‘General Hospital’ Week In Review: Greek Week

Valentin turn on the evil charm.
Valentin turn on the evil charm.

I throughly enjoyed General Hospital last week. I loved that the focus was on the characters’ point of views and the choices they made based on their circumstances. It had my undivided attention more than a cliche sweeps catastrophe plot would have. Kudos to the writers for making me care about story the old-fashioned way, by letting the characters tell the story rather than twisting them to fit a story.

The week felt very balanced. There was a little something for everyone and nothing overwhelmed the show. We got the delicious return of an intriguing villain, mobsters, light-hearted hospital scenes, dysfunctional family politics, friendships and a little romance. The beginning of November sweeps has been a very pleasant surprise after the low-key weeks that proceeded it. Hopefully everyone is enjoying it as much as I am.

I wasn’t able to write about everything that happened last week. 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 for the episodes that aired October 31-November 4.

International Man Of Mystery

For my review, I seriously thought about just writing a sonnet entitled “Ode to Valentin Cassadine”. I was never that great at iambic pentameter though. Valentin is an unapologetic bad guy and GH needed a proper villain to root against. James Patrick Stuart plays the role with such devilish charm and oozes chemistry with everyone.

Anna shows Valentin her credentials.
Anna shows Valentin her credentials.

Valentin’s first real story line, the Cassadine Island Adventure, had a lot of faults. The big summer adventure I had been looking forward to sort of ended with a whimper due to poor pacing and disheveled plotting. I feel like the writers took criticism for the story constructively and created a new thriller written specifically for the audience. This time, focus is on the Cassadines and the Spencers and our hero is Anna DeVane. Anna is back to being the badass we all know and love. I get that the character needed to grieve after losing the love of her life as well as wrestle with her own mistakes but her story needed to move on.

To protect Griffin and Charlotte, Anna has begun investigating Valentin and what better way to do reconnaissance than to visit the man. It was fun watching Anna and Valentin try to push each other’s buttons, a verbal battle that the super spy ultimately won. The trigger was Valentin’s abandonment by Mikkos. This evil bastard has a nasty case of daddy issues.

A lot of intriguing stuff came about from this interaction leading to the set up of the latest Cassadine mystery. Who is Valentin Cassadine? Anna took note that up until five years ago there had been no record that Valentin even existed. She also had a bit of deja vu upon their formal introduction. Then there was the curious reveal that Valentin had an old photo of Anna he keeps in his own box of pain. Do Anna and Valentin know each other? I think we’ll have fun finding out.

Battle of the Bastards

I was very happy to see Valentin’s attention focused on his family and in particular his sister Alexis. Not having Alexis as part of this summer’s Cassadine story line in favor of her husband trying to slit her throat was…not a good idea. I saw a lot of fans calling foul on that one and it appears that the writers heard them loud and clear. The tête-à-tête between the rejected Cassadine siblings did not disappoint.

Alexis continues to be a drunken hot mess. Valentin seems not only very aware of his sister’s state but ready to use it to his advantage. He proposes that they defy their father’s wishes and claim the Cassadine Empire as their own. With Nik dead and Spencer still a child, the royal inheritance is vulnerable for a takeover. Alexis declined his proposed partnership but Valentin seemed confident he’ll eventually win her over. Will the siblings team up to take control of the family business? I sure hope so.

My Two Dads

Griffin promises to keep Charlotte safe.
Griffin promises to keep Charlotte safe.

The Friday cliffhanger was the reveal that Charlotte’s paternity has switched yet again. This poor child! I doubt there was a viewer that didn’t see this coming but it has me intrigued none the less.

Hints had been dropping like anvils. For starters, Charlotte’s temperament seems a bit high-strung, sweet as she may be. She snuck off to the Crimson offices to try to find her mother and ran into Nina. Nina had an instant adoration of Charlotte and was crushed when she found out she’s not her aunt after all. Later, Valentin paid Nina a visit and noticed her book of baby names. Could Valentin woo Nina with the promise of motherhood? Most definitely. As DNA test results are being read by Anna, Valentin revealed to Griffin that he is in fact Charlotte’s real dad.

Griffin spent the better part of the week bonding with Charlotte. It would have been nice if Claudette had lied about him being the father to begin with and we had gotten more time with Griffin and Charlotte. But I think the actors pulled off the material enough for me to buy into Griffin’s devotion for his would-be daughter. I have no doubt that Griffin and Anna will still do their part as heroes and continue to protect Charlotte as much as they can.

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About the Author

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.

1 comment

  1. Another excellent recap. Like you, I’m very intrigued by Valentin and am enjoying his varied interactions on our GH canvas. His scenes with Alexis have been especially rewarding.

    This week I’m going to respond to your invitaiton to speak to some stories and situations not mentioned significantly in your recap. One response is a rave – the other a rant – well more an expression of disappointment than a rant.

    First, in addition to Valentin, my highlight this week was having strong women back – women who are standing up for themselves and not being contorted into plot points by the men in their lives. Alexis’s scenes with Valentin have been a solid example of a woman figuratively
    getting her balls back. (Can I say that without offending?). How I wish we had seen this Alexis with that Julian!! How I wish we could see her maintaining control instead of slipping into the bottle.

    And how great is it to have our strong, wise, capable Anna back instead of the woman who compromised and guilted herself for months over Carlos and who aligned with mobster Sonny in the process. This is the Anna Devane we long time fans know and love.

    As well, I’m going to add a lesser player to this list partly because she showed character growth and strength this week – and I do like to celebrate character growth. That person is the rarely-seen Valerie who, this week, showed that she had the integrity and courage to stick to her principles by calling Curtis out and walking away from him. As well, she showed substance in owning her mistake with the file and doing the right thing by reporting the event to Jordan even though she knew doing so could jeopardize the career which has come to mean so much to her.

    As an aside, I listened again to an interview session first aired in late January and noted the pride and enthusiasm with which the actress who plays Valerie embraced being a Spencer and said that Spencers aren’t victims. Too bad that she (the actress) has been victimized by the writing – or lack thereof.

    Another reason I included Valerie in my rave is that her scenes are intertwined with my “rant” – my disappointment in both Jordan and Curtis, especially Curtis. While I have not warmed up to Jordan’s brusque, sometimes judgmental manner as Police Commissioner, I have to give
    her credit for her very true statements to Curtis about how he had jeopardized Valerie’s career and about how he too easily resorted to self-serving expediency to further his own needs. (As an aside, we’ve had PIs take shortcuts many times on GH; however, have they compromised their current significant other when doing so?)

    But, at the same time, Curtis was right to call her a hypocritical B because she, too, has had her serious moral transgressions; and she, too, has blurred the professional and personal in this story – both with her anger at Curtis and with the way she used her anger (and perhaps her rather libidinous subconscious) to try to influence her rookie cop.

    Curtis remains the more difficult one for me to process considering the loss of my favorite quality about him – his rather old school aura of chivalry and honor with women. While he may have been being a typical PI taking advantage of a situation, he compromised his personal ethics – his sense of common decency – when he made a sincere promise to his girlfriend that he would never compromise her career to advance a case – and then, in the very next scene, he broke that promise. He was always kind of an enigma with a shady past, but still an upstanding man who seemed to respect women and had his own kind of integrity. He even went out of his way to protect and defend women who were messing with the law and behaving badly. Yet, with the law abiding woman with whom he supposed to be closer at this time, he
    breaks a sincere promise and risks her career to do so. There sure isn’t any sense of chivalry or honor in this action!!

    I didn’t think that Curtis and Valerie were particularly serious or long term, but didn’t think he’d betray her so easily. To quote a comment I read elsewhere, “He showed a dark side that I did not think he possessed. I certainly do NOT set my moral compass by GH and I can happily embrace delightfully wicked characters like Valentin. However, sometimes there is a character quality which becomes a defining point for us as individual viewers – and Curtis’s WAS his unique sense of chivalry.

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