Goodbye Eric

“Boss, we have a popular legacy character, a member of a core family. His parents are both on the show, his mom especially is one of the powerhouses of daytime.”

“Anything else?”

“He was in a very popular pairing, with a loyal fanbase. That actress is still on the show, and her character is currently unattached.”

“I don’t know, established couples are too hard to write for. There’s no story.”

“In this case, he just accidentally killed her fiance. Plus there are plenty of issues from their first love story that were dropped.”

“Okay, but can he act?”

“Yes, he’s a fantastic emotive actor, and he’s drop dead handsome to boot.”

“Eh … get rid of him.”


Very angry now.

Days makes head scratching decisions all the time, but this has got to be one of the most boneheaded. Aside from Ericole, Eric is just a really good character. As a former priest searching for a new vocation, there are many stories that could have come from that. He’s one of those characters that is “good” without being boring or smug. Greg can play romantic, tortured, conflicted, sexy … he’s genuinely the whole package!

I am not one of those people who sees everything through the lens of Is It Good For My Couple?, so I feel pretty confident saying that they dumped Ericole for … nothing much. Nicole is drifting around aimlessly. She’s starting her business (and I’m all in favor of that), she’s bonding with Theresa, which I like. She’s mourning Daniel … eh, necessary I suppose, but that can’t last forever. She was an obstacle for Theresa and Brady, but not really. She had drinks with Dario a couple of times, now she’s suddenly a dead ringer for Helena, Deimos’s lost love. It all feels so ad hoc, like there is no real plan for her

Last summer Chabby and Ericole were the two things that were working really well when the new writing team took over. I have to admit it bothers me that Kate Mansi wanted to leave, but Chabby got the big supercouple story anyway (which is continuing even now, giving her a grand exit). Greg Vaughan, on the other hand, wanted to stay, but got nothing for Eric or Ericole. Why, Days, why??

I’m glad this exit story is giving Greg some interesting material, but in the grand scheme of his character it all feels a little random. He’s been in love with Nicole for his entire run on the show, so let’s give him a sendoff story with Jennifer! Also, it’s not getting nearly enough airtime. Greg is certainly playing the heck out of it, though. His scenes yesterday with Roman, Marlena, and Jennifer were all excellent. I liked how they managed to elide the silliness of Roman covering for everyone in town EXCEPT HIS OWN SON by having Eric insist that he doesn’t want special treatment and he wants to serve his time. Greg did a great job showing Eric’s fear, self-loathing, and determination to pay for what he did.

My favorite part was the short scene with Jennifer — though again, it was not nearly long enough! If I can’t have an Ericole scene (CAN’T YOU EVEN THROW US A BONE, WRITERS?), I’m glad it looks like Eric is at least getting some nooky before heading off to the slammer. I liked how Jennifer talked about being the good girl, who always does the right thing, and yet life still manages to kick you in the teeth. Eric certainly can identify with that, and the visual of the two goody-goodies slugging back wine and then kissing sloppily was golden. When they got up, I thought they were going to the bedroom, but instead they headed out the front door. Were they just so wasted they couldn’t find the bedroom, or has the bed shortage gotten so bad that people can’t even go to one offscreen? Or maybe Jen feels the best place for Horton Golden Girl to get laid is in the middle of the Horton Town Square. Why not?


14 thoughts on “Goodbye Eric

  1. I had to work late so I haven’t even seen yesterday’s show yet but I still wanted to comment on the overall situation. I have to believe that there was a behind the scenes issue that lead to a lot of what has happened on screen. Some fans have speculated that Ari didn’t want to continue working with Greg. Some have speculated that when Greg got a divorce then Shawn no longer wanted Ari working with Greg. I do know that Greg has made some comments about the show that writers and/or producers could have taken offense too. I not sure any comments he made were worth firing him over but I am not privy to what kind of interactions and egos people have so I have no clue what actually happened but letting Greg go is a loss for fans and the show.

    I am not an Ericole fan. I didn’t really see the Ericole story but I do know that Nicole would be the undisputed town tramp if Kate were not also in Salem. During the years when I was only an occasional viewer I saw her bedding half the town and I did see several shows when Eric thought she had raped him. Eric is a complex character and there is tons of potential for story with him. I actually found the Jeneric pairing to be intriguing. That is probably because I found to be unpredictable and I like that but this is really one of those stories that was completely half-assed. I feel like half of their content must have wound up on the editing room floor because there is no way it could have been written this poorly to begin with.

    • I have heard some of those rumors too. In regards to the Ari/Shawn rumors, my intial reaction is to dismiss the idea that any soap actor could dictate story — I don’t think soap actors have much power. I know Mary Beth told a story of what she had to do to get a line changed, and how thrilled she was that she was listened to — for just a line of dialogue! To me it stretches my credulity to think Ari or Shawn could force TPTB to change a whole story that dramatically.

      Now, it could be that they didn’t want to keep Greg anyway, then they might humor an actor’s preference. But that brings me back to my initial reaction — why didn’t they want to keep Greg?? Because it doesn’t make sense to me. I know he’s criticized some story but I haven’t seen anything particularly offensive — especially since, if we’re talking writers, the ones he criticized were not the ones who decided to let him go.

      It will never make sense to me, I guess!

      And I agree this whole Jen/Eric thing has been pretty half-assed. I like the bits that we get, but it hasn’t been on enough for me to feel like it’s a real, coherent story. Two goody-goodies going down the road of addiction together could be such a great story. But it’s been given really short shrift.

      • I know I keep complaining about all the cuts but we were supposed to have S&K FLASHBACKS on Monday and they were cut! I am trying to convince myself that someone has decided we need an entire episode dedicated to S&K and they are saving the flashbacks for that but I know that’s highly unlikely…LOL. The spoilers apparently said something about reminiscing but I have no idea if they were supposed to be reminiscing together or if Steve was just going to have the flashbacks while sitting on the park bench but Jason47 listed the flashbacks on his Facebook page….

        Here’s a list of the flashbacks that were scheduled to air on Monday’s episode, but were cut:
        5366 (12/1/86) – Steve zips up Kayla’s dress.
        5502 (6/10/87) – Steve feeds Kayla fruit while she takes a bubble bath.
        5504 (6/12/87) – They accidentally set off the sprinklers in the honeymoon suite.
        5646 (12/31/87) – They kiss in a hay wagon.
        5758 (6/7/88) – They share a romantic dance on the rooftop.
        5792 (7/26/88) – Steve gives Kayla an anchor necklace.
        6008 (5/26/89) – On location, Steve surprises Kayla with a picnic.
        10460 (12/11/06) – Steve and Kayla fall back onto the bed, they make love.
        12735 (12/10/15) – Steve asks her to marry him again.

      • Aw, that really sucks. I would have loved to see all those flashbacks. I wonder, like you say, what the context would have been.

        I can’t complain about Steve and Kayla too much since they have been getting some really good stuff lately, but a pro tip for the show is not to say they are going to do something if they aren’t going to do it! This shouldn’t be hard.

        (P.S. I have to point out this is one benefit of not reading spoilers. 🙂 Can’t miss what you don’t know is supposed to be there!)

      • Shea,
        I was also very unhappy about Monday’s Steve and Kayla cuts as well. I DVR days and when I watch it there is a brief summary of that day’s show. I was so excited when I read something like S and K reminisce about the past, but was quickly disappointed. Now we haven’t seen them since Monday.
        I do agree with everything you said, MP, about Eric. What a waste! He has done a fantastic job and will be missed.

  2. It’s really kind of unfathomable to me how they could let Greg go. I don’t think I’ll ever understand it either. It seems to me that they just didn’t know how to write for him, but how can that be? MP listed all the pros in her post, and I really don’t see any CONS, unless there is something we don’t know about. Does Greg garner a huge wage? I can’t believe he could be THAT expensive to keep. The thing about Eric to me is that he is such an “anti-man” character. A sweet, sensitive soul. A goody goody (as has been said) turned down the wrong path because of a crisis of faith. There is so much meaty stuff with him that they have just never explored. I liked the idea of pairing him with Jen (though I did prefer Ericole). I liked the idea of him struggling to find a vocation, and I liked he idea of him struggling with his faith in god. If it were me, I’d have given HIM Daniel’s heart, and written a story around that. Oh well. I kind of selfishly hoped GH would pick him up as Lucky Spencer (who he played in the past – very well), but doesn’t look like that is happening.

    A lot of wasted talent here folks. Why why why? All I can do is wish him great luck, and hope he succeeds in future endeavors! A real loss for Days though…

    • He’s got to be more expensive than, say, the new teens, but I can’t see him being much more than Vincent Irizarry or Jordan Vilasuso, both of whom just joined the cast. I don’t know, I need to stop torturing myself trying to make sense of it!

      I was open to a temporary pairing with Jen — as I said above I think the idea that these two good characters go down the dark side together is a compelling one. But with Greg leaving, and the lack of airtime, it’s not being fully explored. I think it could have been a great detour for the character, though, before eventually reuniting Ericole. I remember you said once that Greg and Mary Beth were the rare actors that could play character who were truly good without being smug.

      I love that he’s good but deep and complex, there is lots of potential material here. Even his reasons for drinking were very sketchily presented. What a waste!

      • It’s so hard to play “GOOD.” For most actors, I’m sure it’s much more fun to play the bad boy or girl,,and I do think it’s very rare to have a truly good character that remains compelling to the audience without coming off as holier than thou (see latter day Daniel). I think it’s even harder for a man to play that kind of character without coming off as wimpy or emasculated. I always loved how even though Greg is so handsome, his Eric was very self-effacing and modest, almost shy sexually. If they could have kept him, they really could have explored something with him going “dark-side” for a bit, becoming a bit of the bad boy, then finding his way through that to a different persona.

  3. I never watched Days during the Eric/Nicole pairing so I have no reference or emotional connection to Eric, but I did see some nice scenes with him during this past story and I was intrigued in the Jen/Eric let’s lean on each other thru our addiction but it has been so choppy and nothing was really played to fruition.

    Lucas mentioned that something happened and Jen was acting weird in the Horton Square but we never saw what it was. Also Jen and Eric run out the door to somewhere and the I guess Eric is never seen again?

    And even though I wasn’t around for the Eric/Nicole story I still wanted to see a final conversation between Eric and Nicole before he was whisked off to jail. Even although I am sick of hearing about Daniel in the context of she is still mad at him for causing the accident that killed Daniel.

    Just all over choppy, choppy, choppy stories.

    • The incident in the square was another cut scene. The recaps included a description for the day it was supposed to have aired but basically Chad ran into Jennifer in the Square while Abby was torturing Ben. Jen was supposed to be acting weird and slurring her speech so Chad called Lucas. It is just sloppy that they left references in the recaps and they had both Lucas and Chad mention the incident in 2 different scenes but they cut the scene from the show.

  4. Couldn’t have said it any better. I came back to Days in late 2012 shortly before Eric returned to Salem. I thought the storyline between Eric and Nicole was wonderfully written up until the aftermath of unending hate after he left the priesthood. The storyline with Sabrina was forced and never really took off. And just when it seemed that the former writers were getting things back on track with the furnace scenes in June 2015, then new writers came on board and suddenly Dr. Dan became the love of Nicole’s life? None of it worked, not even his death with all of the worshipping that went on afterward. It was as if Eric and NIcole’s entire history had suddenly been rewritten and it made no sense. Just really sad to lose the great chemistry between Greg and Ari as actors, and especially to see Eric’s character literally torn apart.

  5. I hope there is a chance that Eric returns and rebuilds his life in Salem. I would like to see him regain his faith – maybe not return to the priesthood but be some type of moral touchstone for folks. There was chemistry between Jen and Eric that could be rekindled on his return.

    I would have liked to have seen a scene between Maggie and Eric. I don’t know if she could have given him forgiveness but she would have some understanding of his problems. She had an accident while driving drunk with Janice in the car.

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