General Hospital's Greenland Adventure Failed To Live Up To Its Potential

In 1981, "General Hospital" was the vanguard for introducing action, adventure, and espionage into daytime dramas, starting with the evil Cassadine family's diabolical plot to take the world hostage with a machine that could control the weather. The now-legendary Luke and Laura Spencer (Anthony Geary and Genie Francis) worked with super spy Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) to thwart their dastardly scheme and save the planet. In the following years, epic melees and gunfights abounded on the show.

For its 60th anniversary, "GH" teased in a press release that after an emotional tribute to late star Sonya Eddy (Epiphany Johnson), and the return of the Nurses Ball, the heroes of Port Charles would have to face a threat from the show's history. Writer Dave Rupel stated it would be an epic tale — like something out of an action film or book — that connected to a past storyline. Expectations were high, as Mikkos' brother, Victor Cassadine (Charles Shaughnessy), planned to stop humanity from wasting Earth's resources by releasing a pathogen to kill nearly 80% of the population. Fortunately, Laura — now Laura Collins — headed up a small group of heroes who not only defeated Victor, but rescued his hostages. He had grabbed his nephews Spencer Cassadine (Nicholas Chavez) and Spencer's baby brother Ace so he could keep his family safe when the virus was released. He also kidnapped Dr. Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) so that she could create an antigen for them all.

Time on the story was sidetracked by other plots

Liesl was a bone marrow match for Willow Tait (Katelyn MacMullen), who was dying from leukemia. However, her niece, Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros) was in a relationship with gangster Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), who swore he would use his vast resources to help find her. Unfortunately, he got caught up with mob issues and wasn't part of the rescue. 

Laura, Curtis Ashford (Donnell Turner), Drew Cain (Cameron Mathison), and Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) went to Greenland to stop Victor. Laura had used guns before, and implied she was bringing one along for the mission — but that never manifested. The melees between the good guys and Victor's henchmen seemed watered down, and not up to the levels of previous gun and fistfights on the show.

Time was wasted on other stories, like Willow planning her deathbed wedding and Carly Corinthos' (Laura Wright) coping with her issues with the SEC. Several characters were also wasted, including Anna Devane (Finola Hughes), who should have been leading the charge with Laura, but was sidelined when Victor shot her. She jumped out of her hospital bed at the 11th hour and caught the tail end of the action, saving Valentin's life. Robert Scorpio should have been part of the team too, but was benched for no good reason. And the first person Laura should have called was computer hacker extraordinaire Damian Spinelli (Bradford Anderson), who would have easily located Victor's ship, The Haunted Star.

Luke Spencer should have had his swan song

Trina Robinson (Tabyana Ali) had stowed away on the ship to help Spencer and Ace. She was set up to be like Bruce Willis' character, John McClane, in the film, "Die Hard." With that inspiration in mind, she should have been sneaking around the ship, silently wreaking havoc. While she did manage to sabotage some of the ship's equipment and get a message about her location out to her mother, that was about it. Ex-mercenary and ex-police commissioner Mac Scorpio (John J. York), should also have been on the team, considering his skill set. Toward the end, Laura discovered that Victor had yet another weather-controlling machine as a contingency plan, and she cracked the code in much the same way Luke did in the original story. This was an unnecessary retread of the 1981 saga. 

And finally, Luke Spencer had been killed off-screen in 2022. The man who's saved the world several times over dies in a cable car accident? No. Even though Geary is 76 years old and retired from acting, the show should have done everything in its power to entice him to come back one last time. He could have shown up near the end of the conflict and been the one to put a bullet in Victor. Luke would have had one last adventure and rode off into the sunset like a proper hero.

The storyline was well done, but it sadly missed the mark on several expectations it had built up.