Deep Soap: ‘General Hospital’s’ Wild Wedding Week

Maurice Benard on 'General Hospital' (Photo: ABC)

This week’s column is going to be all about “General Hospital” because a couple zillion things happened in Port Charles this week, while the other three soaps were so boring. “The Young & the Restless” has the excuse of transitioning from one headwriter to another. “The Bold & the Beautiful” ought to change its name to Hope, Liam and Steffy since the entire show is about that boring, repetitive love triangle. “Days of Our Lives’ seems determined to rid itself of all interesting storylines and relationships and character nuances. But GH is playing to win.

Most of the action centered around Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Kate’s (Kelly Sullivan) wedding. The whole town showed up. People dressed up. It did not take place in someones living room with no guests and a justice of the peace. The audience knew it was going to be campy trainwreck. That’s a given when the bride’s split personality has taken over, unbeknownst to anyone, before the wedding. I think anyone with half a brain figured out the twist well in advance: the wedding did not happen because Connie, the trashy alter ago, had blackmailed Johnnny (Brandon Barash) into marrying her, in a calculated bid to avoid being committed to a mental hospital. The fall out was spectacular. Sonny, the guy who once left his true love Brenda at the alter, got some karmic payback.  So did Johnny, who is finally being punished for killing Cole and Hope. He was forced to pretend that he was cheating on Carly all along. She was smart enough to figure out that he was lying, but she was still appropriately disgusted. Hopefully that will bring the end of a less than great couple. Starr (Kristen Alderson), believing that Connie was actually the one responsible for her baby’s death, slapped her.

Watch Thursday’s Episode of “General Hospital”:

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The show’s best new character Ellie (Emily Wilson), who already won me over by A) being a socially adept, confident geek, and B) insisting that her date Spinelli (Bradford Anderson) speak proper English instantly turning him into  grown man, proved she is my best friend by reacting to the events with unabashed glee. She’s right. Going to an insane interrupted wedding would be the best first date ever. I hope we get a lot more Ellie and less of the insipid shy student nurse Sabrina (Teresa Castillo). In fact, I’d find Ellie a more plausible new love interest for Patrick (Jason Thompson) then Sabrina. Patrick’s a brain surgeon. He’d have fun with a spunky scientist.

The wedding gone wrong would be enough to drive a week’s worth of story, but we also got amazing scenes between Jason (Steve Burton) and Liz (Becky Herbst). I initially found t out of character when Liz switched the DNA tests so it would appear that Sam’s baby really was dead instead of alive and well and living with Tea (Florencia Lozano) in Llanview. But having her feel guilty after a few days and confess to Jason redeemed her especially because the writers gave her a logical motivation based in character history, I cheered when she brought up Sam watching Liz and Jason’s son get kidnapped and doing nothing to help. From Liz’s point-of-view it’s unfair that Sam gets a second chance with the child she thought she lost while the child she and Jason had is really, truly dead.  Jason and Liz’a relationship inspires so much passion — positive and negative — among viewers precisely because it has always felt unfinished. It’s believable that Liz, who has lost her child and her marriage, would gravitate towards the man who got away. Liz is an interesting character because she is a basically good person with some major flaws. I liked the irony that, in classic soap fashion, Liz’s attempts to keep Sam away from Jason led to Sam nearly having sex with John. Other than the baby thing, Liz did Sam a favor.

She also womaned up and apologized to Sam for her behavior. Sam acknowledged that she had wronged Liz plenty of times so she could not judge her. I so appreciated that the show allowed both women to be mature and show a measure of empathy for each other, though they will never be friends. It was a good contrast to the craziness of the Connie scenes.

As much as I enjoyed the week, it does feel like headwriter Ron Carlivati is repeating his “One Life To Live” stories. Jessica’s alter Tess got Ford to marry her to avoid being committed to a mental hospital. When Joe got shot, Tracy ended up removing the bullet despite having no medical training just like Todd did for Blair. It’s so noticeable not only because they happened during the final year of OLTL so they are fresh in viewers minds, but because OLTL characters have joined GH. When Starr and Todd talked about Connie and Johnny, I kept waiting for them to wonder if Johnny would ultimately end up getting crushed by a chandelier like Ford.

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

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