Gold Star: Maura West (Ava)

Maura West tapped into Ava’s soft­est and hard­est sides

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When her daugh­ter showed up in an Am­ber Alert, GEN­ERAL HOS­PI­TAL’s Ava re­acted like any mother would… well, for the most part! Af­ter win­ning our em­pa­thy with Ava’s barely cloaked fear and des­per­a­tion, Maura West let her ven­omous char­ac­ter strike — and hand­ily earned this week’s Gold Star.

A Mother’s Worst Fear

Ava’s been chas­ing re­demp­tion for a while now, and any suc­cess she’s found is a credit to West’s abil­ity to hu­man­ize the cal­cu­lat­ing schemer — in spite of all she’s done and does. Such was the case when Ava stormed into Sonny’s place in a panic over their miss­ing daugh­ter. True to form, she lashed out. But even as she an­grily blamed ev­ery­one else (in­clud­ing Grif­fin!) and de­manded the PCPD treat Mike’s fright­en­ing mis­take as a kid­nap­ping, she kept brac­ing her­self on ta­bles and coun­ters — as if lit­er­ar­ily hold­ing her­self up and hold­ing back her fear. The mother’s fury was fu­eled by a pain that rose to the sur­face when Ava was alone with Grif­fin and then again as she of­fered her emo­tional, tele­vised plea to Port

Charles. So when she fi­nally gave in to her tears, let­ting Sonny take the floor, we felt for her. In that mo­ment, Ava could have been any mother strug­gling to keep it to­gether dur­ing a po­ten­tial tragedy.

Bal­anc­ing Act

West had our hearts in her hands as Ava looked at pic­tures of Avery in the in­ter­ro­ga­tion room… but her char­ac­ter’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to find her daugh­ter quickly mor­phed into a con­vic­tion to get her back for­ever. Af­ter clutch­ing her brother for sup­port, she huffed an­grily over the Corinthos clan. It al­most broke her, how­ever, when Ju­lian noted this could just as eas­ily be an at­tack on the Jerome fam­ily as Sonny’s! Fired up, Ava stormed out of the room… only to run right into Grif­fin. His pres­ence alone calmed her, and though she shot him a look when he sug­gested prayer, the des­per­ate mother ac­tu­ally took his hand and her brother’s, and with a crooked smile, bowed her head.

Turn­ing Of The Tide

When Ava fi­nally swept her re­cov­ered daugh­ter into her arms, her re­lief was pal­pa­ble. But when Sonny ar­rived, there was nei­ther warmth nor grat­i­tude in her voice. Her whole body seemed poised for a fight. In­stead of em­pa­thy for Mike, a fa­mil­iar, hate­ful glint came to Ava’s eye… and she in­sisted Sonny wasn’t tak­ing Avery any­where with “that man!” With fear no longer an is­sue, Ava was ready to play this for all it was worth — namely, full cus­tody of Avery! Though she claimed she was only pro­tect­ing her daugh­ter, not even Grif­fin seemed to buy that as she spat threats at Sonny, called Mike de­ranged and even had the ail­ing man ar­rested. Ava took one last emo­tional hit when her daugh­ter called Carly Mom. But then, hav­ing suc­cess­fully ma­nip­u­lated Sonny into let­ting her take Avery home, she sim­ply shot him a look and walked out with their girl. Grif­fin was left speech­less… but West’s per­for­mance had us ap­plaud­ing!

West brought out Ava’s fear — and fear­some­ness!

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