Where Bad Becomes Worse
Today is just a TERRIBLE day, and, yes, the all-caps is necessary convey just how truly terrible it has been (not to be that person who invites everyone she knows to her pity party, but it's rainy and gross, and I lost an hour of sleep thanks to Daylight Savings and I spent an extremely unfortunate forty minutes of time having zero control over a room full of first graders, and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" is inexplicably stuck in my head! How can one person bear such a burden?!)
As I sat in terrible rain, in terrible traffic, I asked myself, "What could make this day even more awful?", which was dumb, because as long as Bob Guza is its headwriter, the answer to that question will always be "The latest episode of General Hospital".
Today's show, for example, gave us the slow-motion beating of a teenage girl, complete with closeups of her terrified face! That's exactly what I want to see when I turn on a show for escapist entertainment.
(Okay, that last sentence was a lie, because I don't even remember the last time I watched GH for "entertainment" rather than out of obligation.)
I suppose I should be grateful that this brutal attack wasn't accompanied by the romantic music played alongside most acts of violence on this show. I guess that soundtrack is reserved for instances where Sonny and Jason are the aggressors...
The fact that I even have to express the following sentiment says a whole lot about this show, but: the violence actually wasn't nearly as gratuitous as I had expected it to be. If, like me, you automatically jump to the worst case scenario, you ended Friday's episode on the verge of a panic attack wondering how long Monday's beating would last, and how extreme and bloody it would be, because nothing makes the writers' eyes light up like a woman in peril, and if the woman is actually a teenage girl? I had the sick feeling that it would be like Christmas for them. But much of the action occurred off-screen (which, really, was even scarier).
Then there were the performances. Lexi Ainsworth has been so, so very good throughout this story, as has Christian Alexander, who probably has the hardest role on the show--he has to be menacing and cruel, but also sweet enough to hide his true self to the adults in Port Charles, and he also has to shout horrible things at young children (remember when he was mean to Morgan? To Morgan!) and does really well with it (well, aside from his wailing "Look at what you made me do! Why do you always make me so mad?", which was a touch over-the-top and cheesy). And Nancy Lee Grahn, who was practically shaking when Alexis walked in to see Kristina
...only had to say "Honey" and I wound up with a lump in my throat.
So damn good.
Sonny also had a reaction to hearing that his daughter had been severely beaten*.
He started by throwing his phone in anger which, I don't know, probably would have had more impact if he didn't throw something angrily whenever someone speaks to him. Does anyone else get the impression that when the automated narrator on The Weather Channel starts to give the local forecast that Sonny goes into a fit of rage and screams, "Don't tell me about what's happening in my area!"
Then, when he walked in to see Kristina, the very first words out of his mouth were "Who did this?". And he said them angrily! And then stood there, seething. It was...weird.
I don't even know what to say about Kristina pointing the finger at Ethan, except that Lexi Ainsworth and Nathan Parsons actually had a nice little friendship chemistry going, so of course the show ruined it. And wouldn't it be very easy to prove that Ethan didn't beat her up? I know that he was spotted yelling and grabbing at her, but his hands would have been completely bloodied after doing that. And I just don't understand the point of this twist, at all. Is she afraid of what her father will do to Kiefer? Does she feel guilty? Do the writers ignore organic storytelling in favor of "shocking" plot twists every chance they get? Do I ask silly questions?
*Seriously, the makeup department did Lexi Ainsworth's face with a little too much gusto. Horrifying. I can't even put up a screencap because it makes me so sad.
Speaking of the writers inability to do their jobs, it's so bizarre to me that they actually had Ethan get so angry, and handsy with Kristina in the first place. I know that it was just a way for them to get to the next part of the story, but Ethan is just so laid back and dopey that his sudden attacks of rage are bizarre, to say the least.
Ethan: Your sister is a spoiled brat who's gonna get into a lot of trouble if someone doesn't rein her in!
Why would he even say that?! Especially to a tiny enraged person who was yelling at him for being a dick to/about her sister!
I really enjoyed Sam's dressing down of Ethan, in theory.
I love Sam when she's in her familial mode and gets to do things aside from agreeing with Jason, and if I had a sister and someone yelled at her and hurt her that way, I'd be screaming in their face, too.
But Sam, really:
Sam: You don't know that. I mean, what do you really know about this guy, anyway? Jack. He's a con who came into town capitalizing off of a dead broad. I mean, there's a great character reference for you, huh?
YOU SLEEP WITH A HITMAN. HITMAN = WORSE THAN GRIFTER.
(However, COP is worse than both of those things.
Jason: He's a cop, Sonny.
The disgust in his voice as he choked out the word "cop" was the kind of revulsion usually reserved for cannibals or people who engage in bestiality or the new version of "We Are The World".)
Other observations of life in Port Charles:
- It was so nice to see Kate and her pretty self, even for a brief few minutes. Remember when she used to be on the show? Didn't we almost have it all?
- She was responsible for a hilarious moment, when she reminded the audience that Monica is a cardiologist. Because you know some viewers were like, "Dr. QuarterWHAT?"
- And then Monica went ahead and had a hilarious moment of her own.
Monica: Jackal...If you want to stay in this room, you dial it down right now.
If I must watch Spinelli, I will settle for watching him get sternly admonished.
- Jonathan Jackson and Becky Herbst were predictably fabulous as Lucky told Liz again that he didn't want to be with her. But I always say that about the two of them, and it's getting seriously close to creepy gushing, so that's all I will say for now.
- What do we think Steven Webber is hiding?
Helena: I can make it happen. After all, everyone has a skeleton in their closet. Right, Dr. Webber?
It will either be seriously juicy and scandalous, or never mentioned again.