Maxie, Spinelli, Dante & Lulu/Brad
It’s been a daunting month for these characters. After Maxie (Kirsten Storms) gave birth and Spinelli (Bradford Anderson) discovered that the child she bore was biologically his, the two struggled with keeping the secret that the baby wasn’t Dante and Lulu’s (Dominic Zampronga, Emme Rylan) embryo as planned to avoid breaking their close friends’ hearts. They didn’t have to struggle for too long; Brad (Parry Shen) outed them at the baby’s christening, with the goal of “doing the right thing” to impress Felix (Marc Samuel). Another long-awaited reveal done all wrong. Like a Grade-A steak presented on a garbage can lid (“Cosby Show” reference), the writers have a horrible habit of ruining whatever great plot-lines they’ve developed with poor and cheap execution. A life-changing secret like this should’ve been exposed by someone closer to the situation to provide both logic and emotional poignancy to the scene. The paternity secret was just blurted out with no context. If Brad really wanted to impress Felix, he should’ve outed Britt (Kelly Thiebaud), or at minimum, that he wasn’t the father of Britt’s child (she’s been telling gradual truths, so why not?). Why it would matter to Felix if Brad told something he overheard about people Felix has no affiliation with? How would Brad appear to be a do-gooder if he’s still telling lies himself? It was fast-food execution. An outsider swept in, dropped a bomb without significant or logical cause, and exited. I was also dissatisfied with how Lulu’s reaction was written.
Considering her relationship histories with Maxie and Spinelli, Lulu’s response should’ve been a balance of anger, confusion and brokenness, but it was excessively venomous instead. Verbally throwing dagger after dagger, Lulu slapped Maxie and called her a selfish, cruel human being and accused her of being devoid of love. Even if Lulu’s retort was deemed realistic and fair to the story, the fact that she has yet to ponder Maxie’s reasoning isn’t. When people feel betrayed, they often try to decipher what drove someone to their choice. Maxie almost died on the birthing table, and even after that, she was willing to let go of a child that was biologically hers. There has to be more to Maxie’s choice than just being cruel. I’m not saying Lulu should be ready to forgive (if ever), but this black-and-white approach to what should be an emotionally complicated tale is mismatched and isn’t believable. Believable was further out of reach when Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) called Maxie and Spinelli every name in the book upon seeing them in the Metro Court in the most childish of manners. Yes, Olivia would be heated on behalf of her son, Dante`, but being an older and wiser person whose kept a paternity secret herself, I expected her to be more motherly: chastise them and then ask why they did what they did. It was annoying. Lastly on this point, I so desired that on 10/22, when Lulu pressed Spinelli on why he was with Maxie on having their child back, he would’ve passionately said something to the effect of “I found out I have a child. I’m a father. She’s my daughter. How can I just walk away from that?” and emphasize how he was in the dark too. Anything to try to soften Lulu to him and get her thinking. It’s one thing for her to want to keep the baby from Maxie, but Spinelli? He is a victim of Maxie’s lies too and Lulu hasn’t realized that she’s denying parentage of a child he has just learned of.