Another year in the valley

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Another year in the valley
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The week of January 8, 2007
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Some of you asked 'If Bianca can forgive Babe a little, can't you?' That is a very valid question, but I can answer it with one word: no.

Welcome to 2007, fellow AMCers! I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday season.

Before I get started on the week that was in the Valley, I wanted to thank everyone who read my year-in-review column. A lot of you agreed with me and a lot of you didn't. One thing that I didn't expect was the outpouring of Babe love that I read in some of your emails. I knew that Babe had her share of fans, but I hadn't heard from so many of you at once before. Needless to say, we'll have to agree to disagree where Ms. Carey is concerned.

Some of you asked 'If Bianca can forgive Babe a little, can't you?' That is a very valid question, but I can answer it with one word: no. That's not to say I don't admire Binks for letting go of her hate and trying to move on with her life. But I'm a soap fan, and my feelings are rarely motivated by reason and logic. Point blank, I can't see myself ever forgiving Babe for taking Miranda. All it took was that one scene between Mimo and Babe a few weeks back to remind me that I'm not even close to letting that go.

And yes, if I am forced to pick sides in the 'Jabe' wars, I will pick JR's every time. I acknowledge that trying to kill your spouse is much worse than cheating on them, karmically speaking, but I still like JR more. Is that fair? Probably not, but I don't have to be fair. Now, that doesn't mean I can't recognize when Babe's done something right. This week, for example, I admired her unconditional support for Zoe, though I thought it was a little too good to be true. Babe didn't seem fazed at all, which rang false to me. But more power to her for being so open-minded. That said, I remember Babe being just as supportive and caring when she first met Bianca, and we all know how that turned out.

Introducing Zoe

Speaking of whom, our dear Bianca was introduced to Zoe, Zarf's true self, this week. I thought Jeffery Carlson (Zarf/Zoe) and Eden Riegel (Bianca) did a great job with the reveal and the aftermath. Zoe was far more subdued than Zarf, and I felt horribly for her when Binks rejected her. That said, it made perfect sense for Bianca to react the way she did, given the circumstances. It's enough of a leap to accept the concept of a woman trapped in a man's body, but for that woman to be a lesbian on top of it all? It's a lot to process in a short period of time. Plus, I've never been a fan of the I-just-met-you-but-I'm-already-madly-in love-with-you school of romance.

I could have done without Zarf's musical performance at ConFusion, but I did love him flirting with practically everyone in the bar, especially Aidan. That was hilarious. And the look on his face when Bianca called him out for playing her darn near broke my heart. Speaking of Binks, our girl finally got some! Not only did we actually see her kiss Leslie, we saw Leslie the next morning at Binks' apartment. Sometimes I wonder if all this was written while the TPTB at ABC were on vacation. This is the same network that gave us the extremely chaste Lena/Bianca relationship and that won't say the word abortion on air for fear of offending people. Might we actually get a real romance for Bianca? Dare to dream!

While Binks was entertaining her guest, Zarf/Zoe was down at the police station getting grilled by Derek about the Fusion murders. There's no doubt in my mind that Zarf/Zoe is innocent, so these scenes were kind of a bore for me. Things got a little interesting when Jonathan showed up and immediately assumed Zarf/Zoe was guilty, but I much prefer quiet, scary psychotic Jonny to loud angry Jonny. Plus, he ticked me off when he treated Amanda poorly. Yes, he is having a rough holiday without his sister, but everyone in that town seems to forget that this is Mandy's first Christmas without her father. You know, after her mother killed him? A little perspective, people!

Here We Go Again

Amanda spent most of New Year's Eve being nice to Jonathan, pushing Del away and handing out drinks to ConFusion customers, but she did find a moment to tease Babe about her relationship with Josh. Of course, Babe said all the right things, just as she had to JR hours before - 'I love my husband, it's all over with Josh, I'm committed to my family... oh, and let me check my makeup in this mirror Josh bought me.' When will this end?!

Not any time soon, it appears, seeing as Josh has recommitted himself to winning Babe over. He even got Kendall to volunteer her help in return for him keeping Emma's true paternity to himself. When the clock struck midnight, Josh kissed Babe (of course!) and she immediately pushed him away - KIDDING! She responded and then pushed him away. Luckily, all of this was witnessed by the guard JR hired, so Mr. Chandler will know all about his wife's behavior soon enough. Just get it over with, Junior! I'm tired of writing about this triangle already!

Jeff was no help either, pushing his son to forget about Babe's wishes and her marriage and pursue her, no holds barred. Wow, what great objective advice from father to son. Of course, Jeff was referring both to Josh's love life and his own. Erica once again summoned Jeff to make Jackson jealous this week. You see, Erica overheard Sean and Colby admit that they bought her all of those 12-days-of-Christmas gifts and she did the mature, adult thing - plotted immediate revenge, topped off with kissing her ex-husband at midnight in front of Jack, on the yacht she gave him as a wedding present. ARGH!

I've said it before and I'll say it again - this story may have worked 10 or 20 years ago, but at this point I expect a little more from Erica. Not a whole lot, just a little. Yes, La Kane will always be La Kane - self-centered, jealous, irrational, theatrical, the list goes on. But she just looks ridiculous pulling the same old tricks at her age. After everything Jack and Erica have been through, it makes no sense for them to freak out over minor misunderstandings. And it definitely doesn't make me want to root for them to stay together.

Speaking of characters I don't root for, Sean and Colby did some stuff this week. Then they stole a limo and got arrested. I'll let you know if I start caring.

It's About Time!

Alright, back to the characters I actually care about, namely the always wonderful Slaters. This week, Zach finally revealed to his wife why he feels connected to the murders of Simone and Erin. At the same time, viewers finally got a real glimpse into Zach's past and a little insight to some of his behavior. When Zach (actually, Alexander Jr.) was five years old, his mother Amelia fell from a balcony to her death, and young Zach was led to believe he had caused the fall when he rushed towards her, making her lose her balance. Of course, there's more to the story than that - Zach can't remember everything about that night, and there was a fight just beforehand that will likely shed some light on the situation. The bottom line, though, is that this event forever shaped the man who would become Zach Slater.

Thorsten Kaye amazed me once again, portraying Zach's pain and fear in every word, every gesture, every look, all without being overwrought. And thank you to AMC for finally giving us a little background on a very popular character. It only took four years! But I digress... it was wonderful to watch. Equally wonderful was the way Kendall refused to leave her husband's side during his time of need.

I know there are a lot of people out there who don't think Kendall deserves Zach, and at times, that's been a hard point to argue. But this week, in spite of Zach's adamant protests, Mrs. Slater insisted that she would stay and help her husband fight this threat. Imagine that - a couple actually being strengthened by a challenge, not torn apart. Father Clarence must have dropped off one more Christmas miracle before heading out of town. You can keep a couple interesting while keeping them together, and for long-suffering Zach and Kendall fans, that's all we can ask. I am sure there will be more challenging moments along the way, but I have as much faith as Kendall does in the Slaters' ability to survive - [i]together[/i].

Shut Up, Ryan

Of course, Zach and Kendall can't go five minutes without Ryan popping up, and he did just that this week, insisting that Spike would stay with himself and Annie until the serial killer situation was under control. I completely understand why Ryan is concerned - heck, Zach even agreed with Lavery - but I don't think removing Spike (or Kendall, for that matter) from the Slaters' home does any good. If this killer knows Zach so well, Kendall and Spike will be targets no matter where they are. Plus, Ryan just came off as arrogant when he was making his demands, as though I needed a reminder of why I hate him. But for the record, I do think he deserves to know about Emma and I don't like that Kendall is keeping that from him. Of course, I'd prefer if Ryan did exactly what Kendall fears he will - run away with his instant family, never to return - so I'm not exactly objective.

Even Annie ticked me off this week. What if Emma had turned out to be Kate? Would Annie have been so eager to turn her over to Tad and Dixie because it was what was best for the kid? She didn't seem to care what this would do to Kendall. Annie's behavior does make me think she's a great match for Ryan, though. In fact, when Annie suggested that Spike stay at the penthouse with her until things blew over, Ryan asked how Annie knew that he was going to ask that. Hey Ryan, maybe you have a psychic connection with her too, like you did with Greens. Let's throw her down a mineshaft and find out! Bitter? Me? Never!

-- Kristine

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