Because my part of the country is currently drowning in snow and there is more on the way, it seems like a good time to revisit the Port Charles blizzard of 1994.
So let’s travel back 21 years ago, to the first time Sonny participated in a prison break! To set the scene: Karen and Jagger are about to get married, but his little brother Stone is still working for Sonny. Which was bad, because 1993 Sonny had been really into rigging boxing matches and sleeping with drug addicted teenage strippers, and K & J hate his guts. 1994 Sonny, on the other hand, was more interested in sleeping with non-drug addicted teenage girls, aka Brenda. But they’ve mainly just flirted at this point.
Oh, and Sonny and Luke are breaking Frank Smith out of prison and everyone has a double cross planned. Mobsters can really not be trusted, guys.
We open on Jagger, unconscious and in a neck brace. Steve’s examining examining him while Audrey looks on, although his examination technique mostly involves calling Jagger’s name repeatedly and it kind of seems like anyone could have done that? Whatever, Hardy.
Stone comes into the examination room, also looking banged up. Steve tells him it’s too soon to tell if Jagger will be all right. Audrey thinks she should go tell Karen, considering it’s supposed to be her wedding day and all. And rather than call her, Audrey’s going to go over in person, even though she is old and there is a blizzard happening. The personalized service at GH is really impressive!
Speaking of the storm, we move over to Brenda, who is stalled in the snow. She storms out of her cute little red car wearing a cute little red dress, screaming incoherently at the “jerk” in the other car who apparently hit her. But when she opens the door, it’s Sonny who falls out, unconscious and bleeding.
Meanwhile, out in an abandoned mill, Luke is holding gun on Frank Smith, who he and Sonny just busted out of Pentonville. Luke’s plan was to get rid of Frank once and for all, but Laura just burst in with the news that Sean Donely is waiting for Luke back at the Spencer house. She thinks if he kills Frank now, there’s no way he won’t be caught for it. Luke really doesn’t care. As they argue back and forth, Frank manages to grab Laura as a human shield.
Back at the hospital, Felicia and Mac are sitting with a very young, pre-BJ’s heart Maxie. Felicia is wearing denim on denim and Mac has SO MUCH HAIR. Everything is very 90s. She has a minor breakdown over Maxie’s condition while Mac tries to calm her down. Simone finally comes in to report that she’s consulted with a cardiologist who agrees with her diagnosis and treatment plan. I had completely forgotten about Simone. Whatever happened to her? Did she just disappear?
Back in the blizzard, Brenda sits in the snow in her mini-dress with Sonny’s head in her lap. She starts freaking out when she realizes he’s bleeding badly. (One of the most interesting parts about these old episodes is seeing all the places where the existence of cell phones would have changed the plot quite a lot — like here, where she probably would have just called 911 immediately, but instead has to wait for her shrieking to wake Sonny up.)
And her shrieking does wake him up! Sonny winces and groans. Brenda wants to bring him to the hospital, but of course he can’t do that without explaining where he got two gunshot wounds. Brenda keeps talking about the hospital until he finally yells at her stop asking questions and just take him home. He also uses the phrase “you dig?” which is hilarious.
At the hospital, Steve questions Stone about what he and Jagger were doing on a motorbike in a snow storm on the night of Jagger’s wedding at the opposite end of town from the ceremony. Stone lies really badly about last minute wedding things! Stuff! That they had to do! Although he can’t remember what they were! Steve is not impressed with this bullshit.
Over at the prison, Tiffany is giving a live news update on the escape. Apparently, Luke and Sonny posed as federal marshals doing a prisoner transfer. But one of the guards figured out they were fakes, prompting a gun battle before they got away. Sonny was hit and they were separated.
Abandoned mill of betrayal: Luke promises to kill Frank if he does anything to Laura. Frank assures him he has no interest in hurting her or taking a long term prisoner; he’ll let her go as soon as he gets the keys to the getaway car and the fake ID papers Luke cooked up for him. Luke is still arguing with him when Laura pipes up to say she’s not going anywhere until Frank gives her some assurances about her family’s safety. Boy yeah, what a wilting flower Laura was. STUFF IT, GUZA.
Cut to Brenda half-carrying Sonny into his old apartment above the Paradise Lounge. The decor is so amazingly 9os, I can’t even. She drops him on the ugliest couch I have ever seen to go look for some blankets, ordering him to talk to her so he’ll stay awake.
Is that a… blocky pastel fish pattern? WHY!?
When she asks him where he learned to drive, he tells her it was at a Swiss boarding school, where he skied and went to a high performance driving school — which is an extra hilarious lie considering we’ve seen what happens when Sonny tries to ski.
BRENDA: Listen, are you putting me on?
SONNY: Would I put you on after what you’ve done for me?
BRENDA: You went to boarding school.
SONNY: You don’t buy that? That’s where I learned to withstand pain. [immediately yelps as she touches his chest]
BRENDA: I’m sorry! I’m sorry.
SONNY: You make it hurt so good.
Damn, that man’s flirtation game is strong! Two bullets and he’s still smooth as butter.
Totally into it.
He says she’s a sadist. Brenda’s just trying to keep him alive, and orders him to keep talking. So he confesses he actually went to school in Brooklyn, and waxes poetic about his neighborhood in a way that I wouldn’t be able to manage even if I wasn’t bleeding to death. Sonny used to have depth, y’all.
Brenda wants to know where the other gunshot wound is, and he quips that it’s “around here somewhere” and that he feel like Clyde of Bonnie and Clyde. Brenda is trying to be all business, but he keeps flirting until she finds more blood and starts freaking out again. He gives her the number to call his doctor, and she does so on the biggest phone I have ever seen. 90s realness!
At the conservatory, Karen’s in her amazingly ruffly wedding dress and worrying about Jagger. Her mom tries to calm her down, but Karen knows he went after Stone, who was on business for Sonny. Audrey comes in with the news about the accident and offers to drives her to the hospital while Rhonda stays to inform the guests.
Laura demands to know if Frank will keep chasing them around the globe if they let him leave. Frank promises she and Lucky would be safe, but she argues that if Luke’s not included in the deal, it’s meaningless. Luke is beside himself, telling her there’s no point to this, since they can’t trust any promise Frank makes. They negotiate that Luke will leave the gun in the house and follow them to the car, where Frank will let Laura go before driving away.
Felicia wants to know how many children with Kawasaki syndrome end up with heart complications. Simone admits that it’s a possibility, but a small one if she gets the right treatment. Yeah, Simone. Let me know how that works out for you. Mac promises they’re going to fight this together and win.
Sonny’s barely conscious again. Brenda tells him she’s going to press a clean towel on his “beautiful little chest,” which is such a weird and totally Brenda way of phrasing it. She wants him to talk some more. Sonny grunts at her. His arm is bleeding really badly. He mumbles something about a tourniquet, which she mishears as him telling her to “turn it,” causing him to shout in pain. Well, at least now he’s awake?
She uses his tie as a tourniquet and promises to take him shopping for a new one when this is over. He doesn’t think tie shopping is something she’d be into, which just goes to show how little they know each other at this point. Brenda promises him she is always up for shopping, but confesses she hates blood and doesn’t know what she’s doing. He talks her through it, explaining she’ll have to relieve the pressure every five minutes. There’s sexy violin music playing in the background. SEXY VIOLIN NURSING.
He makes a Florence Henderson crack and she laughs that he actually means Florence Nightingale. “Don’t be picky, I’m dying here.” You are flirting here, sir. That is what you’re doing. He yells again as she twists it too tight, but immediately gets control as she apologizes frantically, lying that he feels better already so she won’t feel bad.
Brenda wants to know what she’s making herself an accomplice to here. Nothing, Sonny says! Just a hunting accident! Don’t worry about it! Brenda practically strains something rolling her eyes, but says at least it’s better than watching Karen and Jagger get married. Sonny is flattered and grateful. “Thank you, nurse Brenda, for saving my life.” OH, JUST KISS ALREADY.
Frank and Luke make the exchange and he and Laura run back into the cabin and hug. Luke can’t believe he finally had Frank just where he wanted him after all these years and now he’s out there, free. Laura insists that if Luke had killed him, he would have gone to jail. They hope that the police will catch him, but Luke worries that they won’t. They make a plan for Laura to call in an anonymous tip about the van he was driving while Luke deals with Sean.
Karen rushes into the ER, where Jagger’s still unconscious. She asks Stone what happened and he starts to lie before she tells him to cut the crap. He confesses that he was delivering a vehicle for Sonny when Jagger showed up and ordered him to leave. They crashed because Jagger punched him and tried to drive away with him half conscious. Which kind of seems like this is really all Jagger’s fault? But whatever. I didn’t love him for his brains, that’s for sure.
Karen gives Stone hell for sounding like one of Sonny’s thugs. She thinks one way or another, he’s going to end up in jail or dead if he stays with him. Stone says she doesn’t understand, prompting her to lay into him for trusting Sonny over his brother, who loves him and has laid his life down for him over and over.
Sonny’s unconscious again, so Brenda slaps him. She tells him he can’t sleep — which I don’t think is necessarily true? You don’t bleed out faster if you’re unconscious, Bren — so he asks her to tell him a story. She makes the most adorable “oh, crap” face while she tries to think of one and then starts to tell him about the dog she had when she was a little girl, while stroking his hair and yelling “SONNY!” every other sentence to keep him awake. It’s basically the worst story every, but Sonny doesn’t seem to mind.
Speaking of dogs, Lucky and Sly are in the Spencer front yard with Sean, showing him all the tricks Foster can do. Sean jokes that he feels like he should be paying admission and Lucky immediately asks, completely serious, “What do you think is fair?” Hah! Luke shows up and tells Lucky no hustling on the property without giving him a cut.
The kids run off and Sean questions Luke about where he’s been. Luke makes up a terrible lie about walking in the woods. Come on, man. You knew you were going to need an alibi for the cops. You couldn’t have come up with anything better than that? Sean gives him the news about Frank’s escape, and if he didn’t already think Luke was involved, Luke’s “shocked” reaction would surely have convinced him. Luckily, a call comes over the radio with Laura’s anonymous tip, so Sean takes off.
Karen holds Jagger’s hand and tells him that she hopes she wasn’t too hard on Stone, but she’s not mad at Jagger for trying to keep him safe. She promises to be as good a wife as he is a brother. She just needs him to get better so they can finally be a family.
Mac tells Felicia that he’s going to stay with her and Maxie all night. She worries about the Outback, but he says he’ll get Miguel to handle it. Felicia climbs into bed with Maxie and prays for her to fight.
Brenda begs Sonny to wake up. She’s whispering instead of shrieking for once, and his eyes open. She tells him another story about her childhood turtle, who she accidentally killed. I was wrong. This is the worst story ever.
Brenda kind of realizes the same thing and flounders for another story before asking him to tell her one about Coney island. He mumbles weakly and starts to sing New York, New York. She sings along until he falters and whispers that no one can make it there, before falling unconscious. Brenda hugs him to her chest.
Karen’s still holding vigil by Jagger’s bedside when Miguel shows up with some coffee and platitudes. Um, isn’t he supposed to be over at the Outback so Mac can be with Felicia?
Sonny’s chest wound has bled through the bandages and Brenda starts freaking out some more about needing to call an ambulance. Sonny wants to keep waiting for his mob doctor, because if he goes to the hospital, he’ll end up in prison. Brenda thinks prison is better than dead, and tells him she’s waiting five more minutes and then making the call no matter what. Even while bleeding to death, Sonny manages an impressive eye roll.
Spencer house: Laura’s giving Luke a back-rub while wearing what looks like a jacket made out of my grandmother’s old couch. Luke is worried about Sonny, but can’t call him since both their phones may be bugged. The doorbell rings and they tense up, but it’s only Bobbie, there to see if they’ve heard the news about Frank.
Ned walks into the old Port Charles hotel restaurant to find Damian Smith, who somehow hasn’t heard about his father’s jailbreak yet. So Ned gives him the whole story. Damian is playing it extremely cool, and assures him that this won’t have any effect on ELQ or their partnership. But as soon as Ned leaves, he asks for the bar phone and calls Sonny.
SO MUCH HAIR
But Sonny tells Brenda to let the machine get the call, and Damian doesn’t leave a message. Brenda still wants to call 911, but just then slimy Phil Cusack finally shows up with Frank’s mob doctor in tow. The doctor is very judgmental for a guy making house calls to the mafia, I have to say. He’s also got bad news: Sonny needs an operation to get the bullet out of his chest, but he’s lost too much blood.
Brenda jumps in and announces that she’s a universal donor, which she knows because she just gave blood at school. The doctor is uncomfortable working with untested blood, and dude, what part of illegal mafia gun battles is making you think this is a time to be picky? But not to worry! Because Brenda has also been recently tested, and like a good socially conscious, sexually active 90s teenager, she carries the test results around in her wallet at all times.
The doctor wants to make sure she’s really okay with this, but Bren says that of course she’s not going to let Sonny die. Sonny mumbles that he won’t forget this and also calls her “babe.” It’s pretty adorable.
Jagger’s awake! He apologizes for messing up their wedding, but Karen says it doesn’t matter; there will be other days for them to get married.
Bobbie is flabbergasted by Luke and Laura’s lack of reaction to the Frank Smith news. They start throwing out ridiculous joke ideas about how to protect themselves from him — like keeping Jennifer Smith locked up in the basement! Bobbie helpfully offers that she’s been spending a lot of time with Damian lately. To get information! Information for Luke! And totally not because he’s been slowly seducing her to win a bet! But she just happens to know that Jennifer is living in Atlantic City with her husband, Billy “Bags” Boggs, who you may remember were played by special 90s guest stars Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold.
L+L decide to take a trip to Atlantic City to go dig up some dirt on Jennifer so they can blackmail Frank. Bobbie offers to get some more information out of Damian, even though Tony has asked her to back off. But Tony will get over it! I mean, it’s not like she’s going to sleep with him, right?
Speaking of Damian, Sean Donely soon shows up to question him about Frank’s escape. Damian, of course, claims to have no knowledge of it. As Sean leaves, Lucy comes over, pretending to be concerned for Damian, but actually just looking for gossip. Jeez, does Damian have regular office hours at this restaurant or something? How does everyone know to find him there?
Back at Sonny’s, the doctor is ready to begin the transfusion, and now Brenda’s starting to have second thoughts. She warns him that she doesn’t like pain and faints at the sight of her own blood. But when he reminds her that Sonny is literally dying, she sucks it up and lays down.
Damian tells Lucy that he knows nothing and that his father won’t contact him for help. They flirt with each other a bit and then start talking about their bet. He breaks the news that he’s underwriting the Nurses’ Ball. Lucy tells him it doesn’t matter; Bobbie is never going to fall for that, so he should just give up and hand over his ELQ shares to her right now.
Right on cue, Bobbie walks in! She asks how Damian is doing, but doesn’t want to interrupt him if he’s in the middle of something. Damian assures her that Lucy is leaving, as she was just telling him that she constantly has to remind herself she’s no longer eating for two. Hah! Lucy leaves with poor grace, per the terms of their bet, which I guess stipulated that she can’t interfere.
Jagger keeps thinking about Karen in the conservatory, wearing her beautiful dress, waiting for him. He wants to know what went through her head when he didn’t show up. She jokes that she assumed he just found someone better and he assures her there’s no such thing. More seriously, she says she was worried, of course, because of the storm and because Robin mentioned seeing him with Stone.
The operation’s over and Sonny’s been moved to his bed, where he’s unconscious. Brenda asks if he’ll be all right. The doctor doesn’t know yet, but the bullet is out and Sonny shouldn’t be left alone. She, of course, offers to stay.
After Cusack and the doctor leave, she calls Robin, who’s sitting at home in her little pink bathrobe. Robin breaks the news about Jagger and Stone’ accident and wants to know where Brenda’s been. Brenda expresses sympathy for Karen and even seems sincere about it, which is nice. She asks Robin to cover for her, although she can’t tell her why. Robin assumes this is about a guy.
Brenda immediately calls Lila and lies that she’s staying the night at Robin’s because of the storm. Lila is distressed to hear about Jagger and offers to send a fruit basket, because she is adorable. Brenda tells her to go relax and read a good book. (Lila: “There’s nothing like a good thriller on a stormy night!” ADORABLE.) After she hangs up, Brenda tells Sonny he’s not allowed to die and leave her alone with this mess.
Karen’s doing impressions of her mother for Jagger’s amusement when Miguel shows back up. Seriously, dude. Go make sure the Outback isn’t burning down, what are you even doing? Miguel wants to know if Jagger’s apologized to Karen for standing her up. Jagger promises he’s going to do whatever it takes to make it up to her.
Six feet of hair and uselessness
After Miguel leaves, they talk about Stone. Karen admits she was pretty hard on him earlier, but Jagger thinks he deserves it. They worry about what will happen to him when they leave for Chicago. Karen suggest they take him with them to get him away from Sonny. Jagger thinks that’s a big commitment, but Karen says Stone is family and they both love him
Bobbie awkwardly giggles her way through telling Damian she’s decided to accept the chairperson position for the Ball. Oh, girl. You got it so bad. Damian is glad to hear it, but wonders why she changed her mind. Bobbie apologizes for her reaction when he told her he was funding the ball. He admits it was a grandiose gesture to get her attention.
She manages to casually turn the conversation back to Frank’s escape and whether Jennifer’s heard about it yet. Damian offhandedly mentions the name of Jennifer’s casino, which is exactly the information she wanted. Bobbie is a master spy!
Damian suggests a romantic walk down by the pier, in a snow storm. Sounds… pleasant? He butters her up by talking about how everyone else only sees him as Frank Smith’s son, but she sees him for who he really is. Oh, brother.
Brenda’s dozing with her head on the bed when Sonny wakes up with a yell. She tells him the bullet is out and he just has to rest. He grabs her hand and asks her not to go. She promises she won’t. There’s a lot of prolonged and intense eye contact.
SO GOOD FOR ME
Luke gets off the phone with Bobbie and tells Laura they’re going to Atlantic City. He’s a little too enthusiastic about the prospect, which prompts Laura to admit she’s crazy with pregnancy hormones and not happy about him seeing Jennifer again.
LUKE: Angel, light of my life. Most secure, stable woman in the world with every reason to be secure. Could it be that you’re experiencing — what is that word, starts with a J?
It’s cute until you remember the retcon that he’s been regularly cheating on her with Holly and numerous others all these years, and Laura supposedly knew about it. Then it’s just gross and — what is that word, starts with an E?
Oh, yes. ENRAGING.
Anyway, that’s the story of how Sonny came to have Brenda’s blood literally running through his veins! Good times.
Up next: the wedding that wasn’t.