Kristen acts surprised. (NBC)

Deconstructing “DOOL” from December 3 – January 4:

Dustin here once again filling in for Christine, who will be back from vacation next week. Until then, these are my thoughts on New Year’s week. There was a lot of kissing, a lot of punching, and a few people who need to learn how to party.

Swapping spit in Salem.
New Years in Salem ran the gamut from hilarious to down right dull, with some kisses squeezed in. Nicole distracted E.J. so that Rafe could get a moment with Sami at midnight. I loved Nicole jumping on E.J. in the middle of the coffee house and planting a kiss on him. Meanwhile Rafe and Sami shared a kiss at midnight under the fireworks. They say whoever your kissing at midnight is who you spend the year with . . . is “DOOL” trying to give us a hint? Or are they once again just toying with us the viewers and have no intention of making a decision regarding these four.

E.J. later untangled himself from Nicole long enough to share a post-midnight kiss with Sami. However by then there were clearly no more fireworks, in the sky nor on the screen. Frankly that was the most boring kiss in Ejami history. Rafe was fairly smug seeing their kiss too. He claimed it was because E.J. kissed her, not the other way around. I think he’s feeling pretty confident that Sami is going to choose him. I tended to think part of what was tickling Rafe so much was the fact that E.J. was inhaling his germs from Sami’s mouth. If Sami can’t seem to choose which man she wants, she should at least carry around a bottle if binanca. I feel like this entire scene was really just the show’s way of playing it safe and trying to please both fanbases by giving them both a kiss.

Elsewhere in Salem, Chad and Abby won the award for the most boring New Year’s date in the history of the show. The two spent the night so wrapped up in a thrilling game of Monopoly that they didn’t realize it was midnight until they heard the fireworks going off. Now I remember why they fizzled out as a couple the first time around. Meanwhile Abby must have learned to party from her mom, as Jen and Daniel spent and equally boring date working at the hospital. At this point I’m looking forward to the trouble Chloe is about to bring the two of them because watching them is dullsville. What do you want to see the writers do with Chloe this time? Vote in our Days Poll: Chloe’s Return.

I know what’s going on!
As Nick and Gabi’s clearly doomed marriage approaches, everyone in Salem thinks they know what is going on with the trio. Every time I hear those words I roll my eyes. The only time someone really knows what is going on is when they are the one person who we don’t want to know the truth. Eric gave the couple the joyous news that the Bishop had personally okay’d him to marry them in the church. Frankly I don’t even understand why Nick and Gabi are so set on getting married at Saint Luke’s because the church is cursed. Nothing good ever happens there. It’s a sure fire way to make sure their wedding is ruined and their big secret is exposed in front of all of Salem.

Will keeps getting more and more confident in himself and has been standing up to Nick a lot. However I don’t think Will is going to get the courage to put an end to this lie. Nick doesn’t seem too impressed by Will’s attempts to stand up to him, and he probably thinks he has nothing to fear from “the gay boy.” If it comes down to a fistfight, frankly my money is on Will.

Will may not have the balls to stand up to Nick, but Grandma Kate sure does. I just hope that Nick signs some ironclad contract with Kate before everything hits the fan. I am looking forward to Nick getting treated the way he’s treated everyone else the last few weeks. Nick might think it can’t get worse than being someone’s bitch in prison, but it can! Welcome to life working for Kate.