Port Charles celebrated on Friday as General Hospital reached an incredible milestone – 55 years on the air!
While the final episode of the week was undoubtedly the best of the bunch, I'll try my best to be fair and discuss storylines that developed the other four days. Because, y'know, some stuff did happen outside of the nostalgia-filled one-night-only reopening of Luke's.
The Jason/Sam/Drew storyline followed up last week's incredible Dream confrontation with an equally fantastic (though less emotionally wrought) Jasam moment.
I could honestly care less about the actual Jason/Drew confrontation, which managed to make both of the men involved in this love triangle deeply unlikeable.
Can anyone explain why Jason is suddenly vehemently anti-Drew and thankful that Sam was staying away from him?
Drew has literally done nothing wrong to Jason, other than dislike his twin brother's blatant love for his wife (which, y'know, is fair). Jason's venomous reaction to Drew makes very little sense.
I can't say I was rooting for either man during their fight on the pier.
However, the PCPD scenes for this trio were fantastic.
Kelly Monaco has been absolutely killing it for the past few weeks (and generally throughout this storyline). Sam's quiet but emotional reaction after bailing Drew out of jail (with him refusing to even acknowledge her presence) was so heartbreaking.
The Jason/Sam conversation in the PCPD was also a lovely sequence, with great performances from both Steve and Kelly. He's pretty much the soap opera king of acting with his eyes.
Drew may not be willing to interact with Sam yet because of his feelings of hurt, anger, and betrayal, but Jason has no issue talking with her honestly and frankly.
Based solely on how they're each treating her during this storyline, I think Jason has a leg up on Drew – he's being overly understanding and chill about the whole thing, to the point where it's slightly comical. "Sure, Sam, take all the time you need. I'll just be hangin' out over here, pining!"
Jasam shippers have also gotten spoiled recently with a wealth of amazing flashbacks. The latest was a flashback to their first meeting in the PCPD.
Look at these babies!
It's hard to deny this kind of history and chemistry, but I'm still pretty torn about whether I want Sam to wind up with Drew, Jason, or neither of them.
In any case, it seems like Kelly is taking off for a mini-vacation, as the writers have decided to have Sam leave town with her kids in order to get some clarity on her romantic situation.
Guess we'll be hitting the pause button and waiting a while longer for resolution to this love triangle.
Speaking of emotional moments involving Jason...
How fantastic was the scene between Carly and Jason about Morgan's death? I had tears in my eyes listening to Carly talk about how she still has hope she'll find Morgan in his room at her other house.
Is there a better crier in the soap biz than Laura Wright? I doubt it.
Since Jason is on the case, I doubt Nelle's plan to either make Carly think Morgan is alive or drive her crazy is going to work. But I do love how the writers haven't had all of the characters simply forget about Morgan.
It's realistic and powerful how Morgan is constantly on his relatives' minds, even a year after his death. In the real world, families don't move on that quickly or completely from loss.
But since this is a soap, I wouldn't be surprised if Morgan does end up being resurrected within the next year or so, if not sooner. Of course, he'll almost definitely have to be recast, since Bryan Craig was recently cast in Grand Hotel.
Several other storylines reached major turning points this week.
On a positive note, Kim and Julian finally hooked up!
I've mentioned before that I appreciate this couple simply because they're both on the same page: they want a casual friends-with-benefits situation, and each is fully aware that the other is in love with another person. You rarely see this kind of genuinely uncomplicated romantic arrangement on a soap.
It certainly doesn't hurt that their chemistry is amazing. That hook-up was pretty hot, although we didn't get to see much of it. (Boo!)
On a decidedly less sexy note, Dr. Bensch finally confirmed all of our worst fears by making an aggressive move on Kiki.
I hated seeing this, because it felt so uncomfortably realistic. The writers did a good job of building Bensch's interest in Kiki from seeming mostly innocent to definitively predatory.
The kiss clearly shook Kiki to her core, but I'm thankful, at least, that it didn't go farther than that. Kiki was taken aback but managed to shut Bensch down immediately and call him disgusting.
Also realistically, Bensch acted like he didn't understand why Kiki was so upset and truly didn't think he did anything wrong. That's what's so terrifying about predators; so many of them don't even realize that what they're doing is harmful and wrong.
I'm hoping that turning Bensch down won't have negative ramifications for Kiki's medical career. But if the writers continue to be realistic in their depiction of the situation, it almost certainly will.
The "Henrik Faison" storyline also reached a turning point this week, as one person found out Peter's secret and others seemed to be getting closer to it.
Nina, in her eagerness to protect Maxie, has been suspicious of Peter's motives and his closeness to her widowed sister-in-law. Now that she's overheard Peter having a mysterious conversation and seen him with a copy of The Severed Branch, I'm guessing she'll become intent on discovering his secret.
And I don't think Valentin will be able to redirect his wife. The thing I'm most looking forward to about Nina discovering Peter's true identity is her realization that Valentin knew all along.
Michelle Stafford is always great in extremely emotional scenes. I'm already tingling with anticipation at the idea of seeing her confront her husband about his deception – and his indirect role in Nathan's death.
It's going to be deliciously soapy melodrama; I know it.
But as close as Nina is coming to the truth, there's one person several steps ahead of her: Griffin.
Soap opera DNA tests are usually pretty fast, but the writers went to the opposite end of the spectrum for this one. It felt like the results took forever to be delivered!
Knowing Griffin as we do, I'm guessing we're going to have to deal with weeks of his torment as he decides whether he should tell Anna and others about Peter's true identity.
Hopefully he doesn't do something stupid, like warning Peter first that he knows his secret. I'm guessing Peter is willing to do anything to protect himself, including something dastardly to the dashing doctor.
I'm not sure if Maxie and Peter have had enough time to develop a bond strong enough to rationally withstand the truth. I feel like they'd need at least several months of bonding in order to make it even a remote possibility that their friendship could eventually survive the bombshell of Peter's true identity.
Because of that, they'll probably have Griffin hold onto the secret for a while longer. Long enough for a few more definitely appropriate boss-employee sleepovers.
Nothing awkward or weird about that. No, sir!
On a serious note, I wish the writers had slowed down the development of the Maxie/Peter friendship a bit. His support of her is so over-the-top at points that it verges on being comical.
That moment where he's practically shouting at her that she's a hero for getting up and going to work everyday is sweet in theory but slightly cringeworthy in practice.
Finally, there was Friday's one-night-only reopening of Luke's.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the writers integrated the 55th anniversary of the series with the actual ongoing storylines. It made perfect sense to reopen Luke's for one night and reminisce about the past at this juncture – it didn't feel shoehorned in at all, given the Corinthos family's desire to help Mike with his dementia.
There was so much to love about this episode. The writers managed to even delve way back to the beginning of the series, with moments like Steve and Audrey's first meeting.
The characters also managed to pay tribute to some of the most famously heartbreaking storylines in the show's 5+ decades, including Stone's death and Maxie getting BJ's heart.
Purely superficial side-note: How handsome was '90s-era Sonny? So handsome!
Carly and Jason remembering Michael's birth and Jason flashing back to his first time holding Michael was such a sweet moment as well.
I loved seeing legacy characters like Luke, who was such an important part of the show for so long. I'll admit I was hoping that Tony Geary would somehow pop up for a quick surprise cameo, but I guess his retirement really is firm and final.
I only wish they'd managed to work in a flashback to Luke and Laura's romance, since that was such a major and iconic storyline.
While Scott didn't feature much in the flashbacks, the writers thankfully gave him a moment to flashback to his relationship with his own dad, Lee.
I completely forgot how handsome Scott was back in the day!
That moment becomes bittersweet with Kin Shriner's recent announcement that he's leaving General Hospital after decades of on-and-off appearances.
All in all, the anniversary episode was a fitting and wonderful testament to the show's decades on the air. Happy 55 years, General Hospital – and here's to 55 more!
- So much for Andre redeeming himself by helping Mike. Guess that's a non-starter.
- On a purely superficial note, Maxie's hair looked amazing this week. I may or may not have taken a screenshot of her to my stylist for a new blonde look for summer.
- Making Sam Alexis' daughter was one of the best twists this show has ever done. The mother-daughter relationship they've developed over the years is fantastic. The scene where Alexis comforted Sam about her break-up with Drew was so tender and wonderful, largely thanks to Kelly and Nancy's excellent and natural chemistry.
- Ned convening various important people of Port Charles (including Lulu as the, um, town journalist, inexplicably) was an interesting development. But I can't say I'm particularly interested in this "rebranding Port Charles" storyline. It feels almost meta, in a bad way, like we're watching the writers desperately try to lure in younger viewers.
- How is it possible that the writers have brought Betsy back to Port Charles and they still are drawing out Franco's childhood secret? Please, just finish this and put us all out of our misery. Please!
- I'm impressed that Ava managed to resist looking at Griffin's test results for Peter. Now that's some character growth. Good job, Ava!
- I was glad to see Spinelli but not so glad that his entire appearance revolved around championing Lulu to Maxie.
- Anna better chill out about Henrik because she's starting to act very suspiciously. Her conversation with Jason was borderline hysterical, as she insisted that they ought to give Henrik the benefit of the doubt. Not very subtle for a super-spy.
What did you think of General Hospital this week? Hit the comments to share your thoughts, and don't forget to drop back in again next time!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.