How to Celebrate Christmas, Manning-Style (or How Is This So Awesome?)
I don't think I can word it a new way, so I'll just quote myself (from Serial Drama's Facebook page). Friday's One Life to Live was "a jam-packed flashback-laden meta-soapy heartbreaking and fabulous smorgasbord of joy. Holy soaptasticness. I couldn't even snark on this if you paid me one bazillion dollars."
Of course let's not get crazy here. I could probably find something to complain about. I could whine that we're in the eleventh hour and they're finally really giving John and Téa some substantive scenes together, and this is a friendship and a potential pairing I really would have enjoyed seeing explored. I could whine that Natalie -- once again -- decided to act all dejected because she called John and he couldn't come over and talk to her immediately because he was doing something important. Natalie! He's the Chief of Detectives! Don't freakin' take it personally! Sheesh. I'm starting to question the point of all this because it looks a whole lot like she's looking for reasons not to be with him, so maybe she doesn't really love him that much at all. (Not that I think this is supposed to be the point, it's just... annoying.)
That said, Natalie was in some great scenes with Jessica in which she actually apologized to her sister for almost marrying Brody! We've got our Buke twins back! And then Nat had a great Christmas flashback to her first Christmas as a Buchanan.
She's such a baby. Love it! Even better, the flashback included little Starr.
Well played, Afternoon Television Program.
Unfortunately, Natalie was still in that incredibly unflattering outfit from Thursday's episode.
Make it stop!
Meanwhile, over at the Gannon-Buchanan apartment, poor Matthew complained about waking up from a coma to be told he's almost a father. He's being a brat, sure, but not only is it perfectly in character, it's perfectly understandable. To wake up and be told Destiny had decided she wasn't ready for parenthood and was going to terminate but was talked out of it by Nora? Ouch. And while Destiny had a few weeks to run around freaking out when she found out she was pregnant, Matthew is being expected to step up and embrace fatherhood immediately. In fact, in not having done so, Destiny has told him to never speak to her again. Poor kids.
Things were far more celebratory over at La Boulaie -- of course, only in that landmine way that the Mannings do anything! First of all, Todd Manning smiled today. A lot. Kind of more than he typically has in a year of episodes.
That man has got one hell of a smile. He's always at his happiest when he's successfully blackmailing his son into accepting him!
All smiles, this guy!
And spectacularly, we got plenty of Todd-and-Sam time, which never fails to be the cutest ever. When he arrived, Sam ran up and latched onto Todd's legs and then Todd walked him across the room doing that adorable attached-foot-walk that people do with little kids.
And they hugged and I melted.
Seriously, this is so cute it might give me a hysterical pregnancy.
And he lifted him to put the star on top of the tree! This is just rude at this point. I'm childless on purpose, damn it, why are they making me feel all funny like this?!
Blair and her boy.
And how darling was that little doggie sweater Sam was wearing? Pretty damn darling, that's how darling.
As if that weren't enough, Jack awesomely brought up the Dead Baby Lie (as well he should!) and we got flashbacks!
Todd and Blair circa 2001 with their famously matching hair!
Todd explained the Dead Baby Lie to Sam by explaining that he took something that belonged to someone else and that he still sometimes lies but is trying to do better. Why am I such a sucker that I fell for this as totally earnest even while he's got Tomas held captive somewhere and is covering his own ass to stay out of prison and win Blair back on false pretenses? Hook, line, and sinker. That's me.
And then we got yet another flashback, this time to the Christmas that Blair named Starr when she was still pregnant with her and thought Todd had been killed in Ireland.
Oh, my heart.
And if that wasn't enough Manning messiness, Todd picked up his son the right way to get the family ready for a holiday photo.
And of course the photo itself, flawed and awesome as the Mannings themselves:
Love. It. So. Much.
Now, all of this certainly would have been enough for me to be elated with the episode, but we also got some major movement on the Fraternity Row storyline. Roxy and her S.O.S. gang crashed David's appearance on the Blanca Morales show.
They persuaded David to offer to take a role on Fraternity Row in an effort to save the show -- you know, the way Franco James saved Southwest General by starring as a psychotic puppeteer. You see, David's a mega-star right now due to his high-profile turn as the protagonist of the film The Boy with the Chipmunk Tattoo.
Once again, OLTL art department, will you marry me?
And then of course it turns out Fraternity Row is filmed in the same studios as The Blanca Morales Show, so Roxy and David headed over and this is where my heart was really in my throat. The OLTL set doubled as the FR set, but they pulled back the shot so that we could actually see what's "behind the curtain" just outside the sets we see every day.
Alas, Roxy and David stumbled upon a custodian who told them the show had wrapped that day, had filmed its last scene. There's... something in my eye. And at the very end of the episode, Roxy fainted and then woke up to David-as-Derwood.
Yikes! Nice 'stache.
So Roxy has woken up somehow inside of Fraternity Row.
I have a feeling Monday's episode is going to be a campy goldmine.
Anyone else spend this episode in bittersweet 7th Heaven as much as I did?