New Year, New You
It’s a brand-new year, so the people of Salem have resolved to– Nevermind. Everyone’s still being their dopey-ass selves!
Here’s a roughly paraphrased exchange between that incredibly subtle pair, Nicole and Nancy:
Nicole: Can I hold baby Holly?
Nancy: NICOLE, YOU MAY NOT TOUCH THIS BABY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
Nicole: But I feel so connected to her! IT’S AS IF SHE SPRANG FROM MY OWN LOINS!!!
Everyone calm down! I get that Nicole feels so drawn to baby Holly because that’s her child, but good grief. Even if Nancy didn’t know the truth, I wouldn’t blame her for wanting to keep a known babynapper who was acting this obsessive away from the kid.
I did like that they gave Nancy that emotional moment of hearing Nicole talking to Holly, and it was enough to push her into telling the truth until Deimos (ugh) interrupted. Nancy missed the first 16 years of her own daughter’s life — she should be seriously conflicted over this. That was a nice touch and nod to the character’s history.
Meanwhile, Hope’s storyline is… also a thing that’s onscreen. I’ve said before that I don’t envy these writers having to dig their way out of this mess, but this prison stuff is beyond stupid. Hope, if you’re in danger because the other inmates perceive you to be a cop who committed murder and yet continues to get perks they don’t, maybe stop doing things like having special meetings with your boyfriend outside visiting hours? Or at least cool it with roaming the damn prison at all hours after an inmate has been killed and others have been attacked? I mean, this isn’t exactly a safe place to begin with. There’s minimum security, and then there’s “one guard shows up every other week to let an inmate use her phone to FaceTime her boyfriend.”
Especially since, as we know, T-Boz is prone to creeping. (I will say that she’s doing a pretty good job with a very silly role!)
Also silly: Marlena insisting on being a part of this mission to Prague to track down Stefano. Yeah, because that always turns out well. What’s the over-under on her being locked in a trunk by next Tuesday? (BTW, did everyone catch that throwaway reference to John being in Louisiana because his biological mother passed away? As dumb as that whole reveal about his lineage was, at least they utilized it to explain why John is offscreen and tied up a dangling thread in the process. And on the same note, Brady telling Deimos that Eve left Salem because she couldn’t bear to be in a house with Deimos. I would’ve loved to see an Eve/Deimos confrontation, but I get that they had to do a quick rewrite to explain why she’s gone again because of Kassie DePaiva’s diagnosis. Get well soon and come kick Deimos’s ass, please!)
As for things that actually felt fresh and interesting:
Valerie and Jennifer’s brief conversation was terrific. I love that they not only name-dropped David, but discussed why that relationship failed and how the world has changed (though, sadly, I don’t think it’s changed as much as they wanted to believe). And Valerie talking about having read Jack’s book and what a wonderful writer he was — this was such pleasant, normal material. More of this in 2017, please!