We knew it was finally coming but we weren’t sure who would help “Mike” get back to being Sonny on General Hospital. The show’s writers made a creative choice, opting to bring Max Gail back as Sonny’s dad, Mike, to not only help Sonny survive the inferno that engulfed the Tan-O but also aid him in regaining his memory and the life he left behind. For his performance as a wise and helpful spirit, Soap Hub bestows Performer of the Week honors for GH on Daytime Emmy-winner Max Gail.
Max Gail — Soap Hub Performer Of The Week For GH
Nina (Cynthia Watros) was screaming out Mike’s name outside the Tan-O, hoping against hope that he’d hear her but it appeared her cries were drowned out by the crackling sounds the fire was generating. Sonny started to have a vision of a beautiful blond woman. Was it Nina — or someone else?
“On your feet,” we heard a voice say to Sonny, who suddenly was no longer inside the burning Tan-O. Had he been dragged clear by a fireman? No, Sonny was still inside the bar but he’d gone to some sort of astral plane and once again encountered his father, Mike (Max Gail) who told his son that it was time to go home.
Sonny explained to Mike that the Tan-O and Phyllis Caufield (Joyce Guy) and Nina were his home now. “You can’t turn away from the past. Your past is who you are,” Mike told Sonny. “You can’t turn away from who you are and the past will always come to find you.”
Sonny maintained that he might not want to be found. He stepped back from Mike, not wanting to hear anymore even though he knew he had to listen. Mike asked his son to close his eyes and asked him if he trusted him. Then, a series of flashbacks were shown on the screen as Sonny relived highlights from his life, climaxing with his showdown with Julian (William deVry), which began this most recent journey.
“What the hell was that?” Sonny rhetorically asked Mike after seeing a sample of Sonny’s shenanigans. “I’m supposed to embrace that guy — whoever I was?” Mike explained to Sonny there was more to him than the bad guy he has now remembered being. Mike explained to Sonny that the best parts of his “Mike” come from being who Sonny truly is. That started to persuade Sonny that he wouldn’t be leaving all of his Mike behind if he were to return to his past life.
Seemingly unaware of the condition Mike suffered from before he died, Sonny asked his father what he would do in his place. “Given the choice, I’d always choose to remember,” an emotional Mike replied, lamenting how he was robbed of part of his life due to Alzheimer’s. Next, we saw Sonny make his decision to reclaim his past life as he looked up and the mysterious blond woman turned around — she wasn’t new love Nina but rather true love Carly.
GH has employed the technique of bringing actors back to reprise their roles when characters are going through tough times or other rites of passage. Brad Maule returned as Dr. Tony Jones to advise his son Lucas (Ryan Carnes). Alicia Leigh-Willis came back as a spiritual Courtney to help bring Mike to the other side. So, in this respect, Max Gail visiting GH shouldn’t have comes as a surprise. But it did and, it was a very pleasant and very meaningful visit at that. Bravo!
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.