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‘Days of our Lives’ Recap: So long, EJ; Eric and Nicole are trapped in angst hell

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This past week on Days of our Lives primarily focused around one major storyline that some predicted and others did not want to believe – the death of EJ DiMera. For the viewers who loved EJ, they were sent on an excruciating emotional journey, experiencing the multiple facets of grief from many beloved characters, as well as a little mystery and intrigue. Let’s go over the happenings from Salem, USA!

Elvis has left the building

Every soap blogger has probably used this as a title for a recap this week, but without shame, I will too. It’s just fitting because who would have thought it’d come to this? After getting shot at the end of the October 10th episode by Miguel, a flip-flopping day player DiMera goon controlled and then taken care of by Clyde, we had to watch Elvis die in Sami Brady’s arms. Throughout James Scott’s near decade-long run on Days of our Lives, EJ had numerous brushes with death (many inflicted by Sami or those closest to her) but always managed to just make it out of the other side okay. He is the son of the eternal Phoenix after all. But watching him get gunned down by a pop-up villain and his lackey felt cheap in a way. It was unbelievable. For that reason alone, there are many (including myself) that believe this isn’t really the end of EJ…but we’ll get back to that in a minute.

Alison Sweeney devastates with her performance

I must take the time to praise the emotionally devastating portrayal of Sami’s grief by Alison Sweeney. All of the ups and downs; ins and outs, were all hit on the nose by the soon-to-depart veteran actress. It’s bizarre that after 20 years in the business, Sweeney is still underestimated by the soap community. Some criticize her tendency to “over act” over the course of her run, but has anyone ever considered that she’s just playing the character as intended? Samantha Gene Brady has always had a flair for the dramatics whether it is necessary or unnecessary, so her acting choices have always been justified in my eyes. This week cemented those feelings.

From Sami chanting her “I love you’s” to her slowly fading husband, to the anguish she fought through while delivering the distressing news of his death to their children she had to fight through to tell her children the horrible news (shot very intimately through the glass of the window, muted and poignant), it hit hard. Sami was hurt in every possible way by the loss of EJ, and though I was never an EJami fan, I found myself becoming emotional during her private moments (like Sami sleeping in EJ’s clothes, surrounded by photos of him). The ripple effect of this death reached far and wide in Salem, even with a horde of enemies on every block; almost everyone was racked with disbelief; rising up to support Sami and her children. The highlight had to be Lucas coming in to comfort the mother of his two children (and soul mate, in my opinion). Though the writers have not been giving us a romantic Lumi scenes in years, their lasting friendship shined through in their scenes. It showcased their strong ties especially through their reassuring of their daughter, Allie. It’s going to be such a huge loss to not be able to see them together again once Sami leaves town, but I’m thankful for what we’ve gotten so far.

The DiMeras Mourn and Regroup

As expected, the DiMera family took the news of EJ’s death especially hard. Kristen and Stefano rightfully broke down, but I was really moved by Chad’s reaction. Watching Chad take news with a steel-face, eventually crumbling while begging Sami to forgive him and let him help was extremely moving. I was wary of when it was announced that Billy Flynn would take over the very underdeveloped role of Chad DiMera, but his performance washed away any doubts. The more he makes this role his own, the more I enjoy him. I’m not sure his predecessor could have delivered much of anything in these scenes.

Through the tears of grief, the DiMera family knew it was time to act. Under the orders of her patriarch, Kristen injected EJ’s lifeless corpse (or was a sample taken?) with a mysterious compound; prompting Stefano later in the week to gloat about taking EJ to where his family is. Has EJ been resurrected? His body transported to whatever European country where Stefano resides? Who is in the giant urn Sami can’t put down? There are so many possibilities to be explored, and with Days of our Lives not shying away from the kooky as in previous years, I cannot wait for what’s next. I wouldn’t mind if EJ stayed dead though.

About the author

Coryon Gray

Coryon Gray joined as Staff Writer for Soaps at TVSource Magazine in October 2014. Prior to TVSource Magazine, he's written for and moderated Asian entertainment blogs all while staying updated with his multiple "stories" like the elderly person in his soul. TV is a big part of his life, and it shows as he has been known to try to incorporate TV hijinks into his life with varying results. Follow him at @sourcecoryon for soapy soap reactions and more!

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  • jess

    To each its own, it is as YOU see it not as we see it, don’t talk for others, it is obnoxious.
    Ali Sweeney played/plays a very emotional character so maybe the character Sami ‘overact’ but Ali just plays the part. And yep she had been snubbed by the so called ‘soap community’ for decades now..she should have been nominated or even won for the death row story yet nada..they are hopeless and biased.
    And yep Nicole was a tramp for a long long time..since again interacting with Eric, she seems to be less slutty..She will be with Daniel very soon..she has been with almost all the town..even Roman (Eric’s father…ick).

    As for Lucas, well it is clear you are a lumi fan..Luca was never Sami’s soulmate, he always wanted her older sister over her..he was her frienemy, her arch-enemy, her friend but ‘soulmate’ nah..Ej was it. That is all.

  • Daysfan

    Great recap, one correction: Nicole was never a “tramp”. But I agree that she needs to move on from Eric (and God no, not with Daniel Jonas, hate him). Maybe with Brady? They were good together.

    Ali Sweeney does have a tendency to overact, so the soap community is just calling it like we see it. She definitely did good work during EJ’s death and the following grief scenes, no doubt, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she needs to dial it down most days.