Jared & Natalie Banks
Copyright by ABC Daytime, 2009
Jared’s death at the hands of Mitch Laurence has certainly hit a lot of people in Llanview very hard and certainly none more than Natalie and Charlie. I will get to Natalie a bit later on because Melissa Archer’s performance for me was exceptional and I have a lot to say about her.
Let’s start with Jessica. There were so many emotions flying around in that hospital when the doctor announced that Jared was dead and the first thing I zeroed in on was Jessica. It was plain to see that she was horrified, not only because Jared was dead, but because having gone through the same devastation over Nash’s horrible, unexpected death last year, she knew exactly what her sister was feeling and how awful it was going to be for her to deal with what happened. The fact that Mitch was responsible for Jared’s death compounded the misery unbelievably, not to mention that he dragged Nash back into the horror show in the most heinous way.
Thank goodness that Jessica has Brody at her side because he is such a strong man and is not intimidated by Mitch, even when he accompanied Jessica to the jail and Mitch tried to shake his confidence. Mitch tried to play on Brody by accusing him of being mentally unstable and brought up the time he took Shane up to the mountains and shot Rex. I love Brody because he just stood there and said to Mitch, “Is that all you’ve got?” Brody should give everyone lessons on how to deal with Mitch. Not that Mitch is intimidated by Brody, but it’s nice to see someone act as if they’re not affected by that lunatic.
And how could you not feel for Charlie. He was so happy to finally be reunited with his son and to have a real relationship with him and now he has so much to deal with. It seems like Mitch gave everyone so many layers of pain on top of Jared’s actual death. Now, in addition to losing the son he loved, Charlie has to deal with finding out just how responsible he was for the course of events that ended Jared’s life. Charlie has to deal with the fact that he actually killed someone when he was so drunk that he doesn’t even remember it and that Jared lost his life at the hands of a maniac who used that information against him. Will Charlie hit the bottle again? The minute he got home with Viki his first impulse was to wipe out the pain with a drink. He fought his way through it this time, but will he be able to stay sober? I hate to say this, but my first thought was that Dorian, who is so furious over losing the election to Viki, could find a way to get back at Viki by playing on Charlie’s weakness when it comes to drinking. I wouldn’t put it past Dorian, since she has used Charlie in the past for her own disgusting agenda.
Just as an aside, I have to mention that something annoyed me about Charlie’s memories of Jared’s stepfather and it has to do with the show’s continuity problems. I remember very clearly that Jared always described his stepfather as being very abusive to him and his younger brother, Jimmy. I remember Jared telling Natalie the story of how Jimmy was running from some conflict in the house when he ran into the street and was killed by a car. Now we hear Charlie telling Viki how he feels so guilty for not being a good father and that Jared’s stepfather cared so much about him and took care of him. Hmmm, somebody has the story wrong, no? And Viki; when does this woman get a break? I can’t remember the last time she had some fun in her life and didn’t have to deal with her tragedy-laden family. Oh yes, I do remember; it was when she ran away to Texas and worked as a waitress in the Bon Jour Cafe without a care in the world. Maybe she should head for the hills again and get some peace in her life. Having Mitch back can only mean heartache for her.
Now we will talk about Natalie. The reason I was so impressed with Melissa Archer’s performance is because although I did come to like Jared well enough, I never had a whole lot of emotion invested in his pairing with Natalie. I never thought their relationship had a lot of substance ever since he began by supposedly being her uncle. I thought it was ridiculous the way Natalie and Jared got married by going away one night and coming back married without even a reception or any celebration. I had nothing invested in this couple and yet Melissa Archer dragged plenty of tears out of me this week. Natalie’s devastation over Jared’s death was very real and she made me feel every minute of it. I was pushed to tears when Clint took her upstairs to rest and she found Jared’s jacket. She told Clint how Jared always smelled like mint because he knew she loved mints and always carried them in his pocket for her. When she reached in his jacket pocket, pulled out the roll of mints and broke down, so did I. Natalie did lie down to rest, but it didn’t last long and she got up and left the house.
Meanwhile across town, John was feeling totally miserable and guilty after having dealt with Mitch and having to listen to Mitch throw it in his face about how he was the one who would pay for killing Jared. The most disgusting thing about Mitch is that he does his research very thoroughly so he knows just what to say to someone to bring them to their knees and make them lose control. He did that to John by reminding him that he is John McBain, the hero who is supposed to save everyone and make things right; but somehow the people he cares about always seem to die. When Mitch brought up Kaitlyn, John nearly lost it and was going to put a bullet in Mitch but Brody stopped him. Too bad. Just like Charlie was stopped when he tried to choke Mitch to death. Mitch always knows what to say to tear someone’s guts out and he did that by telling John that he won’t do a minute of time for Jared’s death but John will because he will have to live with the fact that he pursued Jared, leading to his death.