Sonny in Jail

Sonny is arrested and charged with kidnapping from the incident of Sky being locked in the Quartermaine boathouse. He is put in lock-up and Alexis talks him through his claustrophobia. April 3, 2002.

(Submitted scene for Emmy nomination)

Sonny: (Sonny’s pacing back and forth in his cell).

Alexis: Would you like a paper bag?

Sonny: What?

Alexis: They let me carry my briefcase in here and I always carry an extra one . . .

Sonny: Why would I need a paper bag? Huh?

Alexis: To breathe.

Sonny: Oh.

Alexis: Carly told me that you have . . .

Sonny: Carly blames herself for me getting locked up in here, so . . .

Alexis: It's not without reason.

Sonny: Do you know what? You want help? You go upstairs, you keep her calm. Or better yet, get her out of here before she makes things worse.

Alexis: If you haven't noticed, she doesn't listen to me.

Sonny: Well, she'll listen if you tell her that I'm the one asking.

Alexis: Sonny, Carly isn't going anywhere until you're released, and neither am I.

Sonny: All right. You know what? Then go back upstairs and call a judge . . . your friend . . .

Alexis: Griffin?

Sonny: Griffin, yeah, the one who sent you the dirty letters or whatever it is, I don't know.

Alexis: First of all, they weren't dirty letters. They were unseemly expressions of affection.

Sonny: Whatever.

Alexis: Second of all, and this is the most important part is, a judge isn't going to do you any good until the D.A.'s office decides whether they're going to prosecute this case or not. And all that I'll accomplish by going upstairs is to pace around and aggravate Mac and his staff.

Sonny: Well, they deserve what they get for doing this to me, so go make them suffer. Come up with grounds for a harassment suit against Taggert. Maybe, you can do that, can't you? Huh? If he loses his badge, I'll pay triple.

Alexis: I think you just want me to leave.

Sonny: No, I'm trying to get you to do your job!

Alexis: Calm down. I think that you don't want me to see you like this.

Sonny: I don't like wasting my money.

Alexis: How does having a panic attack, what does that have to do with your finances?

Sonny: I don't panic!

Alexis: Sorry. I'm sorry. That was a poor choice of words.

Sonny: Wrong choice, wrong assumption. I don't . . . there's nothing wrong with me, Alexis. And I don't need a babysitter. What I need is for my attorney, who I pay a small fortune to keep on retainer, to stop watching me like I'm . . . like I'm an animal in a cage! I want you to get your condescending, overpriced butt upstairs and do your job!

Alexis: You're claustrophobic, and for some reason, and I don't understand why, you see that as a sign of weakness. It appears that you're distracting yourself by trying to pick a fight with me.

Sonny: Shut up!

Alexis: Don't you ever speak to me that way again! I like you, but I have no intention of serving as a target of opportunity for your anger. You hate being in jail, I hate that you are in jail, too. But I've offered my help. If you don't want it, a polite refusal will be sufficient. But I am not going to stand here and fight for the privilege of having you yell at me (leaves).

Sonny: (Paces the jail cell for a few minutes) Alexis?

Alexis: (Comes back) That wasn't so hard, was it?


Alexis: (Pulls up a chair in front of the cell) Hey, thanks for the chair (to guard).

Sonny: When's the first time you noticed it?

Alexis: You're going to have to elaborate.

Sonny: That thing you do . . . when you talk until you can't breathe. And don't say it's

asthma because I think we both know it's this or something like it. It was probably something from when you were a kid. That's why you can't get rid of it, because it's not about who you are now, it's about how you felt before you could fight. And even though you say it's fine now, you know, but it's over 20 years later. You still carry it around. It's part of you (sits on cot).

Alexis: You could try visualizing or maybe if you just closed your eyes and breathe . . .

Sonny: Alexis, I asked you a question. Just . . . you don't have to tell me how it started or what happened when you were a kid. Sometimes you don't want to say something, you know. I mean, I understand that. Whew. I was just curious as to when you thought that you were, you know, it was always going to be with you in some way, you know? When you knew that it could come out of the past and wrap itself around your throat and choke you (walks back to the bars and looks at her).

Alexis: Boarding school.

Sonny: You went to boarding school? (leaning head against bars, but already has a far away and sad look in his eyes).

Alexis: In New Hampshire, up until I was . . . from the time I was 14. It was the happiest day of my life when I got on that plane to fly away from Greece. I remember looking out the window of the airplane and I was watching the airport get smaller and smaller. And then I looked at the sky, and it was so blue and so clear and so open. And all I could think about were the thousands of miles between Helena and myself. Anyway, the plane landed, and the school had sent a car to drive me to campus. And I remember when I stepped out of the car, taking what felt like the first breath. It smelled like pine needles and fresh-cut grass, and if you told me I was going to die tomorrow, I'd get in the car and I would drive to Briarton-Griggs just to breath that air again.  


Sonny: (Detached. Alexis looks very far away and he can barely pay attention to what she is saying) Did you have a uniform?

Alexis: It was green and gray. I know that sounds hideous, but I liked it. Actually, I liked everything about that school. I had a great time, a lot of friends. It was just one moment where I thought I saw Helena. I didn't, but in that split second that I thought I had saw her, I decided that I was going to run so she couldn't take me. So she (Alexis stops her story. It’s obvious Sonny slipping away. She calls out his name). Sonny? Sonny? Sonny, look at me. It's okay.

Sonny: (Tries to focus again) So what happened? It wasn't Helena, you didn't run away, so what happened?

Alexis: Nothing. My stomach unclenched and I went to the library, I think. It was that night that I was working on some history assignment or something and I came up with what I thought was a great idea, and I went to tell my study partner about it and I kept talking and the words kept coming but the meaning was less and less. I knew that I should stop talking, but I couldn't. And then I couldn't breathe at all, it felt like, and I ran outside and I sat on the front step and I just started literally gulping the air. You know, fresh air is really helpful and that is probably the least helpful thing that I've just said to you.

Sonny: (leaning head against bars, eyes closed) Fresh air's good. Once when I was released, it was not only winter but it was a snowstorm. And I drove . . . I drove home with the windows open. I'll do that again tonight (slight smile).

Alexis: It's possible that you may not get released tonight.

Sonny: Well, don't say it like it's a tragedy. It's claustrophobia, you know, it's not a fatal disease. I'll pace and maybe I won't be able to breathe that much and I may want to scream, but I won't do it because, you know . . . and then it'll be over.

Alexis: I know that every minute that you are in there is torture for you and I must say that you are handling it remarkably well.

Sonny: It helps having you here (softly).

Alexis: Have you ever been to New Hampshire?

Sonny: (Sits down on cot and closes eyes, sounds short of breath) I think I drove through it once.

Alexis: Briarton-Griggs is in the hills. There are trees around it for miles.

Sonny: Brick buildings?

Alexis: Yep.

Sonny: And lawns that look like carpets?

Alexis: You have the idea.

Sonny: Two or three times a year, they take you to Manhattan for a field trip. They take you to, you know, museums or maybe to the opera.

Alexis: (Walks up to cell) I preferred the ballet.

Sonny: (Stands up. Voice is full of pain and sorrow) I took my mother to the ballet once. I'd been out of the house for a couple of years and I was making good money as a numbers runner. And I walked past Carnegie Hall and there was a poster. My mom used to watch ballet on public television. She used to tell me all the time how it was . . . she used to go to the ballet all the time in Cuba when she was a little girl, so I decided I'd take her and so I bought two box seats. They were for the afternoon when I knew that Deke would be working, so I went to the house and I surprised her. She was so excited, you know. Her whole face changed and she was, like, 10 years younger and beautiful again and even wore this suit that she hadn't worn since she stopped working and . . . so we went to the ballet and she was looking around and she was like a little kid seeing everything. And she . . . all she kept telling me was how much bigger this theatre was than the one in Cuba. So we get to the box seats and there was all these girls and they all had uniforms (starts getting a distant look in his eyes, stops talking).

Alexis: What color were they?

Sonny: (walks a little bit) I don't . . . I don't . . . I don't remember, but they were giggling and flirting and they kept looking at me, you know. And I just kept thinking, we're so different, you know, because to them this is like a fun day in the afternoon. They're going to go back to their rich schools and rich lives and they'll forget the ballet. But to me and my mother, it was like we were visiting another planet.  What I didn't know then is that even rich people can hurt as bad as poor people.

Alexis: I wonder if on any of my field trips I ever looked over from my box at the ballet and saw a beautiful Cuban woman with her son. I don't think so. I would have remembered you.

Sonny: I'd have remembered you, too.

(Taggert walks in to cellblock)

Alexis: I take it the D.A. Jensen has decided to make an appearance.

Taggert: D.A Jensen's ready to review his statement. So if you'd step away from the bars, Ms. Davis. It's time to go, Sonny boy. Well, unless you'd rather stay here, you know, if you're comfortable and everything.

Alexis: If you're done goading my client, can we just move this along, go upstairs, and end this once and for all?

Taggert: Oh, yeah. I'm all for that. There we go.

Sonny: (Steps out of the cell and gives Alexis a look of reassurance). Sorry.