One Life to Love
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December 13-17 1999

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There's a bomb in Llanview! ...well, sort of.

Just in time for the holidays and just in time to help stir the emotional caldron of secrets and lies that's threatening to boil over, Madame Delphina has returned -- Hip hip hooray! This week, she marched into the LPD stationhouse and told Bo that a bomb was coming Llanview’s way. Later, she offered a slight clarification: it could be an "emotional bomb," -- a bombshell -- but which one? It involves an evil from the past that will threaten love. If the show plays its cards right, Madame D. could be one of the great recurring characters -- a psychic (excuse me, "paranormal interface engineer") is perfect for the soaps where so much depends upon the truth (either revealing it or keeping it hidden). Personally, Midge just loves Delphina's raging attitude!

Of course there are a whole slew of emotional timebombs just waiting to explode: Matthew's paternity, Max's paternity, R.J.'s involvement with
Judge Peterson, Will's conspiracy with Roseanne. Duck and cover indeed!

Tuesday's show ended with a great montage of everyone who has a secret and something to lose. And all through the week, the show played
up the suspense. Bo was told that a suspicious package had passed through the post office, then Jessica, John, R.J., and Asa all received
"mystery" packages, culminating in Friday's cliffhanger as R.J. opened his package and stepped back in shock! Cool.

Although the bomb scare and mystery packages wove a unifying thread throughout the week, there was plenty of action on the frontline of
individual storylines.

After uncovering Will’s financial chicanery, Asa now has “Cockroach Junior” right where he wants him. First he ripped into Will for ripping off his own dead daughter's foundation. Then when Will explained that he only borrowed the money and that he did it for Jess, Asa pretended to
understand and let Will off the hook, lulling his prey into a false sense of security. The trap is set and will soon snap shut. Both Roseanne and
Will think they're free and clear, so I can't wait till Asa rocks their world! Asa's gonna cook Will's goose but good!

After being discovered by Skye, Max tried to keep her quiet with a steamy vamp job (when she finds out, Blair will give him a real dose of brain damage). Skye tried to act like she wasn't affected, but that looked like a serious smooch to Midge! This angle is a bit of a throwback to the old days of lady killer Max. JdP must be loving this!

Asa and Renee brought Max home and Renee told Max and Blair that she had decided to keep Max's secret. Tender-hearted Renee just can’t
bring herself to hurt Asa or Max -- but Blair's another story! Poor Blair, she's not coping well in the role of supportive wife. Already she's
scheming to take control of the situation by getting power of attorney from Max and is even considering having him committed. Of course, Max
overheard her (not too difficult since she was practically shrieking -- Max could've been three blocks away and still gotten wind of it!).

Max's latest little scheme (faking brain damage) has turned into a test of Blair's loyalty. And Max doesn't like what he's seeing. It's almost scary
the way he looks at Blair these days. But what's up with that? Why is Max so angry with her? Blair is acting true to form and Max should
understand that, so what's his beef? And the way he was manhandling her, I don't blame Blair for pushing him away and running off for a drink
at the Country Club.

Jessica had a birthday party this week. She's just turned 19. Naturally, everyone was pressuring Kevin to make an appearance, especially Joey.
Look, if Kevin doesn't think he'd be fit company to grace Jessica's party, then Joey should accept that. Why inflict his foul mood and downer
presence on a celebration, though I'll admit I did get a bit choked up when he cleaned himself and showed up. Of course, he couldn't resist
sneaking a drink.

Poor Kevin, no wonder he doesn't want to go anywhere -- it can't be fun to be constantly under the microscope with every move, cough and
hiccup scrutinized for hidden meaning. And as if that weren't enough, Kelly and Joey have decided to baby-sit Kevin full-time by moving in. Yeah, that sounds like a real good idea...

There was an interesting crowd on hand at the Country Club for Friday's cliffhanger. It started out with R.J., Tea, and a slightly tipsy, slightly
melancholy Dorian. Later Blair joined them (retreating from Max's unwelcome advances and Asa and Renee's disapproval), followed by Hank, Lisa, Lindsay, Bo, and Kevin. (I'm not sure the axiom "the more the merrier" applies to this group.) And that's when the mystery package arrived for R.J.

One of my favorite scenes these week didn't involve any heavy drama or startling revelations. It was a simple good old-fashioned heart-to-heart
bull session between Renee and Viki over a glass of wine at the Palace bar. How long has it been since old friends Viki and Renee had a
woman-to-woman talk. This type of conversation used to be a soap staple, and I for one commend the current regime for allowing these women the time to talk and share and buoy each other up during hard times. Friendships are an important part of the emotional fabric of any soap, and I'm glad to see OLTL finally remember the wonderful history of friendship these two ladies share.

On the fashion front: I have one word to say about Jessica's tight red party dress: Wow! Jessica was also especially fetching in that deep blue
peasant blouse. I think Gina T. is one of daytime's real stunners, but thumbs down on those tight curls! And that too-tight two-piece midriff-baring outfit is not one of my favorites either. On the plus side, Viki looked great in that pretty gray twin set with the delicate sparkles -- she looks much younger in a softer silhouette!

Bouquets and brickbats:

  • Asa played a new role this week: film critic. When Renee tried to distract him with a night at the movies, he labeled the effort "artsy smut."
  • Jason-Shane Scott really does have a killer bod. That Jessica sure knows how to pick 'em!
  • I have always liked Sam and Viki together. They "fit" in a way Viki and Ben do not, IMO. And remember, they did go on that one date...
  • Sophia is such a crack up! I loved her comments to her friend about all the cute cops in their tight polyester pants.
  • Ben is a real Grade-A jerk to leave Viki to worry alone with no word of his whereabouts.
  • I loved it that Clint called, but why weren't Asa and Renee at Jessica's party?
  • Max's new Alfred E. Newman expression is a real hoot!
  • Is it my imagination or did Nigel look tempted by Dorian's standing offer of employment?
  • Attention history buffs: It is with regret that I report the death of veteran soap actress and scribe Bethel Leslie, whose many soap roles included that of Ethel Crawford on OLTL.
  • To those of you wondering about the other song played during the aftermath of Grace's death, it was “What Can Never Be” by Sinead Lohan from her No Mermaid CD.
  • Cris really is thick! Yeah, I'm sure there's an ultra-plush sublet on the upper Westside that even cheaper than their current dump! What next? Is Roseanne gonna sell him the Brooklyn Bridge or some swampland in Florida.
  • The show made it clear that Jess and Will are using protection during sex, but what about Cris and Roseanne?
  • I loved the boozy expressionistic montage that accompanied Kevin's barfly antics.
  • Nora has such a lovely laugh and we're hearing it more and more lately. Guess that means Sam's doing something right.
  • Both Wally and John were awfully good sports to deck themselves out with those novelty reindeer ears that Rae sent.
  • Boy, Dorian has changed! The old Dorian would've been encouraging Blair to commit Max not urging caution.
  • Something tells me that Nora may have to miss that trip to Tahiti again this time if Madame Delphina's prediction means what I think it means.
  • Joey prepared a videotape of old home movies for Jessica's party. Was Kevin’s comment: "it's the old me, I wouldn't recognize him," a sly nod to the multiple recasts this role has had (as an adult, it's five and counting!)? I can't believe when they finally viewed the tape, it was reaction shots only -- what? no old footage? Grrrr.
  • Sometimes I think Bo is a bit harsh with Lindsay. It's like he's testing her, almost as if he's holding back. Is that a holdover from the bust-up with Nora?
  • Johnny-boy Sykes better mind his Ps-and-Qs and start showing Madame D. the respect she deserves, or he'll be back on Midge's bad side.

Till next week!

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