I thought I was prepared for this. “One Life To Live’s” final month has served as group therapy. The Fraternity Row storyline mirrored the show’s cancellation, acknowledging what soaps mean to fans. The final weeks gave viewers so much of what they wanted. Natalie and John finally reunited. So did Clint and Viki. Though it involved a ridiculous retcon, Gigi was resurrected and married Rex. My suspicions that the Ford brothers were characters that were pushed on the show by the network were confirmed when Robert was killed by a chandelier and Starr acknowledged that she always loved Cole more than James. One of the show’s worst plot twists was fixed when Jessica turned out to be a biological Buchanan after all. Wednesday, a piece of OLTL even came back from the dead for the third time when it was announced that four characters, including my favorite couple, Todd and Blair, would move to “General Hospital.” And yet, here I am on the verge of tears, avoiding social networking because I live in California and xfinity’s slingbox, which happens to be in Philadelphia , near the fictional Llanview, picked today to go on the fritz.It did the same thing the day of “All My Children’s” finale. Even electronic devices hate to say goodbye to soaps.
The OLTL tribute episode of “The View” was better, in my opinion, than “All My Children’s”a few months ago. The cast did not seem as depressed, perhaps because they had the holidays to process the cancellation, perhaps because they know they are going out on top. Whoopi Goldberg even got in a jab at former ABC Daytime President Brian Frons, who axed the show, saying, “I pity the fool who took this soap off the air.” Fans were allowed to boo mentions that today was the show’s final episode.
And now, finally it is starting. I’m going to semi liveblog this by storylines. We’re starting with a fairytale style voiceover from Allison!? (Barbara Garrick) about Viki’s (Erika Slezak) life. She and Clint are about to open Jessica’s paternity results. After picking up everyone from yesterday’s episode, we cut to Allison holding the scripts of the final episode. She wrote it and she is reading it to an unseen person in bed. This better be Victor. This is so the final episode of “St. Elsewhere” and the snowglobe.
Somehow, Starr (Kristen Alderson) is already in L.A. She flew the Concorde. She reunites with Langston (Brittany Underwood) and Markko (Jason Tam). Yay! She tells them that Cole is alive. Oh, right. They would be mourning him. Does Langston feel bad about Ford’s death by chandelier? Yes, she does. But she’s glad she ended up with Markko. Todd has sent Cole to be Starr’s bodyguard. This is going to be really awkward for the GH transition. I wish I were more of a Starr/Cole shipper. It is weird that this all played out with a recast.
Destiny’s (Shenelle Edmonds) water breaks. Good thing Vivian, her doctor, is with her. It wouldn’t be a soap without a home delivery. I like that nobody else has any idea what to do. And, Matthew (Eddie Alderson) arrives. Time to cowboy up, Buke boy. Matthew is realistically clueless about labor. Matthew tells her that David’s pep talk works and he will be there for Destiny. Are we ever going to find out the identity of David’s long lost child? Or what the deal was with that girl who hugged Destiny in the hospital earlier this week? Maybe those were intended for the on-line show. The baby is delivered in a commercial break. That was easy. It’s a boy. Nice pan to a photo of Asa. David, off-camera on the phone, wants the baby named after him. The Evans were definitely going to be a core family on the on-line OLTL. Matthew wants to name the baby Drew. And this is where I start to cry. This show honors its history. By the way, the baby looks like it weighs about 15 pounds. Aww, Roxie is there to see the baby. “Life really flies by doesn’t it?” says Nora. “That’s why we’ve got to pay attention,” says Bo. Very Ferris Bueller.
Clint (Jerry VerDorn) is making a speech before they open the test results. It’s about their relationship, and it’s beautiful, but come on. Natalie (Melissa Archer) and Jessica (Bree Williamson) interrupt. Clint wisely tells her what happened, and that yes, she is Clint’s daughter. Natalie is so happy for her. Jessica is thrilled that her children don’t have Mitch’s DNA. That would be a relief. And the girls are twins again. Brody (Mark Lawson) arrives. Brody! Yes! He says he is sorry about Ford. He is considering rejoining the military. Wouldn’t his mental problems preclude that? Then he leaves. Jessica, tell him he can raise Ryder. The poor man just wants to be a Dad! Actually, a happily ever after wouldn’t be realistic here. Allison voiceovers about second chapters. Oh, this is torture because we know there really isn’t going to be one. But then the OLTL theme song plays as Clint gets down on one knee and proposes to Viki. Yes!
Allison says she has no idea what Clint and Viki did with her news – it will keep until the sequel. Ouch. A reminder that everyone thought the show would continue on-line when this was written.
Commercials: Oh, this is interesting. They are promoing the OLTL characters moving to GH on air already. That is refreshingly not stupid for ABC. But it does not lessen the blow. Hey, we also get to see Sean’s Nexxum advertisement. He probably has stomach problems from stressing about Destiny. Really, you are advertising “The Revolution” during the finale? That’s just insulting. And the local news is promoing a message from Erika Slezak. In L.A. wow.
This is the big one. Todd (Roger Howarth) and Blair (Kassoe DePaiva) are making out. They’re in the bedroom. And Todd pulls away. He feels too guilty about the whole murdering Victor and killing Tomas thing. Todd, it’s been eight years. This is no time for your patented sexual dysfunction. Tomas (Ted King) wants to tell Blair (Kassoe DePaiva) everything. John (Michael Easton) and Tea (Florencia Lozano) know that won’t work. Now Todd is reminiscing about Blair saying that the trouble with having everything you want is you might lose it. Todd tells her he does stupid things every day. True. Blair says there is no one in the world she trusts more than him, begs him to tell her what’s going on. What’s going on is Todd and Blair sex. Finally! It’s pretty chaste and quick. It’s a shame that with all that everything that had to happen in this episode, it got shoehorned in. We get a nice shot of Blair lying on his chest. He asks Blair to sing to him. I’m sort of glad she doesn’t break out in song. One singing Cramer woman was enough this week. Tomas vows to give Todd. what’s coming to him I’ll say he got what was coming to him, Tomas. He and Blair are having a great time. Then John bursts in to arrest him for Victor’s murder! Then we cut to Victor tied up in Allison’s bed!!! And Fade to Black Yes!No! Aaugh!
I love that Trevor St. John denied he came back to the show to keep from spoiling this moment. It’s both a resolution and a cliffhanger. Todd is not a murderer. Victor is alive. But what happens next? This better continue on “General Hospital.” It will continue on GH. But dammit! How the hell is this going to work? Is Allison going to turn out to be in cahoots with the Zacarras? Was Alison working with Irene? What the hell happened? This is insane. It’s a good thing ABC told everyone this storyline was going to in some way continue on GH, or people would be rioting. I feel simultaneously cheated, excited and perplexed that ABC did not realize that this was one of the best shows on their line-up in any daypart.
You know what? I’m glad OLTL got most of its sentimentality over with earlier this week. This was a thrilling, satisfying episode of television that would have been the perfect set-up for the on-line version. I’m going to rank it with television’s greatest finales. That’s right. I loved this almost as much as the ends of “Six Feet Under” and “Friday Night Lights,” which had the benefit of being actual endings.