Days of Our Lives Review for the Week of 9-18-23: Vivian Delights In Cruelty, But Her Days May Be Numbered

Spoilers

Vivian Alamain is a cutthroat boss.

There’s nothing she won’t do to those who cross her. Firing board members who support Maggie is tame compared to burying people alive, imprisoning them in sarcophaguses, or poisoning them with Dr. Wu’s special herbal blends.

On Days of Our Lives during the week of 9-18-23, Vivian took over Titan Enterprises, only to find no one wanted to work with her. No one could talk her out of her cruelty toward Maggie, but could a surprise discovery quickly end her reign of terror?

The whole saga of the will in the briefcase was bizarre in many respects, but if it gets Vivian out of that CEO chair, I’m all for it.

Shane made a quick visit, his first in several years, to deliver the briefcase and lecture Theresa about not wasting time and energy on a reluctant Brady.

Theresa shines in scenes with her family. Despite their disapproval of her, she loves them and is thrilled whenever she crosses paths with her father or brother.

Her face lit up when Shane came to her door, just as when Andrew came to Alex’s in Salem.

Of course, Shane’s excuse for stopping by—he wanted to drop off the briefcase for Brady to give to Justin or Maggie—was silly. He could have easily gone to Salem and given the briefcase to Maggie himself or had Andrew do it.

But the drop-off allowed him to speak with Theresa more personally and try to convince her to stop chasing Brady.

Despite Brady’s insistence that Theresa is the same troublemaker she was in 2013 or 2014, Theresa’s scenes with Shane demonstrated some growth. She accepts being called Jeannie now and, even more importantly, takes her father’s lectures in stride instead of being resentful.

Shane was not overbearing or judgmental, instead focusing on the fact that Theresa deserved better than a man who didn’t see the good in her or truly want to be with her.

That’s the way to get through to someone like Theresa. She’s used to being rejected and responds positively to being encouraged to seek the love she deserves instead of trying to convince someone to love her.

It’s a shame that Shane couldn’t at least stay to have her super expensive dinner with her, though. I knew Shane would likely only be around for one episode, but I’d have loved more of him!

But why did Shane leave Theresa a locked briefcase with no key? How was Maggie supposed to open it when she finally received it?

Theresa broke in with a butter knife, but the sequence was silly. And then, once Justin got the briefcase, he and Maggie didn’t need any key to open it but didn’t notice that it had been broken into.

Only in Salem could such a ridiculous thing happen!

The reappearance of Victor’s latest will was also on the bizarre side. It didn’t appear to be in the briefcase when Theresa broke in, so where did it come from?

Nevertheless, Maggie’s discovery of the will was welcome news. Assuming it can be proven genuine (and Vivian doesn’t pay off a judge to say otherwise!), that should be the end of Vivian’s reign of terror.

But Vivian won’t give up her newfound power that easily.

She has been trying to tell one person after another that they are the “one and only choice” for her right-hand man at Titan, and everyone’s forceful refusal hasn’t deterred her. So why should a little thing like Victor’s real will make a difference?

Vivian will fight this tooth and nail, not necessarily in the courts. Maggie and her family are in for a bumpy ride! And that presumes that Victor’s will didn’t contain any other surprises people won’t like.

Vivian should stop trying to suck up to Salemites and bring Ivan in as her right-hand man at Titan. He was always her go-to guy for everything else, so why not?

She tried to use her non-existent relationships with John and Philip, only to be told by both of them that she would only get what she wanted if she gave Maggie back what was rightfully Maggie’s.

Will Alex be similarly strong despite the bad blood between him and Maggie? Or will the promise of being back at Titan after Maggie fired him be too tempting for him?

Philip: I am not your son!
Vivian: I carried you in my womb for nine months.
Philip: So what, you think I owe you?

Philip’s refusal was especially strong. He is NOT the same man who went into that sanitorium, and he’s no longer going to jump at the chance to be with Chloe if it means undermining her current relationship or doing underhanded or illegal things.

Of course, it’s a common soap trope for someone to initially refuse to do something, only to change their mind. But this time, it doesn’t look like that’s what will happen. Philip moved on to gossiping with Rex while Vivian called Alex in to try to get him on board.

Incidentally, I’m not sure Vivian was serious about wanting to turn Titan into an illegal drug operation. She might have said that to get Chad’s goat, though forcing him to quit didn’t do her any favors.

If Chad or anyone else seriously thinks that Vivian will use Titan for illegal activity, they should report it to the authorities, not just quit and complain about it (or laugh about it like Chad and Stephanie did!). What good did walking away do if Chad doesn’t follow up with meaningful action?

The scenes with Steve and Kayla were annoying, and I don’t like that. Steve and Kayla are an iconic super-couple who shouldn’t be reduced to pushing Chad and Stephanie to marry.

Kayla’s worries about the kids getting overly attached to Stephanie are well-founded, but she was too pushy. And it was silly, not to mention irritating, that Steve randomly asked if they were considering marriage, too—all because Chad and Stephanie can joke around and laugh together.

Steve’s advice to Tripp to ignore Wendy’s boundaries was bad enough. We don’t need him and Kayla putting their nose in Chad and Stephanie’s business now.

Meanwhile, Tripp and Wendy got themselves in trouble trying to prove EJ hired the assassin who went after Ava.

Again, there is no real reason for Ava and Harris to be on the run. If Ava returned, even if she were arrested for five seconds before Rafe and Jada agreed it was self-defense and sent her back to Bayview, this would all be straightened out.

Instead, we have been treated to scene after scene of Ava and Harris awkwardly sharing a hotel room in London while Tripp and Wendy tried to get out of trouble after being caught helping.

The tossed-away passports shouldn’t have existed since Wendy supposedly used them as the basis for the fake passports. And whoever threw them away in the trash behind Tripp’s building was an idiot.

That said, Rafe violated Tripp’s rights half a dozen ways, and no one blinked an eye. You cannot keep a person who is not under arrest at the police station, and refusing to answer a question the way you want it is not obstruction of justice.

Rafe needs to pay better attention when he reads people their rights. Exercising your right to remain silent is not against the law.

Tripp should have demanded a lawyer instead of giving in to Rafe’s demands.

As for Wendy, I’m not sorry she got fired (though it wasn’t as satisfying as a similar firing on Neighbours!).

She was sloppy and stupid in how she approached her desire to hack EJ’s phone. If trying to guess the password while EJ was in the next room was the extent of her IT knowledge, she didn’t deserve her job.

She’s lucky that EJ only fired her and didn’t send the hit woman after her next! I miss the smart, determined Wendy who wanted to prove that she was as good as her brother; why did they have to change her into this idiot?

Meanwhile, Johnny had a date with Chanel that went nowhere because she fell asleep, only for Chanel to wake up and… text Talia to check on her.

No, no, a thousand times no. Please tell me Talia and Chanel didn’t just split up for the sake of drama. These two didn’t belong together, especially not after Talia destroyed Chanel’s business with those poisoned biscuits!

It’s sweet that Chanel wants to ensure Talia doesn’t go off the deep end after the breakup, but it’s not her responsibility to keep Talia in line. Let Talia stand on her own two feet!

It was too late since Talia had already gotten drunk and slept with Shawn.

This has to be one of the worst stories in recent years. Shawn has gone from arresting alcoholics to staggering around drunk in the blink of an eye, and sleeping with his wife’s troubled client while drunk is a new low.

Shawn and Talia are left with no one to help them understand why they did it, so they have a chance of not making the same mistake twice, either. They both see Marlena for therapy, and Marlena is Shawn’s mother-in-law.

That’s precisely why Marlena shouldn’t be treating family members! Now, either she’ll be forced to keep their confidence while secretly seething, or both of them will keep their bad behavior secret from their therapist because of her relationship with Belle.

Marlena could also ignore confidentiality rules, again ignoring how mental health issues are actually treated. Let’s hope this stupid story doesn’t go there!

At least Theresa wasn’t involved in THAT. Brady and Justin’s nasty and undeserved comments about her are bad enough.

Theresa is not Kristen, and having significant characters talk about her as if she were doesn’t help. And Alex is an adult, so if he wants to date Theresa, that’s his business.

Brady was not only cruel to her in Greece but also tried to bar her from going to support her own son after learning Tate was expelled.

Brady: I’m gonna go to California and pick up Tate and find out what happened.
Theresa: I’m coming with you.
Brady: No, you’re not. Theresa, you followed me to Greece…
Theresa: Really, Brady? You think I got my own son expelled from school just so I could sit next to you on a plane?

Theresa’s the one who raised Tate on her own for years, so if anyone should be banned from the trip, it’s Brady.

Besides, since they’ll be in California, Brady can take a flight home by himself afterward, leaving Theresa there. Problem solved.

So far, the Tate story is a rerun of JJ’s original story, complete with the child being left in boarding school instead of being allowed to attend a funeral for a loved one and then acting out and getting expelled.

Theresa tried to corrupt JJ further after that happened, so it would be nice if she remembered the similarities in JJ’s past to what’s happening with Tate!

Elsewhere, there was finally some movement on the Sarah baby daddy story.

First, we had to have the same flashback twice within the space of five seconds, I guess to demonstrate that Sarah and Xander had the same thought.

That was unnecessary; the flashback could have been played once, followed by the other person’s physical reaction, and we’d have gotten the picture.

Despite Maggie’s disapproval, Sarah and Rex plan to marry immediately, and so do Xander and Chloe. But Chloe got to have one of the more exciting cliffhangers in a while, which might throw a monkey wrench into things.

People really need to stop talking about sensitive information in the Square. It happens too much. But I can’t wait to find out what Chloe will do with the knowledge that Xander is baby Victoria’s father.

On the one hand, Chloe will feel Xander deserves to know. On the other, she’ll fear losing him to Sarah if he learns the truth.

That puts Chloe in a bind, and it’s always entertaining to find out how characters navigate their tricky circumstances.

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

Don’t forget to check back for 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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