Too often, veteran characters are placed on the backburner and are used by writers to react to stories instead of driving them. Kudos to Days of our Lives for placing long-running cast member Bill Hayes, who plays Doug Williams, in the center of the show’s most shocking storyline.
Paging, DAYS’ Bill Hayes
Soaps, most recently General Hospital and The Young and the Restless, have told poignant Alzheimer’s storylines, so when Doug accidentally locked his beloved wife Julie Williams (Susan Seaforth Hayes) in the freezer, it appeared as if the show might be starting a tale of its own related to the heart-breaking medical condition.
DAYS not only put Bill Hayes in the spotlight but also his on and off-screen wife, as Julie went into understandable denial that her beloved Doug might be facing a cruel condition. They went to Salem University Memorial hospital to undergo tests.
Viewers held their collective breath as Dr. Kayla Johnson (Mary Beth Evans) asked Doug to repeat five simple words she’d given him earlier. Doug passed with flying colors! All signs were indicating that Doug was just fine…but how was his locking Julie in the freezer to be explained?
Another question popped up after Doug “goosed” Paulina Price (Jackée Harry) by the elevator. Did Kayla need to run another test? Instead, she sent Doug to visit Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) to see if some clarity could be shined on the reason for his behavior. She wanted to address his cognitive dissonance.
Doug Williams Is Possessed
It turned out the Devil made him do it! There’d been social media buzz that DAYS was going to revisit its most controversial story ever, which was Marlena being demonically possessed back in the mid-1990s. Fortunately, John Black (Drake Hogestyn), Caroline Brady (Peggy McCay), and Father Francis (Eric Christmas) were able to rescue Marlena.
This time, it was Doug who needed saving. While Julie was lamenting to Kayla in a waiting area that something might truly be wrong with Doug, he was meeting with Marlena. At first Doug said he wasn’t sure why he did what he’d done but then his tone took on a devilish demeanor. “That was no accident,” Doug said about his hurting Julie. “I locked that bitch in there on purpose.”
Marlena tried to reason with Doug but he finally revealed his true self. “It’s been over 25 years, Marlena. But did you really think I wouldn’t come back for you?” The show was indeed revisiting this demonic tale but the show also wanted to make it a surprise.
They did so by taking viewers down one road, getting our sympathy and support for Doug and Julie all riled up — and then, they pulled the rug out from under us! Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes are national treasures as far as fans of DAYS are concerned. Kudos to the show for employing the show’s two longest running cast members and beloved duo to get this exciting story off to a compelling — and scary — start!
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.