Friday, August 21, 2015

FLASHBACK: 'Another World' The Story of Steven, Rachel & Alice (Part 2)

Dr. Russ Matthews (Sam Groom) couldn't resist his former patient, Rachel
Davis (Robin Strasser), and the two of them secretly married.
ANOTHER WORLD: The Story of Steven, Rachel & Alice

The Soap Box
Vol. IV No. 6 June 1979
by Bryna Laub

(continued from Part 1)

Rachel tried valiantly to make a good impression on Russ's mother but in her eagerness, her distorted picture of the Matthews' social and financial position was more than evident. Mary Matthews tried to set the record straight but Rachel was convinced Mary's simplicity was by choice, that somewhere the coffers were overflowing. Mary and her daughters tried to tell themselves that once Rachel was well Russ would turn his attention to another insecure patient. But deep down they feared that Rachel might have already snared him.

And so she had. During the last days of her hospital stay Rachel had taken advantage of her orders to get out of bed by jumping into Russ's arms. She skillfully combined helplessness with passion and, by the time she was released, Russ was drowning in her. He was a constant visitor to the shabby two room apartment she shared with her mother. Ada was very concerned about Rachel's involvement with Russ and tried to warn her that a man like Russ wanted only one thing from a girl like Rachel and it wasn't marriage.

Rachel angrily told her mother to stay out of it; that she, Ada, was no expert on marriage. If she were, she wouldn't have driven Rachel's father away from them. Like most abandoned children, Rachel had always blamed someone else, Ada, for her father's leaving. In that way she didn't have to admit that deep down she'd always been afraid the real reason had been herself.

Rachel knew what she was doing. Russ was wildly infatuated with her, he wanted her desperately. All she had to do was play her cards right and stay in control of the situation and she'd be home free. Russ tried to make her see he'd have to finish his internship and then his residency before he could afford a wife and a place to live but Rachel used passionate kisses to excite him to the point where he could no longer think straight.

Almost before he knew what happened he had given her an engagement ring. And the very next night, again driven beyond reason by Rachel's lovemaking, Russ capitulated to her now very-convincing argument that a secret marriage was the only way they could be together for the precious few free hours Russ had each week. For at least that little time, she pleaded, they could completely belong to each other.

Constance Ford starred as Ada Lucas Davis.
And so they slipped away and got married. They told only Ada as they needed her cooperation to arrange private time together in the apartment. But Russ's expected year of secrecy wasn't to be. For only a few weeks later Rachel discovered she was pregnant. The idea repelled her; in fact, her initial reaction was to ask Russ if they had to have the baby. But seeing his bemused joy turn to shock, she quickly changed tactics, anxiously explaining she said that out of fear, a sudden panic over the possibility of another heart involvement. Russ, of course, hastened to reassure her, mentally whipping himself for upsetting his beloved childlike bride.

Russ broke the news to his parents alone as Rachel was afraid to face them, afraid they would be furious. But Russ exuberantly reported they had taken it well and even offered the newlyweds his old room until he could afford an apartment for them. Rachel was overjoyed. This had worked out even better than her wildest expectations. Not only was she Mrs. Dr. Matthews, she was going to live in the Matthews' lovely white house in the best part of town. She had done it. She was somebody now.

Continue reading Part 3 of a very detailed flashback series, Another World - The Story of Steven, Rachel & Alice...

- INTERVIEW: Robin Strasser Reflects On Constance Ford

1 comment:

  1. AW was amazing for many reasons. Just one of them is that Rachel was such an amazing character that she survived from being the bitch in a triangle into the sympathetic story with Mac and Iris. I cannot think of a female character in the past decade who has successfully gone from one super couple to another. Today's ladies are defined by their partners and thus cannot change partners and keep a sense of the character. Ada grounded Rachel and always reminded the audience of Rachael's motives. Ada was much less a scolding hag than Mona was with Erica. She saw Rachel's potential and was disappointed that Rachel was always willing be drawn to immediate wealth rather than using her brains and her skills as an artist to get what she wanted.