Thanks, show.

It’s kind of amazing that this writing team made a holiday episode centered around the death of both a legendary character and a beloved actor and still managed to make it more uplifting than last year’s offering. (Hey, nothing says Thanksgiving like a hit man flipping tables in a rage over his wife’s maybe rape, am I right?)

Needless to say… this was better. And not just because we got flashbacks! And Ned! Although that certainly helped:

TRACY: He was the glue that held the family together. What’s to become of us?
NED: We’re Quartermaines. We’ll survive. We always do.
TRACY: Without daddy?
NED: We’ve got you. You, the toughest Q of ’em all.

Because I am a gigantic dork, this is the point in the proceedings at which I flapped my hand tearfully at the screen and and warbled, “Oh, Ned, I’m so happy to see you!”

(Seriously, I have no idea how many hoops were involved in getting Wally Kurth enough time off from his Days schedule to make this appearance, but I want to sincerely thank everyone who made it happen. Because Tracy needed him. And so did I.)

I defy anyone — ANYONE — to watch Jane Elliot deliver this monologue in the Q family crypt with dry eyes:

TRACY: They’re all gone. There’s no one left but me to remember the, uh, Christmases in Oyster Bay. Trip to England where I pushed Alan into the lake and mother pushed me in after. Daddy teaching me how to drive… then backing the car into the breakfast room wall. Nobody but me to remember what made us laugh and made us cry. What we fought about. My family. The four of us. [breaks down] Now it’s just me.

Oh, Tracy. Oh, my heart.

Thankfully, we also had bickering Qs and my darling Heather to lighten things up a bit. The latter’s first appearance at the diner actually made me cringe a little, because I didn’t know if she’d really fit with the tone, but it turns out that was exactly the right amount of camp injection needed to keep us all from drowning in a vat of our own salty tears.

Then there was Skye! Who… honestly, I care about very little. Still, her showing up with Lila Rae was a nice touch. And her relationship with Billy Warlock’s AJ was one of the only things I ever found interesting about either of them, so watching her reunite with Sean Kanan’s version was a little strange, but ended up totally working for me.

(Also working for me? Sean Kanan continuing to seem like he’s just having so much fun being on set. His unashamed delight at Alice taking Heather out? AHAHAHAHA. His death glares to Ned? His blasé “So… that just happened,” as Heather was led out in a straight jacket, shrieking about wanting to spend Thanksgiving with Steve? THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR MY LOVE FOR YOU, SEAN KANAN!)

I also love the writers’ commitment to actual balance between AJ, Carly, and Sonny this time around fills me with such joy. None of them are getting their past actions whitewashed; everything’s being laid out — but in context, which makes all the difference in the world.

I mean, under past regimes, a conversation like this would probably have filled me with CAPSLOCK rage:

SONNY: [incredulous] You think what I did to AJ was wrong?
MICHAEL: [visibly refraining from saying DUH] To go that far, to threaten his life? Yeah, I think that was wrong, dad.
SONNY: If it meant protecting you, I’d do it again–
MICHAEL: Protect me? Protect me from what?
SONNY: From getting your head bashed into a tree, or, you know, getting shoved down the stairs? Whatever AJ would have done to you.
MICHAEL: AJ never had a chance to be my father, so you can’t say what he would’ve done.
SONNY: I believed, in my heart, that I was the better father to you. And it wasn’t easy, and yes I messed up a lot, but raising you was the best thing that I ever did. Now, maybe you wished that AJ was around when you were growing up. That’s okay! But do you wish I hadn’t been?

First of all: come on, Sonny. There is zero chance AJ would ever have pushed Michael down the stairs. Everyone knows that only happens to pregnant women. And you know, something tells me that if you bothered to ask Michael if he’d trade in a life of accidental murder, gunshot comas, and prison rape for life with a recovering alcoholic… you might not like the answer.

(Not to mention the irony of the guilt-trip he laid on Michael at the end there, while all in a tizzy about AJ being the manipulative one.)

But the thing is? This time, the show actually seems aware of what a delusional hypocrite Sonny is. And even more amazingly — so does Michael! And that’s just one of many soapy things I am thankful for this year!

Let’s all bow our heads and also give thanks for:

Quartermaines! Plural! Enough to make one room actually feel crowded!

The casting director who clearly picked Chad Duell on the off-chance that somewhere down the road, his bio-dad would come back from the dead and be played by Sean Kanan again.

The loveliest tribute anyone could have asked for.

If this isn’t an image to end an episode on, I don’t know what is. Ron Carlivati and Frank Valentini: thank you for giving me my show back.

And thanks to you all for reading! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

12 thoughts on “Thanks, show.

  1. I could have done without the Heather stuff, but I loved loved the Tracy stuff, and I didn’t realize how much I missed Ned. I would love it if they managed to squeeze in a scene with Alexis.

  2. you are so right, jason is supposed to be the good one right, opposed to AJ…last year all it did was show us what a spoiled brat he’s always been..

    yeah i got that he was annoyed that sam was almost raped, or thought that she was…but, how was that the q’s fault…they had nothing at all to do with it….nothing…


    some of the tracy stuff was uncalled for, like her ranting to skye in front of lila rae…..that was really uncalled for…..maybe that’s where jason gets his brat tendencies from…aunt tracy…

  3. Edward and Lila walking off together. So beautiful, so perfect. That and the montage of Edawrd and then the :”In loving memory in the end” They couldn’t have done a better job. And look at all those Quartermaines! Ned, Skye, AJ, Tracy and Monica, and little Lila Rae and Michael!
    And how and when did Michael turn so awesome? And CD is perfect to play SK’s son. Can we have more Qs? Can we keep Skye, a well-written Skye would be a nice change and Lila Rae is adorable, Emma needs a play mate! We don’t have enough cute little kids anymore, too bad Hope died. Bring back Dillon, recast him!
    And SHUT UP SONNY, but thank you writers for letting us all get mad at him and having Michael get it. Now, if Dante would resume wanting Sonny behind bars, that would be welcome (I’m wondering if Dante backing Sonny will be a build up for Sonny to screw up BIG time and Dante realizing he was wrong to believe Sonny?)
    I will say I like AJ more than I will ever any mobster.
    Jason’s tantrum last year. Yeah. All about him.

  4. I can’t even work up too much of a “he didn’t push her down the stairs, I saw it, they were arguing and she fell”, just because that was so lovely. A perfect mixture of Q bickering and Q circling the wagons. Normally an ending like that would have me rolling my eyes, but they were just too damned wet at that point. And got wetter.

  5. Michael telling AJ he was glad he was back made my day. I really hope Michael joins the Q in their fold and changes his name to Michael Quartermaine. I think the main reason why I find SK/AJ so appealing is SK’s complete commitment to AJ, he seems to enjoy being back in the role, as you say. His giddy teenage reactions to Alice’s take out is priceless, and he can also easily channel into AJ’s anger at CarSon.
    I think with Jason, the character (not the actor) got stale. He didn’t develop. Absolutely NOTHING against SBu, who is a good actor, and a nice guy, I’m sure. SBu was actually pretty emotional about leaving GH.

  6. Wow this is the first time I ever thought Chad might look like he could be Sean and Sarah’s kid. He looks right at home with the Qs. Seriously none of this would’ve happened with Guza. For that I’m thankful for Ron taking over the show. May Guza cry in his pillow every night that no one gives a crap that Jason is dead.

    • I would not want this too happen under Guza, because he would mess it up, look at what he did to AJ, just to prop Jason. CD looked like he enjoyed himself and he definitely fits as SK/AJ’s son. Even with Edward’s passing, it was still a great episode, felt more like a celebration of Edward’s life. It’s clear Ron doesn’t care much for the mob stuff and wants more family.

  7. I can’t bring myself to watch…and for all the right reasons. I know I’m going to be a big ball of blubbering mess. The real ugly kinda crying…

    Just LOOKING at captions of JE on various blogs with tears in her eyes is wrecking me…I know she was perfection…

    Thank you for this blog…

    I hope everyone had a wonderful, fun filled, family oriented THANKSGIVING!!!

    Things I’m thankful for: CARTINI bringing GH back to life!!!!!

  8. Things I am thankful for with this new team.
    1. BALANCE!!! No propping, no making one character pop up in every story just because, everyone has their place.
    2. Time taken to do the research. Bringing back Ceasar for Robin’s faked death was perfect, and made great soap sense, they clearly looked at characters and said “This works”.
    3. Revivial of the Qs. Even if it means a slightly far-fetched retcon on AJ’s part (though really, aren’t those kind of retcons part the package for soaps), I’ll roll with it.
    4. Bringing back the elements of the good old days: NURSES BALL, need I say more? And Ceasar and AJ and hopefully Duke
    5. Acknowledging history. Edward’s passing and having him and Lila walk away together. Perfect.
    6. No more stupid revisionist history. Yes, Guza and Wolf, I’m looking at the two of yo and the whole Luke hated being a dad, Laura is fragile, crap. And about Luke growing up in a brothel, yes that was tough I’m sure, but didn’t Ruby take them in after Lena died and Tim abandoned them? She should get an acknowledgement for that. Dont’ put her on the same page as Javier
    7. No more stupidly OOC writing. Even Jason’s exit made sense, if he was going to be written off, it would be b/c he died while doing the job for Sonny.

    I’ve heard Jason fans complain a lot about how AJ is being built up, one even said Guza was better because RC killed Jason. I get it sucks when your favourite character leaves, but Jason was Guza’s pet for how long? It’s not about Jason. I’m not a fan of Dante drinking Sonny’s kool aid, but I can deal with it. I’m not so sure it will last. I think Sonny will do something and Dante will realize he was right about wanting Sonny behind bars.

    • It does suck when your favorite leaves, but considering it was SBu’s choice and RC actually had to scramble to rearrange the story to accommodate it, people blaming him for it just make me roll my eyes.

      AJ being built up is called balance. Which, as you say, is the thing I’m most grateful for of all right now.

      • Exactly, and Jason had a good run towards the end he got stale because of Guza’s favourtism, but that’s on Guza not SBu. Most people didn’t want Jason to be recast, and I was one of them, I just can’t see anyone else in that role, and he was on the show for a good 20 years. Considering the scramble to make way for SBu’s departure, I thought it was OK. SBu wanted more time with his family, gotta respect that. I’m still ticked off about Lucky’s departure, that didn’t make any sense. Jason’s was at least in character. All the best to SBu.

        AJ is being built up, but not to the point where he’s being whitewashed. He still seems to have some schemer in him, which makes for interesting characters.

        What I would like to see is GH to develop a really good villain. Ceasar certainly is a good option to bring out of the woodwork and Helena is returning, maybe they can tap into her magnificent bastard potential. Mobsters don’t count. Sonny was intended to be more of a villain until Guza decided he liked him too much, and it really damaged the character (too bad for MB, who can act with the best of them when he gets the chance).

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