All My (Shockingly Watchable) Drama
Maybe it's the warm weather and the feeling that summer is finally here after a particularly dreadful weekend (in two weeks, when I am three inches taller thanks to humidity-induced hair frizz and am cursing the weather, please feel free to send me a link back to this entry with the subject "You Mercurial Bitch"), but I spent much of the last few days basically floating on air. I sat in traffic with a smile. I made smalltalk with people that I normally avoid interacting with. And I said the words, "Wow, that was really good!" after an episode of All My Children ended. All of that is CRAZY, especially the All My Children praise, but here we are!
What was so good? Let's recap the episode.
We start with Erica in captivity, sadly looking at pictures of her loved ones when FauxErica's henchman enters. She pleads with him not to take them away. Seemingly concerned, he asks if she's all right and she says--not as snippily as I probably would have, but she has better self-preservation skills, obviously, after a lifetime of horrible things happening to and around her--that she doesn't really look like herself because she's, you know, being held hostage. She warns Henchman that:
Erica: Your boss, Jane, is going to find out that it's not easy being Erica Kane even when you are, actually, Erica Kane.
FauxErica is really learning this the hard way. She composes herself against a wall and takes advantage of the silence and the hard surface to have a flashback to herself immediately after her Erica Kane Construction Surgery.
At Pine Valley Hospital, Marissa's hand shakes as she tries to get coffee, but JR comes over to do it for her. This is seriously the lowlight of the episode--they are so BORING. Maybe I'm bitter because I grew to love JR and Annie together so much and maybe I'm also bitter because the writers ignored the obvious story here, which was to do a crazy and angsty story about how screwed up it is that Marissa basically took over her dead twin's wife, but whatever, I can't even pay full attention to their scenes, so I might not wind up recapping them.
Tad and Liza meet at Krystal's. He asks her to go over Diana Holden's forensic report again and she is beyond irritated. I'd be irritated, too, if the wardrobe department spent the entirety of my time on the show dressing me in the most unflattering and flammable clothes possible, and then decided, when the show is in its last days, to make me look good.
Cara is literally sick with worry about Griffin. Jake tries to comfort her.
Kendall has Ricky at gunpoint
He is still just--pardon the phrase, which I know is dorky--cool as a cucumber. Eddie Matos is obviously having a ball with this over-the-top evil and he points out to her that she has no proof and that Spike and Ian are going to be really lonely when she goes to prison. She flips out that he'd have the audacity to use her children against her some more and he's both surprised and frustrated that she can't see why he did this. Killing Zach, he explains, was just business, but the rest of it? The lurking and the stalking? That was all for her. Like, why are you not flattered, Kendall?! She screams that she hates him.
Erica thinks FauxErica's plan is ridiculous and doomed to fail, and lists all of the things Erica can do that nobody else can. It looks, for a minute, like her words are reaching him but then he reboots and tells her, very seriously, "You have no idea what I have taken away from people".
It was all sorts of menacing and I admit to being intrigued. What has he taken away? Family members? Money? A package of Hostess SnoBalls? That would definitely hit me where it hurt (I'm hungry right now).
Henchman talks to FauxErica, who tells him that she is all right but is obviously shaken and not up to the task of being Erica.
Jack talks to Bianca in her hospital room. She's worried about Kendall. He is worried about her--he gently points out that it's natural for all of this to remind her of Michael Cambias.
JR and Marissa do things and talk about stuff.
Cara is still heartbroken over Griffin and all of a sudden, they are making out, hot and heavy, with not an ounce of chemistry between them.
At Krystal's, Liza, who is spectacularly bad at her job, doesn't see the need to test the non-Griffin DNA that was found under Diana's fingernails. What?! I know that the Pine Valley legal system is a joke, but that seems a bit ridiculous, even for this show. Jack McCoy would have this bitch's job so fast. Tad drops a bombshell: he thinks the guilty party is actually Ricky Torres.
Speaking of! Ricky tells Kendall that she doesn't really want to shoot him and she grimly laughs and tells him he couldn't be more wrong. He decides to take a different approach here and diverts her attention by casually mentioning the safety--or lack thereof--of her "sweet baby sister", which we all know will stop Kendall's heart.
Jane is remembering her post-op conversation with a doctor who tells her that "the loss must still be with you"; she says that Erica Kane doesn't suffer. Jackson interrupts the flashback.
Chandler Mansion. I assume JR and Marissa have a conversation.
Liza is floored that Tad would suspect a reverend of being involved in the murder of a random casino executive but, really, she shouldn't be surprised. Everyone in town has at least three felonies under their belt; a holy man being accused of murder shouldn't phase anybody. She finally agrees to put out a warrant for his DNA and, as she leaves, says that this whole thing really showed her how much he loves his wife. Tad mulls this over.
Jake and Cara are still kissing and beginning to disrobe when his phone--thankfully!--rings.
Kendall orders Ricky to tell her where Bianca is and, having immense fun, he says that it's somewhere she needs to be rescued from. She tries to get him to call the police but he suddenly overpowers her, gets the gun away from her and, horribly, straddles her on the floor.
It's incredibly upsetting and straight out of General Hospital, watching him rub her hair and her chest and cruelly yelling, "I wanted you to love me, Kendall. And I always get what I want." Clearly, he's never wanted a good haircut.
Back from commercial, he is whispering sweet nothings in her ear and kissing her. Alicia Minshew does a phenomenal job of both looking scared and repulsed and trying to think of a way to get herself out of this situation. After kissing him back, he kicks him and tries to get control of the gun, but he soon has her at gunpoint.
Jack wonders what FauxErica's deal is. She nervously throws out some excuses--"I went to get food, but then a reporter called and also, I went to work, and you know, life is crazy and then, no service and it was like 'What?'". He, quite accurately, calls her out on not wanting to be in Bianca's hospital room. It's just FauxErica's luck, isn't it? She thinks Erica's life is so fun and glam, and she takes it over at the precise time that all of Erica's loved ones are completely falling apart.
Bianca has some horrible flashbacks to being terrorized by Ricky and raped by Michael. Christina Bennett Lind is a FANTASTIC actress; seriously, she's super talented and it is SUCH a waste that the writers haven't ever given her anything to do.
At the Chandler Mansion, Marissa and JR have not yet been killed off.
Jake and Cara are caught off guard by what almost happened and while Cara is trying to convince both of them that it was nothing, Tad walks in. Awkward!
Ricky happily greets Griffin who, he says, has given him all the tools he needs to get out of this pickle. Griffin is confounded by this.
Ricky: Because you gave me everything that I need to get out of this. Dr. Griffin Castillo -- fugitive, drug dealer, and murderer -- finds the woman that he loves in the arms of her fiancé. So he kills poor Kendall, and then he turns the gun on himself. You like that? I do. But don't worry, guys, because I will deliver both of your eulogies.
1. He kind of has a point! He thinks on his feet, this evil genius, and plots things out in a really rational manner. If being a hitman/reverend doesn't work out for him, he should try soap opera writing. Actually, his way of thinking is far too rational for that. Never mind.
2. Damn, that eulogy line was extra cold.
Kendall elbows him with all her might and the two men struggle over the gun. Then! Gunshot!
...a non-fatal gunshot. Ricky is on the floor with a broken leg, with Griffin holding a gun on him.
Griffin: You ok? Look at me. Look at me! You killed Zach. You killed Diana Holden, and you framed me for her murder, and you framed me for selling the drugs.
Ricky: Griff, you got no proof. Ok? You know it. I will get away with all of it, live to make another plane explode in the sky.
FauxErica makes an unconvincing attempt at pretending to want to be with Bianca, but Jack points out the absurdity of Erica Kane picking up her own food and not having a peasant do it for her. She says that it all brings up some horrible memories, which he totally buys. She turns on the charm and says she just wants to go back to having fun and not dealing with yucky things like "Family" and "tragedies".
At the Chandler Mansion, Marissa still has red hair.
Tad is so excited to be telling Cara the news about Griffin's case being reopened that I could almots cry from cuteness, but he realizes that their reactions aren't anywhere near as excited as they should be. Jake explains that there is a good chance Griffin is dead. Tad reveals that Griffin never even left Pine Valley.
Ricky is still taunting Griffin and launching into some epic creepiness!
Ricky: You're exactly like me, Castillo. You think nothing can break you, nothing can get to you. But then somebody like Kendall walks into your life, and then all reason goes out the window, because you know what? You want her, and if you have to kill for her, you will. Come on. Come on! Blow me away like I blew her husband away into tiny little pieces. Come on!
Ugh, my skin totally crawled.
Is it possible for someone to be both angry and earnest? That's how Griffin is, telling Ricky that they have nothing in common. Suddenly they have another unexpected visitor: Jesse! Seeing a friendly, law enforcement affiliated face, Ricky launches into a run of award-worthy acting, twisting his face in agony and begging for Jesse to arrest his "attackers".
Jesse does not even want to deal with the sight of Griffin ("Shut up. You've been a big enough pain in my ass, all right?") and arrests Ricky for kidnapping Bianca and Marissa. Kendall is relieved that her sister is safe but when Ricky, even under arrest, smarms that he loves her, devolves into a sobby, shrieky mess, screaming at him that he killed her husband before breaking down into gaspy sobs. Griffin has absolutely no idea what to do with this and awkwardly tries to pat her from about four feet away but tells her that it's over and that she did it. She gives him half of the credit and, sadly, hopes that Zach can finally rest in peace. This causes her to cry some more and he hugs her.
Jesse calls Tad to fill him on on the Ricky/Griffin/Kendall drama and he happily tells his wife that Griff and Kendall are okay; he doesn't notice the fact that SHAME is written all over Jake and Cara's faces.
Kendall is relieved that everyone is safe and that Zach's killer is in prison, but isn't even sure how to thank Griffin for all of his help when she suddenly realizes that he's been shot. And he's like, "Oh, it's not even a thing" because he is indestructible, apparently. Beatings, stabbings and gunshosts are like nothing! Meanwhile, I put my arm down on a table too quickly and I'm bruised for days. Kendall says he needs to go to the hospital, but Jesse interrupts that, um, instead of that happening, Griffin is actually going to be arrested.
The Dueling Ericas are deep in thought. Real Erica intones some very wise words.
Erica: She will not bring me down, because only one person can say these words: "I am Erica Kane."
Susan Lucci is a treasure!
Bianca and Marissa are still chatting when Jack interrupts to share the good news that Kendall was rescued and Ricky arrested. Binks is gleeful; Marissa reacts with all of the enthusiasm of a cashier at Target on a particularly busy Saturday. They banter a little bit about what a good team they are and then say their goodbyes. Because she's completely awkward, Bianca adds "Sleep well". What?! Dorky!
At the hospital, Cara is nearly crawling out of her skin, so impatient is she to see her brother. Tad who, let's just say it again, is ADORABLE and IN LOVE WITH HER and ALL I WANT RIGHT NOW IS A HAPPY ROMANCE FOR THEM, OH MY GOD, is worried that she's mad at him for keeping the Griffin secret. She's shocked that he'd even ask her that. He soon hits her where it hurts by saying that it's a betrayal of their marriage vows and even though their marriage is a weird farce, he feels horrible that he let her down. Her eyes dart around nervously.
Kendall insists that Jesse let Griff see a doctor and he pulls the "Just doing my job, ma'am" card. Really?Let's take a few seconds and brainstorm a list of things Jesse has done instead of his job: switching his stillborn child for a live one; letting Kendall escape from prison and hide in a secret room at home instead; etc. and so on. Come now, Jesse. She's completely flabbergasted, but Griffin says it is fine. She tells him that they will get his life back to the way it was before he blew it all up on her behalf and he is thrilled at the prospect. The prospect of getting his life back or doing it with her, I'm not really sure, but he's happy either way.
Meanwhile, Jake opens his locker door and is greeted immediately by pictures of Amanda and Trevor.
And with that, we head into a long weekend. What did you all think? Was this actually entertaining or am I just grading on one hell of a curve?