One Life to Love
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October 25-29 1999

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It was a dark and stormy night...

There were big doings at Asa's this week. Kevin and Grace's engagement party, which was supposed to signal a new beginning, instead brought a tragic end.

Viki and Renee cooked up a ridiculous scheme to use Kevin and Grace’s engagement party to build a bridge between Asa and the Rappa-Davidson's (as he calls them). Bad idea. And certainly unfair to make Kevin and Grace the guinea pigs in this experimental truce -- sacrificial lambs is more like it.

Renee knows Asa very well, so why did she think he’d respond well to manipulation and ultimatums? Of course, it didn't help when Ben and Sam waltzed in braying like a couple of jackasses. I mean, don't people have to want to get along for a truce to work? Neither Asa nor Sam and Ben seem to truly want to mend fences.

But before we contemplate the sad events that ultimately unfolded, let's tackle the fun stuff: Rating the party-goers’ attire.

Susan Misner (Grace) is a gorgeous girl, but her delicate beauty was sabotaged by an ill-fitting pantsuit of a muted slate-blue that did absolutely nothing for her. With it's sequins, long sleeves, and droopy cowl neck, the outfit was more suited to an older woman. And those lank locks of hers only made matters worse. She really needs a more polished look. Too late now...

Lindsay looked good, as usual, but I'd like to see her in something other than black (or white) for a change.

Nora was pretty in a plum sheath and matching wrap of an interesting rumpled texture (though I think she's worn this ensemble before). In all honesty, I have to point out that it was trifle snug around the mid-section. (meow)

Skye wore plum too with yet another new 'do. The lady's dress fit like a second skin with nary a stray bump or bulge, and her jewelry was the best of the evening. Too bad she’s all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Viki looked attractive in a deep rose dress and black wrap, though thumbs down on those puffy three-quarter-length sleeves. She wore a very pretty necklace and was showing some skin, but tastefully so.

Not so Blair, whose daring décolletage in a low-cut velvet gown with rhinestone spaghetti straps was enough to frighten the horses. Whoa, Nelly!

Perhaps someone needs to have a word with the on-set catering because Kelly's dress also seemed a tad tight (or maybe wardrobe needs to do a better job with their fittings) With its funky hot pink Oriental print and lingerie-style black straps, the dress was a bit out of place at an intimate semi-formal family gathering.

Best-dressed honors went to Renee and Jessica. Renee was stunning and sophisticated in a black cocktail dress with sheer sparkly sleeves and upper bodice. But Jess was the real surprise of the evening, looking absolutely va-va-va-voom in a form-fitting black slip dress of a pretty floral print with a sweet pink sweater to keep things age-appropriate.

Of course, Asa was fit to be tied having to play host to his worst enemies, but Renee stood her ground and told him to get over this "stupid, trumped up feud." Fat chance. After Sam delivered a heartfelt toast to the happy couple, all eyes turned to Asa, who muttered with dry disgust, "Here's mud in your eye" and stalked out of the room. As they say, “You can lead a horse to water...”

Will came to the party at Jess's request and, naturally, was abominably rude to his father. This young man’s churlishness is really working my nerves. I can't wait for Asa to squash little "cockroach junior." Bet he’ll come crying to daddy then!

Wise guy Jackie McNaughton also showed up to ruffle Ben’s feathers. Interestingly enough, Ben wasn't too forthcoming with Viki about the identity of his former "acquaintance."

I realize Max could give two hoots about Ben Davidson, but I thought he liked Viki. Instead of feeling bad about his role in bringing Ben's old mob crony to town, he seemed to be having a good laugh at Ben and Viki's discomfort.

At the party, Lindsay had another fainting spell. Is she pregnant? Nora hopes not. What's up with Bo? He's so cold and selfish lately. After he took Lindsay back to his new place and she assured him she wasn't pregnant, he told her he was glad because he just wanted it to be the two of them. But what if she is pregnant? Is she supposed to get an abortion to please Bo?

Asa's private dick arrived during the party to deliver the goods on Grace. The dirt consisted of phone transcripts of calls between Grace and Daniel plus old (pre-Kevin) bedroom photos of Grace and a bunch of different mobsters (apparently, Hugo insisted that Grace “entertain” his business associates). When Asa confronted Grace, she ran outside to a brand new set, some kind of construction taking place on Asa's grounds (renovations to the old summer house). Asa followed her, and Grace surprised me by acting pretty spunky and standing her ground. And after all, the photos are old, so why should Kevin hold that against her? It's not like he's fresh out of the seminary himself! Then, Asa locked Grace in (or maybe it was an accident) and stormed off making threats.

Revisionist history alert! For the record, I have to note this convenient rewrite of Grace's past. Hugo Monroe pretended to be a wealthy businessman. He raised Grace in the lap of luxury, sending her to exclusive private schools, nothing but the best. So what's all this about forcing her to bed down with mobsters?

Meanwhile, Rae showed up (Asa had called to say he had news about Daniel). Though Max tried to give her the bum's rush (for some inexplicable reason), the queen of woman's intuition stuck around long enough to confront Asa. Naturally, she picked up on his heavy anti-Grace vibe, noticed the plaster stains on his overcoat, and made a bee-line to the old summer house.

While all this was going on, Kevin finally noticed that his fiancée was gone. But instead of doing a little basic detective work (i.e., is her coat gone?, her purse?, her car?), he just took Asa's word that she had left the party and gone home. I mean, how come ol' Rae was able to figure out that Grace was at the construction site from the small plaster stain on Asa's overcoat?. Gee, Kev, use your reporter's instincts! Follow the clues like Rae did. Asa came in all wet and muddy, put two-and-two together! Later on though, it was pretty sad to watch poor Kevin wandering around in a panic, nuzzling Grace's evening bag like a forlorn puppy dog. And I have to give him credit for staying loyal in the face of those humiliating photos.

Anyhow, by the time Rae found her, Grace had fallen through some missing floorboards in an attempt to get out. But instead of immediately going for help, Rae climbed down after Grace and decided to bond with her. I guess it was nice of Rae to stay and comfort Grace, but wouldn't going for help have resulted in a happier ending? Talk about killing someone with kindness! What Grace really needed were paramedics not psychobabble. And when Rae couldn't get through to John Sykes on her cell phone, why didn’t she try another number? The sensible thing to do would've been to bundle Grace up in that big red cloak and go for help. Rae’s sudden onslaught of maternal nurturing was weirdly intense. As she cradled a whimpering Grace in her arms, stroking her face, I felt that at any moment she might start breast-feeding the poor girl!

I actually feel a bit bad about Grace's fate. I wish it had been quicker -- this lingering stuff was hard to take. A swift smart blow to the head would've been infinitely preferable to her tortuous departure. And why couldn't she go with some spirit and courage instead of whining and mewling? By the end, I felt like "Put her out of her misery or put me out of mine!"

You know, I really can't blame Asa completely for Grace's death. Her attempts to get out were pretty foolhardy. Why not sit tight and wait for help? Personally, I think it's largely Renee and Viki's fault. Their silly forced truce was a recipe for disaster.

Even though the Grace/Asa stuff dominated the week, other storylines weren't forgotten. Back in NYC, Cris found the cash Will had given Roseanne and gave her the third degree, hectoring the poor girl mercilessly. Roseanne came up with a plausible excuse (she said Tea gave her the cash), but Cris insisted on returning the money. Why does he get to decide whether or not Roseanne can accept a loan from her aunt? What really makes me mad is that Cris is so obviously looking for an excuse to ditch school and NYC and boogie back to Llanview and Jessica. That's fine, but at least be honest!

Actually, why didn't Roseanne just borrow the money from Tea? After all, Auntie Tea is loaded after her marriage to Todd the terrible tycoon.

Later in the week, Roseanne gave Cris an ultimatum: Leave for Llanview and you leave alone. And guess what? The big baby decided to stay. Honestly, for years now Cris has been dreaming of going to art school in New York -- how did he think he was going to pay for things? Get real, kid.

I know Roseanne's not everyone's cup of tea, but Erika Page is doing an excellent job. Her portrayal of a insecure young woman who's put her whole self into the fantasy of her “dream relationship” is really quite touching.

Back at the courthouse, Tea tried to pull a tough cookie routine with R.J., but quickly turned to mush. What's up with her? R.J. is a really good liar, but doesn't he realize that conning Tea ultimately won't work? He needs to find a woman who appreciates him for who he is, not some goody-two-shoes wannabe. I hear Skye Chandler's available...

Both Roseanne and Tea need some major self-esteem therapy. Masochistic self-sacrifice is not love! And what is Roseanne thinking of keeping the truth about R.J. from her aunt!?

What the hell was Nora blathering about to Kevin and Viki? Check the calendar, dear. It's 1999, the cusp of the millennium. Women are keeping their careers and personal autonomy even after marriage, and they have been for the past 20-some years. Nora is feeding Sam (and perhaps herself) a cock 'n' bull story with all this fear-of-marriage stuff. Face it, lady, you're still "jonesing" for your ex in a big way.

And here’s my final two cents:

  • What was with Will's hair on Monday's show? Shades of Something about Mary!!
  • Were Kelly and Joey really gonna get it on in one of Asa and Renee's spare bedrooms? Talk about making yourself at home! With manners like that, these two are off Midge's guest list permanently!
  • Blair told Skye that Viki was "twice the woman that you'll ever be." Ouch!
  • What a missed opportunity at the party. I kept hoping for a scene between Kelly and Max and Blair -- no such luck.
  • How about Rae's big Red Riding Hood cape?
  • How tacky of Will to take Jessica back to Asa's hunting lodge. And doesn't that place have any security?
  • Skye's fantasy about Ben generated more heat than all the Blendie encounters put together.
  • Please, OLTL, go easy on the flashbacks of Grace dancing!
  • Did Nora really say "I'm thinking about how powerfully erotic a storm can be?" Ewwwwww!
  • Jess and Will are growing closer, but it's all about rebound.
  • Soaps are the worst advertisements for cell phones. They never work in an emergency.
  • Being stuck in the rain did wonders for Rae and Grace (the healing power of water?). Maybe Sam and Asa should get trapped in a storm drain?
  • Talk about abuse of power! On what grounds does Bo think he can arrest Asa. We all know it takes three days for someone to be declared a missing person. Where's the evidence that justifies his arrest and search warrant?
  • Ben in his bellowing blustery mode is always good for a laugh. Frankly, I've seen Joey act more realistically menacing. Later, Sam and Ben tried to strong-arm Asa -- more giggles.

Till next week!

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