Copyright by ABC Daytime, 2009
HE’S BAAAAAACK! With all the menace in his eyes that we remember and evil oozing out of every pore in his body, Mitch Laurence has returned with a vengeance. You know what they say on soaps; you can’t keep a good villain in the ground.
It figures that he would make his first appearance in the most disgusting way, just after Jessica finds Nash’s petrified body sitting in that greenhouse. Sure, she figured Jared had done the horrible deed of digging up Nash’s grave, but when she accused Jared and asked who could do such a horrible thing, Mitch just appeared and piped up, “That would be me.” That just might be the most gruesome thing I’ve seen on this show. Poor Jessica. It takes a very sick and twisted man to do something like that. Hence, Mitch! Obviously, Jessica isn’t moved when Mitch says, “Come to Papa.”
Mitch gets to taunt Jared, Natalie and Jessica at gunpoint for the ten minutes it takes John and Brody to figure out that he is behind all the havoc the family is going through. Of course Jessica and Natalie are horrified that Mitch is alive and even more horrified to hear that he is spewing the same garbage he did when they last dealt with him. Mitch is back with a new flock and is spouting all his “Messenger nonsense” about why he escaped death yet another time. He claims that he realizes that although he seems to have everything, he realizes that the one thing he lacks is his family, ugh, so he is back to reclaim his wife Natalie and his daughter Jessica. And to him Jared is just in the way.
We do get confirmation that Jared was being blackmailed into doing all the horrible things he did to Natalie and Jessica’s family. It seems that Landers (Jared’s old jail mate) knew the secret about Charlie (from guess who) and used it to blackmail Jared into participating in the stalking plan. Jared went along with all the plans to terrorize Jessica to protect Charlie. All we hear at first is Mitch revealing that Jared was protecting his father Charlie, who supposedly is a murderer. No one believes Mitch, of course, but the truth comes out later.
So John and Brody find their way out to Nash’s old place in Napa and they quickly find Mitch holding Natalie, Jessica and Jared at gunpoint. Mitch, who has already been knocking Natalie around, grabs Natalie when John bursts in and threatens to kill her. It all seemed too easy when John faced Mitch with his gun, Brody sneaked up on him from behind and John got Mitch to let Natalie go. It appeared that Mitch was going to follow John’s orders and put his gun down (yeah right) but as Mitch was pretending to do so, he quickly raised his hand and shot Jared in the chest. Mitch was subdued and cuffed to a pole, but the damage was done.
Viki and Charlie show up in Napa because hey are horrified at finding Nash’s empty grave and just as Jessica runs out to wait for the ambulance, she runs into Viki and Charlie. Jess has the unpleasant task of telling her mother that Mitch is indeed alive and behind all their troubles. She also has to tell Viki that Mitch accused Charlie of being a murderer. Viki just can’t believe any of it, especially that Mitch has returned. They finally get Jared to the hospital while John stays behind guarding Mitch, having to listen to all of Mitch’s sick nonsense about how Jared was behind everything and tried to kill him so he was just defending himself. Oh, and even though he killed Pamela at the Buchanan ranch, he blamed that on Jared, too.
I did enjoy one part of that fiasco in the greenhouse. It was when Mitch was spewing all his garbage about getting his family back and having Natalie back as his wife. John couldn’t take it any more and gave Mitch a good punch in the stomach to shut him up. Go John!
They finally get Jared to the hospital but he is in bad shape. At first it seems like he is stable and he is able to talk to Natalie and Charlie. Of course he professes his love for Natalie and she is convinced that he will be okay. He asks to speak to Charlie and that’s when we find out the truth. Jared confesses to Charlie that he did everything for him because he was protecting him and trying to keep him out of jail. Charlie doesn’t have a clue and denies that he killed anyone, but Jared tells him the truth. It seems that many years ago, when Charlie was drunk, he came to the house and got into it with Jared’s stepfather. We already know that Jared’s stepfather was very abusive to Jared and his brother. It seems Charlie was responsible for Jared’s stepfather falling, hitting his head and dying and Jared witnessed the whole thing. Charlie remembers nothing about the incident and he realizes that Jared’s life is in jeopardy because of something terrible he did and he feels totally responsible for what is going on.
Things turn from bad to worse when Natalie returns to Jared’s bedside. She already knows what Jared did and why and she accepts it and understands that he would never do what he did unless he was under great duress. Jared hates what he did, even though he did it out of love for his father and the desire to keep the father he was very grateful to get back in his life. He said that he hated Charlie for so long and couldn’t bear to have anything happen to him now that they have finally been reunited and have a father/son relationship. Sadly, Jared suffers an embolism and goes into cardiac arrest. Natalie is terrified and when the doctor finish treating Jared, he has the unpleasant task of telling the family that Jared died. It was too bad that Jared had to be sacrificed, but at least he got the truth off his chest before he died. Now Natalie has to deal with the same thing Jessica did when Nash died and Charlie has to deal with the guilt that his son died for something he did. He already lives with the guilt over the fact that he was a drunk for so many years and abandoned his family. Viki vows to stand by Charlie, but this isn’t going to be easy now that they have Mitch to deal with.