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Blogging From The Beacon.

Thoughts on the week of September 7-11.

The abbreviated three day week was nicely divided into a few symbolic acts, which is a wise way to condense a lot into a little. There was the feeling that things were being wrapped up speedily. It's not so much that things are rushed, but that they are simplified. At times there is a certain nearly poetic beauty about doing it this way, but other things have been less convincing.

Henry had his first birthday party, which was enough to solidify him as a member of both the Cooper and the Lewis clans. Shayne and Marina have placed all of their anxiety and loss into their union as parents and tried to turn it into that kind of love. There's an easiness in their chemistry and a youthful excitement which, unfortunately, we won't have time to examine in the long run. The families gathered. Buzz was a clown. Frank and Cyrus were conciliatory. And in a coincidence which only happens in the world of soap operas, Mallet quite randomly bumped into Dinah by the road near the border between Austria and Germany. Or maybe that wasn't random, maybe it was fate.

Weaving through these things was news of Phillip's illness spreading across town. The Spauldings gathered at the hospital, shocked to discover that Alan was going to be Phillip's donor. James was frustrated that he couldn't bond with his father. Alan was relieved that he could finally bond with his son. Before that happened, however, they shared another of their scenes in the graveyard. Alan and Phillip have had many such scenes as they hovered between their various, and frequent, flirtations with death, real or pretend. This one was loaded with redemption motifs and perhaps a little too much symbolism. Having Alan chase runaway balloons around town to the grave only to have his dying son catch one while sitting with his back to his tombstone wasn't exactly subtle. Miraculously, it still managed to be emotionally effective. At the hospital, the family filed in one by one to say their goodbyes in case things didn't go well. Of course, they did and they both men miraculously survived in spite of the fact that Ed and Rick were doing the operation.

Jonathan decided that now was the time to come back to town with Sarah. He even let Lizzie have a visit with her in what was a surprisingly undramatic encounter given the situation. We also got to see James and Jonathan interact for a brief moment which was a terrible tease. There could have been so much possible battling between those two if the show continued... Emma was also reunited with her two mommies. Olivia and Nat decided to move back in together and everyone, including Rafe, more or less dropped their issues with the relationship and helped out. Before he can run off to the army, he and Ashlee bonded over their mother issues. Ashlee and Doris had another brief chat and that seemed to put them back on track.

I was left wondering whether many of these things would have worked if it wasn't for the urgency the end was putting on them. It's sort of like putting the final pieces of a puzzle in long after you know what the picture looks like. I'll have more to say about the close of the series at the end of the week. Until then, check out our look back at the show's rich history by visiting the news room.

Anyway, those were my thoughts about last week. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below and remember that this is all in fun.

- Matt Purvis