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It was a dark and rainy, late autumn night. She coulda been anywhere.

It was a dark and rainy, late autumn night. She coulda been anywhere. But of all the hotels in Washington, DC, of all the rooms... she had to walk into mine.

That sounds like some sort of narration from a 1970s gangster or detective movie, but that's exactly how I felt about JR and Annie ending up at the same hotel -- and the same rooms, no less -- as where they'd had their previous tryst. Was it coincidence? Did JR plan to shack up there to relive the fireworks? Here's an idea: why not book a different hotel? I doubt they went on one of those name-your-price websites and just happened to be assigned to the same hotel.

It was a nice touch to have JR mention that the hotel room just looked the same, but to have Annie be the one to mention that it didn't just look the same... it was the same. I've found that women often seem to remember these sorts of things better than men -- especially if there is an emotional attachment involved. I think that Annie's instant recall proved that her bedroom romp with JR was more than just sex.

I admit that I wished I still had their previous trysts on DVR so that I could look to see if the room was exactly as it had been the last time it was on the show. It's like those picture puzzles where you have to find ten different things between two similar photographs.

Anyway, I digress. I really expected Annie and JR to go at it as soon as they realized it was the same room. When JR left and Annie started to undress, I was surprised. Might they actually not have sex? Nah. JR knocked on the door, Annie opened it, and there was that momentary awkward silence. The look on JR's face as he pushed the door open and walked towards Annie was intense. I'm not sure that I can appropriately describe the look in a PG-column, but it was something like, "C'm here woman. Daddy's home." You get the idea. I'm not sure that I've seen anything like that before on AMC.

I don't know what it is, but there is just some natural chemistry between Jacob Young (JR) and Melissa Claire Egan (Annie). There is an underlying humor at times, and certainly that ever-present sizzle. I could have done without Scott's one-time interloping in the storyline, but the end justifies the means. I just hope that when Scott gets outta jail that he doesn't end up as a third wheel in this storyline yet again.

All My Children is on fire with surprise cliffhangers. Two weeks ago, we had undead David walking into the courtroom to save Greenlee from the sizzle seat. Last week, we had Susan Lucci reliving her Broadway run in Annie Get Your Gun, and blasting away at David as he attacked Ryan. It seemed so random for Erica to be the one to shoot David, but... I think choosing Erica made for the best story.

It couldn't have been Greenlee. I've never heard of someone standing trial for murder and then having the case against them dropped because the victim wasn't really dead -- only to later have that same defendant charged with the attempted murder of the same not-dead person. Did you follow that? I wrote it and I'm not sure that I was able to follow it! Plus, Greenlee has had major storyline of late and doesn't need any more.

Ryan could have shot David during their struggle, but that could easily have been dismissed. Plus, I don't think anyone wants to see a dragged-out courtroom situation with Ryan as the defendant. I do, however, have to say that I thought having Madison get hit by the stray bullet that was fired off during Ryan and David's struggle was pure genius. Let's face it: no one was thinking about that stray bullet. There are gunfights on soaps and in movies where a few hundred rounds of ammunition are spat out and no one gets so much as a graze wound. Madison wasn't even really attached to the story at the point that she was shot. Don't get me wrong -- I am not advocating the use of gratuitous violence, but I did like the surprise factor.

Everyone could have banded together and disposed of David's body after he'd been shot -- but I suppose that would have been too similar to other storylines, too. Jack helped Laurel dispose of her abusive ex-hubby's body. Erica, Janet, and Skye buried Jonathan Kinder (even though he wasn't dead). Secretly, I would have liked to see David skulk around town screwing with people's heads while he was still believed to be dead. That might have worked well around Halloween, but probably not so much for Hanukkah and Christmastime.

So let's get on to the $517 question. That's the deep discount, end-of-the-model-year, recession price for the $1,000,000 question. Oh, and I had a $20-off coupon. Anyway, the question is: Was David brought back just to be killed all over again?

I have to admit, it certainly looks that way, huh? I think more people want David dead now than they did before he was actually "murdered." Or, at the very least, the desire for him to die is higher in more people. In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, Vincent Irizarry (David) was awfully vague about how long he'd be sticking around. "There's never any guarantee that I'm staying much further than this particular [story] arc, but I am staying for the duration of this arc," Irizarry told the magazine.

Uh huh. I'm so glad that's cleared up.

Kendall also made the decision to go to the spot where her life was changed, the spot where Zach lost his life. In record time, she and Greenlee traveled from Pennsylvania to California, and All My Children got to do some outside filming in its new favorite spot. I like the remote shoots, but sometimes they can be a little jarring because everything is "real."

Of any of the soaps -- past or present, AMC does the best job of filming outside. What I didn't quite understand, though, was why the show selected a beautiful oceanside location only to use a "fake" cave set.

Alicia Minshew got another chance to shine as Kendall broke down while going through Zach's carry-on bag, a bag that was obviously made by Timex because it sure took a licking and certainly kept on ticking. Okay, so maybe a duffel bag doesn't really tick, but you know what I mean. That bag was in a plane crash, the resulting explosion, and then floated in the water for a few days -- and it looked none the worse for the wear. Even the note that Kendall had given to Zach somehow avoided even a single wrinkle.

There's another thing that struck me as odd about the grieving Kendall story -- and I know it's not just me because Jennifer, one of this column's regular readers, also wrote in to grumble about it. Through Kendall's mourning process, Greenlee prattled on and on and on about how she couldn't possibly understand how Kendall felt following Zach's death. Jennifer said it best in her email to me, "Um, excuse me, Greenlee, but have you not been widowed twice?!? Yes, Greenlee, you most definitely do know what Kendall is going through." I have to agree... even if we don't count David's non-death and Ryan's staged over-the-cliff-on-a-motorcycle "death," Greenlee lost Leo, the supposed love of her life. However, I have to say that I feel like the current writing regime doesn't want us to think about Leo because it thwarts their efforts to make (read: force) viewers to believe that the sun rises and sets on Greenlee and Ryan.

We're almost at the end of another calendar year, and that means that the Best and Worst of AMC 2010 will be here before you know it. Remember when AMC celebrated the New Year with the Crystal Ball? Would it be too much to bring that back?


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