I gotta tell ya, I’ve known the “big secret” about ATWT’s Riley for months and I still got chills at the end of today’s episode. I cannot say enough good things about Ellen Dolan, who has played the notes of Margo’s grief and gradual acceptance of Riley perfectly as this story unfolded. Why she’s frequently wasted as the hapless cop who always shows up at the end of a big story instead of being a part of it, I’ll never know. At any rate, I think a part of Margo knew who Riley was from the moment he arrived in town. That became hauntingly clear with each passing day but crystallized today, when her naked emotions turned into a flat directive for Casey to quit digging into Riley’s identity. Steel crept into her eyes and her voice. And if I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now: I freakin’ love when Margo goes all badass and pulls her gun on people. It’s just too bad that Colonel Homophobe managed to surprise her, get her off balance, and squeeze off a shot. However, what happened afterwards was arguably the soapiest thing I’ve seen on ATWT in weeks. At least until next week’s set of Emily-related reveals, that is! Riley and Mayer grappling for the gun and then Riley running to Margo…stricken, holding her close, gasping out, “Mom!” Oh, man. It was awesome. As I said, I knew he was Adam, but I’m really hoping that there are viewers out there who were surprised by that moment.
I have to give props to Tom Degnan, by the way. I think he’s done a good job so far as a man desperate to make amends and forge family bonds. It’s going to be interesting to see how his performance changes now that he’s Adam and not Adam-pretending-to-be-Riley.
Speaking of Adams, I’m also incredibly impressed by Michael Muhney, who stepped into the role of Y&R’s troubled Newman scion yesterday. He hit the ground running. There may have been a little unevenness on his first day, but who can blame him? He’s never done soap before! Today, any trace of unfamiliarity seemed to be gone, and I felt he really embraced Adam. That was encapsulated in the scene where Adam spoke aloud to Hope, raging about how his twisted side had come from Victor. Is Adam a whiner who needs to get over his daddy issues? Yes. Does that make him any less compelling as a villain? No. And then, when Rafe came in and started searching Adam’s room, I actually started laughing. Adam’s desperation was palpable, and I loved that you could see the instant his kooky plan to dive t Rafe’s attention occurred to him. He awkwardly fumbled with Rafe’s shirt, patting at the buttons, and then lowered the boom about his “feelings” for the young lawyer. And, boy, do I mean young. Who gave Yani Gellman that 12-year-old Catholic schoolboy haircut? Sure, Adam’s a skeeve for manipulating a gay man, but he’s a bigger skeeve for putting the moves on somebody who doesn’t look old enough to shave! Hee! In any case, Rafe’s deer-in-headlights expression at Adam’s confession made me laugh and laugh. Oh, Adam, what a tangled web you weave…
originally posted on soapoperaweekly.com