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 her — 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.