December 30, 2010By Michael Karol Posted: Dec 30, 2010
Deus ex machina is defined as "an unexpected power or event that saves a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as in a contrived plot device in a play or novel" — or even a soap opera. Maybe especially in a soap opera. In Greek theater, it meant that actors representing the gods were suspended above the stage, and the resolution of the play was brought about by their intervention. Since soaps have been around in some form or another for thousands of years, it's only natural some of the plots are reused, rehashed, forced, strained or…well, you get the idea. Usually I'll come out against this kind of thing; it means the writers are being lazy.
But I'll forgive ALL MY CHILDREN's recent Father Clarence appearance. Played by Michael McCarthy in 2010 (and formerly by Malachy McCourt), Clarence has appeared every year since 2005, with one exception, around Christmas time, to bring about "miracles" that affect various AMC characters — and conveniently bring various plots to resolution.
Lest we forget, Clarence is the name of the angel in the film classic It's a Wonderful Life, who is trying to get his wings by showing Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey how different life in his small town of Bedford Falls would've been if Bailey had never existed. This season, Father Clarence showed up out of nowhere, as usual, to remind Kendall that Zach was still with her, and effect reconciliation between Kendall and Greenlee.
Even though in real life, I'm pretty sure Kendall would not have forgiven Greenlee so quickly, or accepted Zach's death merely because she found his journal, read it, and was convinced that Zach was still "there" for her, I'm glad it happened. This leaves Greens to move on to other, more soapy matters, like trying to get Madison out of Pine Valley on the next train before Ryan discovers that the baby Madison's carrying is his. Since Greenlee's made it her mission to cause chaos and agony for everyone in PV ever since she woke up from her coma, out of a misguided sense that no one "missed" her when she was supposedly dead, payback will be sweet.
Besides, it's the holidays, and when is a miracle ever more appropriate? Father Clarence, you've done it again. See you in Christmas 2011.