It’s amazing how Pavlovian my response to soaps is after 25+ years of watching. I always assume big tragedy, huge trauma and a body count is in store. So it should be no surprise that GH: NIGHT SHIFT’s finale, like the rest of the season, surprised me! Though, hey, I DO have to point out that I wasn’t completely wrong about Saira. (That’s all I can say without spoiling the episode for anyone who hasn’t seen it.) Still, putting that factor aside and taking into account one bittersweet note, GH: NS set my soap world view askew by ending happy.
Is that allowed? Are we allowed to have loving, warm, nonviolent soap opera?
As Kelly Bundy would say, the mind wobbles.
I had braced for impact, expecting the finale to be all about the high drama of the skinhead’s bombs. Cue hectic triage, emergency operations, maybe Robin going into false labor…and Eric somehow ending up with Saira’s liver. I couldn’t have been more wrong, as the bomb threat storyline lasted less than a third of the episode and then viewers were jumped forward a week so the more character-driven stories could find resolution.
I love that the issue of Stone’s custody was left up in the air, and that the mother still remains unknown. I know Antonio Sabato, Jr. was advocating for Brenda, but I think hardcore GH-ers know that 1). Brenda would never abandon her child, no matter how spoiled she can be and 2). The timeline is off, as Brenda was being held captive by Luis Alcazar/running around PC with Jason around the time Stone would have been conceived and born.
I also loved that despite them finally coming clean about still being in each other’s hearts, Robert and Anna didn’t have their sunset-and-Mai Tais ending. Because that’s not who they are yet. They still have a lot to work through and Robert has a lot of soul-searching to do. (And can we hope that he also looks up Holly and settles THOSE unsolved mysteries? I’m still bitter about her turning into a mercenarial bitch when they brought her back to Day Shift in 2006.)
Of course, Robin and Patrick were absolutely wonderful. (Yes, every time I say that, I have to pinch myself. It’s like living in the TWILIGHT ZONE.) I was amused by seeing their bedroom, after weeks of them sacking out on the sofa bed, and cracked up when they closed the episode “christening” the Chief of Staff’s office one last time. And Jason Thompson wins the “dangit, don’t make me cry!” award this week, for Patrick’s touching scenes with Robert, where he swore to look at his daughter the way Robert looks at Robin. (How awesome is it that Patrick calls him “Sir?”)
The rest of the gang all had believable wrap-ups as well. I liked that Kyle and Claire made up, that the Saira/Jagger/Leo triangle resolved itself remarkably realistically, that Touissant and Epiphany bonded over his secret son and the responsibilities therein, and so on.
I honestly still don’t know how to process it. A show wrapping up dangling threads, respecting its characters, delivering payoffs, and yet also teasing things left undone…? How novel!
It’s just unfortunate that NS probably isn’t eligible for Emmy consideration. I firmly believe this season could have been a strong contender for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actress, Outstanding Lead Actor, and Supporting Actor/Actress nods. Not to mention Outstanding Writing Team. (Yes, I’m a Sri Rao fan. I admit it!)
Is it time for season three yet?
originally posted on soapoperaweekly.com