I fell in love with Lucas Lorenzo Spencer when I was 17. Yes, he's a fictional character, but nonetheless, he has mesmerized me for decades. My mother always said the reason I was never satisfied in any of my plethora of romantic relationships was because no man could ever live up to the excitement of Luke Spencer. She wasn't wrong.
He is charming, clever, witty, and adventurous. He is dark and troubled and drinks too much and can't be counted on. He is romantic, and if you get trapped with him in a department store overnight, instead of trying to get out, he dons a top hat and tails and waltzes you around the store all night. Good God, I love him.
Luke was in the mob, and then he was the mayor. He was both a sinner and a savior. He was a loyal friend and a fierce enemy. He has walked both sides of the line between upstanding citizen and criminal. He's a rapist whose victim forgave him and married him. He only had eyes for Laura until she vanished, and then he had eyes for Holly, Felicia, Skye, Anna, Tracy, and any other lovely lady who wandered into his path. He has danced on the chasm between sanity and insanity and never falls solidly on either side of the line.
Over the years, he has filled my heart with both wonder and sorrow. He has made me weep. I have had dreams about him! To be quite honest, when I first started writing this column over ten years ago, my one secret desire in writing about General Hospital was that perhaps one day I would get to interview Tony Geary -- or just shake his hand one time. (Which never happened. :/)
And now, he's ending his career, and I won't see him on my screen anymore -- all my hopes of an interview are dashed and his hands will probably be in Amsterdam, so too far away to shake. I'm a little verklempt.
The very real Tony Geary made the very fictional character of Luke Spencer into the most interesting man any of us has probably ever encountered. Surely Mr. Geary deserves to retire, but I'd be lying if I said my heart wasn't breaking with each day and each scene that passes, knowing it's getting closer and closer to the end. I feel for Jane Elliott, too. Tony has been her sparring partner on the show for years. And her fictional counterpart Tracy, too -- this can either go one of two ways: 1) she trusts Luke, and he breaks her heart again by leaving, or 2) he dies and breaks all of our hearts. Either ending is tragic.
What a sad year for me! Tony Geary, David Letterman, and Jon Stewart all leave TV the same year? Brutal.
Enough of that -- let's get to the past week. Luke proposed to Tracy and vowed to finally marry her for real, in his right mind, and determined to make her happy. At their impromptu engagement party, Luke made a passionate speech about Tracy being the love of his life then in walked Laura, the original love of his life.
I have to admit, I have a hard time with this triangle. When I was a teenager, Luke and Laura were it. They had adventures and had to live on the run with wigs and disguises and aliases, hiding in barns, lusting after one another with a blanket tent between them, attacked on every side, and yet inseparable. I loved them together. But then, Genie Francis left the show, and the writers partnered Luke with Tracy, which started out as comic relief as he tricked her into thinking they got married in Vegas and then blossomed into a real, deep, grown-up love affair. She accepted all those quirks and flaws of his and not only accepted them but wholeheartedly embraced them. Tracy developed a sixth sense about Luke and ran off into danger to rescue him, time after time.
And now, I look at these two women, and my 17-year-old self screams, "He belongs to Laura eternally!" but my 50-year-old self says, "Tracy is his true companion." I wonder what Luke will say on Monday. I wish it were Monday now. What an amazing cliffhanger -- his words about Tracy being the love of his life hanging in the air as Laura stepped in the door. Can you imagine how he must feel surrounded on either side by the two women who have defined him over the past 30 years? Oh! Heart-wrenching. Which one will win him? To be honest, my heart could be content with either ending because both Luke and I love them both. If he chooses Laura, my 17-year-old self might reawaken, and that would be a good thing. 17-year-old me believed in fairy tales and happy endings.
These next few weeks of watching Luke say his goodbyes to Lucky, Lulu, Ethan, Holly, Laura, Tracy, Sonny, Alice, and Robert; the impending flashbacks; the decades of memories -- oh, my heavens, I may need to be medicated.
Thankfully, my sad, sad heart got comic relief this week in the form of one Denise DeMuccio. First off, I want to say, "I told you so." I knew Silas didn't kill Ava, and I knew when the baby went missing that Silas had her. When Silas' confession aired, I paused the playback, looked at my husband (who was pretending not to watch), and very smugly said, "Told you so."
Maura West is fantastic as Ava and deliciously nutty as Denise. They can keep this going for weeks, as far as I am concerned. Notice I said weeks and not months. At some point in time, I want the jig to be up and for Ava to be Ava, but not until Denise has endeared herself to everyone and set the stage for Ava to be forgiven. Denise can explain Ava and her choices and actions and help the whole town see Ava in a new light. I mean, holy cow, if Franco the serial killer and Obrecht the mad scientist can be redeemed, forgiven, and accepted in Port Charles, then why not Ava?
So much love in Port Charles this week! First there was Lucas and Brad's engagement party (which was ultimately hijacked for Luke and Tracy's engagement party). I'm very excited about this storyline because Brad's family has been discussed, and as you may recall, he is the son of the infamous Wu crime family. They are all presumed dead, but come on, this is GH, and all dead villains come back to life at some point, and I expect no less from the Wus! When Brad gets married, if Mr. Wu isn't standing in the back of the sanctuary, looking on, I will be sad. Maybe he will even come back with Robin in tow! (But she probably doesn't have that doll with the pearls anymore.)
But side plots aside, I want Lucas and Brad to have a real soap wedding with all the bells and whistles and without clichés. And no gunfire.
One marriage is going to begin, and another is feeling the strains of change as Lulu and Dante both feel pangs of jealousy with Valerie and Dillon lingering around. I thought for sure that Dante was going to miss the engagement party and that Lulu would walk in on him and Valerie all cozied up together, and I'm glad I was wrong this time. I can't decide how this will play out -- will Valerie start dating Dillon and Lulu will be jealous, or will Dante and Valerie push Lulu back into Dillon's arms? Not to be a Material Girl, but at least Dillon could afford to get Lulu an apartment with more than one room...
Of course, Valerie is living with Nikolas, and now that Hayden is out of the picture and Courtney was just a ghost, Nikolas will soon be looking for a new bed buddy. Liz is still with Jakeson until he discovers his true identity, but I heard that Lucky will be in town before Luke leaves, so I can only imagine the Liz/Lucky reunion scenes in my head. I know Jonathan Jackson is happy on Nashville, but man, do I wish he was back in Port Charles. They're both ABC shows; can't they share him for more than one summer?
On to other mad families... Nina Clay married Ric, who is partnering, unbeknownst to her, with her imprisoned mother. Of course, Ric is planning to screw Madeline over, but she's the one who put him on Nina's trail. An interesting development has taken place, though, as both Nina and Silas have ended up in a bar, completely distraught, and who knows -- maybe the once happily married couple will have a night of passion to ease their pain.
Nina's pain comes from feeling betrayed by Franco and Nathan. Franco's intentions regarding Nina are good; he knows Ric doesn't have honorable intentions toward Nina, but she is stubbornly refusing to believe him -- and even her brother Nathan -- and is insisting she and Ric are in love. Whether she honestly believes that or if she is just so strong-willed she refuses to let Franco and Nathan persuade her remains to be seen.
Silas' daughter Kiki has rekindled her romance with the Captain, and although I still wouldn't say I like NuKiki, I dislike her slightly less this week. Again, and I say this with a sincere heart -- it's nothing against the actress who is playing Kiki. It's that she presents such a stark contrasting difference from the previous Kiki, and recasts like that always bug me.
Silas' pain comes from realizing he could actually go to prison. He harbored fugitive Ava for months, and if he outs her, he goes down with her, so he has to go along with Denise DeMuccio and her crazy scheme.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will new police commissioner Jordan be able to clean up the mob of Port Charles even though she kind of likes all of them? Will Anna feel guilty about leaving town without telling her dear friend Felicia that she's really the mayor? Will Kyle suffer from male depression and wander around Port Charles like a wounded puppy after being fired from his job and kicked out of Anna's bed all in one day? Will Scott's fight with Sonny prompt Sonny to go look up Scott's other daughter Selena and get her hooked on pills, too? (Oh, wait, he hates drugs now!) Will Luke's longtime friend Robert Scorpio come to town to see him off, since his dopplegänger from Genoa City doesn't have much to do these days? (Spoiler alert: yes, he will!) Will I have to take a sick day from work the day after Luke says goodbye? (Spoiler alert: yes, I will.) Will Denise DeMuccio steal Kiki's boyfriend from her?
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.
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.