Oh, Liz. Oh, girl. LOOK AT YOUR LIFE. LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES. (Except for maybe your choice to wear that sweater, because damn, it looked good.)
Seriously, though, that was a short lived period of me not hating Nik’s guts and enjoying the Liz/Nik revisit, huh? This Nik — the entitled, condescending, pushy Nik? — is pretty much my least favorite parts of the character condensed into one super potent package of assiness.
ELIZABETH: My reaction had more to do with me than AJ. I feel bad about our affair. Nikolas, I still feel incredibly guilty.
NIKOLAS: Whatever feelings you have about our past, it doesn’t excuse AJ. He’s acting like a jealous idiot who’s trying to claim you like you’re his property!
Um, Nikolas? I’ve got this pot on the phone? He says he’d like to call your kettle black.
The good news (and I may be proven wrong on this, and if I am, I will seriously cry, because WHY!?!) is that everything about those scenes still seemed to be pointing at Elizabeth and AJ as the couple to root for. I hope that’s not wishful thinking on my part. And not only because if it is, I’ll have to face the fact that these writers also think that badgering and refusing to take no for an answer or give even the tiniest crap about his brother’s feelings is romantic behavior on Nikolas’ part.
But when you have Elizabeth looking like she literally wants to vomit every time he touches her, and you have her consumed with thoughts about another man the entire time, and you have him flashing back with fondness to the same sex scenes that Elizabeth was remembering less than a month ago while she talked about how filled with self-hatred they both were at the time? I don’t know. I have hope.
The nice thing about bringing Nikolas in as a spoiler for AJ and Liz is that with their history, he presents just enough of a believable rival to give the triangle some real bite. But just as AJ’s number one demon is his fear that he’ll always be just a loser alcoholic who sabotages everything good in his life, Elizabeth’s weakness is her guilt over the mistakes she’s made in the past with Nikolas. What we’ve seen this week has been both of them indulging the temptation to fall back on those same old, self-destructive patterns — and hopefully what we’ll see moving forward is them helping each other to move in a healthier direction.
Oh, and speaking of AJ’s demons…
He and Carly? Should feel free to have hate sex ANY TIME THEY WANT. Because not only was that hot as hell, but their instant, mutually disgusted regret afterward was just so entertaining. And the fact that they did it in AJ’s meticulously preserved high school bedroom, which allowed Monica to interrupt the shame-fest with the most adorably enthusiastic and embarrassing mom reaction possible? Just a bonus.
(Laura Wright’s facial expressions of amusement, disbelief, disdain, and just the right amount of hurt while listening to Monica disparaging AJ’s previous bed partners to heap praises on Elizabeth? Pitch perfect, by the way. I really can’t get enough of the writers engaging with AJ and Carly’s complicated past. )
Elsewhere! We got what seem to be Brandon Barash’s last scenes this week. After a year of some super douchery that all but destroyed my previous love for the character, it was nice they let Johnny go out on a noble note.
(Also, apparently, he and Kelly Sullivan do have some actual chemistry when she’s not playing mentally ill and he’s not raping her? WHO KNEW?)
And now, because we can, because it is back, baby… here’s your One Life to Live moment of zen:
STILL MY FAVORITE SOAP SIBLING DUO EVER.