Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down

The Scorpios and pals have gotten a number of cheers and jeers over the years.  Read a few of them here.  Whenever possible, I've included the source, but sometimes I didn't have it.

2008


Hits and Misses 2007:  Hits - The Metro Court - Everyone patronizes Metro Court, so Mr. Craig's explosive takeover affected the entire town. The shock waves are still being felt, as relationships were built on blood or shattered like a bomb blast. And fans had a blast watching it. Misses - Black and White Ball - The Black and White Ball gave GH a black eye because it was such a pale imitation of the Metro Court disaster. The dance replayed the hotel crisis note for note, including the hostages, taunting madman, Jason's heroism, meatball surgery and the gratuitous death of a dear fan fave. Wyndemere didn't explode, but GH still blew it. Snoozzzzzy - Patrick and Leyla - He's a handsome doctor and she's a hot nurse. They mooned over each other on the night shift, but the relationship could not stand the bright light of daytime. Plus, it broke up the show's only working couple, Robin and Patrick. Talk about Robin Peter to pay Paul. (SOW 1/1/08)

Prime Time 2007 Hits and Misses:  Misses - Robin's Lunacy - Level-headed, lovable Robin turned into a baby-obessed, shrewish maniac in a 13-week regression that was even more egregious than Patrick eyeing all the ladies again. (SOW 1/8/08)

2007


Standout Scenes- Robin Says Good-Bye to Alan! Robin's quiet but intensely jarring recollection of her near-death experience after being shot was proof of why GH's Kimberly McCullough is a two-time Emmy winner. The pathos was kicked up an addition notch when tears streamed down her face as her friend and mentor, the man who fave her comfort when Stone died and courage when she was diagnosed as HIV-positive: Alan. The pictures of that fateful night appeared before her tired eyes. She remembered the flash from the gun and then her stomach burning where she was shot. "When the pain got really bad, I left my body. I was kind of over myself, watching everything," she said in disbelief. "Everyone was panicking. I was completely calm, because I knew that you were there, and I just tried so badly to say that no matter what happened, if I didn't make it, that I loved you so much." At first, the tears flowed slowly, and then fell faster as she remembered hearing Alan's voice. "He sounded really scared. And then I heared the words 'heart attack.' Then I heard them use the paddles. I just kept telling myself, 'If I can just get up, I can help him.' But my body was not responding to what my mind was trying to tell it to do." Every minute that passed, she knew he was lying there getting worse, and she couldn't help him. "Alan didn't have to die. I didn't have to live!" she said, overcome with sadness and guilt. "I'm going to miss him a lot... I'm going to miss my friend." Whethere Robin is speaking from her heart or her head, McCullough's performance is always genuine. We believe what she says. We believe what she feels. She speaks Robin's words so naturally that sometimes it's hard to believe they actually were written by someone else and not thought up by her on the spot. Now that's talent. (SID 4/10/07)

Standout Scenes- Robin and Patrick Speak Out! GH's Robin and Patrick are cursed with the same problems of your average couple out there in the real world - they don't say what they mean or mean what they say. Or they didn't until recently in a series of memorable scenes. "It's totally fine that you sent the couch back. Honestly, I don't take it personally," Robin told Patrick. But what she was really thinking - and we head in her head - was, "Of course I take it personally, you self-centered jerk!" Although he was committed to making their relationship work, he could feel the walls clsoing in around him. She was turning domestic on him, which was a gigantic no-no, and she knew it. "It was a great couch..." he verbalized, adding in his own mind, "...with a neon sign saying, 'I'm moving in!'" The last thing Patrick wanted to do was start a fight. Robin either always seemed to win those, or, if not, storm out in a huff. As Patrick saw it, tip-toeing around the truth was the way to go. "It was a great couch. Perfect size, classic lines - a real beauty," he told her carefully. But Robin read between the lines and thought, "Please don't tell me you're comparing me to a couch." News that he wanted to move out of the apartment and back into the Metro Court Hotel went over like a lead balloon. Patrick thought, "If I don't get out now, you're going to be picking out china patterns." Robin caught what he was hinting at. "In other words," she began, "if you live in a hotel, then no one can move in with you." The look on his face was enough of an answer for her. Bravo to the writers and to the winning team of Kimberly McCullough (Robin) and Jason Thompson (Patrick) for so skillfully communicating both the yin and yang while keeping the dialogue snappy, smart, funny and oh-so-realistic. (SID 2/27/07)

Real-life Relationship Issues:  It can't all be hearts and flowers. On the other hand, it can't be all evil twins and back-from-the-dead spouses, either. Refreshingly, a number of current storylines portray romantic upheaval in a believable, but no less interesting way.
     Okays, so OLTL's John really is back from the dead, but since his resurrection, Natalie's been smothering him, so the biggest threat to their romance is his realistic need for space. Over on GH, Robin and Patrick's burgeoning love affair has brought up commitment issues for the former playboy. Adding fuel to the fire is Patrick's old "friend," Pete, with whom he and Robin are in a triangle of sorts as Pete tries to undermine the romance by making Patrick feel like a wuss. In Genoa City, it's subtle trouble for Daniel and Lily. The young marrieds are adorable, but young is the operative word and he's starting to seem... Restless.
     Bravo to all three shows for showing that not all romantic travails have to be out of this world- sometimes, they are much closer to home. (SOD 3/6/07)

2006


Standout Scenes- Patrick Confesses His Love! Patrick's admission of love threw GH's Robin for a loop. To safeguard her heart, she threw his words back in his face, then stormed off. But he wasn't ready to give up on her just yet. Later, in her loft, Robin lamented to Lainey and Kelly that she had made a big mistake. Suddenly, they heard music playing outside. When they peeked out the window, they saw Patrick below, holding a bouquet of flowers for his lady love. Touched, Robin joined him downstairs in the courtyard. She couldn't hold back her happy grin. "I love you - not 'maybe,' not 'possibly,' not 'someday' - right now, tonight," he said softly, trying to convince her he wasn't lying. "I've loved you for a long time. I don't even know when it started. Maybe it was during the epidemic when I realized that I could lose you or when you saw me through my father's transplant. The days are a blur after I got stuck with the needle, but I remember your voice. You were calm. You held my hand the whole time. And I realized that I need you, I trust you, I admire you. And you can be wrong a lot of the time, and you can drive me crazy a lot of the time, but I love you, completely." She confessed her fear of loving and losing again, the way she did with Stone and Jason. But her feelings for Patrick were gusing out of her every pore, and she could no longer hold them in. "Here it goes," she said, choking back her anxiety. "I think that you are amazing and brillant, and you're also really funny and charming. You're my best friend. And I love you." Could that possibly have been more romantic? Patrick didn't really have to say a word. He had Robin - and all of us - with the music and flowers. What woman on Earth doesn't want it to happen just like that? (SID 12/19/06)

Editor's Choice- Precious Moments:  While it's true that grand, sweeping tales often nab the coveted Editor's Choice, that's not always the case. General Hospital recently strung together a cornucopia of heartfelt moments in various storylines, artfully demonstrating that it's the little moments in life that sometimes matter most.
     ...Across town, the not-quite-over-the-hill-but-nearing-the-top-of-the-peak duo of Luke and Robert fought over which one of them would rescue damsel-in-distress Skye. The creaky crime-busters nearly busted a gut when Robin suggested that they actually call the police to solve the case. They did save the world once, whippersnapper! Things took a poignant turn when Luke not-so-subtly reminded Robert that it was his daughter's birthday. When Scorpio gave his little girl a gift, it happened to be identical to the one she received from cocky beau Patrick, confirming her mother's contention that Robin had found a man just like dear old Dad. How sweet it is. (excerpt from SOD 11/14/06)

Editor's Choice- When the Lights Go Down in the City:  When the lights wend out in Port Charles, the electricity didn't stop flowing, it surged- two unexpected couplings literally sizzled.
     ...But lust wasn't the only "L" word in evidence during the brown-out. The burgeoning love story of bickering medicos Robin and Patrick took a romantic turn as the womanizing Dr. Drake wrested with the fact that he might have contracted HIV. Robin kept her man calm with stories from the past, describing how she has lived with the disease for over a decade, and the compassionate words of an end-stage AIDS patient made Patrick see the beauty that exisits in his world, and how life holds no guarantees. Viewers saw a new man show up at Robin's door to stammer, "[April] told me to tell you..."
     "Tell me what?" Robin asked.
     "She told me to tell you that you matter. You have from the start. What I feel for you I've never felt for another woman in my entire life. And... I think... maybe... in time... there's a chance that... I might love you."
     "Oh," replied a stunned Robin.
     "I gotta go," said Patrick. (excerpt from SOD 9/12/06)

Hit- GH's Blackout Opens Eyes:  Port Charles' Great Blackout of 2006 may have been blink-and-you-miss-it brief, but the darkness shed light on problems in many core GH relationships...Toss in Robin and Patrick grappling with his HIV exposure, and the nights the light wen out in PC was the most illuminating.  (excerpt from SOW 9/12/06)

Editor's Choice- Occupational Hazard:  Dr. Patrick Drake is a brillant surgeon, but his arrogance has overshadowed his unswerving commitment to medicine. Recently, that commitment got him smacked with a frightening lesson in humility.
     It began when an injured patient with advanced symptomsof AIDS - but no insurance - was rushed to GH in need of surgery only to be denied care, thanks to penny-pinching hospital administrator Ms. Sneed (scene stealer Mary Stein, who proved that there's no such thing as a small part). Sneed's toeing of the corporate line set off dedicated docs Robin and Patrick, and Chief of Staff Alan had to step in to make the final decision. "This is a hospital," Dr. Quartermaine declared. "Our job is to save lives, including this woman. Your job is to find out how to pay for it without hassling my doctors. You've got the OR, Patrick. You need to pick a team. If you need someone to assist you, I'll do it."
     After Sneed pointed out that anyone involved was putting their own health at risk, Patrick was infuriated when nurse Epiphany announed that there was a hitch in assembling a team. "I knew we'd run into this problem in this backwater town," Dr. Drake huffed. Quite the contrary: There were so many volunteers that the docs had to choose. GH: 1. Drake: 0.
     Things took an alarming turn when, during surgery, Patrick pricked his finger. Faced with finishing the procedure or tending to his own wound - thus endangering his patient's life - Patrick lived up to his Hipporcratic Oath and finished the operation, but in doing so, exposed himself to AIDS.
     The gravity of his situation slowly sank in as he silently stood, endlessly rinsing his hands. "No matter how hard you scrub, it won't go away," Robin sighed. For weeks, Patrick had accused Robin of neglecting life and hiding behind her HIV-positive status, and those words haunted him as he faced the predicament that Robin has lived with for a decade. Dr. Scorpio offered heartfelt reassurances, touchingly conveying her own experience with contracting and living with the virus. Taking Patrick to the docks to get some air, she told him, "I don't believe that people get AIDS as punishment. Sometimes horrible things happen to the best of us... But I promise, you're not alone."
     The key to a well-crafted story is not only the careful construction of a powerful, dramatic event, but how its aftermath affects both the characters and the future story. This emotional bump in the road brought the bickering lovers Robin and Patrick closer than they've ever been. (Patrick tried to keep a sense of humor, joking, "No woman is going to come near me... Looks like you got your committed relationship by default, Dr. Scorpio.") No only did this affect our participants, but their loved ones, as well. Once the kids' parents found out, beloved vets stepped up to the plate. Anna and Robert bemoaned how choosing their careers over their child kept them away when Robin went through this herself 10 years ago, and the delinquent duo vowed not to let history repeat itself. And, Patrick grew closer to his estranged dad, Noah, as the elder Dr. Drake prescribed his own remedies for Patrick's condition, transparently masking his paternal concern with medical advice.
     There's nothing like a crisis to bring people together, and as the Scorpio/Drake families showed, their true colors are brillant. (SOD 8/29/06)

The Scorpios Call a Truce "You might want to explain to your daughter that there is simply no return in trying to win the affections of a self-centered, emotionally unavailable, oversexed bum!" GH's Anna shouted at Robert, who she believed was everything she charged him with. Before Robert could say much in return, Robin showed up. "Excuse me!" she interrupted. "Haven't you had this fight already?" Stepping in closer, Robin calmed down. "I haven't had a tantrum since I was 9 years old. But since you two showed up, I've had several." Now that she had their attention, she ahd something important to say- she forgave them for their parental imperfections and thought it was time they forgave each other. Robert and Anna's constant clashing over which one of them was responsible for Robin's disastrous love life was no longer up for conversation. "If I'm messed up, it's not because you two were spies, it's because I'm human." Anna's voice raised as she blamed Robert for making their daughter feel abandoned and unloved. Again, Robin put her foot down. "You were, in fact," Robin said sweetly, "really good parents." Both were touched but rather stunned by the revelation. She went on. "You taught me two very valuable lessons. One, to be self-sufficient. And two, by shining example, that when happily every after falls apart, you pick yourself up and you keep on going, even if it hurts like hell." Robin's words of love and gratitude brought a smile to her parents' faces, prompting them to move in for a group hug. "You both need to stop trying so hard," Robin suggested. "I love you. I want you to be happy. So stop obesessing over me and go back to what you're good at- spying!" This was a scene Gh fans have been waiting for since the trio returned to Port Charles. Sure, their bickering banter is a blast. But it's their sappy exchanges of endless love that put smiles on all of our faces. (SID 8/15/06)

Performer of the Week- Finola Hughes and Tristan Rogers  They had us at hello again. From the moment the gaze of GH superspies- and fiery exes- Anna and Robert met on Port Charles ground, the glint in his eyes matched the twinkle in hers, the snap, crackle and pop produced by the reteaming of Finola Hughes and Tristan Rogers was undeniable.
     Were they always this much fun? It feels like GH is rewarding Hughes and Rogers for their deft dramatic work of yesteryear by just letting them play this time around- and the powerhouse duo is clearly having a blast. Rogers tosses off his dialogue with unabashed glee, relishing Robert's every opportunity to make Anna (who doesn't want him to know she's on assignment to get Alcazar) squirm, while Hughes finds comic gold in Anna's frustration over being caught up in the spy biz (and caught off-guard by Robert's flirting), as when a smug Robert suggested that he was the reason of her homecoming. "You thought, 'Hey, he's a little older, I'm a little older, maybe I'll check out the lay of the land.'" he shrugged. "Well, this is your lucky day. If you're very nice to me, I might let you win me back." "Ooh, I can't wait," shot back a bemused Anna, adding, "You've lost what's left of your mind, you realize."
     And as if their own combustible chemistry isn't enough of a treat, the actors are also serving up sparks with the other players they cross paths with. Both are utterly charming opposite on-screen daughter Kimberly McCullough (Robin), but it doesn't end htere: Hughes brings out a rarely seen levity in Ted King's Alcazar in their every encounter, while Rogers makes going toe-to-toe with Jane Elliot's formidable Tracy seem like a cakewalk. (It isn't.)
     At the conclusion of their first Port Chuck chat, Robert let Anna go with a warning. "There's more to this visit than meets the eye," he declared, "and I intent to find out what it is." Robert's mission doesn't sound impossible- but with Hughes and Rogers at its core, it'll be impossible to miss. (SID 8/8/06)

Hit! Scorpios Rising on GH:  The return of the Scorpio family to GH has been a delight for longtime fans and new viewers alike.
     While Kimberly McCullough's (Robin) reappearance last year was a resounding success, her character has really blossomed with the reappearance of on-screen parents Robert and Anna. By resurrecting their iconic characters, Tristan Rogers and Finola Hughes have not only reconstituted the Scorpios as a core family, they resuscitated other aspects of the show. Robert has shaken up the Quartermaines and Luke, while Anna is embroiled in an intriguing subplot with Alcazar that is dragging the woefully underused Ted King into the action.
     The way the Scorpios' time is divided is win-win, too. Acting among themselves, McCullough, Rogers and Hughes never hit a false note; their chemistry is effortless. It's fascinating for longtime fans who recall Robin as a child to watch her contend with her folks as an adult. She's a chip off the old block who can more than hold her own.
     Rogers and Hughes radiate an infectious energy that buoys their co-stars and lend an air of unexpectability that harkens back to the way the entire show used to feel. Fans won't find two more in-the-moment or entertaining players anywhere.
     With Luke and Laura grabbing most of the headlines back in the day, it was easy to forget that for a long stretch- indeed, almost a decade- it was the Scorpios who carried GH across the finish line week after week as the No. 1 soap, post-Luke and Laura.
     With the Scorpios rising once again, don't be suprised if GH's ratings come out of retrograde, as well. (SOW 8/1/06)

Editor's Choice: Together Again, GH  The triumphant returns of several fan favorites during May sweeps made for a nostalgic and unexpectedly hilarious walk down memory lane on GH.
     The groundwork was laid in January, when Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) returned from the dead to help old pal Luke combat a deadly virus sweeping through Port Charles. As it turned out, the woman they both once loved, Holly (Emma Samms), had her hands on the antidote and she, too, was thrust into the fray. After the crisis was averted , Holly went off to jail and Robert headed for parts unknown. Fast-forward three months, and the tumultuous trio of yore found themselves together again when Luke flew to an escaped Holly's aid and Robert tracked them down in hot pursuit of the bounty on their heads.
     The irony is, there really wasn't much story here. The paper-thin plot about who'd escape with a fortune in stolen jewels was merely an excuse to gather a quintet of GH's most beloved characters (Luke, Robin, Robert, Holly and Anna) for a raucous week of fun. Sprinkle in some gifted newbies (Dillon, Lulu and Patrick), add a heaping dose of classic lines and - voila - mission accomplished.
     The offspring of the Spencers and Scorpios arrived on the scene to confront their globetrotting "aging" parents about having daffy delusions of grandeur, and the zingers flew fast and furious. (Lulu: "I don't care if I cramp your style. I love you, so get over it." Luke: "Beware of my daughter. She has a wicked tongue, which swells me with pride - unless it's forked in my direction.")
     Super spy Anna Devane dropped in on the hapless crew, and when confronted with the husband she believed was dead, did what any other deserted wife and mother would do (or at least want to)- beat the stuffing out of him. "Orphaned" Robin finally got the closure she (and we) needed, as her mom and pop confessed that while they were off saving the world, they'd neglected the very best thing that either had done in their lives. Robin and Anna got in some mother/daughter bonding when Anna learned that her daughter was infatuated with arrogant surgeon Patrick, then was horrified when she realized that her little girl had fallen for the same type of alpha male as she did. "You made our daughter fall in love with you," Anna accused as she elbowed her ex-husband in the solar plexus. "It's textbook psychology... which becomes unfortunate when the father in question is a self-absorbed, emotionallyl void libertine who lies for a living." "You're right!" Robin screamed at her pop. "I found a stand-in for you!"
     The craziness was topped off by Tracy's arrival (in the arms of four shirtless island hunks) to rescue her errant husband and hapless son. It was all more sitcom than soap, but a welcome change of pace that, because of familiar faces and characterizations that rang true, didn't distract from ongoing drama. Everything old was new again... and then some. (SOD 6/20/06)

Standout Scene- Anna Returns! A helicopter, a jungle, assault weapons and a karate kick- talk about an entrance! Being dropped out the sky by a helicopter and greeting the husband she thought was dead with a swift kick to the head was all in a day's work for Anna. "It's been too long, you miserable son of a bitch!" she said, her leg flying in the air, hitting Robert's jaw and knocking him to the ground. There were some mighty bitter feelings built up in her and she wasn't about to hold them in. She was at her karate-choppin' best. "Mom, you have every right to be angry with Dad," Robin said. "He's a jerk, okay? But kicking his butt right now is not going to change anything." Anna stepped back and took a breath. It was the first time she had met Luke, so she made sure to take a nasty jab at his ego. But it was the sight of Holly that set her off, as it naturally should have, considering her dalliance with Robert. Holly, however, threw it back as good as she got it. "I see that you're still the same ice-cold heartless, abrasive bitch that you always were," she told Anna, whose arrival was choreographed so she could collect big bucks for their heads. She told Robin, Dillon and Lulu, "You are more than welcome to join me when I collect the half-millon-dollar bounty, because I am handing my good-for-nothing ex-husband and his past-their-prime friends over to the authorities." It wasn't just the sarcastic humor or the rock'em sock'em energy of the Scorpio family reunion that made Anna's return so notable, although we did love all the above. It was also the tenderness, love and real emotion in Anna's eyes when she looked at Robin. We got that there was a connection that neither a dead-beat dad nor a bad guy with a gun could ever break. One word: encore! (SID 6/20/06)

Standout Scenes: Robert is Held Prisoner!:  Although Robert has dodged assorted supervillains intent on destroying the world, when confronted by two teenagers, a snippy socialite and a frying pan-waving maid, it almost seemed more than he could handle. To prevent him from hunting down and turning Luke in for a sizable bond, Dillon, Lulu and Alice joined forces with Tracy by holding Robert captive in the Quartermaine freezer. Sensing that Tracy's fondness for Luke had turned to love, Robert realized that she was his best chance of breaking free. He pushed her jealousy button and, in the process, played her like a fiddle. "The longer you keep me here, the more time Holly has to work her number on Luke," he said, looking for a reaction. Seeing the fire in Tracy's eyes, he kicked it up a notch. "Let me rephrase that. The more time that beautiful, voluptuous Holly has to work her desirable, amourous clutches into your all-too available husband... You never saw sparks fly the way they did between Luke and Holly. I mean sparks that could start the great fire of London. But never fights. I mean, even after she fell in love with me and we got married, those two would walk into the room together and just spontaneously self-combust, all the time." Tracy was clearly livid. "When Luke risks his life for Holly, how do you think she's going to express her gratitude? Robert continued. "I mean, Holly takes the reward system very seriously." The naughty grin on his face sent Tracy into panic mode. "Okay, that's it. You're out of here!" she said, reaching to untie him. However, the kids couldn't allow that to happen. Getting the upper hand, they tied Tracy up, too! This trapezoid of multi-generational talent kept up grinning from the scene's top to its bottom, brining out the comedic best in Tristan Rogers (Robert), Jane Elliot (Tracy), Scott Clifton (Dillon) and Julie Bertman (Lulu). (SID 6/6/06)

Hit! GH Kicks It Old School:  GH returned to the Maarkam Islands and traded February's monkey business for heavy-hitting vets and sidesplitting laughs.
     Luke and Robert got the band back together for another round of derring-do, but Lulu was forced to recruit the next generation- Robin, Patrick and Dillon- to rescue the aging adventurers from the clutches of "femme fatale" Holly. "All that stuff that you guys used to do- jumping out of planes, the daring rescues- it happened a really long time ago," Lulu stammered.
     But there was nothing dated about the repartee as the old gang hid out in Holly's villa and got tangled up with stolen jewels, snakes and the sensual lure of bathtubs. When a couple of bounty hunters forced the kids to cover for their dads with impromptu make-out sessions, it was classic GH. "You really enjoyed that, didn't you young Polanski?" a grumpy Luke groused to Dillon before admonishing Lulu: "Button up your blouse, Hot Pants!"
     It was enough to give fans a case of hysterical island fever. But amidst the snappy one-liners, history was honored. Scotch-swilling Robert asked fellow deadbeat Luke, "How did we get into this mess and still have two children who actually expect soemthing from us?"
     What viewers expect is a fantastic ride, and that's what they got. This caper proved the future of GH lies in its past. When another fan favorite, Anna, helicoptered to the rescue, whipped off her helmet and greeted Robert with a swift kick to the jaw, she packed 15 years of storyline punch. Take that!" (SOW 6/6/06)

It's Only My Opinon:  Over on GH, they signed Finola Hughes and the next day had a terrific story in place for Anna involving her family, some jewels and her new best friend, Luke.
     Luke (as she's leaving): "Call me?"  Anna: You're in the book?"  Luke: "Yes. All of them."
     People come in and out of PC, like real life. The stories work partly because they are rooted in history and partly because the actors are so good. ("Anna Devane still takes my breath away," sighed Robert very believably 15 years after Tristan Rogers and Hughes shared scenes.) And partly because GH's writers can turn on a dime when something is working- or not. (excerpt by Carolyn Hinsey, SOD 6/13/06)

Hit! GH's Young Doctors in Love:  Her cover is her HIV status, and his is being a playa, but you don't have to be a brain surgeon to realize that GH's hot docs Robin and Patrick belong under the covers together.
     While cocky Patrick and coolly confident Robin were at each other's throats from the moment they met, there was an odd spark. Any soap couple that bickers that intense is destined to fall into bed together, so we all just set our watches and waited.
     Delightfully, GH has not rushed them to the next level or overmilked the suspense. A throwback to old-fashioned romance, these lovebirds are getting to know each other through bantering, an evenly matched battle of wits.
    Patrick started out as a sterotypical cipher: a handsome, womanizing hotshot surgeon (yawn) with the wrong kind of beside manner. But Robin has gradually peeled away his layers, and filled in his backstory with a dead mother and distant, alcoholic dad (Noah).
     As for Mrs. Scorpio, she grew armor to keep others at bay so she wouldn't suffer the heartbreak she did when Stone died. But Patrick has been piercing that hard candy shell; no doubt she'll soon melt in his hands.
     Robin is more emotionally fragile than physically frail. She was devastated when she thought she overheard Patrick make a $100 wager to bed the woman with HIV. When she lashed out at him, he was the one who got hurt.
     Her health makes her cautious, which counterbalances his impetuousness. They both were abandoned by their fathers. They don't trust people, but are tempted to trust each other.
     Neither Robin nor Patrick is a cardiac specialist, so they are carefully navigating their way around the human heart. So far, the operation is a great success. (SOW  4/18/06)

Hit! GH's Virus Cures the Common Soap!  GH's epidemic storyline was a month-long tour de force, a throwback to its golden years that showcased the talents of a strong ensemble cast and celebrated its rich history.
     In its heyday, under the stewardship of legendary executive producer Gloria Monty, GH went the extra mile with stylish direction and high production values that revved up the dramatic tension of its stories. GH managed to pull that off once again in 2006, with modern budget-consciousness. Incorporating extensive location footage (including the rarely used hospital exterior set on the studio lot), employing truckloads of extras, tinkering with clever camera angles and scoring it all with very cinematic music, GH gave this story arc a classy look that reminded longtime viewers how things were done in the good ol' days.
     Such an ambitious production was justified by a compelling, larger-than-life story, replete with oodles of romantic underpinnings and subplots, one that integrated nearly every character's fate into the tapestry- another hallmark of Monty's GH. Characters lived, died, loved and even married, all against the backdrop of a life-or-death race against time. Classic soap.
     In turn, the compelling and multifacted story (read: It was about more than just Sonny!) elicted multidimensional and nuanced performances from the entire cast, from newcomers like Jason Thompson and Laura Wright (Patrick and Carly) to veterans Anthony Geary and Brad Maule (LUke and Tony) and returning faves Tristan Rogers, Kimberly McCullough and Rick Springfield (Robert, Robin and Noah).
     The only notable misstep was Holly's contrived and out-of-character appearance. Having her to be conveniently connected to Crylium was one coincidence too many when piled atop Luke randomly choosing the one location on the entire planet where Robert just happened to still be faking his death...yet on assignment. And Holly is a nasty woman scorned all of a sudden? No way. But that was just one false note in a Gloria-ous sympthony.
     This story proved it is possible to recapture the signature formula that made GH must-see tv - and the highest-rated soap - for pver a decade. It was just what the doctor ordered. (SOW 3/28/06)

Standout Scene: Robert and Robin Reunite!  When GH's Robin stumbled upon her supposedly dead dad in a file room, it lead to a reunion that had been 14 years in the making. Attempting to downplay the shocking moment, Robert's response was a gruff attempt at humor. "I guess there's a bit of explaining to do," he said nervously. "If I don't, you're never going to understand what I'm doing..." But Robin cut her dad off, unwilling to let her slick father charm his way out of her line of ire. "Oh, my God! It was all a lie, wasn't it?" she asked, shock quickly turning to rage. There was nothing he could say that would erase the pain she felt having "lost" him and her mother as a teenager. There could be no excuse for such a huge betrayal. "Was there ever a boat explosion, or did you two just go off on some mission, and then when [mom] missed me, she decided to get in touch with me?" Robin demanded. "You let me believe you were dead! Or worse, you let me believe that you were brutally murdered! Why should I ever listen to anything you ever have to say again?" Shaken, Robert did his best to explain the unexplainable, but his daughter wasn't willing to listen. All she could see was that he had a choice between saving the world and being with his daughter... and the world won. "I decided to leave you with your childhood intact, memories of a father that do do anything," he said softly. "That Robert Scorpio, he was a better man than I am. That's the father you deserved." This was not a joyful, "Oh, thank goodness you're alive" reunion viewers may have expected. But the powerhouse performances of Tristan Rogers (Robert) and Kimberly McCullough (Robin) realistically conveyed the notion that there's a fine line between buffering and abandoning. It was a moment filled with pain and resentment, beautifully acted by two actors reconnecting on every level. (SID 3/14/06)

Editor's Choice:  "And So It Begins..."  Those four ominous words scrawled on the screen as the town of Port Charles was about to enter one of its darkest hours. Despite the doom and gloom that soon descended upon its citizens, we were, and still are, giddy with delight.
     GH has a habit of kicking off sweeps periods with event stories, where something cataclysmic, like a train wreck or hotel fire, pits characters against seeming insurmountable odds and either pulls them together or tears them apart. The encephalitis virus that hit certainly fits the bill, but this story not only has action and adventure, it is full of humor, heart and surprisingly, nostalgia, ushering in returning super spy Robert Scorpio.
     It began innocently enough, with world-traveler Luke bringing home a banana daiquiri-swilling chimp as a present for his estranged daughter, Lulu. What the man who saved the world more than two decades ago didn't realize is that he had another traveling companion  as well- a man-made illness capable of wiping out entire populations. As P.C. folk went about their daily lives- bickering, making love, scarfing down pie at Kelly's- members of the populace began dropping like flies. The under-equipped hospital soon resembled a wartime-like triage center. Fear and panic sunk in, as no one knew what was going on. With one exception....
     "Hello, sweetheart," uttered long-presumed-dead Scorpio to his stunned daughter, Robin. This was no happy, sappy hugfest. Orphaned by her crime-fighting parents after they were "killed" in a boat explosion, Robin could barely keep up with Scorpio's explanation. Meanwhile, we couldn't take our eyes off fan favorite Tristan Rogers in the flesh; he's as sharp-tongued as ever and looks none the worse for wear. "My father would've come back for me," Robin shouted, unwilling to accept her dad's explanation that his presence would've endangered her life. "That Robert Scorpio, he was a better man tha I am," he sighed, acknowledging the lost years. "That's the father you deserved."
     Now a containment specialist for the Medical Rescue Agency, a.k.a. "a disease cop," Scorpio's back in business and his next reunion was a happier one.  "I'm dead and gone to hell," warbled a wide-eyed, feverish Luke to the ghost hovering at his hospital bed. "No," smiled his one-time best friend. "But they're looking for you." Any GH viewer from 1981 sported a smile a mile wide at that exchange.
     As the severity of the situation escalated, so, too, did the drama. Luke, who barely acknowledged his daughter, Lulu, six months ago, risked his life to save hers. Tracy's wicked persona crumbled when her son, Dillon, contracted the illness. Emily found her confidence as a doctor, but lost her impartiality caring for the two infected men she loves, Sonny and Nikolas. Lucas came out to his dad. Elizabeth feared for her missing husband, Lucky. Alcazar guiltily schemed to ensure the health of his ailing lover, Skye. Paroled killer Manny menaced Sam and Alexis. Carly and Jason escaped the quarantine just in time to search for a cause, and possibly a cure, for the raging epidemic. The list of dynamic doings goes on and on, and this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  And so it begins.... (SOD 3/7/06)

Hit! Robert and Robin's Reunion on GH:  Robert and Robin's much-anticipated reunion on GH successfully bridged the gap in Robert's past while showcasing the talents of their gifted portrayers.
     Tristan Roberts (Robert) himself warned in a WEEKLY interview that fans would either love or hate the story that explains Robert's 14-year absences. And while Scorpio purists may object, the senario is undeniably consistent with the show's cloak-and-dagger history.
     It turned out the WSB blew up the boat with Robert, Anna and Faison aboard when the agency feared Anna had gone back to the DVX. When Robert survived, the WSB blackmailed him into working for them as an assassin. While his murderous tenure may be disheartening to Scorpio diehards (no pun intended), it is a shrewd updating of the character. Today's Port Charles is a much darker place than it was 14 years ago, so graying Robert's white hat makes sense.
     Rogers and Kimberly McCullough (Robin) delivered the emotional goods in these sense, taking what could have been boring expository speeches and making them work. The father/daughter dynamic that always made them so endearing was there. They reminded longtime viewers why the Scorpios were the core of the show for a decade, and gave new viewers intriguing insights into these individuals. Rogers reprised his iconic character as easily as donning some old, comfortable slippers.
     In fact, Robert's only slip-up was mentioning Anna's past as a double agent. Anna always lived in fear that Robin would learn her shameful secret, but the big reveal was simply glossed over. Surely Robin would have been scandalized.
     Nevertheless, Robert and Robin's reunion made a welcome and compelling sequence. Here's hoping that you stick around, Mate. (SOW 2/28/06)

It's Only My Opinion:  You know I hate how GH churns through plot with no emotional setup or fallout. And you know I hated that sitcommy chimp. But WOW, was Robert Scorpio's return excellent!
     The premise of Luke bringing home the virus from the fake island worked because Luke is always doing stuff like that. GH even poked fun at themselves when Georgie and Dillon asked Robin to X-ray the shrunken head Luke sent as a clue. "Oh, Luke," said Robin, knowingly, no more information necessary.
     As the infection spread, here came Robert to spy on them and then save the day. Tristan Rogers and Tony Geary picked up on the old chemistry instantly, like no time had passed since their last sarcastic exchange. When Robert considered that Luke might have the antibodies that could squash the virus, Luke nodded: "No germ could live in this petri dish I call a liver." Robert also had heated exchanges with Robin and Mac, who were right to be angry, but still couldn't help being a little happy that the old dog was alive. I especially enjoyed Mac punching Robert just like he did when he first met him on the pier in 1991- but wouldn't it have been fun if Robert had typed in the password ICE PRINCESS when he was hacking into the hospital computer?
     If you had told me I'd be watching scenes between Robert Scorpio and Noah Drake this year, I would have said, "Excellent- is SoapNet doing a marathon?" February Sweeps was a big payoff for 30 years of watching GH. Thank you.
     I have a few quibbles, of course. There's a giant hole where Felicia Jones (and Kristina Wagner) should be, especially when Mac brings up Frisco Jones's name to Robert. (excerpt from Carolyn Hinsey's article, SOD 2/28/06) 

Thumbs Up! Medical History:  Hats off to the GH writers for rejuvenating the show with a dose of history. The shift began with the returns of Robin Scorpio and Noah Drake. Now, fan faves Robert and Holly have checked back in, too.
     GH hasn't just brought back familiar faces, they've smartly woven them into story. Reviving Robin and Carly's feud has helped Robin ease back into the fold and is much fresher than the obvious choice of launching into a triangle with Jason and Sam. It's so bolstering Laura Wright's transition as recast Carly.
     Former dreamboat Noah's return is poignant because the years have not been kind to him: He's battling alcoholism, struggling to connect with son Patrick and has a healthy amount of backstory potential. Now, GH is spinning a tale of "epidemic" proportions, which longtime fans are sure to find reminiscent of the life-threatening Lassa Fever outbreak of '79.  This therapeutic blend of old and new is just what the doctor ordered. (SOD 2/21/06)

Hit! Making Every Day Veterans' Day:  GH diehards who have been clamoring for a Scorpio family reunion have gotten their wish: Kimberly McCullough (Robin) returned from Paris to help save former love Jason- with the help of golden oldie Dr. Noah Drake (Rick Springfield). That was followed by the shocking return of Tristan Rogers (Robert) and the impending arrival of Emma Samms' Holly (albeit for limited runs).
     All My Children is also cashing in on nostalgia... they snagged Ian Buchanan of GH and B&B fame (Duke and James, respectively) to play the menacing Dr. Greg Madden.
     John Reilly (ex-Sean, GH) assumed the pivotal role of Passions' Alistair following the sudden death of David Bailey, and it's like he's been there the whole time. The added bonus is that he's been paired with former GH flame Sharon Wyatt (ex-Tiffany) as Rachel, the object of Alistair's obsession. The dynamics between Alistair and Rachel are completely different from the romantic Sean and Tiffany, but the actors still have the same combustible chemistry. (excerpts from SOW 2/21/06)

Hit and Miss- Why was Alexis directing questions about Jason's post-head-trauma transformation to Carly, who didn't know him back then? Heck, she wasn't even in town! Why not direct those questions toward Alan or Robin? Maybe Alexis was afraid of Robin, seeing as she's apparently developed a disease which runs rampant among Port Charles' ladies: slaphappyitis. It's one thing for a character like Sam, Skye or Tracy to haul off and slap a rival. But when Robin smacked both Patrick and Carly within a few days of one another, it struck us as completely out of character. (SID 2/14/06)

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