General Hospital loses a legend but gains a heart

For the Week of November 26, 2012
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GH Two Scoops: General Hospital loses a legend but gains a heart
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Edward Quartermaine passed away, and old favorites returned to mourn his loss. General Hospital lost a legend this week, but gained a heart, as we were treated to one of the show's best-ever episodes. Plus, Two Scoops' Jennifer Biller shares her General Hospital Thankful List.

Edward Quartermaine is gone.

Gulp. Sniff. Sob...

I'll give you a minute to compose yourself, but you're probably going to need longer. I watched Wednesday's show more than an hour ago, and I'm still crying, trying to type through falling tears and swollen eyes.

Damn you, Ron Carlivati and crew. No fictional TV show should have the power to reduce me to a blubbering puddle. If I could give the 2012 Thanksgiving episode a standing ovation, I would. Bravo, team. It was brilliant.

Edward Quartermaine was like a grandfather to us all. To imagine the Quartermaine living room without him in it, well, it's unfathomable.

"He was the glue that held the family together. What's going to become of us?" sobbed a distraught Tracy. At any other time in GH history, I'd be worried, too, Tracy. But not now. It appears the new show runners have finally realized the importance of the core Quartermaine family and are restoring the characters to their rightful place. Strangely enough, Edward's passing sets up the Quartermaines for some juicy storylines, as I can only imagine the power struggle for ELQ that is about to ensue.

As sad as I am at the loss of the incredibly talented John Ingle, I have never been happier with the show's direction. General Hospital has found its heart. No, the irony is not lost on me that it happened just as the man, whose character was the heart of the show for decades, has passed away. But there it is. General Hospital is back from the dead.

I know, I know. I called a code blue on the old gal a couple of years ago, but Carlivati and his team have resuscitated this struggling daytime drama. If you don't believe me, I dare you to watch Wednesday's show and not get a Thanksgiving blessing. As a viewer of General Hospital for more than 35 years, I can credibly say there has never been a more beautiful, heartfelt episode. Old favorites returned to mourn. Hello, Ned and Skye! And if that wasn't enough to make you squeal like a tween at a One Direction concert, then the flashbacks of Edward with Lila, Alan, Tracy, Ned, Monica, Skye, and A.J. should have done the trick.

I love that the one thing Edward wanted for decades finally happened: Most of his family, under one roof, celebrating the holiday. And what's a Quartermaine Thanksgiving without some zaniness? And pizza. Staying true to history and the Quartermaines' bad Thanksgiving luck, psycho Heather Webber crashed the party and the dinner table with all the fixings. Thankfully, a stack of pizzas mysteriously ended up on the doorstep. Perhaps Edward left his family one final gift: a standing order for pizza delivery every Thanksgiving.

The Quartermaine traditional bickering was beautiful music to my ears. That was until I heard an even more beautiful sound: John Ingle's lovely voice singing the song we've come to look forward to every Thanksgiving: "We Gather Together."

Watching Edward's spirit, still clad in his black trademark hat, watching over his family and singing that song with them, was the perfect touch. I was hoping that we'd get to hear Edward sing that song one more time, and the show did not disappoint. What I didn't expect was the beautiful ending scenes, where Edward took Lila's hand and ascended that Quartermaine staircase one final time. Gulp.

This week was an incredible tribute to an incredible man, and I don't just mean Edward Quartermaine. It was clear that Mr. Ingle's talent and effervescent smile will be missed as much by his coworkers as his fans. I'm pretty sure that Jane Elliot, Leslie Charleson, and the rest of the cast were shedding real tears. I know I was.

"We're Quartermaines. We'll survive. We always do," Ned said, trying to comfort his grieving mother. And that's exactly how Edward would have wanted it. Port Charles has lost a legend. But his legacy will live on. At least I hope it does. I have high hopes that this new creative team understands that family drama is why we watch soaps, and nobody does drama better than the Quartermaines.


The Thankful List

Since this week was Thanksgiving, I must take a moment to give thanks to ABC for saving General Hospital. It wasn't long ago that I thought GH was going to join All My Children, One Life to Live, and As the World Turns on the chopping block. But ratings are improving, and there is a new energy in the air, which leads me to the next item on my list.

Thank you, Mr. Carlivati and company. I know I gushed nonstop in my last column about how much I love the new direction the show is taking with Carlivati at the helm, but it must be said again. I love all the old faces that are returning. You brought back A.J., Robert, Faison, Ned, Anna, Skye, and Duke. You've cut down the violence and are paying attention to history. I could not ask for more.

When I first wrote this GH column, almost two years ago, I wrote a scathing piece on the state of the show and "How to Improve General Hospital." It had drifted so far away from the soap I grew up loving that it was unrecognizable. Now, looking back at that column, pretty much every issue I had mentioned has been corrected. That alone is reason to give thanks.

Thank you GH writers and actors for realizing that little moments count. It was so wonderful hearing Ned sarcastically call A.J. "Jr.," the same way it used to roll trippingly off the tongue years ago. It was a small moment, but meaningful, for those of us who have watched this show for years. Keep up the good work.

Thank you for using the veterans. Robert Scorpio and Patrick shared a lovely scene. Tracy Quartermaine broke my heart, saying goodbye to Edward. Monica held down the fort as everyone gathered to mourn Edward. Across town, Anna and Alexis were having scenes of their own. This new GH realizes that veterans are who we care about and not the new young thing that just hit town.

Thank you for humor. Despite that this show is a drama, the gifted writers and actors always balance the heaviness. Whether it's the bickering Quartermaines, Todd Manning's one-liners, Spinelli's awkwardness, or good old Alice, it's rare that an hour of General Hospital passes without me chuckling at least once. I have no problem making a humorous "Best Lines of the Week" section in any given week.

Thank you for suspense and twists. This past month, we've had more shocking cliffhangers than I can ever recall. Everyone loves a good surprise, like "Duke" ripping off his mask to reveal that he is really Faison. It doesn't get much better than that. I didn't expect wack-a-do Heather to show up at the Quartermaines' Thanksgiving dinner, either, or read Edward's will. The twists are what keep me tuning in. "I know something the Quartermaines don't know," Heather kept singing in her crazy voice. Well, you can bet I'm not going to miss the reveal of what that something is.

Thank you for realizing that "we need good to prevail," as Two Scoops reader Claire so eloquently put it. The bad guys have been running amok in Port Charles for too many decades. We live in troubling times, where evil is on every corner. When we watch soaps, we need to believe that good can trump bad. So here's to the return of the good guys. We've missed you.

Finally, thank you to this Web site and Dan J Kroll for giving me a soap column for more than twelve years, first for As the World Turns and now with General Hospital. And thank you for the Two Scoops readers who read this column every week. You are a passionate, savvy group of folks, and I appreciate you, even those that disagree with me.

In other observations:

Is anyone else mad at Luke for not being in town for Tracy? Losing Edward is the toughest thing Tracy has faced. She needs her deadbeat ex-husband by her side. Yes, I realize what I just said. I'm just tired of Luke constantly letting Tracy down. He did the same thing when he didn't stop her wedding to Anthony. Where is anti-hero Luke? I miss him.

With all of Anna's men back on the canvas, I keep expecting David Hayward to come strolling into town. Now wouldn't that be something? I can only imagine the drama that would go down at the hospital.

Sam being rude to A.J. is just one more reason to not like her character. She's never been one of my favorites, but Jason made her tolerable for me. Now, I'm not sure what to think of her.

Several of you wrote to me, stressing about this mask-wearing Faison plot. Scoopers, I know it's unbelievable that Anna wouldn't realize she was kissing a rubber mask, but this plot is fun and creepy, so just go with it. You can suspend your disbelief for a little while, and come along for the ride. We all did it with Lost for years, and it was pure entertainment.

Was anyone else rolling their eyes at Sonny while he was whining that Connie, Johnny, and A.J. were working the system to their advantage? Yeah, me, too. Sonny has done the same thing for years. It's a good thing that he's so cute and charismatic, because some days I want to sic Alice on him with her baseball bat.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and took time to count your blessings. All of you are among mine.

Best Lines of the Week

(Alexis explains to Sonny that there is nothing, legally, he can do to put A.J. back in jail.)
Shawn: "There's a reason she makes the big bucks, you know."
Sonny: "Yeah, she's a shameless over-charger."

(A.J. tells Monica that he doesn't think they should do a big Thanksgiving dinner, because Edward passed away.)
Monica: "Well, I agree, but Tracy is insistent, and the state that she is in, I'm not about to argue."
A.J. "As a Quartermaine, on Thanksgiving?"

(Escaped mental patient Heather is caught at the Quartermaines' and put in a straitjacket.)
Orderly: "She fought like the devil."
Olivia: "It's an apt description."

Reader Spotlight

Thanks to all of you who took time to write and share your theories and thoughts. Honestly, you guys have some great ones. Check them out below. As always, I love hearing your thoughts, too. So keep them coming! Here's what other fans are saying -- and remember to share your thoughts with me, and you may see them pop up in my next column. Thanks!

  • It's great that GH has decided to return to its roots with the return of AJ, Duke, Lucy, and the Nurses Ball. I'm also glad that Anders Hove is back as Cesar Faison. Nobody does creepy stalker better than him. - Beverly Graham

  • If Jason is not going to be replaced, then I would like to see A.J. and Sam get together in a relationship, and John McBain be involved with someone new for contrast. I think that would make for interesting events and story writing. - Dawn Jackson

  • What the heck is wrong with these people? (Why) is no one mourning the loss of their best friend/husband/almost father/hitman? Are we supposed to pretend Jason's not gone? I mean Carly shed like half a tear for her best friend! And Sonny? Nothing! I'm very disappointed with the whole show. - Debbie White

  • Although I would absolutely love to see them bring Jason back (preferably being played by Steve Burton or at least recast him), I think it would be nice to see A.J. and Sam get together. I am tired of Sean Kanan always playing the "bad guy", on GH and on other soaps. Make him nice. There are not too many people on the soaps that one can really like. It might be nice to have a HOT NICE guy for a change. - Joan

  • I just can't stand Carly and her manipulations. This whole story line with A.J. just disturbs me. She is the one who set this whole tragedy in motion, when she set A.J. up by pouring alcohol over him to make him think he had fallen off the wagon. And Sonny hanging him up on a meat hook to make him give up his parental rights? Who are they to deny a biological father his own son? And why do they get a pass on all the evil things that they've done? Sonny is no angel or even a good guy. Heck, he shot his own son and only regretted it when he found out that he was Dante's father. Carly is basically an evil, entitled (dare I say) bitch, who seems to get a pass on all the crap that she's pulled. I find it very disturbing that GH seems to glorify crime and criminals and make the good guys look like idiots. -- Teri Tolczyk

  • I wish Maxie would leave Spinelli alone and let him have his time with Ellie. Maxie is a little too late now to expect Spinelli to take her back, especially when he finally meets a great girl like Ellie, who accepts all of Spinelli's quirks and unconventional ways. And exactly what is "back" anyway? Maxie never treated Spinelli as if he was the love of her life (not that I saw), so why would he want her? Ellie has stars in her eyes for Spinelli and loves him like a woman should. The non-wedding ... fiasco is a good example. Also, Maxie may just really believe that she wants Spinelli now because he has someone else in his life. More than likely, it is probably what Maxie's new found interest in "must have" Spinelli is all about. - Andrea

  • Thanks for another great Two Scoops! One very significant person I would like to see at the upcoming Nurses Ball is Audrey Hardy. She's rarely (if ever) ... mentioned any more. I think Elizabeth might have mentioned her once in the last year. - Debbie Tegtmeier

That's all for now, Scoopers. See ya next time!

Jennifer Biller
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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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