Try as they might to get through the day unscathed, nearly everyone in Pine Valley has some sort of target on their back. It's not always a literal target in the sense that someone is going to be shot at. However, if you stick around for this week's column, I think you'll see that it's only a matter of time before everyone in town is in the crosshairs.
If I know nothing else from watching All My Children, there is one thing that I have determined to be fact: Erica Kane will never be happily married for more than two years. Heck, I'm not even entirely sure that she'll ever been involved in a non-married relationship for more than two years.
In published interviews with some of the soap magazines, All My Children's head writers, David Kreizman and Donna Swajeski, have gone on record saying that there won't be any sort of Erica/Caleb dalliance to mess up Erica and Jack's relationship. I don't think it's polite to call anyone a liar, but I'm not buying it. You can try to butter me up with all the Kit Kats and Rolos that you want, but there is bound to be some sort of Caleb/Erica/Jack/Krystal love quadrangle in the near future.
Did you see the way Krystal looked at Jack when he sought her out to get some advice on how to handle Erica's assertion that Greenlee really did kill David? The tenderness, the hug, the inability to give their friendship a name? I'm not sure how it will all play out, but one of the four aforementioned folks is gonna do something to stir the cauldron.
Will Jack walk in on Erica "comforting" Caleb and then turn to Krystal for some "comforting" of his own? Will Krystal decide that Erica isn't treating Jack right and plant a big wet one on Mr. Montgomery? Or maybe Krystal will decide to up the ante and see how Erica really feels for Caleb by going after Caleb herself. Erica would then be forced to tell Krystal to back off, which would more than likely chase Jack away, or she'd have to sit back, shut up, and settle down with Jack. The emphasis there might be on the word "settle."
Andee, a regular reader of this column, actually is holding onto the hope that Opal and Caleb will be paired together. I like the idea, but I don't see that happening any time soon.
Meanwhile, since I'm discussing Caleb, he's got a very big target on his back. He's got both JR and Asher gunning for him. Now ordinarily, I'd think that a guy who has been both a hotshot attorney and a man who's roughed it in the mountains of West Virginia would have no problems taking down a computer hacker with a bad attitude and an unspooling, spoiled rich kid, but I'm not sure this time. JR is dangerous because he's willing to do whatever he has to in order to win. And Asher, well he has 20 years of animosity raging inside him. JR and Asher together are like nitroglycerin and a spark. It's a very lethal combination -- and it wouldn't surprise me if someone was seriously injured when this tussle turns into a full-fledged war.
Perhaps all the trick-or-treat candy has rotted my brain, but did anyone else think that "Sonya's" cries for help sounded a lot like a slightly computer-altered Susan Lucci's voice? If you have a TiVo device, rewind a bit and listen to it for yourself. It sounds a lot like Erica's cries to Caleb.
Marissa has upped her volleys on JR. I have to say, though, that Marissa's new attitude is the pits. How obnoxious was it for Marissa to ask Colby to leave the Halloween party at Wildwind? First off, it wasn't Marissa's party -- and it wasn't even Marissa's house. That being said, it's a nice change to see Marissa not being the sappy and happy doormat that she's been for... quite some time.
So far, Brittany Allen has done a nice job with the character's change of direction. It almost seems unnecessary for the show to recast the role. But what makes things even odder is this: Brittany Allen will continue to air through the middle of December. I could see if the show was bringing in its new Marissa next week to help make Marissa's attitude change more believable. Instead, we'll see the same Marissa until almost Christmas. That's when the new Marissa, former As the World Turns player Sarah Glendening, takes over. I'm going to give Glendening a chance, but I will tell you that I wasn't bowled over by her short-term work on ATWT. It may have been that Glendening wasn't given enough time to get things rolling over on the CBS soap -- she was on for only about a week or so in each of her three appearances.
The questions surrounding David's death continue to swirl. I've noticed that all of the major soap publications now have headlines that basically ask the same thing: Is David really dead? We've been asking that for weeks, haven't we, Scoopers? The latest theory is that David somehow framed Ryan for his murder. Talk about the ultimate target on your back. I have to say that I really don't care who killed David at this point -- or even if he is dead.
I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I love a good whodunit. The fun of the murder mystery is being able to piece together clues to see if you're able to figure out whodunit before the on-screen (or in-book) detective does. The past two AMC murder mysteries have been convoluted and boring. There are no clues to piece together. It's almost as if someone grabbed a bunch of random pieces from a dozen or so jigsaw puzzles and tossed them into a blender... and then said, "Here. Solve this."
The stage was set for a great mystery. Everyone in Pine Valley was at the Yacht Club the night of David's death -- and everyone had a reason to want David dead. Instead of keeping fans guessing, there were never really any suspects other than Ryan. Since Ryan is a major character, most fans have already determined that Ryan didn't do the dirty deed -- and if he did, he'll get off on a technicality... and then get off with Greenlee.
Maybe we'll discover that David actually killed himself because he saw his reflection in a window and wanted to put an end to his own evil ways... but he accidentally killed his nice-guy twin.
I told you last week that something was up with Zach. We still don't know exactly who, what, or why, but someone is after him. Is anyone else fearful that ABC's refusal to say exactly how long Thorsten Kaye will be sticking around means that Zach is going to be killed off? I'm not saying that's what I want to happen, but let's look at the clues. There is stranger danger. Kaye has so far refused to commit to a long-term return to AMC. There's a new character (Griffin Castillo) being brought on to interact with Kendall. Griffin is a cardiologist. I don't make a habit of begging, but I am begging -- imploring, even -- the writers of All My Children not to kill of Zach and then have Kendall needing another heart transplant at about the same time. That might actually be offensive enough to make me stop watching All My Children. It's not a threat. It's not me stomping my feet like a petulant kid who was unhappy with the pennies that were tossed into his trick-or-treat bag. It's me being real.
I suppose the other option is that Zach has to defend his family and he pulls a gun on the unknown stalker, kills him, and then goes off to jail. If that's the case, Zach will end up in jail before the person who killed David.
Whatever the case, I do enjoy the suspense surrounding the Slater Stalker right now. And I do enjoy the other storylines as well, but some need a little bit of tweaking to make them better. It's just the start of November Sweeps, so there's plenty of time to get this thing running a little smoother.
In one final bit of Halloween news, this column was actually written on Halloween and, as many of you know, I live in the real-world location that inspired Pine Valley. It's not a full moon here. The full moon occurred back on October 23. I get that a full moon makes everything a little more spooky, but why would the writers need to mangle something like the phase of the moon? It's not hard to find out when the next full moon will take place -- just google "full moon." Would the storylines have been any less intense had someone said, "Oh, look! There's an eerie shadow outside the Slater house in the light of the crescent moon!"?