Soaps

‘General Hospital’ Week In Review: Stubborn Love

Jason, Sam, Danny and Scout share some family time.
Jason, Sam, Danny and Scout share some family time.

Last week’s General Hospital saw the end to Olivia Jerome’s reign of terror and the start of the aftermath. All roads are beginning to lead to the Cassadines as the much anticipated and quickly sidelined tale of Helena’s will is finally getting its overdue screen time.

It would be an understatement to say that GH’s pacing leaves something to be desired. It feels like there are just too many stories up in the air at once. Part of the issue is the cast size but while I’m sure that juggling everyone can be a difficult task, better use of the community of characters through such things as umbrella stories would help. Just because a character isn’t onscreen doesn’t mean their presence can’t be felt; Right now the only character getting that kind of treatment is Morgan and he’s dead. Imagine if the writers applied the attention they are giving Morgan to active characters that fans actually enjoy. For example, starting and stopping Jake’s story line wouldn’t have been so jarring if we had gotten a little bit of dialog about Jake’s issues in the interim. And fans would be more interested in Griffin’s mother if he’d actually talked about her once in awhile. Little touches like that would prevent stories from feeling so plot-driven and haphazard.

A lot happened on GH last week and I wasn’t able to write about all of it. If you would like to share your thoughts on anything I did or did not mention, please leave a comment below or tweet me and we’ll chat.

General Hospital Week In Review is for the episodes that aired March 20-24, 2017.

Blank Space

Franco and Liz’s concern regarding Jake’s strange behavior increases.
Franco and Liz’s concern regarding Jake’s strange behavior increases.

Starting a story and then dropping it for more than a year and then starting it again isn’t the best thing to do if you want to keep an audience engaged. However, I’m glad that the mystery of what happened to Jake on Cassadine Island and Helena’s curse is being revisited. I was ecstatic when the story of Helena’s will was introduced and disappointed when it was put on hold for Thermos, a serial killer non-mystery, the mess that was the fallout from Morgan’s death, etc. I’m not going to complain too much about this tale getting its second take.

I do think that where the characters are now in their relationships and lives has the potential to make this a much stronger story line than it would have been. Jason and Sam just welcomed a baby girl and are more involved in Sam’s PI business than mob wars. Meanwhile, Franco and Liz are committed and have made plans to live together. Both couples are in a very stabile place in their domestic lives. The concern over how to best respond to Jake’s strange behavior throws a monkey wrench into the mix.

Franco has started art therapy with Jake and the results have been disturbing. Jake doesn’t want to discuss his missing years and when asked to draw something from that time, he draws a line. When Franco tells Liz of the behavior, she becomes frightened about what Helena did to her son. The next morning, they find that Jake snuck downstairs in the middle of the night and drew a scarecrow on the line. Jake doesn’t remember doing this much to the adults’ confusion. The scarecrow is a character in the book that Helena left in her will. I think the scarecrow represents someone Jake interacted with on the island. Perhaps the ominous figure is Stavros, Valentin or Faison. Or maybe it’s someone closer to Jake.

My first thought was actually that the scarecrow is suppose to be Jason. Jake’s going into trances just like Helena’s “soldier boy”. There has got to be a connection. It would be an interesting way to combine the mystery of why Helena took Jake with what happened to Jason. The Cassadines have always been about the Spencers so Helena resurrecting Jason and scrambling his brains is a bit of a head scratcher. Why would she care about Jason? Is it because of his loose ties to the Spencers through Jake or maybe his connection to Sam? When Sam spoke to Jason regarding her feelings towards Julian, some of the things she said could be applicable to Jason’s relationship with Jake. Sam really didn’t have a strong relationship with her father and for awhile Jason hid the fact that he was Jake’s father. While Jason is an involved parent now, his relationship with Jake can be a bit detached due to the past choices he’s made.

Cassadine vs. Spencer

Laura is suspicious of Thermos’ new nanny.
Laura is suspicious of Thermos’ new nanny.

I really wish that the writing for Lulu were different for this Thermos story. I get that we’re suppose to be sympathizing with her losing custody of her daughter but it’s hard to decipher her motivation. It feels like Lulu just wants Charlotte to quench her desire for motherhood. I feel like there isn’t enough focus on her belief that Valentin is a bad man. The fact that he killed Nikolas is mentioned but not in a way that showcases the devastation. Valentin has been tamed down but in Lulu’s eyes he is still the guy who held her captive and killed the brother she adored. I’m only getting glimpses of this emotional beat.

If the idea is for the Spencers to be the heroes and the Cassadines to be the villains, we should be seeing more of Lulu in caring moments with her family. When is that last time Rocco was even mentioned let alone seen? Where is the angst between Lulu and Dante? I like Lulu and Laura scheming together but I need them to be smarter. I am intrigued by Laura’s interest in Charlotte’s new nanny and how she plans to use the opportunity to place the odds in Lulu’s favor. It would be fun to see the Spencers outwit the Cassadines again.

About the author

Jenn Bishop

Jenn Bishop is TVSource Magazine's Soap Editor. She's a thirty-something fan girl of soapy television and anything involving Joss Whedon. She began sharing her views on daytime soaps in 2012 with her blog Save Our Suds. A former philosophy major, she loves discussing different view points with fellow TV addicts and aficionados. When not watching television, she enjoys art, live music, exploring the Midwest food scene, and drinking too many lattes. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceJenn.