General Hospital: Who is the Real Luke Spencer?

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

Tony Geary — Is it Luke or his doppelganger?

On soap operas, situations and characters change very slowly.  So it’s been somewhat of a shock that Luke Spencer, for most of his 35 years on General Hospital a lovable rogue, has turned into a major criminal.  It was revealed in the last few months that he’s the one who is bankrolling the drug ring run by Julian Jerome and that he wants to bring down Sonny Corinthos, the drug dealer who has been his friend for decades.

Some may argue that Luke is actually coming full circle.  After all, when he came to town in the late 70s, he was a criminal, albeit a low level one, in the Frank Smith organization.  But through the love of Laura Spencer, he transformed himself and became a hero.  He saved the world from the Cassidines’ weather machine and even became the mayor of Port Charles.

But what has really been strange about the Luke of recent days is why and how he has become a criminal again.  The “old” Luke was last seen when he was knocked out and held a drugged hostage at the Miscavige Home for the Criminally Insane by one of its residents, Heather Webber.  The “new” Luke, without any explanation, was seen plotting the take-over of the drug trade with Julian at Nicholas and Britt’s engagement party.

But is the new Luke really the same character as the old Luke?  Of course, he’s still being played by Tony Geary, master of the soap acting game after 35 years. But some fans suspect he may really be Luke’s look-alike cousin Bill Eckert, and a fan or two have suggested he might even be Heather in disguise.

Whatever, the new Luke is certainly behaving a bit differently than the old Luke.  He’s been seen doing drugs. He made more than one  pass at young Kiki, who kicked  him in groin in retaliation.  And he threatened the life of his fiancé Tracy’s Ned, who was trying to get him to sign a pre-nuptial agreement.

But whoever it is is certainly using Luke’s physical guise.  He’s again engaged to his ex-wife Tracy, not for love this time, but to get a job at ELQ, which he’ll use to launder the Jerome drug money. Does he still love Tracy? Who knows?  Geary’s excellent scenes with co-star Jane Elliot as Tracy continue after all these years. (How many total hours of air time have these two racked up together? Guinness Book of World Records, anyone?)

Why has GH decided to change Luke thus, especially without explanation.  It’s a question that needs to be answered if the audience is to get much further satisfaction out of the current storyline.  After years and years, it may be time to bring the unquestioned king of the Port Charles drug trade, Sonny Corinthos, down for good.  Sonny has been shown disintegrating with guilt after shooting and killing A.J.  Quartermaine. He’s poised for a fall.

But the last person anyone suspects might bring down Sonny is our Luke Spencer, the good guy who is a criminal once more.

Born to Lose: The Tragedy of Connie

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

It’s not easy being a soap heroine – especially one who is doomed from the outset.  Consider the unfortunate life story of Connie Falconeri a.k.a. Kate Howard on General Hospital. She was found shot to death on the show last week, her usefulness as perpetually over-the-top victim and ongoing pain in the butt finally at an end.

Kelly Sullivan

Now our evergreen anti-hero Sonny Corinthos is free to work his moody mobbed-up magic on yet another hapless female with a taste for bad  guys. And so the misogynistic beat goes on.

Connie first came to Port Charles in 2007 in the guise of Kate Howard (played then by Megan Ward), a glamorous women’s magazine editor, cool and collected and full of the promise of intelligent femininity.  But that promise soon evaporated as she became involved anew with Sonny Corinthos, her childhood sweetheart from back in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.   Eventually Kate agreed to marry Sonny, his shady doings notwithstanding. Her reward for her faith in him was getting shot in the middle of the wedding ceremony by one of Sonny’s enemies.

Kate was carried off and placed in GH limbo, there to stay until she was needed again. The call eventually came, and she returned to Port Charles (this time played by the dynamic Kelly Sullivan). And, for some nonsensical reason never made clear, she got involved with Sonny all over again.

Meanwhile, her own troubled past came into play. A n’er do well named Joe Scully came to town, and it was revealed that he had raped her, unleashing the double personalities of nasty Connie and sweet Kate. Connie, it was revealed, had abandoned her baby son Trey in a dresser drawer and run away to college, later making her way to New York City where she became the glamorous magazine editor.

But Connie’s past kept following  her. She became increasingly hysterical, especially after Joe and Trey’s deaths. Her magazine, Crimson, got into trouble and so did the newspaper she edited, The Port Charles Press.

To increase the Press’ circulation, new owner Derek Wells (a.k.a. Julian Jerome) encouraged her to publish a secret she had found out from Sonny: that Kiki Jerome wasn’t a Quartermaine after all.  That fact helped Tracy wrest control of ELQ away from a shocked A.J. Quartermaine. A.J., an alcoholic, went on a bender and took a gun out of the Quartermaine safe.  Right afterward, Connie was found dead on the floor of her office.

Who killed Connie?  Just before she died, Connie scribbled  the letters “‘A.J.” in blood on  a piece of cardboard next to her body.  But was it really A.J. Quartermaine?  He had an alcoholic blackout and doesn’t remember.  It may also stand for Ava Jerome, Kiki’s mother, whose secret was exposed when Connie published the fact that Franco Quartermaine wasn’t Kiki’s father. Whoever shot her, Connie didn’t even get a funeral, so little does GH think of its tragic heroine.

But we will miss her anyway, thanks to the consistently bold and captivating work of Ms. Sullivan, with her big eyes full of fear and trembling upside down frown. Bon voyage, Ms. Sullivan. Here’s hoping we see you again soon somewhere else.  

General Hospital: Can This Show Be Saved?

By Ed Martin

Watching General Hospital these last two weeks, as the energetic efforts of One Life to Live veterans Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati to save the show from almost certain doom begin to play out, it occurs to me that my time as a fan of this once-formidable serial has come full circle. I began watching GH in 1978, shortly after 

I’d like to see the new regime make moves as bold as those the late Gloria Monty made way back in the Seventies since, again, there is nothing to lose. The best suggestion here would be to eliminate the characters whose storylines have brought the show to its knees.

fearless executive producer Gloria Monty had been brought on board to save the show from seemingly certain cancellation. In fact, as legend has it, [Read more...]