Agree with most of your points regarding Priya, But here is my take.
1.Agree Vikram was completely out of character as he did have smile on his face while he was talking about Ram,,I too noticed Priya's expressions while Vikram was talking about Ram-Grim and serious..her expressions only changed when he told that this has affected Niharika and she realised her plan seems to be working..But in the scene Priya's concern aver Ram did come out but not aas strongly as I wld have wanted to see..
Had they added one more dialogue such as " I hate to see Ram Like this but I am doing all this for his own good,for our good"--wld have made hell lot of difference..As a viewer I do understand that Priya is doing all this for Ram but at the same time wld have loved to see an emotional side to Priya along with the shrewed and practical side in equal measure..The CVs had shown this very effectively last weekbut on Monday it did come across but not as strongly that is why such reactions from most of us here...
2.Regarding Ram-Right now he is shown very emotionally affected with the separation,,,but in past he was never shown that he was a puppet and controlled by anyone regarding anything and everything--yes. he was working for Nih and family,obeying her respecting her etc but did have a mind of his own also he did overrule her many times...during Karwa chauth,during his wedding when Nih asked for a change of venue,Also during the Tilak rasam agreeing for a simple wedding...Niharika has also taken care so as not to upset Ram--she has threatened both Nuts and
Sid time and again to be carefull--because if ram comes to know their 'kartoots' then no one woluld be able to save them..
Its only when it comes to emotional aspects the man becomes vulnerable and gives in very easily and Nih has used it very effectively..so yes Nih had an 'emotional contol' over the man..as she could make him do anything even marry a girl he did not like by just emotionally blackmailing him..
Priya has identified this in Ram and she knows that Ram is emotionally attached to her ..and the separation would affect him...and he wld stop giving in to Niharika's demands she wanted Nih to witness this change in Ram and her to realise that it is not just easy to just throw her out and 'control' Ram ..Am using the world 'control Ram'..because Niharika thinks so..that she has an emotional 'contol' over Ram...so her dialogue 'KI ko Ram Kapoor chalate hain aur RAm Kapoor ko Priya RAm Kapoor' was purely in Nih's context--because that is the only language she thinks and understands...
Dont think Priya wld ever want to 'control' her husband and use him to her advantage ever..the way Niharika was doing so far..If Ram's love for Priya is changing Ram and Nih's hold over him is decreasing so be it...cuz true love wld make the man much more stronger than anything else..
My only dislike was that Ram becoming totally inactive while he was heart broken.he cld have shown taking some corrective measures on the Sharma front and shown ignoring his company--that wld have suited his character more..
So to me the episode cld have been rocking if the CVs were more carefull--
1.They shld haven givne Priya a dialogue expressing her worry about Ram--even though her expressions were grim and serious while Viks was narrating about Ram--The emotion did not come out as strongly to my liking.
2.Ram cld have shown some actions on the sharma front trying to ressurrect Kartik and also reaching out to the press regarding Priya's defamation.
3.Avoiding the stupid Vik-Neha scene,
4.Vikram NOT having that smile on his face during his scene with priya atleast when he was talking about Ram,The CVS cld have shown Viks attending to Ram and urging him to eat...instead of the Sharmas.
5.Vik-Neha scene was useless--Neha lost in her own world and not knowing about RaYA was irritating...
So for me CVS did ruin a chance to dish out a potentially rocking episode...
Its like preparing a good dish with all the perfect spices and masalas and then ruining it by adding too much salt or less salt..a minor error leading to a big disaster..
but am glad that the story did move further and was not a drag..