So Much Anger (Mostly Jason's. But Also The Audience's Because...You Know)
Jason Morgan is ANGRY, because the writers of General Hospital have made him the focal point and emotional center of a sexual assault story that should, by all rights, focus on Sam--no, wait, that's why I'm angry. Jason is ANGRY because of Franco, specifically because of Franco's assault on Sam, and is acting out, either by quaking with silent fury or exploding in fits of rage on a whim. Steve Burton has spent the past few weeks screaming until he is hoarse, angrily narrowing his eyes and tossing people around, and I have spent the past few weeks completely exhausted by it.
So when my cable guide teased Friday's episode with "Jason loses his temper", I was befuddled because, how is that in any way noteworthy? It happens constantly. That would be like summarizing an episode with "Kate and Sonny talk about the past" or "Spinelli rankles the rest of town"; it's like, a given!
What was noteworthy (I am using that word as loosely as a word can be used)? The rest of Port Charles jumped on the anger bandwagon. Jason Morgan: not just a savior, but a trendsetter as well. There was so much righteous yelling!
Let's take a look back, shall we?
The show opens with Jason in police custody, angry that he is unable to angrily settle the score with Franco because he was dumb enough to let the Former Mayor Floyd goad him into a vicious (and angry!) attack. A dayplayer cop leads Sam in and she asks how he was. Do you not see the waves of fury reverberating off of him?! It's like the squiggles of dirt that follow Pig Pen wherever he goes, except instead of dirt squiggles, it's narrowed eyes and "!&#-*". He feels stupid for reacting so poorly to the Mayor's goading and regrets not being able to go find whatever rando clue Franco left at Front Street. Sam pipes up that she went instead.
Olivia, in overbearing mother mode, visits Dante at work and meddles a bit in his personal life (interrogating him about the status of his relationship with Lulu, questioning him about why he's already dating someone new--she means Padilla, who was spotted out at Jake's with Dante, and if she had even a lick of sense in that head of hers, she'd know that their time together was not romantic, because Padilla doesn't include the software necessary for human relationships) and his professional one (cleaning up his desk).
Speaking of our favorite animatronic police officer, she's at Johnny's garage to question the Zacchara gentlemen, who both flirt wildly with her. Brandon Barash, in particular, turns on the charm to a swoon-worthy degree; he's all toothy grins and winks and it is, frankly, adorable. Too bad he is acting opposite a block of woof. Granted, when she's out of her uniform and has her hair down, Delores does seem more humanoid, but she still talks like she's been programmed by somebody whose primary form of communication isn't verbal.
Crimson! Maxie is leaving a semi-distraught voicemail for Matt and in bumbles Spinelli, speedtalking and irksome. Maxie had asked him to track down Matt, which he was unable to do. He gets in a dig about Matt being too self-absorbed to return any of Maxie's phone calls (HATE) (it's not that I am any huge Matt fan or anything, but there is no Spinelli I hate more than a petty, self-righteous Spinelli, so I find myself getting defensive on Dr. Hunter's behalf), but Maxie is legitimately worried. Her troubles have only just begun, though, because Ronnie bounces in, literally grinning from ear to ear, filled with glee that he gets to question Maxie about Lisa's murder. I adore him. Yes, he quite clearly dyes his hair with shoe polish, but his undisguised revulsion for most of Port Charles--and Michael in particular--just cracks me up.
Elsewhere, Matt splashes water on his face and groans.
In an elevator at GH, Robin fills Patrick in on the seriously glamorous plans she's made for a girls day out with Emma, but Patrick's mind is elsewhere and he looks like the living definition of the word stressed. Robin is too excited about her plans to notice, and wouldn't you be? Brunch and a manicure with that little cutie? After they get off the elevator, they run into all sorts of unpleasantness, in the form of a whiny Steve (is there any other kind?) and the sudden appearance of Matt. Before Matt can explain to his disgruntled brother where the hell he's been, Mac chimes in, out of nowhere, that he'd like to know the answer to that, too, and would also like to know who killed Lisa Niles. He surprises them with the news that they'll be spending the afternoon with him, answering questions, which confuses Robin and makes Matt ANGRY. Mac points out that they should all want to clear their name at any cost and tells them that they won't be going to the police station. All of them exchange long, silent, meaningful glances, like they are on The Hills.
At the garage, Padilla is coaxing Anthony to come for a ride with her and he hopes that perhaps lunch will be involve, which makes her laugh either in genuine amusement or with derision; it's hard to tell, because she literally barks out the sounds "Ha, ha, ha". Then she tries her hand at being charming and asks Johnny if he'll join them. It's...awkward.
Crimson: Maxie is telling Ronnie ("The Jersey Shore reject", ha!) that she had nothing to do with Lisa's death and Spinelli jumps in and babbles that she doesn't need to talk to him without a lawyer present and tries to assert himself as the alpha in this particular scenario, which is patently ridiculous and Ronnie and I both laugh at the absurdity of it all. He doesn't even seem particularly peeved and genially tells Maxie to go to the car. Spinelli valiantly tries to be Maxie's big protector and says he will be by her side at all times, and Ronnie laughs in his face and basically says that works out perfectly because the police want to have a word with Spinelli's obnoxious self, too.
Oliva keeps, obnoxiously, trying to clean Dante's desk and she tries to fish for information on Lisa's murder investigation and about the status of things with Lulu, which...time and a place, Liv. He shuts her up quickly by telling her that she has to come with him on a field trip.
At the PCPD, Jason asks Sam why the hell she'd follow one of Franco's leads and she defends herself, sort of, by saying Michael was with her, so she technically didn't go alone. Jason responds predictably (with ANGER) and freaks that Franco has already so badly hurt both of them. She tells Jason that there was no nothing there, nothing at all, certainly no menacing DVD with which to torment them some more, no sir! Jason seems to accept this not at all suspicious recap of earlier events and screams (ANGRILY for his lawyer. Exciting news: Alexis is his lawyer and she will be there soon. Sam hastily bids him adieu so that she can avoid seeing her mother.
Outside the interrogation room, she bumps into Michael who, because the brain damage seems to have had a much greater impact than any of us ever knew, asks how Jason is doing. HE IS ANGRY, MICHAEL! HE IS FILLED WITH HATE AND RAGE! Sam manages not to mutter "ABBY is seriously the smart one in your relationship?! Fuck the what?!" and just reiterates that Jason is angry and out of control, and makes him promise, again, not to spill the beans about the Franco DVD.
Elsewhere, the murder suspects are confused about why the PCPD brought them back to the Murder Boat.
Robin: Why are we here?
Patrick: Looks like the police ran out of ideas.
Steve: I can't believe Dante would do this to his own mother.
Olivia: When Dante's doing his job, he doesn't think about his personal life.
Johnny: Unlike the rest of you, I wasn't even on this boat when Lisa was killed.
Patrick: And your hands are always clean, right? No violence in your past.
Anthony: You'd think you'd learned a little humility by now, doc.
Spinelli: Are you all right, Maximista? The jackal's confident he can solve this mystery and get you out of here
Maxie: I'm sure you'll try. Do you have any idea how worried I've been?/p>
Matt, angry: Hello?! Can we get this show on the road?
Mac reintroduces the motley crew to First Mate Briggs and notes that everybody on the boat that night is a suspect, save for Elizabeth (who was thrown overboard well before Lisa died) and Captain McLeod (who was murdered by La Crazy). Further, both Spinelli and Johnny were seen on other boats, so they are suspects, too. PLUS, everybody on the planet hated Lisa, so there are motives a-plenty.
At the PCPD, Alexis runs into the Former Mayor Floyd. John Bolger just radiates smarm, doesn't he? He asks that she refer to him by his middle name: Prescott, or Pres for short (Get it? Pres, like PRESS? Because he's a newspaper man now?). This bit of cleverness completely revulses her, and she threatens to sue him for libel, based on the claims he made about Jason in his paper.
Jason, meanwhile, is talking to Michael, because that's typically how it works when someone is arrested. He is ANGRY that Michael didn't take Sam immediately home and ANGRILY demands that Michael spill the beans about exactly what happened on Front Street.
At the penthouse, Sam prepares herself to watch Franco's video alone.
On Murder Boat, Mac attempts to monologue about the murder weapon and the way a police investigation works, and Spinelli constantly interrupts in order to show off his investigative knowledge, like he's Martin Prince. Mac has absolutely zero patience for Spinelli and asks, not too unkindly, considering the circumstances, for him to cram it. Dante reveals that Robin's watch is stopped at 9:49, which narrows down the time of Lisa's death and notes that Robin was the last person to see Lisa alive. Patrick interrupts and leads us into a commercial by saying, rather ominously, "Actually, Detective, you have that wrong".
Is he confessing to Lisa's murder?! Of course he's not, because this story has at least six months left in it. No, he's just muddying the waters by saying "the killer" is actually the one to have last seen Lisa alive and that Robin's not the killer, so... While all this is going on, Spinelli's imagination starts running wild and he pictures different ways the murder could have gone down with different murderers and let me just say that if SPINELLI is the person who winds up solving this murder, I--I will be ANGRIER than Jason! Actually, that is a gross overstatement because I am not physically capable of such rage. What I will do is groan loudly and then roll my eyes and blog about it with a whole lot of expletives. I just can't with Spinelli, you guys. The fact that he is here, sucking up precious screentime, when we've lost Jax and Nikolas, and are losing Lucky and Robin is infuriating. I know that the latter exits are due to the actors' choosing to exit, but STILL. Jax and Nikolas are less important to this show than this creature. HOW is that okay?
Anyway, the cops all point out the various reasons why the assembled suspects would want Lisa dead, and when Ronnie starts in on Maxie, Spinelli loses his composure and starts yelling about protecting his fair Maximista and whatever and...it's terrible. Then Mac mentions that the police do have some evidence on the actual murderer.
At the penthouse, Sam contemplates watching the DVD. Riveting, riveting stuff.
In the PCPD, Jason finishes his questioning of Michael and in sidles The Former Mayor Floyd, who smarms in to taunt Jason some more. Rightly assuming that Michael is Jason's weak spot, he starts asking loaded questions about their shared time in Pentonville.
Pres: And here you are now making an unauthorized visit to see Jason. Hmm. This warrants an investigation. If you've violated any laws, charges could be pending. You know, Michael, what is the status of your role --
Jason: You want me right now? You come after me!
Pres: Your uncle -- he seems upset. You see, Michael, that implies that you got something to hide. Well, we all know that you're guilty of murdering -- bludgeoning -- one woman, right? What other crimes is your family covering up for you? You know, when your uncle goes back to prison, maybe you should go --
Jason, quite obviously, cannot keep it together and the ANGER takes over. He's so ANGRY that he starts to STRANGLE The Former Mayor Floyd. It's ridiculous (and overacted by both participants).
As Michael tries in vain to keep the Incredible Hulk from murdering somebody in a police station, Alexis walks in and is downright furious: at The Former Mayor Floyd (I will not refer to him as Pres. I just won't. I don't even know if my fingers would let me type it!) for being a douche, and at Jason for not being able to function. The Former Mayor Floyd darkly says that he'll now be charging Jason with attempted murder and Alexis asks Jason what the hell is wrong with him and seems to seriously be reconsidering her decision to get involved with representing members of the Corinthos organization.
Back at the murder boat, the police are explaining that there is evidence at the crime scene linking many of them to Lisa's murder: bar sugar (Matt), Robin's hair, fingerprints (Steve and Olivia) and Matt, whose patience was nil at the start of the episode, is having absolutely none of it at this point.
Matt: You know, this is all really interesting, but if you had anything conclusive, you'd be making arrests right now instead of playing clue.
This makes Mac ornery, possibly because he knows that Matt is totally right, and he starts to question Matt on his whereabouts over the past few days. Matt plainly refuses to answer and Maxie, starting to panic, begs him just to tell the police, after "everything she's done for him". The ears of all three police officers perk up at that little nugget and Anthony makes a face at her, but she covers pretty well, babbling about innocence. When she mentions that she wouldn't be in love with Matt if he were a murderer, Spinelly practically vomits from jealousy and, once again, goes off on one of his belabored, grammatically infuriating tangents about how the police should start eliminating suspects, starting with Maxie, because her heart is too big to commit murder. Yes, he said that. But his absurdity was topped by Ronnie, who shared this profound bit of nothingness:
Ronnie: I'm sure Lisa Niles loved life, too.
Ronnie, you are better than that! Did she also dance like there was nobody watching, in between months spent plotting the ruination of others and dreaming up scenarios for murder?! How many crimes in this city have gone unsolved over the years, and the police force is spending this much effort trying to figure out what happened to a criminal crazy person? As soon as her body was found, Mac should have just said "Suicide, case closed". "But...evidence..." "I SAID CASE CLOSED!"
Nervous and miserable, Maxie starts to turn on everybody in sight, throwing the Zaccharas and Robin (!) under the bus in a matter of seconds, which makes Patrick ANGRY and he wonders if Maxie is guilty, which makes Matt ANGRIER, which makes Anthony laugh--not at Matt in particular, just at all of these noble people accusing each other of the crime. Olivia has to get her two cents in somewhere and refers to Anthony as "Orange Jumpsuit", which isn't even a little bit amusing, and he mocks Bensonhurst which, in the mind of the GH writers, is a den of sin where people shouldn't even leave their homes, on account of flying bullets and kidnappings. This makes Steve ANGRY, and then everybody shouts accusations back and forth: "Steve, your face is scratched!" "Patrick, Lisa made your life miserable!" "Spinelli works for the mob!" "Matt is seriously acting like somebody who committed murder!" "Who doesn't Anthony kill?"
Mac seriously looks like he's regretting his career choice.
"Is it too late for me to join the circus?"
He lets the murder suspects go, saying that the police have to analyze one more surprise bit of evidence. So that was basically a complete waste of time! Everybody starts to leave and Ronnie wonders what the point of that exercise was. Mac quotes Shakespeare, which was recognized, of all people, by Padilla, who must have Cliff's Notes installed on her hard drive. Mac is pleased that they were able to make the suspects nervous and hopes that, eventually, they'll get rattled enough to confess the truth.
Back at the PCPD, Alexis is wondering what Jason's damage is, because strangling a newspaper editor at a police station is unhinged, even for him. Michael lamely offers that Jason was just trying to protect him, and Alexis can't even with him. She thinks out loud of ways to get Jason out of jail and he gets ANGRY that he doesn't CARE what she does as long as she does it, and she screams at him to chill out. Alexis is the only person right now whose anger is even moderately entertaining; Jason doesn't even appreciate it, though, because he's too busy flashing back to Franco's reign of terror.
Penthouse: Sam loads the DVD onto her computer. Thrilling!
Johnny and Anthony go out to lunch--aww, Johnny loves his dad a little bit! Johnny wonders why Anthony drew so much attention to himself on the boat, rather than just ignoring the entire farce, and Anthony wonders if he's getting soft in his old age.
GH: Patrick and Robin are back at work, and he's wondering why she skipped out on her afternoon of fun with Emma. She says she had to come in and check test results in person (are they her own test results?), and when Patrick mentions that Emma will be disappointed, Robin snaps that disappointment is a part of life. Yes, but unpainted nails shouldn't have to be, Robin! Patrick is peeved that Mac ever forced Robin to be a part of these shenanigans, and Robin explains that Mac's just trying to protect her.
Robin: Well, look a little bit closer, okay? Sometimes you need to hurt someone in order to save them.
The plot thickens!
Crimson: Maxie and Spinelli make me see CRIMSON red. They irk to no end and talk about nothing that we didn't already know (Spinelli is jealous of Matt? Brand new information!)
At the hospital, Robin tells Patrick that Mac has to remain impartial, or else he'll be forced to excuse himself from the case (which, you know, he'd have to do if this show took place anywhere else in the universe) and this is a way for him to protect them from the inside. Talk turns to raising Emma when she's a teenager, and Patrick is puzzled by part of what Robin says:
Patrick: Do you think Emma's gonna be like that when we make unfathomable decisions that she's not gonna like?
Robin: She'll resent you, for sure. I mean, I was a complete brat to uncle Mac when I was a teenager.
Robin: Yes. But in the end, she will know that it's for her own good.
Patrick: Okay. But you made it sound like I'm gonna be doing this alone, and that's not gonna happen. If she's gonna resent us, she's gonna resent both of us.
I am not puzzled. I am sad! Don't leave us, Robin! Don't possibly die!
First Mate Briggs smiles in an alley.
In a dark room on the boat, Olivia plays Nancy Drew and looks around with a flashlight--well, calling her Nancy Drew is an insult, because she is nowhere near as cool as Nancy is. As if proving my point, she gets busted by Dante.
Anthony and Johnny continue their lunch (Anthony orders the brisket, which is hilarious to me for some reason) and Anthony says he's trying to give Johnny the lessons necessary to survive in life. Right, because I know that I always try to learn life lessons from utter psychopaths.
At the PCPD, Alexis asks Jason not to fuck his life up even more with these bizarre fits of rage. She storms out and Michael wonders how Jason, who is usually so unemotional, has turned into this ball of anger. He hints that he knows what's going on, but we all know that Michael knows nothing, so that barely even counts as a cliffhanger.
Penthouse: Sam weeps on the floor. What an intriguing, not to mention uplifting, end to an episode this is!