CAUTION:  My girl, Carol, speaks her mind in a strong, brassy and vibrant fashion.  If you are offended by straight talking, adult oriented language (sometimes, there's a "very" in there), please be aware that you may well find it here.  Carol shoots from the hip and tells it like it is, pulling no punches and taking no prisoners.  That's why I love her & why I hired her.  If it's not your bag, let's part still friends and salute our differences in tastes (I'm sort of a strong strawberry flavor...)  ~*~Katrina~*~

The Unexpected Hits of May Sweeps 

Despite the seasonal complaints – Dreary! Humdrum! Let-down! – of the online fan collective, several “dark horses” ran to the finish line ahead of the pack. Before I hit on the past week or so of ABC Daytime’s dramatic episodes, I’d like to delve a bit more... 


Like the rest of the human race, I prefer my daily life smooth-sailing, uneventful (unless it’s of the LOTTO and Damian Lewis marathon variety), pleasant, fun, comfortable, safe and familiar. I would rather not have to deal with the requisite bumps on life’s road: death, divorce, disease, car accidents, the Greenhouse Effect, terrorist Code Red, another presidential election. 

But want differs greatly from need. 

Whether you’re willing to admit it or not, we all need the bad news, the challenges, the struggles, to forge our steel brighter, sharper and stronger (to borrow a Christian analogy), and more importantly, to greatly increase our capacity for gratitude and compassion. It’s a lot easier to feel grateful for the blessings we do have, along with empathy for those who don’t, when we have had to experience loss, crippling loss. 

These are the staples with which soap operas have entertained for decades, and been denigrated mercilessly over by the mainstream entertainment industry. Nobody tunes into a soap to escape from life’s troubles and get lost in a lot of frivolous puffery (that’s what the Daytime Emmys and American Idol are for). 

We tune in (or we used to, before we forgot) to relate to people like us, commiserate with them when they’re down, root for them when they decide to fight back and feel a little better about our own troubles when they (unlike a lot of us in real life) triumph with a last-minute miracle or sacrifice. Soaps are the truest form of reality-TV and fairy tales in one near-daily genre. 

It’s never easy to thrust ourselves into such muck and mire. But once we brave our own fears, preconceptions and instinctive fight-or-flight aversion to the unpleasant and unwelcome, I really do believe we’re all the more better people overall for the experience. 

When my mother-in-law died of complications from emphysema last February, I did not want to visit her dying body laying on a hospice bed in rags, flesh and muscle emaciated into a deflated skin bag, gaping mouth left struggling for one last futile breath. I certainly did not want to walk into her room the night she permanently left her dying body. 

Decades ago, I went through the same dilemma with my maternal grandmother, at her funeral, when my mother wanted me to touch and kiss the corpse good-bye. You’ve gotta be kidding me. 

Now, as a 39-year-old wife and mother, I knew better, I had to, to walk through the doorway, comfort my father-in-law and my husband as they swiped away the running snot from their faces, painfully struggled themselves to look, touch, and bid Jean Audrey good-bye. 

I forced myself to look at her, this woman who once enjoyed making spaghetti sauce from scratch, all day in the kitchen putting the ingredients together, griping about not getting the right flavor, and at the dinner table, more griping, code for, Please pay me a lot of compliments, this woman who was fond of staying up late reading about catastrophes in newspaper articles, eschewing TV and daydreaming of ballroom dancing like she used to as a young woman up in Long Island. 

I stood there taking in every pore, their tears and awkward silences and meaningless cocktail chatter, everybody trying not to think of their inevitable. I knew that one day, many days soon, I’ll be burying other loved ones closer to me, and they’ll bury me. 

These are not the thoughts people gravitate toward, least of all young people – the prized demographic of networks. Not surprising then, that a story about an elderly character dying of congestive heart failure (or breast cancer) is not high on TPTB’s list of priorities. Also not surprising, that OLTL’s story about Viki’s failing heart is quickly wrapping up within a few weeks of May Sweeps, in order to make way for the teen-filled angst and romp of a typical endless empty summer. 

What has been surprising is the success of such a story, a story the audience (some who’d given up soaps altogether for 10 years-plus) has fully embraced, whether they want to walk through that door or not. 

A friend of mine, who gave up GH as her daily habit back in the late ‘90s, told me that she also gave up the sappy writing and cornball acting at AMC for OLTL’s more realistic brand of storytelling, which showcased characters not just standing around, making love and threatening violence, but working, fostering friendships, turning to family members for guidance, tickling the funny bone. 

She also admitted that she has to talk herself into watching Viki’s story, letting herself go there personally, putting herself in Viki’s or her loved ones’ shoes, allowing her personal life to mingle with OLTL’s fictional one for a while, until she’s a sobbing heap. This is a private woman who does not like to reveal her emotions to anyone, least of all her own family, and not prone to crying. 

Yet, she risked the discomfort. Viki’s story is that good. 

I certainly hesitated when Viki began experiencing heart palpitations, received the dire diagnosis forcing her into only one last-ditch effort, a transplant, dreaming about what it would be like in Llanview without her and how to face her own death, grappling with the significance of losing her one true love Ben and accepting his heart as her own. Viki—in tour de force performances by multiple-Emmy winner Erika Slezak—had me going there with my own mother Connie, myself, asking the frightening questions, What would I do if I were dying of heart failure? How would I feel? Could I be as brave as Viki? Gosh, Erika Slezak doesn’t look at all like she’s faking this.  

Look, I do not want to contemplate my mother’s death, or mine for that matter. I’d like to fool myself into living forever. So willingly taking this kind of all-too-realistic storyline on, in my own heart, with my own life, is an amazing testament to just how gutsy TPTB are in letting this air, how well-thought-out the writers have been in recreating an unfortunate part of reality, how effective the actors’ responses through their characters have been in moving me to the core, and how well such stories really do work when given half a chance, no matter what the critics, the critic wannabes, the marketing types and the outside industry say about daytime being a laughable, melodramatic farce, only about models and aging divas, gloom and doom. 

Just as I needed to see Viki diagnosed, reel, rail and ultimately survive heart failure – however hard to take – I also needed the characters who know and love her to rally ‘round. 

Paul’s disappearance, the baby switch, Natalie’s love life, Jessica’s suspicions about Antonio, Todd’s vendetta against Kevin, Dorian’s secret life with Adriana’s kingpin father, Kelly’s hangnail... these sub-plots take a firm, far second place to what’s happening to Viki now. 

Maybe fans can excuse and explain why Natalie, for example, seems more preoccupied with evading the cops after getting caught with Paul’s blood on her hands, as well as getting into John’s pants. And maybe fans can even be plausible about it. But, as much as this makes me look inflexible, unfair and personally biased, I don’t care to know the inner workings of an equally (to them) valid, equally worrisome problem(s) plaguing Natalie, or Kelly for that matter. 

Drop it. The hangnail can wait till after Viki’s recovered, by the end of this week presumably. 

I’ve little patience for Natalie fretting about the cops at her door (just another excuse to lean on John) or Kelly looking over her shoulder over the many crimes she’s committed in the half-baked scheme of keeping Kevin in a loveless marriage – when Viki’s heart is more interesting, compelling and relevant to me. 

Their self-interest furthers nothing but the de-valuation of their characters, something they can ill afford. It’s hard enough siding with Natalie when she’s impulsively jumping into Paul’s bed just to forget John when he already told her he’s willing to wait the amount of grieving time to be with her, or picking a fight with Jennifer as a convenient distraction (not to mention ego boost to her flailing street cred). 

It’s impossible to understand a recast’s recast Kelly when she’s neurotically repeating the same lines daily and weekly, over Kevin will find out!, ignoring her once-strong family ties and friendships in the process, rolling her eyes past Blair, Renee, Asa, Clint, Starr, etc. etc. 

When Kevin finally broke down in front of Kelly, wondering when she’d start worrying about him, taking care of him, comforting him for a change, as the full weight of his mother’s condition threatened to overwhelm him, it was with some measure of satisfaction that I saw a slight dent, called shame, in Kelly’s self-obsessed hysteria. Slight, as the rest of her remained strangely aloof, a bit embarrassed, that eye-roll again, but for the most part, still obsessed with keeping her secrets hers. Right then and there, I told myself, “Kelly’s dead to me.” The character needs to go out of town forever. 

I really really don’t get Kelly anymore. The Kelly originated by Gina Tognoni would’ve cared more that Viki was laid up in the hospital waiting to die, that Jessica, her (former) best friend has been struggling with grief over this and confusion over marrying Antonio, that Blair recently suffered the kidnapping of her daughter Starr, that Dorian could be the target of a mob from Puerto Rico, that Kevin needs her when his own mother could die at any moment. Instead, this new character Kelly only cares about keeping her baby secret and covering up any resultant details thereafter, including this faux-murder mystery – the most anti-climactic reveal ever. 

Just as I’m about to immerse myself in some good, old-fashioned hand-wringing over Viki’s plight, they cut to Kelly sauntering in half-drunk on her hysteria, consumed only with guilt over “killing Paul,” and what Paul and Kevin might know. It almost looks like Blair is enjoying the possibility that Kelly could land herself in a big heap of trouble with the law over Paul’s disappearance. Blair would’ve been the first person Kelly turned to to help cover it up, and Blair would’ve gotten the job done


A huge step toward saving Kelly, making sense of Todd, redeeming Kevin, adding life to Jessica, double that for Natalie, would be peeling the layers of their facades – the vendettas, the insecurities, the love obsession, the fashionable ticks – and fairly forcing them to care about Viki, some almost reluctantly. 

On soaps as in real life, it takes more courage to get in there with the human race and the variety of highs and lows of the human condition, stop fronting and be real about your feelings, to allow your self-absorbed shield to crack a little and admit other people have affected you to your soul. These OLTL characters need to do that, so I can care about them and see that they’re not only about covering up a lie and a possible murder, exacting revenge for another Blair disaster, lip gloss, the latest summer dress styles and paranoia about Antonio with Evangeline, whether John and Kathryn will hook up, where the heck Paul is, was he really killed... self-serving stuff like that. 

Viki’s heart is their prime chance. In the case of Kelly, it’s her last. 

I’m happy to report that the recast Jessica, Bree Williamson – long failing to captivate my interests from her debut – has stepped up to the plate and revealed at least one layer underneath, that of a little girl scared to death of losing her life line of a mother, perhaps one of only three to consistently turn in Viki-centric performances, next to Robin Strasser (Dorian). 

The symbolism in the transplanted heart itself is ridiculously obvious, from the reason Viki hesitated to the reason Viki fought back to withstand infection. Coming from her beloved, but now dead, Ben, the heart represents to Viki – and us – how to live life to its fullest; and unfortunately, such a life requires us to experience fully the highs and lows, the joy of selfless love and the pain of selfless sacrifice as well. Ben’s heart, now shared by Viki, will forever remind her that her husband died because of her, yet, also remind her that her husband died for her

It’s brilliant storytelling, worthy of a short story award. 

In an age of techno wizardry, instant gratification, reality-TV voyeurism, jaded outlooks, cleverly impersonalized, and a gleeful, mindless defilement of everything holy and sacred, it’s nice to stumble into Viki’s hospital room once in a while. It’s also important and necessary for our survival as the superior, compassionate, grateful, decent species. 

Fast food is okay. But a home-cooked meal that takes all day is way better. My mother-in-law knew. 


Courtney & Jax, Casper... Jason & Sam, JaSam... these two pairings have captivated me, not quite the effortless way Luke & Skye, LukeSkyewalker, have, not quite the instantly powerful way of a Jax/Brenda/Sonny triangle, but close, and close is about as good as GH gets these days. 

The way these two couples have paired up, platonically at this point, hasn’t exactly been written with care. Courtney would never take such a frivolous bet when her family, friend Carly and ex-husband Jason are in the midst of such turmoil, and certainly never with Sonny and Jason’s worst enemy. She would never take off for Monte Carlo for one day over the beginnings of a foundation when Jason’s about to be mired in Sam’s troubles again (remember her past resume of broken commitments?). Jason and Sam almost seem a replica of the hugely popular but highly accidental Jason and Brenda, but there’s a decided lack of interest blocking the potential push-pull tension; it’s mostly about Jason’s duty to Sonny, less about his personal interest growing in Sam. (Although his bemused, surprised observation that Sam knew what she was doing as they laid the lying groundwork for the DNA-switch revealed the first time in their short history of something other than mild irritation and heavy distraction.) 

But still, I know they work because whenever they’re on, I strangely don’t pay close attention to how they arrived at the same place together, why they’re still bothering, or the assorted segueways in between. I forget myself and my surroundings, the fact that I’m supposed to be this cynical, sarcastic soap columnist, and find I can’t help but smile when Courtney bursts into hysterical laughter at Jax’s Mack-daddy antics or when Sam tries in vain not to crack a grin when Jason reluctantly described his and Brenda’s Vegas wedding with that accordion player. 

Maybe this is not the way to write Chapter One of their love stories, and maybe this is merely the result of a bunch of network suits brainstorming any reason to perk up the ratings and keep the rest of the cast members satisfied and busy. 

Doesn’t mean it hasn’t gone a long way to restoring these characters’ likeability and my interest in the show. For GH, that’s saying a lot. 


...really infuriate me. She bullies. She acts entitled. She never parents. She stammers too much. She always looks like she’s ready to stick it in some unsuspecting victim from behind. 

But the real boiling point comes when she treats perceived rivals to her loved ones’ affections (meaning Jason and Sonny) as less-than-fearsome threats to her, as anti-Christ leper anomalies to be run out of town on a rail, while she rules with her benefactor hands backwards on hips (assuming the position). 

You know those people who always think they’re right, who never take the time for any introspection, who would rather set themselves on fire than admit to a flaw, and who only cop to the self-deprecation when doing so can serve their less-than-best interests, namely, keeping up the false front of superiority. That’s Carly, Part II. 

That was never the original Carly, played with introspective, vulnerable nuance by Sarah Brown. The reason I always bring Brown up and start comparing is because, IMHO, Carly has been ruined as a true leading actress heroine, as multi-dimensional, surprisingly complex as a Laura Spencer (before she went mad), the soul of her accessibility (despite the many destructive acts she plans out) burned out, in favor of a villainness with only edges and little depth. 

IOW, a brand new character altogether. 

I hate that. I hate having invested a few profitable years in a solid character that made me care even more about Bobbie, the Quartermaines and anybody else Sarah Brown’s Carly touched in her whirlwind well-intention. I hate TPTB demeaning anybody else but Carly and her prized clique as bumbling, fumbling losers, to prop her and her hypocritical kind up. I hate their wasting my time every week day for 40 minutes by showcasing what amounts to a pathetic woman incapable of seeing herself in other people, giving other people a chance, and feeling an iota of empathy outside of her prized clique. 

The latest Carly punching bag happens to be Sam, Carly’s near-identical twin. More than one person from Carly’s inner and slightly outer circle has commented on their resemblance... the tendency to suffer the consequence of their rash behavior, usually involving a jump in the sack with the nearest available hottie, using sex to cure everything up to and including a lack of a strong father figure in their lives, a strong independent streak warring with a co-dependent need to be taken care of (see father figure), an attraction to dangerous, dysfunctional men, a tendency to center the world’s woes around their every fingernail crack, and lately, the pregnancy debacle. 

Who else fingered Jason as the father when she couldn’t tell the truth about the real one?

Who else kept up appearances thereafter for the lies and deception to stay in effect? 

Carly? Sam? Both? 

Especially after the May 25th and 26th episodes, Carly’s obtuse inability to see herself in Sam (her worst enemy and the mistress she thinks is farthest from her doppelganger as to be insulting) reaches ridiculous proportions. It’s obvious to everybody but Carly that every insult she lobs at Sam, she might as well reserve for herself. 

I had to laugh when Sam burst in, in the middle of Sonny’s confession to Carly that he fathered the baby to come, then pronounced that she and Jason had a one-night stand in a bar, then afterward agreed not to speak of it again. I laughed harder when Carly refused to believe that take and proceeded to rip Sam a new one over what a disgusting tramp she was, throwing herself at Jason, trying to seduce him at every opportunity, ignoring his commitment to Courtney, ::cough, cough, Robin, cough, cough:: 

[Interestingly enough, Carly chooses the one woman who is the polar opposite in every meaningful comparative. Courtney is stable, principled, honest and refuses to use sex to manipulate people. She believes in earning her keep, sometimes the hard way. Maybe unconsciously, Carly feels a Courtney in her life will rub off, instead of her doppelganger Sam.] 

But y’see, had Sarah Brown been in the picture, I wouldn’t have laughed. I would’ve cried at the repeat of history, thrown back at Carly, as she stood there full of self-recriminations and more than a touch of compassion, however reluctant, at a younger woman who’s starting to follow in her footsteps. 

Because I remember Sarah Brown’s Carly who just stood there and took it when Alexis all of a sudden browbeat her in the Quartermaine mansion as not being good enough, being just trailer trash through and through. I remember Sarah Brown’s Carly immediately feeling like garbage when she learned that the woman she had been trashing, Robin Scorpio, was diagnosed as HIV-positive, or when she realized the full extent of what she’d done to A.J., making it look like he’d fallen off the wagon, or a host of other qualifiable instances that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt with me that this Carly is an unadulterated failure. 


It was the May 25th show. Greenlee and Ryan stroll into a Kendall ambush, with 1/3 of Pine Valley gathered in Ryan’s pad (why’s Maria there???), clueless as to why, only that Kendall brought them there. The way Greenlee and Ryan were carrying on, trying hard to appear happily married, turned my stomach. I not only have one quip-spouting show-off (that’d be Greenlee), I now have two to contend with, trading endearments only they think are clever while the rest of the world reaches for the hook. The “Hey, wife. ... Hey, hub. ...” really challenged me not to FF. If this is TPTB’s way of turning me against Greenlee and Ryan and pushing for a patented Kendal revenge, it’s working. 

May 27 kicked off the beginning of the end of JR as a decent young man and of the ascent of JR as a bonafide diseased scumbag – worse than his father Adam could ever dream of being. He struts into the Chandler library, boasting of his sexual conquest, some brunette, “Sharon, Susan... blondes really don’t have more fun, hardy har har,” as just a minor addition to his grander scheme of paying wife Babe back for her philandering and lying. After he whined to Adam, “Can’t we just buy one of the judges?,” I completely wrote him off. The old spoiled brat JR is back, with a smirky preening vengeance. I kept worrying that he hadn’t washed his hands of his one-night stand tryst and would defile baby “Bess” trying to hold her and twist the knife into Babe. Now, Babe wasn’t exactly Miss Clean about her sexual prowess and conquests either, but juxtaposed against her current torture about doing right by Bianca, JR’s sudden turn to the dark side of evil is a tad much. 

When Edmund wheeled himself back to Wildwind, and commented with Maria how fast the construction workers had been in making the mansion handicapped-accessible, I had to quip, “Maybe the ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ crew came in overnight.” 

Uh oh. Bianca got to JR in the May 28th episode, with her noble, self-sacrificing speech about staying away from “Bess,” for both his and Babe’s sake. I almost saw his human side (and why portrayer Jacob Young might’ve actually earned his “Younger Actor” Emmy a few years ago). But then he quickly regained the Adonis statue motif when commandeering Babe for a meeting. 

[This is for SIPort:] Babe, honey, What is there to think about?! Can the decision BE any easier for you? A mother has been suffering needlessly because you’re using JR’s happiness as a lame excuse to keep her biological newborn dead and buried. The sick sad thing of it is, if Babe told the truth from the beginning, I wouldn’t have had to endure JR boasting to Adam about his brunette lay. 


This show’s in danger of becoming a GH clone in terms of continuity, or lack thereof. 

May 25th: Nurse tells Jessica and Kevin they can’t go in to see their ailing mother, because she can only have one visitor at a time. Clint’s in there now. They want to know why. She tells them because Viki’s being prepped for a heart transplant and by order of her doctor must limit visitors to one. This is news to Jess and Kevin, who are overjoyed. But the nurse wasn’t informed by the doctor that the heart had been contaminated, neither were Jess and Kevin. A minute or so later, Jess and Kevin stroll in, ignoring the nurse’s earlier warning against Viki having more than one visitor. The nurse, Jess and Kevin don’t know that it’s okay now that the heart transplant’s been postponed, Jess and Kevin find out from Viki and Clint right then and there. So, why did Jess and Kevin just go ahead and visit with Viki based on the nurse’s knowledge (which isn’t really up to date) and why am I paying such close attention? 

I don’t get Trevor St. John’s Todd anymore. The only humanity I ever see in him is in relation to Starr and Blair, maybe Viki. Otherwise, he acts like he’s constantly up to something duplicitous; he may appear kindly toward hysterical Kelly, but the camera sees him twirling his proverbial mustache. I don’t like this Todd. I like him even less when he’s going off on Dorian for not doing enough to save Viki’s life, when Dorian’s probably the only one doing everything she can. Sometimes, dude, less is just less. 

As I mentioned above in my four-page treatise entitled, “I Need Viki’s Heart,” I can no longer stomach even the sight of Kelly whining and lying, scrunching up her face in protest (the Elizabeth Webber syndrome) over yet another blow to her motherhood ambition – I believe Eye on Soaps’ resident gossip columnist Sage referred to it as a constipation problem. Kevin nearly breaking down, practically begging Kelly to care about him and what he’s going through with Viki, heightened the uselessness of Kelly altogether and confirmed to me that TPTB must end the baby switching story as soon as possible, or risk destroying a potentially decent character for good and wasting the talents of Emmy winner Heather Tom. 

But okay, the (was it May 27 or 28?) scenes of her with David and Todd at the N.J. landfill, trying to re-dig up Paul’s body did provide some laughs. When Todd showed up, they snarled at each other some more then out of nowhere he informs them that Viki came out of surgery okay, they all forgot about the Paul drama for the few seconds it took to respond with casual relief, then back to the snarling. Juxtaposed against the very serious reason they were there, knee-deep in garbage, blended slapstick and dry humor brilliantly. Reminded me of the time the cell phone rang when Todd, Kevin and Blair were going at it intently, then, they started going for their individual phones at the same time. 


When in doubt about a whodunit, re-hire a long-lost character nobody cares about today, to be the Ta Da! culprit. To wit: Robin Mattson comes back after a 21-year absence as the second/third recast of Heather Webber (1980-83), as possibly the actual person who knifed Lt. Ross Duncan in the back, then plagued Skye with a framing, stalking, kidnapping and repeatedly attempted stabbings. If the rumor of Heather being behind the murder et al proves false, however, then... when they can’t lure back a former really big GH name... 

May 21st’s scenes where Luke and Lucky teamed up, conspiratorially, to evade Ric’s interrogating and rescue Skye from Wyndemere validated the promise by portrayers Tony Geary and Greg Vaughan to change the animosity between their characters in the past, an animosity Geary doesn’t understand or want to play out anymore. He’s been working TPTB to give their father/son relationship a boost back in the right direction, where they’re conning other people as a team, where Luke doesn’t ignore or demean Lucky as a goody-two-shoes and where Lucky takes on more of his father’s nefarious influence, in the name of keeping their family intact and safe from the prying eyes of outsiders. Like it used to be. It’s darned near close. I could see the old Lucky personified with the charming (Geary’s adjective) recast Vaughan as he and Rick Hearst’s Ric listened to a tape recording of Luke railing against the cops (left at Luke’s office to thwart said cops, so he could race to Wyndemere and save Skye), trying not to grin, hiding his pride and his appreciation at Luke’s dark side used for some good, as well as in reaction to that witty Luke Spencer banter (paraphrased badly: You couldn’t catch a dog! ... go lick DA Lansing’s badge), which nearly tempted Hearst into grinning, and he’s supposed to keep a straight face. 

I couldn’t help but love two burgeoning (albeit forced) couples (see “Do They Know They’re That Good?” above), greatly helped by the May 24th episode. As Jason convinced Sam to go along with his plan to be her baby’s father and move in with him, Sam picked up on the plan at lightning speed, contributing a false background set-up of her own to be even more convincing, like the former con woman she used to be. Jason actually looked surprised (surprising for him) and more than a little awed when he told Sam, she’s pretty good at this. Then, as Jax moved in for the killer kiss on his private jet, Courtney stared at him as if he were insane and pathetic, laughing lightly, pushing him away, completely unmoved but enjoying the distraction. Jax, in return, looked almost humble, which is a major feat for any woman. It’s wacky but every time Courtney breaks out in a genuine smile and laughs, which is rare around Jason and Sonny, I can’t help but smile myself. I do adore her so much when she’s happy. 

Question though: How is having to lie to a child for the rest of its life about his true father better than being truthful to the child about being adopted by two loving parents? Sometimes Jason’s logic, Jason being the good, honest (ha ha ha!) barometer of righteousness, gives me fits. 

Sam, the character, would have more integrity with me if she weren’t constantly changing her mind and taking off, carry-on in hand, only to take off again. I’ve lost count. 

In the May 28th episode, Carly called in the fumigators to clear out, burn out and redecorate Sonny’s private island getaway – strangely resembling Connor and Mary’s/Emily’s Mexican getaways – of every stench of Sam. She better start with the couch first, not the master bed. 

Production designer Chip Dox made mention of a tight budget preventing his team from going to town on many of the existing sets – Lorenzo’s pad being the latest to undergo an accenting update. They also frequently recycle sets from past characters and the now-defunct sister soap spin-off, PC (recognize Lucy’s place at Carly’s?). Very fine, well and understandable BUT (and you knew a “but” was coming), couldn’t they have come up with a cheaper go-to alternative than that gazebo in the park, the one with the WalMart Christmas lights strung around it, taken from a box in the attic dated 1964? Nobody’s explaining why it’s suddenly meeting central, either, which makes the frequent use of it even more bizarre. Is it easier to hide scripts there? Is it in anticipation of a teen summer story, maybe PC-palooza? Is the gazebo made of white chocolate? Maybe next week, Courtney and Jax can argue about Jason and Sam on one of the rings of Saturn. If any soap opera magazine writers are reading this, the next time you corner an executive, head writer, actor or Mr. Dox, please find out what the deal is. Makes me wish the docks would come back. 

I must add my voice to the growing choir of perplexed, frustrated non-Journey fans – and Jax’s – on just what is so holy, righteous and special about Jason Morgan that would cause a level-headed, logically minded, independent young woman such as Courtney to put blinders on and defend his recent actions. Pretend we don’t know what’s really going on (he’s still lying to her for Sonny, which constitutes another sin). Her ex-husband screwed around with his boss’s mistress for a one-night stand, kept it from everybody until now, and now, he plans to marry the mistress he knocked up. If this were any other man, say... A.J. Quartermaine... Courtney would’ve cut his penis off, or at the very least, read him the riot act before promptly cutting ties forever, no looking back, no fond memories, no impromptu defense trials flying in the face of normal human response. I can almost understand why she’d feel more hurt than outraged, they had broken up, but he betrayed her unspoken trust with lies on top of lies by omission. And when the truth comes out about how far Jason will go to ensure bliss for his boss and Carly’s kids... 

Maybe if I actually witnessed this alleged true love between Courtney and Jason, instead of a schoolgirl crush on big, bad, dangerous misogynistic Mob Hitman, I could buy the worship she’s preaching. 

Btw, in the golden olden days of the 1980s, had Courtney Cottontail dared even think about shoving Tracy to the ground, she’d have been sent to the ER before she could say, “Jason Almighty.” Painful to watch, folks, absolutely painful. 

Next year, remind me to take a three-month summer vacation, starting May 31, maybe Maui, Victoria, how ‘bout Manhattan? The teens are coming! 

RIP Mr. Gerald Anthony (ex-Marco Dane, OLTL/GH).