Elizabeth never mourned Jake properly. Okay? I said it. The girl didn’t have a chance to mourn the loss of her little boy in between dodging murder allegations and other assorted disasters. And though we’ve been told that she’s been successful and living on and being a good mother to her living children, we have really only seen otherwise. Life hasn’t been good to Elizabeth Webber, and October 2’s episode finally brought all of her stifled pain and frustration and anguish that she’s been feeling up to the surface. As Rebecca Herbst delivered Liz’s powerful confession - that she lied about the baby’s DNA test to keep Jason and Sam apart - we got to see the real Elizabeth Webber.
“I didn’t deserve to have my child taken away from me, either!” Elizabeth cried out as she finally admitted that she never forgave Sam for watching Jake get kidnapped years ago. Herbst’s performance was incredibly raw and honest and made me remember why I fell in love with the character back in the 1990s. Elizabeth survived a violent rape. She survived failed marriages. She survived the loss of family and friends. But who really survives the loss of a child? “Ever since we lost Jake, I’ve been trying to recover on my own, trying to let time heal. But It’s only gotten worse. And so I really thought … I thought you would make it better. That you would fix it. That’s not fair of me to ask that of you,” she whimpered. Who hasn’t felt that way at some point? Elizabeth’s pain was so real, so incredibly potent, that I understood where she was coming from for the first time in a decade.
Credit should also go to Ron Carlivati, who managed to take one of my least favorite stories ever and create an incredibly strong throughline for all the characters involved. I was going through my Twitter feed and was astonished at how many complaints were targeted at Carlivati for “not liking” the character of Elizabeth! Because the way I see it, Carlivati not only likes the character, he gets the character. He’s the first writer to get the character since Michele Val Jean, and that’s no small feat. I’m not sure where Elizabeth goes now- I’m going to suggest lots of therapy - but I am confident that with Herbst and Carlivati steering, the journey will only get better from here.