Seriously, Salem? Why is everyone so shocked at Tony's miraculous return from the dead?
The current mayor got resurrected sans memories after being cremated in 2012, for goodness sake! And there are two other formerly-dead people in Salem (even if one is not who she pretends to be).
So why, exactly, did Days of Our Lives spend so much screen time during the week of 8-5-19 on people disbelieving that Tony could be alive too?
Resurrection has become so common that I can't take Ted's murder seriously.
This is a guy who was presumed shot and killed once before, only to show up alive and well a year later to create trouble for Hope and Rafe. The odds are that he's going to show up again a year or two from now with some bizarre explanation about how he survived.
In the meantime, we have a murder storyline that is unnecessary in so many ways.
Ted's death was accidental, at least on Tony's part, but was preventable.
When Kristen revealed herself to him and threatened to kill him, the smart thing to do would have been to run like hell.
Ted's relationship with Hope began with him asking her to protect him from Stefan after the last time he returned from the dead. So if the writers didn't want Ted on canvas, revealing that Kristen was after him would have been a nice bookend before he left town.
Plus, Hope broke up with Ted because he wouldn't tell her the truth about what he had gotten involved with. So telling her about Kristen and her threats would have been the perfect way to get back in Hope's good graces.
Instead, Ted had some weird fantasy about getting killed before it happened (what the heck was that, Days of Our Lives?), then grabbed a gun off the table and got shot after a brief struggle with Tony.
And the stupidity didn't end there!
Kristen came up with a brilliant plan, one that Days of Our Lives has used a million times before: dump the body somewhere else to be someone else's problem.
For some reason, she didn't worry about her Nicole mask while doing this even though she never leaves the room without that mask, and as a result, almost got caught by Hope.
Meanwhile, when Stefan found the body, he felt a need to run all over Ted's apartment touching everything and then to pick up the gun just as Eli arrived.
Come on! I'm all for Stefan being falsely accused of this murder, but did he have to be made totally stupid to do it?
Of course, if the cops bothered to do anything but conclude that since they caught Stefan with the gun, he is the murderer, they would quickly find out that he was arguing with Hope at the time of death, but I'm not holding my breath for that.
Days of our Lives has this bad habit of making characters into idiots to suit the plot, and doubly so if the character happens to be a cop.
Hope's intelligence has doubled since she left the force, for example. If she were still officially part of the Salem PD, she never would have figured out that the errant hundred dollar bill she found came from Ted's apartment or that Kristen's response to her trying to give it back to her was weird.
Tony: What's wrong?
Kate: I just woke up to see the back-from-the-dead doppelganger of my still-dead husband sleeping near me.
Tony's reactions are the best part of this unnecessary storyline. Unlike his evil brother Andre, Tony is basically a good guy and carries a ton of guilt over having shot Ted accidentally. He's also a terrible liar and can't hide his discomfort whenever anyone mentions Ted's death.
Tony and Kate's scenes were all sorts of interesting, too.
At first, Kate seemed to be replacing Andre with his lookalike. If she has designs on him, that will complicate things for him even further!
But Kate's interest quickly devolved into suspicion. She sensed Tony's nervousness and that he wasn't telling her the full truth and confronted him the same way she would have confronted Andre if he were still here.
Kate knows Tony very well and unnerved him further with some hard-hitting truths. She's right -- Tony is in the middle of this mess whether he wants to be or not.
If only Kate could figure out that "Nicole" IS Kristen, maybe this annoying doppelganger story could come to an end!
Decidedly not cool: Rafe and Hope teaming up to find Ted's real killer.
The one good thing about Ted was that he kept Hope out of Rafe's orbit. Hope was right that they made a good detective team -- but anything beyond that always ends up ruining both characters.
Besides, Rafe has just as good a reason to suspect Hope of the murder as he does to suspect Gabi. Hope shot Stefano six times in cold blood and then asked Rafe to help her move the body!
And her story about a mysterious woman who never spoke and never let her see her face could just as easily have been made up.
I'd rather see Rafe ruin his relationship with Hope further by suspecting her of killing Ted than gloat about how awful Ted was while helping Hope find his killer.
On the other hand, if their investigation leads to Kristen literally getting unmasked sooner rather than later, I can put up with Rafe and Hope being together temporarily.
Brady and "Nicole" is even worse than Rafe and Hope! At least Rafe and Hope know who each other is.
And Brady should have figured out that "Nicole" is Kristen when she started pushing him to admit he still had feelings for Kristen.
Seriously, what woman responds to her lover stating that he can't stop thinking about another woman the way she did? She was pushing him to admit he was in love with one of Nicole's worst enemies!
Kristen: Part of Brady knew it was me all along.
Tony: I can imagine which part.
Plus, Brady slept with both Kristen and the real Nicole, and surely their sexual performance isn't the same. Kristen is almost always shown as enjoying dominating Brady sexually, so her pushing him onto the bed should have been a major clue as to who he was dealing with.
Maybe that's why he keeps thinking about Kristen, but could he put the pieces together already, please?
Similarly, Xander's amusing exchange with Maggie should have made a lightbulb go off.
Maggie: Even Eric has to give up on Nicole. She hates him!
Xander: Oh, that's not the real Nicole.
Maggie: What? Who else would she be?
Maggie assumed that Xander meant Nicole was not acting like herself out of grief.
But she saw Kristen in "Nicole's" hotel room and insisted she knew what she saw when everyone assumed she was hallucinating because she was drunk.
So now if she would only put Xander's words and that memory together, she'd have the truth!
The Gabi/Stefan revenge storyline is getting old. Gabi wanted revenge on Stefan, and now he wants revenge on her. This is going to go on endlessly if something doesn't happen.
Probably that something is going to be Gabi realizing she's in love with Stefan and saving him from the death penalty when he's convicted of Ted's murder or something equally dramatic.
In the meantime, Gabi is strutting around Dimera mansion like she thinks this stupid trick she played makes her one of Stefano's children. But she is way out of her league here, and this cannot possibly end well.
You think you played your trump card, but the hand isn't over yet. See, you lost your control over me. But I still have mine over you. You've got it bad for me and that ain't good.Stefan
Stefan was right -- Gabi overplayed her hand. The smart thing to do would be to string him along for another few months, not immediately jump to screwing him over!
Besides, Gabi is smitten with him no matter what she says. The only thing saving her from Stefan now is that he likely is lying when he says he no longer has any feelings for her. Their confrontation looked similar to all their other "hate sex" scenes.
Meanwhile, so much time is spent on Kristen and related stories that other, more interesting stories are getting squeezed out.
Jack barely had any airtime, for example, despite how fascinating it is to see him try to navigate his desire to be a good mayor and his desire to stick it to Jennifer.
Jack was deeply hurt by Jennifer suggesting that his behavior while under Eve's control was slimy, and if that spurs him to be a better Mayor than expected, I'm all for it. But if Jack is going to continue down the evil path even though Eve is no longer calling the shots, I don't want to see that.
There wasn't a single sighting of JJ, Haley, or Tripp either. I dislike two out of these three characters and would love to see JJ have a more worthwhile storyline, but still.
Haley was having hallucinations and taking pills, and then disappeared for an entire week. The writers need to do a better job of balancing all the stories on canvas than that!
Instead, a ton of time was devoted to Rex's marriage falling apart. It was one of those stories that could have been compelling if only the writing were better.
Sarah and Eric's desire to be with each other but not to hurt Rex is the type of drama that soap viewers love -- except it was hard to buy that these two were really in love or that Sarah was torn between the two guys.
Instead, Sarah chose Rex because she couldn't have Eric...and then when Rex found out and stormed off, Eric chose Sarah because he couldn't have Nicole.
What kind of love story is that? Eric isn't any more in love with Sarah than she is with Rex, and this is all set up for the real Nicole to return to Salem and turn Sarah's world upside down.
In a way, that would be karma, since Sarah insisted on being with Eric no matter how many times he told her to respect her marriage with Rex instead. But it's also very predictable, and we've gone down this road before with Eric and Jennifer.
For the most part, Rex's treatment of Eric was unfair. He acted like Eric and Sarah had an affair under his nose when in reality, Eric turned Sarah down at least a dozen times per week and even officiated her wedding to Rex despite the pain it caused him.
Eric was wrong to jump into bed with Sarah as soon as she said it was over with Rex, though. At the very least, the two should have had a serious talk about what Sarah's decision to leave Rex meant and how they wanted to proceed. Instead, they had sex first and that talk second.
Rex: Well, this is awkward. But it's okay, because it's never going to happen again. I'm leaving town.
Sarah: Rex, you don't have to do that. We need to talk.
Rex: With all due respect, you need to listen to me. I know I made a lot of mistakes and I'm sorry that I hurt you. But I still love you enough to say that I hope that Eric doesn't break your heart.
Rex dealt with Sarah's rejection in typical Rex fashion: he got drunk, yelled at everyone, and then decided to leave town.
This is another issue with this whole story: Rex and Sarah have always acted like 15-year-olds in adults' bodies, and this was no exception!
It was nice that Rex came to his senses just in time to leave Salem, but he couldn't leave fast enough for me!
Now let's hope that Sarah realizes her heart belongs to Xander sooner rather than later so we can see a couple with some chemistry.
So what did you think, DAYS fanatics?
Is the Ted's death story gripping drama, silly and unnecessary, or somewhere in between?
Who do you think will expose Kristen for who she is first?
And does anyone think Sarah and Eric are a compelling couple?
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.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.