"Tainted Love" Diary 80 (c) Alison Armstrong
An analysis of the "Tainted Love" episodes of the show "Port Charles," formerly of ABC-TV. This  site will focus  on the scenes featuring the vampire character
Caleb Morley (portrayed by actor Michael Easton).  The character of Caleb Morley and any other characters relating to Port Charles are the property of ABC and
their creators.  This is a fan-run site and is not an official site, nor is it affiliated in any way with ABC, Port Charles, or the actors portraying any of the Port
Charles characters.  No copyright infringement is intended.   The writings on this site are copyrighted by the author, Alison Armstrong,  and may not be
reproduced without the author's express permission.
"You really want to know what it's like?" Jack explains as he describes his loathing of what he has become.
"You're hungry all of the time, except it's not for food. It's for blood, for flesh, for something you can't even
stomach," he says with disgust. "And you have to fight with all your might to push it away because it's like
this darkness that's come over you. And every day it gets harder.   Every day you lose a little bit more of yourself.
That's what Caleb's offering you-- a living hell."

Jack's account of his insatiable craving is reminiscent of the film "The Addiction," which, as the title suggests,
associates vampirism with addiction. Filmed in black and white, featuring gritty New York City street
scenes--alleys, and subways and other dark, cramped spaces, this film is like a debauched nightmare of incessant
need, a vision very similar in mood to Jack's description of his experience.

Livvie's experience at the Villa, in contrast, was similar to the refined beauty and elegance of vampire life depicted
in scenes from the film "The Hunger" and in Anne Rice's vampire fiction--an oasis of sensory delight.

Caleb's feelings regarding his vampirism contain aspects of both visions--the accursed and the sublime--as he at
times condemns and at other times savors his vampire nature. As Caleb's story progresses from the
beginnings--presented sketchily in flashbacks during "Tainted Love" and later arcs-- to its unfinished conclusion in
"The Gift"--we see Caleb's continually growing acceptance and embrace of his vampirism.  Although he was
turned against his will, hated himself for destroying his first Olivia, and even tried to annihilate himself by means of
his Father Michael aspect, he eventually celebrated and affirmed his vampire existence. Once he had experienced
the ecstasies and power vampirism provided he could never settle for mortal life.

Likewise, Livive, having sampled some of the pleasures Caleb can give, cannot deny her irresistible attraction to
him and all he represents. Telling Jack that she can't get Caleb's voice out of her head, can't escape his summons,
Livvie is overjoyed when she thinks Caleb has returned for her. Quickly abandoning Jack and
running toward the
man she craves, Livvie is devastated when she finds out that "Caleb" is actually "Michael," who, accompanied by
Eve, has come to tell her about Caleb's death.

"Why are you looking at me like that, like he does?" Livvie asks Michael after she is told her visitor is not the one
she eagerly awaits.
"I'm sorry," he replies. "I know how confusing this must be for you. I was staring because you look so much like
Olivia, this young woman I knew once."

When Livvie explains that she knows all about "Caleb's first love," Michael seems nervous, unsure of who he is. "I
think maybe this was a mistake me being here," he hesitates. "I should have known how
strange it would be."

There are , indeed, many "strange," puzzling aspects of Michael's visit. Why, for instance, did the Michael part of
Caleb feel the need to convince Livvie that Caleb was dead? Why, in subsequent
episodes, does he try to convince
Livvie that Caleb lied to her and never loved her? How did "Michael" manage to temporarily overpower Caleb?

Was Caleb perhaps reliving the self-hatred he felt after accidentally murdering his first fiancee? Was he depicting
himself as the "monster" Olivia saw, the last sight she would ever have of the man she had once loved, and Caleb's
last memory of his
betrothed?

Although we will never know for sure the reasons why "Michael" temporarily triumphed and set about ruining all
the plans Caleb had for his future with Livive, we can, I think, conclude that "Michael"
truly believed in his own
separate existence and seemed to keep alive some of Caleb's troubled human emotions.

When Michael informs Livvie that he killed Caleb, and Eve tells her that Caleb had planned to steal her baby, Livive
refuses to believe that Caleb will not come back for her. Instead of allowing her to
grieve for the man she was
going to marry, Jack persists in trying to tell her what to feel. "It's going to be OK. Caleb just has you under his
spell," Jack repeats, relying on his familiar refrain to convince himself that Livvie could not possibly, of her own
free will, choose Caleb instead of him.
Michael and Eve likewise show insensitivity towards Livvie's emotions, justifying the murder and attempting to
turn her heart against Caleb. Livvie's only recourse and solace is to rock herself, like a child, into numbing
negation, blocking out a reality too shattering to accept.

********************************************************************************************

The next two episodes show "Michael" trying to destroy all of Caleb's dreams for the future, seeking to reverse
everything his other aspect had worked so hard to attain. In these episodes,
despite the shroud of suffocating self-
hate Michael buries his Caleb aspect within, there are brief glimpses of his vampire self beginning to emerge, signs
of resurrection amidst the dreariness and guilt.

As in the last episode, Jack and Michael continue trying to convince Livvie to reject Caleb's influence. In addition,
Jack, still fighting his vampire urges and worried that he will harm Livvie, asks Michael what to expect, what
Caleb's experience can reveal about Jack's future.
Snappies of "Tainted Love"
scenes taken by A.
Armstrong
"Tainted Love" Diary 81