Since this week picked up immediately after Friday's brilliant cliffhanger, let's chat for just a second about how things stood in the park and police station. Let's go back the park first, where Jennifer had just taken care of a bunch of business. Too bad it was none of her own.
I completely agree that Eric needed to hear the truth. However, Jennifer's involvement here positively reeks of "protecting" Daniel -- even more so than being honest with Eric. Jennifer preaches a lot about how Nicole gets Daniel to lie for her (as if he's not a grown man who can make his own decisions). So she didn't even bother talking with Daniel about what she overheard. And I can't help but think that if it were Rafe instead of Daniel in that room, arguing with Nicole, Jennifer wouldn't have gone running to Eric that second.
But forget Jennifer. Nicole is public enemy number one right now. I knew this day was coming. And if it weren't for another command performance, Greg Vaughan would have gotten my "Hot" this week. The sheer fact that this storyline held its own against the Gabi stuff (which involved a good chunk of the cast) is a testament to the brilliance of Arianne Zucker and Greg Vaughan. But he was really something special.
That kind of acting can't be easy. The story and character didn't allow for him to flail his arms, scream, and throw things across the room like most soap dudes do. Instead, he had to play Eric in a way that showed Eric so mad he could hardly move, paralyzed by a toxic blend of betrayal, heartbreak, and that pesky optimism that aches if it can't see the good in someone. The church dumped Eric without giving him the benefit of the doubt. Now the love of his life didn't believe in him enough, either, or so it seems.
We know that Nicole really just didn't believe in herself. She never has, and the constant judgment from Salem's finest citizens probably doesn't help matters. But low self-esteem or not, Nicole should have told him the truth. She was so close to getting it right this time. But she failed. Eric told her off. And Nicole deserved to hear it…well…most of it.
The only thing I'm utterly not okay with is blaming Nicole for other people's crimes -- specifically, Liam. That dude was a long-standing member of Team Nutbag. He was headed for Jennifer with a gun because Jennifer didn't love him back, not because Nicole kept quiet about seeing him in Daniel's building. And even coming forward with that information wouldn't have stopped Liam because until he confessed everything to Jennifer, the police wouldn't have had any hard evidence to charge Liam with any crime.
Besides, they'd be too busy, anyway, taking Gabi's confession. Yes, Gabi cellblock tangoed it up and explained to everyone how Nick had left her no choice. I loved it. DAYS didn't take the easy way out and have the murderer be a throwaway character.
And when you think about it, shooting Nick is pretty true to Gabi's character. Not because she's a killer, but because she has a pattern of taking extreme actions and not considering consequences. We saw it when she hired a "stalker" to get Chad away from Melanie. We saw it when she decided to deal with the pain of a crush's rejection by hopping into the unprotected sack with her out, gay ex-boyfriend. So, of course Gabi would think that the only thing she could do was shoot Nick.
And the confession got better from there. She killed Nick because he was trying to take Ari away from the people who loved her. Sure, it was a hard right turn after the months that she worked for the "Nick has changed!" campaign. Those re-edited scenes where Gabi overheard Nick threatening Sonny were a little too convenient. But I'll take it. I do like that she acknowledged that Kate and Sami were helping her this whole time, a sentiment to which I hope more than a few people named "Horton" and "Evans" will listen. And better yet, she confessed to the crime because she wanted to save Will. That may just be her saving grace.
E.J.'s use as her lawyer was brilliant as well. It's the right choice, since he already knows all of Gabi's secrets, and this relationship will protect him from being called to testify against her. And he proved his worth with the simple reminder that Nick only got four years for his murder, so Gabi could easily get a light sentence.
Rafe's scene with Gabi didn't disappoint either. Their relationship has always been the thing I found most genuine about both characters. When she finally said that she let Nick back in and she let him control her, Gabi and I made our peace. Those were words that Rafe (and I) needed to hear Gabi say.
And finally, Hope got some resolution as well. I loved that after hearing Gabi's full confession, Hope realized that wishing Nick had changed was just that -- a wish and not a reality. She showed a lot of character when she asked Marlena to talk to Gabi. And just as Hope was collapsing into despair because Bo wasn't around to talk to, Aiden showed up like some hunky angel and let her cry into his dimples. Aiden got a zillion awesome points for asking her a simple, "What's this like for you?" It was quite a beautiful little scene and one that I needed to see after weeks of the stone-faced Hope.
I assume that after an obligatory scolding from Julie and tears from Maggie, Gabi will be sent to a nice facility where they don't traffic organs and she can see Arianna from time to time. I'm okay with that. Going forward, this storyline does leave a few glorious soap nuggets on the table.
First, I have a hard time believing that E.J. was able to destroy all of Nick's copies of the pictures. The dude was a cyber genius who backed things up like none other. I wouldn't be surprised if Nick had one of those "in case of my death, release this file to the media" things. Oh, and that file will probably contain the Ejabigail photos as well.
Additionally, Gabi finally fessing up to hiring Andrew to stalk her (the look of "No s*&t!" on Hope's face was priceless) means that the agreement between Chad and Nick -- mainly the one fact that Sonny has been hiding from Will all these months -- can come out as well. That's a plus because a little drama is always good for keeping a couple front and center.
And I already like the future with Will and Sonny raising Arianna alone. "My two dads" is ripe with possibilities. I mean, aside from the whole fact that her mom is in prison and she's named after one dead aunt and another dead sorta-aunt, baby Ari's got a good setup with Sonny and Will now. Throw in Uncle Rafe, and it's very Three Men and a Little Lady.
If Ben and Jordan really don't want people to know they're related, they might want to stop calling each other "brother and sister" in public places like Club TBD. Everyone knows if you want a secret kept, you go discuss it in the catacombs of the Horton Square.
I love that E.J. told Abigail that someone had been arrested for Nick's murder just to point out that he was telling the truth about the hit man. That'll teach you to judge, Jennifer Jr.
Oh Abigail, honey. I know you're new/bad at this relationship thing, but sneaking a photo of a guy and then Photoshoping his image into a different picture is not the best way to get a guy's attention. I mean, unless the guy is a therapist for stalkers anonymous, in which case, you got this, girl!
I guess since Kate vacated that role a few years ago, someone had to fill the role of parent meddling with their adult child's love life. Enter John Black. Look, I get the whole "protecting your kid" thing. But it has to entertain me. As @Tony_S_Days said last week, John's whole return (if you can even call it that) has been a sloppy string of the same scene over and over again, which, coincidentally is a repeat of the same scenes we saw for almost all of last year. So, truth be told, Brady's fist summed up my whole attitude about this storyline when it met with John's face.
Ladies and gentlemen, Camila Banus. The gal was brilliant as Gabi collapsed into madness and then settled into an eerie peace with what she had done. When she offered the line, "I think it was better that he knew it was me," as some sort of a silver lining to this whole thing, I was hooked. I couldn't get enough Gabi -- crazy, illogical, only-in-my-world Gabi. I bought every ounce of her pain, and my eyes teared up when Will told her that Arianna wanted her mama. Finally, I almost stood up and applauded when she cut Abigail off at the pass, saying, "Don't say anything until you know the truth." Camilla masterfully steered Gabi through a range of emotions, yet kept me captivated the entire time. Bravo, Ms. Banus. So very well done.
Hey Marlena, nope, Sami doesn't want to tell you a darn thing. You know why? Because there's no such thing as mom/daughter confidentiality, and since you were not serving as her doctor, you could easily be calle d to testify against Sami, Will, Sonny, and their families. So, go purse those lips somewhere else.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Sami: "Now, did we all learn something today? Like, to not confess to crimes we didn't commit??"
Sonny (to Gabi): "No, no. Listen to E.J." I mean, how often does a character deliver that line with 100% sincerity? It had to be noted.
My mother thought that Jennifer looked very much Alice Horton in that blush pantsuit and bouffant hairdo.
Nice reaction shot out of Alison Sweeney during Gabi's initial confession.
There are enough characters that throw shade at E.J. We don't need an under-five to do it too. But thanks for your enthusiasm, D.A. Jenkens.
Oh, Hope. I'd like to see who did or didn't deserve to die if someone tried to take your kid away.
That's the biggest bowl of chili cheese fries I've ever seen.
Ah! They mentioned Dario! I remember him!
If Hope had this evidence against Gabi, why was she willing to let Will sign a confession?
I'm not even the least bit mad at the Midol commercial. If companies are willing to pay money to my favorite show for a few seconds of advertising and that money helps keep my show on the air, I'm glad to watch it. Plus, it's a neat throwback to why they're called "soap" operas in the first place.
Though, I do think that Kleenex would have been a better sponsor since everyone was crying this week!
Hey, Brady, a lot of voicemail programs will give you the option to listen to your message, and possibly rerecord it if you want to take another pass at it.
When Rafe barged into the station and yelled at Hope and E.J. without any of the facts, I saw for the first time why he and Sami got along.
With Sonny needing to take some time away from the club, does this mean we'll get more T?
I wonder what F.O.B. (Friend of Bev) is back in town? A SORASed Joy Wesley, Steven Hawk, or J.T.? Her Aunt Eve Donovan? (Totally speculating)
And that's it for now! Tony will be back next week after he returns from West Salem. He graciously decided to go console Dario and Mama Hernandez, since Rafe didn't realize that those were kinda in-person convos. That Tony. He's always thinking.
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