Port Charles Update Wednesday 7/2/03
Pictures by Juanita
Band members Ricky, Caz, and Reese are at the Elixir for the MV-3 special. They're surrounded by fans, who cheer as the show begins. It starts off with concert footage. The narrator talks about how the band burst on the scene in the fall of 2002 and created a sensation with their music and their mystery. He describes the lead singer as a man who shunned the spotlight to the point of obsession and then dropped out of sight almost as quickly as the band hit the charts. Comments by Joshua, Caz, and musician Angela McClosky follow. The narrator continues with the fact that the band released only one CD and no videos. They went to great lengths to keep their leader's identity a secret. "Were they just a group of hard-working musicians, or were they hiding a deeper, darker secret?" he asks, leading to the interview with Ricky. "When Stephen invited me to join the band, I never cared about his personal preferences," Ricky states. "So what if he wants to work all night and sleep all day, if his red wine isn't really red wine?" At this, they show first red wine and then a blood packet. It didn't matter to Ricky; all he knew was that Stephen was offering him the opportunity of a lifetime. Reese describes Stephen as one of the sexiest men she's ever met. She never understood why he hates the spotlight so much--until the mystery started to reveal itself. "Tonight, an 'Inside the Music' look at the mystique and the phenomenon known as the Stephen Clay Experience," the narrator announces. The Elixir crowd cheers. Self-conscious, Reese comments that she could never get used to herself on TV. Jack tells the bartender to water down the hard stuff to make this last all night. Reese wants him to give it a rest and watch the show, but he is apparently recording it at home. He's amused that Joshua isn't even around to enjoy the bash.
Caleb tells Rafe to check out the special. He thinks the slayer will like it. The last thing Rafe wants to do is sit around and watch Caleb have his ego stroked. Caleb states that it has nothing to do with his ego. Rafe doesn't believe that for one second. He's still worried about Alison, whom Caleb was supposed to rescue from Joshua. "You know what your problem is? You're a victim of linear thinking," Caleb states. Rafe asks Olivia what he's talking about. She glares at him and replies that Caleb always has a plan. Caleb tells Rafe to keep watching, because this is about to become a real eye opener.
Joshua pours some champagne and says that he's flattered that an entire television network is going to focus on his genius this evening. As if that weren't thrilling enough, he also has Alison. Given the choice between death and spending eternity with him, she has chosen him. Alison says that she only chose him because it's the worst possible punishment she can think of. She's responsible for the deaths of two of the greatest men she has ever known, and death would simply be too easy. There wouldn't be any justice in that for Rafe or Jamal. Joshua assures her that she won't have to worry about that for much longer; after he has turned her, she won't have a will of her own. Alison reminds him that he said he wanted a bride, not a slave. Joshua admits that he did say that once--to the late, great Jamal. He grabs her wrist and puts her watch back on. He wants to get back to the time she promised to make an effort for him. The alarm goes off, and Joshua asks her what time it is. Alison resists answering. He asks again, the hated question echoing in Alison's mind. "It's time," she says. Joshua agrees; it's time for them to become what they are supposed to be. In accordance with Joshua's plan, Alison kisses him.
Ian tries to comfort Lucy with the knowledge that everyone tried to make Karen's memorial special. Lucy realizes that, but it doesn't seem to be enough. Because of Scott and Serena, she feels very connected to Karen, as if she's part of Lucy's "whole wacky, crazy extended family." Ian says that she is. Lucy hopes that someone remembers to call Joe and Jagger. She wants them to know what a wonderful, special person Karen was, and to know that maybe she didn't die in vain. Ian has her sit down with him. He reminds her that everyone dies, but Karen had a chance to give her life so that she could be with him and the girls. Lucy knows that she should feel really blessed right now, but simply doesn't feel any joy. She just keeps thinking that she has a lifetime with her daughters, while Rhonda and Scott won't have that chance. Ian thinks that the best thing they can do is remember how much Karen loved it in Port Charles and maybe make it a better place. Lucy worries that it's too late for that.
A waitress brings Caz and Ricky a beer each, compliments of two of their female fans. Caz doesn't understand why Ricky isn't on cloud nine right now. Ricky points out that Karen is dead and Casey is gone. The rest of it means nothing. Suddenly, he sees Casey standing by two guys. He jumps up to get to her but drops his drink and looks down. When he looks up again, Casey isn't there. Reese turns the sound back on and announces that the special is back.
The narrator states that Stephen Clay was a struggling musician when he met Joshua Temple, a man with his finger on the pulse of the contemporary music scene. Joshua says that he got a tape out of the blue from Stephen. He was completely unknown, but he was a genius. He was also reluctant to perform live, not out of shyness, but out of arrogance. However, Joshua had a vision, and Stephen needed a band. Although Stephen wrote interesting music, he needed focus; he needed someone to take his creativity and put it into words. The narrator states that while Stephen became more reclusive, Joshua went to work finding the musicians and collaborators to showcase Stephen's magic. Caz describes Stephen as an enigma. After all the time they spent together, he still doesn't know much about the man beneath the image. Joshua realized that he had the hook they needed. Keeping the mystery and building the mystique was the key to the band's success. The music was compelling, but sheer talent is rarely enough. They had the charismatic lead singer who was never seen, but they needed the finishing touches. Reese talks about when she was discovered at a club in Bristol. She was playing, and Stephen and Joshua suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Joshua already had a reputation on the London music scene, but Stephen was so dark, mysterious, and hypnotic. He managed to hypnotize her right out of that grungy club and into the wildest ride of her entire life. Caz remembers the band's first rehearsal. He felt it in his soul. It was as if his life had changed forever. It was like he could feel the hair standing up on the back of his neck; Stephen was not of this world. Ricky states that it was perfect creative chemistry. He never knew how Stephen felt about him, but Joshua really wanted him in the band. It was a dream come true, with the best musicians and the best music. Watching himself on TV, Ricky disgustedly calls himself an arrogant jerk. Jack thinks this is all coming down too easily. He believes that a shoe will drop tonight, and it might drop right on Joshua's head.
Joshua sits with Alison as they watch the special. In the interview, he says that he doesn't know precisely when the vampire rumors started, but they took on a life of their own. "If Stephen's a vampire, what does that make the rest of us?" Reese asks, fueling the rumors. Elizabeth is next. She talks about how she didn't even know who Stephen was at first, since he hadn't gone public. She describes him as seductive and then states that for the record, she can confirm that he does bite. Musician Angela McClosky alleges that Stephen has some very unusual talents. Jack, labeled as a friend of the band, remembers the first time he laid eyes on Stephen at the concert; he knew that Stephen wasn't what he seemed. They show footage of the concert, where Stephen made his first public appearance. Joshua likens it to Woodstock. "You know, if everyone who claims to have been there in person had actually been there, well, the numbers are in the hundreds of thousands and counting," he states. Caz says that Joshua was against the concert from the beginning, and the band just cared about making music. Joshua says that it got completely out of hand. They show footage of Rafe jumping onto the stage and accusing Stephen of being a vampire. Joshua sees it as the beginning of the end for Stephen Clay. The narrator says that the publicity generated by the concert sent the band's mystique skyrocketing. At this, they show a newpaper with the headline, CLAY CONCERT GETS BATTY: FANS WANT MORE. Reese says that it should have been the beginning of everything, but suddenly, everything changed. Joshua blames Stephen, who had stopped listening to him and realized too late what a huge error in judgment he had made. Stephen was acting on his own personal agenda instead of doing what was best for the band and its fans. Elizabeth confirms that Stephen is an incredibly passionate person who sometimes has trouble separating the different levels of his life. Caz reports that Stephen started to skip rehearsal, which made the music suffer. "Maybe it did have to do with his lifestyle. We'll never know," he comments. Joshua says that Stephen even refused to do an interview for this show. In his opinion, it's tragic.
Watching from home, Joshua is pleased to see that his mission is accomplished. Now he can focus all his attention on Alison and make her his very own. He lowers his mouth to her neck and shoulder area.
Lucy talks to Christina on the phone. When Christina asks about Serena, Lucy says that she needs to be with her daddy tonight because they're both feeling very sad and need to be together. She tells Christina to be good for Gail and keep playing Old Maid until she gets there. Hanging up, she goes to Ian, who is burning up with the need to feed. He intends to have a packet of blood, but Lucy has another idea. She's ready to find out whether her slayer powers are back. They decide to test it out on the living room couch.
The special continues with a question about who really caused the fall of the Stephen Clay Experience: Stephen Clay or Joshua Temple. From his home, Joshua looks up at the TV screen, interrupting his plan to bite Alison. The narrator gives the news that Stephen Clay will be defending himself and making an announcement about his plans for the future. In an interview that Joshua didn't know about, "Stephen" accuses the manager of being solely responsible for the disintegration of the band. "Our manager is a liar, a cheat, and a thief. If you have to blame someone, blame Joshua Temple," he states. At the loft, Caleb mutes the sound and reminds Rafe that he said it would get interesting.
At the club, Jack chuckles that Joshua is probably having a heart attack right about now. Reese says that this isn't at all what Joshua expected. Ricky sees Casey again and tells Caz to look, but he doesn't see anything other than their fans getting drunk.
Although he's uncomfortable giving interviews, "Stephen" wants to set the record straight. The band was always his brainchild. Staying invisible was his idea, as was revealing himself. It was also his decision to break up the group, mostly because he refused to engage in a power struggle with Joshua. The hard part is that he still has so much to say musically. He misses it. That's why he has decided to reunite the group and try to pick up where they left off.
Olivia tells Caleb that he's fantastic. "Nice move, Shakespeare," Rafe comments. Caleb says that it's not over.
With "Newborn Heart" playing in the background, the interview continues as "Stephen" admits that his personal life did cross over into his music. It was inevitable. He never meant to insult the fans, and that's why it's no important to put the band back together. Reese asks whether Caz knew about this, but he didn't have a clue. Reese is definitely in. Ricky is out; he's through with this. "Stephen" says that he was never in it for the fame. He learned through the music that he has the ability to reach people. That's everything to him, and he doesn't take it lightly.
"Lying bastard," Joshua says into the phone. Jack is taken aback by this, but Joshua isn't referring to him. He asks for Frank, but Jack hasn't seen him. Joshua orders Jack to turn off the television program now, because something has gone wrong with it. "Whatever you say, boss," Jack says. He hangs up and cranks the volume.
On the show, Joshua talks about making Ricky the band's new frontman. Joshua turns off the TV and lays down the remote. Everyone has betrayed him. He can't trust anyone, not even Alison. "You looking for this?" Caleb asks from behind, demonstrating that he has the remote. Joshua lunges at him, but Caleb easily turns him aside. He gives the remote to Olivia, who turns the show back on as Caleb wraps up the interview. He alleges that the band will never be successful as long as Joshua is trying to run things. "I'll never work with someone like him again. Not in this lifetime," he ends the interview.
Joshua is stunned to hear the narrator's final words as he makes an announcement. "As we were putting together the final cut of this 'Inside the Music,' we received word that band manager Joshua Temple was found dead. The cause of death is not known at this time."
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