It All Comes Full (Misty) Circle

It’s a testament to the chemistry between Eric Brady and Raccoon Eyes Walker that I’ve been engrossed in their scenes all week rather than bursting into hysterical laughter.

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This is the fourth guy whom Nicole has declared to be the Great Love of Her Life in two years — and the fifth go-round, since it was only the summer of 2015 when she was yearning for Eric himself while choosing Daniel so that they could perform an impromptu (in Salem, “impromptu” means “heavily and nauseatingly choreographed”) dance to John Legend around a pub where innocent people were simply trying to eat their chowder and Wanchai Ferry. She’s bounced from Eric to Daniel to Deimos to Brady and now back to Eric, with each somehow being “the man she truly loves,” blah blah. To call this woman fickle would be like saying Lindsay Lohan’s career is in a bit of a slow patch. You know, a real severe understatement.

But, miraculously, it’s working. I don’t think the payoff for any single couple has worked this well since Abigail and Chad finally got together in late 2015. It’s almost possible to infer a coherent narrative here where there really isn’t one: that, for Nicole, it has always been Eric, but that after he made her feel judged and rejected, she chose Daniel because he felt like the safe option and came with the promise of a built-in family, thanks to Parker — and that, after Eric caused Daniel’s death, Nicole was (understandably) so furious and grief-stricken that she couldn’t allow herself to acknowledge anything but hatred toward Eric and lashed out as hard as she did in order to suppress whatever love remained, while trying to lose herself in both Deimos and Brady. No, I still can’t entirely make sense of the Deimos relationship, because it literally didn’t make sense from day-to-day onscreen, but it’s possible to view it as one of those any-port-in-a-storm situations where she got in over her head, only to be rescued by Brady and mistake close friendship for love… until the dam broke and her real feelings for Eric came bursting through again.

See? That works. I wish they’d put more of it in the actual dialogue to help us along, but it does work, and the actors are selling a throughline that really hasn’t been there for them to play this whole time. I actually don’t even mind that they’re both being idiots by sleeping together behind Brady’s back, because it causes legitimate complications and keeps the drama flowing, rather than just wrapping everything up with a bow. All this to say: why in the hell did they completely abandon a couple with this much built-in angst — to the point of firing Greg Vaughan and having Eric offscreen for nearly a year — in the first place?!

And while we’re on the subject of circling back to plot elements foolishly thrown at the wall in late 2015…

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Clyde! I cannot believe that I’m thrilled to see this man on my screen. All it took to make him appealing was the show accepting that they’d might as well paint him as an irredeemable villain since the bulk of what they’d given him to do since his debut (raping his stepdaughter, abusing his son, being creepily controlling toward Kate, having EJ killed) was, you know, Villain Stuff much more than Charming Gray Hat Stuff. Like his son, Clyde is now a fun, interesting burst of short-term bad guy energy.

I’m still fully prepared to roll my eyes so far back in my head that I get a good luck at my own spinal cord as soon as they actually get to the explanation of how in the hell Will is alive, but I really like the vibe and the rhythm of this story so far. Instead of just seeing Will in captivity for two weeks before he could escape and burst into the wedding, we got the arrival of Ben, who has now led us to Clyde, who (based on Wednesday’s ending) is going to lead us to some other instrumental figure. Following the trail of breadcrumbs with the main characters is engaging, and it’s giving us the chance to see just about everyone react and have a point-of-view. Even just the rumors about Will gave us those powerful Kate/Lucas scenes at the cemetery, which in turn sent Kate off to meet with Clyde, while we also got to see Hope being more competent and likable than she’s been in forever as she questioned Ben. And they even took the time to have Claire and Theo filling in Tripp on the wedding and all the history there. (Shout-out to using Tripp’s absence from the wedding as fuel for an intriguing character beat and conflict between Steve and Kayla. It isn’t the flashiest of story, but it was logical, well rendered, and actually dug into their personalities.) This is really how I like my Days best: when even the goofier story elements provide fuel for the characters I enjoy — which can be almost anyone, given good writing! — and their various dynamics to shine.

Warning: I’ve been careful not to drop any casting spoilers in the body of this post, but I can’t promise the same for the comments section (and don’t really want to stifle conversation in that way, anyway). So consider this your heads-up that, if you read down into the comments, you might see things you can’t un-see… and no, I don’t mean Nicole sensuously shaving Daniel. (Shudder. As my present to you, and also to myself so I don’t have to relive it, I will refrain from linking to that horrific incident.)

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18 Comments on “It All Comes Full (Misty) Circle”

  1. Geri L. Says:

    Am so enjoying the Ericole reunion, even knowing there’s heartbreak to come. But every time Nicole whines that she doesn’t know how to tell Brady, I just want to shout. Or maybe have Eric shout it — she sure knew how to tell him she really loved Daniel after the Furnace of Love. I guess my shout would be “Nicole, you are an idiot to have given this up!”

  2. Damon L. Jacobs Says:

    Just one mention of Wanchai Ferry and I’m loving you more than Bonnie with a bowl of melons.

  3. Mo Says:

    I like Eric and Nicole together too but…

    Poor Brady is rich and handsome but he can’t keep a girlfriend for more than 15 minutes. He and Nicole will always have their terrifying Canadian adventure I suppose. Loved how he called Nicole and Eric “The Priest and the Porn Star” today! Careful Brady if you treat Nicole like dirt enough she might fall re-back in love with you for the 9th time.

    By this shows logic too shouldn’t Brady die of Daniel’s broken heart now as well? I’m sure Doctor Sleep will be popping up in a dream soon to give Nicole his saintly blessing for going back to the man who killed him. OF COURSE HE WOULD UGH.

    I think the *spoiler* you are hinting at is Sami (or Shami as Roman calls her). I’m surprised her immanent arrival isn’t causing Salem’s water to boil, snow to fall indoors and for Stephano’s portrait to fly off the wall and fling itself into the fire place.

    Believe it or not I love Sami too just saying DrAmA follows her like a stray dog.

    • mykleraus Says:

      So many good points.

      “Careful Brady if you treat Nicole like dirt enough she might fall re-back in love with you for the 9th time.” Right? This seems to be her ultimate aphrodisiac! Maybe that’s what his plan is…

      “By this shows logic too shouldn’t Brady die of Daniel’s broken heart now as well?” You would think! I really thought they were gonna get him a new heart that time he got shot, just to put an end to this. I will say that the Daniel worship is SERIOUSLY decreased since Ron took over.

      I hear you on Sami. The way Marlena told Roman, “We need to call Sami,” she might as well have been saying, “We need to raise Stefano from the dead.” It was so ominous!

  4. UnderYourWing Says:

    why the hell was nic wearing that ‘dress’? i slept through that episode this week……and i am loving Nic-er-ic back together again.
    what tragedy will befall holly or either one of them or all 3?
    dog only knows……

    • mykleraus Says:

      I believe it was her dress from the wedding — you know, the church wedding, though I’d forgive you for thinking it was being held in a Vegas nightclub based on Nicole and Gabi’s choice of attire.

  5. UnderYourWing Says:

    they buy their garb at fredericks of hollywood with faux adrienne

  6. marypickford Says:

    I was really happy with the Ericole scenes this week. Given that AZ is leaving, it was really the best we could hope for. And yes, it makes me crazy that for the last two years, they threw all this amazing chemistry and complicated history aside and put Nicole in one bad coupling after another.

    I like how you say there is kinda-sorta a throughline for Nicole if you squint a little at the last few years. I thought the dialogue in her confrontation with Brady particularly helped to retroactively explain some of it, like when Nicole said she kept up her hatred of Eric as a wall because she felt guilty for loving the man who killed Daniel. I also like how Brady said that after what happened with Kristen and Theresa, he thought making his best friend the love of his life would work and they would be happy. Nice way to explain their out of the blue relationship from his side.

    Anyway, I’m glad Nicole is leaving with some of the damage to her character undone. If she ever does come back, there are some pretty juicy threads to be picked up from this story.

    • mykleraus Says:

      It was a payoff that I never thought we’d get, and I thought the dialogue and acting were pretty much classic Days. I’m really pleased. Someone is at least trying to shore this up into something coherent. And I agree with you about Brady’s line referencing Kristen and Theresa — just a mention of that makes his motivation so much more understandable.

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