Save the Drama for Your Mama

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.

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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.

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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.
Judge: …oh.

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17 Comments on “Save the Drama for Your Mama”

  1. underyourwing Says:

    I LOVE AZ…… she’s a very good actress……she’s really hung in there all these years…..the only thing that apparently was NOT hard to mount in Salem was Dr Jonass………xo

  2. Michelle Says:

    Remember when AZ first started and she was awful? She’s come so far! Imo it’s her that’s kept the character on for so long, I mean not many people with no ties to a main family last as long as she has. She’s really good, I’m surprised she didn’t get a primetime show when she left for that year or two in the mid 2000’s.

    • mykleraus Says:

      She was so green at first! They also made the (all-too-typical) mistake of hanging a whole bunch of story on Nicole and her problems and secrets, instead of easing her in more naturally. I remember the first time I really took notice of her was when Kate paid her to marry Lucas. And then when she sparked with Victor (which I don’t think was planned at all), the character took on a life of her own.

  3. underyourwing Says:

    brady & nic should be 2gether……. whatever happened to Tate??

    • Michelle Says:

      They, imo, have never had any interest in Tate. Now or when they came up with that stupid story. I think it was a ratings stunt and it got them stuck with a child they clearly have no interest in.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I feel the same way. Tate felt like a total plot point to me, and the only ‘value’ they got out of him beyond that very short Kristen arc was in him being a way to redeem Theresa, which also made her boring. I was actually hoping that part of Theresa’s exit would be revealing that Kristen lied and Tate wasn’t their child at all, so we’d be free of that.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I like Brady and Nicole together, but I also like their friendship. I think they might be aiming at Brady/Chloe now, which I also don’t mind, especially if Eric is back for Nicole.

      Has anyone even mentioned Tate since Theresa left?!

  4. Michelle Says:

    It’s just so glaring because Thomas is shown and referenced all the time, and now Holly, despite being born only a month ago has already been seen more than Tate it seems like.

  5. underyourwing Says:

    yeah. especially by his father!!

  6. Erin L Says:

    I really love this storyline. The whole reason I started watching Days was the baby switch. At first I was irritated with how long it was taking to pay off but now that it has I like the route they took. That really sucks Higley got fired. She seems to be my favorite writer. Arianne Zucker really sold it. She has become my favorite lead since Ali Sweeney left.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I was dubious at first, because the newly created flashbacks sort of annoyed me, but it made for an interesting twist, and the conflict between Nicole and Chloe is totally worth it. As is the emotional payoff of Nicole finally having a child but being kept from her. The Deimos angle of it (Chloe’s motivation *and* Nicole’s insistence that he’s not that bad) is still weak to me, so that’s a mental hurdle to get over, but I think the construction of the story and the basic emotions work very well. It’s a fun twist on the done-to-death baby switch stories — and I agree, the 2008-10 baby switch was one of the best stories of the modern Days era.


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