The balancing act
For the Week of March 17, 2008
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Todd has always been protective of Starr, so it's not unreasonable that he would be furious at Cole.
I am relieved that last week's show included a variety of storylines. I named the previous week "All About Todd," and I wasn't looking forward to watching the show last week. It's not that I dislike Todd. In fact, I am usually indifferent about him. However, I felt it was hard to watch his behavior in that particular week, and I had to watch it play out everyday. While last week included Todd and Starr, it also included other stories, and I didn't feel overwhelmed by one particular story. One of the most important characteristics a soap opera can possess is balance, and last week was closer to achieving that than the week before.
Since several people have asked me about how Todd reacted to finding Cole and Starr, I will briefly address it. I think Todd had every right to be upset. Did he overreact? Yes. However, Todd has always been protective of Starr, so it's not unreasonable that he would be furious at Cole. I think the writers made a mistake by having Todd beat up Marko and Cole. There were other ways to display his rage. I think the intention was to show us that Todd has gone over the edge, but the way it was done was a mistake, in my opinion. I have to wonder if his explosive reaction is the product of an accumulation of repressed anger and emotional upset. Todd has been through a lot in the past few years. He was kidnapped, raped, sentenced to death, and was led to believe his son was dead. Even the strongest person would have trouble coping with all of that, so discovering Starr in a compromising position with Cole brought all of his rage to the forefront. He can't forget what he did to Marty, and he knows that Cole attacked Starr while under the influence when they first met. I don't think Todd really believes Cole raped Starr; he just isn't thinking rationally at the moment. All he wants to do is protect his daughter, even if it means watching her every move and holding her captive. I am not sure where this story is headed; I am making a concerted effort not to read too many spoilers these days. Whether or not we are headed for "Juno" type storyline, I think the best way to deal with how Todd's reaction was written is to make it a story about him having a breakdown. I don't think it is ever acceptable for an adult to beat up minors, but at least making the story about Todd's mental breakdown would explain why he reacted so violently. I am terribly invested in Starr and Cole's relationship, but since Todd is such an important character on the canvas, this is a good opportunity to focus on him and why he reacted as he did.
What has surprised me most about this story is that I have actually like Blair's contribution. I haven't liked Blair for a long time. However, she has been the mediator and the voice of calm throughout this ordeal. Instead of ranting and raving at people as she usually does, she has listened to both Todd and Starr's sides of the story. She got Todd to agree not to move everyone to Hawaii, and she told Starr that she has to take some responsibility for what happened too. She isn't alienating anyone with how she has dealt with everything, and I think she is really the glue that is keeping the Manning family as together as they can be at the moment. More importantly, Starr actually listened to what Blair had to say about doing what is right for Cole instead of what is right for her. Starr won't listen to anything Todd has to say, and she has said some harsh things to him. There is no reason in their relationship at the moment. However, Blair still has the ability to get through to Starr, and she has done a good job of dealing with Starr and her current state of being. It's rare that I have something good to say about Blair, so I had to take this opportunity to compliment her.
Moving on to the other events of the week, I loved how Charlie and Jared outsmarted Dorian. Dorian never learns that when she schemes and boasts about it, things usually backfire. Charlie finally learned about Dorian's true relationship with Viki, and when Dorian was confronted about it, she tried to throw Charlie's deception in his face. She didn't realize Charlie had already enlisted Jared's help to trap her. Charlie and Jared don't have much of a right to call other people out on their lies. Both of them are keeping huge secrets from people in their lives However, I liked how they wiped the smug expression right off of Dorian's face. She didn't even get satisfaction from taunting Viki about Charlie. Viki made it clear that she didn't want to the time she had with Charlie by telling the truth about Dorian. Dorian can't stand that Viki doesn't constantly think about her as she does about Viki. Since so many of Dorian's schemes have backfired, I would like to see her stop scheming for a while. It is Dorian's nature to manipulate people, but lately, none of her schemes has yielded the results she wanted. Instead, I would like to see her spend more time with Langston. I was so happy when Dorian was named Langston's foster mother, but very little has come from that development. Langston needs a parental figure right now, especially since she is hanging around a dark dock that has been the location of many crimes! I want the writers to focus on other aspects of Dorian's character besides her jealousy and manipulative ways. She is a strong person when she wants to be. I want the writers to show us that side of her!
Speaking of complex characters, I am interested in Lindsay's motivations behind giving Clint the damaging information about Virgil Webster. She said she did it because she wanted to help Bo, but it seems like she is also trying to get Clint to do something that wouldn't make Nora happy. Nora wouldn't like it if she knew Clint were getting his hands dirty in an effort to save Buchanan Enterprises. She talks about how Bo is an upstanding citizen, and I am sure she expects the same from Clint. However, Lindsay tempted him with the information he had, and he took it. Is Lindsay trying to meddle in Clint and Nora's relationship? I think so. I also can't help but notice a spark between Clint and Lindsay. I have tried to ignore it, but they seem to have chemistry. In my opinion, Lindsay doesn't want Clint. She wants Bo, especially since she knows it bothers Nora. However, I think Lindsay is taking the opportunity to be the devil on one of Clint's shoulders, while Nora is the angel on the other. There is a quiet tug of war going on between the two women, and I think it will be interesting to see if Clint and Nora stay together, or if Lindsay's "help" at Buchanan Enterprises weakens Clint and Nora's bond. Regardless of the outcome, I am glad Lindsay and Nora have been included in this story about Buchanan Enterprises. These women have such a long history with the Buchanan family, and Lindsay and Nora's ongoing rivalry can be taken in a new direction because of it!
Last week, some history was brought up on the show that I would rather forget. We were asked to remember the Santi fiasco of 2004. I had hoped we would never have to hear that name again. However, it was done in an interesting way this time. Instead of being forced to remember the mob boss who threatened people with a small pocket knife, we saw how Antonio's past still haunts him. He lost all of his money plus interest to the victims of the Santi family's crimes. Antonio went to a dark place after he discovered he was a Santi, and he didn't want that money at the time. He knew it was blood money, but then he decided to put the money towards good deeds and towards the care of his daughter. Now, he has nothing and is being forced to sell his club and start over without a dime. I think it was an honorable decision to not fight the court order This story could have been about a court battle over money, but it's going to be about taking Antonio and his family in a new direction instead. The Vegas (including the elusive Carlotta!) were there for him as he came to terms with how his life would change. I have always liked the Vega family dynamic, and we saw how strong they can be when they learned what was happening to Antonio. I think this could lead to an interesting story for Antonio and for the Vegas as a family. They had grown accustomed to not having financial issues, and now they will have to work to build some kind of financial stability again. I hope this becomes a meaningful story instead of a random event used to fill time. The Vegas haven't had a real story in years, and if it's written well, this story could lead to a new chapter for Antonio and his family.
Finally, I am glad that Gigi has decided to tell Rex the truth about Shane. I don't know if she will actually go through with it, since I don't read many spoilers, but I think the time has come for Rex to learn that Shane is his son. I feel like this story has been stalling for weeks. We've seen Rex reach out to Shane several times since Gigi and Shane came to Llanview. Shane looks up to Rex, and Rex sincerely enjoys spending time with Shane. I suppose Gigi has her reasons for keeping Shane's paternity a secret, but now too many things are happening for the truth to remain a secret. Once boxes with just the right pictures burst open, it's obvious a secret can't be kept anymore. It looks Viki has figured out the truth, and since Shane doesn't understand why he has to keep his birthday a secret, time is not Gigi's friend. Once Rex does learn the truth, I think the story will become better. Rex will have a son and a "father." Even better, Adriana is stuck in Paris because of her mother, so Rex can forget about her and focus on his new family. It might be wishful thinking that Rex will forget about Adriana, but I'll just be an optimist on that one!
Until next time,
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