This week’s Soap Reaction covers a few General Hospital storylines for episodes airing the week of September 26-30, 2016. I touch on Jason and Sam’s storyline (or lack thereof depending on who you ask), Carly’s aversion to mob violence, Paul as a serial killer and more.
GH: ‘No Story’ for Jason and Sam
It’s interesting hearing complaints from some fans about General Hospital’s Jason (Billy Miller) and Sam’s (Kelly Monaco) lack of a storyline. There’s this perception that because they’re not featured solely interacting with one another and being romantic, that there’s no story in place for them. It’s quite the contrary. You’re seeing a happily reunited couple existing in a world that isn’t isolated for a change. Life is happenings for them jointly and as individuals, and they’re balancing supporting their loved ones while also making time for each other. There’s also the realization of how their loved ones are affecting their lives, and how their life decisions are impacting others.
Jason’s decision to not return to the mob as Sonny’s enforcer has had a direct impact on the way Sonny conducts business and in turn Sonny’s relationship with Carly. Sonny doesn’t have his trusted hand, the man who would handle his enemies with ease and leave no trail tying back to him. For Carly, seeing Jason choose his family over the business is something she’s subtly envious of, and I believe, wishes Sonny would do the same for her and their children. I found it telling that Sam chose to express Carly’s feelings about the violence to Jason while they were discussing the Julian situation. It spoke to the growth in Carly and Sam’s relationship and also brought Jason in on how his best friend is actually feeling.
As for Sam, she can’t help but feel a little guilty over the happiness she’s feeling given the mess her mother’s life has become. It’s refreshing to see how involved Sam is with Alexis and the other Davis girls since reuniting with Jason. I was a little apprehensive towards the idea of a JaSam reunion because I feared Sam would once again be isolated and return to being simply an extension of Jason. Thankfully the creative team has made an effort to keep her ties to others presented.
This Jason and Sam aren’t the danger junkies that were scaling rooftops and jumping out of exploding buildings 10 years ago. They’re parents now, and they’re trying to find their way in a world that appears to haven’t changed much over the years even though they have. Their choices are driven by their children and family. It’s an evolution. Drama can come from that. It already has…and there’s more to come.
Oh, and don’t believe every spoiler you read. It’s amazing how much some “know” about what will happen in five months, even though GH is only one month ahead of filming.
GH: The Voice of Reason
Head writers Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman stated they’re using Carly has a vehicle of opposition to the violence that comes from Sonny’s business. The botched gun deal last winter that resulted in Kiki being shot is being used as the trigger for Carly’s aversion to the violence. While the issue of violence has been brought up in the past, it’s never been used to this level for Carly. She’s actively working to convince Sonny to find alternative means – convincing him to let the police handle Julian; urging him not to escalate the increasing tension. And while she stands by Sonny, in private she tries to use their family’s safety as the reason Sonny should think differently. Unfortunately for Sonny, the safety of his children has never been enough to force a change in profession.
It’s easy to criticize the creative team for Carly having this stance now, but they shouldn’t be faulted for what should have been her stance this whole time. This is their own way of correcting that by using a situation that hit close to home to be the incident that sparks her fear.
GH: “The System Failed”
In the September 30 episode, Sonny tells Jason: “And I’m not the only target. We’re talking about Carly and the kids. Now, look. You’re out of the business — I get that — but if somebody was c-coming after your wife and your kids, you would do exactly the same thing that I’m doing. I tried to go to the cops, to fix it. The courts, the law. I told Carly, ‘Hey, I’ll watch, I won’t do anything.’ But it failed. Now I’m doing it my way.”
Hilarity. Sonny murders AJ Quartermaine in cold blood, lies about it, goes to jail only when exposed and gets out a few months later because he “saved” the Governor’s daughter? So the system didn’t fail that time? Look, I understand that GH takes place in a world in which Sonny is the moral compass. I’m not happy with it, but I’ve accepted that it’s something that won’t change and probably never will. But there needs to be a counter-point to his reality and it would be nice if it was a character who didn’t sacrifice their integrity to work with him for the “greater good”.
GH: Murder for Cause
So Paul Hornsby went on a serial killing spree to get revenge on the people who hurt his daughter Susan. Of course all of their transgressions against her took place off-screen, with no flashbacks filmed to accompany Paul as he retold the horror his daughter went through, and how the system truly failed her. Richard Burgi’s performance in the scenes with Susan and Jane Elliot were stellar, but the execution of the story through this reveal has been messy and uneventful.
Extras murdered with no explanation, escalating the emotional resonance by murdering Sabrina, then to reveal Paul’s motive? On paper that sounds interesting. Unfortunately, when you have an overloaded canvas, things get lost in translation and that’s what happened.
Last summer Paul shot Sonny and framed Julian as the culprit, kidnapped TJ, blackmailed Ava and forced her into being his ally, murdered Kyle Sloane and passed off his body as Carlos’. Then he spent months forcing Ava to do his mob bidding with talks about being the true mob power in town, only to spin his hold as some kind of anti-gun task force. Paul’s return to the canvas has been riddled with inconsistent rewrites and that blame lies firm at the pen of the creative team.
Had this story been crafted meticulously, I imagine it would have played out similar to the way primetime dramas How to Get Away with Murder and Quantico executive their storylines through a series of revealing flashbacks. The difference is the meat of their storytelling takes place on-screen, whereas GH’s takes place on this parallel series known as Off-screen GH. I hear it’s a great show.
GH: Holding Out for Freedom
Is no one going to get Shawn out of jail? I know Sean Blakemore’s off the show, but Shawn’s sitting in jail for an attempted murder he didn’t commit.
Share your thoughts in the comments below. I mentioned before, I want to use my reaction columns as a way to directly engage readers. It’s hard to reduce all my thoughts to 140 characters, which has been my way of commenting as of late. You can ask me my thoughts on pairings, stories, developments, etc. I’ll answer for all soaps. I may even do one for primetime.