Those Tricky Rascals!
Oh, this show. Having Matthew flatline and say he died in some sort of fancy-pants spiritual voiceover the day before a four-day "break" from the show and then having him promptly be revived the following Monday was a dirty, dirty trick. To be fair, though, they had no idea what a craptastic day it was already going to be for One Life to Live viewers and how predisposed we'd all be to bursting into despondent tears and shaking our fists at the sky. And so of course it made his reappearance all that much more rewarding today, no matter how many times we'd all suspected it could happen (while ruminating over a mouthful of stuffing).
Welcome back, Matthew! You're about to be a teen daddy!
Today's episode checked in on the Evans family Thanksgiving, which was adorable. I like the way that some of these recurring characters have developed little quirks and shorthands with each other despite how little screen time they've gotten -- Frankie Faison as Richard Evans was particularly inhabiting a real character today in new and fun ways (instead of just "supporting character's nice dad").
I particularly enjoyed his stoic and understated "Mmm." in response to a pie in the face from wifey. And of course the obligatory pie fight that ensued was the cutest -- they all had such a light, easy rapport.
This seems to be happening all over the canvas lately; the actors have been in such a groove with each other. Of course it's the type of thing that can often happen in the eleventh hour (which it still was when they taped these episodes), or possibly when executives are out of your hair and you're given a little room to breathe and explore.
Speaking of actors in a groove with each other (but for whom it is definitely nothing new), we got some great scenes today between Todd and Viki. Erika Slezak and Roger Howarth haven't lost of bit of their sibling spark together, and it's always such a delight to see Queen Victoria get sarcastic and snarky (and just plain tell her little brother to shut up).
Almost as much of a delight as it is to see Todd drawing a smiley face in a pie or mashed potatoes or something he somehow managed to throw at the refrigerator.
And what other actors with terrific rapport got moments today?
Bléa! And Blair got John on the job of looking for a missing Tomas because, as she said to Téa, "He may ignore your phone calls, but he knows better than to ignore mine."
Speaking of a missing Tomas, Todd's plan has started to work. John and the random LPD cop found the planted gun in Tomas' chest of drawers, and Todd got to show up and be a shoulder for Blair to cry on.
Now, Todd's being a total dick with this plan and it'll obviously blow up in his face like it always does (not that Blair won't forgive him -- this ain't nothin' on the list of sins she's forgiven!), but it's damn hard to stay mad at him when he reacts to finally being able to hold Blair.
It's just so small and it says so much. All is forgiven, all is forgiven!
And finally, we did get Natalie and John almost having a conversation about their relationship and getting interrupted. Now, I'd mock this and say how ridiculous it is, but I'm going out on a limb here and saying this is actually the right way to handle this reunion. We know it's coming (and we've known it for ages), so it's not as if there's any concern about that. I think it's best to put it off a few episodes so that we don't literally have Natalie falling into bed with John a day or two after she was to marry another man who she still claimed to have loved. We know it's not true, but I think there's been enough knee-jerk reactionary horizontal refreshment in that storyline over the past two years, let's take a little time to savor it now.
This was a distinctly well-directed episode, for which we have Mary Ryan to thank. And as much as I think the Matthew fake-out was a dirty little trick, I'm actually quite glad this means (if he makes it, which... come on now!) that we don't spend our very last six weeks on the show dealing with, like, Nate's guilty anguish while the Ford family rallies around him or something. Things to truly be thankful for!