Well. That was a thing that happened. (Dear Ron Carlivati, remember that rape moratorium we talked about? No? That only happened in my mind? Damn.)
So, the good news is we finally know who Roger Howarth is playing! The bad news is… it’s exactly who we thought it was. You know, the thing that seemed too stupid to possibly be true. And hey, Sam’s maybe-rape has officially become a non-rape! But not to worry, the cosmic rape scales have been balanced out by Lulu and Stavros:
(God help us all if Dante’s less than sensitive reaction from the previews for tomorrow wasn’t just a misleading edit, is all I can say about that.)
And, of course, AJ’s about to finally find out about Michael’s rape. Which is actually something I’ve been waiting for since he found out about the coma thing. But coming on the heels of watching a traumatized Lulu relive her “wedding” night and a traumatized Sam forced to sit through a video of her own assault, I just… I’m all raped out for the moment, guys. Seriously.
And the thing is, on paper, this was actually good day of soap. Half the town gathered in a remote place during a storm! A villain returned from the dead with dramatic revelations! A slideshow of Jason making stupid faces! (What? Tell me that wasn’t hysterical. I WON’T BELIEVE YOU.)
Except the villain in question happens to be possibly the worst thing to happen to this show in the last ten years. (And that is a time period that includes blog wars, toxic balls, and Courtney, just to provide some perspective.)
I’m honestly baffled by the decision to saddle Roger Howarth, a popular leading man, with this hot mess. I mean, literally the only good thing about him not playing Todd anymore was that for the first time in 20 years, I might finally be able to enjoy watching him without the uncomfortable knowledge that he was a rapist. But no. Instead of bringing in some Quartermaine or Cassadine cousin who hasn’t already been written into a corner, they’ve chosen to resurrect a terrible retcon created solely for a shitty celebrity stunt-casting promotion, who literally NO ONE IN THE WORLD HAS MISSED.
(The single silver lining to this debacle? Now we really never have to see James Franco again.)
And if the purpose of today was to “redeem” Franco enough to be viable as a grey hat instead of an outright villain, um… no. Sorry! The fact that he didn’t actually rape Sam, but merely drugged her, filmed himself with her unconscious naked body to get back at her husband, and allowed her to think she had been raped for more than a year doesn’t really make it better, even if he does claim to feel really, really bad about it now.
Nor does his apology to Elizabeth erase the fact that he still effing kidnapped her baby. Or any of the other murders we saw him commit. Or that time he nearly blew up Sam and Lulu. Or the Michael thing, which we’re obviously going to hear more about tomorrow — but seriously, even if they retcon that he didn’t have anything to do with setting it up, he’s still the kind of person who was willing to take credit for it and taunt people with it afterward. THIS IS NOT A VIABLE NON-VILLAIN.
I wouldn’t be worried about any non-Guza human being understanding these concepts, but despite my love for a lot of things about the show under Carlivati’s direction, this has proven to be a problem area for him in the past. To put it mildly. So I’m not exactly brimming with confidence that it’ll be handled in a way that won’t give me rage seizures, you know?
But something tells me this story will be providing rant fodder to last for days and I don’t want to shoot my rage wad all in one go, so let’s just wrap up for now with two things I did enjoy today:
Elizabeth holding onto AJ for support? AJ getting in Franco’s face when he was being creepy toward her? Carly standing by Sam and comforting her through the video reveal? Delightful!
(Psst, show… I would like more of that and less with the express train straight to rape city, please. Could we maybe work on that?)