“Guiding Light” 8/28 mini-cap: Nat Fights to Win


Olivia’s in her office and asks Keira for a file. Natalia walks in with the portfolio. She comes bearing no cookies, no flowers, and no inhibitions.

Natalia needs a job, and she sees Olivia filled her old position with Emma’s friend from the spa. Nat can do anything — perhaps become a maid so she can clean up her own mess.

Olivia says this isn’t fair and wants her to leave. She doesn’t need a daily reminder of how much she loves Natalia. I’m thinking the picture on the nightstand, the picture on her desk, and the picture in her head is enough.

Natalia reminds Olivia she is a good employee and loved working at the Beacon…the benefits were beyond reform. Olivia’s resolve breaks a little as she compliments Natalia that she is good at whatever she does. I don’t think we have seen the “whatever” but I’ll take Liv’s word for it.

Liv quickly realizes her break in composure and tells Nat she can’t work with her. Saved by the bell; the elevator arrives. Liv gets inside, buttons pushed, and dreams of Natalia going down.

Olivia visits Alan and plays on his sympathies for a favor. Not quite sure why he would do a favor for Olivia, Alan gives in when Liv explains Natalia needs a job and she’s family.

Natalia is at the mini-mart filling out an application. The new-hire training period will be short; she is well aware of the merchandise. Alan calls. He goes on about how over worked a whackadoodle can be, and he needs an executive assistant. Nat accepts and comes right over.

Alan stares at Nat’s obvious maternal situation. Nat says she is six months along, but she can work right up to her due date in November. November? Let see, she forked that old Frank in February. Ah, soap math. Alan prattles on about the pregnancy and Olivia tricking him. Nat realizes Olivia was behind the job offer.

Olivia arrives at the park to pick up Emma. Olivia joins Emma’s pick-up game with Philip and Rick, threatening to wipe the court with the guys. We all know Olivia is famous for boxing out.

Olivia and Em are sharing a celebratory popsicle when they run into Natalia. Nat reveals her new employment news and thanks Olivia for her obvious help. Emma inquires about the baby. They are all good because Otalia take care of each other.

Emma asks Natalia over for dinner. Nat wants to say yes, but declines. Natalia tells Emma they will have dinner together soon. She walks away, but not before placing her hand over Olivia’s. Patience. Nat realizes we are sculpted by life, and it’s the chipping away that hews the obstinate stone.

Olivia receives a note instructing her to come to the roof. She arrives to find a beautifully set table nestled among the rusting industrial air-conditioning units. Who knew Springfield has such a bustling downtown district? Apparently, until this point, we have been privy to suburban Springfield, the part of the small, quaint mid-western town without the skyscrapers.

Natalia appears and tells Olivia she knows two things about her, one, she doesn’t make time for breakfast, and two, she loves to eat outside. Olivia can’t help but break a smile. Natalia touches Liv’s hand and begins to pour the fresh brewed mea culpa — too bad it doesn’t come in instant.

I have to admit, my attention is struggling on account of a two things. One, the traffic noise at W. 57th and 11th Ave. is so loud I can barely hear Jessica Leccia deliver her lines. GL should have checked with sanitation regarding their trash pick-up schedule.

Two, for a rare, shallow, personal moment, Crystal Chappell looks fabulous below the filtered sunlit shading of Dish #3. Note to new web series team: Make the name Venus and always shoot the goddess of love on a rooftop.

Olivia doesn’t want to sit. Nat suggests they take a walk; there is an excellent western view of the lake, but I believe that’s the Hudson River. Liv declines. She wants Natalia to stop, they can’t go back. Natalia says she doesn’t want to go back, she wants to move forward.

Liv says moving forward is what she’s trying to do. This thing with Natalia is not going to happen, she can’t let it. Now Liv sounds like the network.

Natalia says she knows it will take a while but she will change Liv’s mind. She can wait. She is patient and it’s not like they haven’t waited before. It’s nice to know we all have something in common.

Nat realizes she hurt Olivia by making her wait too long, and she regrets that. But they love each other and they will work it out. Nat has to stick it out, and she knows that, too. Must be the roof’s elevation and the cleaner air that produces this much Nat clarity. Nat leaves the breakfast table allowing Olivia a chance to digest what she left with her.

Rafe drops a bomb on Natalia when he reveals he joined the army. Perhaps he can specialize in un-manned reconnaissance. Lord knows that boy can drone on.

Natalia enlists Olivia’s tenderness to deal with the collateral damage from Rafe’s precision guided announcement. Natalia needs Olivia to hold and comfort her, to reassure her that she is a good mother.

Olivia takes Nat’s hand and tells her that she can do whatever she needs a “friend” to do: Write letters, give her money — ouch, that’s harsh even for Liv. Olivia rationalizes that she can’t hold Natalia and take the chance that she might leave again. Nat tries to reassure her, but Olivia drops her hand. She can’t do anymore right now.

OK, Nat, love is a battlefield, and Liv is used to lobbing ordinance from behind an emotionally blind bunker. Don’t retreat, no more IDK, no more pity. Wear this friendly fire as a badge of courage and win this war.

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

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