Before my Dad passed away in 2004, I used to think that Streisand song from Yentl was hokey. It was highly mock worthy. But now that my Dad is gone, I often times find myself in my head asking "Daddy, can you hear me? Can you see me? Do you still know I exist?" And so, I confess that I unashamedly cried my way through Alan's death this week and every single goodbye scene with any of his family. For reasons I can't explain, I came totally unglued when Jason arrived too late to say his goodbyes in person and was talking to a lifeless Alan who could no longer hear him.
These scenes worked on many levels, I realize my own tears had many meanings. I am truly sad that Stuart Damon is leaving GH. I cried because I thought it was the last time I'd see him and hear his voice. I've been watching him since I was 15. I'm 45 now. I've grown accustomed to his face, as the song says. I was hit with the fact that he won't be around the Q mansion fighting with Monica so she can say "It's MY house!" to him. I worried about the future GH AIDS patients who no longer have a sympathetic advocate in the Chief of Staff's office. Who's going to read the Christmas story to the kids in the hospital??? I was angry that a guy who gave 30 years of his life to a job got canned for no apparent reason before he chose to retire voluntarily. I had sorrow for the character and all Alan Quartermaine meant to me over the years, but I also felt bad for Stuart Damon.
The entire Quartermaine clan was at their finest this week. Monica, Tracy, Emily, Skye, Edward, each and every actor was invested in their scenes full force. There were some moments that were so tender and rich - like Edward's beautiful line "Can you see him now, Lila?" hoping his late wife is there to greet their son at the gates of Heaven - totally heart wrenching. But not wanting us to get too weepy, Edward had some comic relief, too - "I was going to go to the chapel and make a deal with God, but God doesn't listen to me."
Steve Burton was allowed to emote this week. His eyes and face are so expressive; it's always a amazing to watch. While Jason was in mid shoot out with James Craig, (played with delicious and dastardly sadism by Sebastian Roche), we see Jason's inner struggle move across his face as Craig taunts him with threats intermingled with reasons he should let him escape. But the person who finally convinced him was Spinelli running in to say Alan had suffered another heart attack. Craig's parting words to Jason hit home "You only have one father…" James Craig is the best villain since the twisted Caesar Faison left town, IMHO.
When Jason arrived at the hospital a few moments too late, his regrets hit hard as he thought of all the years he rejected Alan and pushed him away. Why did he suddenly have an epiphany where Alan is concerned? Well, with a child of his own on the way, he wondered how that sort of rejection would feel if his child turned a cold shoulder to him the way he had done to Alan. The ever 'Stone Cold' Jason let down his icy guard and shed some actual tears about his Father's death, and it was deeply moving touching.
Natalia Livingston's sweet goodbyes to Alan were also genuinely moving. I was always so taken with Amber Tamblyn as Emily that it took me a really long time to warm up to Natalia, but this week, when I watched her say goodbye to Alan, she *was* Emily to me. When she talked about Alan pretending to be Sidney the Bear, I could close my eyes and see Alan him doing the funny voice and silly face for her - I remembered with her and I cried again. As an extra bonus, Wally Kurth's consistently charming Ned Ashton got to join the party. When people mentioned Brooke Lynn I said to the TV set "Oh, she's in the Genoa City Hospital now under the pseudonym of Colleen Carlton." Everyone did a wonderful job, and though I hate the fact that Alan is gone, I truly hope everyone involved gets piles of awards.
As if Alan's death alone didn't provide enough drama, we also had Carly flying to the door bellowing about hers and Sonny's "one night of sex not changing anything." with a surprised Jax on the other end. After months of separation, the first greeting Jax gets is the knowledge that Sonny and Carly slept together while he was away. She gave him the "We thought we were going to die." defense, which isn't really true as they had sex AFTER they were home, not in the floor of the Metro Court at gunpoint. Speaking of which, between the hotel fire a couple of years ago, and the hostage/exploding Metro Court Hotel, would you ever book a hotel room in Port Charles? Me neither. The two suitors for Carly's affections continue to duke it out, but Jax and Sonny have shared a few women before - Brenda, Angel, Alexis (kind of), and now Carly. They should be used to it.
Jason couldn't step in and help Carly sort out her love life right now, as he has troubles of his own. For all of you, who have written to tell me I am too easy on Liz, prepare to be happy - Liz was a total insensitive idiot this week. After Jason saved her life in the Metro Court elevator and forgave her for lying to him about their baby for months, she has the nerve to ask him to give the baby up so Lucky can be its Daddy? Really Liz, are you kidding me? When she said "Lucky's been a good father." I wanted to smack her. If Lucky is such a good father, why did she have to move Cameron to her Grandma's house to keep Lucky away from him? Did she forget all those speeches about not letting her baby be around an addict? No, Lucky has NOT been a good Dad, at least not consistently, so in truth, Lucky has been as dangerous to a child's welfare as Jason. Should Jason give up his paternal rights? Nope. Sure, he promised Liz he would do whatever she wanted, but he should break that promise and fight to be in his child's life. He has lost too many children he loved in the past; he deserves a place in their child's life.
But, on the flip side, I loved the scene where Luke waxes poetic about forgiveness and talks to Liz about how Laura's forgiveness saved him. Haven't we all been saved by the forgiveness of someone we desperately needed it from? I certainly have. And Liz took his words to heart and made a beeline to Lucky to offer forgiveness and reconciliation. When Lucky looked longingly at their old wedding photo, I ached for their reconciliation. I wanted them to find their way back to one another. And they have, but still with a big fat juicy lie between them. The baby she is carrying is not Lucky's. Will he still want her back once he finds that out?
There they are in Luke and Laura's old homestead with Lulu and Nikolas planning their nuptials and Scott Baldwin appears at the door. Again. That house hasn't had that much action since Mary Mae Ward owned it. We even got to hear Leslie's voice speak actual lines this week thanks to Scott Baldwin stopping by uninvited. Just what does he know about Rick Weber's killer? Well, since he's eavesdropping around corners and lurking on the porch, he probably knows the whole story and is trying to discover if anyone else knows it. Lulu signed for a letter addressed to Luke, but she didn't let that stop her from ripping it open to find a confessional letter from Alan in which he was about to name Rick Weber's real killer, just as Scott popped in again before they hit pay dirt.
Ready for another surprise? I found myself agreeing with Ric in his ongoing custody battle with Alexis this week. I think he means what he is saying. I think he is sincere. Molly is his daughter, whom he loves. Alexis is so sick from her chemo that she isn't functioning well in her life. She was smoking pot for her nausea, which could cause her to have impaired judgment while caring for an infant. Ric is normally a weasel with some ulterior motive, but at this precise moment in time, I think he is genuinely concerned about the welfare of his infant daughter and not just trying to stick it to Alexis. Anyone with me?
Not that I have any ill will toward Alexis. I was very happy this week when Sam came to give her a long overdue apology as Alan's death and Jason's regrets helped Sam put things in perspective and reminded her to seize the day and have relationship with her dying mother now, while she could. Jax raced in to rescue Alexis too, but threatening Mayor Floyd and Ric with a steady stream of bad publicity. A better idea would be for him to remarry Alexis - he could A) Get even with Carly and B) Bolster Alexis's strength in her custody battle in one fell swoop. Carly's still married to Sonny after all, it would only be fair…
My husband noted that I wasn't laughing while I was writing this week, which I normally do. I normally come up with something I think is funny and run it by him to see if it really is funny. But this just wasn't a comical week on GH. It was about grief and loss and regret and there is nothing funny about that. But it sure was good. I don't mind a good cry if it's warranted, and this week, it was. GH's writing team outdid themselves again and the actors took the material they were given and acted the hell out of it. Thanks for giving me such wonderful television this week, GH.
Late breaking news and **Spoiler Alert** skip to the last paragraph NOW if you don't wanna know that…: Stuart Damon will be returning as a ghost, so we will see him again. :
What will happen tomorrow dear readers? Will Maxie and 3 get it on in her closet? Will the unnamed dog bark when he hears them? Will Ned wear his leather pants to Uncle Alan's funeral? Will Scott Baldwin get arrested for Rick's demise and sent to Sing Sing? Will Skye ever remember Lorenzo is still in the hospital and go back to visit him? Will Mr. Craig stay gone, or come back again to torment Port Charles in other ways? Will Sonny's bruised face ever clear up? Will Grandma Leslie be happy Liz and Lucky are remarrying when she find out that means she has to move out of her free housing?