My mind is an interesting place. I like to see how my mind can be set on an idea -- and then change immediately when something just doesn't add up quite right. The past week of All My Children managed to shake up a few ideas that I'd had and shared here in past Two Scoops columns. So don't think that I'm unusually scattered, but do try to see if you can follow my thought process and understand why I've done an about-face on some things.
I used to think that the idea of Dimitri as Celia's guardian would be interesting to see play out. To me, it was a way to link Celia to an existing family -- and I believe it was said that all of the "new" characters would have ties to All My Children's past. In addition to giving those ties to the past to Celia, it also seemed like a great way to cook up some story for Dimitri. Now, I think I've reconsidered.
There were no beats to make us believe that Dimitri is Celia's guardian. You know, the awkward comments from Dimitri about "knowing" what the guardian would want or even any weird musical cues to let the viewers know exactly what was going on. I guess only the "teens" get a riff of their own.
On the other side of the coin, Dimitri didn't exactly say, "Your what?" when Celia mentioned she had a guardian. That would surely have ruled Mr. Marick out as the mystery man -- not the creepy one that Celia sees, but rather the potentially creepy one that she'd never seen. I'm not trying to pass judgment here, but every time I hear "the guardian" or "my guardian," I picture the weird old man who sits in the park with a newspaper curiously placed over his lap. Maybe I'm the only one that feels that way -- and for the residents of Pine Valley, having a guardian is like the rest of us having some loose change in the sofa cushions.
No doubt, All My Children will make Dimitri the guardian just to mess with me. I think there is other story for Dimitri, though. He and Brooke are getting chummy, and in the history of Brooke getting Erica's "leftovers," perhaps Dimitri and Brooke will find romance. Adam is always away on business... and Dimitri is at-least-somewhat-recently single. There also seems to be another side to this quadrilateral: Erica Kane.
For possibly the first time since All My Children returned, we heard a mention of Erica's name. According to Opal, Erica was jetting off somewhere. It's nice to know that Erica Kane still exists in the Pine Valley atmosphere. There has been no indication that Susan Lucci is returning to AMC just yet (her primetime series, Devious Maids, debuted this week on Lifetime), so that would seem to rule out any immediate storyline. Unless, of course, all that talk about Lucci and Prospect Park being in talks was just a red herring and they've already planned.
Brace yourselves, though, for a wild and crazy idea. What if Opal's excitement about Dimitri being back in town wasn't on Erica's behalf, but rather for her own personal reasons? I know that Palmer will always be Opal's "love bug," and I would never want anything to try to compare to that... but it is natural that Opal might want some companionship. She feels at arm's length to Pete, she's sold her house because it was empty, and no one else seems to be knocking on her door (Hello, Dixie?). Could Opal and Brooke do battle for a man? It's not likely, but it would certainly be a unique story to watch.
Almost as unique as pimpolicious Billy Clyde Tuggle trying to revamp himself into a modern-day Palmer Cortlandt. He can't possibly be wanting to put the moves on Opal, could he? I think I like the idea of Opal and Dimitri far better than that. Aside from that, if Billy Clyde isn't trying to court land with Opal, then what on earth is he doing? He's nouveau riche, but there's got to be an end game. The only other option is that Billy Clyde thinks he has some sort of chance at winning Dixie's heart. He can't kidnap her because Tad isn't around to save her this time.
Speaking of Dixie, I guess in the five-year time jump she became a... therapist or counselor? Dr. Tolan has long since left Pine Valley, so I guess Dixie has stepped in to fill the void. She'd certainly be a more compassionate ear than newcomer Dr. Anders. He has zero in the way of bedside manner. I mentioned this on Twitter and no one replied (which probably means no one had the heart to tell me that I was out of my mind), but Dr. Anders looks to me like a grown-up version of the old Pete Cortlandt. You know, the "nerdy" one that Colby wouldn't give the time of day. If no one agrees with me, I may have to do a side-by-side comparison in the next Two Scoops.
Cassandra is safe, and we can hopefully retire the hashtag "#savecassandra." I kind of think that what Cassandra is facing now is even scarier than what she had to endure while held captive. She could have been exposed to any number of sexually transmitted diseases, she could be pregnant, the drugs given to her could have done a number on her internal organs, and she could have a dependency issue. And that's on top of the emotional scars that she will bear for the rest of her life. If done right, this storyline will continue to be something that we talk about for years to come.
Meanwhile, Uri ratcheted up the rhetoric. Jesse tried to play his "I'm the cops" trump card... but there was an even higher trump card that hadn't been played. Uri rattled off the names of everyone that Jesse cares about: Brot and Natalia, and Frankie and Randi. Again, the mention of names that we're all familiar with did my heart a world of good. I like to know that we don't have to pretend that these characters never existed. It's also nice to know that these two couples are still together. At the same time, it was chilling to hear Uri mention that he could easily arrange for Randi or Natalia to befall the same fate as Cassandra.
I don't know how Jesse will get himself out of this situation. His bargaining with Uri will be revealed -- that's a given. The only possible escape plan for him is that Lea learns what happened and decides to keep quiet about it because she sympathizes with what Jesse went through. I can see her gunning down Uri and saying to Jesse, "Now Koslov will take your secret to the grave."
Jesse's angry snarl as he referred to Uri as a "filthy son of a flea-ridden whore" was great stuff. Darnell Williams can deliver a line -- and it didn't even require any naughty words to be powerful. Which, of course, brings us to one of the big behind-the-scenes stories of the week: Prospect Park has decided to cut the profanity from upcoming episodes of AMC (and One Life to Live).
I'm torn. As I said in past Two Scoops columns, I'm not a fan of cursing just because you can. However, I did think that if used selectively and thoughtfully, the cursing wasn't a bad idea. I don't want Jesse and Uri to square off and to have this sort of dialogue:
Jesse: You are a mean doo-doo head.
Uri: Well, shucks. Forget you, gosh darn it!
I have heard some rumblings that the swear-free zone might be a result of Prospect Park securing a television deal for the two soaps. A piece in the New York Times a while back, I believe, said that AMC and OLTL wouldn't be able to air on television until September -- which is right around when any newly filmed episodes would be slated to air. Thankfully, the labor dispute has been resolved, so there will be new episodes.
It would seem that the next wave of stories is set to begin. Cara's secret son will probably feature into that, as will a backstory for Dr. Anders. I am not as immediately riveted by any of those stories as I was by, say, Cassandra's kidnapping, but I'm ready to go along for the ride to see what happens next. I'm always interested to hear which stories you are looking forward to, what you think of this column, and any other AMC-related thoughts that you might like to share, so please send me feedback or post your comments below.
I will also be having a "Twitter chat" on Friday, June 28, at 7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific, following that day's edition of Soap Central Live. During the chat, I will be answering all of your All My Children questions. Do you need background on a character/actor/story? Whatever the AMC query, ask away. Log on to Twitter and tweet @soapcentral with the hashtag #askdan -- and I'll do my best to make sure that every question gets answered!