Like the title? Here's the trick - am I referring to Babe and Josh's unfortunate emergency landing or to AMC in general, which seems to be getting worse with each passing week? The short answer: a little from column A, a little from column B.
The aforementioned couple ended up stranded on a deserted island (Pennsylvania's known for those, isn't it?) and took the time to chat about the recent events of Josh's life and Babe's often toxic relationship with JR. Josh even confessed his love for Babe. It was touching to see Josh reach out to her, but he can do better. I will admit that I didn't find Babe as annoying as I usually do, but maybe that's just because she was finally having a new conversation.
While Babe and Josh were trying to build a bonfire - and sharing a kiss on the beach - their respective families were frantic with worry, praying for their safe return. Erica and Jeff fretted over not telling Josh the truth sooner. They both blamed themselves - Jeff even suggested that he shared the blame for Erica choosing not to tell him about the abortion all those years ago (See that, ABC? I used the term abortion and it didn't kill me. Maybe you should try it sometime). I do believe that Jeff and Erica truly care for Josh, and it will be interesting to see how things play out once Babe and Josh are rescued.
The crisis also gave us an impromptu Martin family reunion, when Dixie rushed to her son's side. I guess she's trying to make up for all the crises she missed while she was allowing him to mourn her unnecessarily. Heck, Dixie even remembered that Jamie was her stepson, and asked him how he was feeling! It's a miracle!
I guess this was supposed to be touching, but given recent events, I have a hard time caring. In my opinion, JR and Jamie have both seemed like whiny, vengeful children, while Dixie has done nothing to endear me to her cause (more on her later). Tad's the only one I really feel badly for, and even he has been getting on my nerves recently. In any case, the sudden reunion was short-lived. Derek soon showed up to arrest Dixie for the murder of Dr. Greg Madden. But she wasn't the only one on the PVPD's hit list.
Why Should I Care About Dixie?
Derek later arrested Zach, citing some damning forensic evidence (think fingerprints, blood specks and fibers). The accused killers were given adjoining cells (of course) where they cryptically discussed their situation. These jail scenes were a freaking roller coaster for me. I loved that Zach finally went off on JR, and seemed to call off this little I-won't-hurt-your-son-because-we're-friends truce he and Dixie had forged. It's about freaking time.
Of course, Dixie played her "I never should have come back" card and got all weepy, prompting Zach to comfort her with a kiss on the forehead... which Tad and Kendall walked in on. What a surprise! Thankfully, we were treated to Kendall in fighting form, throwing not-so-gentle jabs in Dixie's direction, and asking her hubby point blank if he killed Greg. Zach proceeded to tap dance around the question - I give full credit to Thorsten Kaye for making Zach so frustrating and at the same time, so charming. When he finally assured Kendall he was not guilty, she believed him and vowed to help him. No matter how infuriating the Zach/Dixie connection gets, Kaye and Alicia Minshew manage to bring enough chemistry and heart to their Zach/Kendall scenes that I can't help but be confident this couple will make it through this uneven, plot-driven writing.
Is it just me, or is there very little reason to feel any sympathy for Dixie right now? I get that she's distraught over her missing daughter, but I just can't muster any warm feelings for her. Maybe it's because I never really bought into her reasons for staying away. Maybe it's because her four-year search for Kate was such a complete bust. Maybe it's because she continues to enlist the help of a married man when the father of the child she's searching for is right there, ready to help. It just seems to me that the writers are doing everything possible to make Dixie unlikable.
Mrs. Slater has about a million reasons not to trust this woman. This isn't Kendall being paranoid, this is Kendall being smart. Is Dixie entirely to blame? Hell, no. She's half-heartedly given Zach more than one out, but he continued to help her. I don't believe for a second that Zach has anything but friends-only feelings for Dixie... but I'm not so sure about Dix. And from what I've read about the coming weeks, Dixie will be a thorn in Zach and Kendall's side for a while. Let's just say that I think it would be a HUGE mistake to sacrifice an extremely popular couple (two, if you count Tad and Dixie) at the altar of Dixie Cooney Martin.
N-n-n-nice Try, J-Jackson
Elsewhere, Jack was busy trying to expose Jonathan's brain-damaged act. Jack was understandably upset, and I totally support him trying to get Lily away from Lavery. That said, can someone tell me why Jack decided his best plan of attack was to go directly to Lily and tell her everything he knew? Didn't he expect Jonathan to deny the story? Couldn't he have guessed that Erin would back up her brother's lie? Why did he think for one moment that Lily would believe his accusations? He would have served his cause a lot better by either confronting Jonathan alone, or obtaining some kind of proof that Jonathan was faking (I'm sure a well-placed tape recorder or video camera would have done the trick).
Even after he tipped his hand, Jack still could have used these methods to show Lily the truth. Instead, he jumped to the most drastic action possible - he filed papers to declare Lily legally incompetent. What?!? Jack rationalized to Livia that he was doing what he needed to do to protect his child, even if it meant she hated him. As much as I want Jonathan away from Lily, I don't think this is the answer. And what would his argument be, anyway? That Lily is incompetent because she was being tricked by Jonathan? Well, last time I checked, most of the town is still buying the act. As is often the case with soap characters, I understand the motivation, but not the action.
Meanwhile, Jonathan's sister tried to explain herself to Aidan, who confronted her when he found out the truth about Annie and Emma. Aidan called Erin on her lack of faith in him, at which point Erin tried to make him the bad guy for sleeping with Di so soon after their break up. I don't know about you, but I was totally on board with Aidan's "what the hell?!" reaction. Erin's got no right to get all righteous on Aidan, especially when she purposefully paraded Jamal in front of him as part of her ill-conceived ruse. Personally, I hope that Aidan and Di continue their fling, and that it grows into something more significant. There's much more of a spark between them then there ever was between Aidan and Erin, in my opinion.
Odds and Ends
We were once again treated to some stereotypical summer teen-scene tripe this week, when Colby met fellow teeny-bopper Sydney. The two were fast friends until Colby realized Sydney was Winifred's niece, and would be working as a maid in the Chandler manse. At least, that's what I think happened. I had to turn down the volume while the two teens were yammering back and forth about hot guys and self-tanning. I'm just too old for this stuff. I actually didn't mind Sydney all that much, but Colby still makes me sick to my stomach.
Speaking of nauseating, many of you wrote in to comment on the new shooting style AMC's been using recently. Most of you aren't impressed, and I have to agree. I don't mind if the handheld effect is used in motion shots, but when two people are having a conversation, it's a little too distracting to have the camera swaying slightly. Less is more, AMC. Maybe you should worry on improving the content of your show as opposed to the presentation. Funky camera work won't distract viewers from crappy writing. [Editor's Note: An AMC spokesperson states that the new camera technique was launched for the debut of ConFusion. According to the statement, the camera technique is no longer in use. However, since fans no doubt have noticed that it is still on the airwaves, the statement might mean that moving forward with newly taped episodes the filming technique will go back to the status quo.]
Thanks for reading! See you back here in two weeks.