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.
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:
… 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.
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.
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!
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.