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'General Hospital' fan recap: The magic of Laura

Season 54 | Episodes 94–98| Aired Aug 15–19, 2016

When the powers that be at General Hospital hired Genie Francis in 1976 (she’d first air in 1977) for the role of Laura, do you think they knew the pure magic that was before them? Just think of the range of believable emotions portrayed by her this week: grief, fury, confidence, confusion, and giddiness.

Charting Laura’s week involves a multitude of events, starting with Tracy and Laura waiting side by side at GH to find out if the bracelet Lulu found contained Luke’s DNA. It doesn’t, and viewers are treated to two adult women having an intelligent conversation. Since they know it wasn’t Luke’s corpse, but haven’t heard from Luke, Tracy expects Laura to run off and search the globe for her wayward ex-husband. But Laura is past her years of being defined as a childlike damsel in distress, now she’s defining herself. Most importantly, Laura asserts that she will no longer drop everything to run after Luke. Laura points out that if Tracy still loves Luke, she should be the one to look for him. Tracy leaves Luke a voicemail pleading for information as to his whereabouts.

Then we move on to Laura post-Nikolas’ latest funeral. Technically, the last one was a memorial service, but this time they’re fairly certain he’s actually dead (viewers aren’t). First, Lulu blames Hayden for driving Nikolas to fake his death in the first place, which … no. But Hayden (to her credit) opts not to share Nikolas’ very bad deeds with his sister. Laura, knowing the very bad deeds, doesn’t say anything to Hayden until she overhears Hayden on the phone with her mother. Hayden is just wondering what Nikolas’ death means to the prenuptial agreement, but Laura takes it as a money-grab move. Laura vows to protect Spencer’s interests and Kevin shuts a literal door in Hayden’s face.

Which brings us to Kevin and Laura. Laura tells Kevin about her regret for leaving Nikolas behind all those years ago. She sacrificed time with her son for her own freedom, lost years she can never get back. Kevin comforts her, and she reminds him that he can be her friend, not her therapist. But Kevin gently scoffs at the idea of friends, asking if that’s all they are to one another. Laura moves in for a kiss, to which Kevin responds. After some clarification that Laura is no longer pining for Luke, the mature twosome schedule their first date. And viewers rejoice, because there is no such thing as too much Genie Francis.

Alexis finally faced the music for her dubious representation of Carlos, and despite a fairly ridiculous plea from Olivia, she is indeed suspended (not disbarred) from practicing law. Alexis is despondent, but couldn’t everyone use a friend like Diane to keep you knee-deep in Bloody Marys? Nina shows up to clarify that she thwarted Julian’s escape by turning the ill-gotten keys over to the desk sergeant. Luckily, Sonny is at the Davis house for Nina’s visit, so he’s able to make his next order of business arranging a hit on Julian. Because those always turn out well.

Kristina takes her hurt over the Parker situation and channels it into getting drunk and lashing out at Molly, who chucks Kristina’s phone into some bushes to stop a drunk dial to Parker. In addition to ranting about Alexis, Kristina strikes out at Molly, saying she uses Kristina’s mistakes to further her perfect image. Molly takes her drunken sister to task for choosing chaos and latching onto people who hurt her. Kristina ends up crying on Molly’s shoulder, and the two head home, missing the fact that Kristina’s phone is ringing, and it’s Parker calling.

The wait for Sam to share her baby news ends quickly, as Jason asks her to let them be strong together. Sam tells him she’s pregnant, although fearful of malaria, listing possible side effects for an unborn baby. Jason suggests she stop reading pamphlets, promising to be there for them and not let her down. He follows up by proposing, vowing to do a better job of keeping their vows, and says that he wants her to be his wife. Sam gleefully accepts. And while Sam shares both sets of big news with Alexis to positive end, Jason informing Elizabeth of the engagement is a little terser. Sure, Elizabeth grins through clenched teeth and offers congratulations, but it doesn’t diminish the mixed emotions she’s actually feeling. Elizabeth fully knows that she and Jason are over, but there is a difference between knowing it and actually watching someone you loved fully move on to a definitive next chapter.

Of course, this is on the heels of the latest round of Elizabeth and Franco calling it a day on their budding courtship. Franco really does nothing to help his case by hiding out in the backseat of Elizabeth’s car so he can talk to her. Really, who does that? Franco wants to know why she didn’t tell him about her efforts to clear his name. But everything quickly devolves into another conversation about them being together. Elizabeth admits that she just can’t get over his violent and unstable past, even if he has been cleared medically and legally. Too many things act as a trigger for those memories, and Elizabeth can’t make peace with that. It’s her turn to call it a day on their budding relationship.

Valerie makes a small amount of headway on the serial killer case: She finds a cuff link in Finn’s lab. Well, she assumes it was evidence when she pockets the cuff link, gets knocked on the noggin, and awakes to find the cuff link gone. It’s a stretch by any means to tie it to the murders, but this is Port Charles police work, so we just have to go with it. All we know now is that the cuff link had a Roman coin, so be on the lookout for sneaky camera shots of wrists. Oh, and Valerie and Curtis are together and take things to the next (read: bedroom) level.

Nelle is officially named as Josslyn’s donor, based on timeline and blood tests, as anything else would be too invasive. Josslyn is enraged that her mom continued the investigation, although technically, Carly did drop the whole thing and Nelle came forward. Nelle is the new magical princess of the show right now, offering to calm Josslyn’s anger and being positioned as a new relationship for Michael (since Sabrina and Joe seem to be in their own bubble). Is there any possibility that it wasn’t Jax who bought his daughter a new kidney?

And the saga of Nathan-Maxie-Claudette-Griffin finally comes to a head. Claudette secures herself a job at GH, declaring that she wants to pick things back up with Griffin. They’re busted kissing by Nathan and Maxie, and while Maxie is confused, Nathan immediately puts the pieces together. He rips into Griffin for sleeping with his then-wife, slamming the priest-doctor against a wall. Griffin points out that, regardless of the affair, Nathan was still a cop who shot an unarmed man. Griffin offers his forgiveness to Nathan, who angrily scoffs at the idea. Griffin shoots down the idea of being with Claudette. And Maxie decides that Nathan’s anger somehow means he is still in still in love with his ex-wife.

General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC.

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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