General Hospital Review: Franco vs. Jim Harvey

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With soap operas, you can't expect every week to be a winner. After all, shows like General Hospital air five times a week, without any breaks or hiatuses. It's not going to be 52 straight weeks of non-stop action and excitement!

That said, this week in Port Charles was particularly boring. Largely a snooze-fest, in my opinion.

Creepy Jim — General Hospital

Of course, certain storylines did have major, important developments. 

For one, Griffin finally opted to do exactly what I said he shouldn't do in my last review of General Hospital.

The former priest confronted Peter about his true identity, brushing aside the whole ethical, legal, and moral implications of having run a DNA test without the patient's consent.

The Griffin/Peter confrontation was actually one of the few moments of the week I truly enjoyed.

Griffin Knows — General Hospital

Both actors are very talented, and Wes Ramsey is successfully selling the idea that Peter truly isn't just a carbon copy of Faison.

Peter begged Griffin to keep his secret, arguing that Jason (or someone else) would surely kill him if they knew he was Faison's son. He swore that he was not a danger to anyone.

But is he?

Related: General Hospital Review: Fifty-Five Years of Port Charles

At this point, he certainly doesn't seem to be, and he's a far more interesting, complicated character if the writers stick with that version of him. His bond with Maxie isn't creepy (not yet anyway), and so far, there aren't any shades of him recreating Faison's sick obsession with Anna.

But I'm reserving the right to be skeptical about this. Peter might still do a 180 and end up being a irreparably damaged psychopath after all.

Peter Begs — General Hospital

Regardless, he seems to have successfully convinced Griffin to keep the secret. For now, Griffin believes that Peter isn't out to hurt anyone and that he's actually seeking to make amends for his part in Faison's many crimes.

I'm sure this will all blow up in both of their faces very soon, though, given how many individual people are onto Peter's secret.

Nina tasked her pal Curtis (I love this friendship and I'm so glad it's coming back!) with investigating Peter.

Jason and Spinelli are en route to track down Henrik's identity.

Lulu the Pulitzer-prize winning journalist (lol) is doing her own investigating, starting with reading The Severed Branch for clues.

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One of those three, if not all, will put two and two together.

To add yet another wrinkle, Ava's moment of character development got shot to shit when she gave into temptation and looked at the DNA test results.

I feel so silly having praised her growth and maturity last week. She literally waited like a day to snoop. Ugh, Ava.

The other major development this week was on the Franco/Jim Harvey front. Several important things happened, all in the span of Friday's episode.

For one, Drew learned the truth from Betsy, as she told him what really happened during the staircase incident when "Bobby" and "Andy" were kids.

Betsy Frank — General Hospital

Annoyingly, the writers are still withholding the details from the audience, as the sound was cut while Betsy was speaking – personally, I find that super obnoxious and not at all necessary this far into the story.

Of course, at this point I think we can all infer that Jim molested and terrorized Franco as a kid and threatened to do the same to Drew. But Franco protected Drew, at the expense of his own safety.

Related: General Hospital Review: The End Of "Dream?"

One thing I love about how this storyline is unfolding is the way it's changing the dynamic between Franco and Drew. 

Everyone in town loathing Franco (except Liz and her kids) has been getting old for a while. It'll be interesting to see what effect the resolution of this story has on Drew and Franco's relationship in the present.

I can totally see them becoming friends after this, or at least Drew perceptibly softening towards his former enemy.

That, I think, will also be another wedge driven between Drew and Sam, who (like Jason) will surely never forgive Franco for his part in terrorizing her. I can't imagine Sam will take Drew defending (or softening towards) Franco too well.

The entire sequence where Jim tried to kidnap Liz and Jake was pretty dumb, frankly.

Jim Threatens Liz — General Hospital

On a purely technical note, it was very poorly choreographed and the pacing was off. It was really a cringeworthy scene.

And logically, why on earth was Jim lurking around the hospital and leering in the doorframe of Betsy's hospital room when he knows he's a fugitive from the law?

Jim — General Hospital

So, so dumb.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter how or why it happened, because the end result was that Franco and Jim are long gone and the circumstances are unknown.

Did Jim overpower and kidnap Franco? Or was it Franco who got the jump on Jim, taking his tormenter away to kill him just like he promised Kevin he would?

Related: General Hospital Review: The Adventures of Bobby and Andy

In any case, I'm guessing Franco will wind up killing Jim. I'm not super in the mood for another murder trial on General Hospital, but we'll probably get one here, as it will force Franco to confront what really happened to him at Jim's hands once and for all in order for him to avoid jailtime.

Franco vs. Jim — General Hospital

Fingers preemptively crossed that bit doesn't drag on forever too.

There  wasn't too much of a focus on Mike's Alzheimer's storyline this week, but of what we got, there was both good and bad.

The good: The scene where Michael and Sonny encouraged Mike to record his stories so that Avery and Michael's unborn child with Nelle could someday hear them and get to know him in some way.

Mike's Memories — General Hospital

The bad: This weird "twist" in the storyline that is somehow making it all about Sonny's mob history.

I liked this storyline for several reasons, and one major reason was that it was finally something for Sonny to do that had nothing to do with the mob.

Now, the writers are confusingly dropping in things about how Mike may or may not have witnessed Sonny's early mob activities and therefore may or may not have told others about it?

As of now, I don't care about this aspect of the story that they seem to be introducing. It was better when the writers were focusing on the realism and the emotional aspects of what is happening to Mike and its impact on his family.

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Now that they're trying to (apparently) make it more soap-y and "dramatic," it's sort of lessening the impact.

Sonny Worries — General Hospital

Also, I generally consider myself a pretty smart person, but was anyone else super confused when Sonny was trying to describe to Jason what the issue was?

Kiki and Dr. Bensch finally had their confrontation after he forced a kiss upon her, and it was extremely, realistically uncomfortable and well written.

Bensch played the "I thought you were sending me signals!" card, like the mega-creep he is.

Kiki was (rightly) skeptical and owned the fact that she hadn't been giving him any indication she was interested in anything but a professional relationship.

Angry Kiki — General Hospital

Kiki's first inclination was to drop out of the shadow program, but Bensch seemingly successfully talked her out of it.

Unfortunately, it looks like that may backfire on her – Bensch saved the voicemail from Kiki asking to meet up and had a creepy look on his face while playing it back after their meeting.

It certainly seemed that Bensch plans to use that voicemail to further manipulate Kiki, possibly into either keeping the secret of what he did or convincing her to enter a sexual relationship with him.

Dr. Bensch — General Hospital

What a horrible situation. But again, realistic.

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Finally, there was an update with crazy Nelle stepping up her crazy antics – specifically, convincing Carly that her house is being haunted by Morgan's spirit. Or that Morgan is still alive.

Either way, Nelle is trying to drive her enemy mad.

Nelle — General Hospital

It's starting to seem a little bit silly that Carly hasn't put two and two together to figure out who has motive to torment her. I'm sure she will fairly soon, so Nelle's plan is destined to sputter out.

But just how much longer are we going to have to deal with Nelle sneaking around, thinking she's being all clever? Long enough for that baby to be born so Nelle can safely die, I guess.

The one bright spot was Carly's emotional conversation with Bobbie about losing BJ.

Bobbie — General Hospital

The way the show continues to mention and honor BJ's death is really wonderful.

I love that there have been so many opportunities recently for Bobbie to use her experience with unimaginable grief to support others. Last week, it was Maxie. This week, it's Carly.

Other thoughts:

  • Brief as it was, the farewell scene between Sam and Drew at the Aurora office before Sam left town was great. So much pain, so many unresolved feelings, so much chemistry. Pure, soapy goodness.
  • On the Sam love triangle note, I continue to find it frustrating how Jason continuously craps on Sam and Drew's relationship to people (first Drew, now  Carly). Sam's "not herself" with Drew? I don't agree. In my view, she's a more grown-up version of herself. All of this is actually starting to turn me off to the idea of a Jasam reunion. Jason sorta just needs to shut up and get back to his usual state of quietly pining instead of being so damn bitchy.
  • Finn was so mean to Chase! I don't understand the animosity there, when Chase is far younger than his brother and genuinely seemed to want to build a relationship with Finn. I'm sure we'll learn what the doctor's issue with Chase is, but for now it's kind of sad.
  • Speaking of Chase, was that a chemtest scene between him and Maxie that I spotted? Sure seemed like it. The writers can go ahead and keep that; I'm still on the far more angsty and complicated Maxie/Peter train (unless Peter is later revealed to be an obsessive psychopath, anyway).
  • While the Franco/Jim storyline is dragging for me, Roger Howarth and Jon Lindstrom gave great performances during Franco's hypnosis scene.

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!

Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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General Hospital Quotes

Claudia: Oh, you're in a foul mood, huh? Looking for trouble?
Sonny: You know, I have not been fair to you. I know I called you a lying whore, and all that. But hey, you know what? At least you don't pretend to be anything else.

Lucky, it's called cleavage, and it's the best weapon we've got.

Sam