Alright, All My Children. You did it. You made me cry.
Are you happy now?
I was doing fine until I watched a dying Julia telling Krystal about the things Kathy likes. Her favorite color. How she prefers creamy peanut butter, not chunky.
Such simple, mundane tidbits, but man, did they hit me hard.
It’s especially strange because Julia has been such a peripheral character since she returned to the canvas a few years back. I often wondered why she was even on anymore.
That’s not a knock on portrayer Sydney Penny. No, not at all. That lovely woman helped bring to life the beauty that was Noah and Julia. She also was one-half of the wondrous Warren and BJ on the now-defunct Santa Barbara.
But even if Sydney hadn’t managed to make such an indelible mark on my soap-viewing experiences, she would (and will) always hold a special place in my heart for her portrayal of a young Meggie in the sweepingly romantic 1980s miniseries The Thorn Birds.
Yeah, Sydney has a permanent spot as one of my favorites. (Check out another fan’s video tribute below.)

But, honestly, her latest run in Pine Valley was a waste. A waste of her talent and a waste of story-line potential.
I guess the writers just could never figure out where to fit her in this last go ’round. Instead, they let her die … figuratively and now literally.
She went out with an emotional bang, though.
How heartbreaking was it to see her stoically refusing surgery? Smart cookie that she is, she realized her wounds were mortal. And she realized that Kathy didn’t need a front-row seat as yet another caregiver, another “mother,” slipped from this earthly realm.
The piece de resistance? The scene that still gives me chills, even as I type? Ghost Dixie leaning close, thanking Julia for taking such good care of “Kate,” and telling her that the little girl would be fine.
Julia smiled slightly and you could see the peace that washed over her as she repeated Dixie’s whispered reassurances. Then she let go.
And so did I.
I cried, AMC. Big time. And although I’m sad to see such a gem as Sydney fade from my screen, I’m glad her final scenes showcased what an effective and moving performer she truly is.

Posted in All My Children

2 thoughts on “Julia’s death simply sob-worthy on AMC

  1. Kimi
    May 29, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Sydney Penny was excellent in all of those scenes. She had me crying too & reminded me of the Julia we *used* to know, love & see onscreen. I also so loved Dixie thanking Julia for giving her so much love & taking care of our girl.
    Unfortunately if what I read when SP first returned was true, SP initially wanted to return without Noah. She wanted to find out who Julia was without the Noah & the Santos family cuz she felt Julia never had an identity of her own (kind of true). If so, this was an experiment gone terribly wrong.
    Julia never made real connections with any core characters, that’s why Krystal (of all people) ended up comforting her in her final moments. That in itself was a crime lol & that’s not a diss to Krystal, but really there are no characters currently on the canvas who would have worked except maybe Tad.
    Julia had so much family & history in PV, how does she go out like a character they brought on, tried out & killed off cuz she wasn’t working?
    I also think they didn’t have to kill her but guess they didn’t wanna invest in a custody storyline.
    I also would’ve liked to see some flashbacks of the highlights of Julia’s life.
    I was on a soap board yesterday & said that if writers don’t find something to do with Josh soon, he may be the next character to die in a sweeps month cuz he’s walking that fine line the Julia character has been walking for awhile now.
    Anyhoo, kudos to Sydney Penny. Sadly, her death scenes made the return memorable.

  2. Kara
    May 29, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Hi, Kimi.
    I know what you mean about Krystal being there at the end. I kept racking my brain, trying to figure out what connection those two actually had. LOL. It was kinda weird, but a definite illustration of just how adrift Julia’s character was since her return. Such a shame.
    But your last sentence said it all. It’s ironic, but it was in death that Julia finally made a mark on the show during what turned out to be her last return.
    And as for Josh. I was surprised when he popped up recently. I really thought he was gone. Sometimes it amazes me that soaps can’t find stories for the characters we’re already invested in. Especially someone like Josh. The show basically rewrote history BIG-TIME for his story, and for this? He’s barely a footnote now. Just another shame really.
    And how about Ava or Amanda? The list goes on and on, eh?
    Anyhow, it’s good to hear your thoughts, Kimi. Thanks for dropping in 🙂