On a usual weekday I watch GH with my thumb poised firmly on the Tivo Fast Forward button. My thumb is just waiting for some reason to zip past mindless scenes of things like Georgie flipping her hair when Professor Pretty Pete is sipping coffee at Kelly's and raving about the last 2 pages of his book, or when Ric is threatening Alexis to take Molly away for the 433rd time, or when Maxie is shrieking at Liz that she doesn't really love Lucky or any other conversation I have heard too many times. But I didn't touch that button all week. I didn't want to miss any of it. Thank you GH writers for a stellar week of television.
Back when ABC made the bonehead choice of firing John Ingle and replacing him with Jed Allen, I spent a considerable amount of time complaining about it. Some of you who were new to the game wondered what all the fuss was about, and asked me why I cared so much about an aging actor who was hardly ever on? Well, I think if you watched this week, you know why now - because when Edward is on, we need him to be Edward. I hate that the powers that be have let Stuart Damon go, I hate it. But I certainly can't hold that choice against the actors who are acting their hearts out this week in the bedside goodbye scenes. John Ingle delivered pure gold this week as he confessed "All Alan ever wanted was to make me proud. And I -- I treated him like an embarrassment. I guess I thought that I would be able to make amends on my own deathbed and tell him how -- how sorry I was and -- and how much I loved him. Never occurred to me that -- that Alan might -- might die before I have a chance." John Ingle has just the right mix of surliness and tenderness to make Edward a complicated, but completely lovable character. This week's scenes which exposed the tender side of Edward's soul had me pulling out the Kleenex and wishing I had worn waterproof mascara. Bravo, John Ingle.
In fact, the whole Quartermaine clan was on their A game, from Tracy snarling at Alan - "All right, Alan, you and I have spent the majority of our lives competing for Daddy's love. This time, you really outdid yourself. A heart condition? I would've gone for something a little more original, but I have to admit -- it worked brilliantly. You had Daddy in here singing your praises and whining for forgiveness. Wake up. You're going to want to savor every minute. Besides, if you leave now, I win. And I know you wouldn't want that. So just wake up! And make me regret telling you how much I love you." Jane Elliott is another actor whose role demands that she snarl and snipe at other characters. I think that's why when they are allowed to do scenes with warmth and tenderness, where their characters let their guard down and show their true emotions, it hits us doubly hard. Even Natalia Livingston whose beauty normally exceeds her acting ability, in my humble opinion, gave a wonderful, warm, flesh and blood performance this week saying goodbye to her adopted father. She cried what I believe to be real tears.
I suppose that's part of the depth this week - the characters in the fictional Port Charles are losing someone, but the actors who have worked with Stuart Damon for 30 years, like the wonderful Leslie Charleson, are losing a long time friend in real life as well. Did you catch the perfect moment when she has just told Alan she finally realized he was, and always would be the love of her life, as she laid her head down on his chest and his eyes slowly open and he softly says her name? Her gasp gave me chills. And for all those real married couples out there - her confession was quite poignant, wasn't it? "Your heart's a mess, you know? Well, sure you know. You know because I've broken it enough times -- that's for sure - all the affairs and all the lies. And not just to you -- to myself. And it has taken way, way too long for me to realize that you -- that you are and always have been the love of my life."
We all break each other's hearts repeatedly over the years, those of us who stick around and stay married - we disappoint one another, we argue and forgive, time after time, but if at the end you can say with conviction "You are and always have been the love of my life." Then I guess you've done it right, in spite of all the mistakes along the way. But Monica's confession to Alan wasn't just the tale of two fictional characters, but a tale of real life grief, too -as two actors who have been creative partners for 30 years have to end their life's work together. Stuart Damon has to lay there and not flinch or cry or move a muscle as a parade of friends he has worked with for 3 decades comes in to tell him goodbye. Brutal. I fully believe that the tears everyone is crying may very well have their basis in reality.
An unrelated surprise is the burgeoning wonder that is Damian Spinelli. He began as an amusing computer geek, but this week we have established that he has a little bit of a Hero streak as well. What a delightfully charming character Bradford Anderson has brought to life for us! I confess I've always been sweet on geeks. Back in college when all my friends were drooling over the football players, I fell for the geek from my College Democrats Club who had memorized all of JFK's speeches and could do them in JFK's accent... I am still overtly fond of geeks, so Spinelli is a welcome addition to GH for me. His evolution from one dimensional geek to multi-faceted geek is doubly enjoyable.
I was watching Soapography today and they featured Tristan Rogers who said he started GH with a 2 day walk on part, but Gloria Monty took a shine to him and told the writers to keep him around and just write him into scenes, and the rest is history. Same with Tony Geary, he was initially hired for a 2 week story arc, and now, here we are in 2007, almost 30 years later. Who knows, maybe Spinelli will hang around for awhile?
But, while we speaking of Tristan Rogers, I have to ask again, where the heck is Robert Scorpio? I asked last week and still don't know the answer. Are we expected to believe that the Robert Scorpio who came back to prove to Robin he loved her and wanted to make up for years of neglect is now too busy to drive across town and do his Super Spy bit and rescue her? ABC makes a big deal out of bringing back its "Legacy Characters" - Anna, Holly, Robert, Noah, Laura, and now Scott Baldwin, but they don't seem to know what to do with them once they get them back. It would have made sense for Robert to be part of this storyline, to be there chained to the drain pipe with Luke as they both try to buck the cops and do a renegade mission to save their daughters, but alas, Robert is nowhere to be found. If they can work Big Alice into this week's drama, heaven knows they could have made room for Robert. Mind you, that's no slam to Alice, I love her. But let's face it, she isn't related to any of the hostages, and Robert is, thus, it would have made more sense for him to be there. And if he couldn't be there, at least have Mac say "I wish Robert hadn't gone back to the WSB last week, Robin sure could use him now" to at least acknowledge that he exists.
Okay, readers, I am going to shock and stun you. Here's something you never thought you'd hear me say… I liked Maxie this week. I didn't think I could ever forgive her, but now that she's stopped pretending like she didn't do anything wrong and is admitting she was an idiot, I can let myself like her again. I find humility enormously attractive. When someone says; "Yes, I blew it, I did this horrible thing. Do you love me anyway?" It's easier to say yes when you know the person realizes they were wrong. Now that Maxie has bonded with 'ABC easy as 123' or whatever number he is (I think he is 3, right?) Maxie has confessed to him that she has done bad things- it's easier to see her as a human being instead of a monster. There's nothing like a near death experience to make a person face the truth about oneself.
Sam also had some moments of genuine kindness to Liz this week and we have discovered that she's also smarter than the average Lois Lane type as she can distinguish her boyfriend's eyes and mouth even under a ski mask. Not to mention her instincts about Father Mateo were dead on, as he finally took all he could take and tossed his rosary to the ground, sadly though, he was shot, and if he's actually dead, may I saw what a waste of Robert LaSardo- could this be another case of an actor brought back with no plan of what to do with him once he got there?
Of course, Port Charles only has room for one sick freak at a time, and Mr. Craig more than qualifies. With his trippy head games of switching the hostages around and making them choose who lives or dies, we realize he isn't just a greedy two timing creep, he's twisted as well. All excellent qualities in a soap villain. Did he live through the blast? Most likely, bad guys are always indestructible. I learned that when I was 5 watching Roadrunner cartoons - the Coyote always comes back even after the Acme anvil hits him in the head and his tail explodes and he falls off the edge of the cliff right after he notices he stepped off the edge - he'll still be there next week trying to catch the Roadrunner again.
Who did I hate this week? The new bossy doctor who came and dragged Patrick to the hospital was on my last nerve. Again I ask, if we need a Chief of Staff, why not keep ALAN who has been with GH for 30 years instead of hiring someone new? If I was Patrick and some idiot I had never seen before ordered me back to the hospital, I would say "Who told you that you were the big On Call Sheriff of the hospital?" to paraphrase Bill Cosby… I hated Ric for chaining up Luke, although I think Ric is always trying to do the right thing, he just rarely ever gets it right. And I didn't actually *hate* Carly this week, but I sure was mad at her when she got the okay to leave and she said 'No'. Okay, I understand she loves Sonny, but as a Mother, you are supposed to put your kids first (At least my Mama always did, and still does, for that matter) and Carly is risking that her kids will lose both parents instead of leaving when she could to be a Mother to them. That's 2 Demerits for you Carly, a Michael demerit and a Morgan demerit… And, I wasn't very fond of the mean lady who wrote me a vicious letter because she didn't care for my opinion about a fictional character. Grow up, lady, it's a TV show, not real life.
What will happen tomorrow dear readers? Will Skye be furious when she finds out the briefcase code was Lorenzo's dead girlfriend? Will anyone remember to unchain Luke from the drain pipe in all the mayhem? Will Georgie ever get over herself? Will Spencer be gone again when Nik and Em get home seeing as how Helena is still at large and they were gone overnight? Will the Quartermaines go to Lorenzo's hospital room and pound the crap out of him? Will poor pregnant Elizabeth ever get to pee?