One Life to Live Update Thursday 1/2/03
Pictures by Juanita
proofread by Theresa
Well, it's a whole new year, and with it comes a sparkling clean slate to work with, and judging solely from 2003's first episode of "One Life to Live," things might accidentally be looking up. Lorraine Broderick and the outgoing head-writing team seem to be positioning the entire canvas in such a way that Josh Griffith's new material can hit the ground running when it begins airing next month. And if that's indeed the case, I say God bless their magnanimity.
At any rate, one of the amazing things we found out today was that -- even though it's been years since they were married, and even though it's been months since they even had as much as a scene together -- Bo and Nora still have tons more chemistry than any other couple on this show. As the episode kicked off, Bo was in his office dealing with the nefarious Mitch, who arrived at the police station to take out a restraining order against "that hoodlum" Cristian Vega. Mitch was all up in arms over Bo's ignorance of Cris' threat to murder Mitch; Bo's response was that Cristian was simply reacting in kind to Mitch's own threats, then he urged Mitch to come clean about the murder of Walter Balsam and the other two nurses who were in the delivery room when Viki gave birth to her girls. Mitch told Bo he had no idea what Bo was even talking about, then warned the commish that he would see to it that Cris was thrown immediately in jail if Cris even looked at him wrong. Bo considered himself warned.
And Nora was still at Llanfair, urging Natalie and Cristian to go their separate ways until the annulment was official, so as not to give Mitch any additional ammunition in court. "What's the difference?" Nat asked. "Mitch is going to fight it anyway." True, Nora agreed. The difference, she explained, was that Mitch currently has no case, and we need to keep it that way. (Seriously, guys, this marks two days in a row that Nora has acted like she still has a brain in her head. It's all VERY exciting, encouraging, enthralling, insert your own adjective here....)
Natalie wanted to walk Cristian to the carriage house over Nora's objections, and Nora finally told her it was her choice. "We'll be careful," Nat assured her new attorney, and the two lovebirds sneaked out the back. At this point, Viki told Nora that she was prepared to do anything to get Natalie out of her marriage, and Nora said she was headed over to talk to Bo and get more information to use against Mitch in court.
That's pretty much when my heart skipped a beat. Bo and Nora, onscreen together again! How long has it been? (The answer is eons, kids. Eons.)
So Nora arrived at the station just as Mitch was vacating, and even though Nora had never seen him before, she immediately suspected it was him. And Bo confirmed it. The moment Bo and Nora locked eyes was intense and dreamy and no words needed to be spoken for just those few seconds. Such a great, great moment. Then Nora told Bo that she was representing Natalie in the annulment proceedings and asked him what he had on Mitch Laurence. His response: a whole bunch o' nothing. Bo backed up what Viki had told her about their suspicions that Mitch had murdered everybody involved with the actual delivery of Viki's babies, but said that they had no concrete evidence to tie him to it, and that they have been ruled "accidental/natural cause deaths." "Well don't you have anything else you can tie to him?" Nora asked, continuing to use her noodle. "Sure, he's done lots of stuff wrong," Bo said, before explaining about that whole statute of limitations thing. Nora then offered to look over the file herself, thinking she might be able to catch something in it that Bo had missed, and as she reached for it, Bo caught sight of the engagement ring, and a bittersweet expression washed over his face.
Over her face, too, though it was quickly replaced with a smile. She told him that Troy had proposed to her, and then she told him the whole story about searching Troy's office and finding the ring. "But I came clean about it, that's the important thing," she added. "That's good, because you're a horrible liar," Bo replied. (Are you believing this? Dialogue with actual layers, and palpable subtext?! On this show?! I almost fainted!) Bo asked his ex if she was happy, and she said she absolutely was, and he gave her a congratulatory hug.
And things were going just swimmingly and then right at that exact moment....
That damn Gabrielle walked in. Blew the whole mood. Bo backed away from Nora and then told his new honey, "Yay, Nora's engaged, retract the claws, it's OK, yay!" I don't know, something like that. Gabby and Bo both congratulated Nora again, and she thanked him for the file and then left.
Alone, Gabrielle asked Bo how he honestly felt about this news of Nora's engagement, and he assured her that all he wants is Nora to be happy, and that she deserves to be happy after the rough few years that she has survived. Then he gave her a kiss and told her that he was happy now with her.
(I'm sure you've been hearing the same rumors I've been hearing, so I just wanna throw this question out there: the Griffith/Malone team seems to be teasing a Nora/Bo/Gabrielle triangle for this new year, agreed? Do they honestly think that any of the wind-battered, pistol-whipped fans who have hung in there for as long as they have, and endured all the crappy no-account couplings that have been forced down their throats -- i.e. Bo and Lindsay, Bo and Melanie, Nora and Sam, Nora and NuSam, Nora and Troy, Bo and Gabrielle -- and waited for so long and with such hope for this reconciliation... do they honestly think that those same fans are going to give Gabrielle the TIME OF DAY if it ever becomes clear that Bo is interested in Nora anew? I guess if you write anything well enough you can sell it, but I just don't see getting viewers vested enough to root for the triangle that is obviously being built here. But I'll watch it play out nonetheless.)
Anyway, speaking of crappy no-account couplings, Nora spent all her remaining scenes in this episode trying to track down her new fiancée, who wasn't answering the phone at the loft, and wasn't answering his cell phone. And that's all because he was -- pun intended, you better know it -- doing other things; Lindsay, to be specific, at the gallery. When we first saw them, they were on her bed, fully clothed, kissing wildly, seemingly playing some R-rated variation on Twister. When we next saw them, they were doing the same thing except they had de-clothed themselves. Somehow. (Ladies and gentlemen, the magic of television.) Troy unlocked his lips from hers long enough to tell her that now was the time to stop him if she was so inclined, because it was the point of no return. She told him not to stop.
And when we next saw them, it was all over. Lindsay was basking. Troy was getting dressed, looking absolutely disgusted with himself. Lindsay was beaming. Troy was hell-bent on getting out of there. He put on his suit jacket and then handed Lindsay his cell phone, and told her that if she ever intended to call Nora and tell her the truth about Joanna, she had better do it right now, because he wasn't going to keep playing this game. Lindsay asked him if there was any good reason why she should keep quiet, and Troy countered by saying that if she ever wanted to -- pun once again intended -- do this again, she'd zip it. Linz pondered that for a bit and then announced that she would not be calling Nora. Good call, Troy said. Then, on his way out he paused to apologize to Nora (and presumably the universe) as he walked out.
Lindsay lay in bed a while longer, fantasizing about what had just transpired, over the moon with happiness, when she ran across Troy's tie under his pillow. She wrapped it around her hand lovingly.
Troy, meanwhile, arrived back at the loft, desperately ready to take a shower and wonder how he allowed himself to dig his hole twice as deep as it already was. And he walked in to see... Nora, staring back at him -- make that glaring -- with a perfect "Where the hell have you been?" look written all over her face.
Cris and Natalie also ran into trouble on their way to the carriage house: Jen was lurking outside, under the pretense of "wanting to talk to Natalie." Nat and Cris both listened as Jen professed her wish to stay friends with Natalie, and she told her it wasn't her fault that Jen and Cris broke up. Natalie told her sure, she'd like to be friends with her if that's what she really wants. At that point, Jen accidentally on purpose mentioned what happened at the loft earlier, when Cris threatened to kill Mitch. "What?!" Natalie asked in disbelief as Jen relished the fact that she was again stirring up trouble, and Cris had to stand there and try to explain his way around what had happened. Natalie told him he needed to be more careful, that Mitch wanted to kill him. "And I want to kill him right back," Cris said. "No big deal." He then told her he didn't want to fight about this any longer, that it was all going to be OK, and that he loves her. She loves him too, she said. "They can keep us apart," she said, "but they can't stop us from loving each other."
Sam went to the penthouse to see Blair, who watched Starr's Christmas pageant for, like, the seventeenth episode, and who was wearing NOT ONE THING that matched. I kid you not, the woman had on these atrocious light purple leather pants with this mauve-ish blouse that had several shades of pink glitter all over it. It was bad, bad, bad. Anyway, Sam told her again that Todd is jealous of them -- Blair told him she could handle Todd -- and then they had this long in-depth discussion about snow, which was capped by Sam bringing her a little cooler full of it.
Speaking of full of it, Seth caught up with Jessica and Al at Al's place, and he was not amused. He asked Jess if running off with Al was her way of getting back at him for not being straight with her, and Jess more or less told Seth to get a grip: she has not "run off with" Al, he just happened to find her and wanted to take care of her. Which is a lot more than she can say for Seth and the rest of her family. Seth called Al a weasel and then asked him to hit the road so that he could have some time alone with Jess; Al as well told him to get a grip, that he wasn't calling the shots; Jess was. Jessica asked Al to leave her and Seth alone for a bit so that they could settle things, so Al got right up in Seth's face and told him to be nice and then left.
Seth at this point tried in vain to plead his case to Jessica, who wasn't having any of it. You know, the standard soap excuse: "I was only trying to protect you, I love you, blah blah blah." Jessica's response: "You were trying to protect me from the truth? When does that ever work?!" She then told him that she was sick and tired of Seth trying to protect her from everything -- from Allison and Natalie, from Rex, and now from Mitch. "I don't need a father, Seth, I already have, like, four of 'em!" she yelled. (More or less; I'm might be paraphrasing a little.) She then expressed her incredulity that, of all the people in her life, Mitch was the only one with the guts to tell her the truth about who she is. Seth tried again with the "I love you" track, and she told him to get over it already. "We're finished," she announced. "It's over." Seth refused to accept it, and asked her how she could expect him to just walk away from her as if he never loved her at all. She told him she didn't expect that, because she loved him too -- "but it's all different now, it's all changed." Over Seth's renewed protests that they could work it out, Jess sent him away, and he finally left.
And so did she, actually. At the end of the episode, Mitch received a knock on his door. He opened it to find his new daughter on his front step.
Also, Viki was paid a visit by Todd, who was looking for her help in distracting Sam. Viki told him to deal with it, that there are more important things than HIM happening. Like what? Todd asked indifferently. Like Jessica, she said, and then finally broke the news to him that Jessica's father isn't Clint... it's Mitch Laurence. "Isn't he dead?" Todd asked. "Nope," Viki replied. "He's back to destroy us all." Todd ran it all through his mind for a sec and then asked, "So you actually had sex with Mitch?" Viki hesitated and then revealed to her brother that no, Mitch had actually drugged her. And raped her. And in an exceedingly, monumentally clever use of history and of subtext, Todd slowly let his rage bubble to the surface. Rape is still his hot-button issue, especially when it involves his family. He started to leave Llanfair, and Viki asked him where he was going. "To kill Mitch," he announced without stopping
Over and out, see you all tomorrow.
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