Opinions

GH: A Diamond Episode in the Rough

GH: A Diamond Episode in the Rough

It was a tough week for this General Hospital fan, so tough in fact that I turned my television off for last Wednesday’s and Thursday’s shows, too upset to allow myself to watch.

It was a tough week for this General Hospital fan, so tough in fact that I turned my television off for last Wednesday’s and Thursday’s shows, too upset to allow myself to watch. I braced myself ahead of time for the vicious attacks that I knew Elizabeth would be facing but was still unprepared for the hypocritical slandering that was tossed at one of my favorite characters. It was the kind of writing that made me question why I allow myself to get so invested in this fictional world. I’ve tried to quit time and time again, but when show time rolls around something inside of me ticks, and it’s hard not to turn my television to ABC. And after trying to fight the urge, I caved and watched Friday’s episode, one that reminded me why I am a fan of this show.

Anyone who watches General Hospital knows they are capable of great episodes, the kind that pull you in and have you waiting anxiously between commercial breaks. It’s the story telling that often lacks, with its inconsistency, overdone plot points, and mediocre  writing, but episodes like this almost make up for it. Fans suffer through everything that is wrong with this show for payoff days like this.

It’s a rarity for so many of Port Charles’ finest to come together in such a peaceful way, without fighting or gunshots or someone collapsing at the altar. The Jax family has always been one of my favorites. Jax brings something out in Carly that no other man has. While she’s jealous, petty, and downright manipulative with the other men in her life, she softens a bit with Jax. She’s lighthearted and happy and genuinely a great mother when she’s with him. Granted, she still wears the pants in the relationship, but it really is because Jax loves her so much. If it were up to me, I’d lock the entire Jax family in their mansion together and be happy watching their family moments play out onscreen. They’re one of the few people in Port Charles who are actually happy, which is a shame because it’s all about to get blown to pieces.

I don’t condone Jax lying to Carly, but I understand why he’s doing it. He has and always will have her, the boys, and Josslyn’s best interests at heart, and Sonny is a dangerous man. Sonny’s poor choices are the reason why Michael was shot in the head and in a coma for a year, and his public confrontation with Claudia caused much of the mess they’re currently in. He’s hotheaded and acts without thinking whereas Jax always tries to see the bigger picture, and in his mind without Sonny, his family is safe. Who can blame him for thinking that way?  

Of course, in Carly’s eyes it’s the ultimate betrayal. This is her son’s father and one of the great loves of her life. I’ve always been a fan of Sonny and Carly and followed them loyally over the years, so to hear her acknowledge that one of the things she is proudest of is that they’re still friends made me happy. We always hear how bad they were for one another or how terrible Sonny is in relation to their children, so this was a nice, touching throwback to Carly and Sonny of the old. 

I can only begin to imagine how awful the fallout will be once Jax’s role in Sonny’s possible demise comes into play. Not only has he been working with an undercover cop, but he’s also keeping the truth about Dante’s mother under wraps, too. Carly is undoubtedly going to be emotional, probably kick her husband to the curb after several rounds of arguments where she repeatedly reminds Jax how much he betrayed her. Am I the only one not looking forward to this?

Unlike a lot of soap fans who think happy couples are boring, I tend to enjoy them. I just wish that General Hospital wrote them better. Happiness doesn’t have to be boring when the couple is completely solid and angst is written from outside places. Patrick and Robin are a great example of this with the Lisa storyline. Anyone who believes that Patrick, a fallen bachelor and reformed man-whore, would dare think about cheating on Robin with his ex-girlfriend is completely insane. This couple is as solid as they come. He loves his wife and his daughter and knows that he will never have it better than he does now. Still, I like seeing someone try to break them apart, knowing that Patrick isn’t the least bit interested. The crazier Lisa chooses to get, the stronger it will make Patrick and Robin, and that can be an enjoyable storyline. Will it be? The jury’s still out on that one.

One thing they’re not out on is whether or not Elizabeth’s halo is permanently tarnished. After being subjected to more than her fair round of stonings, Elizabeth’s scene with Luke was a pleasant surprise. I understand that Elizabeth lied and cheated, but it’s nothing that Lucky, Lulu, or Carly hasn’t done, so to have them call her the array of names they did this week, was rather appalling. It made it all the better to have her go to Luke to apologize, a man who has more than made his fair share of mistakes, and see him forgive her. Luke’s cheated, lied, played the less than perfect father, and even had an illegitimate child, all while still madly in love with Laura, so if anyone gets her situation, it’s him. Elizabeth has always valued Laura and Luke’s place in her life, so I appreciated her reaching out to him and was relieved that she had found someone who wasn’t going to tear her into pieces. Luke isn’t happy with her, but he still loves her. That’s what she needed to hear, because people are flawed and they do make mistakes, which so many in Port Charles seem to forget.

A perfect case in point is Lulu Spencer, who was kindly reminded by her father not to pass judgment on Elizabeth. Funny considering that not only has Lulu been involved in a scandalous affair, one where she seduced a married man, but she’s also withholding a secret that will tear apart many of the people she loves. She’s been put in a tough situation, in love with the cop who threatens to tear her cousin’s family apart, yet she’s still chosen to stay quiet. Dante and Lulu have been such a pleasant surprise, one of the few couples on the show who sparkle when they look at one another, and I can’t get enough of them. As with most couples I fall in love with on this show, I expect them to be headed for more than their fair amount of angst. After all, Lulu is standing between the right and wrong sides of the law. How many people will rip Lulu to shreds when they find out that she kept Dante’s secret? How is Carly going to feel when she learns she was giving her cousin advice about a man who was waiting to take her boy’s father away?

It’s just the stuff juicy secrets are made of, isn’t it?

Usually, I am not a fan of paternity secrets on GH. They did me in with the long winded Jake Spencer debacle, a truth that may never actually come to light completely. I also wasn’t a fan of the idea of Sonny having yet another child and assumed I would hate the character from the start, but I was wrong. In fact, if you ask me Dominic Zamprogna is the best addition to this show in a long time. I love the character, love the actor, and fall madly in love with him more every episode.

Not only have I enjoyed watching his romance with Lulu unfold, but I love watching scenes with his mother. They play out so well, so real, and I love her desire to love and protect her son despite how grown he is. Olivia made a difficult decision a long time ago to never tell Sonny about his child, and while she sees that he tries to be a good father to his children, it hasn’t pushed her to tell him the truth. She would be content to have Dante finish his case and disappear back to Bensonhurst without Sonny ever learning the truth. I only hope that her lack of remorse stands strong now that the truth is out. She may have lied, but it kept her son alive and gave him the best possible life. How could any mother hold that against her? It doesn’t mean that Sonny or Dante will, but I have a feeling her son will be far more understanding than his mobster father.

The final minutes of Friday’s episodes were actually chill worthy, a feeling I haven’t had while watching in a long time. Dante knew what he was in for the second he walked into that living room, and he never once backed down or cowered. He was caught, but it didn’t stop him from telling Sonny why he wanted him to go to prison. Ironic, right? Dante’s biological father murdered the only father figure he ever had, and naturally Sonny is proud of the choice. The most surprising part of all was that Sonny was so wrought with betrayal that he actually picked up a gun and fired it. When was the last time we saw Sonny this callous and evil? And when Olivia burst into the room seconds later and told him he’d shot his son, her shrill cry was as chilling as the firing of the gun. It was soap opera timing at its best.

My only real complaint is that they gave away too much in the promos they’ve been playing continuously for the last couple of weeks. This secret has been building for months and months, and it would have been nice to have that element of surprise when Sonny pulled the trigger.

Although now that he has, we’re left anticipating the next episode, which is a rarity for General Hospital fans. How will Sonny react to having a son? What about Lulu when she learns her boyfriend has been shot? How will everyone react to Olivia admitting Dante is her son? And will Sonny actually pay for this crime? There’s great potential for sweeps in this. So many people have explaining to do – Olivia, Lulu, Jax, and Johnny. Each one chose to keep the truth hidden, which isn’t going to sit well with Sonny, Jason, or Carly. I also can’t wait to hear Michael’s reaction to having a brother, a cop brother at that. Something tells me that Corinthos sibling rivalry might hit an all time high.

I guess the only real question is whether or not the fallout will be written as great as the reveal, or if we’ll be sitting here a few weeks from now referring back to the episode and discussing how great things could have been. It surely wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened, and as we loyal fans often do, we’ll sit through the miserable garbage and wait for the next episode like this. And when it rolls around again, we’ll hope like we do now that it actually sticks.

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About the author

Amber Cunigan

Amber Cunigan is a sarcastic mid-twenties undergrad, extreme book hoarder, Netflix addict, and reality TV aficionado. She enjoys excessive amounts of chocolate and caffeine, tweeting, and all things Ezra Fitz and Ryan Gosling. When it comes to TV, she expects to be thoroughly entertained and when not, she will slam and mock you, but still tune in next week. She's a glutton for punishment. Basically, she's awesome.