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« On The Plus Side, There Has Been No Murder (Unless You Count The Systematic Murder of My Soul...) | Main | GH Wishes You an Allegedly Happy New Year »

December 19, 2008

Pine Valley Remembers Myrtle and Eileen Herlie

If there is anything I can get behind, it's an hour devoted to Myrtle Fargate and the myriad ways in which she spread her awesomeness around Pine Valley. Eileen Herlie was fantastic with any scene partner she had, but especially with Susan Lucci and Thorsten Kaye, and Myrtle's friendships with Erica and Zach were...oh, hell, the episode hasn't even started yet and I am already on the verge of tears.

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Oh, are you effing kidding me? A special weather report? I know it's snowing in the northeast. You know how I know? Because I looked out the window and saw snow! I want my AMC!

...that is a sentence I thought I'd never, ever type.

Okay, back to AMC, already in progress (Damn you ABC!) A flashback of Myrtle and Opal! Jack asks Erica if she's okay, and she says of course, because she's Erica Kane, after all. As Erica looks around the boutique and comments on the new owner's changes, she admires Myrtle's box and satin ribbon and sees an envelope addressed to her: "From Myrtle, With Love". I already need some more tissues...

Petey, adorable in pajamas, asks if Opal's okay and she says she has a package from Myrtle, which she thinks is Myrtle's way of saying "Adios, amigos". Aww, Opal. It's a crystal ball from Myrtle's carny days. Petey asks how Myrtle conned people about being a psychic, but Opal says there was nothing fake about it...she peers into the ball and Petey wonders if she can see the future, but Opal says she can see the past. It's flashback time!

Petey is shocked that Myrtle was as badass as she was, saying he thought she was just a sweet old lady. Oh, naive little Petey. Opal rightly says that Myrtle would not be happy with that assessment of her.

Zach greets Comatose Kendall with "Hey, beautiful" and tells her the sad news about Myrtle passing away. He, too, received a package from Myrtle that he didn't want to open without Kendall, so he is going to do it now. It's an album inscribed with "It's all worth it", something she said to Zach often. Inside is the program at the Miranda Center from the day they first met...another flashback! "Myrtle Fargate, and you better remember that name. If you ever--if you EVER--meddle with anyone I love". Oh! There's also a picture of Zach holding the baby Miranda (flashback! And Myrtle voiceover! And Mallory tears!). A flashback of Zach and Myrtle discussing Kendall, and there are tears in Thorsten Kaye's eyes. Myrtle's last piece of advice to Zach is to be patient, and I cry.

David approaches as Zach leaves her room and asks if he's passed along the information on Kendall's state to the rest of her family, reminding him that there's no hope. Zach corrects him that there is hope...he just has to be patient. Aww...that was kind of cheesy, but it works! It's the holidays and a memorial episode, this level of velveeta is not just expected, but necessary.

Zach interrupts his construction crew and says to drop what they are doing for his new project: the carnival is coming to town.

Bianca comes into the boutique to share her package with Erica, and Jack leaves to give them privacy. Erica tells Bianca that she hasn't opened her package yet, and Bianca understands, since it took her a while to get the nerve to open her own. Bianca takes out a music box just like the one Myrtle gave her at Miranda's baby shower. Erica's voice breaks as she remembers how much Myrtle loved all of them. Tears!

Jesse, Angie and Frankie stand outside the boarding house with flowers and Jesse and Angie reminisce about their early days, like when Angie's father caught Angie and Jesse, and he and Myrtle had a throwdown. Jesse points out that Myrtle would take anyone on if it were for the right cause. Amanda, too, has brought flowers and she remembers her time getting advice from Myrtle, when Myrtle advised her to quit spending so much time making enemies. Not to be totally shallow, but Chrishell Stause looks SUPER PRETTY in this episode.

Ryan and Greenlee come bearing flowers and Ryan remembers his introduction to Myrtle and stares blankly into the distance as he puts his flowers down with the rest. How...moving? I'm feeling charitable, so I won't say any more, or go off onto one of my Ryan/Greenlee rants.

Erica theorizes that Mona and Myrtle made a pact before Mona died, because Myrtle stepped in right away to help Erica...flashback! Of Erica, on pills, being insane, yelling about a dress. Oh, La Lucci, I love you. In the present day, Erica says that she beat her addiction, one day at a time, and remembers telling Myrtle that she was right and that Erica was an addict who needs help, and Myrtle is staunchly supportive and tells Erica that she couldn't love her more if she were her own flesh and blood. I cry a bit, some more, as Erica tells Bianca that Myrtle flew with her to Betty Ford and held her hand. Bianca steps in and holds her mother's hand as they hug and cry, and I cry, and this is way too emotional for me!

Another effing special report. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, ABC? It's like the news people forget that winter weather happens every winter. Of course this happens on the one day I actually want to watch AMC live. This couldn't happen on a Ryan/Greenlee day? I call foul. The weather man promises more updates and says to enjoy All My Children. I'm trying to, dude.

Back in AMC, we join a Bianca flashback of Myrtle telling Bianca that Erica loves her very, very much. Bianca says that Myrtle would want them to remember happy times, leading to a flashback of one of my favorite AMC scenes EVER, when Erica, Myrtle, Opal and Binks spent Thanksgiving in jail after being arrested. LOVE.

Erica says she thinks she's ready to open her package and exclaims, "No, it can't be": It's the dress from the awards dinner she just flashbacked about. The stain is gone. Erica cries as she hugs Bianca and I cry too.

At the boarding house, Greenlee (her hair in a very fetching side bun) remembers how she and Myrtle started off rockily, when Myrtle was pissed the Greens blackmailed Erica. Greenlee asks Myrtle not to tell Erica that Greenlee had been there and Myrtle says, "Honey, I'll do what I damn well please". The entire crowd laughs uproariously, partly because of Myrtle's sass and partly, I'm guessing, because Greenlee pisses them all off a little.

Kelly Tyler joins the group and Angie helpfully introduces her to the gang and the new audience members, as well, as practically being Myrtle's daughter. Flashback! Kelly kisses her hand and presses it up against the door, saying, "She will be so missed". For real. Angie hugs Kelly and--say it with me!--I cry.

Erica and Jack come into the carnival that Zach planned, and she tells him that Myrtle would love it. Bianca says that she couldn't track Skye down (Erica adds that Adam doesn't know where she is, and I get pissed at GH all over again, just on principle) and Bianca says that Rae couldn't come either. A big picture of Myrtle is displayed and Erica regards it sadly, stroking the picture's cheek. All of Pine Valley comes in and joins the festivities--there is juggling, Zach and Reese hand out Bloody Marys, and Bianca sings "Once Upon a Time".

Bianca sings some more and Zach wanders away from Reese to join the group. (A) It sucks that Kendall isn't here for the memorial. I know the timing is bad and, again, I don't begrudge Alicia Minshew her vacation, but I wish Kendall were here! and (B) The Zach/Reese bonding is irritating me even during this otherwise fab episode. Boo.

The crowd applauds Bianca and Greenlee wipes away a tear (she must have found the singing as, um, awkward as I did) and Ryan looks like he's trying to divide 56 by 8. Oh, sorry, I mean "Ryan looks sad". I think that was the intention, anyway...

Erica takes the microphone and addresses the crowd, saying that they are saying goodbye to Pine Valley's heart. Aww! She remembers Myrtle's carny stories and the group laughs, and Erica says that one day Myrtle told her a secret...that she wasn't a real clairvoyant and told fortunes by looking into their eyes and reading people, and she convinced everyone. Myrtle did have a gift, Erica concludes, and made them laugh, gave them shelter, and showed them all how beautiful they were. She says that Myrtle is playing bridge games with Mona and sitting with God as his very top angel. Erica asks Zach if he'd like to say a few words, but Zach is nowhere to be found...

...because he is in the elevator, breaking down and crying wordlessly. As am I, Zach. As am I.

The commercial for Scrubs The TV show that they just showed makes me sad. No more Arrested Development, but this series gets a new network? Bull.

Erica thanks Zach for putting everything together, and she very sincerely tells him to take care, and hugs him. As she, Bianca and Opal leave, they regard Myrtle's portrait and Erica blows her a kiss. And I cry. Zach's voiceover reads a poem as Zach silently loks at Myrtle's picture and just looks...devastated as he puts a single yellow rose under her picture. And the episode ends with a closeup of the portait and Eileen Herlie's voice saying, "And trust me, the angels are on your side" and I...have moved past the point of mere tears and am kind of a mess.

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That was a seriously, amazingly lovely episode and what a fitting tribute to Myrtle and Eileen Herlie! It hardly felt like it was a full hour and was the perfect blend of flashbacks, sadness and hilarity. I wish that Adam was there, and Palmer as well (although I'm guessing that, perhaps, James Mitchell isn't doing well again?), but overall, I have next to no complaints. That was beautiful. And you could see how much the actors REALLY miss Eileen Herlie already, it showed plainly all over their faces. Just wonderful. And so sad!

Of course, it does make you wonder why, if they are in fact capable of creating such a great show, why they don't do it more often, but let's just end the afternoon on a high note and not go there...

Comments

I loved AMC again today, just today.

Myrtle was real and soapy in her own special way. The flashbacks and the vets were wonderful today. Zach in the elevator crying all alone was too much. That scene took me from crying to weeping.

AMC will never be the same without her and her talent. Eileen Herlie must have been one amazing woman.

Thanks for the memories.

Thanks for the live posting, seems a little less crazy to be sobbing about a fictional character in your own living room knowing that somewhere in the country someone else feels the same. The really sad part is that this, this incremental quiet storytelling, once owned by the daytime drama genre is dying a little each day under the current network situation. No, we're not talking world peace but it is a loss just the same.

I may be in full on Ugly Cry sitting here reading this on my office computer. I actually watch this episode...well it's not going to be pretty.

Does anybody have the words from Zachs poem at the end?

I had this on record but towards the end there are a few words I'm not sure about. Couldn't find it anywhere on the web. Here it is:
Now who will lead our carnival and who will make us stronger?

Who will mend our broken sleep when she is here no longer?

For whose part do we stand and bow, what stories do we tell?

And who will memorize the day when great and greatness fell?

Say all this valley overcome and will be shadows fade

And will we lift our eyes to see the beauty that she made?

The disappearing last of her that leads to worlds unknown

Has a left a path to softly tread when sadness wanders home.

Now meet me where the highland winds divide wild mountain thyme

Where I will be forever yours and you forever mine

I was on a sobbing loop for most of the episode, but when Agnes Nixon appeared in the doorway and blew a kiss at the photo of Myrtle/Eileen, I was just gone.

It was a beautiful episode. My little inside-voice-that-doesn't-want-to-complain does wish we'd seen a little tribute to Eileen as well as Myrtle, though.

Courtesy of OTKWS:

Highland Song
by Thorsten Kaye

Highland Song
By Thorsten Kaye

Now who will lead our Carnival
And who will make us stronger
Who will mend our broken sleep
When she is here no longer

For whose part do we stand and bow
What stories do we tell
And will we memorize the day
When great and greatness fell

Say will this valley overcome
And will these shadows fade
And will we lift our eyes to see
The beauty that she made

The disappearing last of her
That leads to worlds unknown
Has left a path to softly tread
When sadness wanders home

I’ll meet thee where the highland winds
Divide wild mountain thyme
Where I will be forever yours…and you forever mine.

What an amazing tribute to Eileen/Myrtle. It was great to see all the flashbacks. I lost it during Zach's scene in the elevator and the reading of the poem. Those scenes must have been very hard for TK to do. Eileen/Myrtle will surely be missed.

It was a great tribute. I cried the entire episode and my room mate came home half way through me watching and saw the wreck that I was and thought I was crazy, so I responded to her sarcastic comments by blowing my nose obnoxiously -lol! I missed Tad, Adam, Palmer, Skye and Rae not being there but it was such a fitting tribute that I will more than willingly over look that. I loved that even Agnes Nixon turned up in the episode and part of me wonders if she had a big hand in writing the eppy because it was so good. Thanks for the recap Mallory. I cried all over again reading it.

This episode was truly amazing!! Susan Lucci crying during the song and Thorsten Kaye crying in the elevator is what really made me start crying hard and the Thorsten's poem at the end I'm crying just thinking about it. I could have done without any Ryan or Greenlee though, just their presence in any scene annoys me I just don't get the appeal.

PatB-you did see a tribute to Eileen; the song that was sung, 'Once Upon a Time' was sung by Eileen on Broadway many many years ago. If you get Sirius Radio, her recording of it pops up on the Broadway station once in a while (heard it a couple of weeks ago, right around the time she died, I think).

WOW, I have spent hours looking for the words Zach spoke, how moving. Thank you for posting them here. What an amazing women, Myrtle was to all. I heard the song "Once Upon A Time" on Martha S. when her mom passed. I wanted the words and hope I can find them here. Bless you all, we have lost someone special.

For the record, I don't live in the US, and I have NEVER seem AMC before. Some Reese clips here and there, but I'd never seen Myrtle before and after your recap, I went to watch the ep, and segment 2 already had me bawling!

It was really well done, and I love Myrtle now ... and just wow!!

I'm glad that you give credit where credit's due :)

Once Upon a Time
Words by Lee Adams and Music by Charles Strouse


Sung in the Broadway musical "All American" by Ray Bolger and Eileen Herlie

Once upon a time a girl with moonlight in her eyes
Put her hand in mine and said she loved me so
But that was once upon a time, very long ago

Once upon a time we sat beneath a willow tree
Counting all the stars and waiting for the dawn
But that was once upon a time, now the tree is gone

How the breeze ruffled up her hair
How we always laughed as though tomorrow wasn't there
We were young and didn't have a care
Where did it go?

Once upon a time the world was sweeter than we knew
Everything was ours, how happy we were then
But somehow once upon a time never comes again

Sniff. A song guaranteed to make me weepy every time.

I'll be kind and say that I prefer this version by Bobby Darin over ER's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ8mVtBnawA

We'll not see the likes of EH again. Sigh.

Friday's episode was just beautiful. All the actors did a wonderful job and the scene with Zach crying in the elevator made me teary eyed! R.I.P Eileen.

Heartfelt condolences to the AMC cast and family of beloved Eileen. The show did a beautiful and fitting tribute to the lady whose wisdom guided the PV residents and AMC fans through many wonderful years. The poem written by Thorsten Kaye was a testament to the love she gave and received. We will miss you dear Myrtle...your memory eternal.

Who is going to post on YouTube the song "Once Upon a Time" from the show? It's not up there and it was a moving tribute and should be.

I missed the episode and your recap had me crying....up to your Ryan comment...now I'm in tears from laughter!!!

I haven't watched AMC in ages, and wasn't an especial Myrtle fan, but it does make me a little sad to know she's gone.

BTW, when I was read that Zach read a poem, all I could think of, "Please God, let it not have been 'Brownpenny'!" I'm still dreading the day Marty has a flashback to that.

This was a very touching moment on AMC and a beautiful tribute to a fine actress.

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