Coming To You Straight From Cloud 9
I was so excited for today's episode of All My Children that I very nearly responded to the Target cashier's innocent "How are you today?" query with "I am FANTASTIC because today's the day that David Canary comes back. And Sarah Michelle Gellar! It's going to be awesome and I'm probably going to cry, but...you know, in the FANTASTIC way". I started to giggle basically as soon as the TV-PG box popped up in the corner of the screen at the show's start (and then immediately teared up when Michael E. Knight paid his respects to Mary Fickett).
And the show did not disappoint. The writing all week has been top-notch, but today's episode was nothing short of stellar. There were so many touching moments, so many light-hearted delights, a welcome revelation that Babe IS actually dead, and performances that were phenomenal.
And the returns, people. The returns! It's always nice to see the lovely Eva LaRue, as random as her guest appearances have been. But Sarah Michelle Gellar? I cheered. DAVID CANARY? I applauded. Justin Bruening? I squealed, and considering how lukewarm I've been on Jamie since always, I started to wonder if the show was actually getting me high.
Sarah Michelle Gellar's cameo return was just freaking fantastic.
I adore the Smidge--it's impossible for me not to, you know? The woman played Kendall Hart AND Buffy Summers, plus she has amazing hair. Win/win/win. And I love, love, LOVE the fact that in all of the interviews she's given during her promotional tour for Ringer (which is all sorts of soapy), she's decried the cancellation of AMC and shouted from the rooftops that The Chew is going to fail (how nauseous-making is it to see commercials for that show airing during the 1-2 PM hour? So distasteful).
Anyway, I was curious to see what the show would come up with for her return, since she wouldn't be playing Kendall. They came up with HILARITY, in the form of a paranoid, delusional psych patient who thinks she knows Maria from somewhere--wink wink, nudge nudge.
Sarah Michelle Crazy: I want her to examine me. We know each other, don't we? Or did we?
Maria (!): Um, I don't know. Maybe? Possibly? I wish I could help you, but I can't examine you. I'm not on staff anymore.
SMC: But you're a doctor, so you can treat me.
Orderly: She was wandering through the town squared. Someone called an ambulance.
SMC: They could be everywhere. They're trying to get me. He could be one of them. You can't let them get me. I'm Erica Kane's daughter!
SMC: So I see vampires. That doesn't make me crazy.
Maria: ...vampires are very popular.
SMC: I saw them before they were trendy.
So well done and hilariously meta.
SPEAKING OF well done: Tad and Dixie. Tears a-flowing, people. In just a few minutes, all memories of the horrible writing these two have been saddled with over the years (Madden in a box, the time Dixie came back from the dead and just lurked around town while her family crumbled, so on and so forth) vanished without a trace. What can I say? I'm easy! The writing was really great and Michael E. Knight and Cady McClain showcased the chemistry that made them such a supercouple and the end result was just beautiful.
Dixie: You've done this before.
Tad: Yeah, a few times.
Dixie: Well, I'd like to give it a try.
Tad: Okay, be my guest.
Dixie: This is hard...Tad, I remember the day that we met.
Tad: Myrtle's dress shop.
Dixie: Yes. Shh! And you were so handsome and funny. Charming. You showed me a kindness that I didn't--I just never expected.
Tad: I'll tell you a secret--it wasn't that hard.
Dixie: Just from the minute, the minute you met you, you didn't even know me. But you started taking care of me and JR. How could I not fall in love with you?
Tad: As I recall, I was the one who had to tell you you were in love with me.
Dixie: I know. I was so young. Thank God I had our star to guide me back to you. You're my home and you're my heart. You're everything to me. I'm simply lost without you, my dear. You're where I want to be. You're where I belong.
Tad: Not bad.
Dixie: Thank you.
Tad: You know, since you've been home, I've been worried that I would go too fast, that I would screw things up, but I realized this afternoon that I don't want to waste any more time worrying about anything, because I'm with you and that's the only thing that means anything. That's the only thing that counts and I know it won't always be pretty. We've got a track record but it will be us. You and me...as far as I'm concerned, I've spent too many years grieving and daydreaming about what--what might be someday. But as far as I'm concerned, someday is today and everyday from here on. And I think this is where I'm supposed to tell you that I commit my life to yours, that I've committed my heart to yours, but the truth is, I did it 20 years ago at that dress shop.
I mean, SQUEAL, right? My heart was so warmed and my eyes so teary. And on top of that, the fact that Tad accidentally dialed his house phone and Opal, Ruth, Joe, Jake, Amanda, Jamie and (freaking) Krystal all heard this and cheered at the end? So silly, but soooo cute.
And, oh, Opal!
Opal: You're as much my own as my own sweet Jenny was.
Dixie: That's a lot to live up to!
Opal: Well, you already have, honey!
Heart = warmed. I loved watching Jenny and Greg's wedding during this weekend's SOAPNet marathon (I also loved watching Cliff and Nina's, because I love watching Peter Bergman. 80s DREAMINESS!) and I wish...well, I wish a lot of thing about the past few years of AMC and, especially, the past few months since the cancellation news had been handled differently, but one of my biggest wishes is that SOAPNet had done a few more AMC marathons over the past few weeks. I mean, I know, taking away some of the hours devoted to One Tree Hill would have surely been controversial for Chad Michael Murray's fan, but come on! A few more marathons for some more AMC eras would have been fantastic. I'd have loved to have seen more of Greg and Jenny, and Jenny and Jesse's friendship, and some Ray Gardner (fun fact: my parents are not soap watchers, but did get caught up in the ABC Daytime lineup during the early 80s, because whenever I talk about AMC, my father does a bizarre Ray Gardner impression: "I'm gonna blow up them Martins!") and the legendary Billy Clyde Tuggle. But alas.
Then there was the Martin montage, with a lot of sweet Tad and Dixe, and Jake and Amanda, and Joe and Ruth, and then a few seconds that made my blood run cold.
Krystal: What's our motto? We deserve the best--
Babe: And together we can always get it.
Fuck you both!
What the hell, AMC?! Way to ruin something delightful with those two bags of trash at their absolute worst. Ugh!
At least Babe is really and truly dead, though. If Leo doesn't get brought back from the day (although fingers crossed, they still have two days to make that happen and if they do, I will probably explode from happiness), she should have to stay a hallucination, too.
Babe who, it has to be said, was pretty freaking condescending in her ghostliness: It's never too late to change. Please! I am trying to help you.
JR: You can't!
Babe: Why not?
JR: Because you're dead!
And the crowd cheered!
It must be said, though, that Alexa Havins did look very pretty and turned in quite a nice performance. It is just that...Babe is the worst. And I hate that JR continues to go on the steepest of downward spirals, because I know that what happens on Friday's show--especially with the word "cliffhanger" being thrown around--will be him doing something terrible. And that bothers me. Well, it bothers me the most that there is a cliffhanger at all. Why can't there just be closure? Yes, the show will be going online and that is fantastic for the people who will follow it to the internet. But I'm thinking of less savvy viewers, like my grandmother. She's pretty good with computers for a woman in her seventies, but she's not going to watch it online; she's just not. And she's put 41 years of her life into this show. Doesn't she deserve some closure and a few happy endings?
Plus, if JR does something terrible--which, I mean, he will, because they've been doing so many spectacularly unsubtle closeups of that gun that if your mind doesn't immediately leap to "violent shootout", you...well, you probably don't watch General Hospital--it will get blamed wholly on Adam and I don't want the entire basis of the online AMC to be "People are still in Pine Valley and were epically burned by the horrible Adam Chandler".
Oh, that's right! ADAM CHANDLER was also back today, and it was everything I could have hoped--and then some.
Seeing him and Brooke so solid as a couple was fantastic (loved Brooke telling JR to stop being so disrespectful to his father) and his remembering Stuart made me cry and his scenes with JR were just so, so good. I'm sorry, but it needs to be said: David Canary is better than the rest of us. Please don't take that as an insult; I also consider him to be better than me. He is just SO good at everything he does and is probably the best actor that daytime has ever seen and the show without him has just not been the same without his flawless acting and amazing facial expressions.
Adam: Stuart could always get through to JR, just as he could always get through to me. But he's not here, is he? Because of me. (Is suddenly jolted)
Brooke: What? What?
Adam: Stuart. I could swear I just heard his voice.
Brooke: What did he say.
Adam: Uh, "I'm right here, Adam". Just like when we were kids, and we'd play hide and go seek. And if I got really close to where he was hiding, he'd pop right out and say "Here I am, Adam". Here I am...
But that jolt he got? Was TWINTUITION because Stuart is ALIVE.
Although he might be dying at the moment, unless David gets to him in time and saves him again, which he will, because if Stuart was a member of the bunch saved by Project Orpheus but then dies again, I will PICKET. I will picket something and I will do it loudly.
We all guessed that Stuart was one of David's patients--and he ought to be, since his death is entirely David's fault!!!!--but it was still chilling and exciting to see that the patient David was so worried about and Jesse allowed David to treat and was rushed into the hospital on a gurney was Mr. Chandler himself. GOOSEBUMPS ALREADY AT THE VERY IDEA OF AN ADAM/STUART REUNION!!!
I can't wait for tomorrow's show.