Hands down, the highlight of this week in Pine Valley was JR's faux kidnapping plot and how it all fell to pieces. In case you missed it, JR staged his own kidnapping to extort Daddy for a cool $100 million. Adam, desperate to raise the ransom money, went to Zach for help. In turn, Zach demanded all of Adam's stock and possessions as collateral - the catch was that Slater knew that the kidnapping was a scam because JR hired associates of his to help him with his plan.
I know some people out there are disgusted by Zach's actions. Was he sneaky, cold and calculating? Definitely. Does that remind you of anyone? I can easily see Adam pulling the exact same scam if the situations reversed. Plus, is what he's doing any worse than pushing a scaffold full of building materials on a pregnant woman? It ticked me off to no end that Zach never took revenge on JR for almost killing Kendall and Spike (partly because Dixie was the one who stopped him). But now, more than a year later, it seems perfectly in character for Zach to lie in wait and pounce on the perfect opportunity to hit Junior where it hurts - his daddy complex and his pocketbook. Absolutely perfect.
I definitely feel badly for Adam - but not because Zach took advantage of his unfortunate situation. I feel badly for Adam because he has a whiny, gutless, incompetent moron for a son. Don't blame Zach for tearing Adam's heart out - that responsibility lies squarely on Junior's shoulders.
I used to love JR, flaws and all, but I'm officially sick of his crud. He makes all that noise about wanting to stick it to his father - he hates Adam, he wants him to pay, he wants to 'save his soul' from the evil Chandler influence. And all the while, he's practically begging for his father's love, something he already had before he chose to betray Adam by keeping Krystal's secret. He's a pale shadow of his father. Do you think Adam would have hired accomplices before thoroughly checking who their past associates were? I'd bet that $100-million ransom that Adam Sr. never would have hired people, mistakenly or otherwise, who had connections to Zach Slater. Adam nearly pulled off the perfect babynapping in a matter of days; Junior had weeks to plan his pathetic little plot and he still screwed it up. JR may have learned at the feet of the master, but the lessons didn't stick. That desperate, panicky version of Junior we saw on Friday was both pathetic and hilarious to watch. And Zach making decorating suggestions for the soon-to-be-ex-Chandler Mansion? Priceless.
And They All Lived Happily Ever After?!?
The other major plotline unfolding this week involved the renewed "friendship" of Kendall and Greenlee. That's right - it took all of a few minutes after Greenlee dropped the custody suit for Kendall (and Ryan) to forgive Greens and invite her to be a part of Spike's life. I'd try to make a snarky comment at this point, but I don't think I have the strength.
I realize female friendships are few and far between on soaps, but that doesn't mean the audience will take whatever they can get. As a die-hard Kendall fan, it's painful for me to watch her practically beg Greenlee to rebuild the friendship that Greens ran out on. Greenlee was ready to take Kendall's baby from her and throw Zach in jail - strip away everything from her supposed "sister." And just because Greenlee does what she ought to do, she gets a free invite into the Hart-Slater/Lavery clan. Since when should people get credit for not doing what they aren't supposed to do in the first place? It would be like me walking into a room and yelling, "I didn't murder anyone today! Aren't I an amazing person?"
I'll admit I enjoyed the scenes at Simone's grave, mostly because we got to see Terri Ivens in action again. But nothing can convince me to buy into "Kenlee" again. I certainly don't need to see a kicky, cheesy music montage of Kendall and Greenlee skipping around the Fusion Cauldron, acting like nothing had happened. Between Greenlee's yelling and Kendall practically apologizing for being pregnant and happy, I was ready to lose my lunch.
Thank goodness Annie and Zach have their eyes wide open in regards to good old Greens. There is no doubt in my mind that eventually, Ryan and his Green Butterfly will reunite and the minute Kendall sneezes too loud, they'll go back to their old M.O. - treating her like something they scraped off their shoes, while Kendall jumps through hoops to please them. I hope I'm wrong. I hope they don't undo all of the character growth Kendall has experienced in the last few years. But let's just say it's hard to be optimistic.
Oh, and speaking of this freaky extended family, I'd like to make a formal request of TPTB. If you're going to show a Ryan love scene, would you mind running a crawl at the bottom of the screen beforehand? I need to have my finger poised over the mute button so I don't have to listen to him panting and whisper-shouting sweet nothings into Annie's ear.
Education? Who Needs That?!
My hatred for the Carey women is not exactly a secret, but this week, Krystal ticked me off in an entirely new way. After returning home from their newly ventilated bar, The Comeback (insert dirty joke here), Babe decided to tell her Mama about her plan to get her high school diploma. At this point, I expected Krystal to fawn all over her babydoll, praising her for thinking enough of herself to complete her education. Instead, we were forced to listen to all Krystal's reasons why Babe didn't need to get her GED.
Are you freaking kidding me?!? What kind of mother tries to dissuade their child from getting an education? I loathe Babe, but I can acknowledge that she's making a smart decision. Apparently, Krystal needed some convincing, though. And Mama's logic was downright revolting. You don't need to go back to school! You ran a major corporation! You knocked their socks off! (Well, in Josh's case, she knocked off a lot more than his socks. But I digress.) I can just picture Babe applying for a corporate job, trying to explain her prior work experience to a potential employer.
[i]Interviewer[/i]: So, I see here that you were working in a sleazy bar and then suddenly became a partner in a cosmetics firm. What's up with that? [i]Babe[/i]: Well, you see, the former owner was pissed at the sister of the woman whose baby I stole, so she gave me her shares out of spite, hoping the company would fall apart. Which it did. But that wasn't my fault. See, there was this serial killer...
Leave it to Krystal to encourage her beloved Babe to keep taking the same short cuts she always has. Jamie wasn't a whole lot better, but at least he came around pretty quickly. Now personally, I don't care if Babe flunks her equivalency test 10 times over, but don't dissuade the girl from doing something halfway decent. It might be the one and only time it happens.
Ava moved out of Jack's house this week, after her drug dealer friend almost attacked Lily. The scenes where Ava left actually weren't too bad. Leven Rambin is doing a decent job of making the two characters distinct. Unfortunately, AMC still seems to be pushing an Ava/Jonathan romance, especially now that Ava has moved into Wildwind. "The first night in a new place is weird," Jonathan told a lingerie-clad Ava. That's very true, Jonathan. You know what else is weird? A creep in the hallway watching the woman who looks just like his teenage autistic ex-wife as she sleeps. Oh, and wasn't it [i]adorable[/i] when Jonny teased Ava with mausoleum-inspired ghost stories, considering that the man he bludgeoned to death is buried in that tomb? Ewww! It just reminds me that Jonathan living at Wildwind is sickening, whether he's stalking Lily's doppelganger or not.
At this point, the only person who has any right to live in that house isn't there anymore! Julia took off to visit family (let's hope the whole Jonathan thing doesn't come up over dinner at Maria's house), after breaking up with Jamie. It was inevitable, really. Now Jamie is free to hook up with Babe again, which was heavily foreshadowed this week. The two former flames reminisced about that beautiful, magical night when we all found out how slutty Babe could be. At least they referred to it as a "mistake." When Jamie came out with the "I was just as responsible as you were" line, I had to laugh. I'm thinking James wouldn't have bedded Babe if she had told him she was hitched - and who she was hitched to. But wait - I guess technically, that would have been Paul Cramer. Oh yeah, you gotta love those Carey ladies!
Babe's mama was somewhat busy this week, first trying to get Adam to open up, then hosting Jack's phony date with Milla. Once again, we got to watch Jack and Erica act like stupid teenagers, making each other jealous and sniping at each other at every turn (punctuated by a "shocking" kiss, of course). The only highlight was watching Tad play Erica's boy-toy to torture Jack. You gotta love Tad the Cad helping himself to a handful of Kane booty. It looks like we can expect more of the same this week, judging from Monday's previews, in which Tad cooed, "Just the idea of being able to get busy with you is making me the happiest man on earth." Hee!
As I've said numerous times, enough is enough with this childish runaround with Jack and Erica. There have been some funny moments, but I'm sick of Erica's hair tossing and Jack's ultimatums. Sean and Colby showed infinitely more maturity this week, working through their problems in a mature, reasoned way. They were pretty sweet to watch, sharing a dance at the boathouse as a stand-in for their ruined prom. If only AMC had a few more teens to fill out the summer stories. Of course, I never really bought into the theory that teens will only watch soaps to see other teens. Just give them a good story and they'll watch along with Mom and Grandma. It certainly worked for me.
Well, that's it for this week. If you want to see how wrong my 2007 Emmy predictions were, check out my blog at http://krissyt.soapcentral.com. See you in a few!