After months — or what feels like eons to annoyed Corinthos fans — it appears as though the stage is being set for Sonny (Maurice Benard) to awaken from his amnesia. As Carly (Laura Wright) and Jason (Steve Burton) make plans for a strategic wedding to fortify their mob presence, General Hospital (GH) executive producer Frank Valentini has just added a few extra stories to this unstable house of cards. And only when it reaches a sky-scraping height, will all the pieces come crashing down.
Viewers were teased last week with Sonny’s return to Port Charles, during which he nearly ran into Anna (Finola Hughes) and Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), but it was mostly an excuse to revel in a series of close calls. With Nina (Cynthia Watros) on the road back to Nixon Falls and Lenny’s (Rif Hutton) health drama just beginning, it seems likely that “Mike” will stay put over the next few months. On the face of it, this prospect will be disappointing news to a good percentage of the GH audience — but it shouldn’t be.
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Granted, this hasn’t been a very popular storyline for GH so far. Even Benard has acknowledged that fans are surprisingly vocal with their disdain, telling Soap Opera Digest, “[the fans] don’t want anything but Sonny; they’re like, ‘You’re all right doing what you’re doing, the acting’s pretty good, Mike’s all right, but we want Sonny back!” Viewers have been less forgiving of Watros’s character, Nina, who’s keeping Sonny in the dark about his true identity. “The fans are a little bit mad at me cause I’m keeping the secret,” Watros recently admitted to Michael Fairman TV. “But, just be patient. I’m sure the truth will come out.”
Putting aside GH fans’ passionate loyalty for Sonny Corinthos and assertions about his rightful place on the canvas, it has been a back-burner plot — which sounds obscene! The soap’s main star, a three-time Daytime Emmy winner, has amnesia… and it’s a back-burner plot?! Yep, and it’s all by design.
Life in Nixon Falls has been sleepy while GH writers were putting nails (or were those pins?) in the Peter August and Cyrus Renault storylines. But with those villains out of the picture (for now, at least) and a new cast member waiting to make his presence known, GH is cleaning the slate for what’s sure to be the story of the season. Not only will this narrative peak with the reunion of its lead stars — Benard, Wright and Burton — before the year’s end, it’ll also send ripple effects throughout the show’s cast. Make no mistake, Sonny Corinthos’s rise from the “dead” will affect everyone in Port Charles.
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On Twitter last month, Benard doubled down on his “Mike” storyline, tweeting, “this to me is the underdog story. I will continue to keep bringing what I can to make it come to life.” The term underdog is usually only applied to contenders once they’ve begun proving naysayers wrong, and this storyline is about to do just that.
Benard also shared some vague but enticing opinions about how his character’s amnesia storyline will proceed, telling Michael Fairman TV, “It’s going to be a great fight when Sonny does return.” Read that again if you’re feeling hopeless: he said when, not if!
In some other choice quotes, Benard felt confident that Sonny will not be in chill “Mike”-mode when he finds out that his wife and right-hand man are now married. “What Sonny does best, or what I do playing him best, is betrayal,” Benard explained. “So, for him, this is not a good thing. I would assume he’s just going to go, ‘What the…’ and all hell is going to break loose.” He cryptically suggested that Sonny’s realization will lead to “fireworks”.
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This will be a moment of truth for Sonny, of course, but also Carly and Jason. For years, these two characters have orbited each other under a variety of guises — sometimes eyeing each other like flirty teenagers, confiding in each other like trusted friends, or enjoying long silences like forbidden soulmates. All the while, Sonny has stood by and trusted both of them. Carly could find herself in a romantic relationship with Jason, a man she trusts and is attracted to, when her husband, whom she’s still intensely grieving, walks back into her life.
Beyond the promised “fireworks” we can expect during that climactic reunion scene, there are more tantalizing questions to ask: Will Jarly’s marriage be null and void from a legal angle (assuming that Sonny doesn’t come to his senses before or during the ceremony)? If we can assume from Benard’s interview that Sonny will be hostile, will he create a schism in the Corinthos family business and attract gang members who are loyal to him? Also, will Carly and Jason have already reached a romantic connection that makes them united in spite of her lingering feelings for Sonny?
Want even more GH spoilers? Check out General Hospital Spoilers For The Next Two Weeks (July 19 – 30, 2021)
Let’s not forget about Nina, either; just because Sonny will remember who he is doesn’t mean he’ll forget about the intense feelings he has for Ms. Reeves. If Sonny interprets Jason and Carly’s marriage as a betrayal, he may well choose to keep “Mike”’s winnings and maintain his relationship with Nina. (Of course, Nina would have to make a really solid case for why she kept him hidden, which she’s fully capable of crafting.)
Here’s the genius behind this story arc: the longer it takes to reach its climax, the more devastating it will be. Watching “Mike”, Nina, Carly and Jason carry on making the choices they feel compelled to make might seem a little ho-hum, but with each passing day, it’s enabling a more dynamic payoff than the day before.
There’s no telling when or how this house of cards will topple down onto the folks of Nixon Falls and Port Charles, but rest assured: GH viewers who hate the “Mike” and Nina storyline right now will love where it’s heading!
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