Franco explains it all… and it’s all terrible.

Great news, guys! Turns out that rape party? All just a big misunderstanding! Don’t we feel silly now, jumping to conclusions and being all alarmist?

HAHAHAHA… no, just kidding. Everything is still the worst.

Lante reunion3

With one exception: my fear that the writers — and therefore the characters — wouldn’t realize that Lulu “consenting” to have sex with Stavros under duress was still rape? Kind of moot. Mostly because things with Stavros didn’t actually get to that point. But we at least got this from Dante before he realized that:

DANTE: That bastard. He forced you to sleep with him. It’s okay, you can tell me, Lulu. I can take it, I promise you.

(Close enough? Eh, I’ll take it. We have bigger fish to fry anyway.)

And then we found out what she really felt guilty about, which caused him to look at her like this while calling her a bad ass:

Lante reunion1

Lante reunion2

… and her to look at him like that, while remembering who she is. I’m still getting used to Emme Rylan as Lulu, and it will always be a bit weird seeing her in “flashbacks” to events we actually watched Julie Marie Berman live through the first time around. But… I didn’t hate it, is what I’m saying.

Unfortunately, my other big fear — that the writers would think Franco only letting people believe he was responsible for raping both Sam and Michael made everything (including his may other crimes!) just hunky dory fine — is looking more and more plausible.

You see, when Franco set up cameras to spy on Jason and Sam having sex on their honeymoon, drugged Sam, touched her naked body, and allowed her to believe he had both raped and impregnated her, he didn’t actually think it would cause her any pain.

No, really. They REALLY had him say that:

FRANCO: And all of a sudden, my game wasn’t any fun, all right? And I wanted my game to be fun. So I planned Hawaii. With Sam. It wasn’t like with Michael. In Hawaii, I controlled all the pieces. I could make sure that Sam didn’t get hurt, that the only person that was hurt was Jason.
CARLY: You don’t think it hurt to think you were raped by a psychopath?
FRANCO: That thought did occur to me… later.

(Totally understandable, right? Everyone knows that raping women always hurts men the most!) (Dear show: please stop giving me Guza flashbacks. I thought we were past this crap.)

Hey, speaking of Michael, remember how much dear Uncle Franco always cared about his welfare?

Right, me neither. But that’s because he cleverly fooled us all! See, Franco — that loveable scamp– was only pretending to not give a shit whether of not Michael lived or died or spent the rest of his life in prison.

In reality, he just wanted to nobly protect him — in the process, inadvertently sending him into Carter’s path. Oops? (But really, haven’t we all been there? Just trying to prank someone and then, whoops! Brutal prison rape. Man, if I had a nickle…)

Poor Franco, you guys. That time he had to (had to! for… reasons!) viciously taunt Jason over having had a teenager raped? He was really just crying inside over the pain of realizing what he’d done. The agony of it all must have been terrible for him, I’m sure.

Franco explains it all

I remain — baffled seems not strong enough a word — bewildered? Confounded? Embarrassed? REALLY EFFING PISSED? At the decision to bring Franco back at all, much less with Roger Howarth stuck trying to sell a terrible retcon of what was only a half-assed piece of performance “art” to begin with. And the fact that they’re already twisting themselves into knots to try and mitigate his crimes leaves me with zero confidence about where this could possible be going.

(Unless they’re planning a Jason Quartermaine-style memory wipe where he literally becomes a completely different person? When that’s looking like the best case scenario for having a character around… it’s not a good sign. Just saying.)

The lone bright side has been Chad Duell and Sean Kanan getting to act their balls off over over AJ finding out about the rape.

Michael and AJ

Liz supports AJ

AJ took the news about as well as you might expect, which is to say by making it all about himself, and also giving Carly and Sonny some solid truth-telling in the process. So that was all well and good.

Michael also blurted the whole story out to Kiki (please God, can we start calling her Lauren soon? I can’t take the name Kiki even the slightest bit seriously) so that they could have a little boding session over their respective terrible families… which is in no way similar to the way Michael and Starr’s relationship got started, even though Kiki’s terrible father is also a murderer/sexual predator who hurts people constantly and then tries to charms his way out of it with sarcastic quips.

But other than that, no resemblance!

Michael and Kiki

KIKI: I had a fight with my mom. Turns out she’s been lying to me my whole life.
MICHAEL’S FACE: DUDE, I KNOW THAT FEEL.

(One nice thing I can say about Kiki is that, unlike her two returning compatriots, her new hair is an actual improvement. That’s… something? I guess?)

I’m also really enjoying Maura West’s Ava Jerome. She’s got just the right mix of savvy schemer and vulnerable underbelly for a fun soap antagonist you want to root for. And if she’d been brought into the Quartermaine story with Roger Howarth playing a new Cassadine or Q? I’d probably be over the moon about this whole story right now, because the bones of the drama are decent the I like the players. Well, most of them.

Unfortunately, the entire concept of Franco is such an enormous turd, it can’t help stink up everything it touches. I really hope they fix this soon, guys. I care how. Just make it go away and forget it ever happened.

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9 thoughts on “Franco explains it all… and it’s all terrible.

  1. didnt’ we just go through that story last year on one life….no wait a minute, he wasn’t really me, he was my twin victor……..who got all my memories…blah, blath…bletch…and I too saw that story already done, yeah mind you it was 20 years ago, on days…but still…..guess what, that’s fresh in my mind……

    no, if they wanted RH back, he should have been a completely new character…and that’s that..

    not some recast, where they have to rewrite, and rewrite, and rewrite, all that was done…to me that’s a waste of time…and then some…

    I couldnt’ care for him as paul ryan when he was on atwt….because paul was a good guy until roger took over the role………and because a total all out creep……

    if they want me to see another side of RH…then give me something totally different, then the oh i’m so sorry roles that he’s been playing…for the past 20 years…..boo hoo, hoo, I didnt’ mean to do it…..

    susan

    (Unless they’re planning a Jason Quartermaine-style memory wipe where he literally becomes a completely different person? When that’s looking like the best case scenario for having a character around… it’s not a good sign. Just saying.)

    yeah ava Jerome is the best thing that’s happening to the show, right now

  2. Blech to Franco.

    I suspect RC is giving PP the middle finger by messing up his plans so he’s using FrankeTodd and KikI to sell Starr/Kiki/Michael and Todd/Franco/Carly pairings.

  3. Don’tcha see, he’s not a bad guy. He’s done good things. He…um…give me a minute here…oh, I got it, he made Mario Batali violently ill. That’s a good thing. Also, he, well, really you, gave me that screencap above with the dumbfounded look under the dorky blonde hair that’s giving me a serious case of the giggles, and they say that laughter is the best medicine.

    Speaking of medicine, I love understanding Dante, but taking Lulu to see Kevin to get “the all clear”? Really? I’m no trained psychiatrist, but I’m pretty sure “you were traumatized, threatened, your family was threatened, and you were frozen but now that you remember everything so it’s all good. Take two aspirin and see you the next time you’re kidnapped” is not how it usually works. Is it?

    • The sad thing is that by soap standards, taking her back to see a psychiatrist at all is better than I expected.

  4. I’m deeply relieved that the show didn’t go the “raped-but-no-it-was-consensual” route with Lulu, and happy she got her memory back. The downside of that is that now that I’m not so immediately worried about Lante going the Jess/Brody route, I have nothing to distract me from the unmitigated awfulness of the Franco stuff. Without trying to be hyperbolic, I think it’s a contender for the worst idea I’ve ever seen on a soap. Franco was a bad character, played badly in bad storylines that got stupider with every return. Bringing him back from a well-deserved death, trying to rehabilitate him and retcon his crimes to make him palatable, and having him played by Roger Howarth is just bad-flavored icing on the bad-flavored cake.

    I wonder if Howarth is playing Franco as Todd because he has a limited range, or because the entire point of this recast is to turn Franco into Todd 2.0, and the show thinks that can be accomplished by having Howarth pout his way through the role.

    • I honestly think RH is trying to differentiate Franco from Todd, but with the writing he’s getting, it would be pretty difficult. They’re not really leaving him a lot of room. I’m sure that’s deliberate. But I think it’s a mistake.

  5. Why even bring Franco back? I was so sick of him, and the whole bit with Sam’s WTD story was sickening! OK, so part of that was Wolfe for the rape, but also this team for having Franco become JAson’s brother. What the WHAT? It was pointless, and I don’t buy it. Heather is a psychopath, so she may have lied about that just to rattle Sam and Jason.
    At least Dante is still Dante, but really, he handled Lulu’s abortion (Which would probably be the much greater test) with such grace, so why wouldn’t he handle this the same way? I’m warming to ER, I miss JMB but ER is doing a good job.

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