The Doctor’s Order

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gourmez3Sleeping with two guys on the same day and having a paternity issue arise is a soap staple. Which means I have to give the writing team props for tweaking that plot twist into losing one baby and conceiving another on the same night. It’s original, at least. But as my tone may indicate, I’m still not thrilled with the existence of a little Jackal.


Maxie wins points for figuring out that the animal Olivia has been seeing is, indeed, a jackal. I was slow on the uptake for that one!

jackal pup

But here’s my main problem with why this plot twist, other than being a little squicky, does not work for me. I have the misfortune of rooting for Spinelli and Ellie! I know, I know, it’s my own fault for getting attached to the side couple, not the main couple, but I couldn’t help it. Spinelli is sweet and supportive with her, and he doesn’t come across as a doormat. I was pulling for long, drawn-out bonding over her physical therapy, but darn it, Ellie wasn’t having that “I was drunk, and I swear I wouldn’t have done it if you were there” excuse. Neither was I, really. It probably is in her best interest to move on—and I promise I didn’t intend that to be a pun. Was anybody else surprised with how fast Ellie gained some movement in her legs?

ellie not paralyzed

I was expecting that moment of relief to be banked on for months and pulled out just when Spinelli considered leaving her for Maxie. You know, after a moment like Sonny and Brenda in the rain making their pledge to run away together. I guess the pregnancy is coming at the beginning of this storyline, and it’s for the woman who’s probably Spinelli’s destiny rather than the other way around. Regardless, both Maxie trying to pass the baby off as Lulu and Dante’s and hiding it from Spinelli are bound to be bad decisions. Though a little hiding of paternity on a soap opera never ended that badly…

michael aj plot

Oops. It really has been bad on most occasions! But after two decades, all those chickens from our granddaddy of a paternity storyline have come home to roost, and I love it. That’s the beauty of soap opera. Us fans are willing to give a show 15 years to come full circle. It doesn’t always work out, but it is in this scenario. I’m on Team AJ as long as he keeps being honest with Michael. And I rather like the idea of Carly and AJ getting entangled again after all these years.

aj carly

It’s soapy goodness, even with an entirely different cast than the one that started this feud. For ELQ, however, I’m Team Tracy all the way. I’m approaching it from the perspective of Tracy having been a successful CEO for the past decade or so. I’m still not sure what happened with her dead husband’s mob money, beyond making her and Anthony funny bedfellows, so I’ll just pretend that doesn’t really come into play. Tracy’s hell on heels but she deserves that position. And how can I not support someone willing to don vampire teeth to get her way?

tracy fangs

More importantly, how did I not know Ned was coming back again!? Oh, yeah, I don’t read spoilers. That was a fabulous mother-to-son greeting, and I like that Ned is intent on teasing out his mother’s insecurities. Tracy always needs a stoker in the fire to keep her concentration raring, and if Ned keeps her angry, she’ll be unstoppable.

"I'm here to help, Mother!"

“I’m here to help, Mother!”

But I also wonder if he’s perhaps tired of music for now and wants to throw his own hat into the ring. Ned’s been CEO of ELQ before, and why stop at aunt/nephew feuding when you can throw mother/son and cousin/cousin into the mix?

Prescription for Better Soap: Continue playing with potential attraction between Carly and AJ. I never enjoyed either character more than when they were married and living together at the Qs. Make good use of Ned; antagonizing Tracy for her own benefit certainly qualifies. I’ll take some Ned and Alexis scenes, too, please. Have Maxie confess the miscarriage and the new pregnancy and paternity as soon as possible, so I don’t end up loathing her months down the line. And would you mind resolving it pleasantly enough that my poor heart’s fondness for Spinelli and Ellie isn’t too trampled?

See you in two weeks for my next prescription!


Buy my romance novella, Maya’s Vacation, at Astraea Press,  Amazon, or Barnes and Nobles. Follow me on Twitter @thegourmez or on Facebook at my author page!

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