As an Ericole fan, I’m in heaven right now. And hell. But mostly heaven.

Brief though the reunion will be, the show pulled out all the stops for it. When was the last time we saw a whole episode devoted to an estranged couple’s heartfelt confession and hashing out of past misunderstandings, followed by two episodes of them in bed together?


Shipper reactions aside, it was such good, satisfying soap. The juxtaposition of the Ericole reunion scenes with Brady fretting about Nicole’s whereabouts was particularly well structured. When he said bitterly to John, “It seemed my brother knew what Nicole needed more than I did,” and the show cut to Eric laying Nicole down on the bed … well, nuff said.

Their hash it out conversation was very good, and Greg and Ari both played the hell out of it, particularly the final exchange before their kiss. (I do so love an angsty “we shouldn’t do this but we can’t resist” scene.) It all went a long way to fix the sad hatchet job that Dena and Josh did on Ericole, though “I’ve wanted this for so long” worked a lot better for him than it did for her. I would rather they had written her lines more like, “How could I have been so blind?” But that is a mere quibble.

When Nicole went to break the news to Brady, I actually think the dialogue was even better. First of all, as I said last time, dark Brady is so much more compelling than nice guy Brady. Eric Martsolf played to the hilt Brady’s cynical bitterness at this whole true love reunion. His snide comments were nevertheless on point: “Oh, the passion just overwhelmed you, you just had to hit the sack.” Well … yeah.

So, painful as it all was, it was also somehow refreshing. Because it feels like things are back in their proper place at last, compared to the last two years, where Ericole and their history were simply erased. I particularly liked when Nicole said that her hatred of Eric was a wall, keeping her from facing the truth that she loved the man who killed Daniel. I said in my last post that her forgiveness of Eric was like a dam bursting, so I’m glad to see Ron hitting the same point. And Brady pretty much summed it up when he sneered in response: “There’s a thin line between love and hate, isn’t there?” Well said, Brady.

All in all, it was a perfect way to write out Nicole: use the Deimos murder, have a full-fledged Ericole reunion (that still leaves Eric free for another pairing), take Brady in a different direction, leave open the possibility for Nicole to return (in nine months with a babe in arms, perhaps? Just saying). The broken relationship between Brady and Eric should be a gold mine for quite some time.

Contrast this to Theresa’s exit, which in some ways this resembles. An old boyfriend of hers, who just happens to be a Mexican drug lord, shows up with no connection to anything, and we have to swallow that Shane and Kim would allow their daughter to whore herself out to him indefinitely in order to bring him down. And as far as we know, she’s still there, right? I was never a huge fan of the character, but for those who were, what a slap in the face.

The only really compelling part about Theresa’s exit was when she had to lie to Brady and pretend she didn’t love him (very soapy, and presumably Nicole will be doing the same with Eric next week). Of course, to get the most drama out of it, there should have been major fallout for Brady from believing that lie … but instead he hardly mentioned her at all. What a waste.

I should say: he never mentioned her, until this week, when Ron made a solid attempt to tie together Brady’s treatment at the hands of Kristen and Theresa with his treatment of Nicole now. Brady had a great line when he said that after Theresa and Kristen, he was going to turn his best friend, Nicole, into the love of his life, and she would never let him down. What a great way to make this a cumulative response to those experiences, and to retroactively explain the sudden change in Brady’s feelings for Nicole last winter!

At any rate, my only worry now is that Ron set all this up merely as a good way to write Nicole out, and won’t properly deal with the fallout. Eric should not be willing to take Nicole’s exit at face value, and Brady needs to stay dark for awhile and then he actually has to PAY for this crap. We’ll see … being a long term Days viewer does make one cautious! But for now, I literally cannot imagine how it could have been better. How often can I say that?

Screencaps Joanie


10 thoughts on “Payoff

  1. The show is just superb right now. I’m glad you keyed in on Brady’s line about Kristen and Theresa. For so long, Brady has just pinged from fiancée to fiancée, each one the love of his life. They could have either chosen to make him really introspective about that or have him lash out. I’m really glad they went with the latter and I’m ready for Brady to become 80s/90s Victor.

    Ericole were never my favorite couple, but they were on fire this week. I loved when Eric and Marlena were talking and she made some kind of allusion to not being able to let go of a long-time love. Such good use of history and foreshadowing at the same time!

    • I LOVE the idea of Brady as a mini-Victor. Please let him stay like this for awhile! As I said in my post, I don’t want all this hand waved away because he started drinking again. Yes, he’s starting to sneak alcohol, but he’s very much in control of his action. And Eric M is sooooo much more interesting this way.

      I really liked Marlena’s sympathetic reaction to Eric and the implied Jarlena/Ericole connection too, though I also liked Dee’s totally nonplussed expression when he first said he and Nicole were back together. LOL.

  2. Very happy that you liked the scenes Mary !! Oh, how I wish that, 2 years ago,S & K had an entire episode devoted to them hashing out their issues after he came back after abandoning them in Africa. Don’t even get me started about having 2 episodes of them in bed—–I would have been in heaven !!! 🙂 Side note, they seem to be getting this Dena treatment—-where one episode Kayla is mad, then not, then mad—-like how they were going in circles for like a year–UGH !! Finally—am I the only one over the whole Sami is back hysteria ? I like her & my daughter LOVES her Hallmark movies, but let’s not act like she is the second coming !

    • I am so frustrated with the fallout from the Tripp/Joey-killed-Ava story. Steve and Kayla got two days of great, layered emotional scenes around Joey’s departure, and then … nothing. It’s fine to go on the back burner for a bit, but not right after a major emotional upheaval that led to an estrangement. And now Steve and Kayla seem fine again. Gotta love offscreen reconciliations.

      Also, I don’t think Ron realized what a mistake he made going for the big moment with Tripp holding a scalpel to Kayla’s throat. I mean, fine if that creates a big split for Tripp with Steve and Kayla both rejecting him. But they are basically not addressing that at all and are only playing the “Joey had to pay and Tripp didn’t” angle. I’m trying to get over it because I want to still enjoy Steve and Kayla and give Tripp a chance, but it’s difficult.

  3. Hey Mary. Firstly, just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your synopsis of the show. I initially found your blog earlier this year after a random search for 80’s Steve & Kayla stuff …your detailed story line of their history, along with your thoughts and breakdown of the characters was such an awesome read! Put me right back in that time zone and renewed my interest in Days/Steve & Kayla – so, big thanks for that!

    Ok, secondly. I don’t put myself out there to comment on things usually, but after the recent Ericole fireworks I was keen to hear your spin on it. I have to say I agree with everything you said – the editing was great, really helping the story flow along. Greg and Ari just zing together on screen and I was so happy to see/hear dialogue between them addressing their past/history. It felt to me like there’d been some work put in to try and amend the mess of the previous years – which I thought was great (thank-you Ron/writers etc!). I’m a bit frustrated that as Ari has left we won’t get to enjoy the Eric and Nicole possibilities, but I’m content at how this has (so far) played out. Like you, I hope the fall out from this story line continues.

    Oh, and finally, Days seems to be reintroducing little ‘set-ups’ within everyone’s stories, helping weave characters together – which I really like. Reminds me of 80’s Days …except with a bit more pace!

    (Yikes, sorry this is so long. Got a bit carried away)

    Anyway, keep on blogging because you tell a good tale!

    Cheers, Max

    • Thank you, Max!

      I’m glad you enjoyed my Steve and Kayla recap/retelling. I had a lot of fun doing that.

      It was so gratifying to have that Ericole reunion, as painfully brief as it was, because it righted so many wrongs of the last few years. It’s ironic to me that I finally started shipping another couple (it was the Furnace of Love that got me, though I went back and watched their earlier story in clips) right before the show shot them to hell.

      Ron is doing a great job with the story pacing and integration of the cast, balancing the comedic moments with the more serious soapy drama. It feels like the stories have momentum, the characters feel real again. I still have characters that I haven’t warmed up to again after Dena did her dirty work, but I’m slowly getting pulled into the show as a whole, which is great.

  4. What a great post. You’ve broken this down much better than I was going to attempt to! Even as a non-shipper (in general), it has never, ever made sense to me why they moved the focus away from Ericole as the rooting couple. That entire furnace incident in summer 2015 was primed to have Nicole choose Daniel anyway — as the safe choice, with the built-in family, because she still felt judged and hurt for Eric — and then have Ericole pining for one another as her wedding approached. I’m really impressed at how they’ve managed to turn a bunch of disparate, almost-random threads into what feels like a complete narrative. And on a number of logistical levels, as you point out, this exit for Nicole makes sense because it pushes things forward.

    • Thanks, mykleraus! I totally agree about the summer 2015 Ericole furnace of love scenes — it seemed a clear setup for exactly what you describe. The built in family with Daniel would especially be a draw given Nicole’s childlessness. I do think that was likely what Tomsell were setting up, but Josh and Dena, as we know, took the story in a different direction.

      I think Ron made a somewhat risky decision writing Nicole off this way, because if she doesn’t come back, it’s a sad end for the character, as you said over on your blog. (Better than Theresa, though — at least we could imagine Nicole getting over her lost love and being happy raising her daughter.) But I honestly think he’s hoping she’ll come back, and writing it this way leaves lots of juicy threads hanging that are crying out to be picked up. Leaving these threads hanging might even be a way of luring her back.

      • You might be right about RC’s hopes for the character. There are so many threads left… not hanging, because it isn’t being done sloppily, but threads ready to be pulled. I was pretty staunchly against a recast back when AZ’s departure was announced (both because I really enjoy her and because I felt the character needed a major rest), but I think I’d be open to it in a year or so, if the story were right…

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