HomeTelevisionDays of Our Lives Review: The Ultimate Battle Begins

Days of Our Lives Review: The Ultimate Battle Begins

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The Devil crashed the Horton Thanksgiving, but did it meet its match in Julie?

On Days of Our Lives during the week of 11-22-21, the evil spirit seemed to be winning the war, breaking easily out of Shawn’s handcuffs and throwing him across the room.

But Julie countered with a rosary and a rousing declaration about the power of love, leaving the Devil to run away to pursue a different evil plan.  If only this silly story had ended here!

The Devil Crashes The Horton Thanksgiving / Tall - Days of Our Lives

I’d have preferred a Devil-free Thanksgiving celebration, but these scenes were among the best since the possession storyline began.

Doug’s return home and his inability to speak or possibly even to comprehend were Emmy-level drama. It would have been perfect if this had been a real dementia story rather than this Devil silliness.

As it was, Julie’s mixed emotions over a mostly-catatonic Doug and her efforts to help him remember who he was made me cry. I also couldn’t help wondering how Bill Hayes managed to keep that perplexed frown on his face while sitting frozen throughout the entire sequence.

And then the Devil’s entrance woke Doug out of his stupor. As much as I hate this storyline, Doug’s reaction and the aftermath of the big reveal that Marlena is the Devil were well done.

Corrupting John's Soul / Tall - Days of Our Lives

The Devil got more and more desperate as the scene went on, and it was delicious.

It was clear the demon didn’t expect anyone to listen to Doug or take his side over “Marlena’s,” and it practically begged Belle, Shawn, and Kayla to dismiss Doug’s ramblings and force him back onto medication that stopped him from functioning.

Things got a bit weird after that, though. It was ridiculous for Shawn to think he could arrest the Devil, but what else could he possibly do? Of course, the demon broke out of its chains and attacked everyone violently.

It certainly took Julie long enough to take that rosary out, though she made one of the more compelling speeches related to this whole mess once she did!

Sami Reaches Out / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Julie spoke eloquently of the power of love to defeat supreme evil and how the Devil had abandoned that power long ago. The idea of evil rejecting love’s power is hardly original. Still, it did elevate this story into the battle between good and evil that it is supposed to be instead of focusing on campy nonsense.

Julie: I’ve loved Doug for over 50 years and I will love him for all the days of our lives we have left. And sooner would I die than let you hurt him.
MarDevil: That can be arranged.
Julie: I know you. I know you are nothing but a lying, odious trickster. But I have a power too, one you gave up a long time ago. The power of love. God is love.
MarDevil: NO NO STOP
Julie: Love gives us our souls. Love, eternal, everlasting love will prevail. The God of love is stronger than your hatred and stronger than your lies. You cannot defeat us. And now that this is out, now that you are visible, the walls are going to close in and it is over.
MarDevil: It is not over! It will never be over!

For the first time, the writers seemed to remember that the Devil is supposed to be the dark angel of the Bible, not just a random troublemaker. It’s unclear how well the story will adhere to Catholic religious beliefs about the Devil from here on out, but at least Julieframed it the way it was supposed to be framed!

Salem Celebrates Thanksgiving / Tall - Days of Our Lives

The Devil didn’t manage to destroy Thanksgiving, either. The Hortons have a lot more to be thankful for now, as Doug is back home and off those awful meds, Shawn is, amazingly,  all right after the Devil threw him across the table, and John has been rescued from captivity.

It didn’t make much sense that their rescuers took either John or Susan to the Dimera mansion instead of straight to the hospital, but I guess that made it more dramatic.

Susan was unconscious and had lost a ton of blood, so the detour to the mansion could have killed her. Fortunately, that didn’t happen, leading to a touching scene between her and EJ.

A Fatal Order / Tall - Days of Our Lives

For the first time since returning to Salem, EJ displayed a softer, more human side. Although Susan often irritates him with her bizarre beliefs, and he thinks she’s off her rocker most of the time, EJ loves his mother and was deeply upset that she almost died.

And once EJ realized Susan was telling the truth about Marlena being possessed by the Devil in real life, not just in Johnny’s movie, he took pains to reassure her that he could hold his own against the evil demon.

All of that made EJ more endearing than he has been all this time. He’s generally abusive and annoying, but these scenes with Susan gave his character some badly-needed depth.

Similarly, Paulina and Chanel had a heart-to-heart across town before Chanel and Johnny took off for Italy.

Paulina Confronts Marlena / Tall - Days of Our Lives

I knew Paulina wouldn’t disown Chanel. Things have been rocky between them before, but at her worst, Paulina allowed Chanel to live with her while refusing to pay for her food. Now that Chanel is making a living with her bakery, affording food wasn’t an issue anymore.

Still, though, Chanel needed to hear that her mother loved her despite Paulina’s obsession with getting back into Lani’s good graces.

Unlike Lani, Chanel was willing to hear her mother out — something that is rare on soaps, where people are often yelling past each other for the sake of drama.

And it led to some beautiful moments, especially Paulina admitting that Chanel would always be her baby despite Paulina’s wish that she could have a mother-daughter relationship with Lani, too.

Thanksgiving Chaos / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Chanel was mixing two things up, though it wasn’t the right time to point it out. Paulina holding Lani up as a role model might have been partially because Paulina was proud of Lani and wished she could be open about being Lani’s mother. But it also might have had something to do with Chanel’s initial behavior when she came to Salem.

Chanel tried to convince people to pay for expensive drinks she couldn’t afford and was jetting all over the world, causing trouble, all on Paulina’s dime. So it was natural that Paulina would point to Lani as an example of someone for Chanel to emulate instead of behaving like that.

Chanel likely would have resented hearing that right now, though, so it was just as well that Paulina let it go.

Ironically, Chanel decided to go to Italy right afterward to clear her head. This may be set up for the Christmas special that will be airing on Peacock in mid-December, but it didn’t make much sense.

Corrupting John / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Johnny was right that he and Chanel could leave any time, and going to Europe right after this heart-to-heart with Paulina didn’t seem like the best, most mature way to handle the situation.

It’s also not fair to Allie, who will have to run the bakery entirely on her own until the two return. And when did Johnny find time to talk to her? Allie was last seen running from one Thanksgiving party to another with Tripp and Henry.

Hello, police? This is Paulina Price. I need to report… well, actually, I don’t know what the hell it is I just saw.


After Chanel left, Paulina confronted MarDevil, making her the latest person to discover that Marlena had been possessed. I’m curious as to how that’s going to fit into the bigger Devil storyline.

.Kristen Drops a Bombshell / Tall - Days of Our Lives

Paulina tried and failed to report this to the police, which wouldn’t have done any good anyway. Shawn couldn’t arrest the Devil, so why would the rest of the cops fare any better?

They need a priest to perform an exorcism, and this time it needs to stick permanently. I don’t want a third round of this silliness!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear we’re anywhere close to the end of this story since MarDevil has now run to Ben and Ciara for refuge.

The Devil stopped Ben and Ciara from having their ten-thousandth sexual encounter, so there’s that. Don’t these two do anything else besides lie in bed all day and all night?

Xander Enlists Maggie's Help / Tall - Days of Our Lives

The flashbacks of their relationship were a nice touch. A for effort. But it’s hard to accept these two as a supercouple when they don’t do anything. They spend ALL their time in bed and have no storyline beyond staring into each other’s eyes and declaring that they are soulmates.

It’s better than the constant kidnappings, but still. And now that the Devil is involved, their ability to have sex all the time love will again be tested by whatever crazy plans it’s cooked up for them and their baby.

This Rosemary’s Baby plot does NOT do anything for Ben and Ciara. Why can’t they have anything approaching normal lives?

Ben used to work in the garage, and Ciara supposedly is a junior executive at Titan, so how about the writers build something for them around that instead of focusing solely on their sex life?

Finally, Sami is back. Sort of, anyway.

I don’t know why she’s busy calling people for help who can’t help her. Even if Marlena hadn’t been possessed by the Devil again, what would she do to get Sami out of trouble? And EJ was never going to give Sami any satisfaction. He hates her and thinks she abandoned him.

At least Sami’s attempt to call woke EJ up to the fact that something isn’t quite right, though. Everyone should have realized that a long time ago; Sami isn’t the type of person to give up and disappear out of embarrassment.

Still, though, better late than never, and it would be an added bonus if EJ had Gabi arrested for theft after the way Gabi gloated about that necklace and tried to use it to cause trouble for Ava and Rafe.

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics!

Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought of the Devil story, Thanksgiving in Salem, or anything else that happened on Days of Our Lives during the week of 11-22-21.

Hungry for more Days of Our Lives chat? Be sure to check back on Sunday for the latest Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.

Days of Our Lives airs on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes or watch on Peacock TV on weeknights after 8 PM EST/5 PM 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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