Another week, another set of inconsistent episodes of All My Children. On one hand, I got another great Hubbard family reunion and saw Spike hear the first words he's heard in months. On the other hand, I was force-fed Babe and JR: Part 647, Ryan's pathetic mooning over Kendall, and the completely unnecessary Kendall pregnancy scare. Good, bad, or ugly? You never quite know what to expect with this show.
Big blinds and bone marrow
They didn't honestly try to fill an entire episode with a nauseating strip poker game between Babe and JR, did they? I guess this was supposed to be flirty and fun, but, like everything involving Junior these days, it was just smarmy. And the dialogue? I refuse to believe someone with more than five brain cells wrote this:
Babe: Well, just get ready to experience some serious humiliation. Drop them, cowboy. JR: Not so fast. One, two, three, four 10s - imagine that. Babe: Well, that is impossible. J.R. Apparently not. Now, you going to need some help with those panties? Or can you handle them yourself?
Ugh! And all of this was to try to get JR to agree to save Richie's life? A man's life was basically at stake and these two were debating whether socks counted as one item of clothing or two? I couldn't possibly have seen that. I've never seen a woman prostitute herself for someone else's bone marrow. The topper, however, had to be this line from JR: "Look, Babe, I don't want to sit back and watch a guy die, not even Richie." This is coming from the man who tried to kill Babe with a scaffold full of construction equipment. The writers can't think we're that stupid - can they?
No Devanes allowed
I guess they can, considering the continuing saga of Ryan the Amnesiac. First of all, I'm sick and tired of Lavery always lamenting everything he has "missed." You didn't miss anything, boy! You just can't remember it. And Kendall, Ryan did not hold Spike "for the first time" this week. He did not just meet his son. It may have seemed that way to him but thankfully, the world does not conform to Ryan Lavery's perception of it.
As if it weren't enough to see Ryan follow Kendall around like an annoying little pup, I also had to watch the lunacy that was Kendall's pregnancy test. Not only did she lug that stupid box around for a veritable eternity, she decided to take it at the most inopportune moment in one of the most public places she could have chosen. And why exactly was it necessary for Aidan to barge in to the ladies' room right after the deed was done? The short answer: it wasn't. It makes no sense for the man who keeps preaching at Kendall to forget their tryst to suddenly be standing by her side in a public washroom, offer comforting caresses when the test turned out exactly the way they wanted. It's all plot-driven crap, meant to manufacture situations that would never happen otherwise, and it's done at the expense of every character involved.
Also, if I hear Greenlee or Zach praise Kendall and Aidan about how loyal and dedicated and trustworthy they are, I'm going to scream. I get it, writers. The fallout from the one-night stand is going to be huge; you don't need to add all this false drama. Just do the reveal and get it over with. I could rant about this for a few more paragraphs, but I'm thinking I'll plenty of opportunity to continue my tirade in the weeks to come.
So much potential
The third member of the Hubbard family was added to the reunion this week when Frankie came face to face with his long lost father and helped a passionate Angie convince Jesse not to run away again. The scenes were great, though the dialogue sometimes seemed a little forced at times. So far, though, the comeback has been a resounding success.
Of course, now we're getting to the tricky part. So far, the Hubbard's story as pretty much written itself - it was bound to be good, because it was such an easy formula to follow. It's not hard to tell a couple of beloved, Emmy winning actors to go out there and win over an audience of fans the never really lost. That's not to say Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan haven't done a great job - they deserve all the credit in the world. It's just hard to screw up such a natural, emotional story; what comes next is much more dangerous.
Now you have to explain how Jesse found himself in this situation and how he and his family are going to get out of it. And given the gravity of what AMC has done - rewriting a major part of its history by resurrecting Jesse - it has to be good. It's encouraging to see the writers mining AMC's history by making Remy part of the story (even as they ignore huge swaths of recent history in other storylines), but I'm still pretty nervous about what comes next. As good as the first few weeks of the Hubbard's return have been, it could all be undone in the months to come. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.
I'm also really looking forward to seeing what happens between Erica and Samuel. I've enjoyed their scenes so far and that dream Erica had was great (even with Jackson bellowing in the background). Sure, he had her arrested in front of hordes of media at a high-profile charity event, but what's a little public humiliation between potential love interests? At this point, I'll take anything that gets Erica out of that rut with Jackson. If that man actually thought for one second that Erica Kane would keep her mouth shut at that arraignment, he's a fool.
The high points
Thank god for Richie Novak, who injects some much-needed devilish humor into Pine Valley. "This is the guy you're looking for," he told the thugs he hired to hijack Junior's bone marrow. "His name's JR Chandler. He's a real pretty boy; he's got hair like Tarzan. He'll be easy to spot." Yes, I know, I shouldn't like a guy who's willing to kidnap a man to save his life, but when that man is Adam Chandler Jr., I'm willing to overlook it.
And even though they happened in the midst of the ridiculous Kendall/Zach/Annie/Ryan/Greenlee/Aidan storyline from hell, the scenes where Spike's cochlear implants were turned on were very sweet. How could you not tear up when Kendall told her little boy she loved him, knowing he could finally hear her? It also served as a great opportunity for Ryan to see how great a father Zach is to Lavery's biological son.
Speaking of Ryan, how amazing was it to see Annie grow a backbone and kick the man out of his own house?! Greenlee and Kendall may be handling him with kid gloves, but I as thrilled to see the current Mrs. Lavery stand up for herself. I love how she called Ryan out on not wanting to remember their past together. For the record, I think she's dead on. If Kendall weren't taken, Ryan would have moved himself out of the penthouse on day one. But the kicker was Annie's terse goodbye to her amnesiac hubby. "I don't need you to tell me again that you don't remember that I'm your wife. I don't need you to tell me again that you don't remember what we had, or that you're in love with Kendall. All I need you to do is take one last look at what you're missing. And then, get the hell out." Perfection.
I want to pass along my best wishes to all of AMC's Emmy pre-nominees, particularly Thorsten Kaye, Alicia Minshew, Jeffery Carlson, and Billy Miller, who, in my opinion, were the real standouts last year. Hopefully, each one of them will represent the show at the awards ceremony in Los Angeles this June. Fair warning: if Alicia Minshew doesn't win, get ready for the rant of a lifetime.
Have a great week!