I am enjoying the show right now, so it’s troubling to me that it might all go to hell if the writing strike continues. I feel Hogan’s zigzagginess has been smoothed out considerably, and I only hope that his tendency to skip payoffs will also be remedied (if he is the problem, which I’m not sure about). My biggest beef with the show now is the balance of airtime, where being on the backburner doesn’t mean being on once or twice a week, but once or twice a month. Other than that I’m pretty happy.
But on the other hand, there’s always the hope that an infusion of fresh blood is what the show really needs. C’mon, how many of you are secretly dreaming about being a scab writer for Days during the writing strike? I know I am.
This isn’t my plan to revamp Days (which would involve more dramatic changes), but how I would move forward from here. And as headwriter I have no control over the cast, so unfortunately I can’t write out Shawn. Given my spoiler-free status, I am going to pretend that the last existing script was the last episode I watched (11/28), and go from there. I’ll start with—
Sami and the DiMeras
EJ’s recovery continues, and he is ready to leave the hospital (though he still can’t walk). Stefano wants him to move into the DiMera mansion, along with Sami and Johnny. EJ isn’t keen on the idea of living across the hall from Lucas, so he likes the idea. Naturally Sami doesn’t. EJ won’t press Sami directly, and Stefano is annoyed but stops short of an open confrontation.
Meanwhile Lucas is becoming more and more sure than Sami has feelings for EJ, and he keeps pressing for sole custody of little Ali. Sami confides her unhappiness in EJ, who gets an idea: Sami should aim for custody of both twins. EJ and Sami are a two parent household with lots of family money and extended family support. As for the “crime family” idea, well, has anything ever been proven? No. Lucas on the other hand is a unemployed single father. It’s perfect! EJ points out that Stefano will never, ever give up on the sole DiMera scion—perhaps some reference to how Stefano got Benjy and EJ from their mothers could be brought in here. If she stays with EJ, moves into the DiMera mansion, she’ll be able to counteract the DiMera influence. But Sami scoffs at the idea.
EJ then has a setback in his recovery, precipitated by seeing Sami with Lucas or some such thing. Stefano angrily confronts Sami, saying she’s not working hard enough to convince EJ she has feelings for him. How can she, when she’s running home to Lucas every night and everyone else in her family knows the truth? Sami, caught between Lucas on one side and Stefano on the other, has to make Sophie’s choice: she decides EJ is right about Johnny. Ali will be better off with Lucas.
Stefano, seeing how much influence Sami has over EJ, decides then it’s time for a backup plan. If EJ’s loyalties are starting to waver, and since Andre is dead and Benjy is dead, how about Tony? He approaches Tony about the idea of coming back into the DiMera fold. At first Tony scoffs at the idea, but then he thinks, maybe, he could get a piece of the DiMera empire. After everything Stefano has done to him, doesn’t he owe him that much? Anna points out that Stefano has gotten the better of him whenever they’ve gone head to head, but Tony says it’s different now, he will have the power.
So EJ, Sami, Johnny, Tony, and Anna all move into the DiMera mansion with Stefano. Sami has to convince everyone in town, not just EJ, that this is a true marriage, not just a way to end the vendetta. She is helped in this by Lucas, who is convinced it’s true.
So eventually I’d like to see Sami scheming to overthrow Stefano by slowly winning EJ more and more over to her side. Tony and EJ could jockey for power, with Stefano playing them against each other when he’s worried about one or the other’s loyalty. Tony’s sympathy for EJ would also get the better of him, because it was the position he was in twenty years ago. EJ would eventually find out that Sami is playing him, but keep that knowledge to himself while he tries to play her in return. And Anna could make snarky remarks all the while.
Next time: how do you solve a problem like Shellip?