For the week of August 13th

                                     “I’m afraid.”  Kendall

                                      “I’m afraid.”  Zach

                                      “I’m afraid.” Annie

                                      “I’m afraid.”  Jack

                                      “I’m afraid.” Erica

                                      “I’m afraid.”  Ryan

I’m afraid, too. I’m afraid I’m not going to finish the preparations for Dynamite Kiddo’s funeral in time. Damn that Alfred Vanderpool for putting me in charge, “But you did such a good job planning Saint Ryan Lavery Day.”  This funeral is much more difficult. SRLD was a joyous celebration; Dynamite Kiddo’s funeral is a somber occasion. Decorum must be maintained.  That’s why the original plan was for a private service but the outcry from the hoi polloi was too great. The public feels that they have a right to express their grief, too. It would have been difficult to keep them out anyway.  True, Derek did offer to have PVPD set up a perimeter but setting perimeters is not the PVPD’s strong suit now is it?  However I decided for the sake of econmoy that Dynamite Kiddo rings would only be given to those who were closest to him.  Do you have any idea how much those rings cost on E-Bay? (I do have to save some public funds to erect the Greenlee and Her Stigmata of Sorrow statue later this year.)  In a town full of important people it’s only natural that some have special requests. Erica wants two rings because she plans on having them made into earrings. She’s put Harry Winston on alert.  Ava wants one altered to wear in her pierced navel. I thought that was a bit disrespectful but she’s the FACE OF FUSION so how could I refuse?  Krystal heard about Ava’s request and told me as the most down to earth best mother ever she wanted two rings altered for her piercings (I didn’t have the stomach to ask where those piercings are.) Greenlee has decided not to wear a ring as a sign of her deep regret and sorrow. However, she is having Fred Leighton design a huge pendant spelling out “Please notice that I am not wearing a Dynamite Kiddo Ring as a Sign of My Deep Regret and Sorrow for my Recent Actions. Please remember I did Save Spike” in diamonds and sapphires. The highlight of the event will be Enrique Iglesias performing a song he revised just for the occasion, “I Ain’t Your Hero Baby.”  There won’t be a dry eye in the house.  When the tears start flowing Babe wants to run a short video informing the attendees that Fusion Waterproof Mascara doesn’t run no matter how much you cry. That doesn’t really fit into the spirit of the service but how could I say “No” to a walking miracle?

As if I don’t have enough on my plate, Ryan called from the hospital with a special request. He is very busy pointing out he is not a hero to anyone who will disagree with him leaving him no time to find the right tribute to Dynamite Kiddo. Ryan also wants everyone to know the tribute is from him. This is where I need your help. Does anyone know where I can get a bouquet of clown noses?

It’s time to stop whining, Kate, and move on to this week’s AMC.

Let’s start with something good to distract us from our grief.

This week the best thing was the wonderful Adam/Erica conversation. In those scenes we saw the pre-Desiree Dubois Erica. A narcissist to be sure but a woman whose narcissism had been tempered by time and experience.  Before Desiree, Erica was well on her way to becoming an adult. OK, as much of an adult as Erica will ever be. Erica’s goal was to bend Adam to her will. Yes, Erica still believes she can get any man to do her bidding. The difference in this case? Erica tried to persuade Adam without once tossing her hair or rubbing her thighs. That’s real growth for a woman like Erica.

Those scenes also showed Adam’s fascinating complexity. There was no way in hell Adam was going to agree to backing off of Zach. That’s the cold hearted businessman the public sees when they look at Adam. Yet it was the same man who responded to his ex-wife’s exhaustion with tea sandwiches, a pot of Erica’s favorite tea and compassion. David Canary is able to make all of Adam’s sides believable. (He did struggle a bit with whipped Adam, but really could anyone have done any better?)

Friendships have always been a mainstay on AMC. It’s good to see them returning.

In contrast we had the most pathetic PVPD display in quite awhile. From having a not-to-stable Ava be the linchpin of a sting operation to setting bizarre perimeters that allowed passersby to well, pass by, to letting civilians mingle with the police during a hostage crisis, the whole thing was ludicrous. It is possible for a soap to have tense and dangerous police action. Years ago, Janet held Hayley hostage while the PVPD circled the Chandler Mansion. That was a tense moment.  Remember when Derek, backed up by the PVPD, struggled to save baby Danielle’s life by coaxing Aunt Grace back from the edge of a cliff?  Those were tense and heartbreaking moments. How much effort would it take to portray the PVPD as competent instead of portraying them as buffoons?     

Man, it was a rough week at PVH. So rough that someone got the bright idea to have an entire episode of soliloquies. Shakespeare did soliloquies well. So did Samuel Beckett. AMC? Not so much. Soliloquies are difficult to write and equally difficult to perform in a compelling way. On Friday, some soliloquies worked and some did not.

To deliver a soliloquy well in close-up medium like soaps, an actor has to engage the camera in the same way he engages the audience.

Zach’s soliloquy was the best, mostly due to Thorsten’s ability to engage the viewer.  During his entire performance I felt as if he was talking directly to me. The script was fairly weak although during the hockey discussion we did get a glimpse into the emotions stoic Zach has been carrying ever since Greenlee returned.

Annie’s performance was a pleasant surprise. Her acting has become much more natural than when she first joined AMC.  The writing was good and provided some real insight about Annie.  Now that we know Annie committed an act she feels is unforgivable, I understand why she is most always the good girl. Being the good girl is Annie’s way of atoning for her sin while keeping those around her from suspecting she could do anything wrong. I look forward to seeing Annie’s story unfold.

Jack’s soliloquy was very Jackson. It sounded just like a lawyer. It was the first time we heard Jackson’s entire dilemma from his point of view. Walt Wiley spoke to the camera the same way Jackson addresses a jury and it worked.

I wanted to like Kendall’s soliloquy, really I did. The problem is that Kendall has been (understandably) in hysterics for the past three weeks. Most of her soliloquy was delivered in much the same fashion. I tend to tune out hysteria after two days. Still we did get insight into why Kendall isn’t spending more time with Ian. Kendall’s reasons are fairly illogical but then logic cannot be expected from a woman who has been hysterical for the past three weeks.

Erica. Erica. She has been so compelling these past few weeks that her soliloquy was almost jarring. Susan Lucci does her best work when interacting with other actors. Imagine how much different her scenes would have played had Erica been expressing those feelings to another person, like Myrtle or the inexplicably absent Bianca. The best part was when Erica was talking about Mona and her death. Does anyone not hear Mona saying, “Oh, Erica” when Erica talks about her mother? 

What can I say about Ryan? While I don’t think whoever decided to give Ryan a soliloquy should be shot, I do think they should be severely chastised. When Ryan opened his eyes wider than humanly possible, it scared me. It scared me because as he walked towards the camera, I felt like a serial killer carrying an axe behind his back was stalking me. I don’t think that’s what AMC had in mind. What purpose did that monologue serve? We had already guessed that Ryan still loved Greenlee. Oh, wait, if Ryan hadn’t had a soliloquy how would we have known Dynamite Kiddo was dead?

What else. What else.

I enjoyed Zach’s eyes twinkling when he overheard Ryan yelling at Greenlee.

Was anyone else afraid that Ryan was going to poke Greenlee’s eye out with his finger?

Lily and her statistics of birth control. Are Lily’s statistics going to be a weekly thing now?  Please say no.

 “Spike may be your baby, but you’re mine.”  That’s the Erica that’s interesting to watch.

“Get him out of my face.”  Derek, you’re not alone. A lot of us feel that way about Jonathan.

“She couldn’t sell shoes to a streetwalker.” I guess JR hadn’t heard that Ava is the FACE OF FUSION.

“Stop jumping all over JR. Did it ever occur to you that a public beach might not be the best place to lure a perp?” For the first time in years, I agreed with Tad.

“And now when Ryan and Kendall tell their son that they love him he can’t hear it.”  Greenlee needed to hear the cold truth from someone who isn’t a major player in Spike’s story. Surprisingly, Aidan was the perfect choice.

“Hey it’s Ava Benton, the FACE OF FUSION. Yeah, I totally worked it.” And thus Ava moved from character to caricature.

“Since when are you in charge of what happens to our son?” Kendall, haven’t you been paying attention? Ryan’s been in charge since Spike was born.

“Jack, Greenlee is unbalanced.” It’s a weird day when Erica and I share the same belief.

“Colby is opening The Cumback.” Aren’t there laws in Pennsylvania about a minor managing a bar, if only for a few hours?

“God, I pushed them away from me.”  I love Adam for the same reason I loved David Hayward-they are not afraid of admitting who they are and the terrible things they have done.

“What kind of person am I to take a child from its mother?” Greenlee, meet the Careys.  You have more in common than you might think.

I like the way Erica doesn’t let the SpikeIan situation keep her from looking perfectly groomed at all times. It’s just so Erica.

“It’s the worse feeling in the world when someone needs you and you can’t help them.”  It makes sense that Kendall and Annie are becoming closer. I have the feeling they will need each other even more as time goes by.

Could someone please explain to me why Pam acts like Erica is working for her?

So Zach hired Aidan to “take care of “ Greenlee. Naturally I must ask, how can I make Zach so angry that he hires Spotted Dick to “take care of” me?

Will this week’s spoilers be as upsetting as Dynamite Kiddo’s death? Let’s see.

Will the sadness never end in Pine Valley?

The audiologist tells Spike’s parents that their son’s deafness is permanent.

Permanent until the writers realize they have written Spike into the same corner where Lily resides.  Will they then create a surprise brother named Ike?

Kendall refuses to believe that Spike is permanently deaf. Kendall insists she won’t leave Spike’s side until he is cured.

What is Ian? Chopped liver?

When Jack visits, Kendal refuses to have anything to do with him until he has Greenlee arrested.

That rock and a hard place just keep getting bigger and bigger don’t they Jack?

Kendall dreams that she stabs Greens. When she wakes up, Greenlee is standing over her.

Luckily for Greenlee it’s against PVH policy for a patient to strap a knife to her thigh.

Greenlee hires Rasputin Dr. Hillard to treat Spike. She tells him to keep her involvement a secret.

And we all know how long secrets stay secret in Pine Valley.

Ryan accepts Spike’s condition and asks Annie to teach him sigh language.

The best part?    It’s difficult to shout while you are signing.

Bianca calls Kendall. Bianca helps her sister understand that it’s important to spend time with both her sons.

Frankly, I’m more interested in Binks explaining why she is staying in Paris instead of returning to the Valley. Binky’s presence would really help Kendall cope with an overwhelming situation. (Unless, of course, Bianca falls in love while visiting in which case she will be no help to anyone in her family.)

Annie secretly leaves town to visit Walter, her deaf father. Walter tells his daughter he never wants to see her again.

Annie is becoming more interesting with each new episode.

Ian needs brain surgery.

What?  Isn’t Ian is too young to be taking the the Job job away from his mother?

Greenlee tries to see Spike by pretending to be Bianca. Her scheme fails when she introduces herself as Lesbianca Montgomery.

Yes, I made that last part up.  (For newer viewers, Lesbianca is what Greens called Bianca until Leo made her stop.)

Other stuff happens, too.

Jonathan realizes how strong his feelings for Lily Ava are.

The only feeling I want Jonathan to have is the very strong feeling he should leave town.

The new- divorce becomes final.

It is highly likely that Erica and Jackson will remarry. When their second divorce be called the nu-new divorce?

Jackson and Erica celebrate their divorce in traditional fashion by having sex. Their bliss is destroyed when their recent argument airs on the New Divorce.

Exactly why hasn’t Pam been fired? 

Di and Aidan’s relationship ends when TPTB at AMC decide to test the chemistry between Aidan and Greenlee. To save face, Di tells Aidan she is moving to NYC.

I will miss that little minx.

JR witnesses AVA working the press about her heroic actions during the ill conceived drug bust.  JR decides he wants a little of the press attention for himself. Ava and JR fight.

In Jell-O? On second thought, scratch that. Ava in Jell-O is something I definitely don’t want to see.

Here’s to another week in the Valley!

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Kate's AMC Spoiler Archives For 2006

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