matthew ashford homepage general hospital synopsis

chapter ii: tom returns with a changed
personality, affected by the horrors he saw
and did in rwanda; he wants his family and job
back, but simone has moved on and wants a
divorced, and steve gives his job to kevin collins.

After Tom left asking for a divorce, Simone and Justus' relationship progressed. Ned (Quartermaine) Ashton (Justus' cousin) has just married Lois Cerullo in Brooklyn; everyone attended their wedding, including Justus and Simone. Immediately after the ceremony Justus and Simone return to Simone's apartment in the Brownstone, and begin making out. [ video 7A (40 sec; 1.6 Meg) ] However,  the lights come on, and Tom is on the couch paging through a coffee table book on Africa; sarcastically, "You didn't waste much time didn't you?!" Tom's manner seems odd, not like the nice, easily going Tom of old -- Tom is wearing two African braclets, and a leather chain with a small shell which never removes. Simone looks over in shock. With a smug expression, he apologizes for surprising her, and then states, "I'm back!" Simone tells him, "It's stating the obvious" and wonders why. "Do you really have to ask!" He tells her that this place is where his family is: His home. Simone is not amused by his joke. Tom tells them he is not joking. He turns towards Justus, "Did you have a good time with my wife?" Justus trying to control his anger, reminds him "ex-wife!" Tom tells them that he was not able to sign the divorce papers. Justus tells Simone that she can still get a divorce. Tom says he would not make it easy.   Simone is confused, she knew that he was not going to Chad but back to Rwanda, so why is he home. He admits that he is surprised too. He is evasive about Rwanda and what changed his mind about returning home. Tom does not want to discuss his situation with Justus; Justus tells him that he is involved. Tom issues a veiled threat, saying he is back and is going to get his life back. Tom snarkily tells him, "You could always stay and duke it out with me, I suppose." Justus angrily tells Tom that he did not get involve with Simone until after Tom left, and asked for a divorce; now it is up to Simone, whether she wants to continue their relationship or not.

After Justus has left, Simone wants answers. [ video 7B (2:45 min; 6.1 Meg) ] "It isn't all that complicated. I miss you. I love you. I love our son."  His voice cracks as he tells her that he wants to try again with their marriage. Simone, cynically thinks it is more of a case that his girlfriend dumped him. Tom, with a weird, wild look tells her he was the one who ended that the relationship, "I think I was too intense for her." He tells her that Kelly saw that his feelings his feelings for her were ambivalent. Simone is furious over his change of attitude; she has moved on. He tells her that he realized that he could not lose what had with her and Tommy. She senses that there is more to this and wonders what really was behind his change of mind, something had to have happened. "Things happen every day that you couldn't imagine."  there seems to be a deeper meaning. He tells her that when he returned earlier he really did not have time to think, he just reacted. Simone is not impressed; his shallow apology changes nothing, she is not going pick up their relationship. Tom shouts that now he is doing it "her way, so don't tell me I being unfair." He hints about going to bed together. She is not amused and tells him to find another place to sleep.

Tom walks into Steveįs office, "Dr. Hardy, I presume." Steve wonders what he is doing home. He tells his father that he realized that the camp in Rwanda was where he was needed, and returned, but horrible things occurred, making him see that he wanted to be in Port Charles with his family. Tom asks if he still has a place open for him. Tom notices his evasion and tells his father that he thought that was what he wanted. Steve says that he held the position open as long as possible. "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it," Tom jokingly replies.  He tells Tom that just the day before he made an offer to Kevin Collins. "Will you submit my name.... in addition?" Steve tells him yes, but he is confused because Tom made it clear he wanted to return to general medicine. Tom laughs, in an ironic tone, "General medicine is in the refugee camps is basic life and death. Here in Port Charles it is diagnosis, referrals and dispensing medicine." Steve disagrees. By his expression it seems he is not pleased with Tom's behavior and attitude. Steve tells his son that they better do something first, call Audrey because "she would skin him alive" if she found out he was home.

Audrey is thrilled having him home for good. He tells her that he missed his son, and he remembered Tommy's look the last time and worried that he was no longer important to him. Steve, listening in, seems to be leery. Tom adds that  Seeing all the suffering, especially the children was too much.  She asks about Simone and he tells her   he saw her with Justus Ward. He tells them what he told Simone. Uncertain, Steve wonders how she reacted. "She wasn't overwhelming receptive. But she's going to have to accept it.... Because that's was going to happen!"

Simone goes to the Hardys looking for Tom. Audrey says, "It is an answer to all our prayers." Audrey goes on and on gushing, and then asks about Tommy. Simone tells her that is why she came, she has not told him yet. Audrey seems to think they still could be a family and before Simone can correct her Tom enters. Tom gets Audrey out of the room, and tells Simone she can sit, "I won't jump to any conclusions." They continue their discussion, she tells him how two years earlier he left them out of his "social consciousness," she goes on how he has a great "sense of drama and romance," he was that way during their courtship. Then he went off to African and found it there, and had an affair, and now he has had enough, but for how long.  How is this going to affect their son. He thinks her anger is what is bad for Tommy. She cannot believe his gall. She wants Tom to return to Africa before Tommy knows he returned. Tom tells her that she and Tommy are "stuck with him. " He then questions her about how her relationship with Justus is affecting Tommy. He tells her to tell Tommy he is home and he will take him to dinner. She tells him it is about Tommy's needs not his; she has to think things through and then she will decide about telling Tommy, with that she storms off.

Later, Simone changes her mind and lets Tom see Tommy, who does not seem thrilled. The their conversation is a awkward. Tommy wonders what happened "to all the sick children." Tom asks about school, and Tommy reminds him it is summer. Tommy tells him how the Ward house is having a party and then Justus promised him a baseball game. Tom is not pleased.  Tommy says Justus probably would take him too; Simone, listening, rolls her eyes. Tom sarcastically says that could be interesting. Simone bribes Tommy with ice cream so she can talk to Tom, after Tommy leaves she wonders "now what." Tom is sobered seeing how he is a stranger to Tommy. Simone senses that there is another reason why he returned. In the past missing her and Tommy did not bring him home. [ video 8 (2:50 min; 6 Meg) ] He tells her that missed the camp, "So many people depended upon me and the decisions I made. Holding lives in my hand, literally and figuratively. He tells her how he returned to a "political quagmire," there was a band of thugs who wanted the drugs, he refused, "just another life or death decision in the godlike Dr. Hardy." Choking back tears, fiddling with Tommy's toys, he tells her how later he was treating a scared little boy, holding him; he looked so fragile, the kid left and was gun down by the rebels, "he disintegrated right before my eyes." He tells her that at that moment he needed his son, needed to return home. Simone cries. Simone thinks that Tom had to come home, a person cannot take all that horror, she tells him he needs "emotional healing," and Tommy can help. Tom wonders about her. She says that is still angry over what he put her and Tommy through, despite it she will always be his friend.  It might be hard for a time with Tommy, but she will help bridge their relationship. He tells her he cannot lie, that he is determined to get his family back. She tells him that he cannot get everything he wants. Tom with a gleam in his eye, "We'll see!"

Justus sets up a meeting with Tom at Luke's. He tells Tom that his feelings for Simone are sincere. [ video 9A (1:25 min; 3.1 Meg) ] Tom warns holding on could get "someone hurt." Tom retorts that he loves her too, they have history, "you haven't a clue what you're dealing with!" Tom is surprised a lawyer cares so little about marriage. Justus, you broke those bonds when you left his family, "again!" He realized his mistake and came back to fix them, "the bonds may have stretch, but haven't broken." Justus tells him that he knows Simone, she wanted the divorce. Tom says just because they shared a bed, they have been together long, have struggled through many things; he knows her better. Tom tells him "you would not be the first time she's strayed." He counts on his fingers, "you would be the third! -- that I know of!" He points out that her other affairs were also with black men, but she always came back to him (Tom is not lying about the affairs). Tom advices Justus that it is a fantasy to think her being with him is nothing more than payback. Justus tells him that their relationship is good; his remarks are not going to change that or end it. [ video 9B (35 sec; 1.2 Meg) ] Tom adds he means nothing to his wife, and that very soon his relationship with her will be ended. Justus wonders if it is a threat; Tom replies, "It is a fact!" He has been there before, and always won in the end: He will get his wife and son back! Justus tells him, "That was then, this is now!"; do not place bets on Simone.

Lucy Coe and Dr. Kevin Collins arrive at Luke's. She notices Tom and tries to avoid him (before he left for Africa the first time she had seduced him and set him up to make him believe they had sex blackmailing him to finance a company, Deceptions). [ video 10 (2:10 min; 4.6 Meg) ] She turns to find Tom, and is nervous. She introduces the two men (Kevin is Tom's competition for the head of psychiatry). Tom continues to look at her, making her even more nervous. He then tells them that he is applying for his old position. Kevin says that Steve is probably glad. Tom said he is but reassures him that his father still will put his [Kevin's] name out too. Just like he is playing with Lucy he seems to be doing the same with Kevin. The situation continues to be awkward for the two. Tom, "Lucy.... I'm sorry, I just can't get over how good you look, of course you always had a wonderful sense of style. I remember especially--" She interrupts him before he can finish and talk about their past. She starts babbling how they are both psychiatrists. Kevin tells her, "he knows!" Kevin tells him that he heard about all his great work, and thinks he will have support at the hospital. Tom agrees that it is true. Tom asks Lucy, "what are you up to these days, keeping out of trouble?" She says she is, and Kevin gives her a look. Tom, "What a shame!" She tells him she is an adult now, and president of Deceptions. She explains to Kevin that Tom was one of her original investors. He hopes she has not become, "too respectable," because she was always "so much fun!" She says of course she still is fun, "I always say all work and no play m-" she stops before finishing the statement. [The saying "make Jack a dull boy, seems to a possible in-joke at Matt playing Jack; and for a time Lynn Herring played Lisanne Gardner on DAYS when Matt was on]. Tom continuing to stare at her, "I do!" After Tom walks off Kevin, "so that's Tom Hardy." Lucy says, but a different Tom Hardy [another in-joke about the change in actor], noting how Tom's personality has drastically changed. She tells Kevin that Tom was "always so well behaved," and that she always told him to "let his hair down" and he would be more attractive to people. She realizes the implication and quickly says she did not mean herself. Kevin tells her, "I think someone sneaked up behind me and shot me in the back." 

[ video 11 (35 sec; 1.2 Meg) ] As Tom walks out he stops to talk to Luke (his cousin Scotty Baldwin was married to Laura and she left him for Luke, while she was married to Scotty was during the infamous Luke rape of Laura). Tom asks him how Laura is. He adds that they are so lucky to have remained together for so long, he always thought she would do to him what she did to Scotty. Luke wonders if he is attempting "overt hostility" or is just stupid. Tom says he is just a shrink, and a student of the "human condition!" Then walks off.

It is the Nurses' Ball (the hospital staff put on a talent show to raise money for AIDS). Simone arrives with Justus, they walk in and Tom who greets them. She hopes he will enjoy it, he tells them "I already am." As they walk off Justus mutters, far from us. Simone is at a table with Justus, she notices Tom watching them and goes over to confront him. He tells her she looks wonderful and he cannot stop looking at her. She thinks it "is rude and manipulative." Tom ignores that and wants to dance. She returns to Justus and tells him "Tom is playing games." Later Justus talks with Tom, who says Justus will have to get use to him being around. Tom adds that things could get ugly, he could get Justus to slug him, that would make interesting headlines, him being a city councilman, slugging the husband of his girlfriend. Even if Justus did not hit him it still would make a scandal. Justus reminds him that that would hurt Simone and Tommy. Later, Justus tells Simone about Tom's threat. Simone is shocked, it does not sound like Tom. She looks over to see Tom staring, but Audrey walks Tom away. Later, Steve [John Beradino played pro-baseball for various major league teams] and Tommy perform a song from the baseball musical Damn Yankees!, "Heart." Tom, sitting with his mother, and uncle Lee and aunt Dr. Gail Adamson (Baldwin). watches with pride.

The hospital board votes on the next head of the psychiatry. Steve recluses himself from voting, but when the vote is tied, he votes for Kevin. Tom and Audrey meet Steve, who says the vote was 5-4 for Kevin. Tom tries to hide his hurt and anger. [ video 12 (1:55 min; 4.1 Meg) ] Steve admits that he voted for Kevin. "I think this is about to get very interesting," replies Tom. Audrey cannot believe he went against his own son. Steve tells them Kevin has been consistent in the field, and he does not think Tom is as dedicated. Tom sarcastically thanks him for giving him a chance. Later, Tom tells his mother, "He doesn't believe in me. My own father doesn't believe in me." Audrey assures him that is not true. He is being Steve, following his conscious. Tom, "Right, Dr. Fair and Square!" She hopes this will not cause a rift between them. He says it will not, but by his expression it has. She tells him that she is sorry things are not working out, first with Simone and now the hospital. He tells her he never ran away from a challenge, "I intend to get everything I want, no matter what it takes!"

Tom goes to the orphanage Bradley Ward House (named after her son with Edward Quatermaine, Justusį father, an activist minister who was murdered by various influential citizens of Port Charles) run by Mary Mae, looking for Simone. Mary Mae is polite despite the situation between him and her grandson. He tells her that the children are lucky to have her, she says the children in Rwanda were lucky to have him. He tells her he wished the children there had the peace they find here. He continues that he thought he could handle it there, but "suddenly they were all Tommy" making him realize he had made a mistake. He begins to talk about Simone, but she stops him saying she does believe every effort should be made to save a marriage, but she loves her grandson and is close to Simone. He apologizes, but it is evident he wanted her support. She continues that she admires him for all he did. Simone ( is there due to a chicken pox outbreak) walks in carrying a little girl, Elizabeth. Tom takes Elizabeth and offers to help entertain her. Later, Tom and Simone talk. As stacks blocks, "Chicken pox, throw in malnutrition, a compromised immune system, is fatal." it changes one's perspective. Then he tells her  that his father picked Kevin over him. "How's that for irony? Not even a knee jerk sympathy response." She tells him she was thinking about his father. Tom ask not about me. It had to have been agonizing she tells him, since Steve always wanted him to take over, and this would have been the first step. Tom says, at least "he cannot be accused of nepotism." He adds Kevin has degrees, and written academic papers, while he has been "buried alive in Africa." Even before Africa he thought about ER medicine, Kevin probably never wavered. "Do I sound like I am trying to justify this whole thing?" She says, "Yes!" She thinks his analysis is right. He tells her that is why he wanted to talk with her, "nobody shoots straighter." He adds, "I always use to call you my litmus test,"  she would always turn blue when there was "hypocrisy around." They joke around comfortably, and then she says she really is sorry, but not surprised. She thinks something serious is happening to him,  she adds she does not think he even knows what it is. His voice catching, "I do know!" They are looking at each other intently when Justus. Justus thinks that now he lost the appointment he has "other fish to fry." They begin to argue again. Justus thinks it is his "petulant way" to have her if not as his wife as his mother. Tom reminds him that he is the shrink. They start yelling and Mary Mae has to stop them. Tom tells Mary Mae that Elizabeth is a charmer but she has some delayed motor skills, and to watch her.

Later Tom and Simone go the Outback to talk. Simone notices something is wrong and asks if he could tell her. He doubts it would help. "[ video 13A (45 sec; 1.5 Meg) ] You know about the lives I was able to save over there, but you don't know about.... the lives that I've taken!" [ video 13B (50 sec; 1.5 Meg) ]Tom does not know if he wants to think about what happened, much less verbalize it. Simone is confused because he never let on. He says, "I needed you and Tom there with me, a core of sanity.... to ground me, to get me out of the worst of it. His decisions ended up ending lives, including his own -- "as he had come to know it." [ video 13C (2:10 min; 4.8 Meg) ] The decisions went beyond the ordinary ones in medicine, he tells her; "it was raw, it was sweeping!" One of the decisions was political, "with whom to align myself": which gang of thugs "would offer the best protection." That decision meant "life or death for thousands of people." Next he had to "close his eyes" to what those thugs did, so that "the medicine got through." He continues, this always meant "more death." Add that to poor medical care and sanitation.... "I realized that I had accepted the chaos. I was at the center of it!.... It became easier for him to make the decision. Overcome with emotion, she asks, "how could you keep this to yourself?" She wished he had told her sooner, at least she would have understood his behavior. [ video 13D (2:40 min; 5.6 Meg) ] "Because I would not have the power," that was why he could not walk way. Speaking intently, his eyes looking a little wild, "I knew how to make that camp run, in its own awful way. It was mine!" He realized that "I was in a place, few people often go." "Amazed by my own choices. Fascinated by the options!.... Most of them, unspeakable!.... It was surreal.... artificial.... At a time and place.... beyond the world!" He begins to talk of the murdered boy, but stops himself, not able to tell her. Port Charles, the hospital, her and Tom are his focus; for him this is reality, "which is most welcome." He realizes he is unloading a great deal on her, but she did ask, and he wanted to tell her. He says to think about it for awhile to see if "it makes any sense." He gets up, very emotional. Just then Felicia and Mac walk over to their table, Felicia tells them about her win "playing the ponies." Tom said he had little chance where he was. He tells them now that he is back he can try new things. He apologizes for not visiting her, "he did not want to upset the ole apple cart", looking at Simone, by being there. Felicia asks him to join her the next day for the 4th of July picnic, he tells her his parents and he were asked by the Quartermaines. Tom then asks Simone for her and Tommy to join him; she tells him she is going with.... the Wards. Tom is not pleased.

[ video 14 (1:20 min; 1.9 Meg) ] Tom then goes to visit Kevin to ask for a position in the psych department. "It is obvious that he is bitter, and continues the mind game he was playing the other night at Luke's. "I assume protocol has not changed completely in the time I've been away. One still plays abeyance to the new appointed department head, doesn't one?" "If one wishes to, but not necessary," " Kevin replies. Tom continues his overly formal way of talking and tells him he would like to have a talk. Tom tells him. Tom then continues, he knows what Kevin is thinking, he has been away for so long, practicing in another field, "how serious can he be?" He indicates his curriculum vitae, how he not only has practiced psychiatry but was department head, and knows how it and the hospital functions; then he snarkily adds, "Unless your planning on turning the whole place on its head?" Kevin says since he is now department head, his position is open, and that Tom is more than qualified. Though he wonders how Tom feels working for him after what happened. Tom denies he does, trying to hide his bitterness. He knows that his father picked him, and therefore it had to be the right choice; so "I would be privileged to work for you." He then says, "I just came back from a very bad scene in Africa. It was wild, dangerous, on the edge all the time.... very exciting, but very raw. " Now he wants something more stable. Kevin has no qualms, but it the Chef of Staff (Steve) has to approve it. He tells Kevin he is looking forward to it, as he flashes one of his looks.

Tom then goes to talk with his father. [ video 15A (1:15 min; 1.8 Meg) ] Tom tells him about the job, and how he has to approve first; "Can I count on that approval being forth coming?" Tom notices Steve's reluctance, he tells his father he is home and settling in, why does he get the impression he is not pleased. Steve says he is pleased, if he means it, but he remembers how just a couple of months ago he wanted a divorce and spoke about how important working in Africa was; at the time he sounded as if he meant that, but now he is saying the opposite. Tom says what is wrong with changing his mind. Nothing, Steve replies; however, he just wonders how many times he will be changing it. Tom tries to control his anger. Steve wants him to think things over first. He leaves; Audrey arrives. [ video 15B (45 sec; 1.6 Meg) ] "You two have a disagreement." Emotionally, "I do not know what we have." He continues, he thought his father wanted him home. He is, "for the long haul,"  and now his father acts as if he did not want him around. She thinks he is being silly. He wonders if she is happy he is home. She is ecstatic. She also knows that he will fix things with Simone and Tommy, and they all will be "a happy family." He hugs his mother, "Count on it mother," nodding his head, "count on it!"

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