It’s been a hell of a few weeks in Port Charles (the week of August 12th was kind of slow, but it was a refreshing break from Franco, Kiki, Morgan & Michael); this was the most gasp-causing, eyebrow-raising, “OMG!” worthy and entertaining material we’ve seen since the Nurses Ball. Let me break it down and give my two cents. I try to organize my storyline comments by character groups (ex. AJ & Tracy), but there was so much over-lap (a writing style that I kind of like), that I might have to individualize things slightly. Bear with me; I’ll try keep it organized enough to where you can find your favorite storyline ;)
Morgan & Sonny/Michael & Kiki
The Morgan vs. Michael war didn’t ignite the way I preferred (a love triangle vs. a dynasty war), therefore, Morgan’s eventual "you love Michael more than me & he's not even your biological son" speech to Sonny didn't happen the way I envisioned, but it came (7/30) and it was decent soap TV. Morgan (Bryan Craig) admitted to Sonny (Maurice Bernard) that he was rushing to marry Kiki (Kristen Alderson) because he knew that if she discovered her true paternity (Dr. Silas Clay is her father, which means she’s not a Quartermaine and related to Michael), she would make a bee-line to Michael (Chad Duell). Morgan asked Sonny to keep the secret, and when he refused, Morgan let loose and went in. Using every example he could, Morgan well-argued that Sonny & Carly were guilty of favoritism towards Michael and that it puzzled him because Michael isn’t Sonny’s child (by the way, ever notice how anytime Carly says “our son,” Sonny automatically thinks she’s talking about Michael?). Once Sonny went into his usual “I’m pissed off” shouting mode, Morgan backed down and apologized (I wouldn’t have done that, but ok).
Sonny of course refuted Morgan’s claims, but he gave the boy more proof when he said Michael deserved to know the truth and have a “fair fight” and chance at his brother’s girlfriend. What a way to be neutral, papa *shakes head* Encourage your sons to fuss over a girl, as long as Michael wins. Ironically, Carly (Laura Wright) was the only one who cared how this mess will affect Morgan. Everyone else in their circle, including Connie, was worried about poor little Mikey. It’s maddening to watch; does anyone care about this kid? I don’t agree with his choice to keep things from Kiki, but I can see why he’s so desperate. No one is in his corner and the one person he thought was his partner in crime wants to jump his brother’s bones. It broke my heart to hear Morgan beg Sonny to “for once put him first” and “let him have this.” I had all kinds of choice names in my head for Kiki in that same episode as she sweetly explained how she & Morgan had a mystical connection that only strengthened when they met in person and ended with “only until you [Michael].” Michael’s pimp-juice ain’t enough to bring on amnesia, honey; come on. I had hope for the chick when she seemed get her memory back after Morgan wined and dined her, put a ring on it (shout-out to Sonny’s Beyonce` reference) and they made love (8/6), but again, Michael’s mere presence stopped her in her tracks.
Morgan’s attempt to marry Kiki at the courthouse before she got word of her parentage (more on that in a few) was almost interrupted by Michael, who barged in, ready to spread the news and run off with her. Kiki got misty-eyed as she told Michael it was too late (she wasn’t even upset that Michael was more concerned about hooking up while she was in shock about her real father, ugh). Pissed he was tardy, Michael tried to flip it on Morgan and bust him for knowing in advance about Kiki’s father, but Morgan cleverly deflected. Michael is so self-righteous; it didn’t occur to him that he’s the reason Morgan took a low road. Michael could get Kiki without outing Morgan, but he tried to throw his brother under the bus for reinforcement anyway. Shame on you Michael, but that’s what happens when you listen to the king of brother-backstabbing, your biological father, AJ (Sean Kanan). If Michael doesn’t pay for this, Sonny & Carly won’t be the only ones guilty of Mikey-worship; the writers will too.
Speaking of AJ, Connie (Kelly Sullivan) really got herself in hot water with him and involved in Corinthos family drama when she revealed Kiki wasn’t a Quartermaine on the front page of the local newspaper to save her magazine, “Crimson” (glad they didn’t drag the big expose` out for too long). Her boss, Derek Wells (who is actually Julian Jerome, but I’ll get to that), told her she must provide a big story or he was firing and buying her out. By the time Sonny offered to put up money to help her and her staff start fresh so she wouldn’t have to print the article, Connie had already gambled with their relationship and sent it to press. Bernard and Sullivan delivered yet another show-stealing scene for Sonny & Connie’s subsequent argument. Sonny called B.S. on Connie’s excuse that she acted in concern for Michael (which I was glad, because she was irritating me with that), and when Connie said she genuinely disagreed with how Sonny handled his boys’ beef, he proclaimed she didn’t know anything about raising kids (pulling on Trey heart-strings) and he never asked her for her opinion. Sonny then ran straight to Olivia to play sloppy seconds (8/8), but Olivia wasn’t having it (good for her!). She played the dutiful cousin as usual and sent Sonny back into Connie’s arms. Sort of. Olivia wondered what she sacrificed her heart’s desires and played dutiful cousin for when she learned Sonny didn’t readily reconcile with Connie. My feisty auburn-haired Bensonhurst gal lit into Sonny, saying that not only should she have fought for him, but he should’ve returned the favor. Olivia was hurt that Sonny clearly didn’t love her enough, nor did her cousin care about her heart. As it turns out, Connie told her therapist, Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom), that she subconsciously printed the feature so Sonny would get angry with her and go back to Olivia. Who knew? I’m sure SOlivia won’t happen anyway, because after Connie’s death (the character is rumored to be exiting by murder soon), they’ll both feel incredibly guilty.
Connie’s potential murder brings me to AJ. Now that Kiki isn’t a Quartermaine, her vote that helped put AJ over the edge against Tracy for CEO didn’t count and it left the dueling relatives tied. Tracy (Jane Elliott) then garnered a tie-breaking 1% from Lucy Coe (Lynn Herring). When something devastating happens to AJ, like losing control over his father’s company, he reacts 1 of 3 ways: has a panic attack, drinks, or flies into a blinding rage. AJ charged into Sonny’s home (I love how that’s so easy to do in PC) and angrily blamed Connie for all sorts of things that have nothing to do with her. Having a random impromptu therapy session, AJ goes on about how he was always jealous of Jason, never felt good enough, has to sleep with a night light on, sees dead people, never got to have a relationship with Michael and now apparently never will because they won’t be able to bond over stocks since he’s not CEO (kidding about the night light and dead people). Adding on to his long and overly narcissistic, pity-party tirade, he theorizes the news-story was another vendetta action by Sonny to split him and Michael apart. Connie argued she did what was necessary to save her magazine because she isn’t an heiress with a trust fund (loved that line) and that AJ can start over. AJ snapped at that sentence and began choking the air out of Connie. If Sonny hadn’t stepped in, Connie would’ve died. What made me throw my hands up at the writing here was that AJ almost killed Connie with his bare hands, and it was completely glossed over afterward. Sonny Corinthos, Mr. Big “Anyone Who Threatens the Life of My Loved Ones Dies” Mob Boss, witnessed the near-strangling and did nothing after. All AJ got was a head gash. When Michael and Liz walked in on the tail-end, Sonny oversimplified what happened, saying AJ was “choking her.” Not nearly killed her, but choking her. Connie was okay, but I think it would’ve been more interesting, especially in terms of things between AJ and Liz, if his “choking” resulted in Connie being hospitalized. All that foreshadowing dialogue from Tracy to Liz about AJ’s dark side proved to be useless in that moment. Unless of course, AJ will eventually be Connie’s murderer. There are so many other sufficient ways to write Connie out (ex. Coma by AJ, leaving town to let SOlivia be); why (semi-permanent) death?
Liz & Tracy
I really thought GH was going to go for climatic glory when the explosive August 8th episode (Kiki’s paternity reveal; we got a Friday cliffhanger on Thursday) closed with AJ choking Connie (presumably to death) and Tracy & Liz’s confrontation. The latter got so heated, I just knew Tracy choking Liz (Rebecca Herbst) would be synchronized with AJ’s attack, but it wasn’t. Boo. What also didn’t happen was Tracy standing up for herself physically when Liz slapped her. That’s right. Liz slapped TRACY QUARTERMAINE and she did nothing. All she said was “how could you?” There were so many things wrong with their scene. Although watching the two read each other for filth was very entertaining (which included jabs about Liz passing up on a prince for AJ, and Tracy being more like her nephew than she realizes), it was very untrue to Tracy’s character to let someone slap her without firing back. Furthermore, she responded to Liz’s demand to explain herself. If Tracy Q is going to answer or explain herself to anyone, it’s not going to be Liz, who essentially had nothing to do with the ELQ family situation. Tracy even let her get away with the contradictory statement of “I don’t have to explain myself to you” when she countered Liz’s over-stepping by questioning her dating life. What also bothered me about the scene was that Liz was doing all of this over little Alan Jr., whom she just started dating. Soap queens don’t slap unless they or their children have been personally insulted. What especially about “he’s [AJ] an empty person not worthy of anyone’s love” riled you up so much that you would slap someone?! Liz slapped someone for AJ, who just minutes before irately knocked past her with his shoulder like she was nothing (8/7). The slap and everything leading up to it in the script did not make sense to me (read “The Writing of Liz Webber” for more script commentary). Oh, and on a somewhat unrelated note, I thought it was very telling that AJ kept correlating losing ELQ to losing Michael & Liz. I guess his correlating comments were to drive the idea home that he ties his own value to business success and he believes that’s how everyone else will measure him. Now, that’s great psychological writing. On a mostly unrelated note, the scene where AJ asks Liz to spend the night with him? Terribly written. He propositioned her like a teenager, saying that he had to know he had her confidence by Liz being willing to “take the next step” and sleep with him. What? How does being willing to bump you mean she’s committed to you? I guess Caroline is committed to you, too? There are many ways to show commitment, AJ.
August 2nd was a pretty exciting episode as confirmation came that Ava (Maura West) is just not related to the 1980’s Jerome crime family, but is the baby sister of the notorious and not-so-deceased Julian Jerome, who’s been disguising himself as businessman Derek Wells (William DeVry)! GASP! The devilish duo plan to take over ELQ for resources and re-acquire Sonny’s territory (which explains why Ava rather have Kiki think Franco is her father)! GASP again! They did target Morgan through the gambling ring! Triple GASP! Wait, there’s more! Alexis went under hypnosis to revive memories of Sam’s father (Alexis had a one-night stand), and remembered the man’s name was Julian! DUN-DUN-DUN! To make the audience sure that Julian Jerome is Alexis’ (Nancy Lee Grahn) old bed-mate, Julian swears she looked familiar to him at the Floating Rib! Last we saw of him, he was offering to have his bone-marrow tested for Danny; if he’s a match (which he’ll likely be)…boy, oh boy! What this means is monumental: 1) Baby Danny’s (Jacob & Jaxon Kring) ancestry is more epic than we knew. He’s a QuarterMorgan Cassadine Jerome! 2) Sam (Kelly Monaco) has a sibling: Julian & Cheryl Stansbury had a son adopted by Bobbie and Tony Jones. Bobbie named the child after her brother, Lucas “Luke” Spencer; the child’s name is Lucas Jones. Factoring in that Lucas is gay, I hope the writers make the obvious choice to bring the character back in; it will widen Sam’s family and possibly provide a romantic interest for the lovelorn Felix.
The only thing that perplexed me about the Jerome start-off was Julian printing Kiki’s paternity story. Being that it would ruin Ava’s chances at ELQ shares, I thought he would trash the headline and kill Connie to keep things under wrap, but he didn’t. When he went forward with the report, I assumed he had some underlying, conniving reason for doing so, since Ava concealed the truth from even him, but nope. Why didn’t the writers do anything with that? Anyhow, if the writers make the Jerome’s formidable and thrilling (unlike how the former team managed the Zacchara’s; they were just weak and psycho), everyone will be glued to their tube to watch the havoc.
Also on August 2nd, we saw Luke (Anthony Geary) on the hunt to find Jerry Jax and the cure for his polonium poisoning with a little help from an old pal, Holly Sutton (Emma Samms). The pair discovers that another old face, Sean Donnelly (John Reilly), withdrew Jax’s $88 million polonium cure fund because he’s also been poisoned. Luke and Holly’s adventure spirals out into an encounter with evil Dr. Obrecht and an “abandoned” house where there’s a hint that Jerry Jax held or is holding Robin Scorpio-Drake captive there. The online Twitter comments I read while this episode aired were interesting; fans seemed more invested and attentive than they had in a while. There were a lot of remarks about how happy they were to see some older characters tied back into the current storyline and that there weren’t any scenes with Franco, Kiki and Silas (Michael Easton). Interpret that observation how you will.
Britt & Dr. O
Just when I thought Britt was done manipulating Patrick (Jason Thompson), her mother, Dr. Obrecht, always reels her back in (after Patrick got soft about having a son, she went back into Britch function). Her mother hasn’t done her any favors, but Britt (Kelly Thiebaud) was willing to be arrested by Anna and Dante` (Finola Hughes, Dominic Zampronga) for harboring a fugitive and being an accomplice to her mother’s crimes. It was cool to see everyone harmed by Britt & Obrecht (i.e. Anna, Duke, Sabrina, Patrick & Luke) slowly, but surely connecting the dots between the brutches.
Mac & Felicia’s Wedding
Okay, so how does Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) show up at the Floating Rib with an obnoxiously obvious blonde wig and shades in a room with a handful of people, poison a drink (meant for Anna, but Duke ends up drinking it) and perform a karaoke song and no one notice her? Gotta love soap magic. When Lucy mentions a strange woman, everyone-especially Anna- responds to her like she’s crazy. Anna also tried to convince Duke (Ian Buchannan) he was hallucinating when he said he saw Obrecht. What’s up with Anna not taking anyone’s word lately? She’s been doing this since pre-Faison. Writers, Anna Devane is a sharper tack than how you’ve been portraying her.
Richard Simmons crashing the wedding was silly and a waste of air-time. Felicia and Maxie dressing in the storage room, talking about Georgie and how their relationship has evolved was really touching. Now that Mac & Felicia (John J. York, Kristina Wagner) are married, can we please give them something to do? Give them a real plotline. On most occasions, they’re just…there. Find something for Lucy and Kevin to do as well. There’s been a lot of talk about their crumbling marriage and how Lucy can better relate to her often-alone ex, Scotty (Kin Shriner); maybe a love affair is brewing there? Who knows? Lucy and Scotty have being annoying in common, so why not?
The dialogue where Lulu (Emme Ryan) addressed her alarm with Maxie (Kirsten Storms) that she’s getting too attached to the surrogate baby was so abrupt, hard, cold, rude and accusatory. “You know this is baby isn’t yours, right?” Lulu asks, followed by 3rd degree inquisition. I couldn’t figure out why the writers didn’t design Lulu’s concern in a more tender fashion.
Anyway, what’s for lunch? I’m starved.