By Michele Dargan

I love Claire Walsh as the tough-as-nails prosecutor on General Hospital for many reasons.

Steve Burton (Jason) and Dahlia Salem (Claire) on GH. (ABC/Patrick Wymore)

For one, Dahlia Salem as Walsh brings a great deal of realism to the role.

She has the mannerisms and presence of a prosecutor down better than many real-life prosecutors.

I know this because is my real job as a news reporter, I cover courts and spend lots of time sitting in courtrooms and watching prosecutors on a daily basis.

Salem, as Walsh, is the real deal.

She’s tough. She’ll do just about anything to win a case – except lie which is taboo – and she has a conscience.

She also has a soft side – as evidenced by her talk with Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) about her biological clock ticking.

I love her paired with Lucky, btw, and I hope that’s where the writers go with her.

Of course, these days, Walsh is making a deal with the devil – namely Sonny -in order to arrest Johnny.

Now, that part, I don’t really like, because – up to now – everything about her character was pretty much real.

But, seriously, this would never happen in reality!

At least not with any ethical prosecutor – and that’s exactly what Claire is.

Remember how incensed she was when she discovered that Jax lied to her and knew it was Michael who killed Claudia all along?

That was real!

But I really liked Monday’s eppy when Claire told Sonny (Maurice Benard) what he was really about.

And she nailed it!

“You’re really good at justifying yourself,” Claire said. “And what’s fascinating to me is that everything that people say, is true. You are ruthless and you’re manipulative. I wouldn’t call you brilliant, but you’re certainly cunning.

“You’re your own biggest fan and you think the world owes you a favor because your stepdad slapped you around. And you use your bad experiences to justify the violence you cause. You’re an emotional bully!”

But then Sonny comes back with telling her that HE knows what she’s all about – her career! And that’s why she doensn’t have a husband or children.

He goes on to tell her that if she arrests him instead of Johnny, it would be much better for her career, because he’s a much bigger fish to fry and Johnny’s a nobody.

“You’re ego never fails to astound me,” Claire says. “Where I’m headed, people like you are somebody else’s problem and, where I’m headed, you’re not a thought on anybody’s mind. You’re just something they scrape off the bottom of their shoes. You’re a stepping stone…just another way to get where I’m going.”

Well said, Claire!

Dahlia Salem (Claire) and Maurice Benard (Sonny) on GH. (ABC/Ron Tom)

However, I’m really afraid of the path they’re going down….

You see, for some reason which I fail to understand, Sonny attracts some strong, smart women.

Case in point: Alexis.

Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) was Sonny’s attorney when she slept with him. Can you say Conflict of Interest?

One Time and BINGO -she’s pregnant!

I DON’T – and I Mean DON’T want to see Claire go down that road.

I cannot stomach Sonny seducing one more intelligent woman and make her into a driveling, Sonny defender.

Not this one!

Run Claire, Run!!!

By Michele Dargan

I have been riveted – JUST RIVETED – the past few days on General Hospital.

And NOT because of the (yawwwwn) – Liz/Nik/Lucky who’s-the-daddy storyline.

I have been fast forwarding through those scenes.

The polar opposite to that is the teen dating abuse storyline.

Back in July, Soapbox1 reported the teen dating abuse storyline was coming up. But, I must admit, I had no idea how loooooong it would take to play out.

Be that as it may, the payout, so far, has been worth the wait.

The performances have been extraordinary on all fronts.

First of all, HUGE KUDOS to Lexi Ainsworth as Kristina. She’s been so good all around since she was brought on after SORASing the character.

But this storyline has really showcased her acting talent.

Btw, whoever did the makeup after Kristina’s brutal beating…..so realistic that it was really hard to look at.

Lexi Ainsworth as Kristina and Nancy Lee Grahn as Alexis Photo: Adam Larkey/ABC

Christian Alexander as Kiefer has been soooo good in making us hate the character…..at least I do. I cannot STAND Kiefer and what he represents.

And, of course, really strong performances (as always) from Nancy Lee Grahn as Kristina’s mother, Alexis Davis. I so empathized with her every moment.

Then there was Maurice Benard, who makes me, alternately, love Sonny one moment and hate him the next. In this case, I hated him when he pointed the gun at Ethan, threatening to kill him in his very Sonny way.

Dominic Zamprogna (Dante), Jane Elliot (Tracy), Jonathan Jackson (Lucky), Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Nathan Parsons (Ethan). Photo: ABC/Adam Larkey

But, the next minute, I sympathized with Sonny when he was in Kristina’s hospital room, talking about watching his mother getting beaten back when he was a boy…..which, we know, helped propel the whole mob thing.

I also loved the tender moments between Kristina and her newly-discovered brother Detective Dante Falconeri (Domenic Zamprogna). Zamprogna is so earnest and so caring as Dante…..Ya gotta love him!

And it was quite interesting watching Dante eavesdrop on Sonny’s above-mentioned soliloquy to Kristina.

Is Dante softening toward Sonny? It seems so.

I also like the close sisterly relationship developing between Kristina and Sam (Kelly Monaco). Sam, who had been abused, had a heart-to-heart with Kristina in the hospital and put on a brave front for her. Sam broke down in tears afterward with Jason.

For me, it’s really hard to watch everyone believing that Ethan did this to Kristina when we all know that he didn’t.

Nathan Parsons as Ethan Lovett. Photo: Rick Rowell/ABC

I guess, from what I’m gathering, the abused person protects her attacker.

But, in this case, it could mean that an innocent person could die. And that’s the part of the storyline that I don’t like

Kristina told Kiefer that she didn’t want him to die and that she knew if she named him that Sonny would kill him.

But what about Ethan? She doesn’t care that Sonny would kill him?

That part, I don’t get. And that part makes me want to scream at the TV that Ethan didn’t do this!

I’m interested to see what happens between good friends Luke (Tony Geary) and Sonny when Luke gets back into town.

I know the truth will come out. It always does.

I had a feeling today, when Kristina started to tell Alexis that she lied, it wouldn’t lead to her telling the truth about who really attacked her.

It was too early for that.

I just hope it doesn’t take too long for the truth to come out.

I want to see Kiefer get his due – and his smug, pompous parents too!

By Michele Dargan

Now today’s General Hospital eppy is more like it!

Have I told you lately how much I LOVE Carolyn Hennesy as Diane?

Carolyn Hennesy

Hennesy is so uber-talented that she delivers 110 percent ev-e-ry sin-gle time she enters a scene.

And paired with Derk Cheetwood as Max Giambetti…..well they make me smile or outright laugh out loud together.

Like today.

When Diane sang “Signed Sealed and Delivered” during Karaoke night at Jakes.

Watch the video. It says it all!

One other bit of good news as far as I’m concerned.

The apparent pairing of Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn) and Mac Scorpio (John J. York).

One of my pet peeves on GH has been the lack of screen time for the handsome Port Chuck police commish. York is SO talented and disgustingly underused.

The only time he gets screen time is when he’s used to prop the Mob storyline.

We need more Mac and he needs a good solid storyline….and I think there’s real possibilities with Alexis.

And as far as Alexis…..when her tween-age daughter (Molly) is telling whoever will listen about the blatantly bad choices in men her mother has made in the past…I think that signals a serious lack of judgement.

Actually, that’s the biggest understatement of the year…..Let’s review her past relationships.

Sonny – mob boss; Rick – pathological liar and sociopath; Jerry – psychopath.

And that’s a sad state of affairs considering Alexis, in her professional life, is a smart, saavy, shark of an attorney in the courtroom. But in her private life……not so much.

So, now, the possibility of an Mac/Alexis pairing gives me hope. They have shown a great chemistry together so far, particularly with their Karaoke duo to “Dancing in the Street.”

Grahn was soooo funny! Like Hennesy, Grahn is another one who puts a smile on my face, when she’s allowed to have some lighter, more comedic moments.

And when she’s paired with Hennesy….the skys the limit in terms of talent with those two.

In my opinion, Max/Diane and Alexis/Mac are more of what we need on GH.

And let’s have less of the Mob Wars and the Lucky/Liz/Nik triangle.

Because Let’s face it. Neither one of those storylines can end well.