One Life to Love
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March 13-17 2000

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This week, Blair and R.J. received rude awakenings from Max and Tea -- people they loved and thought they could trust. They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. In this case, the truth hurts, but it also may set them free. Freed of the illusion of love, Blair and R.J. are recovering their essence and coming back into focus -- sharp focus.

As the week began, R.J. was on the boil over Tea’s disappearance. He was so incensed with the LPD’s perceived foot-dragging that he went off on Bo and things almost got physical. Too cool off, R.J. went to the Penthouse to see Roseanne where he ran into Antonio (still pretending to be Roseanne’s “friend”). When Antonio made the mistake of taunting R.J. about Tea, R.J. went for his throat.

After Antonio left, a messenger showed up with letters for both Roseanne and R.J. -- from Tea! The message to Roseanne contained the deed to the Penthouse -- Rosie was thrilled! The letter to R.J. was an apology and attempted explanation. Tea wrote, “How can I explain what I don’t fully understand myself.” Then she went on to say that she had loved R.J. and still does love him, but “the heart has its own truth.” Tea begged her former lover not to worry about her and wished him all the best -- she also enclosed a check for a cool million to help R.J. find his dreams. A disgusted R.J. quickly endorsed the check over to Roseanne (“buy yourself a new hat!”) and stormed off.

Tim Stickney was magnificent in these scenes. His wordless reactions while reading the letter expressed myriad emotions: pain, loss, anger, betrayal. I watched the scene three times and Midge is strictly an “in the moment” soap viewer.

Later, a newly flush Roseanne showed up at the diner decked out in a new $900 suit and boasting to the Vegas, “Who needs Regis when you’ve got a rich aunt with a guilty conscience?” Cristian told her Will’s signed affidavit would assure him an annulment, but Roseanne said she now had the cash to hire a dream team of lawyers to tie him up in court for years. When Carlotta asked why Roseanne wouldn’t give up on Cristian and pursue a “real” relationship like Andy and Antonio’s, Roseanne made a nasty crack about Andy playing “hide the nightstick” with her partner -- ouch! After Roseanne sashayed out the door, Antonio tried to explain to his mother and Cris how the pressures of law school had put a strain on his marriage.

Over at Crossroads, Skye told Ben and Max that any deal they made had better include her. Ben told Max to leave and then appealed to Skye’s softer side (does she have one?) Surprisingly, Skye agreed to keep Ben’s true paternity a secret but warned him to stay out of her business with Max. No problem, said Ben.

When Max returned, Skye put the screws to him. She telephoned Blair at the spa to spill the beans about her affair with Max. Max quickly hung up the phone and then proposed marriage -- how obvious was that! Sorely tempted by Max’s sudden offer, Skye agreed to give him some time (not much), to wrap things up with Blair.

Back at Serenity Springs, Blair was fuming over Skye’s phone call. Earlier, she’d complained to Kelly about Skye and Kelly had told her to wise up about Max. Then Kelly made her most astute comment in years: She told Blair she’d lost her edge and that living as a Buchanan had made her soft -- too true! And Blair knew it.

Thinking fast, Blair punched Caller I.D. and then headed over to Crossroads to confront Skye. When she got there, Skye and Max were in a clinch. But Blair still couldn’t believe Max would betray her. So she headed over to the Palace to have it out with Skye once and for all. Despite her promises to Max, Skye couldn’t resist gloating to Blair about her relationship with Max. When Blair accused her of manipulating a brain-damaged man, Skye dropped the real bombshell: Max is faking and I’m in on it! Just then Max showed up and Skye challenged Blair to a little game of Truth or Dare: I dare you to hide behind the bathroom door if you want to know the truth about your husband. Blair did and got an awful earful! Something tells me Blair’s gonna get her edge back fast!

Back at the hospital, it was do or die for Asa. Jessica’s flight to Mexico was cancelled and when she found out about Asa’s heart attack, she rushed to his bedside. Then Asa did something terrible -- even by Asa standards. Lying there, practically on his deathbed, he again lied to his granddaughter and claimed he had nothing to do with Will’s legal problems. Then Larry rushed him into surgery.

Meanwhile, Cris convinced Will it was the perfect time to take another crack at Asa’s computer. Real smart, boys! Why do they have to actually go to Asa’s mansion? Haven’t they heard of hacking? These days, any pre-teen with a mouse and modem can bring e-commerce to a screeching halt! Unfortunately for these two whiz kids, Jessica found them at Asa’s and called Bo. But when Bo arrived, he was more interested in finding out what they’d discovered (a mystery phone number) than in arresting the two intruders. Jessica was disgusted, so Bo again tried to explain why he believed Asa was involved. He also gave Jess a reality check about what life in Statesville would mean for a kid like Will.

Asa came through the surgery with flying colors (was there any doubt?). But in the recovery room he was plagued by anxiety dreams concerning his twisted familial bonds: Ben, Max, Bo: Who was family? Who was a stranger? Who was the enemy? Seems Asa had overheard the conversation between Max and Ben in the tack room -- but does he believe it? Coming to in a fog of medication, Asa urged Max to kill Ben. Finally, just to calm Asa down, Max agreed. Naturally, Bo overheard the conversation and lit into Max. Max accused Bo of disloyalty and Bo accused Max of manipulation and lies. These two used to be pretty good friends, now they can’t stomach each other.

Max finally came clean with Renee (well, sort of). He told her he had “remembered” what happened the night his aneurysm burst and admitted he’s not her son. When Renee asked him if he knew the identity of her biological son, sly Max chose his words very carefully, leading Renee to believe that he didn’t have that information. Liar! Always trusting, Renee took Max’s words at face value.

Viki told Kevin she wanted to meet with her doctor alone and asked him to round up Joey and Jess for a family meeting. Outwardly composed, Viki listened to her doctor’s recommendation: modified radical mastectomy of the left breast followed by chemotherapy. As prepared as she was, the news was still very difficult to hear.

Back at Llanfair, Viki told her children the truth about her diagnosis. Midge had her box of Kleenex ready and boy did she need it. Of course, Joey and Jess were devastating, hearing the news for the first time. Joey almost freaked out. Ultimately, they agreed to hold it together and present a united front for the sake of their mother, but when Viki asked them to keep this information in the family, Joey insisted he had to tell Kelly. After a brief family skirmish, Viki agreed. Then she told her children she didn’t want the cancer to overwhelm her life, that she wanted to keep working and continue, as much as possible, with “life as always.”

Ben is beginning to realize that something is going on with Viki (duh!). When Sophia showed up a Crossroads to ask for her job back (to supplement her meager LPD paycheck), she gave Ben a tart scolding for letting Blondie get away. Abashed, Ben went to Llanfair to try to work things out and apologized for pushing Viki away. As much as she would love to fall back into his arms, Viki doesn’t feel she can rely on Ben. Tearfully, she said she can’t let him back in her life right now because she needs all her strength for herself and her family.

Lindsay ran into Bo in the park. It sure looks like Bo is still crazy about her. When Will showed up, he tried to “encourage” his mom to come clean to Bo about the baby, but Lindsay wouldn’t fess up. Frustrated, Will agreed to help Nora in her “truth campaign.”

Snippets:

I think it’s great that Crossroads is re-opening with Sophia back in her element. I love her in the role of irritant. Her caustic comments were just the tonic Ben needed!

So how come Carlotta didn’t get a letter from Tea?

Come on, Antonio, why should Roseanne trust you -- she’s no dummy.

I think Carlotta was the only person who thought Tea and John Sykes made a good couple.

What was Tea thinking of sending R.J. a check -- too tacky!

It was nice of Bo not to arrest Cris and Will, just not terribly professional.

Come on, Jess, why can’t you cut Cristian any slack?

The writers are working overtime to pack Sam’s dialogue with phrases like “you’re my brother” and references to the “family gene pool.”

I love this confident new Roseanne -- now that’s she stopped whining and has some cash to back her up, she’s really kind of fun!

Although I don’t believe the story about Andy’s cheating, I do believe that Antonio’s pride and hot temper would get him into trouble at law
school.

Kevin wasn’t exactly honest with his mother. What went on with Kelly was more than just “a kiss,” he definitely got to second!

Felicity LaFortune did a very commendable job subbing for Hillary B. Smith. I thought it would be more jarring, but she made the transition as seamless as possible.


Till next week!

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