What Happened: Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) is accused of killing Carlos Rivera because her prints are on Julian's murder weapon, A.K.A. the dagger Helena used to murder Alexis' mother (6/17). Julian (William Devry) wants her to stand trial, promising to get her off (6/20). Alexis teams up with the PCPD and wears a wire, hoping to coax a confession out of him in the homicides of Duke Lavery, Rivera and a court witness (7/6). Julian finds the wire, takes her to the docks and nearly slits her throat before Sonny rescues her and she's able to stab him (7/8). As a result of working in Julian's favor while she was Carlos' lawyer, Alexis is temporarily disbarred (8/17). Leading up to being a star witness for the prosecution in Julian's trial, she has hallucinations of him and ends up freaking out on the stand (9/15). This, coupled with Paul Hornsby doctoring documents so that the wire recording is inadmissible (Ava blackmailed him; she knew he was the hospital killer), sets Julian free (9/20). After all the distress and failing to rebound with her career, Alexis develops a dependency on alcohol (9/27). She blacks out while cookies are burning and Danny is in her care (11/8). While drunk, Alexis accidently hits Julian with her car and flees the scene (11/23). Desperate to reunite with her, sober her up and hide from the latest mysterious crime-lord stepping on his neck, Julian hangs the hit-and-run over Alexis' head to move into her house and force her to nurse him back to health (12/6). He is being controlled by the sister he thought he executed in 1990, Olivia Jerome (Tonja Walker; 1/17). Olivia made Julian carry out his 2016 misdeeds to avenge herself and Duke, whom she loved. She also wants the hospital building to be turned into condominiums. She threatens Julian's family to keep him in line. Tom Baker tried to sexually assault an intoxicated Alexis at knife point over Christmas, but she got away. She thinks she stabbed and killed him (1/9) until her full memory returns while talking to the police (1/30). Alexis joins Alcoholics Anonymous (1/11) and tells Sam what's been going on (1/24). Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) cheats on Aaron and has sex with Parker (Ashley Jones) when she reveals she may be getting a divorce (7/20). Sonny sees Kristina kissing Parker (7/22) and they have a heart-to-heart about her sexual orientation (7/26).When Alexis confronts and reminds Parker that she has no long-term intentions with Kristina (7/26), she sends a "Dear John" letter (7/28). Kristina blames Alexis for Parker's change of mind and throws Julian in her face (8/12). Parker tells Kristina she's going back to her wife, proving Alexis right (8/25). Molly (Haley Pullos) and TJ (Tequan Richmond) get a place together (6/16).
My Commentary: The downward spiral of 'JuLexis' was exciting, entertaining and fascinating, and anytime Grahn is given sordid material it's a good day because she slays it, but it was also another example of detrimental short-term writing. Julian was written into a such a hole, that it would be virtually impossible to get him out or restore the coupling in the way that wouldn't be utterly absurd. Take his trial verdict, for instance. Within the story, it's detestable and ludicrous that he got away with his crimes. Externally, however, he's a front-burner figure that's 1/2 of a popular pairing. There aren't a lot of viable options to keep him on-screen while serving an acceptable sentence. I knew whatever "fix" to reconcile Julian with Alexis wouldn't be justifiable, but geez, recycling Fluke was the best they could do? If Alexis doesn't turn him away for any other reason, it should be he's so easy to puppeteer. Many 'JuLexis' fans are criticized on social media for still wanting them together, but I understand their reasoning; they view the events of the past year as they are--the product of stunt scripting. I don't know if I agree with their assertions that Julian was pulled out of character, though. It was so aggravating to see so many in PC question and harshly chastise Alexis before and after her botched testimony, as if she didn't just have the most harrowing experience of her life and had the most to lose if Julian was found innocent. I knew what the jury outcome would be, but I was still shaking my head in disbelief. Grahn had me devastated and shocked with her. By the way, where the hell were the Davis girls and Diane then? I hate when necessary people are missing from important scenes. I very much enjoyed Carlos being some sort of morbid Jiminy Cricket (6/24); Jeffrey Vincent Parise is so fun and I miss him. It also made me smile watching Lucas (7/18) and Sam (8/5; 9/20) take turns disowning their father. I got my entire life when Julian used Danny yet again to manipulate to Sam, and not only did she let him know that Danny doesn't need his bone marrow anymore, but that she'd sic Jason on him or kill him herself. As I feared, Kristina's saga with Parker was summarized and cut short, but there was great beginning discussion about sexuality and heartfelt father/daughter action. Also, many points where Kristina was finally given the business by her mother and sister (i.e. Molly 8/17) for being so destructive, bratty and disrespectful. I jumped up and cheered when Alexis told her "You're not the only person with a problem here, so stop being so damn self-involved and grow up!" Of course, Alexis didn't do this without being reprimanded (8/24). *Rolls eyes* Is she ever allowed to parent?? I passed out when Parker cockily told Alexis she slept with her daughter (7/26). I thought "This is the wrong time to test this woman. Alexis' ability to take B.S. has diminished," haha. I love pissed-off Alexis. Why are Molly and TJ moving in together?! Why did no one object to this?! She's a college freshman! If it isn't having her off-screen most of the time, it's hurling her light-years ahead.
Paul, Sabrina & How It's Painfully Obvious the Writers Are Winging It
Soap-fans are used to a fair amount historical revisions and logic-defying tales, but rapid plot and characterization changes are happening so frequently now, consistency is non-existent and you're left wondering if the writers are fully mapping out concepts before they air. This was no more apparent than with the return of Paul Hornsby (Richard Burgi). First, he came to town wanting to take over Sonny's territory and use Ava Jerome as a lackey. Then, when the writers seemingly considered pairing him with Anna Devane, he was an undercover good guy that was trying to stop arms dealers. Though Paul took TJ hostage to bait and shoot Sonny (he was paralyzed and wheelchair bound for months after), this was never addressed. Finally, Paul was made the hospital serial killer, whose motive was to avenge his daughter's rape, with expectations she'll come out of her post-traumatic state. It was evident that he wasn't the intended culprit initially, as the attempted murders of Lucas Jones and Bobbie Spencer didn't fit into the payback score and were put on Heather Webber. Somehow, she quietly escaped a super-max prison with the goal of keeping suspicion off her son, Franco, and returned. It was more than a possibility that the murder mystery was just as whipped up as Paul's arc. I felt sorry for Burgi; it was such a hot mess and he ended up without a job. He went out swinging: his performances were so emotionally grabbing (especially on 9/27 and 9/28), that you had sympathy for Paul, even when he strangled sweet nurse Sabrina (Teresa Castillo) to death (9/14). He convincingly conveyed grief and ruefulness in Paul's final attack, as Sabrina was an inadvertent witness that had to be eliminated. The scenes were particularly hard to watch because she begged for her life for several minutes and was on the brink of rescue the whole time. At one point, she even pulled the blinds up on the medical room window and banged on it. As if that weren't agonizing enough, her best friend and boyfriend (i.e. Felix and Michael) giddily talked about an impending marriage proposal right outside the room where she lay dead. Then, in what felt like multiple episodes, we saw her pale corpse be photographed and grieved over before going to the morgue. Michael even put the (gorgeous and unique) engagement ring on her finger! The icing on the tear-jerking cake for me was when Felix (Marc Anthony Samuel) stopped the gurney for a last goodbye (9/16). His monologue closes with "I am going to miss you for the rest of my life," and a beautiful BFF montage played. I was done. Also, kudos to Sonya Eddy with Epiphany lamenting her treatment of Sabrina on 9/21. It was ridiculous that Felix, Epiphany and Lucy were all sitting on rows further back at her funeral, while Michael and both sides of his family were perched up front (9/23). Even her killer was front row! Her cousin Juan (who was on GH long before she was), Joe Rivera (Carlos' twin brother and Sabrina's ex), and other mentioned connections were absent. Sometimes they don't get this kind of thing right. Many of those that were aggrieved by Castillo's exit felt she and her character were never given proper wings to fly during her 4 year stint. Like Burgi, Castillo went out shining and showed what could have been. I discussed the lack of support I feel actors/characters are given on the series and how it affects the future here. On 10/3, Paul is taken down by Anna in front of Dillon before he can inject Tracy, who found out about the homicides, with a fatal syringe. It was a pretty tense and sad episode. I go on to pinpoint other chaotic and slapdash plots throughout this article.