Days of Our Lives Review: Pushed Over The Edge

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JJ is at his best when he angrily topples someone's attempt to control him.

It's doubly awesome when he goes up against his father-turned-bad-guy as he did on Days of Our Lives during the week of 6-3-19.

I'm not sold on JJ and Haley as a couple, but these scenes were phenomenal.

(TALL) Offering a Deal - Days of Our Lives

For the longest time, JJ has had nothing to do, and his conversation with Jack in the cabin seemed like more watered-down stupidity that didn't fit his character.

It didn't make sense that JJ "had to return" because Jack knew his burner phone number. Couldn't he have just got a different burner from somewhere?

And it also didn't quite make sense that he answered the phone at all just because the call came from Jennifer's cell. Smart, resourceful JJ should have guessed that might be a trick.

Related: Days of Our Lives: 7 Ways Days Of Our Lives Could (And Should!) Be Using JJ Deveraux

But once JJ got to the police station, it all made sense. Mostly, anyway.

Jack ordering people to be arrested or let go irritated me because he is supposed to be the Mayor, not a member of the police force.

Rory Returns - Days of Our Lives

DAYS' constantly treating Mayor Abe as a super-commissioner was irksome too, but at least Abe was a former cop who still had ties to the police department!

In Jack's case, it was jarring to hear him make these kinds of decisions and took viewers out of the story.

In addition, it seemed like JJ's arrest was a flaw in his plan as if he never thought of the possibility that turning himself in for aiding and abetting a fugitive could land him in jail.

Jack: All right, your mother has been released just like you wanted. Now where's Haley?
JJ: I'm not telling you.
Jack: We had a deal.
JJ: I lied.
Jack: You lied to me?
JJ: I will never give up Haley!

Once Jack made the mind-boggling decision to arrest his own son for what sounded more like a young man rebelling against a controlling father than anything else, JJ had this proud look on his face as he was handcuffed.

But the story would have been stronger had JJ walked into the police station knowing he was going to jail but being willing to sacrifice his freedom for the greater good.

Engaging in civil disobedience as part of a refusal to accept injustice is definitely part of JJ's character, and not expecting to get arrested after turning himself in at the police station was far too stupid for him.

Related: Days of Our Lives: Why Social Messaging Matters

Leaving that aside, the question coming out of these powerful scenes is whether Jack has truly gone too far now.

In Salem, very little is irredeemable. Ben has put his serial killer past behind him, for goodness sake!

But even if Jack were to recover his memories tomorrow and put all this crazy behavior behind him, could his family really take him back after he first arrested his wife for no reason and then traded her freedom for their son's incarceration?

Claire on the Warpath - Days of Our Lives

Just like JJ, Jennifer was willing to go to jail, secure in the knowledge that the real Jack was in there somewhere. But still, at what point is the damage irreparable?

Of course, JJ's arrest was more or less a plot point so that Claire would come across Tripp and Haley alone in the cabin and get violently jealous again.

Olivia Rose Keegan continues to hit these scenes out of the park, but is it worth it to destroy Claire like this?

Related: Get True Crime Files by ID via Prime Video Channels for Over 1,000 Real-life Mystery & Suspense Shows!

DAYS continues to engage in negative stereotyping of people with mental illness, especially women.

Ben Shares His Suspicions - Days of Our Lives

This storyline, like Jordan's and Abigail's before it, suggests that women cannot handle serious disappointment, especially in the romantic realm, and that they "lose their minds" and lash out violently.

Plus, it reinforces the myth that people with mental illness are dangerous and to be feared and adds to the stigma and shame many with mental health issues face.

It's especially a shame when it comes to Claire, who was originally introduced as a sweet mini-Belle but quickly became a villain who cared about nothing but upping her Instagram follower count and stealing a man from poor, innocent Ciara.

Longtime viewers know that not only was Claire not originally a villain but that Ciara as a child was a holy terror that was expected to become the next Sami and who admired people like Kristen and once asked Theresa to teach her how to wrap men around her little finger.

Lani and Eli Break Up - Days of Our Lives

So for Ciara to be the sweetheart and Claire the villain here makes zero sense -- it should be the other way around.

Plus being sneaky and devious is one thing. Being a murderer is another. Claire deliberately setting fires to kill her rivals is not a Sami-like move. It's almost as if Claire and Ben switched personalities and now he's a good guy and she's someone who will kill anyone who gets in her way, even people she claims to love.

And honestly, Tripp is not worth it. He expected her to step back and become the "other woman" so that he could marry Haley to keep her in the country.

No woman with any self-respect would accept that! Yet Claire's refusal to is supposed to be the catalyst for her mental illness as if it's her desire to be the first priority to her boyfriend and not the way she handled this absurd situation that is the problem.

Blaming Someone Else - Days of Our Lives

On top of that, Rory -- who had been surprisingly intelligent throughout this story -- again became stupid so that Claire could trick him, and then Ben pretended to still be violent so that he could scare Rory. None of that was either necessary or entertaining.

(TALL) Clearing His Own Name - Days of Our Lives

The biggest issue with this story, though, is how contrived the whole thing is.

I never found either JJ or Tripp's interest in Haley believable. Sure, they're both former bad boys who became do-gooders to make up for their bad behavior, but that's not enough to motivate them both to risk their entire futures for Haley.

Instead of making this a love story, it would have been much better if the guys were part of a movement to protect immigrants and engaged in some sort of more meaningful protests.

Plus, Tripp and JJ never had any interaction before this story despite the fact that they are cousins with similar personalities and histories. So for them to be willing to risk their lives to protect each other now falls flat.

On the Run - Days of Our Lives

It's a shame, too, because Steve's son and Jack's son being best friends would have had a lot of potential had it not been done only for the sake of the plot. 

The one good thing that could be said about it is that at least the guys didn't fight with each other over this girl that they both fell for in five seconds. That's a refreshing change from most triangles on this show.

"Nicole" Turns on Eric - Days of Our Lives

Kristen's ridiculous plan is centered on getting Brady to be hers whether he likes it or not, and there's not much difference between her and Claire. Kristen threw things all over her hotel room and declared that NO ONE would stop her from being with Brady, not even Brady himself.

There were so many similarities between her and Claire that I wondered if she brainwashed Claire that time that she kidnapped her for five minutes.

Xander: You know, my old man died when I was little and my mom dealt with it by drinking herself into oblivion.
Maggie: I'm sorry.
Xander: Don't be. I learned to be self-reliant. I'd come home and put her to bed and then I had the flat to myself and could do whatever I wanted. I was the envy of all my mates.
Maggie: You know, you don't have to shrug it off.

About the only good thing to come out of this whole Kristen pretending to be Nicole and pretending Holly is dead mess is Maggie's storyline.

Maggie's alcoholism is moving despite some hiccups in the realism of this story. Maggie slipping despite going to meetings and trying to stop herself from drinking makes sense. Maggie not wanting to go to a meeting when she's tempted to drink after 30 years of being everyone else's sponsor makes none.

Her scenes with Brady are always well worth watching, though, and surprisingly, so were her scenes with Xander.

Maggie's Shocking News - Days of Our Lives

Maggie flip-flopped from being too drunk to move or think clearly and acting like Xander's sponsor. Despite her own intoxication, she seemed willing to encourage him to face his own despair instead of acting like he didn't care.

It was nice to finally get some honest emotion out of Xander, and a compelling backstory, too. Xander is that rarest of all things: a villain whose motivation makes sense and who is more hurt than purely evil.

Searching For The Formula - Days of Our Lives

Nothing could make up for the time suck that is Rex/Sarah/Eric, though. These three seem to constantly be competing to see who can be the most stupid and oblivious!

Rex and Sarah searched through his notes from Rex's work with Dr. Rolf and came across a lot of information about realistic looking masks, but so far nobody has figured out that Kristen is using that technology to masquerade as Nicole.

Maybe if this wasn't the ten millionth doppelganger story to hit Salem in the space of a year or two, it would be more understandable that people don't immediately connect the dots on something like this.

But Nicole's out-of-character behavior plus the prevalence of evil doubles in Salem plus information about realistic looking masks should wake everyone up!

Eric is Fooled - Days of Our Lives

Instead, Eric keeps getting upset that "Nicole" blames him for Holly's "death" and gravitates closer to Sarah despite Nicole being his true love, while Sarah continually apologizes for trying to kiss Eric and says Rex is her true love when he's not.

Enough already! This is so obnoxious that I'm hoping Xander and Sarah hook up again just to put a stop to it.

In the Backyard - Days of Our Lives

Also in the enough already category: This nonsense with Gabi and Stefan.

This latest non-tryst made no sense. Stefan showed up in Gabi's backyard for no apparent reason, other than the plot driven one of needing to overhear Gabi tell Kate her plan was working.

The two then did the same type of verbal sparring that usually leads to sex for them, only it didn't lead there and when Stefan walked off happy with himself for apologizing to Gabi, she mumbled that she played this perfectly.

Um... okay. I don't see how, but at least we were spared more sex in the backyard while Rafe and Lani were in the house with the baby.

Lani Tells a Lie - Days of Our Lives

Meanwhile, Eli and Lani broke up because Lani wanted to continue to help with baby David after Rafe's arm healed.

They were both wrong about this. Lani was wrong to act like baby David is her child (again), and Eli was wrong to act like she was cheating on him by taking care of a baby. 

Hopefully, these two breaking up means the end of this endless argument, though I wouldn't bet on it.

Kayla Has More News - Days of Our Lives

Will's brain tumor would be moving if it weren't for the fact that Will is likely going to be just fine.

I loved all the scenes in the hospital, but my prediction is that an antidote to his supernatural tumor will be found just before he slips away for good (though maybe we'll get another afterlife sequence like we did with Marlena).

What did you think, DAYS Fanatics? Did the short week of 6-3-19 pack a lot of punch into just three days of story, or were there things you could do without?

Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.

Days of Our Lives continues to air on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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