I suppose "fully integrated" doesn't mean much in the world of psychology. I was under the impression that when someone who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder completes the process of integrating all of the alters, that person has successfully completed therapy and no longer suffers from the ailment. Apparently that isn't the case, because this week, all it took was a slight (and I do mean slight) argument between Viki and Dorian to trigger the infamous Niki Smith to reemerge. But after being gone for a few years, Niki is back in swinging form (literally!)
I must admit to being dumbstruck as to how EASY it was to pull Niki back out to the world of the sane. If I were to think back to all of the run-ins and fierce arguments that Viki and Dorian have had over the years, I could think of many more instances when Niki would have been more likely to emerge. But instead, all it took was a few nudges in the direction of (and I don't quote verbatim), "Your father is vile. He took advantage of you. He snuck into your room at night and made love to you. And now you have ruined your own daughter's life!" I mean, come on! Viki has stood up to worse abuse than this. Even when she had her first encounter with Tess (even though back then Viki still thought she was Jessica), Viki suffered a heart attack rather than split into an alter after hearing vicious words from "her daughter." My point is that I'm not opposed to Niki coming back into our lives, but I thought that the way she ultimately returned was a little too easy.
Now, with that being said, can I admit to LOVING having Niki back? I know, I know, been there/done that. I agree. I thought that when Niki returned the last time and actually became malevolent and murderous to the point of pushing Ben out of a window that the Niki Smith whom I came to love to hate was too long for Llanview anymore. But for the twenty-some odd years I've watched her come in and out of everyone's lives, I've always found her to be a guilty pleasure. Maybe it's her refreshing "live life in the moment" attitude she adopts or the phenomenal acting Erika Slezak brings to the part, but when I see Niki return, it's like seeing that class clown from high school again. You know the person-makes you laugh for a while, but then the person grows tiresome and annoying. That's usually the cycle for Niki Smith as well. I love her for the first few weeks when she returns as the dominant personality, but then she grows to be too much. I suspect that will be the same case this time, even though there are a few possible ways to make her more interesting.
TV Guide had reported that Niki and Tess are supposed to go on the run for several months together which leads up to the big revelation in May as to what caused Jess to crack mentally and develop the alters (and it's supposedly a WHOPPER of a reason!). Tess became a character whom a majority of viewers came to love, so seeing Tess and Niki pal around together without a care in the world has potential to be quite entertaining---as long as there are enough twists and turns in the story to sustain it for so many months.
You love her or hate her, but Niki Smith is back for quite some time, and it was quite entertaining to have her wonder where "Benny Boy" was (it took Dorian to point out he was dead), and to see her and Dorian duke it out. I can vividly recall when Jean Randolph, the "gatekeeper" of Viki's alters, took Dorian hostage almost ten years ago and kept her behind bars. Keeping Dorian in captivity provided the two powerhouse actresses (Robin Strasser and Slezak) with countless opportunities to interact with one another and to trade barbs back and forth. I hope we see similar scenarios this time. In any event, Niki's first few days have been quite enjoyable; I only hope the writers don't have her overstay her "welcome" any longer than is needed.
Now on to the other odds and ends that have been on my mind this week...
1. Is anyone else noticing the chemistry between Dorian and...Clint? Hmmm. I'm not ready to give up on David and Dorian, because I absolutely think that David is perfect for Dorian, but I wouldn't mind seeing her share more scenes with Clint-or even have them form some kind of bond over searching for Niki/Viki.
2. Seeing Niki and Roxy interact made me realize how much Ilene Kristen is so underappreciated and misused on the show! That woman is hysterical! I still crack up when I hear her "Roxyisms." My favorite from this week (to Niki), "I've got a preposition [proposition] for you." Priceless!
3. News that Robin Strasser signed on for another two years? WONDERFUL! In an era when the over-40 actors and actresses seem to have "little worth" according to those who seem to know better, it's refreshing that the characters we LOVE (regardless of their age) will stick around for more exciting stories. Paging Hilary B. Smith's manager....
1. Okay, loved the prison break story when it first started, but ENOUGH ALREADY. Talk about overkill! Whew! If I have to watch one more episode of John and Cristian in that stairwell, I'm going to start throwing the remote control at the TV. You know that saying---too much of a good thing...
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving week. It was a short viewing week at OLTL, so we've been left waiting to see what will happen at Statesville, where Niki will take off to next, and how Nat will handle John when she faces him for the first time after learning he kept the secret about her husband from her for almost a year! Stay tuned next week for a special sample column from a candidate interested in filling Dawn's role as Two Scoops Columnist!
Enjoy your week,