After waiting all these weeks, fans of All My Children have finally gotten the story behind Erica Kane’s look-alike and why she captured her idol and locked her away. Her captor, Jane Campbell, finally came clean today, and she wasn’t the only one. Ben, her heavy, did so as well, and neither story is what anyone was expecting.
From the time Erica (Susan Lucci) was first abducted, the storyline has proved to be a big mystery. True soap opera fans know that it will play out in due time. However, time is is of the essence more than ever with the current storylines, since ABC has announced that it is canceling All My Children in September. Normally the storyline would fully play out by Labor Day, but will they keep it going just a few weeks later to coincide with the end of the show, or will they end the storyline even sooner?
Little bits of information have come in so far with this storyline. Over the past few weeks, fans have learned that Erica’s captor is Jane Campbell (played by Lucci in a dual role), one of her biggest fans. She had plastic surgery so that she could look like Erica, but no one knew why. Another big question mark was who Ben (Emerson Brooks) was, and why he was helping Jane keep Erica captive.
Finally fans are finding out more about Jane and why she is doing all this and what Ben’s part is in it. Erica faked a hurt ankle to get Ben to come in and talk to her and got him to open up about why he feels so indebted to Jane. He explained he was driving during bad, snowy weather on his way to work, and his vehicle went out of control as he drove around a curve. His vehicle hit Jane’s.
David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry), the only one in Pine Valley who knows that the person they think is Erica is really Jane, did some sleuthing on his own and found out Jane’s story. She always felt unloved and ugly her whole life and adopted a little girl who was everything to her. She was on her way to an Erica Kane appearance and was taking her little girl with her. Ben’s car hit hers and killed her daughter and messed up Jane pretty bad. She saw her life as unlivable without her daughter and decided at that point to take Erica’s life.
Of course, Jane didn’t realize that Erica’s life was as complicated as it was. She saw the glitz and the glam that’s in the magazines but didn’t see all the personal strife. Jane left her own life, being sad after losing her daughter, only to pick up Erica’s with one daughter being kidnapped and the other one finally learning her husband was murdered. Jane is having a lot of fun signing autographs and going on buying sprees but has to keep sneaking away to drink beer so that she can deal with all the struggles of Erica’s personal and business lives.
It’s interesting that the writers are adding a more human side to Jane. At first she was seen as Erica’s evil captor, then was seen as the person who was stealing her life. Now they’re making her more human by having her carrying out all these dirty deeds out of sadness over losing her own daughter. In some ways, it doesn’t make her all that different from Erica. While Ms. Kane is always all about promoting herself, there isn’t anything she cares about more than her family, especially her mom and her daughters. Perhaps she and Jane aren’t that different after all.
Time will tell if All My Children viewers have to wait all summer for this storyline to be resolved. Everyone in Erica’s life is so worried about her right now, as Jane acts so different from her. It wouldn’t seem like the writers could drag it out all summer. It would be interesting if Jane’s deception was outed, yet she then found herself living in Pine Valley alongside its most famous citizen, Erica Kane. Perhaps that would be a way for Susan Lucci to end the series on a good note, not in the role that has come to define the actress, but in this dual role that has much more depth.