Nope. Still not talking about Robin. BECAUSE SHE’S NOT DEAD, DAMNIT. Not with a body “burned beyond recognition.” And not leaving her daughter motherless in a random explosion that suspiciously echoes her own parents’ fake death. LALALALA ROBIN WILL LIVE FOREVER.
But that doesn’t mean Finola Hughes and Jason Thompson can’t still rip my heart out:
Thanks, guys! Appreciate it! I certainly didn’t need dry eyes while I was trying to cook dinner and pack for vacation last night. (Yes, I’ll be on vacation during the Mannings’ debut. The fact that I’m actually upset about this tells me I really need this vacation.)
So, anyway, let’s talk about Ron Carlivati! The show looks good. Doesn’t the show look good? First, let’s set the overly optimistic scene:
(Ahahaha… listening to those lyrics more carefully, I just want to clarify that I’m not actually trying to equate a writing change on a soap opera to the civil right movement. This song just makes me want to do a happy dance, okay? HAPPY DANCE, EVERYBODY!)
Anyway! RC’s report card for the first couple days is a mixed bag, but I honestly didn’t expect him to fix everything that was wrong with this show in an instant. I’m hoping what we’ve seen is setting up good stuff to come, and I’m willing to wait and see what happens. But things that I like so far include:
1. Better pacing — I may have rolled my eyes through a few scenes, but I didn’t feel the need to fast forward anything. Stuff moved. There have been honest-to-God cliffhangers.
2. Spinelli talking like an actual human being. Overly complicated nicknames, like most things in life, should be used in moderation.
3. Character moments! A lot of little ones in between the big set pieces. Spinelli and Jason, Monica and Sam, Molly and Michael. Hell, even Carly and Johnny, who I am otherwise not on board with, by the way. (She acts like his mother! Who wants to bang him! It’s… grossing me out, frankly.)
4. The fact that whatever is going on with Kate at least now makes me laugh instead of making me want to bang my head against a brick wall:
(When she knocked over the table and screeched her way out of the room? I think I died happy in that moment.)
5. The fact that I’m kind of into TJ and Molly now? Maybe it’s the fact that this show hasn’t had a proper teen scene in ages, or maybe it’s just the fact that the actor who plays TJ is far better than the material he’s previously been given, and now that he’s being written with more off a conscience, it’s letting him really shine:
Or maybe it’s just that any story that has the power to get me liking Michael again after his atrociousness lately:
MICHAEL: Look, everybody makes mistakes, okay? But the really smart ones, like you? You learn from them and you don’t do them again.
MOLLY: You make it sound like I did something great, when this is the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life.
MICHAEL: Name one thing you’ve learned tonight.
MOLLY: I don’t know, I can’t think.
MICHAEL: I think you learned that if people show up that you don’t know, for a party you don’t even know about, you don’t let them in. Okay, and some older guy you don’t know offers you a drink, you don’t take it. Okay?
MOLLY: I learned something else too.
MICHAEL: What’s that?
MOLLY: When I’m in trouble I should always call you.
Heart? Officially warmed.
Then there’s the things I loved less. (YEAH, TAKE A WILD GUESS.) The music tells me I’m supposed to be moved by Dante and Sonny’s latest détente, but because we’ve all seen almost this exact scenario play out approximately EIGHT MILLION TIMES BEFORE, I’m finding it hard to do anything but sigh. Heavily.
SONNY: Why would it surprise you that I want to save your life?
DANTE: I’ve had nothing but contempt for you for a long time now.
SONNY: What difference does it make? I’m only gonna protect you when you’re nice to me?
DANTE: I don’t know. Maybe?
SONNY: I wish you knew me better than that.
DANTE: I know you. I’m just getting to understand you. It’s a different thing.
SONNY: I don’t care how much you hate me; I would lie in front of a train for you.
OH, FOR FUCK’S SAKE. So now we’re supposed to believe — what? That Dante was only ever mad at Sonny because he though his daddy didn’t really love him? I mean, really?
Because from where I’m sitting, Dante’s problem with Sonny has ALWAYS been the fact that while he’d happily lay down in front of a train for any of his kids, he’d also happily shoot an unarmed cop in the chest if he didn’t know they were related. He’d plant a bomb in his daughter’s boyfriend’s car if he didn’t know she’d be in it. He’d raise his son to believe that power through violence is the only way to get respect. He’d believe he was above the law, time and time again, and steal, hurt, and kill to get what he wanted.
How any of that is suddenly wiped away by him getting between Dante and another bullet is completely effing beyond me.