Close Talking and an Acting Master Class
I admit I found some of the developments on One Life to Live last week overly contrived or frustrating (to name just one, they're just dropping the whole gay marriage thing lickety-split by have the no-nonsense, strident Amelia ditch the whole plan to get back together with her ex-girlfriend, local psychic Delphina?!), but for me, Friday's episode made up for it in spades. No, I didn't enjoy Todd's bored discussion with Starr (was this supposed to be a bonding moment so that later it'll hit harder when she learns he has another daughter?), and I find Mitch rather dull and utterly un-menacing from a hospital bed (discharge papers, please!), but how soulless would I have to be to complain about an episode in which Dorian was wearing this hat:
I wouldn't mess with someone in that hat. That is a power hat, people. That is the kind of hat you wear when you just got dumped by your fake fiance and then got a special delivery threatening your family. Dorian means business. (Side note: this was really Robin Strasser's year. She was front and center from beginning to end, and reminded us why she is an institution in this genre -- I'll get weepy if she's shown no Emmy love, but unfortunately Daytime Emmys seem to only love women who play mental breakdowns.)
Then there was Blair and Tea's bizarre "conversation" in which Tea told Blair that Ross getting killed was Blair's fault. Eh? I was waiting for a "Hey, thanks for that little GPS trick that made it possible for the cops to find my daughter," or "Oops, sorry you got held hostage at gunpoint because of the choices I've made regarding my daughter's parentage," but at the end of the day that would be out of character for Tea. And as much as I don't need to see Blair and Tea becoming besties, I did love that no matter what, Blair (despite being a schemer) has a huge, huge heart. I do like it when Carlivati remembers that, since he seems hell-bent on using her as a punching bag most of the time. We'll see, though. I'm crossing my fingers for a non-Todd story for her. And speaking of Blair being the bigger person? And how!
I knew Kassie de Paiva was tall, but damn!
So while Tea was going off on the wrong person, her daughter was across town doing the same thing to Destiny. Dani/Danielle/Daniela had the good sense to retract it afterward, though, so she doesn't completely mirror her maternal and paternal genetics. And I know soap operas are famous for people yelling at each other from, like, three inches away, but the girls brought this one to new heights on Friday:
Yikes! (Oh and, by the way, I literally applauded later in the episode when she swore vengeance on Todd. If I had any hope that it would last, I'd give a standing ovation.)
The real centerpiece of the episode, however, was the fallout with Nora and Clint. I'm sounding awfully fangirly right now, but trust me that if I had mustered up the energy to write about the show earlier in the week I'd be much more critical, but it's just so easy for me to forgive when they can still deliver like this. Clint and Kim faking an affair to get back at Nora is about as soapy as it gets, but I did get nervous that it would kind of let Nora off the hook. I'm all warm and gooey about Bo and Nora, but they also deserve whatever they get for this. I appreciate that they showed restraint by not actually hopping into bed (hey General Hospital! Take some notes on how to write a sympathetic love triangle involving two brothers!), but they've still betrayed Clint and both of them should've been honest about this from the beginning. But Clint awesomely told Nora that the whole thing was a fake so that she'd know how it felt (of course it stings a little less when the affair isn't, say, with your own sibling), and Nora isn't off the hook at all. Plus:
I am loving Amanda Setton. Kim is hilarious, a nice throwback to the classic soap opera gold-diggers (just think about how many of our most beloved characters were introduced that way). And then Jerry Ver Dorn ripped my heart out. Until now, Clint's presence in this storyline had been sort of an afterthought (they mentioned him a lot, but didn't give him much to actually do), but this was handled beautifully. I loved the shift from Nora reaming him for carrying on with a "two-bit whore" to that pitch-perfect turn of tone:
Nora: What the hell is that?!
Clint: (Pause.) I never had any doubts. And I did not ...have sex with her. We just made it look that way. So you could feel as stupid as I do.
Good stuff, and expertly executed. But of course just in case it started to feel a little too painful and real, we got reminded that it's just a soap:
A Buke with a gun is never a good thing!
I am, however, thankful this holiday season for the fact that same-day episodes of OLTL are now available online for our viewing pleasure at abc.com. It's about time!