I never thought I would say this, but I think the highlight of last week was the Thanksgiving episode. Not only did we find out that Carlotta's diner is now an exact replica of the Bon Jour Café, but almost everyone in Llanview ended up there by the end of the episode. Since all roads led to Paris, Texas not that long ago, the ending of the Thanksgiving episode felt somewhat poetic! I knew the diner was going to become a new Bon Jour diner, but I didn't expect to be so thrilled with the outcome. While soap operas are facing budget crunches, it seems like they have found a way to save money on sets and be "green" at the same time. Instead of creating a brand new set to be Carlotta's new diner, the powers that be chose to use the Bon Jour Café set and call it something new. It worked! I have missed the Bon Jour Café, so it is great to see it appear in Llanview, but no one was as moved or happy by its return as Viki. Seeing her reaction almost made me happy that she and Charlie have been through so many trials in their relationship. All of their problems brought them to this new diner, and while we don't know if Charlie and Viki will move forward, it was truly grand gesture on Charlie's part. Of course, the diner wouldn't be complete without Moe and Noelle, so it was great that Charlie brought them to Llanview to complete the resurrection of the Paris diner. I realize some people feel that Moe and Noelle are unnecessary characters, but I think they serve as a reminder of Viki's adventure in waitressing, and they add levity to a show that has been quite dark recently. The Thanksgiving episode brought people together, and more importantly, they seemed content to be together. Obviously, a soap opera would be boring if every episode ended in such an uplifting way, but for Thanksgiving, it was appropriate.
Moving on the more serious stories, I am fully engaged in Marty's current situation. It was definitely uncomfortable and confusing to watch all of the scenes with Marty and Todd, but since they brought her to her current story, I can see what the writers were thinking. I've said many times that I don't have to like every story on a soap opera to understand that it creates good drama. Marty is a tortured soul at this point, as she can't figure out who can be trusted when they tell her about her past. People keep telling her things, and all she has to go on is what Todd told her. She feels too ashamed to tell people that Todd told her something, as she feels humiliated by what happened. I enjoyed her conversation with Nora about betrayal. They both know what it's like to be blindsided by people that claimed to love them, and since Nora hasn't been the same since it happened to her, I liked that she discussed it with Marty. I am happy that Nora is playing such a big role in Marty's life right now. Marty might not remember Nora, but they were friends, and Nora shares a lot of history with Marty. Nora also has quite a history with Todd, and while I don't think she should be prosecuting Todd herself, I am glad that she is able to help Marty deal with everything. I am relieved that Nora is playing this role instead of John. He thinks he can solve everything and "rescue" Marty from her current state of mind, but Marty doesn't seem to feel that comfortable around him. Since Marty is living with Nora, I don't have to have Marty and John's former relationship forced on me everyday. They might have become closer right before she died, but I wouldn't say they had the same, deep relationship that she had with Patrick. I feel like the writers have tried to oversell John and Marty to make her rescue more dramatic, but it doesn't work for me. I would much rather see Marty readjust to her life with Nora and Cole's assistance and let John help from a distance.
I also think it's interesting to see Cole attempt to jog his mother's memory. He is anxious for her to be the Marty he knew before, but it's going to take time. He offered to take her to several places that she frequented when she was younger, but Marty wanted to face what happened and see her headstone. Cole handled the situation well and didn't try to push her to remember anything when she saw her memorial and the metronome that he had left there. Cole seems to understand that his mother needs space and left her with the letter and metronome so she could ponder it without someone looking over her shoulder. It was painful for him to do, but he understood the delicacy of the situation. I don't believe that Cole could have exhibited such maturity in a situation like this a year ago. He has grown up a lot, and I actually like him more than I did. When Marty does regain her memory, and we all know she will, I want Cole to be the catalyst. If John ends up being the magic trigger, it will cheapen the story. It would be just another way for the writers to make us believe that John and Marty were the next super couple before Marty "died." So far, however, this story of Marty realizing she has been a victim and trying to remember her life has been written and acted well, and I think the return of Marty's memory will be no different.
Dorian, more than anyone else, seems more concerned when Marty will regain her memory-specifically, her relationship with John. Blair has been cautious about addressing the subject with John, but Dorian demanded answers from Marty in front of other people without sugarcoating it. It's obvious that a triangle with Marty, John, and Blair is in the works, but Dorian wanted to know where Blair stood immediately. Dorian might lack even a modicum of tact, but she knows how to get to the point. Even though Blair told Dorian to butt out, Dorian wants to help Blair deal with Marty's return and what it will mean for her relationship with John. Blair is trying to be indifferent to Marty's return, but it's obvious that she feels insecure about it. While I am amazed that two more women like Marty and Blair will think it's a good use of time to fight over John, I fully believe that Marty will be with John eventually. One of my readers suggested that John isn't interested in relationships; he just wants to be with the needier woman at all times. I agree this to a certain extent. He is always searching for the damsel in distress, and when the damsel is no longer in distress, he gets bored. Since Marty is in a lot of distress at this time, I can see him leaning towards her. I think he has been using Blair because he couldn't find Marty, and even if he decides to continue seeing Blair, he will always be keeping his eye on Marty and what is happening to her. I thought we were done with triangles involving John, but apparently we must be subjected to one more! In case you haven't realized it yet, I don't like John McBain. I think he's arrogant and self-absorbed, and he manages to make everything about him. Why any two women would want to fight over him is a great mystery to me. If you happen to like John, then maybe this future triangle makes sense, but I personally don't understand why he's the one women want in Llanview!
I feel bad for Starr these days, which really takes a lot. She has acted like a brat for the last year, but she lost her baby and knows that her father was going to steal her baby so he could start his own life. That's a lot for an adult to handle and especially for a teenage girl. She didn't hold anything back from Todd as she let her know that he did something unforgivable to her. I don't like that Starr and Todd's relationship has been ruined, but if Starr is anything like Blair, she will forgive Todd at some point. She has always managed to see something in Todd that no one else could see, much like Viki, and I simply can't see Starr banishing Todd from her life forever. Viki, as always knew just what to say to Starr in her time of need. Even though Viki is hopping mad at Todd herself, she tried to convince Starr not to write her father off completely. I know some people are upset that Viki was absent from Starr's story before she gave birth, but she is working her magic now as she is there for Starr. I really wish that Viki and Starr's scenes hadn't taken place in the maternity ward, though. I guess I knew the obligatory moment of "mom holds her baby without realizing it was hers," was bound to happen, but it was just a reminder that the writers took the lazy way out of this story and created a baby switch for no reason. Some of Viki and Starr's conversation will be in vain once everyone realizes that Jessica has the wrong baby. I am glad that Starr and her family got some type of explanation in her baby's "death," but since the viewers can write the rest of this story in their sleep, it just seems like wasted time.
Poor Dr. Joplin! She blamed herself for Starr's baby's death and took her own life because of it in a violent way. It is true that she almost helped Todd escape with Starr's baby, but just when Todd called off the elaborate plan, Bess arrived in need of a replacement baby. Now, Dr. Joplin will never know that she didn't miss the fatal defect that afflicted Starr's baby. Hope's affliction wasn't a physical ailment but a robotic alternate personality named Bess. Dr. Joplin isn't innocent; she certainly shouldn't have gone along with Todd's plan, but she didn't deserve to feel like she was responsible for a baby's death. I wish Dr. Joplin had met Tess at some point, since Tess knows that Jessica has the wrong baby. One of these days, someone will listen to Tess and put the pieces of the puzzle together. I wish it had been Dr. Joplin so we didn't have to see her guilt overcome her. I guess the message from all of this is that if you want to be a doctor, you should never work at Llanview Hospital. You can't deliver a baby without being blackmailed or having the baby stolen by a creepy alternate personality!
So far, I like watching Gigi, Rex, and Shane figure out how to be a family. I couldn't believe that they were going to take a picture for a family Christmas card so soon though. Shane still feels like he has two dads, and taking a picture without him made him feel like he was abandoning Brody. Gigi and Rex can't cure everything by making them look a "normal" family. After Shane's attitude about the picture, Gigi realizes that she can't force Shane to be happy about his new family, and she also can't force him to accept Rex as his one and only dad. This will take time, and family photos won't speed up the process. It's a difficult situation for everyone involved, and while I already think Shane will require a lot of therapy when he gets older, Gigi and Rex need to do everything they can to make the situation easier for Shane. After waiting for over a year to see Rex learn that Shane is his son, it is interesting to watch him navigate his new connection to Shane and to watch Shane start to accept Rex as his dad. It's soapy, complicated, and I hope it continues to be interesting to watch.
Finally, as random thoughts, Téa is back, and I can't wait to see what she has to say to Todd. Jessica and Brody have a spark, and if Brody is still interested in Jessica after seeing her alters in living color, then Jessica and Brody are a good match. Cristian and Vanessa were dismayed to learn that Vanessa might be deported. I've weighed this news carefully, and I still don't care about her!
Until next time,