What The F Is Up On GH With… Elizabeth Webber
General Hospital is on five days a week, all year round so it can be hard to get a handle on what’s been happening to your favorite characters. Making things more difficult is that soap operas play fast and loose with things like historical cannon, scientific fact, the laws of physics and you know, life and death.
I’m here to help my fellow viewer through the good, the bad, the completely incoherent and the totally offensive events of America’s longest running soap opera.
Welcome to What The F Is Up On GH With Elizabeth Webber
Rebecca Herbst has played Elizabeth Webber through thick and thin the past 25 years- and she’s consistently turning amazing performances. Whether the stories were secondary to the main plots or whose plots were clearly in disservice to her character Herbst has done a lot with what was often very little.
But this year was supposed to be different. It seemed as if perpetually sidelined Liz was going to be the focus of a big storyline- a special one. The writers started laying the groundwork for Liz’s big story late last year- with Liz mysteriously tearing Violet’s photo of Jeff Webber, her long-absent father.
Long-suffering Liz Webber has some daddy issues.
Was Jeff Webber returning? Would there finally be an explanation for why Liz’s dad was MIA? Who would play him? Would Richard Dean Andersen (famous as MacGyver in the late 80s/early 90s) return to play him? And then nothing. Until Terry got a phone call from Liz’s dad asking about his daughter. Liz vents about how shitty her absentee parents have been.
Liz gets a stalker- just what she needed.
The storyline kicked into “high gear” (I use this term loosely) with Liz being menaced by a stalker. First, she receives a note signed by a somehow called ‘B’. Liz suspects Betsy Frank, Franco’s adopted mother, and it seems plausible. At some point, Franco’s gallery burns down, too. Betsy Frank turns out to be innocent. Things get weirder when a painting of Liz done by Franco appears in her living room. Liz thinks Heather Webber, Franco’s biological mom who is a total nut job, might be behind the mystery, but she too is eliminated as a suspect.
Finn tries to help Liz find her stalker… by screaming at Jake.
Finn starts sleeping on the couch to protect Liz in case the stalker appears – which is unnecessary. It’s during this time that Finn starts throwing about the possibility that one of Liz’s sons might be responsible. Finn gets aggressive with his suspicions – especially towards Jake. We get some uncomfortable scenes of Finn yelling at Jake, but he admits nothing.
Later, Finn once again aggressively confronts Jake, this time at the hospital, where he demands answers for perceived peculiar behavior by Liz’s son. Jake admits he is hiding something – after he is berated by Finn. That he’s been chatting with Liz’s parents in secret. Viewers heard so much about Liz’s parents, that it seemed that they would finally make an appearance. But nothing ever materialized with Liz’s parents- this is actually the extent of that plot thread. Even with the reveal that Jake is innocent, it’s hard to shake Finn behaving like a gigantic asshole. Yet nobody onscreen seems bothered by Finn’s behavior.
Liz’s stalker strikes again, while Aiden suspects Franco’s ghost.
The stalking gets more intense – Liz thinks she sees a dark figure in the house and passes out. Liz sends something her kids to stay at Laura’s place while she goes to a hotel. Finn has his brother Chase stay at the house to run surveillance. For a moment, I hoped that Chase and Liz would sleep together- the girl deserves a win, Chase needs to get laid, and it would be one hell of a twist.
Meanwhile, Liz’s other son Aiden is convinced that Franco’s ghost is responsible and gets some info on ghosts from none other than Lucy Coe. Aiden sneaks out of Laura’s to go ghost hunting but gets caught by Chase. Aiden plays it off like a school thing. Liz’s hotel room gets vandalized while she’s in the shower. Lucy runs into Liz and Finn at the hotel during the police investigation. Lucy mentions the conversation win Aiden and gives Liz the name of a medium she knows. Finn is a total dick to Lucy – also uncomfortable and unnecessary. Then Chase gets whacked over the head and all the camera footage is lost – along with my hopes of Chase and Liz having a fling.
Liz feels the need lie to Finn to be able to see a medium in her own home.
Finn at this point has become so overbearing that Liz decides to lie to him. Liz says she’s staying at Wyndemere until the stalker thing is solved- but is in fact seeing the medium at her house. Nikolas shows up at the hospital and is completely confused when Finn thanks him for helping Liz. The medium sense a dark spirit wanting to keep Liz from moving forward with her life. The medium actually contacts Franco just as Finn and Laura arrive to break up the ghost party. Finn borderline threatens the medium to stay away from Liz – another asshole move.
It’s painfully obvious the writers had no real plan for this story.
Let me interject to remind you that this is the most story and screen-time that Liz has gotten in years. Unfortunately, the writers didn’t have a clear vision of what the story was going to be. Liz is getting stalked. Her parents have nothing to do with it despite being mentioned every five minutes. Is it her kids? Nope, Cam is working at Kelly’s 24/7, Aiden is baking and hunting ghosts and Jake is chatting with grandma and grandpa. Is Aiden right about Franco’s ghost? Nope.
Liz then pulls scissors on Cameron in a daze. Is Liz suffering from a split personality disorder? Of course not, that would be too interesting. The answer to this mystery is sleeping pills. Yup. Liz has been taking sleeping pills, has blocks of lost time/no memory, and probably stalked herself this whole time. Liz decides to check into Shadybrook and tells Finn to give her some space.
Liz may be in Shadybrook, but Finn is acting like a psycho – and nobody seems to notice.
What the fuck? Somehow the story gets worse – mostly because Liz is barely part of it. Finn decides that Liz needs him and visits her at Shadybrook- after being told not to. Liz loses her shit, tells him that she doesn’t want his help nor does she want to see him, and kind of ends things.
Finn decides the best thing to do is- get this – take Liz’s kids on a camping trip. Liz has pretty much told this man that she needs to be left alone and Finn decides to leave town with her kids. Do you know what taking a woman’s kids out of town after she’s asked you to leave her alone sounds like? Kidnapping. It’s a crazy, stalker thing to do- but it totally tracks with how Finn has been acting.
As you read this, you might think: are the writers setting it up to reveal Finn is the stalker? That totally must be it. Right? Honestly, it’s the only way to salvage this storyline- and the only way to explain his inappropriate behavior. Unfortunately, that’s likely not the case. Instead the writers are framing this as though Finn’s decision to overstep every boundary set by Elizabeth is the right thing to do.
So much happened in this story but did any of it really matter? Nope.
Let’s recap for a minute. Finn first crossed the line by bringing the possibility that Liz’s children were responsible up to her. Then he decides to confront Jake aggressively- which Liz doesn’t appreciate. Finn then confronts the kid again and screams at him to reveal to Liz something that is a private family matter. Finn has Chase move into Liz’s house without asking. When Lucy shared the talk she had with Aiden and offered Liz assistance – Finn was a total asshole to her and denigrated her beliefs. Liz felt she had to lie to Finn just to be able to meet with the medium in her own home. That should be a red flag for Finn to back off.
When Finn found out Liz lied, he shows up and shuts it down like he’s her DAD and threatens the medium. Liz decides to check into a mental facility- because she’s convinced she’s been stalking herself (after pulling a knife on Cam). Liz says that Finn can’t help her – only she can. Finn shows up at Shadybrook and Liz loses her shit and kicks him out. Finn’s response? He organizes a camping trip and is taking Liz’s kids with him. WTF indeed. But it somehow gets worse.
Finn and his dad pack a car and decide Liz shouldn’t make her own decisions. Violet ties a knot. What the fuck am I watching?
The week we watched as Finn, Greg, and Violet got ready for the trip. Finn told his father that all he wants to do for Liz is everything she is begging him not to do. Instead of explaining that “No means No” to his son, Greg tells him to try even harder to help Liz – regardless of what she says. This conversation plays out with Finn and Greg sitting in the trunk of a van while Violet ties a knot.
I’m not exaggerating. The scenes were devoted to Finn and his father packing a vehicle, deciding that a Liz doesn’t need her wishes respected, while Violet ties a knot in the corner before proudly presenting her dad and grandfather with her accomplishment. In short, the episode was a comically bad waste of viewers’ time. Finn feels as though Liz needs saving from herself. I think Liz and the audience need to be protected from Finn’s bullshit.
The biggest insult of the story thus far has been the camping trip itself.
Nothing could be a worse choice for Liz’s storyline than this camping trip. Nothing is more insulting than having all three of Liz’s children onscreen with her nowhere to be found. We couldn’t even get all three kids onscreen to show their mother some love and support but they can be with Finn? The man who believe that Liz’s kids were stalking her? The one who berated Jake? Belittled Aiden’s belief that maybe his dead stepdad was reaching out? That Cameron had to be begged by Laura to go on this trip with? Seriously, it’s offensive. This couldn’t get worse but it does.
Making a mockery of Friz shows how little the writers care about Liz and her fans.
Having Maxie and Austin run into Finn and the boys on the trip to Pautuk may seem cute to some. Maxie and Austin do have a history in Pautuk but the reality is that Roger Howarth should not be near those kids onscreen. Seeing the man who played Franco, their loving stepfather, chatting it up with the man who may be the worst man ever paired with their mother is just wrong.
I am not even that big of a Friz fan but even I know that it’s just hurtful. Becky and Roger put in some work making a relationship between Liz and Franco, one that seemed both ill-conceived and doomed to fail into a genuinely pleasant romantic pairing.
Furthermore giving single mom Liz’s children, a loving, sensitive father figure who respected their mother above all else was one of the few gifts to the character and her fans. His senseless and violent death last year was hard for the fandom. The fact that Finn is so awful- not just to Liz but to her kids- and the writers are playing him like the next Franco… it’s really bad. Really, really bad.
This is what the writers came up with for Rebecca Herbst’s 25th Anniversary.
The writers ran the gamut of possible turns this story could have taken and this was the result. Every interesting plot development was teased only to be quickly dropped with no real follow-up. No absentee dad played by Macgyver, no ghostly apparition of Franco, no split personalities, no return of Heather Webber. Liz is just misusing sleeping pills- and she needs to sit down and let Finn run her life.
Rebecca Herbst has played Liz Webber on GH for almost twenty-five years. The actress has some of the most loyal fans in all of daytime television. Liz Webber is a gold star legacy character, the granddaughter of Dr. Steve Hardy- a direct connection to the beginnings of GH nearly 60 years ago. And this is the story that was cobbled together for such an iconic character. It’s a travesty that keeps getting worse.
I filled you in on what is going on with Elizabeth Webber and shared my opinion. Tell me what you think in the comments or hit me on social media.
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