Friday, September 17, 2010

The End of the World: Thoughts on ATWT's Final Episode

As the World Turns has been a constant in my life since birth. My mother passed it on to her children and then it was picked up by my nieces and nephews. On holidays when we all get together it was on the television and we talk about what was happening. It's hard to believe that after 54 years this television institution is ending. Such a monumental occasion in TV history would surely warrant weeks of wrap up, flashbacks, sentimental moments and many former characters returning, right?

The past few months and weeks haven't felt like the ending of a beloved show. It's been mostly business as usual - fast-paced stories, short-term plots full of new characters, bad pacing, mini-arcs introduced and wrapped up in one episode, and some fun and brilliant moments mixed in here and there. As an eternal optimist, perhaps I expected too much from the final episode. Guiding Light's finale wasn't perfect a year ago, but the weeks leading it up to it felt like one big goodbye. Springfield felt like a real community. As ATWT leaves the air, Oakdale does not, and did not today.

Most characters on ATWT have been isolated in their own story lines for years now. For much of the show's history, everyone in this little town knew each other. Viewers understood their relationships. Now the majority of the characters inexplicably live in the same hotel but rarely cross paths.

Let's focus on the best parts of the finale first.

Without Helen Wagner, the obvious choice to end the show was Don Hastings and the character of Bob Hughes so Dr. Bob's retirement was a good decision. Hastings' narration was perfect. The episode also featured all our beloved veteran characters, except Emma Snyder. And what a treat it has been to see two daytime legends - Elizabeth Hubbard and Larry Bryggman - reunited in the final weeks of the show as Lucinda and John. Along with Bob and Kim, they were the best part of the finale. John wanting a jacuzzi was a wink to fans about the infamous hot tub scene in 1987. Their zest and spirit added so much to this "ordinary day."

The ending with Bob saying, "Goodnight," was a nod to the opening line of the series in 1956 when Nancy said, "Good morning, dear." After seeing Helen Wagner's photo on Bob's desk at the beginning of the episode, I was hoping Bob would pick up the photo at the end and say, "Good night, dear," to her. But at least the the writers acknowledged that well-known history. The dialogue for Bob and Kim was also very good.

Luke listening to Reid's heart in Chris was cheesy but just proved what a fine actor Van Hansis is to have made it work. Carly and Jack deserved their happily ever after and it was nice to see them in their "normal but not boring" life.

Even though the "world" stops turning for fans today, the spinning globe at the end let us know these fictional character's lives will continue on in our minds.

Unfortunately for me, a longtime viewer, most of the episode was just as I expected based on recent trends, and that wasn't a good thing. If you enjoyed ATWT in the past few years, you probably liked it today. It was a perfect summation of what I saw as the flaws of the show with new plots introduced and resolved in the episode, and a lack of sentimentality or true acknowledgment of the impact this show has had on television.

Margo seemed the most "out of character" today with her sudden empty nest syndrome. This is the same woman who let Casey go to prison, and today she acted as if he had never been away from home. Margo and Katie decided to swap houses and apparently did in the same amount of time it took Bob to pack his office.

The writing for Lily and Holden was wonderful but unfortunately without Martha Byrne in the role of Lily it didn't make me feel anything. And while it was wonderful to see Barbara Ryan totally happy and fulfilled finally after so many trials and tribulations (she deserved it!), the whole Barbara and Paul dissolving their partnership in BRO bit sort of fell flat. That decision wasn't really anything special or meaningful. Perhaps a scene with just Barbara and Paul alone would have been better.

Some of the interactions between characters didn't ring true. Susan hugging Kim, and Margo and Emily playing nice felt false to me as a viewer who has seem them be at war for years. Yes, it was a finale, and most want to see these characters happy, but I wouldn't have minded at least a glare from Kim or Margo at their longtime rivals. And perhaps Emily and Tom could have mentioned their long lost son, Daniel, since they were together.

I knew this wasn't going to change today, but as a site that writes a lot about diversity, I can't write this review without mentioning that ATWT left the air with an episode full of all Caucasian characters, the same way it started in April 1956.

While we did see a picture of Helen Wagner, it was sad that there wasn't more of a nod to her today.

Some of Bob's narrations and some of the dialogue, such as Margo and Tom talking about Casey's birth, just screamed for flashbacks, yet there were none.

The most disappointing part of the finale was the lack of respect to the actress and character that helped keep As the World Turns at the top of the ratings for years, Eileen Fulton and Lisa. She was hardly more than an under five in today's finale. Perhaps the show felt they had given her a 50 year anniversary episode earlier in the year and didn't need to today, but I disagree if that was the thinking. No offense to Janet and Dusty fans, and I love Julie Pinson and Grayson McCouch, but if something needed to be cut today it was their story. They had their happy ending yesterday. The time spent on them today could have been used to give Lisa something significant to do, and a final goodbye with Bob.

To be fair, I'm not sure anything could have satisfied me today as a single episode. When the show was canceled in December, giving producers more time to wrap things up than any soap had ever had before, I was hopeful the final months would be one big celebration of the show and a big nod to fans who have spent many years watching. That's not what happened.

All I said before the today's episode was that if I didn't cry, someone was doing something wrong. I am a sentimental fool and it doesn't take much for me to go there. I cried yesterday at Chance's wonderful flashback-filled funeral on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (and he's not even dead!). But I didn't today. I wanted to feel something that would help tie up all my emotions and feelings about losing this show, this constant in my life. But it never happened. It wasn't a bad episode, and some of the dialogue was terrific, but as someone with a history degree, I wanted to see more attention paid to the entire run of the show, not just recent history.

With all that said, I will miss As the World Turns. It has been a dear friend to me and my family for decades. It has meant a lot to fans since Dwight Eisenhower was President of the United States. It has influenced pop culture and told groundbreaking story lines. It has introduced many amazing actors to the world, and it brought families and friends together to watch. The influence of this show can probably never be underestimated. It's very sad that on Monday at 2 p.m. it won't be there. Goodnight, dear.

Now that you've read my thoughts, please share yours in our comments. Did you enjoy the finale? Did you watch with family or friends? Did you return to the show or watch for the first time today? Let us know.


  1. I liked the final episode because it was not the traditional 'this is the end' and that's all folks, it told us: the world keeps turning and this is not the end of the story. I really missed Martha Byrne and that is the only thing i think was missing from this final episode. It was just another day in the world of Oakdale, a very happy day.
    Let's all remember that it is not the end of the world, the world keeps turning...

  2. Framkly, I quit watching shortly after Janet and Liberty came on. All "Janet" did was over-react(loudly) and over-act.

  3. I'm sad. I tried to remain unperturbed and unaffected during the finale but cracked a little bit after seeing the scene at Fairwinds. I can’t believe this show is over and done with....just like that. As a loyal member of its audience, I feel so powerless to see this show just evaporate into nothingness when so many people kept saying, “THIS IS NOT OKAY”. But whatever. I'm not naive. It's so clear that capitalism once again triumphs over quality entertainment....

  4. came to "ATWT" well into it's run. It was late 1975 and I was 21 years old and feeling a bit sorry for myself.

    At the time I was recovering from an especially unpleasant bout with Shingles, furious at having what I'd always perceived as being something that "older" folks had.

    I flipped on CBS one afternoon and immediately fell in love with this amazing woman I saw on the 19 inch screen. Even as a gay man, I knew this woman was something extraordinary and I soon found out that her name was Lisa. I was hooked.

    She was feisty, funny, sexy, willful, determined and always a lady. I loved her and through the years followed her exploits as well as those of the other residents of Oakdale that I soon came to admire for various reasons. But always there was Lisa.

    In the last decade there was less and less of Lisa and I soon began recording the show and sometimes fast forwarding past the parts that seemed to bear little connection to the Oakdale I had grown so fond of. It was not only the passing of Doug Marland that seemed to impact the show but a feeling that the new writers didn't seem to understand the rich history of so many of the characters and instead chose to play solely to a different denominator.

    Gradually the heart and life seemed to be sucked out of Oakdale and when in 2002 I had the good fortune to bring Eileen Fulton to New Hampshire to help raise money for AIDS, I found her to be an amazing spitfire, not too different than the character I had admired and respected on television. The 400 plus fans who filled every available space of the center where I held the event I titled, "Dinner with a Diva" clearly felt the same way. After doing a two hour show Eileen remained until 1 AM signing autographs and posing for pictures and it was obvious that to many in attendance, this was an evening they'd talk about for years to come.

    Sadly, Lisa's airtime continued to diminish and I was not alone in losing interest in the show. The under-utilization of Eileen Fulton's Lisa helped to drive away longtime viewers while preventing newcomers to the show the chance to see Eileen exercise her well-honed acting chops. Recently an episode found Lisa hiding in her store after the passing of Nancy and I was not alone in sitting with my mouth open, stunned that the writers would come up with a situation like that. Anyone who'd ever watched Lisa in her prime would certainly know that Lisa was not one to hide over anything. Perhaps having Lisa go toe to toe with Carly might have provided old and new viewers an opportunity to get a lesson in why "ATWT" was so important to so many for so long.

    During it's last year, the show briefly came to life with the introduction of Reid. The storyline was well written, the character was compelling and personally, speaking as a gay man, I found the chemistry between Reid and Luke to be electric. I applaud the show for their Luke and Noah storyline which was courgeous but found that Luke and Reid really seemed like a couple.

    That being said, too many characters from the show's rich history have been neglected or reduced to "cameo" appearances and ratings have dropped.

    "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" have always been fearless about writing rich and rewarding storylines for mature characters. Stephanie Forrester, Sally, Kay, Jill and others have continued to be front and center and the ratings for those two soaps have continued to be strong. I believe that had the writers on "ATWT" recognized that fact and continued to balance more evenly stories for their mature characters including Lisa, the show might not be now saying goodbye.

    For thirty-five years I have been intrigued by Oakdale and the individuals that live there. They will be missed. I only wish that the last few years had provided those of us who have been faithful viewers some of the riches that were left untapped.

    Paul Brogan

  5. I have watched this show with my mom every since I was a little kid and am saddened by it's end. It has kept my mother and close over the years and especially the last 15 as we live 1,000 miles apart but email each day after the show to "discuss" the events. We talked for over an hour today after it was over and agreed we liked the ending as it wasn't the end for the Hughes or Snyders or Lucinda and John. Life goes on and the world keeps turning. The end of this icon is sad but was done with great respect to us fans.

  6. I know the producers wanted to show us an 'ordinary' day in Oakdale, but I agree that it lacked the emotional punch I was hoping for in a finale.
    I hadn't been a regular ATWT viewer since the Douglas Marland era, but started watching again for Luke/Noah.

    I have to agree with the critique of Margo's sudden empty nest syndrome - it just seemed out of character, and the housing switcheroo was just lame and distracting.
    I was more satisfied with Luke & Noah's final scene the other day than with today's finale episode, but as Dr. Bob said, that's an average day for Oakdale.

  7. I'm keeping this in my VHS videotape collection along with the 4 weeks of episodes leading up to this one. RIP To Wonderful ATWT!

  8. OH - and am I the only one who thought it was weird that NO ONE mentioned a retirement party or dinner for Dr. Bob Dog?

  9. I cried..I felt the end came too soon. It broke my heart to lose Guiding Light and I was glad to be able to fall back on As The World Turns which I have watch for many many years. But, it has become clear to me that CBS has decided soap operas are a thing of the past. Does that mean there will be ANOTHER game show in the As The World Turns time slot!? I only have one left; The Young And The Restless, will they take that one too? Soon I won't have a reason to pay for the CBS network channel.

  10. What a sad day. I have watched ATWT for the past 35 years, and I literally grew up with the characters. Bob's retirement was a perfect setting for this last show, but the exclusion of Eileen Fulton was a gaping hole in the concluding episode. I agree that the history of the show became lost in the past few years. That being said, I am very pleased that the writers chose to wrap things up with the characters happy and with a real "eye" toward the conclusions the fans would love. No wacky surprises that left us screaming at the TV, just the best pairings and happily ever afters...Goodnight, dear. You will be missed.

  11. What a sad day. I have watched ATWT for the past 35 years, and I literally grew up with the characters. Bob's retirement was a perfect setting for this last show, but the exclusion of Eileen Fulton was a gaping hole in the concluding episode. I agree that the history of the show became lost in the past few years. That being said, I am very pleased that the writers chose to wrap things up with the characters happy and with a real "eye" toward the conclusions the fans would love. No wacky surprises that left us screaming at the TV, just the best pairings and happily ever afters...Goodnight, dear. You will be missed.

  12. My feelings about the final episode were quite mixed. There were many things I liked, such as Don Hastings' narration, and Bob's scenes with Kim. Very touching. Seeing Nancy's photo on Bob's desk was a nice touch as was seeing Reid's face one last time. But, I was thoroughly disappointed with the way that Eileen Fulton was treated. The woman carried ATWT for many years yet she only warrants two very brief scenes? Christopher Goutman should be ashamed. He should also be ashamed of refusing to allow Martha Byrne to return after Noelle Beck agreed to step down (what a classy, generous offer). The final scenes with Holden and Lily didn't resonate with me at all and it's because Byrne wasn't in the role. Nothing against Jon Hensley, but it was clear to me that his heart wasn't in those scenes and it showed in his emotionless performance.

  13. Most of the final episode was heartfelt. Just two things bugged me (a viewer for forty+years): Lisa got short changed --- just the butt of jokes over John and Lucinda's reuniting. The second was the cheesy/tacky plastic globe spinning at the end. Couldn't the production budget for the final episode allow for a classy looking model? Or was this an inside joke about how production budgets for all daytime dramas have been hacked?
    The World was rock solid for decades. Too bad it's final image left us with a different impression.
    Miss you already Dr. Bob...

  14. In addition to agreeing 100% with everything Roger said, I was especially disappointed with division of the community. Every soap finale that I can remember, even friggin' Sunset Beach, ended with a big event that brought everyone together one last time.

    Bob's retirement was a prefect opportunity to bring everyone together to celebrate, reflect on memories, forgive, make a new start, etc. Barbara & Henry still could have danced, Jack & Carly still could have snuggled, Holden and & Lily still could have had awkward moments, Tom & Margo still could have had contrived conflicts, John & Lucinda still could have still stolen every scene, all in the context of a party

    Moreover I can't agree enough that Eileen Fulton deserved better. I can't imagine what she has done to receive this caliber of disrespect by Goutman and the writers. There is simply no excuse to treat the woman who carried the show while it was on top of the ratings like that.

  15. This was the first show I remember seeing as a toddler back in the late 50's when my Mother and Grandmother watched it religiously and referred to it as "my show". It's been a part of my life and I have memories of my family tied in with the watching of this show. I felt like today someone finally took away my old teddy bear and it's never coming back. It was very sad indeed and I did cry but not because of the show itself as it played out today but for what memories I have of my life and family that went with it. I will miss it as it was always something solid and there just like a family home. I feel most sad for the actors who spent so much of their lives there daily and how this day must have been for them. I only hope somehow it might come back one day by some miracle. As all good things... I guess it must come to and end.

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  17. has posted deleted scenes from the finale. You can watch them here.

  18. I wanted to cry. I really did. But there was nothing in this episode that especially moved me to cry. Perhaps, as has been suggested, if the whole town had gotten together to celebrate Bob's retirement . . .

    I guess I've been spoiled. The first show that I ever watched that got canceled was Texas back in 1982. Even though they only had about 6 weeks notice, Texas managed to wrap up storylines and give the characters happy endings. I cried my eyes out over that ending. It was a wonderful way to say goodbye to a show that I loved so much.

    Consequently, I assumed all canceled soaps would go out in similar fashion. And over the years, while none have quite lived up to the wonderful standard Texas created, most have done a good job of saying goodbye -- Edge of Night, Search for Tomorrow, Ryan's Hope, even Guiding Light.

    Unfortunately, there have been some clunkers, most notably Santa Barbara and Another World. But ATWT's finale was without question the most disappointing. And that's so ironic given that they had the most time of any soap to prepare for that goodbye.

  19. I don't even know where to begin to express what I am feeling. Maybe honesty is the best policy. I detested the finale. I would have been much happier had the ending been the end of Thursday's show. I actually felt that Friday's show was a slap in the face to the fans.

    The premise of it being 'an ordinary day in Oakdale' is preposterous. What soap town has an ordinary day? What other day in Oakdale was all lovey dovey and perfect? None that I have watched in 32 years. A real 'ordinary day' was filled with suspense, intrigue, fighting, etc.

    The snipets of characters and stories that were shown were devoid of story or real emotion. It was like watching 60 minutes of nothing.

    The only time that I cried was during the last Carjack seen and Maura said "G-man" for the last time. I was so angry during the rest of the show that I actually couldn't wait for it to be over.

    I think it was Damon who said that a retirement party would have been a fantastic finale. They could have accomplished everything that was done in the finale but sent the show off in a way that honored its 54-year history rather than serve as the penultimate example of why the show was cancelled. There was no story, no real love other than Carjack, no unification of story or character interaction. It was pathetic.

  20. Well put, Paul. I recall Lisa from the 70's and WOW she packed a punch! Another World was my choice so long ago - and I too share your pain and I understand the mourning process when your "story" is over. I STILL have pangs at 1:00 in the afternoon and wonder often what Rachel and Carl may be up to....

    I have to say - the final episode of AW had it's flaws - with a forcrd marriage between Cass & Lila and some ode to a gorilla which was supposed to have been a nod to a Cass & Felicia caper of the 80s - but my favorite segments centered around recorded video messages from each cast member to "Cass & Lila", a clever approach to have each cast member say so long to us the viewers.... and of course the final scenes, played to Bette Midler's In This Life, (Let the World Stop Turning...) with Rachel pausing over pictures of dozens of former cast members throughout the Cory living room. What a poignant scene... "All's Well... All's Well That Ends Well".... Lights out.

    I get misty just thinking about it.

    So - I want to say I feel your pain and celebrate in a genre that seems to be taking a back seat to other chices and lifestyles.

    But when done well, these programs were art, family, collaborations between writers, actors, viewers... Essentially - so much more than idol TV shows....

    We shall all miss them.

  21. Okay - post script... I watched the program... Why didn;t they spring for a better globe?! That plexi glass thing was nothing Hughs would have had in his office. My direction would have perhaod had Bob pacj Nancy;s picture last - in the breifcase, and then his name plate... Spin the globe - (a better one) then walk out. The spinning globe with that music leading up was crying out for it to fade to the 60's opening theme and the spinning world from the heyday of the program....

    Now, THAT would have been a cool ending!

    That said - it is still a sad day - to have to say good-bye to a longtime friend....

  22. I feel a bit slighted.
    I remember seeing ATWT at my Grandmother's. I watched it faithfully while raising 2 small boys (one just left for college).
    I must admit that Volunteering has taken up most of my time the past few years and I got out of the habit of watching. But, I was so saddened that they didn't make a big deal out of the last show. I didn't even realize that it was the last show till yesterday. Now I'm kinda glad I missed it. I remember Betsy & Craig. Duncan & Shannon. I think I remember Melanie Griffin in the role of Betsy for very brief time. I remember Julianne Moore playing both parts as the twin. And Ellen Dolan in and out as Margo. I will miss ATWT and like many other fans I am sorry that they didn't make a bigger deal out of the last show.
    My only hope is that the network realize what a following the show had and consider doing a "tribute" show full of clips and memories.

  23. I’ve been an ATWT fan since I was 15 years old (next Friday, I’ll be 30). Yesterday was truly the end of an era. All in all, I was not too disappointed with the portrayal of the final episode. The concept of ‘an ordinary day’ in Oakdale, IL; happy endings of beloved characters…leaving us to imagine what’s to come provided sufficient closure and the all important ‘full circle moments’. It was like the final episode was saying ‘I’ll miss you old friend…..may your world keep turning’

  24. ATWT went out with a whimper Friday. I can totally agree with everything Roger and Damon said. I had taped the episode and watched it later that night but pretty much knew what was going to happen beforehand. Maybe it was because I watched it "taped" that I had the reaction I had, which was nothing, but I sincerely doubt it. I wanted to feel really sad with so much emotion and I got a little choked up with the last scene with Bob and the globe but that was it. Ordinary day indeed. The best part for me was John and Lucinda. Lisa (Eileen Fulton) was treated like an afterthought. Seems most of the new characters got more airtime than the veterans in the end. I can make comparisons to a job I had for over 6 years. New boss comes in and those he hired were treated with more respect than those that were there previously - same thing for Chris Goutman. A retirement party for Bob with the entire town in attendance would have been wonderful - everyone could have had the same endings, just like Damon said. And, they could have brought back old favorites, Penny, Don, Iva, more Snyders, etc. Where was Emma? I know I'll get "daggers" for this comment but I think Noelle Beck did a good job as Lily. No, she isn't Martha Byrne, but she played a similar role as Trisha on Loving years ago. I like that Lily and Holden ended up in a positive direction. The characters of Lily and Holden belong together, just like Jack and Carly. (Side note: Maura West is quoted in the new Soap Opera Digest that she feels like she went from community college to the Ivy League going from ATWT to Y&R - guess ATWT is chopped liver to her now that she is off of it) I cried buckets watching Guiding Light's last episode. With Michelle Branch's "We Belong Together" and everyone together for the last episode, Reva and Josh driving off with the lighthouse in the back and it saying "The End" was so touching. Episodes leading up to the end were awesome too, with Nola, Bridget, Danny, Michelle, Fletcher, Holly and Mindy all coming back. What a joy! Not like ATWT. GL sucked up until Grant Aleksander came back last year. Like what has been said before, there was more than enough time to wrap things up in a better way, instead of being treated to Barbara locked up in a warehouse for what seemed like a month and Iris coming back, along with Ralphie and Blackie. What a waste of precious time.

    I joke that I watched ATWT and GL since I was in the womb. I'm now 38. My deceased mother and grandmother watched them. A cousin of mine who is 74 said she was disappointed with the ending as well. I will now be an "ABC Girl". I have watched AMC since 1991 when Noelle's character and others crossed over from Loving. I will probably watch OLTL now that Kim Zimmer is coming aboard, along with other GL favorites Jerry Ver Dorn, Jessica Leccia and Gina Tognoni already there, along with Hillary Bailey Smith, a former Margo. Friday's episode was definitely non-eventual - an absolute shame for such a monumental soap. Thanks for listening to me rant!


  25. Oops! I should have said non-eventful! Sorry! BTW, Damon and Roger, your website is awesome! I found it this summer at a job that bores me to tears (Thank God they have the internet!) Soap magazines can't compare to it! You guys rock!

  26. Roger - you hit the nail on the head - Although I loved the way the show was done (having Don Hastings narrate), it could have been better from a historical point of view. I also agree with what Damon said. I had hoped for much more from Eileen Fulton and more of a reference to Nancy and Chris. Patricia Bruder and Rosemary Prinz should have been there (if not for the finale, but then for Nancy's memorial - which I feel should have been done closer to the end). It was a little too fast to have the trauma with Chris and Reid fall on the same day as Nancy's memorial. If they had to pursue that contrived storyline (where they killed off Reid) then Nancy's death should have occurred after that. What I would liked to have seen is this: two weeks before the end Chris should have received the transplant (but would have dreamt that Reid had had the accident). Since the end of the show was in September anyway, there should have been a celebration at the Snyder farm for Jack & Carly's wedding - Emma & Iva would have been there - Holden and Lily (Martha Byrne) would have cut the hubbard squash (I bought one last week) while John & Lucinda would have made 'goo-goo' eyes at each other. Janet and Dusty could have been there as on-lookers, only. Luke and Reid would have held hands and the rest of the clan would have been happy. Then a couple of days later, we would have been in Susan's home (yes, the old Stewart/Lowell living room, that I loved so much). Susan, Emily and Allison would have had an appropriate goodbye (while Ellen gave her blessing). Annie & Dee and the quads could also have been there (in a perfect world). Memorable clips could have been thrown in, especially with Henderson Forsythe. The last episode should have been with the Hughes family. - yes - retirement party (but subdued in honour of Nancy) - FAMILY, FAMILY, FAMILY - yes, Penny, Lisa in the forefront - perhaps even Don & Mary(although Conrad Faulkes passed away a few years ago - perhaps one of the other Don's). The writers might even have done it so that the family had gathered for the retirement party at Tom & Margo's and then discovered that Nancy had quietly passed away. That way Penny, Don and Ellen would have been in town, anyway. And I think Lisa should have made some poignant ethereal comments about her dearest friend, Nancy. That way, Bob could have left the office earlier in the day, and then all the Hughes could have said, "Goodnight, dear" to Nancy. BTW I liked the globe - yes it was cheesy, but it glowed. That should have been spread over two days - the first day : Bob and Kim sitting in the office reminiscing (lots of old clips) then the second day Tom & Margos (again with more clips inserted). But all in all, I thought the finale was well done from the perspective of closure of the personalities and relationships. Although a little uncomfortable, I was happy to see Kim and Susan hug (forgiveness after such a long time is wonderful to see at the end - same for Emily & Margo - after all Casey & Allison bond the families together, so there should be forgiveness) After all, (and here I go all cheesy) the 'WORLD TURNS'.