Days of Our Lives Paused Its Wild Stories to Give Us Pure Daytime Drama — and Surprise Pairings Drawing Lines In the Sand!

Day soapbox roundup Nicole, Stefan, Gabi, Gwen, Alex and Xander jpi

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (6)

Megan and her schemes were nowhere to be found this week, which, while it did allow us to get some great character beats and confrontations, really messed with that story’s already halting momentum. Still, love, lust and resentment were in the air, which should make for some messes!

Something’s Missing…

So right after I said last week that I can get more into the Megan/kidnapping saga than the afterlife stuff and I’m curious about what the endgame is and how this will all go down — we got an entire week without any action. And if the spoilers are any indication, we won’t return to the story until next Thursday.

On the Horton Square bench, John leans toward Rachel, who peers up at him.

“You see, sometimes, Rachel, the timing is just off. I’m talking about storylines here, not relationships.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

I know folks said it’s hard to care when we get this story once a week and I was willing to forgive a bit of that, but this is killing off any momentum at all. The next time we visit this story is when Bo and Hope’s return begins, but really, if they hadn’t stretched this so thin, we should have gotten them returning back in February — at least. I’m not sure what the rationale is for these huge story gaps.

But hey, at least John was on hand to give Rachel a talking to.

With that said, there was a lot that I enjoyed this week!

Battle Royale

First off, though, Gabi and Stefan’s reunion seemed a bit… odd. It was, as Lori, who does our great Days of Our Lives recaps pointed out, like we missed a few steps from when we last saw them. Suddenly they were all lovey and it was as if they’d never had their spat that led to Gabi signing a literal marriage contract.

On the fun, flip side of that, though, Gabi and Stefan are plotting against EJ and Li. Nicole and EJ, meanwhile, are counterplotting against Stefan. And Li? Well, he’s just trying to force Gabi back into his life. It’s a series of schemes and one-upmanship that could end up being a blast.

On the couch in front of the DiMera fireplace, Nicole and EJ raise coffee mugs to each other.

“May the most devious pair win. Clearly, though, that’s us.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

And Nicole was on fire this week. She went from pure venom with Sloan (bravo to the way she stopped that slap), to sanctimonious (“Of course, I didn’t like doing that, Eric”), to chiding Johnny for telling Wendy about Stefan’s fake problem as she pretended to be the “wise adult.” And I loved every second that Arianne Zucker gave us as her character slipped into whatever role was needed to get the job done.

I was wondering how long EJ and Nicole could keep up the distractions every time Stefan poured a drink. Stefan knows what his drug does. Feeling it once is one thing, but if he kept getting dosed, he’d have to be pretty clueless not to figure it out. But that was rendered moot when Johnny tipped Stefan off and now we’re getting the rare double switch of drugged glasses as EJ and Stefan try to outdo each other.

The mystery drug bothered me at first, but I’m getting into the over-the-top, soapy feud territory. It’s better than over-the-top devil shenanigans.

Speaking of which…

When will we hit post-devil mentions on the show? Abe had a good point with Chanel about how hard it can be to get closure when your marriage ends because your husband was possessed by the devil. But I’d love if we could get far enough away to stop mentioning that Satan was running around for months.

Outside Sweet Bits, Chanel and Talia grin and shake hands. Talia hold a piece of paper.

“Oh, by the way, I don’t have any money to pay you, but we shook so no backsies!”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

And as for Chanel… Is Talia just a new employee (and possible) friend or is this going to be the start of something more? It’s tough to tell this early, but Talia mentioned she came to Salem smarting over the end of her relationship in New York. And Chanel, as Abe pointed out, is definitely in rebound territory.

Time will tell, but I’m glad Jada got someone else to anchor her in Salem. It’s been feeling like the show’s been keeping her adrift since ending her pregnancy. Unless Rafe’s awkward flirting counts. I think Jada was the only one who didn’t see them getting together coming.

Something to Sink Our Teeth Into

What I really enjoyed this week, though, was everyone in the Kiriakis family orbit. Mostly.

Gwen and Xander… My God, their back-and-forth was fantastic as he told her they weren’t going to happen. From Gwen wanting to claw Xander’s eyes out, to their “you killed so-and-so,” everything was great. Good for Gwen telling Xander that he just uses her when he needs someone to wallow in the muck with him, but not as someone he could actually love. This is the kind of drama I love when Days of Our Lives nails.

In the Spectator offices, Gwen holds a coffee mug while facing Xander.

Once you start arguing over who killed more people, you know it’s love.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

And then there’s Maggie. Specifically, Maggie putting Alex in his place. This is the perfect example of a vet who’s been underused in recent times. Seeing her ruling Titan with an iron fist underscores this. But in keeping her as CEO of Titan, I hope we get to see her actually doing the job. And I fervently hope Victor’s eventual death doesn’t upend this. Victor can, sadly, no longer run the company, and right now, I think Maggie’s the only one who can. As she told Alex, “The Titan CEO merry-go-round ends here. With me.”

Nightmare or Dream Scenario?

In any case, now it looks like Gwen and Alex are going to be hooking up. I’ll take it. Short of Sloan (who’s sunk her teeth back into Eric even as she takes down Chanel and Paulina), I can’t think of anyone better with him. Unless Chad’s screw-up with Stephanie and Leo starts them off on the path to breakup already. Let’s give that relationship at least some time to settle.

Plus, between Alex’s leering last week as he assumed he was going to be CEO, to his hookup dream about Stephanie as he took Titan’s top position, I’d rather not see them back together.

At Titan, Maggie glares at Alex who leans on the desk across from her.

“Nobody likes a tattletale, Alex.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

But Gwen and Alex could be trouble if they decided to team up against Xander and Maggie, who are a pairing of a different sort. Let’s have her brings him back into Titan next (in a clearly defined subordinate role to her) so we can see them go cutthroat corporate on everyone. Maybe we could even get a DiMera versus Titan story and get the two families at each other’s throats.

Stray Thoughts…

• “I’m always tidy with evidence of a crime, especially when I’m in on it.” There’s the Nicole we know! Plus her: “It’s a house plant in the DiMera living room. It’s been doused with poisons and mind-altering drugs since it was a seedling.”

• I got a chuckle out of EJ making it clear that neither he nor Stefan would ever try to do permanent harm to each other. They’d just, you know, ruin each other’s lives a little. Like brothers do.

EJ looks at Stefan with an earnest expression. Stefan stands with his back to him, with a cocked head and shifted eyes.

Kill each other? Perish the thought. Just some light mauling, maybe some career destruction.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

• Maggie, I love you. But Sarah didn’t withhold giving Xander a second chance. She withheld giving him a second-hundred chance.

• Rachel, you’re killing me. I want to be sympathetic because let’s face it, your mother and your family are messed up, but you’re really making it hard. But… if you keep messing up Chloe and Brady, I won’t be mad.

• Wei Shin is a piece of work — but he’s not wrong about how Li will lose Gabi eventually. But his delight at Wendy landing the “heir to DiMera” (yeah, we’ll see about that) was oh so gross.

• Belle and Eric fighting over who’s more holier-than-thou (or used to be, at least) was something else.

• Did anyone else cringe when Paulina took a bite of the cookie, then put it back in the container?

Maggie is one strong woman, but she’s not the only one on Days of Our Lives! Take a look at some of Salem’s greatest in our photo gallery of daytime’s greatest female characters ever.


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