Wind Beneath My Wings
The gold standard, though, in my opinion was Michael E. Knight as Tad. Tad was a supporting character for anyone with whom he came into contact, yet one could not keep one's eyes off him. It would take too long to list the number of realistic choices that Knight made during any of his scenes in today's episode, but there was one in particular that stood out as a testament to his skills.
The scene involved JR trying to talk Krystal down from an emotional ledge in order for her to support Babe's last wishes, barely holding it together himself. As JR and Krystal went back and forth, Knight switched his gaze from his adopted son to his wife as each of them spoke, each time shifting his expressions and body language ever so slightly showing different shades of concern, alarm and sadness. In that scene, though he said next to nothing, Knight was engaging in the art of acting every bit as much as Young and Eakes and he was a joy to behold.
Elsewhere, Zach and Bianca were airlifted to the hospital, Greenlee fretted with Jake about whether or to take responsibility for Kendall's operation and Ryan, Annie, Pete and Colby converged on the Chandler mansion to obstensibly search for the missing Emma. For the most part, these scenes did not carry the emotional punch of the others cited above but they were by no means bad, notable for their lack of over the top theatrics. Instead the scenes were more or less played in a very straightforward fashion with the kind of gravitas appropriate for the situation.
As a result, I thought that as good a job as he's done since joining the show, there was something about Ricky Paull Goldin's performance today that really made Jake click at long last. The ghost of Guiding Light's Gus Aitoro finally melted away completely and I finally saw Doctor Jake Martin.
SPECIAL EFFECTS: Another slow CGI day, notable for the CGI helicopter rescue, the approaching storm effect during Bianca's flashback and the tornadic wind activity at the end of today's show. On par with Monday's episode, pretty good work all around.
GENERAL PRODUCTION WORK: Today's episode was mostly confined to the hospital, but was commendable for the effective use of extras, injury effects, and camera work.
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS: There were a couple of cheesy moments: Babe singing "You Are My Sunshine" to Little A (Dixie's song for baby JR, in a touch many might think as a great nod to the Dixie's connection to JR & Little A but I didn't) and Babe literally smelling a flower before she died. Thank goodness these scenes were saved by Bianca's tenderness and Krystal's loving retort to Babe's maudlin declaration about the flower's beauty, "It's just a dusty old weed compared to you."
At the end of the day, this installment was the strongest of The Great Pine Valley Tornado of 2008, filled with great acting, sharp writing and a wonderful employment of restraint.