Given that the final episode ever of “As the World Turns” airs tomorrow, I had planned on waiting to post my thoughts on the soap’s end until then. However, given I know what is going to happen with Luke Snyder, the only character and the only storyline I’ve consistantly cared about, I decided not to wait. I’ve also been a fan for about four years, a fraction of the show’s run, which I think doesn’t give me much authority to comment on it as a whole. However it does give me the right to vent my frustrations about the treatment of Luke Snyder and his two loves: Noah Mayer and Reid Oliver.
Last week, the writers inexplicably killed Reid, the character that brought a breath of fresh air for so many viewers, including myself, nine months ago. His chemistry with Luke was undeniable from their first conversation and even the writers had said that if the show hadn’t been canceled Luke and Reid (also known as LuRe) would have been an epic couple. Why the show ending meant they had to ruin this I have no idea, but ruin it they did.
They rushed Reid’s death, killing him off within the first twenty minutes of the episode and having characters caring more about self-aborbed Chris Hughes ( I am still trying to figure out why we’re supposed to care about him when he’s been lying to his family and the woman he supposedly loves for weeks) instead of the man they all hated until he selflessly gave his heart to save Chris. Both Luke and Reid had changed from the moment they first met, they both grew from loving each other, and Luke’s transformation couldn’t have been more noticable than with his scenes with his former love, Noah.
It was Noah’s accident that brought Luke and Reid together and it was his selfishness and pushing Luke away that drove Luke to become dependent on himself instead of Noah. And through his independence he discovered how to get under Reid’s tough exterior and love him. Luke even went so far as to say that he and Noah weren’t meant for each other. This is a far cry from the days when they knew they were meant for each other.
September 1, 2010: One of Luke and Noah’s final conversations
I could go on about the mistreatment of both gay couples on the show by its writers, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make. Though the power couple once known as Nuke have grown apart, they were and will always be a historical soap couple, both in the ground they broke and in the treatment of their relationship by the writers. Despite everything these two had gone through the past year, namely Noah blaming Luke for his blindness, there is still a love there. This was clear in their goodbye, even though Luke was still mourning the death of Reid.
Both Jake Silbermann (Noah) and Van Hansis (Luke) were brilliant in this scene and it made me miss Noah and Nuke as they once were. You could feel all the history that had gone on between them, both as characters and actors. The setting, WOAK, Oakdale’s television studio where the two met as interns three years ago, only served to heighten the already emotional scene. Yet while it was well-acted, it wasn’t entirely well-written. Noah was still self-absorbed and his kind words about Reid to cheer up Luke felt insincere since Noah had never shown any kindness toward the doctor until after his death.
September 16, 2010: Luke and Noah say goodbye
This ending leaves fans of Nuke, LuRe and Luke unsatisfied. With Reid dead, Luke’s relationship with the doctor is as well, and though I don’t believe it would happen, any sort of Nuke reunion is left up to the fans’ imagination. And of all the residents in Oakdale, only Luke is left alone, grieving and his future unsure. This feels like an insult to both the character and the fans, leaving many of them angry and hurt, and the promise made by the writers to treat their gay storyline fairly, broken.
The truth of the matter is no other American soap like it. Since the show’s end was announced I have been trying to find another show to occupy the soap opera hole left in my life, yet none of them have captured me the way “As the World Turns” did and that, for me, makes the end of show feel like the end of an era.
YouTube videos courtesy of anthonydlangford.