Nicole Walker was one of my favorite characters.
She was smart, funny, spunky, and took no BS from anyone despite her desperation to be loved.
And then the writers ruined her. Since 2014, she has done nothing but apologize to one abusive partner after another and beg him to take her back.
She had a brief break from this, I guess, when she and Daniel had a happy relationship off-screen prior to him being killed by Eric in yet another gratuitous death during a year where everyone kept dying.
After Daniel's death, Nicole was bounced from man to man, her strong character being diluted and weakened by each one, and each one being more abusive than the last.
All of which culminated in her ignoble exit.
Nicole's exit saw Brady turn into a stalker who wanted to control her and who was insanely jealous of her friendship with Eric, especially after Nicole kept the fact that she had forgiven Eric for Daniel's death to herself.
Brady's abuse escalated after Nicole slept with Eric and he warned her that if she did not end things with her new lover, he would reveal that she had murdered Deimos.
Nicole promptly did exactly what he asked, dumping Eric with no explanation, telling Sami she did it for her daughter, asking Jennifer to watch over Eric, and then leaving town with her daughter. The end.
I want Holly to be happy. I just want you and Eric to be miserable.Brady
What a horrific ending for what used to be one of Salem's strongest women!
The Nicole I know would not have given in to blackmail so easily, especially of the stupid variety.
This was the woman who had helped chase down Dr. Chyka and confronted him virtually on her own and had saved Daniel from a violent drug dealer after he told her not to help him confront the guy!
And Brady's threat was ridiculous. All Nicole had to do was tell Eric the truth about what Brady had threatened to do and that would be that, especially since he was threatening to turn her in for a murder she committed while being drugged against her will.
But instead of smart, funny, spunky Nicole leaving on her own terms, we got weak, abused, unable-to-stand-up-to-a-man Nicole.
And everyone says Adrienne is acting funny.
As God is my witness, I will be back. We will be back.Nicole
If Nicole does come back to Salem someday, I hope it's the real Nicole and not this watered down weakling.
In addition to the whole thing being out of character, Nicole's exit was rushed. In a matter of weeks, she decided she was in love with Eric, dumped Brady, gave in to a blackmail threat, and had the obligatory final scenes with both Sami and Jennifer.
There was no reason to rush this storyline. The writers knew for months that actress Ari Zucker had decided to leave the show. It wasn't like they just found out a month before the scenes were filmed.
Maybe if the last six months had been dedicated to giving Nicole the exit she deserved, we wouldn't have got this nonsensical story that moved at super-speed and ruined Nicole's character.
Nicole should have left as a strong, independent woman who was ready to raise her daughter with the same take-no-BS attitude she had, not as a wimpy mess of a person who didn't have a clue how to stand up to the latest abusive man she was trying to leave.
Sami: You need to focus on the positives in your life. Think about Allie -
Lucas: Don't talk to me about Allie. I don't have Allie. She lives with you now, remember?
Sami: So? That's not the point.
Lucas: That is the point! That is exactly the point. [Crawls over to flask] I don't have Allie, so I don't have to be sober anymore. I can be the drunk lord of Salem if I want! By the way, you're a little late to play the Allie card. Everyone's already tried it. My mother, Maggie, Jennifer, Chloe. It didn't work. So get in line to get Lucas some help. They even staged an intervention, but I wasn't having it. No way. Uh uh. [looks at Sami] So, what are you thinking? You thinking I'm my own worst enemy?
[Sami grabs flask out of Lucas' hand]
Sami: No. You're not your worst enemy. [downs flask] I am.
Elsewhere in Salem, Hurricane Sami tore through. Sami is one of those characters who alternates between genuine strength and petty nonsense. I love her when she's strong and I'm glad to see more strength than silliness,
Full disclosure: I am a Lucas/Sami fan from way back when so their scenes at the graveyard were super exciting for me. Sami was strong and firm with just enough crazy mixed in to actually get through to Lucas and I loved her declaration that they would find out the truth about Will together.
I also really liked Sami visiting Marlena at her office. These two have always had a complicated relationship, and the irony of the town psychiatrist being unable to resolve her relationship with her daughter interests me.
Sami's visit with Marlena had so much warmth, yet Marlena was still trying and failing to rein her impulsive daughter in.
Andre: I would never have agreed to help if I'd known this woman was involved.
Sami: I'm surprised you agreed to help at all, since the wizard forgot to give you a heart.
Once Sami got to the Dimera mansion, though, all bets were off. I could have done without Sami trying to get revenge on Abigail by kissing Chad.
Abby and Chad saw through that nonsense right away and while I've enjoyed many of the nods to history in the past few months, this one seemed pointless.
Once that was out of the way, Sami got down to business and tried to get Andre to help her find the truth about Will.
I enjoyed Sami and Andre's sparring as much as ever, though I will never quite get Andre and Abby's friendship or why she has so much influence over him.
I also liked Sami's visit to Eric with that pathetic cake for their birthday. It was just like Sami to have only one candle when it was both of their birthdays!
Naturally, Sami had to go off to confront Nicole. I wish Nicole had told her the whole truth. I'd love to see Sami knock some sense into Brady as only she can, and as much as she hates Nicole I don't think she would appreciate Brady's behavior lately.
In fact, I hope Sami finds out that Brady keeps encouraging Lucas to drink with him. That should cause her to go off on her step-brother as only she can.
You know, if I divorce Maggie, the woman that I love, and marry you, the woman that bores me and who Justin loves, everyone will know that something is very, very wrong.Victor
It looks like the walls are FINALLY closing in on Bonnie!
This should have happened a long time ago. Like, the first time she messed up a key detail Adrienne would have known or the second John and Marlena returned from their mental hospital misadventure courtesy of Hattie.
It boggles my mind how after everyone in town learned about Marlena being replaced by a doppleganger, people have said over and over that Adrienne isn't at all like herself, yet no one has figured out she was also replaced.
Anyway, it was pretty obvious that Victor and Maggie came up with this plan together to ensnare Bonnie. Maggie was kissing Victor seconds before he presented her with divorce papers and then totally overacted when pretending to be devastated.
Bonnie is really stupid to think she could get one over on Victor in the first place. I wonder if Sheila is in on the plan too.
For some reason, before we could get on with it, we were treated to Bonnie's bizarre fantasies at Mickey's grave. I know the writers sometimes have to fill time, but this was ridiculous.
I really didn't see a point to the parodies of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" and "Mommy Dearest." All I saw was Bonnie being mean to Maggie and then telling Mickey's grave she didn't mean it.
These fantasies weren't campy. They were just ridiculous.
Surely there was a better way to fill time.
I have an idea! Next time they need to fill half an hour, how about giving JJ something to do?
He hasn't been seen since Hope reinstated him, but Rafe certainly had plenty of disparaging input about that.
Rafe, who was once suspended for covering up that his sister caused the kidnapping that led to the death of JJ's father and was reinstated just in time to help Hope cover up her murder of Stefano, whined that Hope wasn't hard enough on JJ and that she was putting her family ties above her professional duties.
In case that bit of hypocrisy wasn't enough, Rafe was more than happy for Hope to promise him preferential treatment a few minutes later.
I don't know who thinks this is romance, but I certainly don't. All I see is a man belittling his girlfriend's abilities and insinuating that she doesn't have the intelligence or capability to do her job without him there to correct all of her missteps.
I also see massive hypocrisy, which is not attractive, and JJ being used as a scapegoat and being held to a higher standard than the person who is criticizing him.
I can't believe there was a time when I thought Rafe would be a good mentor for JJ!
There was some random teen stuff that didn't really go anywhere. Theo and Claire did a lot of kissing and had sex on the living room couch while Kayla was nice to Tripp when she discovered he was working at the cafe she wanted to eat at.
This Tripp/Claire/Theo triangle is already getting old before it really begins, and I don't blame Kayla for having misgivings about a kid who risked her patients' lives and then held her hostage when that failed to destroy Kayla's career fast enough for him.
What did you think of Days of Our Lives during the week of 10-16-17? Did you enjoy Nicole's exit? Is Sami as wild as you expected her to be?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion!
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.