Facing the truth
For the Week of June 8, 2009
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It was an intense week on One Life to Live, as Jessica returned and remembered what her alter did.
It was an intense week on One Life to Live, as Jessica returned and remembered what her alter did. Starr, Cole, and their families waited anxiously for Hope's return, and Marcie and Michael got ready to be Hope's adoptive parents. In other news, there was also a catfight, Nora was put in the hot seat, and a new set of roommates was established.
I never liked the idea of switching Jessica and Starr's babies. They were both born under dark circumstances, and there was enough drama with Tess neglecting her baby and with Todd ready to take Starr's baby. I have been waiting for this story to end since the moment Bess walked out of the hospital with Hope. However, I wasn't expecting last week to be as emotional and intense as it was. I knew that Viki would be impersonating Jean Randolph in an attempt to reason with Bess, but I didn't expect it to be so difficult for Viki. She could barely keep up the charade, as she explained to Bess as Jean that Viki could only be protected from the truth for so long. When Bess called Viki on pretending to be Jean, Viki was still able to pull herself together and get Jessica to come back. When Jessica returned, she was confused but knew something was terribly wrong. Instead of telling Jessica the truth, Viki had Jessica recount the story to her, knowing that it would be more effective and knowing that it would force Jessica to accept reality. It was amazing how Jessica was able to recall every moment of the birth both emotionally and physically. When she realized that her real baby had died, Viki was able to help her understand what she needed to do. I think Viki is the only one that could have gotten Jessica to remember what her alters did. Jessica's family knows she has a mental illness, but Viki is the only one who really understands it. I think this was a much better idea than having the police storm the house and try to reason with Bess. We wouldn't have seen the emotional breakthrough of Jessica remembering, and Bess probably wouldn't have let Jessica come back. Erika Slezak and Bree Williamson both did a wonderful job with making the end of a dreadful story the most interesting part. It's amazing how strong actors can take even the weakest story and make it worth watching!
The goodbye scenes were just as hard to watch, as Jessica had to accept the fact that her daughter would be leaving her life as her daughter forever. I realize that Hope is still related to her, but it has to be different to bond with a child that is yours than it is to bond with a cousin. I felt Jessica's pain, as well as Clint and Viki's, as they prepared to give Hope to Blair and Todd. Jessica had an amazing amount of strength when she explained to Bree that her sister would be leaving forever and that she has another mother. If Bree remembers this when she is older, I am sure she will have many questions about why her sister left, but I think Jessica did a good job of telling Bree only what she needed to know. Bree is far too young to hear all of the details about Jessica's illness and how Bess stole Starr's baby. Bree took the news well, and in one of the most touching moments of Friday's episode, gave Hope her bear to remember her. When it was Jessica's turn to say goodbye, she did her best not to upset Hope. I am sure babies can sense when there is distress, so I am glad Jessica tried to hold herself together for Hope. I also like that Jessica was there for Hope's departure. While I understood Clint's apprehension with allowing Jessica to say goodbye to Hope and to give her to Todd and Blair, it made sense that she had to fix what she did herself. Now that the last of Jessica's big secrets have been revealed, I hope she remains integrated for a long time. We have seen enough of Tess and Bess, and I think it's time for Jessica to rebuild her life. I hope the writers give Jessica some happier times for a while. She's had D.I.D, Hepatitis, lost a husband, and now a baby. That's enough sadness for one character. I hope she can find happiness with Brody, as she deals with what her alters did and can move forward with her life.
I also feel bad for Nash's parents. I think it would have been an interesting story for Nash to have found his birth parents BEFORE he died. Instead, they had to absorb a lot of information in the last two weeks. First, Jessica (in the form of Bess) shows up and informs them that Nash died a year ago. Then, they think they are bonding with their granddaughter, just to find out that the baby isn't related to them at all. Finally, they realize that Jessica has different personalities and finds police surrounding their house. It was interesting to see who Nash's birth parents were, but it's too late to weave them into the canvas. Nash is gone, and since they didn't know him for most of his life, they can't tell us much about Nash's past. It's too bad because the show missed a huge opportunity by not letting Nash meet his parents. He was one of the few characters that wasn't a long lost Buchanan, and bringing his birth parents to Llanview could have given him a stronger foundation. I know it's a lost cause, but I still think it was a mistake to kill Nash! However, I digress!
While Jessica, the Buchanans, and Nash's parents were dealing with the truth and goodbyes, Starr, Cole, and their families were anticipating Hope's return. I like that there were mixed feelings about Hope being alive. Cole was so unsure of how he felt, that he had to go to the counseling center to talk to Rachel. It was great to see him do something constructive, rather than going to Dorian's medicine cabinet and popping a pill! I loved how Rachel asked him how HE felt. It seems like Cole's feelings about anything pertaining to Hope have often been ignored, so it was nice to see someone care about how he felt. I am sure he could have talked to Marty, but Rachel was a better choice for this conversation because she wasn't part of the situation. They had a real conversation about what Hope's return would mean, especially since Cole thought that Hope would be given to Michael and Marcie. Between his conversation with Rachel and John having him read Patrick's poetry, Cole was able to deal with the situation.
Meanwhile, Starr began to have second thoughts about giving her daughter to Michael and Marcie. Blair did a great job of letting Starr work through her feelings about the possible adoption and about finding out that Hope is alive. Blair is right; Starr was in a different place when she initially decided to give Hope up for adoption. I still think Starr has a lot of growing up to do (as she should!), but she isn't the same person as she was when all of this began. It will be interesting to see what Starr ultimately decides. I don't read spoilers and don't want to, but I think Starr could make either decision and have an interesting story come out of it. I must say, I liked seeing, Todd, Blair, and Marty all focus on Starr and Cole's needs instead of their complicated relationships with each other. They are good, supportive parents, and that's just what Cole and Starr needed. I am glad that Starr and Cole both have familial support with their decision, and I am curious to see how all of this plays out!
I am amazed at how well everyone (except for Dorian) accepted the news that Jessica's alter switched the babies! Dorian is always irrational and over the top, and that's why she is the beloved Dorian. However, everyone else was able to make the distinction that Jessica's illness was responsible for the baby switch and not Jessica. They aren't calling for her to be arrested, and none of them seem to be showing any kind of anger about what her alter did. They are upset by the situation but know that Jessica isn't a villain. All of the Mannings and Thornharts were able to show a profound level of sensitivity towards Jessica and the situation. Soap operas are infamous for having characters overreact to things, but in this case, the reactions were written and acted superbly!
On the lighter side of things, Rachel did a great job of grilling Nora about why she accepted Clint's marriage proposal. It is obvious that Nora doesn't REALLY want to marry Clint. She's kept the proposal a secret from everyone and looked quite conflicted when she accepted it. Rachel is right about the bad timing of the proposal. Clint proposed as a reaction to his argument with Bo, and she felt obligated to accept because of that. I hope that Nora breaks the engagement before they get to their wedding day. I do not want to see Nora marry someone she doesn't want to marry again. She did that with Daniel, and although the circumstances are extremely different, I would hope that she learned a lesson from that fiasco! Nora is a smart woman, and I don't like that she keeps being written as a person who marries the first man that asks. She is better than that, and I hope she realizes that before she makes a big mistake by marrying Clint!
Gigi is another one that keeps making mistakes, but it looks like she is trying to turn her situation around, as she and Schuyler went on a quest for Stacy's DNA. I really like Gigi and Schuyler as friends. They both know Stacy and want to get to the truth. I didn't expect to like their interactions as much as I do, but I am pleasantly surprised! I just hope that Gigi listens to Schuyler the next time she tries to break and enter. She should have checked more thoroughly to make sure Rex and Stacy weren't home before letting herself in to Rex's apartment! I realize that this had to be done so that Gigi could catch Rex and Stacy in a compromising situation, but I think my patience for all of this foolishness has been sapped. After the silliest cat fight ever, Gigi was able to grab a few strands of Stacy's hair. I am glad something good came out of that fight! I hope that she finds out the truth now, so that I can be spared having to watch this farce of a story for much longer. This story started out in a ridiculous way, and I hope it sends soon.
Finally, I think Layla, Cristian, and Fish being roommates is a pointless story. It seems like the writers don't know what do with any of these characters, so they threw them all into the same apartment to see what happens. The new living arrangement is better than watching Cristian and Layla get locked into freezers or saunas, but I don't really see the point. Layla has had very little to do since she arrived in Llanview, the writers have run out of ideas for Cristian, and Fish is just a random character without much purpose. I hope there is an actual story involved with these three characters moving in together, but their scenes felt like a way to fill time in each episode that they appeared. The writers need to commit to these three characters by either giving them a story or by phasing them out.
Until next time,
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