Next week, General Hospital is set to do the unthinkable by killing off the beautiful, blonde toddler son of Elizabeth Webber and Jason Morgan. This child, Jake, literally embodies the best of General Hospital’s almost half-century history. Jake is a third-generation, double-legacy who should be the next generation GH leading character; instead, the three-year old will be killed by a hit-and-run driver as his mother watches on. There is so much long-term story potential for this child; it is unfathomable to kill him, particularly when similar dramatic impact can be achieved without his onscreen death.
On his mother’s side, little Jake is the great-grandson of the venerable, late Dr. Steve Hardy, and grandson of Jeff Webber. Paternally, Jake is the grandson of the late and much lamented Dr. Alan Quartermaine, and great-grandson of Edward and Lila Quartermaine. Jake’s father-figure throughout his three short years is Lucky Spencer, son of super-couple, Luke and Laura Spencer.
As a single mother, Elizabeth Webber has relied heavily on her grandmother, the much-beloved Audrey Hardy to help her care for her young children. Of course, Audrey has cared for Elizabeth’s children “off-screen,” but in a situation such as this, can we expect original GH cast member Rachel Ames to reprise the role of Audrey Hardy and infuse some calm and grace into this disaster? It is doubtful.
Thankfully, Edward and Monica Quartermaine are still on the canvas, so surely they will weigh in heavily at the loss of their great-grandson and grandson, respectively. Again, it is unlikely Edward (John Ingle) and Monica (Leslie Charleson) will be tapped for sizable contribution to this story. Tragically, Edward and Monica don’t even know little Jake is a Quartermaine.
GH plans to use Jake’s death to tell a story of organ donation akin to General Hospital’s gut-wrenching 1994 story of BJ, a child left brain dead by a bus crash. BJ’s parents, Tony and Bobbie Spencer Jones, donated her heart to the child’s cousin, Maxie. The twist this time, Bobbie Jones’ grand-daughter, Josslyn Jacks, needs the organ little Jake is set to donate. This turn of events puts Bobbie Spencer in the unique position of being on both sides of an organ donation story, both as the mother of a brain-dead child-donor and the grand-mother of a child desperately awaiting an organ transplant. With the stage set for high-stakes soapy drama, can we expect to see Bobbie Spencer, (Jacklyn Zeman) in a tour de force on our screens playing a major role in this heart-breaking story? Don’t wait for it.
The promo for this abysmal story shows Bobbie Spencer’s brother, Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) comforting his son, her nephew Lucky. Of course, Lucky’s mom Laura Spencer should be on a plane from Paris to Port Charles in record time to comfort her son. Who can forget how Laura grieved the unexpected “death” of her teenage son in a fire? Thankfully, unbeknownst to everyone, Lucky survived the fire, but Laura mourned him nonetheless, and she would certainly bring great comfort as Lucky faces the loss of this child he fathered as his own. Sadly, no one expects a surprise appearance by Genie Francis in the role she made famous, so doubtless, Lucky will be without his mother. What about Lucky’s grandmother, Laura’s mother Dr. Lesley Webber, she still lives in Port Charles. Can I expect Grandma Lesley (Denise Alexander) to be around to support Lucky in his time of grief? I’m not holding my breath.
Yes, the death of Baby Jake could be a huge umbrella story bringing heart-breaking drama to three generations of Port Charles residents, but it won’t. The key characters, who could bring depth and emotion to a game-changing story like this, won’t even be on our screens. Certainly, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Lucky (Jonathan Jackson), and Jason (Steve Burton) will bring their A-game reducing us all to puddles of tears for a few episodes, but when I think what this story could have, and should have been, I mourn for Jake and for the fans of General Hospital. I mourn the past and the future of General Hospital.