The calm before the storm

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The calm before the storm?
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The week of February 6, 2006
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February sweeps are upon us, fellow AMC fans. And this week laid the foundation for the fireworks that are headed our way in the coming month.

February sweeps are upon us, fellow AMC fans. And this week laid the foundation for the fireworks that are headed our way in the coming month.

The week began with Zach trying to convince the police that his fiancé's mother didn't stab him in the stomach. I love how Zach tried to diffuse the situation in an attempt to calm Kendall and save Erica from the authorities - he even pulled Kendall in front of him to hide the stab wound! Now that's what I call a good son-in-law!

Unfortunately, Zach's theatrics put him in serious danger. And while he was undergoing surgery AMC viewers were treated to Zach's nightmare family reunion with father Alex Sr. and little brother Michael. William DeVry was incredible as he expertly brought the hated Michael Cambias back to life. Don't get me wrong - after he raped Bianca and tortured the Kane family, I was gunning for Mikey as much as anyone else. But seeing him back in fighting form, tormenting Zach about his relationship with Kendall, had me glued to the screen. Every soap needs a good villain - preferably not one who plays with dolls and rents silly costumes - and Michael fits that bill perfectly. I wish AMC could find a way to bring DeVry back permanently.

While Zach was fighting his own personal demons, Simone was accidentally spilling the beans to Kendall about Ryan's "Zach caused the blackout" theory. Kendall vehemently defended her once and future husband and begged Ryan to let it go. (Of course, he didn't listen to her, but we'll get to that later.) Meanwhile, Erica stayed overnight in prison will Jonathan as a cellmate. She even thanked the younger Lavery for helping her figure out she was drugged. But I'm thinking she won't be as nice to him when he shows up at the Mardi Gras Ball with Lily on his arm!

Marry Me! But First - Sign Here, Initial Here...

JR and Babe started out the week in their own little utopia. They were playing with Little Adam in the park, talking about their future together and professing their love. Then two little words ruined everything: pre-nuptial agreement. Kudos to Babe for calling Junior's bluff and agreeing to sign right away - that is, until she saw the clause stating that custody of Little Adam would revert to JR if the couple divorced for any reason. Now, I'm no fan of Babe, especially considering that she planned this reconciliation only to win back her son, but did JR honestly believe that she was going to sign that thing? Babe may be a lot of things, but she's definitely not stupid.

The rest of the week turned into a big sparring match between the two on-again, off-again lovebirds. JR found Babe with Jamie - after young Martin had been knocked out by a very ticked off Janet - and immediately assumed the worst of the woman he loves. I'm on the record as being back and forth on this pairing, but this week I was just fed up with them. For a man in love, JR throws around the words "slut" and "whore" a little too much. And Babe's attempts to screw with JR's head at the end of the week - claiming she was pregnant and threatening to keep the non-existent bundle of joy from its daddy - were pretty tiresome.

Speaking of tiresome, a lot of people wrote to me saying there were getting sick of Janet From Another Planet's reign of terror. I agree that Janet's antics are dragging on a bit too long, but I must admit that since her daughter Amanda has become aware of her actions, I've been much more interested in the story. Between dealing with her mother's insanity, being duped by Jamie, and being set up for drugging Erica by Josh, I have really come to feel sympathy for Amanda. That's no mean feat, considering how much she used to annoy me. On Friday's episode, Amanda had to face a veritable lynch mob - Erica slapped her across the face, Josh quietly tormented her, JR and Babe hurled insults at her - and yet she still defended her mother and ultimately took the rap for her. The poor girl may also have to deal with losing her father - I, and most of you, seem to think Trevor is no longer with us.

I find myself looking forward to Amanda's eventual vindication. Hopefully, AMC can find a way to keep Amanda interesting when her mother eventually exits the picture.

Everybody's a Detective

I've often called Tad the world's worst private detective, but he's been picking up the slack lately with his investigation of Josh's connection to Erica. Not only did Thaddeus take advantage of Erica's stab-happy performance at the casino, grabbing the bloody napkin used by an injured Josh, he also managed to swipe samples of Erica and Greg's DNA during a visit to the hospital. And the week closed out with a very anxious Tad discussing mysterious test results with Joe. At this point it's pretty clear where AMC is headed, and in the process, it's altering a huge piece of its history. All will be revealed at the ball, and the Kane and Martin clans will be changed forever. Only on a soap opera would people think that the best place to reveal a big secret is a very large, very public party.

Speaking of which, Ryan's plan to reveal Zach's role in the blackout is moving along quite nicely. He managed to trick Zach's never-before-seen right hand man Marty to admit, on tape, that Slater paid him to hack into the PV power grid the night Kendall got inseminated. Ryan pulled off his little sting operation with the help of Di, who was all too eager to help him get the goods on Zach, even though he was the only person in Pine Valley not to spit in her face after she confessed that she wasn't Dixie. I know she did it to help score points with Tad, but I for one lost a whole lot of respect for Di when she turned on one of the few people in town who doesn't despise her.

So barring any major developments, it looks like Zach did indeed cause the blackout that led to Kendall's ill-fated pregnancy. Personally, I have no problem with Zach doing whatever he could to stop Kendall from carrying Ryan and Greenlee's child. And there was no way he could predict what Kendall did on that fateful night. Kendall will definitely not understand it right away, but I certainly do.

And what did our hero Ryan decide to do after obtaining this vital piece of information? Well, he tracked down Kendall and Zach at the courthouse, where Zach had just bent over backwards to get a very ungrateful Erica off the hook for almost killing him. And did Ryan tell them the sacred truth right then and there? No, of course not! He's going to wait until the Mardi Gras Ball, so he can break Kendall's heart in public. Wow, I sure wish I had a friend like him!

I know what you might be thinking: whatever happened to the "if you can't say anything nice" rule? Well, after my last column I got a ton of emails encouraging me to take my best shot at Lavery. But you guys said it just as well as I could, so...

It's Your Turn!

"Let me tell you, everyone I know can't stand Ryan, so feel free to bad mouth him all you want," wrote Colleen. Amy thinks Ryan ought to take a look in the mirror when blaming people for this pregnancy mess, saying, "how Ryan could possibly WITH A STRAIGHT FACE blame Kendall's pregnancy on Zach after having driven off a cliff to avoid giving his wife the one thing she wanted, is beyond me." And Aggie doesn't buy Ryan's sudden devotion to his unborn child. "He only cares about him because he hates Zach," she says. "If he liked Zach, I think he would give the baby up in a second. I used to really like Ryan. But now I can't stand him. He's too full of himself. And now all of a sudden he's father of the year. I don't think so." Catherine agrees about Ryan's fatherhood potential, saying "Please, I wouldn't trust him with a dead goldfish!" What else can I add - except that I totally agree!

Well, brace yourself! It looks like the coming weeks will be full of classic soap drama - and I can't wait!

See you back here in two weeks!
-- Kristine

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