Days of Our Lives Review for the week of 1-02-23: Kristen’s World Falls Apart

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It’s hard to find a less sympathetic villain than Kristen.

She is nothing but a series of impulses and bad decisions. She raped Eric, then used John’s health to escape trouble. She stabbed Victor because he was mean to her. And recently, she’s held the lives of three women over Brady’s head to force him to play house with her.

So when Kristen’s daughter disappeared on Days of Our Lives during the week of 1-02-23, Kristen’s tears and anger were less than moving.

Does Kristen care about Rachel? To the extent that she can care about anyone, she does. But Kristen is a malignant narcissist who isn’t fully capable of loving others.

A huge part of the problem is that Brady is reluctant to tell his daughter the truth about what Kristen is capable of, leaving the little girl vulnerable to Kristen’s manipulations. Rachel has recently become a mini-Kristen who is rude to Chloe and will do whatever it takes to get Brady and Kristen back together.

Brady should have had a long talk with Rachel a long time ago. There are age-appropriate ways to explain to a young child that Mommy has the kind of illness that makes it impossible for her and Daddy to live together.

While it’s admirable that Brady didn’t want to poison his daughter against her mother, Kristen is so dangerous that not telling Rachel some form of the truth was seriously negligent. And now Rachel thinks her parents are getting back together because Eric did little to dissuade her from that idea while she was “kidnapped.”

Kristen hit all the right notes, expressing all the deep emotion you’d expect from a grieving and anxious mother. She cried. She screamed. She hyperventilated. She demanded to know who would do such a thing and came up with outlandish theories.

I’d believe they were desperate to get their daughter back if it were anyone else. But Kristen has lied and manipulated her way back to Brady so often that it’s hard to take this at face value.

While Kristen seems to love her daughter, we all know that she’s motivated only by forcing Brady into her life and getting out of trouble for her past misdeeds.

Rachel is a convenient pawn in Kristen’s sick games. Kristen has put ideas into Rachel’s head about Mommy and Daddy being back together and has poisoned Rachel against Chloe.

It’s not much of a stretch to believe that Kristen was exaggerating her upset to try to get Brady to comfort her and hopefully fall for her again.

Brady stupidly talked to Eric about their plot while Kristen was supposedly asleep in the next room, proving that when it comes to Kristen, Brady doesn’t use his brains.

It was almost worth it. Considering her actions, Kristen’s ridiculous anger at Brady betraying her was hilarious.

Kristen: Answer me, damn it! Where is Rachel?
Brady: Rachel is fine.
Kristen: Then where is she?
Brady: I am not telling you.
Kristen: Why are you doing this, Brady?
Brady: You really gave me no choice.
Kristen: I gave you no choice? What are you talking about?
Brady: Come on, Kristen. Your devious little mind can’t figure it out? I need leverage on you, so I took Rachel.

Kristen would not have hesitated to kidnap Rachel if she thought she could use her against Brady. It wasn’t that long ago that an on-the-run Kristen almost did!

Brady caught her and Rachel sneaking out of the house just in time on that occasion, and God knows what would have happened if he hadn’t. Yet Kristen acts like Brady’s behavior is so beyond the pale that he might as well kiss his custody of Rachel goodbye. Please! Kristen is not the aggrieved party here.

Technically, Rachel wasn’t kidnapped. Brady had full custody of her and permitted Eric to take her someplace overnight. If anything, Brady is guilty of pseudo-kidnapping Rachel, even if he wasn’t thrilled that Sloan was involved with this.

Sloan could also use a course in how to look in the mirror. She whined that Eric roping her into this was forcing her to risk disbarment, but she had no such concerns when she attempted to extort money from Paulina and pressed charges against her and Chanel to get revenge.

Surprisingly, she was a decent substitute mother to Rachel during the “kidnapping,” despite muttering under her breath about it and complaining that having a kid around interfered with her planned sexathon with Eric.

Sloan’s real problem is probably that Rachel said that Sloan was “the best girlfriend Uncle Eric has ever had.”

Sloan doesn’t want a relationship. She wants no-strings-attached sex. A little girl who thinks she has a say in adult relationships and approves of Sloan for Eric complicates that arrangement too much.

The kidnapping plot could have failed in so many ways, not the least of which was that Brady might have fallen hard for Kristen again while comforting her over the supposed disappearance of their daughter.

Instead, it was a plot point whose purpose seemed to be for Kristen to discover the missing orchid. That was sad, as we could have gotten to that point without the Rachel-napping.

The ladies are sick again. So Kristen would have had to retrieve the orchid soon anyway.

The jury is still out on whether Kristen is playing games with the disappearing orchid. Yes, she swore on Rachel’s life, but as discussed earlier, she’s a great liar and manipulator.

If it’s not Kristen, then who is it?

There are a few other possibilities. EJ ordered work on the tunnels to increase security (side note: if he wants the mansion to be safer, he might begin by locking those damn French doors that everyone keeps using to sneak into the house!). He might have taken the orchid for leverage against Kristen.

If Li found out about it, he might have taken it to ensure Kristen kept her mouth shut after the wedding debacle.

Rachel heard her parents fighting about the orchid and could have come across it while playing in the tunnels.

Thomas found Leo down there once even though he’s not supposed to play in the tunnels — could he also have found the flower?

Ava was always sneaking into the house to cause trouble, so she could have taken the orchid.

And, of course, Orpheus wasn’t happy when his revenge plan failed, so he could have had someone steal the orchid.

Who Do You Think Took the Orchid?

Hopefully, this mystery won’t take long to solve! We’ll probably need Rolf whether or not someone finds the orchid; the women are already dying, and Days of Our Lives winter spoilers say that the victims will all go to Heaven.

Usually, when characters go to Heaven, they are promptly told it’s not their time yet and sent back to Earth. Head writer Ron Carlivati has said he makes no promises about these legacy characters’ survival. Still, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where they will be permanently killed off.

The relapse scenes were well done, with Kate refusing to go to the hospital, only to seemingly succumb to her illness within an hour. But we’ve done all this before, and the explanation for why the poison worked so quickly this time didn’t make sense.

Roman said he didn’t need extra doses because he was cured via an orchid. What was it that Kristen claims to have lost that is required to save the women again?

In addition, Rex couldn’t test directly for the presence of the virus because Kate had too many anti-virus antibodies. That would suggest that the virus’ progress should be slowed, not accelerated.

None of this is realistic anyway — there’s no such thing as a virus caused by a poison and cured by the petals of a rare orchid — but if they are going to use pseudo-scientific explanations, at least make them make sense!

There were some other exciting developments this week. Gabi confronted Stefan after learning the truth, while Bonnie and Justin learned that Xander was behind the creepy clown kidnapping.

Justin stopped Bonnie from continuing to beat up Xander, which was the right thing to do — but Xander deserved that punch and more! I was also glad that Justin went to the cops for once, though it turned out to be useless.

Rafe claims he has no proof that Xander kidnapped Bonnie, though cases have been made on far less in Salem (Belle’s missing button, anyone?). He also managed to miss Leo standing there terrified when Rafe mentioned looking for Xander’s accomplice.

The most disappointing aspect is that Maggie encouraged Sarah to stay with Xander. That didn’t seem true to Maggie’s character.

Yes, Maggie has forgiven Victor for each of his transgressions…eventually, anyway. But Maggie wouldn’t have put up with him kidnapping two women and contributing to one of their deaths.

This is the same woman who moved out for a month or two because Victor exposed Kristen’s rape of Eric at Brady and Kristen’s wedding!

Victor was constantly keeping dirty dealings secret because he knew Maggie would react badly, and in his later years, Victor rarely did anything nearly as wrong as what Xander did here.

There is no universe where it makes sense for Maggie to justify Xander’s choice to kidnap two women and encourage Sarah to pretend it never happened.

Meanwhile, Gabi expected Stefan to dump Chloe and rush off with her to find Rolf and undo the brainwashing. Talk about delusional!

Stefan does not remember being brainwashed. He has been convinced he hates Gabi and loves Chloe. And he and Chloe are on what was supposed to be a romantic getaway. Why on Earth would he go anywhere with Gabi?

Chloe’s wishy-washiness with Stefan is giving me whiplash. She doesn’t want to sleep with him, then she does, then she decides they can’t because Gabi said he was brainwashed.

I get Chloe not wanting to be in a relationship under false pretenses, but this is ridiculous!

On the other hand, Nicole had good reasons for slowing down instead of jumping into bed with EJ. She was right that she had only hooked up with Eric for nostalgia’s sake and didn’t need to sleep with anyone else impulsively.

What did you think, Days of Our Lives fanatics? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!

For even more Days of Our Lives chat, check out the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion on Sunday.

Days of Our Lives streams exclusively on Peacock. 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.

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