For the Week of July 14, 2008
The fireworks finally lit up the night last week in Llanview, but they weren't the only things blowing apart.
Hey, did you know the 4th of July was like, sooo over? That it was all about the following week now? And that everyone just pretended it was July 4th anyway? Neither did I! Let's play along so we don't get worked over by the Cool Police. Nah, I can't give OLTL too much grief on bumping their 4th of July episode for storyline and scheduling purposes; happens all the time with the many preemptions of daytime. Anyway, the fireworks finally lit up the night last week in Llanview, but they weren't the only things blowing apart: Nora shut down Bo and Lindsay's wedding (again), Rex and Gigi gave in to color-coordinated passion, Charlie discovered Dorian's machinations, and Cole dropped a dime on Starr, spilling the beans about the latest Baby Thornhart. Oh, and Marty fought for her right to Google. And that's just the big stuff!
I gotta throw the gauntlet down and deal with perhaps the biggest and most divisive story issue of the week first, and that of course is Nora busting Lindsay at her and Bo's lame all-but-shotgun wedding. I know I'll get mail, and that's okay, I just gotta say my peace, because Bo is insane. "One of my in-laws just died, I was thrown out of a job I loved, my father who I had a complicated relationship with is dead, and the family business has been taken from me…what better time for me to commit to an impulsive marriage to a woman I have never been able to trust? What's that you say? My ex-wife who JUST HAPPENS to have been drugged and tortured by my fiancee has information about yet another serious felony that my bride-to-be has kept from me? Well, clearly she's JUS JELLUS! Oh, Nora! Is there no bottom to your gallon jug of Haterade? Time for me to storm off and drink alone! Y'all are lucky I ain't got another boat and the weather's good!" Look, people, I've said it before; I love Lindsay as a character, and I love Catherine Hickland. But put her in proximity with Bo and Nora these days, and I lose all patience with Linds and find myself hating her just the same way I did eight years ago.
Yes, I believe Lindsay has a good heart, and that she has been starved for love and acceptance and validation all her life, dating back to her father and his preferential treatment of St. Lanie. And yes, Sam evidently treated her as a housewares machine, leaving her to do the cooking, cleaning, and caring for their kids while he pined for a woman who wouldn't be with him. Truly, Lindsay is the original "Desperate Housewife" and that to me is a huge part of her appeal. I honestly believe she deserves peace and happiness. But that said, it seems that Llanview tends to forget that Lindsay did everything she did to Nora in the past ten years to a woman she had never met before 1998. Nora had never personally done anything to Lindsay; she'd never had a beef with her. But this didn't stop Lindsay from tampering with first Bo's fertility tests, then Matthew's paternity tests, and everything she did led to her exact desired result: Ruin Nora's marriage the way Lindsay's own marriage had been ruined. And what did she get from it the first time? Bo? If Lindsay's being honest, and IMO she was last Monday when she discussed this issue, she doesn't really love Bo and he doesn't love her; all she gets from him is validation that she's worth loving. He's a symbol, an upstanding man who would dare care for her. And what Bo gets from her is quiet serenity, and constant, unconditional affection during troubled times in his life. But that's not love., that's just a personal catechism, rosary beads; that's a placebo for both of them. Lindsay knew that this time but she still agreed to marry him, knowing that she was withholding yet another huge secret. She just couldn't help herself. Yet somehow, to all of Llanview, Lindsay has "paid" and is undeserving of Nora's ire. Even Clint and Matthew joined in on the flame war. What?! No matter how much I like both characters, Lindsay will never not deserve Nora's hatred in my mind. It turned my stomach to watch Matthew defend her, knowing how crucial a role Lindsay played in the dismantling of Bo and Nora's marriage and in keeping Matthew from his father for the early years of his life - and I haven't even touched on Lindsay terrorizing the crippled Nora in Cherryvale, letting Bo and Matthew believe she was dead, and considering the possibility that "the world (and by 'the world', Lindsay of course meant 'my world') would be better off without Nora" before easing up and merely stabbing her with a life-threatening drug and causing her long-term memory loss for years to come. Erasing her memory of you, by the way, Matthew. But hey, no problem; Lindsay just wants love, and she lost Jen, so stop doing your job, Nora, and for God's sake, drop your grudge against the woman who chased you around the house with a syringe while you recovered from a broken back! I wish Nora would show her son Lindsay's full rap sheet and explain everything that has been conveniently glossed over to him for the sake of civility. That would make that kid's head spin. Nice haircut, by the way. Grrr. You know, I truly do like all three characters involved in this mess, and I felt for Lindsay as she sobbed alone in the living room after the wedding fell apart, and I hope all of them can find some peace and happiness, but this will never be it for Bo or Lindsay IMO (and it's not simply a Nora issue, as I loved Bo with Gabrielle), and if Clint and Matthew can't respect Nora's huge issues with Lindsay, then I don't know what she's expected to do next either. Whoof! Okay. Okay. I'm done. Bring the heat, y'all.
Moving on. I liked that Gigi's outfit was all red, white and blue during the "4th" celebration; that was cute, and so was her kiss with Rex. I notice that the star-crossed pair has drawn some shade from fans, however, seeing as Rex is indeed still married to Adriana, and had just gotten off the phone with her when he and Gigi started sucking face. I can understand the problem, but I also think that when it comes to soap opera, the problem is the fun stuff. Yes, Rex is still married to Adriana and sort-of-not-really trying to make it work, but he is also irresistibly drawn to Gigi and wants her. It may not be the truest, most blameless and innocent love story ever told, but to me, it is realistic and very soapy. Infidelity on soaps today is rarely realistic, because there's always some excuse or BS rationalization: "I was drugged, they brainwashed me, the lights were out, blah blah blah." Whatever happened to people on soaps just having the affair? Mind you, I don't think Rex and Gigi are doing that and that would be a whole other issue to discuss if they were, but their dynamic now is equally interesting to me: Their passion is barely restrained, and Rex (and Gigi) are caught in a tangle of emotions and impulses; be with Gigi, fix things with Adriana, accept his own part in the ruination of his marriage, come clean to each other, discuss things honestly with Brody, and so on and so forth. It's a queasy, rocky mixture of things where nobody is totally in the clear morally, but that's what makes their troubles so interesting to me; they're all too close to reality, where in affairs of the heart, there is all too often no one-word answer.
Whenever Erika Slezak cries, I cry, it's just a fact of life. She was wonderful this week and so was Brian Kerwin, as Viki and Charlie fumbled around trying to make some sense of the shattered remains of their life together. I am glad Charlie's getting close to the truth though; while I appreciate a vulnerable male lead very much, it's about time he started fighting for himself again. I know they won't work things out tomorrow or the next day, but you can see the love is still there for these two and they have all my squeeing fanboy support. They're really just perfect. And how interesting was the dynamic with Dorian and David when she finally admitted to him that she'd only cheated him because he was still friends with Viki? You know her emotions are frayed when she just nakedly admitted it right then and there; usually, Dorian makes all sorts of high-falutin excuses for her neuroses. Dorian's really cruising down the road to Karmaville so I can't fault David and Addie for giving her a taste of her own medicine, but I also wish Addie would sit her down and give her another good talking-to. Maybe the ghost of Mel will help!
As for the other side of town, Cole's betrayal of Starr to Todd last week was foolish and immature, but again, all too realistic to me; Cole is a short-sighted, hotheaded teenage boy who has been told 'no' more times than he cares to hear it, so if he doesn't get his way he'll go to an adult, or in Todd's case, a frothing psychopath. I loved the way Cole wormed his way into Todd's head by mentioning the McBains and "John's brother;" it just showed that no matter what John and Cole's friendship means to him, his anger and emotions got the best of him in order to sic Todd on Starr and Blair. Todd is still out of his mind, and I keep waiting for him to come back down to Planet Earth and catch even the slightest clue about his current behavior. Don't know when or how it'll happen, but I'm ready. Meanwhile, thank you, Marty, for being smart enough to think of Google! She should really be giving Todd more trouble. And yes, the Curse of Todd and Marty is still blazingly apparent: Just like Susan Haskell and Roger Howarth, Susan and Trevor St. John have great chemistry, but it can never, ever be and I for one would not watch it. That said, I think the weird little dynamic going with them now skates the edge but does not cross the line, and it is compelling psychological material. Speaking of those McBains, though, I know Marcie is being unrealistic but I couldn't really co-sign Michael just abruptly leaving her. Surely there was a better way to get through to her. Has anyone ever tried to make Marcie really sit down with Blair, John, or others involved in the original Tommy caper in order to really understand what's coming her way? Isolating Marcie by herself in their apartment is in no way going to help her see reality…even if I do want her to have the baby.
And then there was Mendorra; oh, Mendorra! I know not everyone likes this story and would rather have Tina back in Llanview with Viki and company already, but there's time for that, I hope - I think this is a classic Tina caper updated for the 21st century, and I'm just having fun with it. It would be one thing if the rest of the show was campy and outlandish, but as it is, why shouldn't Tina make a big splashy entrance to off-set the other grounded, human storylines on the show? The usage of Cain with yet another "H___ K___" alias is wonderful, and Christopher Cousins…yum. Still yum after all these years. I love love LOVE the Talia twist, and it was great to see that they'd incorporated all of Carlo's long history into the well-designed retcon (such as, Johnny Dee and Charlotte); I think this will really open up the canvas and the future for Talia as a character, and I think Beth Ann Bonner and Thom Christopher are great together. I even like Antonio these days! Cristian and Sarah…well, let's just say I need more of Sarah and Tina, Sarah and Cain, Sarah and her family discussing their past problems, Sarah and anything else with more substance. But there's still some pieces missing from the puzzle, here. Bring me CJ! Bring me Cord! In a Speedo!
The Tess story took a bit of a backseat this week, but Jared and Natalie were foolish enough to move in with her; thank God Viki rightfully gave them grief about it, but I was also pleased to see Viki make it clear that she still loved her wayward daughter. I'm thinking we'll see more of this in the next week. We're hurtling towards a 40th anniversary, kids, and there's going to be time travel, there's going to be unsafe whitewater rafting conduct, there's going to be meditations on the afterlife, and there's going to be Agnes Nixon! The only things there apparently will be missing are important folks like Michael Storm, and Ellen Holly. Ah, well. I think it's still going to be a great ride. See you there!
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