Deep Soap: The Countdown to the ‘One Life to Live’ Finale Begins

Meghann Fahy on "One Life to Live." (ABC)

Only Five More Days of One Life To Live

This is the final week of “One Life To Live.” A show that began when this country was at war with Vietnam, when computers were only used by scientists and often took up an entire room, when merely showing two actors of different races kissing was scandalous, evolved into a soap with its own fake internet (Llannet! MyFace!) that staged a mass gay wedding, complete with a faux interracial gay couple. Then it got canceled.

OLTL has always been the soap that pushed the envelope, for better (social issue storylines that actually took stands on controversial issues) and for worse. (Eterna. Let’s be honest. There’s a reason there have not been any more soap storylines about secret underground cities.) So it’s fitting that it’s finale is proving to be equally unconventional. Of course, at the time it was written and filmed, everyone believed the show would continue on the internet after a brief hiatus. The ending was not designed to wrap everything up in a bow. But I did not expect the penultimate Friday episode to end with more cliffhangers than I can ever recall seeing on a soap. As the Statesville prison break continued, Ford’s (David Gregory) attempt to rescue Jessica (Bree Williamson) from Mitch’s (Roscoe Born) clutches  resulted in him being crushed under a chandelier, his life in jeopardy. As someone who hates the character, I was thrilled, though I realize it was tragic for the numerous Ford/Jessica fans. Bo (Robert Woods) and Nora (Hillary Smith) tied up Troy (Ty Treadway), and, after Nora and Lindsay (Catherine Hickland) finally made their peace after all these years, they gave Lindsay the car keys and sent her to drive down the mountain and summon the police. Her gleeful expression made it unclear whether she intended to follow instructions or keep driving until she hit Canada. There was only one problem: Troy shot Bo, and was bleeding. Nora had no choice but to untie the only person in the room with medical training, Troy, and hope that he wouldn’t decide to kill Bo. Hannah (Meghan Fahey) shot NewCole. Blair (Kassie DePaiva) and Starr (Kristen Alderson) rushed him to the hospital, because Blair only removes bullets from Todd’s (Roger Howarth) body.  John (Michael Easton) proved to be every bit as skilled a sniper as the church chandelier, and shot Mitch while he was holding Natalie. Then Jolie FINALLY kissed. And, oh yeah, Allison (Barbara Garrick)  undid one of the show’s most egregious retcons when she announced to Clint (Jerry VerDorn) and Viki (Erika Slezak) that Jessica was Clint’s biological daughter after all. Then she shot Viki (Erika Slezak) and fled. Clint (Jerry VerDorn) had a heart attack before he could call 911. That is six months worth of plot on “Days of our Lives”!

You have got to watch the powerful closing montage, set to Starr’s song, aptly titled One Life To Live. I will even forgive the cheesiness of having her actually singing the song in the hospital chapel. There’s only five shows left . We’re all feeling a little sentimental.

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We’re Just Getting Married, No Big Deal

I want to know why “The Young & the Restless” decided that proposing marriage in Genoa City is the equivalent of asking someone out for coffee in the real world. The latest perversion of the concept of lifetime commitment is Sharon (Sharon Case) and Victor’s (Eric Braeden) engagement. Victor has made it clear that his false confession to Diane’s murder and his installation of Adam as CEO of Newman Enterprises is all part of his latest master plan. So, apparently, is his out-of-nowhere proposal to Sharon in the prison visitation room. True romance!  Sharon and Victor have never dated. They have had a close relationship; he is the grandfather of her children. She has married both of his sons and slept with his daughter’s husband. In a moment every viewer would like to forget, she and Victor did kiss once years ago. The shame of the experience caused Sharon to flee town, and numerous Y&R fans to sustain damage to their retinas.

Since nobody wants to see the 70 year old Victor with the much younger woman who has always considered him a father figure, it comes as no surprise that Y&R has decided to pair them. Is it really anymore ridiculous than Jack (Peter Bergman) proposing to Genevieve (Genie Francis) after a couple months of dating, despite all of the other times jumping into a serious relationship with women that he barely knows has blown up in his face? Or Neil (Kristoff St. John) and Sophia (Julia Pace Mitchell) deciding to marry because they had a kid together even though he feels nothing but friendship for her? By comparison, Billy (Billy Miller) and Victoria (Amelia Heinle), who have already had three wedding in the year and a half that they have been together, actually seem rational. They should change the wedding vows in the G.C. from “until death to us part,” to “until one of us changes our mind.”

The only good thing that I can say about Sharon and Victor’s engagement is that all of the other characters are appalled by it. Nick thinks Sharon only agreed to it in order to regain custody of her daughter. Adam thinks she’s doing it to drive him away. Nikki sees it as confirmation that Sharon has been a gold digger all along, and has finally snared the ultimate prize.

I wish I understood what Sharon’s motivation for even considering marrying Victor. She has expressed gratitude for his help in proving that she did not kill Skye, conveniently forgetting that she was only convicted because he destroyed evidence and took the fifth. Neither of them is pretending to be in love with, or even attracted to, each other. Is Sharon really so afraid of being without a man that she will marry anyone who asks? Has she convinced herself that being Mr. Victor Newman will solve all her problems? Is this her way of remaining a Newman after being rejected by Nick and forbidden to see Adam?

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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