Saturday, February 16, 2008

Twisted Love

In the living room in EJ’s apartment, Evil Crazy EJ is dressed in his Batman Halloween costume, and Samantha is dressed in her She-Ra outfit.

Evil Crazy EJ (announcing): “It is time for another amazing adventure of Princess Samantha and her crimefighting partner, Super EJ! Together this powercouple patrol the mean streets of Salem keeping everyone except Lucas safe and rescuing kitties stuck in trees!”

As Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha pretend to fly around the room, Evil EJ and Gray EJ sit at a card table near the window.

Gray EJ (examining his hand): “Do you have any eights?”

Evil EJ (raising his eyebrow): “Go fish.”

Good EJ opens the door to the apartment and enters, nearly knocking into Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha as he does so.

Good EJ (apologizing): “Oh, I’m sorry, Evil Crazy EJ. I should have looked before opening the door all the way.”

Evil Crazy EJ (still pretending to fly): “Yes, Princess Samantha says that you should be more careful, good citizen!”

Evil EJ (looking up): “Oh, if it isn’t Rainbow Brite deigning us with her presence. Did you finally remember that you forgot your spine? I think I saw it in your room next to your Bratz dolls.”

Gray EJ (smiling): “Hi, Good EJ. How’s Samantha and the twins?”

Good EJ (nicely): “Everyone’s fine, and if you watched the show from two Fridays ago, Evil EJ, you’d know that I was as firm with Samantha as I needed to be. What are you two doing?”

Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha stop for a moment.

Evil Crazy EJ (excitedly): “It is The Go Fish Tournament of Losers! I beat Gray EJ, Samantha beat Evil EJ, and Samantha beat me! So Gray EJ and Evil EJ are playing to see who is the best loser!”

Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha resume their patrolling.

Good EJ (considering): “Obviously you threw your match, Gray EJ, but I’m surprised you lost to Samantha, Evil EJ.”

Evil EJ (unperturbed): “Alas, one’s best sometimes still falls short. But you’d know all about that, wouldn’t you?”

Good EJ (snide): “Actually I came back to let you all know where I was. I convinced Samantha to take a break from the current plot, so I had a wonderful Valentine’s Day dinner and evening with her and our children. Samantha was touched by the pendant I bought her on behalf of Gianni and Ali, so much so that she agreed to let the twins stay with Caroline and spend a nice long weekend with me in Paris.”

Gray EJ (imagining): “That sounds lovely.”

Evil EJ (extremely jealous): “A bit trite, but there is no better place than the City of Lights to preromance a woman.”

The three EJs look at each other for a moment before bursting out in laughter.

Gray EJ (holding back tears): “That is never going to get old, is it?”

Good EJ (shaking his head): “No, I don’t believe it will, along with us and Samantha not being a couple.”

Evil EJ (grinning): “Indeed. I’ll preromance someone, alright.”

After the laughter dies down, Good EJ sees that Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha are still pretending to fly in the far other side of the room. He clears his throat uneasily.

Good EJ (unsure how to proceed): “Can I ask you a question, Evil EJ?”

Evil EJ (looking at his cards): “You already did, cupcake. Hand over your fours, Gray EJ.”

Gray EJ (obeying): “You could at least pretend to ask, you know.”

Good EJ (looking around the apartment): “Have you ever thought about getting some help for Evil Crazy EJ? I mean, I hate to bring it up, but this place is a complete mess. His toys and the rest of his belongings are everywhere along with what appears to be cookie crumbs ground into the carpet.”

Gray EJ (looking up at Good EJ): “Don’t worry about it. Evil EJ and I are going to clean everything up once we’re done with this match.”

Evil EJ (nodding at Good EJ): “I would have done it myself earlier today, but I had some stocks to short.”

Good EJ (frowning slightly): “Okay, but that’s not what I mean. Evil Crazy EJ needs some help beyond housekeeping.”

Evil EJ (not liking where the conversation is going): “I’m all the help Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha could possibly need, and how dare you imply otherwise.”

Good EJ (now defensive): “I’ll do more than that. Have you thought about taking Evil Crazy EJ to see a specialist?”

Evil EJ (eyes narrowing): “No, and if I were you, I’d chose your next words very carefully.”

Good EJ (gesturing): “You’re two grown men playing a children’s card game because he would throw a fit if you didn’t.”

Evil EJ (tilting his head): “And your point is? Would it be more socially acceptable if we were playing poker? Do you suddenly care about being embarrassed now that my Samantha is pretending to warm up to you?”

Good EJ (scoffing): “Of course not, and my Samantha is seeing that we are a better man now.”

Gray EJ opens his mouth to speak only to have Evil EJ beat him to it.

Evil EJ (firmly): “He’s happy. A lot happier than you, Hero EJ, Gray EJ, or even I could ever hope to be.”

Good EJ (disagreeing): “He’s content. He’s twenty-nine years old-”

Evil EJ (interrupting with mock surprise): “Oh, really? He’s the same age as the rest of us? Thank you for informing us, you-”

Good EJ (plowing ahead): “He’s twenty-nine years old, and his life consists of playing and carrying a plastic doll with him everywhere he goes. He has nothing. No job, no friends-”

Evil EJ (irate): “I am his friend! So is Gray EJ here as long as he stays on his good side. You’re certainly not. You barely spend any time with him. Why do you care?”

Good EJ (insistent): “Someone has to since you appear to be fine with this quality of life for him. Look at what he’s doing right now! But that’s just fine with you, eh? Don’t want any competition for the top evil slot, now do you? You want to keep him like this so that position always belongs to you.”

Good EJ (insinuating at he moves his hand): “You pretend that you’re his best friend, but you really don’t care for him at all.”

Evil EJ (enraged as he stands): “Care for him?!! I am the one who takes him and Samantha to the park! I am the one who buys their toys! I’m the one who calms him down when he gets scared by the vacuum cleaner! Spare me your self-righteous indignation. The only person he needs to be saved from is you subjecting him to some stupid experiments that will only scare him.”

Good EJ (unwilling to give up): “But what if he doesn’t have to be this way? What if we can help him? What if something we try works, and he’s not crazy anymore?”

Evil EJ (pressing): “What if it does? And one day Samantha’s not there waiting for him when he wakes up in the morning? He’d rather die than lose his wife.”

Good EJ (rolling his eyes): “His wife? She’s a Barbie doll! You indulging him in his delusions only reinforces the fantasy.”

Evil EJ (firmly): “She’s just as real to him as we are. There is no doubt in his mind that she is the real Samantha who loves him wholeheartedly.”

Evil EJ (pointing animatedly in Evil Crazy EJ’s direction): “You break his faith in her, and you’ll never be able to repair it. What happens to him if he loses that, yet he still slips back into this psychosis after his mind adjusts to whatever worthless medication you put him on? He’d never be able to cope. He needs her.”

Good EJ (seething): “Only because you enable him.”

Evil EJ (defiant): “On the contrary. I free him to live for himself and what he wants.”

Good EJ (shaking his head): “No, you keep him in this state so he’s easier to control. He’d be better off without you pretending to care for him.”

Evil EJ (eyes blazing): “You touch a hair on Evil Crazy EJ’s or Samantha’s heads, and you will cough your heart out through your throat, you useless meatbag.”

Suddenly Good EJ and Evil EJ turn their heads at the same time and look down at Gray EJ.

Good EJ and Evil EJ (in unison): “What do you think?”

Torn, Gray EJ has a blank look on his face as his eyes dart between the two. After several moments of silence, he eventually speaks slowly.

Gray EJ (ever so carefully): “Well…I wish we could help Evil Crazy EJ too, Good EJ, but Evil EJ is his primary caregiver. It’s his decision.”

His pretend flying catching up with him, Evil Crazy EJ crashes into the side table next to the door and knocks it over, spilling its contents and himself onto the floor. Unhurt, Evil Crazy EJ laughs while Good EJ looks at Evil EJ and shakes his head in disgust.

Good EJ (narrowing his eyes): “I have to get back to Samantha and the twins, but this isn’t over. Not by a long shot.”

Good EJ leaves the apartment in a huff and calms himself down in the hallway before entering Sami’s apartment.

Evil EJ (ignoring the previous conversation and looking at what Evil Crazy EJ knocked onto the floor): “I see that your brown vase has survived unscathed. How unfortunate.”

Gray EJ (insulted): “I’ll have you know I paid good money for that.”

Evil EJ (dryly): “I suppose you have a point. With something that ugly, the landfill would just reject it anyway for fear that it would contaminate the rest of the garbage.”

Evil Crazy EJ (nicely): “I think that’s enough flying for today, right, Samantha? Samantha?”

With his keen powers of observation, Evil EJ sees that Samantha has been thrown into the middle of the room and lost her right arm in the process.

Evil Crazy EJ (worried at he looks around): “Samantha? Samantha, are you okay?”

Evil EJ walks over and picks Samantha and her now loose limb up off the floor and covers the disconnected joint with his right hand before Evil Crazy EJ can see.

Evil EJ (smiling): “Evil Crazy EJ, I’m having a tough time with Gray EJ here in our tournament. Since she’s the champion, I’d like to ask Samantha for some assistance if she doesn’t mind.”

Evil Crazy EJ (nodding): “Of course not. Tell her I’ll be right back.”

Evil Crazy EJ picks himself off the floor and heads off to the bathroom. Once he has left the room, Evil EJ sits down at the card table and snaps Samantha’s arm back into place as Gray EJ watches.

Gray EJ (amazed): “How’d you do that without cracking the plastic?”

Evil EJ (smoothly): “I am a man of many talents, and like so many other things in life, there’s a trick to it.”

Evil Crazy EJ comes back into the room and happily takes Samantha from Evil EJ as Evil EJ picks up his cards.

Evil Crazy EJ (wondering): “How did it go? Did he listen to your advice?”

Samantha: “…”

Evil Crazy EJ (lighting up): “That’s fantastic! Samantha is so glad she could help you, Evil EJ!”

Evil EJ is surprised as Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha suddenly hug him.

Samantha: “…”

Evil Crazy EJ (looking at Evil EJ’s cards after the hug): “Ehehe…yes, Samantha! Evil EJ is going to win now!”

After he thinks for a moment, Gray EJ looks at Evil EJ in disbelief.

Gray EJ (incredulously): “You do have eights! You’re cheating at go fish?!!”

Evil EJ (indignant): “One practices one’s skills where one can.”

Tired from his day with Samantha, Evil Crazy EJ yawns loudly but before Evil EJ can suggest anything, Evil Crazy EJ speaks.

Evil Crazy EJ (insistent): “Samantha and I don’t want to go to bed yet. It is a holiday! That means we stay up late!”

Evil EJ (understanding): “That’s fine. Why don’t you two look at the Valentine’s Day presents you gave to each other then? Gray EJ and I need to finish our game.”

Evil Crazy EJ (nodding): “Okay! I love the pastel set that Samantha gave me, and Samantha can try on her new red dress!”

Samantha: “…”

Evil Crazy EJ (grinning): “I’m so happy you like it so much, Samantha! Evil EJ helped me pick it out.”

Chatting with each other, Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha head off to their room. After they have left, quiet hangs in the air as Evil EJ and Gray EJ stare at each other.

Gray EJ (simply): “I’m in.”

Evil EJ (smiling): “Excellent.”

Evil EJ (setting his hand down on the table): “Nothing is ever truly fifty-fifty, eh?”

Gray EJ (annoyed): “Not when our supposed leader is a total moron. I would like to help Evil Crazy EJ too, but we can’t. We are aspects of one unified personality. Trying to alter our given natures is a road we cannot afford to go down. We are already balanced between the light and the dark with you and Evil Crazy EJ on one side, Good EJ and Hero EJ on the other, and me in the middle. If we try to make Evil Crazy EJ sane, the worse case scenario is we all die. Best case scenario, nothing we do will work, and he’ll remain as he is. Most likely scenario…”

Gray EJ shrugs.

Gray EJ (thinking aloud): “I don’t know. I’d like to say the latter, but we cannot risk the former. And you’re right that in any case we can’t take Samantha away from him. It’d be one thing if we knew we could maintain his lucidity once we achieved it, but with his level of insanity, odds are we’d just make things worse. He’s just too far gone. Medical science currently isn’t at the point where we can easily treat someone as lost as him without disabling side effects. He’s much more functional this way than as some drugged up zombie.”

Evil EJ (agreeing): “You’ve always had our best interests at heart.”

Gray EJ (giving Evil EJ a look): “And you know that, which is why I have no doubt that you purposely encouraged Evil Crazy EJ to play superhero today and chose not to clean up earlier in case Good EJ dropped by. But he still went for the opening you gave him, and that’s…troubling. He wasn’t like this a few months ago.”

Evil EJ (nodding): “True. Given that redemption appears to be sticking this time, I think he believes he does not need to oblige us, yet we must accommodate him.”

Gray EJ (sighing): “Yes, and that’s simply not fair. We have rights too. What’s next, he demands Hero EJ not come and go as he pleases? I can’t be good and evil? You can’t defraud credit card companies?”

Evil EJ (pleased): “I had no doubt you’d be on the winning team, Gray EJ.”

Gray EJ (crestfallen): “I won’t lie. He was getting on my nerves with his refusal to share Samantha. Still I really, really don’t like that it had to come to this. I mean, we’re planning a coup.”

Evil EJ (tilting his head): “Well, I do like that it has come to this, but I understand. We’ve never had to resort to force before. The turnover between EJs has always been easy and bloodless up to this point.”

Gray EJ (shaking his head): “Well, there’s a first time for everything, I suppose. So now what? As you mentioned, we have Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha on our side, but that still leaves Hero EJ. How are we going to deal with him, especially since this means seceding control to you?”

Evil EJ (explaining): “I’ve ran though the possible scenarios in my head, and I do not believe physical confrontation will work. Even though we outnumber him, Hero EJ always manages to turn the odds in his favor. Based upon last summer, I suspect he has the power to alter probability, so he always wins in any given situation.”

Gray EJ (considering): “So what then? We’re not going to be able to convince him.”

Evil EJ (raising his eyebrow): “Yes, but we don’t have to. I will bargain with him.”

Gray EJ (wondering): “What do you have that he could possibly want?”

Evil EJ (quietly): “Samantha.”

Gray EJ (acknowledging): “That angle just might work. In any case, I am on your side, but there’s one condition I have in addition to me getting some air time.”

Evil EJ (crossing his arms): “I thought there would be. You can only suppress the goodness so long, can’t you?”

Gray EJ (firmly): “We are redeemed now. You cannot jeopardize that.”

Evil EJ (smiling): “I have no intention of doing so.”

Gray EJ (warning): “You better not. With John being Santeen’s son, the Brady/Horton domination of the show was broken, but we’re still stuck with the rest of Days’ morality laws, and that means evil people cannot be loved. We’re not going to be able to get around them no matter what. So nothing truly evil like stealing internal organs.”

Evil EJ (accepting): “No one needs a kidney right now, Gray EJ, and yes, I understand. I’ve had more than enough time to think about the subject, and while you and I can bend those rules by interjecting as much darkness as we can into the white template we’ve been reinvented with, we will have to keep up the better man act the rest of the time if we want time with Samantha.”

Gray EJ (pleased): “Agreed.”

Evil EJ (getting up and straightening his suit jacket): “Then it’s decided. Now that’s settled, I’d better check on Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha. His protests aside, I assume I will have to put them to bed, but I’ll be back to finish our game and clean up the apartment afterwards.”

Evil EJ moves towards Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha’s room as Gray EJ speaks.

Gray EJ (quietly): “Evil EJ?”

Evil EJ stops in the doorway of Evil Crazy EJ and Samantha’s room and turns around.

Gray EJ (openly): “I know about the psychiatrists you’ve met and the mental health references you hide in your desk. If you believed there was even the slightest hope of helping Evil Crazy EJ, you already would have.”

Evil EJ (corner of his mouth turning up): “Thank you, you waste of flesh.”

Gray EJ (chuckling in spite of himself): “Anytime.”

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

“I know I’m wearing gray, but I have a waiver excusing me from Days’ clothing morality laws today, just like how Evil EJ wore white in Mexico.”

“I just realized that while the individual pieces I’m wearing are fine, they simply don’t work together as an outfit.”

“Santo and Colleen were together in death? So you’re saying you want me to kill you then, eh?”

“This week on Unsolved Mysteries-how I managed to make a DVD in prison and arrange for a set complete with fake fireplace.”

Ali knows who her daddy is. I believe “no bonding” between EJ and Ali will be as successful as “not a couple” was for Ejami.

“You’re Samantha Brady Roberts Horton DiMera.” So still DiMera for now, huh? And way to point out that Ejami is still married and no movement been made towards an annulment or divorce yet neither EJ nor Sami are acknowledging either of those facts. Seriously, show, try downplaying your weaknesses instead of highlighting them.

“It seems, uh, strange to say this, but I'm a little disappointed to be leaving here.” Well, it might be, EJ, IF YOU HADN’T JUST SAID IT 15 MINUTES AGO. And “This is the only time I've ever experienced a bit of what it's like to be part of a real family?” Arrrgh! What guy talks like that? None. No, not even you, Good EJ. Come on, Days. SHOW, DON’T TELL.

“Philip, I don’t like this plot! I don’t like it at all!!”

The Grade: Underwhelmed. The awkward silences between Ejami and the tiptoeing around each other doesn’t do it for me at all, but what’s really killing me is the generic dialog. The lines coming out of EJ’s and Sami’s mouths could be said by anyone on any show, and that’s just shoddy craftsmanship. C-.