It's been another less-than-enjoyable week in Pine Valley. Normally, I'd try to come up with some kind of mildly clever opening, but I'm at a loss after these last five episodes. It wasn't all negative, but there were some definite low points. So let's just jump right in.
First off, Jonathan agreed to tell Lily that he was cured. As happy as I am to see their relationship end, I did appreciate Jeff Branson and Leven Rambin's performances in these scenes. I genuinely felt bad that both of them were so devastated by the break up, though not enough to hope for a reunion any time soon.
I'm glad that this story is giving Amanda more screen time, as I think she's a much better match for Jonathan (although, as I've said before, I'd prefer Amanda with Josh or David). As of now, Mandy is pushing for a Lily/Jonathan reunion but in time I'm sure we'll see more than friendship between the two. Another vocal Lily/Jonathan supporter this week was Erica, who chastised Jack for pushing Lily into her current unhappiness. I get that Jack's methods were flawed, but Jonathan was the one who lied to Lily for months. But of course, Erica was selling the "let your kids be happy" line. I guess she ignored her own advice on Friday, when she decided to urge Ryan to "make his move" on Kendall. Typical Erica hypocrisy - Eripocrisy!
Of course, a distraught Lily is handling her problems in the worst possible way, looking for a new love on the internet. And who did she find? Resident pervert Terry, who also took time to terrorize ex-wife Annie with an unexpected threatening phone call this week. After some urging from Ryan, Annie decided to stand her ground and wait for Terry to come to them, hoping to end his reign of terror once and for all. Ryan's been a busy boy this week... but we'll get to that later.
Attack of the Headless Teenagers
Elsewhere, a mysterious gaggle of punk teenagers (all shot from the neck down, for the majority of an episode) crashed Erica and Jack's house and had a party. This introduced another newbie to the teen scene, as Sean Montgomery made his debut. If any of you newer viewers are wondering who that is, don't worry. I've been watching for decades and it took me a minute to figure it out. Sean is Jack's nephew and Bianca's half-brother, son of Travis and Barbara.
I'm not ready to render an opinion on Sean quite yet - let's just say that he's not nearly as annoying as Colby or Sydney. I did appreciate that AMC actually mentioned his background. Not only did they explain his connection to Jack and Erica, they played up La Kane's long-standing hatred of Barbara and pointed out the reason for Sean's conception (to provide bone marrow for his sister Molly). Unfortunately, the arrival of Sean means more airtime for the aforementioned teen gals, who once again grated my last nerve during their slang-laden, insult-riddled "banter".
On a more positive note, I really enjoyed the Di/Aidan scenes at ConFusion. I didn't even mind them hanging out with Julia and Jamie (although Di dishing the dirt about her nephew's sex life was a little too weird for my liking). It was nice to watch a couple have some fun for a change, without the specter of murder charges or fake alibis hanging over their heads. Meanwhile, Aidan's ex Erin was busy helping JR, by making a lame attempt to throw herself at Josh. Maybe it's just her lack of experience, but those come-ons were painful to watch.
Josh, whose heart is set on Babe Chandler (for reasons that are inexplicable to me), turned down Lavery, though not as harshly as he rebuffed his sister earlier in the week. Kendall tried to reach out to her newfound sibling in an effort to repair their relationship and explain the Kane family's actions. I really hope that we get more scenes like these as time goes on. Kendall is one of the few people on the planet who can relate to Josh's situation, and I hope that he gives her a chance to help him. But being shot down by her brother was probably the highlight of Kendall's week, given that her husband's faux affair with Dixie went into high gear.
Fake Affairs Are Real Torture
Let's review the last few days in the life of Kendall Hart-Slater, shall we? She saw a picture of her husband kissing another woman on television; she confronted (and slapped) said woman in front of hordes of reporters; she destroyed her "cheating" husband's clothes during a huge staged argument; she started on her own phony affair by publicly kissing an ex who still has feelings for her; and she learned from her mother that her husband was caught under the covers with his would-be mistress.
The most entertaining moment amidst all of that chaos was the aforementioned slap Kendall gave Dixie. I had been waiting for that moment for weeks, and truth be told, I rewound it and watched a few thousand times over. When Dixie suggested to Zach that Kendall was a little too convincing, I laughed out loud. Uh, Dix, didn't you just admit to Zach moments before that you were falling in love with him? I think that gives Kendall the right to be angry, whether this affair is fake or not. Besides, I agreed with pretty much everything Kendall said to Dixie. If I'm supposed to feel badly for poor, put-upon Dix for being strong enough to fake an affair with a married man who she's admitted to falling for, it didn't work. In fact, my Dixie hate spiked off the charts this week when she brought up Kendall's past with Greenlee and Ryan. I guess she read about it when she was off in Europe pretending to be dead and NOT finding her daughter.
Speaking of Ryan, after deducing that Kendall and Zach's act was just that, he took the opportunity to suggest another fake, public affair between himself and Kendall. Pardon me if I question his motives. I have a feeling that I'm supposed to admire Ryan for sacrificing his own feelings in an effort to support Kendall and the man she actually loves. Again, that's a no-go for me. Maybe if Kendall had been the one to suggest this fake courtship, I wouldn't be so suspicious - but Ryan pitched this idea all on his own. Was there no other way to help her? I doubt it.
A Step Closer to Oak Haven
This whole storyline is driving me crazy. Friday's episode was particularly frustrating, as Kendall saw Zach and Dixie (in bathrobes) in an embrace on the casino security monitors. You know, I understand that soaps are filled with misunderstandings like these, but they need to occur naturally. When Zach and Dixie have been found in similarly compromising positions, there was at least some reason behind them (typically, that Dixie was upset over Kate and Zach was comforting her). But Friday's awkward hug made no sense. It was way too sudden and intimate, and seemed to be devised solely to drive the Kendall-is-jealous plot (and tick off viewers).
I definitely don't like the way they are writing Zach these days, but no matter how bad they try to make him look, I'll never prefer Zach/Dixie or Ryan/Kendall to a Zach/Kendall pairing. During their one stolen moment this week at Kendall's condo, when the Slaters were away from the public eye long enough to share a few passionate kisses, I was just reminded again why I'm willing to sit through this hacky writing. I like Zach and Kendall because they aren't perfect, they make stupid mistakes and are often their own worst enemies, and to me, they will always be the couple to root for. If AMC is trying to sell a viable D/Z/K/R quadrangle, I'm not buying.
I'm hoping that the lightning pace of the fake affair story means that this lunacy will be over sooner rather than later. As far as the Madden Murder Mystery is concerned, I'm already at the point of not caring who did it. I'm convinced Zach and Dixie aren't the culprits, but I really don't care who's guilty. Tad certainly seems to know something he's not saying. I'm not sure if he's trying to protect someone else, or if he actually thinks Dixie did it. Frankly, I just want it all to be over.
That said, I'll see you back here in a couple of weeks.