Pine Valley, PA: Death Capital of the World
DAVID KREIZMAN: You know, people are pretty much begging for us to be fired, so I figure we should make plans to go out on top.
DONNA SWAJESKI: With an award-worthy, like, "POW!" that will have people begging for us to write for another show until it, too, gets cancelled?
KREIZMAN: Exactly. And what story on General Hospital had people buzzing?
SWAJESKI: Dead Jake.
KREIZMAN: And what was the last story that earned us kudos? Jesse and Angie's dead baby.
SWAJESKI: I can still remember what the critics said: "Amazing performances almost make you forget that the writing on this show is so shitty".
KREIZMAN: So it's unanimous, then. It's time for--
SWAJESKI & KREIZMAN, IN UNISON: Another dead baby!
It's sort of funny, isn't it?* The various All My Children writing regimes in recent years were terrible in different ways, but they have one similarity**: a willingness to go the easiest and most manipulative route possible. And that is Route Killing Kids. Yes, mere weeks after Jesse and Angie's daugther was stillborn, Madison and Ryan have lost little Sara Lavery to premature birth and a bout with pneumonia. And it was so, so very sad.
Madison: Ooh, Sara. I love you. I love you so much. You know we didn't get to spend very much time together, but I have to believe that you felt that. I need you to hold on to that, just like I'll hold on to you in my heart. You will always be with me, sweet girl. Always.
The performances were, of course, phenomenal. Stephanie Gatschet and Daniel Cosgrove in particular just blew me away when both knew, immediately and without being told, that something horrible had happened. Watching their hearts break broke mine, especially since I had so badly wanted the two of them to fall in love for real and raise the baby together and now that can't happen and since it can't happen, I better get the consolation prize of a romantic reunion between those two before September because seriously, the cuteness! I feel like I stopped making sense about thirty words ago, but anyway: top notch performances.
Oh, Cam, I kid because I enjoy you and detest your character--he actually wasn't bad at all. For once, my depression in his scenes was depression WITH him, not depression over being forced to listen to the rest of Pine Valley sing Hallelujah in his honor.
Madison: We just saw her. We just touched her. She was fine.
Ryan: The infection -- it just came on a little quick, and she couldn't fend it off.
Madison: You said she was strong.
Ryan: If I could change this, I would. And she was strong. She was strong, but in the end, she was just -- she was just too tiny.
Friday's episode also saw some movement in Kendall and Griffin's search for the truth about Ricky, which sounds like the title of an amazing Lifetime Movie. Thanks to some tech handiwork, Kendall and Griffin were able to copy Ricky's hard drive and find the files he had erased. And Kendall's ability to lie to Ricky has grown by leaps and bounds! She breezily fed him the wedding website story and managed to keep up the ruse even when she was juggling the omnipresent hum of repulsion she feels whenever she's alone with him AND heartbreak for Ryan's tragedy. The only time she came close to slipping was when she snapped at him that her boys "like hockey and trains" and not Ricky's suggested boat shows, but she recovered from that nicely.
Her one mistake? Telling him that she told Spike about the engagement, not counting on him paying a visit to the wee one and realizing that something's up.
Also, Spike is ADORABLE.
Griffin spent a good chunk of the episode watching what seems to be a Ricky/Evil Diana sex tape.
I'm still loving Susan Lucci as Jane as Erica Kane and the reactions the rest of Pine Valley is having to her being subtly...off. Jack and Opal's dual expressions of befuddlement following "Erica's" extended temper tantrum and Greenlee wondering why Erica's being so nice cracked me up. Also, the way Jane just sat on the couch after Jackson broke the news about Sara's death.
Greenlee: I still don't get why people keep asking how I'm doing.
Uh, because they know you'll find a way to make it about yourself somehow, so they're just saving everybody a lot of trouble and giving you an opening? Duh.