This didn’t happen on Halloween, but it really should have. The Brent Lawrence/Marian Crane storyline is one of the spookiest that Guiding Light ever did and is well remembered and often mentioned even today. So I’m taking it upon myself to share some of this spooky tale in honor of Halloween.
Although these chunks of episodes aren’t dated beyond the month and year in their descriptions, I’ve added dates. Sadly I don’t have day to day descriptions, but there was a very distinct episode that aired at Christmas last year. Starting forward from that known date and carefully comparing the calendar and known dark days, I’m 98% confident in the dates I’m assigning. See the last batch of this run here:
I’m starting the part numbers over again for this post.
Justin Deas explains why they switched Brents about halfway through this clip:
This post covers the episodes from January 9-19, 1996. The main story is the Brent Lawrence/Marian Cramer meltdown. Brent, who had some reason to complain because Lucy was really dating him while she was still hung up on Alan-Michael, took things way too far. Brent raped Lucy and was furious when Lucy told and he was fired. He attacked them and was believed killed on the docks. Instead Brent’s sister Cassie had helped him to escape. He returned to town and Spaulding Enterprises as Marian Crane. Crane befriended Lucy pretending to be a fellow rape victim and cause many problems over the months, but always leading up to his kidnapping Lucy which happened right before we pick up.
The other big story right now is that Josh found out Reva was alive by finding her in Alan Spaulding’s jet drinking champagne and planning on leaving town and never coming back (she had decided it would be better for Marah & Shayne not to disrupt their family with Josh/Annie). Josh was furious and now Jeva are in full dirty fight mode over the custody/visitation of their kids. The fight gets more vicious throughout these episodes.
This is in the middle of depressing failure of the Quola return. In these episodes we get even further assassination of Quint’s character (now he’s tossing his kids away without so much as a glance back) and Nola is depressed. Said tossed away child, Anthony James Chamberlain shows up and almost immediately starts a romance with his adopted cousin Michelle Bauer.
Connected with the Brent Lawrence story, is the Marcus Williams story because he was under arrest for having killed Detective Cutter, a crime really committed by Brent Lawrence. That also ties in with the Roger Thorpe story. He’s currently married to Dinah Marler to get her trustfund and Dinah refuses to believe the warnings she’s been given and still defends Roger. Hart has come back to town and revenge on Roger for causing his grandfather’s death (which I think Roger was totally guilty of) and part of his plan is to get close with Dinah to break up Dinah and Roger. Meanwhile Bridget hopes Hart is back for her and Peter. — He isn’t.
Abby is living at the Bauers, but is still in her Goshen clothes. Michelle encourages her to dress up to attract a man and it sort of works as she and Rick have a pretend date.
Tuesday, January 9, 1996
I’m so used to seeing Frank as a detective in a suit, it’s still kind of a shock to see Frank wearing a uniform and working with a partner. Reva with a sudden artistic talent draws an exact duplicate of Brent Lawrence. Alan-Michael realizes this means Brent is alive. Lovely fantasy dance sequence set at the ball. I wish it had been shot a little clearer, but still very lovely. Sadly it turns nightmare at the end.
Dinah tells Hart more about being raised in a circus. Dinah tells him that she had a dog named Beauregard and a chimp named Capone. Also, she tells him she rode animals in the parade especially a favorite lion named Majesty and was the target in a knife throwing act. Griffin tells Gilly about how Vivian was when he knew her as an activist. Lucy wakes up from her nightmare and finds Brent back in full Marian guise near her bed.
Josh is on the front porch of the Land of Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams when Marah comes out having been woken up by a bad dream at sunrise. Alan rushed to get dressed to go and help Alan-Michael despite the fact he’s angry at him. It really is a shame that after all this work in the setup they had to switch Brents. Credits at the end of this part.
Reva tries to talk sense to Alan about Alan-Michael. It’s definitely the next morning. Reva explains that she understands because Alan is also dealing with his children and having to deal with being cut off from them when he’d never hurt his children on purpose. Alan-Michael brings the drawing of Brent to the police to convince them that it’s him. Lucy tries to figure out what’s going on with Marian. Marian has Lucy in the Springfield lighthouse. Lucy discovers that she can get out to fog shroud parapet, but not out of it.
Annie comes out and is pretty nice about Reva hurting them. Marah resolves to try to like asparagus and to be nice to Shayne. Annie has the stupid idea that Josh being aggressive sexually after seeing Reva meant he was over Reva. Hawk is in the hospital and is malingering. Alex is trying to get him up. Alan-Michael keeps pressing and finally causes them to consider it. We review Brent’s/Marian’s crimes.
Marian admits to his crimes. Buzz turns on Alan and then remembers Brent and Lucy being held for trespassing into the Country Club pool. They weren’t arrested, but Brent had his fingerprints taken. Alex tells Hawk all about what Reva did at the ball. Hawk assures Reva that Josh never stopped loving her.
Hawk tells Reva about Josh after her “death.” Even though it’s the day after New Year’s Eve aka New Year’s Day, Springfield is back in business with Josh and Annie going to work and Marah going to school.
Marian tells Lucy that she killed Nadine. They found the fingerprints that Cutter took and prove that Marian is Brent. Marian reveals herself to be Brent to Lucy.
Josh refutes Hawk’s claim that Josh still loves Reva. Hawk: “This whole thing with Annie Mutton…” Reva runs into Annie literally in the hospital corridor. Marian rips off her face to reveal Brent. Alan-Michael realizes Brent’s sister had to have been in on the deception.
Wednesday, January 10, 1996
Josh has Ross working on straightening out his martial mess. Reva shows her claws to Annie at the hospital. Alan-Michael stops by Susan’s hotel room to catch her and Nick up.
Brent toys with Lucy. Nice effect with the lighthouse calendar in the squad room. Annie and Reva fight in the corridor.
Reva and Annie escalate and Rick intervenes. Annie’s blow to Reva, hit Rick too. Rick to Annie: “All you managed to do was make her angry and with Reva that ALWAYS means trouble.” Nick actually acts like a cousin to A-M for once. Nick agrees to help dig up information and suggests contacting a specialist in criminal behavior. Lucy contemplates jumping off the catwalk rather than let Brent touch her.
Lucy and Brent struggle on the parapet. Buzz apologizes to Cleary and asks to help with the investigation. Reva and Josh meet in the hallway and argue. Josh reminded Reva of their history. Josh: “I want the pain to stop…….I care Reva, I care a lot more than you know.”
Rick talks to Annie about her conflict with Reva. Annie is in total denial. Hawk calls Rick over and talks to him about Josh, Reva, and Annie. Brent: “You don’t get to decide when you die. I DO!” Lucy tries to reach Marian in Brent, but fails. He tells her that he set her up because she lied and told people he raped her.
Only after A-M suggests it does the search extend to Marian’s work computer. Hawk: “Help you see the writing on the wall.” Rick: “I’ve never been that into graffiti.” Mr. O’Rourke is an assistant DA. He agrees to have
O’Rourke announces he’s arrest Reva instead. Lucy leans on Alan-Michael’s love from afar. Marian’s computer gives a frightening message from Brent.
Thursday, January 11, 1996
Nola and Bridget are in the Reardon Boarding House kitchen. Bridget is on edge hoping Hart will stop by. Hart is stopping by Roger’s to work on Dinah instead. Marah is home from school for a teacher’s conference and is moping around.
Reva reacts badly to being arrested. She is charged with being an accessory to bigamy before the fact. Honestly I don’t know how they managed to turn this around. I’m kind of with Alan on this. I hate how Reva and Josh blindly slash out at each other. Nola pushes Bridget to pursue Hart. Vanessa and Matt stop by to take Peter for an outing, but Bridget won’t let him go since Hart is supposed to stop by. Hart and Dinah commiserate about being ignored by their parents.
Vanessa, not really having much of a legal leg to stand on, is always very nervous and defensive about other people being involved in Peter’s life. Hart being back means Vanessa is worried that Hart will try to cut her out of Peter’s life. Whenever Nola isn’t happy in her own life she gets very prickily to Vanessa. Oh come on, Vanessa, get over yourself. Hart should have the right to see Peter if he wants. Even if Bridget wants Hart (duh! she has for years) still not any of Vanessa’s business unless she knows something horrible about Hart we don’t know. Matt and Vanessa reminensce about how Matt looked up to his fun Aunt Nola. That’s ironic Matt, Nola grew up wanting to live ANYWHERE else. Nola brings up her pain over Quint. (Which still he never EVER would have done.) I really like the Land of Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams set. This friends scene between Annie and Blake makes you really sad thinking about what happens later. One of the things Jeva like to ignore later is how Annie was always a strong support for other women in the community. Alan arrives in time to ride to the rescue.
Josh and Reva call each other’s bluffs. Josh asks Reva what she said to Annie. Reva tells him how Annie spelled out how they had sex. Nola talks to Matt about how she loved Quint and how much it hurt when he dumped her and how it changed her. Then Matt told her to back off on Bridget, she was a grown up. Bridget holds up against Vanessa not wanting Hart around Peter. Hart talks Dinah into going out to Jessup Farm with him.
Blake and Annie have a friendly chat about how much Josh loves Annie. Marah overhears and is upset when she realizes what annulled means. Josh and Reva talk about where they are now. Alan rubs it into Josh that he and Reva are sleeping together. Hart tells Dinah all about the Jessup Farm and then fell through the ice.
Dinah gets Hart out of the pond. Vanessa and Bridget fight over Hart. Nola talks about her fantasies and her continued pain over Quint. Josh says he doesn’t care. However, Josh reacts coldly to Reva.
Ross needs to leave. Josh and Reva are still fighting. Marah takes Annie’s four leaf clover pin. Hart finally arrives. Bridget fantasies about Hart. After he collapses, Dinah drags Hart into the farmhouse.
Dinah pulls the wet clothes off of Hart.
Friday, January 12, 1996
Marcus is still under arrest for Cutter’s murder. His father Griffith (who was apparently so upset about his son that he attended the country club ball) drags Ross there to get Marcus sprung. Alan-Michael and Frank continue to fail at locating Brent. Lucy considers her options to escape, but Brent returns wielding a knife.
Dinah covers Hart with lots of layers and then climbs into bed with him to share body heat. Alan-Michael is standing there with his coffee spilled on the floor. Brent tortures Lucy bringing her lunch. Griffin drags in the press. Griffin throws a fit. Frank finds Brent’s sister, Cassie Lawrence.
Ross clarifies what’s going on with Levy. Marcus agrees to keep things quiet to help Lucy. Levy agrees to talk to the judge to get Marcus bail without leaking what’s going on. Marcus apologizes, but I don’t think he means it. Levy says he has three children. Cassie resists questioning. Cassie sees the video and finds out Brent is Marian who Cassie thought was his roommate. Buzz fitzes with the toaster to keep his mind off Lucy. The hooker returns to the diner and talks with Buzz. The hooker knew Nadine and reminiscences about her. Frank drags Cassie down and shows her the body from the lake. Lucy remembers Nadine giving her a locket that belonged to Buzz’s mother.
Lucy lashes out at Brent after he details killing Nadine. Brent flashes back on his mother degrading him. Frank ironically commiserates with the family of the killed woman (not knowing it’s Nadine). Sounds like Nadine was a better mother to this hooker girl than to her own kids. Hart declares he’s come around and now appreciates Dinah.
Hart starts making a move on Dinah. Dinah starts a fire. I love Dinah’s outfit. Lucy yells at Brent while he hears his mother and Cassie admits their mother abused Brent.
Alan-Michael rejects Cassie’s attempts to excuse Brent through the abuse he suffers. Marcus has a new bail hearing. Having gotten a fire going and implying to Hart that she wasn’t interested in him, Dinah leaves.
Levy follows up with the judge as he said. The judge sets a high bail. Dinah shows up in time to hear about her good friend Marcus’s release on bail. Lucy thinks she’s reached Brent, but Brent announces he’s going after Alan-Michael. Seeing the body’s personal effects Frank recognizes them as Nadine’s.
Nola drags a chair in off the street with David’s help. Frank explains how he knows the stuff is his mom’s.
Monday, January 15, 1996
Frank reacts badly and remembers Nadine’s dentist so they can check dental records. Fletcher reassures Holly and then Ben shows up and busts Holly and Fletcher’s chops over kissing in public. Quint calls Nola, but they have a bad connection. Quint is calling to warn Nola that he can’t find J.
Marcus and Dinah are talking and making peace as good friends. Hart comes in and he and Dinah spar. J comes in and hits on Dinah. Frank shows up crying. At first Buzz is relieved when Frank says it isn’t Lucy, but he’s devastated to realize it’s Nadine instead.
Michelle and Bill are also there at Company and Michelle takes an immediate interest in her adopted cousin J. Dinah calls him on the carpet correcting his Egyptology. Bridget confronts Hart that he had promised to take Peter sledding and didn’t show. Buzz breaks down thinking about Nadine. Frank reveals to Buzz that Brent murdered Nadine before they thought she left town.
J comes after Dinah again. J asks Dinah if she’s seen places around the world and she says she has. Frank tells Buzz how they identified the body. Buzz explodes after realizing Nadine foresaw her own death.
Dinah and Bridget spar over Hart. Ben, Michelle, and Little Billy are hanging out together at Company. Michelle reveals she’s learning sign language to help Abby. Then Abby shows up. Marcus, Griffin, Gilly, Fletcher, Ross, and Holly talk about who might have set up Marcus. They suggest Roger might have been behind the framing. Nola calls J on the carpet. J announces he stupidly is calling himself J not even J. or Jay. Frank breaks down again to Buzz.
The group decides that Roger is probably behind this. Dinah stands up for Roger and storms off when nobody listens. Nola and J continue to talk about why J has just shown up. J says he hit on Quint’s girlfriend. Buzz gives Frank a coffee. Cleary does a Hail Mary over Nadine’s body. Buzz swears they won’t rest until they bring Brent to justice and then bring Lucy home.
Tuesday, January 16, 1996
Nola doesn’t buy J’s story and gets out of him that he was expelled from school. Eleni shows up and Frank tells her about Lucy and Nadine. Buzz adds that Marian Crane is really Brent Lawrence. Brent is typing up a message to try to lure Alan-Michael to him.
Brent taunts Alan-Michael over the computer. Brent confesses to Nadine’s murder. Eleni reacts to the news about Nadine.
Quint’s character takes another whack when Nola calls and off screen he announces he doesn’t want his son to move back to him. Eleni continues reacting. Cassie (Brent’s sister) is shocked to hear the recording where Brent admits to killing three people and having Lucy. She messages him on this feed with Alan-Michael and tries to talk him in, but he’s enraged by this betrayal.
Cassie gets upset that Brent may come over her and she runs off. Lucy reaches out to Nadine’s spirit for her to reach out and help both her and Alan-Michael. Down at the docks Eleni screams out her pain to God.
We see a darling Marina before she moved to California and she turned into a spoiled brat. She’s much more mature here than she will be later. Eleni thinks she has an answer. ( A bit showing a staircase upstairs behind the bar at Meals and Wheel Dinner.)
Nola and J set ground rules for him living with her. Nola decrees that he hast to attend Springfield High. Michelle comes back into an immediate chemistry test with J. It totally fails in my opinion. Look at this typical R.B.’s Michelle reaction. She comes across as an idiot. Oh, hear that plot point drop when they try to convince people adoption’s don’t count and first cousins sleeping together isn’t icky. They will be unsuccessful this time, but later Jammy proves unstoppable. Eleni retells seeing Nadine. After Lucy yells for help, Brent shows up and drags her back to the bed.
From above we look down while Buzz reaches out to Nadine. Brent gives A-M instructions to come and turn himself over to keep Lucy safe.
Wednesday, January 17, 1996
It’s a new day in Springfield. Alan and Reva are talking while they wait for the lawyer he hired for her. Meanwhile Josh and Annie prepare to fight Reva. Brent has lured A-M to an abandoned ranger station. Althea Templeton is the lawyer Alan hired to represent Reva in the desert. Annie very motherly discusses with Josh whether it was a good idea to let Marah stay home from school?
Ross comes over and Annie and Josh prepare to leave for the courthouse. They are leaving Marah with an unseen “Mary” not sure if housekeeper or babysitter. Josh talks about how they lived in Italy and how great Marah’s Italian was. Brent shows Lucy that a timer is set for a bomb where A-M is.
A-M doesn’t beat the clock, but it only shoots snakes not explosives. In a temper tantrum A-M destroys the room and uncover’s Brent’s surveillance camera. They are burying Nadine (with full Eastern Orthodox honors – this is back when the people in town remembered they were different religions), but apparently are doing it so quickly no one could come to the funeral. They are doing some nice, positive Nadine being happy flashbacks.
Josh does a great example of step 4. The hearing proceeds for Josh and Reva’s divorce. Marah takes her Annie doll and runs away while no one is watching. Brent brags to Lucy his plan is fool proof. Nadine’s funeral ends with Frank laying a single pink rose on the coffin for Harley. Lucy offers herself to Brent to keep A-M safe.
A-M came back and told Frank about what happened in the cabin. Frank heard the recorded card play Lucy’s cry for help. Reva’s lawyer starts wiping the floor with Ross. The judge rules in Reva’s favor with the stipulation that she can’t upset her children.
Reva is excited at the prospect of seeing her kids, but Alan is more concerned with making sure Ms. Templeton knows which side her bread is buttered on. Buzz has a conversation with Nadine at her grave. Brent and Lucy try to play each other.
Frank and Alan-Michael argue about the best way to save Lucy. Alan tells Reva’s lawyer that since he’s paying the bills she’ll do what he wants, not what Reva wants. Meanwhile Josh and Annie can’t find Marah. Marah comes into the door and sees Reva, but after a brief confrontation Marah runs.
Thurs., January 18, 1996
Michelle is dressing for a date with J and generally acting pathetic. This is something Alan does. He manipulates court proceedings. Marah runs away from Reva and asks Josh to make Reva go away.
Josh has a good father talk with Marah. So Annie is handing out antibiotics without a prescription? Reva asks Annie to let it just be her and Josh with Marah and Josh backs her. Alan is right about that. This Jeva fight is more about them than the kids. J tries to touch Bridget for his insurance payment. She smells the snowjob, but makes him a loan anyway. Nola walks in and finds them.
Rick walks in on Michelle trying on clothes for a date. Abby got the idea that Michelle could help her dress up to get Rick’s attention. Bridget backs up J. Reva tells Marah about being a healing woman in Goshen. Reva offers a holistic solution for Marah’s earache and gives Josh instructions for a poultice. Annie stomps down to the carousel. She sees a box of champagne left over from the marriage and is tempted to break her sobriety. Alan overheard and offers his support.
Alan and Annie discuss their relative positions. Alan to Annie about Jeva: “Watching them fight is like watching them make love.” Reva’s plan worked and Marah feels better. Shayne comes running in. Josh talks to Shayne who somehow miraculously has kept an unframed photo pristine in his pocket. Reva says her favorite place as a young girl was the walkway in front of the nature center which had embedded stars. Nola claims she wants to save J from turning out as entitled as Quint. (Again, honestly it doesn’t sound like Quint at all.) Bridget: “You haven’t made any mistakes, J is a great kid.” Nola: “Yes, but I want him to be a great man and there are no shortcuts to that.” Michelle and Abby are still trying on clothes in the Bauer kitchen and Michelle has left a mes. With all the false omniscience of a teenager Michelle tells Abby she needs to dress differently to catch a man’s attention.
Nola says she’ll pay for the insurance, but that J needs to earn the money. Michelle shows up. Alan continues to try to make a deal with Annie. Reva decides not to push for once in her life and leaves after a decent amount of time. Reva thanks Josh for helping her with the kids and for being a good father.
Josh tells Reva that it didn’t go as well as she thought. Reva won’t listen, even though Josh is exactly right. Marah has a nightmare that Reva forced Josh and Annie to leave and took Marah herself.
Michelle tries to get J’s attention. It’s kind of embarrassing especially how he only gets interested once he finds out she has a driveable car. Meanwhile Abby had been trying on one of Michelle’s outfits when Rick walks in. Reva finds Alan and tells him how well it went.
Friday, Jan. 19, 1996
Rick is clueless that Abby is trying to impress HIM by dressing up. Dinah is on the case to clear Marcus and to find out if Roger stole the money and framed Marcus. Brent reaches out to A-M via computer and Frank discovers him. Lucy is listening to a tape recorder.
Brent talks to Lucy, referring to Marian as a separate person. Brent drags Lucy in to show her what’s happening on the monitor. Brent: “You could have had a real man instead you got a wimp in wingtips.” Frank begs A-M to let him help. Hart tries to convince Dinah that Roger set up Marcus (which he did). Roger comes back and finds them together.
Rick talks to Abby. Does she have a boy she’s dressing up for? Abby counters what happens on a date? Michelle apologizes for being a bad tour guide when J seems bored. She brings him a beach in winter. J hands Michelle a line about his mother doesn’t understand him. Amanda comes in and wants business. She announces that she’s holding a press conference to announce Marian was embezzling.
Amanda announces Marian Crane was embezzling. Amanda explains how she knows. A-M brings her up to date and begs her to cancel the press conference. Rick walks Abby through a date. Roger again asks Hart to forgive him and then wants to celebrate his business success with Dinah. Roger: “What am I being blamed for now, winter?”
Dinah tells Roger that she just found out he was behind the register right before the money was stolen. Roger says to convince Dinah he is innocent he’ll help get Marcus off. J and Michelle talk about dating. Jay wants to go on to the lighthouse. We don’t see much of the beach and it must not be our normal one because facing the beach the lighthouse is to the left. Normally it’s to the right and the docks are to the left. Lucy is listening to Brent’s recording talking about his plan. Brent caught Lucy listening to the tape. Lucy talks her way out of it and reaches out concerned because he was abused. Brent has brought a dress for Lucy to put on.
Rick and Abby continue walking through the date. “Don’t be sad the movie is over. They’ll make a sequel.” Amanda cancelled the press conference. This scene is more like the real Amanda, nice and competent, not a jerk. We didn’t get many of those with Amanda #2. A-M asks Amanda to look after the country. Lucy tries to reach out to Brent with compassion, but it doesn’t work. Brent says he was punished because he was a man. J and Michelle end up at the lighthouse. He wants to explore.
Rick and Abby’s pretend date continues. Roger left and Hart takes another run at Dinah. Dinah throws her drink on him. Roger tries to get information out of Cleary. It works she spills everything. Roger: “A dead man returns as a cross-dressing killer. Talk about ratings!” J and Michelle talk about whether they should explore the lighthouse further or not.
Watch for the next part soon.