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« Soap Blog Coalition | Main | Shocke and Awe »

January 21, 2010

How Do You Offend Me? Let Me Count the Ways.

How many is a gajillion?  I'm feeling a little speechless coming into this one, but Marty Saybrooke spoke well and was appropriately appalled today.  Truthfully, I used to adore Todd Manning.  I even thought Trevor St. John as a recast was fantastic at first.  Both Todds had great chemistry with Blair, both played the darks and lights in ways that made me simultaneously loathe, pity, and feel for him.  That Todd is long gone.

Today, we had the pleasure of watching Todd stop by the office of his two-time rape victim and prove that, once and for all, there is no humanity there.  There isn't a thing there outside of total narcissism.  I can't honestly say I'm truly shocked, because it's been looking this way for quite a while (the dismissive and contemptuous way he has treated all of his other children since he learned of his shiny new possession, Dani, for instance), but I guess I didn't really expect the show to go this far.  Why didn't I expect that?  This was the "rapemance" show!  With these very characters! 

It's just that for the past few months, we've been asked to buy into this notion that Todd has changed, that he's now a decent (if absurdly bland) man who cares about other people and loves his "girlfriend" Tea in a deep, true way that is at least partly unselfish and pure.  Call me crazy, but if they're going to ask me to buy into that and care about this man or his relationship or his connection to his new-found daughter, they're going to have to show me that he's worth it.  Consistently.  This hasn't happened, of course, but today was the final nail in the coffin. 

For anyone who was fortunate enough to miss it, Todd went to visit Marty today to ask her to "stand up for" him when he meets his daughter Dani.  To accompany him to assure Dani that Todd is not a bad man and she has forgiven him for raping her, abducting her, lying to her in the most egregious ways, trying to choke her son... the list goes on, though I really do think "being the ringleader of her gang-rape" should be sufficient.  When she tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that what he needed was a mediator in the mental health profession to facilitate their first discussion as father and daughter, she was generous enough to offer a referral.  He scoffed at this, because he's such a good guy.  He responded to all of her protestations with dismissive hand gestures, eye rolls, and smirks.  Because he's such a good guy.  And then my all-time favorite, when confronted with his most recent heinous crimes against Marty, he made this charming, mocking face:

Todddouche

And then said through a grin, "Now look, I know what I did to you was wrong but I was trying to--" and I know some of you who didn't catch the episode might have trouble believing that this even happened, but that "wrong?"  It was in AIR QUOTES.

Toddairquotes

Air quotes.  Re-raping his rape victim.  Abducting her, letting her think the people she loved had abandoned her, letting her think she had no child, planning to kidnap the infant child of their two teen children and tell both his daughter and her son that their infant was dead so that he could "give" the child to Marty, and then letting Stockholm Syndrome kick in really, really hardcore before sleeping with her.  His rape victim.  This, today, warranted air quotes and a chuckle.  The actions that drove him to jump off a building last year; now the moral issue with those actions now deserves air quotes. 

I have bad news for Tea.  Todd's right, he has changed.  Todd's not better now that he has your love, he is whole mothertrucking shitload worse than he was before your love.  Take your teenage daughter and run.

Was anyone else certain the entire episode that Marty would eventually agree to it?  I was, and I was terrified.  But finally someone said something right to Todd Manning.

Marty: My God, who do you think you are?  Barging in here and insisting
I do anything for you?  Anything?  I owe you nothing!  Hear me? Nothing!"

Martypissed

Preach it, sister.  I would've stood up and cheered if she'd impaled him twenty times with a letter opener in that moment.  Of course Todd responded by smirking, rolling his eyes, and basically swatting her away when he answered his cell phone. 

SUCK IT, TODD.

Destiny out.

Comments

I skipped past these scenes as soon as I realized what Todd was going to ask her for. Thanks for the recap, Louise. I am so incredibly relieved that she told him off instead of going along with what he wanted. If it had gone the other way, I wouldn't have been surprised, because I pretty much expect to be offended and horrified any time Todd and Marty are in the same room together.

I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it: They never should have taken the rapemance as far as they did (sex), unless they intended to kill off Todd when it was over. I can't stand to look at him anymore (and I used to be a huge Todd and Todd/Blair fan).

It was truly heinous. It made me wish they hadn't revived him when he was lethally injected. I know he was not guilty of that particular crime, but think of all the crimes he committed before and after.... even an anti death penalty liberal like me wishes he was wiped out for good. Today's scenes were just that horrific.

Ok so my cousin has a four year old...and when he doesn't want to take a nap and is about to throw a temper tantrum about...the EXACT face he makes is Todd's in that first screen clip!

It shouldn't have to be said but apparenlty it does....you don't "air quote" a rape! You air quote "Todd is a good person".

Why is Ross bad again?

I don't know who this character is anymore. Nor do I want to.

You guys are right on. I just feel like such a sucker. I regret having cried during his execution scenes. I regret having been firmly on his side in the Sam custody battle. Completely regret it.

It's just so frustrating that so much of this show is so good, but then there's this. This not only makes it impossible to enjoy this storyline in any way (unless something drastically changes and is made into a clear-cut villain or... a corpse), it makes it impossible to be nostalgic for his old stories because they now mean so much less.

Louise, I agree that something drastic would have to be done before Todd could be a watchable character again. There are two options that I can think of:

1) Do a reverse Jason Quartermaine. Todd gets into an accident and is brain damaged, becomes a decent person.

2) Todd goes full on villain. Nobody makes excuses for him anymore, everyone in Llanview is terrified of him. (I think TSJ could play this very well).

The writers (and/or Frons) need to make up their minds and pick a damn side. You can't have him do villainous things and then tell us he's a romantic leading man. Nuh-Uh. Not buying it.

Maybe he could have an accident, get brain damage (a la Jason), want to become a decent person but end up following Mitch in his cult?

Oh if Todd became a Mitch minion I would be over the MOON.

Speaking of which, it's hilarious to me that we're supposed to be all sad for Todd that his daughter might reject him, but we're supposed to think it's great that Mitch's kids reject him. Why shouldn't both be rejected by their biological progeny? I fail to see the difference anymore.

The problems with the way Todd is written are compounded by the way TSJ is playing him. Imagine yesterday's sceen played if Todd had shown that while he knew it was wrong to to to Marty, but in his desperation he went anyway. I really don't understand why TSJ chooses to play Todd the way he does. For me, it goes a long way to explaining my increasing indifference for the character.

Yes, if he would have played the scene differently, like just a desperate man hopeful, and not so smug and blase, it might have made a difference.

I was just... mindboggled when I watched the scene. And I've actually been rooting for TSJ as Todd because I like TSJ. But, I just... did not get why. The air quotes and everything, was just so... weird.

But like Beth R. asked, "Why is Ross bad again?" Hah, yeah....

I've been asking the same thing over and over again.

I did appreciate them giving Marty such strong and realistic lines. At least, that gives me some hope for the writing.

can't find a thing "wrong" with your assessment. ;) YOU preach it, sista!

Well it worked. Susan Haskell hasn't had anything to do since being paired with John and winning her Emmy.

So what does the show do in order to not only give Marty the buzz but to jump start her character so they can head her into a triangle storyline with John/Natalie/Marty put her in a scene with Todd. Oh yes that will give her a buzz and it worked.

For those who hate Todd it gives Marty the buzz they want. Don't you find it strange after all these months of Todd and Marty not having scenes together they throw this scene between the both them in?

They made Todd look like a ass so they can get an reaction out of the fans. And yes it worked with Todd oh so well. It gave Marty the buzz she needed. Lets bring Todd the prop master out to help Marty.

This scene should of never happen. Am tired of hearing of the rape, am tired of the rehashing of it over and over again.

Am tired of Trevor St John getting bash constantly just because certain fanbases only hate him when things are not going their way.

And most of all am tired of the show using Todd/Trevor as the prop master to jump start characters that are failing.

This scene was a joke and use for the shows agenda's and its getting tiresome.

Trevor deserves more than this.

And yes this is

JMO

You truly felt TSJ was a great recast LOL sorry I don't believe you! you liked it as long as his Todd was kissing Blair's butt. When his Todd stopped you like all Blair fans decided that TSJ couldn't act and was a bad recast. Period

Well, I have absolutely no idea what I would stand to gain by lying about my opinion of an actor on a blog. I thought TSJ was terrific, regardless of Blair, and I think it's pretty clear that no matter who the actor, and no matter who the love interest, mocking and air-quoting a rape is an incredibly unsympathetic acting choice. I assume that's what he was going for. I just don't get it.

Am not a Todd and Blair fan if was pointed at me.

Am a Trevor St John and only a Trevor fan.

So I don't know where you get am Todd and Blair fan. I love Todd with who ever they were going to pair Todd with. Kelly, Evangeline and I love him with Tea now.

So I don't know where get am a Todd and Blair fan.

I don't why I'm surprised, but I am. I don't know why people, his kids, blair, insects, and inanimate objects give this dude the time of day.

My favorite part of that scene was him slamming the door and saying, "NO! You don't get to be happy. Not while I'm miserable."

Hilarious, vicious but awesome. This was his way of lashing out - being nasty and delusional.

As a RH fan who came back for him, watching the Two Todd story unfold, and going back to watch all TSJ's history I loved him more. 2008 transformation best thing that ever happened to the character. Plus, they did show ways to humanize him and sympathize him. Just they turned up the other stuff, those who don't like him, his actions (I didn't always), scenes like these, or the character gloss over cuz of what he had done in his history. And Marty turned out to be the psycho he thought she was and he's not even Todd Manning. Good. Long live Victor Lord Jr.

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