I am a sucker for a good “GL” Bauer barbecue, but the 2009 Springfield staple out did itself. Probably, because the cast, crew and the viewing audience knew it was the final one! In this instance, the outdoor location shooting that so many people have maligned and slammed for more than a year, really worked! A barbecue is held outdoors, and this 4th of July soap opera tradition was made all the more realistic by the Peapack exterior shots.
The emotional pull of this episode was greatly felt. Kudos to Grant Aleksander (Phillip) who moved me to tears with his subtle performance of a man knowing he has little time left with his family and friends ( 3 months to be exact) and wanting to savor every moment of the family gathering at this holiday. Another heart-tugging gem was Kim Zimmer (Reva) and Gil Rogers (Hawk) singing the national anthem in front of a TV set watching a sporting event, as Reva poetically put her head on her dad’s shoulder in tears. This was in light of the news that her husband Jeffrey went down in a plane crash. and was not with her for this special Springfield day. In that small instant, we see why Kim Zimmer is heralded as one of soaps greatest actresses.
It was so great to see Nancy St. Alban (Michelle) back for one last Bauer barbecue. She looked so cute! Many have told me they have missed Nancy, as she was their favorite Michelle, ever! In Camp Otalia, (and I am only commenting on performances here, not the integrity of the storyline, but what the actresses had to play) Crystal Chappell delivered another powerful performance as a hopeful Olivia waited for her girl, Natalia. This was to be the day that Otalia tell family and friends, that they are a couple. However as Natalia was freaking out over what seems to be a pregnancy by Frank, she decided she needed to pack up and go MIA! Olivia waited for her patiently at the barbecue. Then came the devastating news from Blake, that Natalia would be a no-show . Later, Olivia ran through the fields and collapsed in an emotional heap at the end of the episode. How good is Chappell? Sensational!
Finally, I think we all could see that with Michael O’Leary’s (Rick) toast and salute at the end of the episode, that the powers-that-be at Guiding Light wanted to give us some closure. They wanted to remind us of the legacy of the barbecue and Guiding Light, by referring to the most famous Bauer of them all…. Bert Bauer, played by the late Charita Bauer for decades. Nice touch and moving words.
If you want to check out the episode over the holiday weekend you can view at CBS.com. To all soapers, have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!
Till next time,