When the Killing Club storyline first began, I was skeptical. It hadn't been that long since the show tried to do a serial killer storyline, and it didn't work out well at all. The thought of having to endure another one was painful. However, I thought this one might be better because the storyline was taken from an already existing novel that was incorporated into to the show. Dare I say, this was a "novel" idea. However, as I watched the killers' identities be revealed, I realized that this storyline wasn't better. I can't say it was worse than the Music Box Killer storyline, but it certainly didn't hold my attention everyday. Here are a few problems I had with the Killing Club in no particular order:
1. The Victims: When the murders started happening, only minor characters were killed. Hudson and Julie were part of the Love Crew, and we hadn't seen them since the project was completed. I would go as far to say that they had been almost forgotten, so it was difficult to become invested in the story at that point. Next, a young woman that strongly resembled Natalie was killed, and we didn't even know who she was. She appeared for one day just to be killed off. The killers then kidnapped Natalie and Evangeline, which gave the writers a great way to make the story all about John McBain. I knew Evangeline wouldn't die, and I am sure that Natalie will return alive as well. I don't know that for an absolute fact, but killing Natalie off at this point in time doesn't make any sense. I am sticking with my assumption that Natalie is fine; she is just very well hidden. There wasn't any suspense with the killings. We either didn't know the people who were killed, or they were such minor characters, that they could disappear for months and not be missed. I will, however, express relief that there wasn't a murder of a beloved character like Gabrielle. No popular characters were murdered and then completely forgotten the next day. Gabrielle's last day on One Life to Live still ranks highly on the list of worst soap opera moments ever. If there is a redeeming quality to this storyline, I would say it is the fact that no major characters were thrown away as if they didn't matter.
2. The Killers: I am sure I am not the only one that saw the striking similarities between the killer's identity for the Killing Club and the Music Box Killers. Dr. Haver was an unknown character that was on the show for a few weeks before he was revealed as the killer. We didn't know him, and making him the killer disappointed many viewers. He was obsessed with seeking revenge on John McBain and followed him to Llanview. For the Killing Club, it turns out that Hayes went to great lengths to seek revenge on Marcie. He changed his appearance and his name, and managed to become an agent, just in time for Marcie's book to be published. He did all of this because Marcie and the other members of the Killing Club wouldn't let Hayes (or should I say Ivan) participate in their club. We did not know Marcie when she was in high school, and we didn't know about this club until recently. Marcie even said she didn't know Ivan that well and that he didn't even go to her school for very long. Making him the Killing Club Killer lessens the impact of the story. To make matters worse, Nick was revealed as the accomplice. Apparently the almighty Hayes has Nick under his power, and Nick can't think on his own. It is a different idea to have a jock succumb to the manipulations of an outcast, but since we don't really know Nick, it's hard to be too interested. If the writers wanted to make Hayes the killer, the accomplice should have been a major character to offset that. I know there were strong rumors that Ron would be either the killer or the accomplice, and I think that would have been a better plot twist. While Ron hasn't been around much lately, he has at least been in Llanview for a while and is Marcie's brother. Imagine Marcie having to deal with the fact that her own brother was the serial killer copying her book. That could have had potential. Instead, we are stuck with 2 insignificant characters that we won't miss once they leave Llanview. Hayes plays a very convincing psycho, we just don't know him that well. The writers had a chance to salvage this storyline by making the killers people we didn't expect, but they didn't take advantage of the opportunity. Instead, finding out who the killers are was a disappointing end to a disappointing storyline.
3. The Evangeline/John/Natalie Triangle: I don't like how the storyline suddenly became a vehicle to further the triangle involving John McBain. When Natalie and Evangeline were kidnapped, the main focus of their rescue became who John rescued first. It was an emergency situation. John wasn't selecting a bride, nor was he choosing who he loved more. He was a cop who had to rescue 2 women that were both in grave danger. In reality, John probably should have let other people handle the rescue operation, since he is so close to both women. However, to say that John loves Natalie more because he saved her first is ridiculous. She was unconcsious and couldn't fend for herself. Evangeline still had some strength and was aware of what was happening. I don't like that it was promoted by ABC and by various soap magazines like it was an episode of "The Bachelor." Yes, he made a choice to rescue the victim that was in the most danger first. Wow, that is shocking. The triangle can stand on its own (regardless of how you may feel about it), and it didn't need to be fueled by this plot twist. It was silly and didn't change my views on the triangle at all. I am sure people disagree, but I think making the triangle part of the Killing Club mess was pointless.
4. The Length: I feel like this storyline has gone on forever. In reality, it's only been a few months, but the storyline lacked substance for most of it. The murders were few and far between, and not much happened after each one. We were also subjected to listening to Marcie blame herself for what was happening everyday. It is understandable that she would say this once. but after the 4th or 5th time, it got really old. Instead of having to listen to the same dialogue everyday, the writers could have given us subtle clues about who the killers were. I think the writers changed their minds about the identity of the killers at the last moment, so this wouldn't have been possible in reality. However, had this storyline been well thought out developed in advance, it could have been intriguing. It seemed like each week, the writers would say "Hmm, we have to do something with the Killing Club story this week. Let's do this until we think of something else." I realize there was a change in writers, and this storyline was a remnant of the last regime. However, it lacked substance and never really found a groove. Even if the storyline wasn't Dena Higley's first choice, there were better ways to make it work. The good news is the storyline is wrapping up, and I hope One Life to Live stays away from any storylines involving murder for a very long time.
Now that I have listed what I didn't like about the Killing Club, I am giving you the opportunity to rewrite the story, mainly the ending involving the identities of the killers. While visiting the message boards on soapcentral.com, I often see that people have wonderful ideas for storylines on One Life to Live. This week, I want to put all of those great ideas in one thread on the message board for One Life to Live. If you could rewrite this storyline, how would you have done it? Who would the killers have been? Also, if you liked the storyline just the way it happened, feel free to share that too. It will be interesting to discuss other ways this storyline could have played out. Be sure to visit the boards this week and add to the discussion. I'll see you there!
Have a pleasant week!
Until next time,