Never let it be said that I don’t give credit where credit is due. After ranting yesterday that Ethan’s Who’s the Daddy? story had completely missed the opportunity to delve into Luke and Lucky’s much more interesting issues, I came home to find an episode that did just that.
…erm, sort of.
Props to the writing department for finally cracking open the old Google and realizing — hey! Lucky’s disillusionment with Luke dates back to the rape reveal! And hey! Elizabeth was there too, and might have something to say about that! I’ve gotten so used to history being completely ignored or twisted beyond recognition on this show that any time they get it right, it makes me sit up and pay attention. Ah, the law of diminished expectations…
I thought it made a great deal of sense that Lucky’s current anger stems from the fact that he was only able to get past the rape reveal because he honestly believed his father loved his mother, and learning of this latest betrayal has called that conviction into doubt. Good character moment. Gold star, writers.
As glad as I was to see Lucky’s point of view get a little more attention, there was a disturbing undertone in all of his scenes: Lulu and Elizabeth, under the guise of wanting to hear him explain his side, were really just there to stand in for Guza and explain to dumb old, overly emotional Lucky (i.e. that whiny audience) why his anger was unreasonable and totally wrong.
Let’s look at Lulu. Up until very recently, she was completely invested in the romantic legend of Luke and Laura — much more so than Lucky, who lost his illusions on that front years ago. So, her completely nonplussed reaction to the news of Luke’s cheating on Laura has seemed contrived and out of character from the get go. But beyond that, the explanation she gave Lucky yesterday — that after being cheated on by Logan and Johnny, she’d accepted that men were just naturally unfaithful and it wasn’t worth getting angry over — was so WTF, it’s ridiculous.
First of all, men not being able to keep it in their pants is some sort of genetic thing and women should just accept that? Really, Guza? Really?
(And if cheating isn’t that big of a deal, then why did Lulu kick Johnny to the curb? After all, he didn’t even sleep with Maxie, just stole a few kisses that he was apparently biologically unable to resist. ::eyeroll::)
The idea that being hurt and betrayed herself would make Lulu more forgiving toward her father doing the same to her mother is laughable at best, and painfully obvious as the writers speaking through the character to show the opposing viewpoint’s error.
On the other hand, Liz’s more lenient view toward infidelity makes a lot more sense, given she’s told her fair share of lies in addition to having forgiven her fair share of betrayals. But her insistence that Lucky needs to get over his anger and just accept the fact that half-assed, passive-aggressive douchbaggery is the way his father shows his love made me see red.
ELIZABETH: Hey, when you get angry at the consistently hurtful things he does, your father sticks around rather than leaving town and never speaking to you again. What more do you want, you ungrateful jerk?
When we got to the point in the conversation where Lucky — finally browbeaten into disbelieving his right to be angry — admitted he ought to go apologize (!!!) to his father, I just about threw something at the TV in frustration.
You know what, Guza? I will not apologize for expecting better of Luke, and of this show. I will not say I’m sorry that I expect the things I remember seeing with my own eyes to not be contradicted for a cheap ratings stunt. I will not accept the fact that “men just cheat” and that makes it’s okay, and we should just forgive and move on, because otherwise, we’re living in the past, man. Screw you.
This entire episode stank of emergency damage control. Besides Guza Lulu and Elizabeth berating the audience Lucky for being too irrational and stuck in the past to comprehend the brilliance of this story, we had Holly trying to justify the utterly callous and cruel way she’s treated her son and his father.
Of course, since the writers apparently wrote those earlier actions with no idea that they might 1) make Holly look more like a heartless bitch than a lovable conwoman with a heart of gold, or 2) have to later come up with a reason for all the logical inconsistencies…none of her answers were terribly satisfying. When you have even the character herself admitting she can’t really explain why she did the things she did, then you know things have really gone off the rails.
It would have saved us all a lot of time if they’d just had poor Emma Samms hold up a sign that said:
Bear with us here. We didn’t realize until just this morning that characters actually need this thing called MO-TIV-AY-SHUN. But don’t worry! Bob Guza looked it up in the dictionary, and we think we’ll be getting a handle on it any day now.
In the mean time, please do us a favor and pretend that 1) Holly concealing Ethan’s existence from Luke before now, 2) seeking Ethan out and sending him to Luke without telling him who she was or why, 3) showing up in town and trying to sell the information to the highest bidder, 4) lying and saying the real father was Robert Scorpio, and 5) now expecting us to believe she did all this out of love for them both…makes any sense whatsoever. Thanks!
The saddest part of all this is that I’ve had a massive crush on Emma Samms for nearly twenty years now. Her presence on General Hospital was one of the things that first attracted me to the show, and I was devastated when, shortly after I started watching, Holly sailed off into the sunset, a woman scorned:
(For newer viewers, that’s Tony Geary playing Bill Eckert, Luke’s lamer — but identical, natch! — cousin.)
Unfortunately for me, by that time I’d already gotten hooked on Karen and Jagger, otherwise I’d have stopped watching and saved myself years of pain.
I didn’t think it would be possible to make the character of Holly even more unrecognizable and unlikeable than she was during her bizarre 2006 return, but I should know better than to doubt this writing team: there is always a new low they can sink to.
Emma Samms is as lovely as ever, and I truly wish she could get the chance to revive this character with a story line worthy of her legacy on the show. At this point, however, I’d settle for just never seeing her in Port Charles again. You know that if she does come back, they’ll only find a way to make her even worse. How, I don’t know. But if anyone can, it’s these writers.
Then, there’s Ethan.
Explain to me again why these two . . .
. . . should be related, rather than making out RIGHT THIS INSTANT? Is this show allergic to chemistry?
(That’s it, isn’t it — Bob Guza breaks out in hives when continuity, romance, women over the age of 50, natural chemistry, or anyone not thinking Jason is the Second Coming of Christ is on screen. It explains to much!)