Hey, good news, guys!* The writers finally, finally decided to give us a reason for Nikolas’ decision to viciously betray every person he’s ever loved! And that reason is… money. He’s literally just doing it for the money. So stop your whining, whiners! Everything makes perfect sense now.
Yes, it turns out running a brainwashing/resurrection clinic is surprisingly expensive. It seems like they could just throw a patent on that machine that brings people back from the dead, but what do I know about business? Clearly nothing. And sure, Nikolas still has enough funds to buy millions of dollars worth of stock in cash, but he is totes destitute now, y’all. What else could he do — sell off a few castles? Take over some other company that wasn’t owned by his dead wife’s family and didn’t require him to let his own cousin think her husband was dead? That’s all clearly crazy talk.
I had a whole rant ready to go, but Sam’s facial expressions so eloquently capture all of my feelings about this entire story that I’ll just let them do the talking:
SAM: You’re trying to take over ELQ? What are you doing to the Quartermaines? To Emily, her family, are you kidding me?
NIKOLAS: Sam, this isn’t personal. It’s business. ELQ is a thriving company. I’m going to turn it into a financial juggernaut.
This is really the least of my issues with this story, but ELQ is a “thriving” company? Seriously? Are we talking about the same ELQ that was recently under investigation by the feds and barely being kept afloat by relish that Franco poisoned on national television? That ELQ?
Although it was nice to hear someone bring up Emily, considering neither Elizabeth nor Nikolas seems to remember she existed.
SAM: Fine, if that’s what you have to do, go raid another corporation.
NIKOLAS: I don’t have time. I’ve already made inroads at ELQ, if I don’t capitalize on that, if I don’t shore up my resources, Spencer and I will never be able to live the life that we’re accustomed to.
SAM: Whoah whoah, wait a minute. Shore up your resources? What, are you afraid you’re going to have to sell your house in Lake Como? Or rent the apartment out in Paris? Oh, the horrors! How will you ever survive?
NIKOLAS: I will never ask my son to live in reduced circumstances! We’re Cassadines, damn it! We have a standard to uphold!
SAM: A STANDARD? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Kudos to Kelly Monaco for the truly magnificent amount of sarcasm she managed to pack into those few lines.
Also, it is amazing that Nikolas can look at his monstrous brat of a son — who has in the last year alone stalked and nearly murdered a fellow child for saying no to him, stolen from his father on multiple occasions, run away from home for days to get his way, and commonly refers to other people as “peasants” — and conclude that his biggest failure as a parent would be forcing him to live in a single castle with maybe only one butler. I mean, that’s not quite Sonny “nearly blew my own daughter up in a car bomb” Corinthos levels of bad parenting, but it is an impressive entry.
Guys, I’m becoming more and more convinced that Nikolas has actually been brainwashed by Helena. Because otherwise he’s just flat out gone insane.
Elsewhere, Luke and Laura set off for the Triple L and had this genuinely not rage-inducing conversation about their past:
LUKE: I was happy enough. I was just not… content. I was restless. I never felt I deserved you, Laura. And I was terrified of family life. I was always afraid I was gonna destroy it like I destroyed my childhood family. I didn’t really know what the fear was until recently. But I was afraid. I wasn’t resentful. I don’t regret our life together. Not for an instant. And I don’t regret our family. I never will.
It doesn’t entirely erase the decade he’s spent ranting about the evils of domesticity, but it’s a still a nice note to go out on.
Unfortunately, the actual note we’re going to go out on is a complex plot by a remarkably well-preserved Jennifer Smith to… have sex with Luke. Yes, she has the money and the means to enact an international kidnapping scheme, keep constant surveillance on Luke and Laura, and hire armed thugs to follow her around. And all she wants is sex. With Luke.
Once again, I’ll let the characters express my feelings about this development:
I’ll wait to see how it all plays out before subjecting you to a rant about this show’s continuing issues with both consent and treating male sexual assault like a hilarious joke. But for now I think we can all agree that: Jennifer, honey… you need to look at your life and your choices here.
*Spoiler: that was sarcastic. There is literally nothing good happening on this show right now. Sorry if I raised your hopes for even a split second.