Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Of Fathers and Sons - Episode Breakdown


The Lewis Family

Josh and Reva have come full circle and, as I was sure would be the case, there is no reuniting these two. I know many fans will find this heartbreaking, but I like it. In some ways, Josh and Reva's relationship can be just as unhealthy as the relationship Holly and Roger shared. They're better suited as friends. If they ended up together now, it would only be because Reva is lost without Jefferey. Josh's announcement that he will be leaving Springfield because there's no one left to take care of is bittersweet, but logical, and it's good soap opera. He and Reva have played out all they can play out, and the fact that they no longer make sense as a couple reminds me of AMC's Palmer and Daisy, and the last time they parted. I believe Daisy told Palmer, "It's been a lovely, wild ride, but the ride is over." The Reva/Josh tilt-a-whirl has stopped.

Josh's speech about Billy and Vanessa made me mushy. He's right, of course; Vanessa has always brought out the best in Billy. And there's always been such strong affection between Josh and Vanessa - even when Vanessa divorced Billy, she and Josh still lived in the family home together. Their bond has long been like that of a brother and sister.

The Reardons

I'm so glad that Matt was not excluded from GL's final week, but that his inclusion in the wedding festivities was not all HAPPYHAPPYJOYJOY. Matt loves Vanessa. He always will. If Guiding Light were going to continue, I'm sure Matt would continue on as a tortured soul who has no one to blame but himself for losing the one woman he will always adore. The casting of Frank Dicopoulous' daughter (please, someone supply me with her name) as Maureen Reardon is perfect. She's a lovely girl who, with that dark hair and piercing eyes, could easily be the child of Matt and Vanessa.

I loved seeing Brigett and Nola come to Matt's side, and offer him the comfort of family support. Guiding Light, at it's best, has focused on family - on extended family, unconventional family, family hardship, family love - and the Reardons are one of the greatest families Springfield has ever seen. I'm sad we're not getting more of them as the show folds.

The Couples

Billy and Vanessa

So cute together. Maeve Kinkead looks as if she's so happy to be home. Having spoken to her just a day after shooting was over, I know that she was incredibly moved by the experience of ending Guiding Light, and by how much the show had touched people over the years. I may be imagining it, but I think it really shows. When I look at the veterans of the show as they recite some of their final lines, it seems to me that they're giving it their all for the fans.

Buzz and Lillian

Buzz started out in Springfield as a man-on-the-make, a true con man, a hustler. With his pierced ear and street swagger, and a phony name that sounded as if it had been lifted from Valley of the Dolls (Anyone else remember Rex Mancini?) he promised to be Springfield's next smooth operator. He's emerged as the town curmudgeon, but with a heart of gold, and some inexplicable charm that women find irresistible. (The man was this close to marrying Olivia Spencer, for heaven's sake!) He and Lillian are a perfect pair. He needs the steady, reliable love of a good woman who won't bail on him. She needs to take the occasional walk on the wild side.

James and Daisy

Cute. That is all. If there were a future for Guiding Light, they would almost certainly be the next Phillip and Beth.

Phillip and Beth

This episode belonged to Grant Aleksander, but more about that later.

How long have fans waited for this? Phillip and Beth have danced this dance for something like 25 years, and all I can say is: Whew! Thank God they found their way back to one another. Soap opera proposals rarely move me - they happen so frequently - but Phillip's impassioned proposal moved me to tears. He and Beth Chamberlain have amazing chemistry, and their real life affection for one another shines through. I know this will be considered blasphemy in some circles, but Beth Chamberlain is the REAL Beth. Judi who? The belong together. Case closed.

Blake and Frank

I know a lot of people hate Frank, but I don't. I want him to find happiness. And I love Blake. These two have been friends for years, and they used to be friends-with-benefits. They don't exude smoldering passion, but thats ok. Frank will never have another Eleni. Blake will never have another Ross. But they can have one another and make it work. We already know they're sexually compatible, and that's half the battle, when it comes to Blake. And, really, Blake looked smoking hot in that dress. Why didn't Frank notice that? Oh, yeah - he's the one who didn't notice the loving looks between his fiancee' and her best friend.

Olivia and Natalia

They didn't have anything major, in terms of plot development. Their story line seems to be complete. There will be no kiss. I think it's best to assume that all manner of intimacy is happening behind closed doors at the farmhouse. In public, though, they are equal parts adorable and smoking hot as they walk hand-in-hand on the beach. Olivia's red dress seals the deal, as far as the smoking hot part goes. I'm repeating myself, I know: but it's sooooo nice to see these two as a couple, among other couples, just being part of the community.


I fear words will fail me, but I'll try. By the time this episode was over, I found myself steeping in a puddle of tears.

Just as Alan finds redemption and passes along some wise words to his son, we can see the father/son dynamic mirroring itself in Phillip and James. Will James ever let go of his anger, and understand that it was love - not resentment - that kept his father from allowing him to lay down his life?

Just as Phillip feels he can finally let go of the past and enjoy a relationship with his father, it's all taken away from him. I'd guessed Alan would die, and I read the spoiler. I thought I was prepared. How foolish of me! If you'd told me a year ago that Alan Spaulding's death would break my heart, I would have suggested a dose of reality. I would have been so wrong. Phillip's words to a father he doesn't realize is dead, and his subsequent reaction, ripped my heart right out of my chest. If the cemetery scene the Otalia story line cemented my long-standing respect for Crystal Chappell's acting prowess, this last episode in the Alan/Phillip saga has cemented my long-standing reverence for the talent of Grant Aleksander. Today, Guiding Light was the Phillip Spaulding show, and what an amazing show.

Yes, words failed me. Sorry I couldn't do any better.

Odds and Sods

Poor Alexandra - she's lost her best friend. But, really, Birkenstocks to a wedding? I've got a little bit of a hippie past. I own Birkenstocks. I love them. They are NOT proper footwear for a wedding.

Speaking of footwear, is there not a single member of the Lewis clan who knows the basic rule about brown shoes? For the love of God - someone help these guys.

I saw some nasty comments about Natalia's dress. Have you folks looked at maternity clothing, lately? That's one of the nicest maternity get-ups I've seen. Anyhow, WTF are you looking at the fakely pregnant woman, when the hot-ass, kettle-bell-svelte hottie in the red dress with the mad cleavage is joined at her hip? Look at Olivia, bitches...you will forget all about the powder blue maternity dress.

Danny Cosgrove is freaking adorable. I'm just saying.

Ok, this is serious: Emma. In the last few years she's been kidnapped by her crazy father, had her father disappear, witnessed the marriage and divorce of her mother and Bill Lewis, become attached to Frank and then Buzz, only to have her mother dump them both, almost died because CK1 is NOT a beverage, found out she has an adult sister, been told her mother is dying, attended her mother's freakish, impromptu wedding to Jefferey, witnessed her mother going into cardiac arrest moments after the wedding, lost her favorite uncle Gus, been shuttled around as her mother dealt with an irrational desire to die, become an aunt, only to have her nephew die and her sister lose her mind, been evicted from the Spaulding mansion, moved into the farmhouse, had her father reappear, moved back to the Beacon, witnessed a jilting, been teased at camp for not having a pink shirt, had Natalia disappear, been scared shitless by her mother's meltdown, been told her father is dying, and lost her grandfather. And Olivia was worried about telling her she was gay, why?????


dkellergrl said...

OMG - Yesterday's episode was amazing. I loved all the things you pointed out, especially Matt being at the wedding reception for Vanessa and Billy.

I mentioned it on TWoP, but I started crying when she asked him to stay. Even after all these years, you can still see the love that those two had for each other. They are also still friendly, which is so nice.

Matt will probably never love anyone as much as he still loves Vanessa and it was ONE HUGE MISTAKE that caused their marriage and life to crumble. I want to believe that maybe, one day, he'll be able to truly forgive himself for what he did, because everyone deserves to be happy.

Lillian finally allowed herself to be happy and forgive herself for what happened with Maureen.

Alan's able to find true redemption in what it means to be father to his son, Phillip. He finally got it.

I still have to see today's episode.

Anonymous said...

Love your recaps, as always, Snapper. This show is so good, I've loved the last two days.

Frank D's daughter's name is...wait for it...Olivia. Interesting.

MJinTenn said...

So much word to all of your post, and since I am obsessed with Olivia, especially to this:

"WTF are you looking at the fakely pregnant woman, when the hot-ass, kettle-bell-svelte hottie in the red dress with the mad cleavage is joined at her hip? Look at Olivia, bitches...you will forget all about the powder blue maternity dress."

We think so much alike on some things that I worry about you.

Snapper said...

Dkeller -

Matt and Vanessa were soooo great together. Poor, old Matt. What a huge mistake that was. But, you know, Vanessa isn't without sin. She faked her own death and left him to mourn! (Writers: the story with Blake and Frank unwittingly "meeting" online has already been done, and better, with Matt and Vanessa, btw.) Have hankies ready for the 9/15 episode. I'm still shaking.

Xamanthe - Olivia makes sense - it's a nice, Greek name. That girl is going to be a knockout in about ten years.

MJ - I know, right??? Why would anyone be looking at freaking Natalia and her maternity smock (which I still maintain was nice for a amternity smock) when Olivia was never more than two inches away from her? Frankly, I think that red dress hould be nominated for a a special Emmy award.

sweetiedarlinmia said...

Emmy? I think you're seriously undercutting the power of that dress. I was about to investigate the Nobel nomination process. In my marathon GL/ You Tubing I found a 07 episode with the dress and the long dirty blond hair. I fell out of my chair.

dkellergrl said...

I want to also thank you about the Josh/Reva situation.

Yes, Jeffrey's a rapist (just like Roger Thorpe), but he's also Reva's CURRENT love and husband (even with her believing that he's dead). At least she's able to mourn for the man (even if folks are tired of seeing her ranting and wailing all the time). If, she was reacting the same way for Josh, those very same folks who are bitching, would have been PISSED if folks were voicing/posting their negative comments about her reactions.

I just find it funny, because as many times as Josh AND Reva have been with other loves of their lives, these folks can't accept that those two can and will probably always LOVE each other, but they don't necessarily have to end up "together" romantically in the end. Just because Reva's in love with Jeffrey, doesn't negate the years and love that she's experienced with Josh.

*Putting on protective gear, in anticipation of rebuttals from the Jeva fans.*

Snapper said...

ITA. Reva and Josh are great in theory, but they never work for very long. How many times have they tried? Josh is as addicted to Reva as Holly was to Roger. He HAS to be near her, he HAS to rescue her, he feels she's in grave danger all the time and that he is the ONLY person who can save her. How many times does their romantic relationship have to fail before fans realize they're better as star-crossed lovers who will NEVER find happiness together, but long for one another, always?

dkellergrl said...

Reva and Josh are great in theory, but they never work for very long. How many times have they tried? Josh is as addicted to Reva as Holly was to Roger. He HAS to be near her, he HAS to rescue her, he feels she's in grave danger all the time and that he is the ONLY person who can save her.

Exactly and the conversation that he had with Billy about "not having a purpose" in yesterday's episode, totally ties into your theory about him needing to be needed BY Reva. I'm not sure if you watch ATWT, but there's another couple (Carly and Jack) that has the same sort of co-dependent toxic relationship as Jeva.

At least, THIS TIME, Reva knows that she needs to get through this on her own, in order to be the strong and independent woman that she should be at her age right now. She's never going to not have the support and love from the "Lewis Boys".

How many times does their romantic relationship have to fail before fans realize they're better as star-crossed lovers who will NEVER find happiness together, but long for one another, always?

Until the very bitter end and then they'll bitch about it forever, because they were "denied" a true happy ending. I've seen this happen in other shows and regardless of how things end, no one's going to be truly happy.

Mink said...

your comments re Emma....Well said!

Natalie said...

I loved your Emma comments, they had me laughing for ages. Love the whole blog

B Fuhr said...

Oh Snapper. How I just love your breakdowns.

As for Blake, jeeses peeses! I completely agree, wake up Frank.

I've said it before I am a very late arrival to GL, but have enjoyed the tableau of the show and this episode had me in tears because Grant can work magic.

With your Emma recap isn't it amazing what all these soap children go through when you list out events in order... it's a wonder they aren't all in therapy.

Thanks again,


B Fuhr said...

Ah! I forgot to mention.

As much of a fan that I am of Blake I am of Matt also and I agree I was so happy to see him arrive at the wedding and my heart broke a little when Vanessa asked him to stay.

bl said...

I like Vanessa and Billy and Buzz and Lillian are okay I guess. I just wish they had Lillian more involved in the stuff with Jenna. It was kind of odd.

James and Daisy don't like them, sorry, step-siblings yucky.

Phillip and Beth getting back together, was a finally.

I don't hate Frank, and well you know what I think about Blake... I just wish they started rebuilding their friendship earlier especially after Harley left town. Having Blake work at Company (even if they didn't pair Blake/Frank) would bug me, when Josh called Blake his favorite waitress I was horrified. WAITRESS what have they done to Blake?! Other than that, I wish the Coopers were as good a friend to Blake as she has been to them in the last few months.

This goes back to when Dinah was written off, but Blake's point of view was missing from that plot. I wish they would have allowed Blake to interact with someone from the Cooper clan or Lillian about it.

Wouldn't she need support in trying to figure out how to tell her kids that their half-sister murdered someone to save the life of a child? It would open up a whole can of worms for their family. With Matt, I wish he could have had someone to really talk to after the Dinah situation. I felt sorry for him, and I actually wanted Blake to be there as she has made many mistakes and their daughters are close friends. If anyone understands losing the love of your life due to a mistake it would be Blake.

I'm glad you are happy or at least at peace with the Olivia and Natalia stuff.

Poor Emma all that she has gone through, the 2 mommies thing should be nothing for that kid!

Snapper said...

I don't have trouble with Blake not explaining Dinah's mess to her kids, because her kids are invisible, anyhow. If they'd popped out of the woodwork at this late date, it would have been weird. I do, however, agree with you that some Blake/Matt interaction might have been nice. They even could have made a decent couple. I actually thought Frank was going to hook up with Mindy at the Bauer BBQ and end up as a couple.

I kind of liked it that the program addressed Blake's financial troubles by having her basically lose her career and end up working at Company. Sure, she was the manager, but what does it take to manage that dive? It's a glorified waitressing job.

In many ways, Emma is the one thing that kept me from throwing aniron at the tv during the last three months.

bl said...

I didn't need to see Blake explain it to her kids or even expect to see it. I just wanted an acknowledgement from Blake about what was going on and mention how this situation effects her. The idea that Dinah killing someone again would mean nothing to Blake was just odd.

When Blake was talking about working at Company, I actually didn't see it as Blake having no money just that she was bored, kids having their own lives, real estate sales low/nil, book business slow, radio too. If Blake needed a job at Company to make ends meet how could she afford to hire Natalia to help her with her in publishing? I bet I'm over-thinking or else they didn't think when they had Blake hire Natalia.