Carly and Sonny Caught In "Actually Being Watchable" Shocker!
What I love most about Awesome Writer, besides the fact that his/her all too infrequent scenes are truly the only things on General Hospital that can be described as entertaining and soapy, is that he/she is always up for a challenge. OF COURSE the union of, say, Awesome Writer and Jane Elliot is going to leave us delirious with glee, especially when it leads to Tracy getting in some much-needed, truth-filled jabs. And when Awesome Writer, Jonathan Jackson and the now iconic phrase "rutting like farm animals" came together, the only question was how many times I'd watch it on YouTube (answer: lots). The inevitability of the awesomeness does not detract from the awesomeness, but still...inevitable.
Markedly less expected is a scene with Sonny and Carly, in which Carly thoughtfully, honestly and firmly explains to Sonny that, yes, he is abusive. For Carly to be at all tolerable was surprising enough, since the past few weeks have seen her in snarling, scheming monster mode, but yesterday, she gave me goosebumps.
Carly: Can't you--can't you still hear us? I mean, I can. I can hear the yelling, and things breaking. I can hear you calling me a faithless whore, screaming at the top of your lings that I'm worthless. I've never seen anyone get as angry as you, and your rage, Sonny. Your rage is overwhelming. You zero in on what's weak in someone and you hammer away. You dismantle it, piece by piece, and I look back and I'm horrified at myself. Horrified that I put up with it, that I rationalized it, and that I participated in it. But that was my illness. I stayed with you and I let it happen over and over again, the vicious cycle, and you know what, Sonny? It's called abuse.
Carly: You know what, Sonny? You asked me a question: did you abuse me? And I'm trying to answer you with my truth, and my reality, and you're discounting it because it's something you don't want to believe about yourself. You can abuse someone without lifting a finger. It's not just about bruises and scars.
Sonny: You're splitting hairs.
Carly: No, you're in denial. Think about Kristina: she's lied, she's talked back, she's behaved badly. Would you want Kristina to be with someone who treats her the way you treated me?
Laura Wright was as excellent as we've come to expect from her--I feel like I am always gushing about what a great actress she is and how adorable her hair is, like today's ponytail
and I hope it's not creepy, but I do think that she always knocks it out of the park, even when (especially when?) Carly is acting vile--AND Awesome Writer snuck in shoutouts to not one, but two of the most criticized aspects of Sonny's history: the "faithless whore" mantra, as noted above, and the time he, you know, shot his wife in the head while she was giving birth to their son.
Carly: I told [Kristina] that our relationship was dysfunctional, and volatile. That we genuinely loved each other, but we were toxic together. And that, no, you never hit me.
Sonny: Thank god for that.
Carly: I mean, you shot me in the head once, but accidents happen.
What CAN'T Awesome Writer do1?
I absolutely loved slash loathed the face Sonny made when Carly reminded him of the time he shot her in the head while she was giving birth to their son.
It was like, "Really, will we never let go of this?" But even that was so in character that it did nothing to detract from how much I enjoyed these scenes.
1Um, as it turns out, make Maurice Benard act. More on that in a bit.
Sonny's reaction to Carly's blatant honesty was also in character: whiny, unable to accept responsibility character. Every time she made a point about their sordid history, he turned around and tried to shift the blame to her because, hey, since she wasn't innocent, he wasn't abusive. That's...well, that's Corinthosian logic for you.
Sonny: All right. I can take that. But I want you to hear my side. I have a temper, a bad temper, and you've seen the worst of it, and I have yelled at you, screamed at you, called you names. I'll even take it a step further--I might have grabbed you at some point, but you by no means were innocent. You lied to me, you cheated on me, right? And you even set me up with the Feds.
Carly: I don't deny that. I didn't deny it to Kristina.
Sonny: Right. I'm just saying, it takes two to tango. We were equals, and you weren't the helpless type. How many times did you deliberately do something, knowing it was going to hurt me and set me off?
Sonny: You deliberately provoked me, and then you gave as good as you got.
Carly: Yes, I did.
Sonny: Right, and I never saw you cowering on the floor, sobbing, beaten. Because that's what I see as abuse. That's what my mother and I went through for years.
Even when Sonny oh-so-magnanimously admits to being wrong, there is always someone else who is even more wrong, so why aren't you all blaming that even more wrong person instead of piling up on Sonny who has, like, the hardest life ever because of DEEEEEEKE?!
While I may have disliked the substance of what he was saying here, at least Maurice Benard said it believably, which is more than I can say for the rest of the episode/rest of the year. He was mostly good with Laura Wright, aside from the bizarre
Sonny: So, in other words, you you you you you do believed that I abused you?
It was like something out of a bad 80s song.
When Sonny talked to Kristina, though...whoa, did Lexi Ainsworth have her work cut out for her. For starters, she had to deliver some pretty heavy, albeit awesome, lines today:
Kristina: I don't care. I'll explain it's pointless. You don't think you do anything wrong, and you know what? That's fine. Be right. Be whatever you need to be, because I know what I know. You're a screamer, and you bully people, and you probably do a lot worse. And you're not going to change.
Sonny: What does that mean, that you're just gonna write your dad off? Is that what that means?
Kristina: I'm not Michael, I don't think you're this misunderstood guy. I don't make excuses for you and I'm not going to let you use my therapy to make yourself feel better.
(How amazing, right? Not that this will actually sink in for Sonny, but it was so right on.)
And secondly, she would have had a more engaged scene partner had she been acting opposite a defective Teddy Ruxpin, who would probably exhibit less stuttering and odd pausing.
Sonny: I'm not proud of that, and I get angry and I say things and do things that I regret, but I know where to draw the line because youknowIlivedwithabuse and I know how it can accelerate, words to fists. But you need to understand that I would never cross the line. I'm not a perfect man at all and um....
I don't hit women and I don't want you to think that I do, and I don't want you to be in an abusive relationship because you think it's okay because.....
our relationship. I know this is a very complicated situation and I don't...I don't, I'm not really equipped...to understandthenuances of what you're going through. But I just want you to know that I'm your dad, and I love you, and all I want to do is help you.
I AM NOT EVEN EXAGGERATING. What the hell is wrong with this man? It started off as something deliciously fun to mock, but now I am getting concerned! I don't like the thought of kicking someone when they are down and stammering.
Also in Port Charles...
- If I never have to hear "hilarious" and "zany" Bensonhurst stories again, it will be too soon. I feel like Brooklyn should look into filing a lawsuit against GH and ABC, because the repeated and obnoxious references to this neighborhood have surely turned the stomachs of a lot of potential visitors.
- Michael is still in Pentonville (which, as he told Jax, is a bad place to be. Prison is bad? Who knew!) and Jason is protecting him, and Carter has it out for both of them. The intrigue, it's...non-existent.
- Johnny sweeping in to save Kristina from two mean girls, and carrying her pink backpack, was probably the cutest thing I have ever seen.
Oh, Brandon Barash, why so dreamy and back-burnered?