So now you all know what I've been keeping under my hat for the past four weeks. The beloved, would-never-hurt-a-fly Stuart Chandler has been tragically mowed down by an assassin's bullet. When I first learned of this plot twist last month, I was floored. It made no sense to me. Seeing the buildup to the murder, I'm still not sure that it makes sense. But wow, this has been such a powerful, dramatic week.
Where to begin?
So forget what I said about Scott being ho-hum and having no place in Pine Valley. You can also toss aside any doubts that you had about newcomer Adam Mayfield being able to hold his own in a cast of titans. To say that Mayfield hit a homerun this past week would be like saying the Atlantic Ocean has a lot of water in it. There's just no way for me to easily quantify how much Scott's scenes touched me. You never see a man on television break down and show emotions. People die on soap operas all the time, and occasionally you'll see folks shed some tears. I can't recall the last time that I saw someone truly break down the way that Scott broke down when he saw his father laying on a cold, metal table with a toe tag on his foot. That shrill cry cut right through me. I haven't been that chilled since the scenes when Bianca learned that her baby had "died" and screamed (off-camera) in the hospital. Congratulations, Mr. Mayfield. You've just secured your very first Daytime Emmy nomination for 2010.
Then there was Adam's reaction when he was in his bed at Pine Valley Hospital. Oddly, I wasn't as moved as I had expected to be when Adam came face-to-face with Stuart in the morgue. I expected to bawl my eyes out, but that never happened. It feels like someone dropped the ball. In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, David Canary said that by playing dual roles for the past 25 years, he's won five Emmys because it "looks like [he's] acting." Mr. Canary is being far too modest -- even without playing double-duty in any scenes last week, the man was definitely acting. It's so upsetting that we had to lose Stuart in order to get David Canary involved in a front and center story. I truly hope that the repercussions of Stuart's death aren't gone in a few weeks. Why hasn't Scott gone to Cindy's gravesite to tell his mother that he's now alone? Will Scott skip Christmas because he is spending it without his dad? Will everyone in town pretend that Stuart never existed, sort of the way that we seldom discuss Ruth, Palmer, and Brooke? I hope not. For this death to have been billed so prominently, it need not be forgotten any time soon.
The most interesting reaction in all of the Stuart grieving process belonged to Colby. I may be overreaching, but it looked like she was grappling with feeling bad that her uncle had died, yet relieved that her dad was still among the living. Every time Colby got anywhere near Scott, you could see that tug-of-war going on just by watching her eyes.
David sure was annoyed that Adam wasn't dead. I understand his frustration, but why in the hell would he risk ruining his hands and, by extrapolation, his career as a surgeon just because Adam isn't dead? Maybe he knows that if he is sent up the river for murder, it won't matter how banged up his hands are.
So Tad narrowly escaped death after being shot by his best friend. I like that Tad somehow underwent brain surgery and came out with a full head of hair. I'm not sure how I feel about Improv Tad, who has a joke for everything. Is All My Children suddenly being sponsored by General Electric? There sure have been a lot of mentions of lightbulbs lately. I wonder if they are those curlycue energy-saving ones… As kooky as Tad has been acting, I laughed myself silly when Tad, wearing a hospital gown and the obligatory gauze around his head, popped into the corridor at the hospital, grabbed Nurse Gayle, and start to tango down the hallway. Perhaps the blood was rushing to parts other than where it needed to be, because Tad suddenly collapsed to the ground with a goofy look on his face.
There was a strange plot twist last week that didn't make sense at first - but I think that it not making sense makes for interesting story. Out of the blue, "Liza damn Colby," as Jesse called her, showed up at the police station to rescue Zach, looking like she's about seven or eight months pregnant. I was so focused on the murder mystery that I actually had to ask someone if I had zoned out when Liza announced that she was going to pretend to be pregnant. I am sure that I am not the only one that wondered what on earth was going on.
Liza, a woman who many have though only cares about herself and, possibly, screwing strangers on a game table at a casino, is going to help Amanda get "get rid" of her baby. It looks like Liza is going to become the prime suspect in Stuart's murder, so I am wondering how she will survive a police frisking. Someone is going to have to notice her pregnancy pad… right? I mean, they do frisk you when you're arrested and carted off to jail.
I was somewhat surprised and maybe just a little touched by Annie deciding to call the police so that she could turn herself in. She could only run for so long anyway, but the storyline easily could have dragged out for weeks. By her turning herself in, it allowed for one my favorite lines of the week. While at the police station, Annie and Zach traded barbs over their misdeeds. Zach seemed ticked off that Annie had saved Adam's life, and Annie took pleasure in noting that Zach had confessed to killing one of the most beloved Pine Valley residents. "Go to hell," Zach snarled at Annie. "Something tells me you'll be there first," Annie snapped back.
But Zach won't be going to hell because he only confessed to killing Stuart in order to protect Kendall. However misguided, it's very admirable to take the bullet for someone else. It's ironic, considering that Stuart did just that.