The murder of Carlo Hesser; Andy and Antonio (December 1996 - March 1997)
With mob kingpin Carlo Hesser dead, it was up to Bo and Hank to smoke out the culprit, but
the trail they followed was replete with red herrings, uncooperative witnesses and stinky
writing. The light of suspicion eventually fell on everyone in turn, for in truth, there
were very few people in Llanview who did *not* have a motive for wanting Carlo dead.
Asa was fumed over the $30 million that Carlo (as Poseiden) had stolen from him. Alex was
upset that Carlo had divorced her after discovering the pillow-baby scam. Todd was steamed
because the Men of 21, which has been headed by Carlo (as Poseiden) had been responsible for
his shooting the year before and the subsequent disintegration of his marriage to Blair.
Patrick also had reason to want Carlo (or Posieden) dead. But heading the list was Antonio
Vega, who truly looked guilty. He had motives galore for killing Carlo, not the least of
which was Carlo's threats and attack on Andy. In addition, hard evidence appeared to be
mounting against Antonio. The expensive shirt which he had worn the night of the murder
turned up in his closet covered with blood. In an attempt to burn it, Andy discovered the
truth for herself. In addition, Max had been strolling down the waterfront and had seen
Antonio stealing stealthily off the yacht, although Antonio had told the police he'd been
nowhere in the vicinity.
Thus, in the end, Antonio became the traditional "innocent man accused of murder" and per
usual, Hank was handed the job of prosecuting the innocent. Antonio, with Andy's unstated
approval, took off on the run before he was arrested. In the end however, Carlotta's faith in
him prompted Antonio to seek Nora's defense before turning himself in. But while half
of Llanview was ready to ship Antonio off to jail, a core of friends and family
formed around him in support, led by Carlotta and Andy. Andy undertook a one-woman crusade
to free her lover, with all the ineptitude of her previous attempts at policework. In
particular, she latched onto RJ, believing that Carlo's former underling had also had an
interest in seeing his boss meet an untimely death.
As Antonio's trial dragged on relentlessly through the month of February, Nora was paired with
a hotshot young attorney named Tea Delgado (Florencia Lozano). Tea was a childhood friend
of the Vega family but also a hotheaded woman who clashed often with Antonio. Still, Antonio
seemed to be doomed when the case suddenly opened up with new, unexpected information. Bo and
Hank began looking into a new piece of evidence: a motorboat which someone had heard near the
yacht on the night of the murder. In addition, Bo felt convinced that his father Asa knew
more about the night's happenings than he was letting on. Digging deeper, Bo came up with
what he felt might be a valuable witness: Carlo's twin brother Mortimer. While Bo raced off
to Boston to drag Mort back to town, Nora was left in the coutroom, stalling for time during
closing arguments. At the last possible moment, Bo returned with his star witness.
But it was not until later that Carlo's murderer was found and the night's events were sorted
out to some extent. Carlo had intended to stage his own death and frame his son-that-wouldn't-be
Antonio for the crime. Thus, he'd planted blood on Antonio's clothes and stolen Andy's service
revolver after knocking her unconscious before the ball on Todd Manning's yacht. But things had
gone terribly wrong. Antonio had actually confronted Carlo and nearly killed him, but it was
Alex who had been the culprit all along. She'd shot Carlo, an event which Asa had been witness
to, while Mortimer had been the man in the motorboat nearby. Andy discovered the truth at
gunpoint when Alex confessed one night in an abandoned warehouse. Andy was eventually rescued,
and Alex was shipped off to jail for the time being. Mortimer vanished into thin air, with Asa's
long-sought $30 million. Asa was also arrested briefly for withholding evidence and obstruction
of justice, but he was released, though his relationship with Bo and Clint was now strained.
Antonio and Andy barely put the trial behind them when RJ targetedd Antonio for death, in hopes of
keeping his own criminal interests secure. RJ hired a young comic named Casey to kill Antonio on
a trip he took with Andy to New York City. Casey's plan eventually failed, while Bo, Hank and
Nora closed in on nailing RJ for his crimes. Antonio proposed to Andy and she joyfully and wearily
accepted and they hoped to live out the time until the wedding in relative peace.
Alex ultimately avoided jail for the umpteenth time. She played up her sexpot image to the judge
in charge of her hearing and the case was dropped on a technicality - on the night Andy had
followed Alex into the warehouse, she'd neglected to announce herself as a police detective before
pulling the gun on Alex. Thus, according to the judge, by stealing Andy's gun away and making a
confession, Alex had been trying to protect herself. Andy and Alex came off looking equally
stupid, and thankfully, the long and painful saga of Carlo/Poseiden was laid to rest. Almost.
In July 1997, Carlo/Mortimer returned to town briefly with Asa's $30 million and lured Alex away.
Alex left a videotape for those she knew best, and she and Carlo/Mortimer got one final dig in on
Asa before they vanished into thin air.
Joey and Kelly split (January 1997 - February 1997)
Dorian succeeded at last in splitting up her neice Kelly and her former lover Joey. When Joey
learned that Kelly had lied about Dorian's involvement in the horrid embezzlement scandal of
recent months, he was furious. Dorian played on this by driving a wedge further between the
two. She became concerned, however, when they began to reconcile. Joey and Kelly resumed their
initial plans to spend the next semester abroad in France, but Dorian was reluctant to let Kelly
abandon her position as model for Melador. In the end, Joey (and Nathan Fillion) departed the
show after a tearful goodbye with Viki, and promises that Kelly would meet up with him in Paris
as soon as she could get away. In Joey's absense, slimeball Drew Buchanan (Victor Browne) honed
in on Kelly. He began hiding the letters that Joey sent from France and a letterless Kelly began
wondering if her relationship could survive the distance after all...
The agonizing Marty-Patrick-Blair-Todd quandrangle drags on (January 1997 - May 1997)
Just when Marty and Patrick were looking forward to beginning their new life together, and just
when it seemed as if Todd and Blair would finally reconcile, the writers stepped in and threw in
some plot devices to keep the couples (and the viewers) at bay. Blair discovered two things:
first, she learned that Todd was responsible for kidnaping Starr months earlier upon his return
to town; she also learned that she was pregnant with Patrick's child. When the truth came out,
problems erupted among the quartet. Todd was obviously furious and his brief spot of humanity
was erased once more. Marty, revolted and upset, nonetheless, pledged to stand by Patrick, who
was equally stunned at the prospect of becoming a father. Though Blair initially toyed with the
thought of abortion, she ultimately decided against it.
Thus, even after Dylan regained his mobility and split town in January, Marty and Patrick were
not over their final hurdle. To complicate matters, Starr became very ill and was hospitalized
with aplastic anemia. Plot devices came fast and furious. Marty became Todd's liaison at the
hospital. Patrick and Todd exchanged blows on several occasions. Todd and Blair's hostility
cooled as they mounted a search to find a bone marrow donor for Starr. Todd and Marty were
involved in a February-sweeps, impromptu plane crash that had no effect whatsoever on anyone.
The ultimate revelation came when a bone marrow donor was found: Blair's unborn child. Of course,
no one could agree on what should be done. Patrick was unwilling at first to risk the life of
his unborn child for a tricky procedure. Marty was against him on the issue. Todd, of course,
was more than willing to give it a go to save his daughter's life, while Blair was undecided. In
the end, it was agreed that Starr's only chance lay with Blair's unborn child.
Simultaenously, another problem was coming to a head. Joey wrote Kelly from Paris and told her
that their relationship was officially over and that he'd met and fallen in love with another
woman. In tears, Kelly raced out of the house and sought help from Cassie. But Cassie had
problems of her own at the time (see below), and Kelly careened out on the road with the radio
up full blast and tears streaming down her face. At the same time, Patrick was driving Blair
home to get the necessary clothes etc. for her upcoming stay in the hospital while the bone
marrow transfusion took place. On a rainslicked road, Kelly inadvertantly swerved into the
other lane and Patrick was forced to swerve the car to avoid a headon collision. But in the
end, Patrick drove the car into a tree. Blair had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time (she
claimed it was uncomfortable due to her pregnancy). Blair's unborn child died at the scene.
Kelly, meanwhile, called for an ambulance for the car she'd run off the road, but was so
traumatized by the incident that she didn't come forward and confess. Instead she drove off.
Patrick and Marty buried his unborn son (named Brenden) on Llantano Mountain, while Blair freaked
out when she awoke and learned her baby was dead. She was immobile as well and was ultimately
shipped off to a rehabilitation clinic in Philadelphia where she could get the medical help she
needed. She shared a poignant moment of semi-reconciliation with Todd before she left. Todd,
in the meantime, vowed bitter vengeance on Patrick (what else is new?), feeling that Patrick had
caused the accident deliberately to kill Blair's baby, so he and Marty would have one less
problem in their way. His plot to bring Patrick down took several tragic turns however ...
The Armitage fiasco (January 1997 - July 1997)
Max and Maggie stumbled upon an unusual situation around New Year's. In the Caribbean after
helping Cord to nail Camerolivia, Maggie was surprised when she opened their hotel room door one
night to find her father, Bishop John Carpenter, asking her for help. Following him back to his
room, she was shocked to find the body of a dead woman in his bed. John claimed that the woman
was Eleanor Armitage, an old friend of his who had sought religious guidance but had suffered a
heart attack in the meantime. John insisted that her death was purely innocent, as was the
relationship between them, and enlisted Maggie's help in transporting the woman's body out of his
own bedroom and into hers, before calling the proper authorities. He also made Maggie promise to
remain silent about the matter. Maggie did so, but felt guilty about lying to Max in the process.
Just when the matter seemed over and forgotten, mysterious Ian Armitage (Will Kempe) arrived in
town. He was looking for a locket that his mother Eleanor had always carried with her. He felt
certain that the locket had been removed from her body after her death. Maggie went to John and
asked him for the truth. While he denied all knowledge of the locket, it was clear to Maggie
that her father was hiding something. Ian and Maggie became good friends, against Max's wishes,
and eventually they teamed up to force the truth out of John. For weeks on end they talked
nonstop about the bloody locket. For weeks on end, viewers were bored to tears. Maggie enlisted
Andrew's help in trying to get the stupid momento, but even he was unable to move the frightened
Then, in a heated confrontation between Maggie, Ian and John, John suffered a major heart attack
and died after whispering some interesting but confusing words to Maggie about her parentage.
The locket turned out to be in Andrew's possession all along and when it was opened up, all they
found were two strands of hair. Ian felt sure that there was more to it than met the eye. Max,
Maggie and Ian journeyed to the Armitage estate in New Orleans where the truth was finally
revealed. Eleanor and John had been lovers long ago while John had been married to Maggie's
supposed mother Clarissa. Eleanor became pregnant with his child. Afraid of destroying the
bishop's reputation, she married wealthy businessman Guy Armitage and pretended as though he were
the father of her child. As it turned out, Eleanor gave birth to twins. The girl, Maggie, she
gave to John while the boy, Ian, she kept and raised as Guy's son. Maggie and Ian, thus, were
twins separated at birth. Eleanor and John had lived with their secret up until their untimely
After the revelation, Maggie, Ian and Max became a virtually inseparable unit, parading around
town as if joined at the hip.
The dissolution of the Carpenter marriage (February 1997 - May 1997)
Andrew and Cassie had been having problems for quite some time. Cassie was falling hard for
fellow reporter Kevin Buchanan (Kevin Stapleton), while Kevin had already fallen for her. For
months, this couple denied and then delayed their growing attraction for each other. Cassie
refused to endanger her marriage and risk losing her son River in the process. But in the end,
they gave in to passion. Cassie, returning to the rectory and meeting up with her husband,
was asked where she had spent the afternoon and Cassie, in a line that shall go down in infamy,
replied that she'd gone grocery shopping, run some errands and then had sex with Kevin Buchanan.
Andrew immediately began divorce procedures and made plans so that River would live with him.
Meanwhile, a disturbed, confused and overall whiny Cassie moved into the carriage house with
Kevin, where they continued their relationship on the couch, in bed, on the floor, etc. Cassie
whimpered for months over the custody issue, while a stoic Andrew maintained that he didn't want
his son anywhere near Kevin. Andrew also confided in Viki by telling her that his own faith in
God had been shaken by the breakdown of his once-stable marriage. Andrew even threw a punch at
Kevin one day at the BANNER office, but it was broken up before it got too far.
As the year closed, the situation was extremely awkward. Andrew developed a close friendship
with Tea, which steamed Cassie, who didn't seem to know what she wanted. When Kevin told her that
he loved her, she was unable to reply the same, at least for the time being. She continued to
work hard to regain major visitation rights with her son.
Angel Square; the warehouse shenanigans; the arrival of Mel Hayes
On a business trip for Melador in Washington D.C., Dorian couldn't help but overhear a conversation
between two men on the topic of politics. She found herself instantly attracted to the drunk
man who was doing most of the talking and after inquiring, learned that he was none other than
Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper reporter Mel Hayes. They had an awkward conversation at the
bar and then a drunk Mel fell over on top of her! In no time, they were in bed together. (It
had, after all, been quite some time since Dorian had dated someone with a high school diploma!)
The day after, Mel told Dorian all about his situation. He was in the middle of fight with his
family, who believed he had a drinking problem. He was also looking for work. When Dorian
suggested he try for a job at the BANNER, Mel agreed and followed her back to Llanview, where
Dorian convinced Clint and Viki to hire him. Mel made waves all over town, especially with
Patrick, Bo and Renee. Mel and Bo in particular, became good friends.
With a new headwriting team at the wheel, things began getting even crazier in Llanview. Asa began
mounting a plan to buy up a key piece of land in Angel Square, where he planned on building a
strip mall complex. Llantano Savings and Loan, which was under the ownership of Asa, threatened to foreclose on the property of Ernesto Soto (Linda’s uncle). An enraged Ernesto freaked out one day at Carlotta's diner, stole a police officer's gun, and held
Carlotta hostage. While reporters and onlookers gathered outside the diner, Ernesto made
several demands. Mel and Kevin, rival reporters for the same newspaper (go figure!) arrived on
the scene and both made their way into the diner. But it was Andrew who was ultimately able to
convince Ernesto to drop the gun and free Carlotta. The incident showed how truly volatile the
situation in Angel Square was. Antonio and Carlotta began rallying the community against Asa's
destructive plans, in hopes of starting an Angel Square credit union.
One piece of property, an abandoned warehouse, was particularly attractive to several Llanview
residents. Asa needed it to complete his strip mall project, while Maggie wanted the warehouse
to build a school for the performing arts (ie, a clown school). The problem was that Dorian
owned the property and was initially unwilling to sell. In the end, when she learned that she
could make Asa even angrier by selling it to Maggie, that's what she did.
But first, Asa set out to grab the warehouse for himself. He enlisted the help of his grandson
Drew, a junior slimeball in his own right. Drew had learned earlier that Kelly was responsible
for the accident involving Patrick and Blair. While at first he was extremely supporting of
Kelly and promised to keep her secret, Drew now saw that secret as leverage in dealing with
Dorian. Drew told Dorian of Kelly's involvement in the accident and then threatened to go to the
cops and tell them everything if she didn't sell the warehouse to Asa. Dorian decided to fight
fire with fire, by sicking Mel on him. Dorian was certain that Drew was hiding a secret from his
past and figured she might use it as blackmail against *him*. She sent Mel down to Nashville,
where he posed as a patron at a bar where Drew's mother Becky Lee was singing. Mel and Becky had
a very enlightening conversation and it was revealed that she had been protecting her son for
years. He had been conning people out of money by running a phony religious ring. Triumphant,
Mel returned with the bone and Dorian held it over Drew's head. Things were at a stalemate.
Asa ordered Drew to "get that damned warehouse, boy" but in the end, he was unable to do so.
Drew's plans to bed Kelly blew up in his face when Kelly learned that Drew had been lying and
manipulating her all along. Dorian sold the warehouse to Maggie, and Asa disinherited Drew for
his failure. Bo also learned of Drew's schemes and had it out with his son. In the end, Drew
told Bo he was a failure as a father and skipped town.
Maggie proceeded with her plans to build her precious clown school, but now Max was interested
in the property. He wanted to use it for his own purposes and gave her a hard-luck story about
his financial hardships in hopes of getting her to sell the warehouse to him. But Maggie was
adamant: the clown school was her dream and she was not about to mortgage it for anyone's sake.
Max threw a hissy-fit and decided to make Maggie's life a little bit harder by tampering with
the boiler at the warehouse. Unfortunately, his plan backfired - as did the boiler, which
literally exploded while Maggie, Cristian and Jessica were in the building. They were barely
able to escape, but the warehouse itself burned down. Because the fire was suspicious,
insurance wouldn't cover Maggie and she was heartbroken.
The ever-present Mel Hayes, however, was suspicious. He discovered a matchbook from "Rodi's
Tavern" at the scene of the crime. In addition, others began to discover Max's involvement in
the fire. In particular, Ian learned the truth for himself, as did Blair. It was only a matter of time before Maggie discovered it as well and when she did, she broke her engagement to Max, left him a couple of juggling pins as momentos and skipped town. Max wound up with the warehouse, but had lost the latest love of his life in the process. He was dealt another blow when his ex-wife Gabrielle was released from prison, settled down in a town “just outside” of Llanview and asked him to send her son Al for a visit. In the end, Al went to live with Gabrielle indefinitely, while Max attempted to rebuild his life.
Todd’s revenge, Patrick and Marty’s final bow (June 1997 - September 1997)
The crisis with Baby Starr’s aplastic anemia reached a happy conclusion when a bone marrow donor was found: Alex Olanov. With each week that passed Starr recovered, as did Blair, who was recuperating in a facility in Philadelphia. And with each week that passed, Todd grew angrier and angrier with Patrick. Todd felt that the poet had intentionally run his car off the road in order to kill Blair’s unborn child and he set about to bring Patrick and Marty down. His agonizing journey, for both Patrick and the viewers, began when he contacted the evil Mr. Kinneally, who was serving out his life sentence in an Irish prison. For a healthy sum of money, Kinneally promised to give Todd damaging information on Patrick. Todd readily agreed and learned some shocking facts.
As a teenager, Patrick had apparently been involved in the bombing death of one Lord Whiting, a local Irish landowner who had impregnated Patrick’s younger sister Grania. Grania, in a failed attempt to abort the child, died in the process. Patrick had stood by and watched as his friend Liam Buckley, bombed Lord Whiting’s yacht, killing him.
Back in Llanview, Todd schemed to use the information to his advantage. Contacting the press and the police, he proceeded to make a mess out of Patrick and Marty’s already “complicated” life. Patrick readily confessed to everyone, including Marty, about his involvement in the Whiting bombing but for some unknown reason, Bo and the authorities seemed to shrug the knowledge off. Marty, after a mild rant, also forgave her beloved. Todd would have to do better, if was to get his revenge on Patrick. One day, while blasting his staff at the SUN, a beautiful parrot fluttered onto the windowsill of his office, squawking “Clam sauce!” Todd adopted the bird, named him “Admiral Bird,” and used his new pet as a sounding board for his plan of vengeance. (!)
Todd ultimately decided to use Patrick’s past in a way that would tangibly affect the present. In particular, he chose to pit Patrick against wealthy Guy Armitage, who was still trotting around town offering his bad political viewpoints to anyone who crossed his path. Realizing the animosity that existed between the Irish Patrick and the British Guy, Todd plotted to set a stick of dynamite beneath them. Luring the unwitting duo to the Palace Hotel one night, Todd simply sat back and watched as Mel and Patrick (new best friends) exchanged vulgar insults with Guy and Alex (new best friends). The shouting match turned violent however when Patrick punched Guy’s lights out. In typical LPD fashion, Bo gave Patrick a stern warning and let him go. But the plan had been set. One night, Todd planted a bomb on Sir Guy’s yacht, believing that Guy and Alex had gone out to dinner for the night. Todd also donned a shaggy wig to give the appearance that it was Patrick who was on the waterfront. What Todd didn’t know was that Guy returned to his boat unexpectedly and was killed in the ensuing explosion.
Bo and Andy mounted yet another ineffective investigation into the culprit and Alex told them she’d seen a man resembling Patrick on the docks shortly before the explosion. Patrick maintained his innocence, but given his past involvement in yacht bombings, his defense was startlingly weak.
At the same time, Blair was beginning to recover from the accident. She suffered a minor stroke, awoke with a temporary case of aphasia (blurred speech), but overall made a nice turn for the better. That is, until Patrick, on a visit, told her that Todd had been busy the last few months setting him up for murder. Blair in a surprising and out-of-left-field hissy fit, ordered Dorian to begin divorce and custody proceedings against Todd, before slipping into a storyline-necessitated coma.
His hopes for a reconciliation with Blair fading, Todd grew angrier than ever. He took a break from Patrick-framing to ensure that he retained custody of a now-healthy Starr. To do so, he enlisted the help of ambition lawyer Tea, whom he paid a substantial amount of money to marry him and act as his loving wife in the courtroom. He plan succeeded. The judge was uncovinced that the incapacitated Blair could effectively take care of her daughter, and gave Todd full custody.
Meanwhile, with slimeball Drew out of her life, Kelly set about telling everyone that it had been she who caused Patrick and Blair’s accident that rainy night. Seeking counsel from Andrew, she eventually told everyone the truth: including Todd. Todd was momentarily stunned to learn that his revenge plot against Patrick had absolutely no basis in reality, since Patrick hadn’t intentionally caused the accident. However, he was too deep in the dirt to extract himself and decided to milk his plan for all it was worth. He set about trying to locate Patrick’s old friend and bombing co-conspirator, Michael Mahoney. His prying , however, had a major chain reaction effect. For Kinneally escaped from prison, located Mahoney on his own, and they arrived in Llanview along with a hitman named O’Hara.
By this time, Patrick and Marty had decided that enough was enough and were ready to be married, hoping to ignore Todd in the process. Their wedding turned violently bloody however, when O’Hara and Mahoney arrived at the ceremony after the exchanging of the vows and planned to kill the happy newlyweds. Mel overheard their scheming and managed to throw himself in front of Patrick an instant before the gun was fired. O’Hara was shot and killed, Mahoney escaped and Mel was rushed the hospital after Larry saved his life temporarily with a credit card. (!)
Patrick chased after Mahoney, realizing that Todd was the next target. Indeed, Mahoney, Patrick, Todd and Tea clashed at the penthouse. In a struggle, Mahoney was fatally shot and Patrick seemingly suffered a similar fate, as he “died” in Marty’s arms. But, alas, all was well that ended well with Marty and Patrick. In the ambulance on the way to the hospital, Patrick awoke and urged his “angel” to away with him to a place where the Men of 21 could never reach them. Thus, while Todd and most of Llanview went on with their lives believing Patrick to be dead, the couple rode into the sunset. Bo and Nora, however, later discovered the truth for themselves, but remained silent, allowing them to escape.
After a momentary pause for self-reflection, Todd went about business as usual and sought to make someone else’s life a living hell for a change: he settled on Blair.
Blair and Todd’s custody suit drags on; Ian and Kelly. Blair emerged from her coma at the end of the summer and returned to town, hellbent on making Todd miserable. When Kelly told her that she had been responsible for her miscarriage, Blair added Kelly to the list as well. Blair also sunk her teeth into Tea, who was playing the loving Mrs. Manning to her capacity.
At the same time, Kelly resolved to move on with her life, even as Blair raged and howled in anger. She found herself inexplicably and overnightly, attracted to Ian, who had remained in town for months on end, serving only as a third wheel to the Max-Maggie romance. Blair, hoping to hurt both Kelly and Todd in the process, latched herself onto Ian as well. In the process, she found a sympathetic ear in her former lover, Max, who was out to get revenge and money out of Ian, who was partly to blame for Maggie’s learning the truth about the warehouse fire. Together, they sought for a way to get rich and get even.
Blair especially returned to her conniving ways after she lost yet a third custody hearing. Blair and Tea had got into a violent argument at a benefit auction and Blair had pushed Tea through a window, seriously injuring her. As the year wound to a close, Blair and Max were still plotting their revenge.
Mel and Dorian and the Cramer family secret
Dorian got her first storyline all to herself in years when her new lover Mel began digging into her past in an attempt to figure out what made her tick. What he found was what looked to be a very juicy story indeed, involving Dorian and her long-institutionalized sisters. Over the protests of both Dorian and the viewers, Mel descended into self-righteous snooping when he began going behind her back to unearth the truth.
At the same time, Mel’s overprotective, concerned daughter Dorothy (aka, “The Dorf” - Elisabeth Rohm) came to town, hoping to put an end to her father’s drinking problem permanently. After Mel was shot following Patrick and Marty’s wedding, his mother, the notable sex therapist Mary Hayes (aka Dr. Maude Boylan - Helen Gallagher) also arrived
in Llanview. Mel recovered and Mary clashed with Dorian, as the Cramer family secrets began to be revealed.
Mel enlisted the help of Cassie to do his dirty work. Overnight, Cassie took a heretofore unprecedented interest in her biological father David Renaldi, who had left town for Vienna some ten years ago. Hoping that David could provide some key information into Dorian’s secret past, Cassie journeyed to Europe hoping to find him. Instead, she learned that David had mysteriously vanished and his wife Jenny Wolek had been killed months earlier in a convenient avalanche (a fact of which no one had bothered to inform Jenny’s friends and family in Llanview). Mel and Cassie became certain that Dorian was somehow responsible for David’s disappearance. Meanwhile, Dorian continued her protests. Nonetheless, it did not stop Cassie from visit Dorian’s other sister Addie at St. Anne’s mental hospital hoping to dig up more dirt.
Hoping to turn win more of the Cramer family over to his side, Mel turned next to Kelly, and began asking questions about her mother - Dorian’s unstable sister Melinda. Kelly, after having several nightmares regarding her childhood, asked Ian to accompany her to visit her mother in an institution in California. After years of build-up, Kelly and Melinda (Nicole Orth-Pallavicini) finally came face-to-face, had a heart-to-heart, and prepared to journey back to Llanview together. Dorian, learning of Kelly’s trip, encouraged Melinda to stay at the mansion with her. Melinda reluctantly agreed, though it was clear that she was nervous around her sister.
As the year began to close, a stressed out Dorian became nervous when Melinda began making vague references to a “game” from their childhood in which Dorian would pretend to hurt Melinda until their parents caught and punished her. Uncharacteristically jittery, Dorian began tampering with Melinda’s medication, refilling the capsules with sugar in an attempt to keep her sister quiet.
RJ, Jacara and Club Indigo; Carlotta, Hank and Eli RJ looked to be finally getting a long-deserved storyline when, alone at Club Indigo one night, he was confronted by the ghost of his mother, who gave RJ a tongue-lashing for events from his childhood. Hank also received a similar visit from their mother, who pleaded with Hank to save his brother RJ from his dark side.
There all character-development ended, as viewers were subjected to Restauranteuring 101. RJ, hoping to stimulate his fledgling business, hoped to form a partnership with Blue Jay Records, and met with the owner, savvy but bland Jacara Princpal (Marva Hicks). Bantering about spreadsheets, overhead and guest-booking, Jacara and RJ united, took Rachel aboard as a partner, and launched into the music business.
Simultaneously, an overnight detente developed between Hank and Carlotta when they slept together and began a relationship. Carlotta was teary-eyed when her son Antonio married Andy the love of his life, and the two departed for California where Antonio was to begin law school. Carlotta filled the emptiness in her life by adopting a troubled youth with HIV named Eli (Geoffrey Wigdor). She also battled off Jacara, who had set her eyes on Hank.
The storyline stalled and spun in circles for months. Rachel dated and broke up with a two-timing jazz musician named Track. RJ and Jacara booked some big names for Club Indigo, including Erykah Badu and Chris Botti. Hank and RJ resumed their tired old animosity. Then one day, Jacara discovered that RJ was dabbling in business with some shady characters and sought to take her business elsewhere. Max, hoping to bring in some much needed cash to Rodi’s Tavern, offered Jacara a partnership which she shockingly accepted. RJ became furious. One night, Max received a threatening phone call and before he knew it, his invisibile twins Frank and Lesley were kidnapped and held for ransom!
Loose ends, 1997
In October, Joey (Don Jeffcoat) finally returned to town, running into Dorothy Hayes in the process. Dorothy took an interest in Joey but became disturbed when she learned that he had once had an affair with Dorian. Joey, however, had his eyes still set on Kelly and was hoping to reconcile with her, despite her present involvement with Ian.
After a year of virtual nonexistance, Viki slowly began to reemerge on the scene, as she began to work through some of her problems with Clint. When urged to let his anger surface, Clint lashed out and attacked Viki for having divorced him for Sloan. Having got that out of his system, he returned to his horny ways and tried to bed his ex-wife. But Viki was not to be had so easily, for she was still coping with the knowledge of her abuse as a child at the hands of her father. Viki consulted sex-therapist Mary Hayes, hoping to uncover the source and potential cure to her current sexual fears. Meanwhile, Clint sulked in the background.
Bo becamed concerned about Nora when her emotions began to shift and nosedive erratically. Consulting several doctors, Nora was informed that she and Bo were not eating properly and that, if she wanted to improve her physical and emotional health, a diet was in order. Nora, nothing if not ambitious, tortured her husband with a diet regimen that included no caffeine or snacks and only healthy food. The couple found a temporary respite when they found what seemed to be a delicious non-caffeinataed beverage, but were soon horrified to discover that it was in actuality loaded with the dreaded stuff. Fed up with a snackless life, Bo made an ice cream sundae on Nora’s bare stomach (!) and they broke their diet together. But still, Nora was emotionally tipsy. Finally, Larry came through with a diagnosis: she was in the early stages of menopause. Nora was stunned by the dreaded “m” word, which had chosen to strike her nearly ten years prematurely. For months, she moped and wallowed in self-pity. After Marty and Patrick were married and left town, Bo and Nora inherited their new puppy Penny (aka “Mud”). The writers saw fit to use this as a corny storyline for the popular couple and viewers have been treated to weeks upon weeks of Emmy-winners Hillary B. Smith and Robert S. Woods (Nora and Bo) acting opposite the pooch!