False Epiphanies and textbook sociopaths

For the Week of November 25, 2013
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GH Two Scoops: False Epiphanies and textbook sociopaths
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In Port Charles, coming back from the dead isn't enough -- you have to do it with pizzazz or no one will raise an eyebrow. And it's not always about winning because sometimes everyone's a loser. But perhaps that's all part of the fun ride. So strap in for this week's Two Scoops, and we promise not to play Robin Thicke.

Well it looks like you're going to have a little more turkey in your life this week -- because here I am guest writing this week's Two Scoops. Tamilu is locked up in a lab somewhere, looking for "ze cure" to prevent post-holiday meal sleepiness, and Liz is, um, all tied up. I guess if there had to be a week to slip in here and chat about life in Port Charles, then this was definitely the week.

This probably won't win me any popularity contests with fans -- so I might as well get it out of the way at the start of the column -- but I'm torn about which woman I want to see in Patrick's life. And truthfully, I never thought I'd be saying that. So let me try to explain how I got to this dilemma.

I've always liked Patrick and Robin as a couple. Patrick and Robin just worked. Jason Thompson and Kimberly McCullough have undeniable chemistry. It's not just that both are great actors -- but they certainly are: Kimberly is a multiple Emmy winner, and if I had my way, Jason would have at least one of his own, too. There's just an "it" factor, and I'll talk more about that with some other pairings later in the column.

When it looked like Kimberly McCullough (Robin) wasn't headed back to GH any time soon -- she had been busy focusing on growing her behind-the-camera work -- I liked that the writers gave Patrick a new love interest. Let's face it -- it was only a matter of time because no one on the soaps stays alone for long. Well, except maybe Elizabeth for some reason. I'll talk about that later, too.

The Ugly Betty storyline was fun, probably because I was a fan of that show. Okay, so maybe it wasn't the most original idea in the history of soaps, but I liked it. Sabrina was the perfect antidote to the wicked Britch. I accepted "Patrina" and rooted for them to overcome all obstacles.

But now that Robin is back in the picture, I don't know what I want. GH hasn't commented on how long Kimberly McCullough is sticking around, so that makes me think that there are only a few possible outcomes.

I originally suspected that Robin would remain unseen and then, just as she was about to appear to Patrick, she'd see that Patrick was happy and had moved on. Then, rather than causing Patrick the pain of choosing what to do, I thought Robin would disappear into the night. But there is also no way that Robin could stay away from Emma.

Since such a big deal has been made of Patrick and Sabrina's wedding, we know that we're going to see a case of wedding interruptus. The only thing I can't figure out is whether or not Robin will show up before or after the "I do." I'd bet money that whatever happens happens at the end of Wednesday's episode -- and then, because of Thanksgiving, we will have to wait until December to find out what happens. Ack!

So does Patrick dump Sabrina for Robin? If so, and Kimberly McCullough wants to leave the show, will she be killed again? Will Robin always be upstairs, at the hospital, or in the other room? Does Patrick tell Robin that he's moved on? Of course, if Kimberly is sticking around long-term... then this may all be a moot point. Either way, how great was is to have Robert finally reunited with Robin?

I know that it seems like nowadays everyone is on one team or another. Is anyone else out there torn? Does anyone have another possible way that this could all play out?

As much as I appreciate the drama, I also love that General Hospital's writing team has the ability to work humor into just about every tale. For example, I was amused by Carlos', um, epiphany that Robin wasn't really Epiphany. The camera zoomed way in on Epiphany's photo just to make sure we all got it.

There is a certain level of nonchalance about resurrections in Port Charles. When Carlos told Ava that he'd seen Robin, a nonplused Ava replied, "Julian came back from the dead. What's one more?" Indeed, Port Charles is just one big land of the walking dead!

Another aspect of life in Port Charles was summed up in the seating arrangements for Patrick and Sabrina's wedding reception. Elizabeth helped make sure that they weren't "sitting any exes near enemies." But, as Sabrina noted. "It is Port Charles -- we did what we could."

I also chuckled when Luke and Jerry Jacks came face-to-face and Luke realized that Jerry had been shot.
"Who else got to shoot him?" Luke asked with obvious disappointment.
"That would be me," Robert replied.
"You always did get all the fun rides," Luke huffed with a pout.

I like that Ron Carlivati has found a way to weave Felix into several characters' lives -- especially since bringing Felix's sister to town doesn't seem to have worked out too well. Felix is friend and confidant to Sabrina, Patrick, and Carly. That wisely allows viewers to get to see different sides of Felix, even while he doesn't (yet) have his own front-burner storyline.

I was hoping we'd get to see Patrick's bachelor party, but somehow seeing the aftermath was even funnier. Poor sunglass-clad Elizabeth and her hangover. On a completely superficial note, I think Rebecca Herbst's new haircut looks great. Now that she's go a new 'do -- it's time for her to have a real storyline.

If you aren't yet ready to tie me up in the catacombs of Wyndermere, this next section might change your mind. I don't know if I'm the only one that has thought this, but throughout the custody battle, I couldn't help but wonder how the storyline would have been different had Julie Marie Berman still been on GH. This isn't any sort of jab at Emme Rylan because I absolutely love her. There's a fun exchange that she and I had on the red carpet at the Emmys floating around out there somewhere... *cough* click here to read it.

Usually when a role is recast, a show will say that they've decided to take the character in a "different direction." So I'm mostly curious to know if the storyline would have been written differently if a different actress has been in the role.

Personally, I'm not thrilled with the outcome -- and I don't think I would have been happy in any scenario. That's probably because someone was going to end up screwed no matter what happened. Perhaps that was a smart way to avoid fan base wars. With Lulu and Maxie both losing, fans of one character can't really flame fans of the other character...

I cannot for the life of me figure out why Dante didn't invoke some sort of spousal privilege so that he didn't have to admit that Lulu had thought about running away with baby Connie. I suppose his being a police officer complicated matters, but we all knew nothing good was going to come of it.

Lulu is going to resent Dante now for "betraying" her. I'm wondering if that will give the writers the chance to break up "Lante." Happy couples, they say, are boring. I didn't say that -- they did. Whoever "they" are. And as I said a few paragraphs ago, often recasts mean that storylines and relationships get reconfigured. I like Lulu and Dante together, so I hope that they are able to patch things up.

During the custody battle, everyone had family to turn to -- except Lulu (and Spinelli whose family we have never even met). Max and Felicia were there for Maxie after the verdict, and Olivia and Sonny were by Dante's side. But Lulu? Laura is missing in action, Luke is running around on his capers, and Lucky is off singing in some club in Nashville. I felt bad for Lulu. Then again, it seems like she's had to go it alone in a lot of her low points.

Bradford Anderson is such a great performer. It's no surprise to me that he's been nominated for a Daytime Emmy on four different occasions. With him being on recurring status now, I can't help but wonder if Spinelli's days in Port Charles are numbered. I kind of think watching Spinelli as a first-time dad would be entertaining. The diaper changing... and can you imagine the bedtime stories he'd come up with?

I liked the softer side of mobster Sonny Corinthos as he interacted with baby Connie. I'm not so sure that his "your namesake was murdered, but I love you anyway" comments are suitable as a bedtime story -- but it was cute. Across town, when Tracy wasn't giving the little tyke whiplash as she zipped around during Luke's physical examination, she was adorable in fawning over baby Connie. Supposedly, you're never supposed to share the stage with kids or animals, but this little one brought out some cute moments.

I also really liked Tracy and Olivia sharing a tender moment. It's nice, as I said earlier with Felix, to see friendships.

The judge arrived at his verdict before anyone even had a chance to leave the courthouse. Okay. Maybe it wasn't that fast -- but it sure was quick. I have no idea if the verdict was based in any sort of reality. I mean, how often does a case come before the court where a best friend becomes a surrogate, miscarries, gets re-pregnant... well, you get the idea.

When rendering the verdict and telling Maxie that she wasn't allowed any contact with baby Connie, the judge snarled, "I'm sure Mr. Spinelli can send you photos." Ouch!

And poor Kirsten Storms. It must be really tough to not only be dealing with pregnancy hormones in real life, but also having to go to that sort of dark place that she needed to go as an actress.

As heartbreaking as it was for me to see Lulu and Dante say goodbye to little Connie, there was a throwaway line that had me laughing. As Lulu and Dante were telling Spinelli what he needed to know about caring for the baby, Dante offered, "Just don't play Robin Thicke -- it makes her cry."

On the other end of the Port Charles legal pendulum is A.J.'s murder trial. It's been weeeeeks since we last saw Sean Kanan on-screen. I'm not necessarily disappointed that A.J. had to sit in jail for so long because, let's face it, in the real world, no one gets an overnight trial. I sort of feel that there should have been at least some sort of update midway between his last appearance and popping up in the courtroom. Maybe someone could have gone to visit him for five minutes just so that fans knew that the storyline hadn't been dropped. There were all sorts of mistweets that he'd been fired

But, I guess that's what happens when your show is loaded with fan favorites. There's so much going on and only so much time in a show. It does remind me of the 1990s when not every storyline necessarily played out every day. The Monday cliffhanger might not have picked up again until Wednesday so that other stories could get some play.

It seems it's all the rage to testify against someone you have feelings for. As I mentioned earlier in the column, Dante did it, and during the murder trial, Liz had to do it. I sure hope that I don't ever get called to testify. Then again, since no one likes me, I'm probably never going to be in that position!

I was so glad to see that Carolyn Hennesy was back in the forefront on GH. I've always liked Diane and would love to see her with a story of her own -- but I'll take what I can get until that happens. And Diane and Alexis going tête-à-tête was like having Trick-or-Treat and Thanksgiving all wrapped up in one. Normally, at least in recent years, it seemed like there could only be one known attorney in any given court case. The District Attorney was typically a day player that fans didn't know and couldn't rally behind. Diane was pulling double duty this week, so I guess it sort of makes sense that she was willing to forgo Maxie's half of her fees. She's getting paid.

Why on earth would someone on trial for murder turn towards the jury and mouth, "Oh, my God. I really did it. I -- I killed Connie." If anything, the incriminating videotape proved A.J.'s innocence. That's how it works on a soap, right? If that wasn't enough to sway you, then surely the other A.J. -- Ava Jerome -- dousing some video surveillance DVDs with lighter fluid and setting them ablaze had to. We'll call her Blockbuster, because she's got the hottest videos around.

It's probably no earth-shattering surprise to astute viewers who have been suspicious of Ava for months now. Still, the "reveal" came out of nowhere. A while back, a show source told me that GH had mulled making Maura West's run a short-term thing, which, if Ava really is the whodunner, makes sense. But Maura is amazing and has, in my opinion, been a huge asset to GH, and the show realized that quickly and, I'm guessing, shuffled those plans around.

So is A.J. going to be found guilty, or will there be reasonable doubt to keep him out of jail? If Ava is the killer, how will she avoid being sent up the river? It's not like someone a soap hasn't gotten away with murder before... it's more of a question of how it will be pulled off.

I have to say that I am not a fan of Kiki and Michael as a couple. And that sort of blows my mind because I liked Starr (are we still allowed to say her name?) and Michael, and I am over the moon about the real-life romance between Kristen Alderson and Chad Duell. There's just something about Kiki that I haven't latched on to. When she first popped up in town, Kiki seemed like a Jersey Shore castoff. Now, I'm not sure what she is.

On the flip side of that, I'm still enjoying Kelly Monaco paired with Michael Easton. Every one of their 7,132 (okay, three) romantic incarnations has worked for me. I've been a fan of these two since their days on Port Charles. Livvie and Caleb, Sam and John, and now Sam and Silas.

And I like "Brik" or whatever the kids are calling Brit and Nikolas. Nikolas brings out a niceness in Brit that I'm not sure we've seen before. I sure hope that she doesn't lose her Britchy side, though. There was also a funny exchange that amused me.
Nikolas: Okay. Now it's time for me to be honest with you. I think that's a load of crap.
Britt: Can princes say "crap"?
Nikolas: When warranted, we can.

Heather "Houdini" Weber somehow managed to escape her maximum-security detention center -- again. I was completely ready to rip that storyline apart, until the writers tossed in a clever mention that the guards were in cahoots with her. That I'll buy.

I also really, really like the work that Anders Hove (Faison) has been turning in. He does comedic criminal mastermind so well. I know that a lot of folks have grumbled about the character's misogynistic ways. I think Anders has great chemistry with everyone he's interacted with. The confrontation scenes between Faison and Robin had me on the edge of my chair. "I pity you. You're not even originalm" Robin snarled as the mastermind pointed a gun at her. "You're -- you're a textbook sociopath. I mean, your only purpose in life is scaring people and trying to win over my mother." Well, at least he has a goal.

It's no secret that I love Kathleen Gati as Dr. Obrecht (After you're done with this column, you can hear my interview with Kathleen on Soap Central Live by clicking here.) -- and Liesl has gotten some great zingers recently. She had another as she and Duke were talking about Helena Cassadine. "I always liked her style," Obrecht praised. Later, when Duke was suggesting that they make a run for it, Obrecht, pointing out that they were both still bound to wooden beams, quipped, "A brilliant idea. Let's get out of here. After yoooou."

I was hoping that Liesel would realize her hypocrisy when she was talking about how pathetic men were for chasing after Anna. It's sad that she has no idea that she's doing the same thing with her beloved Cesar.

I was convinced that Obrecht was going to be reformed. She'd turned on Faison, she appeared to be ready to switch allegiances and work with Duke, and Britt was showing signs of concern that her mother was missing. After seeing Liesl break free and hold Duke at gunpoint, I'm worried about her welfare.

I've probably overstayed my welcome here in Two Scoops Land, but there was so much to talk about. GH has really been on fire. Thank you for letting me into your world this week to share my thoughts -- it's nice to pop in every now and again for a visit. You'll be back in the very capable hands of Tamilu next week. If you're looking for me, I'll be around Soap Central and hosting Soap Central Live every Friday.

On behalf of everyone at Soap Central, thank you for your support, love of soaps, and for spending time with us each and every week. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving -- and I hope you aren't forced to order pizza.

What are your thoughts on General Hospital? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts. Use the email link to drop our columnist a note. You can also call our 24/7 caller feedback hotline at 267.341.7627 and voice your thoughts. And now if you have a Facebook account, you can scroll to the bottom of the column and leave your comments right here on this page!

Dan J Kroll
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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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