As I watched events unfold in Port Charles this week, I couldn't help but think of an old Bob Carlisle song. Before I say a word about GH, I have to share the lyrics with you. When you read them, perhaps you'll understand how they fit before I even enlighten you. You, my dear readers are quite clever...
"Cursing every step of the way, he bore a heavy load
To the market ten miles away, the journey took its toll
And every day he passed a monastery's high cathedral walls
And it made his life seem meaningless and small.
And he wondered how it would be to live in such a place
To be warm, well fed and at peace, to shut the world away
So when he saw a priest who walked, for once, beyond the Iron Gate
He said, "Tell me of your life inside that place ..."
And the priest replied...
We fall down, we get up, we fall down, we get up, we fall down, we get up
And the saints are just the sinners who fall down ... and get up
Disappointment followed him home, he'd hoped for so much more
But he saw himself in a light he had never seen before
Cause' if the priest who fell could find the Grace of God to be enough
Then there must be some hope for the rest of us
There must be some hope left for us...
We fall down, we get up, we fall down, we get up, we fall down, we get up And the saints are just the sinners who fall down ... and get up."
We know Sonny to be a man of faith. We have seen him pray, light candles, consult with priests; kneel in chapels crying out to God. And yet...he's a criminal for a living and his hands are covered in blood. After finding out that Michael killed AJ, Sonny had to examine his soul and come to the conclusion that his choices, his lifestyle, and his mob activity taught his 9 year old son to kill. He didn't much like the man he saw in the mirror. He fell down, and then, he got up - he sacrificed himself on the altar for his son, confessing to a crime he didn't commit to save Michael, to try to make right what he had done wrong. He fell down, and he got up - as we watched the sinner became a saint before our eyes.
When GH has inane storylines, I call the writers out and scold them for thinking we're stupid. But this week, I would be remiss if I didn't make a point of heaping praise upon them for their magnificent work. I take notes during the week so I can remember the issues I want to cover in this column. As of Thursday, I had 5 legal size pages of notes. Most weeks I have...Oh, I don't know, about a "Post-It's" worth. The dialogue has been riveting and soul searching and it's not only touched me, but caused me to consider my own life and my own choices and wonder who I am influencing by my behavior. The characters had epiphanies, but I suspect we all had a few just by watching them discover theirs. Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet "The play's the thing wherein we'll capture the conscience of the King." And it's true - when watching drama that reminds us of ourselves we can't help but be drawn in and have our consciences captured by what we see.
Last week, Liz told Em she was the most wrong she had ever been. This week, Sonny was the Most Right he had ever been. With lines like "I taught Michael to kill." And "We may as well have put the weapon in his (expletive) hand." And "How can we blame Michael for what we would have done, he just beat us to it." We realized that for the first time, Sonny actually GOT it. No matter how hard he worked to protect his kids from his mob activities, no matter how many candles he lit or prayers he said, the choices he made and the life he lead influenced his son in a way he hadn't imagined until the ugly truth confronted him in a moment of crisis. Sonny said "Sometimes there is a moment in time that defines everything from that point on." It's true of course. I know my defining moment, do you know yours? I was in a horrible car accident when I was 21. I was driving. One of my friends died. Nothing ever has been, or will be the same. Sonny woke up one morning to discover his 9 year old child had become a killer and it's altered the lives of an entire family, perhaps an entire town, without warning. If you feel brave, will you write and tell me YOUR defining moment?
This turning point prompted Sonny to make a choice of redemption. He decided upon self sacrifice and love, instead of cover ups and killing. Michael has been saved from something he doesn't even remember doing...yet. But Michael will remember, and know that his father loved him enough to take the punishment for his crimes. "Greater love has no one than this; that he lay down his life for his friends." And Sonny is fully willing to lay down his life to save his son.
Lorenzo is willing to save Carly, but his motives are a little less pure... He sang her a few choruses of "I will buy you a new life." He WANTS her and is willing to uproot his life and move away under assumed identities so he can be with her, heck, he'll even take her kids. I get that. You can look at your life and realize that what you have, though familiar, really means nothing to you at all without the person you love - so being anywhere with them is Home - the names you call one another, the place you choose to live is all meaningless, it's the being together that makes everything else matter. Lorenzo sees the world as a canvas they can paint their love upon and if that canvas is in Port Charles or Timbuktu it makes no never mind. (Of course she hasn't agreed to go.)
Speaking of Timbuktu, I'd like to send a few P.C. Citizens there on a one way cruise. I am not a fan of "Ends justify the means" kind of thinking. I think the way you get to a place matters just as much as the final destination. I wish I DIDN'T believe it sometimes, as it would speed things along if I could just run roughshod over the universe to get what I want, but I am simply not made that way. Alexis is, and she is willing to hurt anyone to get custody of Kristina - even to see the father of her child sent to prison for life for a murder he didn't commit, even to lie to her current husband, to embezzle money from her family, even so far as to make a deal with the devil known as John Durant. Ric is telling her off in no uncertain terms, but the moral chastising would mean a lot more if it weren't coming from Ric who had poor pregnant Carly chained to a wall in a panic room for months - nothing Alexis has done has been THAT awful. But if Ric suddenly has a conscience, good for him; I'm all for redemption. Why does he care? Isn't that what he has wanted all these years? To get even with the brother his Mom abandoned him for? He has a secret. Ric loves Sonny. He can't say it. He can't show it. He can't even admit it to himself. But he does. He doesn't want Sonny to go to jail. His mouth is saying "This just isn't right, Alexis!" as though he's appalled by the immorality of it. But his heart means "He's my brother and I love him." There are people who have lived without the showers of love so many of us grew up with, and they almost shy away from love. They simply don't trust it; they see sinister things and hidden motives in every act of kindness because they have trained themselves to brace for pain and rejection their whole lives. They can't believe anyone could love them, because no one ever really has. So when love actually come knocking at their hearts door and is staring them right in the face, they assume it must be the wrong door and slam it shut and send it away. They sabotage themselves from the happiness they crave allowing fear to rule their lives. Alexis was raised by psycho Cassadine's, and Ric was rejected by his mother and left behind. They can't trust each other with intimacies and dark secrets because they have never been able to trust anyone, ever, and it's a hard habit to break. Will love prevail? Will their unborn child keep them together? Maybe Kristina should talk to them about it. HA!
Alexis has a special gift, which she shares with Lorenzo. Have you ever noticed that they always happen to be in the EXACT right place at the EXACT right moment to hear the secret conversation of two other characters which directly affects them? Man, I wish I had that gift, to be right around the corner when your boss is telling someone what you need to do to get a raise, or to hear the person who pretends they are your best friend to your face tearing you apart to someone else, or to hear the hotel concierge say "John Travolta is in room 342 and he'd really like to meet some fans who are old enough to remember when he was a Sweathog." But no such luck. This week Alexis just happened to hear Michael confess to Jason he saw Carly kill AJ, and she just happened to hear Justus talking to the shrink to try to get Michael declared an unfit witness. Here's the real question - why doesn't anyone ever hear Alexis and John Durant talking about how they are framing Sonny all over town? They aren't meeting in private, they are in the hospital, or the courthouse, or the POLICE STATION for Pete's sake, talking about bribery and buying witnesses and no one ever hears them.
Funniest line of the week: Sonny: "I walked into AJ's room." Reese: "AJ Quartermaine?" Sonny: "He's pretty much the only dead AJ I know."
Second Funniest Line of the week: Lorenzo to Carly: "Denial is 1 step away from stupid."
Third Funniest Line of the week: Tracy (to Luke and Skye) "Are you two having a flirtatious interlude on MY TIME?"
Most memorable line of the week: Lucky: "Skye is trying to make you jealous." Luke: "Jealousy and I don't dance anymore, son."
Sweetest line of the week: Jason: (to Sam) "Tonight when I walked in, I felt something I didn't quite recognize. Peace, contentment, happy to be home. You give me that."
Second Sweetest Line of the week: Nikolas: (to Emily, while alone in his jail cell talking out into the night) "Don't let anyone win but you and me,"
Best bickering brothers line of the week: Sonny (to Ric) "You look down on me because of what I do for a living. What do YOU see when YOU look in the mirror?"
See, the writing was wonderfulthis week, I couldn't write fast enough to get all the great lines down. Note that I am praising and highlighting it, so the next time when it's awful and I am ripping it apart, you can remember that I made this shrine to it on a good week.
Speaking of shrines - I am so glad Nikolas torched Emily's rape basement. Hey Nik, good call, glad they sprung you from Pentonville with a Bic lighter in your pocket. You'd think if he didn't want Emily thinking of Connor he'd cut his scruffy hair. It's good to have him home for several reasons - #1) Emily is less annoying when he's around. # 2) He has wonderful lips. (Hey, it's my column, and I like his mouth, okay?) #3) Tyler Christopher is a phenomenal actor and makes every scene he is in highly watchable.
Worst Change of the Week:
Reese finally took off the straitjacket blouse Friday after a whole week in it, and moved into a retro 70's paisley thrift shop dress with one of her Grandpa's cardigans pulled over it... Interesting fashion choice. Almost as bad as Carly's top -this looked like the olive green fabric on my Grandma's old drapes. I'd love to pick the brain of the wardrobe department just to see what they are thinking when they put some of those get ups together. They need my Mom to work at ABC so she can say "You are NOT leaving this house with THAT on," like she did to me in Junior High sparing me from some truly hideous 70's fashion faux pas. No matter what Reese is wearing, it is clear that she has appointed herself "World's foremost authority on EVERYTHING." She apparently fancies herself a child psychologist, a doctor, a Mom, a cop, a lawyer and a priest all rolled into one.
Reese is desperate to help Michael get over the trauma of having killed someone. Imagine a 9 year boy actually killing someone! I watched GH this week thinking "What a sad storyline." But then I got hit in the face with reality when a friend asked me to view a DVD called "Invisible Children." My dear readers, other than occasionally hinting around for feedback on my dumb questions, I rarely ask you for anything. But today - I'm going to ask you take a few minutes and click this link. Watch the trailer. See this movie. Invite some friends over. Watch. Discuss. Spread the word. Save these kids. http://www.invisiblechildren.com/
Okay, Public Service Announcement is over, and moving on to the one topic you've all been writing me about...NuCarly. I pity this woman, I truly do. She's not a bad actress, but that's not the measuring stick here. Whether or not she can act doesn't matter - whether or not she is Carly to us, whether or not we can accept her is what matters. I say again, she's too harsh; Carly seems to have had a surgery where personal warmth is extracted like a tumor. Braun's Carly would have at least shed a tear somewhere along the way this week, but Jennifer is Baby Shampoo and she's "No More Tears"-ing her way through the week. Arrested for murder, finding out her son did it, having her husband confess to the crime- all without a solitary tear dripping from her eye. It just isn't right, I tell you.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Courtney hire Elton to plan her wedding? Will The Haunted Star run out of booze as Luke drinks his own bar dry? Will anyone but me recognize that Monica has earned the right to be Michael's grandma? Will Emily ever quit just trying stuff at random and go to an actual counselor? Will Reese end up in the Enquirer's "Would you be caught dead in this outfit?" section? Will Helena's double who is doing time for her be let out of prison when the real Helena is locked up? Will Michael find John Durant napping and pull the pillow bit again?
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.