Gold Star: Maura West (Ava)
Maura West tapped into Ava’s softest and hardest sides
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.
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!