One Life to Love
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September 20-24 1999

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Monday's show was a real edge-of-the-sofa nail-biter -- but could you believe they dropped the whole hostage drama until Wednesday!

After her ridiculous head-in-the-sand routine and blatant disregard for the oh-so-creepy vibes Brian was giving off, it was great to see Kelly calm and brave and using her brains again. She cleverly lured Creep Boy to Asa's lodge and then tripped the alarm to alert the cops. Too bad Joey almost ruined everything with his foolish heroics. Not that I blame him -- Joey was just being his usual true-blue heart-on-his-sleeve self (and, ladies, you gotta love a man that'll take a bullet for you) -- I blame the LPD.

I mean, come on! I've heard of volunteer fire departments but volunteer SWAT teams? This is Pennsylvania not Texas! Between Rae and Joey, the hostages were released, Brian was arrested, and no one got hurt (okay, John Sykes did help out a bit at the end). For once, Dr. Rae's bossy-boots attitude came in handy. It pains me to say so, but Rae did a great job of getting inside Brian's head and convincing him to let down his guard. On the other hand, her post-crisis mea culpas seemed less sincere soul-searching than a blatant bid for John's attention. How could it possibly be Rae's fault that Brian raped all those women!? All in all, I think it's a good thing Dr. Nosey will be visiting Pine Valley for a while.

Massive kudos to Gina Tognoni and Kevin McClatchy for their work in these scenes. Over the years, GT has grown into a first-rate performer, equally adept at comedy and drama. It's a mystery to me why prime-time hasn't snatched her up. When Kelly was trying to convince Brian that she had feelings for him (in order to buy time and control the situation), she was very believable, yet we also saw her "acting" the emotion and could read her thought processes just below the surface. And while McClatchy's Brian very effectively made my skin crawl, there was a troubling element of vulnerability and neediness to the character as well.

This may not be the last we see of Brian Harris. Seems the Llanview Public Defender's Office is overloaded with cases and he's been assigned an attorney from the private sector: one Nora Buchanan. Poor Nora! As she said, "I'm already the most hated attorney in Llanview." It's been years, but what she suffered, both personally and professionally, because of Todd Manning remains fresh in Nora's mind. Surprisingly, Bo seemed to have little sympathy when Nora expressed her fears about defending Brian Harris. I hope the writers aren't planning on having Creep Boy menace Nora to arouse Bo's protective instincts. If Bo and Nora get back together, it should be based on their love for each other -- not the result of manipulative plot devices.

I'm just wondering: Do all of Llanview's dramatic hostage situations have take place at Asa's lodge? (And don't forget, it was also the scene of the crime when Rachel delivered that Sammy Sosa-like blow to Georgie Phillips's head). In the interests of civic order, they should tear that place down!

TPTB at ABC have given OLTL's logo a facelift. Personally, I find it a trifle plain and lacking in distinction, but those new moody B&W promotional snippets are eye-catching -- very elliptical and postmodern. And yet I don't think it's wise for daytime to try to be too hip. I think soaps should proudly revel in their fabulous corniness. Call me a sentimental fool, but I still find myself humming OLTL's old '70s theme song "... cause, you've only got one life to live!"

This week, Dorian made great strides in reestablishing her old support system of cronies and co-conspirators. Good girl! It's been fascinating to watch Dorian and Lindsay rebuild their quirky friendship. Let's face it, neither one is the sisterhood type, but as true sisters under the skin, there's an honesty and acceptance of each other's character flaws that make this unique relationship work.

Both R.J. and Madame Delphina also were back in the inner circle. I love the instinctive bad vibes between these two. Guess the underworld and the "other world" don't mix too well. I mean, not just anyone can sweat Mr. Cool, but R.J. looked more than a little freaked out by Delphina's prophecy of doom.

Dorian called in Madam D. to conjure up the culprit in the Down-with-Dorian campaign. It took just a few words from Delphina for Dorian to leap to the conclusion that Viki is responsible. Talk about deja vu all over again! Ah, the rush of nostalgia at hearing Dorian accuse Viki of plotting against her. Is it true? Is Viki once again unraveling? I'm intrigued.

Well, color me fickle, but I am sooooo over my brief enthusiasm for Cris and Jess. It sure didn't take either one of them very long to look elsewhere. Hey, if they can't keep the faith, why should I? Oh, those youthful hormones! At least Jess kept things between her and Will to a kiss (and Kelly was right, Will does look awfully cute in those snazzy suits). Cris failed to display similar restraint. He knows Roseanne loves him and wants more than a friendship but that didn't stop him from helping himself to some lovin' when it suited his fancy -- men! Even sneaky little Rosie deserves someone who wants a real relationship not "freebee sex" when the mood strikes.

Tea continues to lose brain cells at an alarming rate. Let's see... R.J. is super tight with Dorian and you're investigating the judge who set her free -- any connection there? And did she really tell R.J. that Hank is "good" at his job? Now, I like Hank Gannon, but let's be honest -- has he ever won a case? Then she bragged to Nora that the case against Brian Harris is "open and shut." Excuse me, Tea, have you forgotten the legal concept of diminished capacity? Didn't your ex-husband Todd beat his kidnapping rap on that very plea? At least, Brian's looney tunes routine is genuine.

After finding out that Skye paid off the Nevada medical board to revoke Ben's license with cash supplied by Asa, Sam thought he had the upper hand. Too bad Ben and Sam came off like a couple of lightweights when they tried to play hardball with Skye. (Their good cop/bad cop routine definitely needs work.) Naturally, Asa made short work of their little scheme. A word to the wise, boys, if you want to take on Asa Buchanan, you'd better come loaded for bear.

Among this week's highlights was Viki and Nora's first meaningful encounter post-Dorian's sentencing. Nora was conciliatory but not overly apologetic -- after all, she was simply doing her job. And although Viki was pretty frosty at first, she ultimately made the classy gesture of offering the olive branch in the form of "let's do lunch." Considering the fact that these two once-good friends are currently dating brothers (again!), it was time to heal the breach.

The week ended with a fabulous cliffhanger -- but what does it mean? Is Jessica really Dorian's nemesis or is she trying to throw the scent off her mother?

Lastly, the week's bouquets and brickbats:

  • Drat! That little twit Julie was back on the scene. Lindsay better not catch her mooning over Bo -- she'll squash her like a bug!
  • Hmmm... wouldn't it be interesting if Skye and Lindsay became friends? When you think about it, they've got an awful lot in common. Neither one was ever quite good enough for those pedestal-worshiping Davidson/Rappaport brothers.
  • Gosh, Viki can't be too angry with Dorian. That was a very flattering photo in the Banner's story about Dorian's release.

  • Shouldn't Kelly be eating a lot more humble pie about her ridiculous defense of Brian in the face of all those warning signs?
  • Oh, those Llanview lovelies! Sometimes Catherine Hickland is downright dazzling -- those eyes, that hair -- and I loved Lindsay's LBD with its dramatic asymmetrical neckline. Skye also looked decidedly fetching in her pert new flip.
  • Anyone else think Viki seemed awfully blithe about Joey's injury?
  • LOL when Starr asked mommy if she and Max where looking for a "tape" -- I love those historical allusions.
  • Would Carlotta really have sent Cris off to NYC on his own like that? And what happened to staying with Abuelita?
  • How lame was it for R.J. to call Judge Peterson from the police station (!) to warn him to keep his lip zipped about the bribe to free Dorian -- is Randall James losing his edge?.
  • I'm glad Will is working for Asa -- this character needed something to do. It was fun watching him play wheeler-dealer with Dorian. And was Dorian flirting a bit? Guess old habits die hard.
  • How about Kevin and Grace's torrid makeout/skinny dip session 'neath the stars? Tim Gibbs's excessive avidity in scenes of this nature makes me wonder if a career in adult entertainment wouldn't suit him better.
  • Imagine that! Simpering little Grace actually asked Bo a few tough questions at the press conference about the rapist's capture, and it was pretty funny watching her choke down the news of Rae's heroics.

Till next week!

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