When GH decided to explore Sam’s paternity through Danny’s cancer battle, all precursors pointed to the beginning of something many Sam fans have clamored to see for years. The story started off well, as it was focused on Sam’s grief as a mother, and she turned to her friends and family for the strength to get Danny through this ordeal. Casting All My Children alum William deVry as Sam’s mobster daddy Julian Jerome aka Derek Wells had many TVSource Magazine staffers salivating at the thought of what was to come. Making Julian, Sam’s father was not only interesting and smart considering Sam’s own criminal past, but it further tied her to General Hospital’s history. Both of her parents are legacy characters; she inherited a new brother, Lucas (Ryan Carnes), who is the adopted brother of her sometimes rival Carly Jacks (Laura Wright).
As good as the story began, focusing on Sam’s gratitude for Julian, who realized he was Sam’s father but kept it to himself; building Julian and Alexis’ (Nancy Lee Grahn) relationship and positioning the growing mob war between the Jerome and Corinthos factions, the initial story quickly derailed after Julian was exposed as Sam’s father. All the emotional beats were skipped over in place of, well, what aired. There was no Julian earning Sam’s love and forgiveness; or Sam struggling with possibility that her father was using her and her son as an insurance policy in the event he was targeted; or being pulled into the mob storyline as heir apparent (as Julian’s daughter and Jason’s wife). Viewers never got to see Sam decide whether or not she would give her father a chance. She hated him, then he did a favor for her while trying to help Silas, then a few months go by and suddenly she didn’t hate him anymore.
Big, important moments like connecting with her new brother or playing tug of war with Carly over him, either never happened or did off-screen. How did Sam initially feel about her parents’ new courtship? How was Lucas’ first time meeting Danny? We’ll never know, because it wasn’t shown. This might seem small in the overall scheme of GH, but it goes a long way to establishing viewers’ emotional connections to these familial relationships. The one constant in all of this should have been Sam; after all, all of these characters are connected to her. But instead, months were spent with Sam supporting Silas while they worked to prove he was framed for trying to murder his wife. Destination storyline isolation – Sam and three new characters (Silas, Nathan, Madeline) with the shadow of another new character, Nina (never pictured until Michelle Stafford’s casting), looming large overhead.
Once again, Sam’s story was sacrificed for her man. There is no denying Monaco and Easton’s chemistry. Their pairing is quite popular despite what their detractors say, but are they a good couple? Everyone’s opinion of “good” is subjective, so don’t presume I’m speaking for all fans, but for me, they’re not…yet. They could be if they had the right story accompanying their romance. Sam is back to her “ride or die” ways and I’m as annoyed with it was I was when she was with Jason. That is why the pairing doesn’t work for me at the moment.
I know some would argue that Sam needs to be paired with someone like Patrick or Nathan or anyone other than Silas – who she’s paired with has no relevance if the outcome is always the same. It’s not the guy Sam is dating that needs to change so much as how the character of Sam works in her own pairings. Sam’s romantic relationships need to be more firmly grounded in furthering her development as a character, less conformity and more independence. Make her struggles be less about being the supportive girlfriend or wife and more about her finding what she needs – sexually, emotionally, financially, paternally (for her son) and professionally.