Mike Corbin had always been a vibrant General Hospital (GH) character, but due to Ron Hale choosing to retire, we hadn’t seen him in eight years. We just knew Sonny sent him to gambling rehab and that was that.
Earlier this year, we learned that Mike had been living in Brooklyn for years, had found love again, and was working for one of Sonny’s (Maurice Benard) old cronies. But, when a problem ensued, Sonny took the trek downstate to the New York borough and immediately knew Mike needed him.
We saw the once-vibrant Mike is now an old man still trying to live his young life, and this time, he is played by Max Gail.
Sonny brought Mike back to Port Charles and after a series of medical tests, they learned he’s been suffering from Alzheimer’s–something that is simultaneously tearing the Corinthos clan apart, and bringing them all closer together.
GH has never shied away from social stories and of late has tackled a little bit of everything, including the opioid epidemic.
So, introducing an Alzheimer’s story shouldn’t be a surprise. But, why Mike and why Sonny’s family?
“We were looking into Sonny’s family history and the estrangement with his father,” Co-Head Writer told Parade.
“I was thinking about how unfortunate it is when a parents dies when there’s still unresolved issues, but in the case of a parent with Alzheimer’s, they may still be living, and you’re faced with the fact that you may never resolve some of those issues.
“So, in thinking about Sonny, his past, and his relationship with Mike, that led to the thought of, ‘Well, what if we brought Mike in?’ And then we thought, ‘The next step is what if we gave him this very profound obstacle?'”
Altman added that there is no timeline in place yet for this story to end, pointing out that it can take up to seven years from diagnosis till death. However, the writers purposely aren’t addressing how long Mike had been like this as to give them freedom with how long this plot will play out.
“We definitely plan to play this story out to its logical conclusion”, Altman said. “But, I can’t say at the moment exactly how long that will be, but there will certainly be more levels to it as we move forward.”
We take that to mean there’s a lot of Mike and Sonny left, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.