Readers, I didn't enjoy watching Kiefer savagely wail on Kristina this week. It was brutal. It was not light TV viewing. But sadly, it was realistic - up to and including the bruises and swollen shut eye. Ew!
I went to the abuse website listed on the PSA at the end of the show and read the statistics, which sickened me. This is not fiction. This is a real issue GH is tackling - many teens have been beaten or even killed by a dating partner. It's tragic. Girls, listen to your Aunt Tammy Lou. If anyone ever lays a hand on you - end the relationship and turn them in, period.
While I have the utmost sympathy for the horrible ordeal Kristina suffered, I'm also angry at her. Like many of you, I was horrified that Kristina named Ethan as her attacker while her real monster of a boyfriend, Kiefer, is still out roaming the streets with his smarmy parents protecting him. I kept wondering why she would do such a thing.
Like always, my brilliant readers responded and explained that behavior. I have been told that it's not uncommon for an abuse victim to lie about her attacker. Why? Partly out of fear - if she names Kiefer and no one believes her, she fears he'll come back and beat her again. Partly out of messed-up thinking - she is protecting him because she thinks she loves him and because she actually thinks it's her fault for making him mad! That's absolutely wrong, of course; a real love would never harm her in this unforgivable way.
When Kiefer said "Can you ever forgive me?" I wanted K to shout NO, but instead she whimpered a soft "I don't know." And the sad thing is, she really doesn't know. She doesn't know how a man should treat a woman. Think about the male role models she has had in her life. Sonny, her real Dad abandoned her, from her P.O.V. Ric, her step-dad, abandoned her, too. She doesn't know what real committed love looks like because she's never seen it. Not to mention a big sister who has told her "Yeah, men beat me up, too." This storyline is breaking my heart every day on many levels, as I am sure it is yours.
When I heard last year that ABC intended to age Michael, Kristina, and Molly, I was peeved, but I am happy to admit now that they were right and I was wrong. All these kids are stellar performers and add a depth and richness to GH.
Lexi Ainsworth has done incredible work this week. I can't imagine another young actress in daytime beating her out for an Emmy this year after her bold and brave performances of this past week. She has drawn us into every emotion; we have loved her, questioned her, pitied her, cried with her and for her, been angry at her, confused by her, and then pitied her again. Lexi is taking us on a journey filled with passion, truth, and sadness. She has held nothing back. Our emotions over this storyline are deep because hers are, too. Brilliant work.
I can only imagine how it must have felt to act out those scenes, scurrying around crawling on the floor as Kiefer lashed out at her. She's just pretending to be abused but is taking on the cause for every girl who has ever suffered this fate in real life. I follow Lexi on Twitter and she mentioned that her Dad couldn't watch the scenes where she was beaten up. It made my eyes tear up because it made me think of my own Dad whose hands would start shaking and his neck tense up if a boy even honked for me in the driveway. His head would have exploded if someone ever hit me, and I was happy that Lexi has a Daddy who loves her so much he can't even watch her get pretend beated up on TV.
The phrase nearly every one who has visited Kristina has uttered, "It's not your fault," is surely true - it was not her fault Kiefer beat her. But she can't accept that statement because she is dealing with two very powerful emotions - guilt and fear. She knows that if Ethan gets killed, it will be her fault. She is wrestling not only with the fact that she's been beaten by a boy who supposedly loved her, but that her lies might cost Ethan, a guy who has been good to her for the most part, to die.
Nancy Lee Grahn and Maurice Benard were also giving 100% to their scenes this week. Sonny was bound and determined to kill Ethan, and Alexis was like a wild animal fighting him to promise he would not. If Sonny kills Ethan, Alexis knew K would have to carry the death of a man's death on her conscience forever, and she battled passionately until she got Sonny to promise he wouldn't kill Ethan. But he didn't promise Jason wouldn't.
Oh, a special note to Ethan… Dude! What does "restraining order" mean in Australia? Because here, it does not mean, "Get in your car and drive to her house to confront her."
Kristina is still afraid of Kiefer. She breaks down into heaving sobs and flinches when he comes in the room. Why doesn't Alexis notice this? It is making me scream at my TV like a madwoman. Alexis, get a clue! Another thing that is driving me out of my freaking mind is that Michael would be able to clear this all up in a heartbeat if Sonny didn't have him and Max and Milo squirreled away on his island. Michael knows Kiefer has gotten rough with Kristina in the past, as do Max and Milo.
Jason has his suspicions that K might be lying, but with Sam, (the Chihuahua who thinks she's a Doberman) growling and barking every time Jason hints he has doubts about Kristina's story, I don't know how free he will be to pursue the truth.
I want to be angry with Sam for being so rough on Ethan because, of course, I know he's innocent. So I have tried to put myself in her shoes. What would I do and how would I respond if I believed someone beat up someone I love? Well, not being a tough chick, I certainly wouldn't go all badass like Sam and punch and kick them, but I would certainly make their life uncomfortable.
It's been a long time since Kelly Monaco got a storyline where she was a key player, and it's good to see her in the fray again. Sam is fierce and being Spinelli's P.I. partner has been a tame enough endeavor that I actually forgot that for a while. Of course, I must confess I mocked her wardrobe a lot this week. Like "Hey Sam, Flashdance called and it wants its shirt back." I mean, really, does she own any real clothes? She is always in tank tops or the off-the-shoulder Flashdance sweater. I would pay to see her in a real top just once. Also, when Sam was ranting at Ethan about being a con man when he came to town, I was yelling "Dead Man's Hand" at my TV, as apparently she has forgotten she was also a con when she showed up in Port Charles.
Sonny is itching to kill Ethan, but Jason reminded Sonny that he promised Luke he wouldn't off any of his children. Sonny isn't thinking straight right now. He was sitting in his bathrobe sulking with face full of stubble and a glass of scotch when he was due in court and I thought, "Now there's the beautiful mess I know and love."
He doesn't see just Kristina and this incident - her beating has triggered all his old childhood memories and he looks at his daughter and sees his mother. He wants justice for both of them in any way he can get it. We all carry our life experiences with us and take them into every situation, so Sonny's past will certainly play into how he reacts to Kristina's present circumstance.
Carly worked her magic on Sonny and I was reminded of how good she is with him when he's whack. I like Jax and Carly together, but it was nice to see such a tender scene with Carly and Sonny instead of their more typical yelling.
Next week, a big showdown is set to ensue between Luke and Sonny, so we should get some riveting viewing. I really wish poor innocent Ethan had one person solidly on his side.
Johnny is sort of on Ethan's side, but he is a little preoccupied worrying about his pal Maxie in the hospital. Johnny rescued her and gallantly let Spinelli take the credit. For a bad boy, Johnny sure is a nice guy.
Readers, you might loathe me after this next statement, but I must confess, I'm kinda over Spinelli and Maxie. I used to think they were precious together, but now every storyline they give them is so far-fetched that I can't root for them as a couple because they are both smarter than they've been written.
In the past, those two brought something good to each other's lives, but maybe their relationship has reached its limit. Maxie can't stop herself from being attracted to (and sleeping with) bad boys, and Spinelli never seems to do anything but find bizarre ways to compete for imaginary manliness awards with the Johnnys and Francos of the world. I'm bored. I'm not saying that this couple can't be salvaged, but they better do it sooner than later. Maybe when Ghost Georgie shows up to visit Maxie in the ICU, she can give her sister some wise otherworldly advice.
Elizabeth could use some advice because she is fool enough to believe the results of a paternity test when Helena is in town. Not that I am complaining, I love a delicious old-fashioned soap villain who is evil just to be evil. Helena wants to raise Luke's grandchild to hate him just because she's wicked. How can you argue with magic like that? She also gets hilarious lines to say every day like "Deceit makes me cranky."
I only hope Lucky finds out he's the baby's father sooner than Sonny found out about Dante. The one thing in this storyline that doesn't ring true is that Nikolas is tolerating Helena. When she announces she is moving in, Nikolas doesn't even pretend to fight her. Is he so lonely he'd let his psychotic granny move in next door to his baby? That's a hard swallow for me since he's been actively chasing her away for years.
Was it just me, or did Helena seem to hint that she had some dirt on Liz's brother, Steven? Readers, just imagine a smackdown between Steven's crazy mother Heather and Helena. That would be genius.
Dante and Lulu tried again and failed at making love in his new apartment this week. I love this couple together, though, they are delightful to watch and have great on-screen chemistry. But seriously, writers, don't drag this out much longer, okay? Dante asked Lulu to try out his new sofa, it looked to me like something he found on the sidewalk or bought for 25 bucks at the Goodwill. And frankly, when Lulu didn't take off her Paddington Bear rain boots, I knew they weren't going to make love. You simply can't do it with rain boots on.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Shadybrooke ever post and stick to visiting hours instead of letting people wander into patient' rooms at 3 a.m.? Will Ethan get "no good deed goes unpunished" tattooed on his arm for a future reminder? Will PETA picket Sonny for saying "Ethan should be put down like a dog?" Will Big Alice get kicked off the jury for giving Sonny the stink eye too many times? Will D.A. Claire pee her pants, since Diane stated that Sonny killed Claudia in her opening statement? Will Max and Milo invite more limbo hoochies to their room at the island before they go home? Will Sleaza fall for Coleman on jury duty and get into a catfight with Kate? Will someone please, please, please discover that Kiefer is Kristina's attacker?