Last week, we saw the first glimpse of nuBabe when Amanda Baker took over for the exiting Alexa Havins. Much was made of the recast, particularly the manner in which Havins' replacement was introduced. For those who may have missed the scene on Monday, Havins' Babe was embraced by a worried Krystal and there was a close up on Havins' face. Then we cut to a shot of Babe's back, as she pulled out of the hug, at which point the camera cut to the Baker, who reassured her mama that she was just fine.
I actually thought the switch was rather clever. It instantly establishes that Baker is Babe, without something as "meta" as the standard voice over ("The role of Babe Carey is now being played by Amanda Baker.") Yes, it was a bit jarring, even moreso, I imagine, for those of you who didn't see it coming. And if AMC had pulled this after firing Havins, it would be a lot more suspect. But Havins left of her own accord, the show felt it needed to recast for storyline reasons, and they chose to do it quickly and cleanly in the course of a few minutes.
In my opinion, it was actually a nice way for Havins to exit - the close up substituted as a makeshift "goodbye" moment for viewers and fans, as opposed to her just disappearing one day. Hey, it's more than Julia Barr got! That said, I loathe Babe no matter who fills the role, so I would have been much happier if they just shipped her off with Jamie. But if they had to do a recast, I like that they tried something different for a change.
As is my policy with recasts, I'm going to try to refrain from judgment until Baker's settled into the role. The timing is unfortunate, though. Watching the scenes between Wes/Richie, Babe and Mr. Novak - all three of them newbies - was not exactly riveting. That said, I'm looking forward to seeing more of Annie's evil brother.
Rooting for Richie
I guess I'm supposed to hate him, but so far, I'm finding Richie endlessly entertaining. I laughed out loud when Richie - who had been strung up in a noose by Special Ops Edition Aidan - kicked the chair out from underneath his feet as police knocked down the door. I have no idea what possessed Aidan to do that. Only moments after warning Ryan they couldn't beat a confession out of Novak because it would useless in court, Devane strung the boy up as an "interrogation technique." Um, I'm thinking the judge wouldn't take kindly to a confession made under threat of death. As if his relationship with Greenlee didn't dumb him down enough. It also makes me long for the days everyone's favorite Brit languished on the backburner.
Yes, Richie's creepy, and I'll admit that if it wasn't the Lavery family he was trying to torture, I may not enjoy his antics so much. (That said, even Alex Cambias Sr. was entertaining while tormenting my fave couple, Zach and Kendall.) But sometimes it's just fun to watch a villain work. How great was it when Richie played hero, saving Ryan and Aidan from prison to make himself look better? And tormenting Annie, all the while making her look like the crazy one? Of course, it would seem that Ryan and Annie may gain the upper hand, at least temporarily, this week. I do hope, however, that Richie being added to the opening credits means the character will stick around for a while.
What's Hannah Hiding?
SPOILER ALERT! Skip the next two paragraphs if you don't want to know what will happen!
We've known for a while that Hannah has been working with Adam to get Chandler Enterprises back, but this week we find out why she's doing it (beyond the initial "You didn't knock me up" revenge angle). It turns out Ms. Nichol's had an affair with Alex Cambias Sr. The timing of the tryst is still up in the air, from what I understand, which opens up a few possibilities.
Did the affair happen during the Satin Slayer days, with Hannah as Alex Sr.'s accomplice? Did Hannah shoot Alex Sr. to keep him from revealing her part in the plot, or because she was angry he couldn't get the job done? Or did the affair happen years ago, at the same time Hannah dallied with Alex Jr? Personally, I'm kind of hoping for the latter. I would love to rewrite history and make Ethan be Zach's brother, not his son. Or maybe a combination of the two would be best. Hannah slept with Alex Sr. years ago, conceived Ethan, then reunited with him years later when she blamed Zach for his death. In any case, this is a twist I didn't see coming, which is a rarity on soaps these days. I'm looking forward to watching it play out.
For now, Zach has other things on his mind, namely his plot to get Greenlee away from Fusion. Like Zach, I just wish Kendall would leave the company in the past and move on to bigger, better things. I do understand Kendall's point of view - why should she be the one to walk away? Greens is the guilty party at this point, considering her actions, not to mention the fact she bailed on Fusion for months on end. At this point, though, I wish she would just let it go. In fact, I wish AMC would just let the company die.
Vengeance, Thy Name is Slater Since that isn't happening, Zach is working overtime with JR to convince Greens her embryos weren't destroyed and Kendall is busy drafting psycho journal entries and planting them on Greenlee's computer, to make it look like Ms. Smythe is still plotting to steal Spike for herself. Do I have a problem with this double-pronged attack on poor, misunderstood Greenlee? Um, no. I'm sure the whole town will turn on the Slaters for ganging up on her (Aidan will definitely be ticked off, and Ryan seems to have come around a little in recent days), but I have no problem with a little revenge being extracted. Is all of this any more cruel than trying to steal a friend's child? I think not.
JR, of course, is helping Zach so he can get funding for his can't-miss (pardon my disbelieving guffaw) business venture with Ava, who recently answered Jonathan's proposal with a tacky tattoo. [Note: I don't think all tattoos are tacky... for the record, I have two. But anyone who gets a lover's name inked on their body is begging for trouble.] After he gave Ava the good news, and tried to get her ditch her new fiancÚ, JR found himself half-naked with Ms. Benton in the alley behind The Comeback. How classy!
Every week they make Junior look slimier and slimier. I'd be more indignant about his actions if I actually cared about this storyline, but all I really want is for it to go away. Far away. It was creepy to begin with, but now the JR factor just amps up the sleaze. Lily's been reduced to a talk-to for her slutty sis, and we even have to watch Jackson, an intelligent educated man, give Jonny Boy his blessing. Awww, he just wants the serial killer to be happy with the hooker who looks just like his barely legal daughter! How sweet! Whatever.
A Final Word
As one of the lucky fans headed to Super Soap Weekend next month, I was thrilled to learn that David Canary (Adam/Stuart) would be attending. It was definitely a pleasant surprise. Getting to see him in person, whether I manage to actually meet him or not, will be a real treat. On the other hand, it appears as though Colin Egglesfield (Josh) will not be attending, which is quite the disappointment. At last year's event, Colin was one of the most enthusiastic stars there. He seemed genuinely excited to attend and was more than gracious with fans. You will be missed next month, Colin!
That's all for this week. See you in a few!