WOW. That's the one word I have to say after watching this week's riveting General Hospital. I take that back. WOW is the one word I have to say after watching the riveting Lexi Ainsworth SLAM DUNK a story that could have been extremely stereotypical and trite. In the shocking and uncomfortable climax in the Kristina/Keifer relationship abuse story, we watched the beautiful Ainsworth brutally beaten by Keifer (played with an unnerving accuracy by Christian Alexander) after being manhandled by an angry Ethan (the charming Nathan Parsons). Left barely conscious by her monster of a boyfriend, Ainsworth didn't hold back, allowing the audience - no, forcing the audience - to witness the tragic and heartbreaking aftermath of a beautiful young girl whose innocence was unfairly beaten to the ground. The sobs of pain, sorrow and fear Ainsworth let out went right through me.
The amazing performance continued when Ethan delivered Kristina to the hospital. Reacting like any teenager would, Ainsworth was uninhibited in Kristina's tenuous emotional state as Kristina cried and cried, letting us know that she was in pain and that she was very scared. Completely outshining her older costars (namely the scenery-chewing Maurice Bernard), Ainsworth made sure that the story was about HER pain and anguish, NOT her narcissistic father's. The scenes in which Kristina begged Sonny not to kill Ethan (it was Keifer who hit her, after all) not only rang true but showed us the shameful effect Sonny's lifestyle has had on his children.
This story is one of GH's finest in years. While some have said that the story is too focused on the men and Kristina's lies, I see the story from Kristina's perspective, all thanks to Lexi Ainsworth and her outstanding performances. Not since Becky Herbst's Emmy-winning rape story have I been this invested in a teenager on a soap. Props must also go out to Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) for smacking down on Sonny when he tried to assert his power concerning putting a hit out on Ethan. Her seething "damn you" will not soon be forgotten.
The story is not easy viewing; watching a beautiful young woman being brutalized and tormented at the hands of a sadistic man does not always make for good soap, but in this case, the performances have elevated it to something much more exciting, and much more relevant.