I was so wrapped up in my day on Monday, that I flipped on ABC anxiously awaiting to see what was going to happen next in Pine Valley. For just a moment, I had forgotten that the network was airing "encore episodes" - we dare not say reruns or repeats -- of memorable shows. I won't bore you with my colorful word choices, but I was just a little peeved that Greenlee was doing her runaway motorcycle bride routine. It wasn't that I didn't like that episode. It just wasn't what I wanted to see. So I pulled up my TiVo menu and watched the episode from last year that paid tribute to the late Eileen Herlie.
In what police world do cops bow to the will of the local celebrity? All Erica had to do in order to get Ryan released from his cell was to tell Natalia, "I want you to bring him here immediately." This comes just a week or two after Ryan easily convinced Natalia to let him scour the Chandler mansion for Emma and Annie. Natalia is just a little too trusting... or she wasn't paying attention at police boot camp.
So it looks as if I once again proved prescient in a previous column. I'd mentioned very much in passing that I hope the writers were not bringing on Liza as a new Brooke-like foil for Erica. Then, last week, they seemed to prove me very much right. While I don't think that there is any better person than Brooke English to go tÍte-ŗ-tÍte with La Kane, I do have to admit that the scene did allow Erica to have some great zingers.
"Wow somebody should've had you spayed years ago before you could breed again," Erica snarled to Liza before getting slapped. Then, when Liza urged Erica to strike back, Erica backed off from attacking the pregnant woman by saying, "I will wait until after the litter is born."
Everyone knew that she had one, but last week we finally learned Nurse Gayle's last name. It's Walker. While it wasn't necessarily the most earth-shattering revelation, when the writers give a character a last name... they give them... power. Gayle's confessional in front of the ethics board also provided a good chuckle. As she claimed that she'd been responsible for drugging Adam, Jake rolled his eyes and sassed, "You're sucking ass, but you're a great actress."
On the flip side of being a great actress... oh gosh, get your email fingers ready to roll because I have a feeling that you're not going to like what I have to say in my next segments. Shortly after the previously mentioned mini-catfight between Erica and Liza, Jamie Luner had her first big "soap scene" on All My Children. Liza turned to Colby and tried to express how much she loved her and how much she knew that Colby was hurting. The scene fell flat in so many ways for me. I didn't buy that Liza was touched or hurting -- even though every other word was about family and second chances. I don't think it had anything to do with the fact that Jamie is a newcomer to the show with no established history to play off of, but maybe there's part of me that still can't see anyone other than Marcy Walker as Liza. There was so much hype to Jamie Luner's addition to the AMC cast and I'm just not blown away. There are moments of okayness, but... just not enough of them. Brianne Moncrief, though, was great as Colby. I remember a year or so ago that I thought recasting Colby was unnecessary, but I really do like Brianne. Colby squaring off with Erica was interesting to see. It was an accurate portrayal of teenage angst, I think. I hope that Brianne gets a more prominent story in the near future. I'd love to see her have a chance to truly shine. I get the feeling that things are headed down that road, especially now that Colby knows that Adam wasn't her intended father.
Here's the second statement that will probably get me in hot water. Stuart's funeral? I didn't like it... at all. Yes, there were highlights. I liked JR's walk down memory lane. It was touching, it was something that gave a nod to history, and it even almost got me to tear up a little. Tad's farcical sing-a-long didn't do anything for me at all. It was humorous and, I guess that it gave the show the chance to intersperse some very random Stuart scenes for a memory montage, but it wasn't what I wanted to see. The only thing that saved that part for me was seeing that Marian was too grief-stricken to really sing along. I don't need every funeral to be a sob-filled tearjerker, but I think the show went a little too far in the other direction.
Detouring quickly for the plus side, how great was Jennifer Bassey? You don't see an actor for some time... and then they come back and hit it out of the ballpark. It makes you wonder why shows don't use some of these supposedly "recurring" performers a little more regularly. I thought Marian entering the chapel, seeing Adam, and mistakenly calling out to Stuart was masterfully done. Bassey delivered the line with a subtle nuance and the subsequent exchanged with David Canary was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time.
Now back to the memorial service. Why didn't more people share memories of Stuart? Why didn't Hayley or Skye return to say goodbye to their uncle? Where was Ross or even Stuart's old flame and friend, Esther Glynn? Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant.
David sure does have a lot of money. I'm guessing that his student loans are long paid off because he sure seems to have enough money to toss up cash to anyone who needs to be bought off. How on earth did he get so loaded? Did he sell the secret formula for Libidozone to some As Seen on TV company? He was ready to buy Amanda's baby and that was after he "made it rain" for Nurse Gayle.
Before Gayle could be sent before the nursing board at the hospital, David sent her off to take care of a mystery patient that he has squirreled away somewhere. So who is David nursing back to health -- yet doesn't want anyone to know about? I'm not exactly a bookmaker or casino tycoon, but let's put down some odds. Even money says it's Greenlee. She's the most obvious choice. Dixie comes in second with 4-1 odds. With the impending cancellation of Guiding Light, maybe Marj Dusay could return to Pine Valley -- so we'll give Vanessa Bennett 15-1 odds. Other random possibilities with far-fetched odds: Brooke English, Babe Carey, Gillian Andrassy, Leo duPres, Dimitri Marick, and Josh Madden. Maybe even Stuart Chandler. I'm sure there's someone I am forgetting, but I don't foresee any major surprises popping up. I also think that the mystery person's identity is intentionally vague to accommodate whatever next big casting coup show executives are able to make happen.
Annie appears to have gone sane again. From her jail cell, she offered sage pearls of wisdom to Kendall. "I was a mess back then. I was volatile and unstable," Annie said as she explained how she could forgive Kendall. Are they medicating Annie or has she had epiphany since deciding that she needed to turn herself in? Even Kendall ceded that Annie isn't that crazy any more. This woman has more swings than the local playground.
So how long before JR and Scott put aside their new brotherhood and start fighting over Marissa? Yeah, I'm not really looking forward to that either. Making a play for your dead wife's twin sister is a little creepy for me.
Where's Reggie? Sorry for the random thought, but it just popped into my head. Does Jack even bother to visit his adopted son?
I will close this week's column with the latest from the Who Killed Stuart Chandler? files. Zach's confessed to the murder, Kendall's been arrested for the slaying, and a lot of people suspect Liza pulled the trigger... but who really killed Stuart? Two Scoopers reader Linda wrote in to suggest that Stuart was felled by the person who killed Dixie as a way to silence him from helping people figure out what really happened the day Dixie died. On my weekly Internet radio show last week, Dakota called in to say that she thinks Little A pulled the trigger. With all the guns lying freely around the mansion, she said that she thinks Little A got his hands on one and unwittingly killed his uncle.
What do you say to that? Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant?