Two-time Daytime Emmy-winner Nancy Lee Grahn was fêted on a recent episode of General Hospital in honor of her playing attorney Alexis Davis for 25 years.
Nancy Lee Grahn — Performer of the Week
This wasn’t just any anniversary episode. Sure, there were a series of flashbacks including clips of the actress’ first appearance and some of her most powerful storylines (including Alexis’ battles with lung cancer and alcohol), but the episode was just as much about Alexis’ present and her future as much as it was about her past.
For turning in a tour-de-force as a woman who came to some realizations about her life just when she needed to the most, Soap Hub bestows Performer of the Week honors for GH on Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis).
Alexis took a long, hard look at herself on the eve of her going off to Pentonville for her accidentally stabbing Dante (Dominic Zamprogna). GH addressed certain things that prison storylines often don’t such as Alexis consulting with an expert on how to behave once she was incarcerated. (You can’t make jokes to lighten tense situations? We’d never survive!)
Grahn has always brought a likability to her role as Alexis, making audiences feel as if she really is their pal. In fact, for a woman whose birth name is “Princess Natasha Alexandra Mikkosovana Cassadine,” she’s darn relatable.
We saw Alexis realize that she’s going to miss seeing her grandkids getting older while she’s away. She also did her best to make amends with Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) for not only having a fling with her husband Ned (Wally Kurth) but also for her harming Olivia’s son. With each encounter that Alexis had, she — and viewers — felt the tension of her impending incarceration.
Alexis also interacted with her daughters — Sam (Kelly Monaco), Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth), and Molly (Haley Pullos) — before changing her place of residence. Additionally, Alexis met with the man she first encountered when she came to Port Charles — Dr. Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom). While they’ve been acquainted for years, Alexis chose to see the good doctor, a psychiatrist, for professional reasons.
Kevin helped Alexis get to the root of a lot of her failed relationships with men, particularly the tumultuous one she shared with the late Julian (William deVry). As a child, Alexis was mostly helpless as she watched her father Mikkos Cassadine abuse her mother Kristin.
Is it any wonder Alexis was drawn to bad boy Julian when she saw the dynamic between her own parents? In a touching moment, Alexis spoke to the younger version of herself, telling her that she shouldn’t be sorry and that it wasn’t her fault. In Kevin’s office, Alexis went to a place in her mind where she parented herself.
“No one was there for you when they should have been, but I’m here for you now,” Alexis said, comforting her younger self. “I’ve got this.”
By the end of the episode, Alexis realized that she is a fighter, an idealist, and an advocate (as are her daughters) and that will carry her throughout her time in Pentonville. Alexis assured Sam that she’s scared, but is also more at peace than she’s been in a long time.
Fortunately, as GH viewers are well aware, a character going off to Pentonville doesn’t mean the character will be exiting the story canvas. We look forward to seeing Alexis’ story and personal growth continue behind bars.
This episode is a must for Grahn’s Daytime Emmy reel next year. Kudos to not only the actress, but also director Phideaux Xavier, and the GH writing team, especially, co-head writer Dan O’Connor, writer Elizabeth Korte, and scriptwriter Scott Sickles for answering the question “Who Is Alexis Davis?” General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.