1990 to 1992Edit
Lord Love the ChildrenEdit
After discovering that the charity group Tina began working for in late 1989 was really an illegal adoption ring headed by Serena and Ambrose; Tina, Viki, Roger, and Cord teamed up to take them down. Max and Gabrielle were dragged into this mess when their son, Al was kidnapped and going to be sold. Ambrose lured Tina, Cord, Roger, Viki, Max and Gabrielle to an old factory on New Year's Eve 1989 where hidden fireworks were set to explode and kill them all. But, Clint came to the rescue but Serena and Ambrose escaped after shooting Max. While everyone was at the hospital Tina took off to track down the Wymans and expose them once and for all.This leads her to their yacht where she pulls a gun on them. Tina faces off with the Wymans but they get the upperhand and hold Tina hostage preparing to kill her until Clint and Cord come to her rescue. The Wymans were arrested and carted off to jail in January 1990. Soon after, Tina tried to breakup Cord and Debra, but failed. She then bid Llanview farewell and left town with her son CJ (Thus the exit of Andrea Evans).
The final big adventures of the Rauch era featured political intrigue in the fictional country of Mendorra, which had been wreaking havoc on Llanview citizens for years.The royal battle between brothers Prince Raymond and Roland Hohenstein came to head with Sarah and Megan being captured and held prisoner in Mendorra by the evil Prince Roland after traveling to Mendorra to help Prince Raymond who had gone blind while rescuing Megan from a fire. Roland hatched an evil plot in which Sarah was to marry Raymond so he can assume the throne. Bo, Cord, Dorian, Cassie and Debra teamed up to save them and in the exciting conclusion Bo posed as Raymond and married Sarah in the cathedral. After the royal wedding, Sarah, Bo, Megan and Raymond escaped onto skis still in their wedding attire and skied down a mountain with Roland in pursuit (on location in Austria). Then Roland and Raymond battled to death with good defeating evil and Raymond winning the throne back.
As the new decade began, Viki ran for mayor of Llanview on a strong anti-drug platform. Roger Gordon managed her campaign, and the two fought their mutual feelings for each other. Meanwhile, Gabrielle’s mother Julia Medina (Linda Thorson), who was every bit a schemer her daughter was, set her sights on snaring Clint. Making things even more complicated was Viki’s opponent – Herb Callison, whose campaign was managed by newly returned Dorian (now played by Elaine Princi). Viki won, and became a target of the local drug cartel, which was masterminded by Michael Grande.
Michael had alienated virtually everybody in Llanview. When he was gunned down, there was no shortage of suspects as to who could have done it. But Megan was arrested, tried and found guilty of the crime. Jake Harrison (Joe Lando), the rough-and-tumble new love in her life, busted her out of jail. Megan was saved from a life-without-parole sentence when her father Roger confessed to killing Michael in self-defense (he would have confessed sooner, but he’d been in a coma.)
Michael’s drug-trafficking business was taken over by Carlo Hesser (Thom Christopher), one of the most durable villains in the series’ history. Like Michael before him, Carlo would become a bitter enemy of everybody in town, get gunned down and there would be a major murder investigation lasting months. This happened not once, but twice – in 1992 and 1997.
After all the trauma they endured in early 1990, Sarah and Bo decided to honeymoon in July and chose the remote island of Badderly as the place to go and with them they decided to bring the cast and crew of Fraternity Row along for a location shoot. So Sarah, Bo, Megan, Cord, Spring Skye and company traveled to Badderly but the situation turned dangerous as the gang realized that the island was infested by mobsters among them, Carlo's son Johnny Dee, his sister Charlotte, Tina who is involved with Johnny and an undercover Marco Dane up to another one of his schemes. Marco fell for Megan once again and tried to help the gang escape and they all went undercover, Sarah as country woman, Megan as a bookworm and Bo as a mobster! Jake and Lucky then traveled to Badderly after learning about the island and Jake had to pretend he liked Charlotte so their cover is not blown. Then Marco and Megan tried to escape on a raft but it capsized and Marco had to save Megan from drowning. Then Sarah and Megan were walking in the jungle and Sarah found herself trapped in a pit of quicksand, Megan is forced to leave her and get Bo and Jake who rescue her. Then the gang discover the drug lab on the island as their cover is blown and Bo is forced to shoot Jake who actually recovered and then they were held hostage and survived an explosion before defeating the mob, all of the couples happily reunite and then race back to Llanview to try and save Viki whom they know the Hessers plan to assassinate!
One of Carlo’s early heinous acts was to attempt to have Viki assassinated. He failed but did cause her to have a stroke, leaving her an invalid for many months. Unknown to anyone, Viki began having hallucinatory visits from her alter Niki. Meanwhile Carlo’s son Johnny Dee Hesser was stalking Tina (now played by Karen Witter) and insisted that the baby she was carrying was his, not Cord’s. One night, Johnny Dee broke into Llanfair and attempted to kidnap Tina. Viki turned into Niki (who was not affected by Viki’s stroke-induced paralysis), shot Johnny, and reverted back to Viki. Since Tina was unconscious, nobody saw ‘Niki’, and hence everyone assumed that Viki couldn’t have possibly shot him. Months later, Carlo would learn the truth and attempt to get even by killing Megan. Gabrielle was ordered by Carlo to drug Viki, which was a part of his diabolical scheme to turn Viki into Niki, and get her to kill her own daughter, Megan. Gabrielle could not go through with Carlo's plan and was later sentenced to fifteen years in Statesville Prison (taking the fall for Carlo, who threatened her son's life).
Bo married Megan’s sister Sarah, but she was kidnapped and believed killed by Carlo Hesser’s henchmen in order to keep her from testifying against him. While searching for Sarah, Bo was assisted by FBI agent Alex Olanov (Tonja Walker) who later turned out to be mentally unbalanced, and developed an obsessive fixation on Bo. When Bo began dating Dorian’s daughter Cassie (who was SORAS-ed to be Bo’s age, and played by Laura Koffman), Alex flipped out and tried to kill her. Later, when Bo & Cassie were going to marry, Alex showed up at the chapel with a huge surprise – Sarah, alive and well. Bo left Cassie to reconcile with Sarah, but she died for real in 1993.
The storyline was becoming increasingly complicated and contrived, and viewers began turning the show off in droves. But in 1993, new executive producer Linda Gottlieb and head writer Michael Malone would rejuvenate the series, largely by returning to its roots of social class conflicts with stories such as gang rape and refueling the rivalry between Viki and Dorian.
1992 to 1996Edit
The mid 1990s were considered by some fans to be something of a golden age for OLTL, in part thanks to head writer Michael Malone, who introduced some popular new characters and introduced some surprisingly novel new storylines.
Jake and Megan were wed, but almost as soon as they tied the knot, Jake (a P.I.) left on an investigation in the middle-eastern country Jaba. Jake disappeared, and Megan was left not knowing whether he was alive or dead. Worse yet, Megan began suffering from lupus. Despondent over losing Jake, she ignored her health and partied heavily, taxing her system to the limit. A desperate kidney transplant (Viki was the donor) failed to save her. Reverend Andrew Carpenter (Robert Krimmer) harbored a crush on Megan, and risked his life going to Jaba to rescue Jake just in time for husband and wife to have one last moment together. Megan died in Jake’s arms.
Cord was reportedly "killed" in Jaba as well, although he turned up alive a year later. In the interim, Tina took up with con man Cain Rogan (Christopher Cousins).
Carlo was believed murdered, and a lengthy police investigation ensued. One of the chief suspects was Alex Olanov, who had blackmailed Carlo into marrying her (and then entertained him with kinky bondage games). While the former FBI agent was not Carlo’s killer, she did take over his criminal empire for a time – reluctantly aided by Mortimer Berns (Carlo’s separated at birth twin brother).
The death of Megan, and supposed death of Cord sparked a rift between Clint and Viki that grew wider over time. Viki took an interest in Andrew’s father General Sloane Carpenter (Roy Thinnes), whose personality was disturbingly like that of Viki’s late father Victor. The unthinkable happened when Viki had an affair with Sloane, and finally divorced Clint in order to marry him. Sloane, who suffered from Hodgkin’s disease, was living on borrowed time though. Viki actually married him while he was in the hospital intensive-care unit, and he died shortly afterward in 1994.
Dorian shocked Llanview society by brazenly dating Jason Webb (Mark Brettschneider), 21-year-old nephew of Wanda Webb Wolek (Marilyn Chris). Like Dorian, Asa returned to his old ways – he cruelly dumped Renee for the much younger new wife Blair Cramer (Mia Korf). Blair was Dorian’s niece and took after her aunt by swindling Asa and cheating on him with Max Holden. Blair had her own grudge against Dorian over the treatment of Addie Cramer (Pamela Payton-Wright), Blair’s mentally ill mother and Dorian’s sister.
Max was so smitten with Blair that he barely noticed his business partner Luna Moody (Susan Battan), who co-owned the Serenity Springs Spa with him. The wacky, goddess-worshipping, New Age Luna was convinced that she and Max were soul mates – and they were. But before they married in 1993, Luna would have to fight the Specter of Death itself to save Max, and Max would face off with the ghost of Luna’s first husband Johnny; not to mention Alex, who staged a fake haunting of Serenity Springs in order to drive away business and stage a hostile takeover (she failed). Max later became a gambling addict, and Blair (who had broken up with Asa) exploited this weakness in order to seduce him. But when Luna suffered a near-crippling spinal injury, Max realized what was important to him and mended his bad-boy ways.
After Blair dumped Asa, he took up with Carlo’s widow Alex. Asa and Alex were definitely two of a kind – greedy, power-mad and competitive. Alex was also prone to gaudy displays of wealth – such as her wedding to Asa, which she arrived via a "royal barge" decked out as Cleopatra. She used Asa’s money and connections to buy social prestige, even running for and winning the election as Llanview’s mayor.
Meanwhile, Viki and Clint’s kids were SORAS-ed from young children to teenagers and young adults. Kevin Buchanan had a son Duke by LeeAnn Demerest (Yasmine Bleeth), and fell under Asa’s corrupting influence. When LeeAnn broke up with him to be with Jason Webb, Kevin used Asa’s connections and money to get a court order declaring LeeAnn an unfit mother, and give him sole custody of Duke. Jason kidnapped Duke, and LeeAnn went into hiding with him, but they were eventually found and arrested. Kevin turned over a new leaf though, thanks in large part to the influence of a new love interest – Rachel Gannon (Ellen Bethea), and allowed LeeAnn to leave town with Duke.
Joey’s best friend Billy Douglas (Ryan Phillippe) came out gay and was at the center of a major town scandal: wild child Marty Saybrooke (Susan Haskell) spread rumors that Rev. Andrew had sexually molested Billy, and homophobia spread through Llanview in the summer of 1992. Andrew’s brother had been a gay man who died of AIDS, and he fought against the town’s desire to stigmatize gay people. The storyline culminated with the AIDS quilt coming to Llanview. Andrew and Cassie fell in love and were married soon after.
Bo and Sarah were on their way to get re-married when a hit-and-run driver ran them off the road and killed Sarah. Bo almost had a nervous breakdown trying to track down the man responsible. He was aided in his search by Nora Hanen Gannon (Hillary B. Smith), the ex-wife of the district attorney Hank Gannon (Nathan Purdee) and mother of his daughter Rachel. Nora, a lawyer herself, began experiencing blackouts and headaches from a brain tumor. For a time, she mistakenly believed that she herself was the hit-and-run driver who ran Bo’s car off the road (she had blacked out that night due to stress from the tumor.) Bo and Nora fell in love, and the two ‘rockin’ oldies’ fans eventually were married by none other than Little Richard (who is an ordained minister in real life).
Several people, including Andrew and Viki, tried to befriend the very troubled Marty. She adamantly resisted help and created trouble for everyone who reached out to her. In time, she mellowed. But her trouble-making history came back to haunt her in a big way in the summer of 1993. After getting drunk at a college fraternity party, she was gang-raped by several students. The ringleader of the crime was the sociopath Todd Manning (then portrayed by Roger Howarth). Because of her inebriation, Marty mistakenly thought that Kevin Buchanan was one of her assailants (he wasn’t). When Marty pressed charges, the entire town was polarized, with many people believing this was one more in a string of her mean-spirited lies. Marty eventually realized that Kevin wasn’t one of her attackers, and retracted the charges against him, even though it hurt her case. The rest of the defendants were almost cleared of the charges because crucial evidence could not be located. But their defense attorney, Nora, realized that Todd and his cronies really were guilty, and during her closing argument lost her cool and railed against her own clients!
Todd went to jail, but fooled a naïve Christian missionary girl Rebecca Lewis (Reiko Aylesworth) into believing he’d changed his ways. With her unwitting help, Todd escaped jail. While a fugitive from justice, Todd got into a fight with Marty’s boyfriend Suede Pruitt (David Ledingham) that accidentally resulted in the latter man’s death. Todd also menaced a temporarily blind Nora before being apprehended by the new police commissioner – Bo. However, Todd showed he had a good side when he rescued Cord and Tina’s kids C.J. and Sarah,Jessica Buchanan, and even Marty from a perilous car crash. Based on this, Todd was given a chance to redeem himself and released on probation – much to the dismay of many Llanview-ites. Marty even circulated a petition to have Todd returned to jail. He did reform himself, although he maintained his surly disposition. Surprisingly, he would find a soul mate in Blair, another town pariah who wanted a shot at redemption.
Meanwhile, Viki and Dorian’s long feud re-ignited. (Robin Strasser had resumed the role at this point.) Viki discovered evidence that supported her long-held belief that Dorian had murdered her father, and had her nemesis brought up on charges. Dorian’s lawyer Nora found conflicting evidence from a Lord family butler who said he’d seen Tina’s mother Irene Clayton fleeing from Victor’s room just after he died. Nevertheless, Dorian was found guilty and given a death sentence for Victor’s murder. Yet, she was saved by a handsome young man named David Vickers (Tuc Watkins) who claimed to see Irene murder Victor firsthand. Even more shocking was his claim that he was the son of Irene and Victor!
Dorian, free from jail, sought revenge in an unusual way – she seduced Viki’s son Joey (SORAS-ed yet again and played by Nathan Fillion). Dorian manipulated the boy into falling in love with her, and then lured Viki to her house to find them (on her scheduled wedding day to Sloane no less). But once again, Dorian’s revenge scenario backfired on her – she genuinely fell in love with Joey herself. Later, when Joey transferred his affections to Dorian’s niece Kelly Cramer (Gina Tognoni, Heather Tom), she took it quite hard.
David was not actually Victor’s son – he was a con man who had learned of the existence of the son and tried to pass himself off in order to steal a trust fund. David’s scheme unraveled when he fell for Tina, who was supposed to be his sister. He entrusted her with his secret, but she could not keep a lid on it. Eventually, Cord found out and exposed them both.
The true identity of Victor’s missing son was a huge shock – it was Todd! Todd was one of the last people to know the truth; even Blair discovered the secret first. Once she knew, Blair made certain to sink her claws into Todd (a potential millionaire) before he asserted his birthright – she claimed she was pregnant and cajoled him into marrying her. Later, after learning the truth and obtaining his inheritance, Todd suspected Blair had bamboozled him and demanded she take a pregnancy test. Even Blair was surprised when the test came back positive. Alas, she would miscarry after being assaulted by muggers.
David’s fraud (and Tina’s complicity) was the last straw in a string of stressful incidents for Viki – divorcing Clint, Dorian’s seduction of Joey, Sloane’s death - that finally took a toll on her psyche. Viki had an angry confrontation with Dorian, in which Dorian revealed the late Victor’s darkest secret – he was a pedophile who seduced and repeatedly raped Viki over the entire course of her childhood! Faced with memories that she’d repressed for all her adult life, Viki snapped and reverted to her multiple personality (now renamed Dissociative identity disorder), only now exhibiting a number of new personalities beside "Niki". The main new "alter" (alternate identity) was "Jean Randolph" (a skewed version of Viki’s mother, and a control freak), as well as "Princess" (a frightened little girl), "Tommy" (a violent young boy) and "Tori" (the most explicitly evil of the alters.) "Jean" imprisoned Dorian in Llanfair’s secret room for a while. When she finally let her go, she forced her to marry David Vickers to keep her away from Joey. Eventually though "Tori" took control and actively sought to destroy everything that Victor Lord had ever built. "Tori" set Llanfair on fire, hoping it would burn to the ground. But she realized that Viki’s daughter Jessica was still inside. Viki reasserted herself in order to rescue Jessie, and afterward underwent psychotherapy to deal with the reality of her childhood. She would remember the most terrible secret of her life in therapy though – back in 1976, she briefly became "Tori" and murdered Victor herself (although years later, it would be revealed that Victor survived the attempt on his life). Viki was found not guilty of murder by reason of temporary insanity, but her life was forever changed.
One Life to Live had been whitewashed in the mid-1980s with the ejection of all non-caucasians, leaving primarily WASP characters. Throughout his tenure as head writer, Malone had steadily reintroduced racial and cultural diversity into Llanview – the members of the Gannon family (brothers Hank and RJ, and Hank’s daughter Rachel) were all important characters; Hank’s ex-wife Nora was OLTL’s first major Jewish character since the 1970s; and Billy Douglas was one of the very first gay characters in the history of daytime. In 1995, Malone introduced the working-class and largely Hispanic Angel Square neighborhood of Llanview, and the Vega family. Angel Square was overrun by gangland drug war violence, and mayor Alex Buchanan wanted to raze the whole place to put up an arts center (named in her honor). However, many residents fought hard to save their homes. Carlotta Vega (Patricia Maureci) was introduced as Dorian’s maid, but later owned and operated the Vega Diner. She dated Clint, and later Hank. Carlotta’s younger son Cristian Vega (Yorlin Madera, David Fumero) became Jessica’s teenage romance. Cristian’s older brother Antonio Vega (Kamar De Los Reyes) was in jail, although Bo arranged to have him pardoned in exchange for his help ending the gang wars. Antonio fell in love with police officer Andy Harrison (Wendee Pratt). Luna’s brother Dylan Moody (Christopher Douglas) opened a youth-center in Angel Square, in between dates with Marty Saybrooke.
Tragically, Luna would be one of the victims of the gang violence – being hit by a stray bullet during a shoot-out. (Months later, Cristian designed a new angel statue that was erected in the center square bearing Luna’s likeness.)
Todd had been an extremely controversial character. Even his portrayer Roger Howarth was disturbed by the increasingly romantic direction his character was taking. (During at least one fan function, fans screamed, “Rape me Todd!”) But when plans for a storyline in which Todd and Marty would fall in love were revealed, Howarth quit the show in protest. Todd was allowed to mend fences with his old enemy Marty, form a sibling bond with Viki, and even reconciled and remarried Blair (who was – again – pregnant by him) before being presumed dead and written out. Meanwhile, Marty found herself in the middle of a love triangle – she married Dylan, but her heart truly belonged to Irish poet Patrick Thornhart (Thorsten Kaye). Blair blamed Marty for Todd’s supposedly tragic accident. She gave birth to a daughter Starr Manning, then chased after Patrick, for no better reason than to irritate Marty.
Writer Malone would resign from his head writer position in early 1996 after disagreements with executive producer Susan Bedsow-Horgan over the direction of the storyline. With his departure, the show seemed to lose its focus.
1996 to 1999Edit
In Michael Malone’s absence, the storyline spiraled out of control. New storylines such as Dorian writing a romance novel based on her affair with Joey (with Viki cast as the villainess) seemed ridiculous. Numerous core actors fled the show; Nathan Fillion (Joey), Tonja Walker (Alex), Jon Loprieno (Cord), and Stephanie Williams (Sheila) all left the show in 1996. Kamar De Los Reyes and Wendee Pratt, who played the enormously popular supercouple Antonio and Andy, left in '97. Susan Haskell and Thorsten Kaye (Marty and Patrick) also departed that year.
Carlo Hesser was resurrected and became a part of every ongoing storyline as the major villain. This was so that Carlo could be killed, and another a major “Who killed Carlo Hesser?” storyline could take place wit everybody in town could be named as a suspect.
Still seeking revenge against Viki (for the death of his son Johnny), he blackmailed her psychiatrist into hypnotizing her. He wanted to make her hate her son Kevin enough to shoot him. “I want Viki to kill her firstborn!” he intoned several times. (Carlo knew very well that Megan, not Kevin, was Viki’s "firstborn", as many fans pointed out; however, he may have been referring to Kevin as Viki's fisrtborn now that Megan was dead.)
Carlo also enlisted Alex’s help in fleecing Asa. Using the alias "Poseidon", Carlo was emailing Asa about an offshore gambling operation, but it was all just a scam to swindle him. Meanwhile, Asa pressured Alex to give him a new heir. Not wanting to actually have a child, Alex claimed she was pregnant and stuffed a pillow under her shirt to fake a belly. Eventually Asa got wise and publicly exposed mayor Alex’s dirty dealings, ripping the pillow out of her shirt, before divorcing her. Alex was forced to resign from her office in disgrace. However she got one last laugh in on Asa and family. When she left town, she left a videotaped good-bye with personalized insults for all the Buchanan family members, and revealed she was leaving in the company of – Carlo, who had inexplicably survived his second murder.
Bo’s son Drew Buchanan (Victor Browne) was brought back and had a romance with Kelly after Joey left town. Like everyone else at this time, Drew was connected to Carlo. Also, Drew’s mother Becky Lee Abbott (Mary Gordon Murray) returned to town, but acted remarkably different than the character had in the past. Whereas Becky Lee had always been a sweet-natured, aspiring country and western singer, she was now depicted as a small-time grifter.
Days of our Lives star Crystal Chappell was brought in amid much fanfare to play Maggie Carpenter, Max’s new love interest. But the revelation that the free-spirited, saucy Maggie was a novitiate nun was one of the most implausible plot twists of all. Even after her calling was revealed, "Sexy Sister Maggie" paraded around Llanview in mini-skirts and low-cut blouses that revealed plenty of cleavage. Even more bizarrely, Maggie eventually left the church with the intention of opening a ‘circus arts’ school. (Perhaps understandably, Chappell did not stay long on OLTL, and Maggie was written out.)
Marty and PatrickEdit
Marty and Patrick were recast as a ‘Luke and Laura’ type adventure couple – narrowly surviving Irish assassins, mad bombers, Carlo’s schemes, and Blair. Blair blamed Marty for Todd’s “death” and sought to steal Patrick from her. Blair succeeded in seducing Patrick, and being impregnated (again!) just before Todd returned from the dead. (Roger Howarth was lured back to the show. Among the stipulations he insisted upon was that Todd not be depicted in any love scenes.) While Blair’s new pregnancy was written in because actress Kassie DePavia (née Wessley) was pregnant in real life, it left a sticky situation for the characters to resolve.
In 1997, new head writer Claire Labine "solved" the problem by having Blair's cousin Kelly crash into Blair and Patrick's car. Blair's unborn baby died, and she lashed out at Todd before going into a coma. Desperate to keep custody of their other child Starr, Todd married Tea Delgado (Florencia Lozano), his lawyer, but a woman he barely knew, to make a fake family life. Tea represented him in the custody battle. Todd also got a parrot, and talked to the parrot about his life in a number of scenes.
Other stories at the time involved Marty and Patrick's wedding ending in a hail of gunfire and blood, Dorian's struggles to hide her dark family past, Nora struggling with peri-menopause, and RJ Gannon opening a new bar with a transvestite mixologist.
The stories wandered aimlessly, and in early 1998 ABC hired Jill Farren Phelps as executive producer and Pam Long as head writer. Neither woman was a stranger to controversy, but the first few months of their tenure (featuring a mystery over who killed Nora's crazy assistant Georgie - the killer was Nora’s daughter Rachel) were well received. However, fans began to complain when core characters (such as Dorian's husband Mel and Bo's son Drew) were killed or (such as Dorian's daughter Cassie) written out. Others fans disliked that many longtime characters like Nora, Jessica, and Viki were only given stories which revolved around the new Rappaport/Davidson family, whose insertion into so many core character's live sin such a rapid manner was clearly resented by many fans.
Linda Dano was also added to the cast in late 1999, after the cancellation of Another World. Dano had played a small, semi-forgotten supporting role on OLTL twenty years earlier, Gretel Cummings. The character, renamed Rae Cummings, returned to Llanview. Dano appeared as Rae on all four of ABC's soaps at the time - General Hospital, All My Children and Port Charles in an attempt to promote all four shows to viewers of the individual shows. Similarly, actress Robin Christopher resurrected her AMC character Skye Chandler as a OLTL vixen, before taking the same character to GH. But rather than attract viewers of the other ABC soaps, some OLTL viewers felt that these characters were distractions from the longtime regulars such as Viki and Dorian.
Phelps hired many of her favorite actors (Mark Derwin, Kale Browne, John Bolger, Timothy Gibbs) to fill roles. Moments like Todd punching Tea in the face and Nora sleeping with her former lover Sam to give her sterile husband a child provided some powerful drama, but to many viewers, came at the expense of character integrity. Beloved couple Nora and Bo split bitterly and Hillary B. Smith was so unnerved by her character's behavior she actually lobbied Phelps (unsuccessfully) to kill Nora off.
Meanwhile, beloved teen heroine Jessica (then Erin Torpey), who had worried about whether or not she wanted to sleep with boyfriend Cristian, lost her virginity during a drunken night with Will Rappaport, the stepbrother she barely knew. She then became pregnant, but Dorian ran her down as she was about to give birth; the baby died. Jessica began stalking Dorian. Soon she went on the run to Ireland with Cristian and fugitive Will, singing in a rock and roll band. Throughout there was little to no mention of Jessica receiving therapy or counseling for all this trauma, and she spent far more time swapping beds with Cris and Will than she did thinking about what she had gone through.
In early 1999, Long left, and Phelps (with some help from Harding Lemay) was essentially head writer for an entire year. Eventually Megan McTavish took over writing chores and created a series of dark storylines involving mobsters, the search for Asa's real son, and tortured love triangles (Kevin/Kelly/Joey; Blair/Max/Skye). The stories meandered for more than a year, as Max faked being Asa's son, developed a brain tumor, strung both ladies along, and was then shot in the back by Blair.
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