Soap operas are supposed to be all about "love in the afternoon" so it's very appropriate for me start off this week's column with a little bit of lovey-dovey romantic stuff. But before I start, I have a quick question: how old is Annie? You'd think she was about 13 the way she was carrying on about Ryan seeing her with the chickenpox. "Oh my god, he can't see me like this!" Uh, why? I get that it's not her best look, but if the guy didn't run when you were a wanted fugitive or when you foisted a child on him, odds are he'll stick around through a couple of weeks of bad skin. Then again, maybe she's sensing Ryan's fickle attitude towards love, since she's the fourth love of Mr. Lavery's life (and third in three years!). I wouldn't want to rock the boat too much with this guy.
My dislike for the Laverys notwithstanding, the Ryan/Annie scenes are nothing more than empty calories - way too "sweet" with no real value or substance. Aww, he made her room into a fairy land! Aww, he wants to be her prince! Aww, he's putting calamine lotion on her face! Aww, GIVE ME $&*#)@+ BREAK! Sorry, I like my romantic leads to have a little edge (and no, former membership in a two-bit fight club does not count), not to mention depth. This was all too forced and cutesy.
Regardless, the week ended with Annie accepting Ryan's proposal. I could tell you exactly how it happened, but I don't think I can handle that much sugary stuff in one sitting. In fact, I think I may have missed half of the scene because I kept rolling my eyes. I'm not sold on these two at all, but considering I don't really care about either character, I'm not overly upset about it. I'm just biding my time until Greenlee's comes back and busts up this nauseating fairy tale.
Bianca and Zoe were also growing closer this week, sharing a kiss after Miranda's birthday party. I have to admit, they are very cute together, but I just don't see the spark when things become amorous. With Bianca's former loves, Lena and Maggie, I felt the romantic connection, but I can't see Binks and Zoe as anything but friends, as in their scenes following Zoe's confrontation with her mother. I also loved seeing Kendall stand up to an ignorant Fusion client on Zoe's behalf and watching Josh try to help Mrs. Luper understand the condition of being a transgender.
Did You Get The Memo? Adam is EVIL!
You know the world is coming to an end when I start agreeing with Colby Chandler, but she was dead on this week. Adam being locked up in that sanitarium was the definition of lunacy. His wife cheats on him, reveals she's pregnant by a man he hates and refuses to leave his house - guess it's time to drug him and throw him in the loony bin! If I'm supposed to be cheering Tad, Jamie and Aidan on for this, it didn't work. I get that Tad wants to get his daughter away from Adam, but locking him up will only make him angrier and make Krystal dig in her heels.
Adam's more likely to hurt Krystal now than he was before his stopover in the mental hospital, especially now that JR has wrested control of Chandler Enterprises from him. I'm an admitted JR fan, but he and I are officially on a break. No matter what he preaches about having changed his ways and wanting his father(s) to be happy, he pulled that crud on Adam for one reason: to score points with his wife. That said, I loved the scenes between Adam and JR on Friday, railing at each other in the Chandler boardroom. That was classic Adam Chandler, hitting below the belt, egging JR on about his alcoholism and taunting him about his tramp of a wife. (Note to JR: don't lecture Daddy about handing over his "stones" to a cheating wife, when you did the exact same thing).
David Canary rocked those scenes. It's hard to walk the line as Adam Chandler - making people feel sympathy for a man who has done so many horrible things - but Canary does it beautifully. When JR questioned Adam's devotion to his kids, Adam freaked out and grabbed his son by the lapels. Did you notice the look in Adam's eyes when he drew back his fist to hit Junior? His guard was down and you could see the pain in his eyes. The pain of being betrayed by his wife and son, the pain of losing a child he will never know. And this man has to deal with Jamie Martin, of all people, getting up in his face? I don't think so! Watching a "menacing" Jamie threaten Adam was beyond hilarious. It's like a mouse picking a fight with a lion. And wouldn't it be nice if Brooke was around right about now? Her absence is all the more glaring at times like these.
One good thing that came out of Adam's stay at the mental hospital was his interaction with Janet. Their scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours arrangement is bound to be entertaining, simply because of the actors involved. Of course, with Adam out of the hospital and Janet having escaped, we've only seen the beginning of this partnership. Speaking of which, looks like Adam has also enlisted the help of the only Martin who isn't gunning for him - Josh. I'm not sure what Josh hopes to accomplish as Adam's new "son," but it might be fun to watch.
Introducing Hannah Nichols
That shadowy figure stalking Zach was revealed this week as Hannah Nichols, Ethan's birth mother and Mr. Slater's former lover. Apparently, Ms. Nichols was brought to Pine Valley via a job offer from Cambias Industries. Of course, Zach and Kendall were shocked and happy to see Alex Sr. hadn't hurt her. Kendall tried to reassure Hannah that Ethan, the son she never got to meet, lived a happy life and begged her not to blame Zach for the rift between Ethan and his father. Later, she confronted Alex Sr. in his prison cell.
Forgive me if I'm a little suspicious of Ms. Nichols'. A woman everyone thought was dead suddenly reappearing, lurking around town for a while, visiting the cemetery and then insinuating herself into Slater family's life? It all sounds a little too familiar. That said, I have no real reason to think Hannah's out to get Zach (and Kendall), but it wouldn't be much of a leap. It's easy to think she blames him for everything that went wrong in her life.
If Alexander Cambias Jr. had never become Zach Slater, Hannah may have never had to go into hiding. Alex Sr. only wanted Ethan after he lost his golden child. If she is bent on revenge, she's in prime position to extract it - working at Cambias, using Zach's guilt over Ethan to try to manipulate or control him. It's true that she shares a bond with Zach that no one else can match - it's not romantic in any way, shape or form, but it is strong. And with Zach primed to become a father again, his insecurities about parenting are there to be taken advantage of. Also, if Hannah is working the Slaters, I'm not convinced she's working alone. The conversation in the jail cell was pretty one-sided - she could be working with Alex Sr. In any case, I expect she'll cause problems between the Slaters, at least in the short term - an annoyance as opposed to a real threat.
Erica and Jack didn't need any help to destroy their marriage. The two on-again, off-again, on-again lovers finalized their divorce this week. It would have been really, really hard to feel badly for either of them if they hadn't treated us to some vintage Jack/Erica flashbacks. Being reminded of how great these two used to be actually have me caring about the latest mess they made for themselves. I still have a hard time understanding what all of this is about, how they got to this point... but I digress.
Of course, neither of them wanted to go through with it, something Erica realized about 10 minutes after the papers were signed. Unfortunately, it only took Barbara five minutes to jump on Jackson, and La Kane walked in on the two of them in bed. Luckily, Josh lit a fire under Erica and she seems recommitted to winning Jack back. I have to confess, seeing Erica crash Jack and Barbara's morning after afterglow in full French maid regalia was pretty freaking funny. As always, I love Erica in spite of herself.
Lillies of the Valley
It's so nice to see more of Lily these days. Whether she's being hired at Cambias Industries (love it!) or plotting blackmail schemes to get rid of Barbara, she's always entertaining. Now it seems that AMC is trying to cash in on Leven Rambin's obvious talents by casting her in a dual role. Yep, that girl who eyed Aidan up and down on Friday was Ava, Lily's half-sister (they share a father, the deceased garden variety scumbag Denny Benton). And no, they're not twins.
Of course, there are a lot of obvious moments to look forward to. The look on Aidan's face when he saw Ava was priceless and Lily ought to have a major freakout when she sees a carbon copy of herself running amok in Pine Valley. How will Jonathan react to seeing Ava? What about Jackson, Erica and the rest of the Montgomery/Kane clan? I think Leven's definitely up to the task, and if she's half as good playing Ava as she is playing Lily, I'll consider the storyline a success. Hell, if they're going to being another young character on, at least we know this actress can do the job.
Thanks for reading. See you back here in two weeks.