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Martha Byrne's Gotham Begins to Gel

Okay, I will readily admit, when God was handing out the virtue of patience, I was probably somewhere yelling at a heavenly microwave to hurry up. A few weeks back I blogged that Martha Byrne's web soap opera Gotham was "really, really boring", and, well, it was. At least it was then. In tonight's episode, however things begin to shape up quite noticeably, and I couldn't be happier.

First off, brava Ms. Byrne, brava for putting one of my favorite soap socialites, the fabulicious Anna Stuart, back on my TV laptop screen. Stuart's Donna Love from Another World is one of my top 25 favorite soap characters, easy. Any soap, web or otherwise, that features Stuart regularly will have me as a viewer for the long haul!

It's refreshing to see Stuart play Elizabeth Manning as a controlling tycoon. On AW, Donna was always a delicious minx, but it was the men in her life, like then-sociopath Carl Hutchins (Charles Keating) or her beloved Michael Hudson (Kale Browne,) who generally did all the wheeling and dealing. I dig Elizabeth ruling her empire—and her toyboy Liam (Kurt McKinney with a nice accent)— with an iron, manicured fist.

Is it just me or does Elizabeth have shockingly-inappropriate sexual chemistry with her son Richard (Michael Park) (but then, the best soap opera mother/son combos usually do)? I can't wait to see Richard and Elizabeth's Greek Tragedy-esque dynamic play out.

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The only sore spot in the scenes featuring Richard and his mother was Brianne Moncrief as Samantha, Richard's secretary and booty call. I'm with Elizabeth. Fire her! It doesn't matter if it's Pine Valley or Gotham, that baby still doesn't know where she is. Sigh. Wishful Re-Casting: Marcy Rylan or Crystal Hunt as Samantha!

Byrne's former onscreen hubby, Paolo Seganti stopped lurking in the shadows this week as the mysterious baddie and showed up at Richard's doorstep wielding a piece (No, not that kind of piece; simmer down Nuke fans!). Meanwhile Byrne proved why she is one of the best actresses in daytime history, as Catherine teared up over memories of her dead parents, smartly revealing through voiceovers from a teenage Catherine and Richard how the loss of "Kit's" parents affected Richard almost as much as it did her. Nice job folks. Nice job. For the first time I can honestly say I am looking forward to the next episode of Gotham!