Dear readers, did you cry this week on GH? I did. Saying goodbye to a parent, watching the healthiest people you've ever known fade away, is a terrible thing. No one teaches you to care for an aging parent. No one teaches you how to say goodbye and let go. Sadly, I have lost both of my parents, and as an only child, it's an incredibly lonely world without them. This week, watching Sonny saying goodbye to Mike and having to make impossible medical decisions left me a weepy mess.
When my dear Mama was dying of breast cancer, she was here in our home in a hospital bed in the middle of the living room. She was, we thought, totally out of it. My cousin and I were watching Jeopardy!Jeopardy! was on, suddenly, she popped up with some random answer like "Who was Katherine the Great?" and just as suddenly, we realized, "She's still in there. She's still with us."
Sonny got a gift like that this week, watching Mike perk up at the track, pet the horses, and find a small bit of his former self for a brief moment before heading back to Turning Woods for a fast decline. General Hospital has written this story beautifully. It has been a gift to anyone who has had a family member battling Alzheimer's or who has had to watch loved ones die.
Max Gail was a revelation to me. When they first recast Ron Hale, I didn't understand -- I'd been watching Ron since his Ryan's Hope days, and he's phenomenal. He was Mike to me.
I had only ever seen Max Gail on Barney Miller. I didn't know that he could play the full range of emotions a soap requires. I didn't think he could give us the anger, the tenderness, the clarity, and the confusion -- every tiny aspect needed to pull off this Alzheimer's storyline. But he did. He rang true in every scene. Some days, I was charmed by him and his way with the ladies. Some days, I was scared for him, like when he thought Avery was Courtney and wandered off with her. Some days, I cried for him when he didn't know any of the people in his family and looked like a small child lost in a shopping mall, separated from his parents. He gave us everything. I will miss Max Gail on GH, and I hope another soap scoops him up immediately.
If only Kay Chancellor were still wandering the streets of Genoa City on The Young and the Restless, he'd make a great scoundrel for Kay to fall in love with. Maybe Jill is looking for a new love?
Back to GH -- Max Gail didn't pull this storyline off alone. Vernee Watson as the loving and patient Stella won me over. As meddling Aunt Stella was trying to break up Jordan and Curtis, I was not a fan. But when the writers gave Stella a job at GH, and I witnessed that huge heart in action, she changed my mind about the character. Marc Samuel, as Felix DuBois, cannot be forgotten either. Wouldn't you want someone like Felix to take care of your ailing family member? Felix is one of the most underused characters on GH as of late. Let's move him back to front burner status. I would love to see him to get a chance with Lucas now that Brad is safely locked up in prison. Felix deserves love and a fully fleshed-out storyline. Lucas may finally be willing to date a nice guy now that he realizes his bad boy pick Brad wasn't really the best choice for a life partner.
Maurice Benard, Laura Wright, Eden McCoy, and Chad Duell as Mike's family have all knocked the ball out of the park. I have watched Sonny's character for years and in every dramatic situation you could imagine -- still, none so tender and moving as this one. Sometimes, he didn't even have to say a word. Every nuance of the complicated relationship between father and son played out in his eyes. The years of resentment, the current regrets, they were all unmistakable and living in Sonny's every glance.
Every person involved in this storyline should be very proud of their work. I think it's especially poignant this year as our nation battles COVID-19 and over 190,000 families have lost loved ones as of this writing. Many families can relate to the helplessness you feel when you witness the person you cherish most in the world fade away. Thank you, GH, for a compelling and honoring storyline.
On Friday's episode, the scenes with Eden McCoy had me sobbing. I used a stack of tissues. I felt it from both ends -- my grandpa was not my biological grandpa, yet he adored me, and I adored him. I also have nine grandchildren who are not related to me by blood, but I am close to them, and I am their Nana/Grandma, period. Those imagined scenes where Joss imagined Mike at various milestones in her life just wrecked me. Eden is a beautiful and gifted young actress, and I love that the writers gave her such poignant material to play. My granddaughter got married last summer, and at her wedding, she had a table with a photo collage of my parents and other family members who had passed away with a sign that said, "We know that you'd be here today if heaven weren't so far away." It made me sob. Joss reminded me of that today.
The lines the writers wrote for Carly to comfort Sonny, to let him know he had done enough, that he was sending Mike off into eternity with love and happy memories in his heart, delivered to such soulful perfection by Laura Wright, also made me cry. Guys, I was crying so hard during Friday's episode that my husband got up and left the room. I suppose that much raw emotion was too much for him to witness. More goodbyes are coming next week, and I am going to need to stock up on Kleenex.
Now to the lighter side... No, wait, I lied. More crying! While I am delighted to have Dom Zamprogna back on GH, I was very peeved at him this week. I was, in fact, screaming at him from my sofa. "OPEN THE DOOR!" as Olivia was literally on the floor with her face up against the germy door, begging just to get a glimpse of his face. Dante! Damn it. You don't have any weapons in the psych ward, why not just let her peek at your bearded mug?
My husband, who pretends he doesn't watch GH, was distraught seeing Olivia so upset. He said, "Is it your week to write this week?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Good. Tell your ladies (because he thinks only girls watch soaps...) that Olivia should be screaming at that doctor! Hasn't Dante been in that place for like two years now? Why isn't she yelling at him, 'Why haven't you fixed my son? What kind of crappy therapy is going on here that he's not cured after two years?'" I mean, the man was seriously mad for Olivia. You know, like a GH fan would be. If he watched...
I hope that Tristan Rogers or Dominic Zamprogna bought Lisa LoCicero some flowers or something behind the scenes. I mean, the woman left her heart on the floor. Playing those scenes out takes a toll. She was probably exhausted after filming those scenes and needed a nap. At least I would have been.
I used to tour in a theatre company, and I was in one creepy play where I played an actress on the set of a horror film. In a play within a play, the character playing the monster loses his mind and believes he really is the monster and starts attacking me. In this role, the guy was like seven feet tall and, indeed, a gentle giant in real life. But during those scenes with that giant man barreling down on me, my heart would still pound like I was actually in fear of being attacked.
Even when you are acting, your body always responds to external and internal stimuli. Sadness, anxiety, and danger -- those emotions are impacting. It's not without cost that someone gives you scenes like the ones Lisa LoCicero gave us this week. Bravo.
On to the next bombshell. Neil's overdose. I correctly guessed he had died from a drug overdose, but I incorrectly assumed that Cyrus was behind it. The call he made after he heard about it indicated that Cyrus honestly didn't know who Neil was or where he got the drugs.
So, now I'm back to my second theory -- Dawn of Day. As you may recall, Neil is the person who deprogrammed Kristina, who eventually brought down Shiloh and DOD. Thus, it's highly possible that a true believer, such as Daisy, with an axe to grind drugged Neil out of revenge. Then again, Julian found the syringe after Alexis looked and didn't find one, so he's a B-level suspect, too. Or maybe Nelle did it as a gift to Julian before leaving town. I don't know, I don't feel like Neil was a closet drug addict, but I could be wrong. I guess we will have to wait for it to play out.
And I'll just say it -- if I was Alexis, I would totally be drinking right now. I'd have hit up the airplane bottle section at the Bev-Mo and stuffed my purse with tiny bottles of chocolate vodka and apple pie-flavored bourbon.
Next up, the bombshell that I absolutely did not see coming... New Chief of Staff Britt Westbourne?!? Monica and Bobbie's firings already stunned me, but to replace Monica with Britt? Yikes! And Epiphany ousted as Head Nurse by...whom? That we do not yet know. I started thinking of some likely and unlikely suspects. Britt's old nemesis Sabrina Santiago? She did sleep with Carlos. Maybe she got caught up in some drug cartel shenanigans and isn't really dead. Singer ringer nurse Amy Driscoll? Amy kind of seems like a kiss-ass who wouldn't question Britt. Britt's BFF Brad Cooper? Sure, he's in jail, but Cyrus got himself released, so why not Brad, too? And sure, Brad is a lab tech, but in the topsy-turvy world, anything goes.
Just when I suggested that Nurse Epiphany Johnson deserves more screentime, it seems like she may get it. They might confine her to a desk job. Still, I predict that any day now, Epiphany will be helping Spinelli hack into the hospital computers to get dirt on Cyrus. She will not go quietly.
Liz being demoted to two shifts per week, when she and Franco are already struggling to make ends meet, will be devastating for their family. Since Liz just kissed Prince Nikolas, and Franco and Ava also kissed, they may all be poor soon. My best guess as to who was taking photos of the kissing couples is probably Spencer, trying to claim the Cassadine fortune for himself. I wonder how he will feel to know Britt is back in town? He really wanted her to be his stepmom at one point.
And now, a tangent. Is it just me, or is GH airing more commercial interruptions as of late? The other day, midway through the show, I felt like I was getting more commercials than show and started timing it.
That's something like 15 minutes of commercials to 14 minutes of the show!
I went on Hulu, where I have commercial-free service, and the 60-minute show of GH is actually only 36 minutes' worth of content. I subscribed to Hulu when it launched, mostly to ensure I could get GH because my local news station had a habit of breaking into the show with "Breaking News" every day around GH time. But since I have been laid off, I have been watching it live, and it's driving me mad. I think it's back to Hulu for me, as I would rather pay an extra $4 a month to Hulu to avoid commercials.
And even when I watch it live, I don't watch the commercials. When they cut to a commercial break, I pause, go to the kitchen and fill up my drink, check my mail, walk my dog (I have time!), use the restroom or other time stalls, and then come back and fast-forward five minutes later. I would love to know how effective commercials are on broadcast TV. I do respond to targeted marketing online -- I won't deny it -- but not many other advertisements make it to my eyes. I understand why they might need to make up for loss of income with a few extra ads, but I just hate watching TV that way. Maybe it's from months of consuming mostly Netflix and other non-commercial media streams that I've been spoiled by uninterrupted viewing.
Readers, what say you, is Holly Sutton still alive? I vote yes. She is out there somewhere, and Robert will find her. I was thrilled to hear that Ethan Lovett (a.k.a. Nathan Parsons) was coming back to GH! I assume that when Olivia and Robert land in Monte Carlo, Ethan will be part of the adventure. Perhaps Ethan will be with his dad, Luke, who also loved Holly, as a happy 2020 surprise for GH fans? Wouldn't that be a gift? But I have never been completely satisfied that Ethan was Luke's son and not Robert's. Maybe Anna will learn that Peter is not her son the same day that Robert discovers that Ethan is his son?
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Nina finding out who made a necklace clasp 27 years ago be the key to the big heart necklace mystery? Will the WSB force Dante to take a mission he's not ready for against his will? Will Julian inherit Nelle's ELQ winnings if she's declared dead? Will Spinelli and Jason succeed in entrapping Peter? Will Jason notice the way Sam looks at Brando? Will T.J. keep poking the big, mean, drug bear until he gets himself kidnapped again?
Will Valentin get his hands on the dirt Nelle had on Julian and make him his blackmail slave? Will Alexis hit happy hour? Will Ava and Portia continue to bond over mothering Trina? Will Cam pick Joss or Trina to be his prom smooch? Will Dev get his second choice? Will Laura ever come home from Washington, DC? Will the anonymous photographer post the kissy-kissy photos of our four cheaters in the Invader?
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.