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!