“Guiding Light” mini-cap 5/29: Making changes

“Just Greg” is watching Otalia. Nat is nervous that Greg’s special radar has detected something between them — like the lack of space. He gushes and wants to know where Liv got her fantastic shoes. Could be a foot fetish, but more likely he wants his spa manager boyfriend to purchase him a pair for RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Nat doesn’t want to get her hopes up about Rafe. (Distractingly overhead is a very loud airplane circling the Peapack skies towing a large banner that says “Kiss Her!”) Nat reassures Liv when Rafe is home the two of them can still be together — it will just be a little complicated. At least she didn’t say “different.”

Liv questions what happens if Rafe can’t deal. Natalia says he needs to hear it the right way, at the right time. Yeah, Nat, and when will that be? Another “IDK.”

Natalia is mothering Rafe at the courthouse, straightening his tie like it’s school picture day. She found him a car and a course guide for Springfield University and a job at the Beacon — and a copy of Emma Has Two Mommies that she is saving for later. (How later? “IDK.”) She apologizes for fussing. He says he is looking forward to her nagging him. Yeah, just wait 24 hours.

Court is in session. Nat, Rafe and some Barbie lawyer wait as the judge reviews the record. Where is defender Doris? I know she is a prosecutor, but she has been known to switch teams. The judge is disturbed by Rafe’s history. He asks if Nat is Rafe’s mother, a logical question considering no matter what GL puts in front of her now, she is obviously 18 months pregnant. Stop the insanity! No more puffy coats, laundry baskets, suitcases, weird Cyprus bushes, or unattractive scarves! These disguises are as effective as Doris’ hat. We know!

Nat says she has a stable home life with a good job and supportive friends, in fantastic shoes. Liv strides in. The judge said there is still a problem: There is no male in Nat’s personal life. Guess that adjudicator, in no way, relied on his experience, personal bias, or sexist beliefs when interpreting the letter of the law.

Barbie defends Natalia. She has rebuilt a loving, stable home after Gus died. Realistically, there is no better mentor for Rafe’s re-entry into society than a strong, confident, professional like Olivia Spencer, but there is no denying she is all X-chromosome. Is that labeling?

The judge makes a male mentor a stipulation of Rafe’s release. Timing is everything as Frank enters the courtroom and announces he will be the man in Rafe’s life. Wonder how he feels about Liv’s shoes?

The judge is satisfied with the conditions of release. Rafe is free to go. Natalia’s so ecstatic she practically pops her dimples. Rafe hugs Frank and thanks him. Frank takes his mentoring responsibility seriously. Natalia tells Frank he is the best man (not groom) she knows.

Nat is overjoyed. Otalia are staring, waiting for each to make a move when Liv announces, “I’m going to hug my friend.” “Friend” either begin scripting girl in front of that word or extricate it from the vernacular. Olivia tells Nat Gus was present in her heart. Nat assures Liv that Gus may have been there, but she was her present in the courtroom today.

Olivia reveals her celebratory dinner for Rafe. Natalia is proud of Liv’s perfect gesture. Rafe nicks the plan as he’s not ready for a post-prison parade. Liv says it’s OK; he should spend time with Natalia. Natalia hesitates to leave without Olivia. She squeezes Liv’s love spot as she leaves. Don’t get excited — it’s still her hand.

Standing there alone with Mr. Goodbar, Olivia surmises Frank must love Natalia very much. Frank says, “Looks like I’m not the only one.” Painfully true.

Emma draws a “Home” picture of the farmhouse. Liv explains the farmhouse is Nat and Rafe’s house, but they can go visit her brother if she wants. At the farmhouse Emma runs to Rafe and takes him to see her new bike. Liv senses something’s wrong. Nat says Rafe is adjusting to the change of being home. Earlier, an annoyed Rafe said he can’t take Nat’s hovering; he’s wound tighter than Susan Boyle at a Daily Mirror press conference. Olivia suggests maybe he needs more family, not less (hint hint they should tell him the truth). Natalia disagrees.

Nat looks at Emma’s picture and hopes she always feels home there. Olivia says she is not planning to move in tomorrow, but someday (soon) she wants what any family has. It would mean telling Rafe and Emma, but sometimes you just have to rip the band-aid off. Emma’s school presentation was a sign that Emma knew they belonged together before Otalia did.

Liv hears , “Mommy!” Emma is upset because Rafe became exasperated with her and told her to leave him alone. Emma was trying to get him to take Jane off her hands now that he is out of prison. Rafe apologizes and reiterates to Natalia that he is not ready for family life.

Olivia explains to Emma that Rafe didn’t mean to snap at her. He has been away for awhile and everything is new and changing around him. Liv says they have to be patient, though at this point she can sympathize with Job. (Father Eyebrows would love the Biblical reference.) With family, you have to know when to hold tight, and when to let go — and when to walk away and when to run.

Frank shows up, of course. Rafe had called him to come over and play catch. Emma asks if she and Liv can play ball, too. No! It’s excruciating. Enough pitching; someone needs to stand in and swing.

Olivia and Nat watch the boys play. Nat appreciates Frank stepping in to help Rafe with his difficulties adjusting to life outside prison. She realizes Rafe is not a kid anymore. When everything calms down, Nat will talk to him about everything. Liv understands, but is disappointed at the absence of confident commitment.

Nat asks all the game players to stay for a bucket of the Colonel’s best, original recipe. Frank declines, so does Liv (she likes extra crispy) and Emma has to set up her Twitter account. Liv calls Emma to get in the car, which is strategically parked in front of Natalia.

Nat asks if she will see Liv later. “Yes, you will.”

For updates and in-between Otalia postings go to www.mindschmootz.net.

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