Katie: So, what kind of doctor are you?
Reid: Neurosurgeon.
Katie: You’re a brain surgeon?
Reid: Don’t look so shocked.
Katie: I’m sorry. Just not what I expected.
Reid: What did you think brain surgeons looked like?
Katie: I don’t know, but I thought they’d be a lot nicer.
Reid: Sorry to disappoint.

— Katie and Reid

Luke Snyder, This is Your (Love) Life

Back in early May 2010, I was thinking about Luke and Reid’s conversation where Luke took the blame for Noah’s accident. I’d never actually seen those segments, so I thought I’d see how close to the mark Reid actually was. The next thing I knew I was curating a YouTube history of Luke’s entire love life. Some incredible acting by Van Hansis – most of it heartbreaking.

It occurred to me that I never actually posted it here. There are lots of bios of Luke available, including good ones on Wikipedia and SoapCentral. The Luke and Noah Fans page also has a great episode guide that goes through his storyline episode by episode using LukeVanFan’s clips. But there’s not something in between that just gives the highlights.

So that’s what I focused on. I created a YouTube playlist that includes most of the major highlights from Luke’s life since 2005. It’s not quite complete, and there are several episodes out of order. Plus they come from different sources, so it’s a bit hard to follow -  over time, I hope to clean all that up and embed the video here so you can watch the videos and read the narrative without having to switch windows back and forth.

 

[spoiler]After watching the videos to put together this playlist, I wrote back in May: “Hasn’t the poor boy suffered enough? GIve him some happiness before the show ends, please!”  Not only was he kidnapped twice, almost raped, and held at gunpoint in addition; had reason to believe both dads were dead at various times; but his love life’s been an (ahem) train wreck. How ironically UNprescient I was. 🙁 [/spoiler]

If you haven’t seen Luke’s story already and don’t want to be spoiled, DO NOT continue reading.

So, without further ado….

November 2005. Back when Jake Weary was playing Luke Snyder, Luke was drinking and managed to catch an infection leading him to require a kidney transplant.

December 2005. Van Hansis’s first episode and he starts off strong – all full of teen anger and attitude. He has a real axe to grind with Keith and continues to drink. Lily “owes” Keith for bringing back Luke’s donor kidney from the black market and agrees to marry Keith, even though she’s clearly in love with Holden. Luke can tell Lily is miserable, and when he figures out the sacrifice she made on his behalf, he first threatens Keith, and then more dramatically threatens to cut the kidney out because it’s not worth the sacrifice made for him to live (wow – Van rocks).

Spring 2006. After pretending to be in love with Jade to throw off his parents’ suspicions, Luke comes out first to Will and then to his parents. Holden was already suspicious and takes it pretty well, but Lily is too stunned and worried for Luke’s happiness to give him the acceptance he needs. When Damian finds out, he manipulates Lily into trying to send Luke to a reprogramming camp. When Luke figures out what’s going on, he blames Lily (and Damian’s all too willing to let her take the fall). When Lily figures out what’s going on, she tries to apologize to Luke but he rejects her and accidentally causes her to fall down the stairs, putting Lily in a coma. Luke’s brother Ethan is born while Lily’s still comatose. She eventually comes through and she reconciles with both Holden and Luke. Meanwhile, Damian tries to take advantage of the situation by faking a fatal illness to convince Luke to go away to Malta with him (so he can steal Luke’s trust fund). Luke figures it all out (after being held at gunpoint) and renounces Damian in a kick-ass episode which earned Van a well-deserved Emmy-nomination.

Summer 2006. Luke falling in love with Kevin. I didn’t follow the show much at this time, but Luke was clearly an awkward, gawky teenager (hard to believe Van can look so dorky, but it works for the role). For whatever reason, BMOC and jock Kevin was his best friend and drinking buddy. Luke fell hard for him and told him he was gay only to have Kevin completely reject him in the worst possible way. Luckily Luke conveniently saves Kevin’s life when he’s knocked unconscious in a boating accident so the two come to an uneasy and distant understanding. Watching the scene with Luke and Kevin is almost viscerally painful knowing how hard it was for Luke, how Kevin briefly (though unknowingly) gave him hope it would all be okay before he divulges his secret, and then stomped all over his heart.

February 12, 2007. Great scene of Luke and Lucinda talking. The show could have used more scenes like this – all character, relationships, and acting. It also features Van (as Luke) delivering the classic line, “I can’t act!” They make light of the fact gays are stereotypically “creative” and “sensitive” and Luke adds, “For all you know there could be more gay guys involved in sports than in the drama club and the show choir combined.” (Glee notwithstanding, of course). And Lucinda, who has unconditionally accepted Luke, realizes (and is surprised that) she is unintentionally stereotyping as well. I find this scene very realistic and a much better way of opening mainstream America’s eyes about prejudices many of us may not even know we have, than “very special episodes.” No dumb plot points, just great chemistry between Van and Liz Hubbard.

Spring 2007. Luke is bummed about missing spring break because all his friends are all chuffed about hooking up. Like the above, a great scene of Holden trying to be a good dad, but feeling awkward and not knowing what to say. Luke attends the prom with Maddie and they seem to have a good time, as friends.

June 1, 2007. Then he meets Noah. Not quite love at first sight, but pretty close. Jade calls him out noting “your voice is doing that little thing it does when you’re upset” (which it still does). Luke admits that he didn’t like Noah at first, but “I think I was just in denial and I wish I’d just stayed there.”

July 2007. Too bad Noah fell for Maddie. Guess who walked in on the aftermath of Noah and Maddie’s first roll in the Missouri hay? Luke. Thinking that Luke has a thing for Maddie, Noah tries to apologize. Luke swears he doesn’t have a thing for Maddie, and when Noah insists, Luke admits he’s gay. The two remain friends while Noah hooks up with Maddie.

August 9, 2007. One night Noah, Luke and Maddie are planning an evening swim on a super-hot day at the Snyder Pond. Maddie is conveniently called away, so Noah and Luke go it alone. They survive the swimming, but inside the kitchen, Noah starts some horseplay with his towel. Luke gives the towel a yank and Noah ends up on top of him (both in swimsuits still). Noah doesn’t get off immediately and they lock eyes. This is their moment of UST, and even though they’re both naked (and wet!) from the waist up, to me this is more “young sexual awakening” than scorching, like the stare between Luke and Reid after Luke shoves Reid towards the door at LilyPad. Noah freaks out and asks Maddie to move in with him.

August 17, 2007. Noah’s homophobic, military dad arrives, sending him in a panic. He’s unable to get his tie done properly, so Luke steps in (the scene where he dusts off Reid’s jacket is very similar). But while straightening Noah’s tie, Noah leans in for a kiss and Nuke make daytime history; millions watch on YouTube; news outlets including CNN pick up the story. Noah starts to deal with his feelings.

September 26, 2007. Noah’s dad, seeing a friendly moment between Noah and Maddie assume they’re together and happily announces he’s leaving. Unfortunately, Noah reports this to Luke and the two celebrate prematurely with their second kiss…which dad witnesses. He freaks out, invites the boys on a camping trip that results in Luke being paralyzed.

October 14, 2007. As Luke wakes up in the hospital room, the test results are returned and he’s understandably devastated. But then he asks Lily if Noah’s called. She dodges the question and asks if Luke would like her to try him, and heartbroken Luke says, “He knows where I am.” Noah in the meantime is blaming himself for allowing his psycho homophobic dad for taking them out on this trip, and assuming that Luke wouldn’t want to see him. HELLO, NOAH? Anyone home in there? Boyfriend is paralyzed! Thankfully for Luke, I guess, Dusty talks some sense into Noah.

December 24, 2007. Somehow the boys reconcile, Luke begins to walk again with Noah’s help. They share an infamous non-kiss at the Snyder home. Standing under mistletoe, they lean in and the camera pans to the mistletoe instead of showing the kiss (dubbed “Mistletoegate”). Luke declares his love and Noah replies, “Same here.” They move into the Snyder farm together.

Spring 2008. Colonel Mayer reappears, dropping an Iraqi refugee who is allegedly his responsibility on Noah. Dutiful Noah decides that he must marry her so she won’t be deported to her home country where she’d be killed. Of course she has the hots for Noah which everyone but Noah can see. Meanwhile Immigration is on their case, so Luke drags Casey in to pretend he’s Luke’s boyfriend (Luke and Casey have some GREAT chemistry in this relationship which is very well played for laughs).

June 2008. While escaping from authorities for crimes including injuring Luke and killing Noah’s mom, Col. Mayer jumps overboard from a boat and doesn’t resurface – something Luke and Noah both see. Noah freaks out and blames Luke for his father’s “death.” Luke still has some self-respect at this point and says, “So you dismiss me like some sort of pet, you must have me confused with some other boyfriend, Noah.” (Yeah! I love Luke with backbone).

July 3, 2008. Cyndi Lauper shows up for a fundraiser and makes friends with Luke. Noah shows up with Richard, um, I mean Tony, and Cyndi tells Luke not to give up. She sings True Colors for her new BFF Luke. Noah sees the light and the two reunite.

Fall 2008. Kevin reappears (insert dramatic music here: dun, dun, DUN). Kevin is running (unopposed) for student council president (or something like that) and if he wins he will have influence over some gay film festival that Noah is curating. Kevin clearly looks like he’s gonna barf when he sees Noah put his arm around Luke. Luke runs against him and Kevin plays dirty, so Alison helps to spy on him (almost getting herself gang raped by Kevin’s crony). Furious, Luke and Casey fix the election. When asked by the dean, Noah squeals, resulting in Luke and Casey being expelled.

December 2008. After Luke’s deception and explusion, Noah moves out again, despite Luke’s remorse about the election incident. Luke is despondent and starts drinking. Meanwhile, Brian (who arrived earlier in the year) starts to play a more important role, having become close to Luke’s grandmother, Lucinda, while she undergoes surgery for breast cancer. Brian is a much older man who works with Luke at the Foundation and ultimately marries Lucinda. Lucinda’s a bit suspicious why Brian won’t get frisky (he says he doesn’t want to hinder her recovery from mastectomy surgery – Lucinda in the meantime is on the prowl. Rrrawr). One night, Brian rescues a very drunk Luke, cleans him up and offers him advice and a hug. He then plants a comforting kiss on head and a big juicy one on the lips. Luke is completely freaked out.

New Year’s Eve 2008/2009. Luke doesn’t know who else to confide in (my step-grandfather kissed me!) and turns to his ex, Noah, but Noah assumes Luke misinterepreted Brian’s intent (!). They reunite for Christmas and Noah gives Luke a watch engraved “Worth the wait.” But on New Year’s Eve, mistakenly thinking Noah was hooking back up with Maddie, a very drunk (and very cute) Luke tells Brian that “Noah doesn’t want me – but you do” and then proceeds to stuff his tongue down Brian’s throat…which of course, Noah sees. Noah slugs Brian and apologizes for not believing Luke (‘bout time!). But when Noah asks how it all started, Luke reluctantly admits it’s his fault. Noah is horrified, and walks out as the clock strikes midnight. A heartbroken (again) Luke reads the note that Noah had left for him, intending for it to be read after their first night spent together.

January 2009. Brian comes out and Lucinda tosses him to the curb with as much dignity as she can muster. Casey, Alison, and Jade try to play matchmaker, but Nuke resist. There’s a great scene when they’re locked together on the rooftop, and Rooftop Luke makes an early appearance (Van looks really awesome in those scenes) when he asks Noah why he can’t just love him for being him. A few days later, they’re again cornered together and Luke declares, “You can’t let somebody love you and just love them back.” (Oh, so THAT’s his problem). Noah finally gives in grabs Luke and kisses him like there’s no tomorrow. Casey cringes, admitting, “I just don’t want to watch it!” The boys grab hands and run home where everyone is conveniently out. They make love off-screen and reappear shirtless, freshly showered, and giddy from the new experience…and share post-coital ice cream with Lucinda.

Mid-2009. The boys reconcile and things are relatively boring, um, smooth-sailing. Not much happening relationship-wise during the rest of the year aside from the Z-Twins (Zac and Zoe, who aren’t really related) making an appearance. Zoe makes the moves on Luke and Zac on Noah (!) as mysterious things happen at the foundation (Luke blames Damian). Noah is kidnapped; Luke soon joins him and they reaffirm their love. Zoe reveals that her family was gypped out of a portion of the Grimaldi fortune and she intends to claim her share by bearing Luke’s son. Just as she’s about to REALLY make the moves on Luke, Damian bursts in and saves the day

Late 2009. Noah starts working on his senior thesis with gay advisor Mason who clearly has the hots for Noah. Mason puts the moves on Noah twice, which naturally upsets Luke. Mason is clearly manipulative, arranging private tutoring sessions and a trip to LA, and instigating contact that could definitely be interpreted as inappropriate. Noah shrugs it off.

November 2009. When Mason starts insisting that Noah spend less time with Luke because he’s a distraction (he’s good at that!) Noah agrees. This is the final straw for Luke. He sees a DVD where Mason is giving Noah congratulatory kisses. “Somehow” this DVD passes through Damian’s hands to the Dean and Mason is in trouble. Noah of course blames Luke for Mason’s problems and for all the stress he’s feeling on his film project. When Luke tries to explain that it was Damian who went to the Dean, Noah tells him to go away – he has fireworks to string for the film. Luke is concerned that it’s dangerous and Noah confidently says he’s done it before. Luke goes away. Noah notices something wrong with the fireworks (and yet he’s connecting the wires anyways) and then kaboom. Luke was walking away and runs back to Noah’s side.

December 2009. Noah blames Luke, and of course, Luke accepts all the blame for Noah’s blindness. Noah tries to push Luke away, and in another poignant scene, Luke has clearly thought about what he wants to give Noah. He picks out something for him to appreciate each of his remaining four senses which Noah receives saying, “This is great, but aren’t people supposed to have five senses?” Luke looks worse than if someone had kicked his puppy. Heartbreaking.

January 2010. Enter Reid Oliver (thank goodness!).

One Response to “Luke Snyder, This is Your (Love) Life”

  1. mmc says:

    All i can say is thank God for Reid oliver.While i sometimes saw some sweet scenes between Luke and Noah there were too many with Noah never appreciating Luke.After Luke and Reid finally “found “each other you saw Luke feel loved and he got confident while Reid, because of Luke ,became a “person’.Thats why I can’t forgive the writers and TPTB for the horrible ending they gave to Luke and Reid .Had they gotten their ‘happily ever after’ like everybody else at the end I don’t think we fans would be so obsessed with their story, but we’re left with such sad memories because this wonderful story was destroyed and Luke, once again was sad and alone!Having said that , Van acted his heart out and showed all of us once again why we love him and admire his acting skills!

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