This week was an especially daunting one for me because it was filled with personal tragedies and heartbreak. One of the few respites that I had from all the grief and sadness was my daily escape to Port Charles. I was reminded this week, as I watched my beloved General Hospital, how much a part of my life this show has been.
I am a second-generation viewer. I became hooked when I was a young girl because my mother would watch GH every day when we arrived home from school. My first crush was on a boy named Albie, who bore an uncanny resemblance to a very young Scotty Baldwin. The first time that I tried to style my hair, I attempted to make it look like Laura's long shiny mane. Alas, I failed. Miserably.
The first time a boy broke my heart, I grabbed a big bowl of vanilla ice cream, dumped half a jar of hot fudge on it, and then hid out in my bedroom watching GH and reading Jane Austen.
As the years passed, watching General Hospital remained a part of my weekly routine. I taped it when I worked and then later scheduled my children's nap times around it. This week, as I sat down to unwind and watch my favorite show, I found comfort in seeing all of the familiar faces that have drifted in and out of my life over the decades. Luke, Laura, Scotty, Anna, and Duke were there throughout my childhood and now, as an adult, when I'm going through a difficult time. One of the rare times that I smiled this week was when I watched GH. It felt good seeing A.J., Elizabeth, and yes, even Carly, on my screen.
I received a few emails after my last column, asking why I dislike Carly so much and why I'm so hard on her instead of characters like Brenda and Elizabeth who, some have suggested, were more deserving of criticism. Well, the short answer is: we like who we like, and we dislike who we dislike. I could explain until my fingers were bloody nubs why I feel the way that I do about Carly, but her fans will still love her. I respect that.
I also respect that characters like Carly are needed on a soap to shake things up and keep things interesting. I would be bored to tears if my favorites didn't have adversaries like Carly to push them to their limits and at times even outwit them. To be honest, this week I kind of envied Carly for having the freedom of being able to say and do exactly as she pleases, damn the consequences. In real life, we have to curb our impulses to slap people who annoy us and refrain from acting like a jerk just because we're in a bad mood. Society tends to be less forgiving of poor behavior than soap characters.
So, while I don't like Carly, I don't want her gone. I like having her around -- not only because she keeps everyone on their toes, but because when I feel like venting, I can safely do so by talking about Carly. Sometimes, it's downright cathartic.
Now, on to Britt's "abortion." I kept wondering this week why everyone was so accepting of Britt's "decision" to terminate her pregnancy. It had nothing do with being pro-choice or pro-life. It was about the very pregnancy itself. Not one single eyebrow was raised at the fact that Britt is talking about terminating her pregnancy when she is sporting a baby bump the size of a large watermelon.
How stupid are these people to think that a woman, even Britt, could so easily decide to abort a fetus that is kicking, moving, and all but clawing its way out of the womb. I can't believe that not a single character has batted an eyelash about Britt treating her abortion like it's a nail appointment. I'm not a medical professional, but I've been through two pregnancies, and I've known several women who have suffered miscarriages throughout various stages of pregnancy. I'm not sure how far along the writers want us to think Britt is, but she had sex with Patrick January 10, 2013, which would make her 15 weeks pregnant.
Maxie got pregnant on New Year's Eve, and she felt the baby kick on Friday's show. I can't imagine that you can just stroll into the local clinic and get a standard abortion without running an extremely high risk of complications. Why aren't a doctor and two nurses questioning this?
Not that it matters, because it was as clear as the Cheshire cat grin on Britt's smug face when Patrick canceled his date with Sabrina that Britt's "abortion" is nothing more than a manipulation tactic. She is being passive-aggressive as she tries to guilt Patrick into staking a claim on the baby by referring to it as "our baby" every chance that she gets. She also repeatedly makes it clear that she's having the abortion for Patrick's sake and because she doesn't want to raise a child alone.
I'm astounded that even Felix, who seems to have the most jaded view of Britt, hasn't considered the possibility that Britt has no intention of terminating the pregnancy because she's counting on Patrick to stop her.
I also find it troubling that people wouldn't be disgusted by the idea that a visibly pregnant woman would abort a baby for no other reason than because things didn't work out with the baby-daddy. It's downright curious that no one has pointed out that Britt, as a doctor, has easy access to the morning after pill. Surely, if she's willing to have an abortion, she couldn't be opposed to taking the morning after pill. Besides, Britt is an OB/GYN, so she's uniquely qualified to know how to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Patrick can't possibly be that big of a moron to actually believe that Britt didn't plan this pregnancy right down to the second of conception.
Then again, Patrick isn't the only guy who has recently been afflicted with stupidity. My jaw dropped when A.J. defended his concern about Nikolas and Liz hooking up again by reminding Liz that she had cheated on Lucky with Nikolas. Whaaat? I can't blame Liz for telling A.J. to pound salt because he totally deserved it. However, Nikolas wasn't exactly truthful, either, because A.J. didn't warn Nikolas to stay away from Liz; A.J. warned Nikolas not to interfere with A.J. and Liz's relationship.
I love that my feisty Liz is back and gearing up to become the center of a good old-fashioned love triangle. Oh, to be in her shoes. She's going to have two sexy, good-looking, rich men -- one of whom is a real prince -- fight to win her love. I couldn't be happier for my girl because it's been years since Liz has had a real shot at love and romance. Now she has two.
I look forward to watching Liz juggle A.J. and Nikolas, but I'm going to be rooting for A.J. all the way. They had me at that elevator scene with the silent eye conversation. That kind of chemistry is so rare that the writers would be fools not to capitalize on it.
Switching gears, I'm curious if anyone else got the impression that Brenda lied to Michael when she confessed that they hadn't had sex the night of the Nurses Ball. Initially, I believed Brenda's claim because I couldn't imagine that she'd sleep with Sonny's son, no matter how drunk, hurt, or angry she was. However, the final scene with Brenda on the airplane, when she accepted that cup of coffee from the fligth attendant and then looked off into space with a thoughtful expression, made me wonder if perhaps she had lied to Michael in order to fix things between Sonny and Michael.
It wasn't just the airplane scene that made me question Brenda's "confession." Michael looked a little worried when he had that flashback of Brenda handing him a cup of coffee then heading to the bathroom to start a shower.
I'd like to think that Brenda didn't sleep with Michael. It has nothing to do with Michael's age or Brenda's relationship to him over the years. This is a soap, so these things happen. However, I would hate to think that Brenda had said all of those things to Sonny when she asked him to move to Rome with her, knowing that she had betrayed him in the worst way possible by sleeping with his son. Even if Sonny never found out, she would know. It would take someone completely lacking a conscience to pull off a lie like that.
Dear readers, I have a conundrum. I love Ellie. She's insightful, honest, and quirky. However, I'm extremely irked by her because she's decided that something is wrong with Maxie's baby and that Maxie is keeping this vital information from Dante and Lulu. I want the secret that Maxie is keeping to be revealed because I think it's very wrong of Maxie to make such a life-altering decision for three adults without even consulting them. By her own admission, Maxie has terrible judgment, so she has no business making this decision on her own. Frisco and Britt don't count. Frisco passed down the poor judgment gene to his daughter, and Britt is a scheming witch.
Spinelli shouldn't be punished for not wanting to be with Maxie by having his child given away without his consent. Meanwhile, Dante and Lulu have every right to know that the child that they will be raising is not their biological child. What Maxie is doing is simply wrong. It doesn't matter to me that she has the best of intentions. If it truly was the right thing to do then she wouldn't have to keep it secret. She's keeping it a secret because she knows that Dante and Lulu wouldn't take the baby without Spinelli's permission, and Spinelli wouldn't consider giving up his parental rights. She is doing what is in her own best interest and lying to everyone around her to keep from having to admit that she messed up.
That said, though, it's one thing for Ellie to seek answers because she suspects the truth, but another to be acting on some crazy convoluted hunch that has nothing to do with her. Every time she opens her mouth to justify her screwball theory I just want to scream "STOP!" Please Ron, end this storyline quickly and give me back my sweet, smart, uncomplicated Ellie. It's not necessary to ruin her to reunite Spinelli and Maxie. I would much rather Ellie break things off with Spinelli because she doesn't want to be a part of the baby-mama drama than to have Spinelli free to be with Maxie because Ellie went off the rails.
Meanwhile, we have our new Lulu. After two full weeks of watching Emme Rylan tackle the role of Lulu Spencer Falconeri, I have to say that I'm impressed. Ms. Rylan had some pretty big shoes to fill, so I was a bit leery about whether or not Emme could pull it off. I like NuLulu, and I love that Emme isn't trying to completely redefine the role to make it her own. I think that the amnesia storyline was a great twist because it gave Lulu a clean slate of sorts and provided us an excuse for why Lulu isn't acting quite like Lulu.
I'm not a fan yet, but I am warming to Emme's Lulu very quickly.
I don't blame Lulu for bolting this week and hiding out in Milo's apartment. I understand that Dante is desperate to get his beloved wife back, but he was quite overbearing in his efforts to trigger Lulu's memory. I couldn't understand why he didn't try to charm her and perhaps give her a reason to fall in love with him all over again instead of bullying her to remember. In that aspect, Dante proved to be very much his father's son. Perhaps that was the point. Regardless, I get why Lulu would want to put some distance between herself and Dante for a while until she figures things out.
Before I move on, did it seem a bit like foreshadowing when Connie and Milo were talking about how unlucky in love they were? I have a sneaking suspicion that Connie and Milo will end up going out on a date. I'm with Olivia though. I don't buy the idea that Connie needs to give up the man that she loves in order to remain safe. Something seems very fishy there. If Connie was strong enough to leave the sanitarium and to return to Crimson then surely she's capable resuming things with Sonny.
Although, I do have to concede that Sonny does have a way of driving women crazy, so perhaps it's for the best that Connie stays away from Sonny for a while.
Finally, I am thrilled that Anna and Duke are finally moving forward. I was happy about Duke's return until he turned out to be Faison. At the time, I thought that the magic between Duke and Anna was gone because a part of me was afraid to trust Duke. Like Anna, I couldn't separate Faison-Duke from Newfound-Duke. However, the writers took their time by slowly showing us that the Duke was a genuinely nice guy. Sure, he stole the relish from Tracy, but that kind of thing is to be expected when you work for the Quartermaines.
Duke never claimed to have a halo, but he has proven to be a loyal friend and employee, understanding, intelligent, crafty, and at times even funny. I love how he gave Anna plenty of space without resorting to silly games like Luke would have. I was touched by how Duke always bared his soul to Anna without making her feel guilty for remaining cautious. Duke has made a real effort to romance Anna, and it has finally paid off. He managed to rekindle the fire with patience and just the right amount of tender loving care.
I'm really rooting for this couple to make it because the real Duke is an absolute sweetheart who could definitely give Dante a few pointers about how to court his ladylove.
A few things that tickled my fancy
(Connie offers to explain her integration to Milo)
Connie: "Okay. Why don't you have a seat? I'll explain to you what happened, and I will use small words."
Milo: [ Chuckles ] "Thank you."
(Milo tells Connie that his father, Maximus Giambetti, has been pressuring him to settle down)
Milo: "And my dad's always on my case, you know? He's a big believer in marriage. He's on his ninth -- wait. Tenth."
(Elizabeth throws Nikolas' pants at A.J. after she learned that A.J. told Nikolas to stay away from her)
AJ: "Why do you have Nikolas' pants?"
Elizabeth: "Oh, because I tore them off of him right before I jumped his bones."
Elizabeth: "Isn't that what you think -- that Nikolas and I can't keep our hands off of each other, that every time I go to take his vitals, we end up doing it like bunnies?"
(Tracy tries to get Nikolas to invest in her new company, so that she can launch her new relish, but she doesn't want him to know how broke she is.)
Tracy: "This is condiment gold. And putting it on the shelves is a very expensive undertaking, and I need a little extra capital to pay for the start-up costs."
Nikolas: "I see. By extra, you mean...all of it? You see, I've only been unconscious for a few days, so I'm current on financial news. You've been dethroned at ELQ, which means your father's business and all of its resources are no longer yours to abuse."
Until next time, dear readers, take care.