Matt's Musings on Passions
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WARNING!These are not
spoilers, they are Matt's opinions. Furthermore, he is entitled to have an
opinion and if you disagree with him that is fine, just don't send hate mail
about it. If you feel like you're someone who is easily angered by others
opinions, simply do not read this page! For the most part, this is all in fun!
August 7, 2008: Saying Goodbye to Passions!
As everyone knows, this has
been the final week for Passions,
barring some surprise resurrection in the future. Unlike some of the characters
on the series, I have little faith in such things and have been watching the
show quickly move to its fated conclusion. Now everyone has seen the conclusion
and has gotten the ending they wanted or didn't want. Tonight, we can each say a
little goodbye to all of our favorite characters. I know I'll say goodbye to
Tabitha and Endora, to Esme, to Vincent, Julian and Kay, to Sheridan, Luis and
Beth, to Precious, Edna and Norma and once again to Alistair, since he won't be
raised from the grave. I have watched since the beginning. Knowing that the end
was coming, each day since the cancellation was announced has been a strange
mixture of pleasure and sadness. Although the series never gained a substantial
audience and was frequently trashed or ignored by critics and much of the
general daytime audience, it's always had a special place in my heart that no
other show will ever fill. I can honestly say that no other television show has
ever meant as much to me or given me as much delight.
From its first episode... Catch
the rest of Matty's Thoughts on saying Goodbye to
August 1, 2008
Another week, another looming disaster. Every week we get to almost see
the end. Outside of Juanita's planned killing spree, what's with all of the
natural disasters? A storm, an earthquake, and now, a volcano is set to erupt.
Mount Harmony has suddenly become an active volcano again and is ready to
eradicate the town. This is logical of course, since the show has always teased
with doing things and jumps back when it should happen or lets it happen and
then retracts it as a fantasy. The past month has been an exercise in driving
the basic structure of the series to its logical end. So the final two weeks
will basically concentrate on the most belligerent and longstanding parts of the
series: Ethan and Theresa's relationship and Tabitha's premonitions of doom.
Although Tabby was more fun
when she was actually destroying people's lives instead of just watching, I have
to admit that Ethan and Theresa have always bored me, no matter what. He's an
idiot and she's a self-righteous whiner. While neither of those traits are
entirely rare in Harmony, no other pair of characters are as repetitively
idiotic and whiny. It's one thing to confront new situations with idiocy, that
is, oftentimes, the greatest source of comedy, but it's another to be stuck in a
perpetual loop. I suppose that the latter is a more accurate depiction of what
being an idiot is really like. However, outside of the fleeting and slight
pleasure of being moronic vicariously, a certain boredom sets in. Am I alone in
the suspicion that the entire Ethan-Gwen-Theresa triangle has been some sort of
stunt to pull off the most drawn put and pointless plot in soap history? It
feels that way sometimes, although I know that there are other endlessly drawn
out plots on other shows which shall remain nameless. While those are equally
asinine, they try to hide it rather than shove it in your face on a constant
basis. I guess that's just part of Reilly's strange soap-punk aesthetic. Anyway,
when Ethan and Theresa finally do end up together, I doubt I'll feel elated.
They're not being together has always been the constant on the show and losing
that, well, it's more like having a pet parrot die.
But what actually transpire in
the GET triangle? Delays and more delays. Rebecca and Gwen have confessed to
everything (unknowingly) on tape. Becs grabbed the tape and tried to destroy it.
This may have worked but may only be a delay of the inevitable outing of her
crimes. Ethan's re-commitment to Gwen was repetitively delayed. First, he ran
off in search of Gertrude to find out why he has these strange feelings for her.
He met the disguised Juanita at the lobster restaurant and told her his story.
She convinced him to go back to Gwen. He did. Theresa came out of hiding and
told the "nun" many things before she was sent back to the church to pray. Of
course, Juanita just sent her back to die. Back at the church, Ethan left the
altar to find his parents. He told them about his strange feelings for Gertrude
and they thought he was losing it. But finally, the ceremony went ahead.
Gertrude ran out with Theresa's usual declaration that, without Ethan, she is
dead. He notices her run off but continues to make his vows to Gwen, all the
while wishing he was with Theresa. Meanwhile, Theresa prayed in the chapel and
the habit wearing Juanita strolled by on the way to check on her bomb. Theresa
catches her with the explosive device, Juanita realizes who she really is, pulls
a gun and is ready to kill her.
In other news: Antonio
reunited with his family and caught up with their adventures. Noah and Paloma
got married and exchanged some of the corniest dialog in recent memory. Tabitha
and Endora continue to pack and search for a way to stop the disaster. Endora
battled the Demon Elf off this week but greater threats still loom. Next week,
of course, is the last week and everything will be tied up, more or less, but
that's all I'm going to say.
Lines of the Week:
Rebecca: Playing Mrs. Robinson
these days will get you thrown in the slammer.
Father Lonigan: Even blind I
could see this coming.
July 25, 2008
The big news this week: Antonio is back from the
dead. I guess everyone knew that already, or almost everyone. While he wouldn't
have been my first choice of characters to bring back, it was still nice to see
him. It was even nicer to see how much the old Sheridan seemed to come back
after only a few minutes with him. What happened to Antonio? Alistair locked him
in a basement in Boston, where he was held captive by a team of guards. He was
well fed, allowed to watch TV and work-out the whole time so he ended up quite
healthy. Like all of the Crane private prisons, it sounded a bit like a gothic
health spa. Way to go Alistair! With enemies like you, who needs friends? After
the old tyrant kicked the bucket, the money dried up and the guards stopped
showing up to work, so Antonio just walked out, returning to Harmony complete
with his drawl. As soon as he came back, he was ready to battle Luis for
Sheridan if he had to, but, of course, he didn't since Luis was marrying Fancy.
also gave one of the most rational explanations of the whole Shuis thing ever.
Basically, Antonio insists that he and Sheridan are the ones who actually belong
together because, in each of her lives, she tries to be with Luis but ends up
with Antonio. Over and over and over. He has a point I guess. Maybe Luis was the
one getting in the way. But then I got to thinking about how this really works
in logic of the show. Couldn't we apply this to Ethan and Theresa or the other
couples and, ultimately, isn't "Passions" about a fantasy of the end? Luis and
Sheridan never ended up together and were therefore doomed to live again. Ethan
and Theresa keep avoiding their union and so are forced to repeat everything
over and over again. If one of these goals were accomplished, it would signal
the end. It's a sort of catastrophe either way. There's tragic catastrophe - the
lovers break up and die. Or comedic catastrophe - they end up together and live.
Either way, it spells the end. The comedic end, which is where the series is
going, is a kind of light hearted apocalypse. Harmony will literally end with it
after all. When the lovers on this series finally get together, their world
ends. If that sounds like a lot of heavy Catholic semiology (aka the study of
signs), just think about the significance of a blind priest performing all of
back to what happened this week. Sheridan made a last ditch attempt to get Luis
back before he united with Fancy. They danced a tango, which was nice, although,
for some reason I've been having flashbacks to all those terrible lambada movies
from the 90's ever since, or to that "Simpsons" episode about the Tango de La
Muerte. They danced and she had a long romantic fantasy death sequence, albeit
one conducted with JER's usual perversity. Luis was impaled on a set of lawn
sheers and Sheridan drank a jug of weed killer to follow him into the next life.
Part of me - I don't know if it's the romantic part or the part that's just a
jack ass - wanted it to end that way, but it didn't. Luis walked away, Sheridan
sunk. In fact, she literally fainted when Antonio surprised her. McKenzie
Westmore dredged up most of the character's whole psychic vocabulary and put it
on display this week from nutty Sheridan to crazy Sheridan to fragile Sheridan
to sweet Sheridan.
other big event this week was Norma and Edna getting married... sort of, by
Tabitha outside the church. They didn't pull any punches with this one and rode
it to its raunchy best, lengthy discussions of personal lubricants and jokes
about incontinence included. Norma even handed Miguel a bottle of lube to use on
Kay and gave him some advice, "stud to stud". Norma also had the best wedding
vow, telling Edna that she would boil down her skull and carry it with her
everywhere. I'd go into more details, but it's really something that had to be
seen. Less exciting, though perhaps just as repellent and much less amusing,
Gertrude ran off from the ceremony and Ethan stalked after her, unable to shake
the feeling that he knows her. Theresa had a big chat with herself about Fate.
Juanita sat a few feet away, longing for tequila while her henchman ate lobster
sandwiches. The more important part of the ET story was Gwen and Rebecca being
caught on tape. Rebecca gleefully went over all of their past deceptions while
Sam's camcorder was running. They had no idea about this of course, and were
quite shocked when Sam picked up the camera. Last we saw, he was trying to
rewind and erase so he'd have room to film the other weddings. Now this is Sam
we're talking about, so who knows what will happen when he has to use a
the Demon Elf continues to battle Tabitha and a peppy teen Endora; Rebecca
realizes what's happened; Ethan halts the ceremony, though maybe not for long;
Antonio catches up with his family and an earthquake hits.
Ivy: Poor dead Fox must be spinning in his grave
now that Kay has finally married Miguel.
and Theresa are so similar, I'd swear you were the same person.
Edna) It's time for me to make her an honest woman.
Tabitha: Can you make her a woman first?
Gadzooks! As long as I've lived, and I once rode a woolly mammoth, I have never
seen such a ghastly sight!
Why would Pilar talk to this ugly woman about me?
(wedding chant) Bananas, rice, cheese...
love you 'till the day you die... and after. When the big day comes, I'll steal
your head and boil it down. I'll never be separated from your skull.
Doesn't she make a lovely bride?
Tabitha: I trust that's a rhetorical question?
Beth) If I'd have been a good mother, I would have found a nut house to take her
to when she was five.
July 18, 2008
With the wedding rehearsal
over, the wedding day has finally come. Appropriately enough, the rehearsal led
to everyone dying but getting up at the end just as though they were acting.
Does this mean that the actual wedding will lead to actual deaths? It should
certainly lead to a few surprises, but we'll get to that later. On Monday,
Tabitha made a deal with the light side to save the people of Harmony, something
she had trouble doing since she would just as soon see most of them dead. She
did it for her daughter though. Beams of light flowed through her, covering her
in what looked like soot and giving her a huge afro. Everyone got off the ground
and were quickly convinced that they had been given the anecdote. They didn't
think it over much and quickly moved ahead. Vincent and Viki protested as they
were promptly arrested for trying to poison everyone. They accused Tabitha of
being a witch. Luckily, Tabitha had cleaned herself up and no one believed them.
Part of me wishes they'd let Tabitha keep her electrically tempered afro, but
that wasn't to be. Tabs spent the rest of the week moping about how she has lost
her powers. I'm glad that they didn't make her good and pleasant, just
disappointed, annoyed, spiteful and wishing she could do evil things. Even
Fluffy can barely recognize her now and tried to attack her. Poor Tabby... it's
actually sad and seems to have rubbed off on Endora as well. She's been trying
to materialize and has been stuck in her teenage persona since her magic is on
highlight of the week was Sam proclaiming that he'd finally solved a case. I
laughed out loud, but I had to feel sorry for the well-meaning, if woefully
incompetent, lawman. He had such a wonderfully giddy and child-like expression
when he said it, simultaneously amazed and in total disbelief. Of course, Sam
didn't really solve anything, it all landed in his lap thanks to Esme, which was
an especially cruel comment on just how out of it Harmony PD really is.
Bennett news, Jessica finally reappeared. She was looking good and has almost
completed rehab. She also told her sister that she may be getting back with
Reese and going to college. This was a quick way to tie up all the Jessica
related plots, more or less. A note from Simone also came in and summarized her
life with Whitney and TC in New Orleans. For anyone expecting more, I'm sorry to
say that this is about all there will be. It actually wasn't a very satisfying
way to deal with these strands, but they really don't have time to do this as
well everything else. I'm almost surprised they bothered and a little taken
aback that JER actually went to this much trouble to do it. It seems so unlike
Sam and Jessica's lovely family moments, and the even more lovely moments
between Kay and Tabitha, Pilar had some time with her sons. I sometimes forget
how extraordinarily adolescent Luis and Miguel are, but seeing them being
mothered always reminds me. They teased their mother and she cooked for them and
cried and worried. They went to the church and finalized the decorations.
Juanita stalked around, disguised as a nun and having almost no idea that the
people she is trying to blow up were just lethally poisoned and brought back
from the dead. She bumped into Pilar numerous times and Pilar kept almost
recognizing her. I think this must be some sort of Harmony specific mental
disorder where everyone walks around almost recognizing people. They almost
recognize people from their past, they almost recognize people in obvious joke
shop disguises. It's as though they suffer from a condition reported among
certain drug addicts who see all people as mushrooms. Only the other people
taking the drug actually appear as people. Something like that seemed to be
happening to Ethan. Mr. Winthrop imagined that he saw Theresa and he assumed it
was because the poisoned mushrooms did something to his brain. Poor Ethan's
brain. I always knew that Theresa was brain poison.
hallucination, or dream I guess, of the week was Gwen's, however. She had a
rather giddy fantasy about shooting Theresa point blank. She took this as a sign
that she better issue another threat to Gertrude and snuck into her room to do
so. Gertrude, of course, didn't hear any of these threats because she was
wearing ear plugs the whole time.
will be a heavy week. We can look forward to Sheridan making a final attempt to
win Luis back; Fancy throwing a temper tantrum; another couple getting married;
the return of the demons; the return of Antonio and a major slip up from Gwen
Tabitha: I can honestly say that I am not a witch.
will not be the pawn of a rebellious teenager!
Alive or dead? It doesn't matter. Ethan loves me and I'm not going anywhere
are alive and there are some hungry sharks in Mexico that owe me an apology.
Why doesn't everyone upstairs just go home and get some rest?
think they killed women as well,
Esme: Oh... sorry. I don't usually notice women.
Fancy after being revived): That was a terrible end to your rehearsal.
Gertrude.. you're not Gertrude. You're Theresa.
Theresa: The poison affected your brain..
Tomorrow will come for everyone but me.
finally solved a case!
She's a grouchy old broad but she's certainly not a witch.
July 11, 2008
Everyone died this week. Well, not everyone. Esme,
Endora, Tabitha, Norma, Edna, Viki, Vincent, Juanita and her henchman didn't
die. Apparently Rebecca didn't die either because she vanished to get serviced
by one of the stable boys. Oh, and Pretty is in a mental hospital, Jessica is in
rehab and Kay and Miguel are in another dimension, so they didn't die either.
Does this mean this murderous plot wasn't actually part of the prophecy of doom?
Remember: It was supposed to kill everyone, except for those who have spent time
in Hell, which excuses that little hellion Theresa and she died anyway. What
happened: Viki and Vincent succeeded in poisoning everyone at the wedding
rehearsal. We saw everyone dead on the floor in a tracking shot that seemed to
be lifted from "Gone With the Wind". It was impressive, at least, Viki and
Vincent seemed impressed with themselves. But I kept thinking back over
Vincent's other crimes and wondered how impressive this really was. For a show
that has such a record with food related fatalities, I expected something a
little grimmer, a little more over the top.
we all know that there are weeks left for the show and, while I have no doubt
they could provide a great show without all of the characters who kicked the
bucket, it's a sure thing that they are coming back and quick. Harmony may be
dangerous, but it's a hard place in which to stay dead.
shocking than all of this was the fact that Tabitha entered the church and is
bent on abandoning her evil past, giving up her magic and becoming a non-witch
again. She was highly reluctant to do this, but Endora begged and begged until
she finally gave in. I never thought it would come this. It's a sad day.. and
also a confusing one. Since Endora has as much power as her mother and has
offered to protect her for the rest of her life, why couldn't she just save the
did we learn while we watched everyone die? Luis really loves Fancy and
basically forced Sheridan to help her and leave him to die. Sheridan loves Luis,
but not enough to abandon him for long. She soon dropped her niece and ran back
to his side. Luis couldn't stay alive after he saw Pilar die, however. Since
Sheridan didn't eat at the dinner, this allowed her and Eve to battle with Viki
and Vincent hands on. The evil pair fought them off, even while wearing
handcuffs, and killed them pretty easily. They didn't have to kill Theresa: She
spent most of the week trying to kill herself instead, refusing to live without
It was a
brutal week, but Norma and Edna dropped by so it wasn't all "mewling and puking"
as Tabitha said. Since they've both been in Hell, they are immune to being
dragged back down there by demons. They spent some time surfing and then helped
Tabitha capture Endora. Tabitha spent the rest of her time arguing with Esme,
finally convincing her that her niece is a serial killer. As usual, Esme
provided much of the comic relief while playing the disappointed, drugged-out
guardian. She also discovered Tabitha and Julian made Endora and suggested that
they get together and compare notes, which didn't go over well with the witch.
was one rather huge event. As dramatic as it was, it was still anti-climactic.
Like anything significant on Passions, it can't happen once; the end has to come
again and again and again, continually faking, parodying and displacing itself
until it finally arrives. Even then, it might not be entirely clear. Next week
we'll get the aftermath of this week's penultimate peril, but it will be no less
dramatic. Juanita has been at the church all along and is readying her bomb and
Tabitha has to make the biggest sacrifice of her very, very long life. We will
also get to see some people we haven't seen for awhile, like Kay and Miguel.
Jessica will also make a return appearance as will the teenaged Endora. It's
also been announced that Antonio is returning, news which will have a
substantial impact on how the Luis and Sheridan love story finally ends. If only
they could bring back an insanely jealous Precious, then things could get really
Esme: (to Tabitha) Please? We've both been through more men and boarding
schools than Elton John and George Michael combined.
All the people dying in a Catholic church... I guess you could say it's a "mass
Viki. You demented, homicidal freak. If your mother knew what you were up to, it
would kill her. Oh wait, you already have.
behave yourself missy! You've caused enough carnage tonight!
asked why she became a serial killer) I don't know... It's not like I woke
up one morning and decided this would look good on MySpace.
July 4, 2008
Most of this week was centered on the church. The
couples are gathering one by one to rehearse their weddings and the killers are
gathering to prepare their killing. Tabitha is watching the whole thing from a
distance. Her bowl notes that two evils are converging on Harmony. But what's
with Tabs? Does she really have no sense of what's going on beyond it being an
onslaught of "doom". I've always been bewildered she didn't pick up on Juanita,
even in disguise. Maybe the witch is just too distracted, or maybe losing most
of her evil has made her a little dim. That seems to be the fate of all non-evil
characters in Harmony. Anyway, Endora is still refusing to materialize in a
visible form and keeps appearing in little bubbles of words. She will show up
eventually, and change her form a few more times in the process.
everyone hung around the church to work on the wedding, Viki and Vincent spent
their time cooking a poison concoction. Vincent was dressed as an old French
woman and seemed possessed by his inner chef. While this was fun, and both of
them looked remarkably cute, it wasn't the manic fun you would expect from
psychopaths cooking. I supposed we're only treated to Swedish Chef levels of
lunacy when people are preparing food at Tabitha's. The devious duo knocked one
batch of poison onto the ground and had to hurry down to the docks to pick more
poisonous mushrooms. They managed to get the sauce done just in time to serve. I
can't wait to see how campy they can get with a room full of sick people.
continued to battle with herself this week. We've been hearing plenty about the
curse of Crane women and how they all go mad. Pretty, of course, did go
completely mad this week. After Sheridan revealed her scar was a fake, the young
woman completely collapsed and had to be taken away in a straitjacket. Everyone
seemed to feel bad about it, but how can you not feel bad for someone who calls
their prosthetic scar "my best friend that always understands me". One of the
most hilarious lines this week was Ivy telling Sheridan that, "I'm glad you
didn't go crazy when you lost Luis." I guess Sher-Sher really has kept it well
hidden. She's spent so much time with her darker side that turning back to her
old self seems increasingly difficult. When she overheard Viki and Vincent's
plot to kill everyone, she was ready to report them, but soon started weighing
her options. While she weighed letting Fancy die before saving everyone else,
she seemed genuinely conflicted. This is a new level of complexity for the
character who, despite continually extreme mental states, has always seemed
consistently boxed within each. She was consistently spoiled and aloof,
consistently naive and fragile, consistently tormented, consistently sweet, and
then consistently nasty. But now there is a remarkably frayed sense to her
character and it's still not clear which direction she will go in. I still
somehow doubt we're headed to a full scale rehabilitation of the character, or a
reconciliation with Luis. Either of those things, of course, would be more
interesting than the Theresa-Ethan thing.
was trapped by Gwen in the basement to stop her from messing with the rehearsal.
Ugly Gertie started fumbling around, causing a gas leak that almost killed her.
The perpetually panicky Pilar ran around the church with Noah and Paloma until
they found her unconscious body. Pilar blurted out, "Save me daughter!" which
Noah did. Then he realized that Gertrude must be Theresa. The women managed to
convince him that he was wrong and Theresa was really dead. If Noah actually
believed that, he should just join the police force with his father. Juanita
listened close by while she prepared to plant her bomb and may have overheard
this. And speaking of Juanita, the disguised maniac ran into Rebecca down by the
docks where they had a bizarre little chat about people they'd like to kill. It
wasn't clear if Rebecca was cluing in as to who she was. The best part of the
triangle this week though was Ethan telling Gwen that they barely need to
rehearse for the wedding because they've done this so many times.
also saw the return of penis humor. I never though I'd see Julian plant his
member in a bucket of ice twice in one week. Since an erection can still kill
him, and there is no medical hope in sight (I loved Eve saying that they would
have to wait until science catches up with his particular problems), he's
rediscovering his tender side. This meant ending things with Esme, which was
surprisingly quick and even slightly under-melodramatic. While she ran off,
deciding to become a caterer to the rich and famous, Julian and Eve became close
again. She had to inject him to stop him from having an "accident" while they
made love "intellectually". In spite of the fact that most of the dialog between
them seemed recycled from their numerous reunions over the past couple of years,
it was still quite touching.
coming weeks: The poison episode will hit its peak when most of the town chows
down on the funky fungi and a death or two may result. Soon, yet another couple
will join the bloated marriage party; Sheridan continues trying to win Luis
back; someone else looms in the shadows; and Tabitha makes a huge sacrifice that
may cause more harm than good.
Julian: Romance will kill me.
Thurston Howell the Third didn't end up with Ginger.
just hope there's not too much vomit. I always think that's icky.
(to her henchman) Go tell your grandmother to suck eggs!
All these years and she doesn't know my name... I need a new job.
(when Tabitha is confused by his name) We're not all Pablos and Juans.
These kids today... what do they know about hatred and revenge!
We'll die! And not just a temporary death like I'm used to. We'll perish!
Juanita was absent this week. I guess there's a
limit to how many times we can listen to someone plot to kill Pilar. Instead, we
got Vincent and Viki plotting to kill everyone. The odd couple decided that they
would poison everyone at the wedding rehearsal dinner and went down to the
harbor to dig up the appropriate fungi. The show has always had a thing for
poisoned food, as Ethan surely knows, having been poisoned on numerous occasions
with no noticeable impact on his brain function. Morbid though it may be, I'm
looking forward to how this scenario could play out. If they can bake a cross
dressing corpse in a wedding cake, I shudder to think about what they can do
with a poisonous cream sauce and a room full of hormonally imbalanced people.
nearly revealed herself to Ethan. She had to keep reminding herself that doing
so would mean death for her children. It didn't stop her from almost blurting
the truth out though. For a split second I even thought that Ethan might have
figured it out. With Gertrude staring into his eyes and saying very Theresa-like
things about the man she loves, you would think he could get a clue. Do her
glasses hide her eyes that well? They must be magnified to the point that Ethan
can't see anything. Anyway, Gwen and Rebecca actually figured it out. The
question is: What will they do with this? This could, after all, give Gwen a
great deal of leverage. With all of Ethan's recent talk about how lies and
deception destroy everything, Theresa's lies and deception are sure to ruin
things for them, theoretically anyway. Liza Huber and Andrea Evans did some
lovely comic acting in their scenes and Rebecca, as is so often the case, got a
bundle of wonderfully cruel and cringe-worthy lines.
moments of the week happened elsewhere. Pretty completely broke down this week.
It's been rather startling to watch Melinda Sward grow into the role and kick up
the crazy. I thought so much of poor old Beth... After the desperate Pretty went
off to confront her sister over Luis, we were given one of the longest fake-outs
in recent memory. For more than half an episode, we were in Pretty's fantasy
world as she doused her sister's face in acid and made out with Luis. It
unfolded in a wonderfully concocted way along the lines of a note perfect
juvenile logic. Fancy's face turning into a substance resembling raw meat was
startlingly graphic. I almost expected Pretty to feed the bits falling on the
floor to Fancy's dog (by the way, what happened to that mutt?). But it was only
a fantasy. In reality, Sheridan got in the way and stopped the attack,
destroying a rather bland table instead. Pretty freaked out and started babbling
to herself, revealing a degree of lunacy which has only been hinted at. Sheridan
tried to play hero by exposing Pretty's big secret: That her scar isn't even
real. I was shocked, not because this is shocking, but because the "big secret"
thing all unravelled in the space of a few minutes instead of a few months. This
must be the surest sign that the end is near. I think Sheridan is really trying
to redeem herself though. Just as she was tempted to let Pretty destroy Fancy,
Ethan looked in her face and said that it looked like she was losing her best
friend, which was, of course, a way of saying that she was losing her soul.
Whether they will succeed in redeeming Sheridan, or why they should even be
trying to do so, remains to be seen.
this week: Esme and Tabitha searched for Endora. The little witch is hiding and
refusing to go anywhere. It's cute. And it's nice to watch Esme and Tabitha
together and listen to them compare their sexual exploits. Esme caught Tabby in
a web of magical activity and demanded that she be given three wishes in
exchange for her help. They settled the first two, which leads me to imagine the
third wish will come in handy in the future, or be completely forgotten if Esme
isn't taking her memory pills. Anyway, it might not be the most exciting stuff,
but the coming weeks will see plenty of action. Tabitha will have to make a
choice that changes everything for her; Juanita continues her preparations; just
because Theresa is "dead" doesn't mean that someone can't plan to kill her; the
killing spree goes ahead.
the week: So what is with the monkeys and gorillas? Is JER telling us something?
Noah momentarily turned into a gorilla this week and Tabitha turned all
non-Endora stuffed animals into little stuffed gorillas. Monkeys of various
kinds have often been part of the show, from Precious to the woman that Endora
turned into a gorilla. Is this a way of harking back to mediaeval Catholic
Esme: I might be an overly medicated, always inebriated, sexaholic, but I know
what makes little girls curious.
(of Theresa) Maybe she's a cockroach? I heard they were going to outlast all of
Theresa has been living in the attic like Rachel did.
Rebecca: Or in the basement... it's closer to the sewer line.
(after Gwen tells her that Theresa has been in the mansion all along) But I
don't remember smelling tacos.
yourself up. I've given myself up plenty of times. It can be fun if whip cream
so nice to have a witch for a friend. It's almost as nice as having a pharmacist
for a friend.
Eventful or uneventful, the week was not entirely
either. Tabitha got more signs from the dark side this week: Everything is
moving towards doom. That's not new, but this time the dark side provided her
with a charming little countdown device to help her follow the impending end. As
the sand falls through the hourglass, the collapse of Harmony gets closer. While
this was clear enough, the dark side decided to have some fun with the aging
witch and tossed a little earthquake into her house. She had to beg them to stop
and let doom come when it was properly scheduled to do so. The lesson in this:
Even if something is inevitable and fated, it can still be unpredictable. This
serves as the guide to this week's episodes.
Ethan and Gwen, of course, continue to be the textbook lesson in the case of
fate. That particular "f" word being Theresa's most diversely and overused
monosyllable. It's precisely because this trio really has no wills of their own
that they make such odd fodder for drama. The conflict has never been between
Gwen and Theresa: They're both conniving fools and, either way, Ethan is still a
beefy automaton. The conflict is actually between what is inevitable and what is
accidental. The irony is that it's impossible to tell the difference and the
only distinction is that sometimes it seems tragic, sometimes comic, but it
inevitably ends up exactly where it began. It's in light of this predictable
plot line that everything else on the show unfolds so swiftly. (Compared to the
Ethan-Gwen-Theresa, any plot moves too fast.) It's like the wall you hang a
summarize: Theresa refused to leave Harmony because death was coming, because
leaving would mean losing Ethan and that would mean death to her. So she schemed
to change history by writing a letter and trying to pass it off as something she
wrote before she died, thus fatally attempting to affect fate and avoiding
fatality. She hoped that Ethan would read it and take her hint not to marry
Gwen... but Gwen, also being more than slightly nutty, had some uncanny
awareness that Theresa was capable of such things so she stole the letter and
destroyed it. This meant that Theresa couldn't tell Ethan what to do, so Gwen
got to do it instead. Witnessing this happen, Theresa decided she might as well
leave, particularly when her mother pointed out that staying would mean dooming
her children. Pilar had a few minutes to stop hyperventilating before Theresa
changed her mind again and went back to square one. So, essentially, everything
happened to not happen at all.
far away, something which was, apparently, more unpredictable was happening.
Roberto apparently sent Paloma roses and a love note. Noah walked in, noticing
this and abruptly ran upstairs to kill his rival. We didn't see any killing, so
don't hold your breath.
herself caught a glimpse of the irony of the inevitable this week. After
spending the past several episodes plotting in grim detail the way she would
kill all of her enemies, her elaborate plan hit a snag. Her henchman pointed out
a few holes in her plan, namely that someone might actually survive the
explosion they are plotting and that paramedics will come to help people. They
decided to check out the hospital and figure out a way to stop any rescue
attempts. While there, they did what everyone in Harmony does - spend a lot of
time eavesdropping. They quickly learned that Pretty's pregnancy could ruin the
wedding and, therefore, their plot to kill everyone. Thinking fast, Juanita
decided to pre-emptively kill Pretty and her baby. She tried to jab her with a
hypodermic needle, but, instead, she knocked the blonde heiress down and sent
her fake preggo belly flying across the floor and into Luis. Even Luis could
quickly figure out what was going on and Pretty didn't try to deny it. After
yelling at Pretty and calling her names, Luis started blessing Juanita and
asking her out for a thank you dinner. He and Fancy gushed on and on about how
she saved their lives and filled them with joy. She quickly ran away, kicking
herself for making them happier than they've been in months. She could only
comfort herself in knowing that she will kill them soon. But it was a lesson in
irony: Even when you do your bets to be evil, you can end up doing good.
fact that her plans to get Luis were ruined, Pretty remains even more determined
than ever to get him or kill someone trying. In the past two months the
character has gone from vapid to genuinely fun and is starting to reach Beth
levels of lunacy. I'm excited to see how far they are going to push her.
details of the week: Ethan seemed strangely drunk for most of the week. I don't
know if he was exhausted from grieving, repetitive dialogue, or all the
champagne he has to keep drinking, but on Tuesday he definitely seemed a little
wasted. Speaking of champagne, Viki and Vincent/Valerie shared some, giddily
toasting to mass murder though the bubbles kept tickling her nose. Somewhat
cuter, or more perverse, was the fact that they shared milk and cookies while
plotting to kill everyone in town. She wanted to cut them up with a chainsaw but
Vincent explained that would be awkward when there are so many people to kill.
They decided to convince Esme to throw a wedding dinner and kill them all there.
And Ivy and Sam finally learned the truth about Vincent and Valerie. Eve broke
down and told them when Sam threatened to issue a shoot-to-kill order. Strangely
enough, after massaging his temples a little, all Sam could say was that is was
a fascinating story.
we can expect more throwbacks to the past as Pretty continues her descent in
Bethdom; Gwen and Rebecca prove that they are slightly smarter than Theresa and,
most excitingly perhaps, Esme and Tabby team up to search for Endora with some
Darling, it's never good to cause a scene.
Little Ethan: But you do it all the time.
It's summer. Think of that. All of the blood will attract flies.
Viki: Ewwww! I hate flies!
Eve after learning the truth about Vincent) If I were you I would have done a
lot more than drink.
Julian: She did. She took drugs.
(opening up Eve's champagne) A screw top cap? That's the sign of a real
Everything crystallized for Juanita this week. After
easily gleaning all of the necessary information from a blabbering Kay, Miguel
and Tabitha, she's all set to wipe out Pilar's family. She's going to do it in
one fell swoop and in the church no less. We were treated to a surprisingly long
and detailed discussion of how she was going to do the deed, complete with the
requisite cackles of laughter. The other resident psychos, Valerie/Vincent and
Viki, weren't around this week, which left much time for Ethan and Theresa. She
hid in the shadows while he grieved for her and sorted through her extensive
boxes of Ethan-Theresa memorabilia. They relived her version of their early
courtship, complete with soft photography and corny music, and she suddenly
realized how to get Ethan to stop from recommitting to Gwen: In exactly the same
way she stopped him from sending Little Ethan away. She wrote a fake note and
placed it in her diary in which she explicitly forbade his committing to another
woman. Even Theresa wondered if her promise to come back from the dead would be
too much, but she remembered that only something that over-the-top would get
through to Ethan. After all, Ethan is incapable of making a choice on his own:
He has to be instructed, something Gwen knows only too well and it's for that
reason that she spent most of Wednesday attempting to stop him from rummaging in
Theresa's things for information on what he should do with his life. "You're a
machine," Gwen told him recently, and that's exactly what he is: The world's
only crying robot, with no will of his own and his memories continually being
reprogrammed. Perhaps that's what Rebecca's joke this week about batteries was
all about (see lines of the week below)...
highlight of the week was Rebecca's scene with Gwen. Spread out over two days,
it provided the most humorous and, surprisingly, least ridiculous time of the
weak. While everyone else in town was freaking out, Rebecca was calm and concise
while instructing her neurotic daughter on how to get a backbone. Where is the
Gwen that once returned? Does anyone remember when Gwen came back wanting
nothing to do with Ethan and tore him and Theresa up with some scalpel sharp
commentary on their demented relationship? That, of course, didn't last. It
leads one to wonder if prolonged exposure to Ethan retards women. I know he's
handsome and everything, but isn't his real power a contagious stupidity? In
Harmony, at least, stupidity seems to be a venereal disease.
moment of the week was watching Tabitha's many evil guests file out of her
attic. It was actually sad to watch so many ghouls leave, sad to see so many
possibilities vanish. Why can't they give us more of talking skeletons and less
of Theresa repeating herself? The other issue this string of new departures
raises is that the evil coming to Harmony is so great that it will even destroy
the non-living and the supernatural. Does this mean it is simply Juanita, or is
there something even worse coming? Or, is Juanita far worse than we've been led
to suspect? Killing people is one thing, but if you can kill immortal creatures,
that's a very different kind of killing going on.
As far as
other happening go, Luis and Miguel kept telling themselves, and other people,
that they were going on vacation. Pilar was relieved, so much so that she
started wearing black low cut clothes that seem strangely out of character. Noah
seems reluctant to leave and will continue to be a belligerent pain. A desperate
Theresa revealed herself to her sister, causing Paloma to faint and almost
destroy the Gertrude act. Anyway, next week, Pilar will continue trying to
convince her daughter that she needs to leave town. Since Theresa isn't terribly
concerned about surviving, Pilar will have to make it clear that sticking around
for Ethan's sake will be dooming Theresa's children as well. But will that be
enough? Across town, Tabitha will have to try to convince Endora to leave, but
will the little super witch listen? And Pretty pulls out an old soap opera trick
to get her claws further into Luis.
amusing detail: Pretty and Sheridan generally wear green, signifying their
jealousy. Fancy has been increasingly wearing pink as the character regresses
further into an adolescent register.
Gwen: If he [Little Ethan] even so much as touches my wedding dress, I will kill
him with my own two hands.
Rebecca: Oh no no no honey you can't do that! You know there is DNA evidence.
(to Miguel) Close your mouth or you'll be catching flies.
You need to relax. Oh, do you need batteries? Because I've got plenty.
Gwen: I don't need batteries. I've got Ethan.
Rebecca: Oh I know. But I've got Juan and Pedro on speed dial but I swear
(on Theresa) She's shark poop on the ocean floor. Not even Theresa can come back
from death by digestion.
.Theresa is like garbage. The room stinks long after she's left.
That's the hottest page I've seen since Jackie Collins took up a pen.
What a beautiful family! It's a shame they all have to die!
June 6, 2008
Juanita is now in Harmony. Not only that, she's done
something I never expected anyone to do: She bought Tabitha's house. Even Tabby
didn't see that coming and she had her magical bowl out this week. Juanita has
arrived, disguised as a widow and sporting a rather odd accent. Now she's almost
within shooting distance of all her intended victims. Of course, since this is
"Passions", it's not going to happen quick. In other bad news for humanity in
general, Viki and Vincent/Valerie have hooked up. After spotting the young V
stuffing Ivy in a closet, double V decided to confront her about her murderous
shenanigans and take her on side. It didn't take long for this joint venture to
be made and they're already plotting to wipe everyone out at the triple wedding.
Both actors were positively giddy during their scenes and were fun to watch. A
more curious development was the explanation for Viki's behavior. After
revealing that she killed her parents herself, it seems that the only reason she
clings to Esme is so that she won't be sent to boarding school. Is that really
why she killed Fox and Pete etc.? Maybe...
die. Which is nice, but does this mean that they will actually give the poor
woman a plot? Please? I have no idea what it could be. Julian has suddenly
turned back into sober well-meaning Julian. He even prayed that Vincent would
get the help he/she needs and started pining for Eve again.
In a bid to
save her family, Pilar has enlisted the help of Fancy and Kay, which seems like
the perfect way to invite disaster, considering their histories. So far they've
tried using sex to get Miguel and Luis to leave town with them. That didn't
really work, so they had to tell them the truth about Juanita coming to town.
The guys didn't take it well, but seem convinced that leaving is a good plan.
made the strangest argument, in a long line of strange arguments, this week. She
justified staying by claiming that, (A) she is already dead, (B) if she doesn't
have Ethan, she is dead and (C) that she would rather die than not have Ethan.
After all, Theresa only narrowly exists, for the most part she is, quite
literally, a sort of malignant spirit, almost like a zombie, only marginally
human at all. That's not an affront to her character, that's just the nature of
her as an entity. In fact, that's the only thing about Theresa that I've ever
the one making lewd jokes this week. While "Gertrude" measured him for his
wedding outfit, there was a substantial quantity of jokes about the size of
Ethan's penis. Theresa even admitted that whenever she looks at it she hears "O
Sweet Mystery of Life" in her head. As drunk as Gwen may have been, it was still
a little odd that she seemed so unbothered as she watched Gertie dragging her
measuring tape between Ethan's thighs for a long period of time. The whole
wedding thing, of course, runs back to the early days of the show, a fact which
they have made reference to already. It's nice to see that they are going for a
bit of symmetry about it. Anyway, next week promises a Theresa-Gwen-Ethan heavy
set of episodes and more deja vu. In more interesting developments, Viki and
Vincent won't be the only people targeting the multiple wedding. Soon there will
be almost as many people planning to destroy it as there will be people getting
married. And, since many people wonder, Endora should be making more appearances
one of the most brutal jokes of the week, actually making light of Vincent's
past sexual exploits to Luis. It was surprising since she was repeatedly raped
by Vincent/Valerie, but also because Luis was - both details which are rarely
ever brought up, particularly the latter.
that Jessica is actually in rehab so that she can become a better mother for
Little Sam. I can't wait until Julian takes Little Julian to rehab to learn how
to be a better father.
Luis: I'm sorry to cancel our double date, but earthquakes and murder ruin
am justice. Above the law.
were just talking about what women talk about.
Kay: Yeah... clothes and shoes and bone density.
May 30, 2008
This week was all about the question "if". This week
also provided about the most explicit outline of Theresa's obsession with Ethan
which hovers around the issue of "if". If Theresa will be his future or Gwen
will be his future, if he will break away from "if" to the certainty of T or G
through a commitment ceremony. Because Ethan is a lawyer, his feelings are not
real until they are carved out in a legally binding agreement. That's where the
great comedy of the Gwen-Ethan-Theresa triangle comes from though. Gwen is two
faced, but strangely frank about it; Ethan has only one face and nothing else
and Theresa keeps changing her face but is in complete denial about it. What
tends to allow Theresa to believe she has the upper hand is she knows the secret
of Ethan's brain. Basically, "Ethan is a lawyer so if he makes a choice, that's
it." Everything is black and white for him. As soon as an "if" is resolved,
everything returns to extreme distinctions. If Gwen and Ethan commit, that is,
break away from an "if" into an "it", then Theresa loses everything, including,
by her own definition, her life. When Pilar told Theresa that she would die if
she didn't leave Harmony and Ethan, the frequently suicidal Theresa said that is
she lost Ethan she wouldn't want to live, not even for her children. She also
pulled out the most appalling romantic line in the book: "Love means never
having to say you're sorry," which was, of course, the tag line for that old
Ryan O'Neal clunker "Love Story". Lisa Simpson once tried to sit through that
film and had to stop at that point: It was just too shallow and self-absorbed,
but that basically sums up the pathology of Theresa.
of other big uncertainty was still hovering this week. Valerie, who is also
Vincent on occasion and occasionally both at once, (nothing black and white
there, after all he/she is also literally black/white thanks to his/her mixed
heritage) returned from Niagara Falls in his/her more feminine attire. She/he
showed up at the hospital to have the baby registered as a Crane, at least
eliminating the lack of definition for the child. Simultaneously, he/she seems
determined to become the next Sheridan Crane which would, as Julian explained,
make him/her his lover/son/daughter/sister/ and mother of his child.
Symbolically of course: This is what makes Vincent/Valerie so evil; they have no
stable identity, unlike the litigious Ethan - Mr. Good, Mr. Black and White.
was rushed to the hospital after miraculously surviving being thrown over
Niagara Falls in a barrel. She started mumbling and told Luis that Vincent did
this. Sam and Luis instantly started wondering if this was the case, even
questioning Julian and Eve, who became very uncomfortable. Other people were
getting quite uncomfortable this week as well. Juanita is only a few miles away
at this point. After accidentally hearing someone mention Pilar's name, Juanita
proceeded to torture and kill her before ransacking her bookstore and apartment
for clues of her enemy's whereabouts. She even called Pilar to issue some nearly
Biblical threats. It was wonderfully theatrical, but it reminded me of how
strangely untheatrical the aftermath of Alistair's death has been. While it did
trigger a brief earthquake, that did little more than interrupt one of Rebecca's
sexy costume parties and makes a few of the paintings in the mansion hang
crooked. Could there be more in stock, or is that all there is to it? We also
discovered that Julian couldn't have shot Alistair because his gun was full of
blanks. Strangely enough, they quickly revealed that it was Viki, though only
Vincent/Valerie seems to know this. That may have been the briefest mystery in
Viki stuffing Ivy into a closet. The angel faced psychopath decided to jab a
needle in clueless Sam's lady friend after she tried to have her sent away to
boarding school. Sam and Eve found her body. Could this be the end of Ivy? I
hope not. I've always liked Ivy. She and Julian always had the most beautiful
fights and she can utter insults in a wonderfully biting manner. Next week,
we'll find out about that and we'll watch as Pilar tries to reason with her not
entirely clever children about leaving town. Also, Viki and Vincent/Valerie
start to plot together, and Theresa starts helping to plan Gwen's wedding.
also provided a few great sight gags, something we haven't gotten much of
lately. First, there was Viki plotting to kill Ivy while standing under the
hospital sign for the "Pathology" unit. Then in the bookstore, while searching
for clues to Pilar's whereabouts, Juanita walked past a display of "Hidden
Passions: The Secret Diaries of Tabitha Lenox", before finding a spiritual guide
titled, "Finding Harmony". The other visual highlight of the week was Theresa's
nightmarish fantasy of being condemned to age alongside Gwen and Ethan once they
re-committed. She imagined herself confined to a wheelchair with an antiquated
hearing aid while a nearly geriatric Ethan and Gwen paraded around, he in a
mustache and cardigan, she in pearls, talking about how great their sex life
still was, even with Viagra.
Eve: (to Sam after finding a trail of blood) "This is a hospital: Blood gets
spilled all the time."
"If Ethan re-commits to Gwen, it could kill me."
Pilar: "Lots of things can kill you."
(after Sheridan is brought into the emergency room) "Ew! What's that smell?"
Fancy: "Algae I think."
Valerie: "What's your point? Damn him! ...if you want something done right, I
guess you have to do it yourself."
a worried Luis breaks down her door) "Why did I have to get mixed up with a guy
with a white knight complex?"
May 23, 2008
Psychoanalysts and even anthropologists could have a field day with
"Passions" this week. It was an eventful week and there were two major events of
note. Last week a monster (Vincent) gave birth and this week another monster,
who symbolically and in some ways psychically, gave birth to him, died. Alistair
is dead at the hands of his own son Julian. The patricide will apparently spell
the end of Harmony, maybe of the world, at least if Tabitha's dire suspicions
prove well founded. Everyone has known this was coming since Day One and when it
finally got here, I wasn't sure how to take it. Alistair was quite evil, and not
in a human way but in a metaphysical way. The irony in his death is that, rather
than being a triumph of the good, it unleashes greater evil and the threat of
absolute destruction. De facto, Alistair's crimes were the only guaranteur of
anyone else's virtue. It's served as one of the explicit deconstructions of the
familial institution and the various taboos around it to ever be featured on TV.
No doubt a little grad student somewhere find plenty here to make a thesis out
Vincent continued to outdo himself this week. After giving birth, he's
hunted down his Aunt to kill her for letting him die. Now he's not only going to
off her, he'll also be stealing Sheridan's identity. After some careful thought,
he realized that blonds not only have all the fun, but that a true Crane must
have blond hair to have the power that goes with it. If he becomes a blondie,
all of his problems will be solved. Not only will he be a blond, but he'll be a
glamorous blond and soon we'll see that an appropriately dark haired man is
necessary as an accessory.
Sheridan, whose conscience has been returning lately, proves once again that
people always have to get really creative when they want to kill her. With a
craziness that even exceeds Beth's, Vincent bundled Sher-sher in a barrel and
drove her all the way to Niagara Falls before throwing her in. We even got to
see the barrel go over the falls in what appeared to be a video made by a high
school tech class.
In another moment of mayhem, the earthquake hit Harmony this week. So far it
hasn't exactly been on par with tsunami that Endora accidentally conjured up a
few years ago. It's doubtful that we'll see the streets filled with water and
people floating on the coffins of doppelgangers, but we did get to see someone
come back from the dead and scare Kay, creeping her out when he told the leggy
witch that he was the "stiffest stiff" she would find. Kay and Tabitha managed
to stop the earthquake, or at least
calm it. They also managed to sneak a peek into what the Book of Disasters
holds and Tabitha, as usual, thinks it's even worse than usual. So far this has
involved fish growing legs and walking out of the harbor onto land and people
rising from the dead.
The earthquake also knocked a book case on top of Little Ethan. The
disguised Theresa jumped in to save him from being crushed and got crushed in
the process. We were then treated to Gwen and Pilar fantasizing about what it
would be like for Ethan to lift furniture. Gwen's fantasy offered us an oiled up
Ethan tossing the case and rescuing the boy while Gertie stayed crushed. Pilar's
was marginally more wholesome: Ethan kept his shirt on, but, after rescuing
Gertrude, who quickly revealed her true
identity, picked up the book case and squashed Gwen with it.
As Juanita begins traveling in search of Pilar, attempting to find her
whereabouts by torturing Agent Henderson, she is also starting to develop some
enjoyable repartee with her henchman, who obviously thinks she's insane. Other
humorous moments came from Ivy and Julian mocking Sam's blatant lack of policing
skills when he began trying to investigate Alistair's murder.
In the coming weeks, Juanita will take on a disguise as she tries to track
down Pilar; Tabitha will pull out every trick she can; someone will go missing
(again); Viki and Vincent will team up as Harmony's most demented duo; Theresa
will look for another way to destroy a Gwen and Ethan marriage ceremony.
Lines of the week:
Sheridan: "Congratulations on coming back from the dead! Not too many
people can pull that off."
Vincent: "I hear it's happened a lot in this family."
Vincent: "I'm the family joke and I know why: Because I'm not a blonde!"
Sheridan: "Putting on a wig doesn't make you a Crane."
Vincent: "Shooting people does."
Julian (to Sam): "And your expertise has solved how many crimes?
Ivy: "Don't you pick on Sam! It's not his fault that the crime rate in Harmony
has spiraled out of control since he took over as chief of police."
Kay: "I've been thinking..."
Tabitha: "That was never a good idea for Lucy Ricardo and I'm sure it's not
good for you."
May 16, 2008
The pregnancy plot moved quickly ahead. They really
must be running out of time because they didn't milk the labor scenes for weeks.
Instead, Vincent popped the baby out with surprising quickness. Even Julian only
got in a few sarcastic remarks about using cooking equipment to pry the child
out during the ordeal. The child was born a boy, with all of the appropriate
organs but, apparently, no vocal cords. It's likely the quietest baby I've ever
heard, or not heard. This seems to have softened Eve considerably to her
son/daughter's plight. She was becoming abnormally sympathetic to him/her as the
week wore on. Is this because she's finally sobered up, or is the madness simply
contagious? Eve and Vincent are proving to have more in common than I suspected.
Both managed to nurse the little child quite joyfully while simultaneously
plotting murders -- Vincent of Sheridan, Eve of Alistair. I guess it's easier to
get a baby out of a man than his killer instinct.
murders, Juanita was out on the loose and looking for blood again this week. She
captured the agent assigned to Pilar's case and began to torture him to get her
whereabouts. He didn't know, so she planted a tracking device in his phone. And,
amid the long list of things she threatened to do to the hapless civil servant,
in a real "Wizard of Oz" moment, Juanita even threatened to kill the guy's
little puppy dog too. It won't be a tornado that brings her to Harmony, it will
be following another natural disaster.
Pretty anxiously waited for Luis and Fancy to crash after she drugged their
pilot. A panicking Luis called Sheridan (I forgot that she knew how to fly) who
managed to talk him and the plane down. While that was happening, Sheridan got
into another one of her fights with Pretty. This time they even came to blows.
Sheridan punches Pretty out and Pretty really landed one on Sher-sher. (How I
miss the days when Beth was around! Now there was a woman with more endurance in
battle.) After having a shower, Sheridan magically reappeared with a far more
flattering hairdo and even a few glimmers of the far-softer Sheridan past. To
reward her for saving their lives, Luis and Fancy offered her champagne and
cookies before they told her that they were engaged. Pretty and Sheridan's
relationship continues to come apart, and Pretty even set her aunt up to make a
fool of herself. She gave a ticking engagement gift to Luis and Fancy which
Sheridan promptly destroyed, incorrectly believing it to be a bomb. This made
her look crazy and she left in shame, only to arrive at home where someone even
crazier, Vincent, was waiting for her with a gun.
speaking of fights, what was going on between Gwen and Pilar this week? Gwen,
stumbled around to try and get Ethan away from Theresa, while Pilar kept
blocking her using her body and no arms. It was the most awkward no-contact
fight in "Passions" history. Where's Rebecca when you need her? As far as the
Gwen-Ethan-Theresa thing goes this week, Ethan summed it up best while he was
being violated by Theresa in a drugged-out haze: "Feels like old times." Once
again Theresa drugged Ethan, and Gwen as well, so that she could have her way
with him, or his body at least. Theresa better be careful though - I don't think
Ethan has enough brain cells left to withstand any more druggings. A doped up
Gwen walked in on the scene and could barely believe her eyes. As she stumbled
around the mansion, she confronted Pilar about it. Pilar taunted her, suggesting
it was all a dream or that Ethan must be in love with a ghost.
will have one of the most significant events in Harmony history and one that
will, supposedly, change everything in a way that no one but the witches could
discovered this week: Tabitha apparently had an affair with Zorro. He left a
"Z" on her bottom and she left a "T" on his.
Sheridan (to Vincent when he confronts her for letting him die): "But you're
alive and you look wonderful!"
a naked and sedated Ethan): "I'm sorry for drugging you, but I had to have you."
(when Vincent has trouble squeezing the baby out): "How about some non-stick
spray? Would that help?"
Eve): "Yes, you're a drugged out drunk skank, but you're a first rate doctor...
the longer this takes, the longer my stretch marks will be."
May 9, 2008
Pretty is proving herself to be as crazy as her aunt. This
week she decided both Luis and Fancy would have to die and tried to send them to
their graves by drugging the pilot of their private flight. Luis and Fancy were
too busy making out to notice. I'll admit they're cute and at least they aren't
Noah and Paloma, who continued to be targeted by the forces of darkness as they
battled over Noah's jealousy of Roberto and Paloma's visions of doom. Kay and
Miguel just stood around watching until her dress "mysteriously" caught fire and
when furniture started flying, Miguel had to be the level-headed one as everyone
freaked out .
centerpiece of this week's show was Vincent finally going into labor with his
own father's baby. Basically, everyone finds this story ridiculous, with some
finding it loathsome and others just finding it hilarious. What struck me the
most, however, was how far it managed to veer from the clichés of soap opera
pregnancy stories which generally serve up the most blatant form of emotional
manipulation. What "Passions" actually managed was the least sentimental and
least asinine pregnancy plot around and, while ludicrous, it didn't sink to the
cheap theatrics that plague the plottings of more traditional soaps like "The
Young and the Restless". While retaining all of its silliness, it did so
completely within the bounds of the characters involved and delivered a
perfectly crystallized melodramatic denouement. Anyway, now I only wonder what
the baby will be called.
came out in the Eve-Julian-Vincent/Valerie thing. It was surprisingly quick, but
it did have some nice touches, such as Vincent documenting the whole thing for
his blog and Julian asking all the questions viewers of the show so often ask
about this "impossible" storyline. The "Passions" answer of course is: Look, it
just happened. There it is. Unfortunately, nothing like that happened in the
Ethan-Gwen-Theresa story. But I guess that's not so unfortunate, because the
assurance that nothing like that can happen is all there really is to the
Ethan-Gwen-Theresa story. Once again, all of their scenes were about delay.
Theresa set up a romantic dinner for Ethan then waited for him in the bathroom,
delaying going out to see him. He and Gwen stood at the bathroom door shouting
(apparently she couldn't hear them), delaying doing anything until Gwen smashed
the door open with an axe, an action she really seemed to enjoy. Then Theresa
got dressed up as Gertrude again and made a series of excuses. It was lucky for
Theresa, of course, because she discovered that Juanita has escaped custody. Not
only that, but Juanita has finally discovered where Pilar and her family are and
is ready to kill them all. Next week, basically everything that happened this
week will get fleshed out some more. Julian will deal with being a
father/grandfather, Paloma will worry about her ominous visions of Theresa's
death and, more excitingly, Vincent will push on with a plot to kill Sheridan
and a major death coming up. But all of this is just the preparation for the
disaster which is coming this summer.
& Quotes of the week:
Why does Pilar go to bed fully clothed in day clothes that she doesn't wear
during the day? This isn't the first time this has happened. And how did
Theresa's false teeth fall into the cherries? What was she doing? I know Theresa
rarely keeps her mouth shut, but how could she not notice that?
Roberto) "I know as much about passion as you do, so let's settle this the
mature way and go outside!"
the forces of Hell attack the house) "Oh no, my party favors!"
God! I'm talking out loud to my penis again! I'm worse than Esme!"
"If a dead man walks into the emergency room about to have a baby, don't you
think that someone will realize that I'm alive?"
pilot: (as he falls unconscious and loses control of the jet) "This isn't safe
May 2, 2008
Not a great deal actually happened this week. I know
that's normal for "Passions", but really, not much new happened. We got a heavy
dose of Julian and Esme's hospital shenanigans early on, though that petered out
as time went by (no pun intended!). We also got a surprise visit from Norma and
Edna, eager for a chance to "make the mattress beg for mercy". Apparently they
were on a break from their hectic schedule of performing pop songs on lesbian
cruise lines. Tabitha did her best to try to convince them that Hell wasn't
coming back to Harmony, but she couldn't stop from admitting the
Kay-Miguel/Paloma-Noah double wedding is doomed in a big way. Will this be the
spectacularly fiery ending we've been promised?
finally figured out that Gertrude is actually Theresa. That makes two people who
know the secret, though even Gwen has her suspicions and so did Paloma. Ethan
continues to become further divorced from reality thanks to Theresa's bizarre
mind games. Gwen continues to denigrate herself by repeatedly making love to
Ethan while he fondles an image of Theresa in his mind and his bedside table.
When you're making love to your husband knowing that he's fantasizing about
making love to his dead girlfriend, you know something is wrong.
above situation hadn't become so par for the course, it might have made the
perverse moment of the week. Instead, that honor is split between a few
contestants. Pretty talking about discovering Rebecca's private zoo and
wondering what she was training the animals to do was rather grotesque.
Particularly since she and Sheridan had abducted several of her bats in a bid to
spook Fancy. The devious duo spying on Luis and Fancy while they prepared to pop
into bed was also a little nasty. Even they wondered if that was a bit on the
creepy side. Pretty insisted that it was okay to watch her sister get it on as
long as she didn't become too aroused while doing so. Julian also had some of
his old school fantasy sequences, this time involving three of the women in his
life getting up to some naughtiness in nautically-themed attire... and
wrestling. Sadly Rebecca and Esme didn't get to wrestle much. Rebecca's fight
scenes have always been my favorite and among the most memorable.
Fancy managed to share one of the best comedic scenes that either character has
had in a long time. Surprisingly, it actually came during his big marriage
proposal to her. I'll give them special kudos for not whipping out the
traditional over-the-top romance fantasy and, instead, turning the whole thing
into a neurotic joke. It provided a few genuine laughs and the actors seemed to
enjoy being goofy, perhaps because both of them have been stuck in earnest
highlights of the week included a "Dark Shadows" reference, which we haven't
gotten in a long time. Apparently Tabitha is still baffled by Barnabas Collins,
TV's most beloved vulnerable vampire. Esme reading the phone book was also fun,
as was Norma and Edna's stripping routine which ended with Edna throwing her
diaper at Julian. Anyway, in the coming weeks, we can look forward to
long-lasting incestuous inter-sex births, Theresa getting back to her old tricks
(drugging and taking advantage of a certain someone), the return of a very angry
Juanita, Sheridan getting nuttier and her brother Julian's life getting even
In an added
note, "Passions" was once again almost completely ignored by the Daytime Emmys,
something which I'm sure they're used to by now, but it is unfortunate. I was
quite surprised that last year's musical send-up of "Wicked" didn't receive some
of the recognition it deserved. All of the nods the show received this year were
technical, which certainly isn't to dismiss the importance of that aspect of the
show, but it would have been nice for them to get some recognition in other
areas. Campy acting just never gets the respect it deserves.
Esme (while popping pills and drinking whiskey): God Bless the FDA and Mr.
newspaper articles about dead people returning): Missing people turn up all the
time. Especially on soaps.
of Disasters"? Is that a list of NBC's programming decisions?
the design of her dream house): Construction? Definitely tongue in groove.
Fancy when she's sceptical about his proposal): Are you insane? I would never
ask you to marry me to make you feel good! Er... I mean... I want to enter into
a holy union with you because I love you... Of course I'm serious, you idiot!
April 25, 2008
Little Ethan became further entrenched in his mother's
plot to bring down Gwen this week. He even turned the devious Ms. Hotchkiss blue
-- literally! -- when she threatened to send him to boarding school. I guess
it's a good thing he's not friends with Endora or he could have been really
dangerous. Many smurf jokes followed, but none of them were as fun as watching
Luis try to be earnest to Pretty. After she threatened to terminate her
pregnancy, we got to watch Luis fly off the handle at her before she tugged his
heart strings the other way and made him dance to her tune. Sheridan and Fancy
were there for the performance of course. Sheridan actually understood it;
Fancy, however, remained as impressionable as a very daft five year old. Fancy
pouted, Pretty grinned, Sheridan arched her eyebrow. Sheridan summed it all up
succinctly: "Pretty has been bumped to the head of the line." Luis repeated the
same thing he says to every woman who enters his life, namely that they are the
most important thing in his life. He does this with subtle variations in the
tone of his voice, which Fancy apparently found utterly impossible to recognize
so we got to watch Galen Gering repeat the same dialog several times on
Wednesday in what seemed to be a strange acting experiment.
obsession with repetitive lines with little added variations was also on display
in the other major story of the week: Julian's erection. The reborn, backwards
and upside-down organ was forbidden complete resurrection this week. Eve warned
that an erection would kill the monster. Vincent spent the week coming up with
variations on the word "penis" and, with every new addition to the list, more of
Eve's office possessions vanished until, at the end of the week, she had only an
empty desk and a chair. She then yelled "penis" more times on TV than I've ever
heard outside of a sex ed program. Even Sam yelled about it. Of course, it all
seems juvenile, but is it really? Isn't the whole "penis and a dangerous
erection" plot a pointed metaphor for the show itself; a show which is entirely
about avoiding any kind of climax for as long as humanly possible? As Vincent
pointed out, Julian's life was all about his erection, now his erection can kill
him, just as "Passions" has spent nine years doing its best to avoid a
conclusion which will kill it when it comes. Anyway, viewers can expect a bit of
change in the next couple of weeks as Tabby gets a little more air time and
Juanita comes back for revenge.
Julian (to Esme): "Sometimes I don't know where your mouth is, but your heart is
in the right place."
the prospect of being caught): "Then I'd have to watch the TV movie about me.
What if they cast Lindsay Lohan as me? I'd be mortified."
God's sake! Would you stop referring to his penis as Little Julian? It's
infantile! You're a doctor Eve!"
April 18, 2008
I was shocked this week to actually hear Ethan say he'd
almost forgotten about Theresa. In "Passions" time, she basically died last
week. It certainly didn't take long for him to take Gwen out and start happily
swapping saliva -- and other fluids -- with her. Even the spying Theresa didn't
seem surprised by this turn of events. Of course, he wasn't as clean shaven as
usual this week which, in "Passions" symbolism, indicates that he's undergoing
some sort of psychological chaos or having dark thoughts. Oh Ethan-- you're so
complicated! I know he's always trying to do the right thing, but when Gwen and
Rebecca brought in their "expert" on child rearing (really a mailman Beccs
bribed with sex) to convince him to send Little Ethan off to boarding school, he
rolled over pretty quick. There was a time when he would spend months making a
decision, when, or if, he made one at all. Is this scatterbrained, yet quick to
react, version of Ethan a product of grief, or is he just upping the ante on
being the biggest male bimbo is soap opera history?
watching Little Ethan continue to act as his mother's reality check. At least he
knows a little more about the real world, or the world of Harmony at least,
thanks no doubt to being raised by a troop of nannies rather than the people
he's related to. As this plot develops, he will continue to play the straight
man to his loony mother and her baffled family and friends. I expect the
Gwen-Ethan-Theresa triangle to push even further into the territory of a
retro-sitcom than ever before.
mother and son duo, Eve and Vincent, continued their banter this week. It may
seem to be getting repetitive, but the disturbed relationship that they've built
is going to be going somewhere in the coming weeks. The greater highlight of
this plot was Esme worrying about arousing Julian by accident and undoing the
surgery. This is only going to get more gruesome and, depending on how you feel
about it, either more humorous or intolerable. The other highlight was Julian
waking up and making a series of bizarre Frankenstein's monster sounds for a few
Sheridan continues to be working in her unhinged mode, unsure if she should be
comforting or threatening Pretty, her niece and rival. Pretty is proving to be
the only Crane woman left whose brain seems fully functional at the moment.
Watching Fancy pout and worry at Luis is getting to be too much. Not that she
doesn't have plenty to worry about. Luis was "thinking" a lot this week, which
seems to involve staring into space as blankly as possible and looking dead (if
not wearing a shirt), or simply mumbling and repeating things (if fully
clothed). When Luis starts thinking, as all Crane women discover, their lives
are sure to go into ruin.
April 11, 2008
It was all about Julian's penis this past week. In fact, we heard so much about
it that it almost seems like it should have its own spin off show...well, what's
left of it anyway. They are really pushing the envelope on this one. I can't
remember the last time an operation was so lengthy or graphic. It's not over, of
course. We will be hearing plenty more about "Little Julian" and his
misadventures and it should be exciting to see where this is going in the time
that's left. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that an upside-down penis story is a first,
and it's likely the only time this will ever happen on daytime TV. My only real
qualm about this storyline is that Julian wasn't the best character for it to
happen to. I understand that it's supposed to be ironic, given his lecherous
ways and his son, Vincent's, deformity, but, precisely for those reasons, and
for the fact of most of Julian's outrageous plot lines in the past, it isn't as
crazy as it should be. Now, if they'd had Ethan's penis removed and put on
upside down, then it would have really been something. Viki did target him as
well, and Vincent was in love with him, and rejected by him, so it could have
worked. Gwen and Theresa literally battling for what's left of Ethan's penis
could have been the perfect way for that story to go.
The Gwen-Theresa-Ethan triangle continued...which goes
without saying I suppose. Theresa's "Ugly Betty"-like disguise is still in
effect and will be for a while. Yes, it's a dumb story, but it is kind of cute.
It's actually nice to see Theresa doing something other than crying constantly,
punctuated only by the occasional deranged laugh or threat to Gwen. Now that
she's enlisting her son in her scheme, Rebecca and Gwen will have to try and get
the rid of the boy. Given the history of their schemes, I'm not sure the odds
are in their favor. As usual, Rebecca managed to be the most fun of all of them.
Hopefully she will be getting more of a story for herself soon. It's almost
enough to make me miss JT Cornell.
pushed her plan to steal Luis further ahead, bribing a nurse to help her get the
results that she needs to convince the dim-witted detective that he knocked her
up. I have to admit that Pretty keeps growing on me, maybe because she's not
Fancy. Most of time I just wonder why Alistair isn't involved more and am
baffled as to why Sheridan's evil turn seems to have relaxed so much. They can
make her go back to being good or make her super bad, but please, stop letting
Sher-sher be so dull.
Paloma's relationship continues to verge on being interesting. I sense that TPTB
realized how boring they were and, thus, brought Roberto in. So far, we've been
shown how unstable their relationship is after all. All Roberto has to do is
smile and the doubts seem to swirl through the couple's minds. It's surprising,
but hopefully this will bring back more of the scheming troublemaker qualities
both characters arrived on the show with, even if those qualities quickly faded.
Days fans can get a bit of he said/she said action by reading
Matt's Musings on Days and Lori's Last
Thought on Days.
April 4, 2008
I'll chime in next week. In the meantime, check out
Lori's Last Word on Passions and my
Musings on Days.
All photographs are courtesy of Soapoperafan.com.