POW! La Lucci Really Delivers A Punch This Week (but isn't she forgetting something?)

I've really, really been looking forward to AMC this week...not so much because I'd figured out that, by now, the Mirabess Reveal would have finally been shared with Bianca, but because it was Erica's time to hear the truth. And we all know how that lioness reacts when one of her cubs is done wrong.

While Tad was relating the story of the Great Baby Switcheroo to Erica, I was intently watching her reactions. She did not disappoint. (All together now: EMMY REEL!) Her facial expressions, changing in sync with each new tidbit of information, were just so...Erica. As she absorbed Tad's story, you could just sense the rage, growing and simmering within her.

With Tad gamely whispering in her ear that she could not, must not reveal the truth just yet, the self-control that Erica showed when face-to-face with JR seemed as much physical as mental. You could almost see her shake with rage, but not quite. But then she sees Krystal and WHAM! (I would have loved to have seen some of the graphics from the old "Batman" tv show -- WHAM! BLAM! KAZOOM! -- pop up on the screen, but I guess that's just too campy even for AMC. Plus, I'm dating myself.) All that pent-up emotion unlashed in a patented Erica Kane bitch-slap, delivered to a well-deserving recipient. (I hope she practiced her faux-slap over and over again before letting loose on actress Bobbie Eakes, because that slap just reverberated!)

Then, in private, Erica vented her rage at Krystal and David. Did you notice a little aside from David, something along the lines of, "Erica, you should be the last one pointing fingers"? I did. Hmmm. To what could he be referring?

Of course! In 1997, Erica delivered Maria Grey's biological child in a secluded cabin! Sound familiar? Then, if memory serves, she took the baby in order to get help, and her car was later found in a lake. Baby? What baby? Gone. Shortly thereafter, Erica claims to have flown to Russia to adopt a baby girl (and then flown right back to Pine Valley with said baby). No thought to how Maria's life might be ripped apart by the birth, then loss, of her child (damn, this sounds so...recent!). Then again, since the child was conceived with Erica's then-husband Dimitri, perhaps Erica felt entitled to the tot. However, motherly outrage aside, it's not so far off from what Babe did to Bianca, so maybe a little bit of understanding would not be out of line for Erica. Wait, what am I saying? This is Erica. Whatever Erica does is fine. Mess with her or someone she loves, and that's another thing entirely.

Now, was David cryptically referring to Erica's own act of babynapping? I believe so. The character of David was originally introduced in 1997, so the time frames overlap. Besides, the two of them were romantically involved at one time, so it's not inconceivable that some pillow talk could have included, "Oh, remember the time I saved that innocent little girl from that nasty woman who slept with my husband?" "Yes, sweetheart, and you were right to do it. Now please don't attempt to damage my operating hand again, or I'll never be able to transplant a heart into Brooke's daughter. Kiss, kiss." "BROOKE'S daughter?" Fade to commercial.

Getting back to present-day babynapping, Wednesday's clips of Erica and Bianca from birth to out of the closet to "Bianca...did he rape you?" served well to remind the audience how close mother and daughter have been, and through some of the worst moments imaginable. They enhanced the scenes of Erica sitting by Bianca's bedside, telling her how much she was loved and how they would get through this together.

Since this column is being written prior to week's end, that's as much as I know of the story to date. However, if Susan Lucci maintains the high level of acting she's displayed thus far, I have no doubt that Erica's part in the long-awaited conclusion to the babyswap story will continue to be engrossing, thrilling, and, quite possibly, the highlight of the whole bloody thing. Yes, the moment when Bianca is FINALLY reunited with her baby will be a lovely Christmas present to all (especially the viewers), but giving Susan Lucci material like this and letting her run with it is just beyond good. It's what keeps us watching.

Again, repeat after me: EMMY REEL!

December 8, 2004

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