A girl goes away for a few weeks and what does she come back to? People kissing the wrong lips, long-awaited reveals with no dramatic punch, annoying newbies, and characters damaged almost beyond repair. It almost makes me wish I was still on vacation.
There are a few things that happened in recent weeks that I simply must comment on (for example, Zach + Dixie = Kristine's head exploding), but we'll get to that later. For now, we'll focus on last week's episodes.
On paper, the week looked pretty good: Kendall finally finding out that Josh is her half-brother, a second round in the "Who's Spike's Daddy?" sweepstakes, Babe finding incriminating evidence about Greg's murder, and people putting the pieces together about Terry, Pine Valley's newest pervert. Unfortunately, almost all of these plots fell flat.
Right Family Tree, Wrong Branch
The reveal I was most looking forward to was Erica telling Kendall the truth about Josh's parentage. After months of screaming at the screen for Erica to spill the beans, I found the actual reveal to be very anti-climactic. That's probably because 90 per cent of it occurred off-screen during a commercial break. And it might be petty of me, but I really wanted Kendall to go off on her mother, at least for a moment or two, about why Erica didn't tell her all of this months ago, when it could have saved everyone a lot of heartache.
As it was, Kendall was extremely supportive of Erica, reassuring her mom that she wasn't angry and that she understood why Erica kept quiet. She also advised her mother not to let Josh in on the secret, arguing that the truth would just add to Josh's pain. I understand where Kendall's coming from, but isn't this the same girl who needed to know the truth about Spike's parentage, no matter how ugly it was? At least if Josh finds out the truth, he'll have the Martin and Kane families there for him, instead of only being left with the memory of an evil control freak father.
Speaking of Josh, he was so upset about how his life in the Valley was panning out, that he tried to convince Babe to run away with him. Josh, you could do so much better! Babe also knows the truth about Josh's parents, after uncovering that Greg Madden Greatest Hits CD in JR's sock drawer. Babe hid the CD, and later told JR she wouldn't give him the recording, which Junior wanted to use to deflect suspicion from himself, Tad and Dixie in the Madden murder investigation. Too bad JR found the CD at the end of Friday's episode.
You're on Thin Ice, Junior
JR is really ticking me off lately. He used to be one of a few characters to whom I would automatically give the benefit of the doubt. I was determined not to hate JR, but he may have passed the point of no return. As if wanting to publicly humiliate Josh wasn't bad enough, Junior had the stones to take jabs at Erica after an AA meeting. Yes, Erica attacked JR first, but considering what he did to Kendall, I think she's entitled to a few snide remarks. If JR was really sincere about taking responsibility for his actions, he should expect some unkind words from the mother of the woman he almost killed.
JR's wife was busy trying to clear his name too, trying to weasel info out of Kendall with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. It amazes me how we see Babe wax poetic about not wanting to cause Kendall or her family any more grief, and then watch her insult Kendall and her loved ones moments later. By the end of the week, Babe showed up at David's cabin - I guess she remembered that he was her dad - and found incriminating evidence on him. I feel another "I can't believe my own father would do something like this" speech coming on. It must save AMC a lot of money when they can just recycle scripts like that.
Same Script, Different Day
Speaking of which, is it just me, or did Kendall and Ryan have the same conversation almost every day this week? You know, the one where Kendall said Ryan could walk away from Spike if he wasn't the biological father, and then Ryan told her DNA didn't matter and he was Spike's father no matter what.
OK, I get it - Ryan's a wonderful man who will be parent to a child who isn't even his out of love for the baby and its mother. There's someone else who fits that description... who is it I'm thinking of? Oh yeah, that's right - Kendall's HUSBAND, Zach. Even though Kendall shared a lot more screen time with Ryan this week, her brief moments with Zach, thanking him for his unwavering support, were far more poignant. And does anyone else have the feeling that Monday's test results reveal won't be the last we hear about this issue?
In all honesty, that I am enjoying Ryan's interactions with Annie so far. It would be really nice to see Ryan start fresh with someone brand new. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens now that Annie has moved in with him to hide from Terry. Jonathan confirmed that Annie's ex was Lily's NYC attacker, but an unconvinced Aidan called Lily over to ID him.
Excellent work, Fish and Chips! Let's call the easily traumatized autistic teenager over to unexpectedly confront the man who tried to sexually abuse her! Good times! I hope that the Terry realization doesn't lead to an immediate reconciliation between Aidan and Erin, who I found insufferably boring. I'm actually intrigued by a potential Di/Aidan/Erin/Jamal quadrangle, if for no other reason than it will allow me to gawk at Aiden Turner and Marcus Patrick a little more.
On another romance front, I officially can't shake the ick factor of the Jamie/Julia relationship. I usually don't care about age differences, but for some reason, I can't shake the image of a three-year old Jamie and 20-something Julia co-existing in early-90s Pine Valley. If there's any doubt whether Tad and Dixie should reunite, their scene at the PVPD where they put one over on Derek was a clear example of the chemistry they share. I hope AMC doesn't drag out their inevitable reunion too long.
While I Was Gone
As promised, I need to offer a few thoughts on things that happened while I was on AMC vacay. The new Colby is already grating my nerves, with her poor-me routine and suckering of Adam. Didn't AMC learn its lesson with Amanda? They introduced her as an over-sexed, shallow caricature, but no one really cared about her until they gave her character some depth. They can salvage Colby if they speed up the process this time around.
Speaking of Mandy, I'm glad she's getting some more screen time, but I hope she doesn't end up as a talk-to for Babe and Jonathan. It would seem they are setting up a potential Lily/Jonathan/Amanda triangle, which I could get into, assuming they let Jonny Boy drop the stuttering act. Truth be told, I'd prefer Amanda with Josh, but I'm willing to give this new version of Jonathan a chance.
Lastly, I need to comment on the ugliness that was the Zach/Dixie kiss. This was totally out of character for Zach, who is clearly devoted to his wife. All this served to do is enrage two huge fanbases - Zach/Kendall fans and Tad/Dixie fans - for no reason other than to advance plot in the short term.
So even though I am one of those angry Z/K fans, I'm not going to crucify Zach for this. Dixie initiated the kiss and Zach stopped it. Some say he didn't stop it soon enough, that he should have shoved her down before their lips even met. Personally, I'm going to reserve judgment on that until I'm a married woman kissed suddenly by a distraught male friend. In the end, this kiss means nothing. Was it wrong? Definitely. Should he tell his wife about it? You bet. Will he tell her? Probably not, and that will make things worse when Kendall eventually finds out. But I'm going to give Zach the benefit of the doubt... for now.
That about covers it! See you back here in two weeks.