One Life to Love
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May 15-19 2000

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There may have been a few slow days last week, but things are rolling again - big time - with powerful old secrets finally emerging and intriguing new revelations to keep it all fresh. No, the show’s not perfect (what soap is?), but IMO, the Phelps-McTavish regime deserves heaps of credit for getting things back on track.

As the week began, R.J. was still ranting and raving about Bo when Rachel told him to put a cork in it for the sake of Nora's memorial. R.J. gave it his best shot, but when Bo took the podium and started eulogizing Nora, he lost it and started calling Bo a hypocrite and invoking Nora's lifelong passion for justice. Pretty soon, things had escalated into a free-for-all with R.J. thrashing around and accusing Bo of leaving Nora to die (while TV cameras recorded the whole incident). Even Nora's picture was knocked over. Finally, Sam gave everyone a lecture, and R.J. left in a huff.

R.J. and Roseanne went back to the penthouse, and there was a good scene where R.J. tried to explain his feelings for Nora to Roseanne. He told her that Tea, Dorian, and Nora had all believed in him, and Nora had been the first. Now, they're all gone.

Bo stopped by the penthouse to try and work things out with R.J. Bo admitted he in the wrong at Rhodi’s and apologized to R.J., but it was a case of too little, too late. R.J. is just too damned worked up right now to listen to reason. And it didn't help matters that Bo came off as sincere yet smug -- not an attitude that brings out the best in R.J., who responded to Bo’s request for a fresh start with an icy invitation to, "go directly to hell, sir."

After Nora's memorial, Max had a little chat with brother-in-law Antonio. Antonio didn't want to hear anything Max "Buchanan" had to say, but Max said DNA or no DNA, Andy will always be his sister. He encouraged Antonio to fight for his marriage and give Andy another chance. Antonio felt Andy should approach him directly -- not go through her brother. When Max asked if Antonio's "honor" was more important than Andy, Antonio angrily said yes. Max promptly pulled out divorce papers for Antonio to sign. Max has never approved of his sister's marriage to Antonio, and the show did a good job of using Max and Antonio's history in these scenes.

An upset and angry Antonio stormed over to the penthouse waving his divorce papers in Roseanne's face and blaming her for Andy's decision. Wrong! Roseanne stood up for herself (good girl), but Antonio wasn't in a listening mood. He nearly broke down in front of Roseanne trying to explain how much Andy meant to him. It was a moving speech, but if he's so committed to Andy, why has he been dawdling around Llanview?

Speaking of rocky marriages, Skye returned to Llanview to an unwelcome surprise: Max and Blair in bed. Blair thought Max would finally kick Skye to the curb, but Max asked her to stick around. He informed Blair that Skye was his "insurance policy." Privately, he told Skye he's just using Blair till he figures out what she’s up to (sound familiar?). So what's really going on here? Is Max lying to Skye to keep Blair satisfied or vice versa? Or is he scamming both women to keep all his options open? Does Max even know himself?

Later in the week, both Blair and Skye had planned intimate one-on-one evenings with Max – so whom would he choose? Lucky Max avoided the decision when Asa demanded his assistance. With Skye and Blair trying to out-vamp each other, Max can’t decide if he's died and gone to heaven or is inhabiting his own special circle of hell -- maybe a bit of both! After Max left, Skye and Blair got into another taunt-fest. I'd call it a draw, with Skye gaining a slight advantage by finding the legal document Blair gave Max taking full blame for the fake son scam.

There was a nice scene between Rachel and Kevin after the memorial. This isn't the same Kevin this particular Rachel was engaged to, but there was a nice relaxed chemistry between Ellen Bethea and Tim Gibbs. Their tête-à-tête was cut short by Jared, who means well but is coming on much too strong, especially given the circumstances ("Sorry your mom’s dead, wanna go out?")

Please don’t rush Rachel into a romance with Llanview's only available black man. Remember boring Ben and boring Tyrone? Let's develop Jared as an individual worthy of Rachel before pushing them together, ok? Besides, there are other options (Kevin, Antonio, heck, Joey might soon need a shoulder to cry on).

Back at the cabin (boring….) Will and Lindsay played catch up. Lindsay asked about Sam and Jen, but not Lindsay. When Will asked why, Melanie said she'd rather not talk about it. Interesting. When Will asked about Colin, Melanie indicated their relationship hadn't worked out the way she'd hoped. Also interesting.

After the memorial, Sam, Bo, Jess, and Cris went to the courthouse to plead Will's case before Judge Fitzwater. Bo took the stand and identified Asa as the voice on the tape just as his father entered the courtroom. Cristian and Jessica also testified as to the tape's content. Although he’s sympathetic to Will's plight, Hank continued to do his job and brought up an important point: Asa had been taped without his knowledge or consent (can you say "Linda Tripp"?). Then Asa asked to take the stand and told the judge he'd been confused by his medication, and Jess had misunderstood him. Bo stood up in court and said, "You make me ashamed to be your son," as Ben looked on, giving us a look that could be read as either "I have a painful secret" or "That third taco was a mistake."

Because of Asa's testimony, the judge upheld Will's conviction (for now). How much more can Sam take? How much more can I take? I'm sick of this story already!!

Afterwards, Asa approached Jess and magnanimously "forgave" her. A furious Jess told Asa she hates him and no longer considers him her grandfather.

I applaud the show's willingness to keep Asa so dark. Asa Buchanan is not some gruff-yet-lovable old coot; he's a dangerous man who does dangerous things. He has his own twisted moral code and answers to no one but himself.

After the hearing, Asa came home frothing at the mouth over family disloyalty and talkin' 'bout disinheriting everyone except for Max. No so fast, said Renee. Renee coolly suggested that Max dissuade his "Paw" from changing his will, or she'd be obliged to use her powers of persuasion (i.e., spill the beans about Max’s faux parentage). Max got the picture and assured Asa that the "other" Buchanans would eventually come around. I love the way Renee treats Max these days – like dirt.

Bo caught a fleeting glimpse of Melanie at the courthouse, but couldn't catch up with her. Then, Bo had a little chat with Hank about the mysterious Melanie. According to Bo, this lady has the right stuff. She's been in the right place at the right time saying all the right things. Hank gave Bo back his badge (boo!) I always like these Hank/Bo man-to-man talks. Bob Woods and Nathan Purdee really sell their characters’ friendship.

With Melanie on his mind, Bo returned to the inn and (after inappropriately flashing his badge) paid the innkeeper to give him Melanie's name. Then he headed for Cherryvale to find Dr. Melanie McGuyver and ran right into Colin. Bo asked for Melanie, and Colin got suspicious. When he asked what this was about, Bo said it was "personal." That really got Colin's dander up, but before he could find out more, Bo got a call from Lindsay and took off.

Back in Llanview, Melanie showed up on Sam's doorstep (actually Nora’s doorstep). He was surprised but happy to see his former sister-in-law. Melanie told Sam she had treated Will, and he appeared to be on the mend. A relieved Sam talked to Melanie about Nora and his feeling that she's still alive.

Thank heavens Melanie had the decency to let Sam know about his son's medical condition. I must say, Jess and Cris are a bit cavalier about that whole situation. Melanie wanted to tell Sam where Will was, but Sam felt it was better if he didn't know.

Patting Sam’s arm, Melanie wondered aloud how Lindsay would take the news about the hearing. That was the cue for Lindsay to walk in and snarl, "Why don't you take your hands off Sam and ask me yourself." Wow! What's this all about? Did Sam and Melanie have a fling or does this involve Colin? Lindsay continued to insult her sister, then demanded to know Will’s whereabouts. Melanie refused (taking Sam's position), so Lindsay lashed out at Sam and told him he couldn't "handle Asa" (true, unfortunately) because he does know how to "fight dirty" (also true).

Of course, Lindsay is an expert at fighting dirty, but if she thinks she’s a match for Asa Buchanan, she’s got another thing coming. Lindsay woke up to find Asa in her bedroom ready to deal. Seems Asa had put two and two together (not too hard) and figured out Matthew must be Bo's son. The two sparred a bit, then came to an agreement: If Lindsay can prove Matthew is a Buchanan, Will will walk. But Lindsay doesn’t trust Asa and demanded proof that he won't renege on his promise, so out popped the governor (!) with a document reinstating Will's plea bargain. But Lindsay refused to deal unless Will gets "no jail time." Asa agreed. Can someone explain to me why Lindsay would take the governor's word when he's just demonstrated he can be bought and sold at Asa's whim? Later, Asa told Max he has no intention of letting Will off the hook - unbelievable!

Now Lindsay has to find a way to tell Bo about Matthew without making him angry with her all over again. As Lindsay nervously awaited Bo’s arrival, "Nora" showed up (as a vision) and accused Lindsay of trying to steal her son. I hope this was just for dramatic effect and they’re not gonna turn Lindsay into a full-scale lunatic.

Not much happening with John and Rae this week (is there ever?). Rae helped John get settled back at his apartment. Actually, things were getting pretty embarrassing till Sophia showed up as comic relief. Aren't Rae and John a bit long in the tooth to act so coy and bashful around each other?

Viki went straight from Nora's memorial to her first chemo treatment at Cherryvale, under the supervision of Dr. Colin McGuyver. Colin discussed the procedure with Viki, doing his best to present a positive outlook. As Viki waited with Joey and Kevin, someone from the clinic came by to discuss the issue of hair loss and wigs, causing Joey to wig out and make a scene. Grow up!

Meanwhile, Ben had followed Jess to the clinic and saw what was going on in Viki’s room. I'm not the biggest Blendie fan, but my heart when out to Ben when I saw his anguished expression. Ben looked at Viki's chart outside her room - all is revealed. Ben vowed to be there for Viki, then dashed off! (!?)

Viki's first chemo experience was pretty harsh. I wonder if it's a good idea for all her kids to be in the room during these procedures. Isn’t that extra pressure on Viki to put on a brave front? Plus Joey's goofy New Age relaxation techniques are for the birds! Kevin told Colin to make his mother more comfortable, so Colin adjusted the dosage and told Viki to let him know if she feels any more pain. After Colin left the room, Kevin and Joey complained about his too smooth bedside manner. Jess and Viki stood up for him. Are we getting the picture yet? Colin is a "ladies man."

To bring home this point, there was a nifty scene between Colin and two nurses that provided insight into Colin and Melanie’s marital woes. Seems ol' Colin is an oh-so-charming serial cheater. Now I'm glad Bo and Melanie had their little hotel hokey pokey. Serves him right!

After getting the 411 on Blondie (finally!), Ben cornered Bo and asked him how he managed to live with himself being Asa's son. Come on, this is ridiculous! Since when are people solely judged and defined by the actions of their parents? Plus the fact that until he got the news, Ben believed his father was a mob boss. I mean Asa is bad, but is he worse than Tony Soprano? And what’s this eugenics crap about Asa's "blood" running through his veins? A better angle would be for Ben to fear that Asa would never stop trying to control his life - that's true! Then Ben dashed over to Sam's (where he met Melanie for the first time) and obliquely tried to prepare him for the news that he's Asa's son.

When Viki got home after her treatment (looking unrealistically like a million bucks, I might add!), Ben was waiting for her. "I need to talk to you." Sounds like reunion time to me.

Of course, the week’s big question was how long till Nora is officially resurrected? The near misses continue, and everyone's brain seems to be conveniently in mothballs to prolong the suspense

In a fog of medication, Nora had a frightening vision of trying to convince her family and friends she's alive. All week, Nora kept trying to communicate with Colin, but apparently there's something wrong with her speaking ability at the moment. Then, on the barest of pretexts, Nora was briefly moved into Viki's room, where a groggy Viki "thought" she saw Nora, but of course when she awoke, Nora was gone.

SNIPPETS

Wow – who else saw Kassie DePaiva’s new short haircut at the Daytime Emmys? I love short hair, but it’s gonna take me a while to get used to a Blair without her trademark cascading honey blonde locks.

When Sam asked Bo if "forgiving" Lindsay means getting back together with her, Bo didn't give a definitive answer.

As I recall, the last time Asa came before Judge Fitzwater, she put his sorry carcass in jail, and he made some rude remarks about the fit of her girdle!

Come on, Sam, you must have known the issue of the tape being made surreptitiously would come out in court.

Anyone else catch the appraising and appreciative glance Max gave Lindsay in her sexy black peignoir? Hmmm....

At times, Colin's unwillingness to let Nora communicate verged on the farcical.

Why is Ben so afraid Viki will freak out at the news he's Asa and Renee's son? HELLO? She was married to Clint Buchanan for years, and she's a very good friend of Renee's - what's the problem?

I didn't really appreciate it at first, but Melanie is a very pretty woman.

Can you believe Nora called Bo before Sam - this guy's getting shafted from all sides.

It's a relief to have Lindsay spewing venom at some other woman besides Nora for a change.

Lindsay's actions are almost making me wish that Matthew was Sam's.

OLTL is certainly getting their money's worth out of this Cherryvale set.

Darlene Vogel (Melanie) and Catherine Hickland (Lindsay) really do look like sisters.

Do they usually televise funerals in Llanview? I realize Nora was well known, but it's not like she's Princess Diana!

Bo looked pretty haggard at the memorial service, it’s about time he seems upset about Nora.

I didn't like the way Colin referred to Viki in the third person while she was sitting right there in front of him.

Will's "love" for Jessica is clearly obsessive and bordering on unhealthy. It must be frustrating for this capable young actor to play such a weak and passive character.

I was very impressed with Roseanne for sticking up for R.J. at the memorial. It certainly didn’t earn her any brownie points with the Vegas.

Even though his heart wasn't in it, Hank was still a pro during the hearing before Fitzy, raising important objections and drawing out key legal issues.

Viki must be feeling better to make that catty remark to Ben about Blair, telling him she knows he has "better taste than that" -- meow!

I love R.J. and think he got a raw deal over this assault by Bo, but it was inexcusable to make a scene at Nora's memorial. I don't care how angry he is, he should have put Rachel first. However, Tim Stickney continues to make R.J. a fascinating and (to me) sympathetic character even when his behavior is out of line.

Maybe Rachel and Roseanne could be friends. Rachel used to be pretty chummy with Tea.

Excuse me, but why was Roseanne at Nora's funeral? And where was Carlotta?

John has a pretty slick bachelor pad. LOL at the copy of True Police magazine Sophia was leafing through.

It’s interesting to me that R.J. seems more upset by Nora's death than Bo.

Can you believe that after all Sam's support, Lindsay would offer Matthew to Asa like that?

It seemed odd to me that Viki would be wearing a (relatively) low-cut sweater so soon after her surgery.

Wow! That was a really big photo of Nora at the memorial service.

Maybe it's time to explore the issue of Rachel's paternity again. Soaps like to use parallel stories and Bo/Sam/Matthew has a lot in common with R.J./Hank/Rachel.

I like the idea of Viki revealing her feelings through her desktop journal, but for maximum effectiveness, they need to use this device more consistently.

Why did the nurse admonish Nora to rest and then turn on the TV full blast?

How about Blair’s wild animal print sleeveless semi-backless top! Take that, Skye!

Nora sure has a flawless manicure considering all she's been through!

Till next week!

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