Oh, boy. So, yesterday was kind of rough. HAHAHA… yeah, that’s putting it mildly.
But it was also kind of awesome? I mean, if nothing else, I’m glad that One Life to Live went out with a bang, capping off a nearly flawless last few weeks (on top of an immensely entertaining last few months).
I don’t really feel qualified to eulogize this show; I’ve only watched One Life to Live sporadically up until the last six months or so. But regular viewer or no, these characters have been a part of my soap experience for twenty years, and it’s hard to imagine a world where Victoria Lord isn’t out there somewhere, suffering through trials and tribulations with her signature dignity and class.
43 years. One final episode. Here we go.
We pan over pictures of Vicki and her family on the mantel at Llanfair as a strangely familiar-sounding narrator tells us that…
Once upon a time, there was a woman named Victoria Lord Riley Burke Riley Buchanan Buchanan Carpenter Davidson Banks. She was the heiress to a vast publishing fortune. But even greater in number were the people she loved, her family and the town called home… Llanview.
Vicki and Clint have the DNA test results which will prove once and for all who Jessica’s real father is. Of course, in true soap fashion, they’re both wibbling ridiculously about who should open it or whether they should even open it at all. My God, you two! Open the damn envelope already!
Meanwhile, Jessica is hanging out in the foyer (as you do) sadly looking at pictures of dead Ford, who was awesomely killed by a rogue chandelier earlier this week. (And it was amazing. And all was right with the world.) But Jess is bummed, because he might have been a asshat, but he was her babydaddy/asshat, damn it!
Natalie walks in and asks if she’s okay as the narrator tells us:
Victoria herself had five children, who all grew up to have stories of their own. The youngest were beautiful twin daughters, as different as the colors of their hair. Jessica, the fair maiden, who somehow always managed to rescue herself. And Natalie, whose fiery temper could sometimes scare away the people she loved…
Jess says she’s okay, and wonders why Nat isn’t with John… which leads us to the man in question watching as Téa and Tomás have a tender reunion. I’m not quite sure how to describe Tomás’ outfit here. Homeless professor chic? I’m trying to cut him some slack, because he’s been held captive for weeks, but… dude. If you try going to Blair looking like that, you will definitely not be able to woo her away from Todd’s fine, besuited self.
Tomás wants Todd to pay for this sartorial abuse. And, you know, the whole “kidnapping him, holding him captive for weeks, and forcing him to confess to Victor’s murder” thing. Jeez, he’s so touchy!
And let’s not forget Victoria’s brother, Todd. His past hurts everyone he cares about, including his true love, Blair.
Yes, let’s not forget Todd! Who is currently bursting through the door to Blair’s bedroom while finally, finally making out with the lady herself. Can we all just pause here and take a moment to appreciate the fineness that is Kassie DePaiva’s ass in those jeans?
Looking good, girl! Looking good.
Anyway, Todd and Blair can’t stop touching each other and barely manage to stumble over to the bed, where she whirls him around and pushes him down at the last second. Hot! Todd’s looking kind of desperate. Blair reassures him she’s not going anywhere.
He has really perfected the woobie face, I’ll give him that.
Next, we check in with Starr and Hope, who have apparently used the patented Port Charles wormhole to get to LA in the space of about five minutes. And they’re going to be staying with… two people I don’t know at all, because I skipped over Starr’s high school years completely!
Um, okay, apparently, they’re Langston and Markko? And Starr is very happy to see them? Yeah, that’s all I got.
And then there’s Clint’s brother, Bo Buchanan, who has long sacrificed his own gain to protect the people he loves.
Back in Llanview at Roxy’s Fraternity Row viewing party, Bo and Nora are looking at a picture of Asa while Destiny tells everyone she’s going into labor. Shocked faces all around!
Over at Llanfair, Vicki and Clint continue to not open the damn envelope, and although they’re saying very nice things to each other about Vicki being Clint’s rock and Clint always being Jessica’s dad no matter what the results say… move it along you two!
This is the story of Victoria’s life, one she lived with love, laughter, tears, joy, sorrow, anger, betrayal, and forgiveness. And maybe just a few surprises.
We finally see the narrator, and it’s… Allison! (I can’t believe I didn’t recognize that intonation!) She’s written a screenplay of Vicki’s life and is narrating it not just to us, but also to a mysterious silent someone in the room with her who we can’t see. Dun!
I want to give a shout out here to my favorite version of the OLTL credits:
EARLY 90s PORN CHAMPAGNE FTW!
And… back! Starr has just put Hope down for the night. She chats with Langston and Markko (such classic soap names!) and mentions that her parents weren’t happy she went to LA.
Sorry to break it to you, Shorty, but Todd and Blair are too busy hotly kissing and undressing each other to be thinking about you. Except… Todd suddenly puts a stop to the proceedings and tells her that he “can’t do this.” I get all excited, thinking he’s finally going to confess, but… (spoiler!) he’s totally not.
Oh, well. Did I mention the hotness?
Across town: Tomás, the reason Todd should really get to confessing while he still has the chance, is chomping at the bit to go confront him and reunite with Blair. But John and Téa want Tomás to wait and let John handle things. Tomás pouts.
Allison talks to her mystery guest about Jessica and Natalie, who are continuing their heart-to-heart at Llanfair.
NATALIE: Jess, you don’t have to be strong. I know this hurts.
JESSICA: I thought I’d feel better now that Mitch is dead. But it doesn’t fix anything. It doesn’t bring Ford back [Ed. note: thank GOD] and it doesn’t undo all the evil my father did.
NATALIE: You know better than that. Mitch is not your father, no matter what I said that day.
JESSICA: No matter what we said. You are very much a part of this family.
Aw, girls! They head into the living room, where Vicki is FINALLY reading the results, although she’s so hilariously slow about it that even Clint snaps and tells her to cut to the chase. Hee!
Whatever she reads makes her gasp. WHAT COULD IT BE?
Elsewhere, pretty much all the adults in Destiny’s life are completely freaking out. Heh. Good thing her obstetrician is already in the room. Dr. Vivian takes charge, but drops the bomb that there’s not enough time to get to the hospital. This baby is coming now! She gives everyone orders — mainly to keep them out of the way, I think — and in the chaos, who should finally show up, but Matthew! Buching it up like David told him to!
Meanwhile, Starr lasts about five seconds before telling Langston and Markko that Cole’s still alive. She… is terrible at keeping secrets. They’re overjoyed, of course, but Starr’s happiness is bittersweet; she knows she may never see him again. OR WILL SHE?
Tomás wants to know why Teá didn’t tell Blair the truth about his innocence. Teá hilariously defends herself by claiming that Blair wouldn’t have been able to keep the secret (true) but that Teá could (not so much). Yeah, I love you, Delgado, but your poker face could use a little work. Just sayin’. She also spills the beans that Todd and Blair have been getting closer in Tomás’ absence. Tomás promptly loses his shit.
Blair doesn’t understand why Todd is pushing her away. He snarks amusingly about her awful curtains and I have to agree — who decorated this house? Please tell me that’s not Dorian’s terrible taste. I won’t believe it!
Todd asks Blair if she remembers coming to the airport to try and stop him from leaving for Ireland. She does, duh.
TODD: You said that you finally had everything you wanted. And that the problem with having everything that you want–
BLAIR: Is that you could lose everything.
TODD: The whole time I was away from you, all I wanted — all I needed — was to get back to you. To get back to our children. And here I am. Here I am.
BLAIR: You are not going to lose me.
TODD: Yeah, that’s what I told you. I said just that. Right before someone shot me in the back and stuck me in the back of a car.
BLAIR: And nothing was ever the same. Come on, Todd. Didn’t we both just say there are no guarantees?
TODD: It would be great if there were guarantees. Wouldn’t that just the great? It would make everything so much easier.
BLAIR: Oh, yeah, because then you wouldn’t trust people, and if you didn’t trust people then you wouldn’t get hurt.
TODD: People are unreliable. People do stupid things.
BLAIR: Not everybody–
TODD: Blair, I do stupid things. Every day.
BLAIR: Well, then, you need to know. Right here, right now… there is nobody in the world that I trust more than you.
Oh, my heart!
Vicki and Clint decide that the best way to give the girls the good news is to scare the shit out of them by dropping a bunch of cryptic hints. But eventually, Clint manages to spill the beans that he’s the biological father to both of his twins (soaps!):
CLINT: Jessie, whatever the test results say, please know that you always were — and always will be — my daughter. But… it’s awfully nice to know that it’s official.
And everyone’s disbelieving and happy, and it’s all quite lovely, and then Jessica says “Daddy?” in this way that just wrecks me and there are many hugs and tears. Perfection!
Destiny and Matthew are finally talking to each other while she’s still in labor. He doesn’t promise to marry her or anything like that — which is good, because that’s not what these kids need — but he does says that David made him see that he had to be there for the people he cared about. He also holds her hand as she pushes and adorably appears to be grimacing along with her every time there’s a contraction. Ah, Matthew. I’m glad your coma death was a huge fake out.
Then poor Shaun gets an eyeful of something that causes him to make pretty much the most awesome face in the world…
… and Destiny’s child is finally born! And it’s a boy! A boy with a fantastic head of hair! (And — according to Destiny, at least — the Buchanan chin.)
Bo calls David to give him the good news and thank him for talking Matthew into showing up and being there for Destiny. David, predictably, would like them to name the baby after him. Heh. The two families are now one.
Back at Llanfair, Jess is overjoyed that Mitch will no longer be a part of her or her children’s lives. And then she and Natalie team up to wreck me some more:
NATALIE: And we’re twins. Like it or not.
JESSICA: I like it. You know, I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but finding you is the best thing that ever happened to me.
NATALIE: Me too.
Girls! Stop making me cry!
Allison hints that Starr might be of special interest to her mystery companion. HMMM. WHO COULD IT BE?
Meanwhile, Starr and Langston talk briefly about Ford, who I guess Langston loved? Okay, not endearing her to me as a character, but there’s a nice line about how knowing he’ll live on through Ryder helps with the grief.
There’s a knock at the door and Starr answers to find a man sent by Todd. He assures her he’s not there to drag her back to Llanview; he’s just giving her a bodyguard. And that guard is Cole!
He’s been to see Patrick and Marty, but his family is with Starr and Hope if she’ll have him. And she will! Which is nice and all, but I’m thinking it’s going to make things a bit awkward when she shows up in Port Charles without him in a month. Details, details…
Blah, blah, Tomás wants to go kill Todd. Blah, blah, Teá thinks that idea is crap. Look, I like both of these characters, but nothing is going to come of this before the episode is over and we’ll never know exactly how it would have played out in the online version. So moving on:
Blair and Todd! Back on the hot train straight to sexville!
For some reason, Destiny was so convinced she was having a girl that she didn’t bother picking out any boy names. Bo half-heartedly suggests “David” (what a good Pa!) which gives Matthew the idea off naming his baby after his other brother: Drew Buchanan. Nora and I immediately choke up while Bo looks deeply moved. Happy tears all around!
The story of Llanview is ending one chapter, while beginning another.
Bo heads out to pull the car around, but he stops to tell Nora, “I love you, Red,” with his voice totally breaking in this really raw and real way, and it’s hard not to see this moment as the actors saying goodbye as much as the characters.
YOU ARE KILLING ME, ROBERT S. WOODS!
Natalie is excited to call Rex and tell him that he has another sister. Jess cracks that he might not believe them, since this is the third time they’ve found out they’re related. Heh. Then she tells Vicki and Clint that they’re the best parents in the world, and my heart grows another three sizes. But wait, someone’s at the door–
BRODY! He tells Jess that he was released yesterday, and is sorry about Ford. He’s going back to the special forces, but if Jessica ever needs him, he’ll be there. Aw, Brody! I think those crazy kids might just work it out some day, after all.
For some there is still a long way before the happily ever after. For others, it’s right around the corner…
Clint’s not wasting any more damn time! He proposes:
Vicki smiles through her tears and… that’s the last shot of Victoria Lord. Wow. SAD.
Over at the afterglow party, Todd and Blair are snuggling as he asks her to sing to him. (“You have a pretty voice.”) Awww…
BLAIR: Are you still afraid you’re going to lose me?
TODD: It’s always been you and me, Blair. I love you.
BLAIR: I love you too.
These two, you guys!
But of course, John interrupts the sexytimes — which is a bummer because Todd was just offering to sing to her and I have a feeling I would have enjoyed that. Oh, and also, because John has a warrant for Todd’s arrest for Victor’s murder. Dun!
Blair looks at Todd disbelieving and you can tell from the look on his face that all his worst fears have just come true…
But wait! Because the last scene of the episode reveals that Allison’s mystery guest is none other than… VICTOR!!! Alive and tied to the bed!
Y’all, I sat up and clapped like a maniac, I was so happy.
And… we’re done. *SOBS*
So, here’s the thing: I get that this wasn’t as much of a finale as the show would have had if they had known at the time there would be no online version. And I get that people will probably be disappointed. But it’s not like this was a huge surprise; we’ve known it would probably be like this since the PP deal fell through. And I don’t want to dwell on what could have been. Personally, I could wish for less of a cliffhanger and a few more flashbacks, but we still got closure for a lot of characters, a ton of family love, and a really intriguing continuation of the Two Todds saga. And if the show had continued, this was a hell of a set up for the next chapter.
I am sorry we’ll never get to see Teá or the kids’ reunions with Victor. (Hopefully, when the Mannings get to Port Charles, they’ll have a few expository conversations about how and why Allison managed to orchestrate his “death” and captivity.) But I feel good about the remaining characters. Like they’re going about their lives somewhere off screen. And you know what? They’re going to be all right.
Finally… I don’t know that anyone could give a better tribute to not only this show, but the entire soap genre, than Vicki’s speech about the last episode of Fraternity Row, so I’ll close with that:
… these families become extensions of our own. […] We know them so well. They’ve become our friends. We yearn for their happiness, especially when it’s hard won. We laugh as they laugh, we cry as they cry, and we can’t imagine doing without them.
Good bye, One Life to Live. You’re all in my heart, and always will be.