For the week of Jan 15, 2007

I have been watching AMC for 36 years; longtime readers know I even remember the initial commercial enticing us to watch. Decades of my life have been spent watching AMC. During Viet Nam AMC was the only topic my father, a major Brooke fan, and I could discuss without screaming at each other. When I married, my husband used my AMC love to cajole me into buying a VCR. (“Kate, you won’t have to call in sick the next time there’s a wedding.” Not that I ever did that. Clearing throat.)  I then cajoled him into watching AMC with me.  I never imagined I would write a weekly column about AMC for six plus years.  

More than that, I never, ever, thought circumstances would force me to write the following sentence: 

      I truly enjoyed Tad and Dixie this week. 

There I said it. The sad thing is it’s true. Tad and Dixie were the only enjoyable things in a Pine Valley gone mad. They sat on the park bench having a conversation that was sane and heartfelt. The conversation even got AMC history right; no small feat these days. AMC used to give us realism with a soap twist. The characters were bigger than normal, but they were not ridiculous. These days it is hard to find a character who is not ridiculous or a situation that is not incredulous. Thus the Tad and Dixie scenes were a blessed relief on a show that has spun out of control. 

Until the park scenes on Friday, the Erica and Babe scenes were going to be the lead for this week’s column.  Those scenes were enjoyable but also troubling. Troubling because it’s now clear that AMC sees Babe as the “Erica” for a new generation. What an insult to Erica and the new generation. Instead of seeing a diva dueling with a diva-in-training, I saw a smug entitled not every bright young woman being verbally cut off at the knees each time she opened her mouth. Erica earned what she has by being both lucky and smart. Babe is lucky but she is not smart. The only woman in recent years who was tough enough and smart enough to be the new diva in town was Greenlee.  Greenlee started Fusion to take Erica down. It was a shame AMC never really followed through with that, it would have been much more interesting than having Greens get sidetracked by Carlos.  

Now I have been sidetracked into thinking about Greenlee which makes me think about Leo which makes me think about David which just makes me sad. 

At least with David gone, he cannot be a suspect in the White Gardenia Murders (that sounds much better than the Satin Slayer, don’t you think?)  It would have taken Tad about 10 seconds to decide David must be the killer, since the victims all had drug induced heart attacks.  

At least that would have made sense. Zarf as a suspect makes very little sense. True, the first murder happened the day he arrived in PV, but was he the only new person to hit town? Of course Zarf needs to be the prime suspect so he can be hunted down by the angry mob. And if he wasn’t hunted down by an angry mob, Babe could not be Babe d’Arc, could she? 

If only AMC could tell a clean story. A clean simple direct story that speaks to the heart and soul. The story of Zarf and Zoe could be interesting enough on its own. Tying ZZ’s transformation to the serial murders makes it all a muddled mess. Why not simply let ZZ help his remaining Fusion friends deal with their loss and fear? In return they could help Zarf become more comfortable with letting the world know Zoe. Instead, ZZ impedes a murder investigation by acting both pretentious and put-upon.  

Now we have angry citizens hunting ZZ down. I half expect them to be carrying flaming torches next week as they search the hills and dales of PV. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they are singing “The Chase Song” from “Brigadoon.” (Run an' get 'im! Get 'im!Run an' get 'im! Get 'im! Spread your human net, but don't forget that time's agin ye! Go an' stop 'im! Stop 'im!Go an' stop 'im! Stop 'im!) 

Ryan is perfect as the mob leader. Angry, self-righteous and hypocritical, that’s Megan’s boy alright.  In Ryan’s world, only the Laverys have the right to due process.  

It is painful to watch Kendall and Zach bow down and accept Ryan’s arrogant behavior.  Ryan has a track record of making truly terrible decisions for his loved ones. Why doesn’t anyone in PV realize that? 

Once again Ryan is not taking Jonathan’s mental health problems seriously. Ryan did not even react when Jonathan said, “ I…I went a little crazy with an axe in the woods.” 

I wonder, though, what Ryan’s reaction would have been had Jonathan said, “I..I went a little crazy with an axe on your clown nose collection, Ryan.” ? 

What else? What else? 

“I am pretty sure that going to bed with you was the last thing on her mind that night.”  Gee, Babe, how do you know that?  I don’t remember seeing you in the apartment with Bianca and Zoe on NYE.  

How did Olivia make it to the hospital, but Mimi didn’t? And shouldn’t Tom have been there, too? And Reggie?  (Yes, he and Dani broke up but he would still be at the hospital. He would be there for Dani and for his sisters.) 

That Fusion ad looked incredibly cheap. It looked more like an ad for a phone sex line than a cosmetics company. 

It’s insulting enough that Jonathan is living in Eddie’s house, but now he has started the deforestation of Wildwind, too? 

I am now convinced that the real reason Erica left Jackson was so she could red whenever she wants.  

When did Derek move to a house? Why weren’t we invited to the housewarming? 

“She drank from this.”  I am glad Josh Madden, forensic specialist, was available to cover the crime scene at Derek’s. 

“You broke the law, Colby.”  Oh, if only Colby had given Krystal this reply, “So give the judge a BJ and get me out of this, Step- momma Dearest.” 

“You (Kendall) can work in Paris. Take Bianca and Babe with you.”  Why, Ryan, because serial killers cannot get passports and visas? 

The hospital scene with Dani and Livia was probably touching. I don’t know because I was totally distracted by the shaking bed. My first thought was, “Wow! PVH gives its patients Magic Fingers massage beds. Do HMOs pay for that?” 

“and maybe then, maybe, you will understand how you hurt Bianca.”  Just when I thought I could dismiss Erica as totally pathetic she pulls me back in. Damn her. 

Will this week’s spoilers make me angry enough to do some deforestation of my own or not? Let’s see. 

Bianca’s girlfriend’s back, is there gonna be some trouble? 

Yes, Maggie returns to Pine Valley. She is done with her pastry tour of Paris and wants her little éclair, Bianca, to take her back. 

Will Maggie try to seal the deal by giving Binks a wrist corsage?  More importantly, will Mags notice that Bianca may be in PV, but her cousin, David, is not? The cousin who happens to be paying for her education. 

Maggie’s request makes Binky angry instead of happy. 

I can understand Bink’s reaction. It’s easier to be understanding when the person who hurt you is thousands of miles away than when she is standing right in front of you. Plus, there is the Miranda factor. It’s wrong to keep dancing in and out of a single mother’s life. Even if the Mom can deal, why should the child have to? 

Bianca tells Maggie she thinks her BAM-ing days are over. However she does ask Maggie to work with her at Fusion. 

Oh, Bianca, you clever little éclair. Could you be setting up Maggie as the serial killer’s next victim?  Probably not, but wouldn’t that be the perfect revenge for someone who broke your heart? Not that I have ever wanted revenge on someone who broke my heart. Clearing throat again. 

Bianca is not the only Kane with romantic issues. 

Erica tells Josh that he can do better than Babe. Josh replies that he is never giving up on Babe, never! 

I am thinking maybe Erica should nail Josh in a coffin until he changes his mind. (Although I do want Josh and Babe to be together. In fact I want them to have a happy life together. A happy life together somewhere else. And without Lil’A.)

Jeff surprises Erica with a romantic dinner at the Valley Inn.  

Am I the only one thinking it’s downright tacky to have a romantic dinner with a married woman in public

Jack goes to the Valley Inn to tell Erica he does not really want to divorce her. Jack sees Erica and Jeff being all over each other. Jack decides, sadly, that divorce is the only option. 

This entire nonsensical destruction of the Kane-Montgomery family infuriates me almost more than anything else. I will not be surprised should these be the end days of Jackson Montgomery in Pine Valley. 

Distraught at Jack’s reaction to her public display of affection with another man, Erica seeks solace in Jeff’s arms. 

I am having a Mona moment here. “Oh, Erica…” 

Bianca is both befuddled and confused by Erica’s behavior. 

Bianca is not the only one.  

Before talking trash about the serial killer, here’s some other stuff that happens: 

Jamie, JR and Dixie have a nice visit. 

That’s sweet. I am glad Jamie and JR have found their way back to each other. Sure, Dixie’s helping to keep another sister from them, but let’s just enjoy the moment, OK? 

JR tells Kendall about his plans to divorce Babe and get custody of his son.

JR and Kendall used to be great friends. Destroying that friendship was a big mistake. Will Kendall and JR start working together to bring Babe down? After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. 

Jonathan’s angry outbursts scare both Annie and Lily. 

Annie and Lily need to learn to just chill. Jonathan is merely upset about Erin. I mean it’s not like Jonathan has a history of killing people and beating women. 

The murders continue to occupy most of the crazed mob, I mean the good citizens of Pine Valley. 

Zoe asks Babe d’Arc to help her.  

 I thought being a huge rock star meant having an agent, a manager, a publicist and lawyers to help in a time of need. Silly me. 

Babe d’Arc agrees to help Zoe and hides her in the tunnels under the mansion.

Adam really should start charging for the use of the tunnels.  

Josh, out for his daily stroll through the tunnels, stumbles across Zoe. 

Is anyone not laughing at how ludicrous this is?   

Josh drags Zoe out of the tunnels. Josh, JR and Kendall are all convinced Zarf is the murderer. 

A dirty, dusty pretentious murderer at that. 

Kendall calls Zach to tell him Zarf has been found. Zach tells Kendall not to call the police because he wants to question Zarf himself.  Tad and Ryan follow Zach to the mansion. 

Oh dear, I hope Lucretia makes enough tea and cookies for everyone. 

Zad and Zyan stop Zach from attacking Zarf. 

Sorry.  I got a little carried away with my Z-key. 

Babe d’Arc convinces Zarf to tell the truth about Zoe. 

It’s zee only zing to do at zis point. 

Zarf tells everyone about his journey as a transgender. He explains how he really is Zoe, not Zarf. Everyone becomes convinced she is not the murderer. Everyone except the police who arrest her. 

Now I am confused. Being a transgender does not rule out being the murderer. In fact the only thing that points to Zoe not being the murderer is the fact that the police have arrested her. History has taught us that the first 18 suspects arrested for a murder in PV are innocent. 

Jack is named Special Prosecutor for the White Gardenia murder case. 

The murderer has targeted the women of Fusion. Jack’s daughters own Fusion. In any other town, this conflict of interest would disqualify Jack, but hey, this is the Valley. 

Over at Confusion, Kenny’s strange behavior makes Del decide to call the police. Before Del can even dial 911, Kenny disappears. 

Just like with Babe, Del and large numbers just don’t mix. 

Amanda finds pictures of Simone, Kendall, Danielle and Babe in Kenny’s wallet.  Just as she calls the cops, Kenny returns to pick up the wallet he left at the bar. 

Too bad for Kenny that Amanda is wearing her “In case of emergency dial 911” panties. 

Jonathan starts beating on Kenny. Kenny manages to explain that he used to be the Fusion lawyer.

Luckily for Kenny, Jonathan left his deforestation equipment back at Wildwind. 

Derek questions Kenny. Cops who knew Kenny back in the day swear he is innocent. Derek sets Kenny free. 

OK, then, is Kenny the killer? Or just a really cute red herring? 

Zach visits the warehouse where items from the Cambias estate are stored. He finds that Kendall’s face has replaced his mother’s on an old portrait.  

Damn, now I know why Kendall, just like my mom, never looks any older.” 

Zach also finds unsigned love letters to his mother. The letters are wrapped in white satin. 

Anyone else having a Moody Blues moment?  Just me, eh?  

Kendall receives a bouquet of gardenias just as Zach realizes he is locked in the warehouse. 

Let me guess;  Zach being Zach told no one where he was going.  

Jamie finds a ribbon tied to the mansion gate. He shows it to JR and Babe. 

“Oh Jamie that’s not a ribbon from the killer, that’s my new thong. How did it get out there?”   What really shocks Jamie is that JR says that to him. 

Danielle wakes up but does not remember the attack or the attacker. To set a trap for the killer, Livia volunteers to pretend to be an unconscious Dani. 

That makes perfect sense. I always have a hard time telling those two apart, don’t you?  Of course. Livia is the only other African American woman in town, so what choice do they have? 

Bianca tells Kendall that the Fusion employees have resigned en masse. Ryan decides to close down Fusion. 

I would not mind seeing Fusion never reopen. It stopped being fun once Babe came on board. 

Kendall refuses to abandon Fusion. To prove she is in real danger, Ryan stages a fake attack on Kendall. 

This makes me want to stage a real attack on Ryan. Any volunteers to hold him down while I tattoo a big red “A” on his forehead?  In Ryan’s case, the “A” does not stand for adultery, it stands for ASS. Major league ass. 

Oh those AMC actors. 

Tanisha Lynne has been fired. She has already stopped filming. I do not think Dani will die, she will just go somewhere to recover, never to return. 

An African American woman who can act. We cannot have any of that nonsense on AMC now can we? 

A note for Robin Mattson (ex-Janet Green fans): she is joining “As the World Turns.” Her first airdate is February 12th

 And here’s to another week in the Valley!

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