Please tell me the Friday cliffhanger scene was a fantasy!
Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-13-21 set up a beautiful story about Julie dealing with Doug’s cognitive decline, only to ruin it all at the last second.
They always do turn medical storylines into nonsense, and to top it off, the “twist” was Doug’s possession by the devil (if he is!), and that was a slap in the face to anyone who has ever dealt with a relative’s cognitive decline.
This cognitive decline story was handled sensitively and mostly realistically until Doug suddenly started saying he wasn’t Doug and he hated Julie.
Sure, there were some blips, such as Kayla insisting that Doug’s tests were normal 30 seconds after giving them to him even though he’d engaged in out-of-character behavior and forgotten people who were important to him.
But those were forgivable because the rest of the story was so damn realistic. I was comparing it to Rebecca’s cognitive decline on This Is Us. That’s how good it was!
And the emotional beats were perfect, too.
Julie went from denial to begging Kayla to tell her that her beloved Doug was all right to admitting that she was heartbroken at the idea of losing him to this disease. At the same time, Doug questioned his sanity and was so anxious about the initial assessment that I doubted he would complete the tasks.
Kayla: You know, I went through this with my mother too.
Julie: Yes, but Caroline had a lot of good years afterward. Doug and I have been together for so many days of our lives, more than many people get to have. But I want more.
Real-life husband and wife Susan Seaforth Hayes and Bill Hayes continued on their characters’ path enhanced the scenes, adding a second layer of realism to an already heartbreaking story.
And then Doug spoke in a creepy voice and implied that the entire thing was happening because the devil possessed him.
It is beyond stupid and beyond insulting, too. It’s as if the writers pulled on our heartstrings with this beautiful story and then told us they were kidding.
I wanted Doug to turn out not to have dementia because he’s one of my favorite veteran characters — but not like this!
An issue with medication would be an acceptable resolution. However, Doug needing an exorcism is not.
Of course, this may be all a fantasy, and come Monday, it’ll turn out that Doug is not possessed, and Marlena imagined this nonsense thanks to John.
John went on and on about how people judging Marlena for sleeping with him 30 years ago turned her into a depressed pariah vulnerable to supernatural possession.
So, Marlena might have had that in her mind as she started the session with Doug and therefore imagined him saying he was the devil come to get her.
Doug: I’m not Doug.
Marlena: I think you’re confused. I’m Marlena Evans. You’re Doug Williams.
Doug: I’m not confused. I know exactly who you are. [creepy voice] It’s been 25 years, but did you really think I wasn’t going to come back for you?
That would be a cruel trick, but it’s not beyond Days of Our Lives, and it would be preferable to Doug being possessed by the devil.
Despite what the writers think, not everyone enjoyed that ridiculous story the first time, and there’s no reason to revisit it now.
If Johnny wants to reenact it in his movie, fine, but there’s no need for Doug, Marlena, or anyone else to re-experience it.
Besides, the original possession didn’t occur because Marlena was depressed over people’s judgment of her and John. Instead, it was a side effect of Stefano giving her mind-altering drugs as part of a plot to steal her for himself.
This all happened during the madcap James E Reilly era, where the stories were over the top but had some strange internal logic. Unfortunately, the current team of writers seems to enjoy mistaken identity/doppelganger stories that almost always rely on minimizing real mental health issues, and this stupidity is no exception.
Now the story most worth watching has been destroyed in the name of this over-the-top silliness, and in the meantime, we’re left only with a bunch of people who are stuck in awful triangles and the Bonnie Lockhart story, which almost no one cares about.
Bonnie’s backstory is also a rip-off of the past, specifically Judi Evans’ other character, Adrienne, who shot her biological father after he raped her.
But Bonnie’s story is missing something Adrienne’s always had: a character that viewers cared about.
While Adrienne was mostly sympathetic, Bonnie is a goofy character who has been involved in a ton of schemes, and many viewers believe the only reason Justin is into her is that she looks just like his late wife.
Days of Our Lives would have been much better off either not killing Adrienne in the first place or having Bonnie turn out to be the one who was killed in that accident.
Justin and Adrienne made sense. Justin and Bonnie do not, and this silly, stereotype-laden backstory about Bonnie killing Harrison in 2003 didn’t help matters any.
It made Bonnie’s story even more ludicrous than before!
Now she’s accidentally killed TWO people while trying to wrestle a gun away from them before they could shoot her… and the people in question were married, but the accidents happened 18 years apart. Yeah, sure.
Rafe’s part in this was a waste of screen time. He used the fact that Bonnie didn’t have a lawyer to question her without one and tried to get a confession that Justin soon arrived to put a stop to.
Rafe’s love triangle drama was probably the best of all the triangles on Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-13-21, though.
Unlike many other triangles, BOTH women are a reasonable choice for Rafe, and both have their good points. I have shipped Rafe/Nicole for years, but I’d accept Rafe/Ava if it ends up that way.
That’s good writing, unlike the heavy-handed nonsense DAYS usually offers us.
I’ve been in a situation where someone was jealous of my friendship with their partner, so I understand how Rafe feels here. He was honest with Ava both about his feelings for Nicole and his choice not to act on them, but it has to be painful for him to lose his best friend over this.
Nicole did the mature thing, yet Rafe is one of the few people in Salem who doesn’t judge her for every misstep she makes. That makes her sacrifice doubly hard.
It’ll also make it doubly sweet if she and Rafe find their way back to each other as both friends and lovers… though that’ll break Ava’s heart and probably ruin Ava and Nicole’s friendship, which would be a shame.
THAT’s how you write a love triangle!
Less compelling: this Brady/Chloe/Philip triangle.
If I were Chloe, I would forget both these guys and enjoy being single or find someone who can act like an adult.
Chloe has said over and over that she’s tired of this childish game of tug-of-war for her heart, but it’s falling on deaf ears.
Philip is jealous, and Brady knows how to push those buttons… and now, both Brady and Philip are allowing themselves to be easily manipulated so that Gabi and Jake can blow up Philip’s job at Titan.
Of course, Gabi’s plan is almost certainly doomed to failure since Victor ALWAYS hires family. Sonny’s perpetually off-screen brothers have a better chance of being the CEO of Titan than either her or Jake!
In the meantime, this story isn’t fun. It’s two guys acting like idiots and a couple of scammers manipulating them for their own purposes. Yuck!
The only fun thing was Philip and Ava comparing notes on their jealousy of their partner’s best friend. Ava, who used to blackmail Philip, was the voice of reason here. That should give him pause.
Elsewhere, the bakery finally opened, leading everybody to buy sweets for their friends and family.
Paulina giving a box to Marlena led to Marlena doing her job for once — and no evil spirits in the room, either.
I loved Marlena counseling Paulina, though asking if Paulina had talked to Abe at the beginning of the session was silly.
When I worked on the crisis line, we were trained never to do something like that, as it implies the counselor wants to get you to talk to someone else instead of taking the time to listen to you.
Anyway, the scene afterward was equally ridiculous, with Abe insisting that if he married Paulina, everything would change for Lani and Paulina’s relationship… even though Lani already considers Abe and Paulina a package deal and was surprised Paulina wasn’t at the Pub.
Elsewhere, EJ was causing trouble for everyone again. He still hasn’t got the message that Johnny can’t be forced into his business, and I had the feeling he’s going to make another play for Abigail soon.
And while EJ was irritating everyone, Johnny was running around town looking for backers for his movie.
EJ isn’t exactly wrong about Johnny chasing a pipe dream, considering Johnny wants to get investors before having a budget or a fully planned project in mind.
Marlena was right to tell him to look into elevator pitches, and hopefully, now that he and Chanel are back on, she can also help him learn how to develop a business plan.
Johnny and Allie’s rivalry over Chanel is obnoxious, though. Allie keeps turning into a mini-Sami, and her attitude seems to be that whatever Johnny wants is the opposite of what’s good.
While it’s silly for Johnny to want Allie to play Sami in his movie, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t make a movie. She’s just as bossy and negative as she is about his love life, and it’s annoying.
Elsewhere, EJ met his match in Xander, though he managed to get the better of him in an unnecessary fistfight, while Gwen took Xander’s advice and told Jack yet another lie — this one even stupider than the last.
Yawn. Just like Abe won’t reject Paulina if she tells him the truth about what happened 30 years ago, Jack won’t reject Gwen for lying about when her miscarriage occurred. Let’s get on with it.
Finally, I was impressed that Ben and Ciara’s storyline managed to include a PSA about the importance of acknowledging the history of racism in the United States, but the best news of the week was that Roman and Kate took baby steps toward each other!
Lucas was all sorts of cute in trying to encourage them to give each other another try. If Kate didn’t appreciate it, maybe she should try not interfering in Lucas’s love life either.
I could have done without Roman’s snarky judgment of Lucas/Sami, but otherwise, these scenes were great. Roman and Kate’s relationship was cut short by the Salem Stalker storyline, and it’s beyond time they tried again!
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics! What did you think of this devilish turn of events on Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-13-21?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!
Hungry for more Days of Our Lives chat? Be sure to check back on Sunday for the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
Days of Our Lives airs on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes or watch online on Peacock TV after 8 PM EST.
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.