I’ve been traveling this week, so I suppose it’s possible that in the last seven days, the show’s undergone a dramatic change in quality, Sonny and Brenda have started setting the world afire with a well-written reboot romance, and all is right with the world.
But just in case anyone still needs to wipe the taste of their lackluster reunion out of your mouth… on today’s installment of retro recaps, we revisit one of my absolute favorite S&B moments of all time.
Oh, yeah. Strap yourselves in, folks. It’s time for cave sex.
First, let’s set the scene: The year is 1997. Brenda has been with Jax for a while now. Sonny is:
1. A recent widower (but not so recent that his interest in Bren is tacky)
2. Fighting to get Brenda back in a variety of less-than-subtle ways
3. (Mostly) not a douche
We open in medias res down in the catacombs. (Yes, Port Charles used to have catacombs. No, I do not know why today’s writers don’t make use of that AWESOME fact more often.)
Sonny’s staring at something off screen as Brenda calls for him. As she makes her way over, covered in dirt, she trips over the body of Harry Silver, Sonny’s vengeful ex-right hand man.
(Oh, Harry. I was sorry when they made you retroactively crazy and evil. But then this whole story happened, and I kind of got over it, because: duh. Catacomb sex makes up for a multitude of sins.)
Anyway, Sonny hands Brenda the lantern so he can move the body, and she sees the cave-in damage for the first time. It isn’t good.
Some minor freaking out ensues.
They recap that Harry’s plan was to kill Brenda while Sonny watched, and he must have wired the whole tunnel. Gee, who knew accountant Harry was such a demolitions expert? He was a man of many talents, apparently.
Sonny stumbles over his gigantic 1997 cell phone, but quickly realizes it’s been damaged by a gunshot and is now useless. Brenda angrily demands that Sonny admit the truth: they’re trapped with no hope of escape or rescue. They hug in mutual despair.
When we come back from the break, Sonny has apparently taken the time and energy to bury Harry, which — I have to say — is way more than I would have done under the circumstances. Brenda apologizes for not helping him. They wonder how long the oxygen will last.
SONNY: Why didn’t you run when I told you to?
BRENDA: [significant look] You know why.
God, I love them so much.
Sonny’s having a nightmare flashback.
We see black and white flashes of a cowering boy as a man’s voice calls him “Sonny boy” and promises to teach him a lesson. When he jolts awake, breathing heavily, Brenda crawls over and attempts to lead him through some Lamaze breathing to calm him down. Hee.
She’s breathing pretty heavily herself — which Sonny can’t help but notice — and eventually she’s forced to admit she’s feeling sick. Sonny gently asks her how long it’s been since she last had a pill… and I remember that Brenda was totally addicted to prescription pain killers for a while after she was hit by a car. Wow! I had completely forgotten that entire plot until now.
(And seriously: Brenda, Alan, Lucky… is there anyone in Port Charles who hasn’t had an accident and gotten temporarily addicted to pain killers?)
Anyway, Brenda’s been in denial about her pill-popping problem, but apparently Harry taunted her about it before he died and now she’s starting to realize he was right. She can’t stop thinking that even if she was still trapped, she’d be okay if she just had her pills with her, and she knows that’s not normal.
As Sonny asks her about how many she’s been taking, she finally admits that it was a lot.
We cut to Mac, Mike, Jax, Jason, and (for some reason) Miranda questioning a random dude about Harry’s sinister plan. I feel the need to pause here and take a moment to appreciate whatever it is that’s happening with Mac’s hair. It’s quite impressive:
Jason’s doing his whole mute schtick, but Mike convinces him that Sonny would want him to talk if it would save his and Brenda’s lives. Ah, old-skool, super literal Jason. I miss you!
Jason exposits that Harry was the one who betrayed Sonny to Rivera and hence, the one who got Lily killed. Apparently, Sonny had initially let Harry go out of respect for what Lily would have wanted. Jason can’t believe he’d ever be crazy enough to come back to Port Charles.
Guess he just doesn’t know how crazy contrivance can drive a man!
Back in the cave, Sonny’s got his arm around Brenda, with her head resting against his shoulder. They are so adorable! Seriously.
He asks her how long the pill problem’s been going, and she confesses that it started out as just easing her hip pain, but then she discovered the pills also helped her nerves at modeling shoots. Before she knew it, she was taking them all the time. Sonny can’t believe that Jax never noticed.
(The twelve year old in me resists the urge to shake my fist at the screen and yell, “Yeah, suck it, Jax!”) (Barely.)
BRENDA: I used to take them right in front of Jax! They’re prescribed drugs; it’s not like they make me high.
SONNY: Just make everything better, right?
BRENDA: You know, when Harry was calling me a junkie, I was thinking ‘he’s crazy,’ you know? He’s just trying to hurt you or hurt me. But… oh, Sonny. I can’t even explain to you the feeling that I am having right now. I mean, Jax can’t fix this. You can’t fix this. Even if we got saved right this second, it would not fix the feeling that I am having right now. My pills can fix this, and that’s it. How could I let this happen to me?
SONNY: You got a problem. At least you know about it and you get help.
I love this whole conversation so much, by the way. I remember being absolutely starved for it at the time this aired. Because Sonny and Brenda had been apart for while at this point, and she’d been so angry with him that they hadn’t seriously talked in a long time — he had no idea about the pills, for God’s sake! So this communication and honesty and lack of hostility was long overdue and so, so good.
But I digress.
The withdrawal is starting to hit her hard. Sonny’s being incredibly non-judgmental and supportive, and I’m reminded of why I loved him so much back then. Brenda wonders what’s going to happen to them and Sonny predicts that they’ll fall asleep and then die.
He’s pretty calm and resigned about it, but it’s obvious he’s fairly devastated underneath. Brenda’s refreshingly free of her typical histrionics as well, and simply smiles sadly as she says she’s not ready to die. Oh, angst!
Sonny says he’s definitely starting to feel something. Brenda is too, but she’d assumed it was just withdrawal.
BRENDA: We’re pretty pathetic, aren’t we? So screwed up, we don’t even know when we’re dying.
SONNY: Match made in heaven.
Brenda’s wants to know what crazy!Harry’s whole deal was, considering she’s going to die from it and all. Sonny explains that Harry betrayed him to Lily’s father that time Sonny was about to run off with Brenda. Apparently, Rivera told his hit man to get Sonny and “the pretty girl with dark hair” — which just seems to be asking for trouble, frankly. A vague description is no hit man’s friend, people!
(I mean, I bet Jason would never have been sloppy enough to kill a pregnant woman without getting a picture of the target first. That’s why he’s the hero.)
Brenda, as you might imagine, is fairly devastated to hear all this.
Sonny tells her spared Harry’s life because he knew Lily wouldn’t have wanted anyone to die for her. Now Brenda’s going to die for his mistake.
BRENDA: You know, for so long, I thought that your world was so romantic. And sexy. But it really is ugly, isn’t it?
Dear, Brenda from 1997: please come and explain that to Brenda from 2010. She could use a reminder. Thanks!
SONNY: You choose that life when you’re young. And desperate. The only thing it will cost you is your life and that’s not worth much anyway. All you see is the power. You can’t plan on the future. You don’t think about waking up with someone you love.
And when it happens, you keep on lying because– as long as she believes it because… look, if you tell her the truth, you could lose her. How could you lose the one person who means everything to you?
BRENDA: You know you would have never lost me.
SONNY: I did.
OH, BREAK MY HEART ALL OVER AGAIN, WHY DON’T YOU?
Brenda tells Sonny that the worst night of her life wasn’t when he found the wire on her. It was when he found her with Miguel and called her a whore. Yeah, I kind of forgot that charming personality trait of his has been around for a long time.
To 1997 Sonny’s credit, he immediately looks pained and murmurs an apology. (Somewhere, 2010 Sonny is rolling his eyes and calling his past self a spineless pussy.)
Brenda says she did it to hurt him, but hurting him never makes her feel any better. Sonny says it never makes him feel better either.
BRENDA: Why can’t we just stop hurting each other?
SONNY: Because you can’t tear your own heart out. No matter how much it hurts. You can’t walk away from us. [whispering] You’re part of me, Brenda. I love you.
Damn it! How do they still make my heart flutter, even after all these years?
Ooh, it’s criminal story time! Mac and Jax are snooping through Harry’s diary and come across a letter addressed to Lily.
Mac’s really got his bossy pants on — not that I’m blaming him, as I imagine dealing with this group of bozos in a crisis would try the patience of a saint. He orders Jax to read it aloud to Jason so he can see if there are any clues. (Jeez, Mac. Jason’s brain damaged, not illiterate.)
The letter’s basically your garden-variety, batshit crazy, revenge manifesto. Apparently, Harry was really mad at Brenda for getting in the way of Saint Lily’s happily ever after with the man her father forced to marry her under duress when everyone involved — including Lily — knew that he was already in love with another woman.
Not that I’m bitter about all the memorials to Lily the martyr this show has done over the years or anything.
Anyway, it turns out Harry had an even bigger Madonna/whore complex than Sonny — which is saying something. And he had decided the whore in this scenario (Brenda, natch) needed to die:
HARRY’S DIARY: Sonny deserves to die, screaming and afraid with Brenda beside him. She won’t be brave, Lily. She’ll beg when she’s in the dark, hidden away forever. Down deep like you. It’s where she belongs for what she did. And Sonny’s going to watch her die.
Well, that’s… poetic.
We get a bunch of reaction shots from Miranda as Jax reads, faltering slightly over calling Brenda a whore.
I guess the point of her presence in this scene is to see how much he cares about Brenda? Although, honestly, she looks more bored than anything.
Frustrated with Harry’s nonsense, Jax hands the journal over to Jason to scour for more specifics — but not before getting a dig in about Sonny and Jason letting such a psycho work for them. Jason protests (snippily) that Harry wasn’t crazy then, and I’d say that was a weak excuse except the writers literally had not decided to make him crazy at that point, so it’s kind of true.
Back in the cave, Sonny and Brenda continue their heart-to-heart:
BRENDA: You know, of everything that’s ever happened in my life… your love was the best. I couldn’t let go of it even when I wanted to. It’s the strongest thing in my life.
SONNY: And now you’re going to die because of me, Brenda.
BRENDA: You tried to protect me.
SONNY: I saw what I wanted and I took it. You were this young, wild little girl. [Ed. note: Kinda creepy when you put it like that, Sonny. FYI.] I was more trouble than you’d ever seen. And you just had to have me.
BRENDA: [laughing] You asked me out.
SONNY: Yeah, but I warned you first. And I kept on warning you, because I knew it would be harder for you to stay away.
BRENDA: So you played with me.
SONNY: Yeah, yeah. For about five seconds. That’s all it took me to know that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. You know, even now I walk by your billboards, see some guy staring up and I think, ‘This guy’s an idiot. What is he–he doesn’t even have a clue how beautiful she really is.’ Not even Jax knows. Only me. And if we had grown old together, when you had lines on your face and gray in your hair, you’d still be the most perfect thing in the world to me.
BRENDA: You know I can’t even picture you old. Doesn’t matter what happens to your face. I’ll always look into your eyes and see a little boy, abused and scared, holding all the pain inside. You know, I wanted to be the one person that never did anything to hurt you, and I did.
OH MY HEART, YOU GUYS.
Anyway, Sonny handwaves the whole hurting him business, admitting he did the same to her, and the hardest part is there’s no way to take back the awful things he’s said. The claustrophobia seems to be getting to him; he becomes visibly agitated, making a face like he’s in pain, then stands up anxiously, stammering that he can’t do this anymore.
We skip on over to Wyndemere, where Bobbie has apparently just accused Stefan of marrying her out of pity. Stefan reassures her in the most pretentious way possible, as was his want:
STEFAN: I’m proud of my name, Barbara. I can trace it back hundreds of years. I would never bestow it lightly, much less out of pity.
Well, all-righty, then.
He goes on to say that he’s actually wanted her for years — a declaration that causes both me and Bobbie to make pretty much the same WTF-face:
Stefan thinks it’s time she knew the whole truth… but before we can get to that we’re swept over to the Spencer house, as Leslie proudly (but somewhat uncertainly) announces to Laura that she’s packed. It seems she and the family are off to Switzerland for treatment; Leslie wants to go look at the stars first, in case they’re different there. She’s childlike, but much better than she was right after Laura found her again.
Laura seems to agree, and confides her optimism for a full recovery to Luke. He’s happy to see it, but has a confession to make that puts a slight damper on the proceedings: he can’t stay with them in Switzerland.
Laura is distressed; the whole point of all this was for them to be together. Luke explains that he knows it’s painful to be separated, but it seems they have no choice: he’s not allowed to leave town “until this Katherine Bell thing is all tied up.” Hmm… I’m guessing that has to do with Stefan framing him for shooting her at the end of the Twist of Fate special?
Luke says there’s also another reason: he needs to stay close for Bobbie’s sake, because once Stefan realizes Leslie is getting better… something bad will happen to Bobbie? I don’t really know, to be honest. Anyway, Laura, as usual, is overly optimistic about the prospects of Stefan leaving them alone from now on, while Luke, as usual, is determined to imagine the worst.
They’re interrupted by the reappearance of Leslie, accompanied by both her grandsons. Lucky seems pretty happy, despite Nikolas’ presence, but his face falls when he see the packed bags. Laura tells them that there’s been a change in plans and they’re going to Switzerland. Both boys seem gobsmacked.
Cut to Carly — sporting some truly stunning white pants — leading a wheelchair-bound Katherine through the door of Jason’s future penthouse.
Carly’s both cheerful and professional as she helps Katherine in and compliments her on the decor. I am momentarily very confused until I remember that original recipe Carly actually held down a real job for a while as a physical therapist.
Apparently it’s some time past Christmas, but Katherine’s been gone for so long that her tastefully decorated tree is still up — and lit for some reason, even though no one’s been home. Boy, what a fire hazard. She’s also feeling pretty sorry for herself, what with the temporary paralysis and general lack of friends.
Carly nicely but rather pushily suggests Katherine call someone to let them know she’s settled back in at her apartment.
I’m confused by this seemingly thoughtful and kind version of Carly until I see her pretend to leave the room so she can eavesdrop. There’s the Carly I know! Unfortunately for whatever scheme Carly’s working on, Katherine talks herself out of calling the mystery person she clearly wants to call.
And on that note, let’s skip over to Stefan! He’s continuing his confession. It seems that although Bobbie believes they met only recently, Stefan actually first saw her years ago, when she came to ID Leslie’s “body.” Stefan, disguised as a morgue attendant, was moved by her bravery and compassion. Bobbie is shocked. Shocked!
(I, on the other hand, am just sad that we didn’t get any flashbacks to “young” Stefan trying to brood intensely while dressed in scrubs and a surgical mask. Because that shit would have been hilarious.)
Cave rescue party: Miranda, having finally realized how useless she is to the proceedings, is preparing to leave. First, however, she asks Mac to go easy on Jax, who’s only acting like an ass because he’s scared.
Yes, but what’s his excuse the rest of the time, Miranda? (Sorry, watching old episodes really brings out the anti-Jax partisan in me, I guess.)
Jason, meanwhile, is continuing to pour through Harry’s ramblings. Mac gets a tip about Sonny’s last known location and Jason realizes it’s near the caves north of town — which he specifies are different from the ones by the river, so I guess there are two separate sets of catacombs in Port Charles? Oh, of COURSE there are.
They quickly figure out that’s what Harry meant by putting Sonny and Brenda underground. Amusingly, Jax wants to know if the caves are “some kind of mob hangout” — like Sonny and Harry used to sit around down there playing poker and drinking beer. Um, they’re smuggling caves, Jax. Not a strip club.
They waste a little time arguing over who’s coming along or not, until Jason wins by virtue of being the only person who actually knows where they’re going. Jason, by the way, is wearing a white t-shirt (belted and tucked in, 90s style!) instead of his now standard black. Also, his neck is not the size of a small buffalo. It’s all very strange.
Back to the caves! Finally!
Sonny’s still struggling with his claustrophobia, which Maurice Bernard has decided to demonstrate with a series of increasingly goofy looking facial expressions. Heh.
He says he hates Brenda seeing him like this. She can’t understand why he’s still blaming himself for what Deke did to him, but Sonny thinks that he let it happen by virtue of not killing his abuser. Man, remember when Sonny’s Deke issues weren’t totally overplayed? That was nice.
Instead of explaining that a child couldn’t reasonably be expected to defend himself again a well-armed grown man, Brenda merely points out that if Sonny really had murdered Deke, his life might have gone a completely different direction and they never would have met. Way to really narrow in on the true tragedy of that scenario, Bren.
Sonny claims they would always have found each other somehow:
SONNY: No, we were inevitable. As long as were alive, it was going to happen between us.
He’s worn out by his claustrophobia attacks. Brenda kneels down in front of him and orders him not to sleep; she’s not ready to lose him yet and all this dying talk has freaked her out.
All of this dialog is so ridiculously over the top and awesome, by the way. (Sample: “Even in hell, I’ll be thinking about you.”) I’m trying to restrain myself from transcribing this entire conversation, however, because otherwise this recap will be eighty pages long.
Brenda argues that Sonny won’t go to hell, because it’s reserved for child abusers and not “good men who’ve done some bad things.” I barf a little at that description of Sonny, but in 1997 I totally would have agreed, so let’s just move on.
Sonny teases her about the fact that she doesn’t even go to church, and then confesses that he was suicidal for nearly a year but didn’t kill himself because killing yourself is a mortal sin. (Whereas stealing and killing other people is just fine, I guess.) But now he’s actually on death’s door, he’s not ready to go.
SONNY: I’m not ready for it because I’ll never have a chance to love you like I should have. I’ll never have the chance to thank Mike.
BRENDA: No, Mike knows. He loves you.
SONNY: That’s something, huh?
BRENDA: Yeah. Love’s never wasted.
Brenda finds Sonny’s wedding ring — which I guess Harry took from him? — on the ground. She wonders how long Jax will wear her ring after she’s gone, and reminds Sonny and the audience that they’re not even really married, except “in their hearts,” due to that whole Miranda business. To my completely biased, anti-Jax delight, she admits that she really wanted to love him the way that he loved her — implying that she tried but failed. Hah!
Instead of gloating unattractively like me, Sonny takes the high road, comparing her feelings for Jax to his for Lily in a surprising show of maturity. This leads to one of my favorite exchanges of dialog in this or any other episode:
BRENDA: I hated that Lily could give you peace.
SONNY: I hated that Jax made you feel safe.
So simple! So true! Love it.
Commercials! Where I learn that Steve Burton, Brandon Barash, Scott Reeves, and Bradford Anderson have apparently started a band together. Called Port Chuck. And they are touring. The world is an amazing place, sometimes. Truly.
Back from the break, Carly is letting Miranda into Katherine’s apartment. I’m struggling to remember how she and Katherine would have known each other. Drawing a complete blank, I’m afraid. Miranda admits she’s only there because Jax is “busy,” which Katherine poor-me’s about in her typical self-pitying way. But Miranda says she’s also there because she knows how hard it is to come home from the hospital.
They have a cryptic conversation about an unnamed “he” who apparently gave Katherine a necklace and won’t be coming to visit her anymore now that she’s home. Carly, pretending to take down Christmas ornaments, is listening intently, but Katherine catches herself at the last minute and makes up an excuse to get Carly out of the room before continuing.
Miranda’s confused about the connection between Carly and Katherine’s mystery man (we’ll just call him “Mefan”) — and so am I. Happily, Katherine explains that Carly is the girlfriend of Tony, who is the ex-husband of Bobbie, who’s now married to Stefan. Well, that clears it all up! (No, seriously, I’m really confused about this plot — why is Miranda involved at all, and why would Carly give a crap about Bobbie’s new husband’s possible infidelity?)
Speaking of Bobbie, she wants to know why Stefan didn’t confess the entire story to her when Leslie came back and they all thought Laura was dead. He claims he was afraid of losing her and of giving Luke more ammo against him, and reiterates that he could never pity her, as she’s one of the strongest people he’s ever known. Coming from a man raised by Helena, that’s either one hell of a compliment… or a terrible, terrible insult.
In any case, Bobbie seems touched. Stefan goes on to say he’s been attracted to her from the first, although he talks about it in such stiff, clinical terms that all I can do is laugh. This is seriously the least passionate confession of love ever. Especially when juxtaposed with the Sonny/Brenda stuff.
Stefan says that he has no more secrets now, which is so patently false that I don’t know how Bobbie is keeping a straight face. She not only believes him, however, but says she has a secret of her own to confess. DUN!
Back at the Spencer house, Laura warmly greets Nikolas, to the visible irritation of both Luke and Lucky. Heh. Apparently Nikolas and Leslie have already been introduced. She thanks him for “the good news,” before heading upstairs for a nap.
Lucky tries to throw his brother out as soon as their grandmother is out of earshot, but Laura wants to talk to her firstborn, and Luke, surprisingly, backs her up. Turns out the good news Nikolas gave Leslie is that Stefan is going to hand over her medical records. How… gracious of him? Considering he’s the one who kidnapped and held her in a catatonic state for over a decade, I’d think that was pretty much the least he could possibly do.
Further, Nikolas and Lucky have agreed to a truce in order to help her, although Nikolas feels like he has been the one doing the most cooperating. He’s understandably bitter about Laura skipping town with Leslie and Lulu. And also about that whole “letting him believe she was dead” thing they pulled not too long ago. Laura claims she was going to tell him before they left, but her credibility’s running a little short at the moment.
In the kitchen, Lucky wants to know if Luke thinks Laura will ever just “drop it.” By which he means his brother, presumably. Heh. Oh, Lucky. Sometimes you were a real prick as a teenager.
Luke’s sympathetic, but also at least realistic enough to understand the likelihood of Laura forgetting about Nikolas is slim. When he explains the Switzerland plan to Lucky, the latter is aghast that Laura actually told Nikolas the truth about where they’re heading. Luke tells him he has to stay in town, so Lucky will have to look after the ladies of the family.
Catacombs! Brenda’s still kneeling in front of Sonny. She confesses that she was lying when she told him she didn’t love him. He quietly says he knows. My teenage heart sings.
BRENDA: I love you. It’s the only thing in my life I’ve ever really known. I don’t even know whether it’s right or wrong. But it’s real. I do love you.
She’s smiling gently at him, tears in her eyes. It’s all very bittersweet. And sexy — because here comes the cave lovin’!
Sonny slides down off the rock he’s sitting on and they start making out. She’s clearly as into it as he is, and although they’re both sad, it’s still very, very hot. We go into slow motion as Sonny unbuttons her blouse. The camera lingers for a weirdly long time on her naked back as he takes off her bra. Um, simmer down there, camera man.
Man, I was so excited when this aired. It was like birthday and Christmas all at once.
We fade out on a shot of Sonny kissing down her neck like a vampire. Mmm. What could be better than sex on a dirt floor in a cave with dwindling oxygen and a corpse on the other side of the room? NOTHING, THAT’S WHAT.
Nikolas is saying goodbye to a very young and very inexplicably dark-haired Lulu. He wants her to always remember that he loves her. So is the idea that the Spencers are staying in Switzerland forever?
When Laura promises that she’ll make sure Lulu knows, he snaps that she’s broken every promise she’s ever made to him. Ouch. True, but still… ouch.
He slams his way out after giving Lulu a good bye kiss, and Laura dissolves in tears. Well, that’s what you get for abandoning one of your children for seventeen years and then making him think you were dead just as he started to trust you again, Laura.
Meanwhile, over on Spoon Island, Bobbie is telling Stefan that she always sensed there was some mysterious past between them. Yeah, I call bullshit on that. Sorry, Barbara Jean.
She regrets never having said anything about it, but Stefan cuts her off, saying the mistakes were all his:
STEFAN: You are my wife, Barbara. Not out of pity. Or a desire to rescue you. But because lives do intersect. And it was time for ours to cross again. […] That kind of connection only comes once in a lifetime.
Wow. And I though Jax and Miranda were overwrought.
They proceed to kiss, very wetly and noisily. It’s a little disturbing. And I’m sorry to say this — because as I recall, I kind of liked Bobbie and Stefan together — but this scene has all the passion of two dead fish making out.
The intrepid party of rescuers has finally made their way over to the entrance of the catacombs, which they find caved in, of course. Jax is certain that Brenda is still alive, however.
Down below, Brenda buttons up her shirt, leaning back against Sonny. They’re both looking pretty rough, in an attractive, blood-and-dirt-covered sort of way. Sonny asks if she’s all right and she smiles, saying she was just thinking about they day they met at the car dealership:
BRENDA: You smiled at me and I knew that I would follow you anywhere.
SONNY: I’m sorry.
BRENDA: I’m not.
They kiss again, then Sonny wraps her in his coat and tells her to go to sleep. (Should I confess that I’ve always strangely loved the way he calls her sweetheart? I’m not really an endearment person but for some reason 90s Sonny makes it work.) They lie back together, prepared to fall asleep and die.
Nikolas arrives home — thankfully, just in time to spare us any more of Stefan and Bobbie’s make out session. He gives them the lowdown on the latest Spencer family travel plans before stomping out in a teenage huff. Heh. Remember when Nikolas acting like a moody brat was endearing instead of pathetic? His angst is kind of adorable.
Bobbie, thinking he just needs someone to talk to, heads up for a step-motherly chat. Stefan broods. (Shocker!)
Back at the Spencers’, Lucky tells Laura that he’s coming back to Port Charles with Luke after they get the girls settled in Switzerland. Laura looks shocked. Wow. She’s not really having a good episode, is she?
At the cave-in site, Jax is insistent that Brenda’s still alive and there must be another way in. When Mac reminds him that Jason said there’s only one, he spits out the following awesome burn:
JAX: I don’t care what Jason said! He can’t tell the difference between murder and loyalty!
Meanwhile, Jason tells Mike that he thinks Sonny is alive, because Harry wanted to make him suffer and knew that “Sonny doesn’t like small places.”
That’s a very diplomatic way of putting it, Jason! Mike begs Mac to get them out. Mac, who is already doing everything he can, reassures him with more patience than I would have had.
Jax stomps off to look for another entrance, which mainly means he’s wandering aimlessly and shouting to Brenda that he knows she’s alive and “‘nobody leaves,’ remember?” (Creepiest. Relationship motto. Ever.)
But it turns out he’s actually on the right track, as his voice echoes down to where Brenda and Sonny are passed out, curled in each other’s arms.
At first, it appears Jax might already be too late, but then Sonny wakes up enough to hear him. He weakly shakes Brenda, but she’s unresponsive. He begs her not to do this to him, and she finally stirs. The sound of Jax’s voice gives her enough energy to sit up and yell back.
Jax promises he’s going to get help and shouts that he loves her before running off. Brenda’s overjoyed that they’re going to get out. Sonny’s less so, but perhaps that’s because he’s now looking like it’s a struggle just to maintain consciousness.
Back at the surface, the rescue squad is predicting at least several hours before they can get in, since going too fast will risk bringing the whole thing down. Mac asks Jason to draw a map, since the city surveyor never charted these caves. But Jason, crouching on the ground in evident distress, says he can’t.
When Mike blows up at him, he finally explains it’s not for lack of trying, but his brain can’t understand maps. Wow. Remember when the writers used to be consistent with Jason’s brain damage? Yeah. Good times.
Mac heads off to direct the rescue effort and Jason asks Mike to help him remember the Lord’s Prayer. When Mike gives him the line, he repeats it somewhat desperately. It’s very strange seeing Jason so flustered and out of control in a crisis. I find it both refreshing and endearing.
Det. Taggert arrives on scene, and he’s typically less concerned with the rescue effort than he is with finding evidence that Sonny and Jason have been using these caves to smuggle heroin. Even Mac seems disgusted with this attitude, but they’re interrupted by Jax’s frantic arrival before Taggert can do much more than douchily shine his flashlight in Jason’s face.
Everyone troops up to the area where Jax heard Brenda. She shouts up to them that Harry is dead and it’s just her and Sonny down there. Jason wants her to find out from Sonny where they are exactly, and Sonny shouts that they’re in the “basement” — in other words, the deepest part. Of course.
Brenda’s starting to believe they’re actually going to get out of this… which snaps her out of the consequence-free LaLa land she’s been living in the past few hours. Realizing Jax knows she didn’t leave him (I guess part of Harry’s plan was making it look like she had?), she hesitantly starts to say that she would never take back anything that’s happened between them. Sonny, looking resigned and not at all like he wants to have this conversation, assures her it’s all right.
Jason starts counting steps and eventually points out the exact spot where he thinks they are. But when Jax wants to dig there, both Jason and the engineer veto the motion, concerned the already unstable cave would collapse if they press it. Taggert, of course, takes this opportunity to get up in Jason’s face some more, insinuating he’s just trying to keep them from finding a secret heroin stash and goading him to hit him.
Man, I liked Taggert, but he was so one-note sometimes. (Okay, most of the time.)
Before things can escalate, a tremor rips through the area. Sonny and Brenda are still okay, but the engineer needs to find a place to dig that won’t bring the roof down on their heads. Jason’s able to show him where the next chamber over begins.
Down below, Sonny’s expressing doubt they’ll be able to dig down in the correct location. Brenda, not one to get distracted by petty concerns like impending death, says he never answered her question. Sonny tries to play dumb, but at her pointed look, he takes her hand and tells her it’s okay; he won’t tell Jax what happened between them.
Maturity, self-sacrifice, and consideration for others! It’s such a good look on him, seriously.
Jason’s still walking around in circles, carefully counting his steps to map out the chambers below while everyone watches.
Just as he seems to have found the spot he was looking for, the ground collapses underneath him, setting off another tremor. Down below, Sonny pulls Brenda to the ground, trying to shield her from the debris. After the tremor subsides, they discover a pocket of fresh air coming it. Mike, Mac, and Jax manage to pull Jason up out of the hole, and amusingly, Mac thanks him for saving them some work. Sonny shouts up that he’s going to dig from the bottom.
Mac takes Taggert aside to give him a stern warning — which basically amounts to, “Don’t be an asshole, or you’re fired.” Heh.
Down in the caves, Sonny’s working to clear the tunnel to the surface, but his claustrophobia is clearly getting to him; he soon climbs out to take a breather. Brenda climbs in to take a look — despite both Sonny and Jax yelling at her not to, naturally. The remaining boulders are too huge for her to move, though, so she turns around, aggravating her hip injury in the process.
When Jax hears her cry out in pain, he decides to go down into the tunnel himself. For some reason, none of the trained rescue professionals has a problem with this.
Almost immediately, more of the tunnel collapses. Mac barely manages to pull Jax out. He strongly vetoes a second attempt.
Jax wants Sonny to try and make it to this end of the tunnel. Jason tries to explain that it’s a bad idea without giving away Sonny’s claustrophobia issues. He doesn’t succeed. Down below, Brenda is similarly concerned and tries to volunteer herself. But Sonny is determined to do it.
He starts out fairly strong, muttering “I can do it,” to himself as Brenda calls out encouragement in the background. But soon, the cave starts to rumble and Sonny collapses and cowers, looking like he’s in agony.
We hear Brenda’s voice shouting to him to come back out of the tunnel, but it’s muffled as if she’s calling from far away. When the rumbling stops, Sonny’s still frozen. We see Brenda has squeezed into the tunnel as well, trying to reach him. She begs Sonny to let her know he’s okay.
BRENDA: Sonny, listen to me, baby. I know you can do this, all right? Come on, you’ve beat every single thing in your life that’s ever hurt you. You beat Harry, you beat Rivera. You dealt with losing Lily. Even me. Hey, you beat Deke, right?
Either the pep talk is working or Sonny just wants to shut her up, because he finally gets control of himself enough to assure her he’s all right and start moving forward again. He tells Brenda to get back out of the tunnel, then manages to move the remaining boulders.
(Somehow. Without crushing himself in the process. Even though they’re above him in a vertical tunnel– look, none of this really makes any sense, but I DON’T CARE.)
Now that the last bit has been cleared, Sonny has a pow wow with the rescue team — even though for “rescuers,” they haven’t done much more than sit on their asses, occasionally making things worse, but whatever.
Mac wants to lower two harnesses into the tunnel and bring both Sonny and Brenda up at the same time; he thinks they’ll only get one shot because the tunnel won’t hold. Sonny says it’s too narrow for two people. He tells them to throw down one harness — for Brenda, of course. Oh, my heart!
Jax and the others wait anxiously above. Sonny straps Brenda into the harness as they get a little last bickering in. She thinks he should go first, since he’s worse off at the moment. He, of course, hasn’t told her that whoever goes last is most likely never going to leave.
SONNY: Could you just do what I want, just for once.
BRENDA: You always say that.
Brenda gives up that argument but immediately leaps into another one: she wants Sonny to come with her into the tunnel now, because she’s afraid that he won’t be able to do it by himself after she’s rescued. He gives in pretty easily — maybe because he knows she’s right, and maybe because he thinks it doesn’t matter — and gives her one last quick kiss before following her back in.
It’s still a tight squeeze, and Brenda’s having obvious trouble with her hip. Finally, they make it. Brenda and Sonny give each other one last look as she starts to get pulled up — still ignorant of the sacrifice he’s making for her.
Almost immediately, the tunnel starts to collapse. The rescuers barely pull Brenda out in time. Dirt and rocks rain down on Sonny.
Brenda throws her arms around Jax, then realizes that Sonny’s just been buried and releases a series of ear-splitting shrieks, the likes of which only Vanessa Marcil could make even mildly endearing. No doubt as desperate to shut her up as I am, everyone jumps to try and dig Sonny out — even Jax.
The others hold his legs as Jax dives head first into the hole — now filled with dirt and debris. Somehow, even though he was clearly buried at the bottom of the tunnel before, Sonny’s now near enough to the top that Jax is able to grab his hands and pull him out. Sonny collapses on the ground, covered in dirt and breathing heavily. To his credit, Jax actually takes the time to make sure he’s all right before turning his attention back to Brenda, who hugs him joyously.
Meanwhile, Sonny clasps hands with his life-partner, by which I mean Jason, of course.
He pretends to be angry with Jason for telling people about their smuggling den, then pulls him down for a hug. It’s really weird — but also sort of touching — to see them so physically affectionate with each other.
Sonny starts yelling to Deke, taunting him that he’s still dead while Sonny is alive. He sees Mike and asks, “Where you been, pop? You look like hell.” Which, for them at this time, was practically a declaration of love, so it’s very sweet.
Jason crawls along side Sonny, and the latter takes the opportunity to give him a casual ass slap for no apparent reason. I don’t even know, people.
Jason’s reaction is kind of hysterical, by the way:
ANYWAY, random homosocial man-love aside, we close on Sonny locking gazes with Brenda — who’s still clinging to Jax like a baby monkey, but only has eyes for Sonny:
Clearly, whatever her intentions, what happens in the catacombs isn’t going to stay in the catacombs.