Age ain't nothing but a number -- unless you're talking about a nine-year-old girl giving birth. Is GH trying to play fast and loose with storyline details, or did someone at the writers' table make a terrible decision? It's time to discuss that storyline and more (along with reader feedback) in this week's Two Scoops.
To quote former GH head writer Michele Val Jean's recent Twitter post, "@sarahjoybrown, You scandalous five year old hussy! Who's the daddy?!"
Last week, we learned that Gino Soleito is Johnny's father, and Claudia is Johnny's mother. These kinds of twists are common on soaps. However, what is shocking here is that Gino was an old goat when Tracy Quartermaine married him in the 90s, on The City, and Claudia was only 9 years older than Johnny, making her a very young girl indeed when she slept with Gino.
That means that Johnny is not only the baby of a freakishly young mother, but also the product of pedophilia. That's a double-whammy, and not something that anyone, including Sonny, should be gloating about.
If anyone wondered why a new head writer was hired, I hope that question is now answered.
Granted, there was always a strange vibe between Claws and her baby brother, Johnny, but in no way did anyone figure that they were mother and son. Again, it was the age gap between the two, which had been well established by the previous writing regime. In case anyone needs a reminder, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyYW2UwxacM.
It happens around the 4:52 mark when Johnny talks to Trevor about his sister being sent away at the tender age of sixteen, when Johnny was just seven years old. Don't the writers watch the show?
Obviously, Claudia is a victim of posthumous SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome), but it was very shoddily done. The writers should have made some kind of attempt to establish Claudia and Johnny's new age difference, instead of jumping the shark by revealing that she was Johnny's mother.
I also got the heebie-jeebies from Anthony's matter-of-fact tone as he revealed to Johnny that Gino was known to have liked young girls, so Anthony and Claudia had decided to set Gino up, so that they could extort money from the guy. Anthony then went on to reveal that it had been Claudia's idea to sleep with Gino, so that they could get a bigger payoff. Nine-year-old children don't decide to sleep with old men; they are raped by them. Even SORASed, everyone seems to agree that Claudia was a kid when she got pregnant, so it's still rape.
At that moment, Anthony was dead to me, so I really don't mind Anthony not being Johnny's father anymore.
However, why make Johnny the son of two dead people? Frankly, it would have been much more interesting if Johnny had turned out to be Trevor Lansing and Kate's long-lost son! I honestly thought that they were going to go there, what with all the dropped anvils about how Kate couldn't possibly know what it's like to be a parent, and those secret phone calls of hers. I had hoped that she had been talking to Ric Lansing about finding his half-sibling, whom she had given up for adoption. After all, Ric is a lawyer, and perfectly capable of ferreting out this information, so he would be the perfect person for her to turn to for something like that. It would also explain why she would want to keep that information from Sonny.
It would have been an interesting twist, and one that would have put Sonny in a very awkward position, because of his relationship with Kate. Instead, we get a rewrite of history, regarding two dead people, one of whom wasn't even on the show. Boring.
I suspect, when this is all said and done, Johnny's parents will not be Gino and Claudia. Something is fishy here, starting with Johnny's birthplace of Spuyten Duyvil (too apropos if you ask me), which is a real place in the Bronx, and the clerk's assurance that their hospital birth records are above reproach. Any time that someone on a soap opera tells you that something is impossible, the opposite is usually true.
In other baby-daddy news, Jason and Sam decided to go ahead with the paternity test to find out if the baby that Sam is carrying is Jason's or Franco's. Why they went to GH for that test, I don't know. Has there ever been a paternity test done in that hospital that hasn't been illegally accessed or tampered with? More importantly, why didn't Sam know that it was possible to have that test in the first place? If memory serves me correctly, she went through the very same thing when she was pregnant with Sonny's baby, and Jax believed that he was the father. Again, don't the writers watch this show?
That said, I'm certain that the baby will be Jason's. If it isn't, then Sam will end up miscarrying, because I seriously doubt that the writers will have Sam give birth to her rapist's child. Not after she waited so long to have Jason's baby. At the end of Friday's show, Sam was cramping, but I suspect that this is merely a cheap ploy to get us to tune in on Monday. If a miscarriage happens, it will happen at a time when it will have a much deeper emotional impact on Sam and Jason.
I know that some were a bit bothered by the implication that Sam might consider terminating the pregnancy, if the baby turned out to be Franco's, but I wasn't. She was raped, so it made sense to me that the thought would at least cross her mind. Don't forget, there's a huge difference between having a fleeting thought about aborting your rapist's child, and actually doing it.
Given all that Sam has gone through to get pregnant, and the devastation of giving birth to a stillborn baby, I seriously doubt that Sam would actually have an abortion. After all, the baby carries her DNA, as well as the father's DNA. Plus, she's already looking at magazines with baby furniture, so it's clear that her mind is on keeping the baby.
If anyone is a perfect example that DNA means very little, then it's Michael. Instead of desiring to become a doctor, businessman, or world leader (all powerful professions), he wants to be a criminal, like the man who raised him.
I'm so frustrated with Michael that I have to constantly fight the overwhelming urge to reach through my television screen to throttle him. After months of listening to Michael beg, plead, and try to bully his way into the mob, and then weeks of him angrily stomping around town demanding that the person questioned in the attacks be arrested, charged, and convicted without a shred of evidence, Michael's anger has suddenly evaporated after finding Chuck Donofrio's body in an alley.
Dante, lost major points with me when he readily believed Michael's claims that Michael had nothing to do with Chuck's death, even though Michael had been found crouched over Chuck's body with a gun. Did I want Dante to arrest Michael? No, but I didn't expect him to keep Michael's name out of the incident altogether. If Dante believed Michael's claim, then Dante should have taken steps to immediately clear Michael of the crime by running a gunshot residue test on Michael's hand, and making sure that the gun was not used in the crime.
If Michael did kill Chuck, well then Michael deserved to be taken into custody.
The writers once again jumped the shark when they had Michael suddenly, and inexplicably, decide that he's done being angry with everyone, and wants to focus on honoring Abby's memory. What exactly changed? This is a kid who tried to take several contracts out on Chuck's life, and who bought a gun, so that Michael could go vigilante. Are we really expected to believe that seeing Chuck's dead body had such an impact on Michael that his whole way of thinking suddenly changed? Sorry, I just don't buy it.
The bright spot this week was Patrick confronting Robin about her secret, and forcing her to tell the truth. I'm still miffed that she was trying to control everything, but I've forgiven her, because I do love her. The scenes between Patrick and Robin this week were cathartic. I loved that Patrick let Robin know that he was furious that she hadn't told him that her viral loads were unstable, and calling her out on what that says about their marriage. Even better, was Robin's reaction, because she didn't make a bunch of excuses to justify what she had done. She accepted full responsibility for lying, and agreed that it had been wrong. It went a long way in repairing the damage that the writers have done to this couple.
I also found it quite telling when Matt learned that Robin wanted Elizabeth to play house with Patrick, if anything happened to Robin. Maxie clearly wants Matt for the wrong reasons, and visa versa, so it's time to end this pairing. I'm not sure if I want Liz with Matt or Ewen yet, but I am happy that she's finally getting the chance to move on from Lucky. Liz hasn't been with anyone since she got pregnant with Aiden, so it's time for her to have a little romance in her life.
Ethan would have been an interesting choice, but he's Lucky's brother, and Nathan is leaving. Speaking of people departing Port Charles, where the heck is Helena? Is she lost in the tunnels?
I hope not, because I desperately want her to whisk Cassandra away. Cassandra is getting creepier and stranger by the minute. She talks in riddles, thrives on being mysterious, has a penchant for breaking into castles, and apparently can handle a gun like Annie Oakley. I'm not sure why the writers thought that it was important for us to know this, but they did. Perhaps they don't want us to suspect that she was the one who shot Sonny. In the words of Rhett Butler, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
Another newbie that I'm not thrilled with is T.J. Why does every new teen have to be introduced as a troubled angry teen? Not every troubled teen is angry, and not every teen is troubled. I would have preferred depressed over angry -- that would have been different, and interesting.
I also have bone to pick with the writers about the idea that most kids don't have their parents listed as friends on their social media pages. As the mother of two teenagers, who have hundreds of friends on their Facebook pages, including their father, grandparents, their aunts, uncles, cousins, and me, I can assure you that most parents make it a requirement for their kids to add them as friends. Why? Take a look at the Facebook accounts where the parents aren't listed. Last week I saw that one girl had posted a picture of a glass pipe, filled with pot that had definitely been smoked before the picture was snapped; hence the idiotic decision to take a picture of it, and then post it. An hour later, her Facebook page was removed.
Now, it's time to turn the spotlight on the readers. I received dozens of emails about the OLTL/GH crossover, and was amazed by the overwhelming support. In fact, I did not receive a single email pooh-poohing the decision to add some OLTL characters to GH's canvas.
- You are spot on about Disney's commitment to the soaps and I hope the crossover is successful. After so many long-time characters were taken off the canvas, I wondered how long GH could survive. With this infusion of core OLTL characters, GH now has a fighting chance. - Maggie B.
- Delighted with upcoming crossover of OLTL characters to GH but want them long term please! Would love to see more. - CJ S.
- I think it's great that oltl characters are coming over to GH, because i watch both soaps and oltl has been great recently and gh needs a lot of help in the ratings and i think this is the perfect way to do it. - Chloe
Some wondered why GH stopped with OLTL:
- I think that bringing the OLTL characters to GH is a stroke of brilliance. But why stop there? Why not bring in some key characters from AMC too? Those short spots that they did on the ABC website a while back pairing actors from different soaps were a big hit. I say, mix it up and you'll get more viewers! Personally I would love to see Kendall interact with Carly. Or how about Greenlee working with Spinelli?! The possibilities are endless!!! - Donna L.
- The OLTL crossover to GH has me wishing that some AMC characters would follow. Especially David Hayward. Think of the legacy GH characters that have been killed off over the years that could be reversed by the addition of that character? It would give GH fans what they have been asking for years and would draw back viewers that stopped watching and would bring in viewers of the cancelled soaps. It's win win, if you ask me :o} - Tracie
Readers were also happy that the Franco storyline is done, but they were disappointed that Jason was the one to end his life:
- I'm glad Franco is gone but the story was so anti-climatic. Wouldn't it have been better if Sam would have killed them? In the 80's they would have had all the characters on a remote shoot with an amazing finish. Oh well, cannot bitch, this soap is on life support. - Timothy
- I'm glad Franco is gone and the fact that you didn't lead with this in your column shows how little all of us cared at this point. It was good the first time around but got old really fast. Much as I love to see James Franco smile, I won't miss him on GH. - Lisa
Most were not happy with Robin's request for Liz to take Robin's place after Robin died. Here is an especially touching email that I would like to share with you:
- My BFF also died in June 2011. She was on a church van with her four children when the van was in an accident. She died with 2 of her children and 2 others. I knew Portia for 30 years before she married and had children. She would never have wanted me to take over her life and marry her husband or be a full time mother to her other 2 children. She knew I have life of my own and just to be there for her family in the future. So I agree, what is Robin thinking when she asked Liz to take over her life. - Mary
Thank you for all the feedback. Please keep the emails coming. This week, I'm curious how you feel about the decision to change Johnny's paternity and maternity. Do you think it's true, and was it even needed? Send your thoughts on these questions or anything else GH-related
Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.