What I did not count on was just how bad Passanante would botch the 30 year on-air history of the character by driving him insane and practically ignoring mother Barbara (the criminally underused Colleen Zenk Pinter), rendering Paul nearly without any redeeming qualities or rootable value.
Then something remarkable happened: a stupid bomb plot, a newly discovered microchip in the cranium and a case of amnesia later, Paul was rebooted into a funny, brutally honest, devil may care horndog without a past who has been a breath of fresh air.
What will be Tom's (the awesome Scott Holmes) reaction when he learns of Margo's (the brilliant Ellen Dolan) staggering number of lies?
In addiiton, there have been an unusually strong number of scripts over the last several weeks.
If the show's plan was to get GH's fans to sample ATWT, then it only makes sense to cast an accomplished character actress like Herring for a role suited to her talents and acting style.
In addition, the now well-documented list of the show's biggest defects remain stubbornly in place: warp-speed storytelling and the soul sucking semi-episodic structure continue to test the rapidly waning patience of the show's dwindling audience.
Having said that, it bears repeating that fans are a stubborn breed.
The sudden, highly coincidental arrival of Janet's (Julie Pinson, giving her all) sister Teri (wonderful new addition Vanessa Ray) further grounds both Janet and Liberty (Meredith Hagner), while providing more friction between her & Jack (Michael Park).
In a few short episodes, the debut of Lynn Herring's conniving Audrey has carried more weight than the two months it took to introduce and unmask her son Henry's (Trent Dawson) sister as a serial killer.
No longer burdened with having to play an uneasy mix of former portrayer Scott Holroyd's Paul and Todd Manning Lite, Howarth seems to be having a blast, whose newfound enthusiasm has rubbed off on ex-love/new lover...