Tears, Fears and A Hilarious Silver Lining
If you know me at all, you know that there was a moment during today's General Hospital where my cynicism faded and I stopped looking for things to criticize, partly because I was genuinely happy and partly because there were so many things to criticize that my brain was becoming severely overloaded, and watched with child-like glee, clapping my hands and saying "Again, again!"
There is nothing about Bruce Weitz's over-the-top crazy that I don't love: the demented smile, the fits of rage, the delighted way he rattles of all sorts of sadistic quips. He is hilarious! Anthony is a monster, and he plays him like a monster and has such fun doing it. It's a welcome break from the other monsters on this show who do everything not with crazy zeal, but with self-righteous seriousness and who have the writers patting them on the head, saying, "It's not [his/her] fault that [he/she] does things like [kill for profit, order the killing of others for profit, lie about everything and everything including what channel How I Met Your Mother is on for no reason except that it gives her a thrill], it's just that [he/she] is [brain damaged and also good and pure, from an abusive household and also claustrophobic, brave and fierce and the epitome of motherhood". Bruce Weitz is like, "He's crazy, you say? I'll show you crazy!" before launching into a primal scream.
The scenes where Jason asked Anthony to give Michael protection in prison were one of the day's highlights (yes, highlights plural. There was another one! Read on!).
Jason, unsure of how to tell the unstable person in front of him that Michael killed his daughter: It was, uh...Michael, who killed Claudia, to stop her from taking Carly's baby.
Anthony, enraged: NO! It was Sonny who was supposed to do time for Claudia's murder.
Anthony, now in an "Aww, shucks" tone of voice: Oh, I was so looking forward to sharing my gruel with him.
Jason: The judge gave him five years.
Anthony: Well, at least the judge realized the value of my miserable daughter's life. Five years, huh?
Jason: Good behavior, he'll be out in two.
Anthony: I guess you want to make sure that I don't take my own revenge.
Jason: We all know that Sonny has enemies here and Michael's going to be in a lot of danger.
Anthony: Oh, let me count the ways: a Corinthos, 18 years old, fresh meat. He's like a basket full of cookies!
Anthony: Let me see if I have this right: this kid wacked my daughter and you want me to take him to my bosom and make sure that no one messes with him? I'll ask you again: what's in it for me?
Jason: The point is, I could have easily taken Johnny out, but I didn't. I need you to return the favor. I need you to protect Michael. No beatings, no rapes, no getting him involved in anything that's going to extend his sentence. Not just keeping this kid alive; I need you to keep him safe.
Anthony: What do you think this is, a summer camp?
Jason: Do you want Johnny to stay alive?
Anthony: I see. If we all hold hands and sing kumbaya, you'll guarantee the safety of my boy.
At the very end of the episode, when Michael finally got to Pentonville, he actually met up with Anthony, and it got me thinking...
Anthony: Well. Michael Corinthos. The third! Fancy meeting you here.
I know I am setting myself up for inevitable disappointment here, but the show could earn a lot of good will from me if they showed Michael and Anthony having some shenanigans. If we got even one hilarious montage set to Queen's "You're My Best Friend" out of Michael's imprisonment, the world would be a better place.
The other notable highlight? Laura Wright, her A-game and her pretty, pretty hair.
She's gotten two notes to play over the course of this very long story: sad and shrill. Shrill Carly makes me want to claw my eyes out, but Sad Carly is tolerable.
Carly was borderline hysterical following Michael's sentencing and Jason (struggling mighty to keep it together himself, actually. Steve Burton was not half bad during their scene, especially when his voice cracked as he tried to reassure Carly, and himself, that Michael would be okay) had to talk her down and remind her to be strong for Michael's sake, both of them seeming to think that the more they said Michael was strong and would be okay, the truer it would be.
She and Michael BOTH played the game, trying to be strong for the other and having a conversation that would be heartwarming if it weren't, you know, coming as the son is on his way to jail for murder...
Carly: It makes for a pretty difficult life refusing to give in, Michael. Sometimes it's a hell of a lot easier to curl up in a ball and take what life has to give you, but I'm not made that way and neither are you. When you get knocked down, you stand back up.It's not something you think about, it's not even a choice. It's just who you are. I knew you were going to wake up from that coma, and I know you will survive prison. You're going to walk out of Pentonville and go on with your life, okay?
Michael: You're kind of the world champion of insanely stubborn. I'm not sure I'm in your league.
Carly: You know all the crap I pulled when I was pregnant with you? All the garbage I've dragged you through?? You were strong. You are strong and you saved me and Josslyn and for many years, you've been saving Morgan in other ways from me, from Sonny from all the messes we've made in your life. You deserve better parents than you got. I have to tell you that.
Michael: Maybe you and dad deserve a better son.
Carly: There is no one better than you and I love you so much, and I'm telling you right now that you will not spend two years in prison. I will do whatever it takes to get you out.
Michael: No prison breaks, okay? Your plans make me nervous.
I love when people mock Carly's plans! And I love when Carly admits that she assed things up like whoa when it came to bringing Michael into the mob world (although she never has these guilty thoughts for two consecutive minutes). I less love the "Hahaha, and then there was this one time, when I was pregnant..." tone when she alluded to the paternity lie and the drugging of AJ etc. etc., but you can't win them all...or even most of them, when it comes to this show.
At the very end of the episode, she showed up at Dante's and pointed his gun at him, and you know he was thinking, "What the hell? Is everyone in town going to line up to shoot me in the chest?" I am sure that the show wants us to feel worried and tense, but come on, Carly's not going to shoot him. She prefers to harp people to death! He has a bleak future of psychological torture ahead of him.
(My mother happened to watch part of today's episode with me before fleeing in horror, and wondered why Carly was so sad, and I had to recap the entire sordid tale, and it is a testament to how wonderful my mom is that she indulged me and patiently listened as I told the story about Michael saving Carly, and then Sonny going on trial for this murder and not the attempted murder of Dante and when I got to the part where Dante was all, "I'd rather him go down for the case I've been building instead of, like, building a new case for a new crime", because that's this show's MO: doing something badly and then explaining it away in an even worse manner, she made a face not unlike that of the puppet Edward R. Meow on The Office, expressing open-mouthed horror at what her daughter does with her free time, no doubt thinking that my existence would be far less tragic if I spent my afternoons huffing.)
Then there were the Children of the Corn, angrily attacking Dante at the courthouse for single-handedly sending Michael to prison. I found myself praying to Jason himself for all three of them to be sent to boarding school, off-screen because HOLY HELL, were they horrible.
Remember when Morgan was all adorable, and we were all so sad for him, having Carly and Sonny's genes? Not sad anymore, people. Just...hate-y.
Morgan: You just wanted to hurt Michael because you hate him because Michael is Dad's favorite and I hate you! You're liar, you're a snitch and I hate you! I wish wish you would have died when Dad shot you.
WHAT THE FUCK, DUDES?
There are, like, 94 things wrong with that sentence, each more horrifying than the last and to Sonny's credit (File that under "Words I Never Thought I'd Type", right under "A middle schooler angrily wishes that his half-brother died when their father shot him point-blank"), he seemed put off by the whole thing, although that didn't stop the snarling from the little ones.
Kristina: Screw you, liar!
Molly: You're despicable! Michael's a hero and you did nothing to protect him! Maybe you think that's your job because you're a cop, but cops are supposed to help people, not send them to prison for helping their mom and baby sister!
I know she apparently considers Michael to be a brother, but I have to tell you that as soon as she started, all I wanted to do was quote Damian from Mean Girls and shout out, "She doesn't even go here!"
Lulu has been so refreshingly smart and normal in the midst of this debacle, hasn't she? I almost forgot that I was ever irritated with her. And then she goes ahead and shows up at the PCPD to talk to Carly who was, you know, occupied with things like sending her child to prison. THE HELL IS WRONG WITH HER? I know she is concerned that someone will kill Dante and she is right to be concerned about that, but REALLY, there is a time and a place for pleading for your boyfriend's life. I'm glad that Lucky, at least, saw what a horrendous idea that is! It went a long way in making up for the part where he apologized to Carly for being awesome and doing his job.
Skye: You are one of the most influential men I know. Use it.
Who knew that Skye was so funny? I especially enjoyed that this was followed up with a scene in which Jax was berated by a child! That's some kind of influential!