Wedded Bliss or a Wedded Miss?
Those are but a few of the all-caps words I can use to describe the Brenda/Sonny wedding EXTRAVAGANZA. And it WAS an extravaganza. A full week of all the soapy shenanigans we've come to expect from huge soap weddings, this had literally everything you could possibly ask for:
A hugely popular couple getting married
(Granted, the continuity here is about how comfortable Port Charles is with incest. But hey, respecting history is respecting history.
Sonny: I saw you dancing with your cousin molly. That's very nice.
Morgan: I kept trying to get away from her, but she kept finding me.
Sonny: Well, you, know, hey, that's the sacrifices you make for your family, right?
What more will poor Morgan have to do in the name of family?!)
There was even a disembodied hand, for heaven's sake!
But if you seriously wanted any of those things, you'd likely have given up on General Hospital eons ago...
As is the case with most soap weddings, this wedding itself very nearly didn't happen, thanks to the five foot eight, screeching roadblock Brenda encountered minutes before the ceremony.
(The guests--all, like, twelve of them--wondered what the holdup was, musing about payback for getting left at the altar years ago or cold feet, and wishing fervently for a chance to attack the open bar)
Carly has spent the better part of the last six months loudly (that's a given) crowing about her desire for and need to ruin Brenda's life in the most humiliating fashion possible (all in the name of her desire to protect Sonny from heartbreak, of course), so she made one last effort before the wedding to get Brenda to call the whole thing off, using the "You and Dante did SEX! And had a baby! And now Sonny will be stepdaddy to his own grandson, OMGZ, EW!" card she halfheartedly tried to call Brenda out on last week. When Carly threw the secret in her face, Brenda reacted coolly, (correctly) noting that Carly is all kinds of threatened by her very existence, (correctly) noting that the person responsible for any hypothetical hurt of Sonny, Morgan and Michael is Carly and (hilariously) pointing out that Carly's life story is an epic poem filled with immoral decisions and low self-esteem.
Brenda: Did you sleep with your mother's husband? And lie about who Michael's father was to about a million different men? And now you're trying to make Sonny unhappy. And we all know why, Carly. We all understand what's happening here because Carly needs to be front and center at all times in Sonny's life. Right? And that is why your marriage with Jax never had a chance.
Carly has no shame, though, and practically pranced to the wedding, looking like the cat who ate the canary, which the dozen guests were intrigued and horrified by.
Nikolas: Still think love is enough? I doubt it'll hold a candle to Carly's wrath.
Tracy: Pay attention, Daddy. Things are about to get really interesting.
Luke: Man the lifeboats. The iceberg just hit the bow.
Can you blame them? I know weddings are ostensibly about watching two people who love each other pledge to spend the rest of their lives together, but there is something about watching a trainwreck firsthand that just appeals to me.
Brenda made her way down the aisle, though! And after ADORING her dress at first glance last week, I ADORED it even more this week. It's so pink and so pretty, and so different and lovely.
I want so badly to make a cleverly phrased, cutting joke and I want so badly for it to involve the phrases "four-year-old Pretty Pretty Princess" and "Arts and crafts class gone terribly wrong" and "What in the name of 1982 happened here?", but all I can come up with is WHY? Why did that happen?
Anyway, the wedding started, and Morgan made a speech that was all sorts of sweet.
Morgan: It's been said you don't choose your family. They are a gift to you as you are to them. You coming into Dad's life has been the greatest gift he could ever ask for. Michael, Krissy, Molly and Dante and I couldn't be happier that he's sharing it with us. Welcome to the family.
And the minister asked if anyone objected to this union and implied that the "anyone" should have on their person some sort of documentation proving that this marriage is a terrible idea and Carly OH SO NONCHALANTLY reminded Brenda of the life-ruining secret she was carrying in her purse.
But then Brenda told him that if she didn't object Carly would, and the pieces all came together to form a puzzle for him; a puzzle that spells out the words "Carly isn't happy unless she is setting people's lives on fire". Confusion left and in came the rage.
Brenda: Carly has a document that proves that Dante and I had an affair 4 years ago and got me pregnant.
Sonny: That's ridiculous. Come on. Right? That's not true, right? Is she telling the truth, Dante? Dante! Dante! Now, okay. Now it's starting to make sense. Every time we were together, you guys would be very uncomfortable. You would always say to me that we were doomed from the start. You slept with him?! With Dante?!
Dante: It's legit, Sonny. I claimed myself as the father of Brenda's child. And then I gave up all the rights. Only the document was a lie. Brenda's child wasn't mine. Brenda and I became friends in 2007 when I was assigned to guard her. She was being stalked by an ex-boyfriend. That's why the cops were brought in. The other problem Brenda had is she found out she was pregnant and she was terrified. She didn't want this guy or his family to have anything to do with the child she was carrying inside her. So I claimed I was the father and I signed a legal document giving up that claim. And I did it to protect Brenda and her unborn child.
Carly: My, how convenient.
Dante: You know--Carly, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but there was no affair. There was no baby between the two of us. Just a secret between two people that has absolutely nothing to do with you.
"Um, this has EVERYTHING to do with me, Dante. EVERYTHING. Because...because I know Brenda. And I was married to Sonny, so I was, like, your stepmother. And I...have had affairs and also babies, so...yeah, this has more to do with ME than basically anybody."
Brenda: I'm selfish. And I'm not good enough for you. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm sorry I disappointed you. I do love you. I never stopped. And I never will.
"I'm not good enough for you," someone in 2011 said to Sonny Corinthos. There is not enough "???!!!???" in the world.
This is a great scene for Vanessa Marcil's Emmy reel, though. Not because of her portrayal of devastation, but because she was able to speak those words without choking or laughing uproariously or walking off set with a "Yeah, I can't do this."
But Sonny, demonstrating for the first time in a long time that he is capable of maturity and forgiveness and also good acting, publicly forgave her.
Sonny: If they stay, then they'll realize that you're not worthy of love, and you don't deserve it, because that's what your dad did to you. That's what you held onto your whole life. But I'm going to tell you right now, your father lied to you. Because you do deserve it. You know why I know? I know because I love you. And you know what, even when I'm angry or disappointed, even when on our wedding day you keep something from me, it doesn't matter. Because I'll forgive you. And one more thing. I want to marry you.
Brenda: Oh, my God.
Sonny: I want to marry you more than anything in the whole world. Will you marry me?
And that was that. Married! After all these years and a very quick reunion/courtship that, if this show knew anything about...well, anything, would have played out over the entire year.
So, okay: for months, the show has treated Dante and Brenda's secret and THE BABY as the most earth-shattering piece of information to ever exist. Carly embraced this secret to her illusion-netting covered bosom and was convinced that the disturbing nature of the secret would cause all involved to just kill themselves because the humiliation would be too much to bear.
And then...the secret was revealed. There were a few moments of confusion and repulsion, yes. But then Dante provided some context and detail and everyone moved on. Sonny didn't even take a moment to track down a chalice to break! There is a word for this and the word is anti-fucking-climactic.
ALSO, is no one interested in hearing what happened to THE BABY? Because that would be the first question out of my mouth. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, a union of two loving people, new and exciting maturity and an ability to forgive...uh, where's Lil' Brenda? And also, why the FUCK is Carly still here?"
It's not that I expected Carly to get comeuppance of any kind. Carly has been doing monstrous things in loud and insane ways for so long and has either skated away without facing any consequences or turned the entire situation around and made herself into the victim. I feel like if she had to deal with a punishment more severe than a sort of stern talking-to from Sonny that I would probably pass out or have an asthma attack.
Michael: You okay?
Carly: Yeah, I'm fine. Look, I told the truth as I knew it. Your dad made a decision, now we all have to live with it.
Michael: All right. I love you, Mom.
Carly: Well, no reason not to enjoy the party. How long do you think they're going to open those doors and we can have some cake?
Luke: I'm reserving judgment. I have to say, though, Caroline, Uncle Luke is very impressed, once again. You're talented.
I know Carly is brazen and shameless and horrible, so I don't expect her to see anything wrong with planting her unflatteringly dressed ass at a table and enjoying a piece of cake, but why is everyone else okay with her?! If ever a situation was calling out for an awkward insertion of Epiphany, this was it.
Random reception fun:
- Edward telling Brenda that Lila would have loved the wedding
- Maybe not fun, but awesome in the way that Tracy-related things always are: a fiercely protective Tracy telling Dante to leave Lulu alone. I love their relationship.
- It didn't happen at the reception, but it happened during the reception: I also loved Lulu punching Dante.
Robin: Can I have everyone's attention? Thank you. So, uh, in the absence of the best man, I guess that leaves it to me, the best woman, the matron of honor, to make the speech. So I am happy to do that. I've known Brenda for a really long time. We used to gossip about Sonny all the time. Do you remember that, when you guys first met? No, not at all? She's always been smart and sassy, and of course Sonny fell in love with her the moment that he met her. Brenda had been to, you know, boarding school, and, uh, Sonny had street smarts, kind of like Lady and the Tramp. No offense, Sonny.
Offense?! That is a huge compliment from where I'm sitting.
- The bouquet toss is, more often than not, an incredibly awkward experience (especially when accompanied by "Single Ladies"!), but this was cute, between Kristina diving to catch the bouquet (and Ethan's eye) and all of the guests teasing Alexis for her magnificent rack. The words "ta-tas" and "puppies" were used.
Before I move on to the tragedy portion of this General Hospital event, two quick thoughts:
1. This is the face that Carly makes when she hears a non-Jason person talking about performing illegal acts for monetary gain:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Bob Guza is a miserable hack writer, so it is not at all surprising that he thought to himself, "This wedding is missing something and that something is MISERY" and then wondered "...how can I work Clink-Boom into this?" It's just MADDENING that he did that. It is MADDENING that he is willing to coast for years on the success of that scene, and it is DOUBLY MADDENING that his employers allow him to coast for so long on that and MADDENING really doesn't seem like it is a word when you use it this often and look at it closely!
Although, to be fair to Bob Guza, Clink-Boom 2011 wasn't technically just a clink and a boom. It was more...
Brenda and Sonny exited the reception (the former having changed into a seriously cute little frock)
But the limo exploded, and then all hell broke loose. Sonny had to be held back by Dante and Luke, Patrick ushered a hysterical Robin back inside, and a surprisingly mature (and enjoyable. What's that all about) Ethan did the same for a shocked and heartbroken Molly, Morgan and Kristina.
(Can I be a bitch for a second? Thank you. Molly has been working my last nerve for a while how and I think her ample screentime throughout this wedding has pushed my irritation to the point of no return.)
Abby and Michael heard the explosion during their makeout session.
Abby: Did you hear that? It sounded like fireworks.
"Fireworks are bright. And pretty".
I swear, the girl is as dumb as they come.
The reactions to Brenda's presumed death were pretty spot-on. I normally don't give Maurice Benard credit for, you know, anything, but I thought he was fantastic on Friday--all shell-shocked and broken and devastated.
The reliably great Kimberly McCullough was reliably great.
Also, watching these scenes after accidentally muting your television is kind of hilarious. This is some seriously excellent over-the-top body language!
It was like a scene straight out of an especially dramatic silent film.
Then there was John Ingle in pajamas, who just broke my heart a little bit.
Edward: Oh, I--I was at home with Tracy when Luke called. I couldn't believe what I heard. This beautiful young woman, and so happy and full of so much promise. I warned Brenda that no good would come of her being with Sonny. But in my heart I never believed it would--it would come to this. Oh, God, what a terrible waste. Don't you waste your life. You promise me.
The choice to insert Abby and Michael's relationship into Brenda's possible death was an interesting slash insulting one, yeah?
But the best--and it sort of frustrates me at the same time because HELLO, here you have someone on the backburner who can totally bring it and what do you do? You do nothing!--performance for me was Ingo Rademacher, from his "Is Brenda dead?" after hearing about the explosion to his EPIC RANT at Sonny.
Jax: You never learn, do you?
Jason: Jax, please don't do this now.
Jax: Two wives dead in car bombs? Twice you ignore reality. They're dead because of you, Sonny!
Sonny: Okay, you don't want to get in my face right now, Jax. It's not the right time.
Jax: Why? Because you want to grieve in peace?
Sonny: No, that's not why.
Jax: Do you think Brenda was at peace when the bomb went off? How about Lily? Huh?
Alexis: Stop it, Jax.
Jax: It should be you in that car!
Sonny: You don't think I know that?!
Jax: Then fix it! Fix it, Sonny. Take out your gun and put it right here.
Put it right here and you shoot yourself in the head. Huh? You do the noble thing for once in your life. That way, you can be with Brenda forever. Huh? Go ahead. Do it. Do it! How many more people have to die?!
Even Jason was like, DAY-UM.
Everyone in Port Charles is going to make Jasper eat a whole lot of crow, since Brenda was being targeted in her own right and this technically had nothing to do with Sonny. And I am sure that his punishment and humiliation will be at least ten times worse than anything Carly has ever faced, since you don't take on Sonny in this town and win, but I am just going to enjoy this while I can, okay? It was a knee-jerk reaction. Car bombs are forever linked in everyone's mind with Sonny's lifestyle, so I can forgive Jax and Edward for forgetting about the months of "The Balkan is the biggest threat to ever threaten" and jumping on the Sonny hate train.
Also...it wasn't Brenda in the limo at all.