General Hospital at 51: A Nifty Anniversary Episode

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

Maurice Benard’s Sonny, facing all the Carlys with a straight face

Soaps rarely celebrate anniversaries on camera.  But General Hospital had such a boffo 50th year, the 51st anniversary show just begged to be done. The resulting episode, which aired on April 1st, was a winner from start to finish.

As it should, it was introduced by pictures of Steve Hardy and Jessie Brewer  at the Nurse’s Desk at the dawn of creation of GH.  The episode centered on the Quartermaines, inasmuch as one of its chief members, A.J., had just passed away due to being shot by Sonny.  Monica was seen talking to his dead body, bemoaning the fact that everyone she had had a hand in raising in the family had died.  First A.J.  (the first time he was believed dead), who had been a troublemaker his whole life due partially to his alcoholism. And now Jason is believed dead. All  her children died way before their time, way too young, including daughter  Emily, who came  back from the dead to console her mother at A.J.’s sudden death.

Indeed, the episode made us realize that almost all the Quartermaines, the show’s central family for 40 years, are dead.  Only Tracy remains from the original family. At the end of the episode, Lila, Edward and Alan (who also is dead) were seen leading A.J. up a hospital staircase, presumably to heaven.   It’s hard for longtime GH viewers to believe that the Quartermaines are virtually gone.  Tracy’s sons Ned and Dillon live on, and A.J.’s son Michael survives. Jason, who is generally believed to be dead,  is actually comatose somewhere, waiting to be revived by some miracle work from Dr. Robin.

The anniversary’s show also featured flashbacks of Sonny and Carly in which Sonny pleaded with Carly not to turn him in for murdering A..J.  The flashbacks were accompanied by performances from Carlys past and present: Sarah Brown, Tamara Braun and today’s Carly, Laura Wright. All three looked great and performed in tour de force fashion, reliving the embattled couple’s many romances, miscarriages, marriages and reunions.  Through it all Maurice Bernard, played it straight as if the faces of Carly weren’t physically changing right before him. Quel plaisir!

Elsewhere,  life in Port Charles went on.  Brad missed his lover Lucas, who had dismissed him, because he had a longtime role in keeping secret that baby Ben really belonged biologically to Lulu and Dante, not to Britt, who stole their fertilized embryos and gave birth to him. Over at Elizabeth’s, the despised Dr. Obrecht kept Elizabeth and baby Ben hostage, waiting for Britt to come over to pick up her son and take him away.  Instead, at the end of the week, Britt showed up to help Dante and Lulu. Will Dr. O, who has kidnapped Ben for a second time this time, get away with her crimes? Will Dante and Lulu ever get baby Ben back?

After 51 years and counting, GH keeps us asking such questions.


  1. anonymous says:

    the quatermaines, who were alans’ part of the family shouldn’t be all gone.Wife monica and grandsons micheal and danny are all that are left. I guess the writers decide if jason is really gone. What storyline does monica have now.Micheal get’s his comfort from his mother,who is the reason he didn’t grow up around aj in the first place, and the adopted mob boss father he thinks is so great and kiki.He’s not around monica a lot and I don’t think she ever sees danny. She’s no longer chief of staff at general hospital and lee and gail left town a long time ago. Except for tracy and fighting with leslie when she comes back to town, what are the writers going to give her to do?Kiki was the one person micheal felt he say how he felt about both his fathers too. What’s going to happen to that when he finds out that her mother ava killed connie, tried to aj first but the gun didn’t work. Because that secret will come out on soap operas they always do.
    Carly already made a bad choice when micheal was a baby by not wanting micheal to be around his father while he was growing up. She’s going to make it worse by picking sonny over her own child. Let him find out that sonny shot aj.Tell him he was strangling ava, and also say micheal let’s try to find out what ava did for him to do that. Where that will leave micheal and kiki I don’t know but silas will have to do more than want to go to bed with sam once the secret is out. His daughter will need him. ‘Cause she’ll have to learn about a grandmother, an uncle johnny, and a cousin owen she didn’t know she had.I think carly should be the one to find out that aj stands for ava jerome not aj quartermaine. You’d think anna would’ve found it out already since she’s the police chief. Luke or not luke wants ELQ for some reason which brings the show back to where it was when aj came back; the fight for the company Micheal has his fathers’ power of attorney, he has stock in the company he’s an heir. Carly has stock in the company too. If the writers and sean kanan couldn’t agree on how he would play the part, they should have left him in the coma until they did a recast. Sean played aj as a recovering alcholic who might really handle his drinking problem this time and who loved and wanted to get to know his son. I liked that aj and I was looking forward to watching the fight for elq. Sean was about one aj never had panic attacks. Why did he suddenly have them now?Wally Kurth will go back to days of our lives so ned wont stay long. I thought he found happiness in his professional life as the manager of rock bands so why would he care anymore about ELQ when was dillion ever interested in it? Or tracys’ granddaughter brooklynne?

  2. I thought the show was a big Bronx cheer to the fans. One Carley is enough,three was tooo much. AJ dies and carley is still lying about him shoving her down the stairs. Kidnapping. He just did to them what Sonny did to him Steal his son, he wanted Michael to know he wasn’t evil. and he did love him. What did he get. A child under his bed with a pillow, ready to suffocate him. ,AJ at the time was crippled and couldn’t have moved to keep the kid from killing him.The fans were disgusted by this, now I am back to being disgusted with the show. 51 years. FrankenRon needs to think before destroying history. I felt sorry for Monica, for a minute Now I haven’t’ watched since this ,and guess what.I don’t care anymore. If FrankenRon are trying to destroy the show and get it cancelled they are doing a great job.

    • I didn’t enjoy the show at all. It featured the DEMISE of a core character/family and the PROPPING UP of a killer, by three(!) Carlys. It seems to me we’re getting back to Mob Hospital after having a hiatus from it for a while, and I, for one, am not happy.
      I’m almost afraid to see what CarToony are going to do to the Nurse’s Ball!

  3. Oh I forgot. Anything with Sonny in it if FF for me.Its the reason if I am interested , I dvr so I can FF.Don’t have to listen to him mumble and call names .Sonny needs a mirror so he can see what we see.

  4. horselover says:

    I thought it was an awful episode. I can’t believe they killed another Q and we were supposed to be celebrating GH’s 51st Anniversary. Why would any long time viewer celebrate that? And for me, Sonny & Carly were the epitome of everything I hated about GH when it was MOB-CENTRAL. Why would I like an episode about Sonny and THREE Carlys?!? Thumbs down for me.

  5. Pammylou says:

    I have to agree with the other posters and say this was not a good episode. In fact, when critics praise General Hospital I have to wonder if we are watching the same show. I’ve been invested in this show over 40 years. I think the writing is so cartoonish and lazy. It’s all about plot, plot, plot. Terrible pacing, dropped storylines, no character development or investment. No consequences for bad behavior either. It pains me there are barely any Quatermaines left, that Genie Francis was treated so badly, that the vets have no story and are MIA and that relationships do not matter. What are people seeing that I am not?

  6. In response to a comment, Gail and Lee Baldwin didn’t leave town. Monica recently told Tracy that she plays bridge with Lesley, Gail and Audrey. That’s how she won Heather Webber’s Egg Salad Sandwich painting which she regifted to Tracy.

  7. The show was fantastic. I can’t believe there were people complaining. These same people just get off on the sheer volume of cheers they can point towards the show on a daily basis.

    Those of us that enjoy it (and we are in massive doses) just sit back and watch them make fools of themselves.

  8. MAma do you really enjoy watching the midget mobster shooting people in cold blood face to face. What reason did Scummy finally give? Dante should know who shot Aj . Being as how he is now an official keystone cop I guess with Sonny’ s
    genes its to much to hope a light may shine and he could say,. I remember Sonny shot me. I confessed to shooting myself .maybe not Maybe I am expecting too much from Sonnys son. .Come here and let me know if Scummy does go to jail, a nice little dark cell. I will return to watch that. Is there anyone on the show we actually know or is this mobs, molls and newbies are us? I cannot bring myself to watch this mess. FrankenRon are just as bad a s Guza. Let them watch it.

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