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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 Passions here!
 

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.

Antonio 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 these unions.

Anyway, 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.

But the 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 mechanical device.

Next week, 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. 

Lines of the Week:
Ivy: Poor dead Fox must be spinning in his grave now that Kay has finally married Miguel.

Ethan: You and Theresa are so similar, I'd swear you were the same person.

Norma: (of Edna) It's time for me to make her an honest woman.
Tabitha: Can you make her a woman first?

Tabitha: Gadzooks! As long as I've lived, and I once rode a woolly mammoth, I have never seen such a ghastly sight!

Juanita: Why would Pilar talk to this ugly woman about me?

Norma: (wedding chant) Bananas, rice, cheese...

Norma: I'll 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.

Norma: Doesn't she make a lovely bride?
Tabitha: I trust that's a rhetorical question?

Edna: (of 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 the fritz.

The real 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.

In other 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 him.

Beyond Kay, 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.

The 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.

Next week 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 and Rebecca.

Lines of the Week:
Tabitha: I can honestly say that I am not a witch.

Tabitha: I will not be the pawn of a rebellious teenager!

Theresa: Alive or dead? It doesn't matter. Ethan loves me and I'm not going anywhere ever.

Gwen: You are alive and there are some hungry sharks in Mexico that owe me an apology.

Juanita: Why doesn't everyone upstairs just go home and get some rest?

Tabitha: I think they killed women as well,
Esme: Oh... sorry. I don't usually notice women.

Ivy (to Fancy after being revived): That was a terrible end to your rehearsal.

Ethan: Gertrude.. you're not Gertrude. You're Theresa.
Theresa: The poison affected your brain..

Theresa: Tomorrow will come for everyone but me.

Sam: I've finally solved a case!

Julian: 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.

Of course, 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.

More 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 people herself?

What else 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 Ethan.

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.

This week 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 exciting.

Lines of the Week:
Esme: (to Tabitha) Please? We've both been through more men and boarding schools than Elton John and George Michael combined.

Vincent: All the people dying in a Catholic church... I guess you could say it's a "mass murder".

Esme: Poor Viki. You demented, homicidal freak. If your mother knew what you were up to, it would kill her. Oh wait, you already have.

Esme: You behave yourself missy! You've caused enough carnage tonight!

Viki: (when 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.

While 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.

Sheridan 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.

Gertrude 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.

This week 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.

Anyway, in 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.

Lines of the Week:
Julian: Romance will kill me.

Esme: Thurston Howell the Third didn't end up with Ginger.

Viki: I just hope there's not too much vomit. I always think that's icky.

Juanita: (to her henchman) Go tell your grandmother to suck eggs!

Henchman: All these years and she doesn't know my name... I need a new job.

Henchman: (when Tabitha is confused by his name) We're not all Pablos and Juans.

Rebecca: These kids today... what do they know about hatred and revenge!

Tabitha: We'll die! And not just a temporary death like I'm used to. We'll perish!


June 27
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.

Theresa 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.

The big 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.

Otherwise 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.

Question of 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 folklore?

Lines of the Week:
Esme: I might be an overly medicated, always inebriated, sexaholic, but I know what makes little girls curious.

Rebecca: (of Theresa) Maybe she's a cockroach? I heard they were going to outlast all of us...

Gwen: Maybe Theresa has been living in the attic like Rachel did.
Rebecca: Or in the basement... it's closer to the sewer line.

Rebecca: (after Gwen tells her that Theresa has been in the mansion all along) But I don't remember smelling tacos.

Esme: Give yourself up. I've given myself up plenty of times. It can be fun if whip cream is involved.

Esme: It's so nice to have a witch for a friend. It's almost as nice as having a pharmacist for a friend.


June 20
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.

Theresa, 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 picture on.

To 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.

Not that 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.

Juanita 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. 

Despite the 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.

Other 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.

Next week 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 amusing results.

Lines of the Week:

Theresa: Darling, it's never good to cause a scene.
Little Ethan: But you do it all the time.

Vincent: It's summer. Think of that. All of the blood will attract flies.
Viki: Ewwww! I hate flies!

Ivy: (to 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.

Vincent: (opening up Eve's champagne) A screw top cap? That's the sign of a real alcoholic.


June 13
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)...

The 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.

The other 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.

Another 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.

Lines of the Week:
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.

Tabitha: (to Miguel) Close your mouth or you'll be catching flies.

Rebecca: 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 sometimes...

Rebecca: (on Theresa) She's shark poop on the ocean floor. Not even Theresa can come back from death by digestion.

Rebecca: .Theresa is like garbage. The room stinks long after she's left.

Tabitha: That's the hottest page I've seen since Jackie Collins took up a pen.

Juanita: 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...

Ivy didn't 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.

Theresa 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 found interesting.

Ethan was 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 soon.

Fancy made 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.

We learned 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.

Lines of the Week:
Luis: I'm sorry to cancel our double date, but earthquakes and murder ruin things.

Juanita: I am justice. Above the law.

Fancy: We 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.

The series 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.

Sheridan 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 "Passions" history.

Valerie saw 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.

This week 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.

Lines of the Week:
Eve: (to Sam after finding a trail of blood) "This is a hospital: Blood gets spilled all the time."

Theresa: "If Ethan re-commits to Gwen, it could kill me."
Pilar: "Lots of things can kill you."

Pretty: (after Sheridan is brought into the emergency room) "Ew! What's that smell?"
Fancy: "Algae I think."

Eve: "You are Vincent!"
Valerie: "What's your point? Damn him! ...if you want something done right, I guess you have to do it yourself."

Pretty: (as 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 of.

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.

Speaking of 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.

Meanwhile, 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.

And 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.

Next week 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 imagine.

Thing we discovered this week: Tabitha apparently had an affair with Zorro. He left a "Z" on her bottom and she left a "T" on his.

Lines of the Week:
Sheridan (to Vincent when he confronts her for letting him die): "But you're alive and you look wonderful!"

Theresa (to a naked and sedated Ethan): "I'm sorry for drugging you, but I had to have you."

Julian (when Vincent has trouble squeezing the baby out): "How about some non-stick spray? Would that help?"

Vincent (to 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 .

The 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.

Everything 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.

Question & 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?

Noah: (to Roberto) "I know as much about passion as you do, so let's settle this the mature way and go outside!"

Kay: (as the forces of Hell attack the house) "Oh no, my party favors!"

Julian: "Oh God! I'm talking out loud to my penis again! I'm worse than Esme!"

Vincent: "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?"

Stanley the pilot: (as he falls unconscious and loses control of the jet) "This isn't safe at all."
 

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?

Pilar 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.

If the 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.

Luis and 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 overdrive lately.

Other 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 more bizarre.

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.

Lines of the Week:
Esme (while popping pills and drinking whiskey): God Bless the FDA and Mr. Daniels!

Tabitha (on newspaper articles about dead people returning): Missing people turn up all the time. Especially on soaps.

Edna: "Book of Disasters"? Is that a list of NBC's programming decisions?

Norma (on the design of her dream house): Construction? Definitely tongue in groove.

Luis(to 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.

An 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.

Lines of the week:
Julian (to Esme): "Sometimes I don't know where your mouth is, but your heart is in the right place."

Viki (on 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."

Sam: "For 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?   

I enjoyed 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.

Another 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 minutes.

Meanwhile, 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.

Pretty has 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.

Noah and 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.

Lines of the week:


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