Friday, November 03, 2006


GL's Rick Bauer's (Michael O'Leary) justification for falling into an affair with high-school pal (and well, technically, ex-wife; but there's a reason for that) Beth Raines (Beth Chamberlin), is that old, cheating husband stand-by: My wife doesn't understand me.

Seems Rick's wife, Mel (Yvonna Wright), just can not get behind his nostalgia for the Four Musketeer friendship Rick once shared with best friend, Phillip Spaulding, Beth, and Mindy Lewis.

Though they both grew up in Springfield, Rick and Phillip didn't become friends until 1982, when rich boy Phillip transferred from Lincoln Prep to Springfield High School. Phillip's dad, Alan Spaulding, gave Phillip a flashy sportscar and new buddy Rick promptly hopped behind the wheel for a joy-ride. When the cops stopped them for speeding, Phillip quickly switched places with Rick, who wasn't carrying his driver's license, and took the rap.

That summer, Phillip and Rick befriended a couple of new arrivals to Springfield. Spoiled rich girl Mindy Lewis, who instantly set her cap for Phillip, and shy, secretive Beth, whom Rick favored. The happy quartet went to the Senior Prom together, where, even though they were there with other people (Phillip with Mindy, Beth with Rick), Phillip and Beth were named King and Queen.

Afterward, unable to stay away from each other, Phillip and Beth snuck away during Mindy's eighteenth birthday party, and declared their love. Unfortunately, Beth's vengeful stepfather, Bradley Raines, followed the teens and maliciously spilled the beans about Alan not being Phillip's biological father. Hurt to discover that Rick had known the truth about his parentage all along, Phillip struck back at his friend by telling Rick about his secret tryst with Beth.

In 1984, Rick convinced Mindy to marry him even though she was carrying Phillip's child, telling her they'd raise the baby as their own. However, once Phillip found out, he insisted on marrying Mindy himself. The couple divorced after Mindy miscarried, but, by then, it was too late for Mindy and Rick to recapture their romance.

Four years later, unlucky in love Rick thought he'd finally found the woman of his dreams in beautiful Dr. Meredith Reade. But, after an argument with Rick, Meredith ended up falling into Phillip's bed (well, actually, they were at the lighthouse). Rick and Meredith reconciled and planned to wed - but, now it was Meredith who was pregnant with Phillip's child.

After Alan told Rick about Meredith carrying a Spaulding baby, Meredith went into premature labor. At the hospital, doctors forced Rick to choose which life to save, his wife's or her unborn baby's. No matter how painful it was for him, Phillip urged Rick to save Meredith. Despite Phillip's sacrifice of his own child, Rick still punched out his best friend and spat that he hated him.

"I know," Phillip replied. "But I still love you."

The pair reconciled in time for Rick to play hero and help Phillip out of his latest jam. In 1990, Phillip was accused of killing Neil, an unstable architect obsessed with Beth. Rick stole a corpse from the morgue so that Phillip could fake his own death and buy some time to clear his name.

At the same time, Mindy was once again deciding that Rick was the man for her. She rushed to tell him the news, only to discover that Rick had wed a grieving Beth, who was (all together now:) pregnant with Phillip's child. However, even though they shared a kiss after Lamaze class, as soon as Beth found out Phillip was alive, she went running to her true love, and they left town with baby Lizzie.

Poor Rick was foiled again. (But see, I told you there was a good reason for him being Beth's ex-husband).

In 2001, however, the tables were turned. Rick slept with Phillip's estranged wife, Harley, and she became pregnant with Rick's (finally!) baby.

After Harley gave birth to Jude, Phillip forgave his friend for the transgression (though, really, what business was it of his, he and Harley were divorced). When Rick lay dying from a heart ailment, he begged Phillip to help Harley raise Jude.

Fortunately, Rick recovered, wed Mel, fathered a daughter, Leah, with her and, for a while, all seemed to be going well.

But then Phillip flipped out and, in an attempt to save them from the evil of Springfield, kidnapped his own children (of which, as we can see from above, he has many) -- plus Jude.

Alan stopped his son from getting away with the tykes by shooting him, and Rick, as always, stepped up to the plate and helped Phillip fake his death (again) and flee.

This chain of events eventually led to the inadvertent killing of Phillip's uncle, Ross Marler, a fact Mel couldn't forgive.

But Beth, apparently, could.

Though now married to Alan (ewww...), with Phillip gone, Beth also followed Four Musketeer history and fell into an affair with everyone's not-Phillip go-to-guy, Rick.

Almost exactly twenty-five years after it all began, the Four Musketeers of Springfield are still trying to get it romantically right.

Will it ever end? And how?

Tune in to GL every day on CBS and find out!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You forgot Rick's deaf wife who left him after she regained her hearing through a cochlear implant. Remember? she was Amish or Quacker and she and her father were taking care of an amnesiac Reeva. The actress who played her had the same proceedure in real life and moved west. I seem to recall her name was Abby.
Hope this helps. Thanks.