We meet again, Cesar Faison, and so the plot thickens.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is shaping up to be one of the best November sweeps in a very long time, and I love each and every second of it. I don't care about the ridiculous number of returns from the dead because each one makes the twists and turns just that much more delicious.
Well played, Cartini. Well played.
We received a two-for-one treat on Monday with the revelation that Faison is the man behind the mask...literally...and that Duke is very much alive and a prisoner at the same facility in Switzerland where Robin is being held.
Poor Luke. He's pretty much screwed either way at this point because proving that Duke is in fact not Duke will eventually lead to finding the real Duke, which will effectively put Anna well beyond Luke's reach, romantically speaking. Ultimately, I think that it's for the best. Luke and Anna didn't do it for me as lovers. I like them as friends.
Back to Faison and Duke though. It makes absolute sense now how Faison was able to so successfully swindle Anna and pass himself off as Duke with those memories. He struck a deal with Duke: freedom from a Turkish prison in exchange for a lifetime of memories. I love that Duke, being the clever man that he is, carefully planted some misinformation in his tales about Anna, so that Anna would catch on.
I've read some feedback that the mask twist is silly because Anna should be able to tell just by kissing Duke that he has a rubber face, let alone notice it if Faison succeeded in seducing her into bed. However, the mask is necessary in order to tell this story with Anders Hove and Ian Buchanan.
It's a soap. Lots of things happen on soaps that can't happen in real life, like falling ten stories and face-planting into a patch of grass without a broken bone, and then waking up three days later from a coma, fit as a fiddle. *Coughs* Heather.
The mask paves the way for the inevitable soapy moment when Anna rips it off Faison to expose him for the fraud that he is. I look forward to that scene.
I'd like to think that Robin is still suffering the side effects of electroshock therapy, which is why she foolishly accused Faison of not being Duke when she caught him in the spaghetti versus pizza lie. As Faison said, she should have kept quiet until she got home. However, if she had kept quiet and gone home, she might never have been in a position to find the real Duke. Perhaps together, Duke and Robin will rescue themselves, which will be the only alternative that I will accept if Anna and Robert don't join forces to bring their daughter home.
I've received quite a few emails asking what Faison's connection to Sonny was and why he would target Bernie and shoot Jason. Let me start by saying that I think that Jason was simply collateral damage. He had to shoot Jason to kill Bernie. Once Jason was shot, he had to die, so as not to expose Faison's connection to Bernie.
Now, to explain Faison's connection to Sonny and why Faison would target Sonny's millions, besides the simple fact that Sonny is a rich PC resident. Back in the late 90's Faison went by several aliases, including Krieg. He was trying to fence the Ice Princess, which is that big hunk of diamond owned by the Cassadines that has played pivotal roles in two key storylines: Mikkos Cassadine's attempt to freeze the world (it was the password used to stop the weather machine) and Helena's plot to have Faison kidnap Lucky and stage his death, so that Helena could brainwash Lucky.
In the '90s, Sonny and Luke were business partners, so Faison, as Krieg, contacted Luke to sell the diamond. Felicia discovered Faison was Krieg, so she went to Sonny for help because Luke had disappeared. As the storyline played out, there was a big face-off between Jason and Faison when Faison made veiled threats against Robin, who was living in Paris by this time. Faison has no love for Sonny or Jason, so that is why Faison would want to wipe Sonny out financially, and strip him of his criminal empire.
Faison is a ruthless and diabolical man, which is why I'm beginning to suspect that Britt is not who she seems to be and that her interest in Patrick is not mere happenstance. Sure Patrick is a good-looking guy, successful surgeon, loving father, and pretty much the whole package, but he's also connected to Robin. Anyone in Patrick's orbit right now is suspect.
Initially, I thought that Britt was just an aggressive man-eater with borderline stalker tendencies, and she still could be, but then she said some things this week that made me stop and question her motives. It started with her attitude about Robin when she expressed frustration that Patrick wasn't over the loss and trauma of seeing the love of his life blown to smithereens in a lab explosion less than a year ago.
If anyone should understand loss and grief, it's Britt. As a doctor, she must see it on almost a daily basis. Even if she doesn't give a rat's patootie about life, she should understand how others react to the loss of a loved one. Britt was also very blasť, not to mention completely inappropriate, when she treated that little girl for tummy trouble and then decided to pump Liz for information about Patrick, while that little girl's mother stepped out of the room. Side note: Did everyone else cheer when that little girl vomited all over Britt? I found it hilarious.
Britt's assurance that she would wait until Patrick was ready to have sex doesn't jive with the attitude that she's been giving off about relationships since hitting our screens. True, she might be all about the chase, but surely there are other doctors who are just as successful and just as handsome as Patrick with far less emotional baggage that she could hook up with. Take the paradox that is Steve for example.
I laughed until my sides hurt when Patrick asked Sabrina, "Who is this god among men roaming the halls of General Hospital?" and she replied, "Dr. Webber." The look on Liz's face was priceless, but Patrick's reaction was perfect. If jaws could actually hit the ground, his would have.
That Patrick would actually believe that Sabrina really has a crush on Steve just goes to show us how utterly clueless that man is about women. Heaven help him when Emma gets older.
Another character who looks clueless these days is Michael, but he has a good reason. He's suddenly hearing a very different version of events about his parents' history than the one that he had been told by Port Charles' new version of the Grimm family, Sonny and Carly.
Ron Carlivati is embracing GH's history with a gusto that makes this fan positively giddy with joy. He is addressing some very controversial issues that have divided viewers for a long time. Viewers can debate who was right and who was wrong, but ultimately Michael will decide which side was right: Sonny/Carly/Jason or A.J.
I confess that I have always sided with A.J. In fact, Carly's treatment of A.J. since learning of her pregnancy with Michael is why I despise Carly so much. I didn't condone or agree with many of the things that A.J. did towards the end, but I always understood what drove him to that point.
Monica read my mind when she slapped Carly after Carly, who now shares the title of World's Biggest Hypocrite with Sonny, called to have A.J. arrested. I would have had more respect for her if she had simply called Sonny, because it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I watch criminals expect the law to take care of their problems.
It's like a bully expecting his victim to beat someone else up.
Bravo to A.J. for not running. He set a good example and proved to be a better person than Carly or Sonny by going to the police station quietly. Sure it was seven years after the fact, but he did it. I have no idea how long it took him to be cured of the paralysis, or what it entailed, but it appears that he also achieved sobriety during that time, so it was seven years well spent.
I really hope Michael finally sees Carly for the selfish scheming witch that she is. She has three kids and refuses to share custody of any of them with their fathers. Morgan lives far away at Hogwarts Military Academy, while Josslyn sees her father so rarely that it's a miracle that she even recognizes Jax.
Even Sam is being somewhat of a hypocrite when she told Michael that A.J. belonged in jail for what he did. Wasn't she the one who once stood by and did nothing while an infant was kidnapped right out of his stroller? Wasn't Sam the one who hired some thugs to terrorize a mother and her young children in the park?
A.J. kidnapped his own son. Would anyone have objected if Sam had kidnapped Danny from Heather after years of being denied access to him because Heather had managed to force Sam to relinquish all parental rights to him?
That is exactly what happened to A.J. when Sonny suspended him from a meat hook and then locked him in a room for days with a bottle of booze. Sonny also made sure to send a bartender to the Quartermaine mansion to claim that A.J. was on a drinking bender, so that if A.J. didn't sign the papers then Sonny could kill A.J. and stage a drunk driving accident.
I will never forget the scene when Alan and Ned went to Sonny's office to break the news to Skye that A.J. had relapsed. Alan and Skye were heartbroken.
It's true that something led up to that meat hook incident, but something also led up to that incident, too, and so on and so forth. It was a runaway train that started when Carly decided that she'd rather have Tony raise her son than A.J. It was about what was in Carly's best interest, not Michael's. A child doesn't need a wealthy home to be happy. Ask my kids if they feel any less loved, happy, or well-adjusted because my husband and I aren't in the top 1% income bracket.
Yes, A.J. is flawed, but so is Carly.
I loved how A.J. threw it back in Dante's face when Dante had the audacity to suggest that Sonny had never kidnapped children, because that's exactly what Sonny did when he forced A.J. to give up his rights to Michael. I was disappointed that both Anna and Dante didn't have the grace to look even a smidgen ashamed when they asked A.J. if he had any proof of the accusations that he had lodged against Sonny.
I knew it was only a matter of time before Sonny or Carly brought up the miscarriage that she had suffered from her fall down the staircase during her heated argument with A.J. after she got pregnant during a one-night stand with Sonny. Naturally, she and Sonny continue to blame A.J. for what was a tragic accident.
For those who didn't see the scenes, here is a quick rundown of what happened. Sonny was chatting it up with Edward in the library while Carly paid Lila a visit to show Lila some snapshots of Michael and Sonny having a grand ole time. Lila confessed that it was sad that Carly hadn't bothered to take more pictures of Michael and his father, so Carly promised that she would let A.J. spend time with Michael when A.J. got his life together.
Afterwards, Carly encountered A.J. on the staircase as he arrived home. A.J. was clearly intoxicated, so Carly decided to poke the hornet's nest by calling A.J. a loser and then proclaiming that the best gift that she had ever given Michael was Jason and then Sonny as a father. A.J. vowed that she wouldn't keep him from his son, so Carly informed him that he would never get custody of Michael after Sonny married her.
By this time, A.J. had reached the top of the stairs, so Carly brushed past him and stopped on the step below him to wave her rock in his face. A.J. grabbed her wrist and pointed to the engagement ring as he accused her of only being interested in diamonds and money.
Carly's temper flared because the insult hit a tad too close to home, so she ordered A.J. to let go of her, while jerking her hand out of his grip with enough force that she lost her footing and tumbled down the stairs. Contrary to what Sonny told Michael, A.J. did not shove Carly.
I would also like to clear up the matter of the kidnapping that A.J. is accused of. He did hire Faith Roscoe to kidnap Michael, which I agree was very foolish, but he did so after years of being denied access to his son. He aligned himself with Faith because she hated Sonny even more than A.J. did. That is why Faith took it upon herself to also snatch Morgan and Kristina. A.J. had nothing to do with that.
Again, I want to be very clear that what A.J. did was wrong. However, he didn't fake Michael's death to be cruel. He did it so that he could live without fear of Sonny and Jason hunting him down and taking Michael away. That doesn't make it right, but it illustrates how desperate A.J. was to be with his son and how unspooled he had become.
I think the fact that A.J. would risk his freedom without a second's hesitation because he thought that something terrible had happened to Michael shows how much he does love his son. However, shame on Tracy for using Michael like that. Hasn't Michael been used enough?
Another person trying to prove her love these days is Maxie, but I don't like the way that this story is unfolding. Maxie looks petty and a little bit like a mean girl towards Ellie, who seems to be a genuinely nice and accepting person. I like Ellie's influence on Spinelli because he seems more mature, calmer, and stable with her. Right now, he is the perfect blend of quirky, self-confident, and endearing, so I hope he chooses Ellie.
Personally, I think Maxie wants what she can't have. It's time for her to move on instead of pining for what has been lost. Maybe she and Liz can form a support group.
Here are some of my favorite exchanges this week:
(Anna leaves "Duke" a voicemail message as Dante enters the squad room with A.J. in tow)
Anna: "Oh, hey, Duke. It's Anna. Um... just, uh, I-I know you're busy being debriefed in Washington. I just wanted to talk 'cause I miss...talking, you know. We went years without speaking because we thought you were gone, so... um, I guess what I'm trying to say is that... I'm really glad you're back from the dead."
Dante: "Looks like he's not the only one."
Anna: "I'll call you back."
(Later, A.J. and Anna talk about A.J.'s return from the dead)
Anna: "A.J. Quartermaine? My God. I haven't seen you since you were a teenager."
A.J.: "It's nice to see you, too, Anna. I'm sorry it's under these circumstances."
Anna: "Well, yeah. I thought you were...dead."
A.J.: [Chuckles] "What's that old saying? Uh, "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Paul McCartney, right?"
Anna: "Mark Twain."
A.J.: "Good to know. From what I hear, uh, you were dead, too. Seems like all the best ones come back, right?"
(Robert and Anna are discussing Duke's return from the dead)
Robert: "You're grieving over Robin. You're still upset about that. This guy has seen that."
Anna: "This guy is Duke."
Robert: "Duke of the dead."
Anna: "No, Robert, don't you remember? People thought that we were dead, too, and we came back, so why can't Duke?"
Robert: "I know one person who didn't come back from death --"
Anna: "Don't say it."
Robert: "-- And that was Robin."
(If only they knew. I can't wait for them to rescue their daughter!)
(Liz notices that Sabrina is unusually glum)
Liz: "Too much filing?"
Sabrina: "Excuse me?"
Liz: "Well, normally, you're so happy, you practically have bluebirds singing on your shoulders. What's going on?"
(Milo tells Sonny about Connie's attempt to seduce Milo, so Sonny punches him)
Milo: "Miss Howard... she came on to me. I guess you don't think it's mute."
Sonny: "It's 'moot,' Milo! 'Moot'!"