OLTL Update Thursday 2/27/03

One Life to Live Update Thursday 2/27/03

By Brandon
Pictures by Juanita

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It's an interesting time to be a soap fan, isn't it? Good, bad, or indifferent, there's lots of stuff worth talking about all around the dial -- from that truly horrid new opening that "Guiding Light" has just employed (seriously, Mr. Conboy, what was wrong with the other new opening?) to the alarming stupidity that is fast enveloping "All My Children" (which was a decent show a mere six months ago; it's now fun to watch for all the wrong reasons). And of course, there's "One Life to Live," which believe it or not -- I know it's tough to trust sometimes -- is actually improving visibly day by day and is just waiting for that magic spark to make everything come alive. (May I predict that it'll likely come March 31st with the long awaited return of Robin Strasser as Dorian Lord? Like her or not, she's never boring and neither is one of her scenes.)

In the meantime, all these disparate plot threads continue slowly weaving themselves together on this new Llanview canvas as the Griffith/Malone brigade continues sifting through the madness they inherited and rebuilding their homey little community. Wait! Stop the presses! Was that genuine chemistry I detected betwixt Blair and Dr. Troy on today's episode? I realize it's not the first time they've shared scenes, but there was something different today, wasn't there?

Blair had decided to go to the courthouse to watch Mitch's bail hearing along with most of the rest of the town, and Starr tried to get her mother to allow her to tag along too, thinking she'd get a chance to see her father. Blair quickly shot that idea down, telling her to stay put and telling Hedy the housekeeper to keep an eye firmly peeled on the sociopath-ette. So anyway, Starr immediately whipped out her cell phone and called Todd to tell him she missed him terribly. Todd was in a little trouble of his own -- more on that in a bit -- and got disconnected from Starr, who immediately sprang into action with plan B: she faked a bout of food poisoning so that Hedy would take her to the hospital to see Dr. Troy, whom I suppose she decided was the only person who could help her to see Todd.

Troy was horrified to see discover that Starr was faking food poisoning and told her she shouldn't worry people like that. Starr explained that it was the only way that she could get out of the house, and that she needed his help in order to be able to see her father. About this time, Blair showed up to fetch her child (after Hedy had managed to reach her). Troy forced Starr to fess up and admit that she was faking. Blair was upset and told her daughter again that it wasn't OK to lie. Starr said that Blair lied recently -- to Mitch, when she told him that the kids were adopted. Blair protested that that was for a good reason, and Starr argued that her lie was as well, and reiterated that she wanted to see Todd immediately, or else she was moving in with Dr. Troy. (To which I screamed at the TV, "Trust me honey, you'd rethink that one if you had the remotest clue what kinds of things go on at that place!") Troy piped up and explained to Starr that Blair was only doing what she thought was best for Starr and blah blah blah -- honestly, I really do try to listen whenever he opens his mouth, but most of the time it all sounds just like the teacher on the "Peanuts" cartoons. He's just such an idiot I can't even stand him! Anyway, whatever he said seemed to work, because Starr calmed down and agreed to return home.

So then Blair thanked him and told him she owed him yet again, and I'm telling you there was a real palpable spark between these two. Ty Treadway actually has chemistry with something besides whatever piece of gym equipment makes his chest look superhuman! News at 11!

Meanwhile, Antonio approached Sam at the courthouse and asked him to represent him in what is shaping up to be an ugly custody mess involving Liz and Keri and the baby. How icky does this story continue to be? And listen, I know I've been harping for months about how profoundly I want this plot to be gone from the canvas, but having said that, how stupid and bizarre was it yesterday when Keri told Liz that the baby was really hers after all? There was no buildup at all, and Liz had no reaction whatsoever to this life-altering news. How anticlimactic! I know, I know, I desperately want it to be over and done with, but that doesn't mean that there's not a little more drama to wring from it. At any rate, Sam agreed to discuss it further with Antonio.

What I don't understand here is what Keri thinks she's accomplishing by keeping Antonio in the dark. Antonio already knows the baby is his, so what's the big deal here? Like every single other facet of this wretched storyline, it makes no sense at all and is as compelling as watching weeds sprout.

Meanwhile, can I just say this: these endless scenes between Joey and Flash are already getting quite tiresome, and we're only three weeks in. Somebody over at MediaDomain's "One Life" board was commenting last week that this scenario is strikingly similar to the Andrew/Marty relationship of a decade ago, and if that's indeed the plan, I'd say we need to seriously rethink it, starting with the actress playing Flash -- I still don't know her name but I'll get it eventually -- because she's definitely no Susan Haskell. At any rate, what is with Joey and that white collar? He is so cute it hurts and needs to be front and center in a major love story (especially with Dorian -- his true love, no matter what these writers would have us believe -- returning to town), not stuck playing the exact same scene with Flash and the street urchins.

Anyway, Joey went to that warehouse where Flash and the posse hang out to invite them to enroll at Llanview High School or something. I know, something about band and choir, I really wasn't paying attention to this part either. All I know is he is way too cute to be wasting his time with these no-talent kids.

(BTW, Joey also warned Flash that the police are looking to question her about that robbery at the Palace the previous night; also, he happened to catch her singing a pretty song when she didn't realize he was watching, and he seemed impressed. Trust that he was the only one. Also trust that he was only impressed because the script no doubt told him to be. Memo to Michael and Josh: I'm trying really hard here, guys, you gotta meet us at least a quarter of the way!)

Oh, get this: Cristian and Natalie are moving into Carlotta's house, and Cris had the gall to explain to his mother that he and Nat would be staying, um, together. Like, as in together together. Can you believe that? I almost fell off the sofa when he said that to her. I just want to say power to him, because that crap would never have flown in my house. My mother would have quickly told me where exactly I could get off. (She'd have even drawn me a map on the off chance I wouldn't have been able to find it!) Of course, that's assuming that I would have brought a girl home, which I wouldn't have, but you get the idea. Anyway, Carlotta swallowed hard and agreed, but then after she left them alone, Natalie said the only way she'd go along with this living arrangement would be if she sleeps on the couch. Cris tried to convince her that it would be all OK, and Natalie wouldn't budge.

Meanwhile, Todd got himself into a little jam at Mitch's lawyer's office. He found the document that he broke in to search for, but as he was leaving, he was caught by a security guard. Todd fumbled for an explanation, which of course the guy didn't buy, so then Todd tried to bribe him, and the guard wouldn't accept that either. And when he realized who Todd was -- recognizing him from his picture in the Banner, of all things -- he relished in calling the cops.

Antonio came over to the office to handle it, and Todd tried to explain that he broke into the office for a good reason, that he's trying to help defend his family and his children from Mitch's plot. Todd then tossed off the unwittingly ironic statement that if Antonio had kids, he would understand the lengths that Todd had gone to. Antonio told him he understood, but that he couldn't just break laws at his own convenience. Todd apologized again for shooting Cristian, and I suppose that Antonio let him off the hook, because the next time we saw Todd, he was racing into the courtroom, hoping to catch Mitch's bail hearing.

But it was already over, and it was a doozy. Hank handed the reins to Nora and told her she needed to get her feet wet again, so she ran the DA's table, squaring off against what's-her-name at the defense table. Mitch arrived just behind Natalie and Cristian, and they all exchanged their own peculiar brand of pleasantries outside the courtroom. Then they walked inside, where Viki was pleased to see Natalie. (And Natalie... not so much.) Jessica told Natalie that she still hasn't told Viki that Nat is moving out.

The hearing began, and Nora thought she had it in the bag when she began ticking off Mitch's crimes in an effort to demonstrate that he poses a significant flight risk. Mitch sat there, looking even more smug than usual, and after Nora was done, the judge thanked her, and then announced to Mitch and his attorney that as soon as he handed over his passport to the court, his bail would be set at half a million dollars. Attorney what's-her-face leapt up with his passport in hand and told the judge that bail was being posted as she spoke, so the judge told Mitch he was free to go, as Nora, Viki, Bo, Hank, Jessica, Natalie, Cris, Blair, Sam, and Jen all looked on with a mix of shock and horror.

Mitch walked over to Viki and her crew to gloat and -- no pun intended -- lord his latest victory over them all. Nora continued to be dumbfounded -- as I was yelling at the console, "Didn't I tell you you had no business working for the DA's office?!" -- and Bo told Mitch not to leave town. His lawyer tried to object to that, but Mitch asked why he would leave -- his daughter's here. Viki said again that she won't allow him anywhere near Jessica or Natalie, and Mitch told her to get a grip, because she can't control him. Then he left, and the good guys pondered their next move. Viki and Jessica left also, and Bo vowed to figure out exactly how Mitch was allowed to get off so easily, and how he was able to pay for bail.

And that's when Todd burst in, armed with an explosive piece of news: he refused to disclose how he came across the information, of course, but he revealed to Hank, Nora, and Bo that Victor has rewritten his will, and Mitch is the sole beneficiary: when Victor dies, Mitch gets everything -- the Lord fortunes, the two newspapers, Llanfair, everything.

And it looks like it won't be long, either: Victor spent the episode getting progressively weaker, and trying to get Troy and a nurse to give him a pen and paper so that he could make things right. Neither of the medical staff took him seriously, so Victor tried to start scribbling on a medical pamphlet, but couldn't get very far because Troy had ordered Victor's sedatives to be increased (and because Victor can barely breathe as it is.) Troy also explained that they're trying to find an artificial heart for Victor, since there's no time to wait for a matching real heart. But at the end, as he was desperately trying to write something down, Victor started to flatline, and as Mitch watched with demented glee from outside the operating room, Troy called for a crash cart and announced that they were losing him.

Over and out, kids. See you all tomorrow!

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