It usually takes a long time before something on a soap convinces me to change my opinion of a character, couple, or storyline. Last week's episodes, however, made me do a surprising 180 in a lot of things.
After weeks of campaigning for some sort of bedroom romp for Zach and Lea, I have now come down squarely on the side of these two needing to stay as far away from each other as possible. There's an asterisk coming, so maybe I've done more of a 165-degree turn. For now, though, I will focus on the reasons that I no longer like them as a couple.
I loved the sexual, playful dialogue that Zach always seemed to have when he and Lea were teamed up looking for Cassandra. Remember Zach's lewd and lascivious comments regarding where they needed to "click" to gain access to the underground sex web site? For me, everything that the writers scripted to come out of Zach's mouth was something that I could hear a guy like Zach saying. Kendall had left him, he was probably in need for a little TLC, and Lea was incredibly hot. Makes sense.
When Lea "betrayed" Zach by going behind his back to have Jesse arrested, I truly believe that Zach was over and done with Lea. It didn't matter that she then arranged to get Jesse out of trouble. I think it's fair to say that Zach is a headstrong kind of guy -- so the fact that he not only forgave and forgot what Lea had done doesn't make sense to me. Even if his "little Slater" got the better of him, I can't see Zach being almost mopey over Lea. Kendall? Yes. Lea? No.
Now for the asterisk: I still want to see Lea go nuts and cause all sorts of hell for Zach. What can I say? I have a soft spot for soap opera crazy chicks. On Devious Maids, Paula Garcés' character, Flora, was offed in the first episode. We're only learning a little bit about Flora now, but I suspect that she wasn't squeaky clean. Rather than playing up the "she's so hot" aspect, I think All My Children should let Paula get away from that and be a bad girl.
The other option is to have Lea stop thinking about having Zach's special agent in her field and to focus her attention on her work. Ditch the romance that seems to have alienated some fans, and let Lea take over as the new Pine Valley Chief of Police.
Of course, with Paula pregnant, I have no idea how that will impact AMC's storytelling. By the time AMC goes back into production, she could be in her "no fly" window. I guess AMC could recast Lea, but that would be a bit jarring, and I like Paula.
The highlight of last week -- and possibly one of the brightest moments of the entire season -- was the use of that wonderful Zach and Myrtle flashback. We don't get to see nearly enough of the flashbacks, which a source told me is part of Prospect Park's lawsuit against ABC, but the ones that we've been given a chance to see have been masterfully done. I've give Myrtle and Zach their own smooshed name MyrAchLe. Granted, I am not really good at these portmanteau things -- Marianca, anyone? -- but I think that name sums the two up pretty well. There have been a lot of really great friendships on All My Children over the years, but there is something magical and wholly real about all of the scenes between Thorsten Kaye and the late Eileen Herlie.
Speaking of on-screen pairs… I thought Opal and Colby's antics, however juvenile, were a laugh riot. Hilarity often ensues when people who don't particularly care for each other have to work together. Remember when Adam and Palmer teamed up against Michael Cambias, and Palmer accidentally shot Adam? Another favorite was when Erica, Janet, and Skye buddied up to bury the evil Dr. Kinder.
No one was shot, buried alive, or otherwise maimed during Opal and Colby's shenanigans. I suppose compared to those scenarios, a little skunk-spraying isn't all that bad. The skunk incident did provide an unintentional laugh for the week thanks to some "I'm as a mature as a ten-year-old" dialogue:
Celia: Maybe you should have just hosed me off outside.
Pete: [S]omebody spent a lot of money on this date, so... it's not over until there's a happy ending.
For $10,000, there had better be something! Celia didn't seem to be nearly as hesitant with Pete as she'd been in the past. I do have a question that remained unanswered: where did Celia's change of clothes come from? Perhaps Pete has a proclivity that we've not yet learned about.
Whereas I enjoyed the silliness of Colby, Opal, and the stinky friend, one reader sent me a message midweek to say that she didn't understand why Opal would team up with Colby, someone who she also doesn't want to see on Pete's arm. I think Coby is the lesser of two evils at the moment. Yes, Opal sees Colby as a bed-hopping, money-grubbing, tramp -- but Celia poses serious harm to Pete.
None of the folks who submitted comments to last week's column greenlighted my story idea of having Celia be a killer. I'm not giving up! I'll try to come up with another story idea that will make Celia even more interesting. In the meantime, you can also submit your ideas in the usual ways -- email, comments, or Twitter
I don't like "Angry Jesse." I'm not saying that he doesn't have a right to be angry, but that doesn't mean that I have to like it. There's something to me that is… not natural about Jesse getting drunk and wanting to beat up people.
I feel this weird sense of déjà vu. I feel like Jesse will once again leave his family to keep them protected, much the way he did all those years ago when he "died." If that happens, mark my words: Angie and David are going to have some sort of romantic something. I'm not sure that David will get in Mother Hubbard's cupboard, but he may get a kiss.
Cara and JR are destined to crash and burn. As long as JR is holding something over Cara's head, there's no possible way that they can ever be on equal footing in the relationship. What I haven't decided is how Cara's secret will be exposed. I assumed the likeliest scenario would be an enraged JR either telling David or David overhearing JR screaming at Cara. David, though, has already made a connection to Oliver and has even gone as far as to tell Cara that he feels unusually drawn to Oliver. So, soap sleuths, what do you think? How will the beans be spilled? I mean, I don't think anyone believes Cara's secret will stay a secret… but if you do, I'd love to hear why you think that, too.
I will be back next week with more Pine Valley musings on the season one finale of All My Children. Then, in two weeks, I'll have my thoughts on the entire first season. If you haven't been watching AMC -- and there's no reason not to! -- head over to TOLN.com to watch episodes for free or check out our Daily Recaps Archives for comprehensive daily recaps going all the way back to 1995.
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