It may not be the Fourth of July but there are plenty of fireworks

For the Week of July 8, 2013
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Have you discovered your one-night stand was your summer school teacher? Tried to fake your brother's, husband's, or ex-husband's death? Been disappointed when your plan to make your enemy lose millions of dollars failed? If you answered no, it's likely you don't live in Llanview. If you answer yes (or wanted to), be sure to check out this week's Two Scoops.

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Happy Fourth of July to those who celebrated it this week! Is it just me, or is it a little odd to see a major U.S. holiday not celebrated on One Life to Live? I wonder if this is because of the scheduling change -- perhaps we'll get Fourth of July in September -- or if the show is going to skip over all or some holidays to make the show seem less dated now that people can watch whenever they want? Maybe it's best the residents of Llanview didn't celebrate the Fourth. The way things are going, someone would have gotten shot or overdosed, and the whole holiday would have been ruined anyway.

Still, I missed seeing the celebration. Holidays on soaps are one of my favorite things. They're an excuse to get a large part of the cast together and often have either a light episode that's something of a break from the drama or have a huge dramatic event that involves everyone.

But, that brings me to something I'm really enjoying about One Life to Live -- the smaller cast. There's not as much need to bring everyone together with a big event because the cast is manageable enough that we're seeing pretty much every character each week, and most everyone on the canvas is interacting with everyone else on some level already. I prefer this to some other television soaps I watch where you might have to wait weeks to see your favorite character because a large cast necessitates putting certain people on the backburner. I love tuning in to OLTL and knowing that whichever characters or storylines I'm enjoying are most likely going to be on that week.

Speaking of things I enjoy, this week seems to be the week in which One Life to Live fulfills my wishes. Here are a few things I've said I wanted in past columns: a David, Dorian, and Rama scene; Todd, Blair, and Téa attempting to work together while bickering endlessly; and more of Destiny and Natalie's friendship. You know which of those things happened this week? All of them!

Dorian is super bummed because Viki isn't super bummed. I could watch these two verbally poke and prod at each other all day. I loved Dorian's fake sympathy followed by Viki's satisfaction at telling Dorian that Dorian was wrong about Viki losing all her money. Viki took such delight in mocking Dorian for not having her story straight.

Are you convinced Viki is truly out of the woods? I'm not. I'm still wondering if Clint didn't do something questionable to get Viki's money back or if he didn't just put his own money in her account to make it look like she'd not lost anything. Dorian may still get her chance to gloat if Clint did bend the rules to save Viki's money, but, for now, it's nice to see Viki enjoying having the upper hand.

No one knows the kind of underhanded moves Clint is capable of like Natalie does. Was I the only one who was both disappointed and surprised that Natalie forgave Clint so quickly? She went from telling him "You don't know what love is" and insisting he get out of her house to hugging him and forgiving him so quickly that I ended up with emotional whiplash just watching it.

The scenes were superbly acted, and I loved the characters reflecting on their regret that Clint wasn't a part of Natalie's life while she was growing up and acknowledging that makes it harder for them to relate as adults. I'm also glad Clint admitted he was wrong. However, I really hoped to see him have to work a little harder to win Natalie's forgiveness. Things move at a faster pace on these online soaps, and, for the most part, I like that, but I think the writers missed out on the potential for a great relationship arc for these characters by rushing Clint and Natalie making up.

Speaking of making up, what's it going to take to get David and Dorian to do so after Dorian stormed out of Shelter in response to David's friendship with Rama? You have to love David's smooth talk. Dorian was obviously miffed that David had tapped Rama to be his reality show sidekick, especially since he'd denied Dorian a costarring role. But David soothed Dorian's ego by assuring her it was because Dorian was Carnegie Hall and David was just basic cable. You could just see Dorian melting as she thought, "Why, yes, I am too fabulous for your show. Thank you for noticing."

Dorian's improved mood didn't last for long, though, especially when Nora -- with great delight -- pointed out that David had a "glow" when he spoke to Rama. It's true, and I don't blame him. I know David adores his Dorian, but, well, she's kind of a cranky-pants, and Rama's all bubbly fun, which obviously appeals to David.

Do you think the show is testing the waters for a David and Rama affair? It's definitely a possibility, especially with the way David questioned Rama about her open marriage and expressed disappointment he couldn't be one of her first dates once she told him she and Vimal hadn't been able to make the open marriage work. Rama also went to a lot of trouble to interrupt Nikki when Nikki was flirting with David. I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of a David and Rama pairing but I'd honestly enjoy them becoming quirky partners in crime and best friends more. They could still annoy Dorian plenty that way and have a lot of fun scenes. I'm seeing more buddy chemistry between them than romantic chemistry.

In addition to flirting with David, we learned this week that Nikki also occasionally sleeps with Cutter. Nikki also accused Cutter of sleeping with Briana, the girl who died of an overdose in Shelter. Cutter didn't so much deny that accusation as sidestep it. Nikki also repeatedly referred to Briana as a hooker, which, unless I missed something before or Nikki was just being snarky, no one else seems to know. Cutter, I'm not judging, but I'm starting to think it might be easier for me to keep track of the women in Llanview you aren't sleeping with rather than the ones you are.

Speaking of Briana, her sugar daddy -- or I should say one of her sugar daddies, since she was apparently juggling multiples -- seems to be taking an interest in Dani. I've got to tell you, this creeps me the heck out. Briana hasn't even been dead a week, and Arturo's already taking an interest in the equally young woman he met at the freaking memorial service for this girl he was supposedly deeply in love with.

There's something extremely sleazy about this guy, and I wish Dani would run full-speed in the other direction, but given her demonstrated decision making skills, I think there's little to no hope of that. And, of course, this week she was all the more susceptible to Arturo's charms given that she ran into him when she was already upset about seeing Matthew with Michelle.

Dani isn't the only Manning kid getting some May/December action going. Jack is currently living a plot straight out of a soft-core porn. Seriously, I expected to hear the "bow chicka wow wow" music playing in the background of his every scene with Kate. I know this is a controversial storyline, and I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments. I'm not as disturbed by it as I am by Arturo and Dani for a couple of reasons.

First, even though Dani's older than Jack, the age difference between Jack and Kate doesn't seem as big as the age difference between Dani and Arturo. I don't think we've heard an exact age for Jack in this reboot version of the show, but assuming he's a junior or senior in high-school and Kate could be just out of college, it could be as little as a five year age difference with him being 17 and her being 22. Second, they had no clue she'd be his teacher when they first slept together. And, finally, Kate gives off a light-hearted and just-looking-to-have-fun vibe as opposed to Arturo's hello-I'm-majorly-creepy vibe. I'll be more upset about it if we find out Jack's supposed to be 15 or something.

However old he is, Kate, it was a bad bad bad decision to continue the fling after learning Jack was your student. Jack at least had the sense to want to transfer to a different class, even if his hormones won out over that common sense when Kate kissed him again. My guess is this will be fun for a while and then end horribly. I'm looking forward to Blair absolutely flipping out when she finds out about this, in an anticipating-a-train-wreck kind of way. Kate has no idea the motherly fury she's bringing down on herself by pursuing this relationship with Jack. If I were a better person, I'd hope this didn't end in someone getting pushed out a window. But, I'm not a good person, and I truly hope someone gets pushed out of a window.

Destiny and Natalie exercised some impulsiveness of their own in a way that fortunately is far less likely to end in disaster when, after a few drinks together and some talk about needing to get out of their respective ruts, they ran giggling into the tattoo shop. I loved the tattoo artist grumbling and rolling his eyes about the butterfly tattoo and Destiny and Natalie just tipsily laughing about the whole situation with each other. It was such a realistic doing-something-silly-with-your-best-friend moment. Both Destiny and Natalie need some fun in their lives, and I love that they bring out that side of each other.

I also continue to find Destiny and Jeffrey absolutely precious. Destiny, you're not fooling anyone with your "It's not really a date" business. You said "double date." The word "date" is right there in the title of the event. You know it, I know it, and Jeffrey knows it. And judging by Destiny's bouncing on her tiptoes when she asked and Jeffrey said yes, and the way Jeffrey couldn't stop smiling, I'd say everybody likes that this date that we're not calling a date is happening.

Now for a pairing Jeffrey isn't as impressed about: Matthew and Michelle. Jeffrey was giving Michelle some pretty serious side-eye. He is not impressed with Michelle's apparent attempt to turn over a new leaf and start telling Matthew the truth. Matthew, on the other hand, seems completely charmed and like he's forgotten his anger about that wasted road trip to Canada.

Maybe Matthew should call in to Nora's radio show again and ask how quickly you're supposed to forgive an online girlfriend who lies to you about where she lives and possibly about having a dead brother? Nora as Nightbird was already pretty busy this week, though, giving advice to an overwhelmed and overworked mother.

Matthew, does that sound familiar? Maybe it's because it's just like Destiny, who is working herself to exhaustion to support your kid while you spend your ample free time flirting with women on the Internet. Feel free to imagine me dropping a clue anvil on Matthew's head as I say that last sentence because I really, really want to. Matthew and Destiny gave each other some pretty intense looks while listening to the show, and Michelle definitely took note of those looks. Does Michelle know Matthew has a son he's doing next to nothing to support? You gave Michelle grief for lying about where she lived, Matthew, but being a deadbeat dad is something of a romance killer too.

Elsewhere in Llanview, the Todd, Téa, and Blair team up was busy being all I hoped it would be. There was so much bickering, so many of Téa's death-glares aimed in Todd's direction, and so many fantastic one liners like Todd's "The truth should never be considered as a viable option" in response to Téa's suggestion they tell the kids the truth about their plan to fake Victor's death. When Todd offered up his DNA to convince the cops and the shadowy organization that Victor was dead, I'm pretty sure Téa was only partly joking when she said killing Todd for the DNA didn't sound like a bad idea.

Can they possibly get away with faking Victor's death? I doubt it. Will it be entertaining as heck to watch them try? If this week is any indication, yes it will. Téa and Blair admitted to each other that they think Todd's plan is crazy but they feel they have no other choice. While it's seems Téa is being led only by her desire to protect the kids and Victor, especially after Blair brought up the idea that Dani's overdose was probably not an accident, Blair is being led by both motherly protective instinct and her heart. Blair's heart, perhaps unfortunately in this instance, is a big old bundle of messy feelings for Todd, which might be making her blind to Todd's true intentions.

When Todd thanked Blair for standing up for him and his plan, she asked him not to make her regret it. I have a feeling everyone is going to come out of this situation with regrets. Téa and Blair seem to fear that, too, but they're out of options, and going along with Todd, as ill-advised as it may seem, is the only thing that they can think to do. And, hey, aren't ill-advised actions part of what make soap operas so darn fun to watch? I don't know about you, but I'll be tuning in next weekend to see how this all goes horrifically wrong.

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