Before I get to the ranting, there are three pieces of good news:
1) Rumor has it that as of this writing, we have seen the last episode with Garin Wolf and Shelly Altman as head writers. Expect another gleeful post this evening if Ron Carlivati’s name pops up in the credits today.
2) Even with the aforementioned duo at the helm, the show still managed to pull of a holiday episode where no one was shot or raped! (Readers, I was flabergasted.)
3) And Grandma Anna’s back!
Taking that last first: yay, Anna! Even if I know she’s back for a story I’m going to hate, it’s still nice to see Finola Hughes’ delightful, toothy face hugging Robin. I didn’t even grit my teeth too hard at the recurring “Anna doesn’t want to be a grandma” joke this time! (Mostly because they managed to tone down the “Grandmothers = Old Women = DISGUSTING” implications. Yay, restraint?)
It also doesn’t hurt that she and NuEmma (who still cannot stop smiling during all her scenes) are totes adorable together:
And aside from Anna, the rest of the Valentine’s Day show featured some actual, old school romance from a couple who seem to enjoy one another’s company:
(I actually like Lulu working at the PCPD? I mean, it would be nice if she had loftier ambitions than filing, but at least there’s a chance for more organic involvement with a variety of stories now. And I like it when characters have jobs we actually see them going to.)
Then yesterday, after a predictably shrill insta-reaction of Carly blaming Sam for Jason’s latest brain problems (like, I’m so sure that if it was possible for anyone cause Jason’s brain to explode, it would be Sam and not you, Carly), we got Carly and Sam apologizing to each other and generally acting like human beings. Meanwhile Jason and Robin had another history-respecting conversation that might have made me tear up a bit:
So that was nice. (Of course, because this is still General Hospital, we also had Jason and Sam settling in for a romantic viewing of a gift from her maybe-rapist. But you can’t have everything, I suppose.)
And then there was this:
SONNY: I called you this morning. I couldn’t get through. But I’m sure you have an explanation.
ME: Sure. It’s GO FUCK YOURSELF.
You know what I hate? I hate when this show forces me to get defensive on behalf of a character who is awful. And Kate? Kate is awful. But this whole thing where she’s lying to Sonny about things that are none of his business anyway and somehow that’s supposed to make it not incredibly creepy that he’s basically having his goons stalk her, breaking into her office to sit waiting for her in the dark, and expecting her to account for her whereabouts to him at every single second? THAT IS NOT OKAY.
Guess what, Sonny? Sometimes people don’t answer their phones. It’s called: they’re in the shower, or in the middle of something important, or they just don’t want to talk to you right then. Gee, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to avoid Sonny, what with the complete disregard for what anyone else wants (Dante), constant paranoid accusations (Kate), and veiled murder threats (Jax). What a charmer, that man.
But Sonny’s latest abusive boyfriend schtick was but a blip on the rage-ometer compared to Maxie’s epic attempt to justify her heinousness yesterday. Let’s take a look, shall we?
MAXIE: Here’s the difference. Yes, it may have been pathetic and deluded for me to pretend I was engaged to a guy when I wasn’t. But it wasn’t illegal. Stealing drugs is, especially considering the fact that Elizabeth is a nurse! It’s abusing her power at the hospital!
MATT: Oh! Do you even know–do you even realize how hypocritical you sound right now? Are you listening to yourself when you talk?
MAXIE: You got that right, Matt. I am a hypocrite. I probably have done things that are just as bad as Elizabeth–
MATT: Probably? Probably?!
MAXIE: –but the difference is I don’t stand up on a pedestal. I don’t climb up there and put a halo on and decide to look down at everybody else and decide that I’m better than them the way Elizabeth does.
What was that–I can’t even… WHYYYYYYYYY? Like, that whole scene almost deserved a slow clap of appreciation for sheer, jaw-dropping gall.
First, as Monica pointed out yesterday, the fact that Maxie has the balls to act indignant over someone at the hospital “abusing their power” to steal drugs for Lucky in order to “sink her claws into him” is amazing. Second, you know what else is illegal, Maxie? CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MURDER. I mean, my god.
(Poor Matt doesn’t even know about that last one and even he was rendered practically speechless by her chutzpah here.)
Third: I have been hearing the same “Elizabeth is worse than everyone because she pulls the same crap and then acts like she’s perfect” refrain from Liz haters for years. And I Just. Do not. Get it. When has she ever pretended to be perfect? The woman castigates herself over her mistakes all the time! She worries that she’s a bad mother and horrible person, and she’s frequently miserable over her own stupidity! If other characters have occasionally granted her a halo she didn’t earn, that’s not her fault, and the show has certainly more than made up for it with gleeful scenes of public shaming for her various crimes. Elizabeth is constantly and viciously being called out for her shit.
But Maxie and Carly — who both pretty much decided one day that Liz was their enemy solely because she had a relationship with a man they wanted — have always been desperate to convince themselves that deep down, she really is just like them. But the truth is… she really isn’t. That’s not a value judgment. It’s just a fact: Carly and Maxie as both trouble-making bad girls. Elizabeth? She’s a people pleaser. Her problem isn’t that low self-esteem drives her to seek constant validation that she’s the center of every man’s universe; it’s that she subsumes her own desires beneath what she thinks other people want and expect from her — until those desires finally explode in usually self-destructive ways. Liz rarely schemes so much as falls into terrible decisions and then exacerbates them with months of lies.
All of which is an extremely long winded way for me to make the point: BULLSHIT, MAXIE. And further — self-awareness is all well and good, but there’s nothing noble to be admired about acknowledging your own hypocrisy while making zero effort to do anything about it.
(I don’t like hating Maxie this much, guys. Hold me?)
(Also, apparently, people are being mean to poor Jen Lilley? Don’t be mean to Jen Lilley, people. That’s not cool. I may hate Maxie right now, but that’s not Lilley’s fault, and neither are Kirsten Storms’ health problems. She has to play what she’s given.)