It’s a bad week to be a Corinthos boy.

I have mixed feelings about the Michael rape story. On the one hand, this show’s recent track record dealing sensitively with rape — and with male rape in particular (not so funny now, is it, Jason?) — is abysmal. And watching it happen to a kid we’ve all seen grow up from a tiny baby into a slightly psychotic tween into one of the most genuinely nice and mature adult characters on the show has been… well, it’s not anywhere on my list of dream plots, you know?

On the other hand, the months of coy “was he/wasn’t he?” have felt a lot like the writers wanted the controversy of a “daring” storyline without the risk of actually having to deal with the consequences. And that was offensive and irresponsible on a social level and just plain sloppy on a narrative level. So despite my misgivings, I’m glad that they’re finally acknowledging the rape outright instead of implying it heavily while refusing to say the word.

What I don’t love? Is this:

MICHAEL: I hate that you were attacked. And I’m not saying there’s a silver lining. Fighting Brandon, making him stop… it’s like something inside of me got released. I don’t feel powerless anymore.
ABBY: That’s a big step.
MICHAEL: Yeah, and I have you to thank for that.

Because yeah, Michael might not be saying there’s a silver lining there, but the writers sure are. Need a man to get over sexual assault? Brutalize a woman to empower him and make the entire story about how brave and awesome he is! Easy peasy, right?

I wonder how Abby is going to be empowered after this. (That is, assuming the writers even bother to give her possible trauma any further thought.) How much you want to bet Michael’s tender love will heal her pain? Because that’s what always happens to female victims on soap operas. But hey, who needs agency when you’ve got a barely legal kid to save you? (My eyes roll forever, seriously.)

I like Michael and Abby together. And Chad Duell is acting the hell out of this story. But the way this reveal has been predicated on building him up by victimizing her really leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Meanwhile, all the trusted adults in Michael’s life have been predictably eager to make his trauma all about them and their guilt. Well, except Carly, who’s been even more predictably quick to immediately make it all about her insane and neverending vendetta against Dante. Oh, Carly. Never change.

Speaking of which, this happened:

CARLY: We don’t have a marriage.
JAX: What are you talking about. Let me get this straight: I’m expected to forgive you every time you feel like sleeping with Sonny, but I lie about helping a friend and that’s a deal breaker?
CARLY: You didn’t forgive me! You throw it up in my face every single time we get in a fight. I sleep with Sonny and that entitles you to lie about anything any time you feel like it?
JAX: Well, maybe I’m entitled to a little bit because I didn’t actually sleep with Brenda. I went to London to help Interpol!
CARLY: I don’t want to stand here and fight about who hurt who more.

No, of course you don’t, Carly. Because you would lose that fight. A thousand times over.

Not that she doesn’t have a point. I mean, if I were Jax, I never would have forgiven her in a million years, but that’s because I am neither an idiot nor a masochist. Jax, on the other hand, made the choice to stay married to this jealous, chronically unfaithful hot mess of a woman, which means he has lost the right to keep harping on her many issues with fidelity whenever he wants a distraction from his own many issues with truthfulness.

Of course, this being roughly the eight thousandth time Jax and Carly have threatened to end their marriage for pretty much the exact same reason (namely: Jax is a liar and Carly is a crazy person), you’ll forgive me if I don’t get too worked up about the possibility that they might actually go through with it.

In fact, I’m surprised that poor Morgan wasn’t able to recite the words of the divorce talk along with Jax by now… kind of the way I can’t help mouthing along with all the dialog in the original Star Wars trilogy, even though it’s incredibly annoying to both myself and anyone else who happens to be in the room. To Aaron Sanders’ credit, he really made me feel as if Morgan wasn’t hearing the “I’m divorcing your mother, not you” speech for the first time. But I have a hard time believing he wouldn’t just shrug at this point. Because he must know as well as you and I that Jax will be back in that house before Spring.

(One day, I fully expect Morgan’s therapy bills to surpass even the impressive debt his siblings are currently racking up. Can you imagine trying to date adult Morgan? Everything he knows about relationships, he learned from watching Carly, Sonny and Jax… that kid is going to be such a trainwreck.)

And on the subject of men who unnecessarily lie about Brenda to the woman they love, I was so over this Dante/Brenda story before it even started, so I’m glad to see the writing has started swinging back around toward emphasizing his love for Lulu over his inexplicable little crush. And his reaction to the breakup has been satisfyingly distraught…

… although his pain would kind of hold more weight is he wasn’t still lying to her about this effing baby that had better not turn out to actually have been his, because oh my God, writers, are you actively TRYING to ruin everything good about my memories of Sonny and Brenda?

For Lulu’s part, I think she’s kind of overreacting with this salted earth breakup policy, but at the same time… damn, girl. Your friends and family suck. Between Lucky and Maxie endlessly cheerleading and making excuses for Dante, I wouldn’t blame her for going a little crazy on all their unsupportive asses.

I hope she sticks to her guns for a while longer, at least. Dante deserves to squirm a little more, even if I can’t entirely fault him for the writers deciding to turn him into a retroactively out of character douche.

But then, for the love of all that is holy, can we please get these two back together and let them have some fun again? Because maybe with Dante not shoehorned into nearly single one of her scenes, Brenda might have time to — oh, I don’t know — meet her oldest friend’s husband and daughter? Visit with her future father-in-law, who she hasn’t seen once since her return, but used to love? Take Lois’ wretched daughter in hand? Build an actually believable romance with Sonny?

… Oh, stop laughing.

11 thoughts on “It’s a bad week to be a Corinthos boy.

  1. I don’t like how they have used Abby’s attack to highlight Michael’s attack either. Through Abby’s attack they practically gave us a play-by-play of exactly how Michael’s rape happened. I, along with everyone else already had a pretty good idea of what happened to Michael and how. I didn’t need the show to draw me a picture, you know?

    • Yeah, it’s a very cookie cutter understanding of PTSD, for sure. Same with Brenda’s issues, really — because obviously people will only have trauma flashbacks if they’re presented with the exact same scenario as the one that created the original trauma. *eyeroll*

  2. I see no reason for this storyline. The only positive aspect is seeing Chad Duell’s increasing awesome acting ability. There is no reason to do this to his character. Michael Corinthos has been tortured practically since birth from the actions of his parents and those of their sphere. Almost more than many of the adult characters of GH. Being sent to Pentonville was enough of a trauma, why was “rape” needed.

    BUT having said that Steve Burton and Chad Duell have been acting their tuckus’ off. My tear ducts are friggin sore. But theeeere’s Carly, she starts off wonderfully comforting her son, then her Linda Blair personality erupts. WTH, she goes straight after Dante AGAIN. I can’t believe we had to see her “say ‘ello to my leetle fren” scene again with him.
    Uhhh, you, Sonny and Jason set this path for Michael. Freakazoid Franco then got into the mix.

    I am also over the Brenda vs CarJax union. Eye sockets are rolling over Carly’s hissy fits. You would think he’s playing “hide the banana” with Brenda, not like Carly’s yearly “exam” with Sonny.

    I am so glad I’m finally seeing the Return of Dante Falconeri. The gimmick of throwing him in the mix with Brenda Barrett was stooooopid and irritating. I need my Lante back NOW.

    • Chad Duell’s been fantastic. I’m really happy he’s getting a chance to shine with this story. I’d be really pleased to see his get some Emmy recognition from all this, even if the Daytime Emmys a complete and total joke (kind of like the real Emmys, but I digress…)

      I can’t believe there’s anyone — even the most rabid Carly/Jax fans — who feels an tension or interest in there ongoing marital woes at this point. It’s the same exact fight every time! And it always results in absolutely no change in behavior or marital status for either of them! It’s just… boring.

  3. I didn`t like either because Micheal`s rape was never dealt with until now with Abby a characterthat`s not part of the canvse.I`m sorry I just don`t care about her at all why should I be invested in because Micheal or another character.

  4. Jason to Michael: speaking of rape… I have a friend who was raped when she was your age (and I also had a secret love child with her). Maybe it would help if you talk with her. Oh never mind, she won’t in Port Charles for long. :(

  5. I eye rolled the entire confession scene to heaven and back because back when every soap journalist was acting like the audience was filled with morons and we couldn’t figure out what happened to Michael on our own….I may have tweeted Michael Fairman a smart ass response to his question “what do you think happened?” with a “It happened. And they are waiting till sweeps to reveal it to get mainstream press. Not my first time at this rodeo”.

    and looky there…first day of sweeps and what do we get? To get ANY kind of satisfaction out of this storyline I pretty much have to wear those horse blinder things and only look and listen to Chad. Because if I watch anyone else….I start to remember things about Carly and Jason finding this scenario hillarious…and the fact I remember at least FOUR interviews Guza gave where he said Jason KNEW what happened to Michael….at least one scene where it was heavily implied Dante figured everything out…and while I appreciate the notion of letting the victim be the one to tell what happened….I did feel the need to eye roll those specific reactions.

    Plus I’m betting that since we’ve already gotten teh PSA and Michael’s agreed to go to therapy…his part of the storyline is pretty much over.

    Also it kinda annoys me they were doing this for mainstream attenion and accolades and it’s working. I mean I know that’s teh point of sweeps don’t get me wrong….but considering how many other things this show does wrong…I don’t want people to give the wider audience the wrong idea this show does stuff RIGHT….

    • Wait– were people really not sure? Seriously? They couldn’t have telegraphed it more clearly if Michael had been walking around with a “Ask me about my prison rape!” t-shirt!

      I haven’t been following much in the way of mainstream press about this, but whenever I read something in the soap world gushing about Guza’s regime I about strain myself rolling my eyes. Either people are getting paid off big time or… there’s REALLY no accounting for taste, I guess.

      • I don’t think ANYONE who actually watched the show was unsure…but just about EVERY press piece I saw about it when it first started was basically “OMG YOU ALL DO YOU THINK MICHAEL WAS RAPED? DO YOU? WOULD GH GO THERE??” It got annoying after the first ten times someone did it.

        Basically the mainstream is doing the same gushing “bold daring storytelling” BS the soap press is doing. And I’ve been convinced for years most of the soap critics are paid off by Guza. (Michael Logan is my prime suspect)

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