Kevin Spirtis, Patrika Darbo, craig, nancy, jpi, days
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Viewers are already drawing their lines in the sand. 

There have been rumblings leading up to this moment for a few days, and now the moment has finally come. Days of Our Lives‘ Craig has admitted to Chloe that he’s not just cheating on Nancy, but with another man! And the fallout is sure to be a dramatic rollercoaster ride.

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For one thing, show headwriter Ron Carlivati recently spoke to Soap Opera Digest and teased that Craig and Nancy’s story will end up being a springboard for another couple.

“Craig and Nancy’s marriage is crumbling, and Craig is falling for someone else,” he told Soap Opera Digest. “We will use that story to bring Chloe and Brady closer. Chloe is not really ready to move into something romantic, but we do see her leaning more and more on Brady. When Craig wants Chloe to meet his new paramour, she asks Brady to come, so you know it becomes sort of de facto double date.”

Serving as a catalyst to bring another couple back together may not, however, appease some angry fans. Feelings run strong about this story, and viewers have had no problem coming for Carlivati for what they see as him forcing a subject only he cares about. That idea, though, is one he hasn’t hesitated to speak out against.

“When your sentence begins with ‘I have nothing against gay,’ you know what’s coming,” he tweeted in response to a fan.

For many, though, it goes a little deeper. In fact, their issue is even more than simply splitting up a favorite couple. After all, Craig and Nancy may have been around for over 20 years, but they only spent a couple years in Salem and have lived most of their relationship off-screen. Instead, folks are upset with the type of couple that’s being split up.

As one fan tweeted, “I remember how we used to have to defend Nancy on the message boards against all the fatphobes saying it wasn’t realistic that hot Craig would want plus sized Nancy. We were proud of Days of Our Lives for having representation of women in all sizes.”

Telling a late in life coming out story with this couple hits personally.

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And when put that way, it’s understandable. It certainly makes you step back and examine the nature of this couple and what they’ve meant to folks. But does that mean Nancy and Craig should be untouchable for all time?

Fans may not always like it, but the nature of soap opera couples is drama and strife. Everything working out doesn’t make for riveting television. Plus, to tell stories with impact, you need an established couple that viewers are invested in. If you just bring in new people with no history, viewers will shrug and move on. With Craig and Nancy being off-screen for so much of their relationship, there’s a lot that we haven’t seen about them.

And what we have seen fits, in a way, the story they’re telling. The two have been together since they were teenagers, back at a time Craig could have been so deep in the closet, even he didn’t understand what he was doing or what he wanted. Plus, there’s the glimpses of their marriage that we have seen. Some long-standing issues come up, Patrika Darbo teases to Digest, when Nancy finally learns the truth.

“He’s destroyed her entire life,” Darbo said. “She has come to the realization that they didn’t have a normal marriage. Yes, they have two beautiful children, but they were conceived wrong. I think Nancy’s furious and [wants to] kill him.”

Kevin Spirtas and Patrika Darbo, craig, nancy, joy's birth, JPI, DAYS

Above: Joy was conceived for… unusual reasons.

Credit: Paul Skipper/JPI

Chloe is Nancy’s child from when she was a teen, and Joy was conceived to provide her big sister with a bone marrow transplant and save her from leukemia. When you start looking at just how unusual their relationship always was, from a story perspective, it makes a certain amount of sense. But that doesn’t mean it’s a storyline that doesn’t sting or run the risk of pitting two under-represented groups against each other.

And there are folks on the other side who are along for the ride.

“Unpopular opinion, maybe,” one viewer tweeted, “but Craig being into men now doesn’t negate whatever apparent groundbreakingness Craig and Nancy were twenty years ago.”

Regardless of where fans fall, though, it seems likely emotions for both sides are going to be running high this entire story. And that, if we’re being honest, is something soaps dream of. And the strife is something actors certainly dream of. If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that they’re all knocking it out of the park right now.

“I’m broken-hearted that ‘Crancy’ was decimated in one episode after years of being together,” April tweeted. “But Nadia Bjorlin and Kevin Spirtas were phenomenal in these scenes.”

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So, bravo to the actors telling this tale. As Carlivati teased, it looks like we’ll be getting plenty of juicy Chloe and Brady story coming out of this. And, if we’re lucky, we’ll also get a new love story for plus-sized women as Nancy finds someone to help mend her broken heart and learn to love again.

Then there’s the question of who Craig’s been seeing. Someone from Salem’s past who’s been off-screen for some time as well? Someone new? Or someone more obvious… like Leo. That would certainly get strong fan reaction.

What do you think? Do you love where this story is going or hate it? We know you’ve got strong feelings about it, so sound off below!

Before you go, why not take a look at our gallery tracing Chloe’s life? You can get a better feel for the pull she and Brady can’t ever seem to shake, plus a peek into Nancy and Craig’s relationship.