“All My Children” flirts with a Marissa and Bianca relationship


A few weeks ago, a topic popped up in the AfterEllen.com forum: “All My Children – The Bianca/Marissa Thread. As a fair-weather AMC fan (i.e. I watch the lesbian parts), I needed to know more.

Sure enough, a new ship is sailing in the AMC universe between Pine Valley’s official lesbian Bianca Montgomery (Christina Bennett Lind) and her dead ex-BFF’s twin, Marissa Tasker (Sarah Glendening).

Confused? I was, too — even though I have watched the show off and on since Bianca returned last summer. Thankfully, turkish, who started the topic in the forum, helped catch me up. I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this, you know a little about the story, so I’ll be brief on background.

First though, kudos to Lind, who stepped into Eden Riegel‘s almost impossible-to-fill shoes as Bianca. Reigel was so connected with Bianca that many of us thought recasting was an exercise in futility. But Lind has made the role her own — something a lesser actress could not have done. Kudos to Christina.

OK. As you recall, Bianca married “the love of her life” Reese in a much-lauded event — the first lesbian wedding on daytime TV. After a very rocky start to the marriage, Bianca and Reese went to Paris to try to find happiness, because nobody lives happily ever after in Pine Valley.

When Erica went missing after a plane crash, Bianca came home — without Reese. She said Reese would join her as soon as she could, but eventually we learned that they were having trouble. Big trouble — followed by a bitter lawsuit and attempt by Reese to get custody of the girls. Marissa, an attorney, stepped in to help Bianca.

Who Marissa is, exactly, confused me. I knew Marissa once was J.R.’s wife, but last time I watched she was tall and thin and had short brown hair. This Marissa looked nothing like that — she was average height and had long red hair. Same Marissa; different actress.

Turns out that Marissa is the twin of dearly departed Babe Chandler — the woman who swapped her baby with Bianca’s after a plane crash. Babe was married to J.R. for a while, too, and birthed A.J., whose story is way too complex to share briefly. I’m not sure when Marissa returned, but she married J.R. and adopted A.J., then they got a divorce, now J.R. wants her back. Ridiculous, yes. And typical soap opera stuff.

As Reese and Bianca’s custody battle intensified, the tabloids picked up the story about the scandalous lezzy divorce. That led to a scene in which Miranda and A.J. were asked to leave a birthday party because A.J. got into a fight.

Amber, the birthday girl, called Miranda names for having lesbian moms and the other kids joined in. A.J. defended Miranda’s honor. Marissa was on the scene to share Bianca’s indignation. (You can watch clips here.)

Bianca was furious, of course, and called Amber’s mom to arrange a talk. Marissa went along for backup.

Amber’s mom, as expected, was a piece of work, blaming Bianca’s choice to be gay for the fight. “You’re the one living like this,” she said. “If your kid’s messed up, don’t blame my Amber. Blame yourself.”

The conversation went downhill from there, at least as far as the bigot’s comments were concerned. But Binx was strong and didn’t allow the hate to go unanswered. Watch the whole clip here.

I love Marissa’s reaction: “I would be honored and proud if somebody thought you’d choose me as your partner.” I bet you would.

The scene was far from subtle, but AMC has come a long way, hasn’t it? In many markets, a public service announcement about bullying followed the episode.

The sparks between Marissa and Bianca (portmanteau: Minx) are obvious and we’ve seen Bianca’s interest grow as the relationship has progressed. What we don’t know yet is if or when Marissa will reciprocate.

We may have to wait longer than we like, however, because the spoilers have Binx going through a private trauma as she has flashbacks to her rape. Perhaps the storyline will be a vehicle for Marissa to realize she loves Bianca. Or not.

Meanwhile, as Bianca told Miranda: “How about if we keep being ourselves and loving each other?”

Well said.

What do you think? Will Bianca and Marissa get together? Is Minx a fitting way for Bianca’s story to end when AMC goes off the air?