A lunatic's demise

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A lunatic's demise
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The week of June 19, 2006
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Roughly two years have passed since viewers were first introduced to Tari Signor's crazy psycho Margaret Cochran.

Just when I was starting to like the crazy lunatic.

It's so hard to imagine that roughly two years have passed since we were first introduced to Tari Signor's crazy psycho Margaret Cochran. Yet it's been so hard to forget all of the angst and havoc that she's wrecked throughout Llanview while we've known her. Most recently, her brainwashing by the hands of evil Surgical Chief Dr. Spencer Truman left Margaret without memories of Todd, Blair, Starr, Mrs. Bigelow, or even Todd Jr. to whom she gave birth with the help of Truman and his ex-wife Paige Miller. Interestingly though, the sane Margaret with amnesia was actually starting to grow on me, unlike the cartoonish witch she had been portraying. But with one convenient car crash, two years of torture and turmoil ended abruptly; alas, Margaret was pronounced dead FOR REAL this time. And just when it was getting interesting.

Allow me to digress for just a moment about yet another one of Higley's flaws as a Head Writer-her knack for cutting short storyline potential or not following through on a plot device that has longevity. For example, what about Paige's missing son? One minute this is the storyline of the moment, and then nothing...for months. I don't view that as suspense; I view it as sloppy writing. What about the feud between Asa and Spencer? One minute, it reaches its boiling point, and the next minute nothing...for months. Why isn't Spencer in at Asa's bedside taunting him, talking to him, or doing anything? I realize Phil Carey is out of commission, but Carey's face doesn't have to be seen to continue the storyline. Spencer could be talking to the person in the bed whose body we see but whose face is kept away from the camera since Carey is out of commission temporarily due to his illness. And what about killing off Duke, someone who is a Buchanan, someone whose storyline possibilities reach far beyond the pettiness of being interested in his father's fiancÚ? All of these are typical examples of the "Higley Factor," and getting rid of Margaret is yet another example to add to the list. Sure, her death is convenient for Spencer's sake. Sure, her death buys Higley some more time to let the weasel known as Dr. Truman dig a deeper hole for himself or to allow Blair the opportunity to expose him as a fraud. But in one instant, Higley has removed yet another opportunity to extend story far beyond the immediate future with the one involving Spencer. Having Margaret actually remain without her memories for several months builds suspense and allows the viewers to become more sympathetic to the "new" character. It would allow Margaret to be seen differently from the lying killer we saw her as being. And it would open up for a greater climax in the story when her and Todd's baby was found and returned to them. Alas, no such luck for Margaret. It was time to meet her maker.

And what a bummer of a death for Mad Mags! For all of the wacky and crazy things that Margaret has done while in Llanview, having her die in a CAR CRASH sure was anti-climatic. I mean, can't we be any more creative than another car accident immediately following the one Nash and Tess had with baby Brennan or the one Paige had which put her in the hospital. Margaret's death should have been memorable; it should have been something that sent the character out of our lives with a little pizzazz. I mean, this isn't reality here, folks, it's a soap opera where anything is possible. If a character is going to bite the dust, especially a despicable one like Margaret, give her a farewell that is befitting the character. Higley had a chance to create a death that may have been tongue-in-cheek or may have been ghastly, but she opted for a simplistic car accident. Ho-hum! It's too bad that Signor couldn't chew scenery in one last death scene that would certainly be remembered for a long time to come.

With Margaret's death aside, let me ponder some other happenings in Llanview this week.


1. FINALLY Nora has returned to our screens in a conscious state! I'll say this much: while I'm not happy that we haven't seen Nora on screen for 6-weeks, I do appreciate the fact that her recovery hasn't been stalled as well. She is reading and is clearly aware of everything happening around her. It's just her speech which seems to the area that needs focus. With that said, I applaud the writers for at least making the recovery period realistic. However, I do expect to see Nora struggle with regaining her speech and her use of language ON SCREEN from this point forward. Consider the internal strife that must be going on inside a professional attorney whose livelihood has always been based on her exceptional ability to manipulate her words and utilize language. To have to start over and learn that ability from scratch is the direction this story should take, and it will be an interesting one to watch unfold if it does indeed go in that direction. I loved hearing that R.J. has been in to visit Nora every single day for the past year. As I said before, the friendship between these two characters is reason to celebrate. How great that two people of the opposite sex can act as the best of friends without the compulsion to act on any romantic feelings!

2. I cannot wait to see how Jessica handles seeing the infamous tapes that document her abuse as a child. The way her family and friends supported her before the viewing of it was amazing and probably right in line to where they should be. Treating it as a big deal but not a tremendous obstacle will help Jessica (I hope) watch the tape and realize that if everyone else already knows this, then she should be able to cope with it as well. As much as I love Tess, it's time for integration, and I am hoping the revelation of what is on the tape will help Jessica forge ahead in this process.

3. Kelly and Todd...hmmmm. These two characters sure have reached new "lows" in their lives, so how interesting would it be for the two of them to bond? I'm not saying anything romantic needs to take place here, but it would be great to see Todd have a true ally on the Cramer side.


1. Okay, seriously. First, I have to deal with the fact that Claudia Reston is a more prominent character in Llanview and then I have to watch her sing?! Why? Just because an actor or actress has the ability to sing in real life doesn't mean the writers should manipulate a story to some far-fetched point that would give that person a reason to sing on the show. It's just so out of place.

2. Still don't care about Adriana and Rex. Rex is becoming more likeable every day, but any actor who is paired up with the quicksand known as Adriana just sinks.....into the abyss......save him now......

Enjoy your week,

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