One Life to Love
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November 22-25 1999

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For Thanksgiving week, OLTL daringly eschewed the usual heartwarming Hallmark moments to give viewers a realistic portrait of family togetherness, both functional and dysfunctional. The writing focused on the sad fact that holidays aren't always a time of healing, with some Llanview families able to find the strength to pull together, while others continued to tear each other apart.

There were three groups of families showcased on Thanksgiving: The Country Club gathering (Bo, Lindsay, Nora, Sam, Ben, Viki, Jess, Will, Hank, Lisa, Joey, Kelly, and Kevin); the Vegas and Delgados, with "special" guest R.J.; and those waiting at the hospital (Asa, Renee, Blair, Dorian, Starr, and Nigel). And one more "family" of sorts: John, Sophia, and Wally, who were rescued from bad Chinese takeout when a scrumptious catered turkey dinner arrived, courtesy of the absent Rae.

But before I give you the complete Turkey Day report, let's run down the events leading up to the holiday because it was a very busy week!

Viki and Skye locked horns over Kevin as Viki (understandably) jumped to the conclusion that Skye was up to no good. Personally, I much prefer Viki and Skye at odds over Kevin rather than Ben. With Kevin, Skye has a real opportunity to do some damage (something that was never possible with the rock-solid Blendie duo). Though I had to laugh when Skye accused Viki of being "afraid" of her -- Skye and her silly schemes are no match for the mighty Queen Victoria.

I do think that Skye is legitimately concerned for Kevin (though Viki's annoyance is certainly icing on the cake). She sees in Kevin's broken heart and self-destructive drinking echoes of her own experience, both past and present. And Skye has a new ally: Dorian (who decided to "befriend" Ms. Chandler as a favor to Blair). I realize it's a complete about-face from her attitude of a few weeks ago, but Dorian mentoring Skye works for me. Right now, I don't think Dorian's serious about helping Skye break up Ben and Viki, rather, she's trying to distract Skye from the Blair/Max/Asa/Renee situation. I loved it when Dorian shot down her new protege: "Don't manipulate me, you lack subtlety." It was a dead-on assessment of Skye's weakness as a troublemaker.

Afraid (hoping?) he might be feeling a few mixed emotions, Nora talked to Bo about her engagement to Sam. But instead of sadness and regret, Bo seemed genuinely happy for her and eager to put the past behind him and focus on the future. Bo's ready acceptance of Nora's impending marriage doesn't sit too well with the bride-to-be. My sense is that Nora views this marriage almost as an obligation. She wants to do the right thing for Sam and Matthew, but what’s right for Nora?

In a misguided attempt to put Nora at ease, Bo told her (in a purely hypothetical fashion) that he may one day be announcing his engagement to Lindsay. A shocked Nora burst out with, "She's not good enough for you," just when you know who walked in -- hilarious! Even Nora couldn't spin her way out of that faux pas.

Back at the hospital, Blair tried to play innocent with Renee by denying any knowledge of Max's scam to pass himself off as the missing Buchanan heir, but Renee wasn't buying her act. Now this next part is confusing to me. Apparently, Blair is worried that Max will see this denial as an act of betrayal rather than self-preservation. Why? I don't buy this false conflict. Blair is just following Max's lead. He’d expect no less.

Tea and R.J.'s relationship took a quantum leap forward on the "serious" meter with a full-scale seduction scenario at the penthouse. Personally, I found R.J.'s sensual wine-taster routine a bit corny, but I loved it when Tea insisted on a clean-shaven lover. I've disliked that moustache from day one, so it was a treat to see Tim Stickney's gorgeous face again.

Tea and R.J. seem comfortable in their intimate scenes together (in a way Tea and John Sykes never were, IMO), I just wish this relationship had developed in a more believable fashion.

This week's comic relief came courtesy of Nora and Lindsay, who both decided to host Thanksgiving dinner -- a recipe for disaster. HBS hasn't had a lot of opportunities recently to show off her comedic flair, so Midge was thankful for her amusing kitchen antics (Nora to turkey as she removed the giblets, "Can I buy you a drink.") As you might imagine, Nora and Lindsay's dueling dinner parties turned into stuffing at 40 paces when Lindsay discovered Nora had invited the same guests to her party and vice versa.

I'll take a food fight over a catfight any day of the week, and it helped that Lindsay and Nora both seemed to be enjoying themselves (or maybe that was just HBS and CH). Nora definitely had the upper hand till Viki arrived to break things up (spoilsport). A truce was called and everyone repaired to the Country Club (the best decision, given Nora's lack of culinary expertise). Unfortunately, it was all downhill from that point on.

First, Sam put his foot in it with Will yet again by trying to lure his son away from Asa by establishing his own rival Megan/Grace foundation. Feeling manipulated, Will got angry and left. Nora and Bo sided with Will, while Lindsay supported Sam.

Then, a drunken Kevin made a huge embarrassing scene, accusing everyone of being hypocrites and false to Grace's memory. Scenes like this are an actor's dream, and Tim Gibbs made the most of this fabulous opportunity. One by one, he went ‘round the table and leveled everyone with a few hard truths: Sam, Ben, Bo, Nora, Hank, even Kelly (who bit back with surprising force -- you go, girl!). What was especially painful (as everyone later acknowledged) was the fact that Kevin's accusations were largely on target.

Later, one-on-one, the day was salvaged: Jess comforted Will, Nora and Sam hashed things out and Sam surprised her with a beautiful ring, Lindsay and Bo enjoyed a quiet tete-a-tete, and Ben and Viki grew closer.

Surprisingly, it was the group gathered at the hospital standing vigil over Max who displayed the most holiday spirit. Dorian, Blair, and Starr were picking at some trays of cafeteria turkey when Nigel, Renee, and Asa arrived with an enormous turkey dinner direct from the Palace. For a few brief moments, the past was forgotten and concern for Max united them all.

Nigel reminded Asa of the Thanksgiving when Bo was in the hospital and came out of his coma. Asa waxed nostalgic about a time when Viki and Nora were still part of his extended family, Drew was alive, and both Cord and Clint were still in Llanview.

At the Diner, Carlotta darted daggers at R.J. and issued dire warnings to Tea, reminding her that the last time she trusted a man with a shady past (Todd), she wound up royally burned. Actually, history does seem likely to repeat itself, but Tea/Todd is not the precursor, it's R.J./Jacarra. Those two got real close just before she found out that R.J. had lied to her -- and that's probably what lies in store for R.J. and Tea.

Though I don’t believe that Carlotta would be so rude to R.J. (it's just not her nature), she eventually relented and allowed him to remain for their family celebration. Later, there was some lovely impromptu dancing to the Diner jukebox -- a warm and inviting scene that drew Kevin in where he was greeted with kindness and affection. Just then, two armed robber's burst in, leaving us with a decidedly unsentimental cliffhanger.

This 'n' that:

  • I bet it won't be too much longer till Sophia is a regular on the LPD payroll.

  • Poor Lisa! That's the last time she'll accept a Buchanan/Rappaport dinner invitation. Police work is less dangerous!

  • R.J. had an interesting assessment of Todd: "A deviant child with mental disorders real or imagined."

  • I love baby Matthew -- he's such a cutie!

  • Hank and Bo kept up a running gag about Nora's less-than-stellar cooking skills, but can either of them do any better?

  • Once she hosed off the Reddi Whip and stuffing, Nora looked especially pretty at the Country Club in a lovely new mauve wrap-around ensemble.

  • Tea's gotten more action as a single woman than she ever got during her marriage -- and that includes the honeymoon!

  • Starr really is Blair's daughter -- smart and savvy and always working the angles.

  • Watching John, Bo, and Hank sitting around clucking over each other's love lives just goes to prove that men truly are the biggest gossips.

  • Erin Torphy keeps getting prettier and prettier. When Erika Page first showed up as Roseanne, it didn't seem quite fair, but now, it's definitely a level playing field between those two lovely young women.

  • How appropriate that Skye was acting all warm and fuzzy with Kevin while wearing a warm and fuzzy peach sweater.

  • I noticed that Kevin didn't throw out Skye's number. Hmmm...

  • LOL when Carlotta asked Tea for the brown sugar as she was nuzzling R.J.!

  • Will's paranoid fantasy about Cris and Jess reuniting doesn't seem too far removed from reality.

  • If Roseanne is so desperate to get Cris to marry her, why doesn't she just pull the old "I'm pregnant" stunt?

  • I predicted that Will would get in trouble for embezzling money from the Megan Foundation, but I thought it would involve Asa cooking the books. Will sure is being awfully stupid.

  • John Sykes keeps popping up around Asa and Renee in true red herring fashion. At least I hope that's all it is. If he's the missing Buchanan heir, that will be a very flat reveal.

  • I'm really enjoying Kevin in his new role as a bitter jerk.

  • Dorian needs to retire that unflattering all-black outfit she was wearing on Monday. And she should really steer clear of hats. On the plus side, she looked absolutely stunning on Tuesday at the Palace in her olive suit with embroidered accents.

  • Remember when Carlotta liked R.J. for about two minutes during the time she and Hank were burning up the sheets?

  • I believe one of the robber at the Diner is Sophia's no-good brother.

  • Oh yeah, Max opened his eyes.


Till next week!

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