The Waiting Is The Hardest Part
We go through this every time the show leads up to a sweeps event or a major arc. The thing where the writers say, "Well, we have some time to kill before [sad attempt at an umbrella story that finds everyone in one location for a contrived reason/James Franco's guest stint ends] so rather than move story forward, let's just tread water. Oh, I know, I know! We can do the thing where Sonny and Jax hate each other. Take that, viewers who say we don't honor the show's history!"
So it's not that I am taken aback by weeks at a stretch in which people have the exact same conversation about the exact same thing. I am just..peeved by it.
In case you've stopped watching General Hospital and television in general, and have disconnected your internet and make a show of pointedly ignoring soap magazines when you go shopping, let me fill you in: Brenda Barrett is in Port Charles. And people have feelings about this.
Dante is a bit of a sad panda, sitting down for a mopey heart-to-heart with his mother about how how he thought he could be Brenda's knight in shining armor
Dante: I was so into the idea of Brenda. She was a supermodel, celebrity, famous, beautiful and she needed me. I got caught up in the hero thing. I didn't even see who she really was. She's like her own worst enemy, you know? She's needy and vulnerable but impulsive and sometimes she has the greatest of intentions but sometimes they don't go the way she wants them to and she doesn't see what's coming next.
Olivia: Wow. I guess she made quite an impression on you in a pretty short time.
Dante: Ugh. I feel like such an idiot for this whole thing.
As much as Olivia can bug me at times, I have to give her credit for being a pretty wonderful mother, because most people would have stopped Dante in the middle of that pity party, screaming "HOW MANY CONVERSATIONS DO I HAVE TO HAVE ABOUT BRENDA EFFING BARRETT? Jax and Sonny and now you? Screw this. Eat that manicotti AND CHOKE ON IT".
Dante: I'm not going to be the one who saves Brenda. I just hope someone does.
Um, someone will and that someone will be Jason. I know Dante is pretty new in Port Charles and a self-described idiot but still, duh.
Spinelli is besotted with Brenda and spent much of the episode creepily waiting for her to come home from her date with Sonny.
Spinelli: I was hoping it was the Divine One returning from her date with Mister Sir. It has taken too long for a simple meal. No doubt the Sinister Sir is pressuring Brenda to satisfy his lustful--
Jason: Would you stop with this, please?
Spinelli: It's just Brenda is a delicate flower and Mister Sir does not understand that.
Jason: No, Sonny does understand Brenda. A lot better than you do.
Spinelli: Maybe he's known her for longer than I have, but I see past her luminous looks to the beauty of her inner soul. We must save her from his selfish advances. To the restaurant!
My feelings about Sonny have been well--perhaps obsessively--documented and my middle school years were spent in a Jax-and-Brenda loving haze, so it says A LOT about the blistering hatred I have for Spinelli that I responded to this with a shrill "You know NOTHING of Sonny and Brenda! NOTHING!" and that the only reason I didn't immediately fast forward their next scene was because I was holding out hope that maybe, just maybe, Jason would finally shoot Spinelli.
But, no, Spinelli watched Sonny and Brenda say goodnight through the peephole.
Spinelli: Mister Sir is circling like a shark preparing for an attack. [...] He's being far too familiar for a first date. I greatly fear she won't be able to withstand his advances.
I actually found myself silently cheering Sonny and Brenda's kiss because of the pain it would cause Spinelli. Who is a fictional character. I am a broken person.
Since I jumped right to the goodnight kiss, I should probably talk about the rest of Sonny and Brenda's date, huh? They went to the Metro Court and Jax crashed the party and engaged Sonny in a never-ending game of one-upsmanship and at one point, they were so focused on outdoing the other that I am reasonably certain both forgot that Brenda was at the table with them and as old as their rivalry is, I have to say, there were some hilarious moments. Some were even the on purpose kind of hilarious!
Brenda: Well, thank you for the champagne, Jax.
Jax: Oh, you're welcome. It's a really good vintage. It's one of my favorites.
Sonny: Yeah, I'm not surprised that you--you--you like that kind because it's very light and it's very bubbly. (Incredibly long pause that could either be a conscious decision to convey how awkward the situation was or simply Maurice Benard doing his thing. Since he stammered so much on the "you" that it was like watching Milli Vanilli get found out, I am going with the latter) Brenda and I are so happy that you could join us.
Jax: Port Charles has changed quite a bit since you were here last.
"Yes," I wanted Brenda to respond. "Half of the population has since died violently".
Brenda, after hearing that Jax just so coincidentally donated money for a school in Kenya: What? You're kidding me! That's my pet project.
Jax: (Throws Sonny a look that plainly says "She wonders if i'm kidding her. Top that.")
Sonny: (Glares at Jax and seductively eats a radish)
Brenda: Sonny doesnt deal in dirty money.
Sonny: My charitable donations come through, you know....
(Again, this could either be a character choice, as if Sonny is scrambling to think of any part of his life that is legitimate and law-abiding or it could be Maurice Benard squinting in order to read cue cards)
my coffeee importing business.
After a while, all of the diners could hear Carly clomp in and that's when Jax conveniently decided to jump up and run from the table as if he had never been there. Hilarious.
Sonny did not react to Jax's meddling with violence or stuttering some sort of allusion to ordering a hit on Jax and it blew Brenda's mind.
Brenda: You were incredible right now. I mean I--I'm not used to this. Usually you lose your temper and you're really different.
She was beyond turned on by his ability to function in society. It's nice when people have standards.
Carly was coming not to berate Jax for breathing the same air as Brenda, by the way, but to warn him that Dante was asking around about Jerry, because Jerry is back to be randomly villainous for a while. Carly was, shall we say, less than helpful with Dante.
Dante: Really? You're going to be this petty? Whatever drama you have with Brenda, it's really worth risking her life?
The silence Carly offered in response said both "Yes" and "You say petty like it's a bad thing".
But with Jax, she was serious and supportive of him, and I really do like Laura Wright and Ingo Rademacher together a whole lot.
Jax: If Jerry intends to harm Brenda or anyone else, I have to find a way to stop him.
Oh, Jax. Handsome, wonderful, pitiful Jax. That will never happen. Jason will stop him from harming Brenda (or Sam, more likely, since they have a past and she's being stalked) and you will be berated for sharing DNA with him. I know, I know, I should have prefaced that with a Spoiler Alert...
The Interpol Agent who, if you are only paying half attention to the show, sounds kind of like Mr. Feeny, is back and ordering Lucky to step back into the role of Ronan O'Reilly to do...something poorly written and even more poorly explained. Lucky reluctantly agreed to go and Siobhan argued vehemently that it was a bad idea and then offered to go with him. Lucky declined.
Siobhan: Don't joke with me, Lucky Spencer. I didn't ask to care about you but you saved my life, you brought me back to Port Charles with you and now you can't wait to get yourself killed, so don't expect me to smile and wave a cheery goodbye.
Lucky: I was kind of hoping for a kiss.
Siobhan: Don't get all charming with me.
I kind of don't think he can help it, Siobhan!
As soon as Lucky left the room, Siobhan made plans of her own to go to New York City, which OF COURSE she did, because after being kidnapped once, what person wouldn't immediately sign up for another round of physical danger and likely death? She is either deep undercover or the biggest moron on the planet.
Over at the Haunted Star, Tracy, Luke, Ethan, Maya, Lulu and Johnny gathered for a fun night of gambling and a bit too much discussion of Maya and Ethan's sexual escapades (that was weird, right? I would not want to discuss my sex life in front of my father and my sister!). Tracy and Luke both warned Lulu to be careful with Dante because...well, Tracy hates the fact that he lied and Luke said something lame and offensive about men not wanting to change and Johnny...well, Johnny was HILARIOUS.
Tracy: I keep forgetting that you're dating the spawn of Sonny.
Johnny: "Spawn of Sonny"? I think I love you.
Love. And the sheer delight on his face while he watched the slow-motion trainwreck that is Tracy and Luke's relationship was endlessly funny. I would totally be okay with Johnny popping up in random scenes to offer amazing facial expressions at what the writers are attempting to pass off as entertainment.