Television

Days of Our Lives Review Week of 8-01-22: Magic Masks


master mentalism tricks

Reality flies out the window whenever Days of Our Lives’ Dr. Rolf is around.

Rolf gives people surgery to change their identities, creates magic masks that turn someone into a replica of their target — regardless of differences in height, weight, or build — and has a magical serum that brings people back to life… but only when it’s convenient for the plot.

Sadly, on Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-01-22, time was up for Jake, and Rolf couldn’t save him. However, Rolf had a plan B, or rather, a Plan S: Stefan.

Johnny Coerces Paulina - Days of Our Lives

Is it too much to ask that this supernatural silliness follow its internal logic?

Rolf’s stories belong firmly in the land of science fiction. But even the most implausible story should follow its own rules. And this one doesn’t.

Rolf told Kristen it was unlikely he could resurrect Jake when the body had been in the morgue for two hours. Even the more potent serum didn’t work. However, he believed that the serum would work on Stefan if he transplanted Jake’s heart into Stefan’s body, which he’d rebuilt and put on life support four years ago.

Technically, Stefan was unresurrectable also; Rolf supposedly rebuilt his body and brain and only needed a heart now.

Rolf: I did make a stronger version of the serum. But it has not yet been tested.
Kristen: Since when do mad scientists wait for FDA approval?

However, it still defies the rules he set for the resurrection serum: even the stronger one must be administered within hours, or the person remains dead.

This rule also contradicts the entire resurrection warehouse plot. While EJ got his injection shortly after death, others who were brought back had been dead for months or years.

Orpheus' Latest Request - Days of Our Lives

The bottom line is that the resurrection drug works when the plot demands it and doesn’t when the writers don’t want to bring someone back. And for whatever reason, they want to switch Jake back to Stefan, so Stefan lives, and Jake dies.

This is a significant problem with this plot device.

It can’t be used consistently; otherwise, death is off the table altogether, and it doesn’t matter if one of our heroes is in a dangerous situation because they’ll bring them back if they die. Sometimes, the writers must invent reasons why the drug can’t be used; some of those reasons are outlandish or contradict each other.

And in this case, the only reason not to use the drug on Jake is that the writers have decided they’d rather have Brandon Barash play Stefan.

Waiting for Results - Days of Our Lives

Jake’s death was unnecessary, to begin with. There was no reason for him to be shot by a random thug who went from stealing tips out of the jar at the Brady Pub to holding people at gunpoint within minutes.

And why does the series want Stefan back now? The whole point of bringing Jake on was to make up for the supposedly unchangeable mistake the writers made when they killed off Stefan in the first place. Since Stefan couldn’t be resurrected thanks to his lack of a heart, Brandon Barash was brought on as Jake, the twin brother no one knew Stefan had.

Four years later, things have changed, but for what reason? The writers have something planned for Stefan; hopefully, this will be worthwhile.

Stefan’s re-emergence could throw a monkey wrench into Gabi’s burgeoning romance with Li, which is no big loss. It also could cause trouble for Gabi and Ava’s plan to get Jake’s shares by claiming that Ava and Jake were already married at the time of Jake’s death.

Ava's Unexpected Demands - Days of Our LIves

Ava was never sold on this plan, to begin with. She didn’t like Gabi’s coldhearted reaction to Jake’s death, and the odds are that she’s playing Gabi for her own reasons. But what if Ava decides Stefan is “close enough” and makes a play for him before Gabi even knows he’s alive?

That might make for some compelling drama!

Ava’s moving in with EJ is easily the most intriguing part of this storyline.

That gets her out from under Gabi’s thumb. She now has a place to live, so if she double-crosses Gabi, what can Gabi really do? Plus, Ava and EJ are both playing each other, which could be the start of an interesting relationship.

Rolf Works His Magic - Days of Our Lives

It’s not unheard of on Days of Our Lives for people who are bitter enemies to fall hard for each other. If EJ and Ava aren’t equals, they’re pretty damn close. They’re both equal parts smart and ruthless and come from powerful families run by crazy fathers.

Dan Feuerriegel’s EJ exudes chemistry with 99% of the women EJ crosses paths with. EJ/Ava could be a hot pairing if they get over their hatred of each other.

Of course, EJ will uncover Ava’s attempt to scam his family sooner or later, but if he’s smitten by then, all bets are off.

Elsewhere, all of Salem continued its quest to pair Nicole with Eric, while Eric agreed to a date with Jada.

Shawn Needs Help - Days of Our Lives

This thing where the entire town gangs up on one person to push them to adopt a particular point of view need to go. It’s unrealistic and annoying. Even the mugger that held up Nicole put in his two cents about her and Eric’s relationship!

Having every citizen of Salem try to convince Nicole that she loves Eric, not Rafe, doesn’t make non-Ericole shippers get on board. If anything, it repels people who aren’t already fans of the couple.

Viewers don’t like being hit over the head with foreshadowing, nor can they be peer-pressured into supporting a ship by the other characters on the show. It’s one thing for Rafe to be jealous and a close friend like Abe ask Nicole if she’s sure about her choice. But everyone and their brother doesn’t need to do that!

Paulina also needs more to do. So far, she’s bounced around giving relationship advice to Chanel, Kate, and Nicole before getting caught plotting to push Chanel back toward Johnny.

EJ Calls Ava's Bluff - Days of Our Lives

I love Jackee Harry, but Paulina needs more of a storyline than floating around town putting her nose in people’s business. Even her story about pushing Abe to run for governor is mostly about how she’s orchestrating a run that he’s not sold on.

As for the Johnny/Chanel/Allie triangle, I was with Paulina when she said she never wants to hear another sentence about Chanel being indecisive about which twin to be with. This story has gone beyond obnoxious. Enough already.

Paulina: Chanel, please wait.
Chanel: What for?
Paulina: If you would just let me explain…
Chanel: You don’t want me to be with Allie. Well, I made my choice. As my mother, I thought you’d be happy for me but no, you’re plotting behind my back with Johnny.
Paulina: I was just afraid you hadn’t made the right choice.
Chanel: The right choice. I picked the girl and according to you, the right choice is picking the boy.

I’m also not convinced that Paulina’s support of Johnny has anything to do with not wanting her daughter to be in a same-sex relationship. While Paulina might have been concerned that Chanel was making life even harder for herself by dating a woman on top of dealing with racism, she never seemed particularly against Chanel’s bisexuality until Chanel married Johnny.

Paulina was pushing Chanel and Allie together before they were a couple, so Chanel can take her claims of homophobia elsewhere.

Jada Asks Eric Out - Days of Our LIves

Johnny and Allie have both become obnoxious and mostly one-note characters. Let’s move on from this story already!

Meanwhile, Eric and Jada may be a bump in the road to an Ericole reunion, but at least they’re an enjoyable distraction.

The two mesh well so far. Eric is not judgmental like he tends to be with Nicole, and Jada is just awkward enough around him to be endearing.

Jada’s insistence that Sarah was guilty was annoying, but it probably had more to do with Xander getting in her face less than a day after she shot and killed the mugger than anything else.

Xander and Sarah Investigate - Days of Our Lives

Xander wasn’t simply giving Jada new information. He was getting in her face and demanding she drop the investigation. He also got in Lucas’ and tried to get him to recant his testimony.

In real life, this jerkish behavior would land him in hot water. Witness tampering is a serious charge, and trying to intimidate a cop into removing a suspect from her list isn’t okay either.

Xander and Sarah are getting close to proving that Gwen was the real killer, but could they be wrong?

Last time we saw each other, Xander was down in the dumps about Sarah, sure she was going to be dragged off to the guillotine any second now. And yet she’s walking around free, something about an alibi that contradicts Lucas Horton’s liquid testimony. It makes me wonder… just who did Lucas see rushing down the stairs that night?

Leo

From the beginning, all signs have pointed to Gwen, and the reveal that she has a Sarah mask she’s desperate to get rid of seems to clinch the case.

But there could be another twist in it. What if Gwen came to the mansion dressed as Sarah, intending to kill Abigail, but found that someone beat her to it?

Johnny Coerces Paulina / Tall - Days of Our Lives

That’s the kind of twist Days of Our Lives loves, and it would make the mystery slightly less simple to crack if the neon sign pointing to Gwen as the killer was wrong.

In the meantime, even Jack seems to be doubting Gwen. It seemed significant that he said that he couldn’t imagine wondering if your daughter was capable of murder; chances are that he does suspect Gwen of killing Abigail.

What happened to JJ, though? It’s great that Jack refuses to leave Salem until his daughter’s murder is solved, but his son mysteriously vanished after almost punching Lucas.

Speaking of which, can we all stop treating Lucas as if he’s the reincarnation of Stefano? Yes, Lucas’ kidnapping of Sami traumatized her. He should have gone for kidnapping her to be with her like Bo did with Hope.

A Familiar Face - Days of Our Lives

But Lucas is hardly an evil monster who “always” disappoints Allie by not thinking of her welfare until it’s too late. Until this inane storyline, he was the opposite of that.

He was her protector during her unplanned pregnancy and when it turned out that pregnancy was the product of rape. He even helped her hide her secrets from Sami and often intercedes when Sami tries to control Allie’s life.

Allie has the right to be angry now, but is it too much to ask that we not rewrite history to turn Lucas into a selfish jerk who has never been there for her?

It’s also ridiculous that Xander keeps dismissing Lucas’ hypnosis-induced testimony as lies or fakery yet thinks the police should remove Sarah from their suspect list because of her hypnosis-induced testimony that she was with Rex during the murder.

The Upper Hand - Days of Our Lives

Anyway, there has to be some middle ground between Lucas confessing in court and losing Allie forever. For some reason, no one on Days of Our Lives seems aware that defendants routinely plead not guilty so that they can bargain with the DA for a lighter sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.

Lucas isn’t “evading responsibility” by not agreeing to a maximum sentence for this crime. He still has a right to a defense, including one that involves initially pleading not guilty. He should be listening to an attorney, not either his mother or his daughter when deciding how to move forward with this.

Elsewhere, Billy Flynn continues to break our hearts with his performance as a grief-stricken Chad. Give this man an Emmy!

Chad’s drunken behavior was more silly than sad until he broke down and let Sonny hug him. His scene with Thomas was realistic — what parent hasn’t snapped at a child who won’t get off the iPad under normal circumstances, never mind right after the mother was brutally murdered? — and his guilt believable.

Chanel Makes Her Choice / Tall - Days of Our Lives

If Victor knew Chad was sleeping it off at the Kiriakis mansion, he didn’t say so. Instead, he confronted Alex about all of Alex’s nonsense and secretly hired him to fix Sonny’s mistakes.

Victor is at his best when trying to discipline his wayward younger relatives; this was no exception.

Victor: Sit down. I have a question for you. What the hell are you doing with your life? Sonny says you want to work for him now.
Alex: Working with Vic and Joe turned out not to be what I thought it would be.
Victor: Why? Because they actually put you to work? What exactly do you see yourself doing at Titan?
Alex: Shouldn’t Sonny be here if we’re going to talk about this?
Victor: Come on, Alex. Do you want Sonny to know why you’re really here?

No one was standing up to Alex; Sonny didn’t want to hurt his feelings, while Maggie somehow apologized for being judgmental when she tried to say something.

But Victor was having none of that. With characteristic bluntness, he made it clear that Alex’s behavior was unacceptable, treated him like a candidate for a job interview, and gave him an important job.

Well played!

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts about the events of Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-01-22.

If you’re eager for more Days of Our Lives chat, check out the latest Days of Our Lives reviews and Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.

In case you missed the big news, Days of Our Lives is moving to Peacock Premium starting September 12! Head over to the article about it to share your thoughts about this change.

Days of Our Lives airs on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes or watch on Peacock TV on weeknights after 8 PM EST / 5 PM PST.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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