One Life to Love
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June 26-30 2000

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Kind of a so-so week, though there was some splendid stuff on Friday involving Blair and Max and Asa and Renee (especially Renee!). Sadly, I must once more lament: When will this teen tale end!? Also, Nora’s continued captivity is straining even this dedicated soap viewer’s willingness to suspend disbelief. It’s time to bring Nora home.

Program note:
Due to the conclusion of the Elian Gonzalez real-life soap opera, Midge missed most of Wednesday’s show.

Ben returned to Llanfair to find Viki in tears and Todd kneeling next to her. Assuming the worst, he grabbed Todd, ready to do battle. When Viki explained who Todd was, Ben wasn’t much friendlier. As Sam’s brother and Viki’s fiancé, he’s apparently heard a lot about Todd Manning.

Todd looked at Ben like he was a Martian and seemed both amused and embarrassed by Viki’s latest beau.

After a few warnings from Ben about hurting Viki, Todd took off. Then Ben comforted Viki about her hair loss, offering to shave his own head in sympathy.

Todd arrived back at the Black Dawn just as the teen trio was about to hit the road. He offered to help, but the kids said no dice. Jess said she couldn’t trust him, and Todd seemed genuinely saddened by his niece’s newfound cynicism. Then in a particularly clunky piece of plotting, a generic central casting bad guy showed up waving a gun and claiming to be a bounty hunter. Todd disarmed the creep, thereby winning the kids’ trust. Of course, it was all a setup, and Todd paid off his rent-a-thug. So now Todd’s in charge of the teen trio. Just what Jess needed – another wannabe alpha male thrown into the mix.

I’m not wildly enthusiastic about Todd’s involvement in my least favorite story. Do we really want to see Todd babysitting? And what’s his motivation? Is he doing this to win favor with Viki and Sam?

Todd told Jess about Viki losing her hair, and Jessica freaked out. When Cris and Will showed up, Todd spilled the beans about Viki’s cancer. So now everyone’s up to speed on Viki. Jessica ran off to be alone. After lambasting Will again, Cris ran after her. Todd seemed intrigued by Cristian’s remarks about Ben trying to get Will out of the country. Alone with Will, Todd led Will to believe he was helping them at Sam’s request. Will was doubtful at first, but Todd soon convinced Will (ever the dupe) of his sincerity.

Meanwhile, Cristian had found Jessica and did his best to convince her to go home to her mother, even offering to stay and help Will. Something tells me, Jessica’s Cris vs. Will decision is getting easier by the minute.

Back in Llanview, Rae’s plan to trick Daniel (by pretending she’d already found her daughter) was set in motion. First, Rae ran a column admitting that she herself was the woman in search of her daughter and revealing that the search had ended. There was a tiny hitch when Joey showed up, huffing and puffing about Kelly putting herself at risk, but he was quickly shouted down.

Later, as Rae and Kelly talked, it looked as though Kelly might indeed be Rae’s daughter. This isn’t too much of a history rewrite, since Kelly’s Cramer roots were always vague to begin with and not of long standing. What I do object to, however, is the almost complete negation of the loving, protective, and nurturing relationship Kelly had established with her mother Melinda during the abortive Labine era.

Eager for answers, Kelly and Rae headed off to Llanview Hospital, where a blood test revealed that Kelly is type O – an impossible genetic match with Rae’s type AB. But wait! – isn’t that Daniel lurking in the hospital hallway? Things may not be as they seem…

Thanks to Antonio’s coaching, Rae’s other surrogate daughter Sophia managed to ace her make-up test. Suddenly, these two are buddy-buddy. When Roseanne showed up at the LPD to offer a reward to bring Cris, Jess, and Will home, Antonio started dissing her again. Then he found out the reward was for information against Asa. Ooops! Antonio apologized to Roseanne and it looks as though she may be ready to forget about Cristian. After all this time, can she really move on?

When Roseanne noticed the new closeness between Antonio and Sophia, she looked a little concerned. Two seconds later, she invited Sophia to be her roommate at the penthouse. What’s up with that? Was the offer genuine or a way to keep tabs on the new partners?

I’m more than willing to have Roseanne give up on Cris, but this new nicey-nice Roseanne making nicey-nice with Antonio is a bit of a quick turnaround – don’t you think?

A few scenes earlier, R.J. had given up his civil suit against Bo. It wasn’t too much of a sacrifice since R.J. now has bigger fish to fry in his quest for revenge. He arranged a meeting with Jeff Barnes to work on Plan B. Too bad nosy Antonio was skulking in the bushes, ready to stick his nose in where it doesn’t belong.

Later in the week, Viki stopped by Sam’s and was surprised to find Melanie. Melanie brought her up-to-date about her former bond with Sam (sister-in-law) as well as her current one (divorce client). Viki asked Melanie if she could tell she was wearing a wig. Melanie said no. The two women discussed Viki’s feelings about this particular side effect and the cancer ordeal as a whole. Melanie is a good listener, but sometimes I find her responses a bit pat.

Next thing you know, Blair barged in looking for Sam. Melanie took Matthew to the park. Then Blair said she was going to tell Sam the truth about Ben’s parentage. Viki offered to continue bankrolling Blair’s revenge scheme if she kept her trap shut about Ben. Blair agreed. Viki mused that Blair and Todd are very much alike, perhaps a good match after all. Viki’s comment appeared to give Blair food for thought.

When Sam returned, Viki said they needed to talk – about Todd.

Last week, Sam had demanded Bo arrest Lindsay. What a great idea! Unfortunately, we all know that’s not going to happen. Sam made a few pointed comments about Bo’s "selective law enforcement" (right on!), then let the matter drop. I guess he just wanted to make a point. Sam continued to roast Lindsay and even revealed she’d slept with Colin. Bo looked shocked and sickened. I’m really enjoying this tough new Sam. He should get that rough with Asa! Bo left with Lindsay, and Sam apologized to Melanie for airing her family’s dirty laundry. Something in Melanie’s reaction made Sam realize Melanie and Bo have a history. Sam told Melanie Bo deserves better than Lindsay, then urged her to put herself first and forget about Lindsay’s so-called needs.

Back at the gallery, Lindsay tried to put a spin on Sam’s revelation by bad-mouthing Melanie. Wrong move. Bo cut her off and demanded to know what she was hiding. Lindsay tried to act innocent. Bo told her again that no matter who Matthew’s father is, she’s not his mother. Then he told her for the hundredth time to back off. "Sorry doesn’t cut it when you mess with people’s lives." Gee, Bo, isn’t this what Nora tried to make you see?

After Bo left, it was obvious that Lindsay is fast loosing her grip on reality. She thinks that with Nora out of the way, Bo is ripe for the plucking. Can’t she see how fed up with her he is? And can’t she see the way he looks at her sister?

Later, Bo and Melanie ran into each other at the Palace bar. My, oh my, these two are really on the same wavelength! Melanie continued to defend Lindsay, which only impressed Bo more. Bo told her he knows Lindsay tricked her into telling Sam about Matthew. Then Asa showed up and was rude to Melanie. He also told Bo to go after what was his – a pretty obvious clue he’s aware of what’s going on with Matthew.

With Nora getting better by the minute, it’s becoming harder to believe she cannot find some way of escaping Colin. But even if her body isn’t 100%, Nora’s mind is sharper than ever. As Colin was preparing for his meeting with Melanie and Sam. Nora offered him some "free" legal advice: cite Broadmoor Realty vs. Hal’s. And sure enough, Colin did. Much as I want Nora back in Llanview and back in action (and much as I’m longing for Lindsay to be exposed), I’m a little disappointed in Colin. Broadmoor Realty? That doesn’t even sound like a divorce case!

When Colin uttered those words, Sam got it immediately! (Doesn’t Sam seem like the smartest guy in Llanview these days or is he only smart in comparison with the rest of the town?) Sam demanded to know where Nora was, and threatened to choke the truth out of Colin if he didn’t start talking. It’s weird, but I don’t like Sam’s attitude toward Colin. It’s completely justified, but smacks of self-righteous overkill. Then again, I kind of like sleazy ol’ Colin.

To his credit, Colin barely flinched and claimed he’d copied down the wrong case reference during his legal research – a pretty flimsy excuse and Sam wasn’t buying it. Then Melanie came to her husband’s defense, telling Sam there is no way Colin could know Nora or be in contact with her (ha!). Sam calmed down and seemed to believe Colin had deliberately mentioned the case to rattle him.

Frustrated, Colin said he intended to file a counter suit about Melanie’s infidelity. Sam practically threw Colin out of his office (how unprofessional!). Melanie then confessed her one-time affair. Smart Sam immediately guessed that Bo was the "other man."

While Colin was in Llanview, Nora had encountered his cleaning lady. When Nora begged her to call Bo and tell him where she was, the woman seemed cooperative…

When Colin returned, he and Nora played a bit of cat and mouse about her clue to Sam. Nora acted nonchalant but couldn’t resist taunting Colin about the housekeeper. Colin summoned her and revealed to Nora that the woman knows only two words of English: "yes" and "okay." Nora’s disappointment seemed to fuel her anger, and she assured Colin he would end up in prison for kidnapping and a host of other charges she rattled off the top of her head. She then wondered if Colin would have to "get rid of" her to save his skin. Colin angrily told her "I would never hurt you!" Replied his prisoner, "What are you doing now?"

Back in Llanview, Bo went to the hospital to check on Matthew’s first DNA test. After verifying that Jeff Barnes was the technician in question, Bo asked if the samples could be re-tested. Sorry, but the hospital doesn’t keep samples past six months.

The next scene found both Bo and Sam standing before the new Nora Buchanan memorial plaque in the park: "In dreams and in love, there are no impossibilities." (nice sentiment, but it doesn’t really sound like Nora to me.) Bo told Sam he would petition the courts for another DNA test if he had to.

Sam said go ahead, but advised Bo that doing so would only implicate Lindsay and leave her open for prosecution. Bo continued to try to convince Sam to cooperate when Ben showed up and overheard the whole story. Reacting to the situation from his own perspective, Ben yelled at Bo and said being a father is about more than blood.

Over at Buke Manor, Renee overheard Max urging Asa to end the Rappa-Davidson feud and bring Jessica home. She was suspicious of Max’s change of heart and asked him pointblank about his ulterior motive. Max fed her a Grade-A line of bull about doing this for her. Renee didn’t believe him, but figured she would work with him if it meant an end to Asa’s quest for revenge.

The down-and-dirty diva-thon between Blair and Skye continued to pick up steam. Blair hit upon the clever notion of drugging Skye’s tea with sodium pentathol (aka truth serum) to find out where she had hid the damning document signed by Blair. Unfortunately, Blair’s plan worked a little too well. True, Blair got the paper back (and tore it into teeny-tiny pieces [assuming that’s the only copy]), but Skye’s truthful tongue turned her into a tattle-tale terror. Before long, Skye was critiquing Blair and Renee’s wardrobes and fessing up to all kinds of secrets, including the fact that Max isn’t Asa’s son.

Skye calmly explained to Asa that even though Max wasn’t his son, he loved him like a son, so Asa should be happy. Desperate for damage control, Blair claimed Skye had fallen off the wagon, and she and Max quickly hustled her out of the room. Asa seemed to buy their story, but who knows for sure. Upstairs, Max lit into Blair for drugging Skye. Fed up, Blair issued an ultimatum: her or me. Max wouldn’t bite, so Blair stormed out of the room, scooped up all the floppy disks she could find, and roared out of the mansion.

The next day, Asa got the surprise of his life when he saw The Banner’s latest headline accusing Max of being a phony Buchanan. Max couldn’t believe his eyes either! An angry Asa took off for The Banner with a nervous Max nipping at his heels. Guess what they discovered? Their front page was a phony (clever Blair!). Max was livid. When he caught up with Blair, he confronted her about the trick, grabbing her roughly in the process. So Blair delivered yet another ultimatum: Skye or me -- making sure Max realized his choice could make that phony headline a reality. Max warned Blair not to push him, Blair said he’d left her no choice. Things went back and forth between the two of them until Blair goaded Max into saying "Skye stays." True to her word, Blair left. I hope she’s serious this time. Good bye, Max, and good riddance.

Asa crowed in triumph at the news of Blair’s departure. Max’s response: "Shut up." Asa advised Max never to let a woman pull you around by the belt buckle. Then Renee walked in with her own ultimatum. She gave Asa one more chance to remedy the situation with Will and bring Jessica home, but Asa wouldn’t crack. Then with great dignity, love, and sadness, Renee said goodbye. "If you can’t support me, you don’t deserve me." Max urged Asa to go after Renee. Asa’s response: "Shut up."

Patricia Elliot was so wonderful in these scenes. You knew it was breaking her heart to leave Asa, but she couldn’t stay and still live with herself. At great personal cost, Renee did the right thing.

The end of Friday’s show found Renee sitting alone in the Palace bar, tearfully holding the baby boy Divine hospital bracelet in her hand, and wishing for her son. On cue, up walked Ben. I hope he tells his mother the truth!

SNIPPETS

Is that a brand new older Matthew? I hope not!

Will or no Will. Jess should be home with Viki.

I like Sophia, I really do, but she’s not exactly cop material.

Since when do Kelly and Rae have this super-duper bond?

Can you give someone sodium pentathol in liquid form? Doesn’t it have to be injected?

I’m really liking Blair’s new hair style.

Didn’t Rae tell Sophia she wasn’t the right age to be her daughter? Is Kelly that much older?

I hope everyone had a chance to catch Robin Strasser’s final hotline. I will miss this unique and intimate gift to her fans. Here’s hoping it won’t be too long before we see Robin back where she belongs – playing Dorian Lord-Hayes on OLTL! Llanview’s just not Llanview without Dorian.

Was Bo really entitled to review those initial DNA tests at the hospital? I don’t think so. He may have been one of the parties tested, but wasn’t the test made at Nora’s request? I think he would need a court order. Just another example of Bo’s abuse of power.

Rae would look so much better if she lost those stiff blond highlights and toned down the eye makeup.

Since when does Todd knock back the hard stuff?

New ABC daytime big wig Felicia Minei Behr has stated in the press that she finds OLTL "unwatchable." Funny, that’s how I felt about AMC when she was at the helm!


Till next week!

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