I wasn't going to comment on today's episode of As the World Turns because I've been extremely busy, but two segments were so incredibly good that I couldn't help myself.
The first segment was Chris' goodbye scenes with Kim. Beautifully written and heartfelt, these are the kinds of scenes that the ATWT writers should be penning all the time. The dialogue was simple, but elegant. The emotional gravitas for the characters, mother and son, was palpable. Out of the many times that each Chris recast has left the series, this particular goodbye seemed far more authentic than others. The credit for this goes to Kathryn Hays, who never ceases to amaze with her energy, vigor and emotional investment no matter what she's given to play or with whom. Dylan Bruce, another in a long line of ATWT's wasted talents, was heartbreaking as Chris. One could see the pain in his eyes, hear the tremor in his voice and see the dejection in his posture. For the first time really, one could genuinely feel Chris' pain and longing for Alison, something that had been missing in the writing of this most uninspired of triangles among Chris, Alison and Aaron. I know many didn't warm up to Mr. Bruce in the role, but I thought he had the right stuff and was woefully disserviced by lackluster writing, which sadly did not come alive or serve the actor or the character until his final scenes.
The second segment was a set of scenes late in the show that were so on the money, so sharply written and historically resonant that I had to stop what I was doing and take notice. I speak, of course, of the electric scenes between Lily and Lucinda after Lily discovered Big Lucy was in on Dusty's plot to fake his own death. Big Lucy's motive: assisting Dusty in his plan to look for Lucy and Johnny would also get him out of the picture, paving the way for Lily and Holden to repair their marriage. No, the gamble wasn't successful but it was: a) a plausible turn of events involving Lucinda which was more or less addressed by the writers; b) was perfectly in character for the eternally meddling control freak that is Lucinda Walsh; and c) reignited the tempestuous relationship between mother and adopted daughter. These two used to have these kinds of fights all the time over one of Lucinda's schemes to interfere with Lily's relationships. Today was a return to the old school and not a moment too soon.
Noelle Beck, who in my opinion has been magnificent as Lily, channeled her inner Martha Byrne today. Ms. Beck has reinterpreted Lily without changing the essence of the character, yet there were times when I looked at the screen and I saw flashes of Martha. There even were a couple of shots of Ms. Beck that made me do a double take. She was just that good.
Even better was Elizabeth Hubbard. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest at the sight and sound of the Lucinda Walsh I thought I would never see again: the imperious and unapologetic control freak who has been missing for years. Not that we haven't seen little tidbits here and there of the Big Lucy of yore, but the character had been watered down considerably. Without her company, Lucinda had devolved into something along the lines of a traditionnal doting grandmother and talk-to, but today classic Lucinda came roaring back to life! All we need now is Lucinda's ever-present newspaper, loyal secretary Jane, long suffering butler Matthew, the Walsh mansion and the self-made mogul back in the saddle at Worldwide and we'll be back in action!
Other tids and bits:
Nell Mooney, the latest winner of the online reality show In Turn, made a respectable debut as Spencer McKay in her short term contract role. Unfortunately, the writers seemed to rush her into too many of Brad and Katie's scenes too soon. Slow it down just a tad folks. She made a good impression although I kept thinking that she seemed a lot like Alison.
I'm liking Dusty's reintegration into Oakdale very much with a major caveat. Once again things are feeling very rushed on every level: Dusty is barely back from the dead for about two to three days Oakdale time and he is already a threat to both Emily and Casey and Holden and Lily. As I said before, I don't mind him being a factor in both couples, but could the man please have some time to grab a cheeseburger or something?
Not 100% sure if I buy the gaping plot hole about how Holden's confession to murdering Dusty was handled amidst Lucinda's plan to reunite Holden and Lily in light of the revelation of Lucinda's involvement, but there have been plot holes a thousand times worse in daytime so I can let it slide. At least Holden is pretty pissed off about it!
In my opinion, Ms. Beck passed the chemistry test with Grayson McCouch.
Did a certain actress that appeared on today's episode "get some work done"? I'm not calling out any names, but if she did I would like to make a suggestion: please refer your cosmetic specialist to some other daytime actresses who haven't been as fortunate to receive such good and natural looking service as you! I'm just sayin'...