The Unbearable Darkness of Being
Anguish, along with literally and like, is a word that I have a tendency to both over- and mis-use ("There isn't a new Parks and Recreation until April 14th! I'm totally anguished!"), but really, is there a word that better describes the feeling one has throughout a legacy-killing, continuity-free, endlessly repetitive episode of General Hospital?
This week, the residents of Port Charles mirrored our anguish, as they were all uniformly miserable, which is to be expected, since the major themes of the week were "dead child", "who is responsible for the death of said child?" and "toddler with cancer". They (and we) were heartbroken, pained, and dejected and the dark got even darker with Friday's reveal that Luke was the driver who hit Jake.
Luke: I didn't see him. It was dark. That stretch of road is dark. There's no shoulder, there's no sidewalk. My music was blaring. I was rushing to get across town to get to you before your wedding. I drove fast. I always drive fast. I'm a good driver. I--I never ran a light. God, no, I--I never felt anything h-hit... oh, my god, I never saw him. I never saw...I--I--I never saw him.
I mean, honestly. DEPRESSING.
There's a small part of me that wants to, grudgingly, give the show a little bit of credit for not taking the easy way out and having Theo or Franco be the hit-and-run driver. And having the driver be Luke is definitely a bold move, because how does a character come back from that? In the hands of a competent writing staff, there could be a must-watch, albeit terribly sad, story in there about redemption and an irreparable rift between father and son; Tony Geary and Jonathan Jackson are more than up to the task.
But this story is not in the hands of a competent writing staff; it's in the hands of a writing staff overseen by a man who will almost surely tire of this story, possibly as early as Wednesday. There is a very real chance that we'll get one huge confrontation between Luke and Lucky, a few scenes of an angry Jason and then the whole thing will peter out and we'll have once again sat through character assassination for the sake of a (small and short-lived) ratings spike.
Tony Geary shares none of my reservations though: he's approaching this story with all kinds of gusto.
TV Guide Magazine: Do you see this as your greatest acting challenge?
Geary: Absolutely. I've had a lot of wonderful stories through the years but more often in the adventure and romance arena. This is exactly what I need at this point in time — to attack something new and something on a grand, operatic scale. This is Greek tragedy. This is right up my alley. I am of the school that the older you get the better your work is because you've got so much more to draw from, and I'm getting up there in age, my friend! So this is a big, spectacular gift. I'm going into work these days with nothing but gratitude in my heart.
Like he always does when he's committed to the material, Geary was excellent on Friday, but Jonathan Jackson? Amazing. Stellar. Phenomenal. All sorts of other adjectives for awesome including the wordless squeal, accompanied by flailing, that I often use to convey hysteria. Every second he was on-screen, he was just outstanding.
First, there was Lucky's fury upon learning that Carly was on the list of suspects in the police investigation that lasted a total of eight minutes.
Lucky: No, it's an accident, dad. Of course it's an accident. I mean, Carly's entire existence is a series of accidents. That way she's not responsible for anything she ever does.
Luke: Now, don't jump to conclusions. Stick with what you know.
Lucky: What, like you don't know what she's like? Seriously. Carly is so focused on herself and what she wants at any given moment, she doesn't care who gets in her way.
Lucky: Somebody just drove away and left Jake in the street. That woman doesn't know how to be anything but completely selfish to the core of her soul. And now my son is the latest to pay.
How freaking satisfying was it to hear someone verbalize Carly's worst character flaws? Sure, he didn't say any of this to her* and almost immediately after saying these righteous words, he found out that it wasn't Carly after all, but STILL.
*Because God forbid that happen, right? If he had yelled at her, Carly would have been totes sad, you guys.
Michael: But my mom really doesn't need Lucky yelling at her right now.
OMFG, were they kidding with this? They must have been, right? Because for someone, even a son trying to protect his mother, to verbalize the thought that CARLY'S precious feelings are paramount is just so deranged that I cannot even. Yes, Fat-Headed Joss is sick and that is terrifying for a mother, but Lucky's son is dead; it's not like he's just being cruel and messing with Carly for fun.
ALSO, MICHAEL, your therapy/makeout session with Abby was so wrong that it made my skin crawl.
Michael: Abby, I just don't want you to feel you have to sleep with me because you feel sorry for me.
Abby: I don't feel sorry for you. I think you are beautiful, inside and out, and I love the way I feel when we're together.
ALSO ALSO, this is no longer directed at Michael, but the mention of Fat-Headed Joss reminded me: where the hell is Jax?! Why wasn't he with Joss and Carly at the hospital at the end of the episode when she was babbling about Jason's great pain? His absence seriously offended me, as did Carly's fawning:
Carly: Yeah. God, I'm so happy you're ok. You know what we're gonna have to do? We're gonna have to spend a lot of time with Jason, aren't we? We're gonna have to make him feel good. Yeah, that's a girl. He's gonna miss his little boy.
Carly: You're gonna love Jason as much as I love Jason.
For starters, how much more time could Carly possibly spend with Jason? Are she and Joss going to move in with him? And is it even possible to love Jason as much as Carly does? Will she force Joss to literally pray at an altar to his awesomeness? And you know who else is going to miss Jake? HIS PARENTS, LUCKY AND ELIZABETH.
That brings me back to the point I was actually trying to make, which is that Jonathan Jackson is wonderful and should, by all rights, be the star of this show. Shock, heartbreak, anger--all of it was so good.