Soap Opera Digest/Editor's Choice-Son Down 5/08

It was suppose to be a fun, impromptu “Take your son to work day.” Mob boss Sonny wanted to show off his legitimate coffee business to eldest son Michael in order to dissuade the troubled boy from a life of crime like dear old Dad. Kate, whom Michael had accidentally shot while trying to be a tough guy with a firearm, escorted Michael to the warehouse to meet Sonny, and the trio was happy once more, just for a moment. Claudia and Johnny had secretly hired a hit man to take out Sonny and Michael was struck down with a bullet meant for his father.

Across town, ignorance is bliss. Tortured lovers Jason and Elizabeth finally threw caution to the wind and decided to get together. Ever since their son, Jake, was born, their mantra has been to keep his paternity a secret so the child would never be caught in the crossfire of his father’s dangerous lifestyle. However, their fear was overpowered by their love. “Do I still want to share a life with you?” responded Jason to Liz’s question. “That is all I want. I want a life with you. And I want a family with you.” They kissed and Jason popped the question.

Ring, went Jason and Elizabeth’s cell phones.

In the Metro Court lobby, Claudia was an accomplice in need of an alibi and she found one in Carly. When Carly refused Claudia service, the women dove into one-upping each other about Sonny. “You’re a woman looking for a restraining order.” Carly huffed at her red-shoed rival.

Ring, went Carly’s cell phone.

Aboard The Haunted Star, Johnny, also in need of an alibi, got into it with his on-again-off-again lover Lulu. Spinelli’s arrival with the horrific news silenced the squabbling pair, painfully proving Johnny’s point to Lulu that he really is too dangerous to be around. Across town, Jerry realized that Michael was where he shouldn’t be and raced off to prevent a tragedy. Too late. Jerry ran his car into Alexis . . .

Ring, went Alexis’s cell phone.

GH has been criticized for favoring violence over love in the afternoon, but this admittedly controversial tale showed the heartbreak of that violence. The material was buoyed by a string of gut-wrenching performances. In the moments after the shooting, Maurice Benard’s (Sonny) shock, anger, and grief melded as he desperately clung to his bleeding boy, even as the paramedics arrived. As a stunned Carly heard her son’s fate, Sarah Brown’s (Claudia) face morphed from gleeful anticipation to utter horror. She managed to call for help for the devastated mother, a feeble attempt to right an impossible wrong. At GH, when Carly demanded Michael’s clothes from Liz, Laura Wright crumpled to the floor in despair after seeing her son’s bloodstained shirt.

Michael’s shooting is reminiscent of an unforgettable 1994 tale on GH, when young B.J.’s death meant life for Maxie. However, there’s no up side to the calamity here, just a powerful, painful example of senseless violence.