Days of Our Lives Review for the Week 0f 9-11-23: Has Gwen Been Playing Dimitri All Along?

Spoilers

How long has Gwen known that Dimitri is sleeping with Leo?

It was obvious that she’d figured it out by the time she visited Leo on Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-11-23. She purposely goaded him into making up a story about his imaginary boyfriend dumping him, telling him in excruciating detail about Dimitri’s insatiable appetite for her.

Her deception worked. An insanely jealous Leo accused Dimitri of cheating on him while Gwen smugly informed Kristen that she already knew the truth, ending Kristen’s power to blackmail Dimitri into sharing his inheritance. But has Gwen known all this time that her BFF was betraying her with the husband she supposedly was head-over-heels in love with?

In retrospect, this ‘twist,’ if you can even call it that, was the only way this story made sense. For weeks, we’ve all wondered how Gwen could possibly be this stupid.

Dimitri was not at all subtle about the fact that he was being unfaithful to her. He invited his boy toy to join them on their honeymoon, for goodness sake, and rushed home before Gwen even got to experience any of her dream vacation—with or without him.

One of Days of Our Lives’ favorite soap tropes involves smart characters suddenly becoming total idiots when the plot demands it, but come on! Nobody could possibly be THAT stupid, could they?

Gwen had no real reason to marry Dimitri after two dates and a bunch of non-explanations about why he had to marry before his 40th birthday. Leo found the codicil easily while searching Dimitri’s room—are we supposed to believe that Gwen had no idea it existed when 99 percent of her relationship with him took place in that room?

Why didn’t Gwen spare viewers the torment of this mind-numbing storyline by teaming up with Leo before the affair started, allowing him to pretend that he was betraying her, and agreeing to stay in the marriage in exchange for a cut of the money?

This could still turn out to be the case, but it would be harder to swallow, considering how genuine Gwen’s attempt to goad Leo and his aner at Dimitri afterward seemed to be. Still, Days of Our Lives has pulled off stranger twists than this and never seems to be above changing history mid-story, so it could happen.

Sarah Needs The Hospital - Days of Our Lives

I haven’t had much use for this story or any of the characters involved in it.

Dimitri seemsd like he should be a fascinating character who  wasn’t above doing evil things to get what he wanted and didn’t want his domineering mother running the show, but after Megan left and Dimitri wed Gwen while bedding Leo, the story quickly spiraled into stupidity.

Gwen: I don’t suppose you’ve seen my husband anywhere.
Kristen: He was here. He must have gone out.
Gwen: That’s funny, because we were supposed to have breakfast together.
Kristen: Gwen, there’s something I have to tell you.
Gwen: What is it?
Kristen: I hate to be the one to tell you this, but Dimitri and Leo are having an affair.
Gwen: The thing is, Kristen, I knew that already.

Gwen’s reveal that she knew the truth all along was strangely satisfying. It’s not often that anyone gets one over on Kristen, and this revelation promised the beginning of the end of this nonsense.

Unfortunately, this is probably also the end of her relationship with Leo, and that’s a shame. While both characters tend to be insufferable on their own, their relationship is fun, and there are not enough examples of platonic soulmates on television.

Vivian's Assertions - Days of Our Lives

There’s really nowhere for Gwen’s character to go and hasn’t been for a while. Jack and Jennifer left town, so she can’t screw up and beg Jack’s forgiveness over and over, and Abigail is dead so Gwen can’t try to make amends to her sister either.

She’ll probably take off once this mess is undone. But what will happen to the Spectator and the Lady Whistleblower? I don’t mind losing Leo’s ridiculous column, but we need a proper newspaper in Salem, and the Spectator is an important part of Salem history.

Stefan: How’d you get out of prison?
Vivian: I found a pickaxe on the floor and chiseled my way to freedom. Come on, hasn’t anyone ever heard of good behavior?

Gabi is the most irritating aspect of this part of the story, so ending her ability to blackmail Dimitri can only be a good thing. She’s a spoiled brat who can’t seem to deal with Kristen knowing something she doesn’t and had no qualms using Rachel to get the leverage she needed.

Rachel is usually a smart, shrewd kid, even if she does think she can do whatever she wants, so it’s hard to believe that Gabi got the truth out of her. Maybe that’s why it was off-screen!

Theresa Reunites With Her Family - Days of Our Lives

That said, I was wondering when Vivian would put her two cents into the Von Leuschner mess. The Von Leuschners hail from Alamainia, so the feud  between t hem and the Alamians is silly, though grounded in Salem history.

Only in Salem could there be a royal family that is sworn enemies of the family their country is named after! But the history between Vivian and Carly all happened on-screen, and that feud made more sense than the rest of this silly story.

I also enjoyed Vivian’s sarcastic explanation for how she got out of Statesville. That prison’s security is so lax that it might as well be sleepaway camp—would anyone be surprised if ultimately it turned out that Vivian did break out using a weapon she found lying around?

Vivian’s confrontation with Dimitri was a detour while she dealt with her main storyline. This is one of the stronger stories Days of Our Lives has had recently.

Chanel is Torn Between Lovers - Days of Our Lives

It makes sense now why Victor died in a plane crash instead of in his sleep. Days of Our Lives could have addressed John Aniston’s real-life passing in a number of ways, some more respectful than others, but not every idea would lead to a compelling story.

In a way, the battle between Maggie and Vivian keeps Victor in the show after his death, and it’s the kind of epic battle he would have relished if he were alive. Of course, Vivian would not have dared pull such a trick while Victor was in good enough health to stop her!

Vivian: I was Victor’s wife, not you.
Maggie: He was MY husband in every way that mattered.

My only quibble is that Justin, in usual shoddy lawyer fashion, claimed that since Vivian’s divorce from Victor nevver went through, there was nothing he could do to reverse her fortunes. But Victor obviously didn’t mean to leave everything to her. He lived with Maggie as his wife for 11 years and had no contact with Vivian.

So why couldn’t Justin contest the state’s awarding the assets to Vivian on the grounds that Victor clearly did not intend for her to be considered his wife? Furthermore, has it been proven that Victor’s request to withdraw his will was legitimate?

Shawn and Belle Fight - Days of Our Lives

Brady and Alex are looking into why Victor was in Greece while the ISA runs a parallel investigation. It seems like it would have made more sense for them to all work together, and that would have the added bonus of Andrew reining in his rebellious little sister.

I guess that would have made too much sense, as would Brady having asked his ex-ISA agent of a father for help or advice.

Anyway, this story will probably end with proof that Victor’s plane was sabotaged or that the person who withdrew the will was an impersonator and Vivian will be out in the cold.

But it should be a fun, wild ride in the meantime!

A Surprise for John Doe - Days of Our Lives

Brady and Theresa’s feud makes little sense. They have been on good terms since Theresa left Salem, only to suddenly be at each other’s throats.

And why did Brady have to insinuate that JJ, who wasn’t even part of the current story, was the kind of stupid and weak-minded individual that would succumb to Theresa’s tricks while Alex was not?

Better check yourself, Brady. In 2013 while you were  busy getting high every five seconds, JJ roped his friends into a scheme to neutralize Theresa’s blackmail. Days of Our Lives seemed to be confused as to what to do with JJ after a while,  but his character was far from stupid or weak.

And Brady’s BFF Jennifer wouldn’t appreciate the negative way he was talking about her son, either.

Maggie and Julie Fight Back - Days of Our Lives

Theresa probably will end up rescuing Brady or vice versa. These two need to get over themselves and their newfound enemity somehow.

While Brady didn’t ask John (or Paul!) about how to proceed with his investigation, he did get to take a break from the chaos to welcome Timothy Robicheaux to the family.

Legendary actor Dick Van Dyke’s  brief visit to Salem has been charming. It’s also exactly what we need more of. Days of Our Lives used to be centered around family scenes, and over the years that focus has been distorted.

It does leave his character’s whereabouts hanging, since Dick Van Dyke reportedly only taped four episodes and that was the fourth. But it’s easy enough to have him living with John but offscreen or in San Franscisco with Paul after Paul goes home.

It was wonderful to have Dick Van Dyke on-screen for a few episodes. Let’s’ hope he’s able to return for another visit soon!

Gwen's Revelation - Days of Our Lives

I’m also glad that Days of Our Lives let Theresa and Andrew cross paths. It would have been stupid for them to both be in town and not see each other!

Theresa was warmer toward Andrew than I expected. Andrew’s been MIA for many years and was never mentioned when Theresa was wreaking havoc during her initial introduction as an adult version of Shane and Kimberly’s daughter.  I fully expected Theresa to be resentful of her brother’s absence, if not of his status as Kim and Shane’s golden child who can do no wrong.

JJ, as originally written, felt that Abigail was seen as perfect while he was too much like his father, so his attraction to Theresa, who felt the same way about her family and their comparison of her and Andrew, made perfect sense.

Yet Theresa seemed to be best friends with Andrew now. That was a missed opportunity, though Andrew’s suspicion of Theresa’s real motives was a welcome addition to the story.

Xander's New Job Offer - Days of Our Lives

Elsewhere in Salem, there was a lot of nonsense surrounding Ava and Harris. There’s no legitimate reason for them to be on the run—as Tripp pointed out, Rafe and Jada already know that Ava shot the hitwoman in self-defense. Her claim that EJ could still kill her could have been handled in a better way.

It would have been a compelling story for Rafe to have to put Ava into protective custody while Ava needled him about how that’s how he and Sami began and how she’s with Harris and doesn’t want Rafe that way anymore.

But no, instead we have to turn Tripp and Wendy into criminals who magically create fake IDs for Harris and Ava in two seconds.

And if Ava’s visions of Susan are due to Susan’s psychic powers and not that Ava is off her meds now that she’s on the run, that’s stupid. Susan could appear to EJ instead and the problem would be solved.

Theresa Surprises Brady - Days of Our Lives

The annoying Johnny/Chanel/Talia storyline was finally resolved. Unfortunately, that led to Talia and Shawn getting drunk together and having sex. Ugh.

Shawn is far too old for Talia, she’s one of his wife’s clients, and his drinking is out-of-character, unrealistic, and obnoxious.

As for Chanel, while I’m thrilled she and Johnny are back together, the way this was handled was not a good look for Chanel.

This was not the kind of love triangle that left viewers torn. Johnny has been bounced from triangle to triangle without any payoff and there was no reason for Chanel to decide to give the woman who ruined her business and nearly got her killed a second chance.

And yes, Talia was manipulated, and that sucks,  but actions still have consequences!

Nicole Has a Tense Encounter - Days of Our Lives

But since Chanel decided to give Talia another chance, this was cruel. She came off as flaky, jumping from Talia to Johnny in the blink of an eye. If she was going to be torn, she should have been legitimately torn; the way it happened came off as Talia being her consolation prize that she dropped the second Johnny turned out to be available.

That’s not cool, even if Johnny is a much better match for Chanel than Talia.

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics.  Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought about this week’s shows!

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

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 Twitter.

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