Spoilers

Days of Our Lives Review Week of 5-31-21: Jan Meets a Grisly Fate… Again

Thank God the story of Jan kidnapping Claire and Chloe is over.

This annoying hostage storyline has been done a million times before on Days of Our Lives, was violent for the sake of being violent, and didn’t do any of the characters any favors.

And on Days of Our Lives during the week of 5-31-21, it ended with Jan slipping into yet another coma (if she really did!). How incredibly original.

Jan slips in and out of comas so often that it’s become a joke, second only to the number of times per year Marlena is kidnapped and needs John to rescue her.

It’s always the same. Jan does something bad, someone chokes her out, and she slips into a coma… until it’s time for her to wake up and cause more trouble for Shawn and Belle.

And even though Jan can be one of Salem’s most compelling villains when written properly, this last go-around was a huge waste of air time.

Plus, the same idiot who didn’t realize she had woken up from her previous coma is in charge of her latest coma care. Come on!

If I were Shawn, I wouldn’t believe that Jan was really in a coma this time and demand that police guard anyway.

But this is par for the course for Days of Our Lives, which tends lately to write itself into a corner and then pull an unrealistic card out of the writers’ sleeves to get the characters out of trouble.

Anyway, the problem with this Jan story wasn’t just that it was yet another story in which Jan caused major trouble for Shawn and Belle and then slipped into a coma.

There was a TON of repeated material here, most of it stuff that wasn’t enjoyable the first time.

For some reason, Salem has a constant problem with kidnappers who take people to that cabin in the woods and try to set them on fire.

It’s happened to Ciara twice in the space of just a couple of years, Ben tried to set Abby and Chad on fire several years ago, and now Jan took Chloe and Claire there and left Claire to die a literally hellish death.

Not only should this cabin no longer be standing at this point, but the police should search both the cabin and the Dimera basement every time someone goes missing since those are the only two places people are ever held against their will.

Well… except for the island where Kristen sent Sarah. Is anyone ever going to figure out that Sarah is missing?

Anyway, this particular kidnapping was an exercise in how unhinged the writers could make Jan, and Shawn and Belle were happy to enable it.

Their plan for dealing with Claire’s kidnapping was stupid, to say the least. Belle had multiple opportunities to tell her lawyer, the DA, or the judge the truth: that she was being forced to confess because her daughter had been kidnapped.

Sure, Trask wouldn’t have cared, but Justin would have believed Belle and made sure a judge knew about it.

They even could have made it look like Belle was in jail to try to appease Jan without her actually being taken away in handcuffs.

Instead, Belle confessed for real, and the reasons were ridiculous.

DA Trask said she would “reject” Belle’s confession if she didn’t plead guilty. That’s not how it works.

Trask can reject a plea deal, but not a confession, and if Belle stuck to her original plea, it would be up to Trask to introduce the confession at trial to convince a jury that Belle was guilty.

Belle is supposed to be a highly sought-after defense attorney. So why does she not know this?

Anyway, there was no way a lunatic like Jan was going to hold up her end of the bargain, and after 20 years of experience with her, Belle and Shawn should have known that.

Because they gave in to Jan and Trask, Belle is stuck in Statesville, and Jan is out of commission, making it hard to prove that Jan was the real killer.

Trask: Mr. Kiriakis. I’m surprised you’re still here. You’ll be glad to know justice has been served and Belle is behind bars where she belonged.
Philip: That wasn’t justice, you idiot!
Trask: What?
Philip: Belle didn’t kill Charlie Dale. Jan Spears did. Belle and Shawn just told you what you wanted to hear because Jan kidnapped their daughter. Jan Spears is a killer and now thanks to you she might do it again to Claire and to Chloe.

Philip was the voice of reason, trying to tell anyone who would listen that Jan was unhinged and was capable of anything, while Shawn and Eli did nothing to help.

Shawn was worse about this than Eli. Eli took Philip’s concerns seriously and wasn’t happy that Philip went running off on his own to save Chloe.

I wasn’t either, but it’s hard to blame Philip for that when Shawn’s whole answer was to shrug his shoulders and say the police didn’t know where Chloe had been taken.

Chloe: Please, Philip, this isn’t Brady’s fault. It’s Jan’s.
Philip: You never would have crossed paths with Jan if it wasn’t for Kristen.
Chloe: Brady isn’t responsible for what Kristen did.
Philip: How long have you known that Susan was really Kristen?
Brady: Not long.
Philip: So you thought the mother of your child was someone else for two months? You saw that Susan wasn’t acting like herself and how she was treating Chloe. You didn’t think that was odd?

The rescue was a good set-up for the Phloe/Broe triangle, at least.

This triangle has been done a million times before. I had to laugh when Philip said that Jan acts like they are still in high school because he and Brady do too when it comes to Chloe.

I’d be 100% behind a Phloe reunion if I thought they were endgame. I enjoyed them back in the day and would love an adult version of Philip and Chloe building a family together (assuming they can act like middle-aged people and not eternal teenagers).

But it’s dampened somewhat by the fact that Philip was mooning over Belle and insisting she was the love of his life for MONTHS, only to turn around and tell Eli that Chloe is the only woman he’s ever really loved!

Of course, Brady isn’t much better when it comes to jumping from one love of his life to another. He was willing to forgive Kristen everything because she was the “mother of his child” and now is ready to go full speed ahead with Chloe and cut Kristen out of the picture altogether.

It’s also ridiculous that Brady thinks that telling Kristen it’s over will keep her away from him or Chloe.

He said it himself: her love was an obsession. And if Philip was in a better mood, he could tell him that obsession doesn’t go away when the obsessed person is told No — in fact, they double down.

I hated your guts for 20 years and it was a waste of time and energy. Once you’re dead maybe I can finally forget you ever existed.

Jan

Isn’t that what just happened with Jan, after all?

Meanwhile, Jan’s plans for Claire didn’t make any sense, and Ben’s rescue of her was even more ridiculous.

I don’t know how Jan’s plan for Shawn to accidentally kill Claire in a fire at the cabin fit in with her plan to be Mrs. Shawn Brady. But more to the point, Ben beat back the flames in 30 seconds, so surely an experienced emergency worker like Shawn could have done the same.

After Ben did that, he and Claire sat in a smoke-filled cabin arguing over which one of them should feel more guilty about the past.  And if that wasn’t stupid enough, Shawn let him stay and possibly contaminate a crime scene because he’d saved Claire’s life.

What? Only in Salem does that make any sense whatsoever. I know it’s a soap opera, but could the writers at least TRY to make scenarios believable?

Speaking of people giving into stupidity, thank goodness Kate turned the tables on Snyder!

No one else seems capable of putting this annoying character in his place. Gwen continually gives in to his blackmail even though she has the upper hand, and Tripp doesn’t want to involve Kayla because he doesn’t want to appear to take advantage of family connections.

So Snyder is left to cause chaos at the hospital, refuse to do his job, and generally be irritating… except that Kate woke up with her brains mostly intact, contrary to expectations after suffering a severe traumatic brain injury.

Okay, so Kate didn’t need to give Snyder any info at all about her issues with Gabi and Jake.

(Side note: Jake is another one who isn’t worth it and bounces from one love of his life to another. Could someone please tell the writers that fickleness is neither attractive nor typical for men?)

But he can’t use that info because Kate is not as easily intimidated as Gwen is and made it clear that he will be the one to lose if he goes toe-to-toe with her.

Go, Kate! Finally, an actual strong woman in Salem!

Now that Kate has threatened Snyder’s job, someone needs to get her the memo that Snyder refuses to actually do said job, misdiagnosed at least one coma, is blackmailing Gwen and is abusing Tripp.

Tripp and Allie working together to take Snyder down now that Tripp overheard Snyder threatening Gwen could be fun, and that would bring Kate into the story too because Kate is Allie’s grandmother.

But I’d also be down for Tripp and Steve working together to look into Snyder’s illicit activities. Steve is a top-notch private investigator, and he and Tripp deserve a father-son adventure.

So far, though, it looks like Xander will be the first one to find out what Snyder is really about.

I agree with Julie and Chanel’s assessment of Xander: Ugh.

That scene where Xander and Gwen fought over who gets to use the couch was so childish. It got the job done, but it killed a lot of brain cells in the process.

Julie: I hope you’re not going to be occupying this couch for more than a few days.
Xander: I told you, it’s just until I get back on my feet.
Julie: Well, at leas you have clothes on this time.

In fact, the same could be said about everything involving Xander this week. His sparring with Julie was clearly meant to be comic relief, but it was just obnoxious and silly.

I’m not sure yet how I feel about Chanel’s decision to open a bakery.

I’m glad that she’s finally found something productive to do, but it does take a lot more than a good idea to have a successful business, and I’m not sure how she came up with a preliminary business plan without knowing what she’s doing.

And bringing Allie into the business is asking for trouble. Chanel is attracted to Allie, and Tripp is probably going to go crazy with jealousy.

I am enjoying all the mentions of Alice and Tom, though. These two should NEVER be forgotten even if the actors who played them are long gone from this Earth.

But while I was thrilled with the JJ mention, Alice’s donuts were involved in a bigger scandal than pot-filled donuts in 1993: she used drugged donuts to knock out a guard and help Roman escape from jail after he was falsely accused of being the Salem Stalker!

Also, I was waiting for busybody Julie to ask Allie why she and Chanel call each other by their last names — something that I’d like to know too, especially since it sounded ridiculous for Allie to introduce Chanel as “my friend Dupree.”

Having Julie run around town being annoyed about donuts is a serious misuse of the only character left from Days of Our Lives’ premiere in 1965. But if this is what they’re going to do with her, at least make her nosiness lead somewhere!

The more interesting question in the Chanel story is what the heck Paulina is up to.

Paulina keeps mumbling to herself about her plan not being exactly what she presented to Abe, but is it just that she wanted her inclusive community to be a moneymaking enterprise, or is there something more to it?

And why did she seem so upset that Chanel wanted to take advantage of the project to start her own business too? Presumably, Chanel’s plans are at odds with Paulina’s own, but how?

Whatever it is, I can guarantee that Abe won’t like it. He already wasn’t happy with the way Paulina was talking to Chanel.

And does Lani know that Paulina is back in town? They haven’t crossed paths once since Paulina returned.

I never thought I’d say this, but Lani and Eli are quickly becoming my favorite new couple.

Lani used to be a nuisance who was sex-obsessed and didn’t seem to care whether or not the men she wanted were into her.

But now, she and Eli have a stable relationship and a relatable storyline about figuring out their marriage and how to be parents to twins instead of the nonsense that other couples have to endure.

A word of advice, though: if they keep having sex on the couch, they’re in for more awkward moments with Chanel. They have a bedroom — use it!

Finally, Lucas and Sami had some more hilarious exchanges, proving once again that they’re the ones who should be together, not Sami and EJ.

Sami seems to be with EJ out of fear more than anything else, making me wish that she’d wake up to what he really is, just like Brady did with Kristen.

Also, I wish Lucas–or someone–would rein Sami in about Nicole. There is no reason for Sami to be investigating what Nicole and Xander did.

As for Nicole, she’s got no reason to keep this one-night stand secret from Rafe. That’s manufacturing trouble that doesn’t need to exist.

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought about Days of Our Lives during the week of 5-31-21.

Hungry for more Days of Our Lives chat? 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. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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