Maybe simply have Mason realize that, while a part of him would always love Mary and be grateful to her for making him realize he could love and be loved, time has changed him and he was IN LOVE with Julia. (Assuming it would be a back from the dead deal.) I could see Mason at first choosing Mary, but still feel intellectually/emotionally drawn to Julia [M/J had the wit/intellectualism and their profession as lawyers in common to keep them in each other's orbit naturally, not to mention Samantha!], and have to fight to win Julia back. Heck, I could see Julia involved with Michael and Mason having to compete.
Then, when Julia and Mason reunited, Mary and Michael could at first just commiserate together, and have things progress from there.
More memories are coming to me after some of your responses.
I remember adopted Laura #2 being pretty unpopular from the get-go; I remember people commenting what a lousy, laughable actress Allen was (as compared to Lauren Roman, whom many people seemed to have found superior in the acting department) and how the character seemed to have a completely different personality.
I now remember her “scheming bitch” phase, and her scheming with Vanessa (“Proteus”).
The whole “teen drug” story (which morphed into “Proteus”) from that time was laughable. I believe the drugs were supposed to be Ecstasy or something.... but the writing & acting were not very good.
I remember 1994, with Louie Greco and Julia and Noah, and the writing/production/acting had a gritty realness then (as much as you could get on a Daytime soap) that was so much better in comparison.
I guess it’s unfair to compare an “adult” heroin plot point to “teen Ectasy,” but....