After a few heavy weeks full of grieving, Days of Our Lives decided we needed a laugh.
On Days of Our Lives during the week of 7-18-22, Orpheus put a goofy plan into motion and managed to get himself and a bunch of other miscreants pardoned.
That could mean serious trouble for Salem, at least until all these idiots are arrested again for whatever they get up to next. But the punchline was that Orpheus told Rafe not to worry because Orpheus is planning to be a model citizen!
Right. As if Orpheus even knows what those words mean.
As silly as this story is, I'm glad that George Del Hoyo is willing and able to reprise the role of Orpheus again. Orpheus was one of my favorite villains back in the day. Although his more recent storylines don't pack the emotional punch of his original appearance, I still enjoy his mixture of sarcasm and sadism.
Usually, Orpheus ends up working with a bunch of idiots that try his patience and get on his last nerve. The twist this time was that the less-than-brilliant accomplice he was saddled with was his son.
As soon as Orpheus told Evan to keep his mouth shut about their plan, it was inevitable that he'd blab. He picked the worst person, too, when he crossed paths with Kristen. Orpheus was so furious that it was only fifty-fifty whether his son would survive to take advantage of his pardon.
The plot itself is one of those ridiculous stories that require viewers to suspend not only their disbelief but most of their intelligence.
It's bad enough that a weak-willed governor gave into Orpheus' blackmail and pardoned him and his wayward son. But then, thanks to Kristen's threats against Evan, Orpheus called him a second time and demanded three more people be pardoned, too -- and the governor did it!
The governor's inability to stand up to a career criminal was the most disappointing part of this whole mess.
The governor was leaving politics, so he didn't have to worry about his approval ratings. That should have given people with evil agendas less power over him.
Orpheus' threat to have the governor jailed if he didn't comply felt empty, too. There's no way that whatever secret Orpheus uncovered is THAT much of a gamechanger.
In any case, Abe shouldn't WANT the endorsement of someone this easily blackmailed into making wrong decisions. The people likely won't be happy with the governor having released a bunch of violent felons to wreak havoc in Salem -- Abe doesn't need that stain associated with him if he chooses to run.
Abe running for governor would probably be a hard sell anyway.
His daughter just went to prison for involuntary manslaughter, and his wife tried to cover up the crime. And if that scandal wasn't enough to sink it, how about the fact that his stepdaughter is caught in a tug of war between twins who both want to date her?
It's a shame because Abe running for higher office would be an interesting story if done correctly. Days of Our Lives started to go there when Kate was working for Abe and pushing him to be more ruthless than he wanted to be to raise his approval rating, but then the story was abruptly dropped.
If the series wants to try again with a gubernatorial run, I'm here for it.
Unfortunately, Paulina's decision to push Abe to run seems like it was nothing more than a convenient way of letting viewers know that Orpheus was blackmailing him.
He got a phone call from Orpheus, ran away quickly, and gave a bunch of corrupt pardons. What are the odds that now that all is said and done, Paulina and Abe will never mention the possibility of Abe running for governor again?
Paulina: You and I go way back, Governor Mitchell, but that's not why I invited you to dinner tonight. I did it for Abe. You see, I know you're retiring and before you do, you will want to endorse your successor. And I think Abe is the right man for the job.
Governor: Mayor Carver. I didn't know you were running for governor.
Abe: Neither did I.
- Permalink: Mayor Carver. I didn't know you were running for governor.
This setup was silly. Paulina is as connected as she is ambitious, but who asks for the governor's endorsement before confirming that the candidate wants to run?
It might have been more fun if Paulina ran herself, causing a problem with Abe, who isn't ready to resign as Mayor to be her First Man.
And in any case, if Paulina is that well-connected and influential, she should have been able to get the governor out of trouble without having to give in to Orpheus' demands.
These pardons won't mean anything if this group of criminals gets into further trouble and is re-arrested on new charges, which is likely to happen sooner rather than later.
Jada: You didn't have to buy me a beer.
Rafe: You deserve one after the work you did today. Besides, I want to get you up to date on the criminals the governor pardoned.
Jada: I heard about that! Why did he let these people go?
Orpheus shows up
Rafe: Here's one of them now.
Orpheus: Evening COmmissioner.
Rafe: I know you were pardoned, but I got my eye on you. So if you're here to cause trouble...
Orpheus: Nah, wouldn't dream of it. From now on I'm going to be a model citizen.
- Permalink: Nah, wouldn't dream of it. From now on I'm going to be a model citizen.
Orpheus might be smart enough to cover up his new crimes and look like a model citizen for a while, but what about the rest of them? Kristen is impulsive and emotional, and Evan and Gwen both tend to be short on brains and end up blackmailed or caught regularly.
And, of course, if anyone ever discovers that Orpheus hacked the Salem PD mainframe to get the ball rolling, that will be the end of his freedom. That's more likely to happen from Evan going around Salem bragging about how he got pardoned than anyone on the Salem PD noticing something amiss, but still.
Evan thought he could waltz into Shawn and Belle's home and announce he was taking his baby back; case closed.
He wants a court order to get a new paternity test and prove the child is his; that could easily lead to a custody battle and possibly to Evan ending up charged with attempting to kidnap the baby.
As for Shawn and Belle, they're no longer on opposite sides, which means we may be in for an epic battle. When these two are fighting, it's annoying, but when they fight an enemy together, it's another story!
Shawn: Chloe helped me see how unfair I'd been to you since Shawn Christian was conceived.
Belle: I don't want to go there again.
Shawn: No, hear me out. I should have told you I slept with Jan. I am so sorry about the decisions I made. Moving her in here, telling you to keep your distance... you are my wife and I should have included you in these decisions and made it clear to Jan that we are a team.
Belle: I could have handled it better too. You were only trying to look out for your son.
Shawn: I could have found a different solution. I should have had Jan live somewhere else. I put you in a terrible position and I am so sorry I did that.
Belle: I did what I always do when things get rough between us. I turned to someone else when I should have been trying to work things out between us. I kept turning to EJ when I knew it bothered you. Maybe on some level, that's why I did it.
Shawn: I know you ran to EJ to hurt me, but was that all there was to it, or were you in love with him?
Belle: I was never in love with EJ, and I didn't file for separation so I could be with him. But I have to admit, filing for legal separation made it easier for me to rationalize sleeping with him. I told myself that I wasn't betraying our vows because we were separated. I am so sorry I hurt you.
Shawn: We've established that we're both sorry, so where does that leave us?
- Permalink: We've established that we're both sorry, so where does that leave us?
Belle and Shawn's reconciliation felt like it was on the rushed side, though. In the space of a week, they went from not talking to each other to both of them apologizing, just in time for Evan to show up and demand they give him the baby.
I'm glad to be rid of the tantrum-throwing version of Belle, but come on! She treated Shawn like he was cheating on her and then used that as an excuse to cheat on him. Surely that requires more than one honest conversation to resolve.
At least Belle has stopped being Sami 2.0 for the moment, though hopefully, these two will attend marriage counseling once they've neutralized Evan.
As Belle admitted, this cheating as soon as things get rough is a pattern for her, and it's not realistic for their marriage to survive if all they do is sweep it under the rug again.
Meanwhile, the Salem PD gained a detective -- and yet another suspect in Abigail's murder.
While few viewers were surprised to find out that Lucas didn't kill Abigail, it was still a relief. Most of Salem is vilifying Lucas, making the nonsensical argument that hiring someone to kidnap Sami proves he is capable of murder.
It was especially disheartening to hear Allie, who moments earlier was praying that Lucas turned out to be innocent, refer to her father as "that kidnapper" and attempt to disown Kate over her role in Lucas' kidnap scheme.
Allie's selective amnesia allowed her to forget how supportive and protective Lucas was during her pregnancy, especially after he found out the child was the product of rape. Yet minutes later, she was lashing out at Johnny for his equally hateful statements about Lucas.
Lucas hiring kidnappers to detox Sami from her EJ addiction wasn't the best idea, but his intention was similar to Bo's in kidnapping Hope from Larry Welch's wedding. And let's not forget that the Devil claimed to have influenced him to do it, too.
Allie's reaction was annoying, as was Marlena's coldness to both Lucas and Kate, who has been a close friend for years. At least the ice began to thaw between Marlena and Kate after Allie stormed off in a huff!
JJ's reaction was equally disappointing. While JJ can be hotheaded and impulsive, it was out of character for him to presume guilt and attempt to beat the memories out of Lucas, especially since JJ has had experiences of being blacked out drunk himself!
This was a missed opportunity. JJ, when written correctly, has solid instincts and is capable of empathy for someone like Lucas. It would have been fantastic for the two of them to team up to find the real killer instead of JJ taking his place in line to beat up Lucas.
The explanation for Lucas' cut hand was silly -- why did he need to cut lemons or make a different drink at all when he had a half-empty bottle of tequila with him? -- but it also indirectly proved another point: Lucas would not have been physically capable of stabbing Abigail while he was in that condition.
Sarah is likely not the actual killer either. My money is on Kristen as killer and Gwen in a Sarah mask arriving too late to do the deed herself and then running away in horror.
However, she didn't do herself any favors by refusing to get a lawyer and telling the police that she has been attacking people that she mistakenly thinks are Kristen, one with a knife.
Jada: Give me an example of your hallucinations.
Sarah: I thought my stepfather was Kristen Dimera holding a syringe but it was really him with a pen.
Jada: I see. And did this happen with anyone else?
Sarah: I attacked a woman named Nicole Walker. I grabbed her by the arm and screamed at her to get away with Eric.
Jada: And was there anyone else?
Sarah: I attacked Xander's ex-wife, Chanel Dupree.
Jada: The same way you did Nicole?
Sarah: Sort of.
Jada: What does that mean, sort of?
Sarah: I thought she was Kristen and I pulled a knife on her. Xander stopped me.
Jada: The night of the murder, Lucas saw you fleeing down the stairs.
Sarah: He's either lying or wrong. I wasn't at the Dimera mansion!
Jada: Really. He saw you drop an object.
Sarah: I couldn't drop anything because I wasn't there.
Jada: I think it was the knife used to kill Abigail Dimera.
Sarah: Abigail was my cousin. I loved her. She saved me. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't be here, and I was so grateful. So why would I ever hurt her?
Jada: You wouldn't, not if you were in your right mind. But you admitted that you have had hallucinations and that you pulled a knife on Chanel Dupree. I think the same thing happened with Abigail, only no one was there to stop you.
The police's case against her isn't because newcomer Jada is a particularly talented investigator or interrogator.
Sarah, for some reason, decided to tell Jada everything she wanted to know -- including that she had committed similar crimes while hallucinating. If that wasn't bad enough, she also told Salem's newest police detective that she'd been advised to discuss those hallucinations with Abigail shortly before Abigail's murder.
Seriously? Why on Earth did she incriminate herself like that?
Xander's full-throated defense of her is sweet but extremely naive. Burying his head in the sand and encouraging Sarah to forget about the cops' suspicions is stupid.
Sarah made herself the prime suspect by telling the police things they didn't need to know. Now she's in trouble, and if she hopes to get out of it, she needs to hurry to a lawyer's office.
Of course, it may be a while before the cops get back to investigating this murder now that five criminals are roaming around Salem, but still.
Finally, there was some more nonsense where Allie and Johnny fought over Chanel.
Chanel should have gone with her gut instinct and rejected both of them. They're refusing to respect her boundaries. That's a big red flag for any relationship, and Chanel needs to have enough respect for herself to walk away.
Allie and Johnny's sniping at each other over this is obnoxious, too. No matter how many times they promise not to let Chanel ruin their relationship, they bicker nastily the next time they see each other.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know who you think killed Abigail, how you feel about the blackmailed pardons, and who you believe Chanel should choose!
If you're hungry for more Days of Our Lives chat, check out the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussions.
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