Nothing quite compares with the pain of being betrayed by someone you love.
Betrayals have been a source of drama since Shakespeare's Iago poisoned Othello's mind, if not before. When a betrayal storyline is done well, broken-hearted characters are left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, making for compelling drama.
Jack's betrayal of JJ set off a chain reaction in which Haley lashed out at JJ for not keeping her secret, Melinda disowned Haley for ruining her career, and the town took sides about who was right or wrong. But could this topical storyline have been done better?
JJ's reaction to learning his father betrayed him was the strongest part of this storyline.
JJ was understandably both shocked and upset. The dad he knew and loved would have never betrayed him or Haley this way, and he's longed to have that father back ever since Jack's "death" in 2013.
JJ: The father I knew never would have betrayed me like this!
Jack: I don't remember being your father. I'm sorry..
JJ: No. That's not an excuse. Amnesia or no amnesia, this was a choice!
Casey Moss excels at showing JJ's passionate, angry side, and this was no exception.
His eyes and face said it all while JJ was forced to face the fact that the father he had longed for so desperately was still gone on top of the fact that this new Jack was eager to betray him.
JJ was right, too -- Jack's amnesia wasn't an excuse. Jack chose to listen to Eve and to betray JJ's confidence for political gain while convincing himself that he was somehow protecting his vulnerable son from an evil woman.
Sadly, Haley did herself no favors with her response to any of this.
Yes, she has the right to be scared because her future is now in jeopardy. But when the chips were down and her OWN SISTER betrayed her, denying Haley's existence and publicly claiming to be strongly anti-immigrant, she took it out on JJ.
Haley continually insisted that JJ "lied" to her by telling Jack anything, while conveniently ignoring that she interrupted him when he tried to give her a heads-up -- more than once.
And claiming that JJ saved her from suicide and gave her a place to stay merely to trick her into having sex with him makes no sense. No matter how angry she was, she had to know that was a ridiculous thing to say.
Haley's insistence on blaming JJ instead of accepting multiple offers on his part to get her a lawyer so that she can stay in this country legally made her seem immature, and that's putting it politely.
She didn't seem to want a solution to her immigration problem. She wanted a partner in protecting Melinda from the political ramifications of harboring an illegal immigrant while claiming to believe illegal immigration was a serious problem.
After the debate, Melinda's reaction was to kick JJ out of his own apartment so that she could disown Haley in order to salvage her career and suggest that Haley go into hiding so that nobody would know that she and Melinda were related.
While she was doing that, JJ was giving Jack hell and trying to figure out a way to protect Haley from the emotional and legal consequences of Jack's behavior.
Yet somehow JJ is the bad guy in all this?
The only mistake JJ made, besides refusing to accept that Jack was no longer the father he knew and loved, was giving his heart to yet another woman who is not worthy of him. Could the writers give him a proper story instead of letting woman after woman abuse him and calling it "true love"?
I enjoyed his scenes with Jennifer, though. After all the problems JJ and Jennifer have had since Jack's death, it was nice to see Jen try to support her sometimes-wayward son.
Jen's confusion and ambivalence about Jack were apparent. She wanted so much to support JJ's fragile relationship with his dad, yet wanted to protect him from what Jack seems to have become.
And unlike in years gone by, she treated JJ like an adult, other than trying to talk him out of getting in the middle of the Haley situation -- which has never worked with him and never will.
As for Jack, I'm really confused as to what's going on with him!
He pointed out to Eve that this plan to expose Haley in order to harm Trask's chances of being mayor was selfish, shortsighted, and would hurt Jack's relationship with JJ. He said he would never betray his son like that, ever.
And then he did just that.
I don't understand and apparently, Jack doesn't either since he told Eve he didn't know why he felt the need to announce this at the debate instead of talking to Trask privately.
Jack's remorse after JJ broke ties with him seemed to last all of five seconds, too. We had another round of him telling Eve that this plan was wrongheaded and ruined everything for no good reason. He called Eve selfish and overly ambitious and was reluctant to get into the Mayor's race...
...until Jennifer showed up to yell at him and then he repeated everything Eve said about this nonsense being in JJ's best interest and how he was going to run for Mayor.
Jack: I thought we were building a relationship but maybe I was wrong. Maybe you'd be better off without me.
JJ: That's one thing you got right. I never want to talk to you again.
Does anyone understand what's going on here, because I sure don't! It seems like Jack is easily manipulated, almost as if Eve is brainwashing him.
And why are they kissing when Jack's said on multiple occasions that he's repelled by Eve's behavior and doesn't want anything to do with her? Now he's acting like he can't get enough of her!
Suddenly and randomly changing characters' feelings and motivations to suit the plot is not good writing. It's leaving me confused -- and with a severe case of whiplash from how quickly and how often Jack changes his mind when it comes to Eve.
Claire is competing with Jack for who can be the most out of character, I guess, because apparently she set the fire that nearly killed Ciara out of jealousy.
Claire's always been written as a brat, with the exception of her first two weeks on the air. But until now, she's never been seriously violent!
Yes, she's jealous of Ciara, but Ciara is her AUNT who she is desperate to be best friends with. It makes no sense that Claire would go to the cabin to be the hero that saved Ciara and then randomly set the place on fire to kill her!
The only way any of this makes sense is if Claire set the fire in order to save Ciara from it so that she could be seen as a hero. But that's not what she said in her imaginary confession.
She said "something came over her" and she suddenly decided to set the place on fire, and by the time she felt guilty about it, Hope was already there rescuing Ciara so she never told anyone.
This is, first of all, yet another case of the writers' misunderstanding of mental illness extending to the false idea that mentally ill people suddenly and randomly decide to kill people.
Claire suddenly having an irresistible impulse to kill the person she is desperate to be best friends with is no different than Jordan's sudden irresistible impulse to kidnap and kill people to "protect" them from Ben.
This is not the 1920s. Hysteria is not a real ailment nor is it an excuse for any sort of violent behavior a woman might engage in. It's time for DAYS to get into the 21st century and stop using "mental illness" to explain out-of-character behavior that can't really be explained.
The way this was done really feels like the writers randomly decided to make Claire the arsonist and were struggling to come up with an explanation after the fact instead of writing a logical, coherent story.
I'm not sure what to make out of this John/Leo/Diana mess either.
John deciding not to tell Marlena that Leo may be his son was a boneheaded move.
This is Salem, where secrets always come out, and John's lived there for over 30 years!
John seems almost as gullible as Jack if he really believes Diana has Leo's best interests at heart here, too.
Diana's been using Leo's alleged parentage as a come-on since John first asked her if it was a possibility, and it's obvious to anyone with half a brain that she is hoping that this secret will drive a wedge in between John and Marlena that she can swoop in and take advantage of.
I'm far from convinced that this is John's kid at all. What I have been convinced of for weeks is that Marlena was going to learn about this some other way and that was going to be trouble.
And that is exactly what happened. Surprise surprise!
The only thing I didn't see coming a mile away was Victor and Diana teaming up. I'm not sure what Victor is up to with this, though.
Victor is never trustworthy. He always has an ulterior motive and he always hopes to gain some advantage through any deal he makes. He's a ruthless businessman and even more ruthless where family is concerned.
So it is naive, at best, for DIana to believe he's 100% on her side. Her son is messing with his favorite nephew!
I have no doubt that Victor will double cross Diana one way or another. The only question is how. I can't begin to guess yet what he's up to.
Marlena would do well to be wary of him, too, because last time she got involved with Victor, he tricked her into broadcasting Kristen's porn-rape video at Brady's wedding, leading to a mess for everyone.
The thing that got me about the Leo scene, though, was that John was right: punching Leo is not smart on Will's part.
Will is out on bail. He's accused of attempting to murder Leo, or at least, helping dispose of what he thought was Leo's body.
Not only will a physical fight with Leo hurt his case, but in any normal place (i.e. not Salem), it would be a violation of his bail agreement to get into that kind of fight!
So instead of whining that John wasn't on his side, Will should be thanking his lucky stars that John broke up the fight and not Eli, or he'd be cooling off in a jail cell.
Even this Will nonsense isn't as ridiculous as the Sarah storyline, though.
Sarah doesn't love Rex. Why she's sleeping with him is beyond me. It's obvious to everyone except her and Rex that she only has eyes for Eric.
And Rex's behavior isn't helping anything, either. His idea of proving he's going to be faithful involves showing up at Sarah's workplace with a billion balloons and a public marriage proposal, followed by interrogating her about why she doesn't want to marry him!
And if that nonsense wasn't enough of a turn-off, this whole middle-school "make the girl I like want me" bit he's trying to rope Eric into should be.
This is not how mature people act, at all. Rex is far too old to be begging his brother to intercede to get him a date with the pretty girl. Rex also was once lauded as a genius, so how can he not see that Eric and Sarah are pining for each other?
And finally, Ben got in his own way the second Hope got out of it.
Hope's finally on board with Ben and Ciara, which I hope means we won't have to endure any more of her arguing with Rafe over whether or not she should abuse her power to keep the two young lovers apart.
I know couples have to have obstacles, but Ben randomly deciding to break up with Ciara because he could become violent again someday is not a good one.
It's well-acted, for sure -- Robert Scott Wilson and Victoria Konefal are among the best actors on the show -- but it's not compelling drama. It's just annoying.
It would help if Ben and Ciara hadn't had the same back-and-forth conversation about this for at least two episodes.
Ben thinks he's potentially dangerous because he almost killed Jordan and Ciara thinks that was an act of self-defense and not the same as murder at all. We get it. We have no choice but to get it because those two points were made over and over and over.
There is no need for conversations to go in endless circles. It isn't entertaining. Once the characters have said what they had to say, they need to move on.
Ben is far from the first soap character to feel he's not good enough for his girlfriend. Jack and JJ have both done that a lot, as did Chad in the past.
But at least in these other stories, there was space between conversations where the character thought things over. Something would happen to convince him again he wasn't good enough, but at least it wasn't an endless debate that went nowhere.
What do you think, DAYS Fanatics? Do the endless circular conversations grate on your last nerve too? Does Jack's behavior make any sense to you? And who is most to blame in this current Haley mess?