Did You Bring It?
In the 312 theatre classes I've taken over the years, one of the most frequent assignments I've gotten (and given) is to write a short play or improvise a scene that starts with the line, "Did you bring it?" And then you go from there. Sometimes this can yield something specific and imaginative, and other times I'll sit through scene after scene (sheepishly, I confess, often written by me) that never go anywhere and stay so vague that they feel like they're lifted from the middle of a David Mamet play ("Did you bring it?" "What?" "The thing." "What thing?" "Did you bring it?" "What thing?" "The fuckin' thing." "What the hell?" "You know what I mean, the thing with the fucking thing on it." "Oh, that thing?" "Yeah, that fuckin' thing!" and so on). So far, this "Who did you give it to" business with Roger Howarth's character (is it Todd? I don't frikkin' know!) sounds like the latter. It's so vague that I would actually believe that these scenes were written and taped in one fell swoop before the beats of the rest of the story were actually mapped out. It could mean anything! Which, sure, I'm game and I enjoy the mystery, but I still don't want to sit through the usual "big name actor returns!" song and dance on soaps where he'll stay isolated from the rest of the cast and be non-specific and mysterious until forever from now.
Todd(?): I didn't give "it" to him because I don't know what "it" is! I'll tell you what, why don't you tell me what "it" is, and then maybe I can help you!
I think perhaps no one knows what "it" is, Todd(?). No one at all.
So they've already started the inevitable march back to the John/Natalie reunion, which makes me grumpy and sleepy. I like Natalie, but I think it was completely reasonable of John to be furious with her and leave her for her lies and, to me, the worst thing about his going back to her would be that she'd accept him with open arms and be so grateful that he deigns to be with her again after what she did. And it would be a huge thing to forgive -- she betrayed him in a big way. I don't really like the idea of Natalie's "forever" (as far as we're concerned as of January) to start with such an uneven playing field. If she has to be paired off in the end, I'd rather it be with someone who thinks she's amazing and isn't being somehow magnanimous by committing to her, and they can start off on more equal footing. And if John has to be paired off in the end, I'd rather it be with someone he doesn't think he's superior to (if such a person exists). I know I might get a hit taken out on me for this opinion, but at the moment I prefer John with Kelly -- and Kelly has committed worse sins than Natalie has (giving birth to her own step-grandson, anyone?) but none of them were about John, and frankly committing worse sins than Natalie has is exactly why it's fine if she ends up with a douche like McBain. I rather enjoyed their bonding over how pathetic they were, though clearly that's over now (which seems fast...I know everyone is freaking out that they need to get moving on the stories that matter but if so many of the "ending" couples are already reunited and then we have seven more months of daily episodes, well, zzzz...) and we can go back to John being all noble and rescue-y. Joy. (And yes, I still want them to reunite Natalie and Cris and, yes, I realize there's plenty to forgive there but the difference is that they'd have to forgive each other. And really? They already have.) (And since we're on the subject of never-gonna-happen fantasies I'd also settle for one last Mitch Laurence appearance before the conclusion in which he shows up with a not-at-all-dead Jared and Natalie reunites with him while all the women in town are finally the ones to take Mitch down. I will give them fifty whole dollars to do this.)
I just adored in the midst of everything that while explaining things to Matthew, Bo and Nora emphasized that -- however confusing Clint's actions have been and however much they might be furious with him -- he loves his nephew. Which is important, no matter what Clint has done, so that whatever the hell is about to go down with Matthew, he'll know he is loved by the people he's grown up thinking loved him. (What the hell is about to go down with Matthew?! No, don't tell me, it's just... I can't take it. This is obviously my favorite under-30 character and actor on the show so I'm just going to watch it play out and hope for the best because I am a naive fool consumed by madness.)
Of the actors who play the various nefarious Fords, I think Lenny Platt (Nate) is probably the strongest just in terms of basic talent, but unfortunately he's just been very badly, badly miscast. If I cared about his character, I might be really engaged by his reaction to learning Matthew killed Eddie and was letting him and his mother (at turns) take the rap and still treating Nate with contempt the whole time because it could be a story about two young men at odds that we'd be torn watching; there are sympathetic elements in each of their situations and they've both done bad things and good things but are ultimately just human. But the decks are stacked and Nate's function on this show much of the time has been to make Matthew look bad, and it looks like a grown man having grown-man-emotions dealing with a kid. I admit my extreme bias toward Matthew despite his bad acts and my extreme bias against any Ford, but it's made so much worse by the fact that it looks like an adult vs. a kid.
I'm being kind of nice today, aren't I? I mean, in a "faint praise" kind of way but still... perhaps it's just the kindness I can dig deep for after watching an episode with only one of the three Ford brothers and not a single Jessica alter!