Horror Has A New Name
Rebecca: Nikolas, are you all right?
Nikolas: Why? Shouldn't I be?
Rebecca: I don't know. I mean, did something happen?
Nikolas: What's the matter? Afraid I'm gonna hurt you? Merely wanted to give you this.
Rebecca: What's that?
Nikolas: One million dollars. That's what you came to Port Charles for, isn't it, to get what Emily had? Go ahead. Come on. Take it. You earned it, because that is what whores like you do!
I will cop to being excited when Nikolas began to give Rebecca an expert smackdown today, if only because I am excited whenever anybody takes the opportunity to confront Rebecca about the fact that she is awful. I believe my exact words were, "Oh, it is on."
And then it went so very, very wrong. And not even in the "so wrong, it's right" kind of way, where I can at least laugh at the unintentional humor and camp factor. No, this was the "So wrong that I feel terrible for Tyler Christopher and Natalia Livingston that this episode was broadcast to the dozens of people still watching General Hospital, because no person should have to live with that kind of embarrassment" kind of wrong.
There were some parts that I watched from behind my eyes, in a classic pose usually reserved for horror movies (curled up, chin resting on knees, hands covering my face) and others that I couldn't hear over the sound of my own nervous laughter.
This is what happens when you have an actress whose repertoire consists solely of widening or narrowing her eyes while smiling, pouting or sneering; an actor who, depending on his mood, will be either competent, disinterested to the point of being visibly bored, or over-the-top hammy; a director who, I presume, is actually a simian; and a producing and writing staff that has no idea how to write to someone's strengths. BAD happens!
Nikolas: You exploited the memory of your dead sister. You tried to steal from everyone who loved her, w-with the help of some--some limey hustler you whored yourself out to at J.F.K.
Rebecca: Ok, that's not the way it was.
Nikolas: That is exactly how it happened! And that bastard, Ethan, he turned on you, didn't he? He finally turned on you, and that--that truly is a pity, because, sweetheart, you were this close. You were so close.
Rebecca: I was gonna tell you tonight, Nikolas. I swear I was.
Nikolas: I am so--I am so happy that Emily never met you, because she would be appalled by you. Now get out of my house.
Rebecca: No, not until I tell you my side.
Nikolas: You get out of my house!
So far, so good, right? They let Tyler Christopher do the heavy lifting and Natalia Livingston chirped while looking wide-eyed (that's NL for "Scared and/or innocent"). But then Rebecca started to explain her convoluted and poorly planned scheme.
She started by piling on the "You don't know how hard my life is"
Rebecca: I've had to work for everything that I ever had. Nikolas, it took me three years and three summers to get a lousy tech degree from the local junior college, because I had to work two jobs to pay for the tuition.
She had to work two jobs! THE HORROR!
And then quickly got righteously angry that the man she specifically tried to steal from had no interest in her sob story.
Rebecca: God, I don't want your damn money, Nikolas!
Rebecca: Are you listening to me?!
And the more angry she got, the more yelling Natalia Livingston did, complete with facial contortions.
And the more crazy faces she pulled, and the louder her yelling got, the more trouble I had watching. "Why are they letting her do this?! They should have done an emergency recast for this episode. I think that a lifesize cutout of her likeness with a robot voiceover would have done just fine".
Rebecca: God, I was the one that got sold, Nikolas! Don't you understand that?! I had to work for everything that I ever had, and Emily, I mean, she was filthy rich.
Rebecca: She got free tuition to a medical school. She became a doctor. She married a prince.
Nikolas: So, because of all that, you decided to--to steal from her?
Rebecca: Yes. Yes. Yes, stupidly. I came to get my fair share. I was gonna show up, and then I got stranded at J.F.K. There was a snowstorm, and--
Nikolas: Oh, right, where you turned your first trick with Ethan. I remember that.
Rebecca: I was supposed to come here, grab as much money as I could, and just leave town, but I couldn't, because I couldn't shut down my heart.
I suppose I can't blame Natalia Livingston for not being able to make that last line work, because I don't think even Nancy Lee Grahn, or Jess Walton, or Debbi Morgan could say "I couldn't shut down my heart" and be audible over the sounds of my retching.
Rebecca: No, I make you happy. I make you happy. Nikolas, you've told me that so many times. I'm in love with you, and I know you're in love with me, not as a replacement of Emily, but--but for who I really am.
Nikolas: Damn you. I know who you really are, what you've always been. And that... Is a cheap substitute for Emily. Now get out of my house.
It was when she began pleading with Nikolas, with dead eyes, that I finally went to IMDB to find out the name of the girl who played Vicky on Small Wonderand see if her name could, in any way, be linked to that of Natalia Livingston or one of her pseudonyms (her name, Tiffany Brissette, could not, but I still have my theories, especially since they were both born on the 26th day of different months in different years. Coincidence? I THINK NOT).
During the actual fight scene, Tyler Christopher performed...I can't say admirably, because he has obviously spent time studying at the Tony Geary and Bruce Weitz Academy of Over The Top What The Fuckery, if today's hammy, spittle filled performance is anything to go by...
...but he conveyed recognizable emotions, and spoke in a normal syntax, which is more than I can say for his scene partner.
(Also, in how many different ways did Nikolas call Rebecca a whore? She's a whore, she whored herself out, she...
Nikolas: Yes. Yes. Yes, I'm listening. Ok, and so the point being is you're not a gold digger...
Nikolas: You just spread your legs out of the goodness of your heart.
I have a terrible vision of the writers high-fiving each other whenever they come up with a new way of calling someone a slut.)
Rebecca left, and Nikolas went on a rampage, because he was TORTURED and HEARTBROKEN and DEVASTATED and ANGRY, and he took all of these emotions out on the vases and tchotchkes that line the Wyndemere walls
and then he moaned to Emily.
Nikolas: Oh, my--Emily, why'd you leave me? Why'd you leave me like that?
And I had to leave the room because I felt so awful about watching that, like I had intruded on the most embarrassing moment in a person's life.
When I came back, Nikolas was practically suicidal, pouring his heart out to Elizabeth, and I couldn't watch. I couldn't find my remote while cringing, so I did hear part of their conversation before I turned the episode off
Nikolas: How did you get past Alfred?
Elizabeth: He's worried about you.
Did he think that Elizabeth, like, muscled her way in, overpowering Alfred with one of the many weapons she keeps on her person? And I think we all know that "he's worried for you" is code for "He's cleaning up your mess and when I asked where you were, he said, 'Bitch craaaaaaazy'".
Watch the confrontation scenes yourself, if you dare!