Gold Star



Tyler Christopher (Nikolas is this issue's outstanding performer.

As with a powerful grizzly lying dormant in his cold, stone cave, waking a hibernating Cassadine can be dangerous!  GENERAL HOSTPIAL'S Rebecca didn't know what she was getting into when she decided to woo him and then take him for his family's fortune.  Although falling in love with the Russian prince wasn't in the plan, neither was the volatile reception she received when her scheme was uncovered.  Drunken silence followed by an emotional explosion and an eerie, dead calm -- Nikollas was turning into the man we all assumed he one day would:  a dark, dangerous Cassadine.

Kiss of Death
When Rebecca walked into Wyndemere, Nikolas' demeanor sent a chill down her spine.  He circled around her with envelope in hand.  "one...million...dollars." he said with a patronizing smile.  "that's what you came to Port Charles for, isn't it, to get what Emily had?  Go ahead.  Come on.  Take it.  You earned it, because that's what whores like you do!"  She bowed her head in shame.  "What's it gonna take?  Two mil? Five? Ten?" he said, flicking the check at her.  The more Rebecca tried to explain the reasoning behind her ruse, the more explosive he became.  Worn out by his anger and hurt, Nikolas suddenly got quiet and still.  He kissed her softly and held her close.  "I know who you really are, what you've always been, and that is a cheap substitute for Emily," he whispered quietely in her ear.  "Now get out of my house."

The Downward Spiral
After drowning his sorrows in booze, a devastated Nikolas trashed his living room, then collapsed to the floor.  When Elizabeth later arrived, he was sitting precariously on the terrace wall, looking as if he was contemplating jumping, "It was inevitable, I guess -- finally turning into a Cassadine," Nikolas said, opening up to Liz.  "God, I miss Emily.  I really do.  And I try to pretend that everything's fine, but it really isn't."  He later sat alone on the terrace in the dark, talking to Emily's spirit.  "The part of me that is good and honorable, it's gone, missing somewhere," he said.  "You took it with you, and all that's left now is this bottomless pit of insatiable need."

Tyler Christopher is best of the best when it comes to playhing a strong yet vulnerable -- a man who tries to contain his emotions but just can't avoid expressing the devastation that lies beneath his "togetehr" facade.  Not since Hamlet has a prince be so tortured by overwhelming grief, seething rage and the madness that follows.  And if any actor can pull off that kind of complex perfomrance, it is certain Christopher.



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