‘One Life to Live’ Delivers Gruesome Execution

by | September 2, 2011 at 3:37 PM | Deep Soap

Victor’s Murder On “One Life To Live”

If “One Life to Live’s” Victor (Trevor St. John) had to die in a poorly timed murder mystery that cut short a storyline that has enthralled viewers, improved the show’s ratings and could have generated years of material, at least the execution (pun intended) has been compelling. Victor has one of the most realistic, gruesome death scenes that I have ever seen on daytime. Instead of dying instantly from being shot in the chest, he lingered, drifting in and out of consciousness as Tea (Florencia Lozano) attempted to save him. He convulsed. He spit blood. This is what happens when someone dies from a gunshot, something daytime tends to gloss over.

Then after what seemed like an eternity, paramedics arrived and quickly pronounced him dead. This is the show’s out if, by some miracle, St. John comes back either for the show’s ABC finale or its internet incarnation. Those paramedics were awfully eager to declare him dead and zip him into a body bag. They could easily have been employees of Irene’s rogue government organization who were dispatched to fake his death, and take him to the compound in Louisiana where Todd (Roger Howarth) was held captive.

The unexpected twist was Jack (Andrew Trischetta) turning up unconscious at the hospital. Someone knocked him out, stole the keys to Victor’s house, then dropped him off by the ambulance. When he woke up, he revealed he was by the front door when someone hit him from behind. This means whoever did it wanted him to be safe. That points to either Brody (Mark Lawson) or Tomas (Ted King). Though Todd pulled the exact same stunt with a party entertainer in order to disguise himself as Spiderman at Sam’s birthday party, and also accidentally knocked out Jack when he was in lurker mode, I don’t believe he would ever hit his son on purpose. I could also see Rex (John Paul Lavoisier) or Shane (Austin Williams) hitting Jack, then being filled with remorse, bringing him to the hospital, and leaving Jack’s keys behind for the actual murderer to use.

The scenes of everybody who cared about Victor grieving — minus, so far, Viki (Erika Slezak) — have been incredibly moving. I like that everyone was given a different reaction. Tea was shocked and devastated. Dani (Kelley Missal), not surprisingly, was in hysterics. Starr (Kristen Alderson) was wracked with guilt for exposing Victor’s true identity and stopping him from fleeing to Hawaii. I think it would have been even more interesting if she had completely rejected Victor instead of telling him that she loved him. Blair (Kassie DePaiva),was torn between her sadness at losing a man she both loved and hated and her fear that Todd killed him. Even tougher, she had to hold it together and comfort her two children. Jack (Andrew Trischetta) proved that its possible to be a jerk while grieving, disowning Starr and preemptively accusing John (Michael Easton) of planning to let the killer get away with it as payback for Victor and Jack’s roles in Gigi’s death. It’s frightening that he still remembered to parse his language so that he did not admit guilt.

The scenes where Rex and Shane learned of Victor’s death (or pretended they were finding out for the first time?) from watching the news, and attempted not to seem too happy about it were chilling and darkly comic. Brody watching Tea and Dani grieve and realizing that, as much as he hated Victor, there were people he loved him, was a nice, subtle beat. Brody talking out loud to a photo of Liam about how Victor could no longer reveal that John was Liam’s father was not.

As frustrating and heartbreaking as it is that Victor is gone, my fears that it would destroy all of the show’s momentum are so far unfounded.

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