Showdown At The Buchanan Corral
The epic battle between Clint (Jerry Ver Dorn) and Bo (Robert S. Woods) on “One Life To Live” Thursday was everything that a soap confrontation should be. Scenes like this are why I continue to find it the most entertaining soap on the air. OLTL wisely had Inez (Jessica Leccia) admit that she did not sleep with Bo, and that she was colluding with Clint to break up Bo and Nora (Hillary Smith), weeks after it happened rather than dragging it out for six months and using it as an excuse to destroy one of the best relationships on the show. That set the stage for Bo to point a gun at his brother and call him out on everything he did — and for Clint to readily admit it. “Did I set out to ruin your marriage? You’re damn right I did… Are you surprised? Do you honestly think that I would take what you and Nora did to me lying down? That you could snake your way into my marriage and woo my wife Nora away from me while I was busy moving heaven and earth to help your son walk again?.. When I saw Nora walking down the aisle towards you, and there waiting was your idiot grinning son David Vickers, I vowed to myself that I would pay you back in kind. Well, here we are, little brother. Here it is. Ain’t it a b-tch?”
Clint’s biting words actually gave him a point of view. So much of what he has done over the past six months has made the formerly heroic man seem like Snidely Whiplash, twirling his mustache. He is actually hurting, and feels like everyone he knows celebrated the downfall of his marriage. I also appreciated the reminder that he supported Matthew’s efforts to regain the use of his legs back when Bo and Nora were shipping him to England to prevent him from making choices about his own body. Clint is not simply using Matthew as a pawn. He does have his best interests at heart, at least in his mind, and in some ways seems to have more respect for Matthew than his own parents. I would have liked to see some acknowledgment that Clint’s journey to bitter town began when Kim left him. When his young gold digging bride was around, he forgot all about Nora.
But Bo pointed out that there was no justification for what Clint had done, pointing out that Eddie nearly raped Nora when he kidnapped her, and that Asa would be ashamed of what Clint had become. “I know the minute that you went after Nora and my son– your family, my family–that’s when you stopped being a Buchanan. That’s when you gave up your name. So you’re not one of us anymore. Right now, you are nothing… told my son that when you and I were little kids, we used to fight over who got to wear Pa’s hat. I don’t know who this belongs to now…but it sure as hell ain’t you. And never will be”
Then, he took Asa’s cowboy hat off the wall of the Buchanan stables. Clint and Bo’s relationship was severed, seemingly irrevocably. It goes without saying that Woods and VerDorn played decades of history and subtext, creating moments as powerful as anything I’ve seen in primetime this season — and they did it in what was in all probability one take with little rehearsal. The audience knows that Bo only found out about 25 percent of Clint’s misdeeds. I shudder to think of how Bo will be when he discovers that Clint has imprisoned his biological son, David and is denying his paternity of Bo’s surrogate son, Rex. The show gave me both payoff and anticipation, two key elements of soap viewing that are so often lacking these days.
Speaking of Bo and Nora
Apparently, Bo and Nora learned nothing from their mistakes with Matthew (Eddie Alderson) last year. They still cannot believe that their son, who is about a year away from legal adulthood, and who has endured more strife than most people twice his age, is capable of emotional maturity. Instead of telling Matthew exactly what Clint did, and why they don’t want Matthew spending more time with him, they just told him he had to quit his job at Buchanan Enterprises. Is it any wonder Matthew prefers Clint’s company? In fact, Matthew is smart enough to be wary of Clint, since he knows that he has gone to great lengths to prevent Rex from finding out that he is his father. If they had just been honest with their son, he would have turned on Clint. I know that lots of otherwise rational people are overprotective of their children, but this is ridiculous.
However, I approve of what the previews indicate Matthew’s reaction to his parents insulting treatment will be: Matthew and Destiny (Shenell Edmonds) sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G. At the risk of seeming like enough of a perv that the Parents Television Council will come after me like I’m ‘Skins’: that teen kiss looked kind of hot. I wasn’t sure about them as more than friends, but I will be shipping them big time.