Dear Readers, this is one of those weeks when being the columnist for General Hospital is the Best. Gig. Ever.
So many things happened this week, I don't know if my fingers can keep up with my brain. Where do I even begin dishing on all the soapy wonderfulness of this past week?
Prison breaks? Mental hospital manicures? Charred pumpkin heads with bombs in their laps? Crowbars to the skull? A bright red bomb countdown clock haphazardly placed behind some Champagne bottles that no one sees?
This week is rich with campy soap goodness, which is the exact sort of thing that's kept me tuned in for over 30 years. Yeah, yeah, I know some of you haven't even been alive that long. And truthfully, it's closer to 40 than 30, but that made me sound even older.
But I digress. I feel that GH viewers hit the jackpot with Ron Carlivati and Frank Valentini. The past couple of years with them at the helm have returned GH to its roots and, in doing so, saved its life. Soaps were being canceled all around it, and somehow, GH managed to make the cut and is not just surviving but thriving.
Back when Faison was unmasked as "Fluke," I thought that long, drawn-out storyline was over. I was wrong. I was perturbed that the whole sweet reunion of Luke and his family was just another ploy! I wanted to give up, but of course, with 38 years of GH viewing behind me, I never would.
Hanging in there has paid off, because the GH writing team dug way back into the GH history book and dug up the house on Elm Street, photos of Ruby, and Luke and Bobbie's unfortunate childhood. We were reminded of their forgotten sister Patricia and of Luke's creepy cousin Bill Eckert. As anxious as I am for the real, live, wonderful Lucas Lorenzo Spencer to get out of that creepy house and back into the warm bosom of his family, I can't say the trip down Spencer Family Memory Lane has been entirely unpleasant.
My husband, who pretends he doesn't watch GH, said to me, "If they bring back Sly Eckert, do you think he still has that freckle on his nose that he did when he was a kid, or did he have it bleached off?" As for me, I just wondered if Jenny still had the Dorothy Hamill haircut. I searched online and dug up some old 70s GH clips, and they are absolutely delightful to watch now! Some rainy day, give it a try.
Okay, let's start with Dante. Didn't anyone teach him in police school to call for backup before going to confront a murderous lunatic? Why did he go to that house alone? When Fluke showed up, and Dante had Fluke cuff himself to the stair rails, why didn't he then call for backup before going down the stairs into the nothingness? He had no idea if he would find Luke tied up down there -- or five more thugs. I know his partner Nathan has been in bed with Maxie since New Year's Eve, but Dante should have at least tried to call him.
I must say I underestimated Dante's virility, because after being shoved down a flight of stairs and having his head crash on concrete and getting whacked in the head with a crowbar, he still managed to pull himself up. I was reminded by some of my dear Twitter followers that Dante is, after all, Sonny's child and was created by Sonny's magic sperm, so it's no wonder he has superhuman strength.
Readers, I am pretty good at predicting what happens next on soaps, but I was shocked to the point of squealing like a little girl when they panned up to Luke's head, and there was a giant charred pumpkin head where I was expecting Luke's face to be! Oh, my goodness! My mind is racing to try to solve this mystery! Is that creepy corpse really the remains of Bill Eckert, and Fluke is someone else? Did Fluke torch real Luke's head? My husband noted we hadn't seen Lord Ashton for a long time, but I just can't make sense of that idea. Is it just another creepy Faison-style mask, and Luke's real head is under there? Maybe Bill Eckert had an evil twin we didn't know about, and Fluke is Phil Eckert? I can't even begin to think I know the answer to that crazy question! Who do you think that is?
The second bomb is on the Haunted Star, and that one has me worried. If you are a regular reader here at Soap Central, you probably saw the article about the impending cast cuts. I have been trying to guess who GH will trim, and here are a few people I predict will explode on the Haunted Star: Sabrina, Carlos, Nikolas' new girlfriend Ivy, Brad, and either T.J. or Jordan. Maybe even Agent Sloan and the cheating mayor?
I say that because we have a lot of fringe characters that suddenly showed up after long periods with no storylines, and some of them had what I would interpret as "closure" scenes. T.J. finally forgave Shawn and Jordan -- is he going to go to the party with Molly to blow up, or is Jordan going to go to the party to try to catch Fluke and blow up? I just felt my soapy senses tingle after that scene. Carlos is supposedly in the employ of Fluke, yet Fluke didn't warn him not to go to the party with Sabrina? Just some guesses, but for all I know, they might blow up half the town.
A little further upstate, the Pentonville Gang is on the run. The gang is comprised of criminals who despise each other but, for the safety of their loved ones, were willing to overlook their hatred and band together to escape prison. Unfortunately, their plans went awry when Fluke discovered that they had escaped, and he sent one of his minions to run them off the road.
That was some fast work on the General Mobspital pack's part to knock out and steal uniforms from multiple guards, defuse Ava's shivving, take out all the prison bus drivers, and hit the highway in about five minutes time.
Readers, I can't see how on earth we are ever going to get these people out of prison. In addition to the crimes they have already committed, they just added "prison break" to their rap sheets. It appears as though they will end up in the hospital before going back to prison, but unless it's revealed that Helena has the lot of them under mind control, I don't know how they will get out of prison.
Speaking of Helena, may I just say that Constance Towers is the most glamorous and elegant 81-year-old lady on the planet? When she was on the docks in her white fur ensemble, her beauty wowed me. And while we are on the topic, Donna Mills is looking pretty stunning for a 74-year-old woman, too. All the other stars in Hollywood should seek those two out for beauty tips. Even if Donna Mills has had a facelift -- other stars should get the name of her doctor.
Helena's age came up in my house this week because when I said, "What's with all those Motorola flip phones?" my husband, the closet GH watcher, said, "That's probably the phone that was in vogue the last time Helena was unfrozen," and we laughed and laughed.
We also laughed when we saw that Nina and Heather were becoming besties over at Shadybrook. When Heather said her name was "Diana Taylor," I also laughed and had flashbacks of Jeff Weber and LSD and the crimes of Heather past. Heather's choice of "Blood Red" nail polish was another chuckle. I bet Robin Mattson has a ball playing Heather.
Readers, I misjudged what would happen with Nina. I thought that as soon as Nina got examined and they put her on some meds, she would be fine. But in the glimpses we have seen this week, she still seems very delicate and fragile. On the other hand, we have seen how Nina reacts when backed into a corner; I get the feeling she might actually be able to defend herself against Heather. Nina has the capacity to be just as whack as Heather.
Readers, don't hate me, but I'm still rooting for the romance of Franco and Nina. Yes, he's a serial killer and she's a baby snatcher, but the chemistry between Roger Howarth and Michelle Stafford is so electric, it makes me forget about the sins of the characters they portray.
I know this will sound like a love letter to Michelle Stafford, but I just adore her. I loved her on The Young and the Restless as Phyllis, even though Phyllis was not a particularly nice or good person. With another actor in the role over at Y&R now, I don't feel the same compassion for Phyllis that I used to. I root for Michelle Stafford in any role, no matter how despicable, because her spirit -- the force of nature that she is -- shines through, and the characters I've seen her play are deeply flawed and yet achingly vulnerable, and I yearn for their redemption.
In other Y&R/GH "soapcest" -- Billy Miller as Jake/Jason has finally gotten caught for his crime of holding Sam hostage and helping Faison escape. I really feel for the character of Jake/Jason right now. He knows he is doing violent things he doesn't want to do, but there's a decency to him that is so engaging. What will happen when he finds out he is actually a hit man? Will he change? Will he go back to Sonny? Will Dr. Collins un-brainwash him? Will we find traces of Jason Quartermaine under the fog?
Instead of confronting him about the whole "holding her at gunpoint/hostage thing," Sam sneaked into the interrogation room to grill him about swiping her phoenix figurine... Will this finally be the moment of breakthrough where his memory returns and he realizes he is Jason? Surely Sam will be able to forgive "Jake" once she realizes he is her beloved Jason. That will leave Patrick single again, since Sam will go back to Jason, Robin is still missing, and Sabrina is probably going to blow up.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Maxie forgive Nathan for missing the party, since he had to arrest a brain-injured killing machine? Will Lulu and Maxie launch their own "Sparkly Dress" boutique, because I want to buy one? Will Nikolas break free of Helena's goons and get on the boat right before it blows? Will Lucas regret not telling Brad he loves him after Brad blows up? Will Patrick reminisce about Sabrina's ugly glasses after she blows up? Will T.J. rack himself with guilt for not figuring out his mom was an undercover agent after she blows up? Will Molly be super happy Ric took her out of town so she didn't blow up? Will anyone ever trust that Luke is Luke again after the parade of impostor Lukes?
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.
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.