...I couldn't help but noticing that there are still quite a few things going on here. I had hoped to leave this town with a happy "bon voyage" - like Jill & Joe - but as things stand, I'm not so sure about that anymore! Let's start with the shocking discovery that Valene Clements works as a nurse in Doctors Hospital. Or is this a scrapped Verna Ellers psychosis storyline? Another new staff member is Chuck Atwell, a physiotherapist with an attitude, who reminds me of another therapist who used to work at Doctors Hospital. Here they are... Russ Gehring's resentful guitar performance has to be one of Peyton Place's most bizarre moments. Chuck likes to argue with Betty, and that's why I like Chuck too. Rodney's behaving like the typical soap patient, either too pessimistic or too optimistic. "Don't lie to me" - when the doctor tells good news, "Just because you're a doctor doesn't mean you know everything" - when the doctor tells him to take it easy and not overdo things. Rod's biggest problem isn't the fact that he almost broke his neck, oh no, nothing as trivial as that. The real problem is "between his ears" (probably not the correct translation, but whatever). Just as with Allison and Rita, the doctors and townspeople are very busy trying to figure out what to say and what not to say, who should visit and who should stay away from the patient. Because that, and only that, will determine whether the patient will be cured or not. Eventually, it's ex-Reverend Tom Winter who triggers the exact right emotions - that elusive, soapy state of mind that will help Rodney to recover as swiftly as possible. Incidentally, whatever happened to Reverend Jerry Bedford? Personally, I think a soap writer's biggest challenge is to both prepare and surprise the audience. The viewer is being tempted with various hints about the characters and possible story developments, hoping for a big pay off or a romantic happy ending. And then again and again and again. But predictability is the enemy, so every now and then they have to think of an alternative narrative or outcome. A perfect example of doing both (prepare-and-surprise) is the Adrienne van Leyden + Lee Webber storyline. But this formula is not always a winner. Martin Peyton is dead, and there's a nice little throwback at oldskool Peyton Place. Betty's role as initiator, taking charge of the funeral arrangements, as well as her indiscreet pleasure about becoming the richest woman in town, is frowned upon. To say the least! In all fairness, Betty has always acknowledged her desire for wealth and status, without coming across as an out-and-out gold digger. Therefore I don't find it uncharacteristic at all. Furthermore, when Peyton was still alive, everyone (except Steven and Hannah) seemed to enjoy throwing Peyton's help/gifts/money back in his face. To be "above all that", sometimes in a moralistic sort of way. But what would be the point now Peyton is gone? However, thanks to Peyton's will, the Rodney & Betty love story came with a twist: the inheritance. It was easy to avoid the how's & why's when Peyton was still alive, but now they actually have to deal with it. Does Rodney think his marriage is stained by the money, and especially Betty's enthusiasm about how to spend it? Will it make him doubt her intentions? Well, surprise!, Peyton has changed his will again and no-one will inherit anything! Everything will be transferred to the Peyton Foundation. To me, this seems a bit childish, rather than wicked and manipulative. I had expected a bigger twist e.g. leaving the entire estate to Dr. Rossi. Or Hannah, or even Steven. Nevertheless, it causes Betty to go ballistic in front of Rodney, which causes him to become completely paralysed again. "Don't upset the patient!". They never learn, do they? *sighs* Eli Carsons helps Rita and Norman with their (minor) marital problem, and as usual that problem is being solved rather quickly and in a sensible way. And then I thought, why can't they write a female companion for Eli? Literally 5 minutes later, Rita and Norman decide to matchmake Eli with the grumpy and slightly snobbish Mrs. Riggs. Needless to say, this results in a series of predictably awkward misunderstandings and friendly bickerings, but it all looks very charming really. There's nothing charming about this pretty girl, who terrorizes Dr. Harry Miles' family. I have forgotten the reason why she wants to marry Lew so desperately, but I'm sure they'll mention it again. While I'm still waiting for the soapbus to arrive.