Monday, November 29, 2010

Nov. 29 Day Ahead

I used to be a big fan of the original Law & Order (until Jerry Orbach left, that is), but after a couple of seasons it became evident that there was a formula to each episode.

1.  If things are going too well for the prosecution, in the end a wild card will be whipped out to turn everything on its ear.

2.  If things are going lousy for the prosecution, in the end a wild card will be whipped out to turn everything on its ear.

3.  If everyone is one hundred percent certain of a person's guilt, that person is usually not the one who actually committed the crime.

4.  Nine out of ten times McCoy will get a defendant to snap and confess, either in court or behind the scenes (usually because they've written themselves into a corner and it's the only way out.

Things have been sort of happening the same way here Salem.

Things had been going very badly for EJ and now things aren't.  Things were going very well for Sami, and now they're not.

I think it's important to note that EJ remains alone in all of this.  Whether he's winning or losing, he continues to operate alone.  He refused the heavy-handed help his father offered.  The only friend he had who relentlessly fought on his side is dead.  Yes, he's "winning" right now but, as the spoilers say, it's a victory that is bittersweet.  He's the lonely king way up on his thrown.  Sami, on the other hand, is the biggest loser right now (yep, I went there).  However, Sami is surrounded by family working 'round the clock to get her out of this mess she finds herself in.  EJ and Sami are going to have to meet up somewhere in the middle.  Sami can't redeem herself unless it's through EJ, and vice-versa.

I'm not sure I understand why everyone is up-in-arms about EJ being a big douche bag right now.  I'm not sure I think he's being a douche bag given what he's been through, but let's just say I agree and think he's being a "heartless bastard" (Sami and Rafe's two favourite words these days).  If what we spec is going to happen happens, this is the only way to get there.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to see long, tedious custody battle bullshit anymore (if I ever did).  And yes, I am also very tired of Sami and EJ using their kids to hurt eachother.  If this is all going to lead to an explosion (and subsequent napping), the hurt is going to have to come hard and fast (think the end of the Beatles' A Day in the Life).  Hard and fast in the land of DOOL is still too slow for me, but it's the best they're going to be able to do, and I accept that.

So sit back and enjoy watching EJ be a dick, Sami be an egocentric hag, and Rafe be Roman.  It all leads to good things in the end.


In the Dimansion.

Rafe has decided that the best way to win EJ over is to show up dressed like Dylan McKay and insult him.

Rafe:  Face it, EJ - Johnny, Will, Allie, Sydney...they all have a bond.  And it doesn't just disappear because Daddy wins and Mommy loses.  So how 'bout it?  For their sake - you think we can come up with some sort of agreement?  At least for the holidays?

EJ sighs.  For half a second it looks like he might relent - if you've never watched the show a day in your life, that is.  EJ responds, speaking slowly with an exaggerated annuciation as though he's speaking to a child or a chimp.

EJ:  No, Rafe.  Never.

Rafe snorts (and smirks), not looking surprised.

EJ:  Let me be clear.  My son and daughter will have no relationship with Samantha or any of her other children.

Rafe proceeds to have a second go at it.  He sounds very much like a kid trying to convince a friend of his to take his father's car out for a spin while the parents are away on vacation.

Rafe:  Come on, EJ, man!  Come on!  We're talking 'bout the kids here!  Do you want the kids to suffer?

EJ (ignoring Rafe's...pleas, I guess):  If Samantha has any contact with them - and I mean any contact whatsoever - she goes to prison.  Am I making myself clear, young Rafe?  As far as Johnny and Sydney are concerned, their mother is dead.


Outside the DiMera mansion.

Nicole sits and plays with Sydney.  Sami lurks nearby, making as good a job of it as Rafe usually does.

Nicole (to Sydney):  My little doll is thirsty (too easy).  How about yours?  How about some tea?  Would you like a little tea?

Sami smiles and tears up at the sight of Sydney.  She makes a move towards her but Nicole quickly gets to her feet to stop her, looking more worried for Sami than anything else.

Nicole:  Sami...Sami, stop.  Look - EJ doesn't want you anywhere near his house or his daughter.

Sami ignores Nicole, waving at Sydney over her shoulder.

Sami:  She's my daughter.  And no one's going to keep me from her.

Nicole:  Sami, don't be a fool, okay?  If EJ finds you here it will not be good.

Sami (unmoved):  Give me my baby.


At the DiMansion.

EJ walks Rafe to the door.  Rather, EJ walks towards the door and opens it, taking advantage of the fact that Rafe just loves following people around.

Rafe:  Look, EJ.  Cutting Sami off from Johnny and gotta know what it's gonna do to them.  The kids!  Just think about the kids, EJ!  Come on!

EJ:  Finished?

EJ gestures to the open door, waiting for him to leave.  He'd have better luck if he tossed a tennis ball out into the front yard for Rafe to chase.  Or maybe a bottle of beer.  Or someone else's child.

Rafe:  Listen - all I'm asking you to do is to cut Will and Allie a little slack.

At the mention of the W-word, EJ springs back to life.

EJ:  Oh.  Cut Will and Allie a bit of slack.  Why would I do that?  Take William, for example.  William knew that his mother shot me, and then he helped her cover it up.  Now as for Allie, Samantha is just going to use her to position herself better with Sydney and Johnny.  She's going to play this role of the poor put-upon mother and cast me as some horrible, mean villain.

Rafe:  She would never use Allie.

EJ (smiling):  She...she would never use Allie.  Rafe, she uses everyone.  That's why you're here, isn't it?

Rafe smirks.  I know DOOL is on a budget, but I will donate money out of my own pocket to buy this guy a second facial expression.


Outside the DiMansion.

Sami continues to try to make her way over to Sydney.  Nicole continues to stand in her way.

Nicole:  Sami, how does this not compute?  If you don't stay away, EJ is really going to be angry.

Sami:  You are not taking my daughter away from me again, Nicole.  Get out of my way.

She doesn't.  She ducks in front of Sami again.

Because this is pretty much yet another filler episode, Sami makes no other move towards Sydney.  She just continues to smile and wave at her from behind a nervous-looking Nicole.  Two minutes of my life that I'll wish I had back when I'm ninety and on my deathbed.  Actually, an hour I'll wish I had back when I'm ninety and on my deathbed.


At the DiMansion.

EJ:  Listen to me, and listen hard.  Because these are my final words on this matter.  There will be no contact, ever.  Accidental, intentional, nothing.  There will be no phonecalls, there will be no drop-ins on Christmas Day.  There will be no visits on birthdays.  There will be no presents.  If you send a present, I will burn it.  (Smiling)  Okay?  Are we clear now?

Rafe tries to whip out the big gun (not that one - we saw enough of that at the beginning of September and throughout much of October).  EJ can see what's coming from a mile away.

EJ (rolling his eyes):  Oh, for pity's sake.

Rafe holds out a picture of all four kids standing side-by-side.

Rafe:  I want you to look at this.  Look at this.  They're a family, EJ.

EJ sighs and takes the picture from Rafe's hands.  He tears it in half, tucking the piece with Johnny and Sydney on it into his jacket pocket and placing the rest of the picture on a table nearby.

EJ:  Well, not anymore.


Outside the DiMansion.

Sydney continues to play with her dolls, remaining oblivious to the (alleged) drama happening nearby.

Nicole:  Okay, Sami.  Back off.  You're going to upset Sydney and that is not fair to her.

Sami:  Nicole, I --

Sami presses her lips together and seethes.  Nicole turns her attention to Sydney, kneeling down beside her.

Nicole (to Sydney, smiling):  Hey, Sweetheart.  I tell ya what - why don't you go over to your little doll carriage and I'll be there in a few minutes.  We'll go get some more dolls.  How does that sound?  Okay - I'll meet you there.

Sydney wanders off.  Sami watches walk away.

Sami:  You are unbelievable Nicole.  You come crawling back to EJ - what?  To get on his good side?

Nicole:  You left me no choice.  Look, I gave you a chance to keep this between us --

Sami:  A chance?  You gave me, like, two seconds!  And then you go to EJ.  After everything he's done to you!  Have you forgotten about the way he threw you out on your ass?  How he kicked Sydney out when he found out she wasn't his?  I mean, Anna knocked you unconscious!  He treated you like scum!  He had you sent to prison!

Honestly, Sami?

 Nicole:  Woah, woah.  Excuse me.  The way I remember it is you and your police department family had alot to do with sending me to Statesville.

Sami:  Because you kidnapped her!

Oh, how I've missed you.

Nicole:  Yeah, well...the govenor pardoned me for that mistake.  And EJ forgave me.  Or have you missed the whole point here, Sami?  You're trespassing.  You have been banned from seeing Johnny or Sydney.  And I am here because EJ wants me here.

Sami (looking at her with disbelief):  No way!  You are here because you gave him that camera!

Nicole:  No.  No, it's bigger than that.  It's about Sydney.

Sami:  What are you talking about?

Nicole:  EJ sees how she reacts with me.  How she smiles when I walk in the room, and throws her little arms around me.

Sami looks increasingly more and more hurt.  I gotta say, I am eating it up like chocolate pudding.

Nicole:  Sydney and I have a deep connection, and we always will.

Sami (whispering):  You are insane.

Nicole:  No.  You're jealous.  And you're insecure, because she's never loved you the way she loves me.  And that's the simple truth.


At the DiMansion.

Rafe takes back the other half of the picture EJ just tore up.  He puts it in his pocket and smiles.

Rafe:  That was classy.

Too easy.

Rafe:  Obviously you don't give a damn about these kids.

EJ:  I do, Rafe.  You see, I think this whole situation will affect them positively.  I'm protecting them from a destructive and highly-emotional mother.  

Rafe (laughing):  Oh, yeah?  Really.

EJ:  They're very happy here.  And in time their mother and their brother and sister will recede in their memories.

Rafe:  "Will recede --"?!  Where do you come up with this crap?

I've also noticed that Rafe loves the word "crap".  I can't help associating one with the other after hearing him say it so many times.  But then, I've been associated the word "crap" with Rafe long before I noticed how often he says it.

EJ:  Well, one moves on.  See, I'd imagine that you're still in a tremendous amount of pain over the death of your sister.

Rafe looks like he doesn't know who EJ is talking about.  Sister?

EJ:  But in a few years, that pain will lessen.  And in time, you'll get some perspective.

Rafe:  Is that a fact?

EJ:  Nature helps us heal by making us forget.  Johnny and Sydney will eventually forget about their mother.  So, I suppose maybe I should correct myself.  It won't be so much that she's dead to them.  It's more like she...well...didn't exist at all.


Outside the DiMansion.

Sami:  You actually believe that, don't you?  You think that Sydney still loves you.

Nicole:  Oh, come on.  Deny it all you want but it is the truth, Sami.  It's in every childhood development book.  I was first so she and I have an irreversible bond.

Sami:  You were first because you stole her from me.  You kept my daughter from me.

Nicole:  Okay, but you didn't want her because she was EJ's baby.  And she is everything I ever wanted.

Sami:  Don't you ever say that to me again.  I wanted her and I wanted to protect her from EJ.

Nicole:  Well, what do you think I'm doing?  I'm doing everything I can to protect her, which is why I'm helping EJ.

Sami:  You are here because you couldn't cut a deal with me!  And so you came to EJ.

Nicole:  Yeah.  Well, I can see now that this is all about you.  I forgot.  For your information, Mommy, I just wanted to spend time with Sydney.  She is everything I ever wanted.  I don't want sole possession of her.  I just wanted to share.  But you obviously can't do that, can you?  And now you have nothing.

Sami:  I am not leaving here empty-handed.  And if you think I am, think again.


At the DiMansion.

Rafe:  EJ, do you somehow think that kids don't grow up?  That Johnny's not gonna run into his kid sister one day -  his twin sister - and say, "hey, what happened to Mom?"

Jesus, is he ever bad at this.

EJ:  I'm sure he will.  But by then I'll have educated him as to the facts.  Sydney, too.

Rafe:  Yeah?  How's that education gonna go?  You're gonna tell him that his mom doesn't matter?  A mother's love doesn't mean anything?  

EJ (smiling):  No, Rafe.  I'm going to tell them that their mother only cares for her children when they're useful tools to help her get what she wants, and that she's a manipulative liar who tried to murder their father.

I just got all tingly.

Rafe:  You son of a bitch.

There it is again.

Outside the DiMansion.

Sami walks around Nicole, heading slowly but determinedly towards Sydney.  Nicole tries to talk her out of it.

Nicole:  Sami?  Sami, don't do this.  If you take Sydney you will go to prison.

Sami:  I'm going to hold her.

Nicole:  That's all you wanna do.

Sami:  Yes.

Nicole:  You just want to hold her.

Sami:  Yes.

Nicole:  For a few minutes.

Sami:  Yes.

Oh, for the love of GOD!

Nicole looks nervously back over her shoulder.

Nicole:  Sami, I can't.  You're too desperate.  You're gonna want more.  I'm sorry.

Sami darts towards Sydney but Nicole grabs her by the arm and calls out for EJ before looking back sympathetically at Sami, whispering "I'm sorry".


Outside the DiMansion.

Through the faux-brick archway enters EJ with Rafe not too far behind.  Nicole is calling out to him while still holding on to Sami by her wrist.

EJ:  Samantha.  Of all people.

Sami has that "Oh, whoops!" look on her face.  Nicole gives her a "You brought this on yourself, you dink" look on hers.


Outside the DiMansion.

Like at the big dance in West Side Story, the Jets and the Sharks separate to their respective sides of the gymnasium.  In this case it's the Talls against the Shorts.

EJ:  This was all part of the plan, was it?  You provide the distraction while she steals my children.

Sami:  Rafe did not know that I was coming here.

EJ:  No, I'm sure he had no idea.  Nicole, would you be a dear and grab Sydney for me?  Take her inside.

Looking very uncomfortable, Nicole approaches Sydney.

Nicole:  Sydney, honey - let's go play with some new toys, okay?

Sami looks on tearfully as Nicole sweeps Sydney up in her arms and tries to leave.  Sami strokes her hair as she goes by.

Sami:  Hey, Sydney...Mommy loves you.

EJ (firmly):  Now, Nicole.

Sami gives Sydney a little wave as Nicole exits the scene.

EJ:  Let's just not make any mistake about this, okay?  If either one of you pull anything like this again, our deal is over and both of you go to prison.  And just in case you were wondering, Samantha -  whilst you're there, on their birthdays - each year - I'll sit little Johnny and Sydney down, and I'm going to show them the videotape of their mother confessing to shooting their father in the head.  Get me?

Sami looks as though she's about to say something but instead she rushes off.

EJ:  I'll take that as a 'yes'.

Rafe:  You really are a heartless bastard, aren't you?


EJ nods.


In the DiMansion.

Nicole sits on the couch with Sydney in her lap.

Nicole:  It's true, isn't it?  There is something special between us, isn't there, Angel.  There always will be.  I love you so much.

EJ walks in slowly, looking thoughtful.

Nicole:  Hey.  Um...I'm so sorry about that.  I had no idea Sami would just show up like that.

EJ (looking distracted):  It's fine.  You did the right thing calling me.

Nicole (looking hopeful):  So...did I pass the test?


Out on the pier (or wherever that little lone parkbench is supposed to be).

Sami rushes in, crying.  Rafe comes rushing in after her.

Rafe:  Sami!  Come on, now!  Hold on a sec!  I get it, okay?  I get why you were there.  Why you did it.

Sami:  But I shouldn't have been there.

Rafe: time you want to stay alone, stay alone.

Sami:  Why were you there?

Rafe:  Because I was hoping I could get through to EJ.  At least hopefully have the kids see eachother for the holidays.

Sami:  You went there and...I ruined that, too.



In the DiMansion.

Nicole is still seated on the couch with Sydney, anxiously awaiting an answer.  EJ sits down beside them and begins stroking Sydney's hair.

Nicole:  Look - I told you that I would help you with Sydney.  I proved that, didn't I?

EJ:  For today.

Nicole:  It's not just a one-time thing, EJ.  I would do anything for this little girl.  Forever.  

EJ:  We'll see.  Right now Sydney needs her nap. (To Sydney) Don't you, sweetheart?  (To Nicole)  You can go.

Nicole:  How 'bout I tuck her in?  Would that be okay?

EJ:  Sure.

He kisses the top of Sydney's head and rubs her back.

EJ:  Sweetheart, you're going to go upstairs and have a nap.  Your daddy loves you and your brother very much. (He kisses the top of her head again)  Don't you forget that.

Nicole picks Sydney up, whispering "It's sleepy time".  She leaves.  Alone, EJ sighs and puts his head in his hands.


By the park bench.

Rafe holds Sami across from him by her shoulders.

Rafe:  Hey.  You didn't ruin anything.  I didn't say that I was able to get through to him.  I said I was trying.  He doesn't get it.  He thinks he's just hurting you.  He's hurting Johnny and Sydney too, though.

Sami looks at him all gooey-eyed.

Sami:  Thank you for not giving up.

Rafe:  The one thing we can't do right now is --

Sami:  -- what I did.

Rafe:  Yeah.

Sami:  I just thought I could stand it.  You know, I thought I'd be able to deal with this for a couple of days, at least...But being away from's unbearable.  And I know for your sake and for the kids' sake --

Gotta love how Rafe's sake comes first in these instances.

Sami:  -- I have to find a way, but I can't.  I can't live without Johnny and Sydney, and I won't.

Rafe and Sami hug.  Sami looks up at the sky.  I hope another shooting star shows up and pops a cornea.



At the DiMansion.

EJ (to Stefano):  You're married to a lying, traitorous bitch.

At the hospital.

Kate (on the phone):  In short - you're screwed.

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