Daddy's back! In the stunning cliffhanger of Wednesday's episode of ABC's General Hospital it was revealed that Stavros Cassadine — the heartthrob baddie played by Robert Kelker Kelly — didn't die when he went down that bottomless pit back in 2001. In fact, he's still looking mighty damn fine and holding Luke, Laura and Lulu hostage on Cassadine Island! Are even more Cassadines coming? Is Helena really most sincerely dead? Head writer Ron Carlivati gave TV Guide Magazine the scoop on this unstoppable crime clan.
TV Guide Magazine: Stavros, eh? Another brilliantly kept secret!
Carlivati: We really wanted to revive the Spencer-Cassadine feud in a big, surprising way for the 50th anniversary. It's been Luke versus Helena for so long that we needed an additional twist, and since Stavros was never found in that bottomless pit, we don't know what really happened. [Laughs] For all we know, he went all the way through and ended up in China! It seemed so fitting to bring him back, since he had that relationship with Laura and is the father of her son, Nikolas. That's still such a sticking point for Luke.
TV Guide Magazine: Kelker Kelly retired from acting years ago and now flies planes for a living. Were you certain you could get him back?
Carlivati: The show was able to track him down and he was happy to come back and do this story. He'll be in a bunch of episodes spread out over a period of time. It really felt like Stavros was someone Luke would really like to have it out with — once and for all.
TV Guide Magazine: It's hard to believe Helena is dead, given this family's remarkable talent for resurrection. What do you want to say about that?
Carlivati: Obviously with the Cassadines you never really know. But the idea is that Helena is dead-dead. A major turning point in the Spencer-Cassadine rivalry needed to happen. After 30-plus years of this we needed to give Luke that moment of triumph, so he plugged her. Point blank. And he checked her pulse. So, yeah, she's pretty dead.
TV Guide Magazine: Pretty dead?
Carlivati: You will see Helena again in some form — I'll just leave it at that — but the intention is that she's pretty darn dead. [Laughs] Notice how I left myself that little opening!
TV Guide Magazine: What about bringing back Thaao Penghlis as Victor Cassadine?
Carlivati: Victor is not part of this go-round, but he's certainly a possibility down the line. We never want this rivalry to die. There's also the ongoing mystery of Sam's father and that's not lost on me. Obviously [Sam's mother] Alexis is withholding something huge, otherwise she'd reveal the dad's identity. Our viewers always ask about that and I want them to know I will address it. I just need to figure out the best timing. [Laughs] It's always good to have some Cassadine secrets in your back pocket!
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