I had to laugh when Ciara asked Ben why he bothered going back to Salem.
Salem's claim to fame seems to be that everyone is in competition to see who can be the most judgmental about things that are none of their business.
During Days of Our Lives during the week of 6-11-18, there was more than enough judgmental obnoxiousness to go around.
Jennifer dropped in uninvited on JJ and criticized his choice of roommate, Eve and Theresa had choice things to say about one another, and Julie went on her usual rant about the Hernandezes after reading about Gabi's dilemma.
I almost felt sorry for a couple characters I wish would leave and not come back! That's how bad the judgmentalism was.
I'm thrilled that JJ finally has a storyline, and doubly thrilled that his mother remembered she has a son with mental health issues, but I could do without the way it's playing out.
Jennifer seemed to think that it was still 2013, which was when she had every right to intervene in Theresa's relationship with her then-teenage son.
Back then, JJ was a troubled 17-year-old who was using marijuana to help him cope with his dad's death and Theresa was a twenty-something who was encouraging his bad behavior, and Jen wanted to stop JJ from spiraling out of control.
But that was then. JJ is now an adult, and despite his recent depression, he is capable of making his own decisions.
Plus, Jennifer's treatment of him and Theresa was nothing but obnoxious, and it put Eric in the middle between his cousin and his girlfriend's son.
That was not cool at all, and I was disappointed that JJ gave in to Jen's manipulations and began explaining. When she commented he would have more privacy if Theresa wasn't in his bathroom, I wanted so badly for him to respond that he'd have more privacy if Jen wasn't on his couch!
I've long been fascinated with the way Jennifer treats JJ as opposed to how she treats Abigail, and I'd love to see a story about JJ confronting that as an adult. If he had a proper therapist instead of his mom's boyfriend, that would be great, dramatic material to dive into during therapy scenes.
Unfortunately, JJ's therapy is mostly off-screen and what has been on-screen has been a complete joke. And seeing Jen go off on him is pointless if his only reaction is going to be to apologize for being an adult with separate opinions from his mother about how to live his life.
Brady: Theresa, get up. This is pathetic. You're offering sex to get what you want.
Theresa: I'm offering sex to get what YOU want.
Brady: How desperate are you?
I'm enjoying JJ's scenes with Theresa more than I am the rest of her return.
Theresa is singularly focused on one thing and one thing alone: getting Brady back.
Instead of any sort of serious story around her PTSD from being treated as a sex slave for a year and a half, Theresa is engaging in one manipulation after another to try to get her way with her ex.
She and Eve are judging each other every chance they get, and Theresa seems to be the only one that remembers that Eve has a checkered past.
Meanwhile, Theresa plotted with Victor to get control of Bella Magazine and get Brady to agree to move back into the mansion in exchange for her giving it to him. When that didn't work, she came up with Plan B: offer the magazine in exchange for Brady sleeping with her.
This plan was ridiculous and did nothing but make Theresa look desperate and stupid.
Worse still, when Brady showed up to confront her about her lack of qualifications to run a magazine, she asked JJ to leave his own apartment.
And JJ did!
I don't know which is worse.
Theresa had the audacity to ask JJ to do that for her after he's gone out of his way to give her a place to stay, tried to steer her away from her bad ideas about how to get Brady back, and put up with his mom's judgments about him living with her.
But JJ should have had the self-respect to not let her get away with that.
Instead, he went to the Pub where he ran into Lani.
Ugh. I was enjoying his Lani-free scenes. His friendship with Theresa is far more entertaining than his rapist whining about how she misses him and wants to try again.
I hope that nobody gets ideas about blaming JJ for Lani's premature labor. It's definitely not his fault that she insisted on asking him yet again for another chance and then didn't like his answer.
The best part of this nonsense was JJ pointing out to Lani that Theresa couldn't hurt him worse than Lani already had. Too bad he followed that up with a speech about how the main reason he doesn't want to try again is that it would hurt to see Eli raise the baby instead of JJ.
First of all, if JJ and Lani were at all a viable couple, they would work out what his relationship with the baby would be. That's part of what it means to date someone who has a child with someone else.
More importantly, the baby lie wasn't Lani's only sin. It was the last in a long line of manipulative things she did to hold onto JJ and try to force him to love her.
This is yet another reason JJ needs a real therapist instead of his mom's boyfriend. He needs help grappling with the question of why he is attracted to a woman like Lani who mistreats him constantly.
It most likely goes back to never having had any closure about Paige's death -- more dramatic gold that is being missed by the current writing team.
This drama was overshadowed by the biggest story of the week of 6-11-18: Ciara's disappearance, thanks to Ben Weston rescuing her after she wiped out on her bike.
Ben: I know that look. The fear in your eyes... I've seen it before.
Ciara: Yeah, I bet you have.
Ben: Look at me, Ciara. I'm not that man anymore.
Ciara: Why? Because one piece of paper says you're cured?
I'm still conflicted about this story.
The idea of Ben being so easily redeemed irks me, and I loved Ciara's doubt that he was really reformed. And it seems like DAYS is taking this in the direction of Ciara falling hard for Ben despite her mother's opinion.
This potential relationship is a hard NO for me.
Ben killed three women for no real reason and Ciara is dealing with the aftereffects of having been raped.
This is an awful idea for a pairing, and that's really saying something, considering how many terrible couples DAYS seems to be pushing on viewers nowadays.
The set-up at the cabin seemed like something out of Stephen King's Misery, and I definitely could have lived without half an episode's worth of flashbacks of Ben tormenting Abigail.
Marci Miller brought a fresh, interesting perspective to those scenes, which were originally filmed with Kate Mansi. But I was disgusted by this story the first time and had no desire to see it again.
There had to be a better way to show Ben struggling with his past than devoting a ton of time to flashbacks that nobody wanted to see. That time could have been used to develop stories in the present.
The scenes aired on June 13, which happened to be the anniversary of Stephen Nichols joining the cast of DAYS for the first time back in 1985. I was disappointed that instead of any Steve and Kayla scenes whatsoever, that hour was focused mainly on Ben.
More interesting was the various reactions as Hope, Tripp, and Claire realized Ciara was actually missing.
I was especially curious about Hope's reaction. Tripp hooking up with Claire the second Ciara dumped him is somewhat similar to what Rafe did.
There's a big difference, though. Rafe lied and kept the secret for months. With Tripp, Claire, and Ciara, it was out in the open within seconds. Besides, they didn't actually go through with having sex, for whatever that's worth.
Anyway, as a viewer, I wasn't sure what to think about Hope's reaction. On the one hand, if she forgives Tripp easily, it makes her look hypocritical.
But I hate the idea of Hope and Rafe as a couple and I don't like that Ciara's disappearance seems to be drawing them closer to one another again.
Meanwhile, Julie sat around being so judgmental of both Rafe and Gabi that she made Jennifer's attitude towards Theresa look like nothing.
I agree with Rafe about one thing: her problem with his treatment of Hope has nothing to do with Gabi, who happens to be an innocent person who has been railroaded.
It's ridiculous that Gabi is still in prison -- what happened to those security tapes that should instantly clear her? And Julie's continued vindictiveness towards her is annoying.
I have to question Sonny's choice to not tell Ari the truth about where her mother is.
I already thought that was a bad idea. But if Gabi's latest problem has made the news, undoubtedly some other child at Ari's pre-school or daycare will overhear their parents talking about it and tease Ari about her mom being in jail.
Finding out that way will be twice as painful than her daddies explaining the situation to her and encouraging her to come to them if anyone bothers her about it.
Brady: Theresa, you are in no way qualified to run a magazine. You know that and I know that.
Theresa: And Eve is? She's a lounge singer.
Eve also took the opportunity to be judgmental when she learned about this whole mess.
Claire tearfully confessed her part in it after Eve fretted that Ciara hadn't shown up, and Eve proceeded to judge Claire for having sex in the living room instead of the bedroom and Tripp for being a guy.
As much as I hated and would like to forget the Eve/JJ hookup story, the fact remains that Eve's part in that, plus the other things she did to interfere with Paige's relationship with JJ, is far worse than Claire's questionable choices with Tripp.
And Eve's declaration that Brady is the only man she doesn't think is a dog was ridiculous. Brady is an eternal 14-year-old who thinks every woman he meets is the love of his life!
Plus, her counter-plan to get rid of Theresa's control over Bella Magazine involved an alliance with Stefan Dimera, who encouraged Abigail's mental illness so he could get laid and who will surely double cross Eve the first chance he gets.
Eve's instincts need a little work. Perhaps a ghostly visit from Paige is in order to get her head on right.
Elsewhere, Will's decision to take the memory-inducing shot would have been more dramatic if it hadn't been so dragged out.
Paul fretted over and over about the possibility of WIll leaving him once he remembered who he was, but at least he was supportive.
Once Will got to the hospital, viewers were treated to a series of tedious scenes where Marlena continually tried to talk Will out of taking the shot.
These scenes went in circles, with her issuing warnings and Will refusing to listen.
Even Paul suggesting they should respect Will's wishes didn't seem to sway Marlena, and his threat to get a different doctor who might actually do the job resulted in Marlena asking him again to reconsider.
I know they wanted to have the actual shot be the last scene, but this was so repetitive I wanted to jump into the TV and push Marlena out of the way so Will could get his shot!
And after all that, he wasn't seen again for the rest of the week, so there wasn't even any payoff for sitting through these scenes.
Kayla went ahead with her mission to get Kate, even lying to Marlena about what she was doing.
This is so out of character for Kayla and I'm really worried it's going to blow up in her face and ruin things with her and Steve -- a legacy couple that should be fighting his blindness together, not separately.
But when Kayla came around the corner and saw Kate warning shady lawyer Ted not to hang around her in public, I cheered. If Kayla can help get rid of this idiotic Leo storyline, something good will come out of the misuse of her character.
It's your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics! Which storylines did you love or hate? Which MIA character would you like to see more of? Do you ship Ciara/Ben, or does the idea disgust you?