All My Children has been on the air for almost forty years, and yet we still see the same themes revisited, even though the landscape of characters has changed. Love, hate, revenge, affairs, and probably the most amusing of them all - getting in over one's head. Let's take a look back at a few things that transpired this past week, and you'll see what I mean.
Greenlee has had just about anything that she wanted handed to or spoon fed to her since the day that she was born. What would be a dream for some people was a nightmare for Ms. Smythe. There is always something else that she wants (someone's man, someone's child) but often loses interest as soon as she gets that whatever she was fighting for. All of the things she has done in the name of what she wants is often forgotten when she is wronged. Were Kendall and Aidan right to sleep together, even though both continue to assert that it was out of an overwhelming grief? Not really. I mean, I've never been in that position, but from a judgmental soap opera viewer's perspective, there are a lot of other things I could think of doing if I thought the love of my life was dead. Regardless, in true Pine Valley fashion, the misdeeds of the past are meaningless because no one consulted Greenlee on the in-between-the-sheets shenanigans, so everyone must pay. And Papa Jack set it all in motion. Ever the do-good pillar of the community, in the end he was the one who broke his daughter's heart. He also had the pleasure of telling his perpetual love interest that he ratted her daughter out - and what fun that was. Despite the fact that Erica is the biggest offender when it comes to not keeping your skirt down, she thought it best to keep everything a secret. We see how well that has worked out for her. Now that the cat is completely out of the bag, what's she got to scheme about now? Isn't it bad enough that we have minimized her meddling by putting her behind bars? The horror!
Then we have the Chandlers. I have lost count how many times the Chandler kids have hated their father. Heck, I can't keep up with how many times JR alone has said it. Add one more to the total as he completely flips out again over his father's latest misdeeds. He just can't believe that his father could know about Kate's location and keep it from Tad. Seriously? Did you forget that you were sired by Adam and that the Chandler-Martin war was still alive and kicking? Of course he kept it to himself! That was like a diamond in the rough just waiting to be used in trade. For all of his business savvy, Adam can't keep a relationship afloat to save his life, so he tried to use it to get Krystal back. No one really knows why since he continually says the most wretched things about her, but regardless, she doesn't fall for it, so he makes Tad pay by keeping his silence that much longer. JR really shouldn't be shocked since he has pulled the same kinds of stunts in his own life: Daddy is bad but I'm okay even though I tried to kill my wife and I pushed my supposed best Bianca off of a balcony. I am the best because I keep yanking Babe around on an emotional chain because it amuses me. I am superior because sleeping with Amanda and blackmailing my father are nothing compared to hiding a child. Let's not even talk about bringing up old wounds when he announced that Jake was supposed to be Colby's father.
There was also a taste of revenge filtered in this week. JR announced that he would revive his plans to get back at Richie for setting him up, which led to Babe completely losing control of a situation she should never have been in when she tramped it up and played prostitute with Trina. Even better than that was the Annie Lavery trip to the fertility clinic. She says that she is okay with Ryan taking his time to remember who he is out of one side of her face, but as soon as she finds out about Ryan's vasectomy that never was, she makes plans to trap him in to staying with her by getting knocked up with another one of his kids. Right, because he was planning on leaving even though he already has two kids that live in Pine Valley. Did something break in your up top when your psycho brother came to town? Do you really need to bring ANOTHER kid into your madness? Sorry - I forgot that things don't necessarily have to make sense in order for people to take action on this show. I can't wait to see if her plans will change once she finds out about the chance meeting her man had with Greenlee on the beach. Nothing really happened, but Ryan will feel all kinds of guilty about the almost-kiss, Annie will pick up on it, and will extrapolate it into the worst case scenario. Same situation, different day, right?
Let's not forget that two wrongs make a right, so it made sense that feeling 87 shades of slighted, Greenlee would take Kendall's ever present insecurities and poke at them with a stick by intimating that she had a deeper connection with Zach than Kendall ever would. And taking the bait like a zero IQ fish, Mrs. Slater ran right to her husband and started pushing and pushing until he stormed out. And then called him like an insane person and begged him to come back. I don't know why I expect anything different since she is the spawn of Erica Kane. Nurture ain't got nothing on nature! I still doubt a blood connection between La.k.ane and Binks.
Last but not least - Tad rises above it all once again and forgives Adam for his deception. They still hate each other, which is part of the fuel that Pine Valley thrives on, but Tad can be the bigger person because without Adam's confession (despite the fact that he only did it because he didn't want to burn in hell) there is no telling how long it would have been until Tad found his daughter. We already know that soaps can drag out some things entirely too long, so I'm glad that they realized it was time to put this one to bed.
Audra provides Friday recaps for All My Children. She is pinch-hitting this week for David.