Rather than doing a question of the month type for August, I’m going to do a sort of previews section where I allude to some things that are coming this season and maybe hint at my further plans.
Humor me as I ask myself questions :p Specific spoilers ahead for Episodes 1-3, and general spoilers for the rest of the season.
Jason and Elizabeth reunited really fast. Is this a mistake or are you pandering to fans as a Liason fangirl?
I’m awfully hard on myself, haha. So I’ve been tossing around ideas for the Jason and Elizabeth reunion for a year. There’s a lot of ways I could have gone. I thought about making their reconciliation super long and drag it out over the season, but I thought it was kind of a disservice to who Jason was in 2009 when Victor kidnapped him, and how Elizabeth might view him and the horror he’s going through. Would she be unable to separate Jason from Preston? Would that taint how she felt about him? I don’t think so. I think, essentially, Elizabeth would obligate herself to separate them and put Jason first in this instance.
Is it genuine? How much of her desire to reconcile is due to that obligation to help Jason put his life back together? I don’t know. I’m putting together episodes that take place after Jason reveals his existence to the rest of the world, and her devotion to him and this secret is going to be tested. She’s going to be one of the few people who know the whole story. How she deals with this and puts it into context with her relationship with Jason is going to be a major theme. Is she repeating mistakes from the last love who returned from the dead? I’m not going to shy away from drawing parallels from Lucky’s return in 2000 and this return. How will it all shake out? Well, I don’t know. I guess we’ll see. 😛
Okay, so you’re going to torture us with Jason and Elizabeth. Do you know what Victor’s plan is?
I do. Sort of. It’s mostly set, but I’m still playing around with some of the details. I don’t like to commit myself to certainties. I have a general sketch, but I want to make sure I keep myself loose. Sometimes you guys see things I don’t in the text, and sometimes I’ll write some dialogue or scenes that make me consider things in other lights. So, yeah, I have the basic concept of Victor’s plans, but I can’t give too many previews other than to say it’s not nearly as nefarious as people might conclude. I’m hoping to kind of surprise people with it.
What about Alexis? And Julian? And Ava?
So some of your feedback has encouraged me to look at how I’m writing the character of Alexis. I have an intense affection for Alexis, because Nancy Lee Grahn is just super amazing, but I can see how she comes across as not so awesome. Particularly when she takes Sam’s side. I’m working on some material to turn that around, and I’m trying to write her as the smart woman she used to be. Remember, she’s the only one who’s been kind of hinting at the changes in Jason. She’s on the cusp of actually figuring it out, and it might be interesting to pay attention to her once Jason returns and attempts to pretend he was the same guy who screwed over her daughter.
As for Julian and Ava, they’re not going anywhere yet. They’re the key to setting up the rest of Season 2, with Ava’s connection to Victor, and how some stories unfold in Season 3 and Season 4. Ava is the only one who knows Victor has dipped his toes into the mob (beyond Jason and Elizabeth), so her reaction to Jason coming back and taking over is going to set up Alexis to take her suspicions further.
So Lauren Jerome came out of nowhere. Ava didn’t have a daughter, did she?
So…yeah. I realized that I didn’t really hint too much at Lauren’s existence early on in Season 1. I hadn’t really decided if she’d be useful, but I knew she had to exist to drive the Connie storyline to her murder since I had eliminated the Kiki character and kept Starr. I didn’t decide to make her Ava’s daughter after all until I wrote it into the later episodes. Lauren’s not going to be around much beyond a guest appearance in Episode 4. She’s going to play into the Connie murder and help reveal some of the restructuring I did to get around my rewrite of not introducing Silas, Franco, or Kiki. I might do more with her later, but I don’t have much use for her at the moment.
Speaking of them, isn’t it more trouble than it’s worth not having the OLTL characters leave?
Yeah. I don’t know if I would have made the same choices if I were writing it now, particularly since I’m barely using Todd and John hasn’t even shown up. Starr is still problematic, mostly because the show itself never did anything to draw her into the larger GH universe. Her story revolved around Michael, Sonny, and Todd. She’s going to play a background role for a while because she doesn’t have the necessary depth in Port Charles.
But she’ll be someone who might play into the Jason reveal. As she remarked in Episode 3, this isn’t her first rodeo with people being replaced by lookalikes.
I mostly axed the replacement characters because I didn’t like new Franco. I didn’t mind Silas and I came around on Kiki (only when Kristen Alderson played her) but I made my choice, and now I gotta deal with it.
Lookalikes! On the subject of Preston…
So I’ve had some comments regarding Danny’s paternity and why he looks like Jason. It’s simple – he’s Preston’s son. Todd’s paternity test reveal was correct. He was the Faux!Jason’s son. Which means since Preston and Jason are identical twins, that makes Danny resemble both men. What about Franco? He last came to PC in the summer of 2011 to annoy Sam, but Heather was lying because she’s a brat. There’s a brother, but it’s not Franco.
Will I do more with Preston? Absolutely, as soon as I figure out the best way to get him on the GH canvas without Jason ripping him into small pieces. He’s a sociopathic lunatic, but he’s Danny’s father, and you have to figure Sam is going to want to set him on fire if she ever learns the truth.
Laura annoys me.
She annoys me too. I had this lovely idea in my head of Damaged being the resurgence of families. The Quartermaines have been brought back, so I thought let me work on the Spencers. Except GH has never done anything interesting with Laura beyond her connection to Luke. She had a career at Deception for five minutes, but I don’t buy her as the corporate type. Every time I plug her in, she doesn’t feel right. But I don’t feel good about writing her out, because there’s no way the Laura I grew up with would be anywhere but with Lulu and Nikolas, the two kids who actually like her and aren’t useless. I have some ideas on how to flesh her out, to use my discomfort with fitting her into the PC canvas as an actual description of her. She has no place in PC and she knows it. Where does she go from there?
Speaking of Lulu. How about the other characters you don’t see much?
So I have renewed sympathy for writers at GH. It’s difficult to juggle this many characters. My biggest problem is that the characters are fragmented. I’m juggling 24 contract characters and 27 recurring. That’s more than 50 characters. I would pare that down, but I can’t see how. You need the depth of the canvas to keep the world fleshed out. So I’m trying to juggle who gets focus from season to season, while keeping a strong stable of regulars. I think, like other soaps, you do need a center family/group to have character and story radiate from. It used to be the hospital for GH, and I’m trying to shift focus there a bit, but I’ve also switched to the Quartermaine family, who through their various relationships, have their toes in the entire town. You have Monica’s grandchildren, connected to the Corinthos clan and the Webbers, and through the Webber, the Spencers. Tracy keeps Lulu involved. And the PCPD is part of all that due to AJ’s murder.
So by keeping the focus on the Quartermaine family and shifting Jason back to the fold, I’m hoping that’ll help keep focus going forward.
And we’re killing off Sam? Right?
Ha. No. Here’s my dirty secret. I’ve always liked Sam. Like Carly, I’ve written her in my head a bit differently. She’s deliciously damaged, like AJ was, and if you give her a different flavor of motivation, she can really be interesting to write. I also like Kelly Monaco, and I flipping love the pairing of Sam and Patrick. What I hate is that they whitewash Sam as a character. This is a woman who has done some seriously destructive and awful things. I get that we want to redeem her, but don’t take away her agency. Let her own her deeds and make her look at them and push forward as a different person.
And I don’t think the show does enough to remember the tragedies that drive Sam as a person. I kind of backed into her scenes with Alexis and Lucas. What would make her hold onto Jason’s money if it’s not simply her greedy nature? What purpose does it serve to try to take Jason’s estate from Elizabeth if not simply love of money? Well, maybe it’s as simple as wanting that connection, that proof, that Jason loved her despite the truly disgusting way he treated her the last year he was alive.
I don’t like the way show handled Jason’s so-called death. The show let Sam deny his death for weeks, and then everyone kind of went on with their lives. I used that lack of discussion as a jumping point. Jason was never declared legally dead. Why? Well, because there’s no one to do it.
And the show really does forget that Alexis filed the divorce papers just as they were reconciling. They were technically divorced since the case was never dismissed, the papers were signed, and Jason was never declared legally dead. So Sam wouldn’t be next of kin. And by not killing off Jason, you have this interesting conflict that technically Jake is Jason’s next of kin as his eldest son.
And what would Jason’s will look like if written in 2008? No way would Sam be in it. He wouldn’t do more than token amounts for Michael and Morgan, since one is in a coma, and the other has Sonny and Carly. So it makes sense to me he’d leave it to Elizabeth.
Why would Preston leave it alone? Because it pleased him to do so. We’ll eventually learn more about Preston’s motivations, but in my head, he’d probably think of it as another way to screw with the people in Jason’s life. Particularly if he knows by that fall, Victor is going to pull him and fake Jason’s death. He knows the last will Jason wrote in 2008 will be put into use, and he’s probably thinking of it as one last parting shot.
What are we doing the rest of this season? And next?
So I can give you the general themes I have for the rest of this season and the next two, because that’s what I have planned. The rest of this season, we’re going to deal with the fallout of Jason’s return and Sonny’s arrest. I plan to deal with themes of destruction and rebuilding. Jason isn’t the only one attempting to rebuild his life. Michael has just had his world blown apart twice, Laura is still putting pieces together, Ava’s world is crumbling, Sam is trying to put her life on track — not to mention Felix, who I’m attempting to maneuver into the Brownstone as way to put him in the universe of Lucas, Sly, and Nathan. In my head, these are the Bobbie’s Brownstone Boys, and they’ll kind of bond.
Season 3 will be Sonny’s trial, and the trial will shift a bit away from Jason’s rebuilding to Gia’s prosecution, Carly coming to terms with her final betrayal. Season 4 will be the showdown with Victor. I don’t know much else about it because I keep it generally loose, but I know that much. Season 3 will be the build up to going after him in a series of scenes I’m looking forward to.
Is there anything else I didn’t talk about or a preview you might be interested in? I’ll totally answer anything you guys want to ask in the comments, so check back after you ask for my answers.