By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
One of the great strengths of the soap opera form is the element of surprise. Since we have long lived in a world of spoilers, surprises are few and far between today’s soaps. Thus we rejoice that General Hospital of late has managed to steer around the obligatory spoilers and give us genuine surprises. Doubtless this has contributed to the great ratings high the show’s been riding these days. Soap producers, watch and learn.
For example, it was most unexpected that A.J. Quartermaine (Sean Kanan) be declared not guilty of the murder of Connie Falconeri last week by a jury. After all he was caught almost red-handed: his fingerprints were on the gun, Connie had scribbled “A.J” near her body in her own blood, and cameras had placed him at the entrance to the office where the murder took place. But … surprise! … the jury didn’t think there was enough evidence to convict him. As a practical matter, A.J. was probably declared not guilty so that Kanan — one of the great strengths of the show — didn’t have to be written off. The trial took a long time to come to fruition, and during the few months an incarcerated A.J. and Kanan were regrettably not even shown on screen. GH needs him back.
Another great surprise registered in the shock arena. Last week Franco (Roger Howarth) was shown stabbing his own newly discovered mother Heather (Robin Mattson) to “death’ with a shank. Heather had shown up at Carly’s hotel with the shank supposedly to do her son’s lover in. Franco was shown burying his own mother in a freshly dug grave. But not so fast! Does anyone ever really die on a soap opera? Soon we saw a hand reaching out from the grave! Also surprisingly Franco confessed to the murder to therapist Kevin the next day; but Kevin brushed it off as self-defense. How long will it be until Heather is shown alive again? How long will it be until Franco discovers he’s not guilty of murdering his own mother?
The surprises kept coming. Another great one was the upcoming write-out of Spinelli and Ellie (Bradford Anderson and Emily Wilson). As you know, Spinelli was given custody of his and Maxie’s baby Connie. Well, just last week Ellie was offered a lab job in Portland. Maxie didn’t object to the couple taking the baby that far away because she declared she couldn’t stand being so close to her baby in Port Charles and not being able to see her. So this week Ellie and Spinelli and Connie will leave Port Charles.
It’s a shock and a shame to see Bradford Anderson go. He has added so much to the show over the last seven years in which he has played the lovable nerd Spinelli. From his own special language to his immense tenderness, sweetness and great doses of humanity, Anderson’s Spinelli is a one of a kind soap character. I, for one, will miss greatly miss the pleasure of his company.
But is Spinelli really going for good? This is, after all, soap opera …