I'm back from vacation and have to admit that I was surprised by a few changes while I was away. Since I was away from the show for a mere 9 episodes, I figured not much could change in Springfield. But, boy was I wrong.
I'd read spoilers and seen some things that I knew were coming. Like I knew I had to steel myself for losing Beth Ehlers, who I adore. There is a part of me that is happy for Beth - she's always been great when we've met and I love her work and I want her to be happy. But there is a large part of me who is acting like a petulant child who wants Harley - and only Beth playing Harley (no recasts, PLEASE) in Springfield.
I have to admit that I started watching this week's shows first, then tried to backtrack, which was a little off-putting. But when my jet lagged brain figured out that Harley had taken Rafe (who I didn't know was leaving) on the run after shooting Jeffrey, I was totally taken aback.
Rafe's spiral out of control was well done - you could sense his feeling of loss and betrayal, all of the emotions you knew were right there. He had been through so much in his short time in Springfield. His troubled youth, finding his father, moving, falling in love, losing a baby, then losing Gus - who could be a dirty cop. That's a lot for an adult to go through, but someone his age it would have been an immense amount of angst to go through. It makes me look back of my own teen years and feel they were a breeze.
But there was no reason to think, before I went away on vacation, that he would shoot Jeffrey. Once I sat and watched the whole sequence of shows I could see the quick build up to this outcome, but before that I thought Rafe might be on the right track. In the end, we don't have a graduation ceremony (that's another set to build) and the whole day is forever ruined for Daisy. I can't imagine what she is thinking that Harley has abandoned her all over again, not to mention her little brothers. While I see that Harley has a history of reacting, then thinking about her decisions (as I often do - which is why I really identify with her) this one has me totally floored. I don't have kids myself, but to take off with someone else's kid - even to protect him - and leave two really small kids - and an impressionable teen - was not the way I would have written this exit. Of course, this could be the start of Daisy's slip back into her old world, too. But I hope not.
I have to admit that as I was watching "G" return to Springfield (the last place I would go if I killed a beloved citizen not more than 18 months ago) I remembered the Australian accent. When I heard him speak again in his first scenes, the "Star Wars" fan in me made the connection to Cyrus (ala Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader). I didn't remember "G" as Australian before (although I know he was) - just as a creepy guy who Daisy needed to leave behind. Now that "G" is back, I can see where Daisy and Cyrus will have their hands full - and Cassie may well go off the deep end!!
The other thing that watching a marathon of GL shows back to back in a short time does is really highlight the absence of certain characters. Where are Alex, Billy, Rick, Beth, Lillian, Coop, Hawk (who finally appeared once), Dylan, Mel Doris and Vanessa? It's like the show is forgetting about characters for weeks (and sometimes months) on end. I cannot imagine how that affects their potential income, but it can't be good. As a fan, I know it makes the show more difficult for newcomers to follow when you suddenly see a character who has been M.I.A. for ages. I've seen the same reports that the show is "way over budget" and think that something needs to be done. When a large portion of your cast is on recurring status (i.e. only paid the days they work) and you aren't using them, you save money. There are no new sets being built. Is the Peapack experiment costing that much money? I don't know what the trouble is, but they need to work on this to keep things afloat off screen so fans can enjoy the show for years to come.
Hopefully now that I am back in the swing of things, and summer time is finally here (although certainly not in Yosemite where I wore a winter coat nearly the whole vacation) the show can find it's rhythm again. The Bauer bar-be-que is weeks away - and I'm looking forward to having a great show for all the fans to appreciate!!
Keep the Light Shining and Have a Great Week!