Hello, friends! I'm glad that I chose this week to kick off my reviews of General Hospital, because this was certainly a hell of a week.
Friday's episode was easily one of the best the show's had in years.
The week of January 22, 2018 started off with a heavy focus on Sam and Drew's nuptials, which took up almost all of Monday's episode.
Surprisingly, they weren't as drawn out as I was expecting them to be – and Sam didn't end up bailing on her own wedding, as I'd feared she might.
Of course, Sam is still torn. Observe, the face of a woman who is the definition of torn:
Saying her vows to Drew won't alleviate the lingering feelings she has for Jason and her past. For what it's worth, I know that there's a massive ship war brewing on both sides of this.
Some are dead-set on the reunion of original recipe JaSam. Others have totally fallen for Drew/Sam. Uh, forgive me, I don't actually think I know their ship name.
Me, personally? I'm torn almost exactly in half, but leaning towards preferring Sam with Drew.
There is no denying the chemistry between Steve Burton and Kelly Monaco. It's tangible. Their New Year's scene on the Haunted Star a few weeks back? Sparks aplenty. It's also clear as day that Jason loves Sam purely and selflessly, which is why he's willing to back off entirely and let her be with Drew, much as Spinelli and Carly try to convince him otherwise.
But Kelly also has phenomenal chemistry with Billy Miller – there's a reason for all those rumors that the two are dating in real life!
Also, I mean, just look at the way he looks at her:
On top of that, Alexis is right – Sam has changed as a person throughout the last five years. Her priorities have changed. She's got two small children. She's got a media company to run. And she actually seems to love her new life.
The problem? Jason, much as she obviously still loves him, doesn't fit into that new life. At all.
So while I continue to have a soft spot for JaSam – and no one is more surprised about that than me, once a hardcore Liason shipper – it seems obvious that Jason is Sam's past, while Drew is her future.
Now, I'm sure it won't be as simple as all that. This is a soap after all.
I'm sure Sam will be falling into Jason's arms for one reason or another at some point. There's a reason she keeps thinking about him. And there's a reason she didn't confess their New Year's kiss to Drew!
We'll just have to wait and see which of the two ship sticks in the long run. But for now, I really do love the Drew/Sam dynamic, and it seems clear that it's what's best and healthiest for her.
On that note, I can't say the scene between Spinelli and Jason on the bridge didn't tear me up inside.
Spinelli, Sonny, and Carly just want Jason to be happy, but Jason truly doesn't care about his own happiness – he only wants Sam's. So I guess he's just going to be miserable until (if/when) she decides to choose him?
Another focus of Monday's episode was Michael and Nelle's baby.
The writers seem very unsure of what they want to do with Nelle. It sees like, day to day, they decide she's either going to be genuine or manipulative. But this inconsistency comes across as just that: inconsistency, not complexity.
Chloe Lanier is a fantastic actress and a great addition to the cast. If they choose to have her remain a one-note villainess, her tenure on this show won't be long. That's why I'm really hoping this baby winds up being her redemption.
It also doesn't hurt that Monica seems to be taking an active interest in getting close to Nelle and her future great-grandchild. Maybe Monica can steer Nelle in the right direction.
Of course, it doesn't seem coincidental that Nelle and Maxie are pregnant at the same time. I dread a storyline where Nelle's baby, the first Quartermaine of a new generation, dies and where she steals Maxie's child in place of hers. Please, GH writers, I beg you: don't do that.
While I'm not necessarily sure there's any hope for a Nelle/Michael reunion (and I'm not exactly a fan of them together anyway), I do think Nelle can be saved as a character. I mean, hell, they redeemed Franco, didn't they? And Nelle didn't even murder anybody!
The biggest bummer of the week – aside from Friday's doozy – was Laura's announcement that she wouldn't be running for Mayor.
I'm so upset about this, y'all. I've really enjoyed Laura and Kevin's romance storyline, but I was looking forward to seeing Laura, an older woman, get a non-romantic, badass story of her own.
Running against Ned as the mayor of Port Charles seemed to have so much potential. Unfortunately, due to some behind the scenes nonsense, Genie Francis was abruptly taken off contract and moved to recurring status – and her once-promising mayoral race storyline was canned altogether.
Something big must have happened for this to all happen so suddenly. I won't speculate as to what.
But c'mon – Spencer broke both his legs skiing in France?! Are you serious? That's the best the writers could come up with to quickly and unceremoniously usher Genie out the door?
I'm outraged. Genie is legacy at GH, and she deserves so much better than this. Laura deserves better than this!
The one silver lining here is that they're not just having Ned run unopposed or against some rando that no one knows or cares about. They're handing Laura's storyline to Alexis. Which isn't ideal – Laura would have legitimately been a great mayor, I'm not sold on Alexis yet – but is still better than nothing.
The important thing is: it's an interesting, non romance-based storyline for an older woman on GH's canvas, and I like that a lot.
One thing I will not like is if they turn the mayoral race into a flimsy excuse for Alexis and Julian to work together and fall back in love.
Don't get me wrong: I loved Julexis... until they inexplicably torched his character and the ship all in one fell swoop by having him literally terrorize and assault her.
But I do not want to watch this whole mayor storyline only to have Ned win and Alexis shoved back at Julian. No, thank you.
If Julexis is going to reunite (which seems inevitable, regardless of how I feel about it at this point), I don't want it to be the focus of what should have been Laura's storyline.
The other effect of Laura's departure is that the writers needed to come up with something for her brand-new husband, Kevin, to do. Enter Franco and "The Toomah."
Kevin is working on a study about medical causes of psychopathy and sociopathy. Naturally, Elizabeth volunteered Franco as his subject, because she's desperate to help her fiancé find a way out of his self-loathing hole. Understandable; it's kind of a bummer.
Jury's still out on how this storyline will go, but I'm guessing it will at least in part help Franco accept that he is no longer a "bad guy." And I'm 1000% positive that it will soon enough be revealed that shady real estate developer dude Jim Harvey, not Franco, was the one who pushed Drew down the stairs all those years ago anyway.
I'm all for #ProtectElizabethWebber2018, so my fingers are crossed that Kevin and Franco working together will allow Franco to quit being all twitchy and insecure and finally start acting like the man Elizabeth wants him to be.
I did also enjoy seeing Ava being a friend to Franco, offering to go to his wedding when his side of the guest list was lacking a little bit (OK, a lot a bit). The pep talk she gave him was also great.
Speaking of Ava: how many more times are we going to need to watch her walking up just in time to see Griffin and Kiki embracing warmly? We get it: Ava is insecure about the friendship between her boyfriend and her daughter. But this is becoming a joke.
To some degree, she is projecting. Because obviously, it was Ava who stole Kiki's boyfriend (Morgan)... twice. On some level, I'm sure Ava believes her daughter will do the same thing.
The mother-daughter relationship between Ava and Kiki is so screwed up, and what's crazy to me is that the writers are just sort of letting it lie.
Kiki has frequently mentioned it to Griffin, but shows no interest in actually resolving their issues. They're just continuing on like nothing is wrong, when actually so much is so very wrong.
Obviously, this is all going to boil over into something going down between Griffin and Kiki, particularly now that Kiki is officially in medical school.
(By the way, I have friends in med school and I'm pretty sure you don't take the MCAT and then immediately get into med school right after – friend of a friend on the board of admissions or not, the timing just doesn't work that way.)
On top of it all, the writers unceremoniously torched the Kiki/Dillon relationship – and Dillon's character! – by having him cheat on her as a result of their long-distance relationship.
It must have become clear that Robert Palmer Watkins is not coming back to GH. This is a bummer, though, because I thought that Kiki and Dillon had a lot of promise in the very beginning, particularly when she was torn between him and Morgan.
I'm curious to see if Ava's paranoia over Kiki and Griffin is what actively pushes them together, or if it'll be something else. I'm definitely catching glimpses of Kiki developing some sort of thing for her mom's handsome younger boyfriend. Now that they have the medical field as a solid connection between them, it's really only a matter of time.
Weirdly, I'm very into seeing this drama unfold, even if I'm not fully convinced there's chemistry between Kiki and Griffin. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of Ava/Griffin as it is, so Kiki getting between them wouldn't be some huge loss for me.
Now, for the meatiest part of this week in Port Charles: Faison's long-hyped return.
Anders Hove is still as scary and menacing as ever. He was on a roll this week, from Wednesday onward, and his scenes were some of the best of each episode.
First, he took Liesl captive, locking her and an always-meddling Lulu in the Wyndemere barn. I'm not too concerned about Lulu, despite the gas Faison tossed in to them on his way out. There's virtually no way the writers would do anything major to another member of the Spencer family when Lulu is the only one of them left in town.
The last we saw of Lulu, she was about to pass out from the gas when she seemingly discovered a clue about the secret tunnel exit that Spencer had left behind. Dante, ever the protective husband, battered down the barn door to get to Lulu, but we don't know yet what he and Sonny found in the barn.
Next — after Liesl taunted Faison with the knowledge of Anna's new love, Finn, in order to distract Faison from Nathan — the crazy-haired menace went to Anna's house where he held Finn hostage.
I can wax poetic for days about how much I love love love the dynamic between Finn and Anna, but I'll just leave it at this: how great is it that he's repeatedly been the damsel in distress and Anna has to keep saving him? I sort of love that flipping of traditional gender roles.
Finola Hughes is so good, always, but she's exceptionally good at evoking the clear PTSD Faison inspires in Anna. It would be absurd if she wasn't affected by him this way. The man has literally been torturing her for decades now.
Still, Anna is a badass, and she played Faison like a fiddle until she was able to save Finn and herself. That's when Faison finally turned his attention to the real reason he was in Port Charles in the first place: Nathan.
Guys, I'm legitimately worried that Nathan is dead. I hope it's not true, but hear me out.
It's the soapiest thing in the whole word to have somebody die right after one of the greatest and happiest moments of their lives. For Nathan, that would be the incredibly emotional moment where he and Maxie saw their baby in an ultrasound for the first time.
That's when I started to first get nervous that something terrible was going to happen. Throughout the latter half of the week, there was a pervasive feeling of dread. So when Maxie got the call that led her to go into Crimson while Faison was on the loose, I audibly groaned.
The Crimson showdown was fantastic. Kirsten Storms was so, so good in both Thursday's and Friday's episodes.
My heart was in my throat the entire time, but I still LOL'd like crazy that, despite the terrifying circumstances, Maxie's signature humor was still intact. Faison really is a "walking split end."
I try to avoid spoilers as much as possible, so I honestly don't know if anything has been spoiled regarding a departure by Ryan Paevy.
But this all certainly feels like a departure.
Kirsten was putting 110% into all of her scenes when Nathan got shot and after, and Nathan did that thumbs-up thing to reassure her... and that immediately reminded me of Nash drawing a heart on Jess' hand right before he died over on One Life to Live. Uh-oh.
As much as I love Maxie and Nathan, I'm pretty sure Nathan is a goner. But we'll just need to wait and see until next week...
- Normally I roll my eyes a bit at the constant deification of Jason Morgan, but Jason shooting Faison with absolutely zero hesitation – mid-sentence, no less! – was epic.
- Lucas and Brad are adopting a baby! Yay! I was so scared that Lucas would be killed in the Faison crossfire once he revealed that happy news, but thank goodness he wasn't.
- Kirsten does some of her best work in the aftermath of Maxie's tragedies – Georgie's death, having to give up her daughter, heck, even Coop's death way back when. So as much as I'd hate it if Nathan really is dead, I know it would be a great storyline for Maxie.
- Who wants to bet on whether Finn will allow Faison to die on the operating table to protect Anna?
- I'd long thought that Peter was actually Faison's son. His final scene of the week, where he peered at Anna through the bushes as she was waiting to meet up with "Heinrich," all but confirmed that for me.
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.