If you have not seen today’s episode of General Hospital best not to read any further. But, if you have, you witnessed a new instant classic GH episode that will be remembered for years and years to come.
Leading up to this afternoon’s 52nd anniversary episode, viewers saw promos promising the long-awaited reveal of what happened to Luke (Anthony Geary) that had turned him into a “splintered” personality. We also saw images and teasers of the throwback to the original April 1, 1963 episodes that would feature Jason Thompson (Patrick), Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), and Ryan Carnes (Lucas) take on the role of Dr. Hardy, Nurse Jessie Brewer, and intern Phil Brewer, respectively. But what we didn’t know was how these stories would intersect, and in the creative minds of General Hospital head writer Ron Carlivati, and executive producer Frank Valentini, what we saw was an unexpected and unique way of storytelling.
As today’s episode unfolded, Luke went back to the Spencer home to try to recall what caused his psychotic break. The scenes transfer from color to black and white, and Luke sees himself as young teenager interacting with his mother, played by Laura Wright (Carly) and his older sister, Patricia and younger sister, Bobbie. When Luke’s father Tim comes home for dinner, everyone soon realizes as expected that Tim is a monster, a drunk, abusive to his wife and his children. Luke tries to protect his mother and sisters from him. Tim is also played by Tony Geary. Certain parts of the story are left out as the viewers take the journey with Luke to figure out what happened on one fateful night that would change Luke’s life forever.
Against the stark black and white scenes, Luke’s mother is struck in the head and taken urgently to General Hospital by Patricia, while Luke stays behind to deal with his father. Enter “General Hospital” and Dr. Hardy, as he and the team tend to Luke’s mom. Everyone assumed Tim hit his wife. Luke’s mother died, and Steve Hardy wants to call the Eckerts from Luke’s mother’s side of the family. That’s where we first learn of Bill Eckert, and Bill comes to the hospital to help Patricia. How all these stories and history were woven together to explain Luke’s harrowing past was an emotional hour of television viewing giving all of the actors a wonderful canvas to work with from the directing, the writing, and the production.
Back in present time, Patricia (Dee Wallace), Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) and Tracy (Jane Elliot) figure out that Luke has gone to the Spencer home. While we learned that Patricia has multiple sclerosis and not doing well, she informed Bobbie and Tracy off camera just what was the secret she never told anyone of their childhood past.
When it all came out, in the final moments of the episode, viewers learned that Luke accidentently struck his mother in the head with his baseball bat and killed her. His father went on a rampage of words maligning and repeating over and over again that Luke killed his mother! Luke couldn’t take it one more second, so he hit his father with the same baseball bat and killed him. Patricia and Bill Eckert helped cover up the crime by putting Tim’s body in the basement downstairs. Flashback to Bill Eckert’s death scene on GH, where he had informed Luke he knew that Luke killed his mother!
When Luke remembered it was gut-wrenching moment, played to perfection by Anthony Geary. In fact, Geary watching his childhood play out and the dynamics in the Spencer home were equally powerful. Major kudos to the brilliant casting of a young Luke and young Patricia played so movingly by Joey Luthman and Chloe Lanier. Jane Elliot (Tracy), Laura Wright and Dee Wallace (Patricia) were also riveting, and Anthony Geary once again proves he is in a league of his own.
Watch the final moments from today’s 52nd anniversary episode below! Then share your thoughts: What did you think of the performances? What did you think of the reveal? Were you moved by the episode and how it was crafted? Comment below!