Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun...
I know that suspense and intrigue are essential soap opera elements, but when General Hospital attempts them, I feel the same way that I do when a singer attempts to act or an actor attempts to design a clothing line: know your strengths. And one of General Hospital's only strengths (and I am stretching the definition here, obviously) is telling a story that's glaringly obvious with all the subtlety of Blake Lively's wardrobe choices. None of this "secretive hinting" or "loaded dialogue that can be interpreted in several different ways, because the writers probably haven't figured out which way the story is actually going to go".
Dante: I just wanted to make sure we were still on the same page. No one can find out what we did.
Brenda: You ever think about what happened?
Dante: I try not to. I buried it pretty deep in hopes that the truth wouldn't come out. It wasn't easy, though. You're in magazines. Every time I'd see your face looking back at me, it would bring everything back. I guess you didn't have that problem.
Brenda: Every time I'd see a cop, I'd think of you. I'm really sorry. Everything was my fault.
Between exchanges like this and all of the new flashbacks of a forlorn, emotionally fragile Brenda and a Dante who can only be described as an eager beaver, I think we're all supposed to be thinking "Oh, my goodness! What secret past could they possibly have?! I bet it is a humdinger!", but let's be real: the secret is probably about The Balkan, with a slight chance of Romantic Feelings on the part of one or both of them, and their secret will eventually be revealed in a story in which Jason saves the day. Let's just fast forward to that point, okay?
Another thing General Hospital is doing poorly right now--another thing from a list of dozens of things, obviously--is irony. Just before one of the aforementioned loaded conversations between Dante and Brenda, Lulu spoke these words:
Carly: What is it about that self-involved twit that makes otherwise smart, really rational men lose their fricking minds?
Lulu: I don't know. I can't even imagine what I would feel like if Dante was fixating on some woman from his past that he couldn't forget.
Get it? Because Dante IS thinking about a woman from his past that he can't forget! So clever. So subtle. So over this show.
The Balkan is a mysterious crime figure whose identity is unknown, but whose fondness for evil deeds is highly publicized. Even though I feel that we were basically all up to speed on that particular plot point, Jason did a little recap for us. On-air recaps seem to be a new trend with this show, as Spinelli also felt the need to sum up Dante and Brenda's (staged) spat mere seconds after Dante had summed it up himself, either because he felt the need to one-up Dante (possible) or because he worried that Jason really was confused (probable). Anyway:
Jason: Nobody knows this guy's face. Nobody knows this guy's name. He's gone to a lot of trouble to keep it that way, Brenda. It doesn't make any sense that he'd come after you. You live in the spotlight. You've got cameras all around. What do you know about this guy that is worth risking calling that much attention to himself? [...] Somebody's going to get hurt or somebody's going to get killed because you're not telling me the truth and I'm tired of you lying to me.
Brenda: I hate you.
What do we make of Brenda's near breakdown during her conversation with Sonny? Well, it wasn't a conversation so much as it was Sonny talking at her. And it wasn't Sonny talking at her as much as it was Maurice Benard stumbling over his lines and pausing awkwardly.
Sonny: That was then, it would it it would it was eight years later. We're too different people.
I thought that being opposite Vanessa Marcil again would bring him back to life a bit. I mean, I understand half-assing it when you're working with Claire Walsh; I don't approve of it, but I understand it. That'll teach me to have low to moderate expectations for his performances!
After Sonny's declaration of love, Brenda freaked out, begging him not to touch her. It...was awkward.
I feel like A Brief, Appreciative Mention of Carly. Yes, Carly! I'm As Surprised As You! is on its way to becoming a recurring feature here. Her continued unraveling, thanks to Brenda's existence, is hilarious to me and Laura Wright is playing it fabulously. And while I raised an eyebrow in consternation at her above-quoted statement that smart and rational men lose their heads when it comes to Brenda (smart and rational man? Yes. Because Jax is the only person in this town that qualifies as smart and rational. Describing Sonny that way is just...no), I giggled at her plan to let Luke stay at The Metro Court in exchange for a favor to be named later. She and Tony Geary play off of each other so well.
Luke: Caroline, I'm insulted. You think I'm here for a handout?
Carly: That or a tab at the bar.
Luke: Well, now that you mention that, a tall scotch couldn't hurt.
Carly: I may need you to grab a high maintenance model and throw her off the nearest bridge.
Luke: Oh! Sounds fun.
I love when this show is funny on purpose.
What a neat segue into the latest chapter in You Nutty Ho: The Dr. Lisa Niles Story! After the world's shortest stint in Shadybrook, Lisa is back and, because this show has no concept of reality or common sense, ready to practice medicine.
She's also up to her old tricks! Her exact old tricks. Like, the EXACT things that she did during her first quest to win Patrick over, a quest that ended poorly, with her attempting to commit suicide. I know she's crazy and all, but if she's smart enough to cover her tracks so well that the hospital has literally no way of keeping her from performing surgeries, you'd think she'd be smart enough to analyze her past failures in order to improve upon them, but whatever, she once again paraded around Patrick in a bra and panties.
Lisa: I have perspective. I regained my equilibrium. Robin seems a little shaky, though. Wow, paranoid much?
Lisa: The truth is, I never did anything to Robin. Ask the police. There is no proof to back up any of her outrageous claims.
Patrick: No, Lisa. You've already proven you're smart enough to cover up the tracks.
Lisa: Okay, so not only am I a stalker, I'm a professional criminal, too?
Robin: This little innocent act of yours isn't fooling anyone.
Lisa: You look tired, maybe you should sign out, get some rest.
Lisa: Robin, you need to find a better way to deal with your anger, or at least own up to your part in all this, all right? You're losing Patrick and it scares you, so you're acting out to try to get his attention. It is pathetic and it is sad.
Love her or hate her, you have to admit that she's good at what she does, since she managed to rile up Patrick (who punched a locker) and Robin (who slapped her, and also got in the awesome dig "Why don't you go back to Houston or, better yet, go to hell. I don't really care). You also have to admit that her hair looks HORRIBLE sometimes.
Why do they let such a pretty girl go on camera with such greasy, unkempt hair?
Hauling off and slapping Lisa will undoubtedly cause professional problems for Robin (AGAIN), but Patrick is on her side; for all of his recent failings, he was hotly supportive of her today, in a sweet scene.
Which, um, he kind of does. Well, he was trying to figure out the true story behind Lisa and Robin's feud and appealed to Epiphany for her expert opinion. And like she always does, she tried to pretend that she is so above petty gossip:
Epiphany: I think it's a damn shame that we're talking about other people's issues when there's work to be done.
Epiphany: Robin and Lisa are good at what they do. I've never heard any complaints from patients about the care they received or their bedside manner. Can I get back to work now?
AS IF we haven't spent the past few years loving to hate her and watching her be a busybody! This is why I once considered her my GH nemesis!
Lucky: I want to be with you, even though it complicates everything. So stop your whining and give us a kiss.
I know that I am a hypocrite for enjoying Lucky's adventure, since it is also about The Balkan, but whatever: it's fun, it's adorable, we finally got to see Siobhan's (gorgeous!) hair, and she and Lucky are all kinds of cute together. I was amused that, as he did some spur-of-the-moment detective work, trying to track down Brenda's whereabouts, the Italian woman at the hotel was hardcore flirting with him; the poor guy had to leave the country to get female attention!
I was also amused by Siobhan's reaction to the hardcore flirting.
Of course, Siobhan did wind up being held at gunpoint, with Lucky-as-Ronan being ordered to kill her, because this is Guza's GH and storylines aren't allowed to be fully enjoyable or devoid of excessive violence.