This Is How a Heart Breaks: Slowly, From Sadness and (Mostly) Frustration
I know that I exaggerate A LOT and make all sorts of wildly melodramatic pronouncements about the many ways General Hospital brings me physical and mental anguish, so you might not believe that this literally happened, because I've also claimed that "I literally fell asleep behind the wheel just thinking about General Hospital" and "This show has literally led my brain cells to deteriorate, causing noticeable, though minor, memory loss", but it's the truth: General Hospital is so hard to sit through that it literally made me cry. Literally.
Of all the storylines--sorry, I forgot the sarcastic airquotes. "Storylines". Because these aren't stories as much as they are single lines of dialogue repeated endlessly--there are two that are compelling. And even those are difficult to sit through; one is immensely heartbreaking and the other is sordid and gross. The rest? Feh. Meh. Snooze. Booooring.
I mean, consider this: my cable guide's description for Friday's episode begins with "Sonny and Kate discuss future plans for the restaurant". They LED with that. Like, that was the part of the episode that would entice channel-flickers to stick around for more. TALKING ABOUT A RESTAURANT.
(Although, to be fair, how else would they have spun it? "Kate is completely and utterly brainwashed*. Lulu's insta-alcoholism worsens**. Johnny can seriously rock some facial hair. Spinelli is the world's worst***")
*When she wasn't making strange allusions to Rooney Mara and her...complicated? relationship with David Fincher (because that's what this was about:
Kate: The poor girl is a no-name actress who's been given the lead in a trilogy by a very famous director.
Johnny: Mm. Lucky her.
Kate: Yeah. Well, this could make her career if it doesn't break her first. Poor thing. She's very young and vulnerable and she's willing to completely transform herself to please this much-older, demanding man.
Right? Which is, uh, weird)), she was blindly defending Sonny to a person so clearly in the midst of a downward spiral who looks to be about ten seconds away from harming every person Sonny has ever spoken to.
Johnny: Yeah. Wait a minute. Please don't tell me you're not gonna say that he cares about his kids, right? I think you know better. A man who puts his kids in the line of danger, who uses them as possessions -- that's not a good father.
Kate: Oh, 'cause you know what it's like to be a father, don't you? Maybe you're talking about your own father. Is that what this is about? Did you have a fight with Anthony? Now you want to come and blame it all on Sonny?
Why so terrible, Kate? Why? I have long railed against this show's fondness for its violence against women, so I am well aware of how hugely hypocritical I am being right now but, honestly: I wanted him to, at the very least, trip her. Because how condescending was that? And how hugely oblivious, to say that to somone so wound up and aggressive that he was practically vibrating with loathing and a thirst for vengeance.
**EGADS, SHE IS DRINKING BEFORE NOON AND IN SWEATPANTS!! WON'T ANYONE THINK OF HER LIVER?! This story's sole redeeming factor is that it gave us Maxie's horror at the prospect of Lulu wearing granny panties, but even that is not enough to make up for the future horror of Olivia gloating to anyone and everyone that she knew Lulu had a problem and she was right and they were wrong, and she will probably get into Padilla's face and accuse her again, some more, of being hot for Dante and what if Padilla's battery pack isn't fully charged that day and she overloads from the stress of the situation. "I don't know what you're talking about--talking about--talking about--talk-talk-talk-talking about"?!
***His moving in with Maxie is troublesome. No cute, only creepy.
At least (and I really do mean that. This THE LEAST General Hospital can do and they are giving us THE LEAST amount of it possible in order for it to constitute an actual story. I have been accused, in the past, of being such a Patrick/Robin 'shipper that it blinds me to things like "fact" and "reason", so it's entirely possible that I'm wrong about this, but...this story has gotten, like, zero airtime, right? Amazing scenes Monday, scenes with Jason on Tuesday and then a couple of random seconds towards the end of Friday's show. REALLY? We're talking about one of the show's most popular characters and what COULD be a fantastic umbrella story. But, no, it totally makes sense that we spend time on Spinelli's stalking or the vacancy in Cassandra's mind and eyes. This effing show, etc.) we have Robin and Patrick and Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson who are SO FREAKING GOOD.
The long-awaited scenes in which Robin confessed the truth about her illness to Patrick were, as I mentioned last week, phenomenal. Robin trying to explain her baffling secret-keeping and trying to be strong and, eventually, crumbling? So good. Patrick's anger and confusion and fear and pledge of support? So good. It basically gave me goosebumps from start to finish and, at the same time, made me angry. This could be a HUGE story and look at these two actors--they are amazing. They could carry a huge, heavy story. But they're not even being given the chance to do that. What could, with a little bit of effort on the part of the writers, be iconic is, in actuality, an afterthought. An afterthought that should, if award shows mean ANYTHING, net its participants Daytime Emmys, but still...an afterthought.
But that doesn't mean I didn't spend the entirety of their scenes sniffling. Let's make a list of all of the times a piece of my heart shattered from sadness! And keep your "As if your heart is big enough to have that many pieces. I've read this blog before" side-eye to yourself, please!
1.) Patrick, in a tone of voice that was basically the definition of pain and fear: Do you not trust me?
Robin: Of course I trust you.
3.) Robin: Patrick... if I get sick --
Patrick: Then I will be there with you!
4.) Robin: Look at me. I want you to remember me like this, like the strong, healthy person that I am, not some shadow of who I am.
Patrick: This disease is not gonna steal who you are, okay? I don't care what you look like. I don't care if you're not strong enough to hold my hand.
6.)Patrick: And you have to know that taking off is crazy.
Robin: That's why I would never go through with it. Because I love you too much to leave you, and I love our little girl too much. [Sniffles] And because...and because I need you.
Patrick: [Sniffles] You're gonna be okay. All right? We're gonna do this together. No more hiding test results. No more crying in the conference room. No more taking off to Seattle or wherever. Everything, from now on, we do together. Okay?
9.) Patrick: This is you. This is us.
SO FREAKING GOOD. SO FREAKING HEARTBREAKING. Part of me is actually worried that I won't be able to watch Robin's exit, because it will be too distressing for me, but the other part knows that, based on prior evidence, her exit will only wind up getting eight minutes of screentime total and being utterly devastated for less than ten minutes isn't too horrible, I guess...