Serena, I think, is ill-named. The character is at her best not when she’s serene but when she’s a little unhinged. Her name makes me think of this Seinfeld episode, though, which is strangely appropriate.
I was cheering today (8/13) because Serena asked Daniel if he would keep her secret (about bugging the confessional). That means it is sure to come out. I don’t know why I doubted it. I think I’ve gotten so used to this triangle/quad being completely conflict free, that I thought this would fizzle out too, or be forgotten.
“Serenity now … serenity now … serenity now.”
I also loved when Nicole saw Daniel hugging Serena. At first I wished that Nicole had seen Eric hugging her instead (it’s hug Serena day!). That would make her jealousy more about Eric than Daniel. But, this might be better. I hope she quizzes Daniel so relentlessly about it, that he’ll tell her the truth about Serena’s visit, and the recording.
Or — my preferred scenario — Daniel will tell her just enough to suggest Serena has something, and Nicole will go investigate the rest. Because what would be really great and soapy would be for Nicole to listen to Serena’s recording. Could she hear Eric’s heartfelt avowal of love and remain committed to Daniel? Well, of course she will, because this triangle isn’t going to end that quickly. But it would give her something to think about (and, hopefully, have repeated flashbacks to).
And, of course she would decide that Eric deserved to know the truth too (so altruistic!) and she would go tell him. That is a scene I really want to see.
I was honestly moved by the Nicole/Maggie scene earlier this week, when Maggie told her that she wasn’t just going to “tolerate” her, she would consider her family. Nicole practically melted into a puddle at Maggie’s feet at being accepted, and embraced, at last. This is something she never got from Eric’s family when they were together. Then today, Jennifer’s visit was the icing on the cake, with her talk about being friends. This adds another layer to what Daniel is giving Nicole: a respected place in a society where she has always been an outcast.
Eric is, of course, a respectable member of the community too. But would this fragile acceptance remain hers if she dumps her fiance and runs off with another man, even if he is a great guy? I think Nicole would say no — and not just no but hell, no. It was painful to hear Nicole say that she and Eric would have been a “disaster” and it has always been Daniel for her – that that’s why she retaliated against Jennifer the way she did, when Daniel chose her. (I loved that Jennifer corrected her, gently, saying she thought it was actually her distress about losing her baby.) But it worked.
If Nicole stays with Daniel, she has a man who loves her and has proven he can forgive her when she makes mistakes. His family has pledged to accept her. Society seems to be smiling on her. And, most of all, she has a child she can love.
If, on the other hand, she breaks her engagement and goes off with Eric, she’ll have no child, society’s condemnation, and an uncertain future with a man who turned his back on her once before.
Whoa, I almost just talked myself into it.
So, they are doing an excellent job setting up Daniel as the safe choice. I would also argue that no character on the canvas has more to lose than Nicole in choosing the risky option. Brady said this week that Theresa was alone, without a support system. That’s only true if you ignore the fact that she’s related to everyone in town. For Nicole, it is true. She’s never had support that wasn’t conditional, or didn’t come with strings attached, or wasn’t withdrawn when she needed it most.
Now let’s see how they do with the second half of the equation: what happens when, with every reason to stay with Daniel, she finds herself hopelessly drawn to Eric, and haunted by memories of their time together. Can she throw it all away for love?