As of late, it’s been really, really easy to hate EJ DiMera. He’s smug, condescending, controlling, and dismissive. And yet, beneath the bluster, there’s obviously a wellspring of other emotions desperate to breakthrough; it’s as if big, bad EJ is merely posturing – an intriguing promise, made possible thanks entirely to the brilliant work of actor Dan Feuerriegel, the most recent recipient of Soap Hub’s Performer of the Week honors.
EJ actually began “date night” by trying to do Nicole Walker Brady (Arianne Zucker) – and the audience – a favor by talking her into permanently disposing of Duke the Bear, though his efforts were all for naught.
Then, his attempt to treat his, “favorite ex-wife,” to a sumptuous, and very expensive, meal at Julie’s Place was stymied by the arrival of Rafe Hernandez (Galen Gering) and Ava Vitali (Tamara Braun) – the two people that he and Nicole least wanted to cross paths with.
Once the (strained) pleasantries had been exchanged, it was time for the verbal jousting. No Rafe, EJ and Nicole are not having a business discussion; this interaction is pure pleasure. And sure old man, he and Nicole may have divorced, twice, but there’s an old saying: third times the charm.
Cue more banter, withering looks, and a parting of the ways. No longer able to enjoy their meal in peace, EJ suggested he and Nicole adjourn to the DiMera manse. As a parting gift, EJ personally handed Rafe his and Nicole’s unfinished (and pricey) wine.
Much to EJ’s chagrin, there was a further battle to wage, namely against Chad DiMera (Billy Flynn), who’d agreed to fund Johnny DiMera’s (Carson Boatman) movie and Abigail Deveraux DiMera (Marci Miller) who’d agreed to star in it. “Of course, how silly,” EJ snapped at his one-time lover, “you are the Dame Judi of Salem.”
Gone in a flash was the charming man who had been seated across from Nicole only minutes early – replaced by a seething cauldron of pent-up rage that threatened to explode in violent fury. Seconds later, the anger had dissipated to self-pity, self-loathing, and a whole lot of regret. Kudos to Dan Feuerriegel for so effortless handling the whiplash.
Thanks to Nicole, EJ gained some clarity, and, dare we say it, a new perspective. So much of his anger does stem from his wife’s recent adultery; he is trying to control events and people in order to feel like he has some power over his own destiny.
EJ promised to take all that Nicole said into consideration – here’s hoping that he does. And here’s hoping that we’ll soon be privy to a new and improved EJ, which will no doubt allow Dan Feuerriegel the opportunity to portray further facets of the most complex character.
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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