Paulina’s secret came out at the worst possible time, Kristen told Gwen the truth about Sarah, while Devil/Kristen tried to seduce John in the Dimera crypt, and Nicole and Rafe continued to waffle about their relationships in Salem.
Our TV Fanatics Jack and Christine are joined by Soaps4ever from MyHourglass, a Days of Our Lives fan forum, to debate Paulina’s big lie, Chanel spilling the beans, the Ava/Rafe/Nicole/EJ quadrangle, and their nominee for Performer of the Week!
With all that’s come out, how do you feel about Paulina keeping the truth all these years?
Soaps4ever: On one hand, I understand how much Paulina was pressured to keep the secret, but on the other hand, I think she should have already come clean. There were reasons to do what she did, but the truth was hidden way too long.
Jack: I feel like the situation is more complicated than Abe and Lani are willing to accept. Yes, Paulina chose to date and try to marry Abe without admitting the truth about Lani’s parentage, but Tamara and Olivia ALSO played a big role in this.
Lani and Abe treated Paulina as if mentioning them was the same as blaming them for her choices, and that’s not fair. Olivia seems to have called the shots for YEARS. Paulina always seems scared of her and unable to stand up to her mother.
I think that Olivia telling Paulina right after giving birth to Lani that “being a good mother means giving her up” was manipulative. There was probably a lot of emotional blackmail over the years, too, designed to keep Paulina quiet about this.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some abuse growing up, even if not physical. People who come from abusive situations often jump into other abusive situations in an attempt to escape the misery at home.
And unless history has been changed, Tamara had an abusive ex that she was running from too when she was with Abe all those years ago.
Speaking of Tamara, SHE was the one who told Abe and Lani that Abe was Lani’s father. Why is nobody angry at her for that instead of directing all their wrath toward Paulina?
Christine: I actually feel more sympathy for Paulina than I had before the truth came out. Like Jack says above, Paulina wasn’t in this alone.
For better or worse, Olivia took control to protect her grandchild from an abusive man. Tamara insisted on the secret being kept if she were to raise Lani as her own and then chose to tell Abe that Lani was his daughter.
The longer this lie held, the more damage the truth was going to cause everyone involved. Paulina certainly isn’t blameless, but I also don’t think what she did was unforgivable either.
And now I’m just waiting for the day that Ray shows up in Salem to meet his daughter.
Are you angry at Chanel for telling Paulina’s secret before she could marry Abe?
Soaps4ever: It was in bad taste for Chanel to tell the truth in the way she did, but I also feel like she had the right to reveal the secret.
It needed to be told before Abe and Paulina got married, as Abe had the right to know before making a commitment to Paulina.
Jack: Not really. I didn’t think Theo was right that Chanel just wanted to make it all about her. Chanel was upset and was manipulated by the Devil. I don’t like the idea of “the Devil made me do it,” but in this case, it seems like it was at least partially true.
I think Chanel’s extreme upset about not being chosen as maid of honor was uncalled for. She seemed more like a teenager than an adult who runs a successful business when it came to this issue. But that’s a separate problem from the actual reveal.
And in the end, the truth is the truth. It had to come out sooner or later, and Abe would have been crushed and felt Paulina lied to him either way.
If they were married and Abe needed to go through a divorce on top of his heartbreak over Lani, it would have been even more messy, so before the marriage was a better time to learn, even if the wedding did descend into chaos.
Christine: Chanel didn’t go to the wedding intending to blow it up, so no, I’m not angry with her. I can understand how hurt she was over her mother wanting Lani to stand up for her at the wedding. Chanel feels she’s never lived up to her cousin in her mother’s eyes.
I wish Chanel could have spoken to Paulina before the ceremony, but that didn’t happen, partially because Marlena begged Chanel not to rat her out. In the end, most viewers expected this wedding to go down in flames, and at least it happened spectacularly, thanks to Chanel.
What is your take on the Ava/Rafe/Nicole/EJ quadrangle? How would you like to see it play out?
Soaps4ever: I don’t think anything will stop Nicole and Rafe from being together. They will probably try to continue to fight their feelings a little longer, but it won’t be long before Ava finds out about their Halloween tryst. I’m sure she will try to get revenge in some way.
At this point, I don’t think EJ and Nicole are a possibility as it is obvious she wants Rafe. I don’t mind a Nicole/Rafe pairing. They seem like they would be good together.
Jack: Enough already. I’d like Rafe and Nicole to decide since they both want to be together; that’s what they’re going to do.
Being with other people they don’t love to forget the person they do is not a good look for either Rafe or Nicole, and Nicole being with her former abuser is a terrible idea.
Christine: I originally wanted Nicole and Rafe together, but I’m over it. Rafe is basically using Ava, so he doesn’t have to be alone, and that’s not fair. If he really wanted to convince Nicole they should be together, he’d break up with Ava.
And the scenes between Rafe and Nicole have been relatively dull. I don’t feel any romantic sparks between them, just a nice, solid friendship. Whereas Nicole and EJ are smoking up the screen!
What do you think Gwen will do with the news about Sarah?
Soaps4ever: I’m sure Gwen will help Kristen in order to keep Xander from knowing where Sarah is. I can understand her wanting to do what she can to keep Xander as he is everything to her right now.
But she should remember that keeping secrets has brought her nothing but pain. And, of course, it is only a matter of time before Xander finds out the truth.
Jack: Keep it to herself, of course, so that when Xander finds out, he can berate her for keeping the secret and run off to find Sarah.
It’s precisely what happened with Jennifer/Eric/Nicole, and these writers love to repeat stories, so why would this one be any different?
Plus, Gwen NEVER seems to learn her lesson and is always either lying or getting blackmailed over a lie.
Christine: I’d just love it if Gwen told Xander the truth and helped him find Sarah because, if nothing else, it would be something different. But what are the odds of that?
Choose ONE (and only ONE) Performer of the Week in Salem and why they deserve the award?
Soaps4ever: I think Marlena should win the award this week with the ongoing possession saga. The scene at the church was especially suspenseful, and Mardevil seemed to be relishing every minute of it.
Jack: It’s hard to choose only one, as everyone involved in the Paulina mess has done amazing work, but I’m going to go with Sal Stowers.
Stowers is an outstanding actress who won a well-deserved Emmy for her work in Prospect Park as a sex trafficking victim, but up until now, DAYS has not given her much to sink her teeth into.
Although Lani is far from my favorite character, I thought her reaction to learning she’s not Abe’s daughter was dramatic, painful, and well-acted, and that the actress FINALLY got some material worthy of her acting skills.
Christine: I’ve never been Lani’s biggest fan either, but Sal Stowers really nailed these scenes. I could feel her heartbreak when she told Paulina that she had taken her mother, father, and brother away in one fell swoop.
Has she really lost them? No. The love they all feel for one another is still there, and Lani will realize that eventually, but the shock and hurt over learning everything you thought about your life was a lie was palpable.
Now, I’m looking forward to Lani and Chanel’s first meet-up to see how these new sisters interact.
For which Salem couple are you rooting? And is there a couple for which you’ve given up hope?
Soaps4ever: Right now, I can’t think of any I’m especially rooting for. Of course, I always love Sarah and Xander together and haven’t given up on them.
Jack: There are several couples that I root for. Right now, Julie and Doug are separated thanks to the Devil. I’m rooting for Julie to get Doug out of Bayview and back home with her where he belongs.
I’m also super excited for Roman and Kate, who I have shipped since the first time they were together in 2008. Roman brings out a softer side in Kate, and despite how judgmental he can sometimes be, he completely accepts her.
And of course, I’d like Rafe and Nicole to get together already and also want Lucas to be the one to rescue Sami and for them to finally admit they are each other’s true love.
I like Johnny and Chanel too, who often remind me of JJ and Paige, and Allie and Tripp are a sweet couple too.
This might sound strange because they’re married, but I gave up hope for Ben and Ciara a long time ago. All these two do is lie in bed all day, and this Rosemary’s Baby storyline hasn’t helped their relationship one bit. I wish they’d take their “great love” off-screen.
Beyond that, I was initially excited about Chanel/Allie, but I prefer Chanel with Johnny at this point and don’t want her to interfere with Allie and Tripp.
Christine: Chanel and Johnny are adorable. I used to ship Chanel and Allie, but I’ve given up on that pairing as I’m enjoying Chanel and Allie’s brother far more than I expected.
I also want more Maggie and Victor, and I’m rooting for a return of Sarah and Xander.
Oddly enough, I’m hoping EJ gets paired with someone soon because I’m enjoying the character. Currently, I think he has excellent chemistry with Nicole; I just fear the show has committed to a Rafe/Nicole pairing to win out.
What was the most disturbing or disappointing moment this week in Salem?
Soaps4ever: I don’t like how John continues to be chained up. He is past overdue to be free from his torture chamber.
Jack: The Devil, while disguised as Kristen, suggesting she and John have sex in front of Kristen’s dead relatives. Ew! Who thought that was an image any of us needed or wanted in our heads?
Honestly, this whole seducing John thing is disturbing, seeing as John can’t consent while tied up and tortured by the Devil, but that line was especially awful.
I was also disappointed that Abe and Lani treated Paulina the way Eric treated Nicole after the shredding scandal in 2014. I know they’re angry, but they aren’t being fair, and I don’t think Paulina deserves to be a pariah over this.
Christine: Yeah, I’ve had enough of the Devil in the crypt and the novelty of Eileen Davidson coming back as Kristen has completely worn off. I was actually happiest when the black cat came back again. An entire week of John being tortured in the Dimera crypt is just too much.
But I have to say that the Devil saying that he likes to give people hope before he crushes them was disturbing.
What was the funniest or best quote, scene, or storyline on this week’s Days of Our Lives?
Soaps4ever: I just loved Xander and Maggie’s conversation. They have a great friendship.
Also, even though it was an ugly scene, I liked that Paulina’s secret came out.
Jack: Despite my criticisms of Abe and Lani’s behavior, I’m enjoying the fallout of the reveal that Lani isn’t Abe’s daughter. I also loved Theo and Eli’s conversation about it and hope Theo sticks around for a while.
Finally, John and Susan had some funny interactions while locked in the crypt, such as this quote:
Susan [banging on door]: HELP! The Devil locked us in here! Somebody help!
John: Susan. SUSAN!
Susan: Yes, Mr. John Black?
John: Could you do me a favor?
Susan: Anything. Just say the word and I will do it. What do you need?
John: I need you to shut the hell up.
Christine: I loved Xander and Maggie catching up. These two are so sweet together.
Also, Roman being the friend Abe needed was perfect. These two have known one another for 40 years, so Roman was the right person to lend an ear.
Also, Nicole explaining to EJ that she saw Deimos was handled perfectly…
EJ: He’s dead.
Nicole: And so were you, and yet here you are with ice cream.
And then EJ realizing that Nicole and Rafe had sex on the desk at Basic Black…
EJ: Oh my God, I own that desk.
Now it’s your turn, TV Fanatics. Hit that SHOW COMMENTS button down below to let us know your thoughts on this week’s happenings in Salem, then head over and check out Jack Ori’s Days of Our Lives review.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.