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General Hospital Recap: Johnny’s Vengeance, Tearful Goodbyes, Great Escapes (and Captures)

Sonny and Johnny Pentonville
Johnny (Brandon Barash) has words for Sonny (Maurice Benard). Photo courtesy ABC

General Hospital didn’t disappoint with the action of last week! The excitement was held up to new levels with a police station shootout, prison beat down and dramatic Canadian rescue! There wasn’t a lot that I could say I was displeased about, almost all of it hitting me in one good way or another. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to write that all out so check below for some of my top highlights of the week in Port Charles in the General Hospital Recap for December 8-12, 2014.

General Hospital Recap | Episodes airing December 8-12, 2014

When Johnny comes marching home

He’s back! From the day that it was announced that Brandon Barash would make a return to Port Charles for an upcoming arc, the fans have been salivating with the thought of what he might do next on their minds. I can say that there was no disappointment on Johnny Zacchara’s return, at least so far. Yes, he’s still very much handsome, charismatic and sassy – but he’s pushing the Sonny Corinthos’ Pentonville storyline to a new level on top of layering a new interlocked mystery to be solved. I can’t say that I know the character well enough to comment too much on him as I started really watching General Hospital around the time that Johnny was on his way out, but I’m enjoying him in these new scenes a lot. It’s like he’s become the spokesman for the #SONNYISTHEWORST national campaign.

We first fall back into Johnny when Sonny spots him in the Pentonville prison yard. The two criminals have a merry little chat, slowly catching up on how things have been since Johnny was sent away a year ago. You could almost think that maybe these two either were friends or could be friends – if you forgot about the blood war they’d fought.  Johnny reminisces about his relationships with Carly Corinthos Jacks and Connie Falconeri, remarking that even when he was with them, he knew that he was only playing second fiddle to Sonny. Everything seems to be going well when Johnny even offers to help Sonny take down Ava Jerome using his contacts on the outside; Sonny turns down the offer only to be met by a pair of rough looking inmates. The former kingpin tries his best to diffuse the situation but things only get heated when not only does he find out that Johnny is the boss on the inside, but when the first hit lands to his face. While laughing, Johnny lies back to let his thugs take turns walloping Sonny.

What’s covered in black and blue spots all over? Not an oddly colored cow but Sonny Corinthos! His ex-wife finds herself in shock when she comes to visit him in prison for when she last left not only could they hold hands and chat, but he also wasn’t covered in bruises. Carly does one of the things she does best and panics about her love’s safety inside the big house though he tries to calm her down. The Sonny we now see is in some Zen state of mind that could possibly be attested to a few good kicks to the head. He’s more so worried about the baby and tells Carly to fill him in on that instead of worrying about the attack on him. Unfortunately there isn’t much to report as the PCPD still has no leads on the baby’s whereabouts and Cesar Faison’s big arrest has taken up priority. Sonny’s surprised to hear that Faison returned until Carly lets him know that he was arrested for running the Jerome crime family under Luke Spencer’s name which brings more surprised Sonny’s way; though he still barely shows it, his reactions almost choreographed in their monotony. Carly doesn’t seem to recognize this though it’s easy for the viewers to see that Sonny’s up to something. When their time together begins to wind down, Carly makes one final vow to report the violence against Sonny to the authorities. Sonny has to go in to explain that he understands the laws of power in prison, that he can’t seem weak or else he might wind up dead. Carly begrudgingly agrees to not report his attacking but does say she’ll try to get the kidnapping investigation kicked back into high gear. She hopes to visit him again with good news but Sonny forbids her to come back to Pentonville. If Carly wasn’t delirious when she first saw Sonny’s bruises, then she really goes overboard with the impending visiting ban.

Carly (Laura Wright) hears some harsh words from Sonny (Maurice Benard). Photo courtesy ABC

Carly (Laura Wright) hears some harsh words from Sonny (Maurice Benard). Photo courtesy ABC

Sonny warns her that even if she does show up then he’ll use the only freedom he has on the inside and choose to not see her, no matter what. Carly tries to reason with him by reminding him of all the times in the last few months that Sonny told her nothing would ever keep them apart but they fall upon deaf ears; Sonny’s made the decision that he won’t be seeing Carly again. He says he’s no longer an option for her and that she should find someone better which infuriates Carly. She leaves in a huff while Sonny, clearly suffering in silence, reminisces about his good times with Carly. Reality sets back in and we see Sonny returning the prison yard to an ever impish Johnny, smirking as he asks about Sonny’s visit with Carly. He teases him about how loyal she’s always been to Sonny no matter what which gets Sonny’s blood boiling; he issues a warning for Johnny to stop bringing her up. Johnny only barely listens and changes to the topic to Sonny’s missing daughter or granddaughter, reminding him that the protection of the little life is so far out of his hands as he’s locked up in Pentonville.  As threatened, Sonny springs into action and holds a sharpened toothbrush to Johnny’s neck who dares him to make a cut. When Johnny’s bodyguards come onto the scene, Sonny backs down. Back in that smug form, Johnny proposes to Sonny that he hand over his business to him as he’s got nothing else going for him. He questions Duke’s authority and tries to convince Sonny he’d be the better man to which Sonny shoots down the idea, finding it unbelievable. Johnny, however, has got a wild card in the form of Ric Lansing. He relays that Sonny’s presumed dead and now understood to be missing from Witness Protection little brother is in his captivity, and unless he wants Ric to be sliced up piece by piece then he’d rethink the just proposed offer.

As stated before, I wasn’t around much for Johnny Zacchara’s heyday so this is much of an introduction to the character than a re-introduction like he is to most of you. But wow, I am loving just about every minute of this! My distaste for Sonny aside, watching the poor guy squirm like an ant under someone’s raised shoe is pretty sad, almost depressing… but then again I know just who Sonny is so the enjoyable feelings outweigh the sad. He sort of deserved this, and it’s even more justified that all of Sonny’s torture is coming from one of his biggest rivals. Oh, Johnny’s smugness is playing out so beautifully on screen. The atmosphere too of the Pentonville scenes is kind of on another level compared to the others. There really is just a sense of dread with all the dark neutral colors of the prison set, it feels grittier and gloomier than usual, setting it apart from the rest of the storylines in play even though we find out in the end that as usual, everything is connected storywise. Someone even remarked that that Sonny’s time behind bars could make a good web mini-series, and I couldn’t agree more. I’d love to get to see more of Johnny and Sonny’s intense rivalry play out against this drab background of prison.

Coryon Gray
Coryon Gray joined TV Source Magazine as a staff writer in October 2014. Prior to TV Source Magazine, he's written for and moderated Asian entertainment blogs and forums. On top of writing duties, Coryon is also a panelist for the TV Source Podcast, Soap Countdown Podcast and Our Take Media.

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