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How would YOU end ALL MY CHILDREN?

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Well...(sigh)...here's what I'd like to see:

Bobby Martin returns (no, not from the attic, lol). Nowadays, Bobby, or "Rob," works for a local TV station in Miami, FL. However, he is back in Pine Valley - a town that, by his own admission, he hasn't seen or thought much of since 1970, when he returned to California (after being away at camp) in order to live with his late mother, Helen's, relatives - to film a piece about the dedication of a wing at Pine Valley Hospital to his father, former chief of staff Dr. Joseph "Joe" Martin, now retired. Although father and son had been estranged for many years, they've had a chance to reconnect in the year-or-so since his retirement.

Back in Jan. '10, the Atlantic Press voted Pine Valley "The Best Town in America"; and TV personality (and former resident) Hayley Vaughan Santos even filmed a documentary about it for her series, "The Wave." But, Rob says, if what Joe has told him about the town over the years is even partly true, he has to wonder what the competition must've been like...

(In lieu of the usual opening sequence: montage of some of AMC's, er, 'wackier' moments w/ the current theme music. Now 'bad' wacky, but 'good' wacky, lol.)

With this (the dedication ceremony, along with Rob and his crew from the station covering it) as the backdrop, the final episode is, of course, about the culmination and resolution of all major, ongoing plots: Jesse/Angie, Cara/Tad/Jake, Rylee, Zendall, Chandler vs. Cortlandt, and so on. Interspersed throughout, however, are clips of various Pine Valley residents talking at first about Dr. Joe (who has returned for the ceremonies) and his impact on the town; but then, talking about the town itself.

Then, perhaps halfway through, a major twist happens: Erica, injured during her escape from her abductor(s), had been rushed earlier to the hospital. Joe himself pitches in to help stabilize Erica, but the unthinkable occurs: Erica flatlines on the table and is pronounced dead in the E.R.

That's when it gets interesting.

Erica (rather, her spirit) travels to the one place she's never been: the Great Beyond. There to greet her is former love, Jeremy Hunter (Jean LeClerc). Jeremy and Erica have a very tender reunion. Erica believes this is "it" for her, but Jeremy informs her that it isn't. She is as much alive as Pine Valley is, but she's there w/ him, because she has to learn a very important lesson.

(Cue montage of some of Erica's best - and worst - moments.)

Just as La Kane appears stumped about what it is she is to learn from her brief sojourn down memory lane, stepping onto the scene is her second, more important visitor: none other than Eric Kane himself.

Erica's reunion with her dad isn't quite as friendly. She demands to know one last time why she was never "enough" for him; why, even after she thought they had reconciled and that he was back in her life for good, he betrayed her by selling his Enchantment stock to Natalie and skipping town again. Eric admits it was almost too late to learn what he should have known all along: one cannot fill up one's life by seeking fame, glory and riches. To him, having a successful career as a film director meant validation not only of his talent, but also of his self-worth. That was all he cared about, and to hell with everyone else. In the end, though, what did any of that matter? He died penniless, forgotten by those he wanted to be remembered by, and scorned and pitied by those who still did. Eric begs Erica not to make the same mistake he did, but to appreciate what she has always offered the world. Erica asks, "But, Daddy, why wasn't I enough?" Eric kisses on her forehead, smiles, and says, "You are."

Much to the shock and bewilderment of everyone at the hospital, Erica survives her latest brush with death. (Tad: "Well, how about that? One of Dad's patients actually survives!") Just in time, too, for the final moments, w/ happy endings all around for everyone. When Jack sees Erica is alright and amazingly lucid (believe in miracles, people!), he pulls a surprise on her: he's rounded up the hospital chaplain, and this time they're getting hitched ("before something else goes wrong!").

Finally, there's one last montage of classic moments throughout the show's history, set to the original (1970-90) theme, with Rob Martin doing the last voice-over. When he was a kid, he explains, he didn't understand why Joe would choose to uproot their family's lives and move cross-country to "some town in Pennsylvania" - and that's why he eventually left. And really, the only reason he had come back was for Joe's sake. Talking with some of the residents, though, and hearing their impressions of the town, he realizes what he missed in the long run. "People come and go in Pine Valley, just like any other town," he says, "but there's something about the Valley in particular that sticks with them no matter what. Whether you're born here, move here, or just passing through on your way to somewhere else...Pine Valley is always home, and cliched as this sounds, there's just no place like it."

There's one last shot of Jack, the hospital chaplain, Greenlee, Bianca, Kendall, and their children and loved ones gathered around Erica, all superimposed onto the turning pages of a photo album. Then, at last, the photo album closes.

Fade to black.

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This is my take on the final episode...

It's been a year since Dr Joe Martin retired from the hospital and it seems time has done wonders for another Pine Valley resident: Adam Chandler. Arriving in town with Brooke in tow, Adam announces that he's donating the entire cost of a new hospital wing in Joe and Ruth Martin's name that will also carry a list of Hospital Patrons consisting of past Pine Valley residents. Marian Colby Chandler, recently sprung from the mental ward, declares it's time for a celebration, prompting Erica to offer to throw a party at the Valley Inn.

Everyone whose anyone in Pine Valley is at the party, including Hayley Santos whose there to celebrate her father's generosity. At the party everything seems be well in Pine Valley, couples are reunited, old rivalries are put aside (in Brooke and Erica's case, a few light barbs are exchanged) and life, for once, is peaceful.

Then, as the party clears out, Jack tells Erica he's going to drive Bianca home and asks if she's fine with coming home herself, Erica, needy as always, says yes, then pouts in the Valley Inn, all alone. The lights dim. The room is filled with streamers, glitter, balloons, scores of plates and champagne flutes and cutlery...it's a MESS, but a glamorous one. Erica hears wind chimes outside and opens one of the French doors, then, she hears Mona's voice from a scene from long ago, a soft wind blows against her and Erica smiles softly to herself, her eyes mist slightly, but she holds herself back and closes the French door. She then walks towards the banquet table hosting the pictures of Pine Valley residents past and present contained in a photo album (identical to the iconic logo) who have been added to the Hospital Patron Plaque (all the vets people want to see once more), as piano music twinkles in the background, Erica closes her eyes and we then have flashbacks and voiceovers of "The Best of Erica" from the first episode to the present day.

Erica opens her eyes only to be confronted with her own image in the mirror. The piano music grows louder as she studies her face in the mirror before finally saying, quietly and only to herself, "I am Erica Kane...and it's been wonderful"...as the piano music morphs into the original AMC theme song.


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this is what I mentioned in the other thread

Or the final scene will involve Erica in her penthouse. It would be a nice touch if the last segment could be the various families in their homes going through old photo albums. Chandlers (with Adam), Martins, Hubbards and Kane/Montgomery. Flashbacks as they reflect on specific photos. The final shot could be like the Kane women shot in the opening with Erica looking at the album alone, closing it and then putting it down on the table as she walks out of the room. The camera zooms in on the album and its the original All My Children book from the original opening

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