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DAYS Emily O’Brien Delivers The ‘Power Performance of the Week’


She has been a polarizing character since her arrival in Salem, with some fans screaming Gwen is sucking up too much airtime.  HOWEVER, the performances by Emily O’Brien (Gwen) show an actress on top of her craft who can play, as Gwen called herself, “A miserable, vindictive bitch”, or a young woman so deeply-emotionally wounded that you might just come around and eventually feel some empathy for her.

Last week, while the soaps were pre-empted for most of the week due to the senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, DAYS posted all of its weekly episodes online on, the NBC app, or on the Peacock streaming platform, and O’Brien’s work was a standout.

Photo: JPI

It all came to a boiling point when Laura (Jaime Lyn Bauer) and Gwen have the long-awaited confrontation in Gwen’s room at the Salem Inn, where O’Brien goes from Gwen baiting Laura to tell her dirty secret of her long-ago affair with Jack (Matthew Ashford), to her utter anger at how because of it, Laura trashed Gwen’s entire life.


Laura reveals the guilt she felt for sleeping with Jack, so much so, that she would do anything to save Jennifer (Cady McClain) and Jack’s marriage.  In delight at getting to the root of the truth, Gwen responds: “You slept with Jack? That is just perfect! My father slept with his mother-in-law!”

Then, Laura shares how it happened.  They were both at the “Meadows” finding their ‘truest selves’ and they were both using other names – she, Monica and he, Clark, and Laura had never seen a photo of Jack before to know it was him!  Gwen wants to burst out in hysterical laughter, but then she becomes filled with rage knowing that if Laura hadn’t bought off her birth mother, Tiffany, her own life would have been very different.  She goes on to say that she and Abigail (Marci Miller) might even be close as sisters, but instead of “borrowing her clothes, she borrowed her husband” alluding to sleeping with Chad (Billy Flynn).  Next, Gwen wants to make Laura pay and lets Laura know that, “All the damage that you did, can’t be undone.” When Laura tries to leave, Gwen stops her and says in no uncertain terms, “I want revenge, because you ruined my life and you’re not going to get away with it!”

Photo: JPI

Next, we see that there had been a struggle with Laura dead on the floor bleeding out of her head.  A freaked-out Gwen does not know what to do.  She realizes she will be accused of murder.  With no one in town to call, she decides to call her father, Jack.  When he shows up at the Salem Inn, Jack is shocked, and grief-stricken to see his mother-in-law, dead.  Gwen swears to Jack this was an accident and that she did not kill Laura, and that he has to believe her.  Jack decides he will stand by his daughter.  Gwen wants to get rid of the body, Jack says he can’t be involved in a cover-up, so he calls Rafe (Galen Gering).  When Rafe arrives at the crime scene he is very suspicious of Gwen, and takes her down to the station.

Scene after scene, O’Brien layered her performances with venomous and ominous undertones, illustrating a woman with so much emotional baggage who becomes desperate to save herself.  For all these reasons, Michael Fairman TV names Emily’s work, The Power Performance of the Week.

What did you think of Emily O’Brien’s key scenes? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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oh, most definitely, even i backtracked.. and kept thinking… she turned me ?!?! how about it

two quotes from @Writer :

1. a young woman so deeply-emotionally wounded that you might just come around and eventually feel some empathy for her

2. Scene after scene, O’Brien layered her performances with venomous and ominous undertones, illustrating a woman with so much emotional baggage who becomes desperate to save herself.

YOUR #2 is “chilling” in and of itself.. stupendous .. another emmy worthy submit people

hence it’s #1.. alas the big reveal, she did all on her own. it was at ‘SOME’ points farcical… getting us to believe that Chad and Abs wouldn’t not believe each other. otherwise.. she delivered en masse i’m certain.

I say this genuinely, because i was caught up in watching Cady McClain act her arse off.. and being impressed by NEW things on the canvas about and with Jack Deveraux .. and you find yourself keeping up with Gwen… TADA she made both apples and oranges

I like Gwen and O’Brien is a powerhouse! Well worth the recognition here!

I think she and Marci Miller are at the top of their games. Emily is a powerhouse, making you hate her one minute and feel sorry for her the next. I am hoping to see her nominated for Best Lead Actress at the 2021 Emmys.

I hated to see a legacy character killed off with Laura’s death. I think she had more that should have been said and done before her death. More scenes with Jennifer, Jack, Abigail, Gwen and Kate.

Powerful performance or not, TPTB have ruined this character. I doubt any viewer likes her—-unless for her acting skills.
As a character, Gwen is shot!! Now, it seems, that the writers are trying to play with the viewer’s emotions—-giving a pity-party to a poor, poor, abandoned, helpless child. Perhaps, it works for others—not for me.
I am not buying it. Too much evil in one human being and not enough humility for having survived her devastating childhood.
It’s a soap; so I get it. Melodrama is a necessary tool. However, this character will never have redemption for me.
Will Gwen be a permanent fixture? If so, I understand the turnabout. I think, the character was to have had a short ‘interlude’ on the show—-I guess, somewhere along the line, ye gods changed their minds?

Celia – “not enough humility for having survived her devastating childhood”? An abused and neglected child should grow up to be a humble adult grateful for the crumbs given to her by Laura? Have YOU lost your mind!?Just what kind of humility would you have Gwen show to the world? You obviously has NO UNDERSTANDING AND NO EMPATHY for children who have been abandoned and told they are unwanted.

Gwen has EVERY right to be angry and resentful. Self entitled Laura decided, without consulting Jack, that the child Gwen did not have the right to a father. And Jack, according to self entitled Laura, was not allowed to be a father to a second daughter. Laura KNEW Gwen’s mother had died but did absolutely NOTHING to make sure Gwen was placed in a secure loving home. No, Laura sat back and allowed Gwen to be tossed into the Foster Care System that even social workers know is broken. God forbid Laura actually come clean and tell Jack that he had a child with no mother being thrown into a broken system.

I wanted Gwen to tell self entitled Laura how many foster homes she was placed in and what was done to her by some of those foster parents. I wanted self entitled Laura to publicly apologize to Jack and Gwen while begging forgiveness. I am sorry Laura is dead because she got off easy. I am more than happy Gwen is staying on Days so Jack can have the relationship with the daughter Laura denied him. Since Gwen’s presence on Days upsets YOU I hope she stays for the next two years.

Gee, that’s a lot of hate. It’s a TV show, right?

Hi, Moto62
Tell me about it. Thank you. We are talking about a character here, not the actress.
There”s a pandemic going on and in the midst of this, people are flipping out over a soap. We come here to exchange views, not cut each other up. I’m off school this week, therefore, I have a little time to spare to chat and catch up.
Nonetheless, I have loved Emily since her short stint on Y&R, as Jana.
There’s no dispute to her talent.
Be safe!!

LOL. It’s a soap, ma’am. You need help.

As do you! Suggesting that Gwen has not shown enough humility for having survived as an unwanted and abandoned child. Seriously!

On the other horn, if Gwen had been with her father when he came to Salem, she might have got killed by his adoptive father or beaten and/or raped by his biological father. So it’s not like life in the Deveraux/Johnson family was all that great back then.

No question that Laura did the wrong thing by never telling Jack & Jennifer the truth. But it wasn’t worth killing her over, and seriously, Gwen’s thirty something now…. is she really holding on to childhood grudges. When she voluntarily checked herself into the nuthouse to hide from Jake, she should have taken advantages of the services provided by that facility.


So sorry, but I absolutely hate Gwen. Many people have grown up under same or worse circumstances and have turned out to be happy, loving and worthwhile people. It was actually noted recently on Y&R when talking about that monster Adam, that while he didn’t have his father in his life, he had everything else and certainly no excuse for his sociapathic treatment of everyone else in his life, especially his own family. Gwen is finally showing a little guilt, but it’s too little too late especially after the damage she’s done, especially her horrible hate and jealousy of Abigail who didn’t even know she existed as did anyone else. If she wanted a family so badly, why did she set out to destroy them all, doesn’t make sense to me. I also agree with Celia, she’s right on all points!

I hope she’s not jacks daughter in the long run

DNA has proved that Gwen is Jack’s daughter

I agree with her being the power performer. I am loving the character of Gwen and Emily as an actress. Her chemistry with Marci Miller and Billy Flynn is amazing. When all 3 are in a scene it’s fire. I have to blame RON on killing Laura, not Gwen. RON has made some big mistakes with killing Adrienne and now Laura. Hopefully Dr. Rolf will bring her back.

I honestly can’t stand her from her accent to her crooked smirk of a smile. I think it’s horrible that Carlivati killed off Laura Horton for this character’s storyline but I don’t think Ron cares about characters that he didn’t invent. His interest is not in the history of Days of Our Lives, in my opinion.
So, if the character of Gwen ever leaves, I’ll be happy to see her go but something tells me she’ll be around for some time me to come.

When this character first merged into our screens, I immediately liked this actress. Her nail biting, which grossed out viewers, only added to the more than real character. Not everyone is perfect in real life, everyone has their own bad habits, and I think this little addition showed me just how great Emily was going to be.

Hi Carlos : Yeah, I readily admit… when she was doing these ??? nail biting, her crooked smirks ; and her full on large teeth… she was off putting… even knowing her stellar work @Y&R. 3 out of 4 years emmy nominated. What really took me… if she is staying longer… she has to change her look…. “look” more amenable, up to date, rambunctious, so she has daddy around the corner. I LOVED HER RED WIG when she, abs and jennifer did that FLASHBACK…. that hairstyle gave her younger, panache, attitude and when she wants a fun lot to dole out.

ie: the date of her DNA TEST w/JACK. WOW these scenes are emmy worthy for both actors… Emily O’brien AND Matthew Ashford… it’s been startling , FUN , and just joy to watch MA comeback and LIVE !!! he’s been jaw dropping what should have been all this time. Whew

another hoot : that same day @ hospital… @Julie is waiting for Doug to be released… as “luck” would have it… Julie decides to give Gwen a piece of her mind. “put her in her place” not so quickly Gwen SNARLS rears her head, tells this “hag” BITCH back off ! it was so loud even Julie… NEVER,one, to let go … you could tell she with full on eyebrow arched high and tight, so subtly released an eyebrow, just a touch, of acknowledgement… oh it was classy and eye to eye . Gwen has comedy

@DAYS Needs to get with it.. and full plate this full lot of talent… of the older lot… MY LOT.. they rely heavily on , and should, Kayla and Steve… but now.. when it’s time for Cady McClain to return… we have another family ringing in.

“I have to still celebrate @Ron, @Ryan, @TPTB” TADA

These accolades for Emily O’Brien are well deserved! Her acting is terrific, which is why some viewers “love” to “hate” her… As a fan of her work on Y&R, I am eagerly hoping for a DOOL episode when Leo (Greg Rikaart) returns to town and runs into Gwen.

Oh Jamesj75, how perfect would that be? Kevin & Jana were my favorite soap couple for years! Two odd, loopy people who fit like a glove. And two of daytime’s best performers ever. I like Chloe and Kevin but Jana made Greg Rikaart even sexier.

Hey Soaphound! I just noticed your response — I miss the old days when we were notified when someone replied to a post. Glad to learn that Kevin and Jana were your favorite soap couple for years. I can see that! Both appealing characters and actors. Take care, Friend!

I agree with you and James. I also loved Jana and Kevin. Could never really take to Chloe. She just annoys me somehow.

I think GWEN is mentally ill. But she sure can act enough to hate her. Cady has done an excellent job doing the JENNIFER role.

We have no DOOL site, so thought I’d write a few comments here about our poor mistreated Gwen. How stupid of Abby and Gaby to put Gwen in the wine room where everyone comes and goes for wine. They should have locked her up in the other one they used before, even had a bed. Gabi has no conscience but I don’t think this will make Abby happy when she actually starts thinking about what she’s doing. Jack won’t be too happy when Gwen goes running to daddy about what big sis did to her.

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Daytime Stars We Lost Remembered in 2024 SAG Awards In-Memoriam Tribute

On Saturday night at the 30th annual SAG Awards streaming on Netflix, several stars from the world of soap opera were remembered in a very moving In-Memoriam segment.

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Those who were remembered in the tribute included: Bill Hayes (Doug, Days of our Lives), Ellen Holly (Carla, One Life to Live), Nicolas Coster (Lionel, Santa Barbara et al), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas, GH, Stefan DAYS), Billy Miller (Billy, Y&R and Drew, GH), Sharon Farrell (Flo, Y&R), Arlene Sorkin (Calliope, DAYS), Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio, OLTL), Jeffrey Carlson (Zoe/Zarf, AMC) and Mark Goddard (Ted, OLTL).

Photo: ABC

Other notable stars who passed away and were included in the tribute were: Chita Rivera, Andre Braugher, Suzanne Somers, and Matthew Perry.

Before the video package was played, actress Naomi Watts took to the stage and shared, “We have lost so many extraordinary actors in the past year, but because they touched the world with their talent, we all share their loss. To those of us who worked with them, alongside them, we feel their loss and their absence deeply.”

Photo: Netflix

She added, “Of course their memory will live on in our recollections of the precious time we shared together — and through their work, their performances captured in countless frames of images, ever ready to dance across the screen and come to life again, if only for a while.”

What did you think of the In-Memoriam Tribute at the 2024 SAG Awards and seeing a lot of familiar faces being included who represent the soaps? Comment. below.

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Scheduled to present the award to Barbra will be Jennifer Aniston. Streisand becomes the 59th recipient of  SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor for her career accomplishments and humanitarian efforts.

The 30th annual SAG Awards stream live on Netflix this Saturday February 24th at 8pm ET/PT.  Winners in SAG’s 15 categories will be announced that evening. The SAG Awards historically have been a predictor of who will win the top performer categories and potentially Best Picture.


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In the nominations, Barbie and Oppenheimer lead the motion picture categories with four nominations apiece, while the television nominations saw Succession receive five followed by Ted Lasso, The Bear and The Last of Us.

The Morning Show and Friends star. Jennifer Aniston, is the daughter of the late Days of our Lives legend, John Aniston, who passed away on November 11, 2022.

So, looking forward to Barbra Streisand receiving the SAG Life Achievement Award? Comment below.

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Looks like the Days of our Lives men, who have been known to show some skin on daily episodes of the Peacock streaming soap opera, will be featured in a pictorial spread in an upcoming spring edition of Playgirl.

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The official Playgirl Instagram account shared a pic with Rob Scott Wilson in a robe with noted photographer Katie Levine, and expressed: “Cooking up something epic with @katielevinephoto@robertscottwilson and the hunks of @dayspeacock.”

Photo: Playgirl IG

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Photo: JPI

So, what do you think? Glad the DAYS hunks will kick off the new digital edition of Playgirl? Looking forward to seeing the photo spread? Comment below.

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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