Editors' Choice Salute
Carly And Sonny Lose Their Baby
Soap Opera Digest
June 27, 2000

There's a fine line to be walked when it comes to miscarriage storylines. Soaps can easily alienate viewers by presenting the pregnancy simply as a plot device - and a disposable one at that. Such was the dilemma, no doubt, facing GENERAL HOSPITAL when it came to deciding which direction to take the compelling Sonny/Carly storyline. Should these unlikely parents find happy domesticity as they bonded over the impending birth of the child they conceived during a one-night stand?

The answer, as we recently learned, would be no. In the middle of a heated argument with A.J. on the Q staircase, Carly took a great fall - which ultimately cost her baby's life. But what this tale of loss apart from so many others was GH's meticulous attention to detail before and after the accident.

Prior to Carly's fateful fight with A.J., we were reminded time and again of her inability to walk away from a confrontation with her alcoholic ex. So it was not at all out of character for Carly to lash out at him on the staircase, despite the fact that she was five months pregnant. Also, while the pregnancy was initially a clever plot point designed to bring together two characters who under any circumstances would never be together, the development of an independent connection between Sonny and Carly made the pregnancy more of a happy bonus to their romance. Careful plotting and a sublime chemistry between actors Sarah Brown and Maurice Benard pushed this tale beyond the typical.

But it was the aftermath of Carly's fall that truly struck at viewers' hearts. Sonny, the ultimate arbiter of tragedy, found himself engulfed in the surreal. At GH, Benard's dazed Sonny dazzled with a tear-jerking monologue at the bedside of his unconscious fiancée. "You're a fighter, so fight," he urged Carly. "Fight dirty, fight as hard as you can for yourself and for our baby."

But next came the horrendous dilemma placed in Sonny's shaky hands: save Carly's life or the baby's. Sonny knew what had to be done and returned to Carly's bedside - this time to say good-bye to his unborn child. "It's going to be a long time before I hold you," he whispered. "I don't want you to be scared because everything is going to be all right, little boy. I'll always hold you in my heart." If that wasn't gut-wrenching enough, a laid-bare Sonny later turned to Liz and asked her to hold him. Stunning.

Needless to say, Carly fell apart upon awakening and learning that her baby was gone. Brown raged through Carly's jangled emotions as Sonny gave her the devastating news. "You're a liar," she railed. "You're not going to take my child from me. You can't keep him from me, I'm his mother. He needs me. I want to hold him. I want to hold my baby…"

We now see Sonny and Carly taking off in wildly different directions as they come together and grow apart. Will they end up at the same place when their grieving subsides? Who knows. But just try to keep anyone from going along on that ride.

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