As I watched the first two scenes of this episode I got all choked up, not just because Alan is dead and Phillip is suffering, but because I realized that I've been watching these two men together since they were practically still boys. We grew up together and, after Friday, I'll never see Freddie and Phillip, again. Guiding Light has treated us to some really wonderful friendships over the years, and this is one of the most enduring. Who else would Phillip call on finding his dead father, but his oldest and best friend? I love these guys together. I love it that the drama of the final episodes provided these characters with a chance to be on screen in a meaningful way. Grant Aleksander's performance was, once again, perfect. He looks as if his heart is broken, and it breaks my heart to see him.
Reva and Jonathan
I've hardly cared about these two until today, and the only reason I care today is because Reva is handling her son's homecoming the way Natalia should have handled Rafe's return from prison. Reva and Jonathan together scream REALISM. Reva's not having any of the weird behavior Jonathan has picked up while he's been on the run. She lays down the law: now that you've re-entered the real world, real world rules apply, so get over yourself. Why, why, why couldn't Natalia have handled Rafe in this way months ago? No wonder he's a douchebag.
I also like that Alan's death lights a fire under Reva and pushes her into facing the fact that loss is, sadly, a part of life, but that life goes on. Nice nod to the fact that Alan and Reva were married once. They were even happy for a little while.
I'm going to ask this, again: why do the wardrobe people hate Kim Zimmer? We've seen her at the Emmy Awards and the Paley event, where she looked great. It's almost as if the wardrobe people looked for the least flattering dress they could possibly find for Kim. Kim isn't 20. And she's not a size 3. Neither are most of us. She's a real woman - something we hardly get to see anymore. "Real" does not have to mean "dowdy." Reva Shayne is not dowdy.
If yesterday's episode belonged to Grant Aleksander, today was Marj Dusay's turn to shine. It's about damned time. Alex's controlled, understated reaction to losing her beloved brother was spot-on. Dusay didn't miss a beat. It's unfortunate the actors playing the servants haven't been series regulars, because Dusay was great in that scene, while the actors playing the servants looked like two day players who were really excited to actually have lines.
I loved the way Alex took control and laid out the plans for Alan's funeral. Alex is, after all, the head of the family. For many years, while Alan was away, Alex really was head of the family. She has experience in this area. She does not drop the ball. Alex keeps her shit together, keeps tough, and breaks down when she can do it alone. We saw this years ago when she had her heart crushed by Roger. We saw it again today. The final scene with Alex and Alan's corpse felt like eavesdropping or looking through a peephole at a private moment. Beautiful work from Dusay. What a shame she's been on the shelf for so long.
Damn you for making me like you a little bit. What a lousy way to find out your grandfather has died. When James hugged Phillip, I let out a sigh of relief.
Rafe is a jerk. He spends a private moment of bonding with Frank, thanks him profusely for all he's done for him, but can't muster up much more than an "I have to go" for his own mother? What about all your mother has done for you, Rafe? All she's given you? Like...basically...everything. And don't get me started on his asking Olivia to take care of Natalia for him. My rant to Rafe: You never even apologized, you little shit! The last time we saw you talking to Olivia, you were gloating and telling her that she was going to end up alone. You don't get to do that shit, never even apologize, and then ask Olivia to take care of your mom, as if nothing has happened. And, no - giving Emma a quarter does not make up for your bad behavior. Being nice to a kid who has just lost her grandfather is the absolute least that's expected from adults in the real world. You don't get a medal for that.
Another thing - I'm sick of hearing that Rafe is a hero. The script writers clearly need a thesaurus. They used this word for Mallet, too. Rafe is not a hero. He's a homophobic bastard who is so afraid of facing the fact that his mother loves another woman, that he's opted to join the army. It's called running away from home. Hiding behind a uniform and a war doesn't make it any less cowardly.
Olivia and Natalia
Sweet. That's pretty much it. They should have made out as Rafe's bus pulled out. I like the idea of him being deployed to Iraq with the image of his mother being groped by Olivia cemented into his brain.
Buh bye, Rafe!
Odds and Sods
Olivia's nail polish is nasty. Sorry, but Herman Munster is not the look Olivia should strive for.
This just occurred to me - why the hell wasn't Ed Bauer at Vanessa's wedding? He's one of her oldest, dearest friends. Dumb oversight.
Did anyone else laugh when Alex told Rick that no one blamed him for Alan's death? Translation: You've killed another patient, Rick!
The fact that Peyton has been invisible for years came back to haunt GL today: the child playing Peyton is just some cute, generic kid who clearly has no rapport with Beth Chamberlain. What could have been a touching scene if the child had at least felt comfortable making eye contact with Chamberlain, ended up being nothing more than a tedious waste of time. We don't know Peyton, so we don't really care about Peyton.
I think it was Nelson Branco who recently wrote that it's wise for writers who don't know how to write for Grant Aleksander to allow his action to take place out of earshot. I liked it that we saw, but didn't hear, as Phillip broke the news of Alan's death to Lizzie. I don't know if the person writing that day's script felt unable to write dialogue for that scene, or why they chose to film it in this way, but it worked.