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46 December 21st, 2017 DAYS Casey Moss Delivers Poignant and Evocative Performance As JJ Contemplates Ending His Life

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In one of the most riveting performances and episodes of the soaps in 2017, Days of our Lives’  Casey Moss (JJ) was front and center, and had the opportunity to show his depth as an actor, while delivering a powerful message to the audience, and in an issue that faces many people who spiral down the depths of depression, and have lost all hope.

This is juxtaposed against Christmas Eve in Salem when families come together and celebrate, while JJ’s sorrow provides the drama.

The Wednesday installment of the NBC daytime drama series was a perfecty crafted standalone episode from head writer, Ron Carlivati, where the viewers watch JJ decide to end his life, and look on as he goes through the steps he feels he must take to prepare for his own demise.  This included writing heart-breaking letters to his loved ones, and of course, to the young man he shot, Theo (Kyler Pettis) and his grieving father, Abe (James Reynolds).  Each move of JJ’s inner torment played to perfection by Moss, took the audience on a gut-wrenching journey.

Throughout, JJ flashes back on his life and reflects on when he was younger and key moments in his relationship with his mother, Jennifer (Melissa Reeves), and his father, Jack. Viewers were treated to a return by Matthew Ashford, who reminded us all of why we love Jack Deveraux.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In the story, at first disheveled from his overriding depression and guilt,  JJ  decides to take a shower and shave before his final steps in his plan.  He lays out and then puts on his police dress uniform. as he continues to organize this thoughts through his agony.

When JJ writes his suicide note to Theo, he begins: “Dear Theo, I said I wanted you to have all the things you wanted, and now you have nothing, because of me. I’ve come to see that I can only pay for taking your life by taking my own, so I’m going out to the square, to the same place where I shot you, with the same gun, and maybe, in some small way, it will help balance out the universe …  make up for what I took from you.  I have left something to everyone else I love, but I have nothing to give you…except my life.”  After signing the letter, JJ seals the envelope, and write “Theo” on the front, and adds it to the pile, which included a hankie-inducing letter to his mother.

Photo Credit:

When he writes his goodbye letter to Abe, JJ pens: “Dear Abe, how do I say I’m sorry for something that is unforgivable, especially when it was you who first made me understand just what this badge means.”  Taking a moment, JJ recalls the day via a flashback that Abe encouraged him to apply to the police academy. JJ continues writing: “I saw how angry you were when I got it back. You thought it was dead wrong, and I think you were right, so I’m giving it back to you.”  JJ seals his letter to Abe in an envelope, and adds his police badge on top of it.

As the episode nears its conclusion, and after finishing all his letters, and with the stack of envelopes in front of him, JJ pulls out a gun from his desk drawer and inserts the clip, and seems ready to end his life.

So, what did you think of the performance by Casey Moss? What did you think about the construction of the episode, and how it played out? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  1. Iakovos says:

    I like JJ. Have since he returned and was a thorn in his mother Jennifer’s side. There has been an arc with JJ and I appreciate it. Suicide is a major issue in our society and good for DAYS to tackle it. I appreciate a human story apart from crazy resurrections and endless repetitive love games. This story has been moving to me. Thank you.

    Reply

    Celia replied

    How true, Iacovos!- JJ has been a prime example how youth can turn its life around. Yes, he was a vey stinging thorn in his mother’s side……he slew his demons, as it were…..not permanently slain, I guess.
    He feels so much guilt, I don’t know if anyone could ever come out of that—especially if Theo does not wake-up….such a compelling story. I cried!!
    I was so impressed by the scene……how methodically, almost lovingly, as macabre as it sounds, he sought to the future of those he loves, by endieng his life…..a life for a life? Very poignant.
    Such a sensitive, mourning-worthy social issue!!!!!!!! Not only is Casey hot, he has really proven his worth as an actor. Someone will stop him, at the eleventh hour, yes?!?!?!?!…..I hope so!!
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New year, my friend.

    Reply

    Celia replied

    Ending….

  2. Debra m says:

    Ron C. continues to impress me with his great writing. Instead of introducing new characters he is using the entire cast in various storylines. This gives Casey a time to shine at his best, but the whole cast has been wonderful. It just proves, give good writing and the actors will shine. I stopped watching DOOL for a number of years because the writing was awful and the acting to me was just not good. But wow, what a change in the show now and the actors have really stepped up. I see alot of Emmy noms. next year. DOOL has become the soap to watch, and I am a long time GH viewer. Applause to Ron C. who deserves so much credit for turning Days around to a must watch soap now.

    Reply

  3. AH says:

    Casey deserves a Emmy as well as the show for best drama. This storyline is riveting. I’m glad this story is being told. Kudos Ron Carlivati and the writing team. Also Kudos to Casey for a heartfelt performance.

    Reply

    Sharon M Edmark replied

    I agree that Casey Moss deserves an Emmy – I have been watching Days for over 40 yrs and he brought me to tears – I have never seen such great acting from someone so young. I am 59 and watched Days for along time, Casey – you brought me to tears. i LOVE all the actors on DAYS – but JJ your pulled it off,

    Reply

    Patrick replied

    shucks… per your words – ” i LOVE all the actors on DAYS ”

    it’s a marvel to watch writing and acting so in sync with each other. dang it !

    it’s been a dream to tune in

    i’m about a week behind… can’t wait to see the new DiMera.. played by Tyler Christopher… WITH his onscreen mother… Vivian Alamaine… played by the grand dame of all … OK I know there are plenty others… she’s in the top echelon… Louise Sorel

    YES

    blast off

    again… @ DAYS

  4. blake says:

    Casey Moss deserves an Emmy for this episode. So great of Ron C. to write and focus on Casey and JJ, he’s such a great and underrated talent.

    I hate seeing JJ go through this, especially when he’s not at fault, he was only doing his job and protecting himself!

    Reply

  5. Llanviewer717 says:

    It was an absolutely heartbreaking episode to watch. Poor JJ is such a tragic figure. Casey Moss did an excellent job. When given powerful material, he delivers.

    Reply

  6. Jimh says:

    I attempted suicide in my younger years the last time nearly 20 years ago so watching someone contemplating suicide is a bit uncomfortable even if it is just a soap and knowing JJ really wont go all the way-brings back so many bad memories…CM is doing a fine job in his role-i smell an emmy nomination!!!!

    Reply

    Celia replied

    ….Proud of you, Jimmy. You are a conqueror, you know that?? Bless you.

    Reply

    Celia replied

    Love Robin, Jimmy….but, can you imagine if the mom, mysteriously, turns out to be Vivian? Can’t beat that!!

    Reply

  7. Joseph Tyler says:

    To be honest, I found it to be overly drawn out and difficult to watch (albeit well acted) while watching what, I guess, were supposed to be “older scenes” re-enacted (I don’t know for sure, have only been watching since 2013) – I understand that JJ is upset, but it seemed ultra-melodramatic to me.
    I certainly do understand however, how people can spiral downward into a depressed state that seems insurmountable and was glad that there was a full panel displayed for The Suicide Prevention League.

    Reply

    Mo replied

    Those scenes were recently created. As far as I can remember, Jack was already dead when JJ, in the form of Casey, returned to Salem.

    I don’t know if it was difficult to watch, but not really interesting/entertaining, but maybe it wasn’t supposed to be. Some of it was sad, the letter he wrote to Theo saying he’s giving his life for Theo.

    Why didn’t the Salem PD get JJ into counseling?

    Reply

  8. Jamesj75 says:

    Outstanding stuff! I could watch Casey Moss all day. We’ll leave it at that…

    Reply

    Celia replied

    You bet, James……so much good stuff on Days…..
    ….heard through the grapevine that Tyler Christoper will be playing another one Stefano’ s long lost sons….his name is Stefan O. DiMera…..So very clever, that. Can’t wait for the mayhem to begin at chez DiMera’s, James….everyone vying for number one rooster-son in the great, vast mansion. Can’t you just hear the echoing of angry voices bouncing off the walls? LOL….Love it!!

    Reply

    Jamesj75 replied

    Thanks for your reply, Celia! You’re absolutely right. Interesting stuff about Tyler. It’s so refreshing to see DOOL firing on all cylinders again. “echoing of angry voices bouncing off the walls” — hysterical! Take care, Friend. :)

    Jimh replied

    If true i hope Lee turns out to be his mom and played by Robin Strasser

    ChandlerFan replied

    Agree completely. I did enjoy his youthful persona as a dedicated irritant to Dr. Dan. (Loved it when he broke Jonas’ expensive toys.) However, both his character and himself as an actor seem to have grown into an interesting 3-dimensional troubadour/protector.

    I was surprised that this episode did not portray JJ giving away his treasured guitar to someone. (Perhaps I missed the guitar getting buried with Page?)

    Gotta say, JJ’s bearded, unkempt rakish troubled period gave him a fleshed-out much more grown-up appearance, making a more interesting person that we’d like to learn more about.

    I’d like to see his cousin Eric provide him with genuine priestly guidance to abandon his police job, for which he is unsuited. Rather than taking his life, a much better path to assuage his guilt and atone for his misdeed would be re-dedicating that life to the difficult task of long-term truly helping those in need.

    Reply

    4ever DAYS replied

    Eric and JJ aren’t cousins or related in any way, ChandlerFan. Eric’s parents are Roman Brady and Marlena (Evans) Brady Black. JJ’s parents are Jack (AKA Billy Johnson) Deveraux and Jennifer (Horton) Deveraux.

    Jamesj75 replied

    Thanks for your reply, ChandlerFan!

    So glad you are a MossFan, too! You make some great points about his growth as an actor as well as the character’s development. I also enjoyed JJ’s interactions with Dr. Dan. Take care, Friend!

  9. anne gagnon says:

    Casey’s performance was excellent <I really felt bad for him made me cry.I don;t know how he did it, he may need therapy after that great performance. I hope the episode helped alot of people. Now Theo needs to come out of the coma so his dad won't be so mean' and I understand why he is.

    Reply

  10. vinman says:

    Kudos Casey Moss…Ron Carlivati…and all the actors in this truly amazing episode!!!

    Reply

  11. Mo says:

    Personally, didn’t totally enjoy it, but I understand where they were going with it. I guess today’s ep will take up where this one left off.

    Reply

  12. M. Clay says:

    An amazing 2 day performance by Casey. Suicide during the holoday’s Is becoming more common, especially among law enforcement and the military. Emmy worthy performance….

    Reply

  13. Damien says:

    JJ s been my favorite character since he showed up with an axe to grind in Salem
    Im glad Rons writing for Jj and bringing him back to his best storyline since the time he tore up the square when he had uncovered that Jack had raped kayla
    Casey s the next leading man on Days

    Reply

    Mo replied

    He needs a partner comparable to his acting and Sal Stowers is not it.

    Reply

    Patrick replied

    I haven’t seen so much heated energies light up my telee… since Chad and Gabs

    JJ and Lani are WOW… I enjoy this twosome. the natural sensuality between these two is smitten

    Sal Stowers has proven to be GOOD for this show and good for Abe Carver family. PLUS she has shown good work as an employee of SPD AND as a daughter to Abe, and sister to Theo…. SO .. i’d say Sal Stowers is across the board melding quite nicely with the whole production.

    I don’t know what to think… is she preggers from Eli or JJ ? haven’t watched this part yet… or is this rumour mill fodder

    either way… I hope JJ and Lani find their way back.

  14. Sandy Oliver says:

    Casey’s performance was exceptional and so real to life. It showed the audience exactly what the monster of depression can do to people. I think Casey deserves an award for his performance.

    Reply

  15. JMER says:

    Does anyone know who the ep’s script writer and/or breakdown writer is?

    All I know is this is my mom’s show, and I’ve been helping her through my dad’s death. She was watching Days daily, which she has done since before I was born, and I noticed the Theo shooting story. Now I’m hooked plus holidays are always something to tune in for on Days, whether story is good or not. This standalone ep had me mesmerized. It is unlike anything I’ve seen on DT in ages. I know Days has some excellent Classic writers going back to the 80s and 90s, and it could be any one of them. I’m sure we’ll find out when award season comes along, hopefully, but I need a little instant gratification.

    Reply

  16. Sharon M Edmark says:

    Very good story line – need it during the Holidays

    Reply

    Sharon M Edmark replied

    I have watched Days for over 40 yrs and I was in tears over Casey’s performance – I was in tears and Gabi’s actress helped me. I saw Gabi save the day!!! I knew she would dave JJ. Too bad for Lani though – she thinks that JJ slept with Gabi – There goes the SOAP!!

    Reply

  17. mike says:

    The kid has stepped up to match the good writing. This is great soap opera.

    Reply

  18. Fine75 says:

    Dec. 20th episode was a great powerful show j j did a great job glad days devoted the time on the subject (depression) Dec 21st with j j and Gabi was a tearjerker I think at one time or another as gone through depression it’s a part of Life some people pull throw and some don’t

    Reply

  19. Ray says:

    Casey and James Reynolds deserve Emmy nominations.

    Reply

  20. Tania says:

    Liked very much sad but Casey hit out the park it was nice seeing Matthew Ashford again I wish stay on for good . Only issue I had no Steve and Adrienne they are JJ family too

    Reply

  21. Robert in Jersey City says:

    Stunning. Just watched it. Ron reversed the flashback tool from folks laughing on a sofa to a real day problem.

    Reply

  22. xmascarol says:

    At first I did not like JJ at all but now I feel for the guy what was he suppose to do he thought that Teo had a gun so he had to protect himself.Abe son isn’t no angel here.As one who suffers from anxieties and depression I know how he felt.Some days you just feel like giving up.While I never came close to suicide I have thought about it ,but I am to chicken to die,Well back to the show enough about me,Casey did an excellent job I could really feel his pain.I am so glad that Abby stopped him I wonder what Abe will say when he finds out that JJ tried to kill himself.Maybe he will lighten up on JJ.Hey didnt Teo hack into something?Well isnt that illegal? Why is Abe overlooking that?

    Reply

    Patrick replied

    ABOUT – the only time I think Abe.. may have … got side tracked. was when he was at the SPD with Rafe and JJ… as they read the report… from INTERNAL AFFAIRS … and JJ was found “not guilty”

    sorry.. lack of a better term…

    Abe flying between being the father of.. and his upholding the law… and his relationship with JJ

    I thought Abe emotions got the best of him… did you watch the scenes between him and Jennifer… as she pleaded with him for understanding

    any way… the 12 /25 episode of miracle.. happened

    it’s going to be a tearful reunion for the Horton and Carver familial.

    PROP : I was so taken with Doug and Julie in Theo room… with Abe and Valerie by his bedside… as they asked Abe to come to the Horton gathering…

    Abe : to Doug and Julie.. that he was uninviting himself this year. he wasn’t going to pretend what happened.

    it just cut some

    steller stuff from the whole production

    Reply

  23. Lou Piikes says:

    Casey Moss not only deserves an Emmy, but an Oscar as well.

    Reply

    Steve replied

    What motion picture was he in to deserve an Oscar?

    Reply

    Lou Piikes replied

    Once Upon a Time in Salem.

  24. Rodd says:

    I congratulate all involved with this storyline! Suicide is an all too common issue that people face on a daily basis, especially at this time of year. And while the majority of those thinking of suicide didn’t have the circumstances that JJ did, they face real struggles. This story is timely and very important. I am glad to see DOOL address this in such a gripping way, a way that is sure to garner a lot of attention and hopefully save lives. All those involved, especially Casey have been doing a remarkable job. It has truly been the most moving story I’ve seen in many years on soaps. Blessings to those who are facing suicidal thoughts. May they find what they need to work their way through to a happier, healthier life.

    Reply

  25. Kathy Smith says:

    As someone who has struggled mightily with depression my whole life, I could not be more impressed with the writing and the performance by Casey Moss. If he does not win the Emmy, it will be nothing short of highway robbery. I was touched deeply, as I’m sure were others…those of us who have been there know a better job could not have been done. Simply outstanding. Thank you, Casey.

    Reply

  26. rpm says:

    Casey Moss delivered!!!! Great episode

    Reply

  27. Kelly says:

    Excellent writing by Ron and bravo to delivering a fantastic performance Casey, of a man contemplating and planning to end his life. Emmy worthy for sure!!!

    Reply

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