Sometimes life is unfair. Sometimes we get exactly what we deserve. Sometimes we can't tell which is which.
Many of the people in Morgan's life are blaming themselves for his death. Carly, Sonny, Kiki, Ava, and Michael are all beating themselves up over his death. Which one of them is truly to blame? All of them. None of them. And that's the rub.
Yes, Sonny put a hit on Julian, but he repented in his heart before God and called the hit man to call it off, just a bit too late. Kiki was making out with Dillon and was about to break up with Morgan, but what she doesn't know is that Morgan saw Ned and Olivia and merely thought it was Kiki. Ava stole Morgan's bipolar medication and replaced it with placebos to try to make him do something that would make her daughter end things with Morgan, and it all took a much darker turn than she expected. Michael was wrapped up in his own grief over losing Sabrina and didn't realize how far off the rails Morgan had fallen. Is it all of their faults? Is it none of their faults? Was it just a perfect storm? That's hard to say, but let's discuss!
The bomb was meant for Julian, but I don't think he feels a bit of guilt. Instead, he is wrapped up in fear, as what happened to Morgan caused him to realize that Sonny was trying to have him killed.
This week of shows, things that are going on in the world and in my heart have caused me to think about love, guilt, shame, character, selfishness, revenge, all the themes we have seen play out in Port Charles this week as well as in the real world.
In the past, Kiki was not one of my favorite characters, but Hayley Erin's emotionally charged performances this week captivated me. Have you ever been there? Have you done something that you felt set off a chain reaction of bad things? When you feel that you have caused disaster, it's impossible not to hold yourself accountable. This is a truth I have lived with most of my adult life, and Hayley Erin's performance on Friday captured those emotions beautifully.
If you believe that your personal actions caused a disaster, in this case a death, how can you not wrestle with guilt and shame? Certainly the car explosion was not Kiki's fault, but she could trace back her steps and say "If I hadn't kissed Dillon, Morgan would not have seen us, gotten drunk, stolen a car, and died." She can see a clear case of cause and effect.
The thing is, Kiki was trying for months to do the right thing. When Morgan got out of the hospital, Kiki had already fallen for Dillon, but she went back to Morgan because "he needed her." She still cared about Morgan deeply, but she was not in love with him anymore. She was falling in love with Dillon but stuffed that passion down to "do the right thing" by Morgan.
Instead of having a mature adult relationship with a partner who could engage with her in a way she desired, she opted to stay with Morgan out of a sense of obligation. She promised Carly she wouldn't lead Morgan on and break his heart. Kiki was physically there with Morgan, but this week she admitted that she was still harboring feelings for Dillon the whole time. Was that fair to anyone? No. She stayed with a man she did not love and sacrificed the man she did love in the name of "doing the right thing." And just as she was about to end her relationship with Morgan to be with Dillon, Morgan died, and now Kiki has taken the weight of that upon herself.
I grew up in the Midwest with a strong moral upbringing. I have a profound sense of right and wrong; I hold a firm belief that good character matters more than even personal happiness. A life well lived means to have a good name, to do the right thing, to be a decent human being. But as I look around at our world, does anyone even care about character anymore? It doesn't seem like they do. Perhaps it's outdated and antiquated, and I'm a relic.
But these noble principles are what Kiki was aiming for. She wanted to do right by Morgan. She wanted to walk with him through his mental illness and all that entailed because he said that he needed her. But it wasn't enough. There were things that were out of her control. When we are trying to do the right thing, we never factor in the fact that there are outside forces we can't control, and the big grand gesture and effort we are leading up to can be snatched from us in an instant. Kiki had a plan in her head about how this would all play out. Maybe she thought, "I'll stay with Morgan until he is stable and strong, and then I can go back to Dillon." But the universe had other ideas.
Morgan is gone now, and any noble sacrifices she made to help him are also gone. She feels guilt for loving Dillon. She feels ashamed for even considering choosing her own happiness. She believes if she had been good and not had feelings for Dillon, Morgan would not have gotten behind the wheel drunk and taken off in Julian's car. Will she ever be able to forgive herself and let Dillon in again? Oh, I hope so. Dillon is so right for her, and he's such a beautiful soul. He deserves to be loved. I just pray Kiki makes her way back to him before someone else snatches him up.
But I am doubtful, because the writers may be taking us in a completely different direction. At the end of Friday's show, it looked like maybe former lovers Kiki and Michael might try to comfort one another, at least for a night. They both looked like lost, wounded animals, and that last eye contact they had made me say, "Uh-oh."
Dear readers, the last time I wrote, I was bored with GH. Clearly that is no longer the case. This week, I am riveted and wholly engaged. What a powerful week of our beloved show. There have been some powerhouse Emmy-reel worthy performances this week. Hayley Erin. Maura West. Chad Duell. Maurice Benard. Dominic Zamprogna. Laura Wright. Ah, they all broke my heart.
Where shall we start? How about with Maura West. Let's face it, dear readers; Ava Jerome is not a good person. She's a terrible person. She has murdered people, she slept with her daughter's boyfriend under two different names, and now, in her latest offense, she replaced Morgan's bipolar meds with placebos, and definitely holds responsibility in his downfall. And yet, when I saw Maura's heartbreaking performance when she realized that her scheme to break up Kiki and Morgan had ended in his death, I felt sorry for Ava. I know I shouldn't. I know she did terrible things. But Ms. West's compelling performances make us care about Ava in spite of her continual bad behavior.
She has an amazing ability to make you feel everything her character is feeling. Her grief is real, and in spite of all the bad things she did that led up to this tragedy, I know her heart is truly broken. When Carly asked her, "Did you ever really love my son?" she answered truthfully -- that at one time, Morgan was the only person who saw good in her and was on her side. Just that line alone ripped me to shreds. Having one person on earth who is truly on your side is the greatest gift God gives, and losing that someone is the greatest heartbreak imaginable. (I'm crying while I am writing this like the giant sap that I am.)
Next up, Maurice Benard. Mr. Benard's great gift as an actor is that he can reduce you to tears without saying a word. There was a scene on Friday where on top of just losing his son, on top of knowing it was his hit on Julian gone bad that killed him, that his act of repentance to God had failed and that the consequences of his sin visited his doorstep anyway -- Carly descended the stairs with bags in hand and announced she was leaving him. After she walked out the door, Sonny slumped down in his chair, and all the light drained out of his eyes. I don't know how he did it. I don't know how he made his face become despair and hopelessness. But he did, and I wept. Maurice's performance personified this song lyric "And you could have it all /My empire of dirt /I will let you down /I will make you hurt." Hot tip: go find the Johnny Cash version of the song that my title comes from. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt1Pwfnh5pc Watch. Listen. Cry.
Sonny's son Michael, the wonderful Chad Duell, also did a fantastic job this week. He started with rage and blame, blaming Sonny, blaming Kiki, and ultimately blaming himself. Michael attacked Kiki for kissing Dillon while she was dating his brother, and I had to call bull-crap on him. As I recall, Michael himself kissed Kiki while she was married to his brother... But I digress...these two brothers have had many ups and downs over the years, but always managed to forgive and accept one another in the end. I think Michael will be wrestling with this and the loss of Sabrina for a long time to come. At least I hope he will, and I don't say that to be mean, but grief is not a thing that disappears by the next episode. I want to see the body blow of Michael suffering two losses in two weeks' time played out on-screen. I want to see him sleepless. I want to see him lying around in sweats, swilling tequila and refusing to leave the house. I want the writers to truly play out the heartache of loss on my screen. I know that Chad could handle that dark material if it was written for him.
Michael's brother Dante, played by the passionate Dominic Zamprogna reminded me this week just how talented he is, and it made me a little angry that he has been relegated to the back burner for so long. His scenes as he realized his brother had just exploded as he is on scene as a cop investigating a car theft were so heartbreaking. The scene where he trashed the interrogation room and started throwing furniture around the room was filled with rage and heartbreak. Very powerful.
Now to the magnificent Laura Wright. What a riveting, gut-wrenching, tear-inducing, soul-stirring, Emmy-worthy performance she gave us. She played out stages of grief. First was denial, and her mama Bobbie had to come to get her out of bed and bring her out of denial into reality. Then, there was anger, which Carly directed to Sonny. Carly loves Sonny. Carly knows that Sonny is a mobster. She knows that he leads a dangerous life. But she implored him not to try to seek revenge on Julian, and he promised her he would not. He lied. That lie ended up with her son dead from a car bomb, and her pain and rage and regret all boiled over into a hurricane of emotion that ripped through our screens and captivated us. This storyline alone should win GH a boatload of Emmys this season.
Which brings me to the GH writers. I have been very hard on them lately. I would like to take the opportunity to say I was wrong. I was impatient. It's not my strong suit. They were building up to something, and I got bored in the middle. Blame my Adult ADD. I have no attention span and the lead-in stories bore me sometimes. In this case, it was worth the wait. This was Soapalicious storytelling at its best.
I am sad that Bryan Craig decided to leave GH; he is a wonderful actor who did a stellar job playing a person with bipolar disorder who wrestles with his mental health. I have a few friends who have bipolar, and Mr. Craig did all the people who suffer with this illness justice by passionately and accurately playing the uncontrollable ups and downs. I will miss him.
But his loss gave the writer's the opportunity to weave a tale that involved half the town and took us into this sea of emotion and passion this week, and that's a sea I really enjoy swimming in. Thank you, writers. I will try to be more patient next time.
All of our beloved characters realized too late that their choices had hurt someone they loved. We don't always intend to hurt people, but unfortunately we do. Sometimes we think we are making the best decisions for everyone, but we aren't. Sometimes we are trying to "do the right thing" but realize later that our efforts were in vain. Circumstances out of our control turned the page on the story we were writing, and we can't go back and rewrite the story. We can love someone deeply and still hurt them. We can try desperately to hold on to our "big scary love" for someone and still lose them. We can wish we could alter time and go back and undo decisions we have made, but there is no time machine that can save us from our present reality. All the GH writers and actors played this out for us this week, and it was spectacular.
Here I am, four pages in, and I haven't mentioned a single other storyline, and other things actually were happening in Port Charles this week.
For instance, Nathan got to meet his daughter Charlotte this week for the first time. Assuming she is his daughter, which Maxie is not. My guess is that she is going to end up being Valentin's daughter, and that's why Claudette was hiding her from him.
Maxie was openly suspicious and accusatory when Charlotte showed up at the door. She was rude and harsh, but Nathan talked her down, and Maxie agreed to behave herself. When Claudette and Charlotte returned, Maxie was very sweet and welcoming and put a plan in motion to do another DNA test on Charlotte by offering her a juice pouch and sending it off for independent testing. What do you want, dear readers? Do you want Charlotte's daddy to be Nathan, Griffin, or Valentin? I think Valentin would be a great storyline; it would get him back on canvas and connect him to more characters. Without Helena around, we need a new Cassadine villain.
Okay, I'm five pages in and have realized you probably have things to do, so I will start wrapping this up. I get a little carried away when I am moved.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Laura regain her trust for Kevin even though he completely betrayed her trust and wrote a book about her secrets last time? Will Nelle tell Kiki that Morgan kissed her and ease her guilt about being the only cheaty-mccheateron? Will Sam warm up to Franco after hearing his sincere confession and apology to Jake for the bad things he has done? Will Nina find a baby, or does she already have a baby she doesn't know about?
Will Josslyn (Eden McCoy) confront Uncle Sonny about getting her brother killed? Will Lulu appreciate the fact that Maxie gave her 30 full seconds of compassion over losing her brother-in-law before reverting to talking about herself? Will Sonny eat any of the (possibly poisoned) fruit in the basket that Julian delivered or dump it directly in the trash? Will Hayden and Finn P.I. be able to unravel the mystery of GH turning into condos before the pools and tennis courts are installed? Will Monica duct tape Tracy's mouth to get her to stop saying mean things about Sonny in front of Michael?
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.
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