Author Topic: Take Her Back to Manhattan - Episodes 7 & 8  (Read 1650 times)

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Offline Luciaphile

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Take Her Back to Manhattan - Episodes 7 & 8
« on: December 02, 2004, 04:05:33 PM »
One lonely little fashion note (these take place on the same day as last episode so everyone is in pretty much the same togs).

Roger's Wal*Mart dress shirt is back! That Ramses chick has chosen to have him pair it with an exceptionally ugly tie; it has one of those squared off ends and it looks very cheap. He's supposed to be wealthy. Even if he has run through his money, I would bet my puny little salary that he's the sort of guy who'd go into hock rather than look like this.

This is still when they were using film footage for the exteriors and it works out surprisingly well. Once again, I point out that the Evans Cottage appears to have two stories. Anyhow, what ensues is pretty funny stuff. I rather like the Roger/Sam encounters because a)the two men hate each other; b)they're both drunks; and c)they both think the other is beneath them. Ironies of ironies, Mr. Clean-and-Sober attempts to forcibly withhold Mr. Starving-Artist's booze. Like that's gonna work. If you were coming into the show with no knowledge of impending plot revelations, I'm guessing all you could glean from this is that they are deadly afraid of Burke Devlin and some sort of payoff was involved. It holds up rather well if you do know the details. Which says a lot because with most soaps they're writing this stuff by the seat of their pants (as well we know--all too well).

I hesitate to be critical about the other scintillating subplot of these two episodes which has Vicki going to Collinsport to make a phone call. I say this because I really don't know what would have been involved with making a long distance telephone call in those days. All I can say based on today's technology is MY GOD IT TAKES FOREVER. There's Vicki getting change. There's Vicki placing a call. There's Vicki hanging out in the diner because the line is busy (evidently the Hammond Foundling Home only has one phone line, which makes as much sense as the 1897 Collins family having not one but two separate lines). There's Vicki back again on the phone. Then there's Vicki in the diner. And finally when I'm starting to think it would have been faster if she'd hopped on a bus to New York, there's the phone call, which takes about a minute of air time.

Now this is something I do know about. Who the hell orders donuts in a diner? Seriously. I adore diners, always have. I've watched how people order. Even if they have donuts available, they're most often a purely decorative item, kind of like gas station hotdogs. You just don't know how long they've been there. Maggie engages in some fairly clumsy flirting with Burke. Yeah, yeah, I know. It's partly auld lang syne kind of stuff, but her forced overt friendliness reads as something else entirely.

Maggie informs Vicki that "You couldn't pay me a hundred bucks a day to work at Collinwood," which frankly given the hell she undergoes later on when she does work there seems paltry.

Roger's face could be used as a picture of a person about to have a stroke. To say he's furious that Sam and Vicki spoke is an understatement. What I really like about Louis Edmonds is how quickly he goes from crazed fury (yelling at Sam) to modulated charm (on the phone trying to locate Vicki).

Back in the never-ending phone call subplot, Burke tries to figure out Vicki's connection to Collinwood. Vicki, who has little sense of confidentiality or self-preservation falls for this. Burke's point is that it seems odd to him that she'd leave the big bad city for a small town. It's really not all that weird. Money can go a lot further outside of major cities, which is why I actually briefly considered working in a library at an Alabama bible college. There are people who prefer the country or the small town. I'm not one of them, but the appeal to that notion isn't exactly all that farfetched. It also happens to be a fairly well-established standard of literature that characters need to leave the proverbial walled city to hit the sticks, okay, forest, in order to get the action going. Evidently unaware of these reasons, Vicki responds lamely, not even offering up an effective retort when Burke Burke brings up Liz's reclusiveness as a potential impediment to her taking the job.

"And this is your business because?"
"How was I supposed to know?"
"They do say the rich are different."
"Hey, as long as I get paid and my time off, they can all stay locked up at Collinwood for all I care."

Roger hot on the track of Vicki determined to find out what she knows, shows up at the hotel and runs into Maggie, who appears to have a malicious streak in her. Well, not malicious, but she's kind of like someone who deliberately sets off a bomb and then waits to see what will happen. It's more than curiosity. The scene goes like this:

Roger asks if she's seen Vicki
Maggie says yes; she's in the restaurant. Beat.
Roger turns to go into the diner.
Maggie pulls out the zinger that Burke is in there with her.

I'm not complaining. I like Maggie with an edge. It's just an interesting thing I never realized before. Whereas Vicki is just naƒ¯ve, Maggie knows damn well that the mention of Burke is going to set Roger off. So she lights the fuse and waits for the explosion.

Yikes. Sam poured himself about a cup of liquor. And then he goes back for more. He's worse than that creepy Sandra Lee chick (the one on the Food Network who massacres innocent things like prosciutto and makes cocktails involving 4 cups of vodka, pair juice and junk). At least, he's not bothering with adding graham crackers and butter to his drink (and no, I am not making that up). What I do like here is that Burke's self-confidence and presuppositions are for the first time genuinely shaken. It's a sad moment when he realizes that Sam is a drunk.

Elizabeth and Carolyn are in Vicki's room. Carolyn demands to know why they hired Vicki rather than a local. She's not buying her mother's line, and sets off her own little bomb about just why Vicki decided to pop into town for her six-hour phone call. Little Miss Stoddard knows how to pull her mother's strings quite well.

When finally Vicki reaches Mrs. Hopewell and starts asking her questions about how Liz got her name, it's enough to make me want to hit her. These are the questions you ask before you take the job.

Elizabeth debates the wisdom of getting rid of Vicki. Carolyn after approximately 18 hours of acquaintanceship (8 spent asleep and 6 spent with Vicki in town on the phone), declares this impossible. Vicki is a friend. Uh huh. My mom would never have fallen for this crap.

The luscious Mr. Crothers pops in with flowers. Elizabeth is hardly subtle about her approval of Joe and his intentions. Carolyn . . . Carolyn apparently would rather have a root canal than marry him. Honey, look at the man. He's gorgeous. I like this moment. Carolyn, although she and the writers didn't realize it, is at a fork in the road. This is going to be one disastrous decision. While, I'm not sure that Joe or even marriage was necessarily the best thing for her, the girl had no plan. By opting to stay at Collinwood and it allows her to stay self-indulgent and self-absorbed. Some people just need to leave home and be on their own to become mature adults and Carolyn's one of those people. Anyhow, Carolyn who is not a stupid girl, figures out that Liz arranged Joe's promotion.

I can't tell from my notes how or why Carolyn ends up in the foyer alone (I'm sorry, I'm not used to having to add all this plot detail, but since I'm doing these in the order I set rather Sci-Fi's broadcast dates, it seems like it's necessary to include). Vicki comes back and Carolyn gets really overly dramatic about it all. Yeah, any doubts I had about her influencing Vicki to ask her mother questions about Paul--totally gone. Carolyn's got the "close" relationship with Mom, but she's got a ton of suppressed resentment there too. When she takes up with Buzz, it's just come to the surface, that's all.

La Liz is less than thrilled that Vicki went into town for the purpose of checking up on her. She's also pretty icy. Vicki isn't very good at reading moods apparently because she comes across as self-absorbed and unaware of these undercurrents.

Meanwhile back in New York, Mrs. Hopewell suddenly seems to care about her former charge. She's dictating a letter to a secretary, which to me indicates that this has to be a relatively large concern. That only has one phone line. Apparently Wilbur Strake has been around posing as a magazine writer. Since the only publications that would hire Wilbur are things like these, Mrs. Hopewell figured out he was a fake. Now she's got a fire under her bum and she wants to know what's going on. I have to wonder about this dame. She practically pushes Vicki out the door with "the job pays well" and only seems to start asking questions after the fact--when it's interfering with her life.

"Some people ask their god for answers to their spiritual questions. For everything else, there is Google." --rpcxdr-ga