Days of Our Lives Review for the Week of 10-23-23: Gabi’s Not the Only One Sinking to a New Low

Days of Our Lives Review for the Week of 10-23-23: Gabi’s Not the Only One Sinking to a New Low

How on Earth did Gabi and Stefan get away with blackmailing Kristen?

Kristen’s the type of badass woman you don’t want to mess with, yet she signed over her shares to Gabi without doing anything more than protesting that she shouldn’t.

Meanwhile, Gabi and Stefan double-crossed Brady to get what they wanted. But they were far from the only people acting out their lowest instincts.

Of course, it could turn out that Kristen didn’t sign the papers after all.

You know, every fiber of my being is screaming to take my chances with the judge and tell the two of you to go to hell.


She did it off-screen after commenting that she was sorely tempted to refuse to give in. So, did she sign on the dotted line, or did she tell EJ she did for her own purposes?

She was crying when EJ approached her and said she had no choice, but that didn’t mean anything. She could have been acting for his benefit.

Besides, why would she be that emotional about giving up her shares? She’d be more upset about the possibility of losing Rachel after how hard she’d fought to get custody.

She might also have been upset that Brady would have tried to stab her in the back even though she’d done it to him more than once.

Gabi and Stefan’s plan was disgusting, but it would have been easy to prove that the video was doctored. For one thing, Rachel was smiling as she said that Kristen had given her a black eye.

And did Gabi and Stefan think that Rachel would say Mommy hurt her in court when it was clear it wasn’t a game?

Marlena tried to warn Brady that this was a terrible idea that would only lose him Rachel permanently. She meant because Rachel would resent BRady manipulating the system to wrest custody of her back from Kristen, but there could also have been legal consequences for this.

Brady lost custody not that long ago, and if this abuse claim were as obviously fake as it appeared to be, the judge would likely assume he was the genius who came up with the idea and slap him with sanctions — or make it harder for him to have any contact with his daughter.

Brady is probably lucky that Gabi and Stefan double-crossed him,  even if he doesn’t think so.

As for Gabi and Stefan, they allowed themselves to have a conscience for about three seconds.

Gabi: It never occurred to me that we might have sunk too low. But now I’ve seen the video and Stefan, if anyone ever accused me of abusing Arianna in any way, I would —
Stefan: You would lose your mind. I get it. And if I’m being honest here, I would agree with you.

Stefan convinced Gabi that faking child abuse was okay because they were only using it for blackmail purposes and didn’t plan to give the video to Brady or the authorities.

But child abuse is a serious social issue, and threatening to issue fake reports is beyond the pale. Gabi realized how devastated she’d be if someone did it to her, but that wasn’t enough to stop her from going along with this horrible plan.

That almost makes her a worse villain than if she’d been ignorant of how awful her behavior was. She knew what she was doing was wrong and did it anyway, and that’s not cool.

Why did Gabi and Stefan need Brady? Sure, his argument with Kristen gave them footage they could use in their video, but they probably could have pulled this off without that.

The only reason is so that he can be angry now that he didn’t get the video. This whole mess underscores how much the writers missed the mark by siphoning Theresa into this ridiculous fake heir story.

Theresa came to Salem hoping she’d reunite with Brady. So why isn’t she helping him get the better of Kristen?

She and Brady rescued Tate after Kristen stole him out of Theresa’s womb and named him after herself, so they have the experience to solve this together, and it would endear Brady to Theresa for her to help him with this.

But no, Theresa also had to sink to a new low — and the story doesn’t make much sense, either.

Days of Our Lives confirmed some viewers’ suspicions that Theresa changed the letter to make Alex Victor’s heir when the truth is that Xander is Victor’s secret son.

The logistics don’t work — Theresa read the letter moments before Brady and Alex came into the room, so when exactly did Konstantin burst in and demand to see the will? 

And it doesn’t make much sense that Theresa would suddenly decide her top priority was to ensure Alex got the inheritance because “he deserves it more than Xander” when, up until that point, she had been focused on getting Brady to reconcile with her.

This story pleases those fans who didn’t like the idea of Alex being VIctor’s heir. But now, all of the Emmy-worthy performances by Wally Kurth and Robert Scott Wilson are for nothing.

Days of Our Lives does this constantly. When people die, they don’t stay dead unless the actor has passed away, as John Aniston did about a year ago, so investing in grief scenes is pointless; the person will be home in their loved ones’ arms sooner or later.

And now, we can’t trust that other devastating secrets aren’t also phony, nor that the eventual reveal will make sense. This story has a definite made-up-as-we-go-along feel to it, and it contradicts what’s been on-screen so badly that viewers have to forget their memories of what came before for it to work.

Emily O’Brien’s version of Theresa is supposed to be a different character than Gwen, and she’s doing a good job making the character her own. However, the story is 100% something Gwen would have done, which makes it more difficult to remember that this isn’t Gwen with a blond wig and an American accent.

Konstantin’s involvement in this scheme is equally disappointing. It relies on the tired soap opera trope of someone meeting a new man soon after her husband’s death/disappearance, only for him to turn out to have a secret agenda.

Aiden and Liam’s characters were ruined similarly in service to this trope, and now the man who makes Maggie smile is secretly plotting to steal her fortune.

None of this fits how Konstantin has acted on-screen up to this point.

He seemed like a friendly restaurant owner who loved romance — he gave Hope and Harris a meal on the house and insisted they dance — and was supposedly a friend of Victor’s who wanted to ensure Victor’s widow was taken care of.

Without warning, he became a greedy, selfish asshole who wants to seduce Maggie for her money and is working with Theresa to keep it secret that Xander is Victor’s true heir.

His motivation for any of this makes little sense. He resents that Victor didn’t leave him anything, so he wants to take both Maggie’s and Alex/Xander’s inheritances. That’s way over the top!

Why couldn’t he and Maggie have a romance, with Maggie questioning whether she loves him or is using him as her substitute Victor? That would have been a charming, emotional story and far more logical than this nonsense.

Also, portraits were never Victor’s style. That’s a Stefano thing. I’d rather they’d blown up a photo to make it painting-sized, which was more who Victor was.

Meanwhile, Xander is wandering around clueless that he’s Victor’s heir, getting in Alex’s face for no reason other than to allow Alex to make ironic-to-viewer comments about how jealous Xander is that he’s not Victor’s son, and butting heads with an incredibly unlikeable Sarah.

Sarah refuses to understand that Xander filed for full custody because she and Rex refused to give him any access to his daughter. Once Sarah softened, Xander would have dropped the custody suit and worked it out.

But Sarah flew off the handle, and that’s nothing new for her. She’s one of the most immature characters ever to hit Salem, and that’s saying a lot!

She might not be delusional enough to believe she’s five years old anymore, but she acts like one, throwing a tantrum every time she and Xander cross paths.

And why did she hand off baby Victoria to a near stranger? That’s just asking for trouble.

Elsewhere, Ava also gave in to blackmail for no good reason. She could have easily signaled Harris that something was wrong without alerting Gil, reported the threat from Clyde as soon as she got it, or told Steve, Rafe, Jada, or Tripp what was happening.

But no, the former head of the Vitali organization was so cowed by Clyde’s threats to hurt her son that she agreed to join his drug operation, making only a half-hearted effort to get out of it.

The stupidity in this story makes it impossible to enjoy. Ava is not an innocent victim, especially not when she’s had a billion chances to ask for help and steadfastly refuses to, preferring to be blackmailed into illegal activity.

Clyde’s another one who would fit in at the Dutton ranch on Yellowstone, but he’s in a Salem jail, and there is little reason for him to have nearly as much power over Ava — or anyone else — as he does.

While Ava was dealing with Clyde, Sloan took another step to stop anyone from learning that Eric was the father of Nicole’s baby.

Breaking easily into people’s houses is one of those things that only happens in Salem. Still, troublemakers are constantly sneaking into the Dimera mansion through those damn French doors.

EJ is a multimillionaire, if not a billionaire. He can afford a lock for that door, so why doesn’t he have one?

And did Sloan manage to switch the envelopes or not? Days of Our Lives made a huge deal out of how EJ wrote numbers on his envelope, which was the one he put in the safe. But Sloan could have put the wrong paper inside that envelope.

It’s disappointing that this story is continuing to drag out. Let’s get to the end of this already and have Nicole and EJ decide what they’re doing about the baby being Eric’s!

Finally, Stephanie won the selfishness award of the week.

Chad: Stephanie, I love you.
Stephanie: Yeah, just not as much as your dead wife.

Being the new girlfriend of a widower isn’t for everyone. Some people can’t handle always being compared to someone who isn’t here anymore, and that’s understandable.

But Stephanie knew what this was going in. She knew Chad was still grieving Abigail when she chose to date him, move in with him, and become a stepmom to his kids.

She doesn’t get to whine about it now, and doubly so when the only reason she’s upset is that Steve said something.

Steve had no reason to butt in. He should have listened to Kayla. And Stephanie should understand the difference between a grieving widower who will eventually want to marry and a guy who disappeared from her life without warning.

Her complaints came off as incredibly self-centered and pathetic. She should know better — wasn’t Chad there for her when she thought she had lost Kayla?

She broke up with Alex because he didn’t tell her that Chad called, leading to Kayla dying without Stephanie saying goodbye. So, she should understand what Chad is going through; instead, she’s jealous, resentful, and insulted by Chad’s grief.

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and tell us what you thought of this week’s shows!

Don’t forget to check back on Sunday for the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.

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