Port Charles has suddenly turned into Dodge City with the mob war sparking to life and casualties quickly piling up on the piers.
Duke fired the first shot by sending Bruce to gun for Jordan and pin it on the Jeromes, but luckily for Jordan, Anna was on hand to foil Bruce's attempt, leaving Bruce to scamper off to die another day at Jordan's hand.
However, Julian was the one who truly ignited the flame by sending his best gunman to ambush mob kingpin-figurehead, Duke Lavery in Metro Court's parking garage just hours after the Nurses Ball. It was a brilliant move, but oh so heartbreaking because I absolutely loved Duke. I had hoped beyond hope that it was Carlos who had been struck by the fatal bullet, but alas, it was poor sweet, wonderful, debonair, handsome, charming Duke.
A part of me knew that the magnificent Scot was doomed to meet his soap opera maker the minute he and Anna danced their last tango and agreed to run away together so they could start anew far away from Port Charles. I just thought we'd have a smidgen more time of happily ever after, before tragedy struck. Sadly, life has taught me that's how it goes when you lose a loved one, unexpectedly or not.
This time, Duke will not be returning to grace our screen unless it's in dreams or ghostly visits because we saw the absolutely heart-wrenching scene of Anna weeping over his dead body at the hospital, which, according to Liesl, had stretched out over six hours. Afterwards, Duke was given a true-death by cremation, which was followed by a quick memorial service the next day. It all happened very fast, so if you blinked, you probably missed it. However, we did get very touching flashbacks of Duke and Anna's early days when they first fell in love.
It seems like moments after Duke's death, news broke that Finola Hughes would be taking a short break from GH to direct a movie. This seems to have effectively sealed Duke's fate. Sure, there's always a way to bring someone back from the dead if the writers will it, but I doubt that will be the case with Duke because I have a sneaking suspicion that Kyle will be the one to welcome Anna home from her hiatus then help her mend her broken heart.
Duke, forgive me, but I look forward to it because I do see interesting chemistry between Kyle and Anna.
It seems very likely that Anna killed Carlos on the pier when she shot him in the chest. She's simply too good not to have struck him in the middle of his heart, but I doubt very much that Anna will ever pay for the murder. Kyle, and possibly Jordan, will cover it up then get Anna out of town, which will pave the way for her exit. I'm fine with Anna never paying for Carlos' death because Carlos did murder Duke.
I know that technically Duke was a bad guy who had sent Bruce to kill Jordan not once but twice. However, his final act was to call off the hit, so Duke did do the right thing in the end.
Julian, on the other hand, is proving to be quite the bad boy these days. I love William deVry's portrayal of Julian because even though Julian is doing some pretty horrible things, he's doing exactly what a mob boss is supposed to do. You can't be in charge of a criminal organization and have clean hands. That is my issue with Sonny.
Julian is more the Tony Soprano type of bad guy. He owns it yet does have a loving side reserved for his family and friends. Sonny is written as a mobster with a heart of gold who is driven to do bad things, which is a copout because it gives Sonny an out to take full responsibility for his actions. Example: A.J.'s murder. Sonny wanted A.J. dead for years, yet when he finally pulled the trigger, he tried to mitigate his culpability by claiming he had snapped. I watched those scenes. Sonny shot A.J. in cold blood, not because he snapped but because Sonny despised A.J. with every fiber of his being.
At first, I was puzzled why Julian wouldn't just admit to ordering the hit on Sonny's top lieutenant, but then Julian's master plan began to unfold. I have to give to Julian; he is running circles around Sonny. Painting a big target on Jake's back to set up Sonny's enforcer is perfect because Sonny would be completely crippled without Shawn and Duke. Too bad for Julian, Sam showed up, so Shawn is unlikely to even try to carry out the hit on Jake while Sam is standing in the auto shop.
But, with the police on the way, will Hayden have time to tell Jason and Sam the truth? I know Liz is praying something will stop Hayden -- like maybe a house falling out of the sky and landing on her -- but it's more likely that Hayden will be silenced another way. As much as I would like for Jake to learn who he really is, I just don't think it's going to be quite as simple or easy as Hayden spilling the beans.
I've never made it a secret that I love Liz. She is my favorite character by far, and I honestly can't imagine ever feeling differently. However, I'm not going to even try to excuse her behavior since learning the truth about Jason. There simply is no excuse.
I realize that she loves Jason, in part because she will always share a bond with him through the love of their son, Jake, and also because Jason will forever be the one who got away. But love isn't an excuse to lie to Jason, especially when Liz, more than anyone, knows that he wants nothing more than to have the key to unlock his past.
If Liz truly believed that she and Jason finally had a chance at happiness, then she would trust and have faith in the love they share by telling him the truth and giving him a chance to make his own choices. There's nothing to say that Jason will want to remain married to Sam if Liz told him the truth, so there was a possibility that she would have gotten what she wanted without resorting to lies.
Remember, Jake isn't drawn to Sam the way that he has been to Liz ever since the very beginning when he opened his eyes. Sam appears to like Jake as a friend -- and perhaps on some level senses that she knows him -- but I haven't seen any spark of romantic interest on either Sam or Jake's part during their encounters. They've been friendly but guarded.
I know Jason has had a few flashes of memory of Sam, but evidently, whatever feelings accompanied those images weren't enough to detract his attraction and feelings for Liz.
I'm afraid that by lying to Jason, Liz has sealed her fate. Jason might one day forgive her, but the betrayal will be too deep to make a romantic relationship possible. If anything, Liz's lie paved the way for Jason to approach a relationship with Sam without the baggage of lingering feelings for someone else, like when Hayden showed up claiming to be Jake's wife. As much as Sam tries to say she has moved on from Jason, the fact that she was crying when she looked at her and Jason's wedding bands suggests that she will definitely want to try to help Jake remember his past as Jason so she can recapture what she lost.
I'm not worried about Liz though. Yes, it will be rough for a while as she once again becomes the town's pariah, but she will have company because Nikolas isn't going to be any more popular than Liz. I suspect the real reason that Nikolas gave Hayden the green light to tell Jake the truth is because he knows that he will be in a perfect position to help Liz pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams with Jason and finally have the chance at a relationship with her that he's waited years for. Plus, he really did seem fed up dancing to Hayden's tune.
Not for a second do I believe that Hayden has had a sudden attack of conscience and is eager to do the right thing simply because she feels bad for Jason. Her motivation to tell Jake that he's Jason is to hurt Liz. I think Hayden's ego still stings from being unable to seduce Jake away from Liz, so she's being driven by pure spite.
So, who is Nina's mystery fiancÚ? I can't think of a single person on the show who would willingly marry Nina except for Franco, so my first thought was that Nina planned a surprise wedding for Franco, and it was the justice of the peace at the door. Then I remembered that we are dealing with Ron Carlivati, the master at writing curveballs.
Wouldn't it be a hoot if the man standing on Nina's doorstep was none other than Ric Lansing? Ric would be the perfect ally for Nina because he could not only help her get her hands on her frozen fortune, but she wouldn't hesitate to help him make people's lives miserable. Nina loves that kind of stuff, so it's a win-win for both.
Is it bad of me to hope that Olivia gets her wish and goes into hiding with her baby -- indefinitely? I sincerely wanted to slap her this week when she started screeching about how Julian's enemies would target her baby. Listening to her was like chomping down on a tiny piece of aluminum foil that gets stuck to a filling.
As far as I can tell, Julian's only enemy, besides the police, is Sonny. Does Olivia really think that Sonny will target their son's little brother? It's ridiculous to even suggest it.
I actually do support Olivia's decision to keep Julian out of the baby's life just like I supported Michael's decision to seek custody of Sonny's daughter, Avery. However, I think Olivia is going about it the wrong way. I realize that part of the reason she's leaving town is because Lisa LoCicero is going on maternity leave, but I think it would have made Olivia look less ridiculous if she had simply asked Ned to help get Judge Walters to hear her custody case like Michael did. Olivia could have disappeared into the woodwork with her baby during the maternity leave.
Look at Bobbie -- she's still in town, but we never see her. The same goes for Audrey, Leslie, and Monica.
Finally, I have to tip my hat to everyone who participated on Friday's show. It was live and absolutely wonderful. I know many looked for bloopers, but if there were any, I didn't notice because I was too engrossed by the gripping performances. Everyone did an outstanding job and proved that they are each brilliant and talented actors.
My favorite part was at the end of the show when Lilly Melgar, who played Sonny's first wife, Lily, did the closing credits with cue cards and then screamed in terror when she saw a bomb on the chair. I loved how Maurice Benard dashed up to save her by chucking the bomb away, and how she threw herself into his arms, calling him her hero for saving her life. It was the perfect ending to a spectacular episode.
Every time I hear Sam and Jason's wedding bands clank around in that big metal canister, I want to scream. I'm assuming that Sam is holding onto the rings to pass down to Danny for the day when he gets married, so I wish she'd take better care of special heirlooms by putting them into a velvet bag before storing them in the canister -- or return them to Monica.
Why does it seem like Franco is the only one who's still interested in who kidnapped baby A.J.?
I don't know why, but for some reason, everyone looked especially good during the live episode on Friday.
Another baby born without a name. Only on soaps do people take days, even weeks, to name their children. I know Olivia and Julian's little guy was born premature, but I started a list of names almost as soon as I found out that I was pregnant with each of my children.
Olivia fears the Beetlejuice effect
Liesl scoffs when Liz defends Jake
Liz: "Jake couldn't have shot Duke because he was with m-me last night."
Liesl: "All night?"
Liz: "Well, no, but --"
Liesl: "Well, there you have it. It seems as though Jake dispensed la petite mort with you, and then dispensed la grande mort to Duke."
Franco knocks on Nina's door, hoping to get her to let him in and hear him out
Franco: "I'm not leaving till you open the door, Nina. Really, I'm going to knock until my knuckles fall off and then I will have to knock with my left hand."
Hayden and Liz trade words
Hayden: "Oh, so we're calling him Jason now? I see you told Elizabeth how I stumbled across your dirty little secret."
Liz: "No doubt your best night ever."
Hayden: "It was up there. Not even gonna lie. To discover pious, porcelain Nurse Webber can roll in the mud just like the rest of us."
Liz: "And don't you forget it." [Laughs]
What are your thoughts on General Hospital? Share your thoughts on the show or this week's column with us. Leave your comments in the Comments area further down the page. If you prefer, you can click here to send our columnist a note by Feedback. You can also call our 24/7 caller feedback hotline at 267.341.7627 and voice your thoughts.