I'm not sure how I feel about Anjelica's death on Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-21-17.
On the one hand, Anjelica probably gave herself that heart attack trying to keep Bonnie and Hattie in line. So without her, maybe the two clownish dopplegangers will give up their plan for real.
On the other, Anjelica was an iconic character. At the end, she was kind of cartoonish, singularly focused on getting Justin and coming up with a bizarre, convoluted plan to do it, but she was a more respectable villainness earlier in Days' history.
Plus, I enjoyed her sparring with her reluctant accomplices. It provided some great comic relief.
Anjelica's unfortunate demise came at the end of an extended argument with Bonnie and Hattie, who no longer wanted to do her dirty work. Hattie was upset because Roman didn't want her and Bonnie felt guilty about Lucas' descent into alcoholism.
I really liked Hattie declaring that she could be an independent woman, running a diner and not caring whether she caught Roman's eye or not. I just hope viewers weren't laughing at that.
As much as Hattie is a clown most of the time, that was a serious, strong statement that should never be laughed at, because the idea of women being independent and not needing a man's approval isn't a joke.
Anjelica: You know, you are a disaster. I told you to get rid of him, not seduce him.
Bonnie: I didn't seduce him. I ministered to him.
Hattie: I never heard you call it that before.
Bonnie: He was lost. He was so sad and alone.
Anjelica: And you are not the Red Cross, honey.
It was interesting to see Bonnie develop a conscience, too. The more she defended Lucas and felt bad about the way her behavior had affected him, the more she actually sounded like Adrienne.
I would love to see Adrienne escape from prison and duel it out with Bonnie to see who's going to get Lucas in the end. That would be a lot more entertaining than this constant back and forth for Adrienne between Lucas and Justin.
Anyway, Bonnie's compassion for Lucas was nice as far as it went, but I think the truth is a little more complicated than that.
The way the show is portraying it, Lucas just randomly decided to drink because he's an alcoholic and that's what they do. But that ignores the fact that he has been sober for a very long time.
Lucas' drunken rant to Bonnie that meetings won't help because Will died and he doesn't see Allie and now he doesn't even have Adrienne was far closer to the truth. It makes sense that all those losses that he hadn't dealt with added up and that he just snapped when "Adrienne" broke up with him.
I wish the writers had done a better job of showing the pressure mounting so that his initial slip wouldn't have come out of nowhere and seemed like it happened just for the sake of the plot.
I know there was a writing regime change and the current writers are doing the best they can to make things make sense, but it still feels slightly contrived because of the lack of buildup.
I'm also not comfortable with the idea of Lucas sleeping with Bonnie when he is so drunk he probably won't remember the next day, because it brings up the same issues about consent and alcohol as Lani's rape of JJ did.
In this case, at least Lucas actually wanted it on some level, but he still couldn't really consent when he was that intoxicated, and the fact that the show continues to fail to address this problem disturbs me.
John: Hey Doc. Did Hattie give you any idea who she could be working with?
Marlena: Well, Hattie was venting about all kinds of things and what she - Wait a minute!
John: What is it, Doc?
Marlena: We're looking for somebody who makes elaborate plans then has somebody else carry them out. Who does that sound like to you?
While Anjelica was having a fatal argument with her accomplices, John and Marlena sat on opposite sides of the wall in the mental hospital, talking to each other through the vent.
I guess the entire hospital staff is in on Hattie's plot, because it's inconceivable that they would overpower John and put him in a straitjacket just because he said he knew his wife was his wife.
This hospital seems like something out of One Flew Out of the Cuckoo's Nest, which hopefully isn't a realistic depiction of mental hospitals today. I'd like to see Days of Our Lives treat mental health issues a little more seriously in general, so I'd rather not see these kinds of stereotypical horrific hospitals.
However, John and Marlena's exchange after they were both locked up made up some of the funniest scenes of the week.
I especially liked John trying to work through the long list of people who had grudges against him and Marlena and who might hire Hattie to do their dirty work. I'm surprised he didn't think of Andre, especially since Hattie had fallen for Andre hard in the past.
I also wondered if the reference to Alex North was foreshadowing his return. He's another supposedly dead villain, but death means little in Salem and Days of Our Lives is big on returns lately.
Abby: So what's your great news?
Chad: Sonny asked Paul to marry him, and he said yes. So not only is he gonna be my best man, I'm gonna be his.
One of the other frontburner stories this week was this double wedding.
There was a time when I would have been excited about Paul and Sonny being together. During the Will/Sonny/Paul triangle back in 2015, both guys had good chemistry with Sonny and it was hard to decide which I liked better.
But then after Will died, Paul and Sonny flirted at his grave, as if that relationship meant nothing, which was gross and soured me on this couple more or less permanently.
Sonny suddenly turning into a mobster for a few months last summer didn't help either; it made him totally unattractive and not worthy of Paul.
And to make matters worse, Paul and Sonny don't really have a great love story or great chemistry anymore. Paul pining for Sonny but realizing his decision not to come out had sabotaged things was a strong story, but it was followed up with no story at all.
Nowadays, the two have very little time on air and when they are together they seem more like brothers than lovers. I just can't buy the romance the show is selling because there just isn't one there.
Abigail: I can't help but think about Will. You remember their wedding?
Chad: I remember.
Abigail: Everything seemed right in the world. But Ben made sure Will didn't get a second chance.
Chad: Yeah, well, I'm sure Will would want Sonny to be happy and move on.
Plus, everyone seems to be bending over backwards to reassure them that Will would approve of this from wherever he is now.
Chad told Abby that Will would want Sonny to be happy and Sonny wants to get Marlena's blessing, presumably for the same reason.
This didn't come off as very natural. It felt like the writers were scared that viewers won't accept Sonny moving on with Paul and are using the characters to try to convince them that Will wouldn't have a problem with this.
Since Will is supposed to return, I'm hoping that he will interrupt the wedding and put a stop to this new, bland version of Paul and Sonny getting married.
It's a little cliched, but this couple needs to be shaken up, and that's the best way I can think of to do it.
Abby and Chad's decision to tie the knot again left Jennifer bewildered, and I really can't blame her. Abby has been so wishy washy in the last year. She decided at her vow renewal ceremony to divorce Chad and quickly married Dario.
Dario was blackmailing her towards the end, but that doesn't change the fact that Abby has been so on-again off-again with Chad that it makes the relationship Jennifer used to have with Daniel look stable.
Jennifer's confusion was interrupted by her concern for Lucas, which allowed Gabi to come in and get upset that Chad and Abby are getting married.
I know Gabi is hurting, but I don't feel sorry for her. She could have avoided this whole mess by staying with JJ instead of carrying on an emotional affair with Chad and then using JJ's rape as an excuse to break up with him.
Then, once Gabi was with Chad, she suddenly developed an interest in JJ again and after his false arrest for murder she kept sneaking behind Chad's back to spend time with JJ.
Gabi comes off as just wanting whichever guy she can't have at the moment, and there's nothing sympathetic about that at all. Plus, she knew Chad and Abby were back together so it was only a matter of time before they remarried.
I feel sorry for little Ari, who is going to be confused and hurt by her mother's impulsive romantic choices. Gabi needs to grow up and learn what love and commitment actually mean.
The other big story of the week was Joey's leaving Salem. Supposedly he was going to prison for murdering Ava.
I would have preferred the end of this story to go a little slower. I'm glad Joey is facing some consequences for his actions, but it was wrapped up at lightning speed. Joey had a meeting with the DA off-screen, a couple scenes at the Pub to say goodbye to friends and family, then disappeared and presumably went to prison.
I feel like these scenes would have had more dramatic potential if they hadn't been so quick. I know Joey wasn't a popular character thanks to this ridiculous Ava murder and coverup story, but he was the son of a popular supercouple and he deserved a better send-off.
It would have been so much more dramatic to actually see Joey talk with the DA and for it to fully hit him that his choice to take responsibility for his actions meant choosing to go to prison. Even a scene of him being escorted out in handcuffs would have made this story stronger.
In addition, his goodbye scenes weren't about him. They were about everyone questioning why Adrienne and Lucas broke up and realizing that something was off about "Adrienne".
Too bad no one put two and two together and figured out that that wasn't Adrienne at all. At least then there would have been a point to Joey's goodbye party.
I was also disappointed that JJ was not at the party. JJ is Joey's cousin, and there wasn't even an explanation of where he was. And on top of that, the show again missed an opportunity for drama by insisting on keeping JJ on the backburner for no reason.
Joey is going to prison and has a ton of guilt about what he did. JJ narrowly avoided going to prison and has felt guilty for years over the fact that he was given probation instead of jail time. This was a recipe for some strong scenes rooted in the characters, their relationship, and their history that the writers chose not to use.
After all, what could have been more powerful than Joey and JJ wondering whether their fathers had given them a self-destructive gene that caused them to disappoint their mothers by getting into serious trouble?
I was glad that it was finally revealed that Abe was working undercover to try to entrap Raines, the real counterfeiter who worked with Dario. Eli's comment that no one would have guessed that was funny because I think every viewer on every fan forum associated with Days of Our Lives had predicted this.
Nevertheless, this development makes sense, and it was about time the audience got some confirmation about this.
It just didn't make sense for the most moral man in Salem to suddenly become a counterfeiter. Julie and Jennifer questioned it and everyone else really should have too.
Deimos' murderer was also revealed. It was Nicole, not Eric as Brady had hoped.
I was really disappointed with this.
First of all, Days of Our Lives needs to stop writing murder mysteries where the culprit is the one person we've all known for months is leaving the show. The casting news always leaves little doubt as to the identity of the murderer, because it's a good bet that the departing character is going to jail at the end of his or her run.
Secondly, this reveal seemed far too similar to Hope's murder of Stefano for my liking. Deimos taunted Nicole, telling her he was going to take her daughter away forever and that he knew she would never really kill him, just like Stefano taunted Hope and goaded her into shooting him.
The big difference, of course, is that Nicole was drugged against her will. Hope was not.
It's completely ridiculous that anyone would consider this to be murder, considering that every single one of the suspects was drugged without their consent.
Plus, at this point, if Nicole were arrested the cops would have had four different suspects that they were absolutely sure was the murderer even though the suspects remembered nothing.
What DA would even prosecute a case like this?
Of course, Brady talked Nicole out of going to the cops because even if a jury wouldn't convict her based on all of these mitigating factors, being accused could cause her to lose Holly. So Nicole is wandering around feeling guilty and trying not to tell Eric, who has decided he's in love with her again after all.
Sorry, I know that there are a lot of Eric/Nicole fans out there, but as far as I'm concerned that ship sailed a long time ago. Eric was incredibly abusive to Nicole after the shredding incident, and that killed the romance, and nothing that's happened since has convinced me to give this couple a second chance.
Eric holding Jennifer's hand looked far more natural than all of his pining over Nicole. He needs to forget about her and get back to his relationship with Jen.
What did you think of Days of Our Lives? Did anything surprise you? How do you feel about Nicole being a murderer and the upcoming weddings?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back in on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.