No lie, I am on a One Life to Live high today. I thought this was the third good episode in a row. What? No, seriously. The well-timed Roger Howarth news came right as Tomas showed up again with a photo of Howarth's Todd and a few (ostensibly) throw-away lines about the face-changing surgery Todd had once gotten. I don't read spoilers but sometimes these things are telegraphed from a country mile away, but quite frankly I'm delighted that I have no idea where any of this is going. Add that to the Echo/Charlie reveal, the revelation of Matthew as Eddie's shooter, and the high gear of the bullying story (and it finally bringing in most of the adults), and this is a really strong showing for our perpetually-on-the-verge-of-cancellation show.
Monday crushed me. Watching Viki get her heart broken is like watching my TV mom's heart get broken. Or it is watching my TV mom's heart get broken. And sweet mercy -- Slezak's still got it. In spades. She gave me chills in her confrontation with Echo and Charlie yesterday. Today I was worried for Viki because she seemed to be looking at Charlie as some poor victim (and buying into his horrific argument that somehow sleeping around on his wife was, at the very least, better than taking a drink!), blaming Echo entirely and feeling bad that she expects too much of him or some sort of bullshit, but then she got crushed all over again when he confessed he has legitimate feelings for Echo. Erika Slezak ran the gamut from rage to disgust to humiliation to devastation and back again. I wanted to give her a big fat hug.
Another performance worth singling out was Kassie DePaiva's. She hit every note of Blair's horror and disappointment at what her son has turned into before her very eyes. In particular, after Jack's comment about how Marty was probably asking to be gang-raped and she slapped him (and while I'm never in favor of hitting one's kids, that took a crap-ton of restraint on Blair's part to only slap him), when she was shocked at what she'd done while not losing any of her anger but added the fear for her boy on top of that. I might add that Andrew Trischitta stepped it up in that scene as well -- and I hope it signaled to the writers that youngsters are better trained opposite experienced actors because they have no choice but to elevate their effort. (Also, holy shit! I can't believe Jack said that!) Here's hoping that scenes like this that really attack the meat of the matter keep coming.
And speaking of young actors, Austin Williams made me cry today. Yep. Shane. Rex and Gigi's son made me cry. I am lost! But seriously, he's been really starting to impress me in this storyline but today just sent it home. That was not easy material to play, but it was well-written and beautifully executed and made my heart hurt just the way it was supposed to. And you know what? I could screencap a bunch of Rex's completely ridiculous facial expressions from today's big scenes, but honestly? The show was good. The scenes were good. They weren't perfect, but I was moved and I don't really feel like undermining that right now by making fun. Nobody gets a free pass, but they do today because a lot of heart was put into what we were given today. And I actually do root for this show! (I feel like I'm disappointing those of you who stopped by for snark, so I apologize for that. And you know this is just temporary good will!)
In the spirit of the recently begun MLB season, some categories for the last few days:
OLTL Casting Department
Starr (the character) (seriously, she's been awesome again!)
Eddie Alderson (Matthew)
Ones to Watch (Improving Batting Average)
Farah Fath (Gigi)
Shenell Edmonds (Destiny)
Possibly Sending to Minor Leagues
Marty (the character) (she's clearly still crazy)
Clint (the character) (he was seriously going to give Matthew up in court if Nora hadn't dropped the charges?)
John (the character) (why's he punishing Brody for taking care of his son? Brody didn't even freakin' know John wasn't the father when he was being lied to, so John needs to chill.)
Hope's babysitter (wasn't Marty actually not allowed access to Hope?)
Susan Haskell (quite literally on her way out)
Brian Kerwin (quite literally on his way out)
Well, I'm certainly feeling warm and fuzzy today. Am I alone in this? Off I go to actually re-watch a few of these scenes...