There are plenty of folks in Port Charles that could use an intervention: Jason for his black t-shirt addiction, Lisa for her Patrick obsession, and Spinelli for his computer usage, to name a few. But Luke Spencer is the most ideal candidate for an intervention that GH has ever seen. And wow, did it turn out to be one tough hour, not just for Luke, but for viewers, as well.
Luke has been an excessive drinker -- one could argue alcoholic -- for more than a decade and, finally, his family took action. That action, sadly, included drugging Luke and duct-taping him to a chair to begin the intervention. Hey, the Spencers never really do anything the conventional way, so what did you expect?
Luke's intervention was one of the most powerful hours of GH I've seen in long time. Thank you, writers, for giving us the Spencer intervention in its entirety and not cutting away to other ongoing storylines with Michael, Robin, or Jason. That continuity of the confrontation kept the focus where it should be: on Luke's problem and denial.
As his children, family, and friends each took their turn telling Luke he had a problem, it was clear that Luke still believes he doesn't. "I am not an alcoholic!" he ranted. Luke tried to reason with them, saying that they were asking him to give up who he was. If Luke thinks that alcohol is who he is, then I think the group proved their point.
I commend the writing team for this episode. It was nearly perfect. (If Bobbie had been there, it would have been perfect.) Luke's support team each read their letters to him, describing how his alcoholism had affected them. They all were emotional, but Tracy's really got to me, as I realized how vulnerable this tough lady really is. It was a hard pill to swallow that the reason Tracy made Luke stay sober on their wedding day was that she thinks he can love her only if he's drunk. Gulp.
When it was Lucky's turn, the floodgates opened -- for him and me. "When you would rather drink alone in an empty casino than spend Christmas with your family, it's got you," Lucky pleaded to Luke, about his addiction. When Lucky went on to tell Luke that Jake was dead but that Lucky still needed his father, well, let's just say the lump in my throat is still there.
The writers stayed true to Luke's character for the entire episode. Luke maintained his trademark sarcasm throughout the entire intervention. "I hope you all enjoyed the creative writing," he snarked, as the letter-reading ended.
All of the actors in this episode should be applauded with heaps of praise. But Jonathan Jackson was a real standout. This actor has the ability to make me feel everything he is feeling, and it usually ends with me reaching for a Kleenex.
The best part of the hour was waiting for the climactic ending. As each family member and friend told Luke they would no longer be in his life unless he sought treatment at a facility, I was waiting for Luke to agree to go to Shadybrook. (How could he not, when Lulu, Lucky, Tracy, Sonny, Nik, and everyone in his life are prepared to shut him out?) But in typical Luke fashion, he ended the session by walking out, declaring there was a bottle with his name on it somewhere.
It wasn't until he was outside that viewers saw the toll the confrontation had taken. Luke wrapped his arms around himself to try to comfort and compose himself. What we saw was a grisly-faced, red-eyed man in pain, staring at us. Bravo Tony Geary! He was perfection.
Kudos, General Hospital, for not taking the easy route and sending Luke on his merry way to treatment. We all know real life seldom works that way, and with a character as stubborn as Luke Spencer, I think it will take a few more falls, before he hits rock bottom. And as uncomfortable as it is to watch, I don't want to miss a moment.
I couldn't believe my ears this week when Brenda spouted off that she didn't just blindly accept Suzanne's story that Lucian was her grandson. Um, that's exactly what Brenda did. It wasn't until Robin and Sonny worked her that she agreed to a DNA test. Sigh.
It seems to me that in a world where I can unlock my car, program my DVR, and set my house alarm with a click on my iPhone that someone in the television industry could come up with a device to put on our cable/satellite boxes that would tell the networks every program we watch and when we watch it, hence making all our opinions count, and not just a select few. Why aren't networks protesting these antiquated ratings' measuring devices and trying to come up with a better system? Our shows are dying, supposedly, because of ratings. And if the ratings are flawed, I say that's one place to look at starting to fix the problem.
Best Lines of the Week:
(Maxie tries to comfort Lucky about Jake's death by trying to lighten the mood, a move that Spinelli pulled on her after Georgie's death.)
Maxie: "It felt good for somebody to pull me away from the pain. I kind of think you need that right now."
Lucky: "Maybe I should hang out with Spinelli."
(Luke orders a Scotch from Siobhan.)
Luke: "Will you join me, or will that put you in hot water with my son for contributing to the delinquency of a senior?"
(Longtime adversary Nikolas tries to help Luke at his intervention.)
Nikolas: "If you don't get help, my doors are closed to you."
Luke: "Ouch, that hurts."
On a serious note, my heart is breaking for all those caught in the tornadoes in the South this week. My family was safe, with minimal damage, but there are hundreds dead and thousands more whose lives were destroyed. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.