OLTL Update Thursday 2/20/03

One Life to Live Update Thursday 2/20/03

By Brandon
Pictures by Juanita

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Hey there, TV Megasite faithfuls! Brandon is back, and not a second too soon! It has felt like an eternity since I've been away from you all, but we're together again and it's all that matters.

And how about the glorious rebirth that our -- well, at least, my -- favorite show has undergone in my brief absence? Don't get me wrong here, "One Life to Live" is still far from perfect, but there are miraculous signs of life coming from every corner of the show now, and that's progress by anyone's definition.

Perhaps the most miraculous facet of this "new" incarnation of the show is that Todd is once again recognizable, once again positioned on the canvas as the tortured, conflicted rogue that you root for against your better judgment. No more of the ridiculously buffoonish caricature of past writing regimes! He tore into Dorian's house (where Blair and the kids are staying) today, convinced that everything was going to be all right again. Starr was of course thrilled to see her father; Blair, less so. Blair told Starr to go upstairs so she and Todd could talk alone, and Starr reluctantly trudged upstairs.

Blair immediately laid into Todd for his latest stunt, congratulating him for landing Cristian in the hospital and Natalie in the arms of a psychopath. Todd told her he was sure they were going to be OK, and that he never meant for any of it to happen the way it did. "How many people are going to get hurt next time?" Blair asked, to which Todd replied there isn't going to be a next time. "There's always a next time with you, Todd," Blair said bittersweetly. She then told him not to think she wasn't grateful for him wanting to help her, wanting to play the big hero, and that he just went about it all unnecessarily wrong, just like he always does, and that if it weren't for Cristian, she'd be dead right now.

Todd tried to explain to Blair that he was terrified for her, and that he only knew that he had to get her away from Mitch, no matter what the cost, because they both love their kids and each other, because they NEED each other. Hasn't he learned yet that that's the phrase that cuts her to the quick every single time? She told him that she doesn't need him, at least not in a good way: that maybe he's just a bad habit that she needs to break once and for all. She repeated to him that her foremost concern is for the children, and what effect their see-saw relationship is having on them emotionally. Blair told Todd that she wants Starr and Jack to have a normal upbringing -- as normal as can be expected anyway, considering either side of the Lord/Cramer family tree -- and that his frequent disappearances and charades and stunts are getting harder and harder to explain away. She then asked him to leave them all alone if he loved them at all, and when he was out of protests he finally nodded his head in tearful resignation. He asked her to allow him a final goodbye with the kids and she refused, saying it would only make it harder. He stood there for a moment in the foyer, trying to absorb it all painfully, and then he left. And Blair collapsed into tears on the staircase, not realizing that Starr was sitting at the top of them listening to the entirety of the conversation.

Meanwhile, the Keystone Kops -- sorry, Bo and Nora -- got a tad closer to busting this bizarro Victor Lord thing wide open. Listen, I still don't have a definite opinion on this storyline yet, because while there are king-size holes in logic and probability all over the surface of it, it's still kind of exciting for all the plot possibilities it raises. First of all, it gives Mitch Laurence's return a definitive purpose that it heretofore has not had. Secondly, the thrust of every single one of Viki's most successful storylines over the course of this show has been her demented relationship with her father, so the fact that he's evidently still alive opens up a world of brilliant ideas for a crackerjack soap writing team. (Also, let's not forget that Todd has never met his true father.) And thirdly, with Robin Strasser's return next month to the role of Dorian, Victor's final wife, it brings the whole history of the series full circle (that is, if Victor survives that long.

(But, having said all that, shouldn't Victor be a hell of a lot older than he looks onscreen? And look a hell of a lot worse, considering he had a handful of strokes and heart attacks before his "death"? But who cares, it's still the most exciting thing that has happened on this show in eons, so I'm willing to watch it all play out.)

At any rate, Nora and Bo got to spend the whole episode together, the way it was always meant to be! They were going over files about Mitch Laurence and trying to piece it all together.

Meanwhile, at Llanfair, Viki couldn't get the sight of Victor's scarf out of her mind, and she was telling Jessica about it, and about the initial "L." "For Laurence?" Jess asked. "Yeah maybe," Viki said. "Or for Lord. Victor Lord." She went on to explain that Victor had every piece of clothing he owned monogrammed with that prominent "L" and that it has to be more than just a coincidence that Mitch had that scarf. Jessica suggested that perhaps Mitch was just trying to toy with Viki again, and Viki said that there has to be more to it, that Mitch has no way of knowing about the scarf and no way of knowing Victor.

That led them up to the attic to look through a long-forgotten trunk of Victor's items, in which they ran across cigars and robes... and a white scarf, identical to the one in Bo's office which Jen stole from Mitch.

At the police station, Gabrielle interrupted Nora and Bo with breakfast. (Can I just say once again that there is no way in hell this triangle is gonna fly? Honest to God, I like Gabrielle a lot, but Bo and Nora still have enough chemistry to melt down a reactor, and ol' Gabby can't hold a candle to it. Is there any point in wasting a year's worth of airtime trying to disprove that? Josh, Michael, Frank, can you all hear me?) Nora took that as her cue to excuse herself, whereupon she ran smack dab into Troy, who was there to offer Bo his medical expertise. Troy told Bo that all of the medical reports they had confiscated from Mitch's house were strange, and that Jessica and Victor share a rare blood type that Natalie doesn't have. (That immediately grabbed my attention, because aren't twins supposed to have identical blood types? I'm a little rusty on my biology so I'm not 100%, but I think I remember that.)

As Troy was leaving, he ran into Nora again, and she returned his ring and told him to have a nice life. He tried to convince her again that he's not in love with Lindsay, and she told him again she wasn't hearing any of it. (Can I just say I'm ready to pronounce the demolition of that woeful coupling the savviest soap writing choice of this entire year, and it's only February. As if I weren't already rooting for Griffith/Malone the sequel, that decision paired with the completely welcome twist in that Keri/Liz/Antonio mess put me on their side forever and ever. Bravo, boys!)

So then Nora and Bo took another crack at it and found something interesting, which they rushed over to Llanfair to tell Viki: it seems Victor's body was taken from the morgue to a private mortuary just minutes after it arrived. Nora explained that that was highly unusual, and Viki asked what exactly they were getting at. Bo raised the idea that it may not have been Victor Lord's body in the coffin, and Viki and Jessica were stunned.

Meanwhile, at the clinic, Natalie was being prepared for surgery as Cristian and Antonio rushed to find her. And Victor and Mitch played their by-now-typical game of verbal ballet before Mitch finally got Victor to sign whatever document he's been lording over the old man's head. Once he got what he wanted, he stepped into the operating room and informed the nurse that everything was on go, that the procedure could begin.

See you all tomorrow!

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