This last week on General Hospital was an emotional one. From three decades worth of grief to vengeance to desperation, everyone in town seemed to be at their boiling point. Though some of the beats played were dizzying in that redundant way, there was also good drama woven through it all to keep viewers tuned in. All in all, Port Charles had an exciting week. Let’s check it out some of the highlights!
“Good guys” finish last
For the last few weeks, the writing was very legibly scrawled across every wall in Port Charles. Duke Lavery was being set up for death but only us viewers, exhausted from the constant mob war flip flopping, could see what was coming. To many of General Hospital’s viewers, Duke was a legacy character and his loss dealt a major blow to those hearts all across the country. I was not included in that bunch but the repercussions were deliciously dramatic.
As usual, whenever a soap opera character has a sudden change of heart and plans, the universe won’t let them get away with it. For far too long, Duke has been plotting to take out double agent Jordan Ashford. Each time his plans were foiled and mostly by his former flame, Anna Devane. Last week, Jordan managed to take down Duke’s right hand man just after another failed attempt on her life and blinded by love, Anna refused to believe Duke was behind it.
Understandably, Anna and Duke have been denying their feelings for each other for months now but during those months they’ve also been bringing up good points about each other’s faults – Anna especially. They were on opposite sides of law with Duke very much leaning toward the wrong side; she knew what he could be capable of acting as Sonny Corinthos’ regent and an assassination attempt was very much in that realm. In an instant, all of her desires to bring Duke down were washed away after a thin promise of running away together and true love. I understand the thirty years of true love between the two characters, but Anna’s forgiving of all of Duke’s shady doings, things she stands firmly against felt rushed and desperately plot driven. Was Duke’s tango really that good to just make her forget what she stood for? Most of the town of Port Charles showed up to Duke’s funeral and most of them praised him as if he were an upstanding citizen. No, he still filtered drugs into the city through bogus coffee shipments. He was no more of a good guy than Sonny Corinthos or Julian Jerome, the only difference was that he had an accent. Duke had people who loved him and when someone passes, it’s normal for people to glaze over the bad qualities to let the good ones rest in people’s last memories. I just wish it all didn’t feel like a preachy tribute to a character that felt more like a glorified butler the last two years than much of a hero or good guy.
While the show lost a veteran, Finola Hughes stepped up to the plate to showcase the true prowess of a veteran. Duke and Anna’s running off into the sunset plan was painfully clichéd for me but the moment when Anna realized that couldn’t happen as she watched Duke bleed out on the pier was truly heartbreaking. Anna’s high speed spiral into grieving was the most compelling part to watch this week.
While my head spun around with all of the mob tit for tats, Anna Devane shone through the convoluted heap, especially in a really poignant scene with Liesl Obrecht. We found that Anna had been mourning Duke’s death for two hours straight in the morgue, refusing to leave his side. They get into it over Obrecht referring to Duke as a corpse as a lost Anna somehow thinks there’s still hope for him to return. In a very Obrecht way she brings small comfort to a lonesome Anna, offering up Duke’s belongings to his longtime love.
Anna later nearly obliterates Jake Doe after learning he was a suspect in the murder but Jake is saved in time by Commissioner Sloane, revealing that the two are working together to bring down Julian’s crime family. Jake had planned to take the fall for Duke’s murder to keep his Haunter Star attempted murder counts off his record. Losing Jake as a suspect only motivates Anna even more to find Duke’s real killer. Ultimately, she finds her way to the culprit Carlos Rivera as he tries to flee Port Charles (on its only pier). She moves to arrest him but realizes there is no substantial evidence, so in yet another rogue move, Anna guns Carlos down in a shocking ending. And literally, all I could do was clap for Finola; through regular tapings and a live show, she delivered all week. Plot driven story or not, she knows how to take a scene, chew it and rip it to shreds. Though I never felt for Duke, I felt for Anna feeling for Duke. This was easily the top highlight of the week. What did you all think?