Take a flying leap

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AMC Two Scoops: Take a flying leap
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The week of June 2, 2008
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Jesse and Angie's wedding was a perfect example of what makes good daytime drama, which begs the question: why can't it always be like that?

Well, I'm sure I'm not the only one who thought last Friday's cliffhanger was more than a little ridiculous. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I couldn't help but laugh as I watched Jesse leap off the roof of the Seasons East. The visual effects, which I'd seen first on General Hospital a few weeks back, were pretty good, but it was a pretty inane ending to an otherwise classic soap wedding.

Speaking of which, I just have to state for the record how much I enjoyed Angie and Jesse's wedding. It had all the moments I was hoping for, everything from Greg Nelson (the still-adorable Lawrence Lau) meeting his darling Jenny's namesake, to the poignant and heartfelt vows. You would think a wedding 20 years in the making would fall short of expectations, but this spectacle may have actually exceeded them. It was a perfect example of what makes good daytime drama, which begs the question: why can't it always be like that? The answer apparently escapes both me and the powers that be.

The world according to Greens

If I had one quibble about that great episode, it was the inclusion of the Kendall/Aidan one-night stand reveal. I don't know why it was necessary to drop that little bomb before the actual ceremony, except to feature Greenlee prominently once again. As good as that ceremony was, I could have lived without the constant cuts to poor, put-upon Greenlee Smythe.

That leads us to the events of last week. We started out with a vengeful Greens shamelessly throwing herself at her Zach to get back at Kendall - like we didn't see that one coming. Thankfully, that's not Slater's style. Of course, Kendall glossed over Greenlee's come-on (which she heard with her own ears) and began working to gain her friend's forgiveness. I guess it's too much to ask that this sick, twisted 'sisterhood' finally come to an end.

Regular readers of this column are all-too-familiar with my love of Zach and Kendall, a support that has bordered on obsession from time to time. I've begrudgingly accepted blackouts, phony affairs, murder mysteries, secrets, lies and countless other plot points presented to the couple. After all, it's a soap opera. Every couple endures hardships, right? I even explained away a grief-fuelled one-night stand, not because I was delusional, but because it could be explained. What I have a very hard time explaining are the actions of one Zach Slater last week. His conversation with a self-righteous Jackson left me with a sickening sense of déjà vu.

When Jack asked how Zach could possibly forgive Kendall for betraying him, I expected Slater to explain that he had come to understand the circumstances under which the one-night stand took place; that while it sickened him to think of his wife with another man, he understood why it happened. Instead, Zach gave a sermon on the wonder that is Greenlee. I must have missed it, but it seems Ms. Smythe, sage spiritual advisor that she is, taught Zach all about "faith, love and forgiveness." I suppose if not for Greens, the Slaters would be in divorce court instead of blowing up balloons for Spike's second birthday party.

I was willing to overlook Zach and Greenlee's friendship as a contrived way to redeem Smythe, but when he starts professing his love and devotion, I have to draw a line. Frankly, as a former Ryan and Kendall fan, it all seems far too familiar - the close friendship with Greenlee, her advances, the inexplicable bond. I'm afraid these characters are heading down a road I can't follow, a road I've walked before. I'm not saying Zach is a Ryan clone, but I'm terrified the writers might be taking him there.

I truly hope I'm wrong, that this week was just a blip. But I can't shake the feeling that Zach and Kendall lost one of the things that was truly special about them this week - and all in deference to Greenlee. I'm sure the Slaters will survive, and they'll probably be wonderful, but I don't think it will ever be the same.

Why couldn't Smythe just concern herself with winning back Ryan? It obviously wouldn't be too difficult, given Lavery's behavior at the hospital. All it took was Greens demanding a ride home for Ryan to ditch his wife (who he asked about, but never took the time to find), and Lavery was gone, leaving the missus to mourn her friend solo. Of course, now we get to watch yet another seemingly intelligent woman plot and scheme to bring another Lavery in the world. With all the pains they've gone to making Annie out as a great mother, it's insane that they'd have conceive a child to save her marriage. I guess as long as somebody's obsessed with Ryan's offspring, it's all good.

Together forever?

Well, at least for one day. I'm sure this week's little condensed happy ending was meant as a way to give Tad and Dixie fans the story they always wanted, a way to try to make amends for feeding Dix those pancakes and keeping Kate away so long. If I were a die-hard fan of the couple, I'm not sure I'd see it that way. Sure, the scenes were adorable and touching, but it all rings a little hollow since it's not real. It felt like a consolation prize, as though AMC was saying, "Sorry we screwed up. Here's what you could have if we weren't such morons."

That said, I did love Michael E. Knight in those scenes. He is the reason I love Tad Martin, plain and simple. Of course, I'm sure Tad's not long for heaven, since Adam finally showed up to reveal the truth about Kathy. I am really looking forward to those scenes next week (except the inevitable self-righteous declarations from Krystal, who wrote the book on keeping a child from their parent). Adam's motivation makes sense, too. He doesn't really care to save Tad, but he wants to spare his loved ones the pain of losing Martin. At least he got to fight back by laying out all of Tad's misdeeds while debating JR. (Apparently, burying a man in a box doesn't exclude you from heaven!)

Unfortunately, Julia Keefer will be permanently passing through those pearly gates. Was it really necessary to kill her off? They could have milked this story a little longer with a custody battle that eventually ended amicably. Did Kate really have to keep losing parents? Not to mention the fact that AMC brought back Julia, only to quickly drop her to the backburner, where she languished for years. It was a complete waste that juts adds to AMC's long list of botched returns.

On that happy note, I'll leave you to another week in Pine Valley. See you again soon.

-- Kristine

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