RYAN: Blair Cramer. Marcie McBain. Dorian Lord. Lindsay Rappaport. Four strong women who are often fiercely independent and unbelievably loyal. They all don't see eye to eye, nor do they all share the same motivations. However, they all do have one thing in common---their maternal instincts drive them to look out for their children and their loved ones. I look at someone like Dorian, for example. This is a flawed woman, no doubt about it. She's been immersed in some ridiculous schemes and plots that have shed a not-so-flattering light on her character. However, few could argue that she is the glue that holds the Cramer women together. Although her oldest daughter Cassie no longer lives in Llanview, Dorian has gone to great lengths to protect her youngest daughter, Adriana, including hiring someone to stalk her! Nonetheless, Dorian's maternal instinct is currently in high gear as she is showing a genuine interest and concern in Langston, someone who has big secrets to hide and is going to great lengths to avoid discussing her parents. Dorian is a shrewd woman, though, and she is already suspicious of the way Langston avoids introducing her parents to her. For Dorian to take a genuine interest in one of Starr's friends and share conversations that are maternal and helpful soften Dorian and remind us that this may be a manipulative and devious schemer, but at heart, Dorian is still a mom, someone who cares about the welfare of others. I think this side of Dorian is needed from time to time. Sure, it's fun to see her sharpen her claws, so to speak, especially when Viki is involved, but it's also refreshing to see Dorian react in an empathetic manner.
DENISE: I am very intrigued as to where Carlivati is headed with Dorian and Langston. I've also noticed a definitive transformation in Langston's appearance, in that she is looking decidedly "Cramer-like" these days, and I'm betting this is more than sheer coincidence. You hit the nail on the head, Ryan; as much as Dorian can be manipulative, unyielding and meddling, she has a big heart and when she loves, she loves fiercely and completely. We have seen this pattern manifest itself over and over again, first with Cassie, then with Adriana, and always when fighting for her "girls." This also plays into what we were discussing a couple of weeks ago in terms of character evolution and exploiting nuances that make a complex character, such as Dorian, multi-faceted. Her strong maternal instincts have always fueled her behavior, whether for better or for worse. The same holds true for Blair. One can argue that if she loved her children so deeply she wouldn't subject them to the ongoing cat-and-mouse game of romance with their father, nor would she ship them off to Dorian's whenever she's battling her latest crisis. I disagree, because while Blair is flawed, she mirrors a lioness protecting her cubs. Mess with her children, and you've got serious problems. Maternal instincts run deep in the Cramer gene pool, and are not necessarily reinforced with tactical schemes and verbal sparring. How many times have we seen Addie rise to the occasion and defend Blair? We've witnessed Addie summon incredible strength and ferocity when she felt that Blair's safety or honor was being called into question, which is uncharacteristic of the normally soft-spoken, demure exterior she maintains. Let me also say that Addie is probably the sanest character on the canvas, so why she's been banished to St. Anne's remains a complete mystery to me. In fact, we saw her maternal instincts emerge when she was speaking to Will, in an effort to comfort him over his concern for Lindsay. I found those scenes very poignant and a nice touch that enhanced the Will/Lindsay and Lindsay/Marcie interactions that followed.
RYAN: Funny you mention Addie because I found my eyebrow raise when I heard the doctor at St. Anne's this week suggest that there is a "new experimental drug" (isn't that always the case? Maybe it's the same drug that pulled Laura Spencer out of her catatonic state over in Port Charles!) that can help her condition. That leads me to believe that Addie may get a reprieve from her banishment at St. Anne's and may now be joining the rest of the Cramer women in Llanview. Wouldn't it be an interesting dynamic to the Cramer legacy to have Blair's mother (and Starr's grandmother) interacting with everyone on a daily basis? And going back to your comments on Langston's appearance, I guarantee you that if Langston moves in with Dorian, she will become Dr. Lord's "project." Wouldn't it be totally ironic if Langston were to follow in the image that Dorian always wanted Cassie and Adriana to follow in? Dorian has always longed for a Mini-Me-Dorian clone, and perhaps Langston will be the one to fill that void! Speaking of "filling in the void," I am now becoming very wary of Lindsay's insanity. During her semi-lucid conversation with Marcie (Lindsay's surrogate daughter), I found myself wondering if Lindsay could really be insane or if she knows exactly what she is doing. On the one hand, her maternal instinct propelled her to kill Spencer so that the secret of Tommy's paternity would never be revealed, but on the other hand, she spilled a whopper of a secret (that Michael knew about Tommy's parentage) to Marcie that surely will tear apart that same family she risked so much to protect. Is she faking? Is she brilliantly fooling everyone with an ulterior motive? Is she really sick? I can't put my finger on it. What I'm convinced of though is that Lindsay's feelings for both Tommy and Marcie are genuine and maternal.
DENISE: I would be thrilled to see Addie's character woven back into the mainstream and I'm desperately hoping your theory pans out! Rumors abound that Melinda Cramer may resurface after literally dropping off the canvas one day, and this would be the icing on the cake. Longtime fans remember the tempestuous sibling relationship shared by Dorian and Melinda, and incorporating her character back into the picture would redefine the Cramer legacy. The fact that most viewers are truly stymied as to whether Lindsay is faking her condition reinforces that Carlivati is doing a commendable job of wrapping up this story and moving the show in a forward direction. I have a strong hunch that Lindsay is using the situation to her advantage, which is something she does very well! I simply refuse to believe she experienced a religious epiphany, perhaps because I find Lindsay most delicious when she's her charming, manipulative self. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Lindsay's maternal instincts manifested in relation to Marcie, Michael and baby Tommy. I question why Lindsay came forward and told Marcie about Michael's deceit, and I'm undecided whether this was done out of concern for Marcie, to gain further leverage for herself, or a combination thereof. Forgive my skepticism, but it's difficult to shake the image of this beloved blond viper rolling around with Rex in bed, and I'm betting Jen wasn't the first thought on her mind during those romantic interludes! I still maintain that while characters must evolve, too radical a transformation does not bode well for the character, and I believe Carlivati is too wise to pen Lindsay as a "changed woman." That would place the character in a precarious position and seriously restrict her storyline involvement. Lindsay is to Nora as Dorian is to Viki: she is the quintessential, perfect foil. I don't see Carlivati straying from that formula because it wouldn't serve the character (or the show) well. This was reinforced by the brief interaction between Nora and Lindsay last week. It was sheer heaven to watch Nora sidle up next to Lindsay and whisper as part of her warning, "...if this is anything but the real McCoy, you better just fake your way back to reality really quick..." Some might argue that Nora is out for revenge, while others would contend this is another example of maternal instincts kicking into gear. As Nora watched Will grieve for his mother, it undoubtedly awakened those instincts and potentially stirred memories of when Lindsay deprived Bo of sharing in Matthew's formative years. Add that to Lindsay's involvement in the baby Tommy scenario, and she is now responsible for keeping two biological fathers (Bo and Todd) from their sons.
RYAN: Ooooh! Good point about Lindsay keeping TWO fathers away from their sons. I hadn't thought it through that way! Wow! And I think that scene during which Nora whispered that warning into Lindsay's ear was one of my favorites from the week! It just reminds me of the history the show has right in its midst and needs to capitalize on. But in talking about Lindsay and Marcie's roles in the baby saga, how can we forget Blair? My question is this---did Blair agree to marry Todd because her own maternal instincts were kicking in and she wanted to not only do what she thought was right for Todd and for her own children (since Tommy is technically their half-brother)? Or, did Blair see this as strictly an opportunity to muscle her way into Todd's life again (despite her protestations that they are "only friends") to become Mrs. Manning? You know, despite how I feel about a lot of Todd's past misdeeds, when I see scenes like the ones involving Todd and Blair doing right by Jack, spending time with him, etc., I can't help but think that even though the Mannings put the "D" in dysfunctional, when they are happy, they really do show viewers how bonded together they are as a family. But on a side note: I'm still siding with Marcie on this custody battle!
DENISE: I'm really curious as to what Carlivati has up his sleeve, because I just can't see a happy ending to this custody battle. There are no clear winners here and I continue to feel for both sides...though I still maintain that Todd views Tommy as an acquisition versus his own his flesh and blood. I also find it hypocritical that he would criticize Blair and accuse her of not being concerned with Tommy's welfare because he isn't her biological child - especially after what he did with Jack and considering the fact that Blair spent her entire childhood getting bounced around from one dysfunctional foster home to another. Then again, this is classic Todd and the warped perspective through which he views the world. Are we really to assume that Todd wouldn't view Tommy with a level of disdain and resentment in light of how he was conceived and considering that Margaret was his mother? Maybe this is exactly what Carlivati has in mind. An interesting parallel exists with the scandal surrounding Todd's conception and the illicit affair between Victor and Irene, and the sordid circumstances surrounding Tommy's conception and that which joined Todd and Margaret. Perhaps Carlivati has taken this story and is capitalizing on a way to restore Todd's true essence of being by utilizing the present to mirror history. Essentially, Todd may perceive Tommy as Victor once viewed Todd: a possession to claim, a burden to shoulder responsibility for, and a child who will always be viewed as the black sheep of the family. Karma is funny that way, and it seems Todd is more his father's son than we may have realized. Yet unlike Victor, he now he will be forced to step up to the plate and assume responsibility for a child that he contends he so desperately wants. Marcie refuses to concede defeat and though her fear is starting to peak, those maternal instincts remain strong and unwavering. Michael is emerging as the true coward in all of this for suppressing the truth and deceiving his wife. I cannot imagine that Marcie will ever overcome his deception and nothing will heal the pain she is undoubtedly about to endure. So Carlivati continues to impress me as he weaves in history, reestablishes integrity, and reaffirms first and foremost that he is a fan of the show by writing with a great degree of sensitivity and foresight.
Have a wonderful week!
Ryan and Denise