Oh, my kittens… what a week it’s been! How are you all doing? Needing a virtual hug (or five)? In imminent danger of running out of tissues? Myself, I flew 6,000 miles and then marathoned four hours of this show while jet lagged, guzzling wine, and BAWLING MY FREAKING EYES OUT. (The preferred method for dealing with any death of a beloved fictional person, obviously.) And you know what? That was some damn fine soap.
(Take a moment and think about the last time you could say that about an ABC soap that wasn’t recently canceled. Yeah. It’s been a while.)
Okay, first up, let’s check in with denial-land — where the grass is green and the corpses are all burnt conveniently beyond recognition. If I needed any proof that Ghost!Robin is merely a figment of everyone’s grief-stricken imagination, I would look no further than this:
GHOST!ROBIN: Daddy, where were you? Where were you when I was burning up in the lab? You were my hero. You can save anyone. Why didn’t you save me?
ROBERT: I’m sorry… I’m so sorry.
GHOST!ROBIN: Well, it’s a little late for sorry.
Yeah… no. Real!Robin’s ghost would never be that cruel. ROBIN LIVES! Or… at least they’re leaving the door wide open for the possibility should Kimberly McCullough ever change her mind. I can live with it.
Of course, knowing that wasn’t really Robin didn’t really stop those scenes — along with the accompanying flashbacks of wee!Robin meeting her father for the first time — from RIPPING MY FREAKING HEART OUT. Oh my sweet Lord, I cannot handle Tristan Rogers’ and Finola Hughes’ awesomeness right now. (Anna Devane! Trying to stay strong for everyone else and barely keeping herself from falling apart! And Robert — completely broken by the sight of his little girl’s body! I–I can’t even with these two. For serious.)
Then there’s Jason Thompson, who spent the last week making one giant Emmy reel. Bless. Whether railing at Jason, chatting with his own private Ghost!Robin in the middle of surgery, collapsing on the floor in grief and exhaustion (and getting talking down by Epiphany, playing a real person instead of a sassy caricature for once!) —
— or breaking down while telling Emma her mother is gone… the man has just totally kill me dead.
I liked that Elizabeth was there to help him with that last, and that she’s remembering her promise to Robin to be there for him and Emma. I’ve always enjoyed their friendship and wouldn’t even be opposed to a Liz/Patrick pairing at some point in the future. (Although poor, perpetually passed over Matt’s whinging if that comes pass will like be both epic and tiresome.) I do hope, though, that if they’re inclined to go that way, the writing team has enough sense to give it a really slow burn build — both to be respectful to Scrubs fans and to give time to clear out Liz’s already busy dance card of potential suitors.
Meanwhile, true to my last prediction, each reaction to Robin’s death has been given its own moment to sink in, from Maxie to Liz to Carly to even Edward, who just about broke me with this:
EDWARD: Oh… you’re with the angels now, my sweet little Robin. And my Lila. And may you forever rest in peace.
OH EM GEE, you guys. It’s like the writers want me to die of wine and sobbing-induced dehydration.
Maurice Bernard has also been doing some fine work with Sonny’s on-going reaction to losing Robin. (Including more flashbacks! Which is always a thing that I enjoy!)
I actually liked the choice to have him reminisce with Sam about Robin. I tend to forget these two were ever anything other than friendly acquaintances because the writing really hasn’t emphasized their past in years. But it was nice to see their connection acknowledged and used in a way that makes sense. And Sonny’s legitimately joyful reaction to the news that Sam is pregnant again was a lovely moment.
Of course, he promptly also went on to use his grief over Robin as way to get back into Kate’s pants. And right as she was making a really salient point, too, about the fact that he’s known Anthony shot her on their wedding day for YEARS now and yet somehow never done anything about it! But if Sonny wasn’t being an emotionally manipulative douche, I honestly wouldn’t know what show I was watching.
Kate’s complete failure to stick to her metaphorical guns — as opposed to the literal guns she most likely used to shoot out Anthony’s tires, because NuKate is inexplicably ten pounds of crazy in a five pound bag — would be more upsetting to me if I wasn’t at least vaguely entertained by the campiness of her breakdown. And the fact that it really does seem like we aren’t likely to be tormented by her and Sonny’s relationship for much longer.
But more to the point, I’m not sure what they could do to rehab this character if it does turn out that she’s responsible for Anthony’s wreck. Because oh my God, they killed Hope! Those bastards! (Actually, I’m still waiting for final confirmation on this, because the death of yet another toddler on this show in one twelve month period seems a bit… overkill? And unnecessarily cruel to One Life to Live fans who’ve already been shat on a lot this year? Not to mention that taking the time to properly deal with Starr’s grief will severely hamper my enjoyment of having her around. So here’s hoping for a soapy miracle of some sort.)
In any case, there’s none other than Blair Cramer on my tv screen again!
Oh, Blair. I missed you, honey! Looking forward to seeing you interact with more of Port Charles’ finest than just Michael “Every Tragic Thing That Happens Anywhere Is ALL ABOUT ME” Corinthos. (Although how strange and refreshing was it to see Michael actually contemplating the fact that his father might have done something bad and deserve punishment for it?) (Even if we all know it will amount to nothing because OF COURSE Sonny is innocent this time. Of course.)
Elsewhere, the parade of veterans continued with Holly freaking Sutton, who I am on record as adoring, despite her terrible last few appearances as a pod-version of her once awesome character. Emma Samms, how are you still so pretty?
That squeal you heard at about 9:00 last night? That was the brief moment I actually thought they might have brought Holly back to fix one of the most enraging retcons of all time…
HOLLY: I am telling you the truth, I swear. I’m sorry, but I was lying to you when I said that Ethan was your son. He’s not your son. Robert is his father. He always was.
… but no. Curses! (There should be a law about not getting your audience’s hopes up like that, just to smash them so cruelly, Carlivati!) I suppose there’s still a chance Holly was lying again to Luke and Ethan although I have no idea why she would bother at this point. But I also have no idea what the point of any of that would have been other than pure meanness on the writers’ parts. So maybe something more will come of it yet.
In any case, we did at least get this small wrong righted:
HOLLY: What you said was exactly what he wanted to hear. What he needed to hear. Some loves last a lifetime and some just a moment, but… they still matter.
LUKE: I meant every word.
What’s this? Someone on this show acknowledging the fact that past relationships are still important? And Luke not delivering an impassioned soliloquy on the soul-crushing horror of love in response? Are we sure this is actually General Hospital?
And hey, speaking of wrongs righted… guess who’s dead?
Ding dong, Cassandra’s gone! And it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving character, either.
(Oh, wait — maybe it could: word on the street is that Kodi Kitchen’s atrocious, mincing enunciation is leaving us forever. Fare thee well, Maggie! Feel free to go dress like a HELL CLOWN for no reason and talk interminably about Memphis somewhere else.)
Aside from not hating on the very concept of love and cleaning house of all the dead weight in the cast, I can definitely see the new team’s touch all over the show. For one thing, Spinelli’s been tolerable to me this week for the first time, um… ever?
But really, it’s the little things. Like the use of flashbacks to recent scenes as characters are thinking about what just happened, and the flow of shots where you can clearly see other scenes happening in the background. Or showing phone conversations without necessarily having both actors in the scene — like Lulu calling Lucky in Ireland, or giving the news to Liz about Robin. (What’s this? Not acting like characters who aren’t on the show anymore don’t exist? What a novel concept!)
All of which are excellent ways of maintaining a feeling of internal continuity on the show. (As well as cost-saving measures, I imagine, so double yay!) Is it too much to hope that gone are the days of characters forgetting things they said and did the day before, or of plots existing in bubbles where they only affect one or two people? GOD, I HOPE SO.