Wednesday, October 12, 2011

By Nicole Walker

I should have seen it coming. My years of soap opera watching had educated me to recognize the signs of two people falling into an affair or committing the classic ‘I didn’t mean to sleep with him/her it just happened!’ oopsie one night stand. (Which really? How can disrobing yourself and another person to interlock your genitalia just happen?)

But I completely took Maria Santos Grey and Dimitri Marick’s very supportive sister/brother-in-law relationship as platonic. Yes, they seemed to have become fast friends going above and beyond the call of duty for each other, giving a shoulder to cry on, supportive of each other to the point that they’d often plead each other’s cases to their spouses which, sure, one could think there was something suspect to that deep kind of devotion but what one (I especially) just assigned to both Dimitri and Maria sincerely taking each other as family to heart due to their mutual great love and respect for Edmund. And for the most part it was that innocent...until it wasn't.

Both Maria and Dimitri had tough roads to hoe in regards to Edmund; Dimitri and Edmund had considered each other mortal enemies until it was revealed that Edmund was Dimitri’s brother and the rightful heir to the Marick legacy. Years of animosity had to be chipped away before the two men finally embraced each other to become friends-family. And boy had it not been easy.

The men in more supportive, brotherly days…

Maria initially had to contend with Brooke English as a rival for Edmund’s heart, always giving off the sense that she was the back-up girl since Edmund couldn’t be with the one he wanted (Brooke had chosen to marry Tad over staying with Edmund) and was always running to Brooke’s aid whenever she hit a bump in the road. When it was revealed that Tad was having an affair with Dixie and wanted to divorce Brooke, everyone, including Maria, believed that Edmund was not going to be able to stay away from Brooke and break their engagement. Surprisingly, Edmund chose to stay with Maria, not out of obligation, but because he had truly grown to love her and had truly moved on from Brooke. A hotly contested decision by some Brooke/Edmund fans but one can’t deny that Edmund and Maria had some great chemistry (it couldn’t have hurt that their portrayers were dating in real life)

Edmund and Maria went on to have the full on super couple wedding with beautiful dresses, exterior location shots, and in a big fancy church that cemented their true beginning as one of All My Children’s most popular super couples.

But happy couples aren’t happy for long. Edmund and Maria wanted children, but Maria was revealed as being unable to conceive. They decided to adopt only for the birth mother to want to take back her child. Maria was desperate to keep her son, Sam, and prepared to go on the run with him but Edmund did the unthinkable-instead of supporting his wife, he betrayed her by taking Sam from her and returning him to his biological mother. After that, as far as Maria was concerned, her marriage to Edmund was over.

Meanwhile, Dimitri was suffering his own heartache having caught his on-again/off-again wife, Erica, in bed with Jonathan Kinder (it was a set-up by Kinder; nothing happened as Dimitri- to his relief and guilt- later learned). Maria, lost and desolate, went to her friend for a shoulder to cry on, and both, at emotional low points and with tears streaming down their cheeks reached out to each other, held each other, pulled each other close and kissed.


They freakin’ kissed! Not once, not twice, but repeatedly! Again and again! In that desperate- frantic- there’s-only-one-way-this-can-end kind of groping that had me gawking at the screen as one part of my brain was in shock while the other was screaming ‘No, no, no! What are you doing! Think of Edmund! Think of your brother, Dimitri! You worked so hard to be friends with him and you’re throwing it all awaaaaaaay!’

I was still shaking my head later that day, later that weekend, and still on Monday morning when while listening to the radio a local DJ himself commented on the mind-boggling Dimitri and Maria clench, totally unabashed, totally a fan, totally in disbelief of what had happened and discussing it with his female co-host. I mean when even a male DJ for a hard rock radio station is willing to go on air to talk about how crazy and game changing the Dimitri and Maria one night stand was, you KNOW it was a big deal.

I mean, yeah, it’s classic soap for a brother to betray his sibling by sleeping with their wife and it’s classic for two people in a vulnerable moment to make a whopper of a mistake which you know will end up with the once considered barren woman to get pregnant with her miracle child, which Maria did-after having a reconciliation bonk with Edmund and thus setting up a ‘Who’s the daddy’ issue for Maria on top of the affair, but damn it, did it have to come at the expense of one of the best, hard won brother relationships AMC ever had? Once the unthinkable affair happened, my soap education kicked back in and I could read the writing on the wall; that Edmund and Dimitri would be blown up for years, that Erica and Dimitri’s relationship probably wouldn’t weather this nail in their coffin, and that Dimitri would go through years of being the bad guy in this story before finally (hopefully as there’s no guarantee) being redeemed. All good soap, no lie, but also so darned frustrating. I mean WHY did this have to happen?! Why couldn’t Dimitri and Edmund stay happy bros?

But that’s the nature of soaps. No one can stay happy for long. People make mistakes which sets things off kilter which keeps me, you, the audience watching. We want to see our fav characters redeem themselves and make things right again.

Until the next time the writers blow their world apart to simultaneously make me hate them and admire them and sit on the edge of my seat to see what happens next.

Coming up next (and last) one more amazing AMC moment (or rather actor) that I want to pay homage to before all is said and done…


Nicole Walker is Associate Producer of Another World Today.

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