Temple of Vanessa
Dynamic Duos: Couple of the Month - SOD July 96
Six months ago, if someone had offered GH's Brenda Barrett three wishes, she would have said, "Sonny, Sonny and Sonny." so, what stopped Brenda from making a play for her true love after that car bomb killed his wife, Lily? In a word: Jax.
Corporate tycoon Jasper Jacks exploded into Port Charles as part of Lois and Brenda's efforts to win back L&B. He and Ms. Barrett soon established a mutually beneficial game: Jax would publicly wine and dine her (to make newly married Sonny jealous), while Brenda would encourage Jax's crush, Lois, to fall in love with him. What started as a ploy to manipulate the hearts of others turned into the kind of whirlwind courtship that you can only enjoy with unlimited funds, irresistible charm and a contagious sense of fun. After all those gloomy months with Sonny, life with Jax was one adventure after another for Brenda: Private plane rides, oysters from Ireland, nights on the town. In Jax, Brenda found a man who trusted her, respected her and listened to her - not to mention the way he looked in a Speedo... er, business suit. Before long, Brenda had almost forgotten about Sonny.
And somewhere along the way, the Australian Adonis fell in love, too. When Brenda was hit by a car (courtesy of Lily's father), Jax nursed her back to health in his Malibu mansion and sped up the healing process with a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive. Even after Brenda lied to him to get closer to Sonny, Jax rescued the former lovers from a snowstorm. Now tired of the game, Jax changed the rules. Brenda could either marry him right then, or he would walk out of her life forever.
Brenda chose marriage, aided in her decision by the fact that Lily was pregnant with Sonny's baby. After the "I do's," Brenda suddenly found herself with homes around the globe, an island, expensive toys, the "Jax" board game and, for the first time in her life, security. But how long will it last, especially now that Jax's plotting against ELQ is coming to light?
Wedded Miss - SOD July 96
As torrid love triangles go, GH has set up a beaut. Sexy mobster Sonny Corinthos broke up with beautiful model Brenda Barrett after she wore a wire to help the feds bust him. Despite tearful pleas for forgiveness, a stone-faced Sonny turned his back on Brenda in favor of a loveless marriage to mafia princess Lily Rivera. (At least Lily wouldnt kiss and tell.) Brenda recovered in the arms of Aussie charmer Jax (just Jax!), but her heart belonged to Sonny.
Eventually, Brenda and Sonny found their way back to each other, and Sonny vowed to break things off with Lily. Then, wham! Lily announced she was pregnant, Sonny called things off with a heartbroken Brenda, Lily was killed in a car bomb meant for Sonny, and Brenda married Jax on the rebound. So... what happens now?
Well, not a Brenda/Sonny reconciliation, teases Executive Producer Wendy Riche. Jax and Brenda will remain married - for now - while Sonny picks up the pieces of his life. "The loss of Lily and his unborn child brings a devastating realization to Sonny," says Riche. "He has caused harm to those around him and he is going to have a harrowing time getting over his guilt. He feels totally incapable of giving anything to Brenda right now; he will have to heal himself separately."
While Sonny is healing, Brenda will be thinking. "This is the most amazing triangle, because Brenda is going to be truly torn," predicts her portrayer, Vanessa. "That was never the case before. She was in love with Sonny and that was the end of it. She really decided to try and move on with Jax." Although some of Brenda's pals suggest to her that this is a rebound wedding, Vanessa disagrees. "Marriage is a serious thing," maintains the actress. "It has taken her so long to get to this point - to make this commitment - and she wants to do it right. I really believe she is scared of Sonny. She loves him so much, but she's never sure where anything stands, or if he's going to lie to her about something. I think for the first time, she feels what it's like to have comfort and security with a man."
Sonny wont learn of Brenda and Jax's nuptials until June 21. What will he do when he finds out? "Sonny is in so much pain right now, he doesnt care. About anything," explains Maurice Bernard (Sonny). "Sonny inherits $30 million from Rivera, and he gives it all to an AIDS charity in Stone's name. He's an idiot. He's not thinking. He's just going thru the motions."
Riche points out that Brenda, on the other hand, has actually moved on with her life. "Brenda has finally grown to the point where she doesnt need to take from Sonny," notes the exec. "She sees where he is, and she lets him be. Jax knows his wife needs to go to Sonny. It takes a lot for him to allow that, but he knows she needs it. The question is, how long can Jax trust Brenda to be alone with Sonny?"
How long, indeed? According to Ingo Rademacher, Sonny is no threat to his character. "Jax absolutely thinks Brenda will fall in love with him 100 percent," the actor affirms. "He's offering her everything." What if Brenda chooses Sonny? "If that happens, he'll walk away," Rademacher sniffs. "That's the kind of guy he is. He'll say, 'You dont know what you're missing,' and he'll walk away from it. He'll be sad for a while, but he'll get over it. He's not the kind of person who dwells on things. He's strong enough to say, 'Okay, if thats the way you want it, then I'm out of here.' He's done it before and he'll do it again."
In the end, the choice will be Brenda's. But Vanessa believes Jax doesnt have that much to worry about. "Brenda is really ready to let Sonny go," she says. "Not in her heart, but in reality. She is genuinely worried about Sonny and wants to be there for him. She realizes, 'I need to be here for this person as a friend because I really love him.' Its not about what I need, it's about what he needs, because thats what love is about. She's not really going to be as quick to want to let go of Jax, the person who was there for her when she was ready to just give up life. It's such an amazing triangle."
Both men boast that if their characters come to blows over the brunette beauty, they'll be ready. "Jax isnt going to be scared by this guy," insists Ingo. "He might be a mobster, but I'm sure Jax being one of the richest men in the world could get him killed as well." And Sonny? "I'm short," cracks Maurice. "If we get into a fight, I'd better have a knife."
Editors' Choice: July 96
Lily's Death, GH
Some soap episodes are so well-crafted that they are absolutely riveting. Such was the case with the dramatic climax to GH's Sonny/Brenda/Lily/Jax quadrangle.
Sonny had finally decided to leave his wife, Lily, for Brenda; Lily was about to move back to Puerto Rico, and Jax had slipped into the shadows. But news of Lily's pregnancy changed everything. Sonny vowed to make his marriage work for the sake of their child, which jet-propelled a devastated Brenda into Jax's arms. Meanwhile, Lily's mafia father, Rivera, ordered a hit on his fickle son-in-law.
As the Corinthoses were celebrating their happy news at Luke's Club, Brenda was preparing to marry Jax aboard his yacht overseas. Sonny had too much to drink and his dutiful wife offered to fetch the car; Brenda donned a white satin sheath in anticipation of her wedding. Then, in suspenseful slow-motion, Lily approached the car while Sonny shared hugs and high fives with his father, Mike, and Luke. Meanwhile, Brenda took her place by Jax's side as they were married. Back to the pregnant Lily, who smiled radiantly at Sonny before she got into the car. Sonny smiled back, at peace and dedicated to making a commitment to his family. To watch these two situations in counterpoint - Sonny and Brenda each taking decisive action to move on with their lives - was compelling, but we hadnt seen anything yet: As Jax and Brenda clinked their champagne glasses, Lily put her key in the ignition - and an explosion rocked Port Charles. Like Michael Corleone's doomed wife in The Godfather, Lily had died in place of her husband, and whether you loved or hated Lily - and there were two camps - her death was as heartbreaking as it was shocking.
A stricken Sonny sought refuge in Luke's, then broke down in tears. Maurice Benard artfully balanced Sonny's public pain at losing his wife and child with his private resolve to bring her killer to justice. Meanwhile, a cheery - if dazed - Brenda was contemplating her future with her loving, ultra-rich hubby, Jax. "Will your parents welcome me with open arms?" Brenda wondered. "Will I have a walk-in closet? I'm a married woman, and I have no idea what I'm doing from this moment on."
No kidding - just what will Brenda do now? Lily is no longer blocking her path to Sonny, but Sonny's guilt over Lily's death may prove to be an even more formidable obstacle. Not to mention Jax, who adores Brenda. Can she forsake the only man who's made her feel safe?
Lily's tragic death not only made for a spectacular episode; it swiveled the Brenda/Sonny story into an unexpected direction that is rich with dramatic possibilities.
Question: With Lily gone from GH, Sonny and Brenda may get back together. But nobody planned on a handsome guy named Jax coming into the picture. With the obvious chemistry between Vanessa and Ingo, which man do you choose for Brenda?
23 percent said while Jax is handsome and debonair, nobody can compare with Sonny Corinthos. Brenda and Sonny are true soulmates and should be together. They've waited long enough for their reunion!
77 percent said: Sonny who? They love Jax and newcomer Ingo. These fans were once rooting for Brenda and Sonny, but now they've seen the light and have converted to being devout Brenda/Jax loyalists. What is GH waiting for? they say. Brenda and Jax are the hottest Port Charles couple in a long time.
Summary: The numbers speak for themselves. Jax has made a major mark on PC - and on GH fans. It looks as if the audience fascination with Sonny and Brenda may have run its course. Now that Brenda and Jax are married - and Lily is out of the picture - this will be a great triangle to watch.
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