OLTL heats up as final episodes count down

For the Week of August 12, 2013
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OLTL Two Scoops: OLTL heats up as final episodes count down
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As OLTL heads toward the end of Season One, the show is hitting all the right notes -- drama, romance, humor, and stunning surprises. Join us as we prepare for the final countdown in this week's Two Scoops.

Two weeks ago, I wrote how little I was enjoying what was occurring in Llanview. Stories seemed to be moving at a snail's pace, the dramatic moments were few and far between, and frankly, I was bored.

What a difference a few episodes make!

This week's pair of shows packed in all of the drama, romance, humor, and surprises that I have been longing to see.

Clint's drunken escapade continues to reverberate
The fallout from Clint's drunken encounter outside Shelter continued to reverberate, all against a backdrop of Clint about to be honored as Man of the Year by the Llanview Veterans' Association. Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, Clint blamed Bo for arresting him and relished the opportunity to take potshots at his younger brother.

After calling Bo a "pompous ass," Clint let loose with this doozy: "You're a little worm hiding behind a little badge."

Bo challenged Clint to a fight, offering him the first punch, but Clint had a different sucker punch in mind. He told Bo how ashamed Asa would be of Bo for arresting Clint. Bo didn't argue back, probably because he knew that Clint was right.

Clint's escapade also put Viki in a difficult situation, especially after Clint's mug shot made the front page of the Sun. Viki and Jeffrey agreed to give the story a tactful treatment online while Jeffrey did some more digging for the newspaper edition. Unfortunately for Clint, Jeffrey found footage of Clint decking the bouncer outside Shelter -- which contradicts Clint's official statement that the arrest was nothing more than a "brotherly prank."

I doubt Viki would post the footage on the Banner's website, but you just know that it's going to go viral right as Clint is about to accept his award.

The interchange between Clint and David at the coffee shop was another highlight, with David reveling in Clint's misfortune as he read the Sun. "They have clearly Photoshopped the mug shot," David deadpanned. "You look much worse in real life."

When Clint tried to belittle David for reading the gossip rag, David quickly retorted, "I have my vices. Some of us read tabloids. Others down a fifth of scotch and wind up in the slammer."

After watching Clint go into damage control mode, David delivered a backhanded compliment, telling Clint that if being a blowhard billionaire doesn't work out, he can always teach a class in crisis management at the community college -- to which Clint could only reply, "David, go straight to hell." I was chuckling from start to finish.

Clint's troubles also spilled over into Natalie's budding romance with Cutter. After spending her first night with Cutter, Natalie awoke to learn that Clint had spent the night in jail. Assuming that Cutter's bouncer, Diego, had pressed charges, Natalie threw Cutter's clothes at him in anger. But I'm not worried. Now that Natalie knows the truth, there'll be plenty of time for her to make it up to Cutter and send his clothes flying in the opposite direction.

Dorian's interactions with Jack and Jo delight
I liked the interaction between Jack and Dorian outside the coffee shop, where Jack ran into his teacher, and Dorian instantly realized that "Miss Lane" was teaching Jack more than English. Jack could deny it until he was blue in the face, but his stammering and shiftiness told Dorian all she needed to know.

I appreciated that Dorian didn't berate Jack about the affair. Rather, it seemed that she genuinely felt bad for him. More than anyone, Dorian knows that having a tryst with a younger man seldom leads to a long-term relationship and usually ends in broken hearts for one or both parties.

Dorian also shared a memorable meeting with Jo Sullivan, the network executive who green-lighted David's new reality show. I chuckled as Dorian opened her door to find Jo standing there, saying how pleased she was to meet Dorian, only to have Dorian reply, "We haven't met yet." Minutes later, once Dorian had learned Jo's connection to David, she delivered a cool dismissal: "You may now leave my house."

But give a girl credit; Jo was not rattled. She explained the concept for David's new reality show and boosted Dorian's ego by predicting that the show will fail unless Dorian agrees to tell her side of things. Even better, Jo agreed to keep David in the dark about Dorian's participation.

Meanwhile, David faced the difficult task of breaking the news to Rama that there was no place for her in the show now that it's about David and Dorian's divorce. Rama hilariously explained that she was the third leg of the stool and that she needs to be a star. I predict that Rama won't take David's no for an answer.

Todd's goodbye tour leaves Blair in tears
Todd went on a goodbye tour to tell his loved ones that he was leaving town for a while, for reasons he couldn't quite explain. Each family member exhibited the proper response. Dani was sorry to see Todd go yet still a bit removed from the experience emotionally. Viki was a downright mess, having to say goodbye to her brother just as her life with Clint is falling apart in such a dramatic fashion. Jack expressed relief that Todd was going away, although deep down you just know that he will actually miss him. We even got a goodbye scene with cute little Sam, which brought back memories of Sam being Todd's only friend when he returned from captivity.

And then there was Blair. I have been quite vocal in expressing my opposition to having to endure another round of Todd and Blair, but the final scenes between these two revolving lovers were brilliantly executed. Kassie DePaiva and Roger Howarth channeled nearly 20 years of emotion into those scenes.

Lying on the couch, entwined in each other's arms in the afterglow of what could be their final encounter, Todd gazed into Blair's eyes and said, "We're doomed." Blair scolded him for joking, saying it reminds her of all the times he jokes when he's lying, but Todd quietly responded that he also jokes when he hurts. Wow! Then Blair expressed her amazement at everything Todd has done for her and their family, saying, "I've never seen this Todd before -- self-sacrificing Todd."

Of course, we viewers have seen self-sacrificing Todd before -- especially when he is trying to make amends for his colossal mistakes. Probably the most epic instance of self-sacrificing Todd was when he flew to Ireland to hunt down Marty Saybrooke because a young girl she knew was dying and then wound up getting shot and presumably killed by Irish terrorists who mistook him for Marty's lover, Patrick Thornhart. When he returned from the dead, only to find Blair and Patrick in bed together, that pretty much killed self-sacrificing Todd for quite a while.

But I digress. Back on the couch, Blair told Todd that she hoped fate has another ending in store for them -- and damn it, in that moment, I hoped the same thing too! Then came the real shocker -- we see that Todd and Blair are sporting wedding bands on their ring fingers, and Blair tells Todd that "we will always have our secret."

So Todd and Blair secretly got remarried. If you're keeping score, that makes marriage number four for Todd and Blair (six if you count the two times Blair married Victor, who believed he was Todd -- including the time Victor, as Todd, was pretending to be Walker).

Blair's decision to marry Todd at this point in time really shows that she has accepted him as her soul mate, despite the pain he has caused her in the past and in spite of the pain he will no doubt cause her in the future. She is owning her relationship with Todd, and I can respect that much more than Blair pretending that her connection to Todd is only about their children.

But will Blair and Todd get their happy ending? As Todd left Blair behind, he opened yet another note from the mysterious tattoo organization. This one had an address, 5316 West Gladys St., and a simple message: "Don't fail us again."

Is this the location where Victor is being held? The tattoo organization had ordered Todd to kill Victor once before. Are they telling Todd where to find Victor so he can finish the job? Assuming this is the last we will see of Todd for the time being, how long will it be before we learn if he does as directed on the note? Or will he use this information to rescue Victor and bring him back to Téa?

Jeffrey exposes a dark side
Of course, I can't forget to mention the real stunner in this week's episodes. We learned that Jeffrey has the tattoo on the bottom of his foot, signaling that he is somehow connected to this mysterious and dangerous organization.

The reveal was brilliantly executed and timed (and came as a complete surprise to this spoiler-free viewer). The show has been taking great pains to present Jeffrey as a stand-up guy who is a hard worker, a great roommate, and good kisser (as Destiny can attest).

Heck, earlier in the same episode, Viki rewarded Jeffrey with a promotion to director of online content, and Jeffrey excitedly remarked how he could kiss Viki for giving him the job. Her response was to present her cheek for a sweet kiss -- a tender interplay between a boss and young protégé.

Then boom! We learn that everything we think we know about Jeffrey may be a lie. I'll go out on a limb and wager that Jeffrey's ties to the tattoo organization aren't what they appear. What if Jeffrey is only pretending to be part of the organization so that he can expose the ringleaders and write a tell-all exposé that will nab him the Pulitzer Prize?

Certainly more of the picture will come into focus when we finally meet Jeffrey's benefactor, Carl Peterson, who is arriving in Llanview to keynote Clint's Man of the Year celebration.

Drew's medical emergency lacks emotional punch
The one misfire in this week's pair of episodes was Drew's medical emergency. On the plus side, it certainly provided some needed tension between Matthew and his new girlfriend, Michelle. All of Michelle's insecurities came to the forefront when she learned that Matthew and Destiny share a child together and then witnessed them pull together out of concern for Drew.

When Michelle tried to minimize Matthew's connection to Destiny and Drew by surmising that Drew was a mistake, Matthew's fatherly instincts kicked into gear, and he put Michelle in her place. Then as Michelle tried to worm her way into a tense moment, Matt showed her the door, telling her that "this is about family." Ouch!

However, Destiny's scenes at the hospital lacked emotional truth. I realize Laura Harrier is new to acting and faces the difficult task of replacing a likable actress, but she simply was unable to pull off the range of emotions a parent would feel at having to rush their three-year-old child to the hospital as he's having a seizure.

Somehow Harrier's Destiny always comes off as annoyed -- whether she's pissed at Matthew for bailing on babysitting duties, confronting Dani about her feelings for Matthew, or questioning a doctor about Drew's medical crisis. The writers would be wise to limit Destiny's scenes to interactions with family members and the budding romance with Jeffrey, because Destiny is likeable enough in those more subdued situations.

Four episodes left to go
Was I the only one shocked to read that OLTL will end its "first season" on August 19 (and All My Children will wrap on September 2)? Although Hulu has been labeling the shows as Season 1, I don't recall reading that there would be a break between new batches of episodes.

It makes me wonder if reducing each week's episode count from four to two was more about extending the season than some supposed desire by the producers to not overwhelm viewers. After all, the first season would have finished before Independence Day if the shows had kept up with their initial pace.

And with the actors just beginning to return to film new episodes, there has been no announcement of when new episodes will begin airing. I suspect Season 2 will begin before the first of the year, but other than that, your guess is as good as mine.

Frankly, I would rather the shows take their time to come up with compelling storylines and produce the best batch of episodes they can, rather than rush a mediocre season to air. That is a definite advantage of no longer airing daily on the network.

But at least I can honestly say that as OLTL races toward concluding this historic first season online, I'm suddenly more optimistic than ever for the show's future. I can't wait to watch what happens next, and that's the best feeling in the world.

Well, that's it for this week! Thanks for taking the time to read the column. I'd love to hear your thoughts, too, so please send me an email, leave your thoughts below in the comments section, or call our 24/7 feedback hotline at 267.341.7627.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.
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