Certainly if I titled today’s post with “WOW” again, you guys would think I was just getting lazy, but just between us…it would most definitely be warranted. Tuesday’s episode of General Hospital was just RIVETING!
Just when I thought I couldn’t be any more impressed with this storyline and how it would play out, Tuesday came along. If Monday was the quake that shook Port Charles, then Tuesday was a day of aftershocks. And trust me, it left me “shook up.”
What an emotional day in Port Charles! Everyone’s emotions and feelings were on a roller coaster ride, and it was all over a bruised and battered teenager who ties them all together. My own emotions weren’t far behind as I cried all kinds of tears: tears of empathy, tears of understanding, of pity, of sadness, anger, and even a couple tears of solace. When GH finally faded to black, I was literally spent. I cried for a good five minutes afterwards as I tried to absorb everything. Congrats, Susan Wald, for writing an episode worthy of following Michele Val Jean’s Monday masterpiece.
Oh, where to begin?
How about at the epicenter of this unnatural disaster that hit Port Charles and caught them by surprise? Kristina’s room at GH. Ironically, Kristina’s pointing the finger at Ethan has caused the foundation to be rocked once more under her family’s feet, and will cause Ethan’s family’s to be rocked, but it seems that it has also rocked the soap watching world as well. People are upset about Kristina blaming Ethan, who’s innocent, and feel that this sends the message that victims are not to be believed. *sigh*
And I thought everyone watched Lifetime. Friends, this is what happens so many times in situations of abuse. Do people not realize that if victims pointed the finger at their abusers immediately, there wouldn’t be such a need for crisis centers and crisis counselors whose goal it is to convince women to put an end to long-term violent relationships? Take a look at these shocking domestic violence statistics from The Riley Center: (To see more stats and for more info go to www.rileycenter.org)
- Every 9 seconds, a woman is battered in the U.S.
Family Violence Prevention Fund, 1994.
- 95% of all victims of domestic violence are women.
Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, U.S. Dept. of Justice.
- Domestic Violence is the single major cause of injury to women, more than muggings and car accidents combined.
First Comprehensive National Health Study of American Women, The Commonwealth Fund, 1993.
- Domestic Violence is the cause of 30% of physical disabilities in women.
California Department of Social Services, 1994.
- 50% of all women murdered in the United States are killed by a spouse or an acquaintance.
Journal of Trauma, 1992
- Domestic Violence occurs in 60% of marriages and is the most underreported crime.
National Crime Statistics Report, 1993.
- 25% to 30% of adolescent relationships are abusive.
L.A. Commission on Assaults Against Women
- 1/2 of all rape victims are raped between the ages of 14 and 17.
L.A. Commission on Assaults Against Women
- As few as 5% of domestic violence victims are identified as such in Emergency Department records.
American Journal of Public Health, 1989.
- Domestic Violence costs an estimated $1.4 billion annually in medical bills, and an additional $900 million in mental health treatment.
National Public Services Research Institute, 1994.
Which of those statistics tell you that when someone is abused, they immediately sit up and tell the authorities the truth about who, when, and where? None! It is a silent nightmare and a secret pain that goes on too long in too many cases.
I want to thank all my readers who shared with me, either through the comments or through personal emails, their experiences with abuse – either as survivors, or as advocates, social workers, and teachers who’ve seen the other side. For those who were victims and are now survivors, I honestly felt a pang of deep regret for you as I read your stories. I am so sorry for what you’ve been through and SO HAPPY that you survived it, and that now you can share it and feel safe about it. I feel your pain because I too am a survivor of abuse, and like Kristina, I was too young, ashamed, and afraid to tell the truth. Like all of you, and like the millions of women our fictional Sam represents, what didn’t kill us made us stronger; but we had to heal first.
This storyline is so realistic, that it’s haunting. In situations where I’ve dealt with children who are abused by someone, they will often blame an innocent party because in their minds, the innocent party will get themselves out of it. I once had a student whom I knew was blaming an innocent party, tell me: “Everyone knows he’s a good person. That will help him.” It happens more often than we think, and as frustrating as it is, we can’t even blame the victim really. All people can do is create a safe and loving environment, and encourage the truth to be told at all times. I believe that’s what the writers will show her family doing, and I believe that Kristina will eventually tell the truth. Unfortunately, Ethan becomes a victim in the process. Let me say this: Ethan being a victim of a lie does not make Kristina less of a victim of a crime. I’m not sure where that idea came from. Ethan is collateral damage in a turbulent accident of life. Let’s use these opportunities to inform ourselves and be prepared to see the signs and help someone else.
Okay, my PSA is over. Moving on…
Maurice Benard’s portrayal of a tormented father reliving the one thing he became a mobster to avoid: someone hurting the one you love and not being able to prevent it. Sonny is just like anyone who’s ever sworn that the violence they survived will NEVER touch one of their own, except he became a mob boss. Even so, he and I aren’t that different. 90% of the clothes in my closet are black too (because of its slimming effects) and because of my deep-seeded need to protect those I love, I have been known to put the fear of God into many an adult, even if all they were abusing was their power. When Sonny left the room while Kristina was explaining what had happened to her, I knew exactly what he was feeling. I knew he could hear the blood rushing through his head, his heart was pounding, and all he could see was the face of the person who (in this case-allegedly) hurt his baby girl. Even so, when Sonny’s hand shot out, gun in shaking hand pointed at Ethan and yelled, “Turn around!” I jumped so high, I spilled cream soda all over myself! Poor Ethan. Nothing is as it seems, but he really can’t prove it, and if Sonny ever had a reason to be a mobster who can have people “whacked”, this is it. Luckily, Ethan’s ass was saved by Dante and Lucky, and he now sits in (protective) custody because it won’t be that easy for Sonny to kill him down at the PCPD. Sonny went from raging lunatic, to cold-blooded hit- ordering mob boss to tender loving Daddy to lost little boy all in the span of one episode. Amazing. The journey Maurice took his character on was incredibly believable at each turn, and he deserves to be applauded. The aftershocks Sonny experienced mae us all experience one emotion or another. Sonny was responsible for most of my tears yesterday.
Alexis was reminded once again that as a mom she can control what her girls eat, watch, do, and say while they are right in front of her, but she can’t control much of anything when they’re not. Kristina was beaten nearly to death in her own home and Alexis didn’t know about anything what Kristina had been up to that night. Scary. For Alexis – mind-blowing. Alexis was hurting for her daughter and angry as hell, but she knew that if Sonny killed Ethan, Kristina would be scarred for life (and again – Alexis doesn’t know the half of it). Alexis telling Tracy that she might actually enjoy Sonny killing Ethan was real and raw and even delicious coming from Ms. Law-Abiding Citizen. Alexis had her whole world shaken to its core and core values by these aftershocks, and sometimes, that’s what it takes to get us to wake up and see things realistically. The tears I cried for Alexis were tears of empathy.
Sonny thought Dante needed to go back to the hospital and take a look at Kristina and “think like a brother instead of a cop.” There aren’t many things that Dante would do based on Sonny’s asking these days, but this was one. I had a moment of reprieve as Dante sat by his sister’s bedside and assured her that she was still beautiful where it counted. Dante and Kristina had the opportunity to connect as brother and sister, which is good, as Kristina’s support system continues to grow. Dante was relieved of his duties by Sonny, and Dante witnessed not only Sonny’s love and devotion for another one of his children, but he got a close-up look at his father’s many vulnerabilities and old scars that still haven’t healed completely. Nothing makes you understand a person better than knowing what they’ve been through, and I hope that this aftershock shook loose some of the judgments and presumptions Dante had made. The tears I cried were tears of solace, because finally there was one positive in all of this chaos.
Sam broke my heart over and over again. I knew that Sam would blame herself, but she surprised even me by blaming herself even before she knew about the beating. I felt so badly for her when she was telling Jason that she was partly to blame for Kristina’s situation with Ethan. And I actually did cry tears of frustration when Jason let her leave alone…but since I am PMSing, I decide to forgive him and chalk it up to Temporary Male Cluelessness. I thought Sam’s scenes with Kristina in the hospital were sweet and sad and sisterly all at once, and I loved when Sam told Kristina that they’d get through it together. When Sam apologized to Alexis and said, “I never wanted her to end up like me,” I lost it! This is the real tragedy of abuse and violence. Even after Sam has turned her life around, changed for the better, become a good and loving person, she still doesn’t think she’s good enough. A co-worker, who served as the school social worker, once said to me that losing your sense of self-worth was like driving a new car off the lot of the dealership. The second it’s taken, it will never have its full value again, no matter how new and shiny it still appears. Sam’s self-worth was taken from her when she was forced into a life of crime by her stepfather. It was lost even to her when she went from one dysfunctional relationship to the next. She’s worked really hard to build it up and get some of it back, and has come a long way. But it will never be what it could have been. The aftershocks Sam experienced showed us proof. For that, I cried tears of sad and deep understanding.
Thankfully, not every character reduced me to tears, or I may not have been able to open my eyes today.
Another positive that may come from this tragic tale is that Ethan may finally understand how dangerous Sonny really can be. Just last week, Ethan was dabbling in perilous games with the mobster’s property. Stealing cigars and the babe who sits in Bernie’s office are some deadly dealings when you know who Sonny is. Obviously, Ethan did not. I’m thinking now he does. Clearly. The aftershock Ethan experienced with Sonny’s gun aimed at his heart may have cleared the doubts out of Ethan’s silly little head…once and for all.
Also affected was Johnny…who doesn’t want Ethan to get hurt. Johnny went to Jason and asked him to consider Ethan’s innocence. He made some good points, as Kristina did lie once before when she ran Claudia off the road and caused the death of her unborn baby. And we all know that Kiefer was behind Kristina being so distraught. Perhaps Johnny’s cavalier attitude about involving Ethan was turned around by the aftershock of seeing Ethan being arrested for Kristina’s beating.
Lucky was completely thrown by the aftershock of having to arrest his new brother for such a heinous crime, while he’s still riding the wave of the aftershock brought on by his other brother’s affair with his fiance. Lucky knows that people shock you all the time, and after all, Ethan is Luke’s son, and…well, we all know what crossed Lucky’s mind.
At the hospital, Helena unveiled her dastardly plan: To have Lucky believe that Nikolas is the father when he’s not, just so that the baby will be raised as a Cassadine, and reared to hate his family. Thankfully, Nikolas had two other paternity tests performed, so the truth will come out…eventually. Right? ? ? ?
Finally, we all had to lay eyes on that disgusting Kiefer. I felt the aftershocks of anger and rage, as I wished I could beat his ass myself. The brief moment where he showed self-disgust at hearing Kristina was in the hospital only made me angrier, because it was quickly replaced by the familiar look of calculating his next move on his smug mug. I cannot wait until the truth is finally out. I want a ring-side seat to Kiefer’s day of reckoning!
Well, friends, I feel as though every post lately is a therapy session for me. From some of your emails, you’ve let me know it is for you as well. You’ll never know what a sense of purpose that gives me!