How many couples can you name who started off as two people who hate each other and ended up as two people wanting to tear through the other’s clothes and hit on the nitty-gritty like a lion ripping into a zebra? Tons, right?
First of all, take angry sex off the list – those instances when an otherwise relatively stable couple has a huge fight (which also serves as foreplay), then kiss to relieve the tension and make it all better.
Now par that number down again by dropping bickerers off the list. You know what I’m talking about - Two people meet, there’s some sort of disagreement or misunderstanding over something, some sort of instant clash of personalities, the couple lock horns a few times, etc. The next thing you know, they’re arguing, and kissing, and…yeah. It’s such a television and film staple now, and we can see it coming from miles away. Sure – it can still be fun if the dialogue is clever enough, but more often than not, it’s the result of incredibly lazy writing. It’s an overdone, romantic cliché.
How many romantic couples are actually built on a good, solid foundation of hate? Not many, right? Are EJ and Sami still on your list? They should be.
You can’t have missed it.
Oh, you know what “look” I’m talking about. EJ and Sami were blubbering at Nicole and Rafe respectively, begging them to understand how The Great Couching of 2011 was merely about rutting the pain away, and that the two should know better than anyone how repellent EJ and Sami find each other.
They begged their insignificant others for forgiveness, starting their usual this-is-all-your-fault-no-it's-your-fault thing, and were about to skitter off to find their cuckolded spouses when the look happened. In two seconds, all the sobbing and simpering over their lost spouses was all but eviscerated by that breathless moment between EJ and Sami. Suddenly you’re thinking “Nicole and Rafe who?” if anything else at all.
Caught in the crossfire, one of my socks fell off.
“It was the biggest mistake of my life,” Sami shouts, getting all up in EJ’s grill. “Well, for once we agree on something,” EJ yells back.
Like I said, the look lasts only a few moments, and then Sami comes to her senses in her usual way (after a kiss/near-kiss with EJ, she always gasps “OMIGOD”, then makes a run for it). EJ grabs her arm and she’s suddenly frantic, clearly afraid things might pan out the way they did the last time they fought. EJ and Sami snap out of it, and both continue on their not-so-merry ways.
The thing that made that moment so exhilarating is the firm foundation of hate that it was built on. Not weeks of snarky banter. Not six months’ worth of misunderstanding after misunderstanding. Years of hate, love, and hate.
After every shitty thing they’ve ever done to each other, and no matter how much time they spend physically apart, EJ and Sami still have it. It's always there, bubbling just beneath the surface. Everything they do to hurt each other ensures that they don't stay out of the other's orbit for long, and maybe they know it, but more likely than not, they still have no idea.
Nicole and Rafe apparently had nothing better to do than stick around with the sole intention of driving that point home. Of course, because there were no sock puppets, flags, magic markers, or three foot high pieces of bristol board handy, they still weren’t able to get our star-crossed nincompoops to understand what the hell has been going on between them for the past half a decade.
Among other things, this is what makes Nicole and EJ’s relationship so utterly senseless. One might argue that Nicole and EJ have done horrible things to each other, so what makes Sami’s relationship with EJ and any different? Well, because like Nicole said, “It’s always Sami”.
"You obviously care about Sami, otherwise you wouldn't keep sleeping with her."
Let's be fair, Nicole. "Keep" suggests that it's happened more than, say,
three times over the course of six years. But I digress. Keep going, dear.
Nicole has always been collateral damage in EJ’s pursuit to hurt Sami. EJ always puts his entire heart and soul into his plans to exact some sort of revenge on Sami. How much time and effort did EJ put in getting back at Nicole for giving Rafe the recording of his Sydnapping confession? He shouted at her on the pier, but that was little more than a fly-swatting. He didn’t give enough of a shit about her to get back at her for her stupidity. Even when EJ forced Nicole to choose between Sydney and Brady, it was more about sticking it in Sami’s craw than anything else.
EJ’s first one-on-one confrontation with Sami after the couching was also all about sticking it to her. It wasn’t until after Sami went on and on about how much she loved Rafe that EJ launched into An Ode to Nicole. Remember the eye-rolls Sami kept shooting EJ’s way as he waxed poetic about his all-consuming love for Nicole? We got a repeat performance of those magnificent eye-rolls this past week, over EJ’s shoulder as he was begging Nicole for forgiveness. At one point I watched the scene again just so I could give their majesty my full attention.
Sometimes EJ does it on purpose, and sometimes he does it unconsciously, but EJ always knows the “old reliable” of his artillery in the ongoing battle of one-upmanship against Sami is always within arm’s reach, just like Sami always keeps Lucas/Rafe/Lucas in her bedside table for when she needs him.
“What is it with you two, huh?” Rafe asked. “You have this sickness. This obsession with destroying each other’s lives.”
Yep. And it makes for great soap.
Now get those two a fucking room already.