Requiem for a Daytime Drama, Part Two



If Josh & Newman broke my heart, it was Raines and his Alan Spaulding who tore it apart. Make no mistake: for almost all of Alan's onscreen life, he was a rank bastard who at various times should have been killed for his various crimes & trangressions — he deserved to die for them. The late Christopher Bernau — Alan's original portrayer — created an absolute sensation when the dangerous, manipulative, darkly romantic Spaulding hit Springfield in 1977 in a role that was once considered impossible to recast (despite an ill-fated attempt with Daniel Pilon in the late 80's). In 1994, Raines took over the role.

For a long time many fans, including myself, did not see this new actor as "the real Alan." This was not Raines' fault. Various head writers and producers wrote Alan all over the place, from a megalomaniac super villain a la As the World Turns' James Stenbeck to a mentally unstable, baby obsessed sociopath, to a murderous thug and back again. No matter how bizarrely written at times, Raines managed to infuse Alan with just enough humanity, pathos, and vulnerability that it became easier to accept Raines' take as the psychologically scarred eldest son of Brandon Spaulding. Recently armed with the history altering but entirely plausible backstory of Brandon having "bought" Alan out of the Vietnam draft and the opportunity to save his adopted son Phillip's life, Raines has turned in one deft performance after another leading to today's fateful events.

For the first time in his long, miserable life, Alan looked genuinely happy to the depths of his soul. Earlier, in the hospital, Alan had accepted Natalia & Olivia as co-parents to his granddaughter Emma. At the wedding, he was able to make peace with Reva, who he had brought to Springfield and eventually married many years ago, and declared true friendship with Buzz (Justin Deas), his once mortal enemy. He expressed genuine pride in Rafe's (E.J. Bonilla) choice to join the army and the young man rewarded him by calling him grandfather. Alan even buried the hatchet with Jonathan — and it wasn't in his back! Finally, Alan gave his long-estranged son Phillip (Grant Aleksander, at his very best) one last piece of advice — to live life to its absolute fullest — before he died, sitting on a park bench alone looking out over the lake as joyous celebration surrounded him.

If viewers were not aware of the spoilers, the death of Alan Spaulding had to have hit them in the gut. If there were some fans who knew what was going to happen (as I did), I do not believe Phillip's wrenching discovery was any less powerful. Phillip's breaking down was one of the saddest scenes I have ever seen on a daytime drama.

With the death Alan, the stage is set for the Spauldings to come full circle. As Phillip, who shares many of the same traits as Alan, assumes his role as head of the family, so also does his own strained relationship with his son James (Zack Conroy) mirror that of his and Alan's. In addition to their troubles, James will no doubt blame Phillip for Alan's death just as much as he already is resentful that Phillip wouldn't let James donate his bone marrow. The son becomes the father...

Killing such a major character as Alan Spaulding could have gone horribly wrong, but I have to applaud the way the writers, Jill Lorie Hurst, and — yes, folks — Ellen Wheeler handled it. This episode was beautifully filmed, expertly edited, and wonderfully acted by everyone from La Zimmer right down to the little girl who plays Sarah.

There are three episodes left before the light goes out forever.

A Correction from Part One: I mistakenly said that Remy & Christina were moving toward marriage again, when in fact they remarried several weeks ago. I missed the episode after Bill & Lizzie's wedding that revealed that info and their re-marriage (not always referenced as such since) slipped my mind. Thanks to troymcclure for bringing it to my attention.

RELATED: Requiem for a Daytime Drama, Part One | Requiem for a Daytime Drama, Part Two | Requiem for a Daytime Drama, Part Three


Comments

Soap_Stud's picture
Member since:
28 November 2008
Last activity:
4 weeks 15 hours

I did not know Alan was going to die and I was shocked. I applaud the writers for showing a different side to Alan in the final weeks of GL and want to thank Ron Raines for the amazing ride he has given fans over the years as Alan Spaulding.

Member since:
28 August 2009
Last activity:
4 years 20 weeks

I didn't know either but kinda saw where it was going, just couldn't believe it.

myworld's picture
Member since:
17 March 2009
Last activity:
3 years 32 weeks

I tell you this has been one of the best!!!!! I will miss GL. I admit it was done with true class and I will forever view Alan as the 2nd best villian ever (right under Roger Thrope)!

I really can not believe it is only three mor shows left of GL. I am so at a lost.

CGat's picture
Member since:
23 July 2008
Last activity:
43 weeks 5 days

So, I have definitely had Kleenex handy these past two days. It has been two Superb, Excellent GL Days. I just cannot describe in words how sad this is, and how big this all really is. Ron Raines is just, oh, a wonder. That is what I am going to miss-the cast. No other show on television has such a rich, pure, diverse and outstanding cast of characters. Really. If GL does anything right, they sure as hell can spot good talent. This cast, this family of mine, I am going to miss SO much. So much. After Friday, there will be no more Beth, Philip, Josh, Reva, Lillian, Buzz, Billy, Vanessa, none of them Sad I just, ugh. Am crying as I type. As much as I blame Ellen Wheeler for things, I am going to hand it to her- she has orchesteated a beautiful, so far, ending for the best show to ever grace the waves of television.

Member since:
7 July 2009
Last activity:
4 years 16 weeks

I had no idea Alan was going to die, but the way things played out, it makes sense. When Philip started talking, and they didn't show Alan..I had a feeling. Then, as it continued on..I knew. This one hurt..not as much as maybe Phillip dying, but it hurt. I always liked Alan. I agree - aside from Roger, he was the best villain on GL. I personally could not give a flying rat's ass about Edmund and all of that nonsense..It's not even worthy of screen time at this point.

Great article - and I agree - this one is in my tops of all time. Still hard to believe it's almost over. It's even harder to believe that someone, somewhere wouldn't have taken a chance on a show with 2 million built-in viewers with the long history and endless story possibilities available if given the chance.

Oh wait..that's right..they weren't.

Member since:
11 April 2009
Last activity:
3 weeks 23 hours

Ron Raines and Grant Aleksander deserve Emmy nominations. Their performances were heart breaking. I cried when Phillip found his lifeless father's body.

Bravo to both actors. Bravo to the writers. Bravo to the crew.

I think this episode shows how well Wheeler's vision can be rendered into reality.

Also, as J. Bernard said, "the smoking hot Mel & Cyrus" are a couple!!!

P.S.

CBS, you suck for canceling this wonderful show. P&G you suck for not finding another home for this show. You should have looked back at your pioneer roots and tried to syndicate GL or launch it on the web.

DaytimeFan0001's picture
Member since:
23 April 2008
Last activity:
3 days 16 hours

Bravo to GL today! I'm still giving "Coops Death" episode accolades but this show just brought it and kicked it out of the water. This episode said, we are down, but we are not out yet. They hit every beat like you said J. and just brought magic to the screen. I stayed away from spoilers for a long time for GL and had NO idea Alan was going to die. I was SHOCKED and held back tears the whole episode. Whenever Grant came around Ron and realized he was dead I was screaming NO and the tears were out soooo fast. This is daytime at it's best, and GL at it's best, at the country club, with the right people and the right acting. This is outstanding drama series stuff right here, but it's a shame that that title will probably never be given to a cancelled show in the 2010 Emmys. That will show em'! Nevertheless, this visually appealing, well written show deserves my applause.

Member since:
25 February 2009
Last activity:
1 week 3 days

Honest to God, I felt like someone had hit me hard in the stomach while watching the scene where Alan has 'died'.

Just too 'real life' for me I guess.
Powerful stuff.
I always liked Grant Aleksander's portrayal of Phillip, and today I was reminded of just how good an actor Grant is.

Oh, and I felt for Alan..I really did. Sometimes, I think that people get a 'sixth' sense of when they are about to die...They start making amends and saying things that they normally don't say...Nice things....And Alan was doing that these past few episodes.

SO real.

Great show

Member since:
23 January 2008
Last activity:
1 day 5 hours

I guess I'm a bad GL fan. I felt cheated. I thought the writing was once again awful.

IMO, Alan deserved to die. But going out as a hero?? He becomes a hero because he does something to save his son? That's not a hero, that's what a parent does. And Alan owed Phillip. Big time. The writing is so insulting. I'll never understand how people can simply forget that he almost killed his son and murdered a young woman. And he never felt any guilt or remorse for it. And yesterday's episode took everything to a new level. This Alan propping was just as bad as making Jeffrey the rapist a hero and a saint. I don't care if you liked the character Tammy or not, Alan killed her and having HER family toast this man was maddening. Yes you can forgive but NOT FORGET!! And that was the toast was. I wish they had made an effort with the writing. If they had written the characters as they should have, it would be more of a tribute.

Member since:
11 April 2009
Last activity:
3 weeks 23 hours

Elvara,

You are correct about the show's writing being inconsistent and illogical.

But the show is ending and there has to be exceptions made.

Alan's death allows him to make up for his past sins and pay for them simultaneously.

Member since:
23 January 2008
Last activity:
1 day 5 hours

I understand that josstheguy. I really do. But instead of wasting time for weeks on storylines Jeffrey/Edmund/Marina/Dinah/Mallet etc. that make no sense whatsoever, the writers/EW could have spent more time on this Alan story and a couple of other storylines and do justice to them. This whitewashing/hero worshipping of Alan in one episode is insulting to Guiding Light and the fans IMO. {sigh} But what can I expect with Ellen Wheeler.

troymcclure's picture
Member since:
25 December 2008
Last activity:
2 years 5 weeks

I thought yesterdays episode was simply amazing. Grant Alexander has been so consistently great since he returned and since I love Alan and don't really care about the whole Tammy mess I'm happy he got to die a hero.

Robert Newman who I think is often forgotten thanks to the powerhouse Zimmer, is so understated and underrated and I'm glad that he gets to shine one last time.

Dinah's picture
Member since:
14 December 2007
Last activity:
1 week 3 days

I been laugh and crying this week watch my Guiding Light, 1st its been great see all my old friends coming back but I hated that they don't going have Josh and Reva be together because Josh and Reva is my Guiding Light. So I feel like Justin Dees what's the fuck!!!

Member since:
29 July 2009
Last activity:
5 days 21 hours

To me Alan dies when he shot Philip, when he was responsible for Tammy's death. You can't redeem a character after that. I wish in his scene with Jonathan he had taken responsibility for Tammy's death, and said he was sorry. I hated the scene between Alan and Buzz. Alan- hero-hey Buzz, remember how your son Coop died. It would have been nice if Alan apologized to Buzz for his part in Coop's death. After he took responsibility for those actions, then let him die. It would have been much better for him to die after that. I really hope they don't waste time with a funeral for Alan. Having a funeral without Alan-Michael, that would make no sense.

Member since:
16 September 2009
Last activity:
4 years 31 weeks

I too thought this was a terrific episode. I was sad that Alan had to die to complete his redemption, but think the way his death was revealed was awesome--viewers who weren't expecting it caught on about the same time Phillip did.

I did wish, though, that the writers had varied his dialogue a bit more. "It's what any parent would do for their child" is a cringe-worthy line once. It was repeated in the last few episodes enough to make me want to take a drink every time I heard it.

Member since:
20 February 2008
Last activity:
3 years 27 weeks

Great work J Bernard!

ewka's picture
Member since:
16 January 2009
Last activity:
40 weeks 6 days

Y&R could SORAS Abby and hire Marcy Rylan when she'll have her baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
this whole week on GL is full of tears and happy/sad moments

Member since:
16 September 2009
Last activity:
4 years 30 weeks

Personally, I think the writers screwed us once again. Even though Alan was quite the villain, he finally found peace and redemption, only to die a few minutes later.

A recent article I read about Guiding Light said that the show lost a lot of viewers as many of its popular characters were killed off. I recall Jenna's and Maureen's heartbreaking deaths, as well as Nadine's graphic murder. More recently, Ross, Coop and Gus died in tragic accidents.

In the midst of that, I remember how GL, especially during the Santos mob family era, seemed to be a show where everyone was yelling and lying to each other. When they launched the "Find Your Light" theme 2 years ago, I was hoping the show itself would find its light. Instead, we were faced with a new production model, while not all that bad, was supported with boring writing that made the whole experience feel like family home videos without any action, drama (or even memorable flashbacks)strung together into a daily 1 hour show.

Instead of dying, Alan should have been able to live out his life doing good and perhaps making up for his past sins. Perhaps he could've helped make Spaulding Enterprises a more humanitarian company while taking time to become acquainted with his great-granddaughter and playing chess with Buzz.

Springfield has had so much tragedy over the last few years, so until yesterday, it was nice to see that things were being tied up in a mostly happy way. Now, Buzz, Lillian, Billy and Vanessa will forever have a death hanging over their wedding.

Way to go, writers! Thanks for leaving a bitter taste in our mouths!

J Bernard Jones's picture
Member since:
9 September 2008
Last activity:
11 hours 33 min

Instead of dying, Alan should have been able to live out his life doing good and perhaps making up for his past sins. Perhaps he could've helped make Spaulding Enterprises a more humanitarian company while taking time to become acquainted with his great-granddaughter and playing chess with Buzz.

That would have been fabulous if GL had been given a 10 year renewal.
Instead, it will be off the air. This Friday.

Member since:
11 June 2008
Last activity:
1 year 5 weeks

As someone who didn't watch GL very often, it just could never hold my attention I chose to tune back in for the last two weeks. I saw this episode and Monday's and have to say that it was not just one of the greatest episodes of GL but of any soap I've seen in the most recent years. It's a bit sad that GL has finally hooked me and it will be over in a few days. Alan's death scene took me by surprise and really resonated. At least GL is going out in style and quality.

Daniel St. John's picture
Member since:
7 July 2009
Last activity:
3 days 16 hours

Alan could have dug up Tammy's corpse and violated her skull and then killed Johnathan, Daisy, Jeffrey, and Cyrus in a mad murder spree and I would have still been crushed by his death. Alan Spaulding is worth ten times all of those crappy characters combined.

Ryan-Scott's picture
Member since:
4 May 2009
Last activity:
2 hours 31 min

I still can't believe this show will be history in 2 days.

Member since:
25 February 2009
Last activity:
1 week 3 days

Lawd ! I just thank God David Kreizman didn't write that scene (Alan's death)...

I could just imagine that David Kreizman would have penned a "Weekend At Bernie's" type of ending, where Phillip would have taken Alan's corpse to the Wedding reception as planned....Phillip would have 'concealed' Alan's death from everyone.....! Holding Alan up, propping him up..etc etc.

Just the opposite of what Alan did to Phillip back in 2004...When Alan hid the fact from everyone that Phillip wasn't dead, but was very much alive !!!

Thank you Jill Lorie Hurst for giving GL a proper send-off.

CGat's picture
Member since:
23 July 2008
Last activity:
43 weeks 5 days

Daytime Emmy's '010 The enire cast of GL, excluding the obvious bimbos, all deserve lifetime achievement emmy's. And Jill Lorie Hurst should win something. Like, best last stunt attempt as a writer award. Lol. Kudos to the fabulous cast.

CGat's picture
Member since:
23 July 2008
Last activity:
43 weeks 5 days

Daytime Emmy's '010 The enire cast of GL, excluding the obvious bimbos, all deserve lifetime achievement emmy's. And Jill Lorie Hurst should win something. Like, best last stunt attempt as a writer award. Lol. Kudos to the fabulous cast.

Member since:
7 July 2009
Last activity:
4 years 16 weeks

Alan could have dug up Tammy's corpse and violated her skull and then killed Johnathan, Daisy, Jeffrey, and Cyrus in a mad murder spree and I would have still been crushed by his death. Alan Spaulding is worth ten times all of those crappy characters combined.

BRA-VO! Could not have said it better. This is Alan Spaulding!! This is like Tony Soprano dying!

BTW - Did anyone else notice the weird look on Alan's face at the very end of his last "living" scene? I wondered why he looked either unhappy or disturbed. Guess he didn't feel well!

I don't know...I guess if you choose to over ANALyze every little detail, you can find fault in just about anything. I choose to enjoy these last precious few moments of GL. I honestly don't think it could be much better than it has been thus far.

naughtytomato's picture
Member since:
27 January 2009
Last activity:
1 year 14 weeks

Grant Aleksander made me cry.
Robert Newman made me feel lonely and disconnected like his character.

Member since:
14 December 2008
Last activity:
20 weeks 15 hours

I agree that the acting was absolutly great but I'm still angry that they killed Alan. It just doesn't work for me.

Member since:
14 December 2008
Last activity:
20 weeks 15 hours

Sorry! Double post!