Stefan woke up the same week that Days of Our Lives moved exclusively to Peacock.
While these scenes were filmed months in advance, it was a hell of a metaphor for the move bringing new life into the show.
Stefan’s resurrection added some heat on Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-12-22, and it was far from the only compelling story.
Stefan/Gabi were a popular pairing before Stefan’s “death.” The character of Jake was brought on partially to keep Brandon Barash on canvas after viewers were heartbroken over Stefan’s ignominious end.
It seems strange to backtrack now and kill off Jake while resurrecting Stefan, but it does look like Gabi/Stefan are endgame here, which helps offset the silliness of this new switcheroo.
Gabi’s already practiced trying to convince a newly resurrected Stefan to remember her; when Jake first popped up in Salem, she was convinced he was a brainwashed Stefan and pursued him relentlessly until she finally was convinced he was who he claimed to be.
Stefan’s partial amnesia and determination to avoid Gabi will be no match for her persistence, at least not long-term. The only question is how we will get to the end of this story.
Gabi is all set to marry Li, and Days of Our Lives loves a good interrupted wedding. After all, we’ve had several of them in the past few months.
So will history repeat itself by having Stefan rush to stop the wedding when he suddenly realizes Gabi is the love of his life? The odds are good that this is exactly what will happen.
However, Gabi is already suspicious of Li, so maybe she’ll do some digging and discover his involvement in the scheme to brainwash Stefan before she says her I Dos.
If DAYS takes this path, it might be similar to when Eve humiliated Brady at the altar by throwing her subterfuge in her face and ending their relationship. Since no one does revenge like Gabi (especially now that Sami’s left town!), that could be entertaining.
Speaking of Brady, though, he and Chloe may discover the truth before Gabi does.
Brady: So Stefan told you that marrying Gabi was a mistake?
Chloe: Yeah. And that he wants me back.
Brady: That’s insane. I mean… Hold on. Unless…
Chloe: Unless…? What are you thinking?
Brady: Well, who would benefit from this? Who would benefit from Stefan all of a sudden being alive and then pursuing you?
Chloe: What do you mean?
Brady: You remember Kristen not too long ago knocking on this door and all of a sudden saying, ‘Where is he?’ as if she was expecting someone to be here with you? What if that person she was expecting to be here was Stefan?
Chloe: Oh my God. That must have been it.
Brady: Yeah. Has to be.
Chloe: So, you’re thinking…
Brady: I’m thinking Kristen is up to her neck in this.
Brady is already onto Kristen’s involvement with this scheme. Salem’s former dimmest bulb picked up quickly on the fact that the timing was incredibly convenient for a resurrected Stefan to make a play for Chloe, and he and Chloe need leverage to win their custody battle.
So if they discover the connection between Kristen and Li, it’s game on!
Please let Brady and Chloe neutralize Kristen soon. This joke of a custody battle is so far removed from reality that it’s impossible to take it seriously.
It’s bad enough that Days of Our Lives is going with the dubious legal principle that “pardoned crimes are inadmissible.” It’s a pardon, not an expungement; as Brady pointed out, the pardon doesn’t mean the crimes never happened.
Worse, Brady and Chloe’s lawyer is acting as if they’re the bad guys for wanting to point out the myriad of reasons that Kristen is an unfit parent. No wonder Kristen fired her lawyer; Belle is doing more to promote her case than Kristen’s attorney could ever do.
Belle’s advice was awful. It boiled down to telling Brady and Chloe that they should ignore Kristen’s attempt to kill Chloe because Kristen might spin it inaccurately and that it’s in Rachel’s best interest to let Kristen have joint custody.
I love my daughter with all my heart and soul. I do. She’s everything to me. That’s why I’m doing this. So you can tell your client that as long as Chloe is in his life, I’m not dropping this case. And given how things went today, I have a real good chance of winning.
Kristen’s reaction to Belle’s attempt to reason with her demonstrates why you don’t appease narcissists this way. Belle’s advice so far has done nothing but enable Kristen to continue using Rachel as a weapon to try to force Brady and Chloe apart.
Belle’s reaction to Brady’s “outburst” on the stand should not have been to apologize to the judge for Brady daring to tell the truth about Rachel’s mother.
It should have been to point out that Brady is understandably stressed by the idea that his daughter might end up in the custody of a violent sociopath who doesn’t truly care about Rachel’s best interest.
It also would have helped if the judge cared about the appearance of neutrality. It was clear from the start of this ridiculous hearing that she was on Kristen’s side.
Her comment about Kristen’s unacceptable tardiness seemed directed at Belle; Kristen wasn’t even there yet! And she kept allowing Kristen to ask irrelevant and inflammatory questions while shutting Belle down every time she objected.
In short, these scenes were everything typical of legal proceedings on Days of Our Lives: an incompetent lawyer for the good guys, a biased judge, and a bad guy being able to advance lies with impunity. Ugh.
While all this was happening, half of Salem was out of commission, thanks to Orpheus.
Kate, Kayla, and Marlena all developed a mysterious illness in which they went from sneezing and low-grade fevers to fainting, dizziness, and fatigue. And Orpheus claimed their symptoms would all get worse, as he had poisoned them with a vial of God-knows-what that he’d stolen from Rolf.
Orpheus is one of my favorite villains, and this is one of his better schemes, but it still may be too uncomfortable for many viewers to sit through. COVID is not entirely in everyone’s rearview mirror, and even though the women’s illness is not supposed to be contagious, the symptoms are too damn similar for people to ignore.
Some viewers didn’t like it when more realistic series such as This Is Us showed characters wearing masks and taking other COVID precautions, so it’s not likely they’ll be happy with this storyline.
That aside, this is a classic villain with a vendetta story. The Bradys, Evans-Blacks, and Hortons are constantly fighting against some supervillain with a grudge’s latest attempt to destroy them, and Orpheus’ backstory almost makes him sympathetic.
His hatred of John/Roman made more sense back in the 1980s when the loss of his wife was more recent.
Even so, his desire to avenge her death is understandable, and he has never been able to move on, making him a tragic, pathetic figure who sees no alternative to violence even though he loses over and over.
Orpheus is also a more intellectual villain who took his name from Greek mythology and as a play on his real last name (the mythological Orpheus was a harp player). His interactions with his enemies often involve clever plays on words and threats delivered in a gentle, almost concerned tone.
Roman was his friend before killing Orpheus’ wife, and in a twisted way, Orpheus is keeping up their relationship with these constant torments. He seems to enjoy the game of getting the good guys to chase after him more than anything and doesn’t mind getting caught as long as he can escape to play again next time.
All of which makes him a fantastic villain. No, he is not an intimidating figure like Stefano, but he’s not meant to be.
It would be interesting if Days of Our Lives addressed that the ISA created Orpheus by training him so well that he could go rogue and wreak havoc using everything he’s learned. Stories involving Orpheus should also involve Shane, or if not Shane, Andrew, since the ISA knows Orpheus intimately.
Kayla: You okay? I know how much you hate needles.
Steve: You’re asking me if I’m okay? Sweetness…
Kayla: I think you… I think we all just need to act like we’re on the job. And we’re going to find out what this is and we’re gonna treat it. In my head, I’m just gonna be in the ER. I’m working in the ER and I’m gonna keep my head together. And this is just like an ISA case. We’re gonna work from the premise that Orpheus lied. And there is a cure and we’re gonna find it. And all of our feelings, we’re gonna put them aside and we’re gonna deal with them later.
Marlena: I think she’s right. Just because Orpheus said that he won doesn’t mean that he has won. But what he has done is underestimate us.
Anyway, this time around, the women are taking the reins, insisting on finding a cure for the illness Orpheus imposed on them instead of sitting around waiting to die. Kayla and Marlena’s insistence that Orpheus underestimated them is a refreshing departure from the damsel in distress motif that has otherwise permeated this story.
Elsewhere, there were several interesting developments in EJ’s quest to reclaim the Dimera CEO seat.
EJ’s attempt to convince Johnny that Ava is insane blew up in EJ’s face, as all that happened was that Johnny and Ava moved out. Thank goodness they’re only pretending to sleep together, at least for the moment. Chanel was right that Johnny dating Tripp’s mother was not a great idea.
These two getting under EJ’s skin was amusing, though Ava may be developing feelings for Johnny after all, and we don’t need that. Also on the unnecessary list: Allie’s behavior throughout this story.
Allie seemed two-faced, defending Johnny to Chanel, then confronting Ava, then returning and being nasty to Johnny over the situation. If I were Johnny, I’d go anywhere except Allie’s couch. Sheesh!
Chanel’s jealousy was also an unnecessary addition to this story. She did not need to storm out on Allie and return two seconds later to find Johnny on her doorstep.
Please, soap gods, find something else for these two to do besides having stupid fights over Johnny! It was bad enough when the twins both wanted Chanel for themselves; fighting about Johnny’s next lover is ridiculous.
Not to be outdone by her younger relative, Sarah also had a tantrum after learning about what Xander did to Eric and Nicole a year or two ago.
These two just got married, and Sarah wants a divorce over… nothing. She’s forgiven Xander for far worse things than this, and Eric and Nicole have both moved on. There’s no need for this manufactured drama.
Of course, the real reason was so that Sarah could be the latest person to prop Eric and Nicole. We get it. These two are endgame. That’s bad enough without hitting viewers over the head with it!
Finally, I wish Stephanie had stuck to her guns about Alex.
Paulina influenced Stephanie to change her mind with all that talk about being afraid to love Abe after the abuse she’d suffered. But Abe wasn’t harassing Paulina for a relationship. Alex is more like TR/Ray than Abe, and Stephanie would be wise to stay away.
Alex isn’t violent toward women, as far as we know, but he doesn’t respect their boundaries and sees them as sex objects. His constant attempts to get Stephanie in his bed aren’t cute; they’re inappropriate.
Stephanie is slated for a love triangle, and even though it’s weird for her to date her cousin’s widower, she’s much better off with Chad than with Alex.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts about Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-12-22.
For more DAYS chat, don’t forget to check back on Sunday for the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
Days of Our Lives streams on Peacock TV. New episodes drop on weekdays at 6 AM EST / 3 AM PST.
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.