Meg Snyder isn't made of stone, after all. The previews for next week's shows indicate that Meg will finally come clean about the baby switch. Whew! Those of you who have wanted this storyline to end, you're going to get your Christmas wish. As for Gwen's reaction, well, I'm stocking up on Kleenex for the big reveal. Actress Jennifer Landon can make me tear up like a baby, during a normal scene. I can't even imagine the cryfest she's going to evoke when she has to say good-bye to little Billy.
With this marathon story coming to end, one has to ask, what's next? It seems some of the characters I once enjoyed have been changed/sacrificed/ruined for the sake of this tale. Paul and Emily are no longer recognizable. And Meg's deception has reduced her likeability to the level of Keith, if my e-mail is any indication. Can these characters be redeemed in the eyes of fans? Perhaps. The show has sacrificed characters in the past, just to fit a plot. (Hello, Craig Montgomery and Barbara Ryan.) Sometimes, audiences forgive them for their dishonorable deeds. Sometimes, not.
To me, Paul seems the least redeemable in this whole mess. He coerced Emily and Meg to go along with the scheme. And when Will, Jennifer, Barbara and Hal find out that Paul knew all along, well, let's just say he may have his chestnuts roasting on an open fire this holiday season, if you know what I mean. For the audience to re-embrace these characters, they must make amends, show remorse and do some suffering of their own. If that doesn't do it, they can always be diagnosed with a brain tumor. Hey, it worked for Barbara.
--Note to Gwen: It's probably not the best idea to ask a former mental patient, and your possible future mother-in law, if she's nuts. (Just a suggestion.) Hell hath no fury like Barbara scorned.
--I couldn't help but laugh when Emily said the best way to get through tough times is to have an affair. Do you think she'll be reciting that in her wedding vows to Paul? At least she's honest about her own behavior, I suppose. But, I hope she gives better advice to her future teenage son.
--Henry incarcerated in the wine cellar is the perfect blueprint for a character epiphany. I'm hoping the writers use this setup to do "A Christmas Carol" type story with my favorite wino. If done correctly, Henry could emerge from that wine cellar as a true leading man. A visit from The Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future could convince Henry that he needs to get a real job and put that intelligence to use for something other than picking ponies at the track. He could see how his life will turn out, if he keeps heading down the irresponsible track he's been on. Henry could come out of this more confident, responsible and positioned for a real romance. Of course, I don't want him to change too much, just enough to be respectable, while maintaining his fun-loving persona. And don't you think Simon would make a really good ghost to show Henry what can happen when you make bad choices?
--You've probably heard by now that Keith is leaving Oakdale, and Iris is already gone. I'll miss Iris and her wackiness. As for Keith, well, not so much. As much as I love Kin Shriner, Keith just never clicked with me. Scotty Baldwin he ain't.
--I've said it before, but I'm saying it again. I love Will and Gwen. How cute was Will when he went all Secret Santa and decorated Gwen's house? Hmmm. I wouldn't mind finding him under my Christmas tree. I'm just saying.
--Having a character say what the audience has been saying for months is usually a good step toward making the character more sympathetic. Thank you Hal Munson for admitting that you've been a lousy father to Will, of late. You're not wrong.
--Is anyone else hoping Henry gets lucky with Olga? It seems Olga is attracted to him, on some level. After all, she told him he smelled good. And after days of being locked up, he has to smell worse than a "Billy diaper." If he doesn't score with Olga, I'm hoping he at least gets a blanket or a pair of socks out of the deal.
--Thank you to all of you who wrote to tell me my hearing is just fine. You apparently can't understand Dusty either, sometimes.
--I don't know what was crazier this week: Iris coming on to Jack, Carly coming on to Stan, or Iris leaving Billy alone.
--I finally understand how Will got so buff in the last couple years. He apparently does push-ups while locked up. That explains how he emerged from the mental hospital with those biceps.
--Burt alert. We had a Burt sighting this week. We haven't seen beloved Burt since Gwen was living at the garage.
--It's about time Katie got on board to help out Henry. At least Henry remembered their supposed "connection" this week. Let's hope she remembers it, too.
--For those of you who are fans of "The Young and the Restless," please check out our page for the show at soapcentral.com to read my interview with actress Patty Weaver (Gina.) Yes, it's a shameless plug, but if you're a fan of the show, you won't want to miss it.
Best Lines of the Week:
(Iris stops by Burt's garage to get her car that has numerous mechanical problems.)
Iris: "What am I going to have to do to get this car out of the shop?"
Burt: (sarcastically) "Pray."
(Paul explains to Emily that he wants Jennifer to spend the holidays in Paris instead of with her dysfunctional family.)
Paul: "What's to keep her here, really? The forced holiday cheer? The endless carols? Maybe the sight of Barbara eating figgy pudding?"
Emily: "Do people really eat figgy pudding?"
Paul: "Fruitcake. She likes fruitcake."
(From Two Scoops reader Susie.)
"Am I the only one who thinks it is odd that while Rose D'Angelo DIED from rinsing her mouth with the poison mouthwash, Iris Dumbrowski drank a whole glass of it and lives on to tell about it? The writers must think the viewers have short memories!"
(From Two Scoops reader Phyllis.)
"Thank you Jennifer. For the longest time I've thought I was becoming hard of hearing every time Dusty was on the screen, but please tell me that you have to keep adjusting the volume for Meg, too. It's either dulcet tones or swallowing her words, but I can't hear nine-tenths of what she's saying. Maybe it's a little of each. I'm all for realistic acting, but you have to be able to hear it."
(From Two Scoops reader Rebecca.)
"I have watched ATWT on and off for over 40 years. The storyline with Jennifer and the baby switch is the most prolonged and agonizing in my long memory of this show. Give Jen her baby and man back. Let Meg, Paul, Emily and the rest of them twist in torment, and give the viewers some modicum of resolution. The baby switch has lasted, I'm sure, beyond the bounds of your most dedicated viewer."
(From Two Scoops reader Shaundra.)
"I love these columns! They never fail to make me smile, and I almost always agree with your arguments. I must say I hated Craig, but Paul's change into the new bad guy has made me yearn for Craig. He was such a better conflicted villian. Paul should remain the tortured hero. This Stenbeck-like behavior is too much!"
(From Two Scoops reader Mommy Dearest.)
"I'm with you TOTALLY on two things: the actual return of Cass Winthrop, which is the best thing to happen to this show in years, and the need for Craig Montgomery to return ASAP. Hunt Block could deliver those one-liners better than any 10 standup comedians. And Stephen Schnetzer, not to put too fine a point on it, is eye candy. Where do I sign the petition?"
That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.