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« Sucks So Good: True Blood 4.6, "I Wish I Was The Moon" | Main | The More Things Change... »

August 01, 2011

HOLY. %$#@&&ING. CRAP.

Y'all, I warn you now just to skip this if you (a) want me to avoid being hyperbolic or (b) are expecting me to be articulate and do today's episode justice. I can't help you with either of those things. I've been totally humbled in terms of my ability to articulate anything at all. But how could I not at least give it a whirl? Get ready for crazy-person ramblings and non-sequiturs.

Some highlights:

Today, Kristen Alderson did some of the best work of her entire stint on OLTL. When Starr went up to her daddy and reached up to touch his scar and he leaned into it with such pleading, well, that might've been the first time I broke today.

Or the first time might have been:

Todd: I'm Todd Manning, and I'm home.

Or, you know, maybe:

Todd: Yes, I'm real. I'm real, and you're not. And I need you to stay the hell away from my family.

I mean it's sort of pointless to single out actors. Roger Howarth was also terrific today, and Florencia Lozano seriously delivered, and Trevor St. John was just chilling (his cold-smug-face seemed to be more of a mask than ever before). Even Andrew Trischitta as Jack was functional (remember I only said functional!) today, quite specifically in the sense that he (of everyone) would be least struck by any of this. Sure, it would be confusing and upsetting, but not as world-shaking. That face isn't actually the face he knows as his father, not really. He was too young. 

Kassie DePaiva broke my heart. And Ted King in his pure outsider role played it well -- he hung back in every scene, playing it as if he were waiting and watching for a potential bomb to explode at any minute. 

I mean hot damn, Most Of The OLTL Cast!

Back to the stuff that may have broken me...

Blair: Where have you been?

Yup, yup, that might have done it. Got to me just a tad. But not as much as...

Todd (to Blair): The only thing I know for sure is that you kept me alive. What kept me going day after day, for eight years, was the idea of coming home to you. And to Starr. To Jack. 

And honestly? I thought they did a nice job of doing what they had to do, which was actually have non-Todd scenes in the episode. Maybe it undermined whatever exciting moments were going on elsewhere, but I thought it was smart to move action forward in other stories but make sure they stayed second- and third-thread stories for the sake of this "very special episode" (please, it was). Dani now knows how and why Nate was blackmailed into doing porn (still funny to write that out), Destiny's pretty sure Nate hurt Matthew, and Shawn knows that Destiny is likely pregnant. Rex, too, who was actually lurking behind a curtain for the main event seemed to not even notice it was happening because he was having some sort of breakdown (people lurking behind curtains always make me think we're going to get a Polonius situation but, alas, no one stuck a sword through the curtain) in which he actually realized maybe he probably shouldn't go ahead and start murdering people. But they definitely remembered where their bread was buttered in this episode.

Okay, you're right, who cares who cares who cares. Back to business.

Todd: I fought for eight years to get here. To be with the people that I love. I wanted to live my life again. But it turned out someone had taken my place... Blair, you were my wife. You had my children. You know in your heart you know who I am. 

So that happened, too.

If you're all now thinking, "Uh, Louise, are you just going to transcribe the entire show?" the answer is, "Uh-huh, yes, probably, yes."

Okay, so I'm going to throw down one challenge here. Upon learning that RHTodd (accidentally) knocked out Jack...

Blair: If you say you're Todd Manning you would never raise a hand to your own child. 

Say what now, Daimler? She's just in shock, right? 'Cause, uh, not only would Todd raise a hand to his child, he has done so more than once. (And hell, Blair, so have you!) So let's not be silly here.

And I know that TSJTodd has called Starr "Shorty" a couple of times, but seeing RHTodd say it to her again after all these years totally tugged at my heartstrings (oh, my heart which has as of late turned into a completely-pathetic-sap heart by this damn show).

And I probably still could've been convinced RHTodd isn't really Todd (okay, I would cry, but I could be convinced) until the moment he was begging Blair to tell him she knows him and she kept saying, "I don't know, I don't know," and the anguish on his face right there? Oh, that's him. That's him.

Oh yeah, and then:

Blair1
Thekiss1
Thekiss3

Todd: I dare you to ever forget me. I dare you.

  Todd2

I got nothin'. Speechless on that one.

Okay, except: Aw, poor Tomas.

My friend and I have already been discussing how tomorrow should obviously be declared a national holiday. I just want to sit around my house for days watching old YouTube videos. No, I don't. I want to watch more of this show now! Mercy it feels good to type that.

Téa took a bit of a back seat today to the Blair/Starr/Todd maybe-reunion and was also dealing with the fact that her daughter is mid-crisis now, so I assume we'll delve deeper into her reaction to this soon. While others were playing shock or denial or even hope, she fell somewhere closer to heartbreak. Todd was the man she loved and wanted so much and couldn't ever really have, not the way she wanted him, and now she finally thought she was sharing a life with him. But was it never him? Was it all a lie? RHTodd's extreme focus on Blair and coming back to her had to echo those final moments with Todd on the island a million times in her head -- does she love that man? Even though she can never have him? Does she love this man? And for TSJTodd to stand behind her stroking her back telling her he's the man who's always loved her? That actually was probably the moment that made her the most suspicious of all. All of a sudden she heard that loud and clear, and that just doesn't sound like Todd. Florencia Lozano had about a million things to play and she played the living hell out of them. 

I could clearly write a short book on this, and there's so much more coming in the next few episodes (I mean we still don't really have a single solid piece of information on how and why this all happened!), so I'll leave it at this:

Dear One Life to Live,

You have put me through the wringer -- I've had a love/hate relationship with you for a long time. But I've stuck with you for almost three decades. And duration is a gift that we, the viewers, give to you. It's unique to your medium and it's something you can really take advantage of, and when you do? It's a payoff not available to us when we view a movie or a prime-time show or anything else. It's years upon years upon years and decades upon decades of our relationships with the show. Because so many of us were watching in 1994 and 1996 and 2002 and 2003 and 2005 and 2008 and now, you got an opportunity to give us something that makes the duration all worth it. You got an opportunity to let some of your most talented cast members shine and work in a room of artists they will always step up for. Thank you for delivering. I'm glad I waited.

Love,
Weezie (super-long-time fan)

That's all I got. And yeah, yeah. Hyperbole. I'm crazy. And if you think so, I understand, but trust me -- no one's raining on this parade for me! So just one more thing: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! 

Comments

I keep reading transcripts of this ep and it never gets old.

It was classic and very good soap even though we still have so many questions. I'm okay with questions, though. The show got the most important thing right in that he was in an emotional place similar to the one he occupied in 2003 when he left. They didn't erase history in order to put him in a completely different emotional space because it made the couple they wanted to tell more convenient. (GH, I'm looking at you.)

It was just so much fun to watch.

SQUEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

That kiss? I actually freaking swooned! Heaven help me, I did. I DVRed the episode and I've watch the 2 Todd scenes about a dozen times. Every other storyline? I don't f'n care. Honestly, all of them were FF material. COULDN'T CARE LESS! But the core Manning family stuff? Could not stop watching.

THANK YOU OLTL WRITERS, ACTORS and DIRECTOR(S)! I can actually say that I haven't seen OLTL give its audience such a damn tour de force like the past few episodes..... in years. Even Jack wasn't unbearable to watch.


HOLY. %$#@&&ING. CRAP. You took the words right outta my mouth, Weezie. I'll see you and raise you an OH EM GEE! I was positively drooling when the Todd on Todd action started, then Star and RHTodd brought me to tears. The look on RHTodd's face chilled me right through in the warmest way. (Even our dog hugged our cat.) And here I sat, drool on my chin, snot flowing, tears flowing, afraid to move as if it might stop the action. I must get a grip. Later. Much later. Hopefully much, much later. (Sigh....)

I'm sooooooo with you Louise. SO. WITH. YOU.

I just said elsewhere that I can't think of the last time I've been so sincerely and honestly THRILLED with a show. Every second of Todd with Blair and Starr was everything I've been wanting and missing and NEEDING TO SEE for the last eight years. Period. I don't even know where to start, and I'm impressed you didn't just post the full transcript with a bunch of squealing.

"Shorty" touching his face and calling him Dad? Blair talking to him like he's Todd immediately ("Where have you been" "We thought you were dead")? Todd saying he got through because of Blair, Starr, and Jack? Starr's awesome reactions to everything? THE KISS?!?!?! "I dare you to forget me"?!?!?!?!

I can't even. OLTL is just beyond on fire. Well done, show.

I adored the Todd scenes today. RH and KDP still have oodles and oodles of chemistry. That kiss and the "I dare you to ever forget me, I dare you," just made me melt. I cannot wait to see them reunite.

And I loved the parallels between Starr and Jack. While Starr is showing some doubt, she's pretty much in RH Todd's corner while Jack is clearly in TSJ Todd's corner. Though, I did love RH's Todd saying that Jack will come to know him. I cannot wait to see the Manning family together again.

Okay, I admit I squealed and shouted and got totally caught up in the 'reveal' as well and totally agree that Kristen Alderson was the best in like forever and confirmed my feeling that she should support Manning s/ls! THW KISS. That kiss made me stand up and stand right in front of the TV. Roger Howarth and Kassie DePaiva completely sold it! I was pretty convinced that RH-Todd was "The Real Todd", well now, I AM COMPLETELY SOLD.

Unfortunately, so many elements in today's episode prevented it from being the great episode I anticipated after last Thursday and Friday as I thoroughly enjoyed those episodes. My biggest beef: I am a fan of both TSJ and RH but moreover, I am a fan of quality storytelling. I expected a nuanced and interesting 'reveal' scene and that's not what was delivered. I feel that RH-Todd will be "The Real Todd" but that doesn't mean I want to throw out quality writing to get to that end. Everyone in that room should have been more than skeptical of the man showing up with original Todd's face but actually frightened and in utter disbelief. I don't like the treatment that TSJ-Todd was never real and that no one believed he was Todd but yet they bonded and loved him. C'mon y'all.

Andrew Trishitta is BEYOND BAD. His vacant stares, awkward expressions and gestures lessened the impact of the man with Todd's old face showing up and claiming his family. AT was not even functional, if anything he has regressed.

The Rex-stuff was criminally bad. I praised JPL during Gigi's death but today was cringe-worthy. Rex/Gigi are not some epic love story that warrants "Ghost Gigi." The best thing Farah Fath ever did as Gigi was die.

I am liking the Destiny s/l, Dani/Nate s/l and Rex s/l seem to be moving.

Random observation: Anyone else notice Vivian was wearing one of Evangeline's old dresses.


Also, I love how frozen and kind of mushed Blair's face was when RH's Todd was caressing it and saying "I dare you to ever forget me, I dare you."

Gah, I'm going to have to watch those scenes like 100 times now.

As for AT's Jack, I wasn't too upset with his scenes. He played it very well. He was confused at what was going on, but he still believed TSJ's Todd is his father. I really cannot wait to see RH's Todd and Jack talk about what he did to Shane and Gigi.

Also, did anyone notice how when TSJ's Todd came to the bar to talk to Starr and Jack, Starr subtly moved away from him and he didn't even notice?? She totally believes RH's Todd on some level, but is letting herself be confused. Blair too.

Not hyperbole. That episode was awesome on top of awesome on top of awesome.

And Andrea, I loved that moment with TSJTodd, Starr, and Jack at the bar. Except I think TSJ Todd knew she was moving away from him; he didn't look because he didn't need to look. He saw where her heart was at the opening of the show and he knows they haven't been the same since the Cole/Hope fiasco.

What he was doing was mindscrewing her by reminding her that SHE was the first one to say he was Todd, implying that it was her fault if there was a mistake. He was hoping she would will herself to believe she was right 8 years ago because the alternative would be unbearable.

At least, that's the effect he had on her as she looked sicker and sicker until RHTodd stormed over and told her that TSJTodd had lied, had *made* her do it. TSJTodd trying to put the weight on Starr and RHTodd trying to take it off... brilliant.

No wonder she practically collapsed onto Blair at the end.

I thought the reveal scenes were VERY nuanced and interesting, very well-acted and very well-written. But yeah, as the episode went along there were a few weird moments where it felt like they'd gotten over the shock and were just trying to solve a minor mystery, which felt a little too soon. I'd be treating both Todds like something out of a horror movie at that point!

This episode made me beyond happy. If through some twist, RH isn't the real Todd (although I will never believe that in my heart), I will just let the show end here for me. Done and Done. It will live on my DVR forever.

I'm glad you pointed out the moment between TSJ-Todd and Tea where he says she's the woman he always loved and how much that hits her wrong because I was shouting at the screen BUT THAT'S NOT TRUE AND YOU KNOW IT. Up until TnT 2.0, Todd never played it like that, never diminished the fact he loved Blair even when he hated her. And Tea knew all of that.

Now, the kiss...omg, I cannot even. I noticed when I was tweeting like mad afterward that Todd and Blair kissed in almost the exact same way they did at the gold balloon wedding -- her hand is on his neck the same way, his arm is around her back in the same way. It was AMAZING.

And, yeah, those lines? Blair begging to know where he'd been and him daring her to forget him? OMG.

I'm actually very excited to see what Tomas has to say in this aftermath especially to Blair. I think he's just been blown out of the water in a way he never imagined. (Because, holy hell, he had to see he could never compare to the memory of the old/real/past Todd, not after seeing the way Blair reacted to him.)

As an aside, I also think it'll be a hilarious note in the new RH-Todd/McBain friendship when RH-Todd finally realizes that McBain is an ex-Mr. Blair Cramer.

This show is on fire! I know we're supposed to be happy that Prospect Park supposedly "rescued" both OLTL and AMC, but I want this show right where it is. According to SOD August 9th issue, OLTL was third in the ratings for the week of July 11th. I can only assume that it will continue in third place or better for the following weeks. The cancellation of this show is just insanity.

All I can say is I'm glad AMC is the one going next month and not this one. ****runs away from irate AMC fans**** This is the best I have seen this show be in YEARS. General WHAT? All My WHO? I forgot the other 2 shows exist. Roger Howarth is my personal hero for coming back and making me love this show right now.

I'm not going to say anything (because you've said it all) except that at every commercial (after holding my breathe through every Todd vs. Todd scene) I would scream, "THIS IS THE GREATEST DAY OF SOAP EVER!!! EVER!!!"

Wow. I had worked really hard to prepare myself for disappointment in yesterday's show because I didn't believe it could live up to any expectation I allowed myself to have.

Blew that out of the water.

Everyone in that room did a hell of a job. Even Jack who really only had to look confused and sometimes scared. Well done. But I love that no one broke character even when they weren't the focus of the camera.

I look forward to hearing more from Tomas in this as well. I so enjoy Ted King and I felt his presence, despite the so few lines, throughout... not in an ostentatious way, but like a solid anchor. He immediately went to protect his sister when Todd pulled the gun and he even reached out to Blair when she and Starr moved towards Todd. I'd still like to split Blair in two so one of her could be with Todd and the other with Tomas. What can I say? I really like them and I want to know what else HE knows.

As to Tea and Frodd.. well, the fact is that Tea Delgado has never seen what she saw in yesterday's show. She has never seen a Todd so completely open about loving Blair. She's only ever been around to see him angry at her, loving her and hating it, wanting to lash out, hurt, deny, destroy. She has never seen him stand there and look at Blair with such unabashed adoration, as if the very sight of her was sustenance for his soul.

She always knew that he loved her but she never actually SAW it and seeing it yesterday and going home with the man she thought was Todd who claimed to be the one who ALWAYS loved Tea... yeah, she knew. Deep down she knew all too well.

"I dare you to ever forget me. I dare you."

Damn.

CZ, you're very right. TSJ's Todd was mindscrewing Starr and saying that she was a big reason everyone believed him to be Todd. His lack of concern for both Starr and Jack was pretty sad. If TSJ's Todd wanted Starr to believe him, he did a really poor job of it.

Also, I noticed how Starr initially did move away from RH's Todd when he came over, but once he started moving towards Blair, she moved closer to him. Deep down she believes it, but her mind is telling her that she should be confused. Same with Blair.

I'm pretty sure my heart actually stopped during that kiss. And I FELL OUT with the "I dare you" line.

I'm in love....with a show....called OLTL.

If I thought I loved last week, then I just had no idea what was coming, b/c yesterday full of everything good in this world.

RHTodd was amazing and I don't think that word does him justice. Blair and Starr broke my heart b/c they just didn't know. When Blair kept saying, "I don't know" I was done. I also felt bad for Tea, b/c now she has no idea who she's married to.

As for the kiss, I full on swooned. It was dramatic and romantic and I can't tell you how many times I watched it over and over again or how long it took me to get past it. At that point, I was ready to throw my arms around RHTodd and tell him I believed him. He was just so vulnerable trying to convince Blair, and so was she b/c she looked so absolutely torn and heartbroken.

It never made sense to me how Todd and Blair's history was kind of just thrown to the side and made to be no big deal these recent years. Now was the first time in a long time they're being acknowledged the way they should be.

It was all so very soapy!

F'N WOW! I've never commented on any soap blog, but I have to talk about this w/ someone! RH's scenes w/ Kristen Aldersen blew me away. Those huge Disney eyes were killing me! I never had a preference between Todd/Tea or Todd/Blair, to me Star was always his real 1st love. My brain flashed through every scene they had together when she was a toddler and I lost it. This is up there w/ Karen's courtroom scene & Angie crawling in Jesse's hospital bed as he was dying for my greatest soap memories.(man, I am old! lol) I haven't been this excited about any tv show in years. Can't wait until his 1st scene w/ Vicki...

I'm probably the only one wishing that TSJ was sticking around and would be revealed to be the real Todd. RH has never done much for me -- either as Todd or ATWT's Paul Ryan.

The real star of this episode for me was the sweet goodness that flowed from the pen of the magnificent Ron Carlivati. As a decades long soap viewer, I can say without hesitation that he's the only head-writer working these days that understands utilizing every player on the canvas and having one story build off of another. If this show doesn't sweep the Emmys next year or there's no justice.

^^ I wish TSJ was sticking around too because it would make for a better story. I think he is the superior actor but RH is Todd Manning. RH was dismal on ATWT but I think he has returned to OLTL with a new energy, he looks great and presents as a viable romantic lead.

I wish I could agree with you on Ron Carvialti but I think he's too inconsistent to be considered magnificent.

I just watched Monday's OLTL...

I was cryin' before the opening credits!!!!

As soon as STARR touched TODD's face, I was SOBBING....
It was the show's history, my history... & my history WITH the show ALL flooding back at once!!!!

My childhood, my teen years, my college years, the people I've loved, the people I've lost... when STARR touched The Scar, we were all back together again.

As great as monday's show was, what a freaking letdown today's episode was. Are the writers trying to kill me? Outside of David and Dorian(always full of win) it was all ff material for me. Two Todds! And today we got to hear about Poor Nate, Poor Rex, Poor Dani and the not so poor Clint. Oh, and the King and Queen of Useless, Joey and Kelly. No Todds? No Blair? Tea? Starr? Screw Jack's feelings! What about adorable Sam? He will be finding out that his so call dad is even more of a liar than previously known. His dad is a "bad guy" to his beloved new Spiderman friend. Instead we were treated to a trip to Boring Crapville, USA.

+++Instead we were treated to a trip to Boring Crapville, USA. +++

Ah yes, the other side of Llanview. I would take Clint and Vicki out of the equation, and Bo and Nora, but otherwise, you're right.
And the worst of all? Ghost Gigi. The only good thing this character ever did was die and now she's ruining that too.

I like Echo, and love Kim Zimmer. Watching her and JPL in a scene together....well, it's not fair to JPL, that's for sure. Talents like Zimmer just shine next to ones like his.

I love Vicki and Clint too. Bo and Nora, I can be iffy about. But really, after what just happened hours before, I couldn't care less about the Buchannan drama. Greatly due to the fact that Clint did start the stupid crap and it just further involves the Fords with more airtime.

Why the hell hasn't ANYONE bothered to call Vicki and tell her about this Todd situtation? He is only her brother and she actually has been the one family member to always be concerned about him. Hell, Blair, Starr and Jack live with Dorian and nobody seems to have bothered to inform her either.

I don't know if I can take another non Manning/Kramer day like yesterday again.

I didn't mind a lower-stakes episode as a breather, actually (despite the annoying Ford-ness of it). However I do think it was a mistake to include Dani, Viki, and Dorian on the episode with nary a mention of "oh, I have all these voicemails from Starr/Blair/whoever" or even "I lost my phone" or something. It just makes no sense to me that nobody would have heard. Especially Dani -- seems like her sister or mother might want to warn her prior to the next day that some weird stuff's going down with her own family!

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