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I do agree that Marland slowly built up diversity in Oakdale, to the point where Jessica had the potential to be a major heroine. I wonder what might have been if he'd lived. I guess Tamara Tunie may have left anyway, but the last year or so of Jessica's material can't have enticed her to stay.

The problem was that some of Marland's stories regarding black characters, had..if not an uninteded racisim, a "out of tune," quality to them. Nella got pregnant from a "gang," member of course. Nancy Hughes has to teach the black girl to read, etc. Jessica was most successful but frankly, the character was so generic Marland, (cold and standoffish) that she could have been any race..(which I guess was the point...) But it was the same for all his characters, his poor and farm characters spoke the same as the Upper Middle Class and Very Upright Hughes family.

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I've mostly been watching some of these 1979 ATWT clips with my mother, among various other soaps, so we've still got a number of them to go. As a result of that I just saw this one, which is fitting, since it's set before Christmas and has a nice holiday vibe.

This was when they were marking time until the new stories began, but still, I appreciate all the time spent here allowing us to see Lisa coping, moving on, with the full support of those who love her and understand her and all her eccentricities. The scene with Sheila/Carol/Melinda giving her the cake is so rare - women supporting other women this way, unless it's for a bridal shower, is almost impossible to find on a soap. Even at this time.

Jay is such an exhausting character, but I do like Carol. She is such a classic soap heroine, especially those understanding, noble faces she makes when she hugs Jay.

Judith McConnell is giving such a strong performance for a totally supporting role. It's too bad they didn't keep her around. I guess career-wise it worked out for the best. I do wonder if at this time they already knew they were writing her out or not.

I love Nancy's thinly veiled disdain toward Sheila. Sheila is such a stealth bitch (repeatedly bringing up how lonely and isolated Jay was - who does that?). I wonder if they were trying to imply she'd shoplifted her dress.

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Rinehart was in the role until about 1999. Most of her stories involved being a lawyer, and she briefly dated Ben as a plot point for Ben/Camille. The only story she really had that gave her a chance to act was a few episodes in 1996 when racist Nazi lawyers and criminals were threatening the life of her daughter if she didn't comply with their plans.

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I actually liked the Jessica actress better then Tunie, who I found to be a cold fish. The other actress could bring the business like power attorney thing but she also looked like someone Duncan would want to bed and wed if you know what I mean.

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Such a packed episode, with such undercurrents of sadness, like most of this year of the show. Even the comic relief (Kirk and Ellie) were somewhat somber by this point.

My favorite scenes in this were with Connor, from her confrontation with Evan (where both are right and wrong) to her poignant parting with Scott, which made me more emotional than I'd expected. Connor was, by soap standards, such a realistic character, who always seemed a little worn down by life, but kept on fighting. She also felt less like a Barbie holding a briefcase than some other businesswomen on the show did in these years.

I had forgotten they had Walsh, Worldwide, AND M&A all duking it out at one point. It's interesting, but I can see why they cut down on this once Marland passed, as it's very complex.

I didn't realize Meg visited around this time. The Snyders were so quiet and somber, by and large, that they needed her punch to keep the plot moving.

Rosanna's back...zzzz. No wonder Tess fled down.

Lily's wearing some outfits I hadn't seen on her before. The last one kind of looks like a chic housewife from 1980.

I wonder if they were going to try Frannie/Hal if they'd brought Frannie back. Then again it might just be Marland always wanting every conversation to be eavesdropped on.

Oh Lucinda...

It's a shame what happened with Joe Breen. He and Liz Hubbard had real sparks.

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Thanks for sharing this.

Having same-day flashbacks, over and over, is extremely annoying, as is the music they have in the last scenes, and deadly dull Hutch and Rosanna, but otherwise it was a good episode with a good cliffhanger.

This episode is a good example of how MDM managed to give Caleb an edge that was unique in a fairly placid male cast. I've never known why they made Caleb a sanctimonious, self-righteous do-gooder after MDM passed away. His confrontation with Angel here shows that Caleb could never be "good" and "right," even when he wanted to be. (and what great work from MDM and Alice Haining).

Surprised Andy let Caleb drive drunk.

I love seeing Andy and Julie's friendship. It was so refreshing and not something you would have expected, especially since most soaps would have had her as the bitter bad girl spitefully wrecking his relationships. And Julie predated the "wassup?" trend by about 10 years. I also had to laugh with the girl who came by just to say goodbye and thank Andy for making her first time special. I'm glad Courtney at least commented on the weirdness of the whole situation.

I'm not sure why later writers assumed that Hal shouted and bellowed. As we see throughout this episode, Hal was often a very quiet, somber man, with a wry sense of humor. Episodes like this remind me of how much I miss Ben Hendrickson. I really like the bit of absurd humor with Frannie and Hal having to pretend Frannie isn't there. I do wonder where the show was taking their relationship.

Very powerful scenes with Margo and Tom too. This was when the show still knew how to make them seem like a normal couple facing serious problems. Her trying to be strong and then breaking down and telling Hal really got to me.

And I like how we see the romance and banter with Duncan and Jessica before we get to the reality of the racism they still face.

Edited by DRW50
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