Necessary Words: A Round-Up
As I've just caught up on all the soaps' Friday episodes, I wasn't planning to write up anything for them since it's already Sunday afternoon and we've got the Daytime Emmys coming up tonight (see you here at 8pm for the live blog!). But Friday's episode of One Life to Live was so effing awesome for so effing many reasons that I just had to show up to comment on a few minor things. I thought everyone in the storyline regarding Gigi's death did great work. I like it when the show does some good tear-jerking stuff, so I don't mind them killing people off as long as it's well-done, and so far they've really been doing a nice job with this. And we're making baby steps in the RHTodd story now that he's lurking and watching Blair (who, sadly, hasn't been filled in on what's up with her son so is running off to New York). But that's not the storyline I really want to address here. The most exciting thing happening on Friday's episode was Rama thwarting Cutter's attempt to keep his marriage to Jessica intact even though Ford, out of deep love and heroism, was trying to get Cutter to sign the divorce papers. Amazing! Okay, I might be joking. Because really, who cares.
Where it was really at was Jessica's emergence and its aftermath. I know I've given a lot of lip service to how pretty the Brody/Natalie/Liam family unit is in theory, but I won't sit here and pretend that Brody and Natalie have done a good thing here. Brody seemed determined to wait for Jessica for months and months while Tess was in control and then they finally got her admitted to the hospital... and that's when he finally decides to give up? He could wait months while she was running around town as Tess, but he could only wait a few days when she was actually getting in-patient psychiatric care? It was definitely bad timing, but I can't blame the guy for being done with that relationship. And he has every right to move on (and has, in fact, had the patience of a saint for years with Jess and she's done little to warrant it). But with her sister? Bad move. But the most unfortunate part of his having made that bad move is that it undermined the power of the completely valid take-down he delivered at her just-emerged door on Friday. Because it was truly a beautiful thing, chock-full of words that needed to be said. It's just a shame that his credibility is low at the moment and that she surely didn't hear a word of it (and has now, in fact, sworn vengeance on Brody and Natalie). So, for your reading pleasure:
Jessica: You slept with my sister last year when I wasn't myself. You lied to me.
Brody: I was wrong not to tell you. I've admitted that. I've apologized for it and I've paid for it. I lost Ryder, I lost you.
Jessica: So you just moved on with Natalie, with my sister? [Fair. --Ed.]
Brody: Do you have any idea how many times I've begged you to put up a fight, to take a chance and to come back to me, how many times I apologized to you? I tried to get through to you and it was not easy with Tess spitting in my face. I would look you in the eyes and I would pour my heart out. Nothing. Nothing worked, not begging you, not the therapy, not even the ECT. And that was it for me. Your mother didn't want to put you through another round, and since you were making no effort to help yourself or to help your family or to help me, that's when, yeah, I moved on. What choice did I have?
Jessica: What about me? What choice did I have? I was trapped.
Brody: The hell you were! That's the biggest load of bull I ever heard.
Jessica: You think I wanted Tess to come out? I have a disease. I was sick.
Brody: I know a thing or two about mental illness, Jessica. I've been there. And I'm not saying it's easy, but don't tell me you didn't have a choice. You chose to hide behind Tess, you used her to punish me.
Jessica: That's not true.
Brody: Oh no? You let her out! And then you used her to throw yourself at Ford! It wasn't enough that you had his child, you had to have him, too.
Jessica: Ford is involved with Tess! He's Ryder's father!
Brody: You did not care about Ryder, all you wanted was the trust fund. You know, I almost feel sorry for Ford, at least he cared about his son. Not you! The minute Ford wouldn't do what you wanted him to do, you dumped him, you moved on to Cutter Wentworth.
Jessica: I don't... I don't know anything about Cutter.
Brody: You married him. After you divorced Ford.
Jessica: What? [Yeah, lady, take a seat. Have we got some stories for you! --Ed.]
Brody: That's right. You married Ford so your family couldn't put you in treatment. Then you married Cutter. Our wedding never happened but you've been married twice since then to two different men.
Jessica: It wasn't me. Whatever happened, it wasn't me, it was Tess!
Brody: Tess is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. She's part of you. She is the mean, angry, hateful part of you.
Jessica: That isn't fair.
Brody: Oh no? The man who killed that boy in Iraq, who kidnapped Shane, he's part of me. But I take responsibility. I get on my knees every day and I pray for the strength to live a good life.
Jessica: A good life? By sleeping with my sister? [A salient point. --Ed.]
Brody: Instead of wallowing in my mistakes, or use my illness to get back at people. You have been punishing me for months. I have found you in, in parking lots and motel rooms, bars. You even turned into a guy one night, you hit on Aubrey and Rama.
Jessica: That's not true. [Oh, we all wish that Jessica, we truly do. But it really happened. --Ed.)
Brody: Oh no? His name was Wes. You even used my dead best friend to hurt me. And now that you're back it's okay because Jessica would never do that. Well, I've got news for you. Tess is as much a part of you as that sweet and caring woman that I fell in love with. That is why I hung in there, that is why I was just willing you to grow up. But no, you didn't care about your kids, your mom and dad. We all needed you. I needed you. And that's why I turned to Natalie, because you weren't there.
Jessica: Well that's convenient.
Brody: It's the truth. Liam was kidnapped. He was gone for days, held hostage by a madwoman. [A madwoman who, you might mention this Brody, one of Jess' alters assisted and covered for! --Ed.] And I had no one to turn to except Natalie! So yeah, we got closer. And then the ECT didn't work, and I gave up. I gave up on you, Jessica. And I made the decision to move on, because I was dying inside. And the hoping and praying and getting slapped down and humiliated -- I couldn't take it anymore. I'm sorry I hurt you, but that's the truth.
And there you have it. Oh yeah, Jessica then damned him and Natalie to hell because after hearing all of the stories about the shitstorm her alters caused over the last few months, she should really be focusing on revenge and not, you know, getting her act together so that she's not the world's worst mother. So yes, it's a shame that Brody moved on to Jessica's twin sister because that did nothing but undermine his completely fair and accurate take on the whole situation. Whether Jessica has some control over her alters or not, the fact of the matter is that it's even more insane than four personalities to think that your boyfriend can watch you cavorting around town for months on end, marrying two other men (and as far as he knows, sexing up half the town), and insulting him to his core every time he tries to get through to you and then be all "okee dokes, everything's back to normal now!" the second you re-appear as the dominant personality. It truly does not matter what promises a man has made; no one can withstand that and I'd honestly find the writing and the characterization more disingenuous if Brody had just stood strong through all of it.
It's just that pesky "twin sister" thing. Damn, Brody! Just keep it out of the family! No fair that they make such a pretty pairing. But I just had to transcribe that scene because, isolated from the twin sister situation, it's so damn truthy! Too bad she heard not a word. And likely never will, since she seems all kinds of righteous-feeling at this point.
Also, Aubrey had her best day yet (not counting the cat fight) when Jessica showed up and acted all shocked and indignant that she didn't just get her children handed back to her immediately, no questions asked. Of course she's anxious to see them, but lady, you've re-emerged a few times and none of these times have lasted more than roughly thirty minutes! Wouldn't you feel safer knowing that the people caring for your children are more vigilant than that?
At the end of the day, though, the most frustrating part of this is that this version of Jessica would have been so much more interesting after the initial Natalie/Brody/Ryder reveal -- she would have had every right to be this enraged, and it would have actually been compelling to watch her manage it somehow. I could have rooted for that person. Now I just want everyone in town to handle her the way Aubrey did on Friday, because after everything everyone's been put through, she should keep her head down and focus on getting better and worry about all the other stuff later. I also worry that when she gets in the loop on what's going on with her father, she might just stick with only unleashing on Brody and bury the hatchet immediately with Natalie because of the family crisis, which seriously diminishes any promise for drama in this conflict.
I seriously just meant to transcribe that and leave it at that, but I seem unable to shut up! I will leave it there and go pick out a fancy dress to sit here and live-blog the awards show that will... not have jack shit to do with One Life to Live. Can't wait!