Why am I putting off posting my half of the Best/Worst of 2012 list? Why am I up at this ungodly hour (well, ungodly for me)? Why will I throttle anyone who calls between the hours of 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.?
BECAUSE SEVEN FUCKING YEARS, THAT’S WHY!
Yesterday’s episode was the episode I (and so many others) had been waiting for. Yesterday’s episode was the episode I was searching for after every harsh word, bullet in the brain, kidnapping, moment of comfort, sexual encounter, “accidental” kiss, exposed lie, bout of eye cancer, and blackmailing. This was the episode, and it was perfect. No grand, sweeping gestures, no ridiculous reunion in the middle of Horton Town Square, no “we’re doing it for the kids”, and no interrupted weddings. Just Sami and EJ alone in a room together. Yes, it was perfect.
EJ and Sami have mastered the art of “the look”. You know the look. No matter how pretty or ugly the words are that are pouring from their mouths, there’s always that breathless moment between them when they’re looking into each other’s eyes, sometimes only curiously, sometimes to size the other up, sometimes to search for lies, sometimes to convey their hopes, their feelings of disappointment, or their hurt. They’re always there. That’s kind of their thing. Their eyes lock, and whether it’s across a crowded room, or just the two of them alone together, faces only inches apart, anything happening outside of that look no longer exists. There’s the proverbial red string that tethers them to each other, whether they want it to or not. It can’t be helped. Seven years have passed, and that string has been pulled taut, and so many pairs of scissors have been taken to it, but it can’t be cut.
You know, it’s kinda their thing.
Yesterday, Sami was nervous. She sat on the couch with her hands folded in her lap, looking probably as small as she was feeling. She was going to do something she’s always had a little trouble with when it comes to EJ – she was going to tell him the truth. Not because she was afraid he’d find out on his own, but because she felt she owed it to him. When EJ showed up, she had no idea he already knew something wasn’t right, or how much it hurt him. She knew things looked grim, though. The timing of her epiphany couldn’t have been worse. A lot of us were thinking, “But she had just decided to reunite with Rafe. Like, she had just decided.” But then Sami started talking...
EJ has always been good at giving Sami just enough rope to hang herself with, and he always seems to take pleasure in it. He knows Sami will eventually start rambling nervously, trying to cover up one lie with another lie, and then another, until it’s one big, knotted mess. When she starts to feel as though she’s been backed up into a corner, she starts to blame-shift. A perfect example of this is when EJ confronted her in the hospital after the fire at the cabin waaaay back in 2007. But yesterday was different in that Sami was fumbling to tell him the truth, to own up to what she’d done, and he had no idea that was coming because, really, who would?
So he sat silently, alternately staring at his hands and glancing over at Sami with that, “I can’t believe this is happening again” look on his face. For me, this was James Scott at his best. He was literally acting down to his fingertips without a word to hang a hat on. So much emotional turmoil was happening in his eyes, in the tic of his jaw, in the way his shoulders rose and fell while he was breathing. It was amazing to see. Alison Sweeney, as usual, more than carried her own weight. While EJ was trying not to look as broken as he was, Sami wrung her hands together, sat up straight, and laid it all out on the table. Once she got going, there was no stopping her. And that’s when something fantastic happened – Sami came out to play. The Sami we remember. The one who decides she wants something and will mow down anything in her way. And she wants EJ. Despite the red eyes and the tear-stained cheeks, the patented Sami smirk emerged, her eyebrow arched, and her breathing sped up. Gosh, I’ve missed this Sami.
If I didn’t know better, I honestly would have thought this could have gone either way. EJ looked hurt and battle-weary. There was a hopeful gleam in Sami’s eye, but it was clear that she knew she may have gone too far. But this time, when Sami started rambling, he didn’t let her hang.
And this time, Sami didn’t run.