Eric/Nicole fans have been waiting a long time for this.
Nicole returned to Salem just in time to stop Eric from moving on with Sarah. But on Days of Our Lives during the week of 4-29-19, their blissful reunion was cut short when Nicole learned that Holly had been kidnapped from right under Chloe's nose!
It was dramatic and upsetting but was this story really the best way to go?
It's May Sweeps and I know DAYS wants something exciting, but there's been so much violence recently that viewers are probably desensitized!
Holly's kidnapping is so unrealistic it makes it hard to invest in it, too.
Supposedly Stefan's house is a "fortress", or so we've been told over and over. But Xander was able to tiptoe into Holly's room, pick her up and leave through the front door without anyone noticing. And this is on top of two separate gun-wielding intruders attacking Ciara while she was visiting the mansion!
Stefan never thought to check the tunnels, either, and neither did anyone else -- even though Stefan recently hid Kristen there and the cops made a big deal out of wanting to search for her there at the time.
Surely even the cops in Salem can't be this incompetent!
Xander took Holly for no apparent reason, or at least that's what the writers want us to think.
He knows Holly is Nicole's and not Chloe's, but does he know Nicole survived the same explosion he did? Is he seeking revenge on her? Leverage so he can force her back into a loveless, abusive marriage to him?
(Side note: are Nicole and Xander still married? I can't remember if that was ever resolved before they both "died".)
You'd better do more than try to find Holly! You'd better find her! That's what I hired you for! So get it done or else you're going to be scrubbing toilets outside a rest stop in Braxton, Missouri.Stefan
Don't get me wrong, Xander is a fun villain, but this story is nothing more but a redux of other Xander/Nicole stories. Plus we're getting the weepy version of Nicole instead of the strong, smart, spunky Nicole viewers fell in love with!
If we're going to have this ridiculous kidnapping story, Nicole should be smart enough to see through claims of Hector having had Holly kidnapped while he was in jail. She and Eric could have gone off on their own to try to find Holly since the cops weren't doing anything useful.
THAT might have been worth watching!
But instead, we get scene after scene of Eric hugging Nicole and making empty promises to get Holly home safe while the cops go in a totally wrong direction thanks to both to Ted and their own incompetence.
It's doubly frustrating because the more compelling story was right there in front of the writers' faces but they didn't follow through on it.
Nicole didn't want to have sex with Eric because she was badly burned and had scars on her chest and abdomen. Imagine a story of Nicole trying to deal with accepting her scars and Eric trying to prove to her that he loves her anyway!
We could have even had Xander making trouble, showing up to say he was still married to Nicole just as she finally let Eric back into her world and blackmailing her out of divorcing him with the threat of distributing photos of her badly burned body for the world to see.
But instead, we got the insta-reunion and a stupidly handled kidnapping story that does little to solidify Eric and Nicole's relationship. What a shame!
Meanwhile, I think everyone needs to stop being shocked when people come back from the dead since it's a regular occurrence in Salem.
Marlena's disbelief was especially ridiculous. She herself showed up alive and well several years after a supposedly fatal plane crash back in the early 1990s, and in the last year she's seen both Will and Jack come back from the dead.
Plus, Xander turned up alive several months earlier despite having supposedly perished in the same explosion that allegedly took Nicole's life!
So how can it possibly be at all surprising for Nicole to be alive too?
In other news, I'm trying to figure who's more of a busybody: Hope or Marlena.
Marlena decided that Sarah should be with Eric and was willing to break his confidence as well as stick her nose in every chance she got. When she heard the news that Nicole was back, she did NOT look happy.
I felt like the wheels were turning and she was trying to find a way to get Eric away from Nicole so he could be with the woman she chose for him instead. And her attempt to counsel Sarah seemed more like manipulation to get what she wanted, too.
Ciara: You told me that Grandpa Doug didn't like Daddy at first either but when he saw he was a good and kind and honorable man he came around.
Hope: Do not ever compare Ben to your father! You know, Daddy wouldn't approve of Ben.
Ciara: I know. But you know what else Daddy wouldn't approve of? Ted Laurent.
Hope, on the other hand, needs to put as much effort into doing police work as she does into finding out about Ciara's love life.
Ciara is not a teenager anymore. She is a young woman in her early 20s, and she owes nobody any explanation if she chooses to have sex or about her choice of partner.
Ciara was a lot more polite about this than I would have been! I loved what she said to Hope about Bo and especially about how he wouldn't approve of this Ted nonsense either.
Hope is being extremely hypocritical as well as being overbearing, and she did not like being called on it. But of course, she didn't see any parallel in her own situation and the way she's been treating Ciara for months
This whole Hope/Ted thing is so predictable, too. I have no doubt that she and Rafe will break up, then eventually Hope will discover Ted is not a good guy and come crawling back to Rafe.
The only mystery here is whether she will leave Ted on her own rather than Rafe having to rescue her after Ted kidnaps her to stop her from exposing him.
Some originality would be nice, but Hope's character devolution is even more disappointing than the fact that we've seen this a billion times before!
Hope used to be one of the strongest women in Salem. She was a female cop who was smart and intuitive, and she didn't take any BS from anyone.
It's sad to see her become a damsel in distress who is constantly pining for Rafe while getting duped by Ted.
The other ridiculous aspect of this whole story is Nicole blaming Chloe for the kidnapping and Chloe secretly agreeing with her!
I know that Nicole is emotional right now and probably dealing with PTSD after everything she's been through, but it makes no sense for her to blame Chloe.
Chloe put Holly to bed and kept a baby monitor by her side while eating dinner with Stefan. Was she supposed to do nothing but sit by Holly's bedside all night long in case a bad guy showed up to mess with her?
I'd also like to see Chloe doing something more worthwhile than walk in on Stefan and Gabi having hate sex over and over. The Gabi/Stefan story seems like a repeat of JJ/Eve, with both people claiming to hate each other and then engaging in wild sex anyway.
And Stefan/Chloe aren't even an established couple. They've had one date! So why do we need to see Stefan constantly having sex with Gabi behind Chloe's back?
The mayoral race is almost over. I'm glad for the simple reason that I can't stand too much of more of this insanity!
That "debate" quickly descended into chaos. It was totally unrealistic, but I loved JJ standing up against Eve and Jack's nonsense.
Eve must have known that JJ wasn't so easily controlled since she pushed so hard for him to leave before things got started. But this arc could have benefitted from some better use of history.
Jack: Go ahead and say it. Did Abe force himself on you?
JJ: Abe Carver is a decent and honorable man! There's only one person here who raped someone, and that's you!
Back in 2013, JJ had a nervous breakdown that resulted in him smashing a store window and getting carted off to jail when he learned that Jack had raped Kayla. So rather than remembering his outburst of five minutes ago while hanging around the hospital, JJ SHOULD have remembered that!
That flashback would have been powerful and added layers to his guilt now that this story has come full circle and he's the one who exposed Jack's rape of Kayla to the world.
That was far from the only misuse of history, though. JJ and Eve have a history too, and I'm not just talking about Eve taking advantage of a drunk JJ and then making him the bad guy.
Before that happened, Eve hired a prostitute named Jill to break JJ and Paige up. When JJ didn't cooperate with Jill's attempts to seduce him, Jill roofied him and then took a suggestive photo to try to make Paige think JJ had cheated on her.
So before Abe insisted that photo of him and Sheila kissing was real, JJ could and should have accused Eve of engineering something like the Jill fiasco. In fact, he should have questioned whether this photo was any more real than that!
It was ridiculous to think voters would care about this photo anyway. Jack is married to his campaign manager, so why can't Abe kiss his? Besides, a kiss is not the same as sex, and JJ also could have interjected that at least Abe wasn't seducing his child's partner!
Plus, Abe is an incumbent mayor. Most of Salem has known him as an honest, straightforward mayor for a number of years. Is one illicit kiss in a ten-year period really going to change anyone's mind?
Sheila: I have something to say. That kiss wasn't what it looked like. It was all me. I kissed Mayor Carver but because he is a decent and honorable man he told me that was inappropriate and that he was in a committed relationship with Dr. Grant.
Eve: You don't have to do this. You're the victim here.
Sheila: You did not just call me a victim!
It's Salem, so I guess so. But that makes zero sense.
Anyway, I wish Valerie had been back for more than a couple of days. Even if she and Abe decided to end their relationship, there would have been plenty of story for her thanks to Lani's obsession with baby David.
Valerie and Lani have a poor history because of Lani's lie about her own baby's paternity, too, so Valerie getting in the middle of this would have been a surefire recipe for drama.
Lani has clearly gone off the deep end with this baby. Offering to help is one thing, but she's putting being a babysitter above both her job and her relationship with Eli!
While Eli could make more of an effort to be understanding, I'm sure he doesn't appreciate being treated as unimportant either. Lani doesn't particularly care if he stays or goes as long as she can be with baby David.
She's acting like an addict and this is going to end badly for her.
I just hope that she doesn't end up with JJ again as a result. Haley is not available, leaving JJ sad and lonely, and he is the only person in Salem who thinks Lani is right to help out with the baby.
Of course, the other possibility -- Lani hooking up with Rafe so that she completes her list of cops she's slept with -- isn't much better, and this might be going that way too..
And what the heck was that conversation with Agent Smith in the park? It made me wonder if there's more to this ICE agent than meets the eye and what she wanted with Lani.
Agent Smith is far from the only thing wrong with the Tripp/Haley/Claire story, but she needs to stay a minor character and not be involved in some other crazy storyline.
As for Tripp, I'm glad he's finally wising up to Claire's evil side thanks to that torn photo. But did he really think any of this was reasonable or that Claire would go along with it?
Claire's violent reaction is wrong, but I don't blame her for being angry! Her boyfriend wants her to become the other woman while he marries someone else and to wait three years for him to be free. What woman in her right mind would accept that?
Your turn, DAYS Fanatics!
Are you happy with this Eric/Nicole reunion story or would you rather have had something less violent?
And who do you think is going to win the mayoral race now that it's become a mudslinging contest?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
Days of Our Lives continues to air on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.