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'General Hospital' recap: Acting out of character

Season 51 | Episodes 10-14 | Aired Apr 14-18, 2014

When you watch a show for years, you come to expect certain behaviors from familiar characters. Watching Scandal, you come to expect Olivia Pope to be a martyr. Watching Once Upon a Time, you expect Emma to be a savior. Watching The Big Bang Theory, you expect Sheldon to be stubborn. And watching General Hospital, you have a plethora of characters that you’ve come to expect to act specific ways, as well.

But this week was all about not recognizing the actions of some of our favorite players. Let’s take Tracy Quartermaine, for example. Sure, we’ve seen her be ruthless and selfish over the years. Heck, we once saw her withhold her father’s heart medicine until he put her back in his will. But one of Tracy’s most redeeming qualities has always been that she is smart. And, dare I say, in the name of “love,” we’re now seeing a new side of her. She’s acting like an idiot.

Everyone, from Sonny to Kiki, can see that Luke is not acting like himself. But Tracy has put on a serious case of blinders concerning her betrothed. Ned returns to town for A.J.’s funeral and immediately suggests a prenup when he learns that his mother and Luke are engaged and that Luke is planning to work at ELQ. Smart Tracy is initially on board, but Idiot Tracy is actually snowed by Luke’s argument that a prenup proves she doesn’t trust him. He offers to end their engagement if she doesn’t believe his motivations are genuine, and she acquiesces! The Tracy we know, and that Ned knows, should be able to see through these amateur manipulations. I wonder how she’ll react when she learns that Luke has threatened to kill Ned if he further interferes.

Luke’s strange actions extend beyond what Ned sees as well. He’s acting like a complete pervert with every woman on the show who isn’t his fiancée. He’s lewd with Jordan at the art gallery, and when he confronts Kiki for telling Tracy about his prior advances, he’s aggressive to the point of assault, leading to her respond with several quick knees to his groin. That may be the first time I was ever on Kiki’s side! How much further will this story go before we learn the reasoning behind Luke’s behavior?

Another person who isn’t acting like his normal self is Sonny. Sure, we’ve seen him go off the rails before. We’ve even seen him interacting with ghosts before (Connie). But have we ever seen him actually acknowledge that he knows his behavior is causing problems? Since Ghost A.J. is a manifestation of his guilt, do you think he will end up confessing to someone about the shooting? It’s interesting that Sonny’s hallucinations of A.J. show Ghost A.J. to be an intense, taunting, forceful man, when you consider that Sonny always viewed him as a weak and worthless man during his life. Ghost A.J. can drive him to throw barware (OK, Sonny always throws barware) and push Olivia away. Sonny reaches out to Ava, knowing that Carly will try to save him from himself, and Ava is only too willing to lend an ear. But Ava does nothing if it doesn’t serve herself, so what do you think she is really up to?

Ava’s got a big distraction elsewhere this week, when the PCPD is finally able to solve a crime. They track down the gun dealer who sold the gun used in the Quartermaine mansion break-in and are able to get him to flip on Carlos. Carlos tries to distance himself from the gun, but blood from when Tracy beaned him over the head and a water bottle are able to provide a DNA link. The police have him dead to rights, and he’s very close to confessing when Diane finally arrives to act as his counsel. He’s ready to spill the beans to Diane, but Ava calls to interrupt the attorney-client session. Carlos thinks it’s time to turn on Ava, as she can’t do much about it while he’s in police custody, but Ava has one trump card left to play: She vows that if he tells the police anything, Sabrina and her unborn baby will be the ones to pay the price.

Speaking of Sabrina, we finally get to check back in with the nurse this week, as she and Patrick learn they are having a boy. Patrick promises to be an active participant in her pregnancy and the baby’s life. And with no mention of Robin returning anytime soon, it seems as though these two are poised to grow closer.

Not growing closer are Britt and Nathan, at least in the romantic sense. Upon learning that Britt and Nathan spent a night hanging out, Madeline is quick to fill Nathan (or do we call him “James” now?) in on his true lineage. He’s stunned to learn that Obrecht is his mother and Britt is his sister, but the fallout this week is minimal, as he first has to deal with his living arrangements. Maxie, at Levi’s urging, tells him to move out. Nathan reminds her that he has two weeks left on his sublet, so he’s not going anywhere. Add the fact that neither Maxie nor Levi has an income and the reveal of his newfound sibling, and Maxie agrees to let Nathan stay. Hopefully Maxie and Nathan will find themselves a couple soon, so we can get the insufferable Levi off our screens. He’s as annoying as the early incarnation of Spinelli, only without the useful computer skills. I hope he’s not long for Port Charles!

While Lulu fills in an off-screen Laura on her newfound motherhood, Dante tells Anna about Obrecht’s offer of the stolen embryo in exchange for dropping all charges. Anna points out that it will be a hard sell to convince Nikolas and Liz to drop their end of the charges — I didn’t think that hostage and shooting victims even had the option do that. Lulu asks Britt about the embryo, and while Britt claims to have no firsthand knowledge, she does admit that her mother doesn’t often make empty offers.

Elsewhere this week, Franco got himself arrested to prove his loyalty to Carly. Carly is convinced that Carlos can shed some light on the link between Ava and A.J.’s murder, so Franco’s idea is to spray-paint some graffiti on his Metro Court suite, leading Olivia to call the police. Apparently, PCPD is so small that graffiti artists and accused murders will be held in the same cell block?

The character of Jordan finally gets some depth, as we find out that her distance from T.J. wasn’t by choice. While Shawn and Duke discuss the drugs that Luke and Julian have begun to move into Port Charles, Jordan makes her true nature known. She reveals her master skills lie not in gallery management, but in the drug trade. Her son doesn’t even warrant a mention, as she offers her talents in trafficking to Julian Jerome. He’s initially skeptical, but once he ascertains she isn’t wearing a wire (at least on her bra), his curiosity is definitely piqued.

Finally, little Spencer shows he can do more than act a brat and bicker with Cameron. When Nikolas dismisses his accusations that Luke is out to get Sonny, Spencer goes straight to Sonny’s house to try to warn his uncle. Sonny is too deep in his own pity party to answer the door, so the little prince heads straight to Luke to get some answers. Will Luke harm a child to protect his own interests?

Now it’s time to get your thoughts! What is your theory regarding Luke’s actions? Will Carlos sacrifice himself to protect his beloved Sabrina? And how long will we have to put up with Levi on our screens?

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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