Soaps

‘General Hospital’ Week In Review: Scrooged

Nelle and Michael almost attend the Nutcracker Gala.
Nelle and Michael almost attend the Nutcracker Gala.

General Hospital has certainly not been boring. Last week featured a man in a cage, a mysterious puppet master, blackmail, dying loved ones and parental disagreements over a thermos baby. As exciting as all that was, I can’t help but wonder why this is the type of storytelling that is occurring during the holiday season.

Last year at this time, fans were gifted the lovely Nutcracker Gala. The Toys For Tots fundraiser event featured the cast dressed to the nines, romance and a performance by India Arie. This year the event took place on #GHOffscreen with the only hints that it happened at all being a few Quartermaines in tuxes wandering around Port Charles. The fact that this event took place off screen isn’t the issue so much that what we got instead was a bit of a downer. An expensive event wouldn’t have even been needed to give the show some cheer. I don’t mind the darker stories, as I stated before GH is not boring, but it would have been nice to have something resembling a Hallmark movie instead of a psychological thriller.

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

General Hospital Week In Review for the episodes that aired December 12th-15th.

La Cage Aux Folles

Franco and Kiki lure Tom into a trap.
Franco and Kiki lure Tom into a trap.

On GH, the heros and villains are often one in the same. Such is the case with reformed serial killer Franco Baldwin. Last week, the artist set into motion his plan to protect his lady love from the man who assaulted her when she was a teen. With Kiki’s help, he lured Tom to his studio. When Tom arrived, he found a disturbing painting of himself and ended up locked in a cage with a shock collar around his neck. Did someone in the writers’ room get into Heather Webber’s LSD? Because this is trippy.

Franco’s recent actions call back to the original version as played by James Franco. His understanding of morality in this situation is a bit broken. Perhaps the concept of this story is to bridge the two versions more by having him eventually deal with the damage he caused in his old form. Tom’s portrait has me intrigued. As some fans have mentioned online, the painting bears a resemblance to both Tom and Franco. While Franco may be saying that he’s not as bad as Tom, I have to wonder if he really feels that way.

Franco’s internal struggles aren’t the only conflict. Franco and Liz have very different ideas of what it means to be a hero. He’s surprised when Liz calls him one. “Okay, see, I just…I think that maybe you and I grew up reading different comic books because for me, the hero is someone who will do everything he has to do to keep the people that he cares about safe,” Franco responded. “And for me, the hero only needs to be protective if the situation warrants it,” Liz told him. They are each acting out their own versions of heroics right now. What happens when Liz finds out what Franco’s really been up to? It’s not the gnarlier parts of this story that bother me as much as seeing this pairing head towards disaster. It makes me nervous that I’m not going to get the payoff I want. It would have been nice if they had a romantic holiday together before all this angst.

While the story may be out there, I’m really entertained by the acting. Roger Howarth perfected playing quiet intimidation with a side of crazy during his years as One Life To Live’s Todd Manning. His portrayal of Franco’s step into the darkness is adding a very real feeling of disturbance. I am also enjoying Rebecca Herbst playing Liz’s growing feelings for Franco while unbeknownst to her all this is happening. It’ll make it all the more heartbreaking when she learns the truth. Don Harvey is excellent casting in the role of Tom Baker, giving the creep the right amount of an ick factor. I recommend checking out his interview with Soap Digest if you haven’t already. It’s a great read for soap fans.

Baby Mama Drama

Nina isn’t a happy about Thermos’ mother.
Nina isn’t a happy about Thermos’ mother.

I’m curious why Valentin decided to just come clean to Lulu about Charlotte without much prodding. Why not mention something to Lulu on Cassadine Island or when he first came to Port Charles if he didn’t want to keep the truth hidden? Maybe the story was different back then… Anyways, while Lulu is excited about being a mother again and Dante has decided to be supportive, Nina is upset. She had hoped that she could be Charlotte’s mother herself. Valentin seems a bit surprised by his girlfriend’s unhappiness. They haven’t been dating long and he still has a lot to learn about her obviously.

No doubt there will be a tug of war over Charlotte. I feel like GH just did a custody battle story line but hopefully this one will have a unique spin on things. I do like the intertwining of Spencers and Cassadines. Charlotte’s story does appear to give a little nod to Nik’s story in that respect. I also like Nina’s budding relationship with Valentin. We know how far she has been willing to go in the past to get a child. I don’t think she’ll be that extreme in this case now that the character has been grounded more. I’m looking forward to seeing what direction the writers take Nina with this particular story. Lulu isn’t going to want to share her daughter with a Cassadine (especially one who killed her brother) so things could get messy quick.

About the author

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.