I’ve been full of doom and gloom and negativity lately, so let me go on record as saying that somehow, someway, I have enjoyed both episodes this week. Though I have realized it might be because there’s a little voice in my ear whispering, maybe Dena didn’t write this. Yeah, Stax is still overly precious, Chan is still horrible, and Morgan is still a dishrag (worse, a dishrag now in wuv). But somehow, the show seemed to be doing more with their situations, milking more drama out of them, even hitting a few emotional beats. To wit:
1. Chelsea realizes that dating someone old enough to be your father isn’t so much fun when he scolds you like he’s … your father.
2. Morgan says hesitantly that her father told her to stay away from Phillip, as the camera centers on Bo, looking worried.
3. The Stax coffeehouse interactions were cute. (There, I said it!) And the little cliffhanger with the hottie French thug lurking in the shadows was mildly intriguing.
4. Bo and Hope got into a very believable tiff about the Paul Hollingsworth case. (Though it was too bad Hope rescinded her threat to tell Abe everything and went back to being a mindlessly supportive spouse by the end of the episode.)
And these are the stories that haven’t been working as well. Things get even better as we turn to the characters and storylines that have been working (well, relatively speaking). There was some nice crisscrossing in play, like Nick distracting Trent from his semi-stalking of Nicole, then seeing Max on a celebrity website (who knew Nick was into TMZ??), which Trent sees, and then blackmails Nicole into digging up the story on why Max is in France.
Nicole and EJ continue to be a bright spot. I wish that the rest of the show could be as good as the writing has been for these two. As individuals, that is. (I’m willing to get on board with them as a couple, I think, but the romance part of it hasn’t set me on fire yet.) I loved seeing Nicole half-heartedly trying to repel EJ’s advances, and then feebly trying to stand up to Trent. Arianne Zucker showed her feelings for both men perfectly.
The EJ/Marlena scene where she scolded him about bribing the immigration officer is exactly the type of scene I like to see. It wasn’t earth-shattering, but it showcased an atypical interaction, caught us up on the custody battle between EJ and Sami in a non-repetitive way, had someone calling EJ on his shady actions (as opposed to the 24-7 Brady-EJ lovefest that was going on a few months ago), and gave us a chance to find out how EJ is feeling about Sami right now. It was just plain old workmanlike soap, something Days hasn’t been able to do for awhile now.
How happy was I to see Nick again? And showing backbone, too, when Trent tried to manipulate him. It looks like we might get a second chance at a Nick/bad girl romance. I’ve got all my fingers crossed for Days doing something right this time.
Maybe Dena didn’t write this. That’s my new mantra to help me try to enjoy the show. We’ll see how long it lasts.