Chrishell Stause has been amazing over the past week with her portrayal of new mom Amanda Dillon. I can see why AMC's executive producer Julie Hanan Carruthers went to bat for Stause when the actress announced that she'd be leaving the show. The scenes after Amanda gave birth and realized that she had to give up her baby were heart wrenching. Stause says that she didn't think about anything in her personal life to get to that point; she simply imagined what her character would be feeling and drew from that. The only bad news out of this is that Stause is definitely leaving at the end of the year.
Emmy-nom Cornelius Smith, Jr. continues to amaze me. I am so glad that Smith and AMC were able to come to terms on a new contract. I can't imagine the role being recast -- and having Frankie die from the injuries he'd sustained in Iraq would have been horrible. That said, I completely believed that Frankie was in excruciating pain after he and Randi accidentally collided outside the Hubbards' apartment. It wasn't the over-the-top stuff that we sometimes expect from the soaps. Later, he was a convincing drunk. The scenes that most moved me, however, were the scenes involving the pasta dinner. Randi made dinner for her and Frankie, but she was again given the cold shoulder by her husband. Rather than pull a hissy fit that so many other female characters seem to be doing lately, Randi sat down with a magazine and enjoyed the fruits of her labor. Eventually, Frankie made his way to the dinner table, softly telling Randi that he was unable to hold a fork. No words were necessary to explain what Randi was feeling. All you had to do was look into Denise Vasi's eyes and it was infinitely clear. Vasi is also putting in some great performances as a result of this storyline. Like Jesse and Angie, Randi and Frankie seem to be showing what marriage is all about. For better or worse, in sickness and in health...
The goofy Tad seems to be fading away and a new, darker Tad is coming to light. What brought about this sudden change? I can't be certain, but I think it was the ridiculous incident with Tad tossing a dart into Liza's stomach. I do believe it scared Tad straight. As Liza explained what was really going down, Tad struggled to find something funny to say. Since then, he hasn't been the post-shooting, goofball. And I am not complaining. Over drinks with Taylor, Tad proclaimed "Tad the Cad is officially gone." In one of her most amusing scenes since joining AMC nearly a year ago, Beth Ehlers looked slowly off to the side and asked, "W-w-who's Tad the Cad? I just got here."
It must have been déjà vu all over again for poor Marissa. I can't recall if Tad knew how Marissa's adoptive parents died when he called her to tell her about David and Krystal's accident. I'd like to think that if he knew, he'd have been a little more tactful. Either way, what on earth was Krystal thinking when she jumped in the car with way-too-drunk David? At the hospital, when Krystal bumped into Tad, she was annoyingly nonchalant about the whole thing. "Golly gee, Tad. It's amazing he didn't hurt nobody!" Okay, so I may have taken liberties with the quote, but that's how my brain processed it. It was almost like a big joke to her.
Meanwhile, Jesse also made reference to the DUI incident in a way that seemed a bit insincere. "The next time you decide to kill yourself, do it at home," Jesse snapped to David. I understand the gist of what Jesse meant -- don't drive drunk and run the risk of killing innocent people. It's so often the innocent bystanders that are killed. All My Children had a storyline all about that with the killing of Brooke English's young daughter, Laura. However, I don't think I like the way that Jesse is being portrayed as the chief of police. It seems like everyone is one-upping him. Liza used her newly acquired lawyering skills to trump Jesse's orders. Zach issued a confession to a murder -- albeit false -- and Jesse offered him a redo.
Speaking of Liza, she sure is everywhere these days. She's representing Zach, Annie, and David. There has to be some conflict of interest there. She's making secret deals with ex-husband, Adam, to defend "Hannibal Lecter's little sister," Annie, in exchange for inroads with daughter, Colby.
Meanwhile, the game of musical couples is in full effect. Ryan planted a surprise kiss on Erica, Annie smooched Adam to show how grateful she was, Tad and Taylor made small talk over drinks at confusion, and JR wants to have a "play date" with Marissa. Where do I begin? I'll rank them in order of the ones of "like," from high to low. Tad and Taylor had nice chemistry, Erica and Ryan's banter made me smile, Adam and Annie stunned me to the point where I wished there had been a "warning notice" flashed on the screen like when there's a severe weather watch, and JR and Marissa is still far too creepy for me.
We're gearing up for another soap opera trial. What is it about soap trials that just rings so corny? Soap trials look nothing like the trials you'd see on a show like The Practice or even Law & Order. It always seems like the writers watch a bunch of court shows, pick out the best lines -- "But I'm warning you, you're on a short leash" -- and dump them into a stew pot to see what cooks up. The new District Attorney is already sleazy to me. Check out some of this week's spoilers in The Scoop and you'll get an even better idea what I'm talking about. He seems so intent on sticking it to Kendall that he doesn't even want Jesse to continue investigating leads on other possible suspects in Stuart's murder. North did have the perfectly assy line, though, with "What an adorable baby," North smirked. "It's a shame he'll be growing up without a mother."
You Too, Scoop: Several readers dropped me a line last week to ask if it is possible that David really isn't the father of Amanda's baby. Perhaps a DNA test was swapped by someone at the hospital -- like Nurse Gayle.
In random observations: I thought that Dr. Wexler -- the orthopedic surgeon that Angie brought down from New York -- looked an awful lot like J. Eddie Peck, one of the former Jake Martins. Zach's wearing of the Red Wings shirt was a great way to show support, but I think the writers misjudged their days. Maybe no one told Charles Pratt when the Stanley Cup finals were being played. Thorsten Kaye's beloved hockey team fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins about a week earlier. Adam offered to put up Annie's bail, but isn't he broke? Where is he going to come up with $1,000,000? Greenlee is being mentioned a lot lately -- and then there was that weird Christmas package that talked about New Year's Eve 2009. Maybe that package wasn't squirreled away someone. Maybe Greenlee is alive somewhere (Shout out to Nurse Gayle!) and she plans to return in December to find Ryan. New Year's Eve 2009 hasn't happened yet, after all...
Now if you'll excuse me, my neighbor wants me to go to dinner and dancing with her at the yacht club so that she can gush endlessly about how she can still turn heads by having a younger man on her arm.