The Pine Valley Bulletin

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Established 1998

 

March 30, 2004

Tunes: The Cult "Love," Bad Religion "Stranger than Fiction," Love and Rockets "Earth, Sun, Moon," Peter Murphy "Holy Smoke," Ministry "Greatest Fits."

How to Piss Off Fans and Alienate Viewers

It's simple... lie to them! I'm going to jump right in with this weeks HUGE SUPER COLOSSAL I NEED TO BE SLAPPED AWARD to the powers that be at ABC Daytime for their out and out lie about the March 23 show. This show was billed as the event of the year, the most groundbreaking and gutsy move that has ever been attempted in daytime... a two hour show, merging AMC and OLTL. Now, since I'm privy to day by day spoilers for the shows, I ended up checking out OLTL's breakdown a couple days before the big show was to air and saw that out of about five spoilers for that day, only one was about the baby switch storyline and therefore relevant to AMC viewers. ONE. The rest, I'm assuming, were business as usual at OLTL. AMC on the other hand was an hour of that storyline. ABC Daytime duped, yes duped, viewers into watching OLTL by saying it was going to be a two hour show about this story. THEY LIED. It's not bad enough that they want us to suddenly watch OLTL if we don't already, but to blatantly lie in that attempt to get us to do so is unreal! Shame on you! This viewer will not be manipulated into watching a show I don't care about. If I cannot follow the baby switch storyline on AMC only, then so be it. And to viewers out there who do watch both, DO NOT send me OLTL spoilers, teasers, recaps or info. I don't want any part of it. It is not a show that I CHOSE to watch so I don't need to know what is going on there.

OK... now that I got the outrage out of the way, let's get to the good stuff! Bianca and Babe are missing and much of Pine Valley is in a panic at Adam's house. Where could they be?? Ryan and Greenlee, who were on some meaningless motorcycle adventure saw a reporter on the news attack Erica, Kendall and Bianca live on the air and as they raced back to try and help, they spotted Babe's car on the riverbank. Well they didn't know it was Babe's car until they searched the inside. They found Babe's backpack outside the car and Bianca's purse inside, but neither girl. Fearing the worst, Ryan and Greenlee go to Adam's and break the news that they found the car and the belongings in the river. Everyone momentarily fears the worst, then rallies together to form search parties. Ahh but that's not good enough for Kendall, she has to lash out at Erica and blame her for everything. Erica, probably feeling guilty, has nothing to say. David puts a stop to Kendall's outburst.

Meanwhile, Babe and Bianca have found shelter in one of the seemingly endless supply of empty cabins on the outskirts of Pine Valley and Babe has helped Bianca through labor, giving birth to her daughter, Miranda. After the baby is born and she and Bianca are comfortable, Babe goes out for help and happens upon David's cabin, breaking in. She doesn't know it's David's though and is just grateful for a working phone. She calls the hospital for help (um... Babe honey, didn't anyone ever teach you 911). They think she's a nut and tell her to call 911 (duh) but as luck would have it, she asks for Paul Cramer and he happens to be there, so the nurse hands him the phone. Babe begs him to come and help her and Bianca with his helicopter, but Paul thinks she's tricking him. She tells him she's in labor and needs help. Paul hangs up on her after Joe tells him not to use the phone for personal calls and is about to go on his merry way. But just then, Jamie and Maggie arrive and tries to get Paul to help them search too. Paul realizes that Babe wasn't just blowing smoke up his ass with her story, but refuses to help, saying he's needed for an emergency in Llanview. Little do we know, Paul is really going after Babe. And Babe, who still has a phone in her hand, goes to call Chandler Mansion but in the process knocks the phone out of the wall by tripping over the cord when her mother answers. The plug broke and she is in too much pain to go looking for another phone in the cabin. Babe braves the labor and goes back to the cabin where Bianca and Miranda are. Bianca is unconscious.

Back at Chandler Mansion, Krystal and Erica lean on each other for support, hoping against hope their daughters will be found and be safe. Ryan and JR head out to search Babe's car and look for any kind of clue that could lead them to where the girls are. David and Kendall end up back at David's cabin and find the broken glass from Babe breaking in. David at first thinks it's from the storm but when he finds the phone pulled out of the wall, he figures out that someone had been there.

NITPICK: David realizes that it was Babe and, he thinks, Bianca too, in his cabin when he hits redial on the phone and Krystal answers the phone at Chandler Mansion. What's the problem with that? He was using a different phone. Redial only works on the phone you were using when making that call!

So realizing that the girls were at his place, David tells Krystal that they were there. A bunch of people who are searching end up at David's and then head back out to search after receiving the new information. Kendall rushes out on her own before anyone can stop her. Even Adam is feeling regret over wanting to get rid of Babe, but don't worry, that feeling will be short lived.

Just when all hope is about lost, Paul bursts through the door and helps Babe deliver her premature baby boy. We see him flashback to some woman (his sister it turns out - who made some deal with him about his Aunt Bessie's millions.... who cares?) begging him to get her a baby, so he goes out to his helicopter to get supplies and calls her, telling her he has a baby for her. He brings in portable incubators for the babies and realizes that Bianca is in really bad shape from losing so much blood. I don't think he really cares. NuPaul is not nearly as nambie pambie as the last one and actually is a downright jerk! He gives Babe a sedative while she talks about her baby boy and begs him not to put the baby in the incubator.

Paul puts Babe, Bianca and Miranda in the helicopter, but leaves Baby Boy Chandler in the cabin so his sister can come pick him up.

NITPICK: With all the people around the area, which is clearly close by to David's cabin since Babe got there and back, no one was around to see or hear the helicopter or follow it's landing pattern. Kendall said she thought she heard one, and I think Maggie did too a little later. But in such a confined area, everyone should have seen and heard it.

Paul then fakes a crash by meticulously arranging Babe and Bianca's bodies as if they've been tossed from a helicopter, then covers them with blankets and covers the incubator with Miranda in it with branches and leaves. He destroys the radio. When Babe starts to come to, he tells her that the incubator is in the river having been thrown from the helicopter when they crashed. While Babe begs Paul to find her baby, he drugs her again and goes back to the cabin to wait for his sister. Wouldn't you know it, Jamie and Maggie find the cabin, but Paul hears them and takes the baby in the incubator and hides while they look around and realize that the girls were there. After they race out to tell everyone what they find, Paul comes out of hiding and waits for his sister to arrive so he can give her the baby.

Back to the search, Kendall ends up back at the falls and Greenlee arrives just in time to stop her from getting too close to the mine shaft. Greenlee went there too, to make sure that Babe or Bianca didn't fall in like she had. Kendall, who needs to lighten the heck up already and stop being so damn hateful, doesn't believe that Greenlee was in the mine shaft. She just cannot seem to get over herself or her jealousy, even in this dire situation. And back at Chandler Mansion, Krystal and Erica bond through their common tragedy. Krystal helps Erica to stop beating herself up over what she said to Bianca. I'm loving these two and I can just see them as great galpals in the future.

Kendall ends up finding the crash site with Ryan and Greenlee not too far behind. As Kendall tends to an unconscious Bianca, Ryan and Greenlee tend to Babe. Everyone else starts to arrive on the scene starting with Jamie and Maggie, closely followed by JR, then Tad, Adam, Jack and Reggie. Greenlee calls David and then calls 911. Suddenly, they all realize there is a baby in an incubator at the site. Once David arrives, he tells them at both girls have given birth. Confusion abounds because there is only one baby. Just then Paul arrives back at the scene, only to be immediately attacked by JR, who is demanding answers. With JR, Tad and Adam all in his face demanding to know what happened to the baby they assume is Babe's, a panicked Paul tells them that his baby is in the incubator. It was Bianca's baby that went missing when it was thrown from the helicopter and in the river in the incubator.

Jack and Reggie immediately head out to go searching for who they believe to be Bianca's baby. Jack calls Krystal and tells her that they found the girls and that Medi-vac will be bringing them to Pine Valley hospital so they should get there and meet the arrival. He tells them that both girls have given birth but does not say that Bianca's baby is missing. Ryan tries to comfort a very devastated Kendall, but she turns her back on him. *eye roll*

Later, Jamie and Reggie get in Paul's face at the scene. Tad steps in and them off to go searching for Bianca's baby again. Turns out Tad just wanted his own chance to tear into Paul. Tad tells him that he knows about the annulment that never happened and that he's been lying about it and is pretty sure he's lying now about what really happened. Tad asks all the right questions... How did he know where to look? How did he find them? Why did he come alone? Why did he lie about where he was going? Why didn't he call for back up? Why didn't he phone ahead to the hospital after he found them? And Paul's panicked and angry answers? Babe called him and described where she was, he thought she was lying until Jamie showed up and wanted his help finding her. He left to go do the job he was supposed to be doing but couldn't stop thinking about Babe's call so he went searching and got lucky. Tad is buying none of it. You go Tad!!! Maybe he'll be the one who figures it all out in the end.

At the hospital, Krystal and Erica are relieved and thrilled when Babe and Bianca are brought. Erica is confused to only see Babe's baby and asks Jack where Bianca's baby is. Erica seems genuinely excited to see her granddaughter and Jack tries to explain to her that the baby is missing and tells her about the crash.

NITPICK: OK, it's one thing for no one on the scene (well David should have noticed) to notice that Babe's premature baby is actually full term, but now no one at the hospital is noticing either!?

At the hospital, Kendall isn't done ripping Erica a new one and blaming her for everything that happened. But Jack has had enough and tells her to stop! As Erica heads off to the chapel to pray for her daughter and missing granddaughter, not to mention praying for strength in herself to make things right, Jack takes Kendall aside to talk to her. Jack sits Kendall down and tries very hard to explain that Erica wasn't trying to hurt Bianca by not wanting her to have the baby, she was trying to spare her. Kendall doesn't quite understand and how could she really, this baby is her and hearing that the baby is a mistake by her own mother must have been hard to hear. But Kendall needs to get over herself. Miranda is NOT her, and the situations are different. Erica was 14 years old and did not want a baby but had no choice. Bianca is 19, not much older but definitely more mature than a 14 year old, and even though she did have a choice, she WANTED her baby. So while Kendall accuses Erica of making the situation about her and her pain, isn't Kendall doing that very thing? As Jack wipes the tears from Kendall's face and tells her they are family and need to act like one, I'm moved to give him PERFORMER OF THE WEEK. Jack is followed close in PofW status by Reggie who was so incredible as he fought to find the baby he so wanted to be a part of his family. His devastation was almost too difficult to watch it was so good.

In the chapel, Erica is torn apart by not being able to protect Bianca from all the horrible things that have happened to her. Her friend Roberto shows up to light a candle and she admits to him that she tried to run away and hide from all these things going on, but that she couldn't do it.

NITPICK: This one has been bugging me like crazy and I know it has bothered a lot of you by the emails I've been getting. WHY doesn't Erica know who Bobby Warner is!? Not only is he one of her dearest friends (Palmer) grandson, he was at one time her very best friend's (Opal) step grandson. Not to mention that Bobby was an adult when he left town, not a child and even though it's a different actor, he hasn't changed.

Krystal and Erica sit vigil with their daughters while they are still unconscious. In her delirium, Babe mumbles about babies and "him" leading everyone who hears to think she means JR, but she's really talking about her baby boy. When Joe finally arrives to give both Erica and Krystal the girls prognoses. Bianca is stable and expected to completely recover. Joe tells Erica that they found her in time or she could have bled to death. A nervous Erica asks Joe if she will be able to have more children and he tells her that yes, Bianca should be able to conceive again. Now it's Krystal's turn. The news for Babe is not nearly as hopeful. Babe has a very serious infection and fever that the antibiotics are not working on so far. Joe assures Krystal that they will keep trying until they find one that will work.

NITPICK: When you are brought into the hospital, one of the first things they do is draw blood. Why didn't they find the drugs that Paul gave her in Babe's blood?

A couple of random but noteworthy scenes: A very angry David relives the pain of losing Leora in missing Miranda. It's Krystal who helps him, realizing that he is not talking about Miranda but his own pain. Great scene! And the other is Ryan going to Kendall yet again, trying to urge her to have faith... something that is not easy for Kendall. Ryan tells her that he does indeed care about her and Bianca, yet again, and pleads with her not to give up hope.

While Adam is looking at his granddaughter in the hospital nursery, Brooke comes by to congratulate him. As I'm watching this I'm thinking Adam is being uncharacteristically human and showing so much concern for what has happened. He tells Brooke that nothing will ever hurt his granddaughter ever again. Brooke delivers this weeks LINE OF THE WEEK when she replies, "Do I have to be the one to break it to you, you're not God." But the when Brooke realizes that Adam has this baby's future completely planned out and has no concern at all for Babe or the missing baby, she is understandably appalled. Brooke has had enough of his callousness and literally slaps him upside the head and tells him off being so cold and uncaring.

Erica goes to Babe's room to see how she is doing and assures Krystal that Babe is going to be fine. Erica goes to her bedside and, while stroking her hair, thanks Babe for taking such good care of Bianca. It's then that Babe kind of wakes up and tells Erica how devastated Bianca was, how she felt that Erica was making her chose between her baby and her mother. Babe urges her to make amends with Bianca. Erica heads off to do just that.

As Erica heads to Bianca's room, she runs into Brooke who offers to help in anyway she can. Erica gives her an automatic snippy reply, but immediately regrets it and turns back to Brooke to apologize. I have to say that I absolutely LOVE these kinds of scenes between Brooke and Erica and it wins this weeks SCENE OF THE WEEK. These two who have such animosity towards each other always seem to come together when it's something that is really important. They have such honesty and mutual respect for one another that is much stronger than their hate for each other. Erica asks Brooke how she can get Bianca back. Brooke doesn't know, but she assures Erica that she's made plenty of mistakes herself as a parent and that all they can do is their best. Brooke tells Erica how much she admires and her deep love for Bianca. The two embrace and I'm a mess of tears. Never ever should these two be friends, I love that they hate each other but that they deep down have such respect for each other. It's a complex and interesting alternative friendship.

Lena is finally back in town and sits at Bianca's bedside, torn apart by even more heartache that Bianca has to endure. She is momentarily angry at Maggie for not trying harder to reach her in Chicago, but both realize she couldn't do anything anyway. Lena goes back into the room to sit with Bianca but soon Bianca wakes up and she races out to tell everyone. Unfortunately what she is greeted with is the search teams return with the destroyed incubator. The searchers feel there is no way the baby could have survived and have changed the status of the search from rescue to recovery. Devastation hits everyone there.

OK... now that we're all caught up, what do I think of the whole thing? Aside from the obvious holes (Babe's baby was premature and no one notices that she's full term. I'm assuming Babe will remember she had a boy. I would think that Bianca would recognize her daughter, but I don't know... just to name a few), and the crossover nonsense, I think this has the making of one of the most incredible storylines ever. Sure, I would have liked to see it go other ways... like having the Chandler baby not survive and see how JR and Babe deal, if they stay together and what Adam does. Or having Bianca have a baby that she gets to keep and see how her bond with Kendall will tighten and how Erica deals or if she accepts the baby. This is stuff we won't ever get to see. Depending on how long this storyline goes, we may never see Bianca bond with her baby or Erica learn to accept that the child is innocent and grow from it. Those things don't matter since we cannot change them. What does matter is what we got.

I've heard so many complaints that start with something like, "Bianca deserves to be happy" or "Bianca has had enough heartache." I'm sorry, I can't agree with those statements because those are not what soaps are made of. The greatest soap characters endure heartache after heartache only to survive and move on to the next one. They give us hope. I wonder how many of the people who complain about the sheer sadness of this storyline sight Brooke's young daughter Laura being killed by a drunk driver as one of their all time favorite storylines. That was equally dark and heartbreaking. It's the performances that drive these storylines and makes them memorable. So far, I have not been disappointed by performances of any of the major players involved. It's those performances that have kept me watching AMC through the good, the bad, the far fetched, the heart wrenching, the moving, the totally amazing. Bianca's heartbreak is so real that I weep along with her. Eden Riegel has a lot to be proud of in her acting, so many on AMC do. So before you complain about how sad it is to watch, ask yourself if you can't wait to see what happens next... if you sit by your TV with bated breath and a box of Kleenex, ready to weep with your favorite residents of Pine Valley another day. I know I am! But I'm still pissed off that they did not keep it an AMC storyline only. But hey, at least they didn't give Paul's sister Bianca's baby. I'd feel more inclined to watch another show to see Miranda. But as it stands now, I don't need to see what is going on with Baby Chandler. I'm not nearly as invested in that child.

MEANINGLESS DRIVEL OF THE WEEK... Bobby has planned a romantic dinner for Anita in an effort to win her back after he cheated on her. It's in a hospital room and since she's on duty, he even remembered to get sparkling cider instead of wine or champagne. Do you realize that per capita, Pine Valley is the largest purchaser of sparkling cider in the world!

Maria has finally accepted that fact that Edmund wants to have surgery. On her sister Anita's advice, Maria has sexed herself up and is bringing Edmund a wonderful meal to eat in bed. That's a mean thing to do to a guy who's paralyzed!! What is she thinking? Oh, I know what she's thinking, "I sure hope that Edmund doesn't fail the oral!"

Hmmm...what grade to give the show, great acting but I'm disgruntled by the lie ABC Daytime told. I'll give it a B-, it's not really the shows fault that ABC Daytime's execs lied.

 

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