What I love about soap fans -- and something that might also be to our detriment in terms of being able to enjoy the shows we watch every weekday -- is that we never forget anything. Sure, from time to time we may need a little refresher, but for the most part... we remember everything that's ever happened in Pine Valley.
So I am not sure then why it surprises me that so many of you have chalked up David's death to the chicanery of someone we haven't seen on-screen in the better part of a year: Nurse Gayle Walker. Does Gayle have motive to snuff out David? Sure. I have to admit that Gayle wasn't the first bit character to come to mind when I was picking out murderers, but she'll do. A lot of readers also think Gayle deserves at least one or two fingers pointed in her direction.
"If David is truly dead then I think a possible killer could be Nurse Gayle," Carell told me in feedback from last week's column. "At the party before the beating, a single glass of champagne was on a tray and the waitress offered it to David. You couldn't tell who the waitress was, but it is possible it was Nurse Gayle in disguise."
Not everyone, though, thinks that Gayle was out to get David. At least one reader thought that Gayle might be David's accomplice. I have to say that I'm not so sure about that, since Gayle wanted to kill David the last time that we saw her -- but maybe that was all an act.
"I have to say, after watching David's funeral I'm not convinced he is gone," Thom explained. "They purposely didn't show him in the casket, which leads me to my theory that he is not dead. Nurse Gayle helped him escape, the coroner was paid off by David to say he was poisoned, and David and Gayle are going to [eventually] wreak havoc on Pine Valley."
I still like the idea of the pilot/mechanic being the one who whacked David. The character was certainly mentioned an awful lot before David died, and the two didn't seem to be getting along. Now all of a sudden the guy is missing in action -- and no one has even muttered his name since. What's to say that David wasn't trying to blackmail the man (or screw him over in some other way), and the unseen crony decided to silence David once and for all? There is another scenario out there that involves the mechanic -- and before you think that it's crazy talk, please know that I received emails with the same seemingly outlandish idea from at least two dozen different readers. Ready? I'll let one of this column's readers explain the plot twist.
"I always enjoy your columns, and would like to add another theory to the 'Dead David' conversation," Diane wrote. "I think the David who is truly dead is the plane mechanic who had plastic surgery [to look like David], and that the real David killed the look-alike David to frame Ryan. The autopsy was indeed real and poison has always been a David trademark. Too crazy? I guess we'll see sometime down the road."
That theory is definitely one of the more... creative theories out there. I can't say that it's not possible, because we certainly have seen our fair share of odd storylines in the last 40 years. It might be a little more plausible that David had a twin, and it was the twin who was mistakenly killed. Sound familiar?
My favorite whodunit guess could actually be the one that has the best potential on-screen resolution. What if David planned to kill someone and he accidentally ingested the digitalis that he'd planned to use on the other person? As a former cardiac specialist, David would most definitely have had access to digitalis. Of course, that could all be a red herring. Call me kooky, but that would almost make killing off David tolerable. I'd still miss seeing Vincent Irizarry (unless they do the twin thing), but there's just something about David inadvertently taking his own life that would be... interesting. Has anyone on AMC ever accidentally killed themselves? It sounds vaguely familiar, but right now I can't remember if I am thinking of All My Children or Murder, She Wrote.
It puzzled me a bit that Asher didn't think that someone would do a background check on him when he applied for a job at Chandler Enterprises. Isn't that the norm? Some places even run a credit check on applicants before hiring them. His excuse as to why his résumé raised red flags was believable, I guess. Kicked out of school because he fixed the grades of the star athletes? Sure. Why not.
Hopefully you won't think I am crazy when tell you that every time Asher appears on screen I suddenly start to hear refrains of Tina Turner. With all apologies to Anna Mae, he's a private hacker... a hacker for money. He'll hack what you want him to hack. He's a private hacker... any old computer will do. And to think that FOX hired Jennifer Lopez as a new American Idol judge instead of me. The nerve!
Is anyone else out there amused by the soap names the writers give to well-known entities? For example, the Nerd Army is obviously a nod to Best Buy's Geek Squad.
Krystal needs a man. It's not that I think that people can't make it through life without being partnered up, but Krystal seems really lonely to me. She has these quasi-relationships with nearly every man in Pine Valley, and it seems to me that those relationships only serve to highlight the things that are missing in Krystal's life.
I love Angie Hubbard, but I tell you that I have to agree with David's complaints about Angie practicing medicine while she was losing her eyesight. I believe that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires all employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees, as long as the employee is able to perform all of the essential obligations of their job. Thankfully, nothing horrific happened, but it very well could have. That would have left the hospital open to all sorts of lawsuits. I have to think that a physician would need to inform a patient prior to treatment if he or she had something that could prevent them from being able to offer a thorough examination, but I could be wrong. I do know of at least one story where a person who was legally blind went through medical school, got their license to practice medicine, and then could not find a job. But I am wandering away from discussion about the soap world, so let me wind it back a bit.
I found myself vocalizing my support when Angie delivered her opening remarks to the board.
"There was a time when people thought that being handicapped was if you were a woman or African-American," she said in her address. "I've been facing preconceived notions all my life, but I have never, ever let them hold me back."
Was the boardroom always known as the Charles Tyler Boardroom? If not, what a nice nod to history.
I've noticed that some elements of realness are starting to infiltrate the AMC storytelling. I am kind of intrigued by AJ lashing out and picking fights with his classmates. I'd imagine that it has to be hard to be so young, and to have had so many changes in one's life. I really would like to see AMC focus on telling AJ's story. It might not be the sexy, adult storylines that viewers are used to... but it might be a welcome change.
Not everything, though, is spot-on in terms of reality. Audrey wrote in to grumble about Caleb and Marissa's bar exams.
"As an attorney I am appalled at Caleb and Marissa taking the bar in September. The bar exam is given twice a year, in February and July," she noted. "I checked and it is [that way] in Pennsylvania, too."
There are some casting changes that were announced last week, and I feel that I need to address them in this column. Adam Mayfield (Scott Chandler) and Brittany Allen (Marissa Tasker) are out. According to setside snitches, Scott will return down the (Asher) pike, but Marissa will be written out. If you've followed this column for any length of time, you'll know that both Adam and Brittany have sat down with me for interviews -- Adam on Soap Central Live and Brittany for a video chat at the AMC studio. So from a personal perspective, I'm saddened that both have lost their jobs.
From a story perspective, however, recasting Marissa would allow the character to find that dark side that I've so yearned to see. That, of course, is assuming that the role is to be recast. As for Scott, I'm not sure what recasting the role will achieve, except to maybe lure in viewers from another soap. It is widely believed that a former As the World Turns star will take over as Scott. Perhaps Daniel Cosgrove is headed back to the role that he played back in the 1990s.
With two actors out, AMC also announced that it was hiring two new performers -- Emmy winner Jordi Vilasuso and former Days of our Lives/Passions star Lindsay Hartley. Jordi will play Griffin Castillo, a newly created role that doesn't appear to be a secret recast for any other role. Hartley's role, however, has a very familiar ring to it. AMC says that Hartley will play Cara Finn. If you remember, Jake Martin was once married to a woman named Carolyn Finn. As I said, soap fans don't forget anything. There are never any coincidences when it comes to the names of soap opera characters. Even AMC's Ryan Lavery was said to be remotely related to General Hospital's Duke Lavery. So... that makes me wonder if Cara is Carolyn's sister or just Carolyn with a spiffy new hairdo and a fun new nickname. Either way, it smells like trouble for Jake and Amanda's happy marriage.