Salem seems to be the world's most violent place lately.
On Days of Our Lives during the week of 4-23-18, Chad beat Stefan almost to death after interrupting his rape of Abigail, Brady was drugged, and Chloe was kidnapped. Plus Gabi was beaten unconscious in prison.
Meanwhile, the Salem PD was so incompetent that the only person to find Abigail -- twice -- was Steve, a blind retired PI, even though she was hanging out in public places like the park and the hospital.
How can anyone in Salem feel comfortable living in such a violent community?
Gabi's beating was the most gratuitous and hard to watch out of all the violence in Salem during the week of 4-23-18.
Prison stories where someone has it in for an inmate and bullies her have been done to death on Days of Our Lives. Hope went through this not that long ago, and now Gabi's life hangs in the balance after a bloody beating that we did not need to see on screen.
The entire scene was nothing but cliches, from the guard who was conveniently absent (and supposedly corrupt) during the beating to the supposed reason for it.
It felt like the writers decided that they wanted to beat Gabi up and then went searching for a reason for someone to do it. We've never even heard of Raines' girlfriend before, nor did we know she was in jail or that anyone had a vendetta against Gabi.
If there had to be a beatdown story, it would have made a lot more sense for Diane to be someone that Eli put away. At least then there would be some logic to this, since Eli had just visited Gabi!
It also made little sense that Gabi was so entirely helpless and unable to fight back. She's tough and feisty, and I recall that a couple of years ago she broke up a fight between two models backstage at an event and commented that she'd learned how to do that in prison.
So how come she couldn't do anything except threaten to call for the guard and then stand there getting beaten up? I'm so tired of women in Salem becoming helpless when the plot calls for it, and this was no exception.
Even worse, this beating appears to be nothing but a plot point. It was random and over-the-top violent, and its purpose seems to have been to get Rafe and JJ to jail to see Gabi and Hope to run off when she heard the news.
This had better not be a vehicle to reunite Hope and Rafe!
Hope has already been softening far too much towards Rafe for my liking after allowing him to manipulate her into helping him with the investigation into who really killed Andre, and I really don't want them bonding over Gabi's injuries.
Gabi's false imprisonment should be about her, not about Hope and Rafe finding their way back to each other, and I really hope her character isn't getting locked up and beaten up just to give the worst excuse for a couple in Salem a reason to reconcile.
Back in Salem proper, this travesty of a DID storyline continued after Chad beat Stefan almost to death over his rape of his wife.
I'm glad Chad is calling the rape what it is. That makes me feel a little better about this storyline.
This is the first rape in a long time that's been called rape and not treated as an epic love story. I hope there's some follow-through on this and that Chad's accusations aren't dismissed as him making excuses for his wife's "cheating".
It's not a good sign that Hope compared Chad's feelings to how she felt about Rafe sleeping with Sami.
One thing that can be said for Rafe is he didn't rape anybody, and acting like rape and cheating are one and the same reinforces the poor messaging that has plagued this show for the last several years.
Jennifer: Hope? There's an APB out on Abigail? What happened?
Hope: I think you'd better sit down.
There were some emotional scenes between Jennifer and Chad as he told her about the rape and Abigail's apparent brainwashing.
But I couldn't help thinking that Jennifer didn't react this way when Lani did the exact same thing to JJ. Instead, she encouraged him to tell Gabi about the "cheating" he'd done by having sex he was unable to consent to or even remember and didn't worry for a second about why he was drinking and getting himself into this kind of situation.
That double standard is annoying and has got to go. If the writers aren't going to do some sort of story around JJ's feelings about being judged so much more harshly than his "perfect" sister, then they need to at least acknowledge the double standard and change it.
All that aside, I felt like history could be used a little better here than it was. There's no way that Jennifer could hear her daughter was raped and not flash back to Lawrence Alamain raping her.
She also should be worrying that Abigail is having a relapse of mental illness, given her history. I hope that there's more to come besides her wondering aloud what is wrong with her daughter, because Jennifer realizing Abby is mentally ill could be the kind of drama soaps are made for if it's handled properly.
As for Chad, I hope he gets out of the rut he's in soon. Chad has twice been arrested and twice spent the entire time he was locked up insisting that the rules don't apply to him and he should be set free because he needs to find his wife.
That's getting tiresome, and in this case it's ridiculous because if Chad had run after Abigail in the first place instead of going back in the room to beat up Stefan some more, he likely wouldn't be in this predicament.
On the other side of town, Chloe was kidnapped, making her the fourth strong woman in a month to suddenly become weak and helpless when threatened.
The evil Mr. Garcia showed up in Doug's Place after she had locked up and ordered her at gunpoint to come with him to Mexico. Chloe not only made no effort to resist, but when Eve showed up, she totally went along with Garcia's plans and didn't try to subtly warn her something was wrong.
I guess Eve was preoccupied with her Brady drama, since she didn't find it the least bit strange that Chloe had suddenly had this change of heart, that Garcia was sitting in a locked restaurant with her, that he kept pressuring Eve to leave, or that Chloe wouldn't explain herself at all.
I'm not a fan of women suddenly becoming damsels in distress and needing their man to save them, but Lucas should have been suspicious when he couldn't reach her and got a weird break-up note, considering that he just went through this with Adrienne, only to find she had been kidnapped and replaced by a doppleganger!
Brady: I wanted to be alone with you because I have a serious question to ask you.
Eve: Uh oh.
Brady: If you were to choose between Tahiti or Paris, which location would you rather go to?
Eve: Why are you asking me that?
Brady: I need to know because I need to give the pilot the flight plan.
Eve: Excuse me?
Brady: My jet is fueled up. It's on the tarmac. It's ready to go. All I need is a destination. And just so you know, Eve, wherever we go, you will have your own suite. Far be it for me to put any pressure on the situation. So what do you say? Paris or Tahiti?
Eve: This is crazy. We just launched the campaign. We can't just take off somewhere.
Brady: The magazine will be fine for a couple of days without us.
Eve: And what about my nephew?
Brady: My son'll be fine, because Maggie's been dying for some alone time with him. It's already taken care of.
Eve: This is crazy!
Brady: No, it's fate. Claire won the contest and I won the bet. It's all because you and I were meant to be together.
The nonsense surrounding the Face of Bella competition was innocuous compared to all the violence elsewhere in Salem, but this storyline is grating on my last nerve.
It's obvious the writers want viewers to root for Ciara because Claire cheated, but the way it's written makes that impossible. Both girls are selfish and petty, and there are no heroes here.
Ciara only entered the contest to stick it to Claire, and her reason for wanting revenge is that Claire told her mother the truth about Rafe cheating on her instead of joining the cover-up that half of Salem was involved in.
She decided to go out with Wyatt to get revenge on Tripp for casting his vote for Claire instead of her.
Sure, she apologized for it, but it's just a matter of time before she does something else petty, and she still doesn't really see anything wrong with helping her mom's boyfriend lie to her mom about something major. Plus, she did a lot of whining about Wyatt using her when she was also using him!
Claire did the wrong thing, but she was using the contest to further her career, and Ciara was using it to help her bully Claire.
If these girls -- who really should be best friends -- have to fight, it should be about something a little more substantial than boys and beauty contests, and their arguments should be handled the way 20-somethings handle them, not the way preschoolers do.
The constant sniping and backbiting and one-upping is obnoxious and it plays into the worst stereotypes about girls. I'd be happy to ship these two off to an island somewhere if it meant we could get Paige back so that we could have an actual strong woman on this show.
Eve believed Ciara's claims without even looking at any evidence and immediately turned on Brady. The drugs he had been given against his will kicked in, and naturally she assumed he'd been drinking even though she'd been with him all night and knew he hadn't been.
I could care less about Eve and Brady as a couple, but I couldn't help thinking that her false belief that her boyfriend got drunk and was messing with her head was karma for that time she hired a prostitute to break up JJ and Paige and after the prostitute drugged JJ's drink she tried to convince Paige that JJ had got drunk and cheated on her.
Steve and Kayla continued to be a bright spot this week. They only had one small scene together, but I loved Kayla reassuring Steve that it wasn't his fault he let Abigail go and Steve stopping her from babying him.
I just wish these two were on consistently instead of disappearing for weeks at a time. I'm excited about Steve's blindness story and I'm wondering if that neurology consult Kayla almost ignored has to do with his vision issues.
I also think it's hilarious that the only person to find Abigail is her blind retired PI uncle even though there's an APB out for her and she keeps showing up in the most public of places. The Salem PD gets more incompetent every day!
Another bright spot was Claire's conversation with Julie. I love the way these two click, and I hope that Julie will be sympathetic when she finds out the truth, since we all know she wasn't above doing similar shenanigans when she was Claire's age.
What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 4-23-18?
Do you think the Abigail rape story is going to go in a proper direction now?
Did Chloe's kidnapping make any sense?
And why in the world are the Salem police so incompetent?
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.