There was a time, not so long ago, that I loathed and detested both Sam and Maxie. I could not envision ever liking those characters again, as the writer's had taken them so far to the edge of evil I couldn't see the path for them to rejoin the human race. But amazingly they both have, and this week I found my heart engaged in them and feeling sad for their respective plights. I confess I am not much of a grudge holder to begin with. I have been forgiven some pretty major things, and thus I feel compelled to forgive others with the same gusto. I spend far more energy hating fictional characters than I do real people, but it turns out I can't really even sustain a good hatred of fictional characters.
Maxie has had a life wrought with loss. I feel her pain; particularly today as it's my late great Daddy's birthday, and I just broke down sobbing at the mall when Sophie B. Hawkins "As I Lay Me Down to Sleep" played over the P.A. (Thankfully I have Coconut Rum in the pantry.) Maxie knows loss intimately. She grew up without either parent, both of whom abandoned her, she lost Jessie, she lost Coop, she lost her beloved sister Georgie, and Maxie lives with the fact that the only reason she's alive is because her cousin B.J. died in a bus crash and left her healthy heart behind in Maxie's chest. Is it any wonder she's so crabby?
She has found a friend, mismatched though they may be, in Damian Spinelli. Spinelli is having detective daydreams (any may I say both of the characters look amazing in those period costumes.) and is attracted to Maxie, but I don't think it's mutual - but hey, who knows, stranger things have happened. I'm just glad Spinelli has seen beyond the Bad Blonde One mask to the wounded human being behind the defiant mask. Maybe he can help her heal, and she can help him build up his self confidence. Their scenes at Georgie's gravesite were poignant and real. I am rooting for their budding friendship.
As to Sam, I was delighted to hear her admit that she was wrong to let Jason and Liz's baby get kidnapped out of spite. For months she has defended her actions and blamed Jason and Liz for "pushing her to the brink." But this week, she finally took responsibility for her bad judgment to Lucky, and that confession makes it easier for me to like her character again.
I was afraid we were going to lose Sam for good. When Diego's car went over the bridge with Sam trapped inside I gasped. I did not realize she had trapeze training in her background allowing her to swing over and grab the rail of the bridge. I guess one of her dead rich husbands must have owned a Cirque du Soleil franchise in Vegas. Speaking of Las Vegas, now that's it's been axed, maybe Vanessa Marcil will come back to GH and give Kate a run for her money over Sonny. That would be one great celebrity smackdown.
Sam held on long enough for Lucky to pull her to safety, which he was able to do as Jason pulled him to safety when Diego was shooting at him. Jason saved Liz, Lucky saved Sam, and all is well with the world? Not really - Jason may not be able to kill people anymore as his hands got messed up. That's karma, or fate, or one of those stories you hear people tell about how God saved them from wrecking their own lives. If Jason can't be a mob enforcer anymore - then he can be set free - make a life, raise his son, and do something that doesn't require steady hands, like selling magazine subscriptions in some telemarketing office, or lecturing kids at some Scared Straight conference while holding up his mangled fingers and asking "Do you want THIS to happen to YOU?" It could be a new start for Jason, so forgive me if I hope his hands don't totally heal…
Did you see Wednesday's episode dear readers? If not, you missed a special treat. ABC treated us to a very interesting behind the scenes look at the green screen technology that allowed them to do those visually stunning scenes of a car teetering over a bridge and the rushing river below. The face of Daytime TV is changing, and for the better. Back in the day, we were always one either A) The Q mansion, B) Jessie Brewer's Nurses' Station, C) Ruby's Diner, D) The Floating Rib, or E) Laura's Living Room (before she was a Spencer, when she still lived with Leslie, cried until her black mascara ran down her face, and stared at a Star on the Christmas Tree for a month.)
Now we can go all over town - to Spoon Island with Jason racing across the water on a SeaDoo, the outer face of the Metro-Court hotel, bridges with dangling cars, raging rivers, snowy roads - the hospital rooftop with the Port Charles Skyline glimmering in the distance - those effects create a depth and richness soaps have previously been missing.
Another new addition that has brought some much needed depth to GH is… Sarah Joy Brown. Claudia is no one dimensionally mob daughter -she's a real human being and can be ruthless, or tender, strong or scared, lovely or lethal - and she has chemistry with every character. I love the scenes she has shared with her brother Johnny, her sometimes lover Sonny, her nemesis Trevor, her mad but comical Daddy Anthony, her brief brush with Carly, her soon to be Love Triangle partner Kate - every one of those relationships intrigue me because she is part of them.
Claudia made great sense when she was talking to Sonny and assuring him they didn't have Michael - but Sonny is acting recklessly like he did before they put him on meds. He is so certain the Zacharra's have Michael that he stubbornly has kept poor Johnny hostage for a week with no food or water. I did hear Milo offer him a snack yesterday, but I never actually SAW a snack. Maybe they were heating him up some Campbell's Soup. HA!
Sonny isn't the only man who isn't thinking straight these days, Nikolas and his brain tumor are pretty unbalanced, too. Is it sick that I got all happy when No Name Nurse vanished? I thought perchance she was going to be Diego's final victim. Tell me, how do you suppose Diego got down the elevator shaft and tied her up and then got back upstairs? Maybe he crawled back up through those vents that he personally rerouted.
Nik's tumor induced rage sure came in handy when he had to fight off Diego. Of course, we didn't see the face of the guy swinging from the rafters, so there is no guarantee that Diego is really dead this time, either. After Nikolas' heroics, he has decided he will skip surgery and opt to die rather than live without Emily. I was willing to play along for awhile, but seriously - this has gotten out of hand. Nikolas has lost lovers before, like Katherine Bell, and Courtney and he seemed to handle his grief in a healthy way. Now he has a child to raise, and knows what it's like to lose a father, but he misses Emily SO MUCH that he's going to let himself die rather than save his own life and raise his son? That's not the Nikolas I know. I can't believe Helena hasn't crawled out of the tunnels at Wyndemere to brainwash him into saying yes to surgery.
My hope is that he has the surgery and can still see Emily after it's finished - or we find that Emily has been alive all along and Helena faked her murder to get Nik away from her and she'll reappear someday as a live being, or that Nik's brain tumor imagined the whole Text Message Killer plot ala Bobby Ewing and Georgie and Emily are still both alive. But I spend a great deal of time in my fantasy world in my head and I know it's unlikely to pan out that way.
I also hope Marianna's flannel shirted abuser slips off the docks falls into the port and they never even know he's in town, but that probably won't happen either. Sadly, we're gearing up for a plot I can see coming and dread. I don't care for Marianna, and wish they would have left the original actress in the role. She made more of an impact on me in 4 days than this actress has since. I love Ric, but he hasn't had a worthy female acting partner since he and Alexis split. I'd rather pair Ric with Claudia or Diane than this dreary version of Marianna. Of course, I may not have to worry about her for long - Ric accidentally set off one of Diego's bombs, and his coveted pier property may be blown to bits in 30 minutes.
Kate Howard and her new yellow hat may not last 30 minutes either - it seemed Kate was having chest pains at the end of Friday's show, but I wasn't sure if it was "I'm broken hearted because Sonny slept with a skank." pains, or "Ouch, my gun shot wound reopened." pain. Time will tell.
Kate's little red-headed shooter is still cowering away in the woods with Granny, and I hope that Jax's Good Guy security guys find Michael before Sonny and Jason's mob guys find him so Jax can be the hero for a change. He truly deserves it. Of course, instead, he is about to be sucked into some new scam of Jerry's just as Spinelli and the ever growing on me Cassius are about to connect Mr. Moreau to Stan's death. But will they figure out that Mr. Moreau is Jerry? And, how long will it be until we see that familiar tattooed shoulder in the hospital unisex locker room? I just know the bad guy is Patrick's buddy and Sam's new flirtation Dr. Ian Devlin.
What will happen tomorrow dear readers? Will Patrick buy an "I'm the Daddy" t-shirt with an arrow pointing to Robin's belly? Will everyone who thought Logan was the killer apologize to him once he wakes up? Will Johnny try out for American Idol and tell the sad story of how he wrote his audition song on a padded wall with a stolen Sharpie while he was kidnapped by the mob? Will Carly buy some hair conditioner or spring for a Hot Oil treatment at her hotel's salon? Will Diego's bombs blow up Kelly's Diner and cheat the whole town out of chili? Will Ghost Alan come and lead Ghost Emily home after Nikolas has his surgery? Will Morgan decides he likes being an only child and not being bossed around by Michael and hang up the phone when Michael finally calls home?