General Hospital: Dialogue vs. Plot

It’s not mystery that I’m no fan of GH’s Scooby Doo gang:  Sonny, Jason, Carly, and their hangers on.  Let’s not forget the air-head apparent, Michael Corinthos.  While the plots are lousy, the dialogue has been as rich as Creosus!

Lucky to Nikolas (adding such a new complex layer to the stench of the relationship between the brothers, and between Lucky and Liz.  Their betrayal of Lucky was about so much more than the sex):

Lucky: Take a look around, Nikolas. This is an underground dungeon. Your grandmother grabbed my dad and Tracy and tossed them down here like bags of garbage. Who the hell does that? Do you have any idea how sick and insane this is?

Nikolas: Yes, of course I do. But Helena’s not playing this game by herself. Luke’s playing right along. Come on, you know, they get off on this madness.

Lucky: Well, I didn’t. I was just going about my life. It was a good life, by the way. Then Helena took me out of it one day and made everyone think I was dead. She locked me up and messed with my head and my soul. She tried to break me down into something that she could control and then she sent me back to the people who loved me the most like a ticking time bomb.

Nikolas: I know that.

Lucky: There are pieces of me I never got back. And all this time, since your affair with Elizabeth blew up in our faces, did you ever ask yourself why I held on to her so tightly? Why I tried so hard to recreate a time when the love that we shared was real and pure, unmauled by someone who’s as cruel and sadistic as Helena? It’s because Elizabeth represented everything that was taken from me. And our past was the only thing that kept me grounded in our present. And then you came along… and you ruined it without a thought, other than your own self-gratification. So tell me, how can I look at you, knowing all of that… and not see an enemy?

Alexis to Sonny (note that Sonny is completely unaware, as usual.  He’s heard this song before, he just keeps blocking it out… he’s suddenly clueless that he’s emotionally abusive):

Alexis: Okay, here we go. See, that’s kind of what I was talking about yesterday, that we need to keep the focus on Kristina, and it might be counterproductive if you get angry and defensive and make it about you.

Sonny: I’m going to this therapy session to support Kristina.

Alexis: Good. Thank you. And I am very sensitive to the fact that this abuse issue is a hot-button issue.

Sonny: And you know that, you know, my mother and I were, you know, abused, and that’s why I know a little bit of what Kristina’s goin’ through.

Alexis: Right. And you know we have to figure out why Kristina stayed in an abusive relationship, and, you know, through that process, you might hear some things about yourself that–

Sonny: No. No, no. No. Listen. Johnny lied on the stand. Kristina believed him. So that’s what we’re gonna work through.

Alexis: Well, actually no one really cares what Johnny said or didn’t say. I think what you might work through is that she’s seen your temper, and it’s been very disturbing.

Sonny: Do I have to tell you again that I don’t hit women?

Alexis: Well, but you do call them bitches and whores, and that kind of verbal abuse might–

Sonny: You’re either physically violent, or you’re not.

Alexis: Really? See, this is why it’s a good idea that you work this out with her in therapy.

Sonny: No, you know what needs to be done here? No, I don’t– all I know is that I’ve never abused a woman. We don’t have to talk about that anymore.

Alexis: Okay, let’s not.

Carly to Sonny: This one shocks me! Carly’s history has been bowing before Sonny’s imagined greatness and accepting responsibility for everything that’s gone wrong in their lives together.  She seems to have remembered those things the rest of us remembered:

Carly: We are so much alike. I guess that’s what attracted us to each other. We’re impulsive, you know? We don’t realize the damage we’ve caused till it’s already done.

Sonny: You’re dodging the question. Do you honestly think that I abused you?

Carly: Kristina asked me that question.

Sonny: What do you mean Kristina? When?

Carly: After your outburst in court.

Sonny: What’d you say?

Carly: I told her the technical truth.

Sonny: I’m afraid to hear what that means.

Carly: I was as honest with Kristina as I felt was appropriate, Sonny. I’m not Kristina’s parent. There are questions that only you and Alexis should answer. But I did think she deserved the truth as much as I could give it. So I told her that, you know, our relationship was dysfunctional and volatile, that we genuinely loved each other, but we were toxic together. And that no, you never hit me.

Sonny: Thank God for that.

Carly: I mean, you shot me in the head once, but accidents happen. Can you…can you still hear us? I mean, I can. I can hear the yelling and things breaking. I can hear you calling me a faithless whore. Screaming at the top of your lungs that I’m worthless. I’ve never seen anyone get as angry as you. And your rage, Sonny, your rage is overwhelming. You zero in on what’s weak in someone, and you hammer away. You dismantle it piece by piece. And I look back, and I’m horrified at myself. I’m horrified that I put up with it, that I rationalized it, and I participated in it. But that was my illness. I stayed with you, and I let it happen over and over again. The vicious cycle. And you know what, Sonny? It’s called abuse.

Nah… Sonny’s not abusive… no sirree (at least not in his head)!  Doesn’t every man repeatedly refer to his wife as a whore?

Olivia to Sonny:

Sonny: I kinda expected you to understand the situation a little better, but…

Olivia: I do understand, Sonny. And I’m telling you right now, as someone who’s known you for a very long time, you need to change the way that you deal with women, okay? And there’s no shame in that. Talk to somebody. That’s what therapy’s for!

Sonny: But you’re acting like I’m some kind of animal like Kiefer. Yeah, I got a lot of rage inside of me. But I haven’t been that way with all the women I’ve been with. Just the ones that push me and push me. But I’ve never crossed the line. I love my daughter. I love her with everything I got. And I want to help her through this, but there’s no way that I’m going to say I’m an abuser when I’m not.

Olivia: I’m not saying you’re like Kiefer, Sonny. I know that you would never hit a woman. But there’s a lot of other ways to be abusive. Right?

Sonny: Okay.

Olivia: Okay. See, I know what you want through. I know what Deke did to you and your ma, and I can only imagine the things that you suffered through. And you were a little kid. I get that. But you survived, right?

Sonny: Mm-hmm.

Olivia: And you turned yourself into the kind of man that you wanted to be. You’re powerful, you’re successful, you got kids that mean the world to you. I mean, no one else would look at you and know what’s going on right under the surface.

Sonny: What’s the point?

Olivia: My point is, my point is, don’t believe your own hype. Sonny, okay, you can put one over on the whole rest of the world, but don’t put one over on yourself. Okay, don’t get caught up in believing that, because you made something out of your life, that that abuse didn’t have an effect on every part of you, okay? It directly affects everything, especially the way that you treat other people.

Sonny: You’re talking like I think I’m perfect, and I’m nowhere near perfect.

Olivia: Look, okay, you got Carly claiming that you abused her.

Sonny: Right.

Olivia: Okay, maybe not physically, but in other ways. You’re gonna sit here and you’re gonna tell me that she’s lying, or she’s wrong, or what? What that bastard Deke did to you and your ma had a direct effect on your relationships with women. Okay? You need to admit that, and you need to get help.

Sonny: What Kiefer did to Kristina, I have not done to any woman. It’s not a fair comparison.

Olivia: I agree. I agree. And I know how much it must hurt you to know that your daughter thinks she saw the real you that night that you went off on Claudia. Okay. Or that she would ever compare you to anybody like Kiefer. But, Sonny, Kristina is confused right now. And that’s why you gotta get in there with her right now. You gotta show her that you’re willing to change, and that you can change. You gotta find a way to separate who you really are from all those ugly patterns that you grew up with.

Johnny to Kristina (just as you’re sitting there thinking ‘What kind of low life uses a girl who’s been traumatized by an abusive boyfriend?”… Johnny says THIS):

Kristina: Dad was so horrible brutal to Claudia, he shouldn’t you use me to do the same thing to him? It’s part of justice.

Johnny: Kristina, first of all, the idea of using you in any capacity for anything has no

Kristina: But I’m a willing participant. More than that, it was my idea. Come on, Johnny. The way to make it happen.

Johnny: And er of sonny Corinthos. This playing out, beyond sonny’s pain, of course?

Kristina: Does it matter?

Johnny: It does if I’m dead in the end, yeah.

Kristina: You won’t let my dad kill you, and if he tries, he’ll go to prison like he deserves.

Johnny: Ok. Kristina, I actually know where you’re coming from. I do. I know what it’s like to have a monster as a father. You lay in b late at night thinking of ways to bring the bastard to his knees while you stare at the ceiling. When what you should be doing in actuality is channeling that energy into something positive. I know I’m no shining example as to how that works, believe me, but maybe you can look at me and then use me as an example as to what you should avoid. At the end of the day, Kristina, the answer’s no. As much as I want to bring grief to your father, I’m not about to use you in order to get that.

Johnny: It’s because you’ve been through a very traumatic experience and you need time to heal. See, that–right there is even more of a reason for you not to put yourself in a situation that could backfire or hurt you.

Kristina: But I feel safe with you.

Johnny: Why?

Kristina: I don’t know. I just do. It’s not sexual, please don’t misunderstand.

Johnny: Oh, believe me, there’s no misunderstanding here. Uh, hey…I suppose maybe at the end of the day, we’re kindred spirits. We both have the same immediate goal. But your hatred for sonny is not as black and white as mine. It’s wrapped up in all sorts of shades of gray and emotions of sonny being your father. Your issues with sonny go much deeper than just wanting to see him twist. This is like a bomb waiting to go off, in my face and yours, and I’m not willing to risk that.

Kristina: I figured it out. You’re noble. My father wouldn’t be. If someone went to him with an offer that could destroy you, he’d take it and not think twice. So never say you’re just like sonny. It’s not true. Well, if you change your mind, the offer’s still open.

As much as I hate the plot, the dialogue helped sell it and make sense of it… the children of mob monsters clinging to reclaiming their power by taking away (at least one of) their father’s power.  It’s stupid and careless on their part, but it makes sense.

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