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Erika Slezak Library

Soap Opera Update
December 5, 2000
Vol. XIII No. 49

LAST CHANCE? Has Viki Finally Given Up On Todd?

By: Sheila Steinbach

Family Ties: Why OLTL's Viki has stood behind her brother Todd through good and bad…

From the time she found out that Todd Manning was her half-brother in 1995, One Life To Live's Viki Carpenter tried to see the good in him, even though others thought she was out of her mind. Let's face it: They thought he was a lost cause. However, Viki has never wavered, and there have been times that a lesser person would have tossed him out and never looked back.

After being presumed dead from gunshot wounds in Ireland while he was trying to help Patrick Thornhart, Todd returned to his wife Blair, involved with Patrick. Todd managed to keep his return secret, except to Viki, who helped him see his daughter Starr because she knew the one person who meant everything to him was his little girl. Todd repaid Viki for her kindness by kidnapping his daughter Starr, but still, Viki didn't give up on him. With Viki's help Todd and Blair might have gotten back together, but she discovered that she was pregnant with Patrick's child, and that drove Todd over the edge. Todd wanted custody of Starr, so he entered into a business arrangement with Tea Delgado. She would marry him to show that Starr had a stable home life and he would give her five million dollars. It worked. However, after a while, Tea couldn't take anymore of Todd's actions and wanted a divorce. Viki tried to convince Tea to give Todd another chance, as did Sam Rappaport, Todd's lawyer and only friend from Chicago. Todd finally told Tea that he loved her.

End of story? Not by a long shot. Once again, Todd found himself in trouble. When Georgie Phillips was found murdered, Todd was a suspect. Paranoid that he was being set up, he went a little overboard in his efforts to clear himself, but he was able to accomplish his mission. Facing jail for his actions, Todd came up with a brilliant defense. He kept his plan secret.

While Todd had spent the better part of his Llanview life causing problems, Viki had problems of her own. In 1995, after Dorian told Viki that her father Victor Lord had sexually abused her as a child, Viki's personality split into several alter egos. It took quite a while for anyone to discover what was going on, but when they did, Viki discovered that she was the one who killed her father. Viki also learned that Todd was her half-brother.

Her personality disorder under control, Viki tried to help Todd, but he couldn't be deterred from his evil ways. The last straw came when Viki learned that Todd had faked DID (dissociative identity disorder) to avoid jail. With that, she vowed to wash her hands of him.

When Todd recently returned to Llanview, Viki's life was in chaos. Jessica had run off with Cristian and Will to keep Will out of jail. Viki herself was going through a horrific time, having been diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing treatment. Todd being Todd, found Jessica, pretended to help Will and also discovered that Nora hadn't died in the train wreck. Todd got Will out of the country, but didn't really care if Will ever reached his destination or not. He also rescued Nora, only to keep her at a convent for a month before bring her home. All the while, Todd thought his actions would endear him to both Sam and Viki, but he was wrong. This time, Viki is ready to wash her hands of him completely, but will she?

“I think she was waiting for the other shoe to drop. At the same time, she had so convinced herself that because of this wonderful thing he did – bringing Nora back – that he had decided there was value in being a better person,” says Erika Slezak (Viki). “So she's surprised and bitterly disappointed in herself, too!”

“I think it's a big flaw in her character that she refuses to see what's in front of her face. She really wants to believe, through her own experience what happened to her with her father, that there is hope for everybody. My own take on this is that she does not have the power to take this person, who is not a nice person, and make him want to be better. To a certain extent, you really think you're getting through to somebody and think they're going to change, and then, hello, nothing changes. It is disappointing. She doesn't want to give up on Todd, because she does feel responsible and guilty – although she shouldn't – because of his treatment by their father. She feels that she has to somehow make it up to him for the childhood he didn't have, for the riches and things he didn't have. So I think a lot of it is tied up in this guilt and I think at this point, she has to write him off. She says she's going to, but she's Viki, so she won't,” laughs Slezak.

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