I have done a wishlist for my soap before and it worked out, so now I’ve decided to throw out two problems with the show that I want to see fixed…one is easy, the other is much harder.
Limiting Characters to a social circle
This was a huge problem with Reilly and for the most part, Hogan has improved things to some extent but I think it’s still a problem. This week we had fast momentum in an actually compelling sorority scenes, but Nick was no where around. That’s actually alright to some extent, MIA Nick was probably necessary. If there is to be fallout of Ford’s death, then it should start first and foremost with Chick, as Chelsea obviously tries to keep this from him but suffers via the guilt and stress over another loss of life happened due to her plans. I want conflict to occur to between Chick and hopefully once Nick learns to the truth, he can finally be the voice of reason.
However, just because Chelsea’s story doesn’t require Nick at the moment, does not mean he should be missing from the screen totally. There is a whole town out there (and many he is related to) and it would behoove them to have him out and about doing his own thing, even if it’s to play supporting character to another scene. An example could be him listening to Shawn whine about his life, or maybe he could be hanging out at the Heart and helping Adrienne with her books (go with me on this). One of my favorite ideas is Nick possibly stopping by Bo and Hope’s to visit (maybe getting a Christmas list from her) and unable to help herself, Hope spills the beans about Belle’s cheating. Finally, I know it’s a long shot, but have Nick hang out with Steve and/or Kayla since they are my three favorite characters. With the writer’s strike going on and the need to pad episodes, they could easily have brought up it’s been a year since Nick found the cure to help Kayla get over the biotoxin which could then lead into how it was John* willing to head out into the cold Canadian wilderness to retrieve it.
This problem doesn’t actually just happen to Nick Fallon, but it seems like he is the biggest victim. For a long time, if Steve had a story of his own and Kayla didn’t need to be around, then she wasn’t around and never mentioned. They have improved that somewhat, and though I bear my teeth at Kayla having to help prop the Shelle story, at least it’s realistic; mother finds out soon to be daughter-in-law is cheating and though she has been sworn to secrecy, she must tell someone and talk it out, so she goes to her own best friend. I have no issues with that. (However, Hope continuing to tell people is amusing me.) With cast cuts happening left and right, I would breath much easier if the show would simply widen Nick’s social circle some.
What to do about EJ
This is the most controversial topic the show has had in awhile. Viewers love James Scott and the character of E.J. Wells. They see intense chemistry between him and Alison Sweeney but with all of EJ’s actions in the last year (one including the rape of her), many viewers feel the chance of a EJ/Sami hookup has been ruined.
To be honest, I’m over the rape, though I hate to admit it. What really bugs me about EJ’s love towards Sami is that it doesn’t come across as love at all. The man is obsessed with her and up until his shooting, has seen the winning of Sami’s heart to be more of a conquering challenge…he wants to possess her. As time has gone on, and Sami has pushed away from him over and over, this obsession for her has gotten worse and worse. In common soap opera stories, a man truly in love, especially an extremely privileged and self entitled man like EJ, would try to let Sami go to her safer life to which then circumstances evolve forcing them into each other’s company. Instead, EJ constantly targets Sami’s family when he doesn’t get what he wants (her) and it bugs me to no end that how this could indirectly hurt her makes no difference to him whatsoever.
Course what I want to do is give EJ a new love interest and that just won’t happen. Many fans of EJami are basically EJ lovers and I think as long as he is given a decent storyline with an actress he has good chemistry with, they would be willing to let go of the EJami ship (or at least let it remain docked for a time). What bothers me is the show had an excellent opportunity with EJ’s shooting but instead went a different way than I believe the character of EJ normally would have.
EJ become depressed only so that Sami can bring him back by pretending to care? I hardly think EJ would REALLY be depressed, but the man can see opportunities when they present themselves. Would being paralyzed be a setback? Sure it would. But the EJ I know would try to make the most of the situation, if the show could now give us a chance to show that EJ was pretending to be depressed so he can get his father to talk Sami into spending more time with him. As time goes on, EJ plays the sympathy card like a pro and Sami still keeps her distance from Lucas (though frustrated at the situation).
Also, this love he has for his son, I feel could also be at first something he pretends when Sami is around. Though he is glad he does have a son, he hardly feels that family connection to the child and isn’t really willing to work on it unless Sami is in the room. This might be a cold hearted take, but EJ has put those twins in harm’s way often when he believed he wasn’t the father, I can see him not exactly feeling a father’s bond just yet.
However, there is a problem. EJ is torn between using his paralysis and not being the man he was before. It’s necessary to bring in a Physical Therapist for him, someone who is new to Salem and isn’t directly related to the Brady’s at all (that is necessary) but who is a person who has ties to a couple of them. She will be Marcus Hunter’s daughter**. This gives her some connection to people in town, most notably Kayla and Steve and it allows her to have scenes when she isn’t in EJ’s world.
Now a PT is going to be used to seeing patients with real depression over their predicament, and she will see right through EJ’s charade. Not wanting to get in the middle of his marriage squabble, she will simply call him out on it in private. EJ will be thrown for a loop at first, how dare this employer of his talk to him in such a way. He may even try to fire her, but since Stefano is paying the bills, he will insist on someone he trusts to get EJ better, and the PT comes with high credentials as well as already impressing him with dealing with his strong willed son.
So now we have two sides to EJ shown, the side we see most often with his father and possibly Sami (who will be distancing herself more and more) where he plots to try to win the heart of Samantha, usually through devious means. Then we have the side he shows to the PT. I see the PT as smart and feisty and someone who isn’t afraid to leave EJ on the floor until he agrees to the day’s exercises. At first he is cold to her, but given how he must trust her with his health, they eventually become reluctant friends as well as trying to ignore the growing attraction between each other. The PT can also ask EJ some tough questions. Why does he throw himself at a woman who doesn’t want him? EJ may say he loves her, but the PT can ask if he loves someone, how he can continue to lie to her (about his condition) and find ways that may hurt her?
As EJ’s health improves, so does his attitude towards the PT who begins to open up and be more herself around EJ. Occasionally she shares personal stories with him, and he finds himself drawn to her. Things get better each day unless Sami walks in which of course changes EJ’s attitude immediately and the PT can’t help but be a little jealous. Still, she wouldn’t want to get involved with a man like EJ, whether he is in love with his distant wife or not.
The PT also is a good influence on him. She notices how he seems distanced from his son unless Sami is around, and decides to push EJ into being more of a father than he is ready. EJ may reluctantly agree, but both become surprised as moments with Johnny breaks down EJ’s wall to the boy and opens the PT’s eyes towards EJ as well.
Then it all climaxes into when EJ (now able to walk some distances) unleashes a diabolical situation where he targets a member of the Brady family again. This time he chooses Kayla, as he has seen how close the woman is to Sami now. He arranges for an accident to occur, and waits on the sidelines to see it happen. Unfortunately, because the PT is just as close to Kayla, she accidentally walks into the trap, horrifying EJ.
The accident is severe enough to send the PT to the hospital and probably require surgery. EJ is devastated and is unable to console himself. This is where Paula gave me the idea that Steve can be the one to put two and two together, and there is a confrontation at the hospital. From there, EJ can choose to be the bigger man but say nothing at Steve’s accusations, or he can deny strongly but later breaks down in the church’s chapel. Either way, the true road of redemption happens for EJ and this would be just the type of thing to open his eyes and see how his Dimera ways do more harm than good and can backfire horrifically.
Course, what I propose won’t happen and I love it so much it hurts. I propose it because the current situation with EJ and Lucas and Sami is making me irritated. I’m not saying it’s not improved or watchable, it is, but I am starting to hate Lucas. Now that isn’t exactly something new, I can live with no love for him, but I’m tired of Sami too and that is absolutely unacceptable. I miss scheming Sami, and this fakeout of her feelings for EJ is hardly satisfying me.
And not just with my issues of above, having Marcus Hunter’s daughter be the PT to treat EJ is a nice reward for those of us who were a fan of the character. Marcus was a guy who really wanted to find his great love but instead was thwarted over and over again. It would be nice t to find out he found love after all, once he left Salem.
*Marlena’s dive out of the plane and near Smokey Robinson’s cabin never mentioned.
**I know Ashlee from IWTBASS has a part already, but I could so see her in this role.