It makes a kind of sense that’s… not.

Today, I successfully drove to work without killing any children. I know! I’m awesome and clearly deserve some kind of medal. At least, I’m assuming that’s the new baseline for SUPREME HEROISM judging by this preview:

On the other hand, I did need two glasses of wine just to get through yesterday’s episode, which — as you must know from watching Lulu down single glasses of wine while ominous music plays in the background for the last month — means I’m a total alcoholic.

For someone who’s really concerned about complete truthfulness in all relationship matters, Lulu’s also spending an awful lot of time lately lying through her teeth to Dante about wanting to marry him. I had some sympathy at first; he was in the hospital and his mother basically acted like getting engaged was his only reason to live… but it’s been WEEKS of her staring sadly at glasses of wine while he gives her potential outs and she still won’t even engage on the issue and I’m thiclose to reaching through the television and bashing her brains in.

Dear Lulu, like your soul sister in colossal matrimonial stupidity (aka One Life to Live‘s Natalie), please realize that NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO MARRY THIS MAN. No one! Sure, Olivia and Dante were both a little emotionally manipulative about it at first, which was awkward. But they’ve also both kind of caught your “subtle” hints (by which I mean the look of having to violently vomit your face assumes whenever either of them broaches the subject) and neither has had a heart attack from the shock and horror of you having changed your mind. So seriously, stop with the sad faces and the martyr routine and just have one effing honest conversation about your doubts. I beg you.

But enough about that! Let’s get back to the other Spencer drama of the moment: today in “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” Jonathan Jackson has revealed that his big exit story will be… abandoning his family and children to go back to Ireland forever.

No, really.

NO. REALLY.

Sometimes I like to play a little game where I imagine explaining stories on this show to a non-soap fan. It goes a little something like this:

ME: So, this guy’s wife left him a letter in the event of her death.
IMAGINARY ME: Was she sick?
ME: No. She just had a premonition that she would accidentally witness a mob drug deal and be murdered.
IMAGINARY ME: O…kay.
ME: Anyway, she leaves him this letter saying her last wish is that he go to Ireland and sleep in a graveyard.
IMAGINARY ME: Why?
ME: I don’t know. She’s Irish! They’re all weird like that. Or something. The point is, he basically abandons his two small children to spend a month sleeping in this graveyard so that some fucking fairies can give him a message spelled out in stones that tell him to go home.
IMAGINARY ME: Um…
ME: And THEN, his wife’s ghost shows up and tells him to listen to the message. Which, again, is to go home.
IMAGINARY ME: But–
ME: Which is all apparently in service of giving his father a chance to redeem himself for accidentally running over one child by heroically giving another one a ride to hospital.
IMAGINARY ME:
ME: Yeah. I know.
IMAGINARY ME: So let me get this straight — his dead wife’s last wish was for him to leave his children and fly across the world so that her ghost could tell him to get his ass back home and take care of his damn children?
ME: Essentially, yes.
IMAGINARY ME: Because this son he supposedly loves but has barely had a chance to spend any time with is apparently deathly ill? But then in a couple of weeks, he’s just going to leave him again anyway — along with his other child who is still dealing with the loss of their brother — to go live with the ghosts and fairies in Ireland forever?
ME: Looks that way.
IMAGINARY ME: Why do you watch this show again?
ME: Possibly I hate myself?
IMAGINARY ME: Sounds about right.

It BOGGLES MY MIND that this is the exit they’re giving a character who’s “too important to be put on the backburner.” But apparently not too important to be shuffled off the canvas completely! And in one of the least logical, most insulting excuses for a story I’ve ever seen on this show, no less! (Impressive, given the competition!)

You know, it says a lot about the current direction of the show that rather than have Lucky interacting with Luke and Elizabeth in a story that doesn’t make everyone want to slit their wrists, they’d rather have him fucking around with fairies off screen. Nothing about that direction is good.

In other stories that make my soul want to die,  it turns out Lisa really is dead, after all. And the PCPD is DEEPLY concerned with who killed her, of course. Because they couldn’t really seem to care less about one of their own being shot in cold blood, but this psycho serial killer who managed to terrorize half the town for a second time after escaping from police custody will get her justice, damnit!

STEVE: Murder? If someone killed Lisa Niles, it had to be in self-defense.
PADILLA: If it was why didn’t they report it?

I can’t imagine! Wait — hold on, I’m getting a flashback:

CARLY: Can we go now?
RONNIE: No, you’re going to have to come down to the station and make an official statement.
CARLY: This is why people don’t cooperate the police. Because they’re treated like suspects.
RONNIE: Did I use the word suspect? Motive, now that’s a word I can use.
CARLY: On what planet?
RONNIE: On the planet where you and Mr. Beefcake here are trying to keep the affair under wraps.

I think Carly’s expression here pretty accurately conveyed my feelings watching this scene:

(Maybe Cameron should be continuing his advanced degree in “Bitch, please” expressions under Carly’s tutelage while his mother is out of commission?)

Speaking of Ms. Webber, it’s been nice to see people not yelling at her or talking about what an awful dirtyslutwhore she is these last few days. And as many issues as I’ve had with Garin Wolf’s stewardship, I do like that he seems committed to acknowledging that Elizabeth and Jason’s relationship is a thing that, you know… actually happened.

I would love for them to have a real friendship again, and also for her to be there now for Sam as a sympathetic ear the way that Sam has been for her at various times in the last year.

Elizabeth also said some nice things about Laura, which (frankly) I didn’t think was allowed any more:

ELIZABETH: She was like no one else. She was an amazing mom, compassionate, loyal, fierce…
ETHAN: Sounds like you’re a fan.
ELIZABETH: I love her with all my heart.

Sniff!

Finally, today’s One Life to Life moment of zen:

TINA AND CORD! GOT MARRIED! AGAIN! (THEY REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME!) WHILE NORA AND BO AND SHAUN SNARKED AND TOOK BETS! (AWESOMELY) AND TINA’S VOWS! (SO PERFECT AND PERFECTLY HER!) AND CORD’S FACE! (SO ADORING AND ADORABLE!) AND PRINCESS DAVID VICKERS LOOKING ON! (AND EVERYTHING WAS PUPPIES AND RAINBOWS FOREVER, THE END!)

Also, Natalie and John had a dramatic airport reunion and even though I think they’re both kind of dumb and couldn’t really care less about their relationship, I flailed a little with the soapy goodness of it all. Nice job, show. Why are you the soap that getting canceled again?

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16 thoughts on “It makes a kind of sense that’s… not.

  1. Lulu’s being annoying as hell but Dante’s being annoying as hell for just letting it slide. The one good thing about this storyline is that it is only slightly less worse than the summer’s adventures in the bordello. And at least that ended after a month.

    And as bad as all the above storylines are, I have to say the top spot goes to Ethan. Talking to a painting. For over a month now. I just cannot believe they thought this was a better idea than having him interact with Kristina.

    I’ve officially given up on Tony Geary/Luke. If I had any hope redemption would stick I would be willing to give him another chance, but he’s just going to go right back to, if not drinking, wacky hijinx treating Tracy like crap mode, after he’s killed a child. I just wish he’d leave permanently.

    On the plus side JJ’s baby’s face in that picture is adorable.

    • Dante *should* press her more but he’s actually been pretty insistent about it, and I have to give him credit for that; it’s awfully easy to just keep your mouth shut when you know doing so will let you get what you want. Instead, he keeps going out of his way to get her to admit her misgivings.

      JJ’s baby is adorbs. I totally chose that cap for that reason. :)

  2. Ugh. Just say no to a Liz and Sam friendship. Jeez. Sam terrorized a mother and her children! Forgiving does NOT mean forgetting at least in my eyes. How many times did we see Liz help out Sam back in 2006 before the night of passion? Sam’s only recourse is to go after Liz’s children in 2007?

    Here is the thing about LnL2manytimes to count (lol), Liz and Lucky don’t fit any more since JJ and RH are about the same size and they look like siblings and there is no sexual chemistry. Liz needs a manly man to contrast with her petiteness and this Lucky does not fit the bill.

    One of the issues that I have with JJ’s version of Lucky is ALL of the stuff that JY and GV’s version of the character did over the last decade that TIIC tried to wipe clean. Nope. Lucky’s roll in the hay with Sarah, his verbal and mental abuse, Maxie and the pills, causing Liz to fall while pregnant with Jake, the manipulation in getting Liz to take him back after the hotel robbery from Lucky, Luke and everyone else. Liz is no saint and the stuff with Nik was all kinds of nasty and the paternity lie about Jake was dead wrong. JJ should have done his homework on what his character had done over the last decade instead of playing him like some teenager from 1999 that died in the fire. Lucky’s verbal abuse and the garbage that he tossed in Liz’s face after Niz reveal was doubely revolting and as a woman there is no way in heck that I would want Liz to ever take that man back. Lucky has called Liz a whore and a slut going back to 2006 when he thought she and Patrick were having an affair. I don’t remember Jason ever calling Sam a whore or a slut for sleeping with her mother’s husband and since she took back a man that threatened to kill her ass she’s just as warped as Lucky.

    Free Liz! Free Liz! Oh, and find this woman a hot and sexy man!

    • Okay, seriously? JJ’s Lucky mentioned his addiction and affair with Maxie SO MANY TIMES it’s not even funny. He talked about it with Maxie. He talked about it with Liz. He talked about it with Siobhan. He had creepy hallucinations of Maxie giving him drugs in her underwear after he was shot up. You seriously cannot deny that the show acknowledged that those things, at least, things happened. They even mentioned specific parts of the storyline, like how much the drugs changed his personality, and when Liz walked in on him and Maxie in their marriage bed.

      I won’t deny that it’s REALLY stupid and weird that Lucky sleeping with Liz’s sister was never brought up at any point during the Niz affair, nor that the LuSam affair was largely ignored, but they hardly acted like JJ’s Lucky was perfect. Before he found out about Nik and Liz, when Liz kept making those guilty speeches about how many times she’d failed him, he repeatedly reminded her that they’d BOTH made many mistakes. And after he’d had a while to calm down once he found out about the affair, he went back to acknowledging that they’d both done their part in ruining in the relationship. It was only during the period right after he found out that he put the blame so completely on her, which was because he was REALLY FREAKING MAD. And, IMO, he had every right to be. He had done terrible things, but that didn’t make what she’d done okay.

      Also, I would point out that in any case, it is not JJ who needed to do his homework, but Bob Guza/the rest of the GH writing staff. If you don’t like how the character was written, that isn’t the actor’s fault. If history was ignored, that is also not the actor’s fault. What was JJ supposed to do, exactly? He doesn’t write Lucky’s dialogue. The one and only time he DID write Lucky’s dialogue is in his goodbye scenes with Nik, where absolutely no whitewashing or Liz-bashing occurred, and he acknowledged that the Nik/Liz affair would never have occurred if Liz and Lucky’s relationship had been in a healthy place.

      And how is it that Sam is warped for taking back a guy who threatened to kill her, but Jason isn’t warped for threatening to kill the woman he claimed to love more than anyone else? And wouldn’t that logic make Liz equally warped for taking back Lucky?

      I won’t argue with your points about RH/JJ’s lack of chemistry or him not being manly enough for her (except to point out that according to their IMDB pages, he’s 5’8″ and she’s 5’2″, so they are not in fact literally the same size. He’s short, but so is Sonny and that didn’t stop S&B from being a supercouple. Dante is also barely taller than Lulu, and they are quite popular as well) since that’s a subjective thing, except to say, I disagree, and there are plenty of Liz/Lucky fans who would disagree as well. Heck, there are even fans who can’t stand LnL2 but admit that RH and JJ have tons of chemistry. It is by no means a truth universally acknowledged that RH and JJ have no chemistry (yes, I work in Jane Austen references wherever possible XD).

      • Agree with this, that Lucky’s non-JJ history has been acknowledged once JJ came back. As for the L&L2 issue, if JJ wanted it they should have gone there. I think fan opinion on that was pretty evenly divided. They would have risked losing as many fans as they’d have gained. (or vice versa).

    • Luanna255 below pretty much sums up most of my feelings re: JJ and Liz and Lucky. I will say that before the recast, my position was pretty firmly that they needed to be apart for a good long time, that they’d grown into different people and needed to acknowledge that and move on. But I see more chemistry between JJ and RH than I ever saw between her and GV, so if the writing had been willing to support it when he came back, I would have been willing to go there again. Unfortunately, we got the abomination of Niz instead, and that pretty much killed the chance for a fresh start. At this point, I’d be happy to see them as friendly co-parents for a while (so, lose the Liz panting after him stuff) and then slowly falling for each other as adults over a long period of possibly seeing other people. But now I guess he’ll just be getting to know the wee people instead. *sigh*

      Re: Sam… I’m just over it. In real life, sure, there’d be no statute of limitations on child endangerment. But this is a soap opera; if I can root for Todd, a former gang rapist on OLTL, I can get over just about anything. It’s been four years since Sam last rode the crazy train and she’s been fairly non-offensive that whole time. Personally, I think KeMo and RH have a really nice chemistry, and I would like them to make out. But since THAT will never happen, and since there isn’t exactly a surplus of female friendships on this show right now, I’ll pretty much take anything I can get.

    • It’s interesting for me to watch this, because I literally have NO history with John and Natalie as a couple. So lacking any previous investment or any bias against them, I don’t really care either way. But I did see a little chemistry when he found her at her dress fitting and then again when she told him the truth about Liam. And the whole wedding/airport/kidnapping thing was so SOAPY, I enjoyed the hell out of it.

  3. While I’m not at ALL happy with this exit storyline for Lucky (seriously, don’t get me wrong: NOT. HAPPY. At all!) I do sympathize with the writers, because it’s really hard to write an exit for characters with children. There are only a few options:

    1) Ideally of course, they’d just take the children with them, but that doesn’t work when (as in this case) the other parent is still staying around. Liz wouldn’t let Lucky just jet off with the kids, and that’s obvious.

    2) You could have the character move somewhere not so far away and imply that the kiddies are being shuttled back and forth. This is probably the best (and most realistic) option, but it would be time consuming (and, arguably, annoying) to make sure to drop a line every few episodes to make sure the viewers know this arrangement is being maintained – I get the feeling that when a character is written off, the writers want to be able to just forget about them completely, and they’d dislike being obligated to mention that character all the time and eventually just drop the whole thing. It would also be tough to write a storyline explaining why the character is moving away, but not TOO far away.

    3) You can have the character move far away, but imply that they’re still in touch with the kids/the kids still visit them sometimes. This is pretty much what they’re trying to do with Molly and Ric. But it isn’t really much better than outright abandonment, and still makes the character look like a terrible parent.

    4) You can give the character a REALLY SUPER IMPORTANT REASON why they need to leave. The only problem with this is that, this almost always provides only a temporary excuse. Eventually, the audience will start wondering why they haven’t finished the SUPER IMPORTANT THING yet, and how long can it possibly take, etc., and the writers will still be left trying to justify what the character is doing and why they aren’t coming back. The excuses will generally become stupider and stupider as time goes on. (This is basically what happened with Felicia and her kids. It’s also why an exit story like, say, Lucky checking himself into rehab wouldn’t work – it’s a perfectly legitimate excuse to begin with, but he can’t stay in rehab forever, and eventually they’d still have to explain him staying away indefinitely.)

    5) You can try to come up with a reason why the character MUST leave and never come back. However, a genuinely legitimate reason for this is hard to come by. Most of the time, the character will just look like a jerk for not putting their kids first (see: Frisco and his spying, Jax being afraid Sonny will kill him, etc.)

    6) You can kill off the character. While this definitely absolves them of all parental responsibility, it also isn’t terribly likely to make the fans happy. And if the show ever decides to bring them back and go with the faked death scenario, they’re stuck with the fact that the character now looks even worse, since that would mean they they not only abandoned their child, but also put them through the trauma of losing a parent for no reason. (see: Robert and Anna)

    7) You can have the character forced to leave against their will, but, again, this is only a temporary measure. You can’t really write a popular character off the show by having them get kidnapped or something and then never addressing it again. The audience will expect to see it resolved if something like that happens.

    So, the writers are kind of stuck in a corner here. If it were up to me, I think I’d just give #2 a go – they say the kids are with Audrey all the time without ever showing her, so how much harder would it be to have Liz say “Oh, yeah, this is Lucky’s week with the kids”? – but I really wouldn’t trust these writers to actually remember the situation. I mean, they couldn’t even handle remembering to show Liz and Lucky’s shared custody arrangement when they were both onscreen! So that wouldn’t work. I personally think their best option would be to have Lucky have some sort of mental breakdown – he’s certainly been through enough to justify it, and there’s a family history as well – or else, better yet, put him in a coma.

    • As much as I hate the whole mental breakdown angle, it would almost be worth it to see one of Laura’s MALE offspring go off the deep end instead of this “Lulu’s so fragile, just like her mother! lady brains, amirite?” crap they’ve been peddling. Almost.

      Otherwise, I agree that option #2 is preferable. I’m still angry about the Felicia thing. She was never my favorite character, but she certainly wasn’t a deadbeat. How hard would it have been to have her interacting with the girls offscreen? Soap fans aren’t stupid. We know things aren’t always in the writers’ control. We’ll accept that Felicia is off screen, being a decent parent, because we know the actress isn’t available. It’s infuriating. Same with Luke. The endless idiotic excuses for TG’s annual vacations are unnecessary and have done so much damage to the character. It would have been much easier to simply have Luke in town but offscreen for a few months every year.

      In JJ’s case, it seems pretty clear that he’d be willing to come back again if they could accommodate a lighter workload, which leaves a sorts of dramatic doors open. Have Lucky, injured or get amnesia. Have him kidnapped again or sent undercover. Something, anything that makes him not willingly abandoning his children on a lark. If the issue is they simply couldn’t fit what he wanted into their current writing plans, then that leaves them room to rearrange things for his return later on without turning the character into a deadbeat ass.

      • Wait, wait, wait – I thought Lucky had ALREADY gone off the deep end? I mean, the guy spent an entire episode (it might even have been multiple episodes? Or did it just feel like those scenes went on forever?) lying on the floor staring at two pills. If that isn’t off the deep end, THERE IS NO DEEP END. And, y’know, he burned his family’s house down, and he regularly talks to people that aren’t there, so… yeah. I think it’s safe to say one of Laura’s male offspring HAS gone off the deep end. But apparently, he went off the deep end in a way that’s, like, Luke-style, which is different from a Laura-style breakdown because… um… there’s addiction involved? I don’t know. I stopped trying to understand the writers’ take on the Spencer family dynamics once they made it abundantly clear that they fail to understand the history or personality of even ONE of the Spencer family members.

        I don’t really find this whole insistence that Lucky is just like Luke and Lulu is just like Laura offensive, so much as I just find it… stupid. It just feels like almost a Disney mentality, you know? Like, you know how in Disney movies, when a couple has kids, the boy is always a mini-version of the dad, and the girl is always a mini-version of the mom? This feels like that. It’s just such a simplistic, childish way of writing. Especially since both Lucky and Lulu have always been well-rounded characters who BOTH had aspects of BOTH their mom and their dad. Lulu arguably has more of Luke’s in-your-face brashness than Lucky does, and her disregard for rules comes from him as well. Lucky has Laura’s heart and her capacity for love (not that Luke has no capacity for love, I just mean, the way Lucky loves people is more like the way Laura did. I’m not explaining that well at all, sorry). You can’t just reduce these characters to mini-Luke and mini-Laura, you know?

        I so agree about Felicia. I think a lot of characters who were parents have suffered from that problem, actually. Robert, Anna, Ric, Jax – all of these characters were written as loving, involved parents when they were onscreen, and then the minute they’re written off, they just pick up and leave the kids with no thought. (Though R&A suffered from retconned history there.)

        With JJ, I think the problem is, although he seems willing to come back, if the writers aren’t willing to accommodate him now, they might never be. Or they might be, but not for a year or two. So they can’t leave a huge loose end like him getting kidnapped or getting amnesia if they don’t know if/when JJ will ever come back. And as far an undercover mission, again, that’s only a temporary fix. That would be fine if they were only writing him off for a month or two, but if he’s gone for good until further notice, how long is that really going to stay plausible? If you’re a parent, you can’t just go off on long-term undercover missions if you’re going to be away for months or years. A short-term trip, sure. But not indefinitely. That’s still a deadbeat in my book.

        It’s still VERY lazy writing of course. I honestly feel like the writers aren’t even trying at all. So, Lucky goes to Ireland… to get a message telling him to come back home. So he comes back, and the kid he just found out is biologically his is going to be sick, and I would assume Lucky will feel guilty for leaving him, and then in less than a month he’s going to leave to go to Ireland AGAIN? Huh? But… but we just did this! And after weeks of wasted airtime, the whole point was that he was supposed to go BACK! And what’s in Ireland for him, anyway? Now that Sibs is gone, he literally knows no one there. If they couldn’t write a better exit story than “Lucky is going to go to, um… that place. That place that isn’t Port Charles. Because… because he is”, couldn’t he at least have been going to be with Laura, or something?

        • Honestly? At this point I’m kind of assuming the show won’t even exist in 2 years. So send Lucky off with an exciting, non-character destroying story now, and bring him back for the end of the show.

          And yeah Lucky and Lulu both share aspects of both their parents, but I see more of Laura’s nurturing, homebody instincts in Lucky and more of Luke’s wildness in Lulu. it drives me insane that they’ve been pigeonholed by the writing into this gender binary — and that Laura’s considered weak minded in a way that Lulu apparently shares even though you’re right — *Lucky’s* the one who exhibited more mental instability by far.

          • Luanna255, I agree with you that the “Laura=Lulu and Lucky=Luke” isn’t offensive so much as it is stupid, but the one thing I do find offensive is their stating that only Lulu is in danger of becoming mentally ill, cause she’s a girl.

            Sorry for jumping again, it’s just that I agree so hard I must comment. :) It would be one thing if they *showed* us that Lulu is more Laura and Lucky is more like Luke, but that’s not what plays out on screen. argh. They offend the worst with Ethan though, with all the “he’s exactly like Luke!” comments. Ethan is light-hearted, forgiving, non-violent, doesn’t seem to hate himself, and wants to make everyone around him happy. yup, that’s exactly like Luke!

  4. I know this is late but I agree with Missy Lady, RH and JJ had no chemistry. Lucky character for RH die in the fire. From that point he has been abusive and disrespected her and those thinks can’t be forgiven. Lucky talked about Liz having Jason son but he got the benefit of the child and Jason got nothing and Jason never disrespected Liz. So as a woman what man would I want. Not Lucky

    • Welcome! I’ve certainly had issues with some of Lucky’s behavior since the fire — particularly in the GV and JY years — but it’s not like Liz has been completely blameless either. At this point, I think they’re both pretty equally responsible for the mess their relationship has become.

      As for Jason never disrespecting her… well. Him lying to her and putting his job first is what broke them up the first time around. And his refusal to leave the mob the second time around left her high and dry raising their child without him while he sat across town, killing people for money and making googly eyes at another woman. I’m not saying he abused her or anything, but that certainly leaves something to be desired as a partner. And I say this as a fan of the couple. But they really didn’t write well for them the last time around. And at this point I’d rather see Liz with someone new who might be able to put her first. (Hello, Matt!)

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