April 13, 2003
Well, I hate to say I told ya so, but have you noticed all the little-seen characters making appearances these days? Every time we hit a new arc they fish those under used characters out of the closet they apparently shut them all in and drag them on screen for some good old-fashioned regrouping efforts. Not that I’m complaining. It was great to see Mary. Victor is popping up here and there, hospital staff that I thought for certain must’ve been lost forever have also shown their competent faces over Lucy and Caleb’s sickbeds…it’s been nice for a change. Now if we could just get that throughout the arc, it would make life a bit more normal for PC’s residents and even allow for some realistic moments interspersed among the fantasy of the supernatural.
I found some really good moments during the wrap up of Surrender and the launch of Desire! I thought Reese had some good scenes after she was cured, and I enjoyed her interaction with Jack (close to a first) and with Alison. There may be hope for her yet.
Joshua’s “Scarecrow and Auntie Em” comment was dead on perfect, the entire scene and set up was very reminiscent of that and I’m finding Joshua to be rather entertaining as far as vampires go.
Caleb’s fall into the hot spring was dramatic and coupled with Livvie’s scream (from elsewhere) as he went in I thought it was really good soap drama! Watching Caleb struggle to get out of the restraints in his hospital bed and coming to terms with having no power was also very moving to me, and I don’t care much for Caleb overall so that’s saying something. I was oddly sympathetic to him, it was like watching a powerful animal caged and rendered useless for its purpose. The credit for that goes fully to Michael Easton and his acting prowess because there wasn’t anything overly significant in the writing, but ME still managed to make me really feel sad for him – I was impressed.
I was a bit confused when he was getting out of bed and staggering around though. They were showing the room from his point of view and everything was blurry which made sense due to his physical state, but then they showed him from an outside point of view and he looked blurry as well…for a second I thought they were trying to tell me I had caught whatever is ailing him at the moment!
Elizabeth is on the fast track to being the stupidest person known to man. I enjoy her, but how dumb are they going to make her exactly? She’s fallen for every trick anyone tried to play on her so far. I’m sensing we will get some redeeming mother/daughter interaction before long…and if not, they may as well have Caleb talk her into meeting him in the middle of a highway at night…and be sure to tell her to wear black. She’s useless at the moment.
I love Alison and Rafe and all, but who do they think they’re kidding talking about how Rafe is the very best slayer in all the land?? He’s been co-existing with vampires in his own town now for over a year off and on, and he’s really not made all that much progress in eradicating them or preventing his mother-in-law, his best friend, and his ex-wife from falling prey to the fangs as well. Vote him the most handsome and dashing slayer of all and I’m on board, but the best? Reaching, I’d say. As far as I can tell, Port Charles has become the place to be for vampires, regardless of having two resident slayers.
So Joshua has a Manor and a laptop, and has apparently been spending a lot of time with a camera as well…news to me, but convenient none-the-less.
Also on the convenient front, this just in: Frank is experiencing dire money trouble. We didn’t have the benefit of seeing that actually plays out, but I suspect it’s in direct connection to several current situations. For one thing, Tess spent a considerable amount of time healing people who might otherwise have required ambulance services. For another, more of the town has fallen into the “everlasting life” category so medical assistance is just not their top priority for obvious reasons. There is also the fact that since GH has basically sent all their medical staff home (Ian is too busy vamping, and Karen and Chris are apparently working two or three days a month, at most) there is not much reason for Frank to haul any stretchers that way, now is there? And since it appears that Frank and Karen are still a couple, I guess you can assume that her lack of work isn’t helping their financial situation any. I know what you’re thinking, what about Kevin? Isn’t he providing approximately one head wound a week that should really be looked at by medical personnel? It’s true, Kevin had been trying to do his share, but it seems he usually just wakes up from his ordeal and rather than seeking medical attention he just accepts that he has a few less brain cells than he had a few minutes before and he moves on to his next stupid plan. Judging from the way Lucy is staggering around holding her stomach I’m guessing we should be able to provide a little surge to the PC economy shortly because Lucy has probably not seen the last of the breezy little hospital gowns.
How brave are Ian and Rafe? Searching through Joshua’s Manor like there was no chance he would return! It seems odd that Joshua would hide the pictures of the girls under paper and behind the other picture when it was already fairly well hidden in a secret room, doesn’t it? And I’m completely lost by what Ian saw when he said, “look at that, it almost seems like the focus is on the ring instead of the face” (or something close to that). If the face is in the picture (and it’s much bigger than a ring, no doubt), then how can the ring be construed as the focus?? And what ring was it? If it was Caleb’s ring then apparently those were pictures from after Caleb’s “death” since she wasn’t out in public between receiving it and losing Caleb. Joshua may even have a faster printer than Jack getting those babies on photo paper and mounted on the board and already being back in PC bothering Kevin and Frank.
Speaking of Kevin, I’m intrigued by Joshua’s interest in his painting. They didn’t really let us get much of a look at the painting itself, and apparently Kevin is still working on it, which is probably significant as well. I was pleased to see some sense of normalcy from Kevin regarding Livvie’s situation. He finally showed a bit of pain for what his daughter has become and seemed torn on how to help her.
Kelly Monaco (Livvie) has been excellent in her scenes with everyone over the last ten days or so. She was superb with Kevin, Rafe and even Joshua. It’s not that I don’t see purpose in Livvie and Caleb as a couple, but I really feel that Livvie is much more intriguing when she’s dealing with just about anyone BUT him. The drama lies in watching her deal with her father, particularly, and in watching her deal with what she has become. As much as her “Caleb, my love” stuff has driven me nuts over the past few weeks, she managed to make me really feel that she didn’t want to go on without him when she begged Rafe to kill her…and I’m a cynical audience, believe me. I’m really interested to see where all of this takes Livvie and I’m chomping at the bit to see some Alison/Livvie interaction that is real and character driven for a change. When those two talked at the fire during the Avatar stuff, I found it riveting to watch them interact in their current situation having come from being friends once. I’d love to see more of that.
Jamal is looking good and deserves some story, STAT! They’ve been wasting him as well and it’s ludicrous really. I also must admit that Joy Bisco has been doing a better job with Casey lately. She still annoys me, and I still see little to no reason for her character in the current canvas, but she’s been doing a better job making the character palatable and I appreciate that.
Now for the gripes (you knew there was more!): Whatever happened to the idea that all our questions would be answered at the end of arcs? Who is Joshua? Who is Alison’s sister? How did Alison’s father really die (did I miss that one?)? How did Caleb come across the hot spring and manage to make it work for him? Is Tess now integrated into Livvie or is Livvie all evil or what?? What happened to Kevin at that hospital in Canada? I have to say that I think I liked it better when things were actually resolved at the end instead of 95% of it just pushing over into the next arc (or three, in this case). Remember the Avatar? Well, he came, he saw, he conquered, he was defeated, he left. I thought that was the idea? There was no wrap up with Surrender. Caleb was cured, but that’s it. Ian’s still stuck with the curse, unable to work and forced to be without his child. Kevin is still nuts, etc. Anyway, suffice it to say that I think they’re floundering a bit and heading back toward yearlong drama while forgetting to add the character driven storylines back into the mix. Particularly if the same theme is running throughout for months on end, it becomes necessary to add some semblance of normalcy back into the story. We need family and love and romance and we need more characters involved in the every day. Even the most beloved characters can become annoyingly over played if they are put out there as an iceberg floating along with the few other chosen few…none of them having a core or a foundation that is still in good repair (Just ask General Hospital fans).
How funny was it watching Livvie and Caleb yearn for each other while twirling around in those damn sheets? I knew those sheets were going to come back to haunt him! I’m sorry but what kind of vampire, while knowing that he’s the most hunted man in town, equips his lair with a thousand sheets hanging all over so you can’t see more than a foot in front of your face? Watching him wander around lost in his own lair and unable to find his “Olivia” amongst all the white fabric had me cracking up! Apparently Joshua used magic to string him up because I see no other way THAT would have worked, that’s for sure.
I found it extremely amusing to watch Caleb struggle and pretend he couldn’t breathe while Joshua threatened that the sheets would just continue to tighten if he struggled and eventually strangle him…I’m thinking it might be necessary to have the sheet actually be around his neck before that’s gonna happen. It’s pretty difficult to strangle someone by putting a sheet around one side of their neck and then under the opposite arm…in fact it’s impossible I’d say.
So, Joshua is obsessed by the ring which is why he wants Livvie I’m guessing. What his interest in Alison is exactly remains to be seen but I suppose we can guess that as well. She is after all, our young blonde beautiful heroine, so it’s not hard to imagine his intent. The ring appears to be protecting Livvie at the moment, which would explain why Joshua doesn’t just kill her to ensure that she doesn’t turn Caleb again. In fact, since Caleb is mortal now I don’t see what Joshua’s interest in him really is at the moment so it’s either just to torture him, or he plans to use Caleb as a way to get Livvie to give up the ring voluntarily. All in all, a good set up for lots of interaction between or main players. If the writers can be persuaded to get rid of some characters they’ve done little to nothing with (Casey and Ricky are a good start – I still say their story serves no purpose that couldn’t be accomplished using any one of the very talented back-burnered vets of this show) and spread the story out a little to include some long-time characters and thereby appeasing some of us who have watched this show from the get-go, we’d be in nice shape I think. The supernatural is great, and has rejuvenated this show in a lot of ways, but it can coincide with some good old-fashioned soap fare as well and probably make the majority of us very happy in the process.
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