Ancient History vs. Recent History
You know, it's a funny thing about us soap viewers. Most of us will let you rewrite history a bit if it doesn't drastically negate what we actually saw a screen many years ago -- especially if the storyline that the rewrite yields is worth watching. (e.g., "Oh, did Viki actually give birth to twins even though we saw otherwise? Well, do we like this new girl Natalie and is the drama any good? If so, fine with us!") We have less patience with adjustments in recent history than ancient history, and even less patience when it's an adjustment to a recent storyline that we already hated that yields something even worse.
So let's talk about what went down yesterday with Sonny and Olivia. Look, full disclosure: I actually do not hate Olivia. (Mallory may disown me from Serial Drama for this but, hey, I gotta be me!) And I really liked Olivia and Johnny as a pairing. Here's the two things I can't tolerate about Olivia: first, that she gives Sonny the time of day after correctly barring him from their son's life because Sonny is a thug and a criminal and after Sonny tried really hard to murder that son. This show is chock-full of Sonny apologists and I can actually buy why in some cases. Not hers. She should loathe him forever. Second, that we had to endure basically eight months of her constant breakups and reunions with Johnny that were based not on the fact that he's involved with organized crime, but the fact that he and Sonny have a dangerous rivalry that neither is willing to drop. How many times did we suffer through these repetitive scenes of Olivia begging Johnny to let his anti-Sonny vendetta go, or crying to Sonny that their mutual hatred will end up killing them? Repeatedly, over and over, ad nauseam, that's how many.
We are apparently to pretend that this never happened, and that Olivia is totally cool with asking Sonny to take Johnny down. Sure, she threw in some lip service about how she'd prefer he not resort to violence, but she also made it clear that he should do whatever it takes. Johnny, the man she was in love with just over a year ago. Johnny, who by the way was also in love with her just over a year ago and is now acting like they have zero history at all. I understand why it's useful for a mobster (who runs the tiniest "mob" in history) to have a doctor at his mercy, but not this one. I don't buy that Johnny would do that to Olivia, and I don't buy that Olivia's response would be to light three hundred matches on the pile of fuel that is Sonny and Johnny's feud. At this point Olivia's character is so ill-defined that I'm convinced her character bible only has two words in it: 1. Bensonhurst. 2. Pasta.
There was an upside to those scenes. Sonny got to have a funny! I do so wish they'd give Maurice Benard more comic material than the usual self-pity or moral indignation he's usually stuck playing, because he's good at the little tiny hilarious nuances. When Olivia (or whoever she is at this point) asked him if Johnny and Carly bothered him...
"It's annoying and I don't get it." (I agree with Sonny and that makes me feel dirty.) And he made a strained face that was meant to be amusing and it worked!
Elsewhere on canvas we've been dealing in mentions of much, much more ancient history and it's been a lot more fun. Luke was introduced to John McBain, who insisted he knew who Luke was already because he'd seen his FBI file.
"Well then you know I saved the world!" About which John was not impressed, and talked about how he focused more on the information in the file about Frank Smith. Yay! Back when the mobsters were the bad guys!
And can I 'fess up to how giddy I am that Anna turned out to have been John's FBI mentor? I'm loving those two in scenes together, despite the ridiculous and unnecessary "reveal" (and another history rewrite) that apparently John wants to take Sonny down because Sonny killed John's heretofore non-existent sister. It's not even so much that we've never heard of a McBain sister before (John arrived at OLTL much too late for me to be throwing my fists around over a retcon about a childhood I did not witness) (or care about, for that matter). It's two things: first, as is always the case with anything involving Sonny, it'll probably turn out that it was an accident or that John's sister was an evil child molester or one of the other myriad ways they've drawn up to avoid Sonny's culpability in anything at all, ever. Second, why the freaking hell does John need a personal reason to want to take down a criminal which, last I checked, is his job? Do we need to watch this play out all over again? Can't we ever just get a decent cop who really hates that this alleged mob kingpin keeps getting away with murder because he only ever, ever, ever gets charged for things he didn't do?! (I know. It's a rhetorical question.)
Elsewhere in ancient history, HEATHER!!!
It just makes me so happy to see her. Because there she is and she's super-fun, of course, but also because it meant we got some great old stories (even a Crane Tolliver mention!). And I don't even care that Franco was Jason's twin AS LONG AS IT DOESN'T MEAN FRANCO WILL COME BACK. That's where I have to draw the line. I have limits! Claudia got a posthumous familial reveal, let's do the same for Franco and leave it at that? And hopefully this storyline might give us some information that will lead to actual confirmation of whether or not Franco raped Sam (I am, of course, rooting for not) because it's time to really bang that final nail in the coffin of GH's fascination with "was s/he or wasn't s/he raped??" mysteries, as they are in no way fun or salacious or a good reason to watch a soap on Planet Earth.
In other news...
Forget it. I just... I just can't.