Bad decisions, good characters
For the Week of April 11, 2005
Nora is making life altering decisions that will have adverse consequences. She has regressed instead of moved forward, and it's hard to watch her put herself in another bad situation.
Knowing that Nora was going to marry Daniel on Monday, I had to remove any objects from my vicinity that could be thrown at the television. I like my television, and it shouldn't have to suffer because I had to watch a painful wedding. To be honest, I almost didn't watch her marry Daniel at all. I knew it would be frustrating to watch one of my favorite characters on the show make such a poor decision. However, I decided to watch to see how Nora came to the conclusion that marrying Daniel was a good idea. Even though I knew she would go through with it, I couldn't help but hope that she would back out at the last minute or sneak out of the house when no one was watching. Of course, there was no such luck.
Before I get bombarded with emails telling me I am bitter because Bo and Nora haven't gotten back together yet, let me explain my reasons for not liking Nora's decisions, especially the ones that do not pertain to her relationship with Bo. I've been watching One Life to Live on and off (more on than off) for roughly 12 years. The storyline that grabbed my attention and held it was the trial over the rape of Marty Sayebrook. At that time, Nora was still a defense attorney and was defending Todd. Ultimately, she threw the trial by turning on her client because she knew that Todd was guilty. I found her role in the storyline to be captivating. She seemed like a smart, compassionate, independent character. I wanted to keep watching the show because of her and, of course, because of her wonderful romance with Bo. In 1998, when their marriage was troubled by Georgie Phillips and the death of Bo's son, Nora made a decision that would ruin their marriage and change their lives forever. She believed the only way to keep Bo alive was to tell him she was pregnant with their child. Due to some test result errors and some nefarious meddling by Lindsay, Nora thought Bo couldn't father children and turned to Sam to give her a child. At this point, the character of Nora was somewhat ruined. A lot of viewers stopped liking her, and others were just shocked. I remember when Nora decided to sleep with Sam to get pregnant, I was livid. Her actions are still affecting her life; her relationship with Bo has never recovered, and the situation has caused a lot of confusion for Matthew. Bo has never forgiven her for cheating, and I am not sure all of the viewers have either. While I never agreed with her decision and would never condone cheating on a spouse, I could see her desperation and panic. At the time, she thought that was her only way to have a child. Regardless, it took years to restore Nora's character in the eyes of some viewers, but for most, it did eventually happen. She and Bo formed a solid friendship, and she moved on with her life after Sam died. Now, however, Nora is making life altering decisions that will have adverse consequences. I thought she had learned her lesson 6 years ago, but apparently I was wrong. Nora has regressed instead of moved forward, and it's hard to watch her put herself in another bad situation.
When Nora accepted Daniel's marriage proposal, she had just had an argument with Bo. He told her he didn't think she should marry Daniel. What did Nora do in response? She accepted Daniel's proposal, even though she hasn't ever seemed that happy with him. This was not Nora's finest hour, but I accepted it, thinking that she probably wouldn't go through with it. Last week, however, my theory turned out to be wrong. Once again, she had an argument with Bo, which sent her straight to Daniel to say "I do." She was so eager to prove Bo wrong, and marrying Daniel was the perfect way in her Nora's mind. This isn't the Nora I first met 12 years ago. She was not strong or independent last week, just as she wasn't when she turned to Sam for a baby. Instead, she believed she needed to marry someone so she wouldn't end up alone. She said she wanted to marry Daniel because she didn't want to go through anything "quite as painful" as what she went through with Bo. She told Rachel that her instincts were telling her not to marry Daniel, and she ignored them, which is unlike her. After what Nora has been through with Bo, Sam, and Troy, she should be hesitant about rushing into anything. She's even said that herself. Instead of learning from her past, she seems to be repeating her mistakes. It's also out of character for Nora to think marrying a man who she doesn't know well is a better choice than being on her own. The old Nora that was hesitant about marrying Bo all of those years ago wouldn't have though this way. Nora has been through so much, and changing her character to be like this doesn't make sense. Actually, one of my readers wrote me and called Nora and Daniel's relationship "just a weird writing decision." Based on Nora's past, I must agree. She has already made bad decisions, and continuing that trend is taking Nora's character down a dangerous path. We all know Nora's marriage won't last, as we know that Daniel is a murderer and has a "mistress." Will Nora show her strong will and independence again when she discovers the truth? I hope so. Any other result would be disheartening.
The only way to make this storyline worthwhile is to have it serve as a catalyst for the old Nora to return. I want to see the Nora I grew to like over a decade ago, the one who followed her won convictions and didn't let others affect her decision making. I miss her, and I hope I am not the only one. I am sure her marrying a murderer will create some dramatic moments on the show, but I would rather see a storyline that is true to the character. Nora was changed for the sake of the storyline, and it is hard to watch because of it. If this is something she would typically do, I would accept it...somehow. What's done is done, and I hope Nora's marrying Daniel and subsequent fallout will lead to good things for Nora. I, of course, am always rooting for a reunion with Bo. Even if that doesn't happen, I at least want to see a glimmer of the Nora we used to know. I really think this will happen. I hope I am right.
I realize writing an entire column about one character is excessive, and I hardly ever do it. However, when I am tempted to throw things at the television because of something that happens on One Life to Live, I feel it deserves the attention. Feel free to share your opinions on this. All opinions are welcome, including opposing ones.
Have a pleasant week!
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