One Life to Live Update Thursday 1/30/03
Pictures by Juanita
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So, anybody who wants absolute undeniable proof that Michael Malone is on his way back to town need look no farther than Thursday's episode of "One Life to Live": Andrew is back! You know, Malone's favorite character, the honorable Reverend Carpenter! (Anybody else out there agree with my assessment that getting rid of that character was one of the most boneheaded moves that Jill Phelps ever made during her tenure here?)
And the best part of it was that there weren't even any complex explanations to go along with his sudden reappearance -- Max went to see him today, and they just acted like he's been in town all this time. And because he's such a great character -- and of course because Bob Krimmer is such a dynamite actor and soulful presence on this show -- I completely overlooked the implausibility of it all. (Which -- here's lesson number one for whomever cares to learn it -- goes to show that audiences are absolutely willing to suspend their disbelief, and I mean 100 percent of the time, when the payoff is worth it. Have I already said that in an earlier recap? No matter, it bears repeating.)
So where was I? Oh yes, Max visited Andrew, which was fabulous because I remember how they used to be great friends. You know, that brings something else to mind. I need to go off-topic one more time and tell you another reason why it's fantastic news that Michael Malone and Josh Griffith are back writing this show: we're going to get that much-missed sense of community back. Remember how Llanview used to be, in so many fascinating and interesting ways, the most important character on this show? And everybody knew everybody? And people had friends that they visited every now and again? When was the last time Viki and Renee even saw each other? Or Viki and Larry? I'm sorry, but when I look at this show and I see that Nora and Keri have the strongest friendship in this town, that tells me we've got HUGE problems, and I predict they're going to be corrected posthaste in the coming weeks.
OK, I'm back on topic again, I swear. Max and Andrew. Max laid out his sob story for Andrew, about how he's lost everything and how Roxy has cleaned him out and about how he and Asa teamed up to dupe Roxy and how it all backfired. He didn't leave much of anything out. Then he asked Andrew if he had anything stronger to drink than the coffee that had already been offered. "'Fraid not," Andrew said, telling him it was time for him to sober up and take charge of his life again. Max then admitted that it wasn't just Roxy, it was Luna and the kids and his whole life that he misses, and he feels like his entire existence is just a shambles. (And if you think about it, this is really good writing because if you look back at the arc of Max's character since Luna died eight years ago, you can see the consistent downslope he's been navigating -- from that ill-fated dalliance with Maggie to getting his kids kidnapped to several failed businesses to a disastrous renewal of his fling with Blair to pretending to be Asa's son to Skye to Gabrielle to Roxy... this boy's been headed straight for the trees for some years now, and it's great to see it finally dawning on him what a mess he's made of his life.)
Anyway, Andrew listened sympathetically, and then offered him a place to stay until he gets back on his feet. Max gratefully accepted the offer.
Later, Max got a call from Chad. I don't know, something about a broken something-or-other at Break Bar. Max sadly informed him that he no longer owns Break Bar and can be of no help any longer.
Meanwhile, Roxy hightailed it to Atlantic City, where of course she ran smack dab into her horrific mother. How funny were the outfits in these scenes? Roxy was actually the sensibly-dressed one today! Sylvia, on the other hand, was wearing this leopard-print blouse with that frightening frizz-hell hairdo. It was all supremely tacky; at one point I had to turn the contrast down on my television to avoid retina damage.
Anyway, so mother and daughter were playing roulette and Sylvia immediately started in on Roxy, asking where "the hubby" was and assuming that he had dumped her. Roxy insisted that Max didn't dump her -- that he was still at home "keeping the home fries burning" and that they were "one of those post-modern couples" that didn't always need to do everything together. (Show of hands: anybody believe either Roxy or Sylvia have a clue what "post-modern" means? Anybody?) No matter, Sylvia wasn't buying it anyway, and then Roxy finally said that she dumped Max, not the other way around.
Then Rex showed up for some reason -- still not clear, and it probably doesn't matter -- just in time to hear Sylvia going off on Roxy again. He jumped in and defended Roxy, who revealed to the boy that it was his grandmother. (You mean, they never met once in his whole life?) Rex was appropriately horrified at the spectacle, then they all played roulette together for a while. Roxy tried to bet Sylvia that she's not in love with Max anymore, and Sylvia took the bet. And won.
Sam showed up at Todd's, very suspicious after hearing Blair's story of the hit man just magically showing up at the penthouse, and Todd miraculously busting in and saving her life. He accused Todd of orchestrating the entire thing, and Todd denied it all of course, but the obvious guilt on his face told another tale. Blair showed up before things got too out-of-hand betwixt the men, and Sam contemplated telling Blair of his suspicions but decided against it.
But he did go to the police station, where he found Hank. He asked for the file on Suzanne's murder, determined to go over it carefully and see if he could uncover the truth.
Back at the penthouse, Starr showed up bitching about something or other and demanding that Suzanne come back so they could go to the zoo or something. (See, here's how well I pay attention on non-recap days: I had no clue that Starr didn't know about Suzanne's murder.) Blair sat Starr down and gently explained to her that Suzanne isn't there anymore because she's dead, that the same bad men that are after Blair actually murdered Suzanne. Starr started crying and saying that it wasn't fair, and Blair hugged her and told her they should focus on the good memories and not the bad ones.
Then Starr decided to name her new iguana after Suzanne, and Blair was touched by the gesture. Todd looked even more guilty after watching this exchange, and after Starr went back upstairs, he sat down with Blair and told her they needed to talk. But the doorbell rang, interrupting them. It was Andrew! Again! Blair was surprised to see him, and Andrew told her that Todd had called him to come over... and marry them.
Down at the police station, Mitch was in handcuffs and not happy about it either. Viki and Bo were in there listening to him rail on and on about whatever he rails on and on about. Then Natalie and Cris showed up so that Natalie could give her statement. Mitch tried several times to keep her from it, saying that he didn't try to force her into anything (he submitted the fact that she was wearing lingerie as proof) and that they were about to do what God expects newlyweds to do. Everybody was highly unamused by these statements. Natalie then said that it was true that Mitch didn't technically try to force her into sex, but that he threatened Cristian's life if she wouldn't comply.
Mitch then played victim again, saying that Cristian should be the one in handcuffs and that Bo has no proof and no grounds to arrest him. Bo pulled Natalie and Cris and Viki outside and admitted that Mitch was right -- it's Nat's word against Mitch's, so there's no case. He told them that since Mitch is probably going to be hellbent for revenge when he's released, it might be a good idea for Nat and Cristian to go away for a while, somewhere that Mitch can't find them. Viki agreed, so Cris and Natalie took off, much to Mitch's anger. "Don't you dare walk away from me Mrs. Laurence!" he screamed to the very disinterested Natalie as she and Cris exited the station.
Then Mitch stood up and glared right at Viki and started reciting a really creepy Bible verse, something about pulling a sword out of your mouth and smiting nations with it and having a name written on your thigh -- "king of kings, and" -- he hit each word in this last part painstakingly -- "lord. of. lords."
(For those of you trying to stay spoiler-free, skip this paragraph if you don't want to know what I think is coming here. Has anybody heard that crazy rumor that Victor Lord is alive and that Mitch has him holed up somewhere and that he's a part of Mitch's deranged scheme? The way he was looking at Viki today while he was saying "lord of lords" -- or, if you prefer, "lord of Lords" -- made me think that might be true. And it sounds really cool too, except for the fact that they exhumed Victor's body and autopsied it during Dorian's murder trial in 1994. But hell, Viki's given birth to two different babies that she had no memory of whatsoever, so who am I to judge?)
Also, quickly, the worst storyline in the history of humanity got some airplay today. Carlotta visited Keri at the hospital and was telling her about almost dying after eating that slice of cake. Keri was stunned to hear about this, because no one had informed her, and then she started panicking because she ate some of the cake too and she became convinced that something was wrong with the baby. (Aren't you getting sick of all these contrived baby emergencies?! The only thing wrong with that baby doesn't have a freakin' thing to do with cake!) Anyway, Antonio and Carlotta and Dr. Conklin got her calmed down and breathing again, much to my dismay, because I was so hoping that she'd hyperventilate herself right off of my show.
Anyway, Keri then took Antonio to task for not telling her about Carlotta, and Antonio said that he didn't want her to worry about it and that's why he kept it from her. Keri told him that they're a couple and that she wants to know everything from now on.
Meanwhile, Liz told RJ that they can't be a couple because she's seeing another man in Chicago, and that's why she's leaving after the baby is born. RJ was hurt as she explained that she met her mystery man shortly after Steve's death, and that they were both at a low point in their lives, and that they've been talking by phone and both want to give it a shot. (Damn, she's a good liar, isn't she?)
So anyway, RJ later went to visit Keri, who immediately sensed that something was wrong. He told her that Liz is seeing somebody else, and Keri didn't believe it, but RJ told her it's true, she told him herself. Keri told him not to give up hope, and offered up herself and Antonio as a perfect example of a couple who has split and reconnected. RJ insisted it was different, because there wasn't another person involved. Keri against her better judgment admitted that there actually was -- that Antonio had had a fling while he and Keri were apart. RJ was stunned, and with whom. Keri told him to calm down, and that she didn't know who it was, and that it was right after Antonio had shot Ben and left town and that he and this woman... were at a very low point in their lives. RJ began connecting the dots mentally and didn't like the picture that was forming.
Listen guys, I'm taking a couple of weeks off due to a prior engagement, but I'll be back in mid-February and I can't wait to see how much better the show is going to be when I get back! I'm going to be stockpiling episodes so I'll be armed with plenty of opinions when I return! See you all soon!