And the Emmy goes to...Kelly Sullivan, for her gripping portrayal as Kate Howard, a woman who repressed the demons of her past for decades until her mind fractured and manifested an alter personality, which led her to relive the stuff of nightmares.
Most seasoned soap viewers know when they are watching an Emmy-worthy performance. Even if you don't like a character, you can separate yourself from that and appreciate a top-notch performance. We got that in spades this week from Kelly Sullivan.
I will admit that I was not initially thrilled when it appeared that we were headed down the dissociative identity disorder path with Kate. It started under Garin Wolfe's reign, when Kate began to act strangely, find notes in her purse, and make phone calls to a mystery person who turned out to be her psychiatrist. I recall rolling my eyes and thinking that it made zero sense. Kate had been driven since she was a teenager, so what could have possibly happened to her that would cause her to have DID?
Well, this week we got some answers. It wasn't being nearly shot at the altar on her wedding day, which was pretty brutal and horrific, but not exactly unexpected. After all, she was marrying a mob boss, whose first wife was blown to smithereens in a car explosion and whose second wife was shot in the head while in labor with Sonny's son. On some level, Kate had to have known that she stood a pretty good chance of getting shot at if she tied herself to Sonny.
Kate standing on the pier in her blood-stained wedding dress, after Ronnie opened fire on Sonny and Dante in the parking garage, got my attention, but it didn't win me over.
As the weeks unfolded, we met Kate's alter, Connie, who I found quite likeable. That was a surprise, because when I watched the DID storylines on OLTL, I was not a fan of any of Viki or Jessica's alters. I never got the impression that those alters were trying to protect their "host" from further trauma. If anything, they caused Viki and Jessica untold grief and heartache.
Connie was neither amoral nor mean-spirited, but rather protective of Kate. Sure she bashed Ewen over the head, but that was a knee-jerk reaction to fearing that Kate would gain control and put their physical body in mortal danger. And she did try to break up Sonny and Kate by sleeping with Johnny, but that was not the worst thing that she could have done. Viki and Jessica's alters did incredibly cruel things to the people that Viki and Jessica loved, including murdering Viki's beloved husband, all in an effort to retain control, not to protect their hosts.
Kelly's performances as Kate steadily spiraled downwards were compelling. I suddenly wanted to know what had caused her DID. Viki and Jessica had been molested as children, so I suspected that Kate's father might have been abusing her and that her mother had known about it, which would have explained why Kate had not spoken to or visited her parents in all the years since she had left Bensonhurst. It turned out that it was much more complex than that.
Kate had been violently raped as a teenager by the local mob boss's son, Joe Scully Jr., who appears to have been envious of Sonny's relationship with Joe Sr. Kate had been a virgin with a strict Catholic upbringing, so I totally understand why the rape had impacted her so deeply. The horrific rape, which Kate relieved in shockingly vivid detail as she told Ewen the story, was chilling enough, but the worst was yet to happen. Kate learned that she was pregnant on the day that she was to have run away to start a new life with Sonny.
Kate knew Sonny well enough to realize that he would hunt down and kill Joe Scully Jr. if Sonny had learned of the rape. She couldn't risk that happening. Not to protect Joe Jr., but rather to protect Sonny from the wrath of Joe Sr.
It finally made sense to me why Kate hadn't shown that day. The lame excuse that we had been given years ago had never really gelled with me, because we were expected to believe that Sonny had been Kate's one true love. You don't leave the love of your life to pursue a career in fashion.
After Kate left Sonny standing on the corner, she turned to her priest, Father O'Brian, who had told Kate that even thinking about having an abortion was a sin, so she would go to hell if she terminated the pregnancy. She had explained to Father O'Brian that she had been raped, but he was adamant that the baby was a child of God, regardless how it had been conceived.
It's unclear if Kate's parents knew about the pregnancy or not, but, regardless, Kate felt that she couldn't trust them to help her. The rape, the pregnancy, and the lack of support took their toll on Kate. She prayed that the pregnancy would go away, but, of course, it didn't.
When Kate began to show, she told her family that she wanted to get a jump-start on college. She took Papa Falconeri's rent money and told Mama Falconeri that she didn't want to see her because Kate couldn't afford to be distracted from school. However, instead of heading to college, Kate went to a boarding house, where she gave birth to a baby boy.
What happened next made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I had expected Kate to reveal that she had given the baby up for adoption, or had left it at a hospital, but instead, Kate confessed that she had put the baby in a dresser drawer, and then had walked away.
From that moment on, Connie Falconeri had ceased to exist. She got on a train, where she dissociated from her past. At the end of the journey, she stepped onto a platform in Greenwich, Connecticut, reborn as Kate Howard.
Everything makes sense to me now, including why Kate never returned home to her parents. I know that there is more to this story, because we don't know yet what became of the infant boy in the dresser drawer. The message boards are rife with speculation that Kristina's reality show producer, Trey, is that child. There appears to be some merit to that, because the camera kept cutting to Trey's scenes with Sonny each time Kate talked about the baby.
At the end of Friday's show, Trey called a mystery person to report that he was in Port Charles. Given the revelations that Joe Jr. had raped Kate and had murdered John's sister, Theresa -- as well as the announcement that Richard Steinmetz is joining the cast and slated to have a big storyline with Sonny -- it's a good bet that he will be playing Joe Scully Jr.
Could Trey be Joe Scully III? If Richard is Joe Jr., and Trey is Kate and Joe's son, then it begs the question of how Joe Jr. and Trey ended up in cahoots.
I have no doubt that there is more to Trey than meets the eye, because he seems way more interested in Sonny than in Kristina, the star of Mob Princess.
I know that many are frustrated that we seem to be having all of these rape storylines, but I am fairly certain that Franco did not rape Sam. Not just because Jason is the father of Sam's baby, but because Franco liked playing head games with Jason. We didn't see an actual rape, only the illusion of one.
Sam has never really behaved like a rape victim. She never had intimacy issues with Jason or struggled for any significant time with the question of whether or not she could love her rapist's child. Therefore, I suspect that, on some level, Sam knows that she wasn't raped, just like she knows, on some level, that her son isn't dead.
Meanwhile, Papa Jason is finally being held accountable for his actions. At least by Sam. I applauded Sam this week for finally growing a backbone where Jason was concerned. I loved it when she called him out on his selfishness and lack of support for the wife that he had claimed to love. Sadly, Jason just used that as an opportunity to cry on Liz's shoulder at the Floating Rib.
I love Liz, but I hated how she kept telling Jason that what had happened to Sam's baby hadn't been his fault. It doesn't matter that we know that Sam's baby is alive. Had Jason not sent those men after John, Sam wouldn't have wandered out of the motel to get help for her son, who was breathing erratically, so she wouldn't have ended up at that cabin where Heather had talked a desperate Todd into switching babies.
Ultimately, Jason's actions led to a tremendous amount of heartbreak for Sam and denied his own son the precious opportunity to bond with Sam. Sure the baby is being well taken care of and loved, but that doesn't mean that it's okay. At some point, that baby is going to be ripped away from the only mother that he has known and then placed with strangers.
Don't misunderstand me, I'm not absolving Todd of any wrongdoing in this baby-switch mess, because he was the one who ultimately allowed Téa to believe that the baby was hers, but he was lied to and manipulated by Heather, and mistakenly believed that he was giving everyone what they wanted. Todd feels tremendous guilt about that, but is afraid to undo what should never have been done in the first place.
Jason, on the other hand, is throwing back beers with Liz in a bar and shooting pool.
I don't blame Sam for questioning the timing of Jason's realization that he could love her baby. She was right when she told John that Jason should have supported her from the beginning, instead of adding to her burden by admitting that he didn't know if he could love and raise her son, and then suggesting that she give it up for adoption.
At the very least, Jason should have tried to open his heart to the baby. Sam did.
Moving on, Lulu turned to her papa this week after she got into a big fight with Dante, after announcing to her husband that she had decided to convert the Haunted Star into a nightclub with her new business partner, and ex-lover, mobster Johnny Zacchara. However, Luke had has his own troubles to contend with. Namely, Tracy and Anna.
Now, I can't blame Luke for being attracted to Anna. She's stunningly beautiful; however, I don't get why she would be attracted to Luke. Sure he's been a good friend to her since Robin died, but that is all that I have seen between them until that kiss.
Frankly, I saw more sparks between Anna and John than I did between Anna and Luke. This Anna/Luke thing seems a bit contrived. Luke isn't exactly a great catch, so it's a little absurd that three women would be vying for his affections. I get Tracy wanting him back, because she never really stopped loving him. Heather, too, because she's insane. Heck, I'd even buy Alice being hot for Luke, but not Anna.
Luke just doesn't seem to be Anna's type. I want Luke and Tracy to end up together when the dust settles on this odd quad. They truly do compliment each other, and have a rich history together.
Finally, I want to let everyone know that our darling Haley Pullos will be joining Soap Central's founder, Dan J Kroll, on the Red Carpet at the Daytime Emmys this year. They'll be joined by All My Children's Chrishell Stause, who'll be dishing fashion. Please be sure to check back next week for all of the exciting Daytime Emmy coverage.