Days of Our Lives Review: April Fools and a Spring Mystery

I usually hate fantasy episodes.

Since Ron Carlivarti took over as head writer, Days of Our Lives has developed a tradition of having ridiculous stories for Halloween and April Fools that turn out to be jokes or dreams.

But I have to admit that the April Fools Day episode on Days of Our Lives during the week of 3-29-21 was entertaining.

This year, Days of Our Lives promised that one of the fantasy elements from the April Fools episode would turn out to be real, and many fans hoped it would be Philip and Chloe kissing.

Philip is the best of Chloe’s options right now, and I’d love to get a reprieve from this annoying, juvenile Chloe suddenly has feelings for Brady, so Kristen must kill her storyline.

So while I’d rather Chloe get a new beau instead of continuing to recycle her old relationships, I could get behind a Phloe romance if it was done right.

But certainly not the crazy way it was depicted during the April Fools fantasy!

The fun thing about the fantasy was that it was an alternate timeline in which everything was all mixed up, and one of the things that were different was that Philip was married to Belle and cheated on her with a very diva-ish version of Chloe.

There were two things I liked about this scenario. One was that Philip and Chloe hooked up, of course. The other was that Philip turned out to be Claire’s father.

Of course, there is no possibility of such a story at this late date, but it was a fun what-if, almost like watching a fanfiction about Philip and Belle.

And a Philip who was a devoted father to Claire and happy because he got everything he ever wanted was a lot more fun than the brooding, semi-scheming version of Philip that so often lands on our screens nowadays.

I could have done without Chloe turning into a diva or Clare turning back into evil fire-starting Claire, though.

The Ghoul Girl references were fun, and I enjoyed the idea of Chloe finally making it and Claire being her assistant and wanna-be vocalist, but Chloe didn’t need to turn into a Vivian clone either!

It was weird, too, having Claire slip back into the bad girl role because Isabel Durant has only played her as reformed and back to being a mini-Belle. Major props to her for taking on the opposite role, though it was a bit jarring.

I could have done without the part of the fantasy involving Sami wanting to execute John. That was silly and over-the-top, especially at the end when John was forgiven for killing Hattie instead because nobody cares about Hattie.

Jan: John killed Marlena?
Shawn: We were going to call him the Salem Strangler, but that name was already taken.

That said, the John story was both foreshadowings for what was really going to happen when Jan woke up and a parody of John and Marlena’s great love and the way someone is always trying to hurt one of them to keep them apart.

As for Jan, who DID wake up for real, I cracked up at her conversation with Shawn about the number of serial killers in Salem, plus NBC sneaked in a nice promo for This Is Us in the middle of everything.

Of course, this was filmed a while ago, causing me to yell at the TV that Shawn was wrong about This Is Us Season 4 just ending, but that was not the point.

And having Jan’s fantasy reawakening mirror exactly the scene where Jennifer woke up after the time jump was a great way to poke fun at many fans’ least favorite DAYS storyline.

The April Fools Day episode was, all in all, a nice break from the regular drama, which there was plenty of during the rest of the week.

Jan’s real awakening wasn’t nearly as much fun, at least not for Shawn and Belle.

Unsurprisingly, Jan threatened to press charges against John for strangling her if Shawn arrested her for kidnapping Belle.

I hate these kinds of ridiculous blackmail plots, plus John had already been arrested for the crime, which is why he had retained Belle as a lawyer. So this is an empty threat that should be ignored but probably won’t be.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they come to some sort of agreement where both Jan and Belle will agree to drop the relevant charges since that always seems to happen.

In fact, recently, Ava and Kayla did the same song and dance, and Eric dropped charges against Kristen for rape in exchange for John’s life at a different time.

Speaking of which, that was the one thing that I hated about the April Fools Days episode. Kristen raped Eric. Jokes about wanting to recreate their sex tape are not appropriate.

Anyway, the most interesting real storyline of the week wasn’t the Jan stuff. It was a murder mystery.

There have been so many great things that have come out of this. Days of Our Lives has become fun again as a result of that mystery, and I look forward to the episodes when we get movement in this storyline.

Sami: I knew I could trust you!
Rafe: Yeah? Is that why you lied to me?
Sami: You’re never gonna let that go, are you? Could you just go tell Trask and see if she’ll let me go now?
Rafe: I will talk to Trask. I want you out of my station and out of my hair.

Rafe and Sami especially had some great interactions as Sami struggled to get out of the trouble she’d caused herself with that fake confession.

In real life, confessions aren’t the be-all and end-all of cases. 

Some people routinely confess to crimes they didn’t commit because of psychological disorders and issues with people claiming to have been coerced into confessing, so the police usually look for evidence to back up a confession.

But in the Salem world, it makes total sense that Trask would be happy to push a false confession as absolute proof of wrongdoing to get her chance at locking Sami up for good.

It’s too bad none of her confrontations with Sami or Rafe were on-screen. That would have been fun!

But Rafe’s bemused, sarcastic response to Sami was entertaining anyway.

Rafe and Sami are better as friends than lovers, but besides Lucas, he is probably the person best equipped to handle her over-the-top, impulsive nature.

How many people can claim they’ve gotten Sami Brady to acknowledge she was wrong about ANYTHING, never mind offer an apology that was more than lip service?

The evidence that cleared Sami was so obvious that I don’t know why the police didn’t look at it right away. Her flight got in two hours after the latest time the murder could have been committed.

Salem PD incompetence strikes again, I guess.

 Now that Sami has been both informally and officially cleared, the question is: who really killed Charlie?

With the number of people who went in and out of that apartment, there’s no telling. Tripp is the latest character to get the spotlight thrown on him, which means he’s probably going to turn out to be innocent too.

Ava confessed that she found a dying Charlie on the apartment floor — or did she hallucinate that last conversation? Either way, it looks like we’re in for a repeat of what we just went through with Sami and Allie, in which Ava and Tripp both think the other did it.

Or is that wishful thinking?

I’m enjoying Tripp’s burgeoning romance with Allie, and I don’t want it to end with him going to jail for murdering his evil half-brother.

Anyway, with so many suspects just happening to pay Charlie a visit on the evening he was killed, I have to wonder if it’s going to turn out that nobody is guilty, and Charlie committed suicide.

That’s the only twist that makes any sense to me with this whole thing, and I’d rather that than some random person coming to town and turning out to be the killer.

Of course, with the news that EJ has been recast, it’s possible that he took an earlier flight from Italy than Sami did and thought he’d help her out by getting rid of Allie’s attacker for her.

I hope not only because I want Sami with Lucas, not EJ, and that kind of thing would virtually guarantee that Sami realizes how much EJ loves her.

Elsewhere, Ciara is still struggling with memory loss after waking up from her coma — and unlike Jan, her amnesia is real.

I have mixed feelings about this story. I don’t enjoy Ciara and Ben as a couple and would prefer Ben with Claire. Ben and Claire have better chemistry and a relationship with more substance and less clingy devotion.

I’m also enjoying the fact that Ciara finally seems to have a personality similar to the one she had as a little girl. Everyone loved spunky little Ciara, and turning the adult version into pure sweetness and light never made sense.

Ciara has finally got her spunk back in her scenes with Theo, and I hope that stays that way once she regains her memories.

I’m also not happy that the writers seem to have forgotten Theo’s Autism.

Autism is not something you grow out of. It’s not a series of childhood quirks that disappear with adulthood; it’s a complex series of behavioral and cognitive challenges resulting from neurological differences.

It does real Autistic people a disservice for Theo’s Autism to never be mentioned and for him to have no signs of it. Even as a young adult, Theo had issues with figurative language, though many of his other Autism symptoms were also forgotten about. Even that token symptom reemerging would help.

And it would have been so easy to do. In the conversation with Ben, Theo could have constantly reiterated that he couldn’t break the rules by telling Ciara about Ben when he was told not to.

He also could have made other, bizarre references to 2018 while talking to Ciara because he took the directions to act like it’s still 2018 literally.

He could have had issues with that directive since many people with Autism find lying difficult and could have had some sensory issues related to the lighting in Ciara’s hospital room or the level of noise in the hospital.

But instead, Theo has zero symptoms of Autism, as if part of his therapy after he was paralyzed involved erasing the Autism from his brain.

Not cool.

Hopefully, the writers will remember Theo’s Autism, and it will come up in this Chanel storyline. Clearly, Chanel was looking to take advantage of Theo while she was in South Africa and wants to do it again.

Anyway, Paulina’s reactions to Chanel confirmed what I thought: Paulina doesn’t know how to express love besides buying people things.

She sent Chanel to the best schools, gave her the most expensive food, and left her in the care of nannies she seemed to love.

But Chanel’s spoiled behavior seems to come from the fact that she wants her mom’s love and attention.

Although Chanel manipulated Paulina into letting her have some of that expensive food she bought on Paulina’s dime without permission,  Chanel’s big smile seemed to me to be more about the fact that her mom was taking care of her.

Finally, there was more silliness with Kristen/Susan and Brady/Chloe. Could someone figure out that these people are not who they claimed to be, please?

It’s so obvious, and it’s driving me nuts.

Oh, and to whoever wrote that spoiler about Philip and Gabi being in a compromising position: Gabi wiping Philip’s face with a napkin is hardly compromising.

And Kate needs to be more secure in her relationship with Jake. This jealousy is beneath her.

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics.

What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 3-29-21? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!

Hungry for more Days of Our Lives chat? Check back on Sunday for the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion!

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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