Television

Days of Our Lives Review Week of 9-05-22: One Era


master mentalism tricks

It’s the end of an era.

Days of Our Lives made history during the week of 9-05-22 when it aired on NBC for the last time after a 57-year run.

Many fans know that Days of Our Lives will now air exclusively on Peacock. While the series had already filmed through February 2023 when this was decided, we were hoping for a send-off that would make viewers eager to follow it to its new home.

Kristen's Odd Behavior - Days of Our Lives

The Stefan resurrection story got a lot of airtime on Friday, along with EJ’s determination to convince the world that Ava is mentally ill and Ava and Johnny’s first kiss.

Neither Stefan nor Li is a particularly great guy. They’re both schemers that Gabi fell in love with after getting involved for business purposes.

But Stefan/Gabi is far stronger a ship than Gabi/Li. There’s never been much chemistry between Gabi and Li, and Li’s turn toward the dark side does not make this couple compelling.

Besides, Gabi is still deeply in love with her “dead” husband and doesn’t seem to have fully moved on. Being back in the crypt for Jake’s memorial triggered memories and made her play with the necklace she made out of Stefan’s ring.

Now that she and Stefan have come face-to-face, we can’t expect it to be smooth sailing. A thousand things could go wrong, from Gabi thinking he’s Jake to Stefan half being in love with Chloe thanks to Rolf’s meddling.

As soon as Stefano showed up at the mansion, it was inevitable that he and Gabi would run into each other. Leaving it until the last minute was a predictable yet effective cliffhanger.

Will Rushes Home - Days of Our Lives

Kristen’s treatment of Rolf was abominable. It was typical Kristen behavior, but still.

Kristen: My whole plan is going up in smoke, and that’s on you!
Rolf: How is this my fault? I tried to warn you that he wasn’t ready to be out in the world.
Kristen: Well, then maybe you should have been a bit more forceful with your concerns. Your timidity and your incompetence ruined everything, and not just for me. For Li Shin. I’m warning you. If Stefan shows up to reclaim Gabi, Li will make you pay for it with your life.

Rolf was right. He tried multiple times to convince Kristen not to wake Stefan up yet, especially not without notifying Li Shin. She wasn’t having it; she was the boss, so he did what she wanted.

Rolf is, at best, a tertiary character. He doesn’t have any motivation or depth beyond his loyalty to Stefano Dimera and his fascination with bizarre experiments.

But it’s hard not to feel sorry for him when he’s being pushed around by Kristen and Li, and on top of that, Orpheus broke into his lab and then hung around to torment Rolf!

Maggie Learns Jennifer's Secret - Days of Our Lives

Regarding the Kristen situation, Kristen is betraying the Dimera family name with her tantrums about this. Rolf’s loyalty has always been to the Dimeras. Li Shin should not have any say in Rolf’s experiments, nor should he have the power to do anything in retaliation should Rolf’s attempt to brainwash Stefan fail.

If the Dimeras are true to form, they will band together against Li Shin. If they don’t, that’s more on EJ than Kristen, despite her annoying behavior.

EJ’s insistence on going after Ava has made him unlikeable, and he’s against alienating Johnny, forcing the rest of the Dimeras to take sides.

So far, Chad couldn’t care less and is more concerned with making Leo pay for Abigail’s death than this family drama, while Tony is trying to see both sides of this conflict, and Anna is solidly on Team Johnny.

Gwen is Released - Days of Our Lives

It’s anyone’s guess what might happen if it comes out that Ava saw a resurrected Stefan and that Li and Kristen were in on the plot to make him fall hard for Chloe instead of Gabi.

Meanwhile, EJ’s treatment of Ava hit a new low.

This plan doesn’t make much sense. Let’s imagine that Ava really was hallucinating when she saw Jake. Sarah and Ben found a quick fix to this problem when they visited Marlena’s office and got anti-psychotic meds. So why couldn’t Ava do the same and then resume her duties on the Dimera board?

This is also demeaning to people with mental health issues, as happens far too often on Days of Our Lives.

Xander and Sarah's Wedding, Take 3 - Days of Our Lives

EJ constantly uses disparaging terms such as “looney” and “crazy” to describe Ava’s mental condition. As Gabi pointed out, Ava is grieving. Even if the widow part is made up, she loved Jake and was looking forward to a life on the straight and narrow with him. These alleged hallucinations, if they existed, would be an expression of that grief.

EJ regularly tries to gaslight Ava, denies her grief is real, and uses offensive, derogatory language. Ugh.

He’s looking paranoid with his insistence that Li is marrying Gabi to stop EJ from becoming CEO. He’s partially correct in both cases, but still.

It would be deliciously ironic if EJ ended up accused of losing his faculties himself after how hard he’s working to make everyone think Ava is out of her mind.

John Pampers Marlena - Days of Our Lives

That doesn’t mean Johnny needs to kiss Ava.

It’s okay for him to have a crush, but dating Tripp’s mother is a bit on the ridiculous side. We went through this nonsense with JJ and Eve, and there’s no need to have this now.

Can’t a crush ever stay a crush? Does it always have to be requited no matter what?

EJ’ll have a fit when he walks in on this, which he inevitably will, but it’s still not worth it. It would be a more original and compelling story if Johnny’s thoughts about Ava stayed in fantasyland and EJ kept trying to stop Ava from doing something she wasn’t doing.

Orpheus Visits Rolf! - Days of Our Lives

Johnny’s attraction to Ava aside, his passionate defense of her is compelling drama. He keeps telling EJ things that EJ needs to hear.

EJ: This all shows that Ava is mentally unstable. Now do you believe me?
Johnny: This is all going exactly the way you planned it, isn’t it? You’re gaslighting her so that you can get your hands on her shares.
EJ: Oh, please. Ava doesn’t need any help from me going insane. She’s doing that to herself.
Johnny: No. You told her that sooner or later she’d have another vision of Jake and then all of a sudden, she sees him again.
EJ: And how was I to know she would have another vision?
Johnny: I don’t know. Maybe you put on a Jake mask.
EJ: You have me mixed up with your Aunt Kristen. I don’t do those masks. I despise them.
Johnny: So then you hired a lookalike.
EJ: Now you’re getting desperate. You know, I am getting sick and tired of hearing you take that woman’s side.
Johnny: That woman has a name. And she’s your sister-in-law.
EJ: Alleged sister-in-law. It’s obvious there was no marriage. It’s a sham. That woman has no conscience.
Johnny: Is that how you are justifying how you are treating her?
EJ: If you believe that she is really married to Jake, it’s because you are naive and gullible.
Johnny: You mean because I have a heart. I’d rather that than be cold and calculating like you.

At the same time, it feels like a rerun of EJ and Johnny’s pre-devil arguments about Johnny’s career choice.

Then, Tony tried to diplomatically get E to stop trying to control Johnny before he alienated his son, only for it to fall on deaf ears. And Johnny’s arguments with EJ now seem to have the same flavor as the ones he had then. EJ dismissed Johnny’s dreams as impractical and Johnny as naive.

The only thing that has changed is now they are fighting over Johnny’s feelings about Ava instead of his feelings about filmmaking.

Ava's Upsetting Experience - Days of Our Lives

The situation did lend itself to some funny moments, especially Stefan’s bemusement over constantly being mistaken for Jake.

Ava: No, no, no, no, no. You aren’t real. This isn’t happening. It’s just like the time before.
Stefan: The time before?
Ava: Yeah. When you came to the house and I nearly fainted.
Stefan: You are looking a little pale. You all right? [Stefan touches Ava’s arm.]
Ava: No, no, no, no, no. This is in my head.
Stefan: I’m sorry, I’m not sure what’s going on here.
Ava: This isn’t real. I’m going crazy. You aren’t real. You are not Jake.
[Ava leaves]
Stefan: Who the hell is Jake?

Weirdly, Ava thinks it’s outside of the realm of possibility that Jake could come back from the dead when she has been resurrected herself. Her “death” occurred at the hands of Johnny’s cousin Joey after Joey realized his interest in Ava wasn’t mutual.

She was a different person then, but it certainly would be interesting if Johnny and Joey talked about their experiences with this woman!

A couple of other huge stories took center stage for NBC’s final week. Days of Our Lives didn’t feature the Abigail murder mystery nearly enough; viewers would like to know who did it already.

Kristen's Odd Behavior / Tall - Days of Our Lives

The biggest question is whether Sonny’s attack and Abigail’s were connected. Someone is trying to frame Leo now, but was that the case when Abigail was killed too?

Leo’s desperation to find out who is framing him led him to don a ridiculous disguise and sneak into Sonny’s room. His refusal to let an obviously-in-pain Sonny get medical attention bordered on cruelty. He wasn’t there to finish Sonny off, but one could hardly blame Sonny for thinking so after Leo’s behavior.

It’s also unclear why Sonny initially claimed Leo stabbed him. Was he guessing that’s what happened because he heard Leo’s voice after he was stabbed or because Leo showed up in his room, or did someone dress up as Leo to attack Sonny?

Hopefully, it’s the former. EJ is right about one thing: those masks are overused.

Alex Thinks He's In Love - Days of Our Lives

Meanwhile, Jack was too quick to get Gwen a lawyer and to believe her version of events, as usual.

Gwen might be sincere about wanting to turn over a new leaf now, but that will likely last about 10 seconds. Jack is the king of second chances, but he still has given way too many to Gwen, and he needs to pay more attention to his wife instead.

Jennifer’s first round with pain pills wasn’t written well. The only strong scene was when she dreamed a then-dead Jack was alive and encouraged her to give up the drugs.

This new one doesn’t seem to be much better so far. The writers are making the same mistake they made last time: having the addiction occur off-screen so that it appears to come out of the blue.

Sonny Tries to Convince Stephanie - Days of Our Lives

Maggie and Jennifer’s scenes were nice. Jennifer was always close to her aunt, and these two should interact more often. Still, this story didn’t make much sense.

If Doug’s pills are a controlled substance, Jennifer shouldn’t be able to waltz in and ask for a refill for him without a doctor’s signing off on the prescription. And if Doug needs those pills, throwing them away doesn’t make sense. Plus, the easiest solution is for someone to tell Julie what is happening. She won’t let Jennifer or anyone else take Doug’s pills.

In other news, it should surprise no one that Orpheus isn’t done with his reign of terror. It didn’t make sense that Rolf’s lab was so insecure that Orpheus could waltz in, but otherwise, this was classic Orpheus, and John and the others should have had their guard up more.

Jada wasn’t wrong that the guys should have asked for the cops’ help, no matter what Orpheus said. However, her delivery was rude and arrogant and was a turnoff. Nicole may not have to worry much longer about Jada and Eric if Jada continues to be rude to Roman in front of Eric!

Orpheus Crashes Roman's Party - Days of Our Lives

Finally, was anyone else disappointed that Abe isn’t running for governor?

I always thought Paulina was more into the idea than he was, and from that perspective, it makes sense for her to be the one to run. But I didn’t like the idea that Abe being honest, trustworthy, and a steadfast public servant made him unelectable. It was far too cynical for my liking.

Plus, Stephanie is supposed to be doing PR for Abe’s campaign, not running numbers and concluding it isn’t viable.

Still, Paulina’s bid for the Governor’s Mansion might be a fun storyline to follow as Days of Our Lives moves to Peacock.

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts about Days of Our Lives’ last-ever week on NBC.

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

Starting on September 12, 2022, Days of Our Lives airs on Peacock TV. New episodes drop on weekdays at 6 AM EST / 3 AM 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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