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 Two Scoops: October 13, 2008 columns
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Anthony Herrera
Rest in peace, James Stenbeck
For the Week of October 13, 2008
Stenbeck is one of the best villains that the show has ever produced. During the will reading, it was as if he was in the room, despite being on video, when he told Paul to settle down and told Dustin to get the smirk off of his face. Ah, James, you will be missed.
Men of Oakdale, consider this a warning. Dusty Donovan is back in town and, apparently, no woman can resist him. The guy is more desirable than chocolate to the ladies of Oakdale. No one is immune to his charm, regardless of age or hair color. From Lucinda to Ali, the ladies in town are celebrating his return from the dead.

It took Emily all of two minutes to dump her current bed buddy, boy toy Casey, before hitting the sheets with Dusty. And Ali, literally, went running to Dusty, jumping in his arms to welcome him home. Then, there's Meg, who was so excited to find Dusty alive that she's been conspiring with him and keeping his secrets from her husband. And let's not forget Lily. Sure, she's angry with him now for faking his death, but the look she was giving him didn't lie. It won't be long before she's back in the Dusty fan club. Only Susan and Margo seem immune to his charm. And once they find out he's actually a Swedish prince, well, there may be no hope for them.

I think Dusty is sexy and charming, and I enjoy his character, but come on ladies, it's not like he's George Clooney. I don't get this complete and utter fascination with him. (I guess it's a good thing I don't live in Oakdale.) Brad, Henry, Jack, you're on notice. Katie, Vienna and Juicy Janet may be next in line for their "We Love Dusty" bumper sticker. On second thought, maybe I should get one, too. The guy is royalty now. In fact, he's a regular Prince Charming.


In other musings:
--Margo Hughes, you need to take a refresher course in criminal justice, or perhaps just put more fiber in your diet. Margo has reached the point of downright annoying of late, with her selective justice and who she chooses to harass. She's been doggedly pursuing anyone and everyone that she thinks may have helped Dusty fake his death, from Holden to Meg to Lucinda to Emily, yet, she's willing to let Jack and Janet slide for destroying evidence. And don't get me started on the fact that Paul just embezzled millions of dollars from Worldwide. Hello? Major felony there, last time I checked.

--Who knew that Vienna would come in handy as a Swedish translator someday? Between that, her eye for authenticating jewels, her fashion expertise and her baking skills, Vienna just may be the most talented woman in Oakdale. Note to Kim: Forget Spencer and Brad, Vienna needs to have her own show. With those looks and that knowledge base, she'd be ratings gold.

--Ali, Ali, Ali. You have officially worked my last nerve. How the writers could have ruined one of my favorite characters is beyond me, but they did. Her comment this week that Chris was a way out of her marriage to Aaron floored me. Huh? She hadn't even married poor, clueless Aaron when she was playing mattress tag with Chris on the night of her wedding rehearsal. Ali has become so wishy washy that I'm simply exasperated with this character. The fact that I don't really care that her 10-minute marriage is over speaks volumes.

--I'm so confused about James Stenbeck's latest scheme. (See reader Marie's comments at the end of this column that basically echoed all the questions I have.) Many of you think James helped Dusty set up his death and then held him hostage. Maybe that was James' plan all along. I'm not sure. I'm assuming James grabbed Dusty to set up his plot to pit "Dustin" and Paul against one another in a twisted Machiavellian scheme, which seems to be working beautifully in driving Paul further into insanity. Seriously, we can't seem to go one day anymore without Paul, a.k.a. "call me Raul," threatening to kill someone.

--Kudos to Dusty and the writers this week for remembering that John Dixon helped raise him. I'm begging here, please bring back John! I miss his sarcasm, and it would be nice to see Dusty actually have some family in town.

--Was it foreshadowing this week when Dusty warned Meg to get away from Paul before he hurt her? I'm betting Paul's jealousy and delusions somehow manifest into him hurting Meg and causing the loss of her baby. I'd hate to see poor Meg lose another baby, or have to spend another minute in a hospital gown. As much as she's been in the hospital this year, she should just get her own supply.

--Is Spencer McKay the new Katie? She reminds me of Katie when she first hit town, began working at WOAK, and was fixated on Holden. Ah, good times! I'm surprised it's Vienna who is seeing through Spencer's schemes, though. You'd think Katie would have recognized the little schemer's motives. It takes one to know one.

--Emily and Vienna must have the same dress code for work: plunging necklines and sleeveless, backless dresses and tops. Emily always looks like she's going to a cocktail party, too, instead of work. That said, her Friday outfit was gorgeous, as was that smoking hot red, wrap dress she wore the day she got lucky with Dusty.

--Note to Henry and Carly: That wall of burning candles at Metro, NOT a good idea. Someone call the fire marshal already! Can you imagine a drunken patron falling into them and knocking them over? I can. Carly, I have two words for you: flameless candles. Google it. Let's just hope Metro is insured.

--I know James is a villain, but darn it, I'm going to miss him. He's one of the best villains the show has ever produced. Between his torturing of Paul and other Oakdale folks, he always manages to make me laugh. Even at his last bow during the will reading when he left everything to Dusty, he made me chuckle. It was as if he was in the room, despite being on video, when he told Paul to settle down and for Dustin to get the smirk off of his face. Ah, James, you will be missed. I just wish he would have spent a little more time with Barbara this go around. Maybe next time.

--When Gunnar's name was brought up this week, suddenly, I realized it's been a long time since Barbara had a love interest. Wouldn't it be great to see him pop up in Oakdale and add fuel to the Dusty/Paul feud?

--Casey and Ali made me smile when they reached for Guitar Hero instead of booze this week to deal with their depression. Well done, ATWT!

--News broke this week that Craig is being recast. Yes, again! I don't know whether to do the dance of joy or simply scream. On one hand, I couldn't be happier that Craig is headed home. There has been a huge gaping hole in the fabric of the show since he left, and the female-to-male ratio of single ladies in town is getting ridiculous. Craig could certainly put a spin on that. (Hello, Carly, Janet, Barbara, Lucinda, etc.) However, the fact that this character has been recast twice since the exit of Hunt Block speaks volumes. He left such an indelible footprint on the role, that I don't know that anyone can ever please fans or the show honchos in it again. I'm thrilled though that actor Jon Lindstrom is set to give it a try. He has Block's dry wit and sarcasm, or at least he did in his previous role on General Hospital. I'm willing to see what he brings to the table, and hopefully, I'll be pleasantly surprised. But I'm begging the writers here; please let Craig interact with his family this time around. He needs to have scenes with Katie and Margo, other than just scenes with Dusty, Paul, Lucinda or whoever his enemy turns out to be.

--Understatement of the week: (Brian to Lucinda) - "You are one controlling bitch!"

--Is Spencer on the crazy train with Paul? I'm betting yes. The new host at WOAK seems bent on getting Brad. It's usually Katie that gets stalked by the new crazy character in town. (Hello BJ, Pilar, etc.!) This time, it seems Brad is the stalkee.

--I was cheering on Brian this week when he called out Luke. He told Luke that there was more to him than just him being gay. Thank you! (As much as Brian gives me the willies, I think he was right on with this one.) Luke is an interesting character, but since he came out, that's all he seems to be about. Luke has layers. Let's see them! I'd love to see Luke get involved with Lucinda's business or delve more into his writing or even he and Noah working on a film. Can you imagine if they wrote a fictional film or TV script based loosely on the folks of Oakdale? As messed up as Luke's childhood has been, he's got to have some serious issues to work out, and I can't imagine a better place to do that than on the big screen or in a television show for WOAK.

--Lily is ticked at Lucinda, but cutting her completely out of her life and her kids' lives this week was too much. As a parent, Lily should know the meaning of the word unconditional love. Her kids forgave her for all of her crazy antics. She should do the same for her mother. Then again, it wouldn't be nearly as entertaining as watching Lucinda groveling to Lily to let her back in her life.


Best Lines of the Week:
(After Paul is released from the hospital for psychological evaluation, he attacks Dusty with a fire poker.)
Dusty: "Maybe they released him too soon."


(Ali tells Susan that Dusty was admitted to the hospital, after he came back from the dead.)
Ali: "Did you know he was shot by Paul Ryan?"
Susan: "Unfortunately, he missed."

(Margo overhears Emily being sweet on the phone with Dusty.)
Margo: "That sounds like it came straight from the heart. Did you pick up one on sale?"
(Later Margo begins questioning Emily and her involvement in Dusty's fake death.)
Emily: "What, am I arrested?"
Margo: "You should be. For emotional distress alone, you could fill a couple of rap sheets."


Reader Spotlight:
(From Two Scoops reader Marie.)
"Is James dead? Is Dusty working with/for James? Was the fall from the lighthouse a set-up? Were the "EMS" people the same guys who have been working for James? If the answers to these last two questions are true ... Dusty COULD very well be employed by James who has used the same "designer drug" to stop his heart and fake yet another death. And Dusty could have pretended to push him off the lighthouse knowing his goons were below waiting to catch him. Stranger things have happened. But why would Dusty be working for James? Does James have Johnny? Who else could Dusty have called to say GET ME OFF THIS ISLAND?

(From Two Scoops reader Betty.)
I love having Dusty back again more than anything. What a great actor he is. I was so upset when he left. Hopefully As the World Turns will keep him a LONG TIME.


That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.
Jennifer Biller


Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.



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