In previous columns, I've openly admitted I'm a bit of a crier. Anything remotely emotional -- happy, sad, take your pick -- and I tend to shed a few tears. So when they decided to drop a serial killer in the middle of Pine Valley last year, I knew I would be going through more than my normal share of tissues. And even though I had grown to hate Dixie over the course of the past year, I knew that her death would hit me the hardest of any so far. I knew I was in trouble when I actually started tearing up during last Friday's previews.
I don't know about you, but by the end of Tuesday's episode, I was seriously dehydrated. I don't think I've cried that much over AMC since Kendall told Bianca that Miranda was dead. I was actually sobbing. It was as if the writers looked at the script and said "Yep, that's pretty sad, but let's twist the knife a few more times." They took every opportunity to egg on the waterworks -- JR desperately begging his mother to stay with him, Dixie's dying confession to Junior that Krystal's baby is really Tad's, the entire extended Cooney-Martin-Chandler clan gathered in the hospital lobby, Di breaking down in the funeral home, asking that Dixie be buried with her mother's Bible. They even had Opal mention Jenny (Tad's dearly departed sister) when she said goodbye to Dixie! I mean, come on!
But the most painful and poignant scenes were the ones involving Tad. We were treated to tons of flashbacks of Tad and Dixie's romance (including every wedding ceremony) and watched Tad plead with the love of his life to come back to him, so they could do it all over and over again -- something the majority of AMC fans were desperate to see. And, of course, their final words to each other were "together forever." Ouch. As if that wasn't enough, Tad went to the park and bumped into Kathy as a ghostly Dixie looked on, realizing she had finally found her daughter. And yes, it's the epitome of schmaltz, but when little Kathy, a.k.a. Kate, waved goodbye to her mother, I cried like a baby.
As I mentioned before, I wasn't really crying for Dixie. It's sad when pretty much any character dies, but I'd be a hypocrite to sit here and proclaim my love for Dixie Cooney just because she's been killed off (again). No, I cried for Tad, I cried for Junior, I cried for Di and Jamie, and yes, even for Del. And I wondered how much more meaningful this goodbye would have been if AMC hadn't completely wasted Dixie's return. But if I get started on that again, there goes the column. I'll just thank Michael E. Knight (Tad), Jacob Young (JR), Cady McClain (Dixie), Kelli Giddish (Di), and the rest of the AMC cast for making the best of a bad situation.
Life Goes On... Sort Of
In times of turmoil, it's nice to know that some things don't change. The sun rises in the east, sets in the west, and apparently, revolves around Babe Carey. Somehow, she made Dixie's death all about her. "It should have been me! It's all my fault!" That doesn't help, Babe! Focus on JR, not on your own guilt. I guess Babe was supportive of her bereaved hubby... until it didn't serve her purposes. I can't believe that Babe actually continued to lie to Junior about the paternity of Krystal's baby, even when he told her that a dying Dixie was the one to spill the beans. Actually, I'm not that surprised.
I guess I should give her a little credit. She didn't accuse JR's dead mother of being a liar, she just said Dix was mistaken. The girl's got nerve, I'll give her that. Oh, I know, she did finally fess up... but then she asked her beloved husband to deny his mother's dying wish to protect her skanky mama. Honestly, am supposed to like this woman?
They just keep giving me new ways to hate her. It's quite astounding, actually. Take her behavior at Zach and Kendall's faux benefit, for example (more on that party later). Once again, she played her stupid little "my-lips-say-no-but-my-eyes-say-yes" game with Josh, who I'm liking less and less the more he praises her. But I'm just about ready to sacrifice Josh to get this JR/Babe madness over with. They say they love each other, one of them screws up, the other one offers a half-baked apology, and they pretend to move on. Then JR runs to his lawyer or Babe runs to Josh, and it all falls apart again. This week, Josh and Babe had the same conversation they keep having, topped off by Goodbye Kiss #58. What is with those? I guess they don't take the first time... or the fiftieth. And JR and Jamie saw this one happen live and in person.
Throw a Party, Catch a Killer
Having figured out that nearly every place they frequented was bugged, Zach and Kendall decided to announce a party in honor of Amelia Cambias in an effort to trap the killer. The whole town showed up, of course, since the killer has touched pretty much everyone in town by now. As expected, one of the first suspects to arrive was Kenny Adler, former Fusion attorney/groupie, which makes me even less suspicious of him.
One of the highlights of the benefit was finally seeing Palmer again. I'm sure a lot of people were disappointed that old Pete wasn't at the hospital to say goodbye to his beloved niece, but apparently real world health/scheduling problems prevented James Mitchell from taping the scenes. I would have liked to see him visit the funeral home or have a little more airtime at the benefit, but it was nice to see him interact with Di and Kendall. Gosh, remember when Kendall used to babysit PC's son Petey? It's such a waste to not have Palmer featured more prominently. Zach has Myrtle as a confidant, why can't Kendall turn to her old friend Palmer for help? But I digress...
Ryan was his arrogant, annoying self this week (maybe a little less so than normal). This week he told Annie that he was Emma's biological father. You may have missed it, though, because AMC chose to air those scenes on the same days as Dixie's death. It's really hard to give a damn about Ryan's newest miracle child when you're watching one of the show's longstanding heroines die for a second time.
I also didn't care for Annie running over to confront Kendall. I suppose she had a right to be upset, but every point Kendall made was a valid one. Ryan was an anonymous donor, and Annie didn't want to know who Emma's father was. Kendall's ulterior motives notwithstanding, there was no reason for her to think the truth should come out. And for the record, I disagree with Binks equating Kendall keeping quiet to Babe stealing Miranda. Maybe it's just me, but I can't remember Kendall re-naming Emma, pretending to be her mother, and letting Annie think her child was dead, all while playing best friend to Ms. McDermott. I so don't care about Annie right now. It looks like she'll be the latest resident of the Wildwind Hotel. If I were Myrtle, I'd be pretty ticked at Julia. Poor Myrt may have to shut down the boarding house, with everyone moving into the old Marick estate.
The interactions between Zoe, Bianca, and Maggie were interesting. I can't say I'm liking Ms. Stone these days. It's a bit much for her to get all defensive and jealous about Zoe when she was the one who cheated on Binks in the first place. Plus, given Maggie's own struggles with her own sexual orientation, you'd think she'd be a little less snarky about Zoe's true identity. It's nice to see that Bianca hasn't lost her backbone, though. I really liked Zoe's scenes with Bianca, too. I'm not sure I buy the "Miranda knew I was a woman all along" angle, but it was sweet in its own way. Plus, I love the way Zoe pronounces her name -- "Meeranda." I'm still not sold on a romance between the Binks and Zoe, though. Friendship is fine for now.
The Old Bait and Switch
Okay, let's get back to the benefit. Ryan was gracious enough to put his anger towards Kendall aside. "As angry as I am, I don't want to see you killed," he told the now former love of his life. But overall, I'm really glad Ryan has "moved on." If only this meant he would keep his nose of the Slaters' business -- but I'm not foolish enough to think that Ryan will keep his distance. As long as he stays an annoyed, judgmental co-parent and not a hopeful suitor, I'll count it as a victory.
Thank goodness my girl Kendall is too busy helping her husband to pay much attention to Lavery. I love that she is supporting Zach through this crisis -- defending him against Tad's accusations, comforting him over Dixie's death, assuring him that he did not kill his mother. Her biggest leap of faith happened at the end of the week, when she dressed as Amelia and stood on the balcony, becoming bait for the serial killer. Does anyone think the man who approached her, thinking she was the departed Mrs. Cambias, is actually the killer. 'Cause I really don't think it is. We'll see...
That's it for me! Have a good one.