Someone pinch me. I'm still in shock. Jerry Jacks is back. That's right, I said Jerry Jacks. Best. Villain. Ever. And not only is he back, he's allegedly the man behind Robin's kidnapping and death hoax. Excuse me, while I pick my jaw off the floor.
If surprising plot twists were an Olympic sport, then GH would get the gold. Bravo, team, on keeping such a juicy little secret! The moment Mr. Craig, oops, Jerry Jacks cleared his throat and entered the room to threaten Ewen, my shock was so audible, I'm sure the folks at the Olympic games in London heard my gasp.
I avoid spoilers like Jason avoids white t-shirts. Nonetheless, that usually doesn't stop the plot secrets from finding their way to my inbox, from some loyal readers who want to discuss the latest GH news. But this time, I was totally blindsided, and I hope you were, too. It's old-school soap writing to use the element of surprise. Newsflash: it works. Despite the spoiler era of the past two decades, audiences still love a good bombshell. And this one is going to leave Port Charles shattered.
I knew we'd see Jerry again someday. I just didn't expect it to be now, when Jax is gone. Is it poor timing or brilliant timing? I'm not sure. Jax is usually the only one who can rein in terrorist Jerry. Without Jax in town, there's no telling what kind of havoc Jerry will wreak.
What I do know is that Jerry's arrival brings more questions than answers. Who is Jerry working for? It makes no sense that he would want Robin "dead," so there must be someone else paying him, right? Helena Cassadine? Cesar Faison? Is Jerry related to Ewen Kennan? They sure strike a strong resemblance, not to mention accent. Why is Ewen involved in this mess? Why was Jerry waxing philosophical about faking one's death, versus actually killing someone? Did Helena hire him to "kill" Jake, too? Jerry sure seemed to know a lot about "Baby's Breath Elizabeth." Am I reaching? See, questions. It's a puzzler for sure.
All I know is that Jerry is back, and I couldn't be happier. The Jerry Jacks hostage storyline from a few years ago gave us some of the best daytime television I'd ever seen. And I'm hoping this time will prove the same. How could it not, when the guy oozes such confidence and uses words like paramour? Yes, I'm a little smitten. Don't judge me. Even stone-cold Alexis, who hasn't seen any action since the last time Jerry was in town, couldn't resist his charms.
It's a good thing Anna is a super-hero spy because that's what it's gonna take to bring down Jerry Jacks. It took the vampires on The Vampire Diaries more than four centuries to kill him. Anna, you have your work cut out for you. Welcome home, Mr. Craig.
General Hospital is so good right now, it should earn a gold, silver, and bronze in storytelling. If you stopped watching, I implore you, come back. Todd Manning alone is must-see TV. I could fill this entire column with his humorous dialogue and banter, as he needles everyone from Carly, to Johnny, to Sam.
The most noticeable change in the show for me is that the surprises just keep coming. In a wonderfully clever scene, we saw the back of a new bartender at the Floating Rib, bent behind the bar, talking to Alexis, who had forgotten her phone. When he popped up, it was that gorgeous, beaming smile we all know and love. Hello, Mac Scorpio! Twist.
Mac is a bartender? That's right. And it couldn't be more perfect. He had his old swagger back as he flirted with Alexis and urged her to go after Shawn. And speaking of Alexis, she actually had a date this week and ended up in her underwear. Go watch it, if you haven't. You won't be sorry. Shawn in his boxer briefs is a sight that should not be missed. Talk about igniting a hot flash. I thought I was going to need one of Alexis' paper bags to breathe into.
Alexis and Mac have been sorely underused for years, much to my chagrin. I've complained here so often it sometimes feels like Groundhog Day. Finally, I think someone is listening. Mac and Alexis had quality screen time this week with a beautiful heart-to-heart and their trademark humor. Did you ever think you'd hear Mac Scorpio utter the line, "drop trou"? Nope, me either. I still think Alexis and Mac are golden with great chemistry (Alexis: "What's the opposite of tons of fun?" Mac: "Nones of fun?"), but I'm open to seeing Alexis date Shawn -- or anyone, for that matter.
The next surprise that left me flabbergasted was that Jason and Liz are sharing scenes again, and not just meaningless run-ins at the hospital. "I kind of notice you when you're around," Liz told Jason, when he questioned her about her glances toward him during her "date" with Ewen. Gulp. Coming from gorgeous Elizabeth, that comment would leave any man flustered, including Stone Cold Jason. I'm sorry, but I love these two together.
I'm also enjoying Sam back in investigating mode. Yes, the fact that I'm enjoying Sam is a surprise, too. I've never been a fan of her character and the choices she's made. (Remember, I hold soap grudges.) That said, Sam should win a gold medal in safe-cracking. If it hadn't been for the constant interruptions, the girl would have been in and out of Todd's safe in no time flat. Impressive.
GH didn't disappoint in the drama department either. Lulu and Dante's honest discussion about their marriage problems was refreshing. I admit I've been only lukewarm to this couple in the past, but wow, those scenes got to me. No guns were blazing. No blazes were blazing. Yet, their scenes were captivating. It was just a passionate, brutally honest discussion between a husband and wife, trying to work through their problems. Brilliant. I loved it.
This week's show had everything: romance, drama, action, twists, and the small moments that make me smile (Liz and her brother sharing lunch at Kelly's, and Molly and T.J.'s date.) But it was the twists that just kept coming, one after another: Johnny knew about Todd's involvement in the baby switch, so Johnny had blackmail material of his own. Carly was cheering Jason on to fight for Sam. Yes, you read that correctly. Robin had electroshock therapy, against her will, and was transferred to a clinic in Switzerland. (The clinics are always in Switzerland.) Todd sent the photo of Sam and John kissing to Natalie. There were so many twists and turns that I felt like I was riding a roller-coaster. It was a thrill ride for sure, and I can't wait for next week.
That said, I do have to point out a couple characters/plots that haven't hooked me yet. New Kristina isn't working for me. I know she hasn't had much screen time yet, so I'm hoping I'll warm to her. But it hasn't happened yet. Lexi Ainsworth left such enormous shoes to fill in that role. Watching new Kristina tell Trey about her abuse just didn't feel authentic to me. Ainsworth did great work during that storyline, and I couldn't help but wish she were the one telling Trey about the ordeal.
Surprisingly though, Trey is growing on me. I'm fascinated with the fact that his whole world is going to collapse when he realizes what a tool his father is. Hopefully, by that time, Kate will be well again and stable enough to care for the son that she abandoned.
Finally, that brings me to Starr. Johnny, please get this girl a recording contract and send her off to L.A. Or at least, get her away from Michael. She apparently is a legacy character from One Life to Live, but I just don't understand the fascination with her. Scoopers, help me out here. Please convince me that this character is necessary to the fabric of Port Charles, because she's just not working for me.
I know we all have different opinions on which characters we like or don't like, so maybe I should just leave it at that. Maybe Starr is simply a character that I won't like, and I should just live with it. But that's hard to do when she's dating one of the only young men on the show, the legacy Quartermaine character, at that. Is it weird that I wish they would bring Ainsworth back as a new love interest for Michael? Those two had sparkling chemistry, even as siblings. Tell me your opinion, please. Do you like the addition of the Starr character and her romance with Michael? Maybe it's just me not on board with this pairing.
One of the sweetest romances on screen this week was between Molly and T.J. They both looked gorgeous dressed formally for their date. It was so sweet that T.J. looked up the French menu online and Googled all the words, so that he would know how to order and know what he was eating when he ordered Carpaccio and squab. That's how you do tasteful young romance. Bravo!
I would be remiss if I didn't mention again the incredible work that Jason Thompson is producing on a daily basis. His Patrick is superb at suffering. He breaks my heart every day.
Finally, I want to take time to wish actress Jen Lilley all the best in her future endeavors. She is leaving the show. Lilley stepped into a tough role, as Maxie Jones, and I think she did an amazing job. Lilley is a lovely lady and a fine actress, who I'm sure we'll see again somewhere.
(Jason warns Carly to stay away from Todd Manning, because he's dangerous.)
Jason: "He's got a history of violence." (Pausing, realizing the absurdity of his statement.) Don't say I do too."
(Johnny chastises Todd about the fact that he knows that Sam's baby didn't die, and that Todd gave the baby to someone else.)
Johnny: "Sam, she works for you, doesn't she? How do you do it? How do you look her in the eyes, all day, every day, knowing what you deliberately did to her and her baby."
Todd: "I gave her full benefits. Hey, in this economy."
(Carly yells at Todd for watching her and Johnny have sex on the surveillance tape.)
Todd: "Believe me, if I could unring that bell I would, okay. That's not something I can un-see now. Believe me; it was like greasy bacon being flipped on a griddle."
(Shawn calls Alexis uptight, but she denies it, citing her public strip pool game that Coleman witnessed.)
Shawn: "I'm thinking you shower fully clothed."
Alexis: "Coleman, do I shower fully clothed?"
Coleman: "Alexis, I wouldn't know. I haven't had the pleasure."
(Joe fills Sonny in on what happened the night he went to Kate's old boarding house, only to find her gone and the landlord wanting rent.)
Joe: "You tell your precious Kate, Connie, whatever, she owes me 200 bucks."
Sonny: "How about I don't kill you and we call it even?"
Scoopers, you are such a smart, savvy group. Thanks so much for all the feedback, theories, comments, and jokes. You make me smile. Please keep those e-mails coming.
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