Guiding Light (2000–2009) - Plot Development

Plot Development

At the turn of the century, a large segment of the show revolved around San Cristobel, Richard and Reva discovered that they had a son named Johnathan who had been hidden away to protect him from evil Edmund and that Johnathan was being raised by Richards ex-lover Olivia's sister and her husband.Then Cassie married Richard and Richard's evil brother Edmund plotted to keep them apart. Richard abdicated his throne after discovering that he was illegitimate. Democratic elections held a few weeks later to decide San Cristobel's political fate were halted in a coup by Edmund, who had himself crowned prince and ruler. After his coronation, he married Springfielder Beth Raines. Edmund was later deposed by Richard using an army of mercenaries paid for by Beth's ex-husband, Phillip Spaulding. Edmund escaped the island to avoid a trial and the island eventually became a democracy with Richard as the elected president. Another election was held less than a year later after a heretofore unknown Winslow son, Prince William aka Alonzo Baptiste, was discovered. This time the people voted to have the monarchy restored under Alonzo who quickly divorced and exiled his scheming wife Camille Baptiste (who would later perish in a car accident in Europe) and allowed Richard and Cassie to keep their adopted son Will who was in reality Alonzo's son with Camille.

The second plot line focused on the Santoses and the Mob, specifically Michelle Bauer's mobster husband Danny Santos, his sister Pilar and cousin Tony, and his sociopathic mother, Carmen. Much of Danny and Michelle's story was fighting against the evil Carmen, and this story repeated several times until the character of Carmen was injured during a fight with Michelle in 2002, and went into a coma and was later transferred to a Switzerland clinic (dying at some point before the show ended). Most of the veteran characters, save Reva, had few if any story lines, and ratings went on a decline.

Other developments included: Beth developing a split personality, Lorelei Hills, after she narrowly survived being kidnapped by her estranged husband, Edmund Winslow, while she was in Mexico attempting to procure a divorce. Harley Cooper becoming partners, first professional and then personal, with former FBI agent Gus Aitoro, who was later revealed to be Alan Spaulding's son. Gus's biological mother turned out to be Phillip's former nanny, Lucia Rinaldi, with whom Alan had had an affair before he arrived in Springfield. (Many longtime fans had been hoping Gus's mother would be turn out to be Rita Bauer, thus ending decades of speculation as to whether Rita had been pregnant when she left Springfield in 1981.)

Reva became embroiled in a story that involved her traveling through time via a painting of her ex-husband Josh's new wife, Olivia, dressed as a Civil War era southern belle, Regina Robechaux. Her first stop was an upscale Civil War era home in New Orleans where she was presumed to be the new nurse for the master of the house, Jack Robechaux, who'd been wounded fighting for the Confederacy. Jack was the spitting image of her beloved Josh and she seemed to connect with "Jack." Next, she "visited" Edwardian England as a governess where she again saw "Josh". This time he was in the guise of farmhand John MacGregor. Finally Reva ended up in World War II Paris, this time meeting up with the real Josh who went through the painting himself. The overall story proved unpopular with many viewers even though longtime "supercouple" Josh and Reva reconciled as a direct result of it.

In 2002 Hawk Shayne would return for Reva and Josh's third wedding, mentioning that Roxie (still with Johnny Bauer)'s health had improved. Meta Bauer would also depart because of her portrayer Mary Stuart's real life death. Meta was to have broken a hip in Nova Scotia, staying there for an undetermined amount of time while recovering presumably to have recovered at some point and went to live with her younger sister, Trudy Bauer, in New York City.

In 2003, history was re-written when the characters of Billy, Josh, Ed, Alan, and Buzz were revealed to have been the cause of the death of a young girl, Maryanne Caruthers, when they were young men in 1977. The story line was roundly criticized for its plot-holes, most notably that only two of the characters, Ed and Alan, were even on the show in 1977, and even Alan was not introduced until a month after the story supposedly took place. The story line (widely considered by many fans to have taken place in an alternative realty) was also substantially similar to 1983's Annabelle Sims story line, which featured H.B. Lewis (father of Billy and Josh), Bill Bauer (father of Ed), and Brandon Spaulding (father of Alan) in a murder mystery similar to the one their sons were involved in, which was also met with minor backlash due to its rewriting of character histories. The goings-on so annoyed longtime actor Peter Simon (who played Ed Bauer for much of the 1980s, left in 1996, and returned in 2002) that he quit the show and refused to return.

Also in 2003, David Grant (though never shown on screen) was now a private investigator in Paris, France, and the long absence of David's mother, Vivian Grant (who had not been seen on screen since 1999), was finally explained. At some point prior, Vivian and her husband, Dr. Charles Grant, divorced (offscreen) and Vivian left Springfield. Dr. Grant stopped appearing on screen in 2006 and was last mentioned having been asked a favor by Alan Spaulding in 2008 before being written out and the character moving to Chicago.

Other stories featured during the "WesCon" regime included Cassie's falling in love with a "reformed" Edmund; Reva's discovering her psychic abilities; and her daughter Marah's falling in love with Sandy, a loner who talked to a sock puppet, who was initially thought to be Reva's son and Marah's half-brother. A particularly unpopular storyline featured the return of the now-20-something Ben Reade (Matthew Bomer), last seen as a teenager in 1997. There was a brief mention of Ben's grandmother Julia Stoddard, who died offscreen, and then Ben was eventually revealed as a serial killer (of non-contract, incidental players on the show) and a victim of child molestation. The story culminated with his suicide. Noticeably absent from this plot was Ben's adopted father, Fletcher Reade, who was presumably contacted offscreen but never returned to town for Ben's funeral.

In 2005, Guiding Light found itself embroiled in a controversy when half-cousins Johnathan Randall and Tammy Winslow became involved as a couple. Viewers would also see the exit of much beloved couple Danny and Michelle Santos. Danny's mother, Carmen Santos, who was still comatose, was transferred to a Switzerland clinic where she would die sometime later. Blake's half-brother Sebastion Hulce and Bill Lewis would also leave town.

By 2006, Guiding Light continued to end up near the bottom of the ratings. The longest running character, Ross Marler, was presumed dead in a plane crash. Phillip Spaulding was still lingering in a state of confusion somewhere out of town. The disappearing Holly Norris would make a cameo appearance before retreating back offscreen. Her daughter, Blake, became the Springfield Blogger, was poisoned, and fell into a coma for months. Blake's half-brother, Sebastion Hulce, was briefly mentioned. Harley Cooper would also receive powers for a crossover with comic book publisher Marvel Comics, including a continuation of the episodes in their comics released. This also marked the last on screen appearance of the character of Dr. Charles Grant, who would later be briefly mentioned in 2008 before moving to Chicago. Olivia, as a result of being raped as a teenager, had given birth to a baby girl in 1986. Olivia discovered the woman she tried to kill, Ava Peralta, was actually her own long-lost daughter, conceived from the rape. The baby was fathered by Jeffrey O'Neil and given up for adoption immediately after birth to a couple named Donna and John Sutton. Ava's adoptive parents, Donna and John Sutton separated. Ava's adoptive mother Donna remarried a man named Paul and took her stepfather's last name Peralta. Her adoptive mother Donna and stepfather Paul are both deceased. Olivia located her adoptive father John Sutton, only to discover he was seriously ill and died a few months later. Through time and anguish, mother and daughter eventually forgave each other. Olivia also managed to forgive Jeffrey O'Neil for raping her, but with difficulty. He apologized numerous times, and even said he would turn himself in, but did not have to do so, as, in time, all was forgiven.

Reva was diagnosed with breast cancer, and though initially hesitant to accept her illness, underwent treatment. Her husband, Josh Lewis, remained in the dark, along with the rest of Springfield, until Billy Lewis revealed the truth with Reva on her deathbed at the end of October 2006. Reva appeared to be dead at the end of the November 3, 2006 show, but in the next episode, Josh heard a noise from Reva, she was resuscitated. Shortly after the Lewis' were told Reva's cancer was in remission, it was also revealed that the bone marrow transplant she underwent in Minnesota did in fact work and Reva was now free of cancer. She had a scare in early 2007 when she found a lump under her arm, but it turned out to be benign.

In 2007, there were two new, notable parings: Josh Lewis and ex-wife Reva's half-sister, Cassie Layne Winslow, were married, and half-cousins Johnathan Randall (Reva's son) and Tammy Winslow (Cassie's daughter) wed. Not long thereafter, Tammy was hit by a car while pushing Johnathan out of harm's way. The vehicle was driven by Tammy's cousin Daisy's boyfriend, "G", who was hired by Alan Spaulding to kill Johnathan. Johnathan eventually faked his and daughter Sarah's death to leave town and escape the wrath of Sarah's grandfather, Alan Spaulding. Their departure was difficult on Sarah's mother, Lizzie Spaulding, who would spend much of the year trying to find Jonathan and baby Sarah. In one of soap opera history's first de-aging of a character, Susan Lemay, now calling herself Daisy, returned to town still a teenager, causing problems for mom Harley Davidson Cooper and step-dad Gus Aitoro. Daisy's schemes would cause Gus to discover he had a long lost son, Rafe, with his ex-lover Natalia Rivera. Natalia and Rafe eventually moved to Springfield. Margaret Sedwick was said to have retired and left town (offscreen). The character of Holly Norris never again appeared on screen and was said to have been traveling Europe with her grandchildren—Kevin, Jason, and Clarissa—and visiting her mother, Barbara Norris. Holly returned prior to her daughter Blake's emergence from a coma with grandchildren Kevin, Jason, and Clarissa. Kevin and Jason would return to school at Lincoln Prep and later transfer to a boarding school in Europe. Holly would leave Springfield again (offscreen), selling her house and moving back to Europe with her mother Barbara, who died not long after. Holly then left Europe to live closer to her daughter, Meg Reade, presumably in Toronto, Canada.

In 2008, Guiding Light remained controversial among viewers, breaking up fan favorite couples like Harley and Gus. Gus was then paired with Natalia, the mother of his son, Rafe, while Harley had an affair with her niece's fiancee Cyrus Foley. Gus died in a motorcycle accident and a grieving Harley fled to Greece with Rafe after he shot District Attorney Jeffrey O'Neil. Rafe returned to Springfield to face charges, but Harley elected to stay in Greece and broke up with Cyrus after she learned of his affair with Cassie Lewis. Offscreen, Harley reconciled with niece Marina for having an affair with Cyrus and her two sons, Zach and Jude, left Springfield to live with her Greece. Marina became involved with and married her godfather and her Aunt Harley's ex-husband, cop A.C. Mallet, after he divorced Dinah Marler. Marina and A.C. bought Harley and Gus's old house and finished it. Marina also received a visit by her mother, Eleni. Buzz began dating Beth's mom, Lillian Raines. Frank Cooper, however, remained loveless in 2008.

Harley's ex-lover Dylan disappeared from the canvas and was said to be out of town on business. Harley and Dylan's daughter, Daisy, remained in Springfield and had a relationship first with Gus's son Rafe (which ended when she became pregnant and had an abortion) and later reconciled with her ex, "G", who turned out to be Cyrus's younger brother, Grady Foley.Daisy lied under oath in court for Grady, clearing him of her cousin Tammy's death, which received justified backlash from viewers.

Harley's brother, Henry "Coop" Cooper Bradshaw and his girlfriend, Ashlee Wolf, broke up. Ashlee underwent surgery to lose weight (both in real life and on the show) and Coop found himself pursued by man-hungry Blake Marler. Blake's daughter Clarissa became a student of Coop's before she and her mother disappeared in the back ground again. Coop later became involved with his ex-lover Lizzy's mother Beth Raines. Prior to her relationship with Coop, Beth gave birth to ex-husband and former father-in-law Alan Spaulding's daughter, Peyton Raines, married and divorced Rick Bauer, and returned to school to study law.

The Lewis family had its share of problems in 2008. Cassie frequently saw visions of and spoke with her late daughter Tammy's ghost; Cassie and Richard's adopted son Will was found to be responsible for the death of his biological father, Prince Alonzo Baptiste, and the near death of his uncle, Edmund Winslow. Edmund then lapsed into a coma, thanks to Jeffrey O'Neil tampering with his oxygen tube. Will tormented Cassie's son, R.J., and was later carted off to a reform school after trying to kill both Josh Lewis and his Aunt Reva. San Cristobal did away with the Monarchy once again after Alonzo's death. Alan sold the San Cristobal Spaulding Villa. Meanwhile, Cassie had an affair with Cyrus Foley, resulting in her divorce from Josh Lewis. Cassie then launched a short lived career as a petty thief with Cyrus, before selling her farm house to Natalia and moving to Hawaii with son R.J. to start a new life.The identity of Cassie's long lost father was never revealed but it was strongly hinted that the Chicago businessman who already had a family when he had an affair with Sarah Shayne, had ties with Alan's father Brandon Spaulding.

Olivia, who sold her house in San Cristobal to a married couple, received a heart transplant—Gus's heart, following his death in a motorcycle accident. Olivia, who had grown to love Gus,had a pretend wedding with ex-lover Jeffrey O'Neil, father of her daughter, Ava Peralta, to ease her pain. Olivia's new hobby became making Gus's widow Natalia's life miserable before the two finally reconciled and Olivia moved into the farm house with Natalia (which Natalia purchased following Cassie's move to Hawaii).

Reva's life took on a different spin when a movie that was made about her life brought her and ex-husband Joshua 'Bud' Lewis closer together. The movie even recreated their famed Crosscreek wedding. Reva had a cancer scare and then found out she was, despite her age and medical condition, pregnant. Reva married Jeffrey O'Neil. Jeffrey's daughter, Ava Peralta, became involved with and married Bill Lewis while she was pregnant with Remy Boudreau's baby, Max, who died days after birth. Ava left for Chicago to stay at a postpartum depression clinic and returned briefly near the end of 2008 in an attempt to salvage her relationship with Remy, who was now married to Christina Moore. Remy's parents, Clayton and Felecia, and sister, Mel, comforted Remy when Max died and expressed concern about his extremely sudden marriage to Christina. Ava moved to San Francisco.

Meanwhile Josh and Reva's son Shayne Lewis, now wheelchair bound, returned to Springfield at the end of 2008.The last of the Santos family members, Father Ray Santos, was finally written out when Ray joined his cousin Danny in Louisiana.

Alan Spaulding developed a brain tumor, leading to a series of visions (not seen on screen) of his dead son, Gus. Alan lapsed into a coma and then recovered, only to have Spaulding Enterprises and the Spaulding mansion taken away from him by his adopted son Phillip's cousin Dinah and her half-brother Bill Lewis. Dinah's mom, Vanessa Chamberlain, moved from The Beacon into the Spaulding mansion with her daughter, Maureen, and ex-husband, Billy Lewis, joining Dinah and Bill. Alan later regained the Spaulding mansion and moved back in with his sister Alexandra, who along with Vanessa's ex, Matt Reardon, continued to exist mostly in the background, rarely seen on screen.

Bill Lewis faced health problems while Dinah had her second cousin, Lizzie Spaulding, kidnapped by Grady Foley. Lizzie was rescued by Bill, and they were injured in a car accident fleeing the kidnapper (Grady). Bill fell into a coma and awoke to find that he was charged with the kidnapping. Alan, working with Grady, framed Bill in an attempt to wreck Bill and Lizzie's relationship. The charges were dropped when a warehouse containing evidence was burned in an apparent arson, but Bill and Lizzie broke up because Bill, who had not regained his memory of the kidnapping and ensuing accident, could not remember if he had actually kidnapped Lizzie.

In 2009, Edmund, the former prince of San Cristobal, had emerged from his coma some time ago and returned to lurking around Springfield. It would turn out that Edmund was the long lost father of Shayne Lewis's late Girlfriend Lara. Dinah and Shayne, who had recovered from his injuries, became involved until Dinah trying to get Edmund out of their lives deleted a video of Lara from Edmunds lap-top. The Cooper family dealt with the aftermath of Coop's death after Coop was involved in a car accident (while on the phone arguing with Alan) via on his way to stop Beth from marrying Alan again. Coop was rescued from the car accident and taken to Cedars hospital by Phillip who had been tracked down by Bill Lewis and who returned to Springfield to make amends for his past misdeeds. Phillip caught up with best friend Rick Bauer, father Alan Spaulding, ex-wife Beth Raines, ex-father-in-law Buzz Cooper, and Lizzie, and learned that his and Beth's son James had been sent to boarding school, that ex-wife Harley and Phillip and Rick's son's Zach and Jude were clear across the continent and no longer lived in Springfield and that Lizzie had given birth to a daughter Sarah who had been sent out of town with her father and Reva's son Johnathan Randall. Phillip then found himself arrested and behind bars after Lizzie called the authorities. During Coop's funeral Alan burst in and made a scene and Phillip made a deal to appear at the funeral and grabbed a deputies gun and fired it into the air to get everyone's attention and was re-arrested after making a plea that the Coopers and Spauldings try and get along.

Alan was persuaded by Beth and Lizzie to give Company back to Buzz and the Cooper family only to have Buzz turn down the offer and move out of Company and in with Mallet and Marina who because of ties with past Mob Connections were put on an adoption list but most likely was unable to ever adopt until Mallet overheard Shayne tell Reva at her Baby shower about orphaned children in Bosnia. Hawk Shayne would make another guest appearance back in Springfield for his daughter Reva's baby shower. Olivia's feelings for Natalia grew with Doris Wolfe trying to out them after Emma wrote a paper for school called my two mommies. Later Natalia felt guilty for having sex with Frank. Frank, who was head over heels for Natalia pushed forward with the relationship and proposed weeks later. Natalia couldn't answer the proposal because of her own growing feelings for Olivia. Although Natalia and Frank would become engaged after Olivia tells Natalia that she should marry Frank. A few weeks later, Natalia and Frank prepare to marry after Natalia's son is released from prison. Olivia and Natalia continue to dancing around their feelings for each other as the wedding gets close. At Gus's gravesite, Olivia finally admits to Natalia that she is love with her but tells Natalia to marry Frank because he can give her a life that Olivia cannot. Frank and Natalia's wedding starts but Natalia is unable to go ahead with wedding and runs out of the church. Natalia admits to Olivia that she loves her. Father Ray Santos returns to town in time to council Frank and Natalia about their marriage and then Natalia about her feeling's toward Olivia. Natalia and Olivia began seeing each other but worried about how to tell their children. Meanwhile Mallet and Marina are allowed to adopt a baby from Bosnia that turns out to be Shayne and the late Lara's son that Marina names Henry after her late Uncle Henry Cooper"Coop" Bradshaw. Shayne finds out the truth from Dinah who found out the truth from a Nun in Bosnia who had known the late Lara. Shayne tells Marina and Mallet that he was baby Henry's real father. Then Remy finds Edmund dead, and Reva is arrested for his murder.Reva being found innocent and every other storyline was wrapped up by the time the show went off the air in September 2009.

Read more about this topic:  Guiding Light (2000–2009)

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