‘General Hospital’ Week In Review: The Dead Zone

“I’m sorry Dr. Hardy. We tried.”
“I’m sorry Dr. Hardy. We tried.”

I enjoyed a lot of what happened on General Hospital last week but the show felt like it was focusing on its plot holes from the last few years and the good stories that were dropped. Sabrina’s funeral made me realize just how much her journey took a wrong turn. Michael giving up Teddy reminded me of the fascinating development we were given when Michael struggled with the effects of the dangerous tug of war his parents had over him, the story that made Chad Duell an Emmy winner. Tracy comforting Paul made me long for that fleeting moment when we all thought the Quartermaine Queen was going to finally find her sexy soulmate. It was as if GH was telling the audience, “Hey remember the great times we once had together?”

Mistakes have been made creatively for GH. The new story lines are the ones that I’m loving the most and that makes me feel hopeful for what’s ahead. The writers are utilizing GH’s history but I feel there is a bit of unevenness to how and when it’s being used. Some characters are stuck it a rut because they keep repeating the same story over and over without good reason. For example, was it really necessary for Carly to have yet another anti-volience talk with her mobster husband? It might have been had one of their child been hurt as a result of Sonny’s bad choices. But Sabrina’s murder and Julian’s trial feel like misplaced reasons as much as Kiki getting shot did. Carly did reject Sonny’s criminal lifestyle in the past when Michael was hurt so this isn’t so much out of character for her as not being used at the right moment. I’d like to see the writers be a little more consistent and true to the characters while pulling from the past.

I wasn’t able to write about everything that happened this week. If you would like to share your thoughts on anything that I did or did not mention, please leave a comment below or tweet me and we’ll chat.

General Hospital Week In Review for the episodes that aired September 19th-23rd.

Not Guilty

Alexis heads to the bar after Julian is found innocent.

Alexis heads to the bar after Julian is found innocent.

Julian was found not guilty by a jury of his peers and, for the viewers that watched the trial, this was not surprising. The hearing was quite the mess. Paul ensured that the majority of the jury would be sympathic to Julian, evidence was thrown out and one of the star witnesses never showed up. He also managed to get Alexis doped up for her testimony. Even without his tampering, the courtroom outbursts and Sonny’s unsuccessful attempt to save the day all made it clear that Julian was going to walk.

Julian’s trial had some good moments – Ava snarking and vamping it up, Sam letting her father have it,  flawless performances from the cast in particular Richard Burgi and Nancy Lee Grahn – but overall I found it annoying. Julian was playing the good guy again, the one who loves Alexis and can’t stand to see her suffer. If I had forgotten that he tried to kill his wife, I might have actually felt sorry for him. Alexis was clearly out of sorts but nobody decided to check it out? It was as if they assumed she had a bad case of hysteria. And then their was Sonny’s embarrassing testimony. The Dimpled Don seemed to think flashing his dimples would save the day but all he managed to do was tank the case. Remember those two juniors that Ava was concerned about? The anti-mob ones? Yeah, they voted not guilty because of his testimony. Way to go Sonny.

With Julian free, no career and her reputation in the toilet, it appears that Alexis is going to turn to her friend alcohol for support. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Grahn has been really sinking her teeth into the material and I know she’ll be fabulous. But I’m not sure how much further down I want to see Alexis fall. I would like to see her pick herself up and start to rebuild her life. She may need to hit a rock bottom before that but I need there to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Closing Time

The PCPD work to save General Hospital.

The PCPD work to save General Hospital.

In response to Sabrina’s murder, General Hospital closed its doors. If this was Paul’s goal then he has succeeded. The episode where the hospital was cleared out felt very bittersweet. It was a delight to see Epiphany again. She brings heart, plus her much needed sensibility, to GH. Seeing her devastation regarding the closing of the hospital because the death of a friend was heart-wrenching and made me care. I also loved how the grandchildren of two of the original core families, Franco and Liz, were the last to leave the building. Both Epiphany and Liz almost seemed to feel regret, like one does when they think they could have done more. In a lot of ways this felt like the opposite of the last few anniversary episodes – or at least a slightly askew version. There was still the focus on the hospital as the heart of GH but that heart had stopped. I saw a lot fans say that it felt like the the last episode. Luckily, this is a back from the dead story, not a finale.

I don’t expect GH to stay closed for long. The PCPD has been hard at work trying to crack the case. They ran into a lot of the same issues the audience has with this mystery. The profile doesn’t make sense, the targets seem unrelated and the motive is unclear. Curtis was the one to figure out that the killer is probably hiding in plain sight, perhaps a doctor or a cop. I loved the scenes of Andre, Jordan, Curtis and Val eating pizza and brainstorming together. I really want the PCPD to be the ones to figure this out. GH is in need of its heroes.

Jenn Bishop
Jenn Bishop was 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.

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  1. Overall, I like the “feel” of the funeral – even with its flaws. One of the elements I liked was that the PCPD investigation was emotionally linked to Sabrina’s funeral through Valerie. One young woman feeling the loss of another young woman and wanting to do her part to right the wrong done to Sabrina. Including Valerie in the musical montage to Sabrina was a good move, especially since Brytni Sarpy as Valerie can portray a sensitive, soulful sensibility when given the chance. That scene really worked for me and I would have liked to have seen Valerie, who worked out the first real clue in this case (the cuff link), have a chance to continue to be part of the team actual solving and concluding this case. Seeing Valerie in the montage was especially important in showing that, in death and in tune with the lyrics, Sabrina was NOT ALONE – that there was another young woman (Valerie) deeply moved by Sabrina’s loss and doing her best to remember and honor her by bringing her killer to justice.

  2. And more about Valerie! I continue to think that so much more could and should be done with Valerie Spencer – including remembering that she is a Spencer. Linking her more to Michael’s story would have been one of several ways to do that – one I would have enjoyed watching more of that relationship. But then the writers don’t even remember that Carly and her children are part of the Spencer family.

  3. I’m late with my comments, but I wanted to say how much I liked reading this column. I especially appreciated the positive reference to the PCPD – and the need for them to solve a case. They have been taking a lot of heat for their handling of the hospital serial killings. However my question to those attacking the PCPD in this story is how could the writers possibly solve the case quickly when the writers didn’t decide on the identity of the murderer until well into story? While they (the writers) were deciding on the culprit, they “used” the hospital story to develop stories for other characters and relationships (Finn/Hayden and Franco/Liz). And, for those who question my last statement, think about what happened with both of these relationships when Finn and Franco were arrested. Both arrests gave good material to the characters and relationships involved – material which strengthened the bonds in both relationships and gave us more insight to the characters. But, in the meantime, the PCPD was made to look ineffective for arresting the wrong people. (As an aside with rookie cop Valerie, her arrest of Finn was not about the serial killer case. It was mandated by Finn having violated his hospital suspension – Valerie had no choice other than to arrest him. And, to Valerie’s credit, she did show good discretionary judgment by prioritizing the sick child and letting Finn deal with this emergency before reluctantly making the arrest.)

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