One Life to Love
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April 24-28 2000

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Moving into sweeps week, the pace of the show is (IMO) downright thrilling! Will was snatched from the brink of disaster by another disaster that threatens the life of one the OLTL’s most beloved heroines *gasp*, while a mother and son, long-separated, seem destined for sweet reunion *sniff*. And that’s just the beginning!

It’s too bad blabbermouth Blair couldn’t resist gloating to Max about Renee telling Cris where to find Asa. El Jerko Max accused Renee of betrayal, but Renee stood her ground. Max tried to call Asa, but Asa was busy with Jess, so Max took off to help "Paw."

After Max left, Renee poured herself a stiff one and began ruminating about the changes in Max. Was it all due to the brain damage she wondered? Finally, Blair could take no more and clued her in about Max’s little "performance."

Meanwhile, Jess managed to snow Asa into thinking she was 100% behind his plot against Will. She said she was in love with Cris and thanked Asa for getting rid of Will. Then she asked Asa to help them rid of Roseanne and pretty soon Asa was confessing to the whole plot against Will. I realize Asa has a soft spot for Jess, but there is no way this tough old buzzard would be taken in by Jess’s rather transparent machinations. Asa is not that stupid – not by a long shot! And I don’t see honest Jess pulling a Linda Tripp routine.

At any rate, no sooner had Asa spilled the beans (Jess got it on tape), when Maddening Max showed up to spoil things. He grabbed the tape from Jess and played it for "Paw." Asa acted hurt, but Jess stood up for herself. There was a struggle and Jess issued an ultimatum to Asa: If you love me, give me the tape. Asa wouldn’t budge and tossed the tape out the window. Not the smartest move, since Jess and Cris managed to find it in the dumpster below. But is it still in working order? Even more important: Is such a tape admissible in court?

Back in Llanview, the Sword of Damocles (i.e., a one-way ticket to Statesville) hung over Will. As Bo comforted Lindsay at the gallery, the doorbell rang insistently, but when Lindsay answered – surprise – it wasn’t Melanie, but Nora, Lindsay’s least-favorite person (with the possible exceptions of Asa and Judge Simmons).

Nora was the bearer of (what else) bad news: their immediate appeals on Will’s behalf had been denied and other legal options would take time. Face the facts: Will is going to Statesville. Bo promised to accompany Will on the train (why a train? you’ll find out soon enough!) and Nora said that as Will’s attorney, she would go as well.

After Bo left, Lindsay accused Nora of helping Will just to get next to Bo – oh, please, Lindsay! What does she think? That Bo and Nora will be playing footsy over drinks in the club car on the way to Statesville? Grow up, girlfriend!

But Lindsay was just warming up. She went on to accuse Nora of "killing" her baby because the child would come between Nora and Bo. Nora countered by accusing Lindsay of deliberately taking Matthew to scare her. Things escalated till finally Nora shouted, "What do we do to make this stop?" Lindsay snarled: "You have to be gone for good." Nora looked shaken and left.

After deciding against the visit to Lindsay, Melanie wandered the docks deep in thought (as people are wont to do in Llanview), and soon ran across John Sykes who recognized her from the country inn (where she’d given him a bum steer about Bo). John acted mildly flirtatious, offering to escort her to a safer area, but Lindsay brushed him off.

Viki was at her home computer researching the effects on chemotherapy – not the most cheerful subject -- when Melanie called and Viki asked her to come over. When Melanie arrived Viki said she was ready to see her breast reconstruction. Melanie removed the bandage and Viki looked in the mirror (off camera, of course). A shaken Viki whispered softly, "It’s not me." But Melanie assured Viki her appearance would improve with time. Then Viki talked about Ben and Melanie talked about Bo. I’m not sure I buy the instant intimacy between these two women, especially when one of them is the ultra-reserved Victoria Carpenter. Still, Melanie isn’t intrusive and pushy like Rae, she’s a gentler presence and Viki certainly does need someone she can talk to.

As promised, Bo visited Judge Simmons and quickly laid his suspicions on the line about Asa’s involvement. The judge got real mad, real quick – end of discussion. Then Bo showed up at Sam’s cell and a frustrated Sam lit into him for continuing to maintain a relationship with Asa despite his behavior (huh? last time I checked, Bo and Asa were still estranged). Sam wigged out and started flinging stuff around his cell. That didn’t last long (Sam is basically a reasonable guy). Nora comforted Sam while Bo looked on. Sam apologized for going off on Bo.

With the clock ticking, Will spent time with his father (in his cell) playing cards and eating pizza (courtesy of John Sykes). Kale Browne was impressive in these scenes. Sam was honest, loving, and hopeful with his frightened son. Later, alone in his cell, Sam swore an oath, "Asa Buchanan, may you fry in the murkiest recesses of hell." Even a reasonable man has his limits.

Meanwhile, Kevin and Ben also paid a visit to Judge Simmons (boo!). Okay, I can understand the judge agreeing to meet with a reporter, but why would he talk to a bartender? Kevin got tough with the judge and showed him a paper trail of evidence leading straight from Asa to the judge. Kevin told Simmons to let Sam out of jail now – or else show up on the Banner front page. Then he said they’d talk again about Will’s sentence.

Roseanne sashayed over to the LPD stationhouse to give her statement about the Bo/R.J. fight. Naturally, R.J. was there to make sure she told the truth. Also on hand was Antonio, who continued to flirt with his sister-in-law (who does he think he is -- Kevin?), prompting clever Roseanne to mail Andy the photo booth shots of her and Antonio to Andy – touché!

As Will’s departure drew neigh, Lindsay tried one more time to convince her son to run away, but Will stood firm. Fearful and angry, Lindsay lashed out at Will for his stupidity in getting into this mess then quickly apologized for her rash words. Memo to Lindsay: you just can’t spew forth hurtful and wounding words every time you feel stressed and then expect a simple "I’m sorry" to make things right again.

At the station, Lindsay clung to Will for dear life, then as the train pulled away a door with bars shut Lindsay out. It was a nice dramatic touch, though I’ve never seen such a door at a train station in my life!

On board, Nora and Bo sat together while Sykes babysat Will. Bo told Nora, "Sam is lucky to have you." Nora replied, "Sam doesn’t ‘have’ me. Sam doesn’t want me until I settle things with you." Gee, Nora, is this really the time and place to hash out your screwed-up love life?

But Nora wouldn’t take "no" for an answer and told Bo, "A part of me still loves you and a part of you still loves me." Bo told Nora his feelings for her are a thing of the past and urged her to move on. Nora said she can’t move on until Bo forgives her. Bo said he’s tried but can’t, then told Nora to forgive herself. Crushed, Nora walked away.

Suddenly Cris and Jess showed up on the train (they’d boarded at Center City) and played the tape of Asa’s confession. Jess asked Bo to set Will free. Hello? Someone better send these three back to high school. Don’t they have any idea how the legal system works? New evidence or no new evidence, it looks like Will’s still going to Statesville. But wait! There’s a truck stuck on the tracks…

CRASH! The train derails and there’s smoke everywhere. Bo gives Jess the keys to unlock Will’s cuffs (why? It’s not like he was handcuffed to the seat or railing?), then dashes off to find Nora. After Will, Jess, and Cris make it outside, Jess encourages Will to make a break for it. Good idea! (Hmmm, did she just rent The Fugitive?) Actually, maybe it’s not a good idea – won’t running away just add to Will’s legal woes? But Will’s too woozy to make it on his own, looks like all three will go on the run.

Back at the gallery, Sam did his best to support Lindsay and keep her spirits up, but when Lindsay started spewing that same old anti-Nora venom, Sam got fed up. He told Lindsay she needs help and he doesn’t want her around Matthew. A furious Lindsay screamed at Sam to "get out!" With a wife like Lindsay, it’s no wonder Sam carried a torch for Nora all those years!

When Lindsay heard about the crash on the radio she dashed over to Sam’s, then Ben showed up and all three took off for Cherryvale (arriving there in record time I might add). Of course, the police wouldn’t allow them near the scene, so they had to play the waiting game at a local inn (I think the same one Bo and Melanie got down in -- ewww).

Back had the crash site, Bo found a bloody and unconscious Nora trapped in a car with sparks flying and gas leaking. Nora drifted in and out of consciousness, but came to long enough to tell Bo about Lindsay’s pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage. She begged Bo to forgive Lindsay. Bo dashed out to find help. He managed to commander a Jaws of Life and headed back to help Nora, but there was a huge explosion – is it too late?

I wondered at the plausibility of this flaming train scenario, so I consulted with a friend of mine who’s an expert in the field of rail transport. Here’s the 411:

"The only combustible fuel on (an American) train is on the engine. Everything else is either run by air or electricity. It is possible that a train would catch on fire due to an electrical short. If there was a derailment, it is most probable that the electricity would be cut off as the train splits in two. The train cars are connected like Christmas lights. When one goes out, they all do. If the characters are near the engine, the fuel tank could rupture and a fire break out. If they are in a passenger car, and the "hotel power" is down, then it is a safe bet that they sparks are phony. I have seen a fire break out in the trains batteries, (for D.C. power) but that was a fluke and on the really old Amtrak cars from the 50's. A chef I worked with died in a fire which started in the dorm car when something caught on fire next to the wall heater. So, as you can see there is a wide variety of scenarios which can be called upon to support a bogus derailment fire danger "

-- Thanks, Mart!

When Max slithered back to Buke Manor, Renee was waiting for him. Fortified by a few cocktails, Renee toyed with Max for a bit, watching in bitter amusement as he dug a deeper and deeper hole for himself. Then she let him have it: "What a long time you’ve had to make a fool out of me." Max tried to wriggle out of it by trashing Blair’s credibility, but Renee hung tough. She told Max that she’d made a "raw, stupid deal" by accepting him as her son. Then she accused Max of only looking out for number-one and lying like "a sniveling coward." So what did ol’ Maxie do? He kept right on lying! He claimed he’d done all this out of love for her and Asa, and when Renee said she would tell Asa the truth, Max threatened to tell Asa she had lied to him.

These scenes between Max and Renee were second-billed to the main story (Will’s trip to Statesville) but I feel they were more important and completely electrifying. Renee has played the fool long enough and it’s wonderful to see her react with full-force fury and disgust to Max’s lies and manipulations. Renee then demanded that Max reveal the identity of her true son. A quick-thinking Blair called Ben.

When Ben arrived it looked for a moment like Renee was going to put two and two together. Ben told Blair to keep him out of it and apologized to Renee. Max carried Blair upstairs to keep her from blabbing the truth about Ben. After Blair and Max left, Renee asked Ben to stay. She apologized about Max and Asa’s actions and Ben apologized for what happened with Asa in the tack room. Come on, Ben! Doesn’t Renee deserve to know the truth? Soon Renee was confiding in Ben about giving up her son and explaining what it had cost her. Ben was in agony! For some reason, Ben’s feelings for Renee seem more real to me than his love for Viki.

One question: Did I miss the part where it was revealed that Ben knows Max isn’t Asa’s son? Knowing about the fake brain damage and knowing about the fake paternity are two different things.

Renee and Ben had a real heart-to-heart and Renee kept talking about how "connected" she felt to Ben and mentioned their "common bond" (being from Nevada -- !?!), but somehow didn’t make that all-important leap.

Upstairs, Blair and Max continued to make war not love. When Max threatened to divorce Blair, she replied, "I’m not through torturing you." Blair said she’d go to Asa if Max ended their marriage. As Max stormed off, Blair screamed, "I hate you, I’ll always hate you, till death do us part." This twisted twosome is too much fun!

Max tried to make up with Renee, but she stood her ground. He even had the nerve to call her "Ma". Renee’s response was instantaneous: "I am not your mother and I don’t want you to ever use that name in my presence again."

Wise up, Max. Blair and Renee don’t have a problem, the problem is you – you’ve changed from a loveable rogue to a cold-hearted rat bastard.

SNIPPETS

I loved how the stationmaster announced the Will’s train’s route: Center City, Cherryvale, Pine Valley, Statesville, and Harrisburg! What? No Port Charles?

Gee, once Nora needed rescuing Bo was all interested again? Every time I think these two are over for good, something happens to change my mind – that’s what makes a great soap saga!

How about Bo’s nod of approval as Cris, Will, and Jess made their getaway!

I don’t know what Sam and Nora pay Marianne, but they should considering doubling it!

Geez, Lindsay –ever heard of looking on the bright side?

How lame was it for Will to write "Jess" on the dusty train window?

Rae’s back in Llanview. Is it too rude of me to say, "Who cares"?

Maybe Jess won’t choose either Will or Cris. A fresh start might be a good idea all around.

I thought Lindsay was nuts when she accused Nora wanted to go with Will to Statesville to be with Bo, but she wasn’t far off, was she?

If Jess does choose Will, maybe it’s time for Jennifer Rappaport to pay a visit to Llanview to comfort Cris.

How great is it that Renee has finally wised up to Max? And how great is it that Pat Elliot has a front-burner story with such strong material?

Ben characterized Blair and Max perfectly: "Those two live in a world I never want to visit."

I got pretty misty-eyed as Nora prayed for someone to watch over Rachel and Matthew – not knowing if she would ever see them again.

Why doesn’t Ben want Renee to help him get his medical license back?

Quit lying to yourself, Bo. You still have feelings for Nora or you’d be able to offer her the forgiveness she needs to move on.

Was I seeing things correctly? It looked to me like Bo was ignoring other injured passengers in his search for Nora.

LOL at Blair’s Bill Clinton reference.

IMO, Asa and Renee do NOT have a great marriage.

I still can’t believe Antonio would lie to the cops about what happened at Rhodi’s. I don’t care what R.J. said, Bo had no right to respond with his fists!

I loved it when R.J. reminded Antonio about selling his soul to Carlo Hesser!

For a moment, I wondered if "something" was going to happen to Will at Statesville. Wouldn’t that be a daring storyline!

Wow, Jess called Asa a "creep."


More changes to the opening montage: Antonio is now present and accounted for, new Sam pix, (and new Renee pix?) and – sadly – no more Dorian *sniff*.

So who is Melanie’s mystery phone caller? Husband? Lover?

Sam’s right, Asa *is* a piece of work, but let’s not forget that Sammy’s dear old dad was a mob boss!

Isn’t there a nurse at Llanfair to help change Viki’s bandages and stuff like that?

Don’t make promises you can’t keep, Nora. Don’t promise Sam he can believe in you if you’re still hung up on Bo.

I love Blair, but she’s hardly the one to lecture Max about "common decency"!

For a second there, I thought Sam and Nora were gonna get busy right in his cell!

Describing her mystery man (Bo) to Viki, Melanie said that they "connect on a very basic level." Is that what they’re calling it these days?

So why didn’t Lindsay take the train with Will to Statesville too?

How dumb were Max and Asa tossing the tape out the window instead of destroying it. Plus: Couldn’t Jess still testify to what Asa told her?

Stellar editing on Tuesday’s show as the minutes counted down to Will’s Statesville deadline.

Till next week!

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