We'll begin this week by discussing the ongoing Dr. Madden saga, since AMC has been bashing us over the head with this whodunit all week long. We started out with an unseen assailant knocking out the not-so-good doctor before he could escape with an unconscious Erica. Prior to the attack we were treated to a non-stop Greg hate fest. Almost every character on the canvas talked about how Greg would pay, or how they would make Greg talk, or that they wanted to beat such-and-such out of Madden.
Just in case you missed the set up, AMC saw fit to make everyone look very suspicious after the fact, by showcasing scenes like this:
"Where were you last night?" asks Random PV Resident #1. "Uh... er... nowhere," replies Random PV Resident #2, their eyes nervously darting back and forth. "What about you?" Resident #2 shoots back. "Me? Oh, well, I had some things to, uh, take care of," Resident #1 says, anxiously fidgeting and avoiding eye contact. And, if all that failed, Greg himself did us the service of listing all the possible suspects while trying to reason with his captor from within his makeshift coffin.
Of course, the only communication we've heard from that captor is a recorded, voice-altered message demanding info on Kate, so it could be anybody. My early prediction is David. He had enough time to plan this little maneuver and it seems like something he would do. My random wild guess is Janet. Yes, I know she's in the asylum and it would make no sense, but when has logic ever stopped the AMC writers? Janet would be a convenient scapegoat and it would be easier to punish her than figure out how to get a main character out of jail time.
You're Going to Jail... Wait, May be Not
Speaking of jail time, JR spent the week prepping for his upcoming jail stint. Before he went to court on Friday, he stopped by to visit his best friend/unintended victim, Kendall, where he was promptly harassed by Zach and Ryan. Once Kendall figured out what had happened, she tore her former friend to pieces. After weeks of her lying silent and motionless, it was great to see Kendall really lay into someone.
Junior did the requisite "I'm sorry" spiel with his family, including his mother, who had just been read the riot act by Adam. I loved those scenes. Adam's no father-of-the-year, but I agreed with almost everything he said to Dixie. In any case, JR tentatively forgave his mom, who was so moved that she asked Babe to stop JR from going through with the plea bargain.
Is this the same Dixie who waltzed into JR's holding cell a few weeks back and demanded he take responsibility for his actions? Now that he has, it seems Dixie wants to save her grown son from a prison term. After all this, I have the feeling that JR won't spend a single day in jail, which forces me to ask "What the hell was the point of turning JR into a revenge-crazed drunk who nearly killed his best friend and her baby?!?"
The writers gave me yet another reason to hate Dixie when she had the nerve to walk into Zach's jail cell and ask him to help her with Greg while his wife was at death's door in the hospital. The only thing that made me angrier was that it seems he actually helped her! Even though he was bailed out that night, Zach didn't make it to the hospital until the next morning.
What the hell?!? Not only is this insane, it is totally out of character for Zach. The man who barricaded himself in Kendall's room and threatened to shoot up the hospital ran an errand before he made it back to her bedside? There were about a thousand ways to make Zach a suspect without pulling that crap. Note to the AMC writers: you don't have to damage a character to drive plot.
All's Well That Ends Well
Luckily, the reunion of Zach and Kendall made up for this unpleasantness. I really enjoyed the scenes where Kendall met her son for the first time (that baby doll is frighteningly real). There was something softer about Alicia Minshew's performance in these scenes. Truth be told, when this whole baby storyline started, I had a hard time picturing Kendall as a mother. So far, I've been pleasantly surprised with what I've seen.
But the real tear-jerker for me was when Kendall's husband arrived. The scenes weren't overplayed (a nice contrast to some of the heavy-handed acting in the Greg storyline) but were very touching. My favourite line was when Kendall told Zach she wanted to introduce him to "the other love of my life". I loved the way that Kendall looked at Zach as he talked to Spike, and the way he nonchalantly listed the many charges he's facing while explaining his actions the last few weeks. And yes, I even enjoyed the hug - yes, HUG - between Zach and Ryan. On paper, it sounds very odd, but it wasn't nearly as weird as I thought it would be.
The only low point to the Zach/Kendall reunion was the ongoing "Ryan is noble" subplot. Once again, Bianca served as Ryan's sounding board, asking him if he could really handle being in love with Kendall from afar. And once again, we had to listen to Ryan wax poetic about what a soulless cancer... oops, I mean, wonderful woman Kendall is, and how he wants her to be happy with the man she loves. Add a few dozen shots of a forlorn Ryan considering what might have been, and presto! You've redeemed Ryan Lavery. Sure AMC, whatever you say.
The other Laverys were busy this week too. Jack finally "accepted" Lily and Jonathan's marriage. Seriously, it hurts me to type that - though I admit that I did burst out laughing when Jonny called Jackson "Dad". He agreed to let them move into Greenlee's old penthouse. I'm sure Greens would be thrilled to pieces. Aidan and Erin popped in for an impromptu housewarming/belated wedding shower, Jonny and Lily handled their awkward sleeping arrangements by building a pillow wall between them, and Erica tried to convince Jack to stay out of his Lily's love life. You know, because she's such an expert on not meddling in her daughters' lives.
Erica's son Josh was dealing with his father's disappearance this week, but he did find time to interrupt Jamie and Julia's dinner date. "The Martin cradle must be empty tonight," he said, in one of the funniest lines of the week. Julia and Jamie had discussed their age difference earlier, and kudos to AMC for having them do so. Often, soaps overlook the rapid aging of younger characters, so it's refreshing for them to acknowledge that Jamie was in diapers when Julia first came to Pine Valley.
Oh, and did I mention that Greg's yacht was blown up? Maybe I forgot because it was little more than an afterthought. All we got was a flash of light at the end of Thursday's show and a bunch of people talking about the explosion the next day. I get that AMC wouldn't want to stage another big disaster-style scene so soon after the Mardi Gras ball, but I wonder what the point was to the explosion. Del was the culprit, and he told Tad and Zach that he did it to prevent Greg from fleeing town. Couldn't he have just disabled it as he did with the plane? It seemed unnecessary and anticlimactic to me.
Well, that's all I've got for this week. See you all soon.