It’s oddly fitting that, the very day after I found out Dena Higley was fired (again), I teared up at an episode featuring the payoff of what is probably the main narrative of Dena’s entire time at Days: Nicole learning that she finally, after all these years and all these disappointments, has a biological child.
Maybe that’s not fitting. Ironic? (A little too ironic.) (And yeah, I really do think.) (It’s like raaaaa-eeee-aaaaiiiiiin…)
ANYWAY. Arianne Zucker — and the script — sold the hell out of that moment, in my opinion. I certainly wouldn’t have minded it happening in a setting with a bigger feeling, like a wedding or a party (literally everything climactic on soaps could happen at a wedding or party and I’d be good), but the emotion was spot-on, and it isn’t like this was a situation with no stakes. Nicole was being detained for attempted murder, and Brady forced Chloe to tell the truth. And the way it dawned on her — the way she didn’t understand what she was being told at first, because it’s bonkers — and then reflected on the losses she’s suffered and finally realized that a child that is genetically hers was in the same room as her… that was really good stuff that proves you don’t need a giant budget to do great drama, if you take the time to build the emotional investment and make it all about the characters.
(By the way, boy, did Chloe come off like a total loon as she tried to justify this whole thing, even though I hate Deimos enough that it makes sense to me.)
At any rate, it is fitting that this arc got to be completed, or at least come to this moment, under Higley’s pen, because this is by far the most emotional and engaging character tale she’s developed throughout her runs. She didn’t write the original “Nicole can’t conceive because she got SHOT IN THE UTERUS” story, but she did take her out of the Victor marriage and the Colin affair/murder and into the relationship with Brady, which is still important today. She wrote Nicole’s affair with EJ that led to a pregnancy and marriage, followed by the miscarriage, the friendship with Eric Martsolf’s Brady, and the entire theft of Sydney. And it strikes me as very wise to complicate this entire reveal by having Nicole in legal trouble for stabbing the guy whom she knows — but no one else does — was sent to kill Deimos. On one hand, she used a butter knife, so it’s possible Justin could argue that she wanted to, I dunno, slather the guy with cream cheese, but on the other hand… he was an unarmed man whom she’s alleging was going to try and kill a man in broad daylight in the middle of a busy shopping mall/biodome. So perhaps a defense will be hard to mount. Also, this is the second allegation of (attempted) murder against her in a year’s time, but I guess everyone is just pretending that Kate never pushed Deimos into that river.
I love how they brought Belle in as Chloe’s lawyer. I love how they played the Brady/Belle angle of the custody fight. Lots of this is working. I am, however, eager to see either party explain this shitshow to a judge. I imagine it’ll go something like this:
Chloe: She isn’t fit to be Holly’s mother! She once snuck into an operating room to put flesh-eating bacteria on my face!
Judge: Then why would you agree to carry a child for her and your own ex-husband?
Chloe: I was once tricked into being a hooker.