Ashley Jones returned as Parker today on General Hospital where she effectively ended things with Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth). After Kristina saw that Parker finally called her after weeks of silence, she drove to campus to find her former professor on a jog. Parker looked surprised to see her and said the phone call must have been an accidental butt dial. Needless to say, Kristina was hurt.
But now that they were together, in the flesh again, Parker said it was time for them to talk. She admitted running off after leaving Kristina a goodbye letter was not the right way to break things off.
“Given that we’d just spent the night together and agreed to give this a try, it was a surprise, to say the least,” Kristina said.
“At the time I thought it was for the best, I did,” Parker said. “But looking back, you deserved so much better than that.”
Kristina wrapped her arms around Parker and said she’s happy they can start over, but that’s not what Parker had in mind.
“You’re not hearing me,” Parker told her. “We should have never slept together. We should have never gotten involved.” Then she tells Kristina she’s going back to her wife.
Kristina can;t believe what she’s hearing (“That night we made love was the best night of my life!”) and lays into Parker.
“You used me just like everyone said you would,” she said, Parker taking it all because she knew she deserved it. “It’s the oldest cliche in the book,” she said, describing their student/teacher romance and how Parker was unsatisfied at home and took advantage of Kristina, knowing she could never see a future with her.
Things end with Kristina telling Parker: “You’re a weak selfish person, and I never want to see you again.”
While Kristina and Parker shippers are sad that this storyline is coming to an end, it was a much-needed point of growth for Kristina and something that isn’t going to go away for her. Many, many queer and questioning women (and people, in general) chase unavailable people, which has nothing to do with Kristina’s sexual identity. As Kristina pointed out, Parker used Kristina’s questioning as an excuse when really she was never planning to commit to her. And though Parker has, throughout their relationship, said she didn’t know that they could ever be together, she had changed her tune after they spent the night together, giving Kristina false hope if she was truly never in it.
It’s heartbreaking to lose a TV pair that you connect with, but were Parker and Kristina right for one another? No, not really, but Parker was a part of Kristina’s journey to self-discovery. We all have that one; that woman who changes something in us or makes us wonder why we are so drawn to them and what it means for ourselves.
A trope often used in television and film is the professor/student love affair, and I appreciate how General Hospital treated theirs, with less illicitness than usually given to similar situations. Parker and Kristina didn’t enter into a romantic or sexual relationship until Parker was separated from her wife and no longer Kristina’s professor. They are two adult women who made the decision to share their feelings for one another and sleep together, but they ultimately had two different ideas about what could happen from there. Sex changes things; it just does. It illuminates thoughts and feelings and hard truths, and one of those for Parker was that she could not see herself dating a young, newly queer former student who had pursued her to the point of being expelled from school. She’s also still technically married, and apparently trying to work things out with her wife. She’s imperfect, like every one of us, and she had to break Kristina’s heart.
Where the show goes from here with Kristina’s storyline will be the true testament to their commitment and understanding of a queer woman character. Kristina deserves a relationship with someone who is her equal; someone who doesn’t automatically have the upper hand or the position of power that gets to make all of the decisions. Parker was, in many ways, a fantasy for Kristina, and the dream had to be dashed sooner than later. Even though the break-up letter was the cowardly way to do it, the in-person conversation they had on Parker’s final episode was necessary for both the characters and fans to come to a kind of closure, even if they were looking for further development and a happy ending.
I understand the want for happy endings, especially on a soap opera where we so rarely get to see two women find love together. I believe Kristina will find that love, and when she finds it, it will be with someone who truly deserves her, and vice versa. Parker will always be her first love and her first real heartbreak. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all survived it. Kristina will, too.
Now, General Hospital is a soap, so anything goes. Could Parker enter Kristina’s life again at some point? Totally possible. But if and when she does, Kristina will be a changed person, and their relationship would be altogether different. So even though this seems like a done deal right now, fans don’t have to give up all hope; just know that Kristina will need a lot of time to process, and likely another woman (or two or three or five) to find out what she wants in a partner. Remember it’s not so long ago she discovered she might like women to begin with. It’s a time of self-exploration for Kristina, and hopefully General Hospital will continue to let us explore with her.