The Truth Hurts

The Truth Hurts, General Hospital

Let’s be honest:
Soaps have overplayed the amnesia card to the point where we can’t help but roll our eyes the minute that a bewildered character asks, “Where am I?” GH was no exception when Nikolas lost his memory and a demented war widow convinced him that he was her late husband.

But as we watched Nikolas piece together the truth about his life, we realized the story was about much more than lost memories. Ironically, the secret was spilled by the woman who had done everything in her power to prevent it from coming out: deluded Mary. After a confused Nikolas listened to his “wife” explain herself, he lashed out, calling Mary “sick” and “desperate.” Truer words were never spoken, but actress Catherine Wadkins - frantic , grief-stricken, lost- made us feel sympathy for Mary as she bore the brunt of Nikolas’s rage.

Then there was Emily, who had kept the truth from her fiancé in order to protect him, at the same time praying he’d remember on his own. Nikolas didn’t spare his supposed soul mate from his wrath. “Mary lied because she was desperate and lonely,” he spat. “You lied because you didn’t think I was capable enough to handle my own life.” “Anything I did, I did to protect you because I love you,” Emily cried. “If that’s true, then that’s really sad, because I don’t remember. And I don’t love you, Nikolas replied coldly.

Once a romantic hero, the tormented prince had taken a devastating turn. Nik wanted to punish everyone who cared about him, to make them share his pain. The soulful Tyler Christopher has always presented Nikolas as a man possessed by a dark force that he will himself to suppress. At last it exploded, and Christopher played Nik’s pent-up rage as expressed disdain and sarcasm for his targets, with all the twisted, self-righteous bitterness that reminded us of the Cassadine he is.

The most intense moments came when Jason, who had experienced similar anguish after his own memory loss, attempted to talk to Nikolas at Emily’s request. “So, you had a fiancée who lied to you?” he asked Jason, venom dripping with every word. “Who pretends that she didn’t know who you were? Who brought you to your own home and introduced you to your own aunt and had sex with you on your own couch? I don’t care if I ever see that bitch of your sister again!” All we could do was shake our heads in amazement that Nikolas could be so hateful, and that his portrayer could make us believe it. With the help of the GH scribes, Christopher turned a tired soap device into a character driven tale that captured the essence of daytime drama. Such outstanding performances and storytelling make the soap genre, well, unforgettable.

Source:  Soap Opera Digest

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