I've been thinking a lot about this Felicia thing, all in the interest of objective commentary. People who have followed my column on various GH sites around the net know that I'm not a fan of the Luke and Felicia pairing. I've been hate-mailed for it with people accusing me of not understanding their relationship because I fast forward through all of their scenes. (Puh-lease! If only I could. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to not be able to locate the FF button on my remote because I've worn off the little right facing double arrow from hitting whenever they (or Juan and Emily) are on the screen. But no, I watch every excruciating moment because that's my job *sigh*. It's an occupational hazard. I've also been told that I'm just a Luke and Laura fan who can't give up on the idea of them being together. Wrong again. Although the chemistry between Geary and Francis is completely electric, I simply feel that there is waaay too much water under the bridge for a Luke and Laura reunion to be pulled off with any degree of believability. (I'm actually cheering on the side of the ballpark that is looking for a Mac and Laura hookup).

Nope, it's more personal than either of those two reasons. I just don't dig Luke and Felicia together. It was kind of kicky and cute at first, when they were swing dancing at Luke's, for instance. She was still fully in love with Mac and just having a little fun. I think it got weird for me when they were hiding in the Quartermaine closet in the house on Oyster Bay, while trying to evade Jennings, Sr. in search of the lost Lila letters. While they were scrunched in the closet, Luke leaned over and took a long whiff of her hair and I saw the future unfold before me in lurid detail. Yep, that's when it all went downhill. As a lot of you know, I'm a mom of six, three grown sons (22, 20 and 18) and three younger children (daughter 7, son 2 and son 9 months). I KNOW what it's like to be a mom who wraps her life around her kids and can barely enjoy a satisfying bathroom experience or full night's sleep without hearing the ominous *crash* "MOM!!" Perhaps more than most, I don't begrudge Felicia a little spin across the dance floor and certainly being able to tip off on a trip from time to time without the fam might actually be a nice distraction. When I look back over the last year, however, I can really see that the good mom Felicia hit the skids in a big way. I don't want her to be chained to the stove, baking cookies all day. I just would have liked it if we could have kept *one* family happy on a daytime drama. Mac and Felicia should have been untouchable. I know this isn't real life and that happy families just don't make good TV, but (as she would put it) daaaaaang. I'm really disappointed that this one is coming apart. Let Mac lose his job and have to stand in line at the church for a box of government cheese, two cans of spinach and a big bag of rice and be glad to get it. Let Felicia make toast under the paper towel holder and catch the kitchen on fire. Let the water pipes burst in their basement and flood the house, ruining $3,000 worth of new carpeting when they both thought the other had renewed the homeowners insurance. Let Maxie get pinworms and Georgie get a good bout of head lice, but couldn't we avoid the adultery bug just once?

The change of characters is just too extreme for me. While I could believe that Felicia is a bit of a crackpot (after all, she doesn't even seem to care that deadbeat dad, Frisco, dumped her with two children to raise alone and has internalized, no doubt, a big ol' heap of rage over that one), I still find it hard to believe that she would abandon her girls like she has, not to mention let ANYONE come before Mac. I like passion. Passion = good. A little risqué, a little flirtation…sure that is enticing once in a while, but I just could never see it coming to this.

A few weeks back, I wrote about the injustice that Felicia is facing as a soap character. I still stand by that. Definitely, she should be brought to task for her faulty parenting, but with all of the absentee dads on the show (Luke, Ned, Mike - est post facto, Alan - ALWAYS with the kids in a boarding school, Edward - ignoring Bradley his whole life, Frisco Jones, Tom Hardy, etc) it does smack of sexism that's she's being made the villain. I'm not saying they shouldn't do it. I'm thrilled that a soap is finally addressing how ludicrous it is that people can just dump their kids and still have them turn out perfectly well adjusted. But I seriously think Felicia should have a town meeting and pull a Harper Valley PTA on Port Charles. The one thorn she'll have in her side would be that Mac *is* the best parent on the show, so she's have to approach it with the attitude that she's going down and taking them all with her.

Luke also just isn't being painted the way I have always seen him. I've watched GH since it first came on the air, so I've followed his progression from skulky tortured wacko bad guy to Indiana Jones to mayor to skulky tortured revenge driven wacko bad guy to (apparently now) hormone driven horndog. Don't get me wrong. Even in the soap world where few have distinct black or white hats and most don a mottled grey chapeau, Luke is a bad guy. He has committed more crimes that you could count on both hands with all your friends helping. He's killed about a dozen people (and tried to kill a few others) and it's always justified in one way or another or ignored completely. The entire penal code (poor choice of words, sorry) is basically his "to do" list. He could go through it with a pen marking "did it, did it, gonna do it, thought about it, did it, did it…" On top of that, he's a lousy dad who sees his daughter once a month at best to take her ice fishing and then blow off a gushing thanks from Laura for spending time with their daughter. I am under no illusions about Luke. He's a pretty nasty customer. That comment to Bobbie that he just didn't feel the same toward LuLu now that the bone marrow transplant from Nikolas had put Cassadine blood in her veins is STILL ringing in my ears and I'm hoping the writers NEVER live that one down.

What bothers me on the Luke side of the fence is Felicia's choice of words regarding about his take on their relationship. After the disastrous desk incident (those Spencers sure love their work time jollies!) that culminated in Felicia flying out of the club half dressed directly into Laura and Mac's waiting arms, she was confiding to Bobbie about what had happened. Her comment went something like, "And then I had to stop, and of course, that didn't go over very well with Luke." Now, we have her telling Chloe that when she and Luke are kissing that she always wants it to go further, but then she feels guilty and has to stop and Luke is getting tired of that. Doesn't think kind of reek of the "R" word? After all they have been through, does she really think that Luke is only in it to, shall we say, have a lock for his key?

When Felicia and Luke were talking in the park and he asked her to choose, I didn't have the feeling he was talking about sex. I thought he was telling her that he wanted more as in more of her heart, not into her pants. I realize that the writers are painting Felicia as being quite confused and basically pinballing off the bumpers looking for a place to land, but I would have thought she'd give Luke more credence than that. Perhaps when they actually get around to, um, opening that lock, we will see some tenderness and discussion of feelings. I just hope this isn't treated as something trashy and skanky (I will still be coveting the FF privileges).

But back to that closet in Oyster Bay. That sniff of the hair is when it all started getting weird. That's when we started seeing Felicia betray Lila, which I NEVER thought would happen. Even after she told Lila she'd not break into her house again, she was bellying up to the betrayal bar and ordering another round. Then she was running off to Mexico, toasting marshmallows and cozying up to Luke telling horse stories and before you know it, she's chained to a bed in Frederick's of Hollywood garb, reciting bad romance novel heroine lines and waiting for LUKE to come and rescue her. Tsk Tsk Tsk. You'd think that's be enough to give her that old "There's no place like home," clicking together the heels three times feeling for a while, but her side of the bed was barely warm again when she was taking off to look for Lucky, lying her face off again to Mac. Felicia defenders across the nation may say she's getting a raw deal, especially this week when Mac decides he's better parent material for the girls, but I say she's got to face the music and understand what she's done and make amends. She's trying her best now (although you couldn't really prove it by the dance during the quarantine) to prove herself to her family, but that is something that is hard won and will not be accomplished overnight. Trust is like a china teapot. It is beautiful, but very fragile and once you are careless with it and it busts into a jillion pieces, you have to either sweep it up and count your losses or painstakingly superglue that sucker back a shard at a time. It will be long and arduous work, but you can't run that film backward and make the break not happen.

I've been pretty hard on Bobbie and Roy lately, so I'll just give them a quick brushing off after their drop out of the sky and say that I'm just really glad that they were over land when they jumped. I was itching for a scene where they were hanging from a tree in the one parachute, clinging to one another like baby chimps and frantically trying to reach Sonny on a cell phone. Thank goodness Roy was able to hang onto that oh so valuable print out during the crisis at 33,000 feet. Has he never heard of e-mail back up?

"All of the mouses were named Hillary" and they were eaten by a python named Rudy. Heh heh heh.

I'm in the minority, I know, but I am just loving this Lucky story now. Yeah, it's dragging and seems to be going nowhere, but it turned around for me this week when Helena said so meaningfully, "First and foremost, you must protect your queen." Lucky all but turned into a Scooby Doo character, with his eyes becoming spinning spirals and his voice getting all thin, distant and reedy, "Protect my queen…I hear and I obey." I love it. Don't worry, folks, he's going to get his brain back and then we'll get to see what Jacob Young can really do. Head writer Bob Guza directly says, "The big arc of the story is Liz's love redeems Lucky, which is something that fans want to see, and it's something we want to do." He says it's not going to happen soon or easy, though (of course). There is no mention made of how he will react to his parents and it would be interesting if even after he was himself again he still hated Luke and Laura. It isn't as though his accusations do not have merit. The boy might just be seeing that the Emperor (and Empress) have no clothes!

KUDOS! APPLAUSE! BRAVO!!…to Maurice Benard and Sarah Brown for their agonizing portrayal of grieving parents and to Billy Warlock for his dead on take on the obnoxious drunk. GH definitely corners the market on quality acting in daytime drama and this is so indicative of what our cast has to offer. Sure, we have a dud or two here and there, but for the most part, our stars really shine. Flip over to a show you never watch and note the sad state of acting. Within fifteen minutes, you'll be crying for a Sonny and Carly scene.

Please note and applaud my restraint in not going into the whole tangled web of meat lines or take apart the whole "Dengue Fever" mess. Thank you.

See you next week!


HELENA: "How like you to go prowling through my desk. Once a sneak, always a sneak."

STEFAN: "Once a sociopath, etc., etc."