Saturday, November 24, 2012

General Hospital says goodbye to Edward Quartermaine

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I tuned in for the demise of one of the longest running soap characters ever on ‘General Hospital’ – but I have to say they couldn’t have done much better than they did.

I love Ron Carlivati as a writer – but he hasn’t been a part of GH very long and I wasn’t sure he would give Edward Quartermaine the send-off he deserved.
Well, he easily surpassed my expectations.

Not only did he deliver a poignant and heartfelt pair of episodes – but he left me sobbing when the show broke for Thanksgiving.

First, it is important to note, I hate losing another member of the Quartermaine clan.

Bob Guza decimated the Quartermaines under his reign of terror – and the last thing I want to do is say goodbye to another member of that beloved family.

This one really couldn’t be helped, though. Portrayer John Ingle passed away several weeks ago – and you can’t recast Edward.

Yes, I know that Ingle himself was a recast of the beloved David Lewis, but you really couldn’t do it again. People would have revolted.

So, in some very touching scenes, daughter Tracy fell apart at her father’s bedside – even allowing black sheep nephew AJ go up to say goodbye (he would be too late).

Great-grandson Michael went to say his goodbyes, and it was sweet to see Edward’s hand reach out to young Danny – his latest great-grandchild. We all know that wasn’t Ingle’s actual hand – but it was a touching moment nonetheless.

Jane Elliot imbued the caustic Tracy with a sense of devastation that we don’t often see in the crusty old crone – which made her scenes all the more poignant.

The next day, Tracy’s son Ned returned to the fold to spend Thanksgiving with his family (Bring back Wally Kurth full time!) and adopted “granddaughter” Skye came to visit with her daughter Lila Rae.

It was fitting – being that they’re Quartermaines – that Ned, Tracy, Monica and AJ got into a heated argument (which Michael tried to break up), but that argument was actually a tribute to Edward – who could get down in the muck with the best of them.

We got a handful of poignant flashbacks – but they were ultimately unfulfilling. First off, fans can accept showing Lewis flashbacks and Ingle flashbacks (like they showed two different Clints on One Life to Live when Asa died). A lot of great stuff from Edward’s reign happened under Lewis’ tenure.

Second off, there were a lot of key people left out of the montage. I know you have to pay certain people to use the flashbacks – but for crying out loud, do it. You could have easily cut Olivia, Steve and Heather for the day and paid to use flashbacks of Amber Tamblyn’s Emily, Vanessa Marcil’s Brenda and either Justus.

I know a lot of fans wanted Jason flashbacks – but he really was the least involved of all Edward’s grandchildren – so I was fine with omitting him. He was represented by Sam and Danny.

Edward was more than just Lila’s philandering husband (how about a Jimmy Lee Holt or Mary Mae Ward flashback?), Alan and Tracy’s father,  and Ned and A.J.’s grandfather.  He was a sounding board for Brenda, a crusty curmudgeon to Robin and Lucky, a good friend to Laura, a beloved old coot to the town.

Still, I know Carlivati did what he could with the resources he had. For the record, though, I don’t consider Skye a Quartermaine. She should have came back for the finale of 'All My Children' – not for Edward’s funeral on GH.

The parting shots of ghost Edward and Lila – getting up out of her wheelchair – as they ascended the stairs hand-in-hand literally broke my heart. Especially since what remains of his family was in the other room singing ‘We Gather Together’ – while eating ghostly pizza offerings – in the other room. The only thing that could have made the scene better for me would have been panning up to see Alan standing there waiting for them.

GH gave Edward – and Ingle – a fitting send off. Now they just need to reinvigorate the Quartermaines. They can do it in Ingle’s memory.

I’m willing to believe whatever out there story the writers come up with for why Helena has been holding Alan and Emily for years. And ‘Days of Our Lives’ does not have Kurth on contract. Bring him back and pair him with Alexis – and pit him against A.J.

Skye can leave town and not come back. I’ve never liked the character, I don’t know why.

Honestly, I think the best thing that GH can do to truly remember Edward Quartermaine is salvage his memorable family.

What do you think? Did they handle Edward’s death well?


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