Randomly going halfway around the world can make for some exciting soap drama.
Days of Our Lives has had several memorable adventures in exotic places. The whole Jennifer pretending to be Katrina Von Leuschner saga took place somewhere in Europe (Switzerland maybe?), Vivian Alamain went on the run in France and Italy, and Bo and Hope were married in England.
I'm not so sure that this latest adventure, in which a bunch of people are in Greece looking for Nicole and Xander and possibly trying to overpower Deimos, is up to par, though.
It seems like the writers drew names out of a hat to decide who got to go and who's staying home and some of the stories coming out of this adventure so far are a little bit ridiculous. Plus, DAYS no longer has the budget for world travel stories, so everyone is visiting areas of Greece that look suspiciously like Salem.
But if it puts an end to this annoying Nicole and Xander storyline, it might be worth it.
Supposedly Xander kidnapped Nicole so that Deimos can play the hero, but so far Xander is using the situation as the opportunity to play the lead in some dark sex fantasy.
He switches back and forth from kind and gentle to violent in the blink of an eye, complains that Nicole isn't grateful enough, locks her in a cage to punish her for disobedience, and tells her he hopes she develops Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to him.
Xander spent a lot of time either seducing Nicole, trying to beat her up, or pinning her against a wall and trying to force kisses on her. We just finished a story about a pervert trying to rape Nicole and we don't need a second one!
When Eric arrived, that should have been a turning point for this story, and in some ways it was, but it mainly became even more irritating.
Eric refused to let Jennifer come along with him, in yet another display of a man knowing what's best for his girlfriend. For some reason Jennifer listened to this despite the years of crazy adventures she went on that made Jack and Jennifer one of the most popular couples of the 1980s.
Anyway, once he arrived, Nicole refused to leave with him and on multiple occasions made sure to argue with him about it for long enough that Xander could catch one or both of them.
She was still angry that Eric killed Daniel in a drunk driving accident and apparently felt that Xander the psychopath who continually tried to rape her was a better person than he.
Eric broke in while Xander had Nicole up against a wall and was kissing her against her will and got Xander off of her, only to get held at gunpoint by a goon, yet Nicole still had nothing but animosity for him and was angry that he saved her baby and came back for her.
None of this makes any sense. Nicole's anger, tears, and belief that Eric was saving her to make himself look good are all great soap drama -- after they are back in Salem!
There was no reason to have this conversation now and no reason for Nicole to put Eric in danger just so she could yell at him. Everything she had to say would have been compelling drama had it been said in a hospital room where she was recovering from her ordeal after she was safe.
Instead, viewers were treated to more sexual abuse and to Nicole throwing a tantrum because Eric dared rescue her from that abuse.
The way it's written, it certainly seems like Nicole is going to fall for Xander next. That wouldn't be surprising considering that, lately, the show is obsessed with people falling for their rapists. But nobody wants to see that and Nicole should have more sense than this.
Justin: Wait a minute. Are you two telling me that you're going after Deimos on your own? Do you have any idea how dangerous that man is?
Sonny: We have a very good idea. That's why we're going after him, Dad!
Justin: What the hell can you two do?
Sonny: You know what? Spare us the lecture. Please. The reason I'm telling you is cause I need you to cover for me with Uncle Vic. I can't have Deimos find out we're going after him.
Justin: And what are you going to do if you find him? Ask him nicely to come home to Salem with Nicole and the baby?
Meanwhile, Sonny, Paul, JJ, and Eli headed to Greece in search of Nicole and Xander, along with a very sick Lani who is keeping her illness secret.
I'm thrilled to see JJ have something to do other than apologize for having been raped, and if the story was just him bonding with his cousins as they all go on this adventure I'd love it.
I have a few problems with this, though.
Lani: JJ, you have to calm down.
JJ: No, I do not! I can't! Deimos tried to kill both Gabi and Abigail. He's an animal.
First of all, Lani tried to stop JJ's real personality, which has laid dormant for months, from emerging by telling him to calm down about Deimos. Not only does this show how incredibly mismatched these two are for each other, but it also is a very big anvil that I would rather not see fall.
Obviously, since 9 million people are saying they want Deimos dead, Deimos is likely going to die and everyone in Greece is going to be a suspect.
I hope the show doesn't go the route of making JJ the killer so that he and Gabi can discover they have the ability to murder in common. JJ's character has been assassinated enough without that.
I also didn't like JJ making some sort of comment about Nicole being a criminal. It's true that she broke the law, but it was overly judgmental considering that she helped Daniel bend the law to save JJ's life after Theresa overdosed a few years back.
Days never did anything with JJ and Nicole after that happened, and now it seems to have been forgotten altogether. JJ and Nicole should have been friends before, during, and after this storyline instead of that opportunity being wasted.
Lani's decision to hide her withdrawal symptoms is also the height of stupidity.
She did this thirty seconds after promising she'll tell JJ everything from now on, so even if her having raped him hadn't made them a non-viable couple already, there would be no hope for their future.
She swore Eli to secrecy in the hospital and then again at the police station. Somehow JJ missed the nods and facial expressions as these two looked at each other.
And she didn't even tell her doctors she was sick, so she was discharged from the hospital prematurely.
Eli: You look like hell.
Lani: I'm fine. The hospital wouldn't have released me if I weren't.
Eli: That doesn't mean you're ready to get back to work.
JJ: Don't try to talk her out of it.
Lani: He's right. I'm here to make sure the case with Snake is watertight. That son of a bitch isn't gonna roll for what he did to that woman.
JJ: Or what he did to you. Thank God you got those drugs out of your system.
Having Lani claim she's doing this because women are judged as incompetent if they take sick days doesn't do the show's depiction of women any favors, even if the writers think it does.
Women having extra pressure to be superheroes, especially in male-dominated fields like police work, is an important issue that can't just be glibly mentioned and then forgotten about.
Furthermore, the solution to that problem is not to depict a woman who is clearly too sick to function hiding her symptoms from her doctor so that nobody will think negatively of her.
That just plays into stereotypes, and chances are Lani will somehow become a liability during this trip and have to be rescued by one of the guys. Her general incompetence was bad enough without creating a situation in which she needs to be rescued by the (presumably) more competent male cops by lying about her condition.
Justin was one of the few voices of reason this week. I laughed at him asking Sonny and Paul how, exactly, they thought they were going to get Deimos to give up Nicole and Holly. I thought his scenes with the guys were pretty natural, and for once Justin wasn't arrogant and obnoxious.
However, I was just as disappointed as he was that Sonny is now carrying a gun. It's not altogether surprising, considering Sonny had stolen a gun from Victor during the whole who-killed-Nick storyline of 2014, but it doesn't really fit Sonny's personality.
This Sonny as mobster motif just isn't working and the sooner Sonny can go back to being a nice guy, the better.
Gabi's true colors came out when Eli called her to tell her he was going away on business. She was rude to him for no reason and hung up on him, all because he was going out of town without her!
This is the same garbage she pulled when JJ went to Miami, prior to using his rape as an excuse to break up with him.
Gabi really should not date cops because she feels she is supposed to be a higher priority than bringing down dangerous criminals or keeping people -- including her and her baby -- safe.
Her appearance on the Titan Jet was not welcome, nor was it believable. Security on Victor's jet should be tighter than commercial airline security, not looser.
In any event, I have no interest in Lani being jealous of Gabi. JJ is too good for either of them, and Eli doesn't need to be tortured with Gabi's presence either.
Before all of these people got there, Hope ditched Rafe to go to Greece because she was convinced she had to rescue Chad from... something.
She interrogated Abby mercilessly about why Chad was going out of town, showed up at the Dimera mansion to bother him for the same reason, and then randomly appeared in a cafe in Greece to annoy Chad some more.
Props for finally doing something independently of Rafe, but why is Hope so obsessed with this?
Supposedly, she made Stefano's ghost a promise that she would watch over Chad, but this is taking things to extremes. I cheered when Andre pointed out that she had tried to murder Stefano.
Then things got seriously weird because Andre and Hope joined forces to keep Chad from trying to get this amulet that Deimos was once after.
Maybe Andre was manipulating Hope so that he could get his revenge on her, but the random appearance of a local whose only English line was "are you his wife?" and Hope and Andre teaming up makes me think that Hope will cheat on Rafe with her archenemy.
Rafe and Hope are my least favorite couple, but pairing Hope with Andre is just going to ruin her character further. I really hope I'm wrong about this, especially if Andre is just a temporary interloper in the nightmare that is Rafe and Hope together.
This Chad vs the Amulet of Doom storyline is just silly. Days sometimes veers into the unbelievable, but it takes talent to pull it off, and an amulet that everyone keeps saying is cursed just seems laughable.
Plus it's probably a vehicle to get Abby and Chad back together unless Chad and Gabi are going to hook up in Greece now that Gabi has sneaked onto the Titan Jet.
Either way, this storyline is too campy and cartoonish to waste time on and seems to have been inspired by the infamously boring elephant statue story that viewers would like to forget ever happened.
Not everyone went to Greece. Kayla finally cut Jade off when Jade showed up asking her to get her a car, and Jade retaliated by telling Tripp that Kayla is the one who killed Ava.
Considering that Tripp admires Kayla and hates Steve, it's weird that he would assume Kayla is a killer.
I'm not sure where this is going, but I hope that the truth comes out sooner rather than later. I'm not enjoying this storyline and I wish JJ were in Salem to bond with his new cousin over having had been shocked and disappointed too when he found out Jack raped Kayla years ago.
Meanwhile, Claire outdid herself in the selfishness department, demanding Victor write her a blank check moments after overhearing him say that his grandson Brady may be dying and throwing a tantrum when he refused.
What have the writers done to this character? She was originally a sweet, level-headed mini-Belle and now she's unrecognizable. Victor gave her some great advice about being responsible and not getting caught up in petty jealousy that she totally ignored.
For goodness sake, he wasn't even denying her money. He just wanted a budget for her anticipated expenses before he gave her anything!
Theo was equally obnoxious, deciding that Wyatt taking money from Ciara that she had told him to take was proof that he was just using her.
I was disappointed that Ciara was actually writing a paper for Wyatt because that gave Theo a point in his favor. Everything else he said seemed like total jealousy and throwing a tantrum now that his plan to get Wyatt and Ciara together actually worked.
What did you think of Days of Our Lives? Are you excited about these storylines in Greece or are they already too contrived and silly for your taste?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.