It finally happened!
Not only did Jack get his memory back on Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-23-19, but he and Jennifer shared their first post-memory kiss.
It's been a long time coming, but this moment was well worth waiting for.
The build-up to this climactic moment was silly, but that didn't lessen the emotional impact. Even though I'd watched this moment over and over on the Days of Our Lives promo video, it still brought tears to my eyes when Jack told Jennifer he remembered her.
Jennifer told Jack that the last few months since his return had been confusing and upsetting. But while it might have only been a few months in Salem time, it was nearly a year in real-time.
A year in which Jack was nothing like the person fans knew and loved, where he became Eve's puppet, parroting her nonsensical hatred of Jennifer and her family.
A year where he betrayed his son, rejected his wife, and did mean things to everyone who loved him.
So for Jack/Jennifer fans, this was a loooong time coming and then even after Jack recovered his memories it took an entire episode for Jack and Jennifer to finally kiss.
There were no fireworks on screen, but there might as well have been. That's how romantic this moment was.
The biggest question now is what's next for Jack? He has a ton of messes to clean up from when he was an amnesiac who listened too much to the wrong people.
Jennifer thought JJ and Abigail would forgive Jack as soon as they heard the news, but is she right about that? And even if Jack's children forgive him, what about people like Abe that Jack screwed over in his quest to become Mayor?
Jennifer: When we first fell in love, you were afraid of your feelings for me and you pushed me away every single time.
Jack: You know what, Ms. Horton? I remember that.
Jennifer: Do you also remember that we always found our way back together?
Jack: I do. I remember everything. I remember a Wild West Wedding and our marriage and babies. We had babies
Jennifer: We did.
Jack: What a life we had together.
Jennifer: Have. What a life we HAVE together.
Jack: Correct. What a life we have together.
Jack may not want to be Mayor anymore, either, now that he has his memories of his life as a fearless reporter. And it remains to be seen whether he and Jennifer will remarry or take things slowly.
Whatever lies ahead, though, certainly has to be better than what came before. Jennifer's kidnapping was a ridiculous, plot-driven story designed to get Jack to recover his memories, and up to the end Jack displayed signs of the obnoxious, new-and-unimproved Jack.
JJ and Jack reconciled somewhat during this crisis, working together to try to find Jennifer.
But Jack let his nerves get the better of him again and told JJ he cared nothing for Jennifer and was only searching for her for JJ's sake. He also ditched JJ to rescue Jennifer on his own, which Jennifer said JJ would understand -- but will he?
JJ saw right through Jack's cover story when Jack disappeared, and I was surprised that JJ didn't follow him. The JJ Deveraux I know and love definitely would have!
He likely told Rafe to check out the apartment where Jennifer was being held, though. Why else would Rafe show up there two seconds after Jack killed Shah?
But there was no reason for Rafe to be the one to confront Jack and Jennifer after the big moment.
It would have been so much more emotional if a panicked JJ had rushed over there himself and found out that his dad not only rescued his mom but had recovered his memories.
Days of Our Lives needs to let go of this determination to shove JJ in the background when he deserves to be in the forefront!
The less said about Jennifer's ordeal, the better.
Shah was randomly turned into a psychopath for the sake of this story and it was just as much of a torment to viewers to hear him explain that he wanted to kill Jennifer because his mother was an alcoholic who was addicted to one-night-stands as it was for Jennifer!
His backstory sounded like a cross between Paige's backstory and an episode of Criminal Minds. And since Shah was a minor character who never showed any signs of any of this before, it felt as if the writers made up that story on the fly to justify Shah's violent behavior.
Also, is Days of Our Lives ever going to stop equating mental illness and extreme violence?
It was shocking that Jack mentioned the possibility that Jennifer might have PTSD from this ordeal since most Days of Our Lives characters escape unscathed from these types of situations. If the writers do go there, let's hope it's written more realistically than Haley's PTSD was!
Jack wasn't the only one who recovered his memories. Kate miraculously awakened from a seemingly irreversible coma, then recovered her memory of being shot 30 seconds after Kayla told her she would probably never remember.
Kayla was 2 for 2 with bad predictions, though she can hardly be blamed for thinking Kate was at death's door. Nobody expected Dr. Rolf to sneak into Kate's room and give her the resurrection drug.
Well, well, well. If it isn't the former Mrs. Stefano Dimera. You know, you were the only one of his wives that Stefano had a soft spot for...well, as much as Stefano was capable of having a soft spot for anyone.Rolf
That silly plot device was the only campy part of this story. I'm grateful for that.
Lucas' decision to give Kate's heart to Julie was one of the most painful, soapy stories in recent Days of Our Lives history. THIS is the kind of compelling drama soaps are known for!
If only Lucas' siblings were all there too. Lucas' pain was raw and his scenes with Will were powerful, but it didn't make sense that none of Kate's other children came to Salem to say goodbye before her vital organs were removed.
And Vivian couldn't have imitated Billie so easily if the real Billie was in Salem, either. Of course, a real hospital wouldn't give sensitive details out over the phone about organ donation, either!
Anyway, several of Kate's children live in Chicago, or did the last time we heard from them, so there was no reason for them not to make the hour-long trip to say goodbye to their dying mother.
Nor should Austin have stayed in Europe. And Sami should have come with Lucas to support him and see her best frenemy.
There were behind-the-scenes reasons they all stayed away, of course. Alison Sweeney likely wasn't available and Days of Our Lives has a low budget and often does its best with limited sets and actors. But storywise, this made zero sense and distracted from the impact.
Surely they could have at least shown Lucas' end of a Skype call or had some dialogue about how some of these missing siblings wanted Lucas to wait until they could get there to say goodbye but there wasn't time!
And now that Kate is all right, Lucas and Will are panicking about her finding out that they nearly ordered her death. Perhaps this is meant to serve as comic relief during this heavy story, but it seems silly and out of place.
Meanwhile, it's going to be devastating for Julie and her family to learn that she's not getting a heart after all.
Julie's heart condition has been a tearjerker of a story as it is, and I'm both dreading and looking forward to her family's reaction to Kate's miraculous recovery.
Lucas' sacrifice on Kate's behalf gave Julie's family hope that she might not die, and now that hope is going to be snatched out from under them. This being soapland, another donor heart is sure to come along, but probably not until Julie and Doug are about to give up altogether.
Eli is a wonderful person...and a terrible liar. If he's not going to tell me what's going on with Jennifer, I'm going to have to find out some other way.Julie
Eli became the latest person to suffer from undeserved guilt when he learned that Julie suffered a second heart attack because of the news about Jennifer.
While nobody wanted to upset Julie while she was in this condition, everyone should have known she wasn't going to accept being left in the dark -- including Kayla.
Sure, it would have helped if Eli had taken his phone call outside, but it also would have made sense for Kayla to discuss with the family how best to break the news about Jennifer to Julie given her health condition.
Did the same ageism that led Kayla to think that Julie is too old for a transplant also lead her to think Julie simply wouldn't realize that Jennifer and JJ had never come to see her?
She has a heart condition, not dementia! And if Eli hadn't been visiting, she might have heard the news while flipping channels on the TV.
In any case, what was that ridiculous conversation Julie had with Maggie?
Many fans speculated that Julie asked Maggie to marry Doug after she was gone as an excuse to ask her about Jennifer. But that doesn't quite add up.
It would have made more sense for Julie to ask Maggie to host Lani and Eli's engagement party and then segue to hoping Jennifer would be there since she hadn't come to visit.
To nobody's surprise, Sarah decided to keep her baby.
The only difference between this and most of the other unwanted pregnancy storylines is that it had an added wrinkle thanks to Kristen.
This Kristen nonsense ruined what could have been a realistic story and was uncalled for. At least Kristen didn't go through with stealing an embryo this time!
But Kristen and Sarah apparently both need a refresher course in how pregnancy works, since neither one of them realized she had missed her period until someone else suggested pregnancy.
I would love for Days of Our Lives to do a realistic story about a young woman struggling with the question of abortion rather than giving lip service to the idea that it's not an easy decision.
But first we need to get rid of this idea that women don't have the self-awareness to know that they've missed their period.
Plus, is it too much to ask that SOME babies be conceived on purpose by parents who want them instead of 100% of pregnancies being accidental or used to get a guy?
In any case, now that Sarah's decided to keep her baby and Kristen is pregnant with a child of her own, perhaps Days of Our Lives will move on to Xander pretending to be the father of Sarah's baby.
If we have to have an accidental pregnancy story, that would be one worth watching.
This Gabi/Vivian rivalry is getting old, so hopefully Kate and Will reporting VIvian's crime will put an end to that storyline. Vivian used to be funny and classy, not just mean and evil, and she deserves better than endless sniping at Gabi.
Meanwhile, across town this Rafe/Jordan nonsense may be a vehicle to get Rafe and Hope back together.
Say it isn't so! This couple is snooze-worthy at best and obnoxious at worst. But since Hope and Jordan are mutually jealous of each other and Hope is suspicious of Jordan's "recovery", is there any doubt where we're headed here?
Also, Ciara and Ben need some other type of story besides someone threatening Ciara's life and/or trying to break her and Ben up because of his past.
Each subsequent round is less interesting than the last, and this latest one is ridiculous.
Jordan wants everyone to believe she's cured of her violent mental illness while running around claiming Ben, who has been out of the mental hospital for twice as long without creating any trouble for anyone, is playing everyone.
Can we not?
Eric and Nicole also need a better story. Scratch that. They need any story at all.
Right now, their dialogue is restricted to two topics: how happy they are and how worried they are about Sarah.
I have never heard any soap couple spend so much time obsessing over whether an ex is happy! Sarah is a constant presence in their lives no matter how hard she tries to stay out of their way.
What did you think, Days of Our Lives fanatics? Was Jack and Jennifer's kiss worth the eight-month wait? How many boxes of tissues did you need for the Kate/Lucas scenes? And whose story is most in need of a reboot?
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 airs 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.