For the Week of January 31, 2005
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Gradually, we have seen what happened to Cristian while he was being held prisoner and the effects of that on his relationships with Natalie and his family.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Cristian's attempts to readjust to his former life was the only storyline keeping me interested in One Life to Live. Gradually, we have seen what happened to Cristian while he was being held prisoner and the effects of that on his relationships with Natalie and his family. Eventually, we learned that Cristian had been programmed to kill Tico and Antonio, which showed Cristian struggling to fight his programming and save Antonio when he was in the elevator. I thought that programming Cristian was unnecessary, but it led to interesting events. Now, however, now we are being led to believe that Cristian isn't really Cristian at all. There have been rumors to this effect for quite some time, but I have done my best to ignore them. It doesn't make sense to bring back a character with so much history on the show just to make him someone else in disguise. Frankly, there doesn't seem to be a good reason to have someone pretend to be Cristian. He wasn't a person with a lot of power and influence before he was taken prisoner, and all he has done (besides pulling the plug on Tico) is hang out at Llanfair with Natalie and the Buchanans. Unless someone wanted secret information on Viki or Jessica, sending an impostor to Llanfair doesn't make sense. Anyone could have snuck into the hospital room to kill Tico; there was no need to look like Cristian to do it. I hope that having Cristian's DNA tested is just a way to prove once and for all that he IS Cristian, just a different version of him that has been through a lot. Making him be someone else after all of this time would be a big disappointment. After watching Natalie mourn Cristian and get him back, it would be a slap in the face to her to find out that Cristian really didn't come back. I have read that Cristian's exit will take Natalie in a different direction and won't be like the first time he left. I am interested to see what this means and if it will lead Natalie to a better storyline than the triangle with John and Evangeline. Natalie was lost before Cristian's return, and she has been confused since he came back. I would like to see Natalie get her life back together and become a stronger character than she has been for a long time. That would make Cristian's (or whoever he is) brief return worthwhile and meaningful.
The identity of Ace (a.k.a James) was also in question, at least in terms of how the Buchanans and Chandlers faced had a showdown over the baby. They were wielding their power and trying to "one up" each other in terms of who knew the most powerful people, in an effort to win the baby. If they were arguing over a piece of property or a business deal, that would be one thing. However, playing tug of war over a baby whose life and well being were at stake was difficult to watch. Even though it seemed like the Buchanans and Chandlers were arguing over an object, there was a high level of emotion behind it. JR and Babe wanted to keep their biological son, while Kevin believed that Ace was his no matter what. I believe he knows on some level that he doesn't have a right to keep Ace but just can't admit it. The cynical part of me believes that writing Kevin this way merely serves as a method of prolonging this storyline. However, I can also see Kevin's struggle over accepting the truth. Kevin was badly deceived by Kelly and found out about after he had already grown to love Ace as his own son. Even though he is one of the victims in this mess, he needs to do the right thing and let Ace go, just as Kelly did. It was heartbreaking to see Kelly lay eyes on Ace and try to avoid holding him. Kevin tried to get Kelly to take his side by having her hold him and by talking about forming a family again. I am not sure if he actually still loves Kelly, or if he was trying to use her as leverage in his fight to keep Ace. It would be amazing if Kelly and Kevin could get back together after all they have been through, however, they should only get back together after returning Ace to his parents. Instead of dragging out a custody battle for months, Kevin should let go and try move on with or without Kelly. This storyline has dragged on for so long already, and it is growing tiresome. At this rate, Ace/James will be 17 in soap opera years before it's over. To avoid that, it is time for the residents of Llanview to bow out of the baby battle and let the Chandlers and company in Pine Valley straighten the mess out. Ace/James needs one identity, and it needs to be established soon.
Adriana and Duke's relationship has hardly been front burner and has mostly failed to hold my interest up to this point. However, they have things in common that could make their relationship more interesting. Duke is trying to keep his own identity and principles, while trying to build a relationship with his father and listening to Asa's rants about being a Buchanan. Adriana, on the other hand, is acting more like Dorian everyday and seems eager to accept her place as one of the "Cramer Women." She, unlike Cassie, appears to understand why Dorian does the things she does and is anxious to be just like Dorian, which could cause trouble. This is a sharp contrast with Cassie, who has had her differences with Dorian over the years. It would really be interesting to see how Cassie and Adriana would get along, now that Adriana's character is changing so quickly. However, I digress. Duke and Adriana are both adapting to their new family settings, although in different ways. I think Duke and Adriana's relationship would be much more interesting if the writers focused on that more, instead of focusing on how Dorian and Kevin feel about it. Duke and Adriana are both having identity issues in different ways, and seeing if they can maintain a relationship in spite of that could make an interesting storyline.
My final example of an identity crisis is that Margaret believed that being Blair by donning a wig and pretending to sing like Blair would win Todd over. Margaret thought she could assume Blair's identity, and I simultaneously questioned my identity as a viewer. Enough said!
Have a pleasant week!
Until next time,
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