Yep and we'll get the usual Ava/EJ 'badness' and none of it will matter in the end. It does write itself with Sami coming back. I imagine it plays into that but who knows?
I feel like we have Rafe because we can't/don't have Eric and I'm so bitter over it.
Oh, I have no doubt that they'll tease us with all this EJ and Nicole hotness, only to ultimately throw Nicole at that idiot Rafe. I have no idea what Nicole and Rafe's story would even be once they get together. There's just nothing to see there. At least with EJ and Nicole, the story/drama writes itself once Sami comes back.
If they controlled it as much as they wanted to they wouldn't always get ratioed. Politico's narratives in particular rarely take hold in the public these days but they try hard to push them anyway. Few resonate outside the Beltway, which is why you often see stuff trial ballooned on TV and then grudgingly walked back. (Remember how California was going to be a major referendum on the Democratic Party?)