Every year, Days of Our Lives does a silly, over-the-top fantasy episode for Halloween.
Unfortunately, the series broke tradition this year, using Halloween as a springboard for the Devil's latest crazy plans instead.
The Devil's manipulations on Days of Our Lives during the week of 10-25-21 were meant to be scary but ended up being somewhere between stupid and cruel.
To be clear: the Friday cliffhanger COULD have been terrifying if it was done right.
The special effects were perfect. The yellow in MarDevil's eyes and Charlie Dale's hand coming out from underneath the gravestone would have been creepy if the set-up had been less silly.
But Marlena wandering around in a Devil costume and Johnny accidentally saving the day because he wanted to interview the Devil after a Ouija board told him it was in the crypt were over-the-top ridiculous.
And while the Devil is supposed to be evil, resurrecting Allie's rapist to punish her for not believing in spirits seemed overly cruel.
If Days of Our Lives had taken Allie's rape as seriously as it needed to be in the first place, then maybe this story wouldn't be as irritating as it is.
Instead, Charlie was an over-the-top evil character who nobody mourned for when he was gone, and he's being brought back to torment Allie some more because she dared to question the integrity of a Ouija board.
The Devil should have bigger and better plans than this and shouldn't care what anyone thinks about a Ouija board.
This ultra-juvenile divorced-from-Catholicism Devil story has now become a Devil and zombie story that involves bringing a rapist back to life to torment a young woman for no reason at all. This isn't entertaining.
Plus, half the time, it's STILL treated like a DID story, with Marlena's voice occasionally popping up inside the Devil's head to stop it, just like Abigail's voice sometimes popped up inside "Gabby's" head to stop her from ruining Abigail's life.
And why is the Devil being so obvious? It's wearing this stupid costume that nobody thinks Marlena has a reason to wear and making all sorts of nonsensical excuses for its behavior that no one should buy.
Someone, please make this awful storyline stop.
The Ouija board inclusion was ridiculous.
Johnny, Allie, and Chanel all acted like they were about 12.
Johnny only wanted to ask the board about the Devil, Allie kept accusing him of pushing the pointer to get his way, and Chanel got offended and stormed off because he asked it if she liked him or Allie better.
If Chanel wants to be with Johnny, there should be no problem with that question, and in any case, again, these are people in their early 20s, not their early teens.
And after Chanel left, Johnny and Allie sniped at each other like middle schoolers before Johnny went off to interview the Devil.
If any of that made sense to you, please explain in the comments because it made none to me. It was just more juvenile antics that were unnecessary.
There was plenty of other drama going on in Salem that was far more compelling. This Devil nonsense is a distraction from how good Days of Our Lives is capable of being.
One of the best -- and most anticipated -- storylines involved Abe's sojourn into Heaven while he hovered between life and death on the operating table.
This was meant to commemorate James Reynolds' 40th anniversary with Days of Our Lives. In the past, such tributes took up the entire hour so that viewers could focus on the characters in question.
Unfortunately, Abe's tribute was cut short by the Devil's need to kidnap John, which could have waited until the following episode.
And as a side note, why does the Devil have the power to transport herself from one end of the room to the other but not to transport John to the crypt without dragging his unconscious body there?
Anyway, the flashbacks with Abe and Lexie were lovely, especially combined with the new actress playing Lexie while Abe was in Heaven.
It wouldn't have made sense for Abe's out-of-body experience to exclude Lexie. She was the love of his life who died tragically.
I'm surprised that Lexie didn't give him her blessing to move forward with Paulina, though. That would have been the most logical conclusion to this heavenly visit.
Abe also should have seen some other departed relatives in Heaven, such as the brother that Theo is named after. It also would have been neat if he had visited his old friend and colleague Bo, who died the same way Lexie did, though since Peter Reckell is not available, it was understandable why Days of Our Lives skipped that.
Beyond that, I wish this tribute had been more of a tribute to Abe's entire 40 years, not just his relationship with Lexie.
I'd have liked some flashbacks to accompany Julie's proclamation that Abe helped her with a situation with her son, David, when they first met. I'd also have loved to have had some flashbacks of his long friendship with Roman, his attempts to parent his autistic son, and his career path from cop to mayor.
I enjoyed what we got, but it would have been even better with more, and there might have been room for some of that had the entire hour been dedicated to Abe instead of other things being mixed in.
James Reynolds wasn't the only one celebrating a 40th anniversary. According to the dialogue, Thaao Penghlis' Tony Dimera has also been in Salem for 40 years.
Tony and Anna's discussion about Johnny's movie and their tribute to their long love story elevated the otherwise dismal, Devil-obsessed Friday episode.
Tony: Marrying you was the best decision I ever made. You are the light of my life.
Anna: Don't you forget it.
Tony: Never. Never. Never.
The montage from their wedding was beautiful, and I loved Tony's declaration of eternal love for Anna.
Of course, Tony and Anna's relationship has often been rockier than this montage suggested, but it was still a lovely tribute to one of the series' remaining long-standing couples. And more of Thaao Penghlis is NEVER a bad thing.
Elsewhere, two Dimeras attempted to rebuild things with their exes as EJ confronted Nicole over her deception, and Kristen attempted to convince Brady not to let Steve drag her away after she tried to kidnap Rachel.
I'm not an EJ/Nicole fan. EJ is too controlling and has abused Nicole more than enough in the past. But these scenes were compelling despite my lack of interest in anything romantic for these two.
EJ did the same crap he did with Sami, pretending he didn't know about his partner's deception and trying to lure her into a trap. The difference was that Nicole confessed, while Sami attempted to keep the deception going.
That's likely why EJ calmed down and gave Nicole a second chance. He appreciated her honesty, which did show character growth for her.
Nicole often gets herself into a big mess telling one lie after another, usually about something stupid that gets blown up out of proportion. So it was refreshing for her to fess up and be done with it.
It made me think that EJ and Nicole could be friends someday, though even that much is risky given EJ's controlling nature and volatile temper.
Even if EJ can refrain from abusive behavior toward Nicole, though, the fact that he and Kristen are somewhat of a package deal is a problem.
Kristen is the one person who treats Nicole worse than Sami does, and if she's in the picture, Nicole will end up miserable one way or the other.
Gabi's constant sniping at Ava is bad enough, but Kristen goes beyond sniping. She gets violent with anyone in her way or with who she doesn't think EJ belongs.
That in itself is a problem Nicole doesn't need to deal with even if EJ does manage to reform himself, which he doesn't seem to be doing.
When Nicole isn't around, he's making moves toward Abigail to irritate Chad -- is that the kind of man Nicole wants and needs?
Speaking of Kristen, I'm glad Brady and Steve both put her in her place... for now.
Kristen: Brady, please! I missed my daughter so much. Do you have any idea how hard it's been for me to be separated from her?
Steve: And whose fault is that?
Kristen had no right to take their daughter anywhere, especially behind Brady's back, and it was ludicrous that she thought Brady would stand up for her against Steve.
And Steve was right -- she brought this all on herself with her horrible choices, including stabbing Victor.
Of course, Brady could ALSO have taken precautions to stop Kristen from kidnapping their daughter, like explaining to her that you don't keep secrets from Daddy and you don't go anywhere without his permission. But that would have made too much sense, I guess.
This mess is far from over, especially since Steve didn't have Kristen with him when he decided to push Trask for a deal for Bonnie and Gwen too. Kristen could easily escape, and she's got it in for Chloe as much as Philip has it in for Brady, so that won't be good!
Speaking of Philip, I wish he'd stop being so paranoid.
Yes, Brady pushes his buttons. But I don't blame Chloe for wanting to take a step back or Nicole encouraging her to end this altogether, not when Philip follows the abuser's playbook of violence followed by apologies and trying to be on his best behavior.
His romantic scenes with Chloe were enjoyable, but it was marred by the fact that he was secretly testing whether she'd slept with Brady.
Honest communication is not Philip's strong suit, and instead, he tends to stew and then explode. It's only a matter of time before he alienates Chloe further, and Marlena isn't available to help him change his ways, thanks to the Devil's possession.
Finally, Ben and Ciara managed to not only get pregnant right away but find out when Ciara was one day late on her period so that the Devil could work on stealing her baby.
The timeframe doesn't seem realistic, but that's Days of Our Lives for you. If only this had been a story about Ciara and Ben struggling to get pregnant instead of about them giving birth to Rosemary's Baby.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you think. And if you're hungry for more DAYS chat, be sure to check back for the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion on Sunday!
Days of Our Lives airs on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes or watch on Peacock TV weeknights after 8 PM EST/5 PM PST.