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34 May 24th, 2016 DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Melissa Reeves Shines In Jennifer-Centric Episode On Addiction!

Courtesy/NBC

Days of our Lives veteran and enduring cast member, Melissa Reeves (Jennifer) may have just locked up her second Daytime Emmy nomination for a performance that aired today on NBC’s Days of our Lives.

This May Sweeps has been filled with a few other character-centric episodes from GH’s Jason to DAYS Aiden, and now you can add Tuesday’s episode of DAYS to that mix as well.  In it, Jennifer fights her urge to take painkillers, but all the signs are right in front of her that she has indeed become a pill-popping addict.  It is clearly something the once high and mighty Jennifer is not proud of at all, or equipped to handle on her own.

In the episode, Jennifer cries out for help to Lucas (Bryan Dattilo), who shows up at the Horton home to stay with her as long as it takes to help get her through this bumpy night.  Being an addict himself, he understands what Jennifer is going through.  When Lucas arrives he notices the Horton living room completely trashed, and as was revealed in a flashback, Jennifer went off the deep end while looking for her stash.  She flashes to ripping apart the living room and pulling her hair out.  Jennifer tells Lucas that she threw the pills down the toilet, but says she’s still in pain and wonders if she just needs to be better at controlling how much medication she takes.

Lucas says they can attend an AA meeting with Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) at 6AM, and they only need to make it for another four hours.  Jenn falls asleep on the couch where she then has nightmares.  First, she is woken up by Abigail (Kate Mansi), who is furious at her mother that her baby son Thomas was found wandering in the driveway when she was supposed to be watching him.  Next, Jenn plays a scenario in her head where she visits JJ (Casey Moss) in jail where he has been locked-up for drug use.  When a bottle of pills sits on the table in front of them, JJ wants his mom to share some with him, but when a guard grabs her, JJ is suddenly gone.  Now it’s Jennifer’s beloved late husband, Jack (Matthew Ashford) who is revealed to be before her as the prison guard!

This sets the stage for the highly-anticipated scenes between Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves, who for years played one of the all-time classic soap couples.  It was in these scenes that Reeves shined, and we all were reminded just how great this duo is together via flashbacks.  Jack asks Jennifer, “When was the last time you laughed?”  And after they relive some of their past, she responds with tears in her eyes that when he died he took that part of her with him.  Jennifer opens up about her loneliness and isolation since … Jack has died, her kids have grown up, and the expectations of her living as the granddaughter of Tom and Alice Horton, and in their home.  She says she is so tired, but then grabs some pills on the table, and takes one as Jack says they will just wear her out.

When Jennifer awakes from her nightmare, Doug (Bill Hayes) and Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) are there to assist Lucas and offer support.   When Jennifer heads up to her room, Julie goes with her as much as Jennifer protests.  After Julie finally leaves, Jennifer gets out of bed and beside herself, and when she drops her phone she finds a pill bottle under the bed.  Julie happens upon the scene, and Jennifer says she needs just one pill.   Julie won’t let that happen and Jennifer slaps her!  Jennifer realizes what she has done and they hug.

Finally, in the last minutes of the episode, Jennifer, accompanied by Lucas, make it to the early hospital AA meeting where Brady (Eric Martsolf) and Maggie are also attending.  When it is finally Jennifer’s first time to speak to the group, she admits she’s an addict, as an approving and supportive Jack watches from the window looking after her.

What did you think of the performance of Melissa Reeves in the standalone episode?  Did you enjoy walking down memory lane with Jack and Jennifer, and seeing Matt Ashford again on DAYS?  What did you think of the arc of the story told in the episode about addiction?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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  1. missmeka1987 says:

    Amazing episode..

    Reply

    Dylan replied

    I am stunned and awed by this episode for SO many reasons!!! I don’t even know where to begin!! So I will start by saying And the 2017 Emmy goes to Melissa Reeves!!! Missy has been a daytime sweetheart for 32 years since she hit the airwaves on Santa Barbara. She has always been a reliable, solid performer, and even underrated, but she has never really been given a real breakout story. So to have this kind of a star turn at this point in her career must be very thrilling for her, as it certainly is for us fans!! Bravo!!

    In one of those rare confluences of excellence, the writing was ample back up!! When I see these kinds of episodes, I always wonder why…if soaps CAN tell this kind of riveting, dynamic, family oriented, veteran heavy drama, why DON’T they?? The writing was sophisticated, mature, and just spot on!! The last few regimes have NOT gotten the character of Jen at all!! However, in one episode, all those mistakes were explained and erased, and offered renewed hope for Jen in the future.

    Jack came back, and it wasn’t slapstick as he tended to be in life…that would have diminished the impact of the episode. Another good thing was that it wasn’t sappy or wishy washy…because Jack and Jen were not like that. We learned how deep seated Jen’s hurt was at being abandoned by Jack so often. We saw what his real, final death did to her…it broke her!! When Jack told her to start her story anew, that she was a blank page…I felt that was also for the show writers…who now have the freedom to take the character in ANY direction, but hopefully one with some light, happiness, and some of the spunk that she used to have!!

    The past few regimes have also done no favours for Julie…writing her often as an annoying buttinsky, but Susan Seaforth Hayes shone here! She was right there for her cousin Jen when the going got tough. It is always a treat to see Doug and Julie on their limited appearances. I also do not understand why the show keeps hiring new leading men every year or so, when they have Bryan Dattilo! His acting improves with each passing year, and when he is given the material, he can knock it right out of the park!! Lucas has grown into a kind, caring, mature man. He is a Horton! He is a viable leading man! Give him a story worthy of his talents!!

    I am also floored by Kate Mansi. She had a very brief part in this episode, but it was crucial! Abigail has been through the wringer this last year, and Kate absolutely owned it! She was robbed this year by not even getting an Emmy nomination, so hopefully even though she has left the show, her work will be remembered next year. Her descent into madness has been chilling, heartbreaking, and realistic given both family history of mental illness AND the hell she has gone through due to Ben. The show has some very big shoes to fill both talent wise, and someone who will have the kind of special connection that Abigail and Jennifer share.

    Also, some people complain about these stand alone episodes, but I personally LOVE them!! The late great Santa Barbara probably did them the best, but I feel almost every show has had success with them when done right! Another World used to be great at them too, although theirs were generally more light hearted and campy told in conjunction with a love story. While it was jarring and unnerving to see our beloved Jennifer Rose tearing her house apart, and screaming while looking for her pills, it was emotionally affecting!! As a long time vet, Missy deserved this kind of an episode. You can bring on all the Summer’s, and Madison’s, and Serena’s you want…played by big name talent from other (mainly cancelled) shows…but what the heck for when you have this kind of legacy talent just waiting to be explored?!

    Daytime soaps have largely become plot driven, and just full of constant sturm und drang, and never ending misery. Just one story point after catastrophe after calamity, and it’s draining to watch. Give me an episode like the infamous Book Club one from a couple years ago where JJ accidentally fed marijuana laced brownies to the ladies of Salem. It was hilarious, and it was clear that those actresses relished the opportunity to play something like that! No real plot was advanced, but it was so nice just to be able to hang out with these characters in a surprising and light hearted way.

    Daytime used to have scenes, or whole episodes, where we just got to know the people. That’s why they feel like family now. Of all the soaps currently on the air, DAYS does family best. All the other shows have abandoned the long successful format of the core family. GH killed off most of their families, and the Corinthos’ do NOT count as a core family, because they are a bunch of mobsters and criminals, and they have no roots on the show prior to 1996. Bold and Beautiful kind of has the Forrester’s and Logan’s, but they are so fractured, and so many of them are gone or missing. They have also been damaged by the never ending go-round of near incest between family members. Young and Restless has the Abbott’s, kind of, but they are making a HUGE mistake in having Billy and Phyllis cross the line and having sex. DAYS has the longest running family in television history…the Horton’s, and they are still driving the story!!

    Every time I see episodes like this, I am reminded of how good daytime CAN be!! I realize that producing the amount of material they do is a daunting and Herculean task, and the writing can’t always be top notch! But when it is…WOW!! Bursts of creativity like this, when the writing, acting, and directing all collide to achieve brilliance makes me happy to be a lifelong soap fan, rather than being embarrassed and wondering “why do I watch this crap”…which is the way soaps have made me feel too often in the last few years!

    Even though it takes a village…and everyone in the episode was great, the weight of the episode fell on Missy’s shoulders, and it was some heavy lifting! She was mesmerizing, especially when she became that confused little girl who didn’t understand how this could have happened to her. I just wanted to give her a hug through the whole episode and tell her that everything would be okay!

    I don’t know what the future holds for Miss Jen, but I will say what I HOPE it holds! First of all, I hope the show finds an awesome recast for Abigail, and gets her on the show soon, and mentally healthy. That will be a huge relief for Jen. Next, I hope she finds some romance in her life, but not an intense, dramatic one. Daniel drained the life and the fun right out of her. Well to be fai, the writers did that too. I would love to see a relationship with light hearted banter and really fun moments. It would be nice if it was with Jack, but the show has killed him off one too many times and to bring him back now, especially after this episode, would be a big cheat to the audience. His death was one of the contributing factors to why Jen was in this predicament.

    DAYS has been very dark for the past 6 months, and though this episode featured a core character hitting rock bottom, it also featured hope for the future. It offered what daytime does best, and if there was a Check List, this episode would have all the boxes checked. Family, drama, character development, returning favourite, under utilized veterans….CHECK!!! I don’t know if this episode should be submitted for Best Drama at the Emmy’s, as the voters tend to go for the really flashy episodes, laden with production values, and a lot of scenes and actors. But this is DEFINITELY Missy’s Emmy reel. Like Mary Beth Evans, who finally got recognized for a 30+ year body of work at this year’s Emmy’s, I think the same will happen for Missy next year, and I couldn’t be happier!! I know the year is not even half done, but someone is going to have to do SOME kind of stellar work to top Missy!!

    Reply

    Tom84 replied

    Amen to all of that!

    Janet Byrnes replied

    You said it all, and much better than I could have. I would still like to see jackalive though.

  2. Stayla says:

    What an amazing episode!!! Very POWERFUL. Missy Reeves did an incredible job. Did anyone else cry at the end?

    Reply

    Sue D replied

    I did!! Loved seeing Jenn and Jack together again!

    Reply

  3. Mister Media says:

    This episode shoes the best of what daytime can offer. It utilized a core, legacy character, story history and great dialogue, all sold by excellent acting. A great hour!

    Reply

  4. Beth says:

    Excellent episode, beautifully written, and wonderfully acted by everyone, especially Melissa Reeves. Matt Ashford, you are missed so very much! I can’t imagine it’s easy to come back to a show you haven’t been on in several years and pick up with MR right where you left off, but boy, did he ever, and so did MR. I had given up on DOOL but returned for Jack and Jenn today, and if DOOL decided to bring MA back, I’d be back fulltime. I also loved the flashbacks and the references to the fire truck and the boat from J&J’s past, and all the reporter references. Those were the days! When I can remember these moments almost 30 years later, DOOL did something right, and that’s what made me get teary-eyed today. I wish DOOL would find a consistent formula which would move me as much as today’s show did. But for now, I’ll just say it was a great episode and leave it at that.

    Reply

    Sue D replied

    Totally agree!

    Reply

    Ces replied

    Me too!!!

    Reply

  5. Mandy Edmunds says:

    she’s my all time fav. Wouldn’t this next one be her third? 1992, 2016 and next would #3.
    M&m forever

    Reply

  6. Brett says:

    I loved it, I had to laugh at ‘The Meeting’, is there anyone on this show who doesn’t have an addiction?

    Reply

    Dylan replied

    I loved this episode SO much, I did not want to laugh at “The Meeting”, but since you brought it up…I did chuckle a little. LOL . But while Jen’s addiction is sudden and new, the others have been developed and explored over years, and decades, so none of it felt forced or out of place. But come New Year’s Eve, Salem restaurants better stock up on sparkling cider, because no one is going to be drinking alcohol at this rate. Except for the one who should…Nicole! She is at her best with a martini in hand!

    Reply

  7. Jimh(leave it to beaver) says:

    Finally, Days has a whole good episode…present that for emmy nomination next year and Days could take home the trophy as well as MR-gloved seeing Doug and Julie!!!!

    Reply

    Jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    loved not gloved-lol

    Reply

  8. Cindy says:

    I totally loved it!! I’m a diehard JnJ fan and have been waiting for Matt’s return!! I wish he was back for good!!!! Missy was fabulous as always but having Matt and Missy together again was over the top!!!! I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time and cried my eyes out too!!!

    Reply

  9. Tom says:

    Can we all just admit that Matt Ashford should never, ever have been fired from DAYS any of the times that it happened? He can out-act nearly everyone currently on daytime, even in what amounted to an extended cameo. I haven’t necessarily been fond of some of the other character-centric episodes, but this one hit all the right notes.

    Reply

    maddiehayes replied

    I don’t know what DAYS has against Matt Ashford! He’s one of my all-time favorites, the only partner for Missy Reeves as far as I’m concerned, he has life, personality, humor .. I want to see him and Stephen Nichols light up the screen together again as the Johnson Brothers! DAYS could be so great again if they’d only get a clue ..

    Reply

    4ever DAYS replied

    I wholeheartedly agree, maddie! It’s time for the Johnson family to take centerstage and that includes their sister, Adrienne!!!

    Ces replied

    I agree Maddie! Matt is one of those unique actors like Roger Howarth that has a great screen presence! His leaving was one of the reasons I quit watching Days the first time around. I had to pop in for yesterday’s show and Matt & Missy still have that IT factor! Missy was amazing yesterday and Seeing Matt put a big smile on my face.

    ScoobyDum72 replied

    I think the writers may have found him hard to write for because he has a quirky, nervous nature. But this episodes shows the guy has skills. The vets really hit it out of the park. This is what can be done when you play history.

    Reply

  10. Carol says:

    Another amazing job by Melissa Reeves! She really gave it her all and was very believable as an addict.

    Reply

  11. Mo says:

    It was okay. I thought it was well-acted and stuff, but not just loving the one-theme episodes. It was great to see Jack and Jennifer back together, but wish it wasn’t a dream.

    Reply

    Mary replied

    Matthew Asford may be perfectly happy working on The Bay and be unwilling to return to DOL.

    Reply

  12. Iakovos says:

    This is what I want from my daytime dramas. A human story that is very real. No, it may not be original, but Jennifer’s story played out honestly, and slowly, and made sense with the history of the character. And I loved the return of and use of Jack in her dream. And others in Salem were there at the AA meeting for her.

    Other shows have tried this plot. I think of B&B’s Brooke Logan and her drinking which lasted about a minute. I hope DAYS does not just end the story and forget it. Sobriety is a constant struggle. We need to see that in Jennifer.

    Reply

  13. M says:

    I’m stunned and in awe of how beautifully written this episode was.
    Melissa Reeves, without a doubt, WILL get nominated for an Emmy for this one.
    Seeing Jack looking on with a tear in his eye, as Jennifer admitted her addiction….the tears flowed.
    And I loved that Jennifer made reference to Carly in this episode – and her own addiction issues.
    Excellent all around – Melissa Reeves FOR THE WIN,

    Reply

  14. penny says:

    I can’t.

    Reply

  15. alistaircrane says:

    I watched this episode specifically for Jack. he and Jenn are my favourite supercouple. I stopped watching the show when he was fired in 2012. It was good to have him back where he belongs, although it ought to be permanent. Jack (and Matt) are badly needed on Days.

    As for the story, I found it boring. Social issue stories always are. Days is the soap that gave us amazing stories like Marlena’s Possession and Buried Alive, so I have no interest in seeing a real-life story play out. I want entertaining stories first and foremost.

    Reply

    Mary replied

    Marlena’s possession and Buried Alive have no basis in reality. They did those kinds of story lines on Passions which is no longer on air. Jennifer’s addiction to pain killers is very real.

    Reply

    Alistaircrane replied

    I have no interest in seeing reality-bases stories on Days. I want more stories like the Possession. BTW, Passions was my favourite soap!

    4ever DAYS replied

    I like those type of stories too, but that’s what buried “Passions.”

    I’m sure there’s room for the outlandish every once in a while!

    Reply

    alistaircrane replied

    That’s factually incorrrect. “Outlandish” stories were part of Passions’ DNA from the very beginning. The show aired for almost a decade, outlasting other new soaps such as Port Charles and Sunset Beach.

  16. Tim S. says:

    Awesome writing and acting.. I am really enjoying when GH an Day have been just taking the hour to concentrate on one storyline every so often.. great job Days..

    GH has been good also..

    Reply

  17. Kelly says:

    Melissa Reeves acting at its finest!!! Loved her throughout this whole episode. Felt so bad about her whole situation and I just bawled like a baby. This is an example of a winner for next year’s best actress Daytime Emmy!!

    Reply

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