General Hospital has managed one of the better introductions to a new character this year, with Willow, they’ve woven her into several stories, having her believe she’s Wylie’s mom, building a genuine (potentially romantic) connection with Michael through their grief, an alternatively sweet light romance with Chase, as the teacher trying to wrangle kids and their parents during incidents of bullying, and now, with the last piece of the Willow puzzle revealed, we know she gave up her baby because she feared the child’s father, shady Shilo, a cult leader. That’s a lot of plots for a newbie to be involved in, and it could have felt like too much had GH shoved her down our throats like certain other shows have done recently with their new characters, but GH wisely took a gradual approach. They took their time in building up everything about this character, we’ve seen her slowly develop the friendship with Michael, the romance with Chase, and invest in helping these kids at school, and we’ve seen the love in her eyes for her “child,” so, when this week, she felt like she had no choice but to run from Shilo, it actually made sense to the viewers that she’d developed an emotional attachment to Port Charles, it made sense when she went off on Nina because the last thing she wanted was to abandon those students and her decision to be a bystander in her “son’s” life, made sense when you see that shaken confrontation with Shilo. Letting the viewers get to know Willow at a reasonable pace, showing us all these scenes of her putting down roots, it allows you to really understand the impact when all of that is threatened for her, in a way that the rushed storytelling that some other soaps are using, does not. Surely it helps the actress, too, to have the time to really develop her character’s emotions, to have time to really feel things like her frustration with Nina coming to a boil, or to appreciate what having two nice guys in her life meant in comparison to Shilo, it’s a depth the actress would have been far more challenged to achieve had the show pulled the trigger on Willow’s story too soon, instead, in allowing the actress to find her footing with the character, it really paid off in the big moment, it led to some truly convincing scenes of heartbreak and terror.
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