Unlike General Hospital, where poor Edward Quartermaine had to wake up in the hospital to an Emily lookalike and a degenerate bartender instead of his own relatives, One Life to Live featured heartfelt hospital scenes this week that were all about family. Mom and Pop Evans and Destiny all waiting for word on Shaun in the hospital, with Nora and Rachel nearby… Jessica, Clint and Natalie all gathered around Brody before his surgery… that’s the kind of thing that really gives a show a personal feel. How can you expect an audience to connect to a tragedy or an instance of trauma if the characters don’t pay it proper service onscreen, right?
I held it together through most of the Sept. 15 episode — even laughing inappropriately at Greg’s Hulk!Smash post-operation rampage through the halls of Llanview hospital — but pretty much went into basketcase mode at the end. Shenell Edmonds‘ Destiny shone as she confronted Greg and then wept privately with Matthew, and only a hard-hearted person wasn’t touched when Matthew painstakingly got out of his wheelchair and dragged himself to her side. When Eddie Alderson put his hand on Edmonds’ shoulder, it spoke volumes. He’s turned into such a solid actor and I love the maturity and gravitas he brings to Matthew. This kid’s going places.
Not to discount the adults on OLTL, because I think Daphnee Duplaix is knocking it out of the park as Rachel. She’s really made the character her own. Her performances just blaze with intensity and, no pun intended, passion. And Mark Lawson and Bree Williamson are magic together as Brody and Jessica. They really feel like two people who have been through so much and finally found a shelter from the storm within each other. This couple has a sweetness and an authenticity that comes from how natural the actors are together. I ached for Jessica as she realized Brody becoming a cop means she could lose him.
But good soap always keeps the possibility of loss in mind and strengthens the bonds of its characters accordingly. And OLTL ties its families together tight.