Television

Days of Our Lives Review Week of 8-22-22: Another Day,


master mentalism tricks

When Orpheus returned to Salem a free man, it was only a matter of time before he started causing trouble.

Steve and John’s wild goose chase was fun, but did Orpheus have to target the same old people for kidnapping?

Worse, no one besides Steve and John seemed to realize the women were gone after he again captured Kayla and Marlena on Days of Our Lives during the week of  8-22-22.

Alex is Smitten - Days of Our Lives

Back in the day, Orpheus was a formidable foe for “Roman” (really John) and Marlena, and with Joe Mascolo (Stefano) having passed away several years ago, Days of Our Lives needs a new supervillain.

But this particular plot falls far short of the mark.

When Orpheus first returned after a 30-year absence, the original reason for his feud with Roman seemed to have been left on the cutting room floor. Instead of seeking vengeance for the loss of his wife, he was a random baddie who kidnapped people for money whenever he felt like it.

His latest story might have been compelling. While in jail, he seemed to have acquired Stefano’s knack for knowing everything that was going on with family and foes alike, and sending Kayla flowers to get inside Steve’s head was a brilliant move.

Steve became convinced that Orpheus was after his family and began keeping such a close eye on Stephanie that she could barely breathe. He nearly shot her, and he and John went on a wild goose chase trying to protect her from a mysterious client who turned out to be Paulina.

Making Steve paranoid to the point that no one would believe him if Orpheus did attack was a brilliant move, but then Days of Our Lives squandered that beautiful setup for yet another cheesy kidnapping story.

Gabi Grows Suspicious - Days of Our Lives

Orpheus turned out to have nothing to do with the client meeting Stephanie had — it was a coincidence that Steve and John left their wives unattended to protect her. And if that wasn’t disappointing enough, the usually smart Steve was so convinced that Orpheus had his sights set on Stephanie that he forgot to protect Kayla.

Instead, he and John both headed out, leaving the women vulnerable. That wouldn’t have been as much of a problem if Kayla hadn’t opened the door without looking to see who was there so that Orpheus could waltz right in.

Come on! Kayla is an intelligent woman who is Steve’s equal in every way. Why on Earth would she open the door without finding out who was on the other side when she knew Steve was worried about Orpheus being on the loose?

At least the women were able to temporarily knock Orpheus out and try to escape. That display of women attempting to save themselves was refreshing, considering how these things usually go, even if it was ultimately unsuccessful.

Stefan's Brainwashing Fails - Days of Our Lives

It would have made more sense for them to tie Orpheus up and then call their husbands than to try to run out of the house, where the goons were waiting for them. Orpheus didn’t stay down very long and was free to continue attacking them after he awakened, which could have been prevented with some forethought.

Still, we might get some mileage out of Steve’s guilt when he realizes that he left his wife vulnerable to Orpheus while he was busy chasing his daughter down for no reason.

Instead, Steve and John vanished into thin air for the time being after finding Orpheus’ note warning them not to call the cops.

After all these years in the ISA, never mind dealing with Orpheus, they should know how to deal with that type of threat. But instead, they’ll probably go along with what he says and search for the women independently.

Gwen Tells Rafe Her Story - Days of Our Lives

Worse, no one else seems to realize the women are missing — not even Stephanie, who is staying there while she’s in Salem.

She wasn’t the least bit suspicious the next day when Kayla blew off their lunch date and she couldn’t get ahold of her. The lunch she shared with Chad instead was nice, but Stephanie should have been aware that her mother never came home the night before.

Nor was Chad particularly worried that Marlena wasn’t in her office when she was scheduled to work. With the number of times Marlena has been kidnapped or replaced with lookalikes, you’d think everyone would panic whenever she was unreachable, especially with Orpheus on the loose.

Orpheus always kidnaps Marlena and sometimes Kayla too. That’s his life goal. At this point, it’s boring.

Leo Tells His Side of the Story - Days of Our Lives

Orpheus is more fun when he makes creepy, vague threats and plays mind games with people. Plus, his son is presumably at the bottom of the Salem River. It’d be far more entertaining for him to deal with that than to do the same old thing he always does.

It’d also be compelling for Orpheus to get into a war with Kristen or some other Dimera since they’re Stefano’s natural successors. Sadly, Orpheus’ family and Stefano’s have never interacted, and it doesn’t appear that’s going to change any time soon.

Meanwhile, Li and Kristen’s plan hit a snag when Stefan woke up, demanded to see Gabi, and dragged himself to the Dimera mansion. Although Li could easily overpower and sedate Stefan, these two had better realize that this isn’t over.

If Stefan’s love for Gabi is that strong, brainwashing him to fall hard for Chloe instead will be no easy feat. Their already improbable plan just got much harder to pull off successfully.

A Scandalous Accusation - Days of Our Lives

It’s disappointing that all that came out of Stefan’s visit to the mansion so far is Ava fainting and EJ using it as ammunition in his case that she’s mentally unstable.

Days of Our Lives refuses to let go of outdated, stereotypical thinking when it comes to mental health issues.

Hallucinations keep getting used as a plot point, and now, on top of Sarah being falsely accused of murder because of them, EJ is trying to prove Ava is unstable because she allegedly had some shortly after Jake’s death.

Hallucinations are a rare symptom; most people with mental health issues have depression or anxiety, and most aren’t violent. But as usual, you wouldn’t know that from watching Days of Our Lives.

Things Heat Up for Eric and Jada - Days of Our Lives

EJ and Ava will likely eventually fall hard for each other, but still. All this talk of Ava being mentally ill is unnecessary and promotes stereotypical ideas about people with mental health issues. Again.

EJ’s insistence on degrading Ava will also leave the door open for Johnny to become her biggest defender. Hopefully, that won’t lead to romance between them, but  Johnny standing up to EJ’s bullying will be a nice byproduct of this nonsense.

Ava should also look into what she saw, no matter what anyone says. She knows that wasn’t Li at the door and that she isn’t crazy. Proving that she saw a living, breathing person who looked like her husband would go a long way toward undermining EJ’s plan to make her seem unstable to the Board.

It might be interesting if archenemies Ava and Gabi teamed up on this one. Gabi SHOULD be getting more suspicious of Li by the hour. He had no reason to be at the mansion, and that weird behavior, on top of his secret meeting with Rolf, should make Gabi think twice about who she’s sleeping with.

Chad and Stephanie - Days of Our Lives

Elsewhere, Chad continued to struggle to find closure after Abigail’s murder. He seemed to think going to Leo and Gwen’s arraignment would help. We know that it won’t.

Besides the fact that, as Chad continually points out, throwing people in jail won’t bring Abigail back, Leo isn’t going to spend another second behind bars.

Leo’s betrayal of Gwen was one of the most appalling Days of Our Lives moments in recent history. Despite how horrible a human being Gwen is, this was disgusting. Leo lying to save his own skin is no justice at all, and Sloan should have been disbarred for encouraging it.

She and Trask are two sides of the same coin, both interested in doing whatever it takes to win cases, even if it means completely unethical behavior.

An Eventful Meal - Days of Our Lives

Plus, the only time Gwen is anything close to tolerable is when she and Leo hang out. The two of them bring out each other’s best side and seem to be platonic soulmates — something which is not seen often, if ever, in soaps.

Leo’s move did nothing but ruin both characters. And we’re not any closer to the truth about what happened to Abigail than we ever were.

Is one of them lying? Or is there a third person who visited Abigail that night and used the knife Leo left behind? At this point, the mystery is dragging on far beyond its expiration date. Let’s get an answer and get on with things already!

Elsewhere, Abe reluctantly agreed to let Paulina pressure him into agreeing to run for governor.

Anna is Suspicious of Kristen - Days of Our Lives

Abe’s been one of my favorite characters for years, and he is woefully underused. He’d get my vote for governor any time, though his recent behavior with Lani has tarnished his otherwise perfect reputation for integrity.

If done right, a story about him running for governor could be compelling. But Abe going along with it because Paulina pushed one too many times doesn’t sit well.

It’s not the right reason to run and may end badly. Plus, Paulina is being obnoxious. She’s not letting Abe speak, she’s proclaiming loudly all over town that he’s going to run whether he wants to or not, and she’s pushing for something that her husband doesn’t seem to want.

Also, does Abe want EJ’s endorsement? It was odd for these two to have an extended civil conversation; they practically seemed friends when in the past, Abe only grudgingly allowed Theo to know the Dimera side of the family, and EJ tried to cheat him out of a mayoral election.

Gabi Makes a Confession - Days of Our Lives

Finally, it was silly for Alex to decide the woman who literally knocked him off his feet was the one just because Sonny said a woman would do that someday. His banter with Stephanie was fun, but what woman lingers for so long in the company of a man who makes her feel uncomfortable?

This also looked like a setup for an eventual Alex/Stephanie/Chad triangle. Abby was Stephanie’s cousin, but she and Chad are not related, while as Alex pointed out, Adrienne wasn’t his mother, so he’s also not related to her.

While Chad needs time to grieve, I’d rather he eventually fall for Stephanie than Alex, who thus far has shown no redeeming qualities.

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics! Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts on Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-22-22.

If you’re looking for even more Days chat, check out the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.

Days of Our Lives moves exclusively to Peacock on September 12, 2022. Until then, it airs on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes or watch online on Peacock TV on weeknights after 8 PM EST / 5 PM PST.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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