Frank and Jill? Jill and Frank? Jill and Seneca?
Soap Opera Digest, February 17, 1979
by Geri Jefferson
Article Provided By Wanda
When they first met and became lovers, Frank was married to Delia, Jill was married to no one. Much later, and after a great deal of moaning and groaning from all quarters, Delia and Frank were divorced. He was all set to marry Jill, who was being persistently pursued by Dr. Seneca Beaulac. This peculiar threesome went on for a while and then it happened! Seneca faded into the background. Frank and Jill were seriously getting ready to get ready to marry when up popped the local monkeywrench again, Dr. Beaulac. Frank was jealous. Jill was hurt. Frank was jealous. Dr. Beaulac continued to be Dr. Beaulac.
To understand this romantic circus, one must understand the performers.
Jillian Colerdige (played by Nancy Addison) has a rather changeable set of morals as well as a great deal of strength. She was, and many believe still is, in love with Frank Ryan.
Frank Ryan (portrayed by Michael Hawkins, Andrew Robinson, currently Daniel Hugh-Kelly) is also a person with vacillating morals and greatness of character.
When two very strong willed people try to be lovers, there is invariably a conflict. Both seem able to do whatever moral or immoral thing they please, while still managing to be terribly righteous.
Thus, the on-again, off-again, would-be, won't-be lovers have experienced an incredibly shaky, yet compelling, relationship.
One of the more interesting aspects of Frank's situation (it is no longer a relationship, it has regressed to a "situation") is his religion and his mother. Maeve, a devoutly religious person, has found a way to live with all her son's transgressions. As if by some unspoken right, Frank is able to have an affair with another woman while married, get a divorce, continue his affair, father a child out of wedlock, have an affair with another woman, and still find favor in his mother's eye. Somewhere along the line it has be decreed that Frank can do no wrong and when he does, it's always for a reason, and since it's a Frank Ryan reason, it's bound to be understood and forgiven.
Neither is Jill a spring chicken when it comes to moral committment. She seemed to have had little compunction about hopping into bed with Seneca (but only as a friend) when Frank was not about. He was spending all of his time with his campaign manager Rae Woodward, who was and remains to be, a master at manipulation. He was chaste for a while, rejecting Rae's subtle and not-so-subtle advances. But only for a while. But here again everyone loves Jill and she too, has been the victim of glorified forgiveness and understanding.
The two would-be adults began haggling over who had rights to be friends with whom. Frank was insanely jealous of Seneca and Jill refused to temper her rights as a person with consideration for her loved ones's feelings. Frank shared Jill's lack of consideration and continued to adhjere to Ms. Woodwards's manipulation fo his time.
After a time Frank decided if the goose could play in bed with "a friend", the gander could also. Frank, all, the while professing love for Jill, hopped into bed with Rae. By that time, Jill had become the loving and faithful other woman, and was not bedding Seneca. Enter two ounces of twisted fate, fourteen ounces of Woodward manipulation. Jill found Frank and Rae in a bedroom tete a tete. Jill was hurt again.
Seneca Beaulac became the gleam in her eye and her bed. Never mind that he'd lied to her about being the father of her baby. (Dear Jill spent a few harried weeks trying to figure which lover had made her pregnant). Never mind that she really loved Frank. She married Seneca.
She vowed her "situation" with Frank was at an end. She lied to herself and married. "Why not marry Seneca?" she must have reasoned. He loved her, he adored her, and he wouldn't hurt her, at least not the way Frank did.
Two adults playing sex games in a grown up world. They love each other. They hurt each other. Now, they're punishing each other. For how long?
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