Days of Our Lives Review Week of 10-05-20: Lots of Missed Opportunities
Allie’s rape storyline is better than Ciara’s was, but that’s not saying much.
On Days of Our Lives during the week of 10-05-20, the focus shifted all too predictably toward arguing over whether Tripp was the rapist, and Allie’s trauma is being given short shrift.
With pretty much the entire town of Salem lining up to condemn Tripp for his alleged behavior, it’s clear where this is going. And that’s a shame because this would have been a great opportunity for Days of Our Lives to reclaim its status as a groundbreaking serial.
That’s not to say that Days of Our Lives didn’t make ANY effort to address Allie’s reactions to the rape.
There was the obligatory interview by the police, which was marred by Lani’s less-than-compassionate reactions and the fact that she herself has taken advantage of a person who was too drunk to consent, and Allie confided in Claire about what happened to her.
But all of it was set-up for Tripp to be convicted in the court of pubic opinion, and that’s not where the sole focus of this story belongs.
My memory of that night is spotty, but I know for sure that Tripp held me down and when I said NO he didn’t listen.
The writers seem to be relying on a misunderstanding of the phrase “Believe Survivors.” The point of that particular maxim is to presume a survivor is honest about having been raped, not to presume that anyone accused is automatically guilty without an investigation.
And in Allie’s case, it’s entirely possible that she is right that she was raped and wrong about who did it.
Her memory of that night is spotty to say the least, Tripp claims that he deliberately resisted her drunken come-on because she couldn’t consent, and she could be conflating a memory of him taking her home with a memory of being held down by someone else.
And since there is a baby involved in this mess, this one is easy to investigate. Start with a DNA test (preferably at a non-Salem lab, since we know how unreliable DNA tests at Salem University Hospital are…).
If Tripp is not the baby’s father, that proves that someone else had sex with Allie that night. If he is, then he’s lying about having not touched her. It’s that simple.
Yet nobody has even suggested it. Sheesh.
Another thing no one has brought up: Tripp was incredibly supportive when Ciara told him that Chase had raped her.
That doesn’t prove definitively that he didn’t do anything to Allie, of course, but it is something that should be considered. Allie was eager for proof that Tripp was a bad guy, and she got it.
But Claire, who was there for the whole thing, never mentioned the one piece of evidence from Tripp’s past that suggests he’s not a rapist.
Instead, Claire herself decided that Tripp must be guilty and that everything she knew about him was one big lie.
This kind of story does no one any favors, especially not real life survivors.
It perpetuates stereotypes both about rape and about the people who report it, focuses exclusively on the damage done to the person who is accused of the deed, and trivializes the entire experience.
That’s not to say that Tripp’s dilemma couldn’t and shouldn’t be part of the story, but the near-exclusive focus on it is problematic.
And even within the framework of that story, the writers are missing opportunities that would make this story shine.
The most egregious example is Steve and Kayla’s disagreement about whether Tripp could be guilty.
Kayla is not only a rape survivor herself who sometimes counsels other survivors, but her rapist was Steve’s brother.
Yet Kayla mentioned neither of these facts at all in her argument with Steve. Instead, she relied on some poppycock about how men don’t think No means No.
A woman saying she doesn’t want to have sex and a man ignoring it isn’t a “difference of opinion,” and it’s ludicrous that a rape survivor would even suggest such a thing.
In addition, denigrating men and suggesting that they just lack the awareness to understand issues of consent helps nobody.
Kayla’s involvement in this storyline could have been a moving example of how a strong woman puts her life back together after a rape and how that long-ago event continues to color her feelings and opinions.
But the writers ignored that rich history, instead putting her and Steve at odds over her disloyalty to his son without once mentioning what his brother did to her.
Of course, Tripp isn’t doing himself any favors with the way he’s been behaving, either.
Running away from his lawyer to go confront Allie was about the worst thing he could have done. He only succeeded in making himself look guilty to Allie and Nicole and convincing Allie further that he is capable of violence against her.
He could be charged with witness intimidation, too. Good going, Tripp.
Also, why do Salem residents persist in the idiotic belief that they don’t need a lawyer if they’re innocent? Fifth and sixth amendment rights don’t exist to stop guilty people from being convicted. They’re there to protect everyone’s rights, and a talented cop with a belief in someone’s guilt can pull out all the stops to make their case.
And considering how many innocent people go to jail in Salem, everyone should be doubly aware of this and nobody should be talking to cops without a lawyer.
Anyway, the most interesting moment in all of this was a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of thing.
Claire suggested Allie talk to Marlena or another counselor about her ordeal and Allie jumped up and ran away.
This was the most realistic moment of the entire story, and an important one. Many survivors are reluctant to seek counseling, and there’s still stigma in general around the idea of needing therapy.
If only the writers didn’t have a track record of reinforcing that stigma, they could have written an emotional story about Allie’s struggle with depression and anxiety after her rape and her difficulty accepting that she needs help.
But instead, her refusal to even talk about therapy was an aside to the main story about how everyone believes Tripp is the rapist.
Meanwhile, Claire met a new guy who just might turn out to be the real culprit.
Charlie: Would you like to go out for drinks tonight?
Charlie: I was thinking something a little stronger.
Did alarm bells go off for anyone else when Charlie immediately asked Claire out for drinks?
Allie was drunk at the time of her rape, and I’m still not sure that someone didn’t put something in her drink. After all, she said she usually holds her liquor a lot better than she did that night.
Charlie’s invitation might have been perfectly innocent, but the fact that he was pushing a girl he’d met five seconds ago to have something stronger than a smoothie with him made me wonder if he’s going to turn out to be a serial rapist.
I’m also not sure why some random dude is so gung ho about climbing the ladder at Titan, especially when his first hour on the job involved getting a shake spilled on him because his bosses were dangerously close to a fistfight.
If I were him, I’d have started looking for a new job ASAP after that experience!
In any case, Charlie is the most interesting part of this Philip/Xander power struggle.
CEO war stories are way overdone on Days of Our Lives, and this one is particularly annoying. Philip is snobby and rude, as if he had turned overnight into a mini-Kate for the sake of this story, and these petty arguments with Xander are not doing either one of them any favors.
In addition, Victor is being more than a little hypocritical. When Leo falsely accused Sonny of sexual harassment, Victor replaced him to protect the company’s reputation. Yet he has no problem with one of his CEOs being accused of assaulting a woman…as long as that woman is Jan Spears.
Regardless of Philip’s good reasons for distrusting Jan, it is still illegal to grab a woman by the arm, get in her face, and threaten to end her life. And it is unconscionable for Days of Our Lives to be suggesting otherwise.
Also, this is now going to be a mess because Victor decided to be wishy-washy and “give Xander a second chance” without informing Philip, and Philip has already gotten the board to sign off on removign Xander from the CEO position.
What happens from here is anyone’s guess, but it’s likely to be chaotic. And Victor should have the business smarts not to fire and rehire people on a whim and not to let his son blackmail him into making decisions that are bad for the company.
Victor wasn’t the only one to give into blackmail now that Eli has tricked Kristen into confessing to stabbing Victor on tape.
As soon as Eli showed up at Kristen’s door, I knew it was stupid for her to talk to a cop without an attorney present. Common sense has never been Kristen’s strong point, but this took the cake.
I’m not sure whether this taped confession would be admissible in real life, but Salem plays by its own rules. Also, apparently a corrupt DA ordering a cop to get her the evidence she needs or watch his wife go to jail is totally okay here.
In any case, this is sure to destroy the fragile bond between Eli and Lani…again.
Eli has promised not to help the DA get Kristen, hasn’t told Lani what’s going on, and for the second time sneaked off to get Kristen in trouble. Yes, it’s his job to arrest evildoers. And Lani is just as wrong to excuse Kristen stabbing Victor as Victor is when he makes excuses for Philip threatening Jan.
But that’s not the main issue between him and Lani. The lack of communication and the promising one thing and doing the other is.
Eli is making the same mistake he did when he arrested Kristen. He needs to tell Lani what he intends to do, not wait until it’s a done deal and he’s gone behind her back.
Finally, Vincent told Hope that Ciara is dead. But why should Hope believe a word that comes out of his mouth?
Vincent already admitted he wants to get revenge on Ben for killing Wendy. What better way to do that than to make him and Hope believe Ciara is dead?
And his story doesn’t add up, anyway.
If he shot Ciara, where’s the body? Her remains weren’t in the car or nearby. There was no blood in the car or nearby. And he didn’t have time to bury her somewhere else and return to the car to get caught by Hope.
It’s ludicrous that a seasoned detective like Hope would believe this for a second. But then again, an experienced cop wouldn’t leave Ben alone with the gun being used as evidence either.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics!
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