When The Ends Do Not Justify The Means
A confession: I'm overloading you guys a bit lately with One Life to Live posts because starting next week my schedule gets insane again. I'll still be around with my no-so-insightful insights, but this almost-every-episode thing has been a lot of fun... while it's lasted.
Now to the show. Finally the reveal of what happened in the spring of last year:
Today's ending was superb -- John, Brody, Jessica, and Natalie all running into each other in the hallway after all the revelations (some of which are still unknown to Jess and Brody and I just... wow, poor Jess and Brody). However I can't really speak too well of what came before.
Natalie and John? I hope this is the end of them. Forever. I don't blame John for feeling completely enraged at Natalie (she deserves it) and I can't be critical of his anger in general, but he was yelling at her the way he yells at a perp, not a loved one who he thinks betrayed him. A little too much of a, "Ha! You're busted!" attitude. Meanwhile, Natalie made it perfectly clear that she doesn't think much of John either, by explaining that he brought this lie upon himself by not being willing to raise another man's child. I don't like being on John's side in any argument, but every angle she tried today was offensive on so many levels. Oh! She was giving him another man's child as a gift that she was going to lie to him about for the rest of his life. I mean, I've known some lousy gift-givers in my time, but she really takes the cake. Basically all of her arguments could be summed up as: "But John, you're such a douche that I had no choice!" Good grief. John is a douche, but he should probably try to date only women who wouldn't agree with me. And it sickens me that Natalie would go so far, be so underhanded and commit criminal acts, just to hold on to a man she holds in such low regard. I know that characters on soaps have done worse to each other, but honestly I was just nauseated during that entire fight today. This is not a couple. (To be fair, it's probably been a better relationship than some of my own, but I don't imagine anyone's been rooting for any of mine.)
And I have to say that I was disappointed in Melissa Archer's performance. She sometimes delivers beautifully and sometimes does not, and once the big sobbing confession portion of the show came (the initial admission that Brody is Liam's father was good, but I'm talking about the scenes immediately following), unfortunately it just didn't land for me. (It probably didn't help that while I was thinking that, a friend of mine who doesn't watch the show came through the room, started laughing, and said, "Do they even practice crying on this show?")
Any chance we'll get some Natalie-talking-to-Jared's-grave scenes now that she'll be a pariah for a little while, or is the complete amnesia that he really did die quite recently a blanket thing? I do hope that John comparing Natalie to Clint gives her something to think about and that she and her father might actually find a way to build on this as allies. And I'd be thrilled if Natalie has a revelation that the reason she fought so hard to hold onto this man who she obviously doesn't love or respect was that he she was desperate to fill the hole that Jared left when he died, but it was a mistake and she's rather be alone than sink so low.
Oh and John hilariously did the stoic-dude-single-tear move today!
As for Jessica and Brody, their biggest crisis happened yesterday, particularly because Brody's yet to learn he's really Liam's father (if he is even really Liam's father). They weren't the main event. What I liked about both confessions, though, was that everyone quickly backed off the notion that there was any cheating involved -- it was the lying and the paternity secret (and in Jess's case, just being disgusted that her fiance nailed her sister, which is legitimate) that's the problem. I also really liked that Jessica was mature enough to even recognize that she knew Brody was suffering in this situation as well, instead of just totally going off on him and hating him. After all, it's still only been about twenty minutes since he found out Ford was the biological father of his son.
Speaking of Ford, I'm going to need for him to clarify why he keeps saying he's "so good with kids" because of his experience with James. Isn't he supposed to only be about 5 or 6 years older than James? So he got all this great experience in between the ages of, what, 5 and 8? Oh! And he's so good with children that he left his little brother alone with their abusive father and never looked back. Boy I want him to be my babydaddy!
And now they've rewritten yesterday's history by playing it as if James didn't sleep with Michelle because he has feelings for Starr. No, Michelle's the one who called that off. It just happened, for frack's sake!
And Kelly is dumb as a brick. She handed that flash drive off to Cutter and let him leave the room and return with it. She also won't just say, "Clint gave that to me!" Oh, Kelly. I know it's a standard soap convention for people not to just come the hell out and say something, but it just stretches credulity into some other realm. The one thing I can say on behalf of that storyline today is that (and I don't know if this is Terri Conn being really good or really bad) the "fake-out" staged security video of Aubrey and Cutter had some seriously bad acting. It looked staged. Joey, on the other hand, is also dumb as a brick. Maybe they're a perfect match after all.
And Todd. Laughing at his family. Feeling sorry for Ford. Well, Todd, it takes one to know one, so I guess it only makes sense. And as always: Suck it, Todd.
Even though we obviously have more fireworks in store for... Monday? Is tomorrow a rerun? I wouldn't mind a wee postponement so that everyone can get some sleep and a shower and we never have to see this dress again:
Please just make it go away!