Days of Our Lives Review Week of 10-19-20: Nothing to Live For


Ever since the time jump, there’s been an endless stream of people looking for revenge.

JJ tried to kill Kristen, Eve tried to brainwash Ben, Melinda is engaging in vengeful prosecution, Vincent kidnapped Ciara, and on Days of Our Lives during the week of 10-19-20 Ben plotted to kill Vincent.

This plot device is so overused that some of the newer scenes feel like cut and paste scripts of previous stories.

Take the Ben-with-a-gun story, for example.

This one contained elements from two previous stories.

An out-of-his-mind-with-grief JJ stole a gun, tracked down Kristen, and threatened her life to get revenge for Haley’s death — which is exactly what Ben was planning to do to Vincent to get revenge for Ciara’s.

And a vengeful Eve got a ghostly visit from her departed daughter Paige, who wanted her to stop seeking vengeance, just like Ben got one from Ciara for the same reason.

There are only so many plots in the world, but Days of Our Lives could do better than repeating the same thing over and over and hoping viewers don’t notice it’s a rerun.

The one saving grace in the Ben storyline was his conversation with Clyde.

James Read is one of Days of Our Lives’ strongest actors and he always plays well off of Robert Scott Wilson.

But Clyde breaking out of prison because he wanted to check in with his estranged son rather than wreaking havoc was a plot twist I didn’t expect.

Ben: Ciara is dead because of me. Vincent wanted to punish me because of what I did to Paige and to Wendy.
Clyde: So guilt’s eatin’ you alive. But killing Vincent isn’t gonna solve that. It’s just gonna leave you dead. Use your brains and don’t add to the body count. You want to honor Ciara? Be the man she wanted you to become. Live the life she wanted you to live.

And who’d have thought Clyde would be the voice of reason?

It’s hard to forget that Clyde was originally a particularly skeevy villain who raped his stepdaughter and beat his son to a pulp every chance he got. Yet Clyde’s impassioned plea to Ben to not do anything stupid that lands him on Death Row was entirely believable.

And for once, Days of Our Lives acknowledged the inconvenient backstory instead of pretending it never existed, as an incredulous Ben couldn’t believe Clyde deigned to lecture him and Clyde admitted he’d been a lousy father.

If anything, the complicated history between these two made the scene that much richer.  Whether Clyde wants to make amends or just doesn’t want to lose the only family member he has left didn’t matter. 

He clearly cared about his son and at this last date attempted to be a better father to him than he had been in the past.

The other thing that hasn’t been brought up much is that Ben’s reaction illustrates exactly why he and Ciara failed as a couple.

Ben keeps saying that now that Ciara’s gone, he has nothing. That’s not romantic nor a declaration of love. It demonstrates the unhealthy co-dependence that overshadowed this relationship from the get-go.

While Ciara was on-screen, she and Ben had nothing going for them in their lives except each other.

Sure, Ben worked at the garage with Jake and Ciara worked for Titan, but they were always visiting each other at work or complaining about how much they missed each other after being away for five minutes.

This was not a healthy message for young viewers, especially not for women. Nobody’s life should revolve entirely around another person’s presence or absence, and now that Ciara is gone it’s painfully clear why.

Losing a spouse is always hard, but if Ben had other things in his life — a solid job, friendships, hobbies he engaged in with others — he would have had more of a support system and wouldn’t be nearly as lost now.

And since he was in therapy with Marlena this whole time, it makes no sense that no one ever suggested that before Ciara’s disappearance.

Of course, Ciara might not be dead, despite the ghostly visit. Days of Our Lives will gloss right over that if the writers decide to resurrect her, just like Marlena’s visiting Tony in the afterlife has never been mentioned nor explained since he turned out to be alive.

Anyway, if there was one story that was more of a rerun than the Ben revenge story, it was the Marlena/Orpheus storyline.

This is the second time Orpheus has escaped by causing a blackout, and I’ve lost count of how many times he’s kidnapped Marlena.

This time was especially silly.

There was no explanation for how Orpheus got into Marlena’s house. He just magically showed up while she was getting ready to go visit Ben. (Side note: Marlena’s relationship with Ben is incredibly unprofessional, bordering on unethical.)

The John-being-out-of-it-on-painkillers excuse for his non-awareness of this event was also ridiculous.

First of all, did the writers forget that John struggled with a painkiller addiction in the past? And even if you buy that he would take them now, he didn’t seem at all affected by them when Belle showed up.

What kind of drug makes you too zonked out to hear a man forcing your wife out of the house at gunpoint but not zonked out enough to miss the doorbell ringing a few minutes later?

Also, while I always enjoy John/Belle time, it seemed like John’s anger management issues had disappeared. He had absolutely no mood swings and talked to Belle like the calm, loving father he’d always been.

It’s almost as if that storyline had been forgotten because it interfered with what the writers wanted to do in that particular scene.

And that’s the saddest thing about this dumb Orpheus plot.

We could have had a moving storyline about John and Marlena dealing with his post-aneurysm disabilities together. Instead, John’s issues were dropped in favor of yet another Orpheus kidnapping Marlena plot.

What a shame!

For the most part, too, the characters told us how scary the bad guys escaping was without showing us much evidence of fear.

Not only was Belle wandering around in the middle of the night while three escaped convicts were on the loose, but so was Claire.

Belle and Shawn were awfully calm about Claire being gone for a long period of time during this frightening emergency. Nobody as much wondered where Claire was after Jan left, even though Orpheus kidnapped her for ransom last time around. 

I can’t picture a universe where Belle was okay with Claire going out to buy flashlight batteries, especially since Shawn was at the cop shop. It would have made far more sense for Belle to ask Shawn to get batteries on his way home… or better yet, bring a police flashlight or two.

And most stores likely wouldn’t be open during a blackout where three prisoners were on the loose, especially not in a mall-like area such as Horton Town Square.

Most people were walking around as if it were three in the afternoon instead of three in the morning, and nobody was particularly concerned about running into the bad guys. And those who were at home were sitting and staring at candles instead of going to bed and hoping the power was back on by morning.

Anyway, if Claire was going to be out in the blackout, the writers could have found a better story for her than that ridiculous Charlie plot. 

There was zero reason for Charlie to still be in the office in the middle of the night, and his explanation that he had to finish a project made no sense. No power means no Internet which means he couldn’t accomplish much of anything even if his laptop still had juice.

Plus, even if you buy that silly premise, the whole thing was pointless. Claire “rescued” Charlie by getting the office door open… only for him to decide not to leave.

The only reason for this elaborate set-up at all was for him to ask her to go to dinner at some unspecified future point in time, which he could have done in the initial phone call. 

At least Claire didn’t get stuck in the office with him, which is what I fully expected would happen.

All they’d need was a gust of wind to blow the door shut again and the two could have become the latest couple to end up having sex because they were stuck together.

That would have been a predictable trope, but at least there would have been a point to the story if they did that.

At least Rolf threatening Chad netted us some Tony flashbacks. It’s always good to see Thaao Penghlis. The rest of the story accomplished very little, though.

We didn’t learn any more about Gwen’s connection to Rolf or her reason for hating the Dimeras before, Rolf didn’t hurt anyone, and Chad and Abigail were somehow oblivious as to how Rolf escaped while left tied up alone in a room with Gwen and a letter opener that was impossible for him to have used himself.

Quite frankly, I don’t care what Gwen’s deal is. But I do care that Abigail is supposed to be an investigative reporter, yet can’t see through obvious lies and manipulations.

The cops were equally oblivious, as usual in Salem. Lani should have realized something was wrong from the nervous, stilted way Marlena was acting and Eli shouldn’t have declined to search Ben’s room for Clyde just because he felt bad for Ben!

Eli’s nonsensical explanations about why Lani shouldn’t question Kristen should have also made her realize something was going on. I’d love another Lani/Kristen scene, so I hope she defies Eli’s silly attempt to cover up what he did soon.

The worst thing about this blackout, though, is that we had to sit through another insufferable argument between Philip and Xander over Sarah.

I’m not sure which one is worse: immature, flightly Sarah or supercilious, snobby Philip. For Sarah to both fall this easily for Philip’s manipulations and castigate Xander for daring to have a jealous impulse was ridiculous.

Xander can do better than her. Sarah does nothing but whine all the time and jumps from one man to another as soon as something goes wrong.

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics!

What did you think of this blackout/escape storyline, Ben’s revenge plot, and everything else that happened on Days of Our Lives during the week of 10-19-20?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts.

Want even more Days of Our Lives chat? Then make sure to check back for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion on Sunday.

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. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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