Sloan and Melinda played a cruel trick on Nicole.
After suffering two miscarriages and only gaining a daughter through using Chloe as a surrogate, Nicole finally gave birth to a live baby on Days of Our Lives during the week of 11-13-23, only for Dimitri to give the baby to Melinda, who promptly arranged for Nicole to be told her baby had died.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, a second baby was briefly kidnapped by the end of the week. Couldn’t the writers think of anything else?
Some viewers might think what happened to Nicole was karma, but it seems heartless.
Yes, back in the day, Nicole did terrible things. She kept Sami’s baby to raise herself, accused Jennifer of causing her miscarriage, and hid a pregnancy from EJ. But that doesn’t mean she deserved what happened here.
Nicole’s pregnancy was high-risk because of her history of miscarriages, and she was conscientious, taking vitamins all the time, getting lots of rest, and following all of her doctor’s orders to ensure a healthy delivery — only for the baby to be snatched out of her arms after a car accident.
The usually brilliant Nicole let Leo convince her to let Dimitri take the baby to the hospital. Every maternal instinct she’s been saving up should have kicked in, and she should have made it clear that she was not letting that no-good drifter get his hands on her baby.
Instead, she trusted him, mainly because Leo did, and now she accepts at face value the word of a doctor no one has ever seen before, even though his story doesn’t add up.
I don’t know which tired soap trope is worse: grief over someone the audience knows is alive or an intelligent character suddenly turning stupid to advance the plot.
Ari Zucker and Dan Feuerriegel hit their grief scenes out of the park. Nicole’s confusion, anger, and demand to know how this could have happened felt natural, and we got EJ’s softer side as he comforted his wife.
The problem is death isn’t a thing in Salem most of the time. We’ve been subjected to so many scenes of people sobbing their hearts out over allegedly dead loved ones who are still alive, and it always feels like a waste of time and energy.
It’s impossible to invest in characters’ grief when we know it’s misplaced and that their loved one will turn up alive and well sooner or later.
Still, the actors sold us on their characters’ pain, making this story seem doubly cruel.
There’s also the side issue of the baby not being EJ’s.
The way EJ comforted Nicole and tried to stop her from leaving the hospital prematurely to search for her baby demonstrated precisely why these two should be endgame — and that’s coming from someone initially opposed to revisiting this pairing!
Instead, this relationship is about to be sacrificed for another round of Eric and Nicole, whose bond is weak but will suddenly be strengthened when they learn they had a child together.
This is the type of thing that only happens in Salem. In the real world, people who understand they are not good for each other manage to co-parent their children while living apart.
But on Days of Our Lives, having a kid together usually means reconciling romantically. Even Sarah and Xander will likely end up together eventually, and Eric and Nicole definitely will.
The idea of these two together should have been dead and buried after the last go-around. Eric set a new record, rejecting Nicole about 15 seconds after she dumped Rafe for him because Eric blamed Nicole for Jada’s choice to get an abortion.
Gross. And Nicole acknowledged that she and Eric were toxic for each other and that they should both move on. So how about we keep it that way, baby or no baby?
Instead, we’re back to Eric giving Nicole and her new man sour looks while they kiss.
It’s great that he helped Nicole after the accident — if only he’d gotten there sooner, Dimitri wouldn’t have had a chance to kidnap the baby. But he’s at his worst when brooding over Nicole, so let’s not have any more of that.
Rafe seemed awfully nonchalant about Nicole’s disappearance, which was also disappointing.
Rafe and Nicole’s breakup broke my heart. I’ve shipped them since Rafe helped Nicole hide her last baby from EJ, only for them to implode unnecessarily for the sake of yet another failed Eric/Nicole relationship.
And now, Rafe didn’t seem to care whether Nicole and her baby were alive or dead. He kept insisting that a missing pregnant woman wasn’t a priority because Dimitri hit Jada.
Rafe’s let his personal feelings dictate how he approaches policing. He hates and is jealous of EJ, and his relationship with Jada is a greater priority than doing his job.
Stefan’s demand that Paulina fire EJ was misplaced; Rafe deserves to be fired.
Most of the players in this story seemed to be written out of character. Rafe’s refusal to care whether Nicole was safe didn’t seem like him, and Melinda’s decision to kidnap the baby and fake his death also seemed out of left field.
Melinda has always been overzealous, but in the past, she’s done obnoxious things in the name of putting criminals behind bars.
This was a woman who berated Justin for tarnishing the reputation of the criminal justice system when he attempted to blackmail a judge — are we supposed to forget that so that her illegal activity makes sense?
Plus, she was forced to give her baby away. For years, she pretended Haley was her sister rather than her child, only for her daughter to die senselessly soon after the truth came out.
So, what sense does it make for her to make another woman think her baby is dead?
Sloan’s suddenly developed a conscience but lost her backbone. It’s equally hard to believe that she would have trouble standing up to Melinda as it is to think she did not come up with this ridiculous plan.
This plot is a nearly word-for-word recycle of Sarah losing her baby after Orpheus and Evan caused a car accident while she was in labor. The only difference is that Sarah’s baby did die, and Xander gave her Brady and Kristen’s so that she wouldn’t know.
Sarah: You kidnapped Kristen and Brady’s baby and passed it off as mine. That proves you are an unfit parent.
Xander: I know you don’t understand this, but I only did that because I love you.
Sarah: Brady grieved for a child that wasn’t even dead! Kidnapping a baby and doing that to the parents is depraved.
When Sarah ranted to Xander about how depraved it was for him to force Brady to grieve unnecessarily, I’d have given anything for someone connected to this Nicole mess to overhear her.
Barring that, I wish Sarah would be assigned to Nicole’s case so she can realize that Nicole is a victim of a similar scheme.
Instead, Sarah had to cut short her latest obnoxious rant to rush home after learning that someone had kidnapped her child, too.
Let’s hope that whole stupid scheme Konstantin cooked up at least ends the animosity between Sarah and Xander. It doesn’t seem right for Xander to be the one to drop the custody suit, though.
Sarah was the one who kept it secret that she was pregnant at all, never mind that the baby was Xander’s. When she got caught with a baby, she said the baby was Rex’s, and when Xander learned the truth anyway, Sarah and Rex agreed that Xander should be cut out of the baby’s life.
But she’s still acting like she’s the aggrieved party. Her attitude seems to be that Xander has some nerve demanding the right to see a child that is legally his.
She knows that her claims that Xander could be dangerous to the child are mostly BS, especially since one of her central arguments is that Xander switched her dead baby with a live one to protect her from having to grieve.
This all smacks of a breakup for the sake of drama, and Sarah’s ignoring that she’s no saint either. Xander shouldn’t have taken Brady’s baby to give to her, but when Sarah found out, she ran away with the baby, and Kristen had to chase her down to get her child back.
So Sarah does not have any moral high ground here, nor does her argument work legally. If Xander is unfit because he has a criminal record and once kidnapped someone else’s baby to give her, then Sarah’s also unsuitable because she left town with that baby to keep her from her biological mother.
Plus, Eric never knew that baby was his until after her death because Sarah pretended it was Xander’s.
It’s anyone’s guess who the judge would give custody to here. Kristen won custody of Rachel despite a longer criminal record than Xander’s because the judge decided her crimes didn’t count, so Sarah has no reason to think she would win here.
In any case, Xander’s the one who has been illegally kept from his daughter and should not be the one to back down. If he drops his suit, it better be in exchange for a signed agreement giving him joint custody and a fair visitation schedule.
The Konstantin baby-napping incident also further ruined Theresa’s character.
Theresa was always a bit of a schemer, but she’s been turned into Gwen 2.0, and not because the same actress now plays her. This whole idea of forging Angelica’s signature is a Gwen plot, not a Theresa one, and Theresa should have more backbone than this.
She’s not a kidnapper, and if she hit Konstantin over the head, it should have been to stop him from calling Alex, not as part of a fake kidnapping scene.
Tate was kidnapped as a baby, so even if Theresa were prone to this sort of nonsense, she wouldn’t do it. But as with everyone else, history and character couldn’t be allowed to get in the way of this ridiculous story.
And now she was stupid enough to call Konstantin from an office she shares with Brady and Alex. Come on!
Konstantin’s sudden change from a friend of Victor’s to the newest baddie also continues to disappoint. He and Maggie have chemistry, and a story in which Maggie struggles with the question of whether she truly loves him or just missed Victor would have been so much more compelling.
Konstantin’s plot was also unnecessary; if he’d waited five more seconds, he would have heard Maggie reject Sarah’s concerns about her new relationship.
This new love triangle for Chad, Stephanie, and Everett is equally annoying.
When the only thing viewers are rooting for is for all the people involved in a triangle to remain single, there’s a problem.
Chad and Stephanie are both two-faced. Stephanie is cold to Chad’s face but defends him to Everett, while Chad pretends he is willing to be friends with Everett while secretly plotting to fire him from the Spectator.
Everett’s interference in Chad and Stephanie’s romance isn’t any different than Alex’s was a month ago, and it’s hard to tell whether he’s giving off stalker vibes because he’s up to no good or because Blake Berris was so good at being creepy, stalkerish Nick.
Someone make this story stop.
Holly and Tate also ended up in an awkward love triangle-like situation. Tate should have known better than to ask Holly if she wanted to kiss him seconds after she told him her mother was missing, but Holly flew off the handle — again.
Johnny has no clue still that Holly’s into him. He keeps saying he’s her big brother, and he took her to the hospital because Nicole is her mother and his stepmother. Could Holly get a clue already?
Meanwhile, Emily O’Brien briefly appeared as Gwen, cementing the fact that Theresa and Gwen have essentially the same personality. How disappointing that she still hates Leo!
Enough time has passed that she should have calmed down by now. Her friendship with Leo was more solid than this; they survived having each other arrested for murder, so this fight over no-good Dimitri shouldn’t be the thing that kills it.
Besides, if she hates him that much, why isn’t she back in Slaem, gloating over his allegiance to Dimitri getting him thrown in jail?
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. We want to hear from you whether you loved or hated this week’s episodes! Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button to share your thoughts.
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 weekday mornings at 6/5c.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.