General Hospital: The Ginormous Furor over Fluke

Is it Luke or Fluke? (Photo: michaelfairmansoaps.com)

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman

In many, many years, there hasn’t been a soap controversy of the magnitude of the furor over the year-old  “Fluke” storyline on General Hospital. While some love  it (I gave it a rave in two prior columns,  but more on that later) many really hate it.  Just look at all the negative remarks about the story on Facebook, on soap site message boards, and in the responses to my last two GH columns. (They are “Divine Soaps Plots Make GH Must See TV, Parts 1 and 2,” which ran respectively here on February 1st  and 5th.)

Viewers are sounding off that the Fluke storyline is too cartoonish, has many inconsistencies, doesn’t grow from who Luke really is., has gone on way too long, isn’t our beloved GH and on and on and on, a million other complaints. Everyone is talking about the Fluke storyline.  I even spent a full two hours last week over brunch discussing the Fluke story with my always brilliantly spoken GH fan friend  pjs, who has watched GH since its inception in 1963. The waiter gave us a really quizzical look!

As for me, I’m a bit embarrassed. Marlena believes it is her job as a critic to criticize soaps that are not character-oriented, have inconsistencies, and have characters that act out of character.  Despite its problems, I loved the story because of the continuing suspense and Tony Geary’s bravura acting.
Because of those strong elements, I was and still am entertained by the Fluke story, and have been able to forgive all the story’s transgressions.  But for how much longer will I be so charmed?

For the first time this week, I felt  tired, no longer  having the patience to  wait for the reveal of who Fluke really is when Luke, behind bars for the setting up the boat explosion (that didn’t happen) declared he was the real Luke Spencer. (Fingerprints were found – supposedly — confirming this.)

Plus, I am really confused. How could the  Luke Spencer  I’ve watched since 1980 do so many  awful  criminal things,  among them trying  to  control people (like Jake and Ava) into killing other people, committing  actual  murder himself? And endangering the lives of people the real Luke loves (his closest relatives Bobbie, Lulu and Tracy, not to mention all the other innocent passengers) by having Jake plant the bomb in the boat?  Does Luke have DID, a gimmick story most famously used on One Life to Live with the character of Victoria Lord in the 90s?  (She exhibited six personalities including that of Viki and Niki, her “split personalities”  who were periodically seen earlier on OLTL over the years.) Or, besides DID — if he has it — is there another explanation for who “Luke” really, really is?

I’ve read on message boards and heard rumors that the Fluke story is yet to continue in the next few months with Luke’s past played out, explaining the roots of his possible DID. The reliable ABC Soaps in Depth magazine reported today that  two  actors are being cast to play young Luke and Bobbie and shared that the show is looking for an actress in her late 60s who has  had a hard life. Will she be cast as    Patricia Spencer, the sister  who Bobbie  and Luke talked about only once many years ago in GH history prior to the Fluke story and has never been seen before?   Was Patricia in her younger years involved in the cause of Luke’s possible DID?

So, chers lecteurs, where is this Fluke/Luke story going?  Only those in the GH inner sanctum know for sure.  Although I have a few regrets, I’ll still be watching the story as it progresses because, despite everyone’s complaints,  I am still intrigued by it  Are you?  Will you keep watching?         

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    I think the other explanation to the Fluke/Luke storyline is that he’s under Helena Cassadine’s mind control, similar to what she did to his son Lucky and Jason/Jake!

  2. westvirginiafan says:

    At least Luke has not impregnated half the population of a major city. I think the next spin off for GH should be Mob swimmer wars. Julian has some catching up to do in quanity but not quality–100% track record for “first times” with GH leading ladies.
    Maybe Julian and Sonny could shoot promotional videos for neutering services for stray pets. Those big soulful eyes–can’t you see them juxtaposed with a bassett hounds?

  3. janet says:

    To little to late for me. I shut the show off ,and not just because of the fluke, luke stupidity. This is not the GH I had watched for years. This is a bad joke perpetrated by FrankenROn.. I don’t like this at all. DID here we go Are they going to find Deke and put them all in the closet. You need excuses to be a murderer ??No thanks I deleted it and now don’t turn the tv on before Jeopardy.

  4. rcade says:

    If GH fans had been told a year ago that Anthony Geary would be the star of the biggest storyline of the year, there would be a prominent role for Jackie Zeman and it would delve deeply into Luke and Bobbie’s troubled childhood and the mystery of their long-absent and never mentioned sister Patricia, I think people would have been ecstatic.

    I know the story has run too long — in major part due to Geary’s unforeseen back surgery and long rehab — and the League of Supervillains stuff is silly, but on the whole I find this to be a terrifically engaging and inventive storyline. I’m looking forward to the resolution.

    P.s. It’s a shame you only watch American soaps. What EastEnders is doing right now with its 30th anniversary week and the payoff to a year-long murder mystery is absolutely fantastic. They’re even doing some scenes live to protect the story from spoilers. Millions of pounds are being wagered on the killer’s identity.

  5. Marilyn Henry says:

    Hi Connie,
    I understand the irritation of some fans to this story–it has dragged out and with so much speculation we grow weary of trying to guess what it’s about. But the show had to work around Geary’s surgery and long recovery–the rehab for back surgery is no picnic. And Geary was excited about the story, but one cannot measure a story by actor enthusiasm as they like to play certain things which may or may not be the same things viewers want to see. I think I wrote on one of the comment sites that actors like to play villains for the fun of challenge, but it can often be more challenging to make good characters interesting. Some can do it and some can’t. I think Ryan Pauvey does it well–Nathan’s high standards get in his way and cause conflict in himself and mess up his life sometimes, and I like the way he plays torn. (Sabrina on the other hand is goody boring.) But Geary has always liked the darker side of Luke and the rest of us want to love him, so that doesn’t always put us on the same page.

    I don’t know what this story is about, but there is no denying Geary is earning another Emmy. It is always a joy to see him work, even though this is basically an annoying storyline. And sadly, it is. You know what a faithful fan I’ve been, but even I heave an impatient sigh now and then. I do wish they could bring in Tristan so Robert could help this mental case Luke. I think Luke’s best friend could reach him as Bobby did today. And wasn’t Jackie good? She hasn’t had much to do for ages but give her something to play and she brings it.

    Genie is actually who they need most. No one knows or understands Luke better than Laura, no one ever loved a man more. So they are doing this story without some important help, and here is Luke in crisis and no one, not even Lulu, has mentioned informing Laura.

    Still, it is using their iconic super star to his best. He may be older but the years have done well by him.

  6. Marilyn Henry says:

    I forgot my own puny speculations.
    Pat Spencer lran away from home as a teen, leaving Luke and Bobbie to contend with their drunken abusive father and sickly, abused mother. I suspect Pat was badly abused, beaten, maybe sexually abused, by that father. Luke may have done something (he was just a kid), either killed the father when his mother died–or felt responsible somehow for Pat and for his mother’s death. Bobbie may have been molested as well and Luke felt responsible in some way for her taking up the Life. But Luke buried his problems and his guilt, and didn’t actually break down until recently. Helena may have had something to do with that.

    Anyway, this barely covers much of it. As you know, I have never accepted the Tracy romance–made no sense to me. I like Jane, but not the romance. And this week Tracy had a glimmer of her intelligence back as she told Luke/Fluke ‘There is far more to this than you’re revealing…’

    • Justin says:

      Marilyn I couldn’t agree with you more on everything you wrote, but especially regarding the Luke/Tracy romance. I never bought into it, and when a viewer can’t believe it, it’s not going to work. I suspect the fans that are behind the Luke/Tracy pairing never watched the Luke and Laura romance.

  7. DS0816 says:

    The Friday [02.20.2015] episode of “General Hospital” suggests that Luke and Bobby’s older sister will resurface. It’s such a [possible] blast from the past that even I, having been a soaps viewer since the mid-1980s, didn’t know of [sister] Patricia’s existence. This could be rewarding. Aside from Anthony Geary being the frontrunner for the 2014-15 best-actor Emmy, we viewers need some concession for having put up with this loopy roller-coaster which, at many times, tested our patience beyond reason.

    • Marilyn Henry says:

      It’s been bantered about that Pat could be played by Erika Slezak–now that would be worth the whole story! I really miss Viki and would love to see her. Also mentioned is Kim Zimmer, another powerhouse actress.
      I re-watched Fri and it was amazing– the quality of acting in all stories! Just superb.

  8. rcade says:

    People who saw Luke and Laura together can still appreciate Luke and Tracy.

    I don’t see why anyone would have trouble believing the Luke/Tracy romance. Tony Geary and Jane Elliot are two of the finest actors GH has ever featured and they’ve had many great moments establishing the relationship during the past decade.

    Tracy’s always had a thing for scoundrels, so Luke fits the bill there, and both of them are sharp-tongued people of keen intelligence. They like having a verbal sparring partner.

  9. Tony says:

    The Fluke storyline has gone on WAY too long. I am beyond done with it. I am still waiting for Genie Francis to return and for Luke and Laura to reunite. I am SO tired of Fluke and Helena skulking around Port Charles saying things that are supposedly witty and menacing but which are in fact just tiresome. Luke and Helena are like cartoon villains straight out of a James Bond parody. I so miss the heart and emotion of the old Luke and Laura story lines. What an opportunity the powers that be at GH threw away when the fans were clamoring for Luke and Laura to reunite for GH”s 50th. And don’t even get me started on the inappropriateness of having young children have “romantic” relationships (Spencer, Emma, etc.)–so disturbing. I am a long-time (on and off) viewer but this show is becoming unwatchable. It may be time for me to check out of GH for awhile. Sad.

  10. rcade says:

    I don’t think it’s inappropriate for the young kids to be claiming they’re in relationships with each other. I can remember kids doing that when I was their age.

    But I do think it’s only entertaining in small doses. GH looks silly devoting long scenes to nothing but the child actors. I don’t get self-conscious very often in my soap fandom, but if someone saw me watching GH when there was a scene with Spencer, Emma, Cameron and/or Josslyn all talking about how they’re in love, I’d cringe.

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