So nice, so happy

There was a world of difference between yesterday’s show and today’s (8/3 and 8/4). Two episodes, featuring a lot of the same storylines and characters. But one made me want to claw my eyes out, and the other was … okay. More than okay.

I liked the first three-quarters of Nicole and Chloe’s conversation on Monday. Ari was excellent showing Nicole’s hurt at Chloe throwing her past in her face. (Chloe is probably not one to throw stones, but okay.) I particularly liked when Chloe said, “Oh, don’t give me that ‘this time is different’ crap.” I’m sure Nicole has said that many times before. And ironically, though this time is different in one way — Nicole told Daniel the truth instead of keeping a secret — in the end it probably won’t be different. That is, if it goes like I think it’s going to, Chloe is right that she’s not going to “make it over the finish line” with Daniel.


Then, the horrible catfight. Ugh. I hate catfights anyway, but this one was particularly bad in light of the fact that these two women were arguing about being a stable presence in a child’s life. And I hated it also because it gave Daniel an opportunity to be the mature one, and scold them (rightly) for being idiots.

Which brings me to the other thing I hated. I generally try to avoid taking an extreme dislike to a character, because I don’t need that kind of aggravation. I always want to leave open the possibility of enjoying someone again in the future. But Saint Daniel is driving me nuts. Especially in his scenes with Serena. He decided on behalf of everyone that Eric doesn’t need to know that Serena bugged his confessional. He counseled herΒ  — with such compassion! such wisdom! — that there is nothing left for her here, that she should leave town. And she listened! (Hopefully, not for long. C’mon, Serena, you know you want to go batshit crazy!)

Then, today, Daniel defended Nicole to Chloe without getting angry, and then — the capper — told Eric (with a big grin) that he wants him to stay in their lives. What a guy! Why does it make me want to punch him in the face?

Actually, the funny thing about this whole situation is how nice everyone is being. The obstacle smash continued for Daniel and Nicole, as another potential problem — his ex-wife’s objections to Nicole as a stepmom — was raised only to be immediately defused. Chloe ended up hugging Nicole and pledging to be friends, while Nicole admitted Chloe had a point. And the upshot is we get another link in the chain tying Nicole to Daniel – her desire to be a good stepmother to Parker, to be a solid presence in his life, and not someone who flakes out after making a commitment.

This is not an engagement that is going to end tomorrow, or soon. I actually applaud the show for using the Parker angle so skillfully. They are giving Nicole every reason in the world to think Daniel is perfect for her.

Now, let’s talk about Eric. He’s also being very nice. The picture Eric gave to Marlena, with John and Roman, seems significant for showing his thought process. He is trying to emulate his father, Roman, and the way he gave up Marlena because John was the one she truly loved, and remained friends with both.


And, he told Marlena he is “at peace” with it. Marlena commented he looked happy, and he agreed that he is. So, Nicole is happy, Daniel is happy, even Eric is happy. Am I watching a soap or an episode of Barney?

Of course, I loved the scene between Eric and Nicole.


Eric was very sweet reassuring her about Chloe, that Daniel won’t change his mind about her no matter what Chloe says. And I think Nicole’s statement that she always wanted a child was very telling, tying into what I said above. I also liked that Nicole broke off and changed the subject — she realized that in talking about Daniel to Eric, she was being insensitive. Then, when he wanted to reassure her yet again he won’t tell anyone about what happened, I think it was (unconsciously) a sneaky way of bringing up the subject again — their shared secret.

That’s when Nicole dropped what I think was a bomb — that she told Daniel the truth. Her statement that she realized she was slipping into old habits was very self-aware. I think she wanted Eric to know that she did the right thing, to reassure him he doesn’t have to keep their secret, but also to let him know she’s trying to be a better person. That she knows she made a mistake when she kept secrets from Eric, and she’s not doing that now. But I think it had to hurt to hear that she told Daniel the truth, and not him.

Then of course she told him Daniel forgave her, that he understands — and ran off when Daniel called.

Eric was left — at peace? Maybe. Happy? — maybe not so much.




20 thoughts on “So nice, so happy

  1. I loved the Eric and Nicole scene. Ouch. I think, in a way, Eric was holding on to them sharing a secret as a subconscious way of staying close to Nicole, sharing something with her. When she tells him that she told Daniel the truth, and was forgiven, I think he has to admit to himself that she is moving on, and that if he had extended the same forgiveness and understanding in the past, he might have been the one planning to marry her right now.

    I agree with the obstacle smash theory – why bring them up to have them immediately quashed? I think the writers are telling us that Nicole is truly committed to being a better person, showing that she has grown as a character, and also that it isn’t going to be an easy journey back to Eric. Nicole has everything she ever wanted now. Wrong guy, but right everything else. Daniel forgave where Eric couldn’t. Like I said. Ouch.

    As for Daniel. What did I say before about Kayla and Eric? Hard to play a goody goody without coming off as sanctimonious. What we have here is Daniel being unrealistically understanding. C’mon! He didn’t even get mad a little? A little jealous? I don’t buy it. I kind of want to hit him too πŸ™‚ No one is that good.

    • Oh, and one other thing…Eric is protesting too much. He may feel “at peace,” but the closer Nicole comes to marrying Eric, the less peaceful he’s going to be!

      • Great Freudian slip, hee! πŸ™‚

        I love your point that this is a situation of “wrong guy, but right everything else.” I think a lot of viewers are hopeful that this engagement will end soon, but I don’t see that happening. I think they are giving Nicole every reason to think staying with Daniel is the right choice. The use of Parker is really kind of brilliant, especially when she said what she’s wanted more than anything in the world is a child of her own. How can she let that child down?

        Glad I’m not the only one who wanted to punch Daniel. πŸ™‚

  2. I, too was struck by the scene with Marlena. Eric is clearly trying to maintain a position in Nicole’s life, so he’s determined to be Roman to her Marlena, a trusted friend and a part of her life, even if he can’t be THE man in her life. It’s both sweet and sad, but I totally get why he needs to do it. Nicole and Eric need each other to feel whole. When the situation was reversed, and Eric was moving on with Serena, Nicole couldn’t fully let him go. She aimed for friendship as well, and got it.

    I was actually sort of impressed with the way the episode was structured in terms of Eric’s journey. First, they established that he seems at peace and happy. The conversation with Marlena reveals why: he’s got a plan. He’s going to have Nicole in his life in a way he believes he can handle – her beloved and trusted friend. His father managed to do that with Marlena, He can do it with Nicole, right? He can be Roman.

    Then he runs into Nicole and she’s got a problem – Chloe’s in town, and she’s causing problems for her. And Eric thinks, no problem, I’ve got this. Gently calms her down and reassures her that she’s a wonderful person who’ll be a great mom, and no way is Daniel going to believe Chloe over her. She responds, they’re connecting, and Eric’s feeling pretty good about this plan.

    But then Nicole drops the reminder that things between them aren’t really that free and easy, when she realizes it’s wrong of her to burden him with her Daniel problems when he’s still infatuated with her. (At least, I think that’s how Nicole still sees it. I don’t think she really believes he’s still in love with her the way he once was). Though Eric assures her that he’s fine, that it’s okay to unburden herself on him, Nicole doesn’t agree.

    So Eric tells her about Brady, reminding her of the secret they share, and like you say, Nicole pulls the rug out from under him by telling him that she’s told Daniel the truth and he’s forgiven her.

    Double whammy. Not only did she tell Daniel the truth rather than lying the way she had with Eric, Daniel forgave her, something Eric took far too long to do. Ouch. And of course, Daniel calls and Nicole jumps, leaving Eric watching her go, his smile fading to unease.

    Daniel’s magnanimous forgiveness at the end is just piling on. He doesn’t seem to see Eric as a threat to his relationship with Nicole anymore. Worse, he seems to take Eric’s feelings for Nicole even less seriously than she does, chalking it up to “bad decisions” a person makes when he’s in bad shape on the verge of death.

    Eric’s peace has been shattered. And happy he most definitely is not.

    Not as easy being Roman as you thought, huh, Eric?

    • Brilliant, Paula! I love the way you describe Eric’s journey, particularly how he’s decided this is the capital A Answer to how he is going to keep her in his life, as his friend. I found his statement to Brady on Monday rather glib, that he’s fine with everything, and “of course selfishly I’d rather she was with me,” but he wants her to be happy most of all. This shows, as you say, that glibness wasn’t warranted, that being Roman isn’t so easy. If I liked Josh Taylor at all, I would look forward to Eric going to Roman to talk to him about that. I’d still watch it for Greg Vaughan, but …

      Having Eric give Marlena that picture of Roman/Marlena/John was surprisingly smart by the show. It’s almost too good. I guess even a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while. πŸ™‚

      And great point too that Daniel’s lack of jealousy is another blow. He’s not threatened at all, so that must mean Eric is not a threat. It kind of robs Eric’s actions of meaning — he’s not stepping aside, he’s being pushed aside because he doesn’t matter. To describe an experience that to Eric was incredibly meaningful, a revelation of what he really felt, as just a “bad decision” — it just minimized everything. He’s left feeling exactly the opposite of what Daniel was reassuring him of, that they want him in their lives. I think he feels like he just doesn’t matter to Nicole at all.

  3. Mary, I too think it’s starting to look like they are going to keep Daniel and Nicole together for awhile. I was hoping they would end by Labor Day, but Nicole’s desire and conviction to hold on to Parker and Dan is VERY telling. It’s so sad for Eric…and sad for me!

    I don’t like that the show is writing what happened between Eric and Nicole as “meaning nothing”.

    How is this situation going to change? And even if Nicole realizes she still loves Eric by an act of god, will she be able to leave Dan and Parker and that “perfect” life? I’m not so sure anymore. Right now, this storyline is painful for Ericole fans. Something has to give…..

    • Amber, I could be wrong in my theories. God knows Days can do anything and it often does.

      But it seems to me that Days, even at its worst, understands that for any couple, there has to be a story. And they are shooting down all the possible stories for Daniel and Nicole. Stepmother issues, gone. Family objections, gone. Scheming third parties, gone. Secret keeping, gone. Jealousy, nope. Even “unresolved feelings for the ex” isn’t there (just for now, I hope). The way the story is now, it’s like they are writing Daniel and Nicole out — resolving all their problems so they can send them off on a boat together. We know they aren’t leaving, so there must be something else going on.

      And, to me, that has to be Eric and Nicole. If Nicole gets everything she’s been desperately scheming her whole life to get, what happens when she realizes SHE doesn’t love the guy — or rather, she loves another guy more? I think it could be an interesting character journey for Nicole.

      I think we’ll see over the next few weeks to a month whether this is the story or not. Whatever conflict is going to happen has to start happening. We’re not going to watch Daniel and Nicole cooing at each other three days a week — that’s not a story. Either Daniel and Nicole will get some obstacle, a real one, or it will become clear that all of this was to establish Daniel as a true obstacle for Eric and Nicole.

      You know which one I want. πŸ™‚

      • Daniel and Nicole are (as we say in Massachusetts) wicked boring.

        I think something bad is going to happen to one of them, possibly Eric. Just have a feeling. Not dead bad, just bad bad. Nicole is not going to give up her perfect fantasy life easily.

  4. I think Eric’s going to get hurt, probably by Xander. And that might open Nicole’s eyes to what he really means to her. Maybe not enough to dump Daniel and his dimpled kid, but enough to make her feel torn between the man she’s loved for years and the man who’s offered her the life she believes she’s always wanted.

    I can deal with torn for a while. As long as Eric wins, because Daniel is a chemistry suck where Nicole is concerned.

    • I like the idea of Eric being hurt by Xander, particularly if he does it protecting Nicole.

      I can deal with torn also. If Nicole has committed herself to Daniel, with the engagement and a commitment to Parker, I think it will be very hard for her to turn around and break that, no matter how she feels. Torn is good.

      It might have been a good story to demonize Daniel a little too, but clearly they are not going that way.

  5. I do hope that if Ericole slip up and do something that betrays Daniel in some way, they don’t have Daniel be good with them afterwards. Not for a while. Conflict = story, and so far, this “story” has been way too conflict-free.

    • Isn’t it?? I started wondering if some of these scenes were reshoots, streamlining out the obvious sources of conflict in preparation for whatever they have planned for the fall. But I don’t see how. Everything seems too interdependent. Maybe the Eric Marlena scene with the picture (which if so that gives me faith in the new writers!). I’ve been looking at Ari’s hair for clues but it seems different every time I see her. But always short. Lol. Driving myself crazy.

      Anyway, I feel like we have to start seeing whatever conflict they are planning pretty soon. All this happiness is unnerving.

  6. I still don’t have anything to really add to this discussion since I am still not really liking Nicole and Daniel is a total bore.

    The scene with Eric and Marlena just makes me sad that they ever let “Roman” come back. I would really just prefer John as Roman. I’m watching what I can find of Steve and Kayla from 2006 on YouTube and it’s weird to me that when Steve died John was Roman so I am curious to see if any of this is ever discussed when Steve gets his memory back.

    Is Chloe coming back as a regular or was that just a drop in?

    • Chloe was just a drop in. I keep expecting to hear she’s coming back, though, since we need more women in that age range.

      I wish John was still Roman too. If we had Wayne it would be worth it maybe, but Josh Taylor is awful as Roman. I’m pretty sure there was no reference to it when Steve came back, but someone can correct me if I’m wrong.

      It would have been funny if he had called Roman “Chris.” πŸ™‚

  7. I loved Wayne as Roman. I loved Drake as Roman. I’ve never really liked Josh as either Chris or Roman. He’s probably my one character bias. There are other characters I don’t particularly like (dull Daniel), but I don’t really have a strong aversion to them. Josh has played both characters as kind of “holier than thou” which I don’t like. I haven’t seen too much of him this go around, but that continues to be my lingering impression, and I can’t shake it. His Roman didn’t seem to “fit” like Wayne or Drake. The warmness under the tough guy doesn’t seem to be there (at least for me). Could just be lingering dislike from how mean Chris was to Steve in the begining! πŸ™‚

  8. I think when Roman returned it was originally Wayne so that is probably the only reason we got this storyline. I don’t remember how long he stayed or when Josh took over. I don’t remember as much of 1991-1995 as I do the 1980s. I was in college and not as devoted to DOOL as I was in high school. 1995 was when I stopped recording and watching regularly.

    • Yeah, Wayne’s Roman returned in 1991 (along with Marlena), which is when they revealed that Drake’s character wasn’t really Roman, but John Black, Man of a Thousand Pasts. Wayne-as-Roman stuck around until 1993-94, and after Belle was revealed to be John’s child and not his, he went off on some ISA mission. In 1997, they got word that Roman had been killed on a mission, and a few months later, Kristen interrupted John and Marlena’s wedding with a bandaged-up guy who turned out to be Roman, now played by Josh Taylor.

      And then Wayne Northrup reappeared in 2006 as Dr. Alex North, Marlena’s first husband about whom she had conveniently forgotten for 30 years. Oy.

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