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Making the Rounds at General Hospital – Michael Remains in Coma

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This entire last week focused on the after-effects of the attempted hit on Sonny that landed Michael in a coma — one the doctors are insisting he will never wake up from.

While the entire storyline that revolved around a twelve-year-old child being shot in the head as a result of mob violence was very hard to swallow, I was actually appreciatively watching the shock waves that ripped through the cast of characters. Sonny finally began to see that he can't protect everyone around him and Jason and Carly seriously questioned all the choices they made that put Michael in a life filled with violence. Laura Wright (Carly) delivered heart wrenching scenes of a mother losing a child and Maurice Bernard (Sonny) expertly portrayed a father trying to lessen a mother's grief while wrestling with his own guilt.

Then I came across this Entertainment Weekly interview with head writer Bob Guza, Jr.

In the interview Guza explains that this arc started while he was out of the office during the writers' strike. Replacement writers ran with a storyline that had twelve-year-old Michael purchasing a gun from a street gang and eventually accidentally shooting Kate while trying to dispose of the gun. Michael fled and later returned. Much to Jax and Kate's distress, Michael was never punished and only saw a therapist once, off screen. Many a fan was outraged (including this one, as I've ranted about on these pages). So, Guza claims he was left with no choice but to deal with that lack of punishment… by having Michael take a bullet. He says the fans demanded it.

Like any wife and mother who has been watching General Hospital in the last two weeks jumped for joy and said, "Michael got what he deserved." The child deserved to never be put in the line of fire in the first place. I sort of resent the insinuation that this story was an answer to the viewers' distaste for the previous arc. Like guns and bombs aren't business as usual for Guza and company. Why doesn't he try, just for one ratings period, answering the fans' cries for less mob and more hospital? See if maybe that will pull the ratings above the dismal 2.1 they've settled at recently.

I'm happy to report there are a few other storylines that saw progression this week. Through this crisis of treating Michael, Patrick got closer and closer to the realization he wants to be a daddy to the baby he's fathered. He leaned on and reached out to Robin, who warmly welcomed him and even picked him up from Jake's when he drunk dialed her to ask if she 'wanted a father for her baby.' I couldn't be happier to see my Scrubs getting back together.

April 25 is being reported as the day Finola Hughes returns as Anna Devane. She'll drop into Port Charles for five or six episodes to deal with becoming a grandma. ABC teases in a press release available on their website that her love affair with Noah on her last visit will be addressed, but there is no word if Rick Springfield will be making any appearances as Daddy (soon to be grandfather) Drake.

Another highlight of the week was Alexis leaning on Diane while sorting through her realization that Kristina could be the next child of Sonny's to be hurt or killed for the association. Anytime we get to see these two smart, witty women together on the screen it's a good day, but these scenes were only topped by Diane and Max comforting each other in a way fans have been screaming for – the most intimate way. Too bad poor Alexis had to walk in on it, though.

Coming up: Scoops and Spoilers

  • Carly will continue to hold out hope for Michael this week, even though all the doctors and Jax encourage her to accept the fact the coma is permanent and to seek out a long-term facility for him. Carly will remain at odds with Sonny and heavily lean on Jason throughout.
  • Jason will be so moved by the whole situation he will cut off all contact with Liz and Jake and go so far as to burn everything he has connecting him to his son.
  • Luke reopens the Haunted Star and Dr. Scorpio and Dr. Drake Jr. will attend together. Sonny will show up as well, on the hunt for the person who shot Michael. Look for Robin and Patrick to steam up the screen after their date.
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About Connie Phillips

  • http://www.LA-Story.com Stevie Wilson

    interesting plot-line. I used to watch GH all the time but no longer have any time (or tolerance) for daytime tv.
    funny how tastes and life changes. Better to have written in a scene where the kid got nailed for it and had to go through the criminal/juvenile system and actually had some remorse– not just take a bullet.
    That’s a really sloppy reason to create that an for an eye sort of plot.

  • http://www.cosmoetica.com Dan Schneider

    The problem with GH has never been the violence, but the refusal to humanize the violence, to show that real consequences occur. It’s one thing in a thriller brainless film that lasts 2 hours, but soaps get 260 hours a year to play with.

    I’ve said it before, and will again- if they want to keep the Sonny-Jason angle going, they need to have Sonny fall from grace. Jason, too. With the Z’s around, it’s the perfect time to have them ‘take over’ and have Sonny take a fall. Also, they need to stop making heroes out of these guys. Jason is probably the biggest mass killer in the show’s history, yet he’s a ‘dreamboat’. Sonny is a bona fide psychopath, and all this nonsense about them as gangsters who don’t deal drugs is the oldest bit of Mob propaganda going- see Scorsese’s Departed on that one.

    They need to get a writer with a knowledge of the show’s history, and a flair for drama. They need to stitch back in old characters. It was nice, after 15 years, to see the Cassadines return in ’96. Now would be a good time to bring back the Eckerts, or Bobbi’s stepdaughter, Terri Brock.

    Tiffany Hill would be welcome, too. And, is it impossible to get Frisco Jones back for a month or two to deal with Georgie’s demise?

    They should also seek to undo some of the bad narrative choices of the past- mostly on the Q’s. Keep Alan around as a ghost, but surely AJ can be resurrected after that implausible storyline with his death? And, with Michael’s coma, this would be the time for his return. I always like the first adult AJ- Gerald Hopkins. Then, have a twist where Jason Morgan was really a plant for the real Jason Quartermaine- ala Grant Putnam/Andrews. Then, bring back Celia Quartermaine, or another branch of the family?

    I get sick of the good looking but vapid actors. We need some older, better actors, and I’d love to see them cast an old guy as Luke’s dad, Tim. That, along w Terri Brock, would mean more for Bobbi to do. Also, put Kin Shriner on contract, and let him deal w Logan, and explore their relationship, and past lives.

  • http://www.butterflyfiction.com/journal/ Connie Phillips

    Stevie — thanks for the comment. As I said in the article, I’ve actually felt like for the first time the show is actually addressing the violence in a real way. The event is reaching out and touching just about every other cast member and those who have been complacent about mob-life are Really questioning it.

    My problem with the interview I quoted was the insinuation that the fans wanted a 12 year old boy shot in the head. I reject that notion whole heartedly. I personally, would have preferred to see Michael own up to the crime and as you said go through the juvie system, pay the consequences.

    I wish the writers would just own up to the fact they a) wanted to age the character and b) wanted more guns and violence for the May sweeps period.

    Except for the fact that Jason has (yet again) decided he can have nothing to do with his son ever (I am so sick of hearing him proclaim this over and over) I do like the fact we are seeing consequences for the mob violence. I only hope that when Michael is sent to a rehabilitation facility to SORA, these ripples aren’t glossed over and we go back to mob business as usual.

  • http://www.butterflyfiction.com/journal/ Connie Phillips

    Hi Dan —

    I think you’re going to get your wish regarding Sonny and Jason. This was one trend that started under the replacement writers and thus far Guza hasn’t gone back to making Sonny the sainted mob boss yet.

    Of course rumors are circulating Maurice may be leaveing when his contract expires this year… so this all could be a setup for his exit (though I highly doubt it).

    I love all of your ideas for reintroducing family and history to the show. I think you are on the mark that this would go a long way to raise those dismal ratings.

  • http://www.cosmoetica.com Dan Schneider

    The problem is that there is too much turnover w the writers (even unionized ones).
    I mentioned Terri Brock. I mean, would Bobbi really go 2 decades w/o hearing from her stepdaughter? They were on good terms, and she left town w Patrick O’Connor.
    Is bringing them back too much? I mean, her hubby was the serial killer who brought Lucy Coe to town. And, with Kin Shriner around, a Scotty-Lucy reunion wd be cool. I have no idea what went on w those characters on Port Charles, the spinoff soap. Whatever happened to Kevin Collins, the shrink bro of another serial killer?
    Speaking of repercussions, this guys is the twin of a mass murderer, yet he never dealt w that.
    As for Michael, SORAS’d or not, when he reawakens, he HAS to become hateful of Sonny. He has to want to destroy all his ‘dad’ stands for. He has to become aware of all that Sonny did to and cost the Q’s. And for God’s sake, let John Ingle show off his chops. I loved David Lewis as the first Eddy Q, but Ingle had better dramatic chops. And surely, Jimmy Lee Holt and Bradley Ward were not the only bastards from his loins.
    I could crank out better plot lines in ten minutes a week than they do now. And, as much as I think the Johnny Z character has potential, Lulu needs to seek a real guy. Dillon was a better match, and even Spinelli. Let Logan be the resident bad boy- surely there are plenty of wartime cronies and skeletons to keep him busy. Let Lulu, if she’s so smart, not fall into the bad boy trap.
    Lastly, they have got to stop wasting Tony Geary. Along w Susan Lucci, he is one of only two actors on soaps who is a mainstream cultural icon. Let him bring back Bill Eckert, bring his dad on the canvas, bring back an old enemy- like David Gray, or some remnant of Frank Smith’s family- could Damian be resurrected? Yes, it’s fun to see his mortality show, but let him go out w pedal to the metal.
    And, when Sonny falls, it should be an old enemy that does him in, like Taggart, or his stepdad Deke- say he was in witness protection, and let him expose Sonny’s claims about him as a total self-serving justification. Let’s see Sonny when he’s not ‘acting’ in front of others- when he deals w his casino pit bosses, or strippers. Recall how slimily good Benard was in the first year Sonny ran the Paradise Lounge.
    A soap can get away w evil twins and cliffhangers, for it’s part of the formula. But the best ones know how to slip the medicine in with the sugar. All that we’ve gotten the last few years has been sugar. If Michael dies, as example- or even if he does not, they should have Carly grieve, and recall all the misery she put Tony Jones thru when BJ died. That wd be poetic and realistic at once.

  • http://www.butterflyfiction.com/journal/ Connie Phillips

    Dan — What do we have to do to get you hired on as a writer over there? For real! You got some great ideas.

    I agree in order to revitalize the show there needs to be a bit of looking back mixed in with looking forward. New stories, but bring back all the characters you mention. Rebuild the families they’ve destroyed as a stepping stone to brining in new characters. With a Patrick/Robin paring and child, your brining together the Scorpio and Drake families, but all we ever see is Robin and Patrick. I’ve said before I want to know about how Noah/Anna/Robert feel about becoming grandparents, but it goes beyond that to Tiffiny, Shawn, Holly only begin to list those who have been close to Robin and her parents. (on the Scorpio side) There was never a huge Drake family presence on the show before, but there could be.

    I wholeheartedly agree about rebuilding the Quaretemaine family as well. It’s sad to see what has become of that, let alone the Webbers and the Hardys. All destroyed so the Conrinthos organization can run the mob business without drugs (yeah, right) and we can be treated to bombs, car crashes and shootouts on a daily basis.

    Yes, violence is a part of everyday life and I don’t think it should be avoided, but once the violence happens, can we spend just enough time exploring the aftermath and the effect on the people involved instead of a gloss over and then everyone hails Sonny as misunderstood with a heart of gold.

  • Robin Kavanagh

    That said, don’t Sonny and Jason have enough money to keep them living comfortably for the rest of their lives? Why not just have them walk away from the business and move on to something else? Then you have your antiheroes redeeming themselves for their dark deeds and the Zacharras become the big baddies in town?

    I mean, you didn’t like the other mob families in Port Charles through the years — you weren’t meant to! What viewer could love a Frank Smith? So with the Corinthos organization, you have a more complex issue. It doesn’t seem right that they take a fall. Yes, they killed and did all sorts of things illegal, but was it ever done arbitrarily? The majority of it was justified.

    Maybe I’ve been reading too much Anita Blake lately (article about that to come soon) that I think killing in fiction is justified, but Sonny and Jason are not serial killers or violent out of malice. The whole aversion to drug trade may be a played-out angle, but I think it works and bolsters that anti-hero perception that has made this organization stand out in GH lore.

  • http://www.butterflyfiction.com/journal/ Connie Phillips

    Good points, Robin. And I’ll be looking for that Anita Blake article!

    I’m not against the mob stories on the whole. I’m against story lines that revolve around nothing but violence. I’m against the core structure of the show – the families it was built on – be mowed down and assassinated so more mob families can move in. And I’m completely offended that the head writer of the show can claim in an interview a twelve year old boy has to be shot in the head to answer a outcry for justice from the fans.

    Wanting Michael to have some consequence for stealing a gun and shooting a woman (no matter how accidental it was) does not translate to that fan base wanting a child offed by gun violence.

    The episodes we’ve been treated to since the shooting have been wonderful, I’ll grant you that. I see a real attempt to, for the first time, show Jason and Sonny having to pay a little bit for the pain they’ve caused. It’s the type of story that reaches out and touches every single character on the show.

    So what was wrong with saying ‘Kids getting caught in the cross fire is the ugly, but real, side of mob violence and we felt it was time to show it’ instead of making it sound like it was a decision that was out of his hands?

    It’s yet to be determined whether or not this is really a step to SORA Micheal. The show is maintaining they have no plans at the present time to do so, but the blogs and message boards are filled with rumors that it is a certainly Micheal is going to wake up from the coma much older.

    If they do go this route I will be anxious to see how Michael feels about his dad and his “career choice” then. I’m with Dan on this, it would be interesting to see him turn from the Corinthos and back to the Quartermaines.

  • http://www.cosmoetica.com Dan Schneider

    Robin:

    ‘I think killing in fiction is justified, but Sonny and Jason are not serial killers or violent out of malice.’

    True, but is Lorenzo any less dead because Jason killed him rather than Kevin O’Connor or Ryan Chamberlain? Recall, about three years ago, when Sonny ordered the deaths of nine other mobsters at the hotel? Killing for lucre or sexual perversion is still killing. Look at how GH and other soaps treat racial incidents- the few times they deal with them, or any sort of prejudice. A lunkhead minor character is brought on, says the N-word, or calls a kid a fag, or something, and he’s treated as a pariah. Yet, Sonny kills w impunity.
    Your claim is the oldest defense of the Mob- the ‘We only kill our own BS.’ Well, a) that’s not true, and b) the same things can be said for, say, the Ruiz clan. Speaking of GREAT characters- they have to bring Manny Ruiz back. In a post a few weeks back I recalled how Tony Geary had a great father-son scene w Sly Eckert (when Tony was Bil), but another scene I recall as where Bob LaSardo (Manny) called Jason his twin, or brother, for both were merciless killers.
    We see Manny as the scum he is, yet Jason gets a pass when he tells Sonny Gangster X is taken care of? Yes, Steve Burton may be hunkier than Lasardo, but many women thought Ted Bundy was a dreamboat. Clearly Jason and Sonny are, if not immoral, amoral, and what’s the real diff?
    The sexy blond babe who was killed a few years ago- the mob gal who worked w AJ (forget her name). She was also played as EVIL, but how was she worse than Sonny?
    And Helena Cassadine has also killed w impunity, yet she’s considered a demented old bat (although I love Constance Towers- watch her as a hooker in Sam Fuller’s The Naked Kiss http://www.cosmoetica.com/B420-DES355.htm).
    Yet, there is this double standard. I realize Benard and Burton are the 2 main male stars, but still there has to be a reckoning. Great drama requires that the king MUST fall. This will be the chance for Sonny to really be ‘Pacinoesque,’ as Spinelli cals him.
    I do think Guza copped out with the ‘bloodlust of the fans’ POV on MIchael, for surely my way of having Michael awaken and turn on Sonny, or Carly finally behaving like a responsible parent, and allowing Michael to be punished SO THAT HE DOES NOT END UP LIKE SONNY, is better.
    A final point on families. AMC has gotten some kudos for bringing Angie and Jesse back- how about some minorities of note on GH. They could bring back the Wards, if they bring back the real Jason Q, or they could bring Taggart and his sister who dated Nikolas back. Or, what of the damned Asian Quarter? Surely there are some hunky blacks and sexy Japanese babes out there who could uses the work- or some Latinas, or even an Arab family.
    And perhaps deal with social issues like terror post-9/11, abortion, homosexuality (Lucas, anyone?), AIDS, Internet porno (Maxie had this a few years back).
    But def. bring back people’s pasts- like the guy who raped Liz, or Liz’s sister, another Quartermaine bastard, and yes- bring back NED! His daughter was a potential star they wasted.
    If they do destroy Sonny, Michael must be the instrument, but its wielder should be Ned. Let him become everything he hates in Edward. And, when Shell Kepler died a few mos. ago, it was shameful for the show to not do a tribute- she only had one real storyline of her own- the boxer, but we need some Audrey, a Dan Rooney to surface here and there, or what about Ginny Webber- there was a great character.
    More later.

  • http://www.cosmoetica.com Dan Schneider

    Connie: If you know anyone who knows Guza, lemme know. I could do better stories on my own, and be alot cheaper.

  • http://www.cosmoetica.com Dan Schneider

    As for Ginny- bringing he rback wd be perfect to resolve the who killed Rick Webber angle- or even Heather Webber to return!

  • becky

    I did not mind the mob before, but I really am tired of the violence or I should say deaths of fanfavs. This is a soap I don’t need the reality, I can turn on my evening news and get reality. I am tired of the way they keep doing Liz and Jason it is time for them to be together.

  • http://www.butterflyfiction.com/journal/ Connie Phillips

    I think you’re hitting on something there, Becky. It isn’t necessarily the ‘mob’ business that has become trite and overdone, but the continual violence. We can’t go more than a few weeks without some building or car going up in a massive explosion or a fan favorite being mowed down by gun-fire.

    Yes, it’s true. No, I don’t want to watch that every afternoon. I want the complex, interpersonal relationships.

    There was a time I was anxiously waiting to see where the Jason and Liz union would go, but after such a long tease for it, I don’t care anymore. I’m tired of watching the two of them whine and moan about how they can’t be together.

    Get on with it, or let it go…

  • http://www.cosmoetica.com Dan Schneider

    It looks like Cash was canned.

  • karondi bolden

    I agree one hundred percent and wish they bring in more hero’s and other villians besides the mob.The writer’s of general hospital could even come up with storylines that compare or contrast to the mob storyline without fully focusing on the mob, like, say Kate Howard is about to get married to sonny and is doing all she can to justify her position in there relationship.But she has a hidden agenda, this storyine could be that kate is actualy working with the D.A. to obtain secretly mob information that sonny once had now belong to jason inorder to trap sonny into a obsessive relationship,bringdown port charles most powerful mob organization.See what i mean doing something patriot inorder to get what u want a classical soap opera.Now the worst case scenerio, sonny will hate kate forever and got to deal with his unhappily blackmailing obsessive marriage,carly would be on a rampage by stopping at nothing to get even with her,the zacharras will owe her there debt but probably want get it depending on who’s runnig the zacharra mob.There could be another storyline like say micheal come back from his coma and slowly begain to regain his memories, but he has a tumor on his brain unsensored by the doctors causeing him to lash out, and wanting to kill as a scapegoat to setisfaction.Or say the zacharas/karpov,and claudia zacharas uncle rudy organization is all taken down by alexis inorder to keep the high percentage, of drugs down in port charles, and become nominated for an election as the new mayor of the city. But she has an agenda in controling the docks for her own personal use like bringing in stolen goods thats in high demand in her city and in the midwest.Their is plenty of different storyline thats not mob related or have mob relations but not realy touching on it so much