If a 12,000th episode airs and no one watches, does it still suck? Yes, yes it does.

We open on Dante and his horrible, horrible hair. I’m really beginning to suspect they’re refusing to cut it just to torment me. I’d give him some slack for having been shot in the chest not too long ago, but this the same show where people regularly wake up from brain surgery with a tiny bandage on their neck and a perfect face of make up, so…

CUT YOUR DAMN HAIR, DOMINIC ZAMPROGNA!

Anyway, Maxie bursts into the hospital room, eager to introduce the theme of the episode with this show’s trademark subtlety. See, Maxie, like everyone else in town, is suddenly a huge believer in the power of nature vs. nurture (advantage: nature). She’s now convinced Dante is just screwing with Lulu’s heart, since it turns out his biological father is an enormous douchewad who treats his women like garbage, and that kind of thing is obviously genetic instead of a learned behavior.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate this show?

Over at the Haunted Star, Luke is attempting to warn Ethan off sticking his nose too deeply in mob business — albeit in a typically self-congratulatory, “Spencer men are adventure-junky bad asses” type of way — while Tracy listens on. Lulu wanders in, explaining that Tracy summoned her on Luke’s behalf. News to Luke!

Meanwhile, Johnny and Olivia are lounging around her living room in post-coital bliss. Which I am all for! But it would be nice to see them in an actual bed one of these days, you know? Johnny makes her shut her eyes so he can give her an expensive looking necklace. Olivia is immediately suspicious.

Lucky and Jason are down at the docks, having a refreshingly honest and strangely flirty conversation about the hijacking of Jason’s latest shipment.

Seriously, did anyone else catch the intrigued twinkle in Jason’s eye when Lucky teased him about catching the culprit first? Oh, just kiss already, you two! You’ve been giving each other verbal tongue baths since Jonathan Jackson came back anyway! And with that we smash cut into–

— THE NEW CREDITS!

Okay, the bad news is that we’ve now lost one of our most reliable mocking points on the show. The good news is the new credits are pretty equally atrocious. We’ve traded dead people for bad CGI and tacky character name overlays. It’s… pretty terrible all around, actually. Six years they had to work on this and this is the best they could come up with? Really?

So, let’s break it down: first shot is the CGI skyline developed for Night Shift, in which Port Charles appears to have more skyscrapers than the city of Boston. But, whatever.

Then, in order:

  1. Sonny, Carly, Jason, and Sam pictured against a close up of that same night scape backdrop.
  2. Jax, Alexis, Kristina, and Michael against… some random tall building in the daytime. Maybe the MetroCourt?
  3. Nikolas, Elizabeth, and Lucky against my very favorite terrible CGI of all: the Wyndemere Castle backdrop from the Black and White Ball! Awesome.
  4. Lulu, Dante, and Ethan against a night time view looking down at the street.
  5. Olivia, Johnny, and Maxie against a set of buildings — the hospital?
  6. Spinelli, Monica, and Mac against a street view of an ambulance pulling up out front.
  7. Robin, Patrick, Epiphany, and Matt (!!!) against a view of tiny Patrick and Robin standing on the hospital roof at sunset.
  8. Edward and Tracy against… one of Jason’s black mob SUVs pulling away from the hospital. O…kay?
  9. And finally, of course, we close out on Luke against a roulette wheel, doing his signature walk off at the end, because he’s too cool for school and all that.

The Wyndemere CGI makes me so happy, you guys. It’s like they’ve finally embraced the fact that they FAIL at everything except sucking, and are now determined to go all out.

All right, back to the show! Lucky wants to work together to find out who the new mob threat could be, and Jason agrees, although he kind of hilariously has to first assure Lucky that he’s being serious. He suggests Ethan might have some more information, since he was at the shoot out earlier.

Olivia and Johnny continue to hang out naked on the floor, her grilling him about where he got the money for her necklace and him dodging the question like crazy.

They are very cute, and very doomed. It’s depressing, so let’s move on.

Back at the Haunted Star, Tracy continues to beat the day’s theme into the ground with a long rant about Sonny’s wild gigolo ways, how Ethan is his father’s clone even though Luke didn’t raise him, and thus, Dante must be just like Sonny and Lulu shouldn’t trust that he really loves her. Blah, blah blah.

Cut back to the man in question, who is still getting interrogated by Maxie, and already seems just about as annoyed with this conversation as I am, bless him. Maxie points out she’s merely trying to continue the conversation they began a few days earlier. (Which was interrupted, by the way, because Maxie — in her great concern for her best friend’s emotional welfare — cheerfully left Lulu’s boyfriend alone with the mob hitman who wants him dead. Maxie’s such a great friend, you guys.)

Dante puts up with all this with much more grace than I would, and explains that being the opposite of Sonny in every way is pretty much his new goal in life. Maxie, in turn, explains about her mom issues, as if the fact that Felicia actually raised her has no bearing on how similar they are. HATE.

Tracy continues to browbeat Lulu about Dante. Luke chimes in on Lulu’s side, with Ethan amusingly nodding and shaking his head in agreement with every point his father makes. Hee!

But Luke does have a problem with Dante: he’s a cop. And here is where my eyes start to roll, because what-the-fuck-ever, writers.

I do not now and never have believed that Luke Spencer — former town mayor, former best friend of the damn police commissioner, former guy who was forced to live on the run from the threat of the mob for over a decade — would be so anti-cop as they have made him. Anti-authority in general maybe? Sure. But not taken to this extreme where his children either being or dating cops is taken as a gross betrayal of the Spencer code. Gah!

At home with the Davis girls, Alexis answers a call from Kiefer, which Kristina silently indicates she does not want to take. Good for her! Although she’s still not telling her mother why, despite Alexis’ curiosity. Diane bursts in, starting to vent about Sonny when she notices Kristina in the room and screeches to a halt. Heh. Kristina makes herself scarce, but not before telling Diane she hopes she loses, because her dad deserves to rot in prison. Oh, Little K. I enjoy you when you’re filled with hate like this.

Olivia and Johnny have a sweet conversation about how much they missed just being together like this, and how happy they finally are to have all the secrets out in the open. Doomed!

Spinelli and Sam — sporting a refreshingly demure and completely out of character plaid, flannel shirt — discuss Sonny’s trial, and the fact that she will probably have to perjure herself if Sonny, in Spinelli’s words, makes “the ultimate sacrifice” for Michael by confessing to Claudia’s murder.

Huh. And here I always thought the ultimate sacrifice was death. (Psst, writers… I could totally get behind that story. Sonny commits suicide and leaves a note confessing all! Think about it!) Just then, Jason bursts in and asks Spinelli for his assistance with the hijacker mystery in his characteristically polite and respectful way, which is to say: he barks orders at him like Spinelli’s his dog. I really do not understand their relationship.

Alexis and Diane sip wine on the couch, the former telling the latter, “for the 12,000th time,” (HAHA, WRITERS. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE) that she won’t join her law firm, even if it does now have an exclusive contract with Kate and Crimson. So, is Alexis still unemployed and just doing pro bono community service cases? Must be nice.

Diane bitches a bit about how stupid Sonny is being with this whole confession nonsense (sing it, sister!) and Alexis commiserates. I love their friendship. I really do.

Back at the hospital, Dante patiently explains that he believes people make their own choices about how they treat each other, and that he grew up watching his mother get treated poorly by a lot of men, which is why he will never use women or make promises he doesn’t intend to keep. Which doesn’t really explain why he started pursuing Lulu relentlessly while undercover investigating a member of her extended family and lying about everything, including his name. But… I kind of love Dante now, and Lord knows there are few enough men on this show who don’t suck, so I’m not going to be too picky.

Maxie is sort of mollified by this as well, and sweeps out as abruptly as she came, taking that shellacked… thing that crawled onto her head to die along with her.

Luke tells Lulu he hopes that Dante really isn’t stringing her along, but that it’s her life and blah, blah, blah. He also hilariously tries to defend Sonny’s terrible track record by saying he really did love at least most of the women he claimed to. Tracy’s not even trying to hear that, and goes on some more about Ethan and Luke being the same person. Lulu, fed up, takes her leave, just as Lucky comes in to question his younger brother about the shooting at the pier. Yeah. That goes about as helpfully as you might expect.

Luckily, the crack team of Jackal and McCall is also on the case, and of course they figure out it was Johnny almost immediately, because they’re not idiots like the cops. They discuss how sad this development makes them. Oh, not for Johnny! Hahaha… no. For Jason, naturally! Because he likes Johnny and has been so generous in not killing him already. This goes on for some time, and makes me want to yak. Although, to his credit, Spinelli does at least seem to remember that Johnny took a bullet saving his life not too long ago.

Back at Olivia’s, the man in question wanders around shirtless, bringing her food and attempting a stuffy British butler accent. Hee!

I really wish they weren’t so DOOMED.

And… speak of the devil — here’s Jason at the door to confront Johnny about the shipment hijack. Johnny doesn’t even bother to deny it, naturally. Jason offers Johnny yet another out, but Johnny’s not having it. He tells Jason he respects him (oh, of course — doesn’t everybody?) but Sonny’s a lying pig who has to pay for what he’s done. Word and WORD, Johnny. Unfortunately, you are both right and DOOMED.

Maxie slathers Spinelli with affection because yelling at Dante has reminded her how great it is to be in a relationship with a whipped doormat who would never cheat on her or lie to her no matter how many times she cheats on and lies to him. How… sweet?

Diane lays out a legal strategy that seems to involve a lot of flat out lying. Alexis points out that this strategy would rely on Carly being able to reliably lie on the stand. Um, what’s the problem, exactly, Alexis?

Lulu shows up at Dante’s hospital room, all riled up from Tracy’s accusations in spite of herself. Dante assumes Maxie spoke to her, but seems fairly nonplussed to learn it’s actually her step-mother who’s been trying to salt his game. They talk a little about how awful Sonny is — I could really get used to all this Sonny hate, you guys — and Lulu admits that her relationship history is a bit rocky and she’s still a little gun shy. To which Dante adorably responds that he will teach her how to tell when someone is lying and then answer any questions she asks.

Kristina apologizes to her mom for stomping out earlier and suggests some mother/daughter shopping the next day. But Alexis gets all shifty-eyed and tells her she’s busy with work. Uh-oh. This can’t be leading anywhere that won’t make me want to gauge my eyes out.

Olivia and Johnny are fighting about the necklace and his continuing death wish. Damn it, they argue so sexily! Why do they have to be so doomed?

At the casino, Luke wonders why Ethan would be protecting Johnny, but Ethan says he’s just trying to mind his own business. I’m really not sure where they’re going with this Ethan/mob thing. It’s clear they have no idea what to do with him as a character, but this just seems even more random than usual. Tracy reiterates her dissatisfaction with Luke’s parenting techniques for the umpteenth time, and Luke reiterates his policy of letting his adult children do whatever the hell they want with their lives. She storms out. Wash, rinse, repeat.

And oh my GOD, Luke and Ethan are STILL talking about Ethan’s new found interest in the mob — though he denies any such thing. They end with Luke advising him to do what he’s going to do, but to just be careful about it and make sure he’s on the side that wins.

Meanwhile, Johnny is visiting Papa Z in prison and giving him quite the attitude when his father questions part of his suicidal and COMPLETELY DOOMED plan to take down Sonny.

Oh, Johnny. I’m with you, really. But this is just dumb.

Lucky and Jason meet back up at the docks to compare notes and flirt some more. The trained detective has of course come up with nada, while the mobster with the heart of gold has cracked the case. Jason, shockingly, tells the truth, explaining that since Johnny’s grudge against Sonny might be just the teeny tiniest bit justified — you know, on account of killing his sister, stealing his family’s empire, having Johnny kidnapped and beaten, and generally treating him like dirt on a daily basis — Jason’s going to “let” the cops handle this one. Well, my! How big of him to throw them a bone!

And now… the last five minutes, which totally redeem the rest of this lackluster episode: Lulu tries to remember the signs of lying which Dante has just taught her, while he watches and teases with an affectionate grin. They are too adorable for words.

She questions him on his pancake, baseball, and underwear preferences — Julie Marie Berman and Dominic Zamprogna can barely keep from cracking up here. They have such great, natural chemistry together.

Finally, she asks him if he loves her and he makes a big production out of displaying all the telltale signs of lying while telling her no. Hee! I seriously could not love them any more. It makes me nervous. Usually nothing good can come from me liking a pairing on this show (see above, re: DOOMED).

In any case, in defiance of what I’m sure was Bob Guza’s screaming gut instinct, the 12,000th episode of General Hospital does not end on a gun battle in a church, or on Kelly Monaco half naked and sexually menaced, but on a sweet kiss between a young couple who genuinely love each other.

And the best part of all? No Sonny at all in this episode. Huh. Didn’t see that one coming.

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9 thoughts on “If a 12,000th episode airs and no one watches, does it still suck? Yes, yes it does.

  1. I personally love the fact these craptastic credits have been done since OCTOBER…and they still haven’t added in two contract characters! ( Lisa and Steven Lars.) The great defense of these credits is that its supposed to be easier to add in/delete actors/characters….but they still haven’t managed to add in two in five months. Doesn’t bode well in my book.

    The Lucky/Jason flirting had driven me around the bend. I do NOT understand where it came from (besides Guza’s thinking that seems to be “you’re friends in real life? hey now you’re friends on the show! Aren’t I awesome??”) given the fairly recent history between the two. Do I think they hate each other ? No. But they aren’t best friends. They never have been. Civil and polite…..but not hanging out all around each other. I thought Jason had to stay away from Jake and everyone connected to him (you know like Lucky…his FATHER) becuase THE DANGER OH MY GOD THE DANGER IT IS TOO GREAT! Plus…given Lucky’s recent reliving the whole betrayal thing….why would he still be all buddy buddy witht the LAST guy he was betrayed with ? The one who actually lied about it and other bigger things (i.e. Jake) for an entire year……oh wait…I forgot…that was all Elizabeth’s fault right? My bad. Forgot my mysogenestic Kool Aid dose this morning.

    Ethan…and Johnny….you know a story is random when even the GH approved press releases referred to this pairing in terms of Ethan being “adrift”. It’s random as all hell…but then again so is Ethan’s entire existance.

    I too have been wondering why Luke….the former mayor…the best friend of the greatest commissioner ever to commish….is so “COPS ARE EVIL…..BE NICE TO COPS AND YOU ARE NO CHILD OF MINE!” Maybe this is just because Guza loves to relive Elizabeth’s rape all the time these days…but wasn’t Luke pretty big on Lucky letting the cops work that case? Wasn’t Roy…who helped in him rescue Lucky from Helena…FBI? You know when it comes to possibly getting out of jail or not having to deal with a mess Lulu made…Luke didn’t seem to mind Lucky being a cop that much. In fact he seemed to like it since he depended on Lucky to work favors to get them off scott free.

    • The sudden Jason/Lucky mutual admiration society makes sense to me, not so much from a character perspective as from a “with JJ back, we’re supposed to like Lucky again, and therefore he needs the Holy hitman seal of approval” perspective.

      And actually, if Lucky’s never going to win one against Jason (which… you know he’s not, even with JJ in the role), I’d much rather them work together than against one another. And it’s refreshing to see Jason not stonewalling the cops for once. But the endless conversations about Nikolas and Liz are so completely batshit, considering Jason did the same thing to Lucky not that long ago.

      Luke’s anti-cop thing, like his anti-family thing in recent years, makes me INSANE. It’s so one-note and lazy, in terms of characterization.

  2. i love the new credits….but bob guza in all his self promoting suckishness manages to piss me off with the NightShift season 1 clips ( the black van pulling up the alley… jason’s mob mobile pulling up to the hospital to get spinelli aid from the gunshot to the foot… the sunrise with patrick and robin (which idk if that is actually scrubs b/c i remember that patrick was with a certain, well, ho in a similar scene). These are all memories that I have tried to repress. Watching them brings back the yucky feeling that the soapy goodness of season two washed away

    • I don’t mind the other shots — although the cheesiness of them all is pretty hilarious — but the SUV shot over Edward and Tracy is just so random and inappropriate, considering.

      It’s kind of funny to remember how good the stunts in the credits looks in the 90s — remember the shot of Luke falling off Sonny and Brenda’s speed boat? — but 15 years later, the “advanced” technology we’ve got looks fake and stupid. Ah, progress…

  3. The new opening look too cheesy like something that was make on microsoft movie maker…! I do think its an improvement…but I just think it was a rip off from Night Shift…with some really cheap graphics. The was an improvement. Which I am not sure it saying too much..now that most of the people in the opening are actually on the show…sorry Matt (JC), and they have put the character’s name by the actors, but it no Faces of the Heart opening for sure.

  4. Love the recap, and I’m glad you did it in such detail. I am seriously at the point where I fast forward through all the repeat conversations re: nature trumping nurture with no exception, Sonny being PC’s most wretched victim of hate and most undervalued humanitarian, Jason being Gandhi’s mentor, etc, etc. Not to mention any scenes where Sonny, Carly, Jason or Sam are in conversations together or in conversations about eachother.

    It’s cut my viewing time down considerably! Nevertheless, I am glad to get the summary from your perspective – which, as it happens, is my perspective. Didn’t take long for me to start hating this stupid show again.

    OH! That last scene with Lulu and Dante actually made me squeal. And then watch it again. And then squeal. And then….well, you get the idea.

    • I can’t believe you’ve made it this far in the rewatch, honestly. You have a stronger constitution that I do, my friend!

  5. Still takes me just as long to watch GH. Of course I fast forward Elizabeth/Lucky, Elizabeth/Nik, Elizabeth/anybody, Sonny/almost anybody,almost all Carly or Jason or Sam scenes – and just keep rewinding all Dante/Lulu, Dante, or Lulu scenes 2 or 3 times. Long hair/short hair makes no difference to me – Dante and Lulu are as adorable as it is possible to be!! Which has me too worried, so much love and so great together – somehow the writers will find a way to screw them up.

    • It’s kind of amazing they’ve managed not to ruin them yet, isn’t it? I have a mental countdown to the day Dante forgives Sonny and joins the “he’s such a good man!” parade. Then, I’m afraid he’ll be dead to me…

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