A Cynic Soaps Up

Commentary By Kate Brown & Katrina Rasbold

Kate was unable to write her column at the last minute due to some health issues, so I am taking some of her work (which is delightful) from EOS and intersplicing my own comments so that you are not completely Kate-less this week.  I am the italics after her text.


A surprising thing happened last week. AMC sent me a holiday gift. And, for once, it wasn’t a lump of coal.

I love being an AMC fan, but admittedly, many of their actions tend to leave me scratching my head and saying, “What?”  Some, as Kate will point out in a bit, are dead on true to character and some I have to take a minute to wrap my head around to see where they’re going.

Characters were crying and I was crying with them, not at them. How did this happen?  I always expect the acting to be good, but the writing was pretty darn fine, too. Who says miracles can’t happen?

Yeah, I cried too, but I do love Zach to death (and evidently, beyond).  The memorial service was everything I needed it to be and Alicia Minshew’s grieving scenes are tearing my heart out.

The scenes dealing with Zach’s death were sublime. (Expect for a few, but I’ll snark on them later.)

Alicia Minshew continues to astonish as Kendall.   Kendall being the damsel in distress had worn thin. Zach often resembled her babysitter instead of her husband.  Her obsession with Greenlee and Ryan had become silly. The kids spending more time with the nanny than with her was disturbing.  Thinking about Ryan/Greens while she was in bed with Zach bordered on insanity.

I totally agree with everything Kate says here.  In retrospect, Kendall was doing that thing we do sometimes when we are in love with a person who seems absolutely bullet-proof.  You can’t imagine them ever not being there and so you take advantage of them during the time you do have them with you.  Zach saved her more times than I can count and I am trying to remember the times that she saved him.  When she married Zach out of the blue the first time because of his son, Ethan, I don’t think anyone intended for them to emerge as a super-couple, but the relationship that was able to sneak up on us when we weren’t looking turned out to be a keeper.  Zach, dear friend, you will be missed.

The new Kendall is not that far removed from Kendall-with-a-knife-strapped-to-her-thigh. She was strong.  She made decisions that were soap logical.  Kendall’s determination to take control of her life is impressive.  Kendall throwing Greenlee out of her house was applause worthy.  I am not naïve. I know this adult Kendall might soon disappear and the old Kendall may take her place. Until then, I am along for the ride.

Kendall has drawn the wagons into a circle and is self-protecting now that Zach is not here to do it for her.  She no longer knows who to trust, so she isn’t trusting anyone.  I was irritated today that after she tossed Ryan out of the house, she was on the phone to him asking him to save her 10 minutes later because Spike was having a tough time.  It is always great fun to see Cameron Mathison working with the kids, but I would have enjoyed seeing Kendall stick to the independence just a little bit further.  She’s a good mom and I would have enjoyed seeing her work out the issue with Spike on her own.   On the other hand, I can completely sympathize as a mother over being so depleted that you just don’t have anything left to give, so you delegate.

The episode would have been perfect except for one thing. The Asher/Caleb scenes. What were TPTB thinking? Those scenes made me even less interested in their story, not more. Their story makes no sense, even by soap logic. Fellow viewer Caleche says it better than I can:

“There are just too many “missing years” even before Caleb took off for Pout Mountain. The holes in his story big enough to drive a 16 wheeler thorugh. He tells Asher he met his mother when he graduated from law school…that would be when he was 25. Huh? According to his AMC bio he was admitted to the California Bar in 1980 after graduating form Stanford Law School. That’s 30 years ago. He clerked for a year with a Federal District Judge then joined a law firm as an associate and was made partner. The process takes seven years at all major law firms. He was engaged to Sonia Reyes. Suddenly he’s in West Virginia working in a coal mine and delivers his own child by a woman he loves and promptly gives the child away, but keeps her locket. Better he should have given away the locket and kept the kid. I want to hear Adam’s side of this storyline. Twenty years ago he was all caught up in winning back Liza, Colby was being born, and he and Liza rewed. Caleb is such a blamer and a crybaby. And what was with stealing Erica’s cell phone after the plane crash and esentially taking her hostage until Jackson arrived to rescue her. I don’t see Caleb as a hero, I saw him as a total tool who wouldn’t take her to the hospital as he did the pilot, or escort her down the mountain, who tossed her luggage off a cliff and made her chop wood and carry water.”

I agree with all of that in the real world and yes, the Caleb story is asking me to suspend my disbelief a good bit more than I normally need to for casual soap viewing.  For myself, I just love looking at Michael Nouri.  He could be telling me about how he wrestled wild boar in the Antarctic and I’d believe it just to keep him on screen.

Anyone else close their eyes during the Ryan/Greenlee “true love” fest?

Oh yes, Kate.  I surely did.  Lord help me, I did.

Still, I didn’t hate all their scenes. Ryan hanging out with the children  is always fun. Cameron Mathison has gift for performing with children. Not every actor has that.  Greenlee making Kendall’s grief all about her was perfectly in character.

So true about actors and kids!  Some have it and some don’t.  My Greenlee moment was when she firmly told Madison that she had to quit stopping by.  What?  Are there scenes I’ve missed where Madison was camped out on Ryan’s doorstep?  I haven’t noticed her being omnipresent since she broke up with Ryan.  Maybe if Greenlee had stopped dropping by on Ryan’s dates with Madison, they would still be together.

What else? What else?

“You’re jealous of me.” Aren’t we all, Erica, aren’t we all?

I know I am!

“I’m sorry about your father.” I am sorry about Marissa’s sad gloves.

Poor Marissa!  Wardrobe is often cruel to her.

“We can be just a normal couple.” Oh, Annie. Poor deluded Annie.

Because you have killed people with tire irons and stabbed Erica in the bathroom while you were wearing a wedding dress.  That kind of precludes the whole “normal” thing.

Spike wearing his Red Wings’ shirt was adorable. And heart breaking.

It was!  What a dear, sweet nod to Thorsten Kaye.

“He helped me save the love of his life and then I helped him save his.” How like Tad to mention how wonderful he is while talking about the recently deceased.

Tad is a lost soul and I miss the soul he had that is now lost.

“But he gave me a gift. He gave me Gabby.” How like Bianca to pour salt into Kendall’s open widow wounds.

Zowie!!  Binks!  Discretion!  Discretion!!  Clearly you cannot be trusted with talking!

The boys kissing Zach’s picture was adorable. And heartbreaking.

It truly was, but I was already sobbing by that point.

“You can’t afford to get sentimental on a case.” Was anyone else hoping the squad room would burst into derisive laughter?

Irony is such a gift.

“It’s not just (Mia’s) your child. It’s (mine) Ryan’s, too.” That’s what I heard Frankie say. In my head.

I thought exactly the same thing!  I wonder if Frankie ever got around to telling Randi that he has a son?

Zach never mentioned Griffin to Kendall?  Yeah, right. On the other hand, he never mentioned leaving some of his sperm in Paris, either.

Oh those little marital secrets!  I hope he gets around to telling Kendall that HE’S ALIVE!

“Don’t mention Zach to me. Ever.” Poor little Greenlee. How could Kendall be so mean to her?

It has to sting, truly.

“I have been running my own business for years.” My favorite part? When the Fusion staff burst into derisive laughter. That’s what they were doing. In my head.

Madison seems to do most of the work, that’s for sure!  They’ve come a long way from making lipstick in the double boiler on Kendall’s stove top.

Is it too much to hope that Rev. Torres is related to Simone? And that someone, anyone has been keeping her alive?  Today’s rhetorical questions.

Oh how I miss Simone!  She could breathe so much Eartha Kitt life into a scene!  Of all of the Satin Slayer victims, I miss her the most!

“You need to stay away from men whose names starts with “J”. Amanda should have listened to her mother.  Janet is crazy but that doesn’t mean all her advice is bad.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day and Janet sure struck home that time.  I fear sweet Amanda is history now.

Jack wears French cuffs! I’m too hot and bothered to say more about it.

Gotta love a man in a cuff link.

You’ve just taken another journey across the sea.” I should comment on this, but I won’t. Writing about it would have me sobbing and then this column wouldn’t get written.

But it did and Kate and I really do hope you enjoy it.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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