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General Hospital Was ‘The Dope’ That Helped Wrongly Accused Man Through 13 Years In Prison!

Courtesy/ABC

Never underestimate the power of soap operas.  We have been saying this for decades.  For many, the lives of the characters we love, or love to hate, give us our daily fix and connection to feeling emotions, and provide us comfort.

Last week, a story circulated via many soap opera notables that emanated from NPR (National Public Radio) in their fandom series of interviews via The Morning Edition.  In it, former accused murderer, Chris Scott, opened about about his love and connection to General Hospital.  Scott spent 13 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.  Chris knew that if he had any chance to get out of the slammer, if he was proved innocent, he had to stay out of trouble, and it seems like the story of the citizens in Port Charles helped him, and other inmates do just that.

Here are some excerpts below from the NPR interview in Chris’ words edited with clarification by NPR.

Chris on how he got hooked on GH: “The first time I watched the soap opera in prison, I walked to the day room, and they was watching soap opera. And they was like, “Hey dude, this is the soap opera side of the day room, where people watch soap opera” — and I was like, ‘oh, this is the side that I need to be on.  I got a crew of men that, in the world of society, was killers.. These were some of the hardest-core fighting guys — but when that soap opera came on, you can hear a pin drop on cotton. It’s like all eyes — don’t nobody want to blink, because if you feel like if you blink, you gonna miss something.  We gave General Hospital a new name. We didn’t call it General Hospital no more. We called it “The Dope” — because it was addictive. We walked down the hallway, they shouting, ‘Hey — did you see ‘The Dope’ yesterday?’… Watching these love stories in a day room full of guys, you know they made the snide remarks of, ‘it’s pretty much for women and females” or whatever the case may be. But we didn’t care about that — because they knew the guy that was watching the soap opera probably can kick half of the cellblock he lived on’s butt.”‘

Chris on shedding tears during GH’s emotional story beats: “The soap operas really, it resonated a lot about missing home, missing the arguing you heard your mom and dad have every now and then. You miss the sisters fighting over the bathroom. You miss the brothers going outside shooting basketball in the backyard. So yeah, it resonated hard and heavy.  Like, just say, holiday seasons. You see the soap opera people, they got the big Christmas trees. They dress nice in red and white and all these pretty Christmas colors. And it made you want to be a part of that. … And seeing it on TV, I tell you, I didn’t want people to see me cry or shed a tear, but every now and then that happened. So I had to go in my cell. And I used to hang a sheet up, and the sheet would cover my whole cell, and I just used to go in my cell and have a big cry about it.  Wasn’t bad tears, it was good tears, because I knew I still had a heart. Because being falsely imprisoned, sometimes it hardens that heart to where you don’t want to show a sign of weakness. I know watching soap operas helped me with my dilemma, and we all can learn a lesson about how we choose not to judge people about what they think or what they watch because we all need something to hold on to.”

Chris’ story will be featured in an upcoming PBS documentary True Conviction.  He is out of prison and has stared his own detective agency, and still checks out GH every single day  .. a soap fan for life!

So, what do you think about the power of soaps and how it helped Chris, and others get through difficult times? Comment below!

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Kevin C
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Kevin C

No matter what people say about soap operas, if one starts watching and become HOOKED and with the soaps that have good character human stories, it really touches all of us in some form of fashion…for instance it’s like music, it touches all of us…I have loved my soaps for the character’s feel like family especially for us that don’t have family…I myself have been blessed with friends that are my family instead of blood relatives that can turn on you in a heart beat…we all have heard the saying, you can pick your friends but you cannot pick your… Read more »

Celia
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Celia

Truth, Kevin….I am addicted….have been as far as I can remember. I may carp once and again, but I love my soaps and I would never stop wstching just because a storyline is not to my liking.
Soaps are ‘home’ to me—warm and comfy.

Kevin C
Guest
Kevin C

Celia, I use to be addicted but not any more but I totally understand…

Kevin C
Guest
Kevin C

Oh Celia, don’t get me wrong, I STILL LOVE MY SOAPS…

Celia
Guest
Celia

Oh, Kevin, my friend….I am so sorry….Oopsies….that came out wrong. I meant YOU speak the truth, as I feel exactly as you do. I agree with your every word. It is an obsession to be addicted to anything, LOL….. I guess ’tis better to be addicted to soaps than to more harmful ‘substances’, yes? I may be addicted, but not a slave to soaps….then again, I wonder if I would be if it were not for DVR’s, LOL. Would I re-arrange my schedule so not to miss my soaps as my grandmother used to do? Hmmmm. Mr. Fairman’s sites are… Read more »

Celia
Guest
Celia

Oh, and Kevin? My soaps got me through the most debilitating, painful time in my life….other than my husband and family, thst is.
So, this is why your words are so poignant to me…….they ring true as they reflect those emotions that may seem dormant, but are so close to the surface; …..always at the ready to emerge, at any given time.

Emily
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Emily

Yes Kevin my grandma got me started way way back when the soaps first started and i have been hooked ever since. It is so much fun to see what is going to happen every day. Some days better than others but we would be lost with our our soaps!

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

What a beautiful story. He is so right about them being addictive. Thank heaven I’ve never been in prison. But, I watched GH from April 1, 1963 until 2005. I was a kid when it started and I found it fascinating. I watched One Life to Live from July 15, 1968 until the last online episode and would be watching it now if someone would put on air. You develop such a deep personal connection to the characters and many of the stories. Yes there are many outrageous situations and problems depicted in soaps. And things are frequently overdramatized. But,… Read more »

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Well said!

James R. Poissant
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James R. Poissant

Soap operas are for everybody. The story we just read about is one good reason why they can never end. if the day comes where all the shows are gone, I can honestly say my life won’t have much purpose because the characters on the shows are real people to me and they are the ones I love no matter if they portray good characters or evil. It’s still my getaway from the hassles i deal with in life.

Soaphound
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Soaphound

James, I agree with your heartfelt post. I went thru a bad breakup in 1984 and the Reva suicide story on GUIDING LIGHT helped me reclaim my life and self respect. Also, as a lifelong fan of great acting, I’d put the work of Laura Wright, Jane Elliot, Maura West, Genie Francis, Michelle Stafford, Billy Miller, Roger Howarth against any prime time actor AND most movie stars. They make soaps a light in my life as well.

Kevin C
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Kevin C

Soaphound, I think our daytime actors/actresses beat night time by a long shot and they master their craft all year long…LONG LIVE SOAPS…

Jimh
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Jimh

Soap operas are are escape from the real world…no other genre has that kind of affect on the viewing audience!

su0000
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su0000

hey Jimh..
So right you are–
;;Soap operas are are escape from the real world;;

But yet, many bitch whine and moan when it’s not exactly like Real Life..
They tear little things apart to analyze them as to why they are not real..
DUH things in soaps are not from Real Life..
So– seems they don’t want an escape into a make believe land, they want reality.

BWAHAA! go figure!

Jimh
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Jimh

I know…im one of them but it is fun to bitch and moan about something-lol

Barbara Jacobs
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Barbara Jacobs

I so agree they are an escape from the real world and that was why everyone was glued to the radio back during the first days they were created. It took them away for a short moment in time to be elsewhere and not think of what was going on. With times the way they are now we need them more and more of them not just 4. They give us something to look forward to especially Cliffhanger Friday!

rebecca1
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rebecca1

wow! what an interesting perspective! many times soap fans are disrespected because the genre probably is, to some extent, disrespected. seems like you have to “admit” you watch a soap…and then make some excuse like it’s my “guilty” pleasure. so to hear how much GH got this man and others through their days…particularly in that he was innocent and this allowed him the escape (that’s TWO jail puns…not intended!) he needed, is a testament to the genre. TV, even non-soaps, is such great escapism. Getting familiar with fictional characters, that ability to suspend disbelief…it’s great we’re all able to do… Read more »

Soaphound
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Soaphound

Yes, Rebecca, so true and with the quality of theatrical movies in a steady, heartbreak decline, soaps are really shining these days. Looking forward to the return of NASHVILLE also.

rebecca1
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rebecca1

Did you read Michael Fairman’s post…Nashville is cancelled! Will only be back for the remainder of the season…

rebecca1
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rebecca1

Hi Soaphound…wanted to add (regarding Nashville)…though I’ll miss the characters…I didn’t take to CMT’s version as I’d hoped I would. I loved it when it was on ABC; every episode, every character. It wasn’t the same after they killed off Jeff…then omitted Layla and Luke from the CMT…Connie left…new characters introduced. Just wasn’t feeling it.

With that said I’m surprised it was cancelled because last I read on it the show garnered the highest ratings for oringinal programming on CMT. Wonder what happened…

I’ll miss the characters…particularly Deacon, Gunner, Avery and Will. Sigh…lose a show, lose “people” we love.

JasonLovesGH
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JasonLovesGH

Sweet story! 🙂

Satan
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Satan

Speaking as the “warden” of the biggest supermax prison in the universe (Hell) I can confirm that GH is popular with many of the prisoners down here as well.

Kelly Publicover
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Kelly Publicover

Soap Operas like GH help keep you sane when real life sucks. It’s an addiction that won’t harm your health or kill you. I’ve had this GH addiction for over 30 yrs and it’s not going away any time soon! #LongLiveGH

rose
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rose

I guess Michael Fairman will know why I am really impressed with this story. And I echo the comments on this story. One of Chris’s comments I kinda chuckled at was his reference to Sonny Corinthos…”He ran the whole town, and he had a bunch of businesses everywhere, but his main business was coffee importing. This was a kind of inspiration to me, so I need to watch this guy and get some knowledge. This was kind of like that entrepreneurship I learned form watching soap operas.” And since being released Chris created a detective agency looking into other innocence… Read more »

Debra m
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Debra m

I always felt the soaps were a good escapism from reality that we all need at times. Have to watch that PBS special, sounds good.

su0000
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su0000

OK– here is thing. What years of his 13 years in prison did he watch GH?? The link article was extremely weak.. did not mention the year he was incarcerated or the year he was released or how old he was when he entered prison.. However; I’d imagine it was the high power years when GH was actually great, the years of the Mobsters, when the cast actually had mobsters characters doing mobster crimes, shootings and like the real deal.. .GH use to be the type of soap that would interest imprisoned people and not what it has become. I’d… Read more »

Natalie Rios
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Natalie Rios

I’ve watched GH when Luke and Laura was the story!! How the rape scene was done,it was a big thing then during the disco era!! Watched the,Ice princess story,Hrlrna and her crazy sons… Then I stopped for awhile got back to it,then it was Stone and Robin watched Emily get killed off etc… Now,I’m happy that Steve Burton is back Jason don’t like the story at the moment!! Confusing!! But,hoping Sam will go.back to her real Man!! LOL GH Forever!!!

Matthew
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Matthew

Great story!!! I’m a forty seven year old man who is proud to be a huge GH fan for life. I’m busy during the day but I cozy up to the laptop every night to escape this world for my favorite alternate universe- Port Charles, NY. Can’t imagine what life would be without the joy I get from this production. It’s easy to understand how the show got him through prison because it sure takes me away. Thank you ABC for the best show ever made!

Marina
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Marina

I watch days of our lives and young and the restless I grew up watching soaps I remember watching all my children then watching passion for life until they both went off the air and you know I never been in prison and not planning on being there I have heard story’s,. they are horrible and sometimes touching depending on which side you want to look at it, I have read your story I must say took courage to stay strong even in the most weekness points and I commend you for that,. Stay strong and keep doing what your… Read more »

Skeptic
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Skeptic

Why would anyone think the monster storylines were the greatest years of GH? It was never, ever what the show was about, and it ruined it. Sonny, in particular. He’s like a violent version of Fonzie from the old Happy Days sitcom. For every fan that loves Sonny and the psycho-phant robot killer Jason, two people are turned off. The ratings for GH were highest during Luke and Laura in the ’80s. Luke was mob-related at first, but mobsters were not the focus of the show. Luke broke free of Frank Smith. The bad guys got weirder than the mob… Read more »

Jamesj75
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Jamesj75

I totally agree with you, Skeptic, regarding any misguided allegiance to Sonny and the mobster storylines. Thank you!

heidi
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heidi

How about this week… we just say thank you for keeping GH on the air all these years so that those of us who love it can enjoy it? Let’s be happy we still have our show, with all of the incredibly talented actors and actresses portraying our favorite and flawed characters who bring us pleasure and more!

Great story Michael!

Steve
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Steve

When it’s at its best, GH is addictive as dope (as the return of Steve Burton shows). Sadly, as this summer proved, it can also be like Dramamine.

Timmm
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Timmm

People will laugh at you for being a soap fan but these are the same people who watch “Walking Dead” or “Game of Thrones.” What the difference? They are stories and just like soaps, some are good, some are bad and some are ridiculous!

Judy
Guest
Judy

Chris… youve got all my love ,respect and congratulations… my son too was in for a year plus… but… he too found that was one thing helped get him through it all… hope to find out time of your upcoming PBS… thankful greatly for your success!!!

Diane L
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Diane L

I know a lot of guys who watch General Hospital. My significant otherMike watches. I’ve been watching since I was in elementary school. I’d say it’s been about 44-45 years! I’ve been with Mike for almost 32 years so he’s been watching since then off and on…mostly on. He does like what’s been going on these past couple months loving the story line. When I miss it he tells me I better go watch it now! He records GH every day for me. I’m so glad Chris got some relief while in prison. 13 years for something he didn’t do…wow!… Read more »

Troy Turner
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Troy Turner

This once again goes to show that the male soap fandom is woefully misrepresented

Aria
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Aria

I’ve been a loud addict since I was 7 yo it’s been 30 years and I’m not close to bored with the show.

M
Guest
M

Does anyone remember the disco song “I just can’t cope with out my soap “General Hospital”!!!!??????

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

Yes, I do. Not the finest contribution to the genre; but, it did demonstrate how significant GH was in American society of the day.

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

It’s very disappointing that my thoughtful post on adulation of the prison population for the character of Sonny was deemed unsuitable for publication. I was merely addressing the elephant in the room: Because the character of Sonny gets away with crimes, including murder, with virtually no jail time, it’s no wonder he is considered a hero to the prison population. Some want to make this story about the condescending notion that men can be soap fans, too. It goes deeper than that. I’m sure Mr. Fairman appreciates those who toe the party line and serve as perpetual cheerleaders for all… Read more »

Celia
Guest
Celia

Hey, James…if it makes you feel any better, I did echo your sentiments and my post was trashed, as well.
Must have been a Sonny lover who happened to decide if our writing was worthy …..LOL.

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

Yes, my dear Friend Celia, it does make me feel better: that I wasn’t solely singled out. But I question the wisdom of anyone who would trash any post by you… And I originally used the word “thoughtful” about my own post, not to toot my own horn, but to convey that my point was at least logical.

Speaking of logical, your theory on the “Sonny lover” sure makes sense to me.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Celia! 🙂

Shay
Guest
Shay

@CeeCee…If your “Sonny Lover” theory is correct, then I have to assume that there are also Alexis and Nina “lovers,” as well. Would explain so much why many of my posts are also given a one-way trip to oblivion!!!

Celia
Guest
Celia

Thank you, my friend….and, a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, as well. Enjoy….!!

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

Thank you, Celia!

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

To whomever else replied to me and explained that no “rhyme or reason comments don’t go through,” please try to reply to me again, here or elsewhere. I did read your interesting reply via my e-mail and I truly appreciate your response — but I don’t know who wrote the post. Somehow the post doesn’t appear in this thread where the link takes me… Very unusual…

Andrew Hass
Guest
Andrew Hass

Soap Operas i think can help people get through hard times in their lives because soaps can be a escape for them.

Mo
Guest
Mo

WOW! That is amazing. Good TV can transcend and entertain and help. Soap operas are escapism.

Nik
Guest
Nik

The so-called Powers to Be want folks to underestimate Soap Operas but they have proven, for decades, they are worth watching on so many levels.

General Hospital

Emme Rylan On Her Final GH Scenes: “Laying There Emotionless While My Amazing Costars Cried Over My Comatose Body Was One of the Hardest Acting Challenges EVER!”

If you watched Tuesday’s episode of General Hospital, you witnessed an emotional and heartbreaking episode where friends, family, and loved ones had to say their goodbyes to Lulu Spencer (Emme Rylan) before she is transferred to a long-term care facility to be looked after following her brain injuries and surgery which left her in a coma.

This was to mark the last scenes of Emme Rylan who has exited the series after being let-go.  In story, viewers watched as Nikolas (Marcus Coloma), Maxie (Kirsten Storms), Dante (Dominic Zamprogna), Tracy (Jane Elliot) and a grief-stricken Laura (Genie Francis) sat by Lulu’s hospital bedside telling her they will be waiting for her to wake up, as the agonize over the gravity of the situation.

On Wednesday, Rylan took to social media to tell her fans how difficult it was for her to tape those scenes, when she expressed: “Laying there emotionless while my amazing costars cried over my comatose body was one of the hardest acting challenges EVER! They don’t exactly have you practice that in acting school (Thank u to everyone that noticed).”

In response former GH star Ryan Paevey (Ex-Nathan) who also went through a similar on-screen situation when his character was killed-off tweeted back to Em: “I 100% agree and understand, haha.”

The episode gave  Genie Francis a fantastic palette to play and reminded everyone why she is one of the greatest icons of the genre.

So, what did you think of Emme’s statement on trying to get through those difficult scenes as played by her co-stars?  Share your thoughts below.

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Breaking News

Daytime Emmys To Remain Virtual For Upcoming 2021 Ceremony

With an uncertain situation of when live events can get back to normal, or as they have been in the past prior to the coronavirus pandemic, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) announced today that it plans on keeping next year’s Daytime Emmys award show virtual, to allow for the 2022 awards cycle to stay on track.

In fact, all of NATAS’s award ceremonies including: the News and Documentary Emmys, Technology & Engineering Emmys and the Sports Emmys will also remain virtual next year.

The Daytime Emmys became the first major award show to air a virtual presentation that others followed back in late June of this year and aired on CBS.

In a statement, NATAS chairman and CEO Adam Sharp expressed on the organization’s decision:“The current timetables articulated by manufacturers project mass availability of vaccinations for the entire U.S. population by mid-summer 2021, potentially permitting a return to more traditional in-person ceremonies later in the fall. However, we have determined that delaying our 2021 events to possibly allow for a compressed calendar of in-person Emmy ceremonies late in the year would result in unacceptable delays to our awards cycle for 2022. Instead, we have decided to remain “virtual” in the format of our ceremonies for 2021 while relying on a substantially pre-COVID awards calendar. In so doing, we believe we will be best-positioned to return to a full, on-time, traditional schedule of in-person ceremonies in 2022.

The dates currently under consideration for the 48th annual Daytime Emmys which would be via two or three nights of presentations are: a combination of dates from Friday, June 25, Saturday, July 17 and/or Sunday, July 18.

For those entering the competition, the entry deadline is February, 17, 2021 with  the nominations not to come till May or June.

So, what do you think about the Daytime Emmys going virtual again for 2021? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Port Charles Learns a Bomb Caused the Explosion as Lives are Forever Changed

This week’s General Hospital has reminded us all of why we love daytime drama and why GH possesses some of the finest performers in the genre.

Wednesday’s episode featured several emotionally-charged and gut-wrenching moments as loved ones find out the fate of several people in crisis, or have to deliver terrible news in the wake of the bomb explosion at the Floating Rib, which already had taken the lives of Dev (Ashton Arbab) and Dustin (Mark Lawson).

Courtesy/ABC

As we begin, Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) has a passed-out Lulu (Emme Rylan) in his arms and brings her to Portia (Brook Kerr), who sends her for tests.  And in true soap opera fashion, just as Lulu was presumably going to tell Dane she still loved him and wanted him back (following Dustin’s death) … he never heard what she had to say.

 

Laura (Genie Francis) fills in Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) that Dev did not make it, and then Liz decides to tell her son, Cameron (William Lipton) the heartbreaking news while he is recovering from his injuries.  When she does, Cam is overcome and devastated as his mother holds him in her arms.  Meanwhile, Carly (Laura Wright) is filling-in Trina (Sydney Mikayla) and Josslyn (Eden McCoy) about Dev’s untimely death.

Later, with Laura present, Portia tells Lulu’s loved ones that she has a cerebral contusion, and that there is a a traumatic brain injury which has caused swelling on the brain.  Laura and Dante look on devastated.  Portia then says they have already rushed Lulu to urgent surgery.

Julian (William deVry) is with Ava (Maura West) at Wyndemere.  She is attempting to hide him there, while he figures out his next step after planting the bomb.  However, Jason (Steve Burton) shows up looking for Julian now that Sonny found out that a bomb caused the explosion that ravaged the Floating Rib.  From that point on calls are made to ensure Sonny’s family is protected as a mob war is about to go down. Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Jason believe all roads lead back to Cyrus Renault (Jeff Kober).

Courtesy/ABC

Jason leaves Wyndemere before spotting Julian; leaving a distraught Ava to come down hard on her brother … he has two choices…  leave Port Charles, which she will help him do, or stay, and if he stays, she will not help him or be a part of his life.  While they are discussing his next move, they learn Lulu is now in critical condition from the bomb.  Ava tells Julian in no uncertain terms that everything he has done has come with a cost.  Jason shows up at the Corinthos home where Sam (Kelly Monaco), who is not happy about any of this, finds out along with Carl,y that Jason believes he was the target at the Floating Rib.

Courtesy/ABC

As Liz is struggling to hold it together with Franco (Roger Howath) having brain surgery, she speaks with Scott (Kin Shriner), who did not know of his son’s tumor.  She shares with Franco’s dad that Franco is worried he will wake up a very different person.  Liz is told Franco is out of surgery, and is in tears over his hospital bed.  She prays he will be alright and Franco wakes up!

Portia tells Nikolas (Marcus Coloma), Laura, and Dante that Lulu is out of surgery but in a coma, which Kevin (Jon Lindstrom) points out is normal in these situations. Dante goes to sit by Lulu’s bedside and begs her to wake up.

Courtesy/ABC

Then, in devastating news for Laura, Lucas (Matt Trudeau) gives her the real 411 on Lulu.  He tells Laura that Lulu’s brain started swelling the minute she hit her head at the Floating Rib, and that her injury got worse the longer she was not checked out.  Laura achingly realizes Lulu was so worried about Dustin that she never was immediately checked out for head trauma.  Lucas lets Laura know that Lulu’s recovery could take a very long time, if she recovers at all.

Heart-tugging performances throughout the stellar episode were given by: Dominic Zamprogna, Genie Francis, William Lipton, Rebecca Herbst, and Maura West in very intense and dramatic scenes.

So, what have you thought of this week’s episodes of GH? The fate of Lulu? The performances from yesterday’s airshow? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

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William deVry as Julian

General Hospital

Airdate: 11-20-2020

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