Love and death, Llanview style

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OLTL Two Scoops: Love and death, Llanview style
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The week of December 5, 2005
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Spencer Truman has wickedly deceived most of the town of Llanview into believing that he is a knight in shining armor, riding to the rescue on his white horse.

What a week One Life To Live has had! It was a week full of drama, suspense, and human emotion. One characteristic that was present throughout every episode was that of complex drama. We are all aware of the split personalities of Jessica and Viki, but what about the split personality of Spencer? On the surface, it's easy for most people to tell that something is not right with Jessica when Tess emerges, and the same goes with Viki when Niki decides to grace us with her presence. But for Spencer Truman, he has wickedly deceived most of the town of Llanview into believing that he is a knight in shining armor, riding to the rescue on his white horse. He has put most of the Cramer women under his spell, with the exception of Dorian, who has started to see a little of the true Spencer Truman coming out. He may have a charming way with women and may have fooled Kelly and Blair into thinking he is a saint, but we finally got to see his true nature when he threatened Ginger Foley, ultimately causing her death. After berating her at the Palace Hotel, poor Ginger began to see how evil Spencer could really be and, in her fear and confusion, ran out into the street and was struck by an oncoming car. She was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery and, in true soap fashion, the attending physician was Spencer. For the first time since he arrived in Llanview, we saw a true moment of compassion and fear in his eyes as he realized that Ginger was dying. And oh what a terrible way to go it was. Spencer was operating on her and she opened her eyes to see him. Maybe it was too much for her or maybe she wanted him to feel guilty for causing her pain, but whatever it was, she did not survive. She died right on the table with Spencer staring into her eyes. I'm not ashamed to say that I felt my heart skip a beat when Spencer heard the heart monitor flat line because I could just imagine what he was feeling. Here is a girl that he took under his wing and helped her get back on her feet only to have the last words he said to her cause so much fear and pain that she makes a fatal mistake. We never really knew that much about Ginger nor was the actress ever given a proper storyline to showcase her acting abilities, but it's always sad to see a character die. Perhaps the show is cutting its loss and realizing that the character has been written into a corner, unable to get out. For whatever the reason is, rest in peace, Ginger Foley.

Bo has finally admitted that he cares for Rex. It's about time that we got to see the relationship that the two of them share. And what better way than to put Bo's life in danger and Rex coming to the rescue. I have always felt that Bo had a soft spot in his heart for Rex and perhaps took him under his wing to compensate for the death of Drew many years ago. I must admit that, secretly, I have been rooting for this "couple" for quite some time and was glued to my seat at the scenes in the hospital with Rex telling Matthew that Bo was the closest thing he has ever had to a father. The shooting was also a great venue to show how strong Matthew can be. That poor child has been through so much in his young life that I cannot even imagine having Bo die on him. He has witnessed Sam dying, his sister Jen being murdered by his stepfather, and his mother lying in a coma, not knowing if she ever will recover. (Don't keep us in suspense, ABC. Either give Hillary B. Smith a better contract or get rid of Nora. Decide now! It's not fair to the fans to keep us waiting around while everyone makes up their minds!) Where would Matthew be if he was to lose his father? I shudder to think of Asa gaining full custody of Matthew. He's a sweet kid that does not need to be poisoned by his grandfathers outlandish schemes.

Niki Smith is back and I could not be happier. Is that wrong of me to like a character that is so free of moral obligation and lives her life on the fly? I don't see why it would be! Niki Smith embodies something that Viki is not. She is carefree, outgoing, sexy, and believes in living her life to the fullest! Erika Slezak can play the prim and proper Victoria Lord Davidson so well that we tend to forget that she can play comedy just as well. And finally, my favorite character is showing a different side of himself. Nash Brennan, the good guy, the smart guy, the moral center of this storyline is being enticed over to the dark side by Niki. And what I like about this storyline bit is that Nash is actually listening and considering what Niki has to offer! Nothing would make Nash happier than a life with Tess, but he has made a promise to Jessica that -- should Tess emerge -- he would not leave with her. While it infuriated Tess, it showed just what an upstanding and mature character Nash Brennan is. Will he give in to the dark side and give in to his own personal desires? Only time -- and the writers -- will tell.

And finally, as a viewer of One Life To Live for more than fifteen years, I am starting to see some aspects that helped bring in high ratings in the late 80's. When we watch soaps, we want to be taken to a place that suspends our belief, a world that is created based solely upon imagination and intrigue, and filled with people that we wish were part of our family and -- all too often -- people we hope to never meet. For a while there, soaps became "reality television," dealing with incidents that headlined our daily newspapers. While it's good to have a slice of reality blended in with our fictional towns and citizens, it's equally enjoyable to know that most of the storylines that we witness as viewers, will never come to fruition in our own lives. That's what makes daytime dramas so great. One Life To Live is slowly moving towards the "larger than life" plots that made it a sensation in the 80's: Natalie choosing who dies, Niki and Tess on the run together, Dorian teaming with Asa to bring down Spencer. All of these stories, along with enticing characters like Nash, Rex, Blair, Kelly, and Duke, paint a bright future for One Life To Live. Suddenly, Llanview is a beautiful place to live again.

Enjoy your life to live,

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