|September 19, 2007
Much ado about Tommy!
Does anyone really have a leg to stand on in this debacle? The battle lines have been drawn and the citizens of Llanview have chosen their sides. It's Manning vs. McBain in a no-holds-barred fight to the end for the poor, innocent waif known (for the moment) as Tommy McBain. This? Is going to get ugly.
Immediate sympathy went to Marcie McBain, as virtually the only one in her immediate circle who DIDN'T know that Tommy was, in fact, the long missing, oft-presumed-dead son of Todd Manning. Back when he was still missing, Marcie was simply oozing with sympathy for Todd. Now that it's been revealed to her that the boy she's been raising is Todd's? It appears that her sympathy has dried up in a hurry. Yeah... she felt bad for Todd, as long as she wasn't personally affected, she had nothing but sympathy for him - even going so far as to state unequivocally that NO ONE deserves to have their child taken from them. Guess she's changed her mind, cause now she's all about making sure Todd doesn't get his grimy hands on HER son. While I'm nitpicking, can we discuss Marcie's casually tossing out that they've had custody of Tommy for two years? Tommy isn't even two years old yet, and he was at least six months old when they got him, so how could they have had him for two years?! While I still feel bad that Marcie is facing the loss of a baby she truly loves - and I DO feel bad about that - I am rapidly losing sympathy. The fact that she doesn't seem to give a rats arse about Starr and Jack losing their father over the "unfit parent" label they are trying to slap on Todd is going a long way to drain any sympathy I feel for her. I get the instinct to protect one's offspring, but please...
Ummmm.... moving on.
Michael McBain. What can I say about Michael? Other than he's a sniveling coward, and a McBaby thief? Not a whole lot. Not only is he willing to stand by and let his brother take the heat for the Tommy-truth, he's also blithely standing by and allowing Rex to take it. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Rex shouldn't be roasting, but we'll get to Rex later). He stood there, for the most part, and let Marcie ream Rex out for not telling "them" the truth sooner, so they could have been prepared. He only half-heartedly intervened after Marcie had soundly ripped Rex a new one. Also, he doesn't even tell his LAWYER that he knew the Tommy-truth for almost a year? Just as the Tommy-truth found the light of day, so will it go with Michael's finding out and hiding it for months on end. Why not take the lawyer aside and warn her ahead of time that he knew and said nothing? She's his lawyer - that's privilidged information, so it's not like she's gonna blab it to the world. Yeesh!
And don't even get me started on Michael haranguing Todd about where he was while Tommy was being cared for by idiots who only wanted a stipend check, et al, ad nauseum. Uh... bonehead? TODD DIDN'T KNOW HIS SON WAS ALIVE much less being cared for by idiots. How cruel was it for Michael to throw that in Todd's face? He KNEW Todd was going through hell searching for any sign of his stolen son. That (combined with his other heinous deeds) landed Michael a permanent seat on the hate bus.
John McBain. Johnny, Johnny, Johnny... You had been showing so much promise - right up to the point where you decided to keep the Tommy-truth from Todd and his siblings. I understand the conundrum and I REALLY felt the angst involved, the excruciating pain of having to choose between family and what is right. It's a choice that no one should ever have to make - even when the family you are trying to protect is a butthead like Michael, who threatens to turn on you in a heartbeat if you don't cave in to his emotional blackmail. And that's why I cut him some slack for taking a few days to make that decision. I was counting on John McStraight-Shooter to do the right thing, and BOY was I ever disappointed and pissed off at him when he gave in to said emotional blackmail. Especially given that he KNEW the truth would come to light - probably in the worst way possible - and even warned Michael that it would. I counted on him to do what was best for everyone in the long run: Get the truth out there now, so everyone can deal with it while Tommy is still young enough not to understand what's going on around him! Shame on you, John McBain. I lost most of the respect I ever had for you.
AdriYAWNa Cramer. *yawn* The Princess needs to go down. Hard. Forget Blair coming at her, I want to see Starr go after her in full Cramer-Manning mode. All out. Teeth gnashing, nails clawing, hair pulling, bitch-slapping, name-calling all out attack. Then I'd like to see Jack get a few licks in, too. Seriously. She wasn't just helping to keep Todd away from his child, she was keeping Starr and jack from him, too. And denying Tommy the chance to have a relationship with his very cool older sis, and (hopefully someday) cool big brother. Whatever her personal bias against Todd, she has no biases against her own cousins. It's obvious that AdriYAWNa doesn't know the first thing about family loyalty. While there's no love lost between Dorian and Todd, Dorian needs to take a few whacks at AdriYAWNa as well. (The family loyalty thing - not because she's on Todd's side.)
Rex Balsom. Rex, Rex, Rex... How the mighty (cool) have fallen. I'd love to blame AdriYAWNa for turning you into a person who could help steal a child away from his father. (Can I blame her anyway? It'd make me feel better!) Fact of the matter is, Rex made the decision to do what he did because Todd made him mad. That one day was what made Rex ultimately decide that Todd had no right to his own child, and as much as I would love to blame the snore princess, the blame rests solely on Rex's shoulders. *sigh* I didn't think I could be more upset or disappointed in him than I was when he first decided to hide the truth from Todd, but it just keeps getting worse. He keeps doing more and more to ensure that Todd loses not only Tommy, but Starr and Jack as well! Yeah, he's expressing some remorse about it, but that hasn't stopped him. It's as if he stops for five seconds when the realization hits him that Starr and Jack will be suffering, not just Todd, then shrugs and goes on about his way. Not cool, Rex, definitely not cool and, yes, you do deserve everything that Todd or Blair, Starr and Jack can throw at you. You have it coming, buddy, so bend over and grab your ankles...
Bo Buchanan. WTF, Bo?! I expected him to come down on John a LOT harder than he did. Not that he came down on him hard at all, come to think of it, hence my WTF?! This is a man who had the truth about HIS son kept from him for YEARS - he knows what it feels like to have people play God with his life, so... WTF?! I'm just not seeing how he can remain so calm and dispassionate that his trusted friend and Lieutenant could do such a thing to someone else - even if the someone else is Todd Manning. He saw how confusing it was for Matthew to try and deal with the sudden revelation that Bo was, in fact, his real father - how he struggled with divided loyalties and the feeling that he was betraying the love Sam had for him. Hell, even Nora had a stronger reaction to the news and she LOATHES Todd. I have to give her props for telling John like it is. Kudos to her for vowing to prosecute anyone who tried to keep the Tommy-truth buried. Now, don't back down, Nora - get 'em all.
Todd Manning. Lest you all think that I approve of the way Todd is behaving, let me disavow you of that notion. Todd is behaving like a complete arse. He acts/reacts first and thinks about the consequences later - vintage Todd Manning. That said, however, I understand what is driving him. Let's face it, he's never really dealt with (on any kind of deep level) with what Margaret did to him. The Toddnapping, the psychological torture, the rape, and everything else she put him through later on - like her terrorizing Starr and Blair, for example. He could not even see the child she was carrying with all that she put him through. His (well-deserved) rage against her wasn't based on one of those cat-dog-can't-get-along type of personality clashes - she was a very real threat to him and his family - a threat to their emotional and physical well-being; their very lives. Margaret was a whacko - and not, as some Todd detractors say, because Todd drove her insane. She was already there before she even laid eyes on Todd Manning, else she wouldn't have gone so far over the edge so quickly. But I digress... It has been one hit after another for Todd. Right on the heels of everything Margaret put him through, here comes Spencer Truman...
Let's think about everything Spencer put Todd through. There's far too much to go into here, so let's just focus on his framing Todd for murder and having him LITERALLY executed. The psychological damage inflicted there, not to mention physical pain, was severe and profound - and let's face it, Todd was already damaged goods. He never really had a chance to deal with that fully either. Then Spencer steals Todd's child and sells him on the black market? No wonder Todd is going off the rails! Now he finds out that all the hell he's been through isn't really over because, when he finally learns the truth (that his son IS alive and he's been living right under his nose all this time) there are still more people (seemingly EVERYBODY) trying to keep him away from the son he's nearly died (again) trying to find. Evangeline, his trusted friend and attorney, can't be there for him. His sister is MIA, even if they were somewhat estranged because of her bratty daughter, Todd knows that Viki would still be there for him, yet she's inexplicably absent?
Todd is one of those characters that has so many layers, but they're not letting us see those layers right now. He is being written as one-dimensional; something Todd is definitely not. Carlivati is penning a riveting story, but he's not letting us see the other layers that Todd has - the vulnerability and compassion. Belive me, Todd is capable of those things - in spades - but we're not seeing it yet. I can only hope we see it SOON. We need to see him missing and grieving Evangeline, who surely would be by his side if she could. We need to see him trying to reach out for Viki. (What a lousy time for her to be off canvas!!) We need to see the Todd who is absolutely thunderstruck at the idea of having his son - after all this time - and the joy that accompanies the revelation that he IS alive. Please, Ron C. Bring it?
March 15, 2007