Divine Suspense Plots on General Hospital, Currently Must See TV — Part 2

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

Maurice Benard

I’ve said some negative things about General Hospital headwriter Ron Carlivati (particularly when he was writing One Life to Live) but in the last few months he has proven he knows well how to write soap opera.   As discussed last week in my rave over the “Fluke” storyline, he knows how to interweave plots and has been a master of creating suspense.  Let’s examine how Carlivati  has used or is using the element of suspense in other plots.

Sonny, Julian, Ava and Franco were all in jail: Sonny for the murder of A.J., Ava for the murder of Connie, Julian hiding out in jail from Fluke falsely confessing to the murder of Anthony Zaccara, and  Franco for the kidnapping of Avery, Ava’s newborn baby. Would they break out?  They did and got into a car accident.  Will they live or die?  Fluke sent Carlos and Johnny to kill them. Will they succeed?  Johnny didn’t succeed in shooting Sonny and shot and got shot by Julian.  Will Johnny survive his gun shot?   Johnny was injured and wandered off.  Where was he going?  And will he return to the show?

Carlos was sent to shoot Ava and shot her in the arm.    She fell off a bridge but lost her grip, at first hanging on a handrail but fell when Sonny tried to save her.   Will she be found?  Will she live or die?  Also, is Maura West, the best actress on the show (and arguably one of the best in daytime history, having played Carly on As the World Turns) coming back or leaving the show, as rumored?  I hope she stays because her performances are always excellent and Ava is a fascinating character.

Nathan and Michael stopped a bomb planted  in a party on the Haunted Star  by Jake on Fluke’s order just in time before it went off.   An escaped Sonny grabbed the bomb from Michael and dove into the water and it went off.  Is Sonny alive and will he be found?   Will this act of heroism exonerate him for his murder and will he stay out of jail?   There’s not much to GH   when major star Maurice Benard’s master criminal Sonny is yet again behind bars!

Amnesiac  Jake, who is really Jason but dosen’t know it, realized he is under the mind control of Helena Cassidine, who forced him to hold Sam hostage, but failed in trying to murder her and planted  the bomb on the Haunted Star.  Would he remember doing all this?  He did remember  Sam stealing a Chinese figurine Jason had given her which was found on Jason’s body.  Will Jake get his full memory back and realize he is Jason?  Will Sam figure out Jake is Jason, and what will this do to her?  How will this affect her new romance with Patrick?

Franco, who had a gun, also escaped the car crash but headed over to Shadybrook mental institution  where his mother Heather was about to inject Franco’s friend and lady love Nina with a syringe full of LSD.  Can Franco stop Heather and rescue Nina?  He did, but for some reason injected himself with the LSD.  Will Franco survive his LSD trip?  Franco and Nina kissed.   Will they have a big romance?

Questions, questions, questions!  Finding the answers compels moi to keep tuning in for fun, and not just duty. GH has certainly been divine when it comes to suspense lately!  


  1. I am so confused. You wrote that Todd kidnapped Avery. Todd isn’t even on the show. As usual, while I respect your opinion, I disagree. I am pretty sure most of us knew that those 2 bombs would kill no one. As for Franco injecting a scary long needle in his neck with LSD, I giggled. And of course Sonny saved the day. He’ll receive a pardon and go back to his coffee bean business. I’m just going to say that Ron Carlivati’s writing is nothing if not predictable. The actors are working overtime to make this cartoon drama work and I respect them for that. IMO, this is worse than OLTL even on its worst day.

  2. Marlena, you mistakenly identified Franco as his OLTL character Todd earlier in your new column before you corrected it later in your column! And I think that Fluke is Luke, and he’s been brainwashed by Helena under her mind control, just like she did with Luke’s son Lucky and Jason, and the dead corpse in the basement of the Spencer basement is Bill Eckert’s corpse!

  3. Well I’ll have to take your word for it because I bailed..I really tried honestly but I gave up, threw in the towel. As a long time loyal viewer even through the horrid triad of the axis of evil Frons, Guza, Phelps I held on but now? Naw this isn’t even compelling IMO this variety show mocks soap opera and doesn’t even try to raise the bar…just campy, cartoon gobbly gook..with Nathan having way more story than he should while my fav struggles for air …he’s a star branding the show…who knew?

    I tune in from time to time because of nostalgia as I did a few eppys this week. Its just too many good shows out here who are delivering to their audience quality writing (acting) to waste anymore time on this nonsense. I’m down to two daytime soaps now.

  4. I’m enjoying the suspense of these plotlines. They’re over the top, admittedly, but the General Hospital I’ve been watching since the late ’70s has often done action-oriented stories like the ones Ron Carlivati is doing today.

    The best thing about the Fluke story is that it puts Anthony Geary front and center in the biggest storyline on the show. The last time that happened he was drinking and ran over a young child, which was far too depressing for my tastes.

    The one thing I fault Carlivati for is not spending enough time covering what a major plot development means for the characters involved. After Robin came back, we got few scenes where she discussed the trauma of being kidnapped and thought dead for so long, or what it was like to find Patrick marrying another woman. The great soap writers of the past would have milked those emotional moments for so long we got sick of them.

  5. Something is definitely wrong here. We are watching different shows. Must see TV. Sorry around here its Delete TV, free up my DVR and make sure I am not watching this dreck. No more GH for mer. Could be because this is not GH. FrankenRon are two of the most talentless hacks. Even as bad as Kill Farren Phelps, and Guza and Frons. I shut the show off for seven years the last time they killed off AJ and made sonny a hero. Guess what ? Here we go again. We are definitely watching a different show. Of course I know I am not watching it so that must be it.

    Marlena says: “Even as bad as Kill Farren Phelps, and Guza and Frons.” That’s the most divinely worded insult that ever was ever used in the Marlena columns over the last few years!

  6. Chere Marlena,

    Wonderful to have you back. GH is a mixed bag for me. I’m more on the side of enjoying it than hating it, but I have some problems with it. My biggest problem with the Fluke story is that it has dragged out for a year now to the point that I don’t care. Is it Bill Eckhart? Is it Luke with DID? Is Helena controlling his mind? This needed to have been resolved long, long ago. Although I will say Tony Geary is doing a great job with it.

    As for bombs on ships, corpses in basements, prison breaks and mental hospital break-outs, they all can be exciting stuff when written properly. But somehow, it all just fell flat. I didn’t really care about it since I knew none of the characters was really in jeopardy. They weren’t about to kill off half the population of Port Charles. The status quo didn’t change in the end.

    Contrast that to November sweeps when Franco revealed Sonny and Carly were sleeping together and that Sonny killed AJ. The status quo changed as a result of that, so I found that riveting. Sonny was in jail finally! Michael was renouncing his Corenthos identity. Franco goes on the run with Nina. Exciting stuff.

    But after this Sweeps spectacular, all the great status quo changes from November were undone. Sonny is a free man again and undoubtedly Michael will be reunited with his parents. Well, I take that back, I guess there were some changes. Nina and Franco are in a mental hospital together (gross!) and Fluke is in jail finally (yawn — like I said this has gone on far, far, far too long). Oh, and Sonny is now a hero (vomit inducing idea).

    Come on Ron, you can do better than this. Much better.

    Marlena says: Bet you that Ron is just fine with himself! I’ll be doing more on GH very very soon. I am finally at the point when I am getting tired of wondering who Fluke is. How can he be the real Luke even though Fluke says he is?

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