Performer of the Week: Sharon Case (Sharon, Y&R)
When Faith was kidnapped by Sharon’s deranged stalker, Sharon Case delivered a tour de force depiction of her alter ego’s fear, despair and, ultimately, her determination.
Sharon mustered the sunniest and most reassuring demeanor she could while sending Faith out of town for her own protection — but later, when the text Faith promised to send confirming that she was safely on the plane failed to arrive, she was immediately gripped with alarm. Sharon’s voice shook and her hand trembled as a call to Faith went straight to voicemail, and when Chance got word that the plane had taken off without Faith on board, her body buckled and she let out an anguished wail. Lashing out at Chance for his false promise to keep Faith safe (“You swore to me!” she spat), she nearly worked herself into a panic attack before the sight of an entering Nick triggered a fresh wave of vulnerability. “He took our baby,” she wept. Nick discovered the listening device Cameron had planted in the room and Sharon stumbled toward it, dazed, her voice low and harsh as she spoke directly to her enemy: “You bring my daughter home, you bastard!” She collapsed against Nick, sobbing.
Later, her eyes haunted, Sharon sat with Nick, anxiously awaiting Cameron’s response. Her phone dinged and when Sharon saw what Cameron had sent her — a photo of Faith, bound and gagged — she leapt to her feet, hysterical with terror (“Oh, my God, my baby!”), plunging to a new low of agony when Cameron summoned her to the hotel room so key to their tortured history. But as Sharon registered the realization that complying with his demands was the best way to ensure Faith’s safe return, a steely resolve swept over her. “I am the only one that has the power to control the situation,” she told Nick, with a determination he could not override.
As her showdown with Cameron loomed large, Case traversed Sharon’s emotional landscape — from raw and defenseless to fierce and gritty — sometimes not only within the same scene, but the same sentence. Her passion and artistry were the captivating nexus of this taut and riveting arc.
THUMBS UP! General Hospital: Brotherly Love The reintroduction of Gavin Houston’s Zeke has been a smashing success. Viewers learned little about Portia’s brother when he popped in to Port Charles for her nuptials earlier this year, but Houston nonetheless made a strong first impression. Upon his return, Zeke’s charm brought Jordan out of her Curtis-induced funk, and the pair hit it off over drinks — then quickly hit the sheets. Soon after their night of passion, both characters learned that the ex she had confided in him about was none other than his sister’s husband, bringing a dose of drama into their nascent connection. Jordan has been without a viable love interest for far too long; the Curtis/Jordan ship sailed a while ago and the idea that she would still be holding out hope of reuniting with him after all this time (and his marriage to another woman!) has been a detriment to her character. Bringing sexy Zeke into her orbit has injected a breath of fresh air into the whole Ashford/Robinson slice of the canvas. Houston and Tanisha Harper (Jordan) have loads of promising chemistry and we’re excited to take whatever journey the show has in store for them.
Thumbs Down! BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL: Bill Of Goods After a burst of creative inspiration, it appears that B&B has once again lost its way with Bill. The slick and savvy mogul was front and center when he appeared to have fallen for Sheila’s guiles. It was a story that had viewers guessing as he alienated everyone in his life for a sociopath, building to the big reveal that he and archenemy Ridge were actually in cahoots with the feds to bring Sheila down once and for all. Once that arc concluded, though, Bill essentially went back into mothballs. The little screen time he does have is spent hoping to reunite with ex-wife Katie, a beat we’ve seen before (more than once) that is all out of narrative juice, or lunching with his sons, which does not an actual storyline make. Bill is too dynamic a character — and Don Diamont, his portrayer, too dynamic an actor — to be stuck in what feels like an endless neutral.
THUMBS UP! DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Gone But Not Forgotten DAYS commemorated the one-year anniversary of Abigail’s death with touching graveside scenes between Chad and Julie. Chad arrived at the cemetery first, placing flowers on his late wife’s grave and reflecting on his loss, in a deeply touching performance by Billy Flynn (Chad). Julie soon approached to serve as a loving sounding board as Chad opened up about feeling conflicted about moving on from his marriage and into a relationship with Stephanie. Susan Seaforth Hayes was heartfelt and sensitive as her Julie assured him that Abby would want him to make room in his heart for someone else, and gently suggested that perhaps the fact that he was still wearing his ring was holding him back. He admitted that he’d been afraid to remove it, since it would make Abby’s death feel final — but once Julie left, Chad took a moment, realized what he needed to do, and removed his wedding band. “I will love you forever,” he whispered. The beautifully written scenes and emotionally grounded scenes at once honored Abigail’s memory and provided key closure for Chad.