Family relationships can be complicated.
Days of Our Lives during the week of 6-22-20 explored the fragile and difficult relationship between Allie and Lucas, while Lani got a visit from her future mother-in-law and Chad spent time with his son.
In between, there was a ton of drama, but family relationships were at the heart of everything, as they should be.
Allie's struggle over what to do about her pregnancy is moving faster than most Days of Our Lives storylines, and that's a good thing.
After getting half a second to breathe, she decided to put her baby up for adoption.
She has so many contenders for this baby that it might as well be a reality show. But one person who wasn't happy was Lucas, and that was both reasonable and unreasonable.
If Allie says yes and then she changes her mind, seeing you two get hurt would just kill me.Lucas
Lucas' hesitation about encouraging Sonny and Will to adopt the baby made sense. He's right that the father could show up someday demanding custody of his child or that Allie could have a change of heart after her baby is born.
But Lucas seemed to be against the whole idea of adoption, and that was wrong.
Just because Allie's family is willing to step up to help her raise this child doesn't mean that's the right decision for her.
Allie is young, flighty, and not ready to raise a child. She's aware of the ways that being thrust into motherhood too young hurt Sami and Sami's children and doesn't want to repeat the same mistakes.
It's understandable that she would want to give the baby up to parents who could give a child a better life than she can right now. And if Sonny and Will do take the baby, then it's pretty close to Lucas' original plan anyway.
Family would still be stepping up. The only difference would be that Allie wouldn't be the child's legal guardian.
I can't understand what Lucas' problem with the idea of adoption in general is.
On some level, maybe he feels like he's missing out on getting to help his daughter raise this child. But that's selfish and not a real reason to oppose the idea of adoption.
By writing Lucas this way, the writers inadvertently sent the message that adoption is inferior to being raised by biological parents, and that's not cool.
But where Lucas was right was in considering the baby's father in all this.
Obviously, something is up with this, because Allie doesn't want to talk about the father at all. Many viewers assume he's someone Lucas and Sami wouldn't approve of. But there's another possibility.
Could Allie's baby have been the product of rape?
Days of Our Lives' current writing team tends to be weak when it comes to social issues such as sexual assault and mental illness, so if Allie had been raped they would have her bursting into hysterics every second.
Allie's total refusal to discuss the father and her tendency to shut down as soon as he's mentioned are realistic indicators of something traumatic.
And all we know about her is that she likes to drink and party -- which could have left her vulnerable to either a spiked drink or to someone taking advantage of her while she was too drunk to resist.
So it's not out of the question for her to have been raped, possibly even in a way that she isn't sure wasn't consensual.
And even if that's not the case, it's surprising that nobody -- not even Eric and Nicole, who are both survivors themselves, or Lucas, who worries about everything in the world -- even asked the question.
If that were the case, it would take this whole discussion of the father and his rights in a different direction. Even if that's not what happened, someone should at least ask Allie about it.
Leaving that aside, though, Lucas' scenes were well written and acted.
The best drama springs from characters at war with themselves, and this was a strong example. Lucas is so heartbroken and conflicted because he wants to help Allie, yet can't seem to stop himself from alienating her by telling her what to do.
Some viewers side with Lucas because Allie is young and doesn't have a track record of making great decisions.
Allie is 22 or 23, and people that age often struggle to find their way in the world. For her, the struggle for independence is doubly real because both Sami and Lucas are overprotective and overcontrolling.
So whether or not Allie's making the right decisions, I can respect her desire to make them herself.
Besides, since she reacts positively to Nicole giving her space to decide for herself and pushes Lucas away when he tries to tell her what to do, clearly Lucas' way isn't working.
Eric also has a tendency to fall on the side of too much advice giving, which is an odd problem for a former priest and current youth counselor to have.
You'd think Eric would know how to deal with a troubled young woman, since he does it for a living. Nicole left the Horton Center for Basic Black a long time ago, but she is great at listening and is constantly straightening out Lucas and Eric about this.
I'm thrilled that Nicole is a mentor and surrogate mother to Allie, but let's not keep reinforcing the negative stereotype that guys are incapable of listening. Especially guys who are supposed to be counselors.
Meanwhile, the fight for Allie's baby is on, since Allie has already chosen Rafe and Will and Sonny want to talk to her about potentially adopting the child too.
(I'm not counting Xander in this, because Sarah was right that she can't just replace one baby with another and the way she rejected his idea was immature.)
Even though I agree with Allie that Sonny and Will aren't handling Gabi's arrest properly with Ari, I think they are the most logical choice if she wants someone she knows to adopt the baby.
Allie and Nicole are right that Rafe is a good guy who would make a great parent. But his situation is like Sarah's in that he just lost a child, although he can visit David.
Adopting this baby would feel too much like replacing David with another child. Plus, Rafe's focus right now is probably on figuring out how to still be in David's life.
And even if Rafe were as ideal a choice as Allie thinks, I got the sense the main reason she wants him to adopt the baby is that she thinks it'll help her keep the pregnancy secret from Sami.
That's not a great reason. Nicole was right that Allie shouldn't base her decisions on what Sami will approve of, but by the same token, keeping Sami from finding out shouldn't be her priority either.
Sami needs to be removed from this equation, period. Allie has no problem standing up to Lucas, and if and when Sami finds out about the pregnancy, Allie can stand up to her too. That's part of being independent too, so if Allie really craves being treated like an adult, she needs to stop sneaking around behind Sami's back like she's still sixteen.
Elsewhere in Salem, three weddings moved forward at rapid-fire pace.
Ben and Ciara's was the least interesting of the three.
Claire and her ridiculous "mental health" problems pale in comparison to Allie and her far more realistic ones, and this whole conflict between her and Ben is irritating.
Claire: Ben's right. We can't pretend the past never happened.
Ben: You tried to kill her. Twice.
Claire: No, it's okay. You're right, Ben. I did do those things. And I got help, Ben. I got help just like you did. Don't you think it's a little hypocritical to say you're the only one who gets a second chance?
Claire was right that Ben is being hypocritical. The things he is saying about Claire are word-for-word what Hope and Julie told Ciara about Ben for months.
At least this silly conflict gets Ciara away from Ben for a few minutes. Her dress shopping adventure with Claire marks the first time she's done something without Ben by her side since they got together.
Of course, the conflict could have been avoided if she'd let Ben stay home.
There was no reason for him to be at this meeting other than to fight with Claire. Claire and Ciara's plans turned out to be girls-only, so why drag him along in the first place?
Meanwhile, Lani and Eli had a ton of cute lighthearted moments, along with a tiresome number of shots of a mysterious person watching Lani.
Lani's last minute decision that Eli should stay somewhere else the night before the wedding was silly, but it was the kind of nonsense that Days of Our Lives likes to stick into wedding stories, so I'll go with it.
Besides the fact that it went on and on and on, the "someone watching" trope was annoying because it was impossible that none of the other people visiting Lani noticed the intruder.
For example, a mysterious someone was watching Lani close the door after Eli left... so how did Eli miss their presence as he walked down the hall? The same person was watching as Valerie left, which creates the same problem.
This is especially true if Kristen and the mystery person are one and the same. Kristen is a fugitive disguised as a nun. That outfit should have got her a lot of attention, especially from one of the cops looking for her.
Speaking of Valerie, though, it was great to catch up with her.
Valerie never struck me as particularly bubbly, but her scenes with Lani were sweet anyway. I especially appreciated the nod to history as she told Lani how she and David met.
I would have loved some flashbacks, but even as is, these scenes were fun. I hope Valerie has some scenes with Abe during her visit, too.
Elsewhere, Steve and Kayla had another heart-to-heart where they said nothing new.
It was just another round of Steve wishing Justin and Kayla the best and Kayla acting like she's 100% happy to move on while also acting like she and Steve are still together.
Yawn. Let's get on with it already.
I'd hoped Steve would crash the wedding to announce he's in love with Kayla, but that silly Key to the City ceremony seems to have quashed that.
Unless, of course, Steve runs off to disrupt Kayla's wedding and leaves Kate holding the bag at the ceremony.
Speaking of which, this Key to the City nonsense is far beneath Kate. I'd had high hopes for her working for Abe, and this was NOT what I had in mind.
Even sillier: Victor trying to tell Eli that Kristen didn't stab him after all.
He had to know that would only make the cops focus on Brady again.
Besides, this whole lie was unnecessary. Why didn't Victor just call the DA, remind him of how much money he donated to his last campaign, and tell him he wasn't interested in pursuing charges?
He and Brady made things more difficult for themselves for no reason. Sheesh.
Gabi: Rolf framed me! He set me up to think that drug would help Stefan get his memory back.
Chad: Oh, that's right. You told the jury that the guy you were trying to drug was actually your dead husband and that a bad man had switched the drugs and set you up. So actually you're the victim. Why wouldn't they believe that?
Chad showed back up in Salem to taunt Gabi about her probable conviction.
I don't know how the actors managed to keep a straight face during this ridiculous story.
That said, Chad is talking as if Salem is a normal town where people don't come back from the dead every five minutes.
Surely the members of the jury have heard about all the resurrections -- after all, Jack is reporting on the trial and he's one of the resurrected!
So for them, Gabi's crazy story might not seem so farfetched.
I'd love for Gabi to go back to jail, but everyone being so sure she will is a sign she won't.
The Gabi/Jake/Gwen triangle is phenomonally boring. Gwen is irritating, Gabi is obsessed, and Jake has a dumb backstory that will be made even more ridiculous if he turns out to be Stefan.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Roll up your sleeves, hit that SHOW COMMENTS button, and tell us your thoughts about Days of Our Lives during the week of 6-22-20.
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.