Monday, August 24, 2015

FLASHBACK: 'Another World' The Story of Steven, Rachel & Alice (Part 5)

Jacqueline Courtney as Alice Matthews and George Reinholt as
Steven Frame.
ANOTHER WORLD: The Story of Steven, Rachel & Alice

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

(continued from Part 4)

Rachel's campaign began with visits to Steven's office, ostensibly to enlist his help in soliciting donations for the Hospital Charity Drive. Understanding her need to show Liz Matthews and the other Bay City society matrons she could compete on their ground, Steven provided leads to his business associates who gave Rachel hefty contributions as soon as she mentioned his name. And realizing Rachel was intentionally timing her visits at noon, Steven indulgently took the hint and occasionally invited her to lunch, aware that these few glimpses into his high-powered world meant so much to her.

But Steven didn't realize that every time Rachel saw him, it added fuel to the fires that were raging in Russ's ego. Finally Russ put his foot down. She was through playing social climber, he announced. He was renting a small, easy-to-care-for apartment and she was going to be a housewife. Rachel cried and cajoled but Russ was adamant. So she tearfully appealed to Steven for advice, explaining she didn't want to move until they could afford a place equal to their social position.

Steven warned Rachel to be careful. He told her she didn't have any social position yet; that Russ would eventually provide what she wanted but she would have to be patient. He explained she should decide what she really wants and then work toward that goal. This wasn't the answer Rachel wanted but she accepted it, remarking that Steven understood her because they were so much alike.

Steven knew how much she wanted to believe that was true but he saw the only thing they had in common was a desire to be on top. Their methods were entirely different. Steve prided himself on his reputation for being hard but honest and fair without exception. And he recognized that Rachel would never let scruples get in the way of what she wanted.

Sam Groom as Russ Matthews, Robin Strasser as
Rachel Davis Matthews, and Jacqueline Courtney as
Alice Matthews.
Since Rachel wouldn't cooperate with the move, Russ managed it himself. Rachel consented to live in the new apartment but made it abundantly clear to Russ that his romantic attentions were no longer appreciated. If he wouldn't give her what she wanted, she wouldn't give him what he had a right to expect. And when Russ became angry at being denied, Rachel just took off for several days. Upon her return she miraculously implied she'd been chasing after another man, infuriating him until Ada explained Rachel had been looking for leads to Gerald Davis' whereabouts. Rachel's lack of success on her mission did nothing to improve her attitude. Russ found her bed was still off limits.

Alice and Steven's stalemate could have continued indefinitely had they not come face-to-face unexpectedly at the Curtin's home. After an uncomfortable few minutes they happily agreed to put their differences behind them on the condition that neither need compromise their principles on the issue. They made immediate plans to see each other again but when a conflict arose and Alice refused to cancel a previous date to keep one with Steven he was furious. He insisted he wouldn't let anything stand in the way of seeing her again and they were on the outs.

Ironically Steven was in the process of hiring Alice's father to work out the financial details of an international merger and was constantly in contact with Jim. Alice, suspicious of this sudden closeness between Steven and her father, visited Steven at his apartment above his offices downtown. Interestingly, the magnificent pied-a-terre which Rachel, on a few self-initiated visits, had found so attractive and stimulating, did nothing for Alice. Rather, she found the surroundings sterile and unattractive.

Robin Strasser as Rachel Davis Matthews.
Steven was shocked when Alice accused him of hiring her father as a ploy to impress her. He quickly made it clear that his track record in the business world should have indicated that he wouldn't risk a multimillion dollar deal on less than a top-rate accountant. And then he added she was maligning her father by suggesting that Steven would hire him for personal rather than the soundest business reasons.

Any chance they had of resolving this impasse evaporated when a young woman who was Steven's date for the evening walked in. Alice turned quickly and left.

A few hours later, after Steven's date had ended, Rachel arrived at Steven's apartment seductively dressed in low-cut black lace. Steven tried to get rid of her but she overrode his annoyance, explaining she had important news. Once inside she dramatically announced she had left Russ once and for all. She then added this is what Steven had encouraged her to do and she'd acted on his advice. Steven corrected her, he'd told her to make her own decision about what she wanted out of life and then go after it. But Rachel pushed on, saying they were both better off without the Matthews family in their lives.

And Steven, with several drinks under his belt and the memory of Alice's self-righteous accusations reverberating in his mind, had to agree. Rachel moved closer, offering herself to him, and Steven didn't resist. He returned her kiss passionately then lifted her into his arms and carried up the stairs to his bedroom.

Continue reading Part 6 of a very detailed flashback series, Another World - The Story of Steven, Rachel & Alice...

- INTERVIEW: Robin Strasser Reflects On Constance Ford

No comments:

Post a Comment