By Michele Dargan

Poor Natalie!

How much sadness and loss does one person have to take?

I tell ya, that first scene today, when Natalie was holding Jared’s picture in the church was so sad. As she was talking to God and telling him that he brought back Cristian and John from the “dead,” I was thinking the same thing.

And my heart broke for her.

She really has had a rough road of it on One Life To Live.

Let’s recap, shall we?

Natalie (Melissa Archer) lost (figuratively speaking) her boyfriend, Seth, (remember him way back when?) to Jessica, after Seth fell in love with Jessica.

Then, Natalie – an outcast back then – won over the heart of Cristian Vega.

But, complications (as is always the case in a soap opera) arose when Cristian’s girlfriend, Jen Rappaport lied that she was pregnant to keep him with her.

When the truth finally came out, Natalie and Cristian married. The next day, he “dies” but the body was never recovered.

Natalie was devastated.

When she finally starts dating again with the tall, dark and amazingly handsome cop John McBain (Can ya tell I like him a bit?), Cristian returns from the dead…… (lotsa stuff in between of course).

Eventually Natalie divorces Cristian and John and Natalie fall in love. But just as John gets his mother’s engagement ring and is going to ask Natalie to marry him, HE gets “killed” in a car accident.

Of course, he doesn’t REALLY get killed. It’s an identity mix-up of the bodies with him and Hugh Hughes and, eventually, everyone realizes that John is alive and Hugh is dead. But John and Natalie couldn’t make a go of it the second time around.

If you’ve lost count at this point – one husband “dead” and one fiancee “dead.”

Natalie mourned both of them.

Which brings us up to date —- and to Jared.

Here’s a really great tribute video to Natalie and Jared.

In my opinion, Jared (John Brotherton) was the best suited for Natalie.

Not to mention, Natalie and Jared overcame severe obstacles to be together – including the fact that he tried to bilk her family out of their fortune and when she found out kept it quiet to be with him.

And, of course, there was Nash’s death, which Jess/Tess/Bess blamed on Natalie and Jared and exacted revenge by locking them in the basement. The two of them almost died together in that basement.

Now, Finally….FINALLY, when they are together, married, happy and an accepted part of the Buchanan family – he’s dead….Shot to death in front of Natalie’s eyes.

And what’s up with that really creepy final scene when Mitch Laurence emerged from Jared’s casket…..UGH!

I just can’t believe TPTB brought in Jared – connected him to his father, Charlie, who’s married to Viki, Natalie’s mother, only to kill him off!!

Grrrr. Not happy about it.

Not to mention it looks like his son’s death may send Charlie back to the bottle, which would only escalate the downward spiral of all the OLTL storylines.

But I’ll save THAT rant for another day……

Jared finally figured it out!
He knows that Jess is really Tess, her evil alter.
And, furthermore, Jared (John Brotherton) told Bo.
And I think Bo believes it may be true, too.
One Life To Live was actually tolerable Wednesday, because it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the first time in several weeks.
I’m seeing light.
And that light is the fact that Jared is onto Tess.
Tess and Jared

This has been one of the more horrendous storylines of late – Tess holding her sister, Natalie, captive in a soundproof room in the basement of Llanfair.
Or I should say….Jess’ sister, Natalie (Melissa Archer).
I felt so bad for Natalie in the beginning of the show when Tess told her that Rex had died and then Tess watched with glee as Natalie broke down.
How cruel!
Natalie locked up

But Natalie turned the tables on Tess and played mind games with her.
Natalie, rightly so, told Tess that Jared and others must be onto her and that people are going to know that something’s happened to Natalie because she is missing with Rex near death.
You could see the impact of her words by watching Tess’ face.
I just love Natalie’s spunk!
Here she is held captive and she manages to give it right back to Tess.
Bree Williamson has done an amazing acting job – moving seemlessly between the two portrayals of the sweet, loving Jess and her evil alter, Tess.
She certainly deserves an Emmy for her work this year, especially during Nash’s death scenes.
As for Tess. She needs to go.
Goodbye Tess.
Hello Jess.

So the secret’s out!
Well, not to everyone….but at least Natalie knows. Thank goodness.
Yes, Natalie finally said those glorious words – “So you chose money over me.”
Natalie (Melissa Archer) now knows that she hasn’t been attracted to her uncle – because Jared isn’t her uncle.
“The lie is that I was your uncle…I’m not. I never could be….I’m just plain old Jared Banks.”
What a relief for Natalie, to know that the man who she’s been wildly attracted to (and who’s been sticking his tongue down her throat every chance he gets) really isn’t her uncle.
Actually, Natalie got a two-fer. She not only knows that Jared (John Brotherton) is not her uncle, but she also found out that David Vickers IS!
And as Kara has previously blogged about the anticipation surrounding Tuc Watkins return as David Vickers – I can wholeheartedly echo those sentiments.
Bring him on!
I am so glad this secret is finally out.
Now maybe we can move on – where ever that might be.
Just think of the ensuing repercussions when the collateral damage is done to Charlie Banks, Jared’s real father who’s pretending to be Charlie Balsom, Rex’s father…Rex, who was raised as Natalie’s brother…. And Charlie is dating Natalie’s mother Viki.
It’s re-e-e-ally complicated.
Bottom line is that if this secret snowballs into adversely affecting Viki and Charlie’s relationship – I’ll be really mad, because I so enjoy Charlie and Viki.
As we left Nat and Jared yesterday, the rest of the Buchanans were just getting back to the cabin and they don’t know the truth.
I’m betting that Nat steps in and doesn’t let him spill the beans just yet….
But I don’t read spoilers and I’ve been wrong in my predictions before.
So I guess we’ll all tune in today to see if Jared actually fesses up to the rest of the Buchanan clan.