The best soap villains do horrible things for good reasons.
On Days of Our Lives during the week of 5-01-23, Colin manipulated Talia into messing with Chanel’s heart now that she’s destroyed her business.
People got sick thanks to Talia’s poisoning the biscuits, so she’ll have to pay for that when caught. But will anyone also address the way Colin’s been abusing Talia?
Talia’s still responsible for her choices, even if Colin was pressing her buttons to get her to do things she was uncomfortable with. It wouldn’t be justice for her to escape punishment because Colin was calling the shots.
Still, it’s not as simple as Talia being a bad person. She’s doing bad things while under the control of an emotionally abusive jerk who knows exactly what to say to get her to do what he wants.
The biggest question is how Talia got herself into this mess. Anyone can become a victim of abuse, but people with mental health issues, especially those with previous trauma, are especially vulnerable to falling into an abuser’s trap.
Manipulative people have a genius for picking up on a potential victim’s need for love and acceptance. They alternate extreme displays of affection with hyper-criticism, angry outbursts, and threats to leave, well aware that their partner is psychologically dependent on their love.
They also sometimes share their insecurities and fears, but it’s done strategically and may not even be genuine — it’s all part of their plot to keep their partner on their hook.
Colin does all of these things and does them well. Whenever Talia questions his plans, he loses his temper and blames it on how hard it was for him to lose his mother. That leaves Talia afraid of upsetting him and feeling bad for him so that she’ll want to do his bidding.
We don’t know much about Talia besides that she’s Jada’s flighty sister. This story will be more powerful if we learn more about her past and why she has the type of issues that made her an easy mark for Colin.
In addition, I hope that Days of Our Lives will call out this abuse for what it is. Colin and Sloan use their mother’s death as an excuse for doing horrible things to Paulina and Chanel and are fond of blaming Chanel for their father taking advantage of a vulnerable student.
Since this story is built on the foundation of two people blaming a sexual assault victim for her rapist’s subsequent bad behavior, it’s hard to believe that anyone will realize that Talia is both a victim and a perpetrator in this scheme.
Conversely, Paulina suffered severe physical and emotional abuse at TR’s hands, so she might recognize what’s going on with Talia.
If she declines to press charges after learning what Talia’s gone through with Colin, it might feel to some viewers like she is letting Talia off the hook too easily. But it also would make it clear that Talia was being abused and that she needs help rather than jail.
Colin’s latest plan is ridiculous. He wants Talia to seduce Chanel and then dump her once Chanel falls for her — even though Talia isn’t gay or bi.
Many viewers don’t understand how a supposedly Stanford-educated doctor could go along with something idiotic. But abuse and manipulation aren’t things that only happen to stupid people.
Talia isn’t thinking clearly — in some ways, it’s like being high because she’s so addicted to Colin’s supposed love for her that she will do anything to keep him in her life.
That’s another reason it’s vital for Days of Our Lives to make it clear that Colin is abusing Talia. It’s important for trauma survivors — and everyone else — to understand that falling for an abuser’s tricks has nothing to do with your intelligence level.
Being Ivy-League educated didn’t protect Talia from falling for Colin’s nonsense, nor does it protect people from domestic abuse in real life. Days of Our Lives could help promote understanding of this issue and reduce stigma and victim-blaming if it writes this story correctly.
As for Talia’s fake romance with Chanel, she’s not the first to seduce someone for nefarious purposes, only to fall for them. The sexual orientation angle adds another layer to it — will Talia identify as bi after she falls for Chanel for real, or will her feelings confuse her?
Developing those feelings might help break Colin’s hold on her as she realizes that there are other people in the world and that some may love her in a way that feels more comfortable.
It’s not unrealistic, even though it’s silly that as the only bi woman in Salem, Chanel keeps finding supposedly straight girls who fall for her.
But many people are not entirely straight, even if they are more strongly attracted to the opposite gender. The lines are often blurred for women because close female friendships can mimic romantic relationships. (There’s a similar dynamic in play with Leo and Gwen, who are platonic soulmates and probably would date if Leo wasn’t gay.)
And in Talia’s case, she was displaying signs of being into Chanel before Colin came up with this plan. She and Chanel practically kissed when Talia was bandaging Chanel’s arm — that wasn’t part of any seduction plan, so it has to be due to Talia having feelings she’s in denial about.
Paulina’s mother-daughter talk with Chanel about this was one of the week’s highlights.
Paulina’s right that Chanel needs to be careful not to fall hard for someone else to distract herself from missing Allie, and her declaration that Chanel apparently has the superpower of turning straight girls bi was hilarious.
Chanel’s also right that she deserves to have fun and shouldn’t sit around moping about Allie or the other crap in her life. But she needs to go into any new situation with her eyes wide open and keep her commitment to take it slow.
As for Colin, I laughed when he said he had to do this because Sloan was too moral to get revenge by breaking the law.
Since arriving in Salem, Sloan has tried blackmailing Paulina and filed a bogus lawsuit! She’s not moral, even if she wouldn’t resort to drugging someone.
That whole setup with Sloan’s client and Colin was silly.
Sloan shouldn’t be having confidential conversations like that in a public place. Not only did Colin overhear, but the attorney for the other side could argue that anything Connie said is not subject to attorney-client privilege since it was said in a place where there was no expectation of privacy.
And leaving that aside, why is this nervous woman talking to a stranger about her case and her fears that Sloan will get into legal trouble and be unable to represent her?
Has Colin found his newest target? Connie seemed like someone he could manipulate if Talia failed to come through for him.
Meanwhile, Jada’s closing in on Talia — or she would if Rafe would stop talking her out of it!
Rafe’s insistence that Talia couldn’t possibly be guilty aggravated me no end. He kept telling Jada to keep an open mind, but he wasn’t following his own advice! He kept harping on the motive instead of doing any digging to find out if Talia might have one that no one knew about.
It’s doubly annoying because we know that without a shadow of a doubt, if the evidence pointed to Gabi, Rafe would talk to her privately — and most likely cover it up.
I used to like Rafe, but lately, he’s coming across as arrogant. He’s almost as bad as Gabi in that department these days!
Gabi’s insistence that Nicole was faking her severe abdominal pain aggravated me too. Didn’t she learn anything from ignoring Juile’s heart attack symptoms?
That severe pain seemed like a concerning pregnancy symptom. I wasn’t a fan of this story when I learned about it from Days of Our Lives spoilers. But after Kayla’s talk of menopause, I’m doubly disappointed.
Nicole’s feeling that she was too young and not ready for menopause was one that many cis women may relate to, and I can’t recall EVER seeing a menopause story on this soap. We’ve had plenty of stories about women who should be post-menopausal having miracle pregnancies!
I’d have much rather had Nicole struggle with early menopause.
She’s come to terms with being unable to bear children, but realizing that Holly is the only child she will ever have might have hit her hard anyway. And dealing with early menopause could also have made Nicole question her life choices — reaching this stage could have triggered a genuine midlife crisis for her.
That would have been a powerful, relatable drama, and Ari Zucker would have done tremendous work had she been given this material.
Instead, we’re left with this highly improbable pregnancy story. Nicole is on birth control after learning that her body cannot carry a baby to term, yet she got pregnant.
Kayla: It’s not menopause.
Nicole: That’s a relief, I guess. I wasn’t really ready to go through menopause, and my gut told me that it wasn’t it, no way.
Kayla: Yeah. No way. Because you’re pregnant.
Those severe cramps shouldn’t be part of a healthy pregnancy. Fortunately for her, the pregnancy isn’t ectopic — at least, not as far as we know. But Kayla should have ordered an ultrasound immediately upon finding out Nicole was pregnant to make sure that wasn’t the case.
Maybe she still will, but spoilers seem to suggest otherwise. We’re in for a silly who’s-the-daddy story, and on top of that, Nicole will decide to keep her pregnancy news to herself since she has no reason to expect this pregnancy to be successful.
The baby shouldn’t be Eric’s since she slept with him one day ago in Salem time. But that won’t stop Days of Our Lives from keeping the father’s identity a mystery.
If the baby is EJ’s, this story is a rerun of when Nicole hid her pregnancy from him in 2012. If it’s Eric’s, it’s a rerun of Jada’s pregnancy, except now the mother of his baby is the one in a relationship with someone else.
EJ is also already on the warpath, thanks to Sloan’s big mouth. He punched Eric and is looking for Nicole to confront her about this.
When he finds her, Nicole will probably pretend she’s in menopause so she doesn’t have to reveal she’s pregnant. Instead of a real menopause story, we will get this silliness. Ugh.
Across town, Chloe moved in with Xander and informed Brady it was over.
The whole Chloe/Brady situation is beyond ridiculous. First of all, Brady is not a wonderful father, no matter how often Chloe insists he is. Putting his daughter first doesn’t mean giving in to her every whim or allowing her to control his relationships.
Brady’s half-hearted attempts at disciplining his bratty daughter aren’t enough. He needs to be firm with her when she misbehaves — and take her to therapy to deal with wanting her parents to be together.
Chloe’s claim that she understands what it’s like to put your kid before everything was also laughable, considering Parker’s been in boarding school off-screen for several years, and she barely mentions him. She didn’t even visit him when she went to New York!
Xander and Chloe will share a bed sooner or later, so who will move into that second bedroom? I’m surprised Leo didn’t come up with the idea of him and Gwen taking the other room yet.
That would be a disaster, but that semi-comical setup seems like a typical DAYS plot, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens at some point.
Leo and Gwen again demonstrated that they are platonic soulmates, but Gwen needs to stop moping about Xander already!
These two need a story beyond Leo printing everyone’s business in the Spectator, and Gwen wishing Xander would fall for her again.
And what was with Gwen and Brady? He’d better not fall off the wagon no matter how much she pushes him to drink.
Similarly, Alex and Stephanie are drifting back toward each other, so it’s only a matter of time before she and Chad implode. Why can’t anyone ever pick someone and stay with them?
With Kayla alive, Stephanie has no real reason to harbor a grudge. Alex’s commitment to better behavior might win her over (although it would be better if he went to his session instead of talking about it for half an hour.)
I had to laugh at Kayla pointing out that the missed call wasn’t actually her last moments — Days of Our Lives is the only show where that statement makes any sense.
And in Greece, it was disappointing that Bo and Hope vanished into thin air, only to be referenced by other characters. Bo is going to a long-term rehab facility, and presumably, Hope is joining him there.
But what kind of ending is that to their visit? Viewers deserved an on-screen end to their story!
We also deserve an end to the Harris apology tour and Steve complaining that it’s Harris’ fault that Shawn shot Bo.
It would not have mattered if Harris had told Hope that Bo was alive but brainwashed. She would have run to try to straighten him out, and the same thing would have happened.
Andrew: I want you to help me find Kate.
Harris: Why me?
Andrew: Because she’s on a boat and you’re a Navy SEAL.
Harris: Who did irreparable harm to your family.
Andrew: How would you like a chance at redemption?
It’s time to stop wasting time and get on with finding Kate.
Unsurprisingly for anyone who knows Kate, Kate held her own with her kidnapper, threatening to cut off his finger if he didn’t take her to his boss. We’ll have to wait to find out who that is, but at least there’s movement in this story.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know 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.
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.