Welcome to my first Passions recap! I could not be more excited. I have been unofficially recapping soaps at least since the eighth grade when I got in trouble in math class for passing my friend a note containing a recap of Adrienne and Emilio “making love” in the Kiriakis stable on Days of Our Lives. (Even back then, I knew enough to be sickened by that scene.) Anyway, TVgasm is a much better venue than math class — although I can’t quite claim that Passions is a much better show than, well, any show.
A note on logistics. My original plan was to just recap each Friday’s show while filling in events from the rest of the week as necessary. However, on my very first attempt, that isn’t going to work because my three favorite storylines did not appear at all on today’s (Friday’s) show. So I am going to fill you in on those three plots before jumping in and recapping Friday. Without further ado…1. Beth.
Ah, Beth. If you have ever followed Passions at all, you probably remember two things: Timmy the “living doll,” and Sheridan in the pit. If you don’t remember Sheridan in the pit, here’s what you need to know. (This happened a few years ago.)
Our boring heroine Sheridan was held hostage in a pit throughout her pregnancy. The culprit was Beth, the psychotic ex-girlfriend of Sheridan’s true love, Luis. There were a few things that made this storyline awesome: (1) Beth was psycho. (2) Beth had an equally psycho sidekick, a woman named Charlie who turned out to be a man and then ultimately turned out to be Sheridan’s evil father. (3) Beth and Charlie would dress up as scary clowns to conceal their identities from Sheridan. (4) Beth lived in a house with her hysterically funny mother, Mrs. Wallace, and (5) Mrs. Wallace’s live-in caregiver, a CHIMP named Precious. (The stated rationale was that the Wallaces couldn’t afford a human caregiver. To improve matters, Precious was in love with Luis and would have on-screen fantasies about the two of them together.) (6) The whole time, Beth was faking her own pregnancy by Luis by strapping a sack of sugar under her shirt.
Amazingly, Beth got away with the whole thing, stealing Sheridan’s baby and passing it off as her own. Years later, Sheridan and Luis finally figured it out, but Beth hit the road with baby Marty before she could be held accountable.
Now Beth has reappeared in Rome with Marty, and Luis is there looking for her! He thinks if he can find Marty, Sheridan will take him back. Right now she is married to (and pregnant by) some boring British guy named James or maybe Chris, whom she just married right before Luis came back from the dead.
All you really need to know about this storyline is that this week, Luis finally spotted Beth and Marty after a bunch of near misses, but they got away. Oh, and don’t worry, Luis called up Interpol, and so they are on the case. But what I actually want to share is that Beth looks like Michael Jackson now.
You’ve been hit by a smooth criminal.
I don’t know quite what happened here, but I’d say it’s pretty unfortunate.
2. The Catacombs.
This is some weird shit, y’all. It’s pretty much Grade-A Passions. (Actually it’s Grade-A James E. Reilly — the writer who used to work on Days and was responsible for things like Marlena being possessed by Satan.)
As you may or may not know, Whitney is now a nun, in penance for the fact that she had a baby by her half-brother Chad. Much more disgustingly, she and Chad slept together again after they found out they were siblings, because they are just THAT MUCH in love. (If you ask me, this is a dead giveaway that we will soon learn they aren’t really related — but for now, let’s go with it.)
So Whitney was a nun, and that was boring — until a faceless character I am calling EvilMonk appeared on the scene. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details, but basically, this guy convinced Whitney to undertake a super-secret mission on behalf of God. First, she would have to have her appearance totally altered, except she still looks exactly the same as before, only with different hair:
EvilMonk and the new, “unrecognizable” Whitney.
Then, she would have to sneak through some catacombs, break into the Pope’s private quarters, and steal a chalice and give it to EvilMonk. Why? We don’t know, but it’s for God, so shut up. That’s what this guy is telling Whitney, and she buys it. Meanwhile, he’s also telling her that she can never see Chad again in any capacity or she will DIE.
Chad found out that Whitney was in trouble, and he went to Rome to look for her. They had a couple of near-misses in the catacombs, and at one point a tunnel caved in on Chad. Whitney wanted to save him, but the monk told her not to be distracted from her mission. She tried to save him anyway, saying she didn’t care if she was killed for it. Because of her spirit of self-sacrifice, EvilMonk gave her a pass for her disobedience. In fact, he even told her that she was just like Abraham in the Old Testament, who was willing to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac just because God said so!
Whitney is just like this guy.
Actually, this is inaccurate. If Whitney were like Abraham, she would have been willing to kill Chad on God’s say-so, and she wasn’t. She was willing to die herself instead, which I guess makes her more like Jesus. (Except for the part where she had sex with her brother.) EvilMonk needs to brush up on his Bible stories.
Whatever. Don’t worry — Chad is fine. He and Whitney even had a conversation through a wall at one point, and she told him she can never see him again. He’s not cool with that because their son needs his mother (and his aunt!). (Rim shot.) But Whitney disappears while he’s talking to her.
3. The Three Dunceketeers.
If anyone has a better name for these three idiots, just let me know. I’m talking about Simone, Paloma, and Jessica. These three have convinced their friends and relatives that they are in Rome taking art classes, but in fact, they are on a dual mission to find Whitney and investigate a stolen-art conspiracy. The only things I know about this art plot are that Paloma first unearthed it while digging through some files belonging to Alistair Crane, and that each of the stolen paintings has a particular symbol somewhere on it. The symbol looks like this:
Also, this symbol appears in the catacombs, and on EvilMonk’s special key and special knife, and it’s also tattooed on Jessica’s lower back. What? Yeah, I don’t know either. If anyone was watching prior to this week and knows how Jessica came to have this tattoo, please fill me in. I’m guessing it has something to do with her evil pimp, Spike, who kept drugging her and possibly brainwashing her to kill her johns. So maybe Spike has something to do with this Rome storyline too?
Anyway, this week, the Three Dunceketeers managed to get themselves into trouble with a couple of sleazy Italian guys who have something to do with the art thefts. The girls almost got killed, but they managed to whack the guys over the head and escape. Now, they’re safely back in their hotel room. Oh, except that a mysterious figure is lurking around menacingly in the shadows, but they don’t know that yet. And it’s Spike — so I guess he is involved — what do you know?
The Dunceketeers, back in their hotel room alone, were responsible for my favorite conversation of the week, as follows:
Simone: And all that stuff I said about horror movies, and the killer lying in wait just biding his time waiting to jump on us — I was just being a drama queen.
Jessica: Yeah? I don’t know, Simone. I may have been a serial killer back when Spike had me turning tricks. And now you and Paloma are locked in here with me, and all these knives.
[waves dinner knife] [long, awkward silence] [insert sound of crickets chirping]
Paloma: That’s not funny, Jess.
Jessica: Yeah, I know it’s not. I’m sorry. I guess it’s just my way of coping with the thought that I may really be a murderer. Damn Spike for what he did to me. Damn him straight to hell!
Keep your knife to yourself, you crazy bitch.
And finally — on to today’s show.
We open with possibly my least-favorite storyline — the mermaid storyline (you’ll see). Miguel is looking for his and Kay’s baby daughter, Maria, but she’s already off to the sitter’s for the day. Tabitha twists the knife a little by casually mentioning that Maria seems to be “confused,” because she’s been calling Fox “Daddy.” And he’s just her mom’s boyfriend, not her real father like Miguel. Then somebody asks where Siren is, and Tabitha says she’s in the kitchen with Kay. Everyone is worried.
Okay — backstory time. You see, Siren is a mermaid. Yes, a mermaid, from the ocean. Baby Endora conjured her up and gave her legs so that she would seduce Miguel, thereby preventing Miguel and Kay from rediscovering their old spark, and solidifying Kay and Fox’s relationship. But it isn’t really working out that way because Kay is jealous of Siren. Meanwhile, Siren is totally into Miguel and has him bewitched, but she doesn’t quite get how to act like a human. Would you believe that this leads to tons of hilarious consequences?
Cut to Siren and Kay bitching at each other, blah blah blah. I guess Kay is pissed off because not only is Siren moving way too fast with Kay’s babydaddy Miguel, she’s also hitting on Kay’s fiancé. Fox. Meanwhile, Siren is annoyed that Kay is constantly trying to interfere with Siren hooking up with Miguel. (Note: We learned earlier this week that if a man has sex with a mermaid, he can never have sex with a human woman again. But nobody knows Siren is a mermaid, except for Tabitha and Endora.)
Finally, we leave this idiocy behind, and the action moves to Rome. Theresa and Ethan are just arriving there. You see, Theresa found out from “Crane Security” that the three Dunceketeers were in danger. She convinced Ethan that since one of the Dunceketeers is her sister (Paloma), and another one is his sister (Jessica), the two of them had better go to Rome together and check it out. Gwen okayed the trip, and she asked Ethan to just be honest with her if he decides to cheat with Theresa.
Ethan swore he wouldn’t cheat, but he’s got his hands full. Already, on the private plane ride over, Theresa had drugged Ethan and had him stripped to his boxers before the plane landed and he woke up. Now that they’re in Rome, it turns out that — oh my gosh! — they only have one hotel room between the two of them. However, for once, Ethan is just as onto Theresa as the audience is. He even gets her to admit to molesting him on the plane, as well as screwing up the hotel reservation on purpose. Oddly enough, though, he seems only mildly annoyed that Theresa keeps trying to rape him.
Next we move on to Luis and Fancy. I take back what I said before — this storyline is even more boring than the mermaid one. You see, Luis is in Rome to look for Marty, and Fancy is there because… I don’t know. I think it’s because she’s mad at her ex-boyfriend Noah and wanted to get away. But wouldn’t you know — it turns out that he’s there too. So Luis and Fancy have been having a lot of conversations in which she says that Noah is cheating slime, and Luis says that Noah is a stand-up guy and Fancy should give him another chance. And there have been lots of wacky misunderstandings where people think that Luis and Fancy are a couple, and Luis accidentally kissed Fancy because he woozily thought she was Sheridan, and Sheridan is kind of jealous about that. So the show is trying to build up some chemistry between Luis and Fancy. Whether or not it’s working is another matter.
Just as Luis is telling Fancy that he’s sure Noah is not really a cheater, Noah walks into the restaurant with his “other woman,” Maya, and they start making out full-force right behind Fancy and Luis. It’s well beyond “Get a room” territory.
Actually, this might be socially acceptable in Italy.
I confess that I’m hazy about what’s going on here. I know for sure that Noah is still in love with Fancy, and he and Maya are faking being together, but I’m a little unclear as to why. It has something to do with this evil woman known as the “Dragon Lady,” and she’s blackmailing Noah into pretending to be in love with Maya, and if he doesn’t comply, she’s going to kill Fancy. Also, Noah is somehow working for the FBI, and that’s why he’s in Rome. Also, Noah and Maya really did date back before he knew Fancy, and they share some terrible secret that they often allude to but never spell out. And that’s about all I can tell you.
This next scene starts out pretty funny, as Siren has her head buried in the fridge and is making a noise that Kay accurately describes as “like the Tasmanian Devil.” We see (but Kay doesn’t) that Siren is chowing down on raw fish, just eating it whole and tossing the picked-clean bones into the garbage. Yuck. The girls exchange some more bitchiness.
Siren goes in the other room and starts throwing herself all over Miguel. Tabitha has a little side chat with Endora about how Siren is hundreds of years old and her urges are “primal.” This seems like a good spot for a picture of Endora, whom I firmly believe is the cutest kid on TV. I also really like Passions‘ innovation of having her “speak” to Tabitha in thought bubbles — which, of course, Tabitha can understand, because they’re both witches.
Kay is quite rightly nauseated by Siren macking on Miguel on the living-room couch. Just then, Fox gets some bad news. His advertising client has just fired a model on the day of an expensive photo shoot, and now they have to find a new model immediately. Oh, whatever will they do?
Back in Rome, Ethan is riding Theresa a little bit about the “mixed-up” hotel reservation. She covers her ass by explaining to Ethan that she wanted him in her room because she’s scared. You see, she checked her e-mail while they were on the plane, and she got this anonymous e-mail:
Meanwhile, in the restaurant, Luis can’t believe that Noah is making out with Maya right in front of Fancy. Finally Noah detaches his face from Maya’s, and they have a sotto voce conversation about how Noah hates hurting Fancy like this, and he’s angry that he’s lost the woman he loves. He’s pretty mean to Maya about how she has ruined his life. Maya says that maybe once the FBI catches Lina (the Dragon Lady), Noah and Fancy can get back together. Just then, Luis comes over to Noah and starts talking tough with him about mistreating Fancy. Luis is disillusioned — Noah is not the man he thought he was. Aw, poor Noah. How will he live without the personal approval of Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald?
Kay decides that Miguel should be the model for the photo shoot, even though the model was supposed to be a woman (the shoot is for a women’s perfume). Tabby is onto Kay — she wants Miguel to be the model because it will tie up several hours of his time and cut back on his make-out opportunities with Siren. Miguel very reluctantly agrees to do it, after some manipulating from Kay about how they can use the money to start a college fund for their daughter.
Miguel, Kay, Tabby, and Endora head on over to the beach for the photo shoot. Oh, what a fake-looking beach:
This beach is what we call a Passions special.
Just then, Fox shows up with his own idea for a fresh new model for the shoot. But before we can find out his idea, we meet the “client,” Alfredo. Alfredo is, um, very flamboyant. He acts sort of like the cartoon Jon Lovitz in The Critic, but a lot gayer. This is odd because daytime soaps are pretty conservative. I’m not sure whether Passions is progressive for having a gay character who doesn’t act exactly like all the straight characters (so that you can’t even tell that he’s gay), or whether Passions is really offensive for making the character such a crude stereotype. I mean, all this guy is lacking is a pink feather boa. He even says that he hopes his makeup won’t run in the heat.
My own feeling is that Alfredo might be really funny, if not for the fact that the guy playing him is a horrible actor. I think he might even be a little worse than the rest of the actors on the show, and that’s saying a lot. The first thing he does is rag on Tabitha’s outfit by asking if it’s a Vivienne Westwood. When she says no, he says, “Thank God. For a minute there, I thought Vivienne had lost her touch.” Oh, snap!
He does have a point.
Passions then attempts to send a positive message by expositing that Alfredo fired the original model for the shoot because she was too thin and needed to “go eat a ham sandwich.” Kay agrees and suggests, “Why not use hot male models?” Alfredo responds with: “Well, I do, dear. Just not during working hours.” Wow — racy. Kay introduces Miguel, and Alfredo basically drools, but then asks Fox, “Where’s the other flesh puppet?” Gross.
Fox then coughs up his idea. Y’all, you are not going to believe this — Fox’s model is Siren! What a crazy coincidence! Needless to say, Kay is pissed.
Back in Rome, Luis tries to console Fancy some more. She pouts some more. Just then, Ethan and Theresa show up at the restaurant. Everyone is happy to see each other. Theresa explains why she and Ethan are in Rome — the thing about the Dunceketeers being in danger, and not really being in art school. Luis fills her in that the three idiots were attacked, but now they’re okay. Noah comes over and inserts himself into the conversation, since, after all, Jessica is his sister too.
Luis supplies his own update about how he saw Beth and Marty, but they got away, and he has an appointment at a bank tomorrow to try to trace Beth’s funding, which seems to be coming from a Crane account. He also explains that Chad thought he saw Whitney in the catacombs.
“All right, so wait a minute,” says Ethan. “You mean all of these people from Harmony just happen to show up in Rome coincidentally? Does this seem odd to anybody?” Well, not really, Ethan. The whole thing is explained on the NBC Passions Vendetta website. But Luis thinks it’s “a little more than odd. I get the feeling that someone’s brought us all to Rome for another reason.”
But who would do this? Dun-dun-DUN!!! No, seriously, the music goes Dun-dun-DUN at this part. Then Theresa shows everyone the threatening e-mail, and they all get even more freaked out when Luis recognizes the symbol. He saw it in the catacombs, and Noah also points out that it’s tattooed on Jessica’s back.
Back to the photo shoot. Siren is sporting some unrealistically buoyant assets inside that bikini top, but perhaps this is just the scientific effect of her being a mermaid. Tabby points out to Kay (off to the side) that if Siren takes the modeling job instead of Miguel, Siren and Miguel will still be separated for the day, just like Kay wanted. But oh no! Alfredo suddenly decides that he wants both models in the shot together. (Meanwhile, throughout this scene, Endora is adorably “ad-libbing” lines like “Careful!” and “Uh-oh!” Did I mention this is the cutest kid on TV?)
Miguel and Siren are posing for the photographer. And oh NO what is Miguel wearing:
OW MY EYES
Alfredo says, “This is hotter than a screening of Brokeback on Fire Island.” Yes, he really says that. He says it while fanning himself, no less. Tabby has a side conversation with Endora in which she reminds us all that mermaids are no good and Miguel is going to get burned. We are also reminded that Tabby and Endora are at odds here: Endora is a good witch and wants Kay and Fox to stay together while Miguel finds his own happiness with Siren; on the other hand, Tabby is a bad witch and wants Kay to get back with Miguel so that he can never have sex with his ex-girlfriend Charity. Because Charity is pure good, and if she ever sleeps with her true love Miguel, good will triumph over evil and Tabitha will lose her powers. Obviously.
Back in Rome, the group finds out the rest of what’s in Theresa’s e-mail. The e-mail actually begins: “You will gain Ethan, but lose your love.” Nobody knows what this means. Ethan thinks Theresa is behind it, but she’s not.
In this same conversation, we segue into another storyline. Remember a few years ago, when Ethan and Theresa were actually together until someone told the tabloids that Ethan was illegitimate? Well, it was Gwen and Rebecca who did that, but they successfully pinned it on Theresa, and Ethan dumped her for it. Now (or still), Theresa is on a mission to find the tabloid editor (for “Daily Private Lives”), J.T. Cornell, who is the only one who knows the truth and can clear her name.
Luis hears her say this and drops the bombshell that a little while ago, he and Fancy spotted J.T. Cornell in this very restaurant. Theresa is all excited. Ethan is incredulous. Luis refocuses everyone on the fact that all the characters have been lured to Rome for assorted reasons. He singles Fancy out as needing a 24-hour bodyguard, and of course Noah volunteers for the job. Fancy refuses to have Noah as a bodyguard, so Luis says he’ll do it instead.
Okay, now comes the most classically Passions-esque scene of the day. Endora casts a spell to jack up the romance between Miguel and Siren. Suddenly, the air is filled with a big, cheesy rainbow. There is also sappy music. Alfredo and the photographer are delighted. Kay begs Endora to stop making Miguel like Siren. Tabby once again accuses Kay of being jealous and wanting Miguel for herself.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any gayer.
The show ends with a cut away from the crowd in the restaurant in Rome. We see that EvilMonk is watching them. He laughs an evil laugh. BWAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH.
Previews for Monday: Beth stabs a picture of Fancy with scissors because she sees the spark that’s appearing between Fancy and Luis. AWESOME. Also, Beth looks somewhat better and less like Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, Luis suggestively tells Fancy, “We’ll be sleeping together.” Then, there’s a commercial about how Kay is torn between Fox and Miguel. See you next week!