We gather together… for a pretty decent episode, actually.

Now that the turkey and pie coma has subsided and I’ve had time to get caught up on the last week of episodes, the spirit of the season behooves me to give some thanks:

Mainly, thank you to whatever inspired the show to take a break from gloom and doom and Balkan and Brenda (much as I hate to say it — still love you, B!) for a mostly joyous holiday episode centered on love and family:

Also, thank you to whichever intern has been Googling show history and remembering petty details like… Jason and Robin know each other! Molly has a father in L.A! Michael is a Quartermaine! Mac and Alexis’ kids are busybody matchmakers! And Thanksgiving in Port Charles should always end with pizza at the Q’s.

(And, yeah, I buy that Carly would agree to spend the holiday without Michael about as much as I buy that she’ll wake up next week realizing that revenge is futile and Jason isn’t her personal property. But when contrivance allows the Quartermaine mansion to be more filled than it has in years, then I say, WELCOME CONTRIVANCE.)

I have missed seeing those rooms bustling with bickering family, even if half of them were borrowed family, and even if Monica was inexplicably absent. (Like, what — was getting Leslie Charleson in for her one day of work a year too difficult?)

Regardless, pizza and singing, a full house, and Luke finally treating Tracy with a modicum of respect? Readers, I smiled. I really did. It was strange.

Elsewhere, hey, did you guys know that Robin had a relationship in between Stone and Patrick? Judging by all her reminiscing lately, I really didn’t think the writers did. But then look what they gave us:

ROBIN: I like talking to you, Jason. I’m glad we’ve gotten to a place where we can just hang out and be friends.
JASON: Took a while.
ROBIN: No, not really.
JASON: What–
ROBIN: Just like eight or ten years. [both laugh] But really, we can see each other and it’s not about what went wrong anymore.
JASON: I’m not sure you were ever wrong.
ROBIN: I think I was, and even more so than you because I knew exactly what I was doing.
JASON: Guess it worked out how it was supposed to.
ROBIN: I want you to know that I-I’m so grateful for what you did for me then. I mean, I thought my life was over after Stone died and you made me feel loved. You made me feel accepted. I’m grateful for that. And we both deserve credit for letting go and moving on.
JASON: Some of us had to move all the way to Paris.
ROBIN: I came back.

Delightful!

Also, effing finally. Don’t get me wrong, I like Patrick and Robin. (Most of the time. When he’s not being a monumental ass.) But the endless conversations where she credited him with showing her she could love again after Stone have been grating my last nerve.

So, yes, writers. Jason was the one who helped Robin pick up the pieces of her life and her broken heart after Stone. Jason was the love who gave her hope for the future and made her realize her heart wasn’t dead. Credit where credit is due, please.

(Also, if I live to be a hundred and this show is still on and Jason is wheeling around the mobster retirement home with his leather jacket and a walker, I will never, ever, EVER get tired of him telling Robin she was right to tell AJ the truth about Michael. Never.)

Then, Patrick and Robin were able to put aside his douchiness and her anger over said douchiness (respectively) to spend a happy Thanksgiving with their adorable daughter — who I hope never gets recast, by the way, because that child redefines precious — and it was all extremely refreshing after the months of anger and unpleasantness.

Meanwhile, I think being without a decent plot or a decent love interest (sorry, Mac) for so long has finally driven poor Alexis around the bend. How else to explain her description of Claire as “lovely” and “the perfect person” to join her and Diane’s firm?

Diane, by the way, thinks about as much of that idea as I do:

YEAH, I’LL TAKE A ‘NO’ WITH A SIDE OF ‘OH HELL NO.’

Perhaps in an effort to snap her out of this boredom induced dementia, Alexis’ children once again conspired to set her up with Mac, in spite of the fact that 1) even Mac and Alexis know that they have absolutely no spark, and 2) they pulled this same exact trick last year and NOTHING came of it.

(Also, who are these people who can comfortably entertain multiple extra guests with zero notice? Does everyone on this show just automatically prepare four times as much food as they think they’ll need, on the off-chance they’ll have last minute holiday-crashers?)

Anyway, yes, the Mac/Alexis stuff is forced and kind of dumb. And yes, there was some business with Spinelli that made me despair both for poor Matt and for my poor sanity when Maxie inevitably reunites with her obnoxious Jackal and loses what little dignity she’s managed to regain in his absence these past few months.

And yes, the focus on family and normally neglected characters probably has more to do with the show’s power players getting longer vacations than it does with the writers realizing the value of variety. But on the whole? A holiday sans Jason, Sonny, Carly, or the endless Brenda drama factory (although, seriously, I would have loved her joining the Q family celebration) is a very good day.

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