For the Week of August 11, 2008
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After nine years of having every hope dashed, Theresa/Ethan fans were finally rewarded in the finale of Passions.
Goodbye my sweets; Passions is over. The soap has aired its last episode. Not since Bobby Ewing stepped out of the shower has there been such a shocking turn of events. I feel the same way about Passions as I did about Dallas way back then: why watch a show for a year only to discover that everything you saw wasn't real? So I'm left asking myself if I watched Passions for the entertainment and comedy or for the soap storyline. The only thing I am certain of now is that I probably will never watch a show written by this scribe again. Why bother? I feel punished for having been a loyal day-one viewer. Still, allow me describe the chain of events to you and how I feel about them.
We had lots of comedy and I glad about that. Endora cast a spell to bring her the strongest true-love couple in Harmony and she got Edna and Norma. Both still garbed in their atrocious wedding attire. Just when I thought I had seen the last of them, back they came to delight and entertain. I shall miss them along with their screams and my peals of laughter.
An ancient volcano was erupting in Harmony to destroy the town and all the people in it. According to Tabitha's book, the eruption was an event planned by the dark side and the lava had the power to track down even those who had escaped. Endora was zapped up to heaven and there she met with Timmy who told her how to reverse the dark magic. Tabitha had to be baptized. Thus, the final show became not just about good versus evil, but a paradigm for God's love, goodness, harmony and forgiveness in healing all things. Even Father Lonigan needed this lesson. He initially refused to baptize Tabitha because he held her evil and witchcraft in his distain.
Convinced to hear Tabitha's confession (thousands of years of evil) Father Lonigan finally agreed to baptize her. Endora put the confession into hyper-speed and at the end the good Father's ears were smoking. He said he might never recover from what he heard. But then the event took place and the miracles began. The white-light of heaven filled the church; it shown brightly on Tabitha, a garland of flowers materialized on her head, the light spread out to shine on all the citizens of Harmony and everyone was granted a happy ending.
Now to the details: All of the couples married, even Gwen and Ethan. Theresa's happiness seemed doomed again. Juanita was caught and her bomb disabled. Gertrude was able to reveal herself as Theresa but Ethan decided to stay with his wife. She did exactly what I predicted, she went into full chase mode clinging to a married man and weeping in self pity. What surprised me next was that all of the other couples who had just married asked Gwen to step aside and let Theresa have Ethan. Why did they marry in a church when they didn't respect canon law and the sanctity of what God had joined? It really is what James E. Reilly said - the era of make your own morality.
Unfortunately for Gwen and Rebecca they had done a little verbal review of how Gwen finally got her victory over Theresa and they outlined how they had sent Ethan's paternity information to the tabloid and every other thing they had done - all in front of Sam's video camera. Little Ethan had been fidgeting with the camera and got it working at just the right moment and the whole room heard everything. Sam arrested them, put them in handcuffs, Rebecca begged to be strip searched, and the wedding parties went back into the church just in time to see the baptism. Kay and Endora were revealed as good witches. The volcano was stopped. We had healings; Endora gave Father Lonigan his eye sight back and Kay restored Julian's little member back to its former glory. Rebecca started babbling about the time she and Gwen had gone to Vegas and Gwen got drunk and married to a man by an Elvis impersonator. Gwen was married all these years and never even knew it. Just like Theresa and Julian, Gwen was too drunk to remember getting married. Opps. That would mean that Ethan didn't have to divorce her and he could marry Theresa right then and there (without a church investigation, reading of banns, or a marriage license.) Kay zapped Theresa into a beautiful gown and the couple was finally married.
Esme screamed for help, "help!" she was out of booze and on the brink of sobriety. Heaven's light shone on Rebecca and Gwen and changed their clothing into Janitorial coveralls. Rebecca shrieked, "Yuck, its polyester! What a cruel punishment." Theresa asked that Kay zap them to a floor that needed mopping and Kay obliged. As one fan said, it was a true proletarian revenge for Rebecca's snobbery. When the two later reentered the church with their mops in tow Father Lonigan told them that God forgives all those who come to him. They said they wanted to be good and were given their own happy ending. Rebecca's donkey brayed and a handsome policeman asked Gwen on a date (a date with destiny per Endora.) They all were bathed in heaven's light and all received happily-ever-after.
Those are the facts and now I will get to my opinion. When the show opened in 1999 there were several couples. Gwen and Ethan were in love and engaged but Theresa wanted him. Miguel and Charity were in love, but Kay wanted him. Sam and Grace had been married for years, but Ivy wanted him. Eve and TC had a good marriage, but Julian wanted her. Sheridan and Luis were the show's super couple, but Tabitha had cursed the union. I formed an opinion back then of who were the couples and who were the trouble makers. By August 7, 2008, all of that had changed. By the shows end, every interloper had run down their quarry and won their love. The morality of this bothers me on every level. I have never believed that true love can flourish on a foundation of pain caused to another. Yet here were the happy couples gloating about having followed their passion and winning a happily-ever-after for themselves. Luis and Fancy, Fancy is pregnant and she beat her Aunt Sheridan. Noah and Paloma, Paloma is pregnant and she doesn't have to worry about Fancy any more. Ethan and Theresa have each other and are taking Gwen's child and putting her in jail - at least for the night - big smiles there and no mention of Jared. Kay and Miguel are happy, everyone is happy to be related to a powerful witch, and Charity and Fox are respectively driven off and dead. Sam and Ivy are together and the recently departed Grace has no place at her daughter's wedding. Nor is TC present to see how happy Eve and Julian are thanks to the return of little Julian. It is nearly a portrait for adultery, trickery and schemes. All is not fair in love and war and chasing down your hearts desire isn't always the right thing to do. It seemed outrageous to me that theses marriages took place in a Catholic Church given the participants' belief systems. That is what struck me when Ethan took his "till death do us part" vows to Theresa not 20 minutes after saying them to Gwen. The time was when canon law superseded local law in the matters of the sacrament of marriage. In my opinion, the show made a mockery of relationships since day one. Unions were in place as a target for she-wolves to run down and destroy. It all seems a wrong lesson for the young female viewer demographic of the show.
Still, there is a part of me that sees the beauty in this ending. Theresa has had a very strong fan base; they've been very loyal and very persistent in their support of the character. Here the ending had a meaningful message that I could appreciate. God's love heals all wounds, it forgives all things, it makes rights from wrongs, and it is the happiness that comes from loving God that fulfills the human spirit. No anger or bitterness or hope for revenge was in that church at the end. Only love. The entire cast and staff of Passions waved goodbye to us, the viewers, while Juliet Mills held a photo of Josh Evans the darling actor who had played Timmy. An old recording of Timmy signing Auld Lang Syne played. Passion's enemies stood as friends as balloons dropped and the actors hugged and waved and smiled brightly. As Julian said, there is finally harmony in Harmony.
After 9 years of having every hope dashed, Theresa/Ethan fans were finally rewarded. Enjoy every moment of that happiness.
Much love to my follow Passions fans and I bid you adieu.