By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
Wasn’t this week’s General Hospital just awesome November sweeps entertainment? I mean, it wasn’t Doug Marland-esque deep meaningful soap opera but it still was drama that was super exciting, full of shock, suspense and surprise, arising deep out of the soap’s history. With the return of Faison and Robert, added to the already present Anna and ‘Duke,” GH was again rocking as it did in the show’s golden era.
Monday’s episode was just sublime when fake Duke whipped off his mask and revealed himself to be … a very, very threatening looking man named Cesar Faison. I missed the Faison years, but still just screamed at the sight of this obviously crazy man. (They’d never cast anyone who looked like this in daytime these days — unless he whipped off his shirt and had terrific pecs!) By the end of the episode, however, I saw why actor Anders Hove had been so celebrated in the soap world: he is so great at being just vicious! His scenes with Robin were just terrifying. (“Child, I always thought you were too smart for your own good.”)
Also revealed at the end of this episode — thank goodness — was that the real Duke wasn’t dead, just tied to a bed, and that Ian Buchanan will be staying on GH. A day later, enter Tristan Rogers’ Scorpio to solve the mystery of the two Dukes. For the rest of the week Hove switched places with Buchanan to alternately play the fake “Duke.” To clarify: Buchanan played the “Duke” when the Faison was wearing the latex “Duke” mask. It was all so ingenious and fun!
A real stroke of creativity this Friday was having Olivia “see” the real Faison in one of her visions when she was actually looking at “Duke.” From the description of that vision, Liz, using her little mentioned talent in art, drew a police like sketch of Faison for Robert, solving the mystery.
Will Robert get to “Duke’s” apartment in time Monday to stop Anna from sleeping with the fake Duke – er, the icky Faison? Of course, if she does she will realize that the man she is having sex with is not her real husband. Does anyone remember from All My Children the incredulous look on Trevor’s face when he woke up realizing he had just had sex, not with his love with Natalie, but her evil twin Janet?
Oh mon chers, all of this could only happen on soaps. And of course, the tale of the two Dukes is preposterous. Even Hove thinks so, admitting in an interview that he is two inches shorter than Buchanan. But who cares? This week’s GH was an absolute soap thrill ride, partially because none of the story action was revealed in advance in spoilers. Soap operas the way they ought to be!
I’d also like to note that in the excitement, no one even missed Jason, who’s only been dead for three weeks. I also worry that GH is using up too much of its precious past history. What are they going to do to top this?
What do you think, loyal GH viewers? Is the newly returned Faison as nasty as he used to be? (As I say to my students, please be specific.) Overall, did this week’s worth of episodes measure up to the old show?
Finally, Happy Thanksgiving to all my Thinking Fans, with love, from Moose, Marlena and Nigel.