladies. But it’s so obvious, it can’t be that, right? Plus, would Marlena gasp, “It’s you!” and recognize the devil just by seeing him take off his Susan disguise? Has anyone actually seen him in his real form?

If he was walking around with horns and a tail, maybe Marlena would say that, but that seems a bit gauche. Right now, I’m betting (or maybe just hoping) that things aren’t what they seem. Maybe Kate, Kayla and Marlena aren’t actually dead? Maybe there’s some villain behind this who faked their deaths, swiped their comatose bodies and started messing with their minds so they think they’re in the afterlife. And that’s who the Big Bad is!

Otherwise, fine, we’ll get the ladies doing battle with the devil for their immortal souls, come out on top, win back their lives and it’ll be exactly as we saw coming from the second we got Susan’s big “reveal.” Either way, with the drips we’ve been getting of this storyline, don’t expect it to be resolved anytime soon. Hopefully, we’ll at least find out if it’s Satan or someone else behind this by Monday.

One thing that surprised me was the thrill I got at the thought of Roman, John and Steve teaming up to take out Orpheus. I don’t want them to become murderers, but let’s have an actual adventure with these three vets. And if it’s one that ends with them discovering their loves still alive, beating the bad guy and bringing them all back to reality and Salem, I’ll take it.

Denial Isn’t Just a River

Now, the rest of this column is going to tackle Days of Our Lives seemingly having forgotten how to write love stories. This is not a new gripe of mine. But this week just nailed it home so hard.

Raven Bowens, Jackee Harry chanel paulina, jpi days

Paulina is my hero.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

I’m going to start this with a positive. I love Paulina so much. Good Lord, thank you, for not pulling punches with Chanel. All that “but we didn’t do anything because we were stopped” garbage over and over again as if she and Johnny are heroes for getting caught trying to kiss is so frustrating. Just admit it, Chanel, you screwed up!

And Alex really couldn’t find his underwear that was right out in the open on the couch? Pulling. My. Hair. Out. This is all feeling way too forced for me. It doesn’t feel like characters are getting caught between growing love for different people. Instead, it feels like characters just keep behaving badly and reacting poorly and getting thrown towards people outside their relationships.

Just Embrace It

That’s working for me a bit better with characters like Xander and Gwen who have a history of making bad choices and giving into their worse natures. They behaved badly, now they’re acting poorly and reaping the consequences of it. That’s a part of who they are, unlike Chanel and Allie’s frustrating screw ups and accusations piling on top of each other.

In the Square, Sarah crosses her arms as she scowls at Gwen. In the background, Xander approaches holding a pastry box.

“And so we meet again. Let’s finish this once and for all… Ha, JK.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

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But this story has it’s own frustrations. Jack’s “Oh, this time you have gone too far, Gwen” spiel for the 100th time has lost any meaning. Sarah’s “Oh, this time you have gone too far, Xander,” is much the same. Instead of me being sympathetic to these people for giving their loved ones a chance and getting burned, it’s just making me roll my eyes because it has happened over and over again with the same results every time.

I am a bit excited, though, about letting Xander and Gwen just be who they are, embrace their shady natures and try fleecing the whole town — so long as they don’t get murderous. But seriously, Gwen should probably turn around and walk away from Xander. He’s handled everything with her and Sarah horribly, and neither of them deserve him. (Heck, Paul Telfer even said it!)

And now we’re back to not knowing how to write love if we’re not rooting for Xander to end up with either women.

Cut, Paste, Delete Love

And that’s kind of the opposite of where we are with Stefan, but we’re still back to forgetting how to write love stories angle. From all appearances, after Dr. Rolf’s “fix,” Stefan is now madly in love with two women — and happy about it! As if he plans on being with both of them and just assumes this is fine.

Is the show planning on tackling polyamory (sorry, I almost couldn’t write that without collapsing in laughter at the thought of Gabi’s fury at the thought) or is it just being lazy with implanting love in his brain, taking it out and shifting it around with the flick of a switch? That’s not telling a love story.

Gabi Chloe peacock days

Their faces say it all.

Credit: Peacock screenshot

I thought for a second or two that maybe Dr. Rolf couldn’t fix Stefan’s feelings for Chloe because they had genuinely grown over the last few months, so it wasn’t something that could be magically erased. This would have turned into a love triangle, which is fine. Not great, but fine. But no, Rolf made it seem like the descrambling just hadn’t worked completely and the fake love was still in there.

A Bright Spot?

One area where I do think the show is telling a decent love story is Stephanie and Chad. That was built on obstacles that didn’t feel contrived like Allie and Chanel. Chad was struggling with feelings he didn’t think he was ready for yet. And Stephanie was wooed in the meantime by someone who charmed her, despite her better judgement. These things happen. Timing is off sometimes, as is who we fall for.

Outside Brady's Pub, Chad and Alex glower at each other.

In the end, we have a feeling it’ll all come down to who wears black better.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

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On top of that, it doesn’t feel like the same old rehash like Gwen, Xander and Sarah. And it doesn’t feel unearned like Stefan’s switch-flipping “love.” Whether you’re team Stephanie/Chad or Stephanie/Alex, I feel like this is the type of love story that the show could with more of. Plus, I really loved Steve’s gentle support and nonchalant reaction to finding Chad was in their home in the morning. It was sweet.

Stray Thoughts…

• “Oh my, my, my, she didn’t handle things well! She had just lost her second grandmother that week, oh, damn the girl!” Paulina needs to teach a class on Sarcasm: 101.

• I know Sarah keeps saying Bonnie’s traumatized for life, but I already feel like that’s been dropped. She’s pushing pretty hard for Sarah to reunite with the guy who supposedly traumatized her.

• “You had absolutely no problem ripping off his kilt and blowing on his bagpipes, didn’t you?” And that’s all she wrote, folks!

We’ve got all the previews and predictions in the coming month for not just Days of Our Lives, but all the soaps in our February sweeps photo gallery


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