I am so used to people not doing anything nice in Pine Valley that I have to admit I was stunned to see Kendall and Bianca take off after a distraught Marissa. Usually, everyone is too self-absorbed with their own troubles to ever notice that someone else needs an ear or a shoulder to cry on. With Kendall having been off the canvas for so long, and Bianca really just returning a matter of a bunch of months ago, these three women never really had any previous bonding time. So it was nice to see the three of them sitting around like friends and doing what friends are supposed to do -- being there for other friends in their time of need.
Aside from Krystal, I suppose that Marissa doesn't really have any family in town. I don't count JR because I don't really feel that he's been the best husband to Marissa. I'm even willing to overlook his loin's wanderlust -- I don't think that he's been there for her on any level.
By now, I am sure you are aware that I am big on the belief that fired soap stars often give the performances of their lives after they've been let go. Knowing that, I had to wonder when Brittany Allen learned that her time with All My Children was coming to an end. In those scenes when Marissa was being comforted by Kendall and Bianca, Marissa's heartbreak was evident. Kudos to Alicia Minshew and Christina Bennett Lind for turning their silence into gold as well. Both actresses were totally "in" the scene, and that made it much more powerful. I also loved the lamp-smashing end. It started off with a fun exchange. "Here, take this," Kendall said handing Marissa a lamp. "What's this?" Marissa asked incredulously. "That's a lamp," Kendall offered in reply.
As I've said in previous columns, this character has been through the wringer. She has lost her two adoptive parents, her biological dad, and her twin sister. I have to wonder if recasting Marissa will give the writers the chance to have Marissa take that long-wanted walk to the dark side. The lamp smashing may have just been the start. There aren't really any "bad" characters on the screen at the moment. Everyone is either a do-gooder or a reformed baddie. David is dead, Adam is off somewhere with Brooke, Palmer passed away... so there's no one to shake things up. Rumor has it that AMC will be announcing its new Marissa in the upcoming days. It makes me think that the actress being hired is a soap vet. I had originally thought that maybe they'd try to convince Alexa Havins (ex-Babe) to return as Marissa -- they are twins. If The Bold and the Beautiful could suddenly turn identical twins into fraternal twins, AMC can go the reverse route. Any thoughts?
On the recast front, Daniel Cosgrove is returning to the role of Scott in December. I'm anxiously waiting to see what Cosgrove does with the role. I'd have to think that the writers plan to make Scott more ruthless than he currently is, but that's just a hunch. I mean, there certainly does appear to be the set-up for an epic JR versus Scott battle... with Caleb somehow in the mix as well. I would much rather see JR remain as the cutthroat Chandler. Jacob Young has really stepped up his game since David Canary's (Adam/Stuart) departure, and that's saying a lot because I've always thought that Jacob has been one of the strongest performers on the show. That isn't to say that Scott can't be more aggressive, but it looks more and more like Scott is drifting away from the way that Stuart raised him. Okay, Stuart may be dead and gone, but that doesn't mean that we have to forget him. We hear Palmer's name mentioned repeatedly, but no one ever seems to mention Stuart... or even Myrtle.
The chemistry between JR and Annie continues to simmer. I do have to admit that it amuses me at how quickly Annie has gone from sweet, good-looking murderer to sexy, boardroom killer. This is a soap, so we can't expect someone whose reputation is less than shining to remain morally iffy forever. If they stay bad for too long, they'll typically end up dead. Unlike some of you, I don't feel that Annie has been completely redeemed. She definitely has an untamed side that the writers seem to enjoy playing with.
If you had a chance to listen to my interview with Bobbie Eakes (Krystal) the other week on Soap Central Live, you'd have heard Bobbie agree with my comment that Krystal might be transforming into Myrtle 2.0 -- someone who everyone can turn to for advice.
"I don't necessarily think that's, like, the permanent stamp on my character. I think that the past year, that's certainly been more my role," Eakes explained. "But, you know, the characters on our canvas are constantly changing, and when that happens, stories pop up and crop up out of nowhere. I've never been one to sit there and go, 'OK, now I'm gonna be this, and that's gonna be a drag.' I've always really had faith in the writers keeping the show interesting and keeping the actors interested in what they're doing. And I just know that I have a lot of exciting stories to tell. I can feel it. I don't know it, but I feel it."
So what in the world is next for Krystal? I still think she's going to press Erica to make a decision about which man she wants -- and Krystal will then move in on whichever man (Jack or Caleb) that Erica sets loose.
[To listen to my interview with Bobbie, click here. It's free to listen to online, and it will open in a new window so that you can continue to surf the 'net or whatever else you're doing over there. Bobbie's interview comes at the 30-minute mark.]
More random thoughts: I also renew my original statement about the new Bianca, Christina Bennett Lind: she looks like CÚline Dion to me. Not an exact much, but rather... she favors her.
Though they don't get a whole lot of story of their own, I like when Frankie, Randi, Brot, and Natalia get some airtime. Natalia warning Randi about Madison was real. Brot's reaction to Natalia's girl talk, though, made me chuckle. "Why don't you just pin a target on Frankie's ass and then give Randi your weapon?" he asked.
Also amusing to me: During Frankie and Jesse's heart-to-heart, the two men tried to figure out how to offer Angie the help that they want to give her when Angie doesn't want any help. "Try to lift a hand to help her and you just might draw back a nub," Jesse said with his son. Off-screen, Angie chirped, "I heard that!"
Asher Pike debuted a little over a month ago -- on August 13 -- and since that time I have received hundreds of emails intimating that Asher is Miguel Reyes, the kid that was supposed to have shown up to have his bone morrow harvested to help JR during his battle with cancer. If you'll recall, he never showed up. Until this week, I don't believe that anyone had any other scenarios as to who this young man with no past might actually be. Now, everyone seems to think that Asher will actually turn out to be Caleb's kid. Why? Because we only clobber the ones we love (or unknown family members). And how about that fall of Caleb's? More soapy goodness.
I loved Kendall's explanation as to why she was caught violating the terms of her probation. "I thought the faster that I got [to New York], the faster I would get back, and no one would know I was gone." Am I the only one that actually thinks that makes a little bit of sense?
I am not entirely sure that Greenlee's plan to forge letters from David was the best idea in the world, but I kind of liked that idea, too. I'm not even looking at the "save Ryan" side of the argument. In my head, Greenlee was trying to make those who felt stung by David's actions feel a little better about things, and, ultimately, provide them with some closure. However, I have to wonder if Greenlee will remain so magnanimous if Ryan really does move on with Madison. Will she decide to spill what she knows if the man she loves doesn't love her back?
And speaking of closure, that's all for this week. Please tune in to Soap Central Live this Friday at 600pm Eastern/300pm Pacific when I interview Denise Vasi (Randi) and Cornelius Smith, Jr. (Frankie). Find out what these two think about their characters' differences of opinion about starting a family, Madison's interference, and more. To find out how to listen (it's free to listen from any computer), just click here.