Guys, I'm trying a new format this time; please let me know what you think of it! :)
The Spencer Clan
What Happened: Luke's long-lost sister, Patricia (Dee Wallace), told Bobbie and Tracy that his mental breakdown was likely the result of repressed memories of murdering his parents, Lena and Tim, as a teen (4/1). Luke (Anthony Geary) fatally hit Lena in the head with a bat on accident, trying to guard her from the abusive Tim (Bobbie was too young to remember this). When Tim berated a devastated Luke after a hospital call confirming Lena's death, Luke snapped and struck him dead. Patricia and Bill Eckert covered up any remnants of the event, and she sent Luke and Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) to live with their Aunt Ruby. After this was explained, Patricia, who was already ailing from multiple sclerosis, presumably died from shock (Luke bound and gagged her) and Luke was sent to a psychiatric hospital. Patricia's daughter, Valerie, who was also attacked, nearly slit Luke's throat for revenge (4/8). Later, Luke is cleared for release by a doctor. Laura (Genie Francis) returns to town and alerts Luke that Lucky and Ethan have been kidnapped by Frank Smith and they're commanded to tell no one (6/15). Lulu and Dillon find out and demand to help in the rescue. Tracy is led to believe that Luke dumped her for Laura (6/9) and Dante (Dominic Zampronga) is told Lulu is visiting her grandmother. Dante assumes Lulu and Dillon (Emme Rylan, Robert Palmer Watkins) are having an affair when he discovers she actually booked a hotel room with her ex-lover (6/30). Dante kisses Valerie on 2 separate occasions and they ultimately have sex (7/6). When he learns the truth, he only cops to kissing Valerie (Brytni Sarpy) and makes her vow to keep the rest quiet. Tracy (Jane Elliott) feels that Luke doesn't see her as an equal and he needs time to heal from his childhood revelations; they agree to separate (7/21). Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) finds that Helena Cassadine has had his adopted son, Jake, on Cassadine Island since 2011, when he was thought to have died after a freak accident where Luke hit him with his car (7/6).
My Commentary: The multi-episode flashback arch revealing Luke's parricide was beautifully done and directed, and a sight for sore eyes with continual, in-depth storytelling. It had my heart and caught my tears. It was a sweet thrill to see Laura Wright (who portrays Luke's niece, Carly) as Lena, and Jason Thompson and Rebecca Herbst as GH genesis characters, Dr. Steven Hardy and Nurse Jessie Brewer. The arch was great independently, but within context of the "Fluke" storyline, it still left a lot unexplained. Why break now, after all these years? If the drugs Heather's Miscavige men gave him caused the memory to come back, why would it bring out an evil side? The deaths didn't happen callously. The implication is that Luke is inherently evil, but he assumingly showed no symptoms of this before the trauma. Most of all, this incident doesn't explain the inclination towards womanizing and sexual assault (in addition to raping Laura, Luke attempted to do the same to Kiki and threatened Julian with it against Sam), or logistical details, like being in WSB custody with Julian Jerome. I did like how the writers connected the parricide to Bill Eckert's final words: "forgive yourself for what you did to your mother." Geary suggested last June that this year-long journey (that fans found arduous, by the way) kept him from leaving GH, but allegedly after having a post-surgery epiphany, he opted to go anyway. Rather conveniently, the double-homicide unveiling provided a built-in exit, but the writers wanted to take Luke down the corner of Ridiculous Lane and Unnecessary Road one last time. Jennifer (Frank's daughter) wanted to blackmail Luke into sleeping with her to get "closure" from their broken engagement 35 years ago (6/22). Frank, who's supposed to be dead, wanted to avenge being shot 21 years ago (7/3). A retro villain was resuscitated (and recasted) to be shot again after about 4 episodes (7/6). Oh, and he has something to do with Little Jake (who wasn't born until 2007) being alive, though we won't be told how! It was silly and pathetically underdeveloped. What was the reason for it?! To reunite Luke with his off-canvas sons and ex-boos, Laura and Holly? Him severely needing psychological care was sufficient enough. Was it to bring back Little Jake? Geary theorized the Jake scenario was to redeem Luke from being a child killer, but I think it has nothing to do with him and everything to do with making things more complicated between Liz, Jason and Sam, once Jason regains his memory (more on that in a bit). It would be nice if Jake wasn't killed in the first place or was resurrected to right a wrong, but instead he's being used as a plot device, which I always hate. Luke and Tracy's parting scenes were well-scribed and bright, with Elliott being the queen she can't help but be. The dialogue about how Tracy needs to feed her spirit after chasing Luke and ELQ, and how he needs to recover and can't pick up where he left off gave a powerful and sensible conclusion to their romance that didn't feel hurried or unnatural. The ghosts of Luke's youth reappeared on 7/24, giving him resolve and perspective; again, beautifully done and thorough. Why kill Patricia though? We just got her! I hate when phantom characters are finally brought out of the shadows, only to die almost instantly.