Jax Returns to ‘General Hospital’; ‘One Life’ Paternity Saga Resolved

Ingo Rademacher Returning to “General Hospital”

Good news for “General Hospital” fans who were dissatisfied with Jax’s exit storyline, which had him faking his own death after his plane crashed because Sonny tampered with the controls. The character will be returning. Tuesday, Ingo Rademarcher tweeted, “Looking forward to flying back to LA for a little GH!!!! I have a great story on GH for about 3 weeks. I’ll start shooting this December. I’ll get u all air dates as we get closer. And hopefully “jax” Will be popping his head in periodically throughout 2012.” Presumably, everybody will learn that Jax is alive and Sonny (Maurice Benard) will no longer feel guilty about committing attempted murder now that he knows Jax is alive and well.

Two Weddings And A Puppy

The nation can breathe a sigh of relief. Soapdom’s most dragged-out secret, the paternity of Liam on “One Life To Live,” is a secret no more. There are paternity secrets that have lasted longer. Bill Horton’s paternity was famously kept secret for a decade in real time during the Bill Bell era of “Days of Our Lives.” But this one seemed interminable because it had a ridiculous amount of false endings. First, Natalie (Melissa Archer) heard the tape of Marty (Susan Haskell) confessing to altering Liam’s paternity test. Then she suffered amnesia and forgot about it. Victor (Trevor St. John) and Vimal (Nick Choksi) knew, but opted not to tell anyone out of a desire to screw over John/avoid Victor’s wrath. Gigi (Farah Fath) heard the tape shortly before she died (or “died”as the case may be).  Then, months ago, Brody heard the tape. I suspect, that, based on the promos that aired promising that the John/Natalie reunion was imminent that either Brody was originally supposed to make the difficult, selfless decision to tell Natalie the truth shortly after he learned it or Natalie was going to regain her memory. Then the story got dragged out at the last minute due to all the backstage turmoil of the show’s cancellation then probable resurrection by Prospect Park.

The truth came out in what was, depending on how you look at it, either a silly plot twist that makes it impossible to take the rest of the show seriously, or a fun homage to two of the show’s most iconic scenes, Heroic Shi Tzu Princess David Vickers retrieved the paternity test that she had been hiding for weeks from the clutches of Liam the infant, after a second voiceover dubbed conversation between them. I think that talking dogs and babies are best left to “Family Guy,” though I see why a lot of people find the scenes charming and funny. I also think that the writers were on some level acknowledging and perhaps even apologizing that the story had become so drawn out thanks to standard issue soap contrivances like Natalie suffering short term amnesia after she learned the truth and Gigi dying (or perhaps “dying”) after she found out, that they might as well go completely campy.

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It was worth it for the pay off of Tina (Andrea Evans) interrupting yet another Llanview wedding by running into a church with her baby in her arms to blurt out the truth. This time, her motivations were selfless, even if her timing was lousy. Natalie, who had been treating the wedding like it was a necessary evil, instantly dumped Brody (Mark Lawson). I hoped the ex Navy Seal would convincingly feign surprise just because I hate the way the writers have thrown him under the bus to make John and Ford look like the good guys in a storytline where every character has behaved badly. But Natalie quickly realized that Brody’s suspicious behavior meant that he had known for a while. So she dumped him, after acknowledging that she was the first person to lie about Liam’s paternity, then headed to the airport to stop John (Michael Easton) from getting on a plane to Seattle, like the end of every romantic comedy ever. At least there are no other beats to play out now. The saga is truly over.

Natalie tracked him down in time and John, for once, quickly made the decision that he wanted to be with Natalie and his child rather than spending the next six weeks brooding about it. Hey, John, you could have been with them all along if you hadn’t decided that Natalie’s lie was unforgivable/you could not raise a child that did not share your DNA back when you first found out.

Meanwhile, Brody decided to continue his stroll down crazy lane by kidnapping Liam. Though I can’t argue that Brody’s behavior is completely out of character given that he freaked out when he lost his Shane to Rex and landed in a mental hospital, it is 1000 steps backward for him. It was impossible to root for him after he knocked Nigel out. I appreciate that the show attempted to mitigate the damage by having Nora (Hillary B. Smith), Tina and Clint (Jerry VerDorn) acknowledge that they, too, had told paternity-related lies. It’s practically a Llanview tradition.

As happy as I am for all the hardcore Jolie fans that got to see a big, satisfying payoff for their couple, my personal highlight was the surprise wedding of Tina and Cord (John Loprieno) who figured, what the heck, they were in a church, so why not? Tina’s return has been terrific, totally undoing the missteps of her 2008 visit that had her keeping quiet about Tess kidnapping Natalie. I loved off-camera Senator Dorian continuing to solve everyone’s problems, this time by getting Cord and Tina an instant marriage license. I loved Tina vowing that this was going to be her and Cord’s best marriage yet. I loved Clint stepping up to be the Best Man, acknowledging that as much as he dislikes Tina, she is the love of his son’s life. It is what I hope will be the first of many happy endings before the show’s ABC finale.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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