Home TV Shows Days of Our Lives Review for the Week of 8-14-23: Victor’s Swan Song Was a Beautiful Tribute

Days of Our Lives Review for the Week of 8-14-23: Victor’s Swan Song Was a Beautiful Tribute

Days of Our Lives Review for the Week of 8-14-23: Victor’s Swan Song Was a Beautiful Tribute

Jack Ori

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The week we dreaded finally came, and it was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking.

Since John Aniston’s death in November of 2022, fans knew that Days of Our Lives would eventually have to write his iconic character out.

And on Days of Our Lives during the week of 8-14-23, Victor’s family learned he had perished in a plane crash, sending shockwaves of grief and guilt throughout most of Salem.

Tribute to Victor - Days of Our Lives

I was skeptical of the idea of Victor dying in a plane crash. It seemed unnecessary, considering the character had suffered several strokes, and it seemed more likely he’d have another one in his sleep and never wake up.

That might have been hard to pull off since Aniston was long gone by the time these scenes were filmed, and it wouldn’t have been satisfying for that type of death to be off-screen. But on paper, it sounded more respectful and realistic than Victor’s plane going down over the Mediterranean.

Victor’s exit sequence worked far better than I expected. When Victor’s plane went down, his family clung to hope that he’d somehow survived, but viewers knew he hadn’t, making the discovery that he was gone more painful.

And to make matters worse, plane crashes leading to survivors being stuck on an island are a soap opera trope; we all know that if Aniston were still with us, Victor would eventually turn out to be doing a Robinson Crusoe imitation.

The situation also introduced a bit of a mystery. Victor had left Bo’s bedside for parts unknown and allegedly seemed to have the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Fans are as anxious to learn what he had been up to and whether his plane had been sabotaged as his family is.

Xander Mourns Victor - Days of Our Lives

That mystery must wait; first, we had to get through two days of flashbacks and tributes, with more to come next week.

That’s as it should be. Victor Kiriakis was one of Salem’s most iconic residents, and if anyone deserved this type of send-off, it was him. He touched people’s lives in various ways. But no one could honestly say he hadn’t affected them at all.

Whether you loved him or hated him, you had to admit, there was only, and ever will be, one Victor Kiriakis.


Days of Our Lives did a fantastic job encompassing who Victor was. Many people had mixed feelings about him or knew they’d miss him terribly despite their often adversarial relationship with him.

Steve was the bluntest, asking Kayla point-blank if it was so bad that Victor died.

Victor Marries Maggie - Days of Our Lives

While Steve had his share of run-ins with the old Victor, it seemed like the ice had thawed in recent years, and Steve was more than willing to reach out to Shane to find out if there was any news about the Kiriakis patriarch’s disappearance.

Still, his reaction was honest, leading to some fantastic flashbacks that newer fans may never have seen.

Days of Our Lives also outdid itself with its tribute to Suzanne Rogers, which it mostly integrated into Maggie’s grief over Victor’s death before giving us some bonus clips at the end of Friday’s episode.

Everything that makes you cry today,will comfort you tomorrow, and in years to come will bring you joy.


If Victor had been alive, he and Maggie would probably have talked about how glad they were to have found each other, and we still would have had a lot of flashbacks. But Maggie’s conversation with Julie about losing two husbands was easily the most emotional part of a heartbreaking week.

Victor and Maggie - Days of Our Lives

Xander, Bonnie, Justin, Brady, and Shawn also grieved in their own ways, demonstrating their complicated relationship with Victor and their deep love for him.

John Aniston was beloved by many of his co-stars, so the characters’ grief over losing Victor likely mirrored their real-life heartbreak over losing his portrayer.

Shawn’s insistence on blaming himself for Victor’s death and running off to the nearest bar gets a big, fat F.

Everyone grieves differently, but this was an annoying step backward in an irritating storyline.

Victor is Asked To Be Best Man - Days of Our Lives

The Shawn-as-alcoholic story never rang true — it seemed more likely that Brady would hit the bottle after Victor died or because of other stress in his life — and its resurgence now detracts from the otherwise wonderful way that Victor’s death has been handled.

In both real life and fiction, people think all sorts of things that have little resemblance to reality, but Shawn’s insistence that everyone blames him for Victor’s death seemed like a stretch.

It was also utterly predictable that after again pushing Belle away, Shawn made his way to a bar to drink.

It would have been a compelling twist if he’d instead gone to Marlena’s for an emergency session or a support group meeting.

Victor Is Thrilled - Days of Our Lives

Instead, Victor’s death is an excuse for Shawn to return to bad behavior. That’s doubly disappointing because I enjoyed sober Shawn going head-to-head with the acting mayor.

Rawlings: Are you accusing me of abusing my power?
Shawn: I’m not the one throwing around accusations.
Rawlings: I had what that woman did to me on tape!
Shawn: And I have actual assault victims whose cases I’d like to solve. So if you can go and act as mayor while I go and do my job, that would be great.

If Rawlings finds out Shawn’s drinking again, he’ll use it against him, and that’s not a compelling storyline.

It would be much better if Shawn stayed sober and helped investigate what Victor was up to and why his plane went down. That mystery is worth exploring!

Chances are, Victor was headed to Europe to visit Philip. Maggie doesn’t know Philip is alive, so Victor wouldn’t tell her where he was going, and if it turns out that’s why he was on that fatal plane trip, Philip will give Shawn a run for his money in the unearned guilt department.

Victor Worries About His Family - Days of Our Lives

Shawn putting Rawlings in his place before learning about Victor’s death was one of the week’s most satisfying scenes.

Rawlings: Are you accusing me of abusing my power?
Shawn: I’m not the one throwing around accusations.
Rawlings: I had what that woman did to me on tape!
Shawn: And I have actual assault victims whose cases I’d like to solve. So if you can go and act as mayor while I go and do my job, that would be great.

The entire Rawlings vs. Abe story’s already gotten out of hand. Anything can and does happen in Salem. But Rawlings was unelected, and his appointment was temporary, and Abe wants to resume his duties as mayor, so that should be that.

I don’t buy that he can decide that Abe is incompetent and that, anyway, he doesn’t like Abe’s policies, so he’ll just reject Abe’s decision to return and stay in the position himself.

Fortunately, Abe’s personality is intact, so he’s not accepting it either.

Shawn Is Shocked - Days of Our Lives

That disastrous press conference could have gone a different way with some prior planning.

Abe quickly learned all his friends’ and family members’ names, even if he didn’t remember the people. If he wanted to be mayor again, he should have spent a few minutes on the city council website memorizing names, which would have quickly taken the wind out of Rawlings’ sails.

Someone also should point out that amnesia isn’t a disqualification for political office in Salem.

Didn’t Jack serve half a term, only relinquishing the mayor’s office to Abe after he got his memory back? If his lack of memory didn’t make him unfit, why should Abe’s?

Victor Helps Maggie - Days of Our Lives

Abe and Paulina’s new plan is on the bizarre side. Why should Abe resign after appointing Paulina as his new deputy rather than staying in the position and researching past political issues as needed?

Going back to work might spark Abe’s memories anyway. Sooner or later, Abe always becomes mayor again, so why should this time be any different?

Hopefully, when Abe gets his memory back, he’ll explain why he appointed Rawlings as Deputy Mayor in the first place since the two agree on nothing, and it’s more likely than not that Acting Mayor Rawlings is a racist.

The Johnny/Chanel/Talia triangle took an annoying turn elsewhere in Salem.

Victor and Maggie Dance - Days of Our Lives

Marlena was right to encourage Johnny to express his feelings to Chanel, though giving the same advice to two people interested in the same woman seemed ridiculous.

But Talia got there first, and Johnny slunk off without saying a word.

It’s hard to blame him for that. Johnny’s been on the losing end of two love triangles and has no desire to be rejected yet again.

Still, Johnny and Chanel should be endgame. The Johnny/Wendy/Tripp story felt like a temporary obstacle for Johnny and Chanel, and now that Johny’s free, all that’s left is for him and Chanel to admit they’re still in love.

Maggie Marries Victor - Days of Our Lives

But instead of the payoff for sitting through the last awful story, Johnny now has to contend with Chanel’s feelings for Talia.

Come on! This is a continuation of the same problem with a different person in the way—enough with the Johnny love triangle stories. Put Johnny with Chanel and move on already.

It’s also not believable that Chanel has awakened feelings in two women who formerly identified as straight.

There are closeted bi people in the world, of course, and some live in denial until they can’t anymore. But the way this is written implies that Chanel has this superpower that turns straight women bi.

That’s not how any of this works, and it’s not a positive representation of bisexual people to continually write stories that suggest people who formerly thought they were straight randomly become bi when they experiment with an attractive bi woman.

Julie Is There For Maggie - Days of Our Lives

Elsewhere, Brady acted like a complete ass to try to stop Chloe from marrying Xander.

I loved Chloe putting Brady in his place, and I didn’t mind Xander punching him. Usually, the macho fistfights over women aggravate me, but Brady only told Xander he kissed Chloe to get a reaction.

He got one, and now Chloe is considering saying ‘yes’ to the proposal. Of course, when Philip returns for Victor’s funeral, she may feel differently.

Brady overheard, so his next move is likely to whine that Xander hit him, but hopefully, that won’t work any better than his other stupid plans.

I’m not even a Xander/Chloe shipper — that’s got no future, and with Sarah returning, it’s on its way out anyway — but Brady is so obnoxious when it comes to Chloe that I’m thrilled for his plans to fail.

Out On a Date - Days of Our Lives

He couldn’t even keep the peace out of respect for the fact that Victor just died. Sheesh.

Even that wasn’t as ridiculous as the Gwen/Dimitri/Leo nonsense. I don’t know why Dimitri thought inviting Leo to stay at the same hotel where Gwen and Dimitri are honeymooning made sense.

There was never any way Dimitri could get away with this. This silly cheating story needs to stop ASAP.

The best part of this nonsense is Gabi’s attempt to get the truth out of Rachel. For once, Rachel did what she was told and kept her mouth shut, and Kristen walked in on Gabi trying to manipulate the secret out of Rachel anyway.

Kristen likes to be the only one to manipulate her daughter, so this should be fun!

Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you think of Victor’s send-off and the other stories this week!

Check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion for more DAYS chat.

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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