Zen And The Art of Soapy Reunions
Kendall: Well -- if I could wish for anything, it's been kind of a rough year for us, so if I had a special magic Christmas wand, I would try to erase all the suffering Zach has gone through. Just --
Father Clarence: Wipe the slate clean.
Maybe I am misinterpreting this, but it seems to me like Kendall just broke the fourth wall and asked Lorraine Broderick to do anything necessary to wipe the slate of Charles Pratt's tenure completely clean, whether his work be written off as pod people or the dream of a profoundly disturbed individual (so, then, Ryan's dream. Which would actually go a long way in explaining this show's Ryan worship!).
And "kind of a rough year"? That's the most amazingly diplomatic way of summing up the year in Zach & Kendall, since 2009 saw them dealing with:
- Kendall's coma
- Kendall's heart transplant
- The fallout from Zach secretly donating sperm to Bianca and Reese
- Rogue lesbian kisses from Reese
- Zach's debilitating crankiness
- Kendall accidentally running Greenlee off the road and "killing her"
- Kendall sleeping with Ryan
- Liza's panties
- Ryan stealing Cambias and the casino from Zach
- Ian being on death's door
- Ian dying
- Ian coming back to life seconds after the two of them bolted and rushed to the Chandler mansion to kill Adam
- Kendall being the prime suspect in the murder of Adam
- Remarriage for legal purposes
- Kendall confessing to a crime she didn't commit
- Zach keeping Kendall in a secret room rather than jail
- Liza's stalkerish behavior
- Kendall needing to go on the run with Aidan
- Aidan being craaaaaaazy
- Kendall being held hostage, separated from her boys
- Aidan setting Zach up to think he and Kendall slept together
- Zach becoming enraged and filled with Kendall hatred
"Kind of a rough year"?!?! I mean, I guess the more appropriate way of describing their drama wouldn't make it past the censors, but still...
The entire "Kendall on the run/held hostage/menaced" story is bad enough as is, but what's even worse is that these are the last episodes that we have of Zach and Kendall, since Thorsten Kaye is out and Alicia Minshew is on maternity leave. The bulk of their last scenes on the show were spent apart, with Zach despising Kendall. What a wonderful send-off for a popular couple!
On the plus side, at least we were given a couple of episodes where they were allowed to be happy and healthy, which hasn't happened in ages. It was so refreshing that I was almost able to ignore the constant "Zach never gave up", "You never gave up on me", "he never gave up on you", "you never gave up on me". !!! Zach giving up on Kendall (justifiably or not, depending on how you look at it) happened just a few days ago--we all saw it! And now it never happened? Why does this show bother doing anything? I mean, I sort of understand not wanting to go there, because there's not a whole lot of time left to wrap up that loose thread, but then why call attention to it so many times? SO WEIRD.
If you ignored all of that (which I think the writers basically wanted us to do), there were some very sweet moments
Kendall: The whole time that I was with Aidan, what kept me going was feeling your heart. It was with me all the time. It kept me alive. It brought us back together right here to this moment. So just be with me, Zach, ok? No apologies. Just be here with me in this moment.
Zach: There's still something missing. Mrs. Slater, will you do me the honor?
And the two of them paying for a rental card for a woman and her nephew so that he could be with his mom on Christmas. I am the sappiest of saps, because that was cheesy as hell and it still brought a tear to my eye.
And we also got to point and laugh at how they hid Alicia Minshew's baby bump.
Exhibit A: The biggest bathrobe in the world
Zach and Kendall both could have fit in there (and kinky bastards that they are, they probably would have)
Exhibit B: A big blanket
Obviously she was cold because she was wearing a short sleeved shirt in the winter. Oh, Kane women.
What's especially remarkable about this reunion taking place when both parties are in good health (such good health, mind you, that heart transplant survivor Kendall didn't need to go to the hospital after her ordeal!) is that it included Father Clarence, who is well known amongst AMC fans for being blood-thirsty. Luckily, we didn't have to deal with death and destruction, just a strange shared dream of a younger Zach and Kendall playing cards in church and bantering, and then giving up on each other so they each had a clean slate.
Younger Zach: Yeah. Consider me walking out this door doing you a favor. Christmas present.
Younger Kendall: And my guess is if I let you walk out that door, I'd be doing the exact same thing for you. So, Merry Christmas.
And then it turned out that they were only a few miles from Pine Valley the whole time they were stuck in the snow. Shenanigans!
After a reunion with Erica, who didn't get the memo that it's December and not July, and their adorable sons
(I think my favorite part of that reunion was how the boy who plays Spike did nothing to help out Alicia Minshew when she grabbed him. He didn't even move his arms when she tried to pick him up! He was all, "You're gonna have to work for it, new mom!" It was hilarious)
they discussed how their Christmas miracle and how happy they should be with all that they had, and then...
Zach: What is it that you want me to do to you?
My hypocrisy is showing, because if Sonny Corinthos or Ryan ever said that to anyone, I'd light myself on fire, but I didn't mind it here.
There was something that kept me from fully enjoying this reunion--something besides the Father Clarence and the complete whitewashing of the past couple of weeks in Pine Valley: the intense sense of dread that Zach and Kendall would walk in to find Ryan and Erica making out. Then I'd need to take back everything I said about the good health of this couple, because one or both of them would faint on the spot and probably get a concussion, while the other would run screaming back to Ohio.
I still love that Ryan (a) used the videotape of Greenlee, the alleged love of his life, telling him to move on after her death which she thought would be occurring well into the future. The videotape that he already used once to move on with Kendall, in fact and (b) got his daughter a babysitter on Christmas Eve so he could go hook up with the mother of the mother of his son. Although Tad also left his family's Christmas celebration to go see what nefarious evilness David is up to in Gloucester. Who does that?!
David is, of course, up to keeping Greenlee alive, and we were treated to a long discussion of why he spirited her away to Massachusetts after finding her post-accident, and why he kept the secret from her loved ones (to punish them for what they did to her, natch) and how he sees it as his mission to keep her safe since he failed Leo, Babe and Leora. He explained all of this to Nurse Gayle, who has been taking care of Greenlee for months and has apparently never asked him the particulars of the situation before. The hell? I know she's in love with him and all, but come on.
Didn't you love the ten second long goodbye original cast member Ray McDonnell got today? I know, I know, I should be grateful that they acknowledged him at all, but come the hell on, show! You couldn't throw in an old flashback? I know that they do have the unintended effect of making people miss the way the show used to be, but I think it's the least they could have done. I guess I'll just count my blessings that he is just moving to Florida and wasn't brutally murdered by Alexander Cambias...