Last week on Days of Our Lives, viewers found out that the presumed dead Aiden was – like so many previous residents of Salem – actually alive. But instead of getting the story of where he’s been (spoiler: held prisoner, talking to a dead bird that somehow managed not to decompose over a period of months) via dialogue, or through watching Aiden in his pen all this time, viewers were treated to a stand-alone episode that began with Aiden’s kidnapping on his wedding day, and went all the way through his escape back to Salem. They also got to watch actor Daniel Cosgrove grow facial hair.
Stand-alone episodes are obviously a departure for daytime, where a typical show will feature multiple storylines happening in near-real time (though if characters are flying from the United States to Europe, that might happen during a commercial break). DOOL wasn’t the first show to break format in such a manner. Check out some previous classic episodes at Entertainment Weekly, here.