I’ve had many responses to this week so far. Most of them involve grinning like a loon at the sight of Jonathan Jackson, but I’ll try to keep the squeeing to a minimum here because: 1) it’s obnoxious, and 2) it’s offset with stuff like this:
ARGH, MY EYES!
Is there a word that means the opposite of sexiness? Because I would like to use that word, but I’m afraid all coherent thought has been driven from my brain by the sight of Elizabeth and Nikolas together.
But let’s not dwell on the bad, not when momentous things are afoot in Port Charles! Things like Lucky Spencer actually regaining some dignity and a point of view for the first time in years:
LUKE: Do the two of you even want the same things?
LUCKY: What does that even mean, huh? We want a family, dad. A family! And just so you know, it’s fine by me that Cam and Jake don’t share my DNA. It’s not always something to brag about. Those boys are my sons. And they’re perfect just the way they are.
LUKE: Well, okay… I guess you told me.
LUCKY: I guess I did.
I want to take that speech and frame it, I love it so much. Not just the words, which have been long overdue, and not just the delivery, which was a perfect mixture of frustration, hurt and love. But Luke’s reaction — no longer the bored contempt I’ve come to expect whenever he’s confronted by Lucky — really put the scene over the top. Finally, a Luke who seems genuinely pained by his strained relationship with his firstborn! The regret and resigned sadness in Tony Geary’s eyes at the end was great.
There’s no question Jackson’s benefiting from more thoughtful writing right now. We’ve heard more of Lucky’s perspective in two days than we have in the last two months — suddenly, he’s sensitive to Elizabeth’s moods; sharing his fears and hopes with Luke, Nikolas and Laura; making jokes and references to history. That’s the writing, and it sure as hell wasn’t there for Greg Vaughn.
But Jackson’s Lucky is also played a lot differently, and it lends nuance to everything he does and says — even that goofy “remember me?” line and the various “lucky” puns had me laughing instead of cringing, and that’s because his delivery made them work. His entire speech about not expecting perfection from Elizabeth was so beautiful, and a lot of that was in Lucky’s eyes as much as his words.
Which is why I now have to confess that I’m rooting for Elizabeth and Lucky, you guys. For the first time maybe ever. It’s weird. And exciting! And demoralizing, because seriously… WHAT does she see in Nikolas right now? About the only thing that would make sense to me at this point is some sort of brainwashing courtesy of Helena. Can we make that happen and then wash this entire unfortunate incident from our minds forever? Please?
Of course, hard as it is to believe, there have been some other, non-Jonathan Jackson-related things happening in town.
Call me crazy, but Jason used to kill people without so much fuss and bother, right? The sudden need to talk it to death first — if you’ll pardon the pun — is puzzling. And nauseating. Why is the show twisting itself in knots to make sure every single character comes to the conclusion that Jason killing Claudia is both Right and Just? If he’s going to kill her, then let him kill her. But for God’s sake, leave Patrick and Robin out of it, and spare me any more sermons on how to justify cold blooded murder before I projectile vomit all over the screen.
On the other hand, the show’s ham-fisted journey into moral relativism has led to a number of characters acknowledging hard truths I never thought I’d hear spoken out loud:
SAM: But, Jason, I really don’t think there is any protecting Michael from this. If you kill Claudia, he’s going to know why. He’s going to blame you for it, and it could change the way that he feels about you.
JASON: Well, you know what, maybe it should. Maybe someone who does what I do isn’t the best influence on Michael!
What? A professional hitman might not be the best role model for impressionable children? That is CRAZY TALK, mister!
Sam had me when she pointed out Claudia was only following The Code by putting out a hit on Sonny to protect her brother’s life, and that the only thing separating Claudia’s actions from Sonny’s is that she used an inexperienced shooter instead of a professional like Jason.
She lost me, however, when she went from voice of reason to FASTER PUSSYCAT, KILL KILL on the basis that anyone who puts children in jeopardy doesn’t deserve to live.
Not that I’m really in favor of reckless child endangerment, but then again, I’ve never willfully endangered a child for the sake of revenge, so I have that luxury, Sam.
Of course, Sam was batshit crazy over the loss of her unborn baby when she allowed an infant to be kidnapped by a mentally unstable woman “in a moment of weakness” (and also… actively impeded attempts to find the child for days afterward, while smugly bragging that losing Jake had made her and Elizabeth “even”), and later hired a couple of thugs to hold Jake and Cameron at gunpoint in the park.
Whereas Claudia’s decision to send Jerry after Kristina and Michael in Mexico in a fit of batshit craziness over the death of her unborn baby is totally unforgiveable. (You see the difference, right? Clearly, Sam has the moral upper hand because she’s played by an actress who isn’t leaving the show.)
I have to give the writers a little credit on this one. Obviously at least one person was thinking far enough ahead to realize killing Claudia after all this time might not fly, especially when Michael was awake and well. Since her sending Jerry after the kids seemed largely pointless at the time, I’d been assuming the only reason they even bothered to get Sebastian Roche back for a few days was that Sam hadn’t been sexually assaulted in a few months and Guza needed some new fantasy material.
Now I realize it was a backup plan to make sure no one could object when Jason righteously blows her away.
God, I hate this show.
Finally, can we talk about Dante’s tramp stamp for a moment?
It’s not the placement the bothers me so much as the design. It just looks… bad. Sorry, Dominic Zamprogna, the rest of the tattoos are fine, and you are working that six pack very nicely. Really! Just don’t turn around when your shirtless, okay?
Also, if Julie Marie Berman continues to let her side bangs hang in her face for minutes at a time, I may scream. Who does that? It’s like she’s wearing an eye patch made of hair:
Shallow snarking aside, Dante and Lulu are winning me over, scene by adorable scene. I still think it was a huge mistake to have him pursuing her rather than the other way around. But now that the writers have wisely toned down the smarm and created a real emotional connection, the natural chemistry between the actors is starting to shine through.
Berman’s drunk/stoned act was hilariously bad — emphasis on the hilarious — and Dante’s mixture of bemused concern, alarm over her repeated “Officer!” remarks, and genuine delight that she was interested in him really worked for me.
This is the second time an incredibly intoxicated woman has thrown herself at Dante, and I shouldn’t have to be so grateful that the writers didn’t have him take advantage, but this show being the misogyny-fest that it is, I can’t help it. It does make me stupidly relieved every time he talks about respecting women. (On that note, the sex talk with Kristina the other day was similarly refreshing.)
What I especially enjoyed about their scenes yesterday was the way I can now really sense Dante’s affection for Lulu. She no longer seems like simply a challenge for him to conquer, and that is a welcome change. I loved that he started teasing her about her actions the night before, but immediately backed off and got sincere when he realized she was truly upset. It was both sweet and sexy, and I’m digging their vibe a lot.
… which means there are now three couples I actually like and am rooting for on this show. Three. That’s terrifying. God only knows how Guza will manage to mess up this embarrassment of riches, but you know he will.
Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.