Where There's A Will
Today's episode of As the World Turns was a sterling example of what a good, rock solid soap can be from top to bottom when the stories told are driven by character and relationships, regardless of the plot mechanics involved.
In my opinion, today's episode was so plain good I could triple the length of my usual posts and not cover everything. I will spare you that terror-filled thought and go in the opposite direction and leave the commentary to you after some brief observations. In no particular order...
Brian Wheatley Begins to Come Into His Own: Laurence Lau's introduction as the president of Luke's foundation was shaky and ill-defined at best. Today, Brian finally came into sharper focus. His confrontation with Luke was good meaty stuff with some of the best lines in the show, including calling out Luke for basing his whole identity around his sexuality. There is some truth in that observation and it articulated one of the fault lines running through Luke & Noah's relationship. Later Brian told Lucinda, "I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but you are one controlling bitch." And what was that anger loaded comment to Luke about Luke having had it easy while "the rest of us" have suffered? Is Brian gay? Straight? Bisexual? Good guy? Villain? Whatever he is, color me intrigued.
Lily/Lucinda/Holden: There was a quite a bit of hypocrisy on Lily's part cutting Big Lucy off for keeping secrets when Lily has nearly destroyed her own family in the past for exactly the same thing. But today's scenes deeply resonated because they were completely true to Lucinda and Lily's history. Also, Holden's question still echoes: "I understand why you are angry, but why is this time unforgivable?"
Paul/Meg: I know they are extremely unpopular in these here parts, but I have to say that Paul's latest meltdown has me very intrigued because for once it is flowing out of the events that preceded it and not just something that it seems that Paul was "given to do" by the writers. As a result, Roger Howarth once again is sinking his teeth into "Crazy Paul". My wish: head writer Jean Passanante would quit pussy footing around and cross Paul over to the dark side without turning him into Todd Manning. This meltdown of the character has been building for close to 30 years on screen, so it is long past time to pin this character down.
The Reading of the Will: There was more Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice historical subtext going on with Paul, Meg, Emily and Dusty sitting in the lawyer's office without saying a word than in many soaps' entire episodes. It seems that part of my prediction about Dusty being the true Stenbeck heir did come into play, not nearly as elaborately as I thought or hoped, but good enough! Loved how James "knew" how Paul and Dusty would react and which chair they would be seated! Hilarious!
Ghost Stenbeck: Is it my imagination (or Paul's) that Anthony Herrera is having more fun playing James Stenbeck as a deceased will reader or a manifestation of Paul's semi-drug induced delusions than he did while the character was alive? I'm loving it! Loved even more James' reference in his video will to not having a parachute! (but if you ask me he ain't dead! LOL)
Luke & Noah: More airtime! More lines! A little dramatic tension! Some cutesy romantic moments! All in all, it was very good seeing them on screen for more than three minutes. Noah's line was really good: "I love you and that has very little to do with the fact that you're gay." In one way, that line could be interpreted as cute and ironic. In another way, it could be very telling in that it might suggest Noah considers Luke "gay", but Noah might not see himself as gay. Discuss, gentle readers. Regardless, Noah coordinating a gay film festival? Comfortably? That's some interesting offscreen character development, huh?
LINE OF THE DAY goes to Ghost Stenbeck (out of several dozen killers): "Are you going to sprinkle my ashes all over the garden like that Duran girl?"
Today's Episode Was An All In-Studio Day! Lord, I almost forgot what those looked like!