A Photo Album: Better Than Winning The Lottery
Dear Lottery, I'm just kidding. The title is hyperbolic. Friday's episode of One Life to Live wasn't really better than winning the lottery (so feel free to let me win still, anytime now!), but it came close. Metaphorically or something.
At this point I've said most of what I can say about the seventh heaven I'm in and what a gift the show has been lately and how we need to buy Scott Sickles a gift basket (and I guess we also owe one to Kassie dePaiva and Roger Howarth and Jill Mitwell and Ron Carlivati and... well, we probably owe one to Frank Valentini and a team of editors but I'm too groggy to do this legwork), so for the most part I will just let the show speak for itself this time.
Todd: You know, if you let me nod off, at least then you'll finally be rid of me.
Blair: Yeah. Don't tempt me. Besides, I've...never been rid of you, even when I thought that I was. You've always been a part of my life ever since you walked in Rodi's that night and somebody played that stupid Louis Armstrong song.
Todd: Nat King Cole.
Blair: It was Louis Armstrong.
Todd: It was Nat King Cole. Nat King Cole. How could you forget something like that?
Their first scenes at Rodi's!
Todd: Told you so. (Because the flashback that aired in Viki's cabin proved it? --Ed.)
Blair: Okay. I'll give you that one. What else do you remember?
Todd: Every little bit.
Oh, my heart. And then more!
Todd: I don't understand. Is that a good memory or a bad memory?
Blair: A good memory. Because before I ran into you that night, I thought I was all alone in the world. And after that night...I didn't.
Remember the old days when they didn't have to completely white-wash characters to put them in a compelling pairing? Todd and Blair were not "good guys," and it's exactly why the pairing worked.
(That particular screencap caption is really going to get us some unsuspecting visitors based on weird Google searches, it occurs to me. Oh, let 'em join the party!)
And then they talked about how Todd is a survivor because he survived being married to Blair (good ole Todd, having a seriously warped version of who was the "survivor" of those marriages!).
And Todd complained that she'd been scamming him at the time of their first marriage, and she pointed out that Starr came out of that.
Todd's first time meeting Starr!
And then they flashed back to this terrific scene where Todd told Blair everything he wanted for Starr's future, which was especially fun to listen to just to pick out the things that actually did come true all these years later.
Todd: I wanted so much for her. I want my daughter to be alive. I want her to be healthy. I want her to...play on the swings and get a dog and go to the Junior Prom. I-I want her to graduate from college, meet some guy who's not even remotely good enough for her, and... be the president of the United States of America.
Blair seriously looks about sixteen there! Love it.
Of course, Todd and Blair reminiscing about their second child doesn't bring up so many happy memories, what with Todd having told her Jack was dead and giving him away because he thought Max was the father.
And Todd used his usual "but I thought I was giving Max Holden's baby away" excuse -- even in his regret for the act, he still doesn't seem to get that it would have been a heinously unspeakable act even if it were Max's baby (Todd should go have a beer with Sonny "I wouldn't have shot him if I'd known he was my son!" Corinthos).
Thankfully, they moved on to remembering better times.
And then after Todd claimed that he still believes in fairy tales...
Blair: I thought fairy tales were supposed to have happy endings.
Todd: Who says this one's over?
Sigh. This was well worth that very strategic wait. Nice work, One Life to Live!
But wait! That's not all! More was golden in Llanview than just balloon flashbacks. The prior episode had also ended in an almost-kiss between a classic couple. Naturally it was interrupted (as I assume Todd and Blair's will be as well, because this is a soap), and interrupted by a cranky Clint, no less.
Clint was none too pleased at the prospect of a Tina and Cord reunion (my dream of sipping bourbon with Clint Buchanan will, alas, never include discussing a shared opinion on that one!). After Tina left, Clint let Cord know a few of his more choice thoughts on her. Some highlights: "She's a walking calamity! She brought down a monarchy, for God's sake!" "Human wrecking ball."
When Cord called Clint out on the similarities between Cord and Tina's situation and Clint and Viki's situation, Clint snorted "Oh, Viki and Tina share DNA. That's it. You will never see Viki plotting a coup or stealing jewels." (Ha! Probably not. But one of her alters would!)
Meanwhile, Tina had gone off to visit Viki at The Banner (if Viki's office is going to be a more permanent fixture I am going to be so happy -- doesn't it seem a lot like the newspapers are getting a lot more mentions lately? I'd love more Sun/Banner stories! Just not if a sixteen-year-old keeps writing The Sun's cover stories.) to try to get help finding Princess David Vickers (who apparently has a huge Twitter following, just like that Bronx Zoo cobra!) and to try to talk things through with Viki. And then Tina, in one of her rare and awesome moments of wisdom, made a spectacular point:
Tina: Look, aren't you just being a tad harsh here?
Viki: No. Because, you see, there is absolutely nothing that I wouldn't do to protect my children.
Tina: From me? What about from Todd or -- or, uh, Victor?
Viki: What about them?
Tina: How many times have they put my children, your children, even their own children in danger? Yeah, but still, no matter what crime they commit, you just open them back into your life with open arms. Why? I mean, why do my brothers get a free pass...and not me?
You tell 'er, sister! And Viki's answer? "I don't know." And then they said they'd try to mend fences and truly be sisters again and my eyes got all fogged up and they hugged!
My 1980s heart is so happy right now. And then her little dog showed up (Princess David Vickers can open doors and sweet-talk security, y'all!)
Tina has her dog back! She's so happy! So, uh... the shit's about to hit the fan in her life, I take it.
But before Princess David Vickers went to The Banner to find her mother (as any dog would do), she made a quick visit to Liam to tell him about the DNA results she'd been chewing on. One Life to Live has always been my favorite when it finds a way to strike that perfect balance between camp and more sincere drama, and that is not easy to do. Especially in the same episode. But somehow this very campy set of scenes dropped into this episode perfectly -- not only not damaging it, but making it even better!
I don't really know what else to do to convince you to go watch this episode if you haven't already (get on it!), but hey, maybe you hate Blair and Todd and Cord and Tina and Viki and Clint (if you really do hate every one of those characters, though, this must be an unpleasant show for you to watch in general and you may want to rethink it). But do you like cute things? Cute babies and cute dogs? Talking to each other? I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous but it was adorable. And it worked somehow. (Imagine this with Andrea Evans [Tina] doing the dog's voice and Michael Easton [John] doing the baby's, by the way.)
Liam: Hold up. You, a dog, have bad news for me?
Princess David Vickers: Sorry, sweetie. Bad news is bad news no matter who it comes from.
Liam: Oh, this ought to be good. What is it? Heart worm?
Princess David Vickers: Your parents. They're not who you think they are.
Liam: What are you -- wait a second. You telling me I'm adopted?
David Vickers: I'm saying your dad isn't Brody Lovett. It's some guy named John McBain.
Liam: John McBain? The copper? You got to be kidding me!
Princess David Vickers: Yeah, your mother knows him intimately, if you get my drift.
Liam: What you saying about my mama?
David Vickers: Hey, don't shoot the messenger! I just thought you should know.
Liam: Hey, you're full of it. Brody's my dad. He sings me songs. He tucks me in. And when it comes to burping, he knows my sweet spot.
David Vickers: Even so...
Liam: Why should I believe you, Vickers? You're nothing but a mangy mutt.
David Vickers: Well, look who's talking. You barely have teeth.
Liam: You come in here with your fleas and your ticks and your groundless accusations --
David Vickers: I have proof!
Liam: Oh, yeah? Where is it? Don't tell me. You ate it.
David Vickers: It's at home, but I'll get it. Then you'll see.
Pretty cute, y'all. And Michael Easton doing Liam's dialogue did nothing but perpetuate my growing affection for him and for John McBain. I am all out of sorts! What is happening to me!?
That really was one hell of an episode. Just jam-packed. Even Ford (who just isn't strong enough to bother me at all in the midst of all that awesome) made one astute observation when he wondered if Jessica might still be sitting on the paternity truth because if it comes out, Natalie might get her happy ending with John. That's probably over-stating the case since Jess did go to Natalie with the sincere intention of telling her, but you never know. I feel like we're so close to this endless storyline finally wrapping up, so that fills me with hope even if Ford does have to be involved somehow.
Did everyone love that episode as much as I did? For those of you who are newer to the show, are all these trips down memory lane getting boring or are you having fun getting a history lesson? I'm so curious what this would be like to anyone who hadn't been around the first time!