I imagine that there wasn't a dry eye around as the lullaby, Baby Mine, played during the final scenes of General Hospital on Friday. I wept, but beneath all that sadness was anger. Anger at whomever had thought that killing off one or, possibly, two legacy characters would be a good idea.
The week started out happy enough for most of the people in Port Charles. Brenda was on the mend after being injected with a new and deadly neurotoxin, Luke and Ethan were merrily hatching a scheme to plant some stolen diamonds in Jax's safe, Carly was eagerly anticipating outwitting Jax, Lucky and Siobhan were blissfully making wedding plans, Michael was drinking wine with Abby on a school night and preparing to prove to Sonny and Jason that he would make a fine little mobster, Robin and Lisa were finally given the chance to get their hands on that coveted syringe that Lisa had tried to inject into Robin's I.V., and Nikolas and Brook were having a grand ole time schtupping in the library.
Yes, there were some portents of doom trying to stink up the feel-good atmosphere around Port Chuck, but they seemed minor at the time. Sam's migraines were attributed to the concussion, which Patrick assured her would go away. He wrote her a prescription, and then sent her home to rest. Josslyn's persistent low-grade fever was written off by the pediatrician as nothing to be concerned about. Any parent can tell you that kids run fevers for a myriad of reasons, so it was perfectly plausible.
I totally get why Carly wouldn't have been freaked out about Josslyn's fever. She was concerned, but not to the point where she insisted on sitting vigil at her daughter's bedside. Unfortunately for Jax, this gave Carly plenty of opportunity to enlist Luke and Ethan's help to scam Jax. Unfortunately for Carly, though, Agent Bates wasn't pleased to be part of her little game.
I adore Alexis, so I thoroughly enjoyed Nancy Lee Grahn's performance this week. Alexis shined during those scenes with Luke and Ethan in the hallway when she had noted what a "coinkydink" it was to find them loitering outside of Jax's door. Alexis had me in stitches when she informed Agent Bates that she also represented Jax, along with Luke and Ethan. Alexis' indulgent smile, when Agent Bates asked if she were the only lawyer in town, was priceless.
I love to see Alexis written like this because it really showcases Nancy's versatility. Nancy Lee Grahn is a superb actress with flawless comedic timing, so it is such a welcome and refreshing change when the writers take advantage of that instead of reducing her to frivolous fluff scenes where she is more prop than a central core character.
The only annoying moment in those scenes was when Jax decided that the best course of action to deal with Agent Bates was to threaten the man's job. For a savvy corporate raider, it's a bit baffling why Jax seems to lack an ability to read people or a situation. It's a good thing that Jax's ex-wife, Alexis, was on hand to save the day. Note to Jax: Take lessons from Alexis on the art of compromise.
Lucky certainly appears to have mastered them. I was impressed with how he had managed to persuade the woman that he loves to marry him without actually admitting that he loves her. I have to admit though that I'm not a fan of the green-card marriage storyline. It appears to be an ABC theme lately because we have Tad Martin and Cara Castillo doing the very same thing on All My Children.
I don't think that it's asking too much for the network to have different storylines on their soaps. It smacks of lack of creativity and originality. Not only did we have Ethan in a similar situation last year, just before he married Maya, but Lucky and Siobhan are actually lovers. I would have preferred that Lucky and Siobhan have a quickie wedding for the old-fashioned reason: she's pregnant. I think it's insulting to the viewers to suggest that Lucky and Siobhan are only getting married because he wants to keep her in the country, so that they can continue to date.
Ireland is a beautiful country. Granted it's had its share of problems, but it's not exactly the Sudan or Libya. I really don't understand why Siobhan can't go through the legal channels to enter the country. Big deal if she has to wait a few months (as the man at the airport told her) to get a visa. Lucky can always Skype and visit her during that time to stay connected. Better yet, the writers could have had Agent Bates pull a few strings to thank Siobhan for her cooperation.
I think the upcoming storyline would have been much more powerful if Siobhan had been pregnant with Lucky's child because it would have put Lucky in a position where he might feel that he had to choose between being there for Aiden, Cam, and Liz versus starting a new life with Siobhan and their child. Yes, sadly, I do believe that Jake will succumb to his injuries. The writing is on the wall -- someone has decided to decimate the core families in Port Charles. It started with Monica and Bobbie's families and has now moved on to the Webbers.
The decision to fire (and then rehire) Becky Herbst was strong indicator that no one would be safe from the poison pens of the scribes. Now we are learning that Tyler Christopher is out, which means that he will be taking a third generation legacy character with him. I'm referring to Spencer of course. If you're keeping track, that would be three legacy characters from core families gone in the span of just a few short weeks. The show cites budget cuts as the reason, but I don't buy that. We have several new characters who, while enjoyable at times, are completely unnecessary.
What's the point of Terrell, other than to add some additional conflict to Patrick and Robin's already troubled marriage? Then there's Lisa. She's certainly entertaining enough, in that diabolical crazy-lunatic way that soaps are so famous for, but in the scheme of things she's pointless. Maya is a legacy character, but one that we didn't even know about until Annie Ilonzeh joined the cast. I like her, but I have not seen her grow up, so I can live without her presence in Port Charles. I've seen the argument made that new viewers don't care about the core families because they aren't vested in the show the way that some are. It breaks my heart to hear that because it's rather like saying that grandma and grandpa are irrelevant.
What made Jake such a great character is that we know his family history, since his great-grandfather graced our screens on the very first episode. Jake had connections to almost everyone in that town, which gave him huge potential. We watched Jake from conception, which made many of us care about his story. The little tykes (Jones and James Nigbor) who portrayed him were completely adorable and so much like Jason that I often wondered if they were related in some way to Steve Burton.
Whether you were a fan of Liason or not, there's no disputing that Jake was a character with the ability to truly shake things up in the future. Viewers were waiting for the day that Jake became old enough to confront Jason, good or bad, about the choices that Jason had made for him. People wanted to see what Jason would do if Jake were pitted against Michael, who is, in many ways, Jason's first son. What if Jason were to have children with Sam and raise them? How would Jake have felt about that? What would Jake's relationship with those children have been like? Would Jake have grown up to be like Jason or Lucky? Would he have eventually connected with his Quartermaine side?
We will never know the answers to those questions because someone decided that Jake, a fourth generation legacy character, was expendable.
I must confess that I found the scenes of everyone speeding like demons through the streets of Port Charles, prior to the hit-and-run, rather comical. I kept hearing the music that played at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz, when Miss Gulch (the Wicked Witch of the West) stole Toto and then pedaled madly away while the tornado bore down on her, playing in my head.
I do not blame Liz for that tragic accident. She didn't do anything wrong. Her son was playing at the bottom of the steps inside the house and the front door was shut. That scene perfectly illustrated the true-to-life reality of just how quickly these things can happen with children. A couple of summers ago, I read about a local woman who had put her son down for a nap and then an hour later discovered that he had slipped out of his room, snuck into the garage, and then climbed into the back of the family car to play with some toys that he had left there. The child-safety locks had been activated, so he had been able to get into the car, but not out. Sadly, it had been in the high nineties, so he had perished in a very short time.
Everyone who had been driving before Jake's hit-and-run had been shown doing something dangerous at the time. All except Sonny, and possibly Sam, were in a rush, so they were speeding.
Sam was driving even though she had been to the doctor earlier that day because of her constant migraines. Carly had been on the phone with Jax, worried sick about their daughter who had spiked a fever. Meanwhile, Lisa had been riding Robin's bumper as Robin raced to get the syringe to Steve. Luke had been drinking prior to climbing behind the wheel. Lastly, Sonny had Brenda practically sitting in his lap as they drove to the airport. You don't do those things in a residential neighborhood, because there are kids around.
Jake opened that door by himself while his mother was busy reading the results of Aiden's paternity test. Liz, like most mothers, first thought that he had wandered out to play on the front porch. Your mind doesn't immediately go to the worst-case scenario, simply because it's not something that any parent ever wants to contemplate as a possibility. However, Jake didn't respond when she called out to him, so she immediately acted. Unfortunately, it was too late. Jake had been left lying, broken and battered, in the street after a car had struck him.
Hit-and-run, regardless of the reason, is a crime. The person responsible for Jake's fate is the person who ran him over and then kept on driving. The only person that we know for certain that was in the neighborhood is Sam. We know this because we heard the ambulance sirens in the background when she called Spinelli to let him know that she had pulled over after experiencing a blinding headache.
Everyone else is eliminated as a suspect simply because of their behavior afterwards. Lisa has an alibi because, by Robin's own accounting, Lisa had been riding Robin's bumper ever since they had left the Haunted Star. That also rules out Robin as the one responsible because I'm quite sure, if Robin had run over Jake, Lisa would have used that information to blackmail Robin into handing over the syringe.
Carly, Luke, and even Suzanne and Theo, are crossed off of the list because none of them appeared to be upset or concerned that they had hit something. Theo is a ruthless and heartless bastard, but Suzanne is not. I'm certain that she would have grumbled just a bit about their limo driver running over a little boy the same age as their grandson. Heck, to protect her grandson, she probably would have told Theo that the little boy had been Aleksander and Brenda's son.
It's true that Carly is known to be an abysmally poor driver, with a long list of accidents to her credit; however, as much as I loathe Carly, I can't imagine her not stopping to check if she had hit something in front of Liz's house. The same goes for Luke. Neither of them would have left the scene if they had discovered Jake lying in the road.
Given Jake's serious injuries and size, it seems clear that whoever hit him had to have known that something was struck.
Sam seems too obvious and frankly, I really don't think that the writers would have Sam kill Jason's son, so my money is on the real driver being someone that we didn't see during the montage. I suspected that it will be Nikolas because of Tyler Christopher's exit. I know that an actor's exit doesn't necessarily mean the character is gone, but since they are citing budget constraints as the reason for Tyler's dismissal, I seriously doubt that the role will be recast.
Sadly, I think that Jake was sacrificed for nothing. The whole storyline falls flat because there was no buildup to this point, and it reeks of the BJ/Maxie transplant storyline. I say this because we learned on Friday that Josslyn might have kidney cancer in both kidneys. You can't exactly live without two kidneys, so chances are she will need a transplant at some point.
What The Power That Be fail to understand though is that the BJ/Maxie storyline is sacred to many of us who watched it unfold. Attempting to redo it is treading on some very dangerous ground because you have to do it as well as, if not better than, the original storyline. That is not happening here.
For starters, there was that whole scene of Steve telling Jason to leave Liz alone even though he acknowledged that Jason was Jake's biological father. If ever there was a time for Jason and Liz to share scenes, it's now. And yes, I do believe that Lucky should be a part of them. The three of them made this deal together, so they should all be there to support each other.
Then there was the rather strange scene of Steve prohibiting Liz from seeing Jake before Jake was taken into surgery. Robin and Patrick later agreed that it had been a good decision on Steve's part because Liz shouldn't have seen her son injured like that. Yet they all seem to have forgotten that Liz was the first to find her son and then rode in the ambulance with Jake to the hospital, so she had already seen him. Even more head-scratching was the decision to let Jason view the surgery from the observation area. Why exactly is it okay for Jason, a hit man, to see Jake, but not Liz, a nurse?
These things interrupt the continuity of the story, which has some serious problems. For instance, Josslyn's cancer means that she would not be eligible for a transplant because of a compromised immune system and the likelihood that the cancer could spread to the new organs. Yes it's a soap opera, but it's a soap opera called General Hospital, so many of us expect the writers to make a reasonable attempt at medical accuracy.
I know that next week, plot holes aside, we will get some very powerful and gripping performances. I look forward to those even if I'm heartbroken about the direction of this storyline.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I enjoy hearing back from readers, so please feel free to drop me a line to let me know what you think about what's going on. Until next time, take care.