No one seems to trust anyone in the Ryan/Munson family. And as history shows us, I can't blame them. Not Emily, Paul, Will, Gwen, or Henry has a squeaky-clean slate when it comes to doing the right thing, so it's no wonder Will and Gwen think Emily is involved in Barbara's disappearance. (Don't judge me, but I've even had my doubts as to whether Paul's new wife played a role in sending her mother-in-law to the clown closet.) But, it seems that evil Iris is the culprit. I didn't see that one coming! I thought James was probably the puppet master of this one.
This storyline is pulling in Henry, Katie, Chris, and Margo, too. And in a rare treat, we even got a few scenes with James, albeit in Barbara's imagination, but I'll take whatever I can get from the talented Anthony Herrera. His notorious, "Hello, Barbara!" gets me every time. His visit was short, but sweet, as Barbara finally came to terms with her past. In a scene that would have made Scarlett O'Hara proud, Barbara verbally took down James and his hold on her, tapped into her pride and survival instincts, and declared, "I am Barbara Ryan!" I was waiting for her to tell us that tomorrow was another day, in true Scarlett fashion, but it didn't go quite that far.
I know some of you have complained that this kidnapping is dragging on a bit, but I disagree. I love umbrella storylines that involve more than just a couple characters. Henry is a mess, hyperventilating, and on the trail of Barbara, sniffing out her perfume all over Old Town, like a bloodhound. And then there was that scene where brothers Paul, Henry, and Will went to the lingerie store where Barbara shops. It was comedy gold, Scoopers, as the clerk thought that Paul and Henry were a couple, and then realized that they were related, but that Henry was sleeping with Barbara. Yes, it's as confusing and as funny as it sounds.
Thankfully, Henry is involved because he seems to be the only one smart enough to realize that the woman dabbing red lipstick, wearing perfume, and buying lingerie is in fact not Barbara. Henry knows Barbara's "swish" (her youthful walk), and he proudly proclaimed that the woman on the security tape, appearing to be Barbara, did not have Babs' "swish." He also told us that Barbara wears thongs, which frankly is a juicy tidbit that I, and apparently Paul and Will, could have lived without. Henry and Barbara needed this kidnapping to realize how much they love one another, so romance is in play, too. This storyline has comedy, love, suspense, drama, and at the heart, family -- all elements of a well-told story. With tales like this, it's harder every day to realize that the end is near. Sigh.
• Note to Holden: Here's one thing you don't do on the night before your wedding, hop a plane to France to chase after your ex-wife. On second thought, we shouldn't worry, Scoopers. He'll probably make it back for the wedding. In Oakdale time, France is probably just an hour away, with a direct flight, of course.
• No offense to Billy Warlock, who I always enjoy, but can someone explain to me why we needed to have his new character introduced in these final weeks to fight for Janet's affection? We already have Jack and Dusty sparring over Janet, and I really hate to see precious screen time wasted on a new guy in town, despite the fact that it's the charming Warlock. (On a side note, General Hospital needs you, AJ! Please take a ride to Port Charles. Michael is in a bad way and needs his daddy!)
• Plenty of familiar faces popped up this week. Abigail is home for the wedding. (Yay!) And Lucy is back again and, apparently, still longing for Dusty. (Not so much of a yay for me!) Sorry Lusty lovers, but Lucy always seems to be coming on to Dusty, and he only seems mildly interested. Yes, I know he scooped her up and took her to bed, but he had just seen Janet kissing her husband, er, Blackie, so of course Dusty wanted to feel loved, too. I know lots of you adore Lusty, but I don't see Lucy and Dusty riding off into the sunset together, despite Lucy coloring her hair to look like Jennifer. (Lucy was never a redhead!) I think this time around, Dusty's heart lies with Janet.
• It's the little moments on this show that always make me take note. This week had some gems, from Faith calling out Carly for her affair with Holden, to brothers Tom and Chris having a heart-to-heart about Chris' aspirations to be chief-of-staff at the hospital. "Earn the job. Don't inherit it," Tom chided. Brilliant!
• I'm not usually a fan of the inevitable teen storylines that accompany the summer months, but Parker and Faith have pulled me in. It's about time Parker stopped obsessing over ambivalent Liberty and noticed gorgeous Faith, who has been crushing on him for years. Parker even did the right thing, when Faith begged him to take her virginity. He counseled her with his own life history of acting out sexually when your parents are a mess. It was an excellent use of history, and for once, I think Faith got the message.
• Oh, how I've missed Will Munson. He sparkles in every scene, not an easy task when he's sharing a room with Paul and Henry.
• How hilarious were the scenes where Luke was trying to coach Reid on his people skills? Loved it! Reid channels Dr. House more than Dr. Quinn when it comes to people skills, so I'm still shocked that Bob put him in charge of the hospital to bully nurses, patients, and fellow doctors. I think Chris will eventually get the job, and Reid will go back to doing what he does best, surgery and arrogance.
• Jack Snyder must read Two Scoops. He called himself Dudley Do-Right, a nickname I've used here for him for several years. I love Dudley Jack even more when he breaks out the self-deprecating humor.
• Lucinda had better hide. Craig is onto her scheme. I feel sorry for Lily in this mess. With a mother like Lucinda, who needs enemies.
• Thank you, Scoopers, for all the wonderful e-mails you've sent during the past month, even when we disagree! My mailbox was overflowing again the past two weeks with your ideas on how the show should end. I wish I could publish all your letters, but there are far too many to include all of them in this column. Please know that I read every e-mail and try to reply to each one, as well as publish the ones that seem to echo the same thoughts. I can't believe I only have a few columns left to write for you guys. (Gulp.) Pass the tissues, please.
Best Lines of the Week:
( Chris questions his mother when he realizes that Bob named Reid the new hospital chief-of-staff.)
Chris: "Is Dad on drugs?"
(Henry tells Margo, Paul, and Will that they don't know their mother the way that Henry does, and that he wants to go to the lingerie store, where a missing Barbara's credit card was used.)
Henry: "Do you know what kind of thong Barbara wears?"
Paul: "Oh, God!"
(Margo tells Tom that Chris is not right for Katie because of all of his mistakes with women.)
Tom: "So he's made some mistakes, who hasn't?"
Margo: "Some mistakes? Come on, Tom. He's with Molly and then he's with her daughter. Then, he's with Emily, and then he's with her sister, and he's with her sister again and again and again."
(While Chris is treating Henry for an anxiety attack, Chris keeps telling Henry that he should forgive Katie for her role in Vienna's lies.)
Henry: "You really need to stop lecturing me, or I'm going to sue you for pain and suffering."
That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.