Nicole and Brady's on-the-run story is so ridiculous it's tempting just to laugh at it.
On this week's Days of Our Lives, Nicole and Brady entertained their nosy neighbors, then Scooter recognized Nicole while she was changing her shirt.
This kind of plot belongs on a bad sitcom, the kind that has to insert canned laughter because nobody really finds it funny.
It has no place on a soap opera, especially because things took a dark turn that is not funny at all.
From the beginning, this storyline has been senseless. Chloe impregnated herself with Nicole and Daniel's baby as a favor to Nicole, then turned around and said Nicole was so evil and horrible that she should never be around children.
That made almost as much sense as a judge siding with Chloe even though legally, she had absolutely no right to the baby.
Now, though, it's crossed the line into offensiveness.
It's bad enough that Brady followed Nicole to Canada and told her at least seven times that he and Tate were moving in with her whether she liked it or not. This kind of stalking-disguised-as-romance has become all too common on DAYS recently. It's not cute and it's not romantic.
It's a guy refusing to take no for an answer and a woman having no choice but to accept his decision to be in her life.
After Brady and Nicole went around in circles a couple more times about whether he and Tate should live with her, though, things got even worse.
Hillary and Scooter are most likely based on some stereotype of Canadians because they certainly don't seem like real people.
It's bad enough that these two idiots are constantly on Nicole's doorstep claiming that friendly neighbors bother each other and ask personal questions all day long without making Hillary a clueless woman stuck in a loveless relationship with a pervert.
Nicole: [walking through house in towel] I know I left my flip flops in here somewhere.
Scooter: [whistles] Looking for these?
Nicole: Get out of here!
Scooter: Oh come on, Misty baby. I just came over here to borrow a cup of sugar.
Nicole: Don't call me that.
Scooter: You're all the sugar that I need. Bridgette, I saw Freddie leave with the kids. It's just the two of us. ANd I love what you're wearing.
Nicole: I told you, I am so not interested.
Scooter: Don't worry about anyone finding out. It'll just be our little secret.
Nicole: Like hell!
Scooter: You say one word to the wife and I'll blow the whistle on who you used to be.
Nicole: You know, I was forced into porn, okay, and that was like, 20 years ago. My husband understands. No one else is gonna care.
Scooter: Oh, I'm not talkin' about Misty Circle, porno queen. I'm talkin' about Nicole Walker. Kidnapper, fugitive from justice. Yep, that's right. I know your real secret.
Scooter sneaked into Nicole's house while she was taking a shower and confronted her while she was in a towel. Since he'd recognized her as Misty Circle, he decided he might as well act out a porn scenario of his own.
He wouldn't leave Nicole alone and told her if she didn't have sex with him, he would tell Hillary that their new neighbor was a fugitive who had kidnapped a baby in the States and all sorts of horrible things would happen, including both Holly and Tate being lost to the system.
There are so many flaws in Scooter's threats that there's no room to list them all, starting with the fact that he'd have to explain he made this discovery while watching porn and that Holly would be returned to Chloe and most likely Maggie would be given custody of Tate, so nobody is going into foster care any time soon.
The stupidity doesn't matter, though, because this amounts to yet another rape.
Rape storylines are part of soap operas, and if written correctly they can be powerful statements about what sexual assault does to survivors. In years gone by, DAYS has done two big ones that helped advance the cause of women's rights.
Kayla's rape by Jack was the first time daytime television acknowledged that a woman has the right to say no to sex with her husband, and Jennifer's rape by Lawrence was an accurate and moving portrayal of how the shame associated with being raped can tear a family apart.
In the last year, however, rape has been overused on DAYS, and never written with any real purpose in mind. Half the time it's not even acknowledged that the victims have been raped, and people are constantly being shamed for having suffered sexual assault.
Scooter is the last in a long line of characters who have shamed Nicole for being a "porn star" in the last couple of years, and Nicole's comment that she'd been forced into it after being shamed mercilessly over it doesn't change that.
This is also the fifth such storyline with no consequences for anyone but the victim.
Chase raped Ciara for no apparent reason and Ciara got over it in a matter of months.
Ava forced Steve to have sex with her to save Kayla's life and Kayla turned around and dumped him for "cheating."
Lani had sex with a too-drunk-to-consent JJ and Gabi dumped JJ for "cheating" as well as got jealous of his rapist when he exhibited signs of PTSD during sex with her.
Aiden's character was rewritten to turn him into a lunatic and he blackmailed Hope into going out with him and if he hadn't come to his senses might have raped her too.
And now, some creepy neighbor is breaking into Nicole's house while she's in the shower and threatening all sorts of negative consequences for her if she doesn't have sex with him
Rape is not entertaining. It is not something to be taken lightly. And it is not something to shame victims over. These scenes with Nicole and Scooter crossed a line.
This story also makes so little sense that viewers can't possibly get caught up in it.
Scooter recognizing Nicole as Misty Circle by seeing her bra strap for 30 seconds was bad enough. He also apparently discovered who Brady is by looking up Misty Circle and finding Nicole's real name.
I don't think any of that information is readily available on Google, so unless Scooter hacked into his wife's cop databases to get it, there's no reason to have it.
Putting that aside, Nicole was so scared by Scooter that she told Brady all sorts of things about how nobody can find out who she really is and what she did while the front door was open so anyone could hear.
And in response to Nicole's fear, Brady said they would stay put for two weeks while he waited for new fake IDs. Brady has unlimited resources; why can't they at least go to a hotel in a distant city so that Scooter is nowhere near them?
Besides, won't suddenly disappearing raise the suspicions of their cop neighbor even if Scooter never says a word?
Deimos: I believe that the younger generation in this family have been handed everything on a silver platter, and they don't appreciate it.
Maggie: By younger generation, you must mean Sonny.
Deimos: All right, fine. Let's start with Sonny. I'm trying to work with him, Maggie. I've just given him a very important position in the company and instead of being grateful for the opportunity, he's being an oversensitive, temperamental pain in my neck. But at least he's still here. Brady, on the other hand, he's taken off, abandoned the family, Titan. He's left me all alone to deal with the Hernandez family on my own.
Maggie: Well, there's an easy solution to the Dimera and the Hernandez families. Just bow out.
Deimos: I do that and I lose face.
Maggie: With whom?
Deimos: With everyone. Except Nicole. She's taken off too.
Maggie: And to think I naively thought that maybe I'd gotten through to you the last time we had a serious conversation. Let me ask you a question. Has doing things your way gotten you anywhere?
Back in Salem, the war continued between the Hernandezes/Dimeras and Deimos. Deimos apparently felt that all the violence between the families and Sonny's determination to take him down wasn't enough for him and devoted a ton of resources to trying to find and bring down Brady for "stealing" Nicole from him.
Maybe Scooter is a plant hired by Deimos. That might actually make more sense than anything else.
Anyway, while Deimos was busy acting like Nicole is his property, Sonny and Chad decided they had had enough and secretly teamed up to eliminate him so that they could have peace.
I am not enjoying this new mobster version of Sonny.
I feel like the writers are trying to recreate what Sonny and Will had, with Sonny in Will's role and Paul in Sonny's old role. Sonny was always the voice of reason while Will was impulsive, insecure and sometimes acted inappropriately. Now Sonny is impulsive, angry, and acting inappropriately while Paul is the voice of reason.
When will the writers learn that this doesn't work? It falls flat every time and just angers fans, yet they keep trying it.
I did get a kick out of Maggie thinking that she can talk to Deimos like she talks to her AA sponsees. He's not going to listen and Maggie is just being overly bighearted and naive. But even Maggie couldn't save this mess of a story for me.
It's hard to believe that Deimos who runs a multimillion dollar corporation is having meetings in alleys.Rafe
Deimos took advantage of Hope and Rafe spying on him to set up Eduardo.
The biggest problem with this story was that Hope and Rafe were the ones doing the spying.
Rafe didn't like Hope listening in on Deimos. He said there was no warrant and anyway, Raines had told Hope to stay put. All of which was true, but the person saying it was being a massive hypocrite. After covering up Stefano's murder, Rafe had no business taking the moral high ground.
Lieutenant Raines should be the hero of this story, not the villain. His expecting Hope to do her job instead of whatever she wants is not the problem here. At all.
And of course, the whole thing was an elaborate set-up by Deimos so that Rafe could witness his father doing something illegal.
Now, Rafe has always looked the other way when it came to family. He's covered up Gabi's crimes so many times I've lost count and he's overprotective of Hope and acts like she can do no wrong.
But most likely he will arrest his own father even though it's totally out of character and unrealistic, because the writers feel that makes for good drama.
All week long, there was a lot of silliness with Chad, Gabi, and Abigail.
The best moment to come out of all of this was that Abby overheard Kate telling Chad to trade her in for Gabi and told her to cut it out or leave. Unfortunately, Abby's strength lasted all of five seconds and when she ran into Gabi in the park, she immediately went back to being jealous and insecure.
Kate was undeterred by getting thrown out of the house she once conspired to steal from Stefano and met with Gabi to try to pressure her into interfering with Chad and Abigail's marriage.
Gabi talked her into giving Eduardo another chance and she sat around assuming she was being stood up when he went to take care of criminal activity before coming to see her.
What did you think of this week's Days of Our Lives? Do you find the Nicole storyline offensive or just ridiculous? What story do you most wish would end?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.