Days of our Lives’ failed execution of Nicole’s pregnancy storyline leaves disappointment and frustration in its outcome. Thankfully the strong performances of stars Arianne Zucker and James Scott managed to offset some of the damage from this ridiculous and insulting plot. Also: What does the future hold if Kristen succeeds in reuniting EJ and Sami? It’s time to move forward with an EJ and Sami romance.
Days of our Lives has been hit and miss for me for a while now. I genuinely enjoy the character drama, but the plots leave a lot to be desired.
The rationale behind Nicole going through such great lengths to keep EJ away from his child made no sense from the very beginning. Nicole stole Sydney so EJ could have a biological child. She knows what EJ went through when Rafe and Sami conspired to keep Grace from him. To put him through that pain simply because he had an affair with Sami (or she didn’t approve of his actions) contradicted her own actions when she was with him. Apparently EJ is only good enough to be a father when she’s sleeping with him. Color me confused.
It was a cruel creative-decision to have Nicole lose yet another child, this time so far along into her pregnancy. What was the rationale behind it? Was this karma for her scheming with Daniel and EJ? We’ll never know. No medical explanation was given for the death, although viewers were told Nicole did nothing wrong. The cruelest element is EJ again has to mourn for a child he never got the chance to know or bond with. The only upside to this awful storyline is the fantastic performances of Arianne Zucker and James Scott.
Zucker’s performance during the October 5 episode was heartbreaking. As she held outfits her son would have worn, she was hit with the reality that her child would never wear them. The actress’ monologue was delivered with such pain, such sadness; it’s hard to imagine anyone not being affected by her acting. Scott’s performance on the October 17 episode was just as spectacular. Balancing EJ’s anger and grief while pleading with Nicole to admit he was her child’s father, Scott’s portrayal left one wondering if EJ was truly sincere in his comforting of Nicole, or if he was just playing her to get proof of her lies. Actors talk a lot about trusting your scene partner, there’s no doubt there’s an immense amount of trust between the actors to be able to pull out such fantastic performances
Scott and Zucker are this week’s Source Spotlight Performers.
The Story Forward…
The return of Kristen should make for a series of interesting situations with EJ and Sami. Kristen’s offer to help EJ win back Sami will hopefully show Sami another side of him. EJ’s tendency to allow his emotions to lead him down a dark path would not bode well, especially since his last attempt to one up his enemies backfired.
With Kristen’s guidance, EJ will be able to effectively navigate his enemies and surprise them with his behavior. Sometimes kindness and forgiveness is the way to go. Will it be enough for Sami? Probably not, but it’s a series of steps in the right direction toward rebuilding EJ’s image in her eyes. If he really wants to win Sami back, he has to prove that he loves her more than he hates those who have wronged him. There’s no better person to advise him of how to not to act than his older sister. Through her own troubled past, she can steer him away from making similar self-destructive decisions.
If EJ were to win Sami back, where does the story go from there? Will fans have to endure yet another build only for it to be ruined because of EJ’s schemes? Will Sami shoot him in the head again? At some point, there comes a time when jerking your audience around becomes too much.
It’s time the show stop being afraid to embrace an EJ and Sami pairing. Why should a romance between characters with such a storied, albeit controversial, past be forbidden? James Scott and Alison Sweeney play two very passionate, self-destructive, strong-minded, dynamic characters with an unlimited amount of chemistry. That should not be overlooked because of a particular preference or because some viewers might not like the story. One will never be able to please all of the audience, all of the time.
Some of daytime’s most popular couples have pasts steeped in controversy. Lest we forget Luke & Laura? Roger & Holly? Paul and Christine? The subject of rape has come up with each of those pairings, including questions about whether it truly was rape. For years, General Hospital referred to Luke’s rape of Laura as a “seduction.” Did Laura really want Luke and just was afraid to admit it? That was the thread played up until the 90s when Luke finally admit that he raped her (a brilliant scene by the way). That admission forever changed Luke’s relationships with Lucky, and it made Laura look at the life she build with Luke. It took the story full circle and allowed them to go forward. The same should be done with this.
EJ raped Sami. The characters have acknowledged it, the actors have acknowledged it and the executives have acknowledged. Sami forgave EJ in 2008. They’ve since moved past it and have had another child together. At some point, what is controversial loses its stigma.
Controversy creates buzz, controversy creates cash. Embrace it. But controversy alone cannot sell a story; quality of the storytelling matters. Creating a story that addresses the people they were, mistakes they’ve made and a desire to be better people than they are would be the right angle to approach the story.
What else does Days of our Lives have to lose?
Down the road…
This November, look for Nicole to self-destruct in a major way. With her world crumbling around her and nothing left to lose, she makes a major move that could have devastating consequences. Marlena continues to feel threatened by Kristen’s presence. Is she right to worry about Kristen’s intentions? Gabi receives shocking news.