Watching ‘General Hospital kill off one of my all-time favorite heroines this week was bittersweet.
On one hand, I will miss Robin Scorpio-Drake. I mean, she was one of the few heroines in Port Charles these days that isn’t a self-centered narcissist and, well, I did watch her grow up on screen.
On the other hand, though, I’m actually kind of glad she’s gone. Given the poor quality of writing on the show since – oh, about 1997 – I don’t want to see her character sacrificed on the altar of the mob (yet again).
As of Feb. 21, former OLTL writer Ron Carlivati took over head scribe duties (meaning, his work actually started appearing onscreen that day) for ‘General Hospital.’ Now, I know that I really can’t blame him for the poor way Robin’s death was written – mostly because it was all set in motion before he took over – but he better have some vast improvements in store for this soap if it’s going to survive. What happened this week isn’t going to cut it.
When you break it down, Robin’s death was not about Robin or her husband, mother and daughter. It was about mobster Jason Morgan – again.
The reason ‘General Hospital’ is in such dire straits is because everything on the soap has revolved around three characters – Jason, Carly and Sonny – for more than a decade. They are not the most important characters in this world. Quite frankly, most fans are sick of them.
Back in the day, one of GH’s all-time best stories revolved around young Maxie getting her cousin BJ’s heart after a bus accident. What made that story great, though, is that the adults involved cared for each other and were legitimately torn up about what was going on. You could feel their pain.
This past year, GH tried to relive their glory days by having young Jake Spencer get hit by a drunk driver (his grandfather, no less) and then his organs were donated to the daughter of Carly Jax. Now, the big difference in the two stories is this: The Maxie/BJ story was handled with grace and great pacing.
The Jake story line was rushed through and built around the emotions of Jason Morgan – Jake’s biological and absentee father. Very little time was given to his grieving mother and adoptive father – you know, the people who actually raised him. Instead, it was all about Jason. What Jason was feeling. How hard it was for Jason. How Jason had to go and ask for his son’s organs to save the horrid Carly’s daughter.
Quite frankly, it was ridiculous.
The same thing happened this week when Robin died. In a nutshell, Robin was trying to save former love Jason Morgan’s life when a laboratory fire broke out. Now, Maxie’s self-centered nature was a contributing factor to Robin’s death – which is annoying – but it is the Jason propping that is the real culprit here.
Patrick Drake said goodbye to Robin through a glass door after she essentially gave up her life to save serial killer Jason Morgan. Since then, on screen, about an hour has elapsed. Maybe two. In that time, the writers rushed through Patrick telling Anna that her daughter had died, Anna telling Mac that his niece had died, and Mac telling Sonny that Robin was dead.
Then Jason’s current concubine Sam started berating and begging a grieving Patrick for the drug to save Jason’s life – attacking him outright instead of offering him condolences for Robin’s death. Why are we supposed to care about her again? She actually uttered the sentence “What about me?”
All the while this was going on, we have the vapid nuKate running around in a bloody wedding dress from years ago, Ethan talking to a cardboard cutout, Dante propping the man that shot him point blank in the chest, Carly getting it on with Johnny, Sonny running around and waving a gun at everyone he can find (despite taking a bullet for like the 20th time), and TJ throwing a kegger at Alexis’ house.
This week should have been about Robin and her family – not the big three losers and their problems. Poor John J. York, his Mac had the most realistic response to Robin’s death but he was only shown for one episode before being shuffled off screen in favor of us trying to believe that Helena mothered a daughter in her late 50s.
Carlivati has a lot of work ahead of him – especially given the damage the two previous head writers (Garin Wolf, Bob Guza) did to a once great soap opera.
Do I think he is up to the challenge? ‘One Life to Live’ was the best written soap on television at the time of its cancellation, but if Carlivati is going to continue to pretend that everything in Port Charles has to revolve around Carly, Sonny and Jason – then fans aren’t going to want to visit mob central anymore. I’m one of those people on the brink. If things don’t change, GH simply won’t survive.
What do you think? Was Robin’s death handled well or was it fumbled?