John McBain has been on OLTL for well over a year now, and even through the anti-climatic Music Box Killer storyline, I never really took much of a liking to him. I absolutely loved Michael Easton on Port Charles and thought his portrayal of tortured vampire Caleb Morley was riveting. I thought for sure he would set fire to Llanview when he arrived, but alas, his story was dull, and I never caught on. Well, that has all changed since his pairing with Evangeline! The two of them have reignited my liking for the actor and for the direction of this pairing.
From the very beginning, John was intended to be a romantic lead for Natalie following the "death" of her husband, Cristian. Slowly (and do I mean slowly!), these two characters grew an affinity for one another that slowly grew to awkward glances and feelings that seemed to go nowhere. Whether the characters felt their attraction was wrong or whether the writers wanted to draw their playful flirting out to the brink of unbearable torture, Natalie and John never fully captured my interest as a viewer. Perhaps that also had to do with Natalie's character assassination, thanks in large part to the misguided efforts of the writing staff.
Suddenly, an unexpected one-night stand with Evangeline has transformed the usually apathetic cop into a man intrigued by the possibilities of a future with a smart, intelligent, and successful attorney. What I especially like about Evangeline is similar to what I liked about Nora Buchanan when she was first introduced to the show in 1992. Evangeline, like Nora, is head-strong. She is determined, bright, articulate, intuitive, and spunky. She isn't afraid to get her hands dirty, so to speak, to get to the answers in a case. She's independent enough to declare she doesn't NEED a man; however, she's full of life and as giddy as a school girl when she is around John. Most importantly, Evangeline hasn't been forced down the viewers' throats like other characters in the past who have been unsuccessful (River, Sarah, the ever-increasing Santi family clan). With great ease, the writers kept Evangeline in the background ever since Mitch Lawrence was still around taunting Llanview residents, and as she integrated herself into more of the town's important citizens, she became a more significant character. We like Evangeline, and we want to explore the possibilities of a romantic partnership that will make her happy.
The million dollar question is, of course, will John be the one to make Evangeline happy? The third factor in this equation is R.J., Evangeline's previous beau. Who can argue that R.J. was happier, more pleasant, and mostly crime-free when he was involved with Evangeline? R.J. has been put through so much during the past few years including finding his daughter, losing his daughter, gaining a grand-daughter, and the man simply deserves some happiness of his own. Thinking he found that happiness with Evangeline, R.J. was crushed to discover her attraction with yet another member of the Llanview PD, John McBain. Poor R.J. can't cut a break! First, his daughter falls in love with his arch-enemy, Antonio, and then his current significant other falls for another law enforcement officer! Throwing R.J. and his jealousy and hatred for the police department into this equation is sure to add another dimension and some drama to this blossoming affair.
I must give kudos to the writing staff for beefing up the storyline for its few African American characters on the show. R.J. and Evangeline made a good couple, but the effects of a triangle involving R.J./Evangeline/John has the potential to be explosive! R.J. does not accept betrayal at all, so the discovery that Evangeline is secretly trying to gather information from him will not make him happy, nor will it bode well for his feelings for her. Nonetheless, the show needs a hot triangle right now, and I think it has it in these three characters.
Amid all of the backstabbing and the deceit going on with the baby storyline, the gaslighting of Asa, and the Santi family antics, the show is in desperate need of something (and someone) to root for. I will still never tire of any scenes involving Robin Strasser (Dorian), and her scenes with daughter Adriana as they questioned her possible pregnancy were astounding and touching! But, seeing characters and actors involved in a story that is getting much airtime is rewarding and a welcomed change for many long-time viewers.
Enjoy the week,