Soap Gods, help me, but I fell for Eric and Nicole all over again. I couldn't help it. I watched them fall in love as teens. I watched them re-fall in love as adults. Nope. I can't resist their pull, and they can't seem to resist each other. Or maybe I am, and they are, just a glutton for punishment. I often fear rooting for them is a one-way ticket on the Heartbreak Express, especially since I don't believe Arianne Zucker is sticking around Salem for the long haul. *Sigh* But! Let's focus on the positive for now…
Last week was basically a love letter to the couple that almost was (several times over). That doorway scene at the beginning of the week was so full of heartache and longing. Each of them on one side, wanting desperately to remove the obstacle between them. It was pure soap angst. It was pure Eric and Nicole. There's always something between them. They're always just out of reach. Again, *sigh*
Then the door opened! It was awkward. It was bittersweet. Even sweet-sweet at times. I couldn't help but get pulled into the tender moments of love confessions and shared dreams. I know it probably won't last, but, damn it, I'm in. And then the drama hit the fan again with one, "Honey, I'm home."
It was a shocker that Xanimal turned out to be Mr. Nicole Walker, but I get the twist. Xander has always wanted what others have. From Victor's approval to generally being acknowledged as more than a thug, he craves acceptance and status. What better way to stick it to your archenemy than marrying the woman he loves!? It was a power play, tough one that probably won't turn out that positively for Xander in the end. Well, who am I kidding? None of this has the glimmer of "happily ever after" for any party involved.
Still, Nashville is becoming a party of its own. Somehow, between Eric and Nicole's hopeful plans and Sami being sprung from the pen, Sami Gene ended up in Nashville, too, pepper spraying Nicole! What that…!? Eric, Sami, Nicole, Brady, Kristen, Xander, and maybe E.J. in Nashville all at once!? Okay, writers. You got me. Again, I'm in.
Speaking of "Maybe E.J.," if I ever get shot by some random thug and my unstable sister stabs me with a syringe full of Resurrection by Wilhelm, can someone please, oh please, make sure I end up in recovery on "one of my father's islands" rather than a warehouse in Nashville? Thank you. What? Right! Not the point…
I might as well be in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with a ten-foot-tall Wookie beside me because I've got a bad feeling about this "E.J." stuff. The more all signs point to this mystery patient being an alive and recovering Eej, the more I'm convinced it's not. I don't know why. I can't explain it. It's just a hunch. It just seems too obvious. Maybe even too good to be true.
Sure, the mystery man reacted to Sami's name. There was the "E.D." nameplate. Kristen seems genuinely interested in his recovery, and that crazy lady adored her some Eej. So, sure. Face value, it could be E.J. You know, unless it's not. Maybe I'm just wrapping a safety net around my heart in case it isn't Elvis J., but I seriously don't have enough Alex North Memorial space during the end-of-the-year awards to complain about it if it isn't.
Like Ari Zucker, Alison Sweeney isn't putting down roots of steel in Salem again, either. So, since Sami has a shelf-life, I will be royally miffed if the guy isn't E.J.-- or someone who can lead her to E.J. We've traveled down a road and back again. I'm tired of detours. Whoever said it's all about the journey has never waited several years for an "EJami" reunion. So, dear writers, as the glorious Gloria Estefan sang, "Get up and make it happen." Please and thank you.
Doing his part to track down E.J. is Brady "Bzzt Bzzt" Black. You're trying, pal. You're trying. His tactics have ranged from bedding Kristen to gain her trust to breaking and entering. Though, he's more "Frank Drebin" from The Naked Gun franchise than 007, international man of mystery, he did finally find his way into the warehouse. There's that. And in the end, he may have found "Maybe E.J." Maybe. There's that, too!
I appreciated Marlena and Sami's talk about missing time in your children's life. Marlena was abducted a lot during Sami's youth, and there was the time they were rather estranged. It was an honest, healing moment between them. Though it also felt like a little foreshadowing of what might be headed Sami's way, or Marlena's way, if one of Sami's disgruntled kids ends up on grandma's doorstep someday soon. We'll see!
On topic, Sami actually talked to Sydney! Then Syd got to give Johnny hugs from his mother. I miss those two little-not-so-little-anymore ones! Oh, right. And that blonde girl Johnny was born with. No. Really. Does Allie Horton even exist anymore, or did she mail a letter at one of those character-eating mailboxes?
I wonder if Stefan can go mail a letter? Regardless, I loved Sami giving it to him as good, okay, better than he was giving it to her. Those two made for fun sparring partners. Also, I didn't mind the Stefan/Eve scene, either. There was something fun there. Hmm.
Also sparring were Abe and Val. While there are bound to be issues with their children dating/not dating/wanting to date, or whatever it is Eli and Lani are doing at the moment, I thought Abe went from annoyed to awfully angry in less than a second. It was a bit extreme. Though I'd be angry if I were Abe, too. Aside from losing a grandson, his biggest storylines recently have been marrying John to a doppelgänger and fighting about a parking space. It's like being whisked away for a meal at New York City's Masa for a first date and then getting 7-Eleven hotdogs for the second. Abe needs more to do.
Eli and Lani are like a beautiful tranquilizer dart straight to the temple. One scene, and I'm dozing. Like Abe, I think both Eli and Lani need new storylines. I won't be upset if they're not with each other. In fact, Eli and Sheila's scenes were fresh. Their banter was fun, and their shared history comes off as authentic. I could handle more of them and less "Elani."
I'm digging all the Roman time lately! He's hilarious with Hattie and such a good big bro to Kayla. Plus, he's in contact with Shane, who's hoping to get Steve freed! The only part of that I don't love is that none of it's playing out on-screen. Boo.
Sometimes, it's nice to watch a low-key scene where characters catch up. Such was the case with Jennifer and Maggie. Over cookies, they covered everything from Jen's breakup to Chad and Abs to Lucas. I enjoyed it but still think Hope and Jen need to have one of those chats soon, too.
Mama Mimi. Here we go again. My, my.
Kate finding out about Baby B was kind of hilarious. Her "What the hell?" and "Oh, my God," followed by a headshake sums up the storyline rather well.
Eric and Nicole with a twist of Xander!? Make mine a double, please. The chemistry between Greg Vaughan and Arianne Zucker is effortless. Greg's expressive eyes alone can tell Eric's story. Ari's a tremendously talented and terribly missed sight for sore eyes. And easy-on-the-eyes Paul Telfer is just creeptastically charming as Xander. Let's keep this tab open because I could drink, err, watch this trio until last call.
This week's "NOT" is more like a who said it better, err, worst contest. I mean, really, both of these lines made me groan and slap my forehead. Both also would be a little funny -- if they weren't so exasperating. So, let's meet our contenders.
Contestant One hails from West Salem. He loves smugness, always having a connection, Mexican food, and Hope Brady. He can often be found in any light blue painted room. Let's give it up for Detective Hernandez!
Rafe: "I am not going to do anything that puts this department in a bad light." Mmm'k. We'll go with that. Oh, right! He's reformed now. He follows the rules. Got it, Rafaroni and Cheese. Got. It.
Contestant Two hails from Salem proper. She's recently returned to town to get her bouncing baby girl back from her bonkers mother. She can't resist alien men or bad choices. Please welcome, Mimi Lockhart!
Mimi: "I can't believe I ever agreed to this!" Seriously!? Meems being guilted into doing something stupid for Bonnie is like every single Mimi/Bonnie storyline ever. Ever. *long pause for dramatic effect* Ever.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Sami "Mic Drop" DiMera (to Stefan): "Deals evolve."
LINE OF THE WEEK: SOAP PRIDE EDITION
Bonnie (to Mimi): "Sweetie, you of all people should know we only have one life to live, so why don't we spend the remaining days of our lives happily…"
Loathe Bonnie. Love her Llanview, Pennsylvania, references! One Life, I still miss you…but thanks for Kassie DePaiva! Oh, oh. And can we get Robin Strasser next?! Please and thank you!
It may sound greedy, but I wish last week would have had at least one Victor and Susan scene! Between Sheila, Hattie, Xander, and Kate, I was in stitches. The Vic/Susan combo would have just been icing on the cake.
Preemptive NOT: We better get a bigger, brighter, bitchier bonding scene between Sami and Kate or else I'm going to be disappointed.
I have "Jeneric PTSD!" When Eric told Nicole, "I have something for you" and reached into his pocket, I was terrified he'd pull out a friendship bracelet. It wasn't. Mercifully.
Say what you will about Hope these days, but I kind of loved that she brought a flower to Marlena that matched the blazer she was wearing. It proves that you can still have style while being a pale comparison of your former self. Come back, real Fancy Face.
If I needed another reason to love soaps, here's one. A character can use a line like, "Because you had me locked in a cage," and they're being for real.
Really, Sheila? She said of Abe, "He's the biggest jackass I've ever met." Girl, let me introduce you to someone. Oh, Stefan! Stefan, dear. Come meet Sheila.
'Tink and Meems reconnecting over social media is about the most realistic scenario DAYS has done recently. Though it's also a good reminder not to accept any old friend request just because you share an alma mater. Block it, Belle. Just saying.
I love every part of hearing sassy Sami say, "Samantha DiMera." Work it, lady. Work. It.
I also loved every part of Hattie's Marlena impression. "Enchanted to meet you" especially cracked me up. Hattie, never change.
I was impressed Kristen called Brady's son Tate and not Christopher.
Holly is one heck of a cutie patootie!
Brady mentioned Aremid! Love. It.
I'm SO using "I watch Access Hollywood" next time someone questions my current affairs knowledge. Thank you, Ms. Sheila!
Speaking of Sheila, her license plate is "TLC4EVA." She dropped words like "creep" and "scrubs." Will I ever get tired of her TLC references? No. No, I won't. In fact, I will be old and unpretty before I do. #TLC4EVA
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for the week of October 15. Sadly, I'm ending this column much as I did a few weeks ago. That is, with news of another heartbreaking passing. We've lost our Caroline, Peggy McCay. What a lovely lady through and through. It was a blessing as a DAYS fan to have Peggy grace our screens for over 30 years. Her commitment to the role was unparalleled. There are so many warm, fuzzy (and funny) moments I have been reminiscing about this week, and when I think of Caroline overall, she wasn't your typical soap matriarch. She was a woman with a somewhat sordid past. She broke up squabbling kin's skirmishes with a baseball bat. She hacked computers to swap DNA results. No, she wasn't always a saint, but she was far from a sinner. Caroline was simply true to herself and her family. She loved hard. She fought harder. And she was perhaps the hardest working woman on soaps -- she raised a family and worked tirelessly at the fish market and later the pub well into her golden years. She was just an unstoppable force, and DAYS fans are the all the better for the magic Peggy brought to the role. Thank you, Ms. McCay. Simply, thank you.
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